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Following Fischer's Views To Their Scriptural Conclusion

It is no secret that Bryan Fischer wants to see our nation governed by the Bible, going so far as to demand that whales, bears and other wild animals be put to death in accordance with scriptural mandates.  So it was no surprise to see that he has written a new post defending the use of the death penalty as entirely biblical

The King James version, “Thou shalt not kill,” has led some to erroneously believe that God was prohibiting killing of every kind, but he most certainly was not. The Sixth Commandment is specifically a command against cold-blooded murder. Killing in self-defense, war, and as punishment for murder are not only permitted but prescribed in the Scripture.

In fact, on the next page on the book of Exodus, in chapter 21, there are six specific crimes for which capital punishment is the prescribed penalty. As an aside, it’s worth noting that the death penalty was mandated for participation in the slave trade: “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:16).

In other words, if the United States had simply followed the standards found in Scripture, slaves never would have appeared on our shores, slavery never would have been an issue, and the Civil War would never have been fought. Then, as always, the Scriptures show us the way forward not just personally but politically as well.

It is a little hard to understand how Fischer can claim that if the US had just followed Scripture, slavery would have been illegal since just a few passages later in Exodus 21: 20-21 it is made pretty clear that it was not slavery that warranted the death penalty, but theft:

When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.

So if you beat a slave to death, you are to be punished but if the slave recovers, there will be no punishment ... yet somehow Fischer thinks that this should have been our guide to "show us the way forward not just personally but politically as well."

For what it is worth, the Exodus 21 passage Fischer cites also mandates death for anyone who strikes or curses his mother or father, so maybe he thinks we ought to enact that into law as well.

And we already know that Fischer wants to see homosexuality criminalized, so given that he wants Scripture to show us the way forward politically, one has to wonder whether he thinks Leviticus 20's "Punishments for Sexual Immorality" ought to be enacted into law as well:

10 If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

...

13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

I'd encourage others to ask Fischer that question but we all know that trying to get Fischer to actually defend or explain his views is just an exercise in futility.

Huckabee To Keynote Fundraiser For Personhood Mississippi

Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi, the group running the campaign to pass Amendment 26, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions by giving rights to zygotes. In addition to banning abortion, the personhood amendment would also make certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies a crime. The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, committed $100,000 to fund the effort to pass Amendment 26 in November.

By supporting Amendment 26, Huckabee places himself even to the right of the National Right to Life Committee, which refused to back Colorado’s failed personhood amendment because they thought it was counter-productive and likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.

Moreover, the founder and director of Personhood Mississippi is far-right extremist Les Riley. Riley used to be a featured blogger for the Christian separatist group Christian Exodus, until his posts were conspicuously removed from the group’s site. But luckily, he left a paper trail:

According to Christian Exodus’s mission statement, “The initial goal was to move thousands of Christian constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return to self-government based upon Christian principles at the local and State level. This project continues to this day, with the ultimate goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

The group, which is closely tied to the neo-confederate League of the South, attempted to set up an independent, theocratic state in South Carolina by 2016 but has since moved on to creating theocratic settlements in Panama and Idaho.

Riley is also chairman of the Constitution Party of Mississippi and stated that its goal is to “restore American government to its Constiutional [sic] limits and American jurisprudence to its Biblical presuppositions.” According to their platform, “The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law.”

But for Huckabee, it seems no activist is too radical to work with.

Fischer: "It's Not A Problem When A Christian Says That"

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press released a survey that found that "Muslims in the United States continue to reject extremism" and that there is "no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years."

But Bryan Fischer, of course, wasn't buying it at all and dedicated a segment of his radio program yesterday to warning that the survey showed that nearly half of Muslims identify themselves as Muslims first and Americans second.  Of course, Christians do the same thing but, as Fischer explained, it is a good thing when Christians do it and a bad thing when Muslims do it:

Nearly half of Muslims in the US say that they think of themselves first as Muslims rather than Americans. Now that's a problem. It's not a problem when a Christian says that. For the Christian to say "I am a Christian first and an American second," that's what we all ought to say. Our ultimate allegiance is not to country, not to the Constitution, it's to God and the the Scripture. If you have to make a choice between the two, we must obey God rather than man.

But when a Christan says "I'm a Christian first and an American second," the fact that he is a Christian first, he's got devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ means he's going to be a better American. He's going to be an asset to his country, he's going to love his country, he's going to become more fervent in his patriotism. His love for his country and for its traditions are going to deepen because those traditions are rooted in the soil of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Now if you have a Muslim, on the other hand, that says that - "I am a Muslim first and an American second" - look out! Because that indicates his ultimate devotion is to the Quran, it's to Allah, it's to Muhammad. It's not to Jesus Christ, it's not to the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is not to American values and American tradition and American history and American heroes - it is to Allah and Allah tells him to slay the idolaters wherever you find them.

So the more devout a Muslim gets, the more of a threat he becomes to America's nation security.

So there you have it:  being a Christian makes you a better American while being a non-Christian makes you a threat to this nation.

Gohmert: Obama Breached His Oath Of Office; "Is Making Us Like A Third World, Corrupt Country"

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined Frank Gaffney yesterday on Secure Freedom Radio to discuss President Obama’s recent executive order that would prioritize the deportation of undocumented immigrants “who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk” over “people who are low priorities for deportation,” such as children, students and veterans. During his appearance on Gaffney’s show, Gohmert maintained that this executive order represents “a breach of the oath” and proves that Obama “has done more to undo the very foundation of the country: the rule of law.” Later in the interview the congressman alleged that Obama is “making us like a Third World, corrupt country where the rule of law is tossed aside”:

Gaffney: What does it mean to a polity like ours, that you have a president who says, I am going to selectively enforce the laws on immigration, for example and to what extent does that really represent a breach of his oath of office?

Gohmert: Well it does represent a breach of the oath. This is a president who has done more to undo the very foundation of the country: the rule of law, that no matter who you are, President, member of Congress, whoever it doesn’t matter, the law is to be equally applied across the board. And there’ve been exceptions where people have gotten away with stuff but never to the extent that this guy has pushed, and like you said he’s shown contempt for the lawmaking process.



So immigration is now one more thing where he is making us like a Third World, corrupt country where the rule of law is tossed aside and it’s not equal application of the law, it’s who you know that gets you by.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC is seeking fifty thousand signatures on its petition to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to include members of the clergy in the 9/11 memorial service.
  • Michele Bachmann assures us that she has a great sense of humor.
  • Frank Gaffney and Rick Joyner, together again.  What could go wrong?
  • If you thought the offical end of the Fairness Doctrine was going to bring an end to right-wing fearmongering about efforts to shut down Christians ... well, you were wrong.
  • Calvin Beisner says that Christians who care about the environment and protest "are actually disobeying scripture by doing this."

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

For the last several weeks, the Religious Right has been hyping allegations from Kelly Shackleford and his Liberty Institute claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a ban on "the use of Christian words or phrases at veterans’ funerals."

Liberty Institute has even launched a website called "Don't Tear Us Down" which claims that "Jesus is not welcome at gravesides" and the campaign is receiving support from other Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Today the New York Times took a look at the controversy and discovered - shockingly - that the claims being made by the Religious Right are totally misleading.  As the NYT explains, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." 

In essence, the policy states that volunteer groups are not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family.  Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have that right as well.

But to the Religious Right, preventing outside groups from attending funerals and offering prayers at services where they are not wanted or requested is a violation of the religious freedom of the volunteers:

The plaintiffs, aided by a conservative legal group, the Liberty Institute, contend they should be allowed to use a Veterans of Foreign Wars script dating from World War I that refers to the deceased as “a brave man” with an “abiding faith in God” and that seeks comfort from an “almighty and merciful God.” The institute has broadcast the dispute nationwide with slick videos and a Web site declaring that “Jesus is not welcome at gravesides.”

...

The lawsuit, which alleges religious discrimination by the government, and videos have generated angry letters and Internet commentary against the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as demands from members of the Texas Congressional delegation, mostly Republicans, that the Obama administration fire the Houston cemetery director, Arleen Ocasio.

Department of Veterans Affairs officials say that the original policy, enacted under President George W. Bush, resulted from complaints about religious words or icons being inserted unrequested into veterans’ funerals. They noted that active duty military honor guards, including the teams that do funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, say almost nothing during their ceremonies.

“We do what the families wish,” said Steve L. Muro, the under secretary for memorial affairs. “I always tell my employees we have just one chance to get it right.”

Though two of the largest veterans organizations, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have criticized the Houston National Cemetery, some veterans’ advocates have risen to the department’s support. Those advocates say that families who want prayers can have them and assert that the Liberty Institute has blown the dispute out of proportion to embarrass the Obama administration.

Lawyers with the Liberty Institute deny that ... The Department of Veterans Affairs said that funeral directors, rather than the veterans themselves, should tell families the details of the V.F.W. or other rituals, to give those families room to make their own decisions on what is recited.

“If the family wants prayers, the family will get them,” said John R. Gingrich, the department’s chief of staff.

Sprigg: "Nothing That We Have Done Can Reasonably Be Called Hate"

Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg appeared today on The Matt Friedeman Show on the American Family Association’s American Family Radio to discuss the budding controversy over the right-wing “charity” service CGBG. The progressive groups AllOut.org and Change.org have persuaded over 200 retailers to leave the CGBG, a for-profit group that allows customers to shop at companies online and direct part of their proceeds to right-wing organizations like FRC and Focus on the Family – success that, unsurprisingly, has got the Religious Right up in arms.

It’s rather ironic that the AFA is helping the FRC denounce the pressure campaign against the CGBG, as the AFA itself led boycotts against Ford, Home Depot, Old Navy, Pepsi, and Glee along with pressure campaigns against Burger King, Toyota, Lexus and Cellular South to stop running ads on Glee and Google and Disney to drop out of the It Gets Better Project. But this double-standard should come as no surprise, as the FRC endorsed the AFA’s boycott campaign against McDonalds and led its own campaign against Wal-Mart.

Sprigg and Freideman alleged that FRC is only facing a backlash from gay rights and women’s rights groups because the group oppose marriage equality. However, the AllOut.org petition urging companies to drop CGBC doesn’t mention the FRC’s position on marriage at all, instead focusing on FRC’s advocacy for laws criminalizing homosexuality, opposition to anti-bullying efforts and dishonest attempts to tie homosexuality to pedophilia.

Sprigg: People are afraid of the homosexual activists and they’re particularly afraid of this character assassination that comes in the form of the word ‘hate.’ Nobody wants to be accused of participating in ‘hate’ and so throwing that word  ‘hate’ around becomes a trump card even when nothing that we have done can reasonably be called  ‘hate.’ On the contrary, everything we do is motivated by love for the people who are hurt by this lifestyle.

Friedeman: Well, again I think what Tony Perkins has done and Peter Sprigg you by extension, you just say, we’re asking people, and AFA does this all the time as well, you urge retailers to remain neutral in the culture wars, the current cultural battles, particularly when you come down to something like homosexuality.

Such a claim is hard to believe coming from Peter Sprigg, who:

  • Argued that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be judges because a gay judge can’t “be held up as a role model.”
  • Opposed allowing same-sex partners or their adopted children from collecting their deceased partner or parent’s Social Security benefits.
  • Cheered on Lisa Miller after she kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America in order to evade court order granting custody to her former partner.

But the LGBT community, Sprigg says, should see all these as acts of love.

The Governor and The Christocrat: A Match Made In Texas

As we noted last week, Rick Perry spent some time this weekend at James Leininger's ranch in Texas meeting with a bevy of Religious Right leaders and activists.

According to Time, there was some 300 such leaders in attendance and Rick Scarborough, though he refuses to confirm that he was actually in attendance, appears quite smitten with the Texas Governor:

Last weekend, Rick Perry privately met some 300 conservative evangelical leaders at long-time supporter Jim Leininger’s home near Fredricksburg, Texas. And on Monday afternoon, reported-attendee and evangelical leader Rick Scarborough told TIME he is endorsing Perry: “I was holding judgment,” says Scarborough, who in 1998 founded the group Vision America to mobilize pastors and their congregations to vote on social issues, “but the more I’ve studied and listened, the more I have liked what I have heard.”

Perry first charmed Scarborough, who supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President in 2008, over a decade ago when Perry gave an impromptu personal testimony of his evangelical faith at a 1998 Republican convention. “It was obvious to me as a preacher that it was real, it was undoctored, it was unprepared, it was off the cuff. It really resonated with me.”

The governor had help in winning over the evangelical leader. Scarborough cited Perry’s wife Anita as a major factor in his decision. “I’ve had a chance here recently to hear Anita, much more close and personal,” Scarborough said. “Unlike [previous Presidents’ wives], I find that she holds the same values that he holds.”

...

The pastor’s endorsement has real sway. Vision America’s “Patriot Pastor” coalition has 20,000 members, and American Family Association founder Don Wildmon and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye are on the group’s advisory board. Scarborough says he’s already begun making his case to other influential social conservatives. “That’s not to say Rick Perry is Jesus because he is not,” he says. “But when you look at his full body of work, he’s been the best governor we’ve ever had.”

As we noted before, Scarborough is a self-proclaimed "Christocrat" who believes that it is his duty to "mix church and state God's way" in order to stop the country's "slide further into Communism/Socialism [and] sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and fight President Obama's efforts to "de-Christianize" this country.

Oh yeah, and he is also a Birther who stated, just a few months ago, that AIDS is God's judgment for engaging in an immoral act:

Barber: Gays Want To Put Conservatives "Behind Bars"

On an episode of Faith & Freedom scheduled to air tomorrow, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Baber dedicates the program to discussing how “homo-fascists” are unfairly pressuring businesses to drop out of the “charity-giving” program run by the right-wing CGBG. As noted in previous posts, the CGBG sets up a virtual mall for consumers to shop at companies and donate part of their proceeds to charity groups. However, these charities include the far-right, anti-gay Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Liberty Counsel. Barber, who in 2008 personally led a boycott rally in front of McDonalds’ corporate headquarters, now complains that LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates are using “economic terrorism” to convince retailers to leave the CGBG.

Taking a page from Tony Perkins and Bill Donohue, Barber claims that the Religious Right are victims of persecution from gays and lesbians.

Barber: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it right now. The sexual anarchist lobby, this radical, militant lobby, wants three things in this order: they want to see those of us who hold traditional values and have a biblical view of sexual behavior and sexual morality; they want to see us behind bars. Absent that, if that doesn’t work, they want to see us discredited, our licenses, my law licenses revoked, unable to teach in schools and so forth. They want us completely discredited and marginalized to the fringes of society. Finally and included in that is the inability, they want to see people like us not able to make a living. And that’s why they’re going after these organizations and they’re using economic terrorism, for lack of a better phrase.