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Religious Right Intensifies The Fight Against Gay-Straight Alliances

After Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter declaring that Gay-Straight Alliances and similar groups are protected under the 1984 Equal Access Law, which was passed with the help of Religious Right activists, the Religious Right was unsurprisingly enraged. Many anti-gay organizations forcefully oppose the creation of such clubs, and the Family Research Council even urged schools to encourage clubs that support ex-gay therapy. Now, American Principles In Action (APIA) is denouncing Duncan’s letter as a threat to “the innocence” of children.

APIA is the political arm of the American Principles Project, an anti-gay group that is best known for launching the boycott of the Conservative Political Action Conference over the participation of GOProud and the alleged sidelining of the social conservatives. Even though APIA took on leading conservative groups with its CPAC boycott, recently presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum signed up for their Iowa “Tea Party Bus Tour.”

In a statement, the APIA charged Secretary Duncan with bullying for supporting students who want to form clubs that actively fight school bullying and harassment. The group instead claimed that it was part of the Obama Administration’s “sexual agenda” and need to “pander to the gay lobby,” requesting the Supreme Court overrule the decision:

Today, American Principles in Action (APIA) criticized Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan for another attempt to bully local schools into accepting the Administration’s sexual agenda. On June 14, he sent a “Dear Colleague” letter notifying schools across the country that they are prohibited from denying the formation of “Queer-Straight” and “Gay-Straight” Alliance groups.

“This is a situation where local school boards have been making their own decisions about how to protect the students entrusted to their care,” said Andy Blom, Executive Director of APIA. “It is simply unacceptable for Sec. Duncan to push local school districts around and force them to accept their sexual agenda, especially when case law is so conflicted on the issue.”

In his letter, Secretary Duncan backed up his decision by citing a July 2008 decision made in Gonzalez vs. School Board of Okeechobee County where a Florida federal judge prohibited the local school board from preventing a Gay-Straight Alliance Group from forming under the Equal Protection Act.



“What we really need is for the Supreme Court to weigh in to protect the ability of local school districts to manage the innocence of their children without interference from federal courts,” said Blom. “Instead, Sec. Duncan has used yet another opportunity to pander to the gay lobby. It is time for the Supreme Court and Congress to step forward and reign in this overaggressive Department of Education.”

Perry Reaches Out To Vander Plaats For Iowa Advice

As Governor Rick Perry ponders a run for the presidency, it is already clear that he doesn’t mind working with the most radical of anti-gay leaders. Perry’s The Response prayer rally is hosted by the American Family Association, whose spokesman Bryan Fischer wants to see homosexuality criminalized, and former activists with The Call, a prayer rally that defended Uganda’s 'kill-the-gays' bill. Other individuals working with The Response include militantly anti-gay leaders Jim Garlow, Cindy Jacobs, David Barton and David Welch.

Now, the Des Moines Register reports that Perry aides are reaching out to Bob Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader. Vander Plaats led the successful campaign to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices who backed marriage equality and is closely linked to (and funded by) the AFA. Vander Plaats is also tied to an effort that likened being gay to being a cigarette smoker and once said that allowing equal marriage rights for gay couples threatened the system of private property and gun-ownership rights. One former adviser said that Vander Plaats is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue.”

Since Vander Plaats is a powerful Religious Right figure who has hosted presidential candidates like Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain, it is no surprise that Perry is in touch with him:

A supporter of possible presidential candidate Rick Perry of Texas telephoned an Iowa conservative leader today, inquiring about the political scene in Iowa.

“They were asking questions, asking my take on Iowa, how things are lining up and also making sure I know they like Rick Perry,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative advocacy group that’s hosting a presidential lecture series.



Vander Plaats said he has so far spoke with two Texans and one other out-of-stater, but declined to share their names because the conversations were intended to be private.

None of the callers included Perry’s political strategist Dave Carney, or anyone who currently works for Perry, he said. “They’re just people that are around him and they think he’d be good for the race,” Vander Plaats said.

Will Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Feature Spiritual Warfare?

When Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry decided to host a prayer rally, The Response, with the bigoted American Family Association and the radical International House of Prayer, Right Wing Watch noted the two groups’ bigoted and extreme beliefs along with the rally’s goal of proselytizing to non-Christians.

Yesterday we noted that one of the leaders of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s The Response, ‘Apostle’ Doug Stringer, blamed America for the September 11th attacks because of what he saw as the country’s increasing secularism and acceptance of homosexuality, and that the AFA began using other ‘apostles’ to defend Perry as the answer to their prayers. Already, Kansas governor and former senator Sam Brownback has signed up to participate.

One of The Response’s endorsers, Cindy Jacobs, is a self-declared ‘Prophet’ and a well-known advocate of the “spiritual warfare,” writing books such as Deliver Us From Evil and Possessing the Gates of the Enemy: A Training Manual for Militant Intercession. For example, Jacobs used spiritual warfare against Craigslist, non-Christian religions, and gays and lesbians.

Another The Response endorser is “spiritual warfare” leader James ‘Jay’ Swallow, a Native American “apostle” who founded the Two Rivers Native American Training Center. Like Jacobs, Swallow has spoken at The Call rallies including one in which he accepted on behalf of all Native Americans Brownback’s apology for the federal government’s mistreatment of indigenous people. According to his biography, “God has given Dr. Swallow extraordinary insight into ‘healing the land’ through prayer and spiritual warfare.” The Center is built around the “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.” Seminars include “Demonic Spirits,” “Spiritual Warfare,” “Identifying the Strongman,” and “Freemasonry.” The training is apparently so intense that Swallow asks participants sign a “release of liability” form to waive their right to sue.

According to the Swallow, the theme of the training is “We have declared war”:

In the last decade great leaders have been given the revelation of ingredients that have instituted the desire of God to recover from the enemy the promises of our nation, America, and to compact the many divisions into an expression of Biblical Christianity.

The enemy has fortified his temporary property by placing strongholds of resistance to the coming invasion. He knows he is to be removed from authority over areas that we, the divided church, have given him permission to rule.



The next two weeks will make warriors out of you. I don’t mean armchair warriors, but a SPECIALIZED COMMANDO group that will engage and set the order of discipline and order to tear down the first line of defense against the enemy.

Our job will be to establish a beachhead and occupy until the main forces can mobilize to secure the territory in Jesus’ Name.

Again, these are just a few of the people who Rick Perry is working with to put on his prayer rally.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Alex Seitz-Wald @ Think Progress: Christian Conservative Group Demands Vitter’s Resignation, Says GOP ‘Committing Outright Hypocrisy’ By Letting Him Stay.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Personhood USA loves Rick Santorum.

Harvey: The It Gets Better Project Is "Wrong, It's Evil, It's Dark"

On a radio broadcast dedicated to the evils of Gay Pride month, Linda Harvey set aside time to express her disapproval of the It Gets Better Project. After demonizing Dan Savage, the creator of the project, Harvey condemns the It Gets Better Project calling it “wrong,” “evil,” and “dark.”  Harvey, who blamed “demonic manipulation” for making kids gay, attacked the It Gets Better Project for supporting LGBT youth and slammed Savage as a “vicious, vulgar, profane” activist.

I’ll say that again, It Gets Better. It’s a video campaign organized by a radical and vicious, vicious, vulgar, profane, anti-Christian, I can’t say enough things along that line about him. Dan Savage. He’s an activist, been around for years. This It Gets Better campaign is a video campaign that a lot of the leftist politicians including our president have jumped on board, so have some celebrities. It’s supposed to encourage kids, that’s great. Encourage kids, say, you know if you’re having trouble, you’re getting bullied, you feel despaired, don’t give up. That would be a worthy goal if they stop there. But no they tag on to it approval of homosexuality and the implication that anybody who objects is just like those bullies out there and they’re leading you or others into suicide. That’s just wrong, it’s evil, it’s dark, this Dan Savage has already come out attacking my friend Peter [LaBarbera].

AFA Writer Challenges Homophobia, Will Fischer Get The Message?

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently caused much controversy in the conservative world when he said that Southern Baptists need to repent for their “form of homophobia” and that many in the church have “lied about the nature of homosexuality and have practiced what can only be described as a form of homophobia.”

Mohler received support in an unexpected place last Friday, when American Family Association blogger Elijah Friedeman posted a blog entitled “Let’s be honest, a lot of Christians are guilty of homophobia.”

