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Hartzler Introduces Gratuitous Bill to Require Obama to Enforce DOMA

Just days after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) announced plans to cut funding to the Department of Justice because it will no longer defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has introduced legislation requiring the Obama administration to enforce DOMA. Hartzler accuses President Obama of “selectively enforcing our laws” and “breaking his word to the American people,” which could lead to “chaos.”

Of course, Hartzler’s argument is totally baseless: the Defense of Marriage Act will continue to be enforced, even though the Department of Justice decided that it will no longer defend the law in court. As Reuters reported, “In a filing on Monday, DOJ attorneys reiterated that Obama told executive agencies to enforce the law until Congress repealed it -- even though the administration would no longer defend its constitutionality in court.”

But that hasn’t stopped Hartzler, whose political career is based on her vehement opposition to gay rights, from offering her specious legislation:

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is the lead sponsor of legislation calling on President Obama and his Department of Justice to respect the law and enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“President Obama’s decision to order his Justice Department to stop defending DOMA is not a surprise but it is disappointing,” Hartzler said. “Once we start going down the road of selectively enforcing our laws we are headed for chaos. President Obama took an oath to uphold the laws of the United States and he is breaking his word to the American people.”

“The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was enacted through large majority votes in both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton,” added Hartzler. “President Obama is subverting the will of the representatives of the people. The good citizens of the 4th Congressional District are expected to follow the law and President Obama should not put himself above the law."

In 2004, Hartzler served as state spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, which supported Missouri’s defense of marriage amendment. That amendment passed with the support of 71 percent of the state’s voters.

Sponsor of Alabama Sharia Law Ban Doesn't Know What Sharia Law Is

After an Oklahoma judge blocked a state constitutional amendment “banning” Sharia and international law, state legislators across the country have been following in Oklahoma’s (failed) footsteps. Proposals to ban the use of Sharia law in courts have emerged in at least thirteen states, and legislators in Tennessee and Missouri may even make practicing Sharia law a felony.

One Alabama state legislator now wants to pass a law which states, “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia.”

The Anniston Star reports that the bill’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Gerald Allen, admits that he doesn’t know of any court cases in Alabama or anywhere in the U.S. using Sharia law to make decisions. Allen’s staff lifted the legislation’s description of Sharia law from Wikipedia, and the senator admits he doesn’t even know what it is:

A bill introduced Tuesday in the Alabama Senate would ban the use of Islamic law in Alabama courts.

The bill’s sponsor said the measure was designed to protect future generations from erosion of the Constitution. One Birmingham area Muslim leader said the move was an effort to “demonize Islam and Muslims.”

But no one — not even Sen. Gerald Allen, who sponsored the bill — can point to examples of Muslims trying to have Islamic law recognized in Alabama courts.

“It’s not about what’s happening right now,” Allen, a Republican from Cottondale, said in a telephone interview.

“I’m thinking about 10 years down the road, 20, 30, 40. Time has an effect on these things, and I’m thinking about the future.”

Allen is the sole sponsor of SB 62, a bill that would ban Alabama courts from using Shariah law or international law in making legal decisions.

The bill defines Shariah as “a form of religious law derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: The divine revelations set forth in the Qur’an and the example set by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”

That definition is the same, almost word for word, as wording in the Wikipedia entry on Shariah law as it appeared Thursday. Allen said the wording was drafted by Legislative staff. A source on the staff at the Legislature confirmed that the definition was in fact pulled from Wikipedia.

Allen could not readily define Shariah in an interview Thursday. “I don’t have my file in front of me,” he said. “I wish I could answer you better.”



Allen said his bill was based on a state constitutional amendment that was recently passed in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, too, supporters of the measure were unable to cite a single in-state example of Shariah law being used in court, according to an account by the Los Angeles Times.

Allen said his bill, which also bans the use of international law in Alabama courts, is designed to “protect the Constitution for the future generations that come after us.”

“Our Founding Fathers were pretty smart,” he said. “They gave us three branches of government, a separation of powers. I want to preserve that system.”

Gingrich Kicks Of Presidential Exploration By Meeting With John Hagee

Now that Newt Gingrich has launched a presidential exploratory committee, we're going to have to start taking note of the Religious Right leaders with whom he surrounds himself and with whom he meets ... like John Hagee:

Gingrich has at least two trips coming up in Iowa; at both, he will speak to conservative Christian audiences. After speaking at the "Rediscovering God in America" event in Des Moines in late March, Gingrich is expected to travel to San Antonio, where he will speak at the Cornerstone Church, which has a congregation of 19,000.

While there, he is expected to meet with Cornerstone's sometimes-controversial senior pastor, John Hagee. In 2008, Hagee apologized for comments that were considered to be anti-Catholic. Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism two years ago, has been reaching out actively to evangelical pastors for the last two years.

Because that worked out for John McCain so well the last time around.  Maybe after that he can head to Ohio and meet with Rod Parsley.

CWA: Obama the "Despot" is Discriminating Against Americans by Not Defending DOMA

When the Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will end its defense of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Religious Right groups were naturally apoplectic. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council likened President Obama to a Middle East dictator, the Traditional Values Coalition blasted the “unprecedented power grab,” and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said Obama “betrayed the American people.” However, the government will continue to enforce DOMA and the move by the Department of Justice was not without precedent, as the Bush and Clinton administrations both refused to defend laws that they found to be unconstitutional. Even David Barton agrees that the Obama administration has the right to drop its defense of DOMA.

Concerned Women for America’s Mario Diaz believes that the DOMA decision represents a grave turning point in American history as a “tyrannical move” by President Obama, who he accuses of lying about “his putative Christian faith.”

Ironically, Diaz argues that Obama and Holder are “suppress[ing] the rights of the majority of Americans” and don’t think certain people “deserve the same protections other Americans enjoy” by dropping the defense of a law which singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination. In fact, CWA finds the decision so scary that it believes that the future of marriage in America will entail a man leaving his bride at the altar for another man:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, should be a day all Americans remember. It was the day when President Obama betrayed the majority of Americans by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in fact ordering the Department of Justice (DOJ) to abandon the protection of the federal law preserving marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

This decision – just like his pretended support for traditional marriage during the presidential campaign – was purely political for the President whose radical liberalism grows starker by the day. Obama is counting on the powerful homosexual lobby to come out in full force for him, but Americans must not forget this tyrannical move by the president. Even as we focus on issues of the economy, jobs, and spending, we must remember that a morally bankrupt nation can never flourish. All the tax cuts in the world can never repair a nation’s broken spirit.



So, just like any other despot, Obama decided unilaterally to make the decision for all of us ignorant Americans who support DOMA, and we should be grateful.

Shame on him. And shame on us if we just stand by silently and take it. We should not! We must speak out.

Truthfully, we have been too silent for far too long. President Obama and Mr. Holder have been actively working against DOMA and, therefore, against all Americans ever since they took office. Even on the cases where they decided to “defend” DOMA, they were actually undermining its reasoning by abandoning the most effective arguments.

DOJ’s mission statement says it is “...to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” But President Obama and the attorney general have made a mockery of impartiality. They have chosen to side with an extreme, liberal minority and chose to suppress the rights of the majority of Americans.

Simply put, if you support DOMA, this president and his administration view you as the enemy who does not deserve the same protections other Americans enjoy. We are on our own.

Land Takes Preemptive Shot At Daniels Presidential Bid, Calls Truce "Political Suicide"

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Richard Land took a preemptive strike against Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who raised eyebrows after calling for a “truce” on social issues and is considering a run for president. Land writes just one day after a WSJ poll found that the majority of GOP primary voters would be sympathetic to the “truce” offered by Daniels, who believes that the nation should be focusing on economic issues instead of fighting the “culture war.” Land, like many other Religious Right leaders, has come out swinging against Daniels’s proposal and dubbed the truce “political suicide.” The influential head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said that if Daniels continues to pursue the truce, he would go the way of former Sen. Phil Gramm, who lost many socially conservative supporters in his failed 1996 campaign for president. Land writes:

Indiana governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels has suggested that Americans call a "truce" on divisive social issues until our precarious financial house is back in order. Many pundits have praised the idea, typically thrilled that a Republican leader seems willing to jettison, even temporarily, strong positions on abortion or gay marriage. But social conservatives are mad, and rightly so.

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, social conservatives were the foot soldiers for Republican victories—only to see their issues bargained away or shoved to the bottom of the GOP agenda, beneath issues of fiscal and foreign policy. Reacting to Gov. Daniels, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently said: "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."

Perhaps Gov. Daniels interprets the emergence of the tea party as a sign that GOP candidates don't have to depend on social-issues voters as they once did. That seems unlikely. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has said, "Calling for a truce on core conservative principles might get you some high profile media sound bites, but it won't win you the Republican presidential nomination."



For Republicans to do anything to de-energize this voting bloc would amount to political suicide.

Most social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives. They recognize that a federal government that borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends is committing generational theft, spending our grandchildren's money and impoverishing their future. Social conservatives also argue that government has such high costs partly because of the broken families, broken communities and broken ethics generated by moral relativism.



As Mark Twain reportedly observed, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." There once was a promising Republican presidential candidate known for being an economic guru and master of the numbers: Sen. Phil Gramm. At one point in 1996, he had raised more money than any other candidate. Like Gov. Daniels, Sen. Gramm had a sterling social conservative voting record and his lack of telegenic charisma was seen as an advantage, in contrast to President Clinton's slick persona. But Sen. Gramm's candidacy went down in flames after he dismissed a question about social issues by saying: "I'm not running for preacher, I'm running for president."



There is a deep longing in large segments of the American populace for a restoration of a morality that emphasizes personal obligations and responsibilities over rights and privileges. Such a society will have a restored moral symmetry in which exemplary personal and professional behavior is rewarded and less exemplary behavior is not. As Jesus reminded us, "Man shall not live on bread alone."

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is holding a Facebook fundraiser seeking donations from those who "support traditional marriage and disagree with Pres. Obama's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act."
  • Rick Santorum wants to know why he and Newt Gingrich were suspended from Fox but Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin were not.  That is a good question.
  • Maggie Gallagher reacts to the Supreme Court's Westboro Baptist decision by declaring that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." I have no idea what she is talking about.
  • Ed Meese will receive the 2011 Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Abby Johnson is challenging Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to a public debate. I challenge Johnson to come clean about the real reason for her departure from the organization.
  • Bryan Fischer longs for the good old days when blasphemy was illegal.
  • Finally, here is Janet Porter-approved footage of her "Heartbeat Bill" stunt:

Porter: My Heartbeat Bill Is Not Unconstitutional, Roe v Wade Is!

Yesterday we mentioned that Janet Porter had brought two fetuses to "testify" before an Ohio committee on behalf of her "Heartbeat Bill," and last night Alan Colmes had Porter on his radio program to give her a chance to explain just what she hoped to accomplish with this stunt.

Colmes tried to get Porter to admit that her goal is, ultimately, to outlaw abortion entirely but she kept dancing around the issue, insisting instead that she is really just embracing science and technology and that it is not her legislation that is unconstitutional, but rather Roe v. Wade that is unconstitutional.  She also reported that legislators in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona are "lining up" to introduce their own versions of her "Heartbeat Bill."

Oh, and a big "thank you" to Alan for the shout out to RightWingWatch - we love him too:

Prop 8 Leader Supports Thrice-Married Adulterer

Jim Garlow was one of the, if not the, key Religious Right leaders helming the fight to pass Proposition 8 in California.  And the reason he did so is because those who seek marriage equality are driven by "an Antichrist spirit" as part of an effort by Satan to "destroy the definition of marriage" so that people will fall away from God.

Garlow is close friends with Newt Gingrich, who carried on an affair with the woman who would become his second wife while he was still married to his first ... and then proceeded to do the very same thing to his second wife with the woman who would become his third.   And since Gingrich is so very, very sorry for his past indiscretions, he has been forgiven and so his presidential aspirations now have Garlow's approval:

Jim Garlow, the pastor of Skyline Church, a congregation in a San Diego suburb, called Gingrich "the strongest possible candidate" for the GOP nomination. Garlow led the effort in 2008 to pass Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California.

Last year, Garlow agreed to serve as chairman of Gingrich's faith-based nonprofit, for which he receives what he called a "small stipend." Since then, he has provided Gingrich with entree to evangelical circles nationwide.

...

Garlow agreed to head ReAL after a private meeting at which Gingrich acknowledged his past marital failings and began to weep as he spoke of his love for his two daughters.

"In my bleakest days when I was doing wrong, I knew it was wrong," Garlow quoted Gingrich as saying. "There was no attempt to justify his actions."

As Garlow explained several months ago in a video recorded for Cindy Jacobs' "Reformation Day" election prayer event, he supports Gingrich because Gingrich wakes up every day and asks "what can I do today to save Western Civilization?":

Alabama Lawmaker Wants Ten Commandments Displays To Stop People "From Going Berserk or Killing Folks"

A Republican State Senator wants to amend the state constitution to allow the Ten Commandments to be placed in public schools and buildings in the same state where ex-Judge Roy Moore had his monumental and ultimately unsuccessful fight over his display of the Ten Commandments, which was found to be unconstitutional. In fact, Moore’s new group, The Foundation for Moral Law, is supporting the proposal because a spokesman says that opponents would have a “hard time saying the Ten Commandments are distinctly religious.”

Alabama State Sen. Gerald Dial is seeking the amendment in order to stop people “from going berserk or killing folks,” which presumably occurs due to the absence of the Ten Commandments from public institutions. According to Dial, “Whether you’re Baptist or Christian or Muslim or anything else the Ten Commandments are rules we ought to live by” and “if we did we’d have a much better world.”

During his campaign for the State Senate, Dial claimed that “liberal Democrats are attempting to hoodwink the voters,” and said he would “make sure the government stays out of our lives and doesn’t tell us how to raise our families” and stand up for “pro-family, pro-gun, pro-America, Christian values.”

The Anniston Star reports:

And on the first day of the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, introduced a bill to amend the state constitution to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools and buildings.

“I’d like to see the Ten Commandments posted in public buildings and school rooms,” Dial said. “If it keeps one person from going berserk or killing folks then it’s worth the effort.”

This marks the seventh time Dial has introduced the bill and 10 years since his first attempt. But the “whole climate” in Montgomery changed with the last election, Dial said. This time the bill, which is currently in committee, will pass, he says.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’m about a 12 more confident,” Dial said in a phone interview while he drove back from Montgomery. He noted that he was both driving the speed limit and talking on Bluetooth during the interview.

If the bill does pass this time, Dial can expect its constitutionality to be challenged in court.



But this bill might not be as clear-cut violation of the federal constitution as Lynn and Neal make it out to be, said John Eidsmoe, a member of the Foundation for Moral Law’s legal team. A number of different religions accept the Ten Commandments, he said.

Beyond that, Eidsmoe said, courts have cited it in opinions and laws are based on its guidelines.

“I think you’d have a hard time saying the Ten Commandments are distinctly religious,” Eidsmoe said. “They’re an expression of the basic precepts that just about every society has been built upon.”

Dial grew up with the Ten Commandments freely displayed and discussed in school, he said. He saw them then as he does now: as a constant reminder, a flickering caution light as to how one should act.

Today Dial has a framed copy of the commandments waiting to go up in his Montgomery office. He’s been busy with the start of the legislative session and hasn’t had a chance to put it up. He will soon though, Dial said. And if the bill passes, he and the bill’s other five sponsors will provide free laminated copies of the commandments to schools wishing to display them.

“Whether you’re Baptist or Christian or Muslim or anything else the Ten Commandments are rules we ought to live by,” Dial said. “If we did we’d have a much better world.”