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Anti-Islam Activists Have Equally Negative Views of Mormonism

Last week I noted now Brannon Howse, who had been leading a crusade against Glenn Beck because of his Mormon faith, had started explicitly comparing Mormonism with Islam:

Both belief systems teach that they have the only true and complete religion on face of the earth. Both reject Christianity as corrupted. Both taught the plurality of wives, both on earth and in here-after. Both teach that the Bible is corrupt and mistranslated. Both revealed God’s true scripture. Both reject original sin and the doctrine of the trinity. Both teach a salvation by good works. Both use a lay clergy. Both founded by a holy uneducated prophet. Both founding prophets had angelic visitations that they were to restore Adamic religion. Both prophets' words were above scripture or earlier prophets. Both teach a theocratic form of government.

I guess it should not come as much of a surprise to learn that many of the Religious Right activists who are most vocal in attack Islam also have a long history of attacking Mormons as well.

Case in point is Bill Keller:

To an audience of about 50 people -- fully half of whom were members of the press -- Pastor Bill Keller launched his 9-11 Christian Center at ground zero this morning with a fiery sermon targeting Muslims and Mormons as hell-bound followers of false faiths. Keller took aim in particular at Glenn Beck, a Mormon, and Imam Rauf, the organizer of the Park51 Islamic community center.

Keller first made a name for himself a few years back by attacking Mitt Romney, claiming that vote for Romney was a vote for Satan.

Keller's anti-Mormon attacks against Romney were echoed by Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, who proclaimed that "Mormonism is a cult" and that Christians could not vote for Romney because "Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god."

So it is entirely predictable that Jeffress likewise hates Islam:

Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: "The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her."

...

First Baptist's Sunday evening service on August 22 featured an "Ask the Pastor" segment, in which Jeffress called Islam "oppressive" and violent." He also said that "around the world today, you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls, taking them as their brides, because they believe the prophet Muhammad did it."

"I believe," Jeffress added, "as Christians and conservatives, it's time to take off the gloves and stand up and tell the truth about this evil, evil religion."

...

"It does incite violence. It is used to oppress women around the world," he added, continuing that he "was not talking about this country" when referencing pedophilia. But, Jeffress said, "the worst thing about Islam is that it is a deception that leads people from the true God."

Jeffress contended that "we do not hate Muslims" and noted: "I have a very good friend here in Dallas who is a Muslim."

Something for Glenn Beck to keep in mind as he gins up anti-Muslim sentiment and opposition to Park 51:  people who hate Islam generally have equally harsh views about all other faith traditions as well, including Mormonism.

Pawlenty Requests Stimulus Funds He Criticized

After criticizing Congress for passing a $26 billion aid package to state governments, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has sent a formal request to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for $236 million for Medicaid from the very same funding bill he blasted as a “reckless spending spree.” After pronouncing that “the federal government should not deficit spend to bail out states,” the governor and likely presidential candidate even offered clues that he won’t accept any new money from the federal government (unless that money was for abstinence-only programs).

Pawlenty decided to relent like other “principled” Republican governors before him such as Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford, who proudly disparage government programs and threaten to refuse the federal aid meant to protect the jobs of public employees and salvage state budgets—then agree to accepting stimulus dollars when it’s politically convenient. Similar to the Republican members of Congress who proudly vote against the stimulus and later publicly take credit for providing stimulus dollars in their districts, Pawlenty is attempting to both please the anti-government zealots in the GOP base while also benefiting from Democratic efforts to govern responsibly.

Pawlenty’s backpedaling on the stimulus coincides with the news that Michele Bachmann isn’t the only government spending-critic to receive farm subsidies from the federal government, as Indiana’s favorite Tea Party politician and congressional candidate Marlin Stutzman also obtains federal aid in the form of farm subsidies. Stutzman, who explicitly said that “it’s time to get rid of farm subsidies” in the name of free market orthodoxy, collected $179,370 from the federal government since 1995 for his farm.

For Republicans such as Pawlenty and Stutzman, it’s easy to denounce federal spending to further their political careers and agendas, but they still have no problem with benefiting from the same federal government programs they rail against.

Cindy Jacobs Repents For Lesbianism, "Girl-on-Girl Kissing" and "Gender Mainstreaming"

As I noted in my post earlier today, this weekend's "The Call" rally was, in addition to being rather sparsley attended, rather boring. 

But that was only because, despite the fact that I spent several hours watching it, I completely missed Cindy Jacobs.  Fortunately, the Courage Campaign captured Jacobs' address in which she warned of the dangers of "gir-on-girl kissing":

I want to talk as a mother to the young women today. We know that it's not just the men who have a problem with pornography and I want to say it like this: girl-on-girl kissing, lesbianism is a plague on our society today.

And I want to read the word of God and I want us to pray. Roman 1: 25 says those who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator blessed forevermore, for this reason God game them up to vile passions where even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

I'm going to call on the women and I want to say that it's time for us to repent.

This girl-on-girl kissing, Madonna kissing Britney Spears, and what happened to Britney after that and a lot of other things. I know we're going out over worldwide television. I want to tell you, bisexuality, every kind of perverse thing, the Bible calls this sin. And I want the women of God to kneel down right now and we are going to put a stop to this in our generation and we are going to say "No More!"

(Jacobs begins shouting)

And I want to say to you, this gender mainstreaming that says that you don't know if you're a boy or a girl until you have sex with both, boy or girl, has got to stop. If we agree right now that there is a holyness movement coming, we decree in the name of Jesus that men and women are going to be their natural use, in the name of Jesus.

One of you young women want to repent for that, lesbianism? 

Fischer: Muslim Reaction to Quran-Burning Proves They Are All Violent Terrorists

On Saturday, Terry Jones, senior pastor from the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning on burning copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary of 9/11, despite the fact that Gen. David Petraeus says his actions could "endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort [in Afghanistan]."

The AFA's Bryan Fischer says Jones' plan is a step too far:

Pastor Terry Jones intends to burn copies of the Qur'an at his church on 9/11. It's not something I would do were I still in the pastorate, and not something I recommend.

Really?  What exactly is Fischer's standard for what is appropriate when it comes to demonizing Islam?  He's already called for the deportation of every Muslim in the US on the grounds that they are traitors and demanded an end to the construction of any mosques anywhere in America.  So why would Fischer consider burning copies of the Quran to be beyond the pale?  Especially since he seemingly supports it because it proves his point that all Muslims are violent terrorists: 

How can American lives be endangered by doing nothing more than putting a match to pieces of paper, if Islam is a religion of peace and moderation? How can this be?

When atheists and secularists like the minions of the ACLU, get the Bible banned from schools what do Christians do? They make phone calls, send emails, and go to court. What do Muslims do under similar circumstances? They start shooting and throwing bombs.

Notice as well that nobody is asking what Muslims might have done that ticked off Rev. Jones, how the Muslim world may in fact to blame for his little demonstration. Nobody is out there saying that Muslim policies are "an accessory" to his bonfire, or he is "made in the Muslim world" because of Islamic attacks against America. Nope.

Islam has defenders galore, all eager to excuse Muslim violence against Americans on the grounds that Muslims have been provoked by the West. But when Rev. Jones does nothing more than commit violence against a dead tree, he has nary a defender to say that Muslim provocation is to blame. 

So, according to Fischer, the Quran is just a book and if Muslims react badly to the idea of people burning copies of it, it just proves that Islam is inherently violent ... which itself only goes to further demonstrate why the US must take steps to strip all Muslims of their citizenship and expel them from the country.

Bary's Attorney Sues Pamela Geller and John Stemberger for $10 Million

It was one year ago when I wrote my first post about Rifqa Bary, the teenage girl who fled from Ohio to Florida claiming that her Muslim parents were going to kill her for converting to Christianity.

Ove the past year, the person who most eagerly and relentlessly sought to expolit the Rifqa Bary saga for her own political ends was anti-Muslim zealot Pamela Geller of Atlas Shurgs  ... and for her efforts, she is now being sued for $10 million by the attorney who represented Rifqa's parents:

An Ohio lawyer says a blogger and a former attorney for a runaway Christian convert defamed him by alleging he has contacts with terrorists and criminals.

Omar Tarazi (tuh-RAH'-zee) is seeking $10 million in damages in a federal lawsuit filed Friday to compensate for damage he claims to his reputation.

Tarazi represented the parents of Rifqa Bary, a teenage convert who ran away to Florida saying she feared harm from her Muslim mother and father.

He says blogger Pamela Oshry wrongly linked him to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government.

"Pamela Oshry" was the name Geller went by before her divorce.

UPDATE: Tarazi is also suing John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council:

A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.

The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

...

Stemberger represented Rifqa for several weeks in Florida. That was in the days just after she ran away but before a state circuit judge in Orlando ordered her returned to Ohio.

In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa's parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit.

Stemberger on Tuesday called the suit "ridiculous and frivilous."

"This is just an attempt at grandstanding after a loss," he said.

Stemberger acknowledged but would not discuss an investigation by the Florida Bar into possible ethics violations by him for statements he made about the case.

Religious Right Demands Inclusion in GOP Agenda

Earlier this year, House Republicans launched a website called "America Speaking Out," which allowed Americans to "share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda" that they wanted Congress to focus on.

In a few weeks, House GOP leaders are expected to roll out set of guiding principles and agenda that is based on the suggestions they have received and reportedly distributed a 22-page draft packet to members earlier this month.  And the draft focuses largely on issues related to jobs, spending, health care, and the economy while almost entirely ignoring social issues ... which, of course, is not sitting well with the Religious Right:

Today, the Susan B. Anthony List announced the launch of its “Life Speaking Out Campaign” aimed at encouraging House GOP leadership to make protecting women and the unborn a priority in its legislative blueprint expected after Labor Day. The campaign includes a website for pro-life activists to lobby House GOP leadership (www.LifeSpeakingOut.com) and an encouraging letter to leadership signed by SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“The Republican Party must show what it is made of this time around. They can do so by acting on their convictions and those of their party, and by making a commitment to passage of common-sense, life-saving legislation,” said Dannenfelser. “Missing from the GOP’s original Contract in 1994 was any emphasis on policies protecting the unborn. Pro-life legislation was not made a priority in the following Congress. With the support of a vibrant pro-life movement that understands the urgency of addressing the tragedy of nearly 4,000 abortions per day coupled with the vast majority of Americans who support a commonsense pro-life agenda, enacting that agenda would not require a heavy lift ... It would be an electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off one leg of the three-legged stool of Ronald Reagan conservatism. Real leaders multi-task. The strongly pro-life GOP leadership should be able to respond to the economic crisis and enact pro-life legislation,” Dannenfelser said.

Expect to see more of this, as other Religious Right groups started demanding that things like support for "traditional marriage" and religious freedom also be explicitly included in any GOP governing agenda.

The Call: Pray and ACT's Election Effort Off To A Slow Start

I spent several hours on Saturday watching Lou Engle's "The Call" rally in Sacramento, California and was struck by two things: 1) how boring it was (at one point, the band played a song consisting of nothing by the lyrics "holy, holy, Lord God Almighty" for more than twenty straight minutes) and 2) how small the crowd appeared to be.

When Engle started The Call ten years ago, he claims to have brought 400,000 activists to the National Mall in Washington, DC, but this time the crowd was reportedly much smaller:

The Sacramento event began with a four-hour religious concert Friday night at Raley Field. On Saturday, organizers planned for a crowd of 50,000, lining up portable toilets alongside Capitol Mall and installing video screens several blocks from the stage.

But while the area immediately adjacent to the stage was packed, the mall remained largely empty.

Among the speakers at this event were Brad Bright, the son of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the evangelical National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, as well as Harry Jackson who "prayed for President Obama to have a 'Damascus' experience, referring to the conversion Apostle Paul experienced on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians."

And, of course, Tony Perkins:

Among the speakers was Tony Perkins, a leader of the religious right and head of the Washington lobbying group the Family Research Council.

Perkins railed against U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker for overturning Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage. He said Walker's ruling diminished the legal rights of religious people opposed to gay marriage.

"If (the ruling) stands, in one generation we will have gone from banning the Bible in public schools to banning religious beliefs in society," Perkins said.

Keep in mind that this The Call event is only one part of dominionist "Pray and ACT" effort aimed at the upcoming elections, with at least three more gatherings and webcasts scheduled in the coming weeks which have now officially received the support of Mike Huckabee.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

It's a holiday weekend and I am pretty much at my wit's end dealing with right-wing nonsense, so I'm calling it a day a bit early:

  • No surprise here, Tony Perkins will be speaking at The Call.
  • Speaking of which, apparently Lou Engle emailed Sarah Palin before her debate with Joe Biden to tell her "this is an Esther moment in your life."
  • AZ Gov. Jan Brewer has decided she has had it with debates after her terrible performance in the first one.
  • Chuck Colson in not overly thrilled with the fact that Glenn Beck has become a religious leader.
  • Finally, I am getting really, really tired of Bryan Fischer.  The same can be said for Cliff Kincaid.

Liberty Counsel Warns That Obama Seeks To Become Global Dictator

Ever since Barack Obama started running for the White House, we've seen occasional pieces wondering if he was the Antichrist. In December 2008, Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel said he did not think that Obama was, in fact, the Antichrist but that it was entirely understandable that people were worried that he was:

No wonder, then, that Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, says he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might. Obama's own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, Staver says, positions that "religious conservatives believe will threaten their freedom." The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they're not nuts: "They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared," Staver says.

I wonder if Staver's views have changed since then because it sure sounds like he's convinced that Obama is out to make himself some sort of global dictator because today he and Matt Barber, LC's Director of Cultural Affairs, dedicated their radio program to explaining how Obama, from the very beginning, has been focused on systemically weakening America so that he could ultimately position himself to take over the entire world:

Staver: When President Barack Obama was running for president, when we became president, I've long since stated that his end game has and is not President of the United States of America; that he has a broader worldwide agenda. And that's why he's to go to places around the world and down the United States of America, because he thinks that's going to gain him popularity in some of the other foreign areas. And that's really where I think his eyes are focused, not on [being] President of the United States.

Barber: Now here's the scary thing, I believe that that is true, but in order to have a post-American world, you have to have a post-America. And that's why his policies are pushing us into a post-American world. He is destroying American exceptionalism and is trying to do away with our free market system here in the United States. He's trying to create the climate where we have a post-American world.

Staver: Well, because America is always going to be, or at least it has been up until now, world player. And for him to be on the world scene, he's going to have to bring America down to the level of some of the European and some other countries with regards to commonality. And America always had the exceptionalism and you can't really have worldwide influence if you've got the America exceptional nation because you're going to have to have them all basically on the same level.

So for him to go into this national, or global, leadership - which he wants to do - it's no wonder why he wants to make America's economy like the European economy; it's no wonder why he wants to downplay Christianity so he can up-play Islam.

This man does not respect America. He never has.

Liberty Counsel is, of course, on of the main co-sponsors of the upcoming Values Voter Summit at which Staver is confirmed as a speaker, along with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Mike Huckabee (and it should be noted that Huck and Staver have a close personal relationship that goes back years.)