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Gingrich, McDonnell, Rove Sign on For Ralph Reed's Political "Minicamp"

Why is it that when Ralph Reed is involved, nothing can ever just be what it is? 

For instance, his new Faith and Freedom Coalition is not just a new Religious Right group, but rather the "Christian Coalition on Steroids."

And Reed is not just another Religious Right operative, but the Religious Right's Steve Jobs.

And Reed's works is not just standard voter mobilization, but rather guerilla warfare and saturation bombing.

And so, of course, his upcoming Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit is not just a political conference, but "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp":

The Faith & Freedom Coalition will hold its first national Conference and Strategy Briefing with top grassroots leaders, pastors, and activists in Washington, DC, on September 9-11. The Faith & Freedom Coalition, founded by Ralph Reed, will inform and train its state and chapter leaders, activists, and supporters in preparation for the 2010 elections.

To date confirmed speakers include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former White House senior advisor and Fox News contributor Karl Rove, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, Congressmen Randy Forbes, Tom Price, and Lynn Westmoreland, among many others.

Hundreds of grassroots activists will gather for training, workshops and breakout sessions on voter registration, Get-Out-the-Vote tactics, and how to utilize Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to build a volunteer network. Among scheduled panels: "Mama Grizzly" candidates who are making 2010 the "Year of the Conservative Woman," and leading Tea Party organizers, including Jenny Beth Martin with Tea Party Patriots.

"This is not just a conference or a retreat," said Ralph Reed. "This is the political equivalent of NFL minicamp. We will train and equip our activists on how to block and tackle in the churches and precincts as we prepare for the most important election of our lifetimes."

FRC's GOTV Efforts Get Under Way

I can always tell when election season is approaching because the Family Research Council releases a series of web ads featuring a very serious Tony Perkins explaining why it is imperative for Christians to vote.

And FRC has now released its latest batch, which I will sum up for you so that you don't have to waste your time watching them:

Thomas Jefferson thought life was important, which means you should vote against abortion:

You've never heard of John Witherspoon, but he'd want you to vote only for Christians:

I've taken a knee outside the Washington Monument to tell you that George Washington supports our agenda:

Our fight against abortion and gays makes us just like Abraham Lincoln:

If you don't vote and vote properly, then our Founding Fathers all died in vain:

First Amendment Rights Are For Christians Only!

Earlier this week we noted that Flip Benham and members of Operation Save America had been targeting mosques for protests, screaming that "Jesus hate Muslims" and declaring "This is a war in America and we are taking it to the mosques around the country."

Even though the group is based in Texas, it has chosen to target mosques in Connecticut and Muslim leaders in the state are holding a press conference today to discuss the attacks: 

The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and other organizations are hosting a press conference and rally at 3 p.m. today (Friday) on the north side (Bushnell Park side) of the State Capitol.

The gathered hope to address recent outbreaks of Islamophobia in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. During Islam's holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have asked for police protection so that they can go to their mosques to pray in this state.

And so, of course, Operation Save America is responding by accusing Muslims of violating their First Amendment rights

In an unprecedented move, Muslim leaders in Connecticut are staging a press conference in Hartford this afternoon, to plead with legislators to censor the Gospel of Christ from the public forum around mosques.

That's right! They are using their own potential for violence to silence the Gospel of Christ. Gentle Christian saints will be conducting a press conference on the public sidewalk in front of the Bridgeport Islamic Center, aka Mafjid An-Noor Mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

Islam is not a religion, nor a cult, but a total and complete 100 % system of life. It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. In all of the 27 countries ruled by Islam, the church is the state! No other religion will be tolerated.

"Islam presents a monstrous worldview, birthed in the pit of hell, which brings untold misery and murder upon precious people created in the image of God. Religion is its cover (its beard) by which it gains entrance into nations where the 'freedom of religion' is sacrosanct. It then takes this freedom afforded to it, and begins its insidious takeover." Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America.

In essence, Benham is upset that Muslim leaders are exercising their First Amendment free speech rights in defense of their First Amendment religious freedoms because doing so represents a threat to his First Amendment right to scream that Jesus hates them.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Liberty Counsel is not happy with Judge Walker's decision not to permanently stay his Prop 8 ruling.
  • Neither is FRC or Tony Perkins.
  • Meanwhile, Harry Jackson and CBN complain about the original ruling as well.
  • I guess we'll be hearing a lot from "Susan" in the coming months as Focus on the Family highlights how its Super Bowl ad convinced her not to have an abortion.
  • Chuck Colson, Timothy George, and Robert George were guests on Hugh Hewitt yesterday.
  • Finally, kudos to Donald Crosby of God's Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, Georgia for taking a bold stand against demon mascots.