For some reason there is an irrational fear of and extreme aversion to homosexuals in a lot of churches. We may not come right out and say that we think homosexuals are nasty creatures, but if you read between the lines, it's pretty easy to pick up on. This is homophobia.

Despite this, Friedeman still called homosexuality a sin and a disorder of those with “addictive personalities.”

Maybe Friedeman should share this with his fellow-AFA blogger Bryan Fischer. Just hours before Friedeman’s posted his blog, Fischer released a statement rebutting everything that Mohler had said about the nature of homosexuality and homophobia in the Southern Baptist Church. Fischer claimed the church was “pander[ing] to the homosexual lobby” and was sending “disturbing signals” about homosexuality. This is rather tame language for Fischer, who is widely known for his anti-gay rhetoric, much of which can be seen in this “best of” Fischer hate rant compilation:

Traditional Values Coalition Warns California Schools Will "Promote The Gay Lifestyle"

Religious Right activists have been vigorously fighting a California bill that would make sure textbooks address the role of LGBT figures in the state’s history, even going so far as to urge parents to take their kids out of public schools if the bill is signed into law. Save California has warned of “sexual brainwashing” and a “tsunami of perversity” if the legislation passes, and now the virulently anti-gay Traditional Values Coalition is calling for people across the country to protest the bill. Benjamin Lopez of the TVC told Charisma that the bill represents politicians “messing with the minds and the innocence of children for their own twisted benefit”:

The FAIR Act, written by self-admitted homosexual state Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, will force all California schools to use textbooks and instructional materials that include homosexual, bisexual and transgender teachings. Despite its name, the Traditional Values Coalition says there is nothing fair, accountable, inclusive or respectful about it.

“The state of California is on the verge of financial collapse,” Benjamin Lopez, legislative advocate for Traditional Values Coalition, told Charisma News. “The last thing we need is to make an unnecessary expenditure to promote the gay lifestyle in California’s schools.”



“The victory and the nail in the coffin for the gay agenda” would be if there was a “ a groundswell across the country demanding textbook companies say no to gay teachings in textbooks,” Lopez explains. Lopez and the Traditional Values Coalition urge everyone to help stop the law from passing before it gets voted on at the State Assembly. “If they’re California residents, we want them to absolutely bombard the state assembly with phone calls, letters, emails and faxes, demanding that legislators reject SB 48,” Lopez pleads.

“For people across the country—for everyone outside of California looking in—they’ve got to think, 'As California goes, so goes the nation.' We need people outside of California to write their local legislators saying, 'Don’t even consider doing what they’re doing in California.'

“My very stern plea is for people ... to take action. [Lawmakers are] messing with the minds and the innocence of children for their own twisted benefit. If that doesn’t bug you, I don’t know what will,” Lopez says.

Parlsey: Are You Really Rapture Ready?

In the latest episode of Breakthrough with Rod Parsley, Parsley taught his congregation how to be “Rapture Ready,” which mainly consists of attending church and listening to Rod Parsley. The sermon was full of interesting tidbits about what happens during the rapture (of which Parsley apparently has intimate knowledge) including a dire prediction about the fate of liberal preachers:

Liberal Preachers are going to be the first ones running to churches like this, and have to stand up as the screaming hoards tried to destroy them, tried to kill them. Saying “you could have told me.” Your teenager’s parents will look at you and say “you could have told me. Why did you waste a bunch of time telling me how I ought to feel good about me? Why didn’t you tell me there’s no name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Why didn’t you tell me we were at war with radical Islam? Why didn’t you tell me that the antichrist spirit was trying to deceive me through movies, why didn’t you tell me?’ And that liberal preacher’s going to stand there and have to repent and say “I was wrong”

Joyner: Textbooks Replacing Founders With Muslims

Taking a page from right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, Rick Joyner is out with a new series about how the country’s schools are trying to root out Christianity from America. Joyner, the leader of the Oak Initiative and Morning Star Ministries, warned during the program that religious freedom in America is on the decline and that the education system is part of a “massive assault on the Untied States.” Joyner even alleged that history textbooks have eliminated the role of the Founders in American history and replaced them with a discussion of Muslims in America.

Watch: