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Gov. Perry: Voters Need to Decide If They Worship Government or God

For years, Cathie Adams has been the President of the Texas affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, until she was elected Chair of the state Republican Party last year.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry would attend a Texas Eagle Forum event at which Don McLeroy received a "Patriot Award" for his efforts to remake the state's textbooks and curriculum ... or that Perry would use his appearance to demand to know whether voters worship government or God

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

"We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left," Perry said to the receptive audience.

He said the November election is bigger than "red states and blue states, conservatives or liberals, stimulus or budget cuts."

"We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation," Perry said.

"That's the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?"

...

Featured at the event was national Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who said she is heartened by shifts in public attitudes. She cited the diminished influence of big media, the majority of Americans considering themselves conservatives and anti-abortion, and the overall pervasive feeling that come November, "conservatives know they can win."

The group presented its Patriot Award to State Board of Education leader Don McLeroy, who led the board for the past two years as it tackled curriculum standards for English, science and social studies.

Daniels: Truce Talk "Just a Suggestion"

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has now responded to the outrage from the Religious Right to his statement that we need to call a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on economic issues.

And while Daniels is neither backing down or defending it, he does seem to think that the Religious Right ought to be able to discuss the suggestion like rational adults ... good luck with that approach:

Daniels, talking to reporters in Indiana, said his remarks were “just a suggestion,” and a reflection of the fact that he believes the nation has to focus on the soaring debt and national security threats.

“It’s an expression of the urgency I think all Americans should feel about certain other questions. The debt burden, which I think literally threatens not just our economy but America’s role in the world, and the threat of nuclear terror -- or weapons of mass destruction, I should say, in the hands of people who are perfectly willing to use them,” he said.

“I really believe that for the first time the future of the American experiment is at risk. It’s a thought that maybe we could agree to disagree. I picked the word truce because no one has to change their point of view, no one has to surrender. Just that we might simply try to come together, I think it will take that if we’re going to address what I believe are the most urgent problems of the country.”

Sarah Palin's Army

Newsweek's Lisa Miller has an interesting article on how Sarah Palin is reshaping the Religious Right in her image:

The religious right has always had female leaders, of course—Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye, to name two—but since the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in 1973, its most visible political brokers have been men. Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson used their media megaphones to preach a “family values” agenda—and then supported candidates who upheld their pro-marriage, antigay, and pro-life views. Their great triumph, the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, was followed by decades of acrimonious public debate about abortion, and political operatives soon discovered that no issue motivated voters more. “Pro-life folks on the ground are the most loyal; they’re worth their weight in gold,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. In 2004 Karl Rove called in 4 million evangelical Christian votes to help George W. Bush narrowly win a second term. And while women have long been active, even zealous, foot soldiers in family-values causes, they have not until now been passionate about their representatives on the national stage. Christian women may have given money to Schlafly, but they didn’t want to be like her.

But the culture was changing, and by 2006 the religious right was in disarray. Falwell would die the following year, and Dobson and Robertson were widely regarded as dinosaurs. Even evangelical Christians, for whom abortion remained a priority, said they didn’t like being yelled at ... With her new faith-based message, Palin gathers up the Christian women that traditional feminism has left behind.

I don't know that I completely buy all of Miller's arguments, but her article does contains lots of interesting information, especially about the Evangelical women and mothers who are flocking to Palin and who see her as a modern-day Esther: 

When asked why she loves Sarah Palin, a conservative Christian woman will point you to Proverbs 31. There, you’ll find a wife and mother who adores her husband, works the fields, rises before dawn, “makes her arms strong,” feeds the poor, helps the needy, has a head for business, and wears beautiful clothes. No exhausted careerist is she: the Proverbs 31 woman laughs easily; her children are happy. Christian women have long puzzled in their Bible study groups over how she does it, and in Palin they finally have an example—not just for themselves, but for their daughters.

“God gives us gifts and talents and abilities, and [Palin] is kind of modeling that it’s OK to use those,” says Lynette Kittle, 52, a mother of four grown daughters, who recently traveled more than a thousand miles from her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to hear Palin speak. “I know there’s a saying, ‘You can’t have it all,’ but in some ways you can.”

...

Like many evangelicals, [Vicki] Garza believes a great cosmic battle is underway for the soul of America and that Palin has been singled out by God for leadership: “The anointing on her is so strong,” she says. Assaults on Palin by the press only strengthen Garza’s conviction, for as any Christian knows, martyrs most deserve to gain God’s kingdom. “She’s just fearless,” Garza says. “Jesus said, ‘They persecuted me; they’ll persecute you.’ ”

To her Christian audiences, Palin talks about her own life in terms of mission and destiny. She was the keynote speaker at a Women of Joy conference in April, a convention of 16,000 Christian women who traveled from three dozen states to Louisville, Ky., and paid at least $79 per ticket for a weekend of praise, song, and prayer. Upon mounting the stage, Palin immediately thanked her “prayer warriors” for the “prayer shield” they built around her. She quoted from Proverbs 3—“Trust in the Lord with all your heart...and he will make straight your paths.” And then she connected herself with Esther. She was explaining the meaning of the Jewish queen’s heroism to her 9-year-old daughter Piper, she said. “[Esther] was out there on the stage, wondering if she’d have the opportunity to be chosen to really help change the world.”

Huckabee Joins The Fray, Saying He "Cannot" and "Will Not" Accept a Truce In the Culture Wars

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is, predictably, getting hammered from social conservatives for his statement that the next president will have to call a "truce" in the culture war in order to focus on economic issues.

He has already been blasted by Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council and right-wing activists continue to pile on:

Others, like Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and an early supporter of 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, says Daniels will have a hard time winning the GOP nomination if he demurs on pro-life issues.

“Something like this will cost him any consideration from one of the key constituencies of the Republican Party," he told LifeNews.com.

...

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America -- a group that has spearheaded efforts to oppose Elena Kagan and the pro-abortion health care bill -- didn't mince words either.

"When it involves life, no one can make no a truce. There is no room for gray area, no time to play dead, and no time to stick out head in the sand. When you realize that 1.3 million babies are aborted every year, Governor Mitch Daniels’ words show a level of cowardice that is not expected from a presidential hopeful," she told LifeNews.com.

Even Mike Huckabee, who has steadily been working to establish himself as the champion of the socially conservative wing of the party, is getting in on the action ... and using it to raise donations for his HuckPAC:

I received an astonishing email today from a concerned friend who has been very influential in the fight to end the scourge of abortion.

Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems.

In other words, stop fighting to end abortion and don’t make protecting traditional marriage a priority.

Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.

For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican “leaders” would suggest this truce, even more so. Governor Daniels is a personal friend and a terrific Governor, and I’m very disappointed that he would think that pro-life and pro-family activists would just lie down.

Are you ready to stop fighting for traditional marriage? I cannot. I will not.

Can you let the tragedy of abortion go unchecked while we get our financial house in order? I cannot. I will not.


A strong leader doesn’t need to focus myopically on one or two issues – but a strong leader is willing to fight for and defend their principles while rising to meet new challenges and solve all of the existing systemic problems confronting us.

For me these issues are critical. Indeed they are founding principles of my personal conservatism and part of the ideological foundation of the Republican Party. If you agree, I am asking you to help me send a signal.

...

Help me raise 2,012 new donations within the next 7 days for Huck PAC. That will help me show the importance of these issues to our Party and give us the financial resources we need to support strong conservatives who are fighting for life, traditional marriage, lower taxes, lower spending, secure borders and a strong national defense.

Help me send a strong signal – life and traditional marriage are NOT bargaining chips. Make a donation today.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • SF Weekly: Federal law gives gay citizens with foreign partners tough choices: Leave the U.S.A. Lose your love. Break the law.
  • Mother Jones: Nevada Tea Partier's Memory Hole.
  • David Neiwert: Arizona's immigration battle becomes a major nexus for white supremacists and the 'mainstream'.
  • Warren Throckmorton: More on Bryan Fischer’s theories about homosexuality and the Nazis.
  • Think Progress: Hot mic catches Fiorina dissing Hannity: ‘Very bad choice’ to go on his show.
  • Media Matters: Savage: "Most" Jewish people killed in the Holocaust "went like sheep to the slaughter".

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Apparently Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell got "'many good ideas" from his official state visit to Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado.
  • Someone should ask Gov. Bob McDonnell if Pat Robertson will be attending his "thank you retreat".
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee voted out Robert Chatigny’s nomination today - Concerned Women for America responded by saying "Senators Should Reject Obama's 'Empathy for Sadists' Judge".
  • Speaking of CWA, they are very upset about President Obama's salty language.
  • For all their screaming and yelling, Religious Right groups don't appear to have generated much opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Bryan Fischer bravely attacks the National Association of Evangelicals for supporting immigration reform while conveniently failing to attack right-wing leaders like Mat Staver, Richard Land, and Ken Blackwell, who also support it.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Michael Pakaluk explaining why he doesn't want the children of gay couples attending Catholic school with his children: "The third reason is that it seemed a real danger that the boy being raised by the same-sex couple would bring to school something obscene or pornographic, or refer to such things in conversation, as they go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which--as not being related to procreation-- is inherently eroticized and pornographic. He might expose other children to such things, as he might easily have encountered them in his household."

Tony Perkins Piles On Daniels For Calling For a "Truce" In The Culture War

Following up on my last post about Concerned Women for America responding "Never!" to Gov. Mitch Daniels statement that there needs to be a truce in the culture war so that the nation can focus on more important economic issues, now comes the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins voicing his own outrage at the suggestion:

In most parts of the country, sitting politicians aren't enjoying much popularity these days. Hoosier Governor Mitch Daniels (R) has been one exception. Some 590 miles away from the eye of Washington's storm, the Indiana leader is about as beloved as an elected official can be in this climate. His approval rating is consistently above 60%, prompting whispers that he might be "the man" for Republicans in 2012. Unfortunately, comments he made this week raise serious questions about his level of commitment to fundamental issues like life-leading many of us to wonder if he has the ability to lead a unified conservative movement.

...

That's astonishing. Not only is he noncommittal about his role as a pro-life leader, but the Governor wouldn't even agree to a modest step like banning taxpayer-funded promotion of abortion overseas-which President Bush did on his first day in office with 65% of the country's support. Let's face it. These aren't fringe issues that stretch moderate America. They're mainstream ideals that an overwhelming majority of the nation espouses. I support the Governor 100% on the call for fiscal responsibility, but nothing is more fiscally responsible than ending the taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion promotion. More than 70% of our nation agrees that killing innocent unborn children with federal dollars is wrong. Yet stopping government-funded murder isn't a "genuine national emergency?" We cannot "save the republic," in Gov. Daniels' words, by killing the next generation. Regardless of what the Establishment believes, fiscal and social conservatism have never been mutually exclusive. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness. Thank goodness the Founding Fathers were not timid in their leadership; they understood that "truce" was nothing more than surrender.

Anyone want to place a bet on how long it'll be before Daniels issues a "clarification," claiming that his statement was either taken out of context or is being misinterpreted?  I give it a day.

A Truce In The Culture War? CWA Says "Never!"

Just yesterday I was wondering how the Religious Right would react to Gov. Mitch Daniels' statement that a "truce" needs to be called in the culture wars so that our nation can focus on more important economic issues.

Well, today we are starting to get an answer to that question as Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America tells Daniels that is never going to happen:

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana basically raised the white flag on social issues when, in an interview with the Weekly Standard yesterday, he said that the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until economic issues are resolved.

So we’re just going to give up the fight on abortion, on euthanasia, on “gay marriage,” on all of our most sacred traditional values and morals that are just “too tough” to focus on right now? I don’t think so.

Conservatives are more revved up than ever before, having come together to fight the health care reform bill and taxpayer-funded abortion. Pro-life leaders are rising up out of college campuses and at the ballot box. Polling shows that more Americans are pro-life than pro-abortion, and pro-lifers are younger and more energetic than the aging pro-abortion feminists.

Why would we ever call a truce now? Why ever actually? Life is something we will never compromise and stop fighting for.

FRC Planning $100,000+ Anti-Kagan Ad Campaign

I haven't really been writing much about the right-wing campaign against Elena Kagan ... mainly because the campaign against her has been so utterly predictable and ineffective.

Conservative groups continue to attack her even though, as Ed Whelan says, "Kagan is a safe bet to be confirmed, but it’s still important that conservatives use the opportunity to educate the public about the proper role of the court."

And so to that end, right-wing groups are planning on raising (and spending) hundreds of thousands of dollars on opposing Kagan's nomination

“We MUST raise $360,000 by June 30 in order to continue the momentum of our life-saving work!’’ [American's United for Life] president, Charmaine Yoest, wrote to her followers. Activist groups of all persuasions are using similar appeals.

...

[The Family Research Council's Tom] McClusky said his group expects to invest $100,000 to $150,000 in a Web and print campaign that highlights Kagan’s opposition to the don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy that forbids openly gay armed service members.

...

Other groups are also busy with anti-Kagan videos. Curt Levey, director of the conservative Committee for Justice, said his group is producing anti-Kagan TV ads, likely to air shortly before the final confirmation vote.

“How much we can air them, of course, depends on how much money we can raise,’’ Levey said. His group spent about $15,000 last year opposing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Fund-raising currently is ahead of last year’s pace, he said.

Levey hopes to target the ads at Democratic senators in conservative states, such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana. In states without expensive media markets, a small investment can have a large impact, he said.

Pressure on Democrats in conservative states will be strong, predicted Gary Marx, director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which is spreading its research into Kagan’s record through new social media and by traditional radio interviews and phone banks.

Fischer: "The Inescapable Conclusion is That Gay Sex is a Form of Domestic Terrorism"

Offered without comment - the latest from Bryan Fischer:

Some of England's leading newspapers - The Sun, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail - all had feature stories yesterday about the latest Taliban terror tactic: burying dirty needles with their bombs in an effort to infect troops with HIV. They are planting hypodermic syringes below the surface with the points facing upward in hopes that bomb squad experts will prick themselves and become contaminated with hepatitis and HIV.

If the bomb goes off, then the needles become deadly flying shrapnel.

Said a member of Parliament, "Are there no depths to which these people will stoop? This is the definition of a dirty war."

If we connect the dots here, the inescapable conclusion is that gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism.

Actualy, I do have a comment: Fischer is still listed as a "confirmed speaker" at the next Family Research Council Values Voter Summit along with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee.