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CPAC And The Religious Right Kiss And Make Up

A few weeks back we noted that, after several years of growing antagonism between the Religious Right and the organizers of the annual CPAC conference, it appeared as if the relationship between the two sides was on the mend with the announcement that Mike Huckabee would be a keynote speaker at next year's event.

Now CBN's David Brody is reporting that the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, who had publicly boycotted the event in the past, will also be speaking at the conference and that the gay conservative group GOProud will not be participating:

The Brody File has learned that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins will speak at CPAC’s 2012 conference. FRC, one of the most influential social conservative public policy organizations in the country will also be one of the co-sponsors of the event. FRC, along with other notable social conservative leaders and organizations boycotted CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) last year over concerns that conference leaders had strayed away from conservative principles by opening up the affair to groups who were not true to conservative principles. One of those groups, GOProud championed gay rights. They will NOT be at CPAC this year.

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[ACU chairman Al] Cardenas says the following about the Perkins announcement: “Tony Perkins is one of the conservative movement’s key advocates on faith, family and freedom issues in the public policy arena and court of public opinion. Many Americans of faith across the country have looked to his leadership as the Obama Administration continues its war on our traditional values.”

Tony Perkins tells The Brody File the following: “Like restaurants, political organizations can win back customers under new management. Under CPAC’s new management the organization is committed to unifying the core of the conservative movement rather than dividing it and I am eager to help in this effort.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Janet Porter takes to the skies in her latest stunt to get her "Heartbeat Bill" passed in Ohio.
  • Peter LaBarbera says Barney Frank's retirement is "a great thing for America."
  • The Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition will not be endorsing any Republican candidate ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
  • Day Gardner sides with Herman Cain against the "money hungry women vying for 15 minutes of fame and fortune."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer says people hate Tim Tebow only because they really hate Jesus, and that is because this world is in the grip of the Evil One:

Fired Ohio Science Teacher Plays The Victim On WallBuilders

The more we listen to David Barton and investigate the assertions that he makes individually and through his organization WallBuilders, the more obvious it becomes that he has absolutely no qualms about flagrantly misrepresenting issues in order to promote his Religious Right agenda.

Several months back, Barton and co-host Rick Green welcomed a former FBI agent onto their "WallBuilders Live" radio program under the guise that he had lost his job because he had discovered that the Muslim Brotherhood had been infiltrating the agency.  The truth, not surprisingly, was quite different.

Today, Barton and Green featured former Ohio science teacher John Freshwater on the program and portrayed him as a victim of religious intolerance who lost his job for questioning evolution and keeping a Bible on his desk:

Freshwater: When the 2007/2008 school year came along, there was a new principal, a new Superintendent, and three new school board members and what took place that year was they wanted me to removed my Bible from my desk. And I felt I have academic freedoms and I thought I had the right to have my Bible on my desk, so I left it on my desk in 2007/2008 school year and they told me to remove it and that was when they suspended me - April 16, 2008 - they suspended me without pay and I've been in litigation since then, the last four years.

Green: What's their complaint about having a Bible on your desk? I thought teachers were allowed to do that?

Freshwater: You know what? I thought so too, but they said I needed to remove it from my desk. Here is what it comes down to Rick, and it's this: there is a lot of fear in public school teachers, especially Christian public school teachers. They put fear into them and they keep them ignorant; they don't teach them, they don't train them on it, so what a teacher does is they take off their religious beliefs, they take their hat off before they walk into a public school building because they don't want to lose their job. They really don't have a good understanding of this whole thing called religious belief and separation of church and state, it has been convoluted, it has been putting fear in the people and it is sad, it's very sad for a public school teacher in a public school in America today.

Of course, a quick Google search reveals dozens of articles reporting that Freshwater was actually fired for allegedly burning a cross onto the arms of two of his students and using his classroom to teach creationism, attack gays, and promote his religion. And just last month, his firing was upheld in court.

But you would never have learned this from listening to "WallBuilders Live" where Freshwater was portrayed simply as a man who has been relentlessly persecuted because of his Christian faith. 

As we have said before, Barton's success is largely rooted in the fact that his intended audience generally doesn't question anything he says or bother to check to see if his claims are accurate or true, and this is just the latest example of how he uses that power to routinely mislead them in order to create false narratives that support his own political and religious agenda.

Perkins: Gays And Lesbians Will Never Have "Fulfillment" Until They Leave "The Destructive Path That They're On"

On yesterday’s broadcast of Today’s Issues, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that the Religious Right is under attack in schools and in government and must “stand up to this,” declaring, “I think it’s time for us to occupy.” Citing the Oklahoma City pastor who claimed to have received death threats after denouncing a plan to include sexual orientation in the city’s non-discrimination policy, Perkins claimed that the Right’s opponents are trying “to intimidate us into silence.”

Perkins also had a stern warning for gays and lesbians. “Those in the homosexual community that are looking for fulfillment, that are looking for the approval that they are trying to get by forcing society to embrace homosexuality, they will never get it that way,” Perkins said. “They’ll only get it when they come to grips with the truth, that they are created in the image of God and God has a plan for their lives, and it’s not the destructive path that they’re on”:

I think it’s time for us to occupy. Not going down and setting up tents out in front of city hall, but it’s time for us to be gainfully involved in boldly proclaiming truth and not backing down in the face of intimidation, whether it be from a school principal, kids if you’re listening obviously talk with your parents first, and parents, don’t be intimidated by school officials, don’t be intimidated by the ACLU. Pastors, I’m gonna have a pastor hopefully on the program maybe this week or next week from Oklahoma who spoke out at city council and now he’s gotten death threats, well you know what, we’ve got to stand up to this. We cannot allow this to go on, allow them to intimidate us into silence.

Should we be angry? No. But we should understand that it is the truth that sets people free and those in the homosexual community that are looking for fulfillment, that are looking for the approval that they are trying to get by forcing society to embrace homosexuality, they will never get it that way. They’ll only get it when they come to grips with the truth, that they are created in the image of God and God has a plan for their lives, and it’s not the destructive path that they’re on.

Personhood USA Sets Sights On Oklahoma For Next Referendum

Along with pledging to have a third vote in Colorado and a second vote in Mississippi, Personhood USA is trying to put the extreme anti-choice measure on the ballot in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Oregon. Now, you can add Oklahoma to that growing list of states targeted by Personhood USA.

In an interview with OneNewsNow, the news site of the American Family Association, which bankrolled Personhood Mississippi, the head of Personhood USA’s Oklahoma state chapter announced that they will begin collecting signatures to place a personhood amendment on the state ballot:

A campaign is under way in Oklahoma to give voters a chance to decide on a personhood amendment, and a co-founder of the initiative is hoping that lessons learned from other states' failures will help the effort succeed in The Sooner State.

The proposal has been submitted to Secretary of State Glenn Coffee (R), and once the green flag is waved, proponents will have 90 days to obtain at least 150,000 valid voter signatures. But Dan Skerbitz, co-founder of Personhood Oklahoma, the state affiliate of Personhood USA, hopes to gather at least 200,000. He says the initiative has already had a good response.

"The personhood message resonates with pro-life people because it offers the real solution to the whole issue and answers the debate that was left open when Roe v. Wade was passed," he explains.

In an interview with the Tulsa World, Skerbitz reiterated that the law would include no exceptions for rape and refused to answer a question about whether personhood laws would ban the treatment of life-threatening pregnancies and ban abortion even when the life of the mother is at risk:

It does not make exceptions for rape or incest, he said.

"It is our position that the child is to be a protected person, regardless of the fact that the child's father was a criminal," said Skerbitz, 44. "We believe criminals should be punished and not innocent children."

Skerbitz was vague when asked if it would allow for termination of a pregnancy when the mother's life or health is at risk.

"We would hope that science and medicine would do its best to save both," Skerbitz said.

Personhood USA is by no means grieving over their lopsided defeat in Mississippi.

On Monday, Keith Mason of Personhood USA appeared on Janet Parshall’s show In The Market where Mason claimed that the failed personhood effort in Mississippi was a “rwake up call” to the anti-choice movement and brought “revival” to the state. Parshall said that the campaign “may have put on the garment of politics but it was quintessential spiritual warfare”:

America as a 'Christian Nation' Panel at the National Press Club

On November 8, 2011, People For the American Way Foundation hosted a forum at the National Press Club entitled America as a 'Christian Nation' -- A conversation with experts on religion, history, law and the Constitution. The panel of experts discussed the historical and political forces behind the often-peddled myth that America was founded specifically as a Christian Nation and the effects of this narrative in today's religious and political dialogue.

Panelists:

Harvey Freaks Out That She Almost Ate A Halal Turkey For Thanksgiving

Mission America’s Linda Harvey today discussed how she averted a Thanksgiving disaster after she found out that the turkey she planned to have for the holiday was from Butterball. Pamela Geller and Bryan Fischer have been promoting the conspiracy that all Butterball turkeys sold in the U.S. have been slaughtered according to Islamic dietary laws, but Butterball has not disclosed the turkey’s halal certification to customers. However, last week The Rachel Maddow Show released a statement from Butterball saying, “Our domestic products are not halal certified and thus, do not require any additional on-package labeling.”

Harvey claimed that the Butterball controversy proves that “Sharia, Islamic practices are starting to invade everyday life in the U.S.” When Harvey found out “that sure enough, my turkey is a Butterball,” she promptly sought out a new, non-halal turkey and was refunded for her Butterball turkey from Kroger. “As a Christian, I really don’t want to eat meat dedicated to a false god,” Harvey said, “I am not going to be buying any Butterball products again.”

