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Group Evangelizes to Soldiers with Violent End-Times Video Game

Reports Max Blumenthal. More on origin of "Left Behind" here.

Right-Wing Coalition United against SCHIP (Mostly)

While the conservative movement coalition of the economic right and social right has shown some small cracks in the last year, one bill in Congress has them singing the same tune: a proposal to expand the coverage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Religious Right is complaining that the bill defines “children” beginning with birth, rather than conception. According to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, making “unborn children” ineligible to sign up for insurance “is a calculated move to open the door to federal taxpayer-funded abortions.” (FRC’s David Christiansen clarified: “The federal dollars wouldn't necessarily be used to do the abortion, but it's freeing up states to perform these other services, including abortion, with their own state money.”)

Meanwhile, National Right to Life Committee asserted that the bill would lead to Medicare “rationing” and thus “involuntary euthanasia.” “They have attacked the sanctity of life both at the beginning and the latter stages of life,” cried Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaking of “the Democratic leadership” in Congress.

In addition, the Religious Right warns that the bill renews funding for abstinence education, but doesn’t restrict it to abstinence-only programs. “They’re simply giving states more money to fund Planned Parenthood and the programs that teach our children to have sex,” complained Linda Klepacki of Focus on the Family. “Comprehensive sex education will once again have a monopoly on your school systems.”

Meanwhile, economic-right activists are warning that expanding SCHIP is “a step towards socialism.” In this, they find welcome support from Perkins, who – despite his warnings about abortion – wrote that the “[m]ost important” aspect of the bill is that “its expansion represents a direct attack on private insurance, pushing Americans closer to what many Democratic leaders have long advocated--government-run, taxpayer-funded, universal health care, managed with the same efficiency and customer care as your local DMV.”

Both the Heritage Foundation and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform have trashed the bill. But as Robert Novak reports, they are having some trouble on the details, arguing with each other over right-wing amendments offered by Republicans.

'Project Reality' Lacking Grip on Reality

Last month, Right Wing Watch detailed Focus on the Family’s attempt to blindly attribute the correlation between declining teen sex rates to the promotion of abstinence-only education. As we pointed out, correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

A news release from the abstinence-only education organization Project Reality continues the shoddy statistical analysis, detailing the overlapping decline in the teen pregnancy rate among 10-14 year olds with the increase in abstinence-only education. Project Reality’s director comments:

Phyllis Schlafly 'Connect[s] the Dots' on 'North American Union'

NAFTA, a superhighway, Social Security, "Senate amnesty bill" -- all part of secret plan to "integrate governments." Also: Corsi links "NAFTA superhighway" to Minnesota bridge collapse.

Catholic League on Religious Leaders in Politics

Suppose several prominent Catholic leaders endorsed a candidate for a local office, and that candidate advertised the endorsements as a way to get the support of Catholic voters. His opponent, however, objected, calling the tactic “insulting.”

Now normally, the Catholic League would pounce on purported attempts to “silence” Catholics in politics, so one would expect Bill Donohue’s right-wing group to side with the first candidate.

But in this case, Grand Rapids, Michigan Mayor George Heartwell is pro-choice. “Even if Heartwell were Catholic and pro-life, it would smack of demagoguery for him to sell himself to Catholics in such a crass manner,” said Donohue. “But the fact that he is the darling of the pro-abortion community makes his ploy all the more despicable.”

Two Booths for Keyes

As if it wasn’t enough to have Newt Gingrich lurking around next weekend’s Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa, look out for Alan Keyes trying to crash the party.

When we last checked in with the “We Need Alan Keyes for President” campaign, its organizers were soliciting donations to set up a booth at the Ames event. Now, the group reports, its plans are “coming together remarkably well,” and indeed, supporters of the far-right activist and occasional candidate will have not one, but two booths. Unlike Gingrich, Keyes won’t be making a personal appearance – but he will be present in spirit by way of “continuous videos.”

Right Wing Comes to Defense of Anti-Gay Mayor

Religious-right leaders are flocking to defend a mayor whose anti-gay comments have drawn public criticism.

Last month, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Mayor Jim Naugle proposed replacing the bathrooms at the city’s beaches with $250,000 self-cleaning robo-toilets to combat the purportedly rampant problem of gay men using public restrooms for sexual encounters. In discussing his plan, he commented:

"I don’t use the word ‘gay,’ I use the word ‘homosexual.’ Most of them aren’t gay. They’re unhappy."

After a public uproar, Naugle then scheduled a press conference to offer an“apology” for his comments. But the "apology" he offered was for not being aware sooner that sex in public bathrooms was such a problem. The major flaw with this apology, in addition to the obvious bait-and-switch which infuriated local gay-rights activists, is that a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman has characterized the supposed problem as “non-existent.”

Janet Folger presents Mayor Naugle with an awardNevertheless, adulation from the religious right has been forthcoming, with Rick Scarborough calling Mayor Naugle “bold,” and Concerned Women for America labeling him “gutsy.” Faith2Action’s Janet Folger even presented Naugle with her weekly “Protector of the Family” award for his efforts. A collection of extremely anti-gay religious-right groups including Americans for Truth, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, and Faith2Action have even formed their own website, www.healthypublicplaces.com.  Although to date it's nothing more than a link to a press release, the site is further evidence that religious-right leaders are willing to circle the wagons around any politician who spouts anti-gay rhetoric.  

(Photo: Janet Folger presents Naugle with the "Protector of the Family" award.)

Rick Scarborough Cheers Southwick

Far-right activist writes: "[N]o one that President Bush has nominated to serve on the Federal Courts better represents all that is good about America than Judge Southwick."

Huckabee under Fire before Ames Straw Poll

With the upcoming straw poll in Ames, Iowa a make-or-break moment for second-tier GOP presidential candidates – and for Mitt Romney, the only major candidate not to skip the event – tensions at the bottom are flaring up. The Club for Growth -- a group known for translating its strict economic conservatism into large cash expenditures in Republican primaries to weed out so-called “Republicans in Name Only” – has made its first TV ad of the 2008 campaign, spending $85,000 in the Des Moines/Ames market to accuse former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee of “a willingness to slap a tax increase on everything from groceries to nursing home beds.”

TVC: Calif. Non-Discrimination Bill 'Aimed at Silencing People of Faith'

Anti-gay group claims civil rights act "should more appropriately be called the 'Christian Persecution Act of 2007.'"