Will The Right Sacrifice California to Save Marriage Amendments Elsewhere?

Earlier today I posted audio of David Barton talking with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders of the American Family Association about his relationship with Glenn Beck, but now I want to highlight a more important piece of that discussion that occurred later in the interview when they were discussing the Prop 8 ruling.

All three were convinced that the case was eventually going to end up before the Supreme Court and that when it does, Justice Anthony Kennedy was going to be the deciding vote in favor of allowing gay marriage.  As such, Barton revealed that there is some talk on the Right of not appealing or fighting the Prop 8 ruling and letting California have gay marriage in order to keep the case away from the Supreme Court and thereby saving the marriage amendments in all the other states:

Barton: Right now the damage is limited to California only, but if California appeals this to the US Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court with Kennedy will go for California, which means all 31 states will go down in flames, although right now this decision is limited only to California.

So there's an effort underway to say "California, please don't appeal this. I mean, if you appeal this, its bad for you guys but live with it, but don't cause the rest of us to have to go down your path."

Wildom: So you think the better situation here would be California not to appeal ...

Barton: Well, I'm telling you that that's what is being argued by a lot of folks now because the other Supreme Court attorney who watched this from afar said "on no, you left too many arguments on the table, you stayed technical." And now, knowing what Kennedy has already done in two similar cases to this and knowing that he's the deciding vote, the odds are 999 out of 1000 that they'll uphold the California decision.

If they do, there's not a marriage amendment in the country that can stand. And so the problem is that instead of California losing its amendment, now 31 states lose their amendment. And that won't happen if California doesn't appeal this decision. It's just California that loses its amendment.

Klayman and Keyes Launch "Citizens' Grand Jury" To Indict Elena Kagan

Sometimes all you can do it point and laugh:

Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, has announced new legal actions in the Elena Kagan scandal. "Prior to confirmation, Freedom Watch and Declaration Alliance filed a complaint before the Supreme Court, to have Elena Kagan disbarred for falsifying a report as Associate Counsel in the Clinton White House that resulted in the inhumane killing of very late term unborn infants. Her conspiracy to defraud the Supreme Court, in order to defy the expressed will of the American people banning partial birth abortion, made our nation needlessly complicit in these heinous acts. Kagan's actions rise to the level of criminality," Klayman said.

Freedom Watch and Declaration Alliance, with Kagan's reckless confirmation to the Supreme Court, will therefore also seek her impeachment. But this punishment is insufficient to right the wrongs of Justice Kagan's criminality.

...

[C]itizens have the unbridled right to empanel their own grand juries and present "True Bills" of indictment to a court, which is then required to commence a criminal proceeding. Our Founding Fathers presciently thereby created a "buffer" the people may rely upon for justice, when public officials, including judges, criminally violate the law.

"Here, Justice Elena Kagan not only falsified evidence, thereby obstructing justice, but her fraud resulted in the barbaric deaths of unborn late term infants, in a heinous manner the American people had properly legislated as unlawful. She should be indicted and tried in a court of law for her crimes. As the Obama Justice Department will not seek an indictment, it is left to ordinary Americans to seek justice. And, if after an indictment is obtained, the lower courts refuse to institute a criminal proceeding, then Freedom Watch and Declaration Alliance will appeal this case all the way to the same Supreme Court where Justice Kagan now sits.

The Declaration Alliance was founded by Alan Keyes in 1996.

LaBarbera's Conference Overrun By Spies

Back in June, when Peter LaBarber announced his three day anti-gay "Truth Academy," he made it clear that those who did not share his anti-gay views or agenda would not be welcome and that he would actively be screening applicants: 

This is a rigorous, 3-day program featuring some of the leading pro-family experts on homosexuality in the Culture War. Prospective attendees will need to be approved with references; this is not open to pro-homosexual activists but only to those who share AFTAH’s belief that homosexuality is immoral and that the GLBT movement is destructive to America and a direct threat to our religious freedom.

So how did that work out?

Well, Truth Wins Out got someone inside who provided audio recordings and Hemant Mehta (aka “The Friendly Atheist”) likewise had two sources inside who have provided an exhaustive recounting of the conference - one of Mehta's sources actually struck up a discussion with another attendee, only to find out that that person was also there as a spy. 

Now that spy, Timna Axel, has written her own long piece providing an inside view of the conference:

Reading Bible passages that describe God's strictly heterosexual design for marriage, Professor Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty University traced a history of court cases which systematically de-linked procreation from marriage.

"I firmly believe we got to where we are today because we as a nation strayed from God's standard," she said. In her view, the last U.S. Supreme Court case which correctly described marriage was Murphy v. Ramsey, a case on polygamy decided 125 years ago. Decrying Lawrence v. Texas, which protected citizen privacy from anti-sodomy laws, Prof. Lindevaldsen admitted that she didn't want "the government peeking into my bedroom." However, privacy in this case should be sacrificed because "laws normalize conduct."

While anti-gay federal laws would merely discourage bad conduct, pro-gay federal laws would effectively criminalize Christianity, according to LaBarbera, who cited the cases of Canada and England. In his example, laws which prohibit renters from discriminating based on sexual orientation would make it illegal to fulfill the Christian ideology.

This scriptural keystone explains the absolute inability of these believers to compromise on gay marriage. "Sexual sin is sexual sin," asserted LaBarbera. "The truth is the truth." To budge one inch for domestic partnerships or civil unions is moral cowardice, and would open the floodgates for normalizing other sexual sins such as adultery and incest.

LaBarbera hailed his conference as a "tremendous success," but its becoming clear that a significant number of the 50 or so people LaBarbera claims attended were really there as undercover spies.

Interesting, LaBarbera is also offering DVDs and CDs from the conference ... but who needs to waste money on them when we are getting so much inside coverage of the event from the countless spies in attendance?

Of Love and Revolution

For all the flag-waving Tea Party placards accusing the Obama administration of unconstitutional acts and treason, it seems that threats of revolution against the constitutional republic of the United States are coming mostly from the right wing – and not just from fringe militia groups.

We recently noted that Religious Right activist Chuck Colson has launched an effort to bully the Supreme Court into opposing marriage equality by threatening that a pro-equality ruling would result in “cultural Armageddon.” And we have noted the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer’s repeated warnings that the federal government’s “tyranny” will lead to “civil unrest.” Speakers at last year’s How To Take Back America conference suggested “Second Amendment” responses to health care reform and urged participants to buy more guns and ammunition. 

Now we see that the National Organization for Marriage, whose director Brian Brown has been claiming on his anti-equality road trip that it is an organization grounded in love, is picking up on the theme as NOM’s Maggie Gallagher writes in an op ed that "American politics are in a quasi-revolutionary phase": 

The people, symbolized first in the eruptions of Tea Parties, are rebelling against elites who believe they can ignore our voices and our values….

Rush Limbaugh had his finger on the truth. In the nearly half-hour speech he gave after the Proposition 8 ruling ("the American people are boiling over!"), Rush said that Walker "did not just slap down the will of 7 million voters. Those 7 million voters were put on trial -- a kangaroo court where everything was stacked against them. ... Those of you who voted for Prop 8 in California are guilty of hate crimes. You were thinking discrimination. That's what this judge has said! Truly unprecedented."

Yes, it is. We are entering into a new phase in the battle not only for marriage, but for self-government, for the legitimacy of the views and values of the Ameircan people.

This is a fight we cannot dodge, and must and will win.

Buckle down, it's going to be a ride!

Of course, this isn’t the first time a NOM leader has suggested possibly deploying a revolutionary response to judicial rulings recognizing marriage equality. When Mormon author Orson Scott Card joined NOM’s board last year, we and others drew attention to his own threats, which he made in writing in a Mormon newspaper:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn….

American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

We have our own question: why is it that the standard right-wing response to votes in Congress or court decisions that they don't like is to threaten revolution against the U.S.?

Ergun Caner Demoted To Teaching Only On-Line Courses?

Back in June we noted that Liberty University had decided not to retain Ergun Caner as the head LU Baptist Theological Seminary after an investigation into discrepancies and exaggerations about his Muslim past.

But though Caner would no longer head the Seminary, LU stated that he would remain on staff as a professor for the following academic year ... but now it is looking like Caner may be kept out of LU classrooms entirely and find himself reduced to only teaching on-line courses:

The former dean of Liberty University’s seminary still is a member of the faculty, LU officials said Wednesday as reports circulated that he had cleaned out his office this week.

Ergun Caner “is now a faculty member at LU,” Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday night in an e-mail to The News & Advance.

Falwell’s comment reaffirmed the university’s statement in June that Caner, whose contract as dean was not being renewed, would continue as a faculty member.

Johnnie Moore, spokesman for the university, said Wednesday that Caner would teach online courses. Moore indicated no decision had been made about whether Caner would teach in LU classrooms.

“Dr. Caner will likely be teaching online courses this fall, but his course load hasn’t yet been determined,” Moore said.