A few weeks back we bought a frozen turkey and it was in the refrigerator thawing, all on schedule, when the day before I read an article on the news website WorldNetDaily that revealed once again how Sharia, Islamic practices are starting to invade everyday life in the U.S., just as they have in Europe. It seems that the company Butterball had secretly, without marking it on any of the packaging, prepared all its whole turkeys according to Islamic dietary and spiritual guideless called halal. It’s more than just a cleanliness procedure, the turkey is slaughtered and while the blood is draining out, praises to Allah are chanted over the meat. As a Christian, I really don’t want to eat meat that has been dedicated to a false god. Now the first question I had was, is this really true? I called Butterball and they confirmed that yes, all their whole turkeys were halal according to USDA guidelines, they said. This seems like a lot of extra trouble and cost for a relatively small market, but I suppose we should take them at their word. So I go to the refrigerator and sure enough, my turkey is a Butterball, so now what should I do? I went out that evening and searched out a non-halal, fresh turkey which was not on my to-do list for a busy holiday. Just let me say I am not going to be buying any Butterball products again and I later went to Kroger and got my money back. Why do we have to put up with this in America?

Did Threats From Gay Activists Mobilize An Oklahoma Pastor To Run For Office?

According to The Greely Gazette, when local pastor Paul Blair spoke out in opposition to an Oklahoma City proposal to add sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination policy, he and his church received death and bomb threats.  But Blair refuses to be intimidated by such threats and has decided, instead, to take a stand by running for state office: 

Paul Blair, Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma told the council that the law was unnecessary and would create an unfair burden on employers and could allow men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms.

Following his remarks, Blair and the church have been threatened with violence.

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Blair said it was amazing that the threats against his church and himself have been largely ignored by the national media.

“If I would have left these types of threats on the voicemail of the local ‘gay’ alliance, I would have been in jail before sundown. It would have been on the front page of the New York Times and the lead story on CNN.”

The threats have motivated Blair to further action. “On Sunday, I announced to members of the church I was going to be running for the Oklahoma State Senate. I received a standing ovation.”

This might all be more believable if Blair was not already a rabidly anti-gay Religious Right activist  - that is him, second from the right, with Tony Perkins and Janet Porter at the Dominionist-infused May Day for America prayer rally in 2010:

Blair is also a close ally of Rep. Sally Kern and spoke at the "Rally for Sally" to show support for her after she said gays represent a bigger threat to America than terrorism. 

He is also the head of the reborn Reclaiming America For Christ organization and was a participant in the self-aggrandizing anti-hate crimes "Rally for Religious Freedom" where various anti-gay activists vowed never to stop preaching against homosexuality and challenged the Justice Department to prosecute them.

In fact, Blair and his organization produced this ten minute video called "The Criminalization of Christianity" which warned that hate crimes legislation - which Blair called the "Pedophile Protection Act" - would "make it possible for a pastor to be prosecuted for doing nothing more than preaching a Biblical sermon on Sunday":

So Blair is not just some local pastor mobilized to run for office because of supposed threats from gay activists; he's a full-blown anti-gay Religious Right activist who is now seeking to turn his radical agenda into state law.

Fischer Wonders How Many Men Died Of AIDS Because Of Barney Frank

On Monday, Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank announced that he will not seek reelection next year, and American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer decided to celebrate Frank’s retirement by attacking the congressman for being gay. On Focal Point yesterday, Fischer claimed that Frank may have used his prominent position to “influence” other men into becoming gay who may have later contracted AIDS. “This is a dangerous, risky, immoral, unhealthy lifestyle, and Barney Frank has been an open practitioner of a lifestyle that is condemning one young man after another to an early grave,” Fischer said, “this is not somebody to admire, this is not somebody to honor.” Fischer went on to say that Frank “modeled a lifestyle which is really a death-style,” wondering, “Who knows how many people were drawn or encouraged in some way by Barney Frank’s example to dabble in a lifestyle that eventually cost them their health and maybe even cost them their lives.”

Fischer: Barney Frank served seventeen terms in Congress and this is some of the stuff in his background: he was the first openly gay member of Congress - I just saw deal, according to the Centers for Disease Control, sixty-one percent of all of the new HIV/AIDS cases are among men who have sex with men. This is a dangerous, risky, immoral, unhealthy lifestyle, and Barney Frank has been an open practitioner of a lifestyle that is condemning one young man after another to an early grave. This is not somebody to admire, this is not somebody to honor - you've got all these left-wing media outlets out there talking about what a colorful figure he was and how important a legislator he was and how he's going to be missed on the American political scene. And yet he modeled a lifestyle which is really a deathstyle. People imitate that. You have got to know that people are influenced toward that behavior, if they have any kind of inclination in that direction, if there are very prominent people that are engaging in it, they're doing it openly, they are praised by the press rather than criticized for flaunting this kind of behavior, you've got to know that has got an impact. So who knows how many people were sort of drawn or encouraged in some way by Barney Frank's example to dabble in a lifestyle that eventually cost them their health and maybe even cost them their lives.