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IRD: How Dare Methodists Include Buddhist and Shinto Groups in Japan Memorial Service

Apparently, even a prayer service for the thousands of people deceased and missing in Japan is a reason for the far-right Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) to bash mainline Protestants.

When the Church Center of the United Nations hosted an interfaith “Gathering for Prayer and Hope” in the wake of the deadly earthquake and tsunami to hit Japan to “provide us with the spiritual encouragement and strength to overcome this time of suffering together,” according to Rev. T. K. Nakagaki. But the IRD, a Religious Right organization that is always looking for opportunities to attack mainline Protestant churches, took umbrage at the event and said that the Church Center, which is owned by the Untied Methodist Church, should have disinvited Buddhist and Shinto leaders and guests. While the vast majority of people in Japan identify as Buddhist or Shinto, Mark Tooley of the IRD claims that the Methodist group hosting the gathering should have excluded such groups from participating:

"The original purpose was to be a Methodist and Christian witness to and at the United Nations," says Tooley. "A number of other denominations also have offices in the building, and there is a chapel there as well. Of course, following the drift of agencies of the United Methodist Church and of mainline Protestantism, and especially of the often very radical Methodist women's division, the building's political witness and spiritual emphases are -- as to be expected -- often very far left and not orthodox."

Tooley says the United Methodist Church has significantly strayed from its Christian heritage.

"Having the Buddhist cleric lead the service at the Church Center of the United Nations certainly illustrates how the Methodist and Christian witness of that ministry there is so watered down as to be almost unrecognizably Christian," comments the IRD president.

CWA: Gay “Bullies” Too Powerful In Government

Only in the worldview of the Religious Right do marginalized Americans like gays and lesbians have excessive clout in government while conservatives have little to none. Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, one of the most influential right-wing lobbyist organizations, describes LGBT-rights organizations as “bullies” whose crime is raising too much money. She told the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow that opponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are “claiming rights that don’t exist” and are trying to “intimidate” public officials. In addition, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel ranted against the “radical leftists” allied with “extremist, homosexual pressure groups.” Wright and Barber were responding to legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-NY) that would repeal the dubiously-constitutional DOMA:

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America tells OneNewsNow: "The congressmen who introduced this bill are claiming rights that don't exist. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage,' and they seek to confuse people by using language like that. Every time that marriage has come up for a vote in a state, that state has protected marriages between one man and one woman."

Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, refers to the bill as the "Disrespecting Marriage Act." He says the good news is that it is really an exercise in futility -- and he believes Democrats know that.

"We have a faction of radical leftists in the House and in the Senate who are willing to side and align themselves with extremist, homosexual pressure groups in order to try to take a sledgehammer to the institution of marriage, which is fundamental to any healthy society," says Barber.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the move by Democrats, calling it "landmark legislation." Wright says homosexual lobbying groups often act like victims, but it is quite the contrary.

"So when you look at how they operate, they are in fact the bullies," says the CWA spokeswoman. "They're the ones who have massive amounts of money. When you look at the budgets of these groups, it's rather shocking the multimillions of dollars they have -- they bring in every year -- and with that, they're able to hire full-time lobbyists who then intimidate not only politicians but corporations."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 3/22/11

Michele Bachmann

History: New Hampshire politicians take jabs at Bachmann's history blunder (Politico, 3/17).

2012: Deep roots in conservative movement bolster her campaign prospects (TNR, 3/17).

Haley Barbour

Campaign: Expanding campaign and presence in early state (NYT, 3/22).

Mississippi: State taxpayers paid for $300,000 of his out-of-state traveling costs (Clarion Ledger, 3/21).

Foreign Affairs: Calls for reducing troop level in Afghanistan (CBS News, 3/16).

Mitch Daniels

Book: Signs book deal with conservative publisher (AP, 3/21).

2012: Wife raises doubts about potential run (Indianapolis Star, 3/20).

Newt Gingrich

New Hampshire: Schedules speeches and meetings in the Granite State (Union Leader, 3/21).

Foreign Affairs: Claims President Obama "does not even know who his enemies are" (Union Leader, 3/20).

Obama: Says President is busy on ESPN instead of handling crises (LA Times, 3/18).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Says he wants world leaders to have a "biblical worldview" (RWW, 3/21). 

Anti-Choice: Lauds anti-choice leaders on Fox News show (News Hounds, 3/21).

Fox News: Favorite candidate of Fox News viewers (HuffPo, 3/18).

Sarah Palin

Foreign Affairs: Plans to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu during tour of Israel after visiting India (Forward, 3/21).

Energy: Alaska abandons much of Palin's energy agenda (NYT, 3/17).

Campaign: Top aide profiled by Los Angeles Times (LA Times, 3/16).

Ron Paul

Foreign Affairs: Slams US involvement in no-fly zone as "unconstitutional" (Raw Story, 3/21).

GOP: Wins California GOP convention straw poll (Sacramento Bee, 3/20).

Economy: Pushes elimination of the Federal Reserve (Reuters, 3/17).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Announces formation of exploratory committee (Star Tribune, 3/21).

Campaign: Adopts Southern accent in stump speech (Minnesota Public Radio, 3/18).

Tea Party: Set to address New Hampshire Tea Party rally (Think Progress, 3/17).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Allies downplay impact of Massachusetts health care reform law on primary (The Hill, 3/17).

Campaign: Recruits fundraisers close to former President Bush (Bloomberg, 3/17).

Donald Trump

Foreign Affairs: Brags to Fox News that he "screwed" Qaddafi on land deal (Fox News, 3/21).

New Hampshire: Scheduled to address political forum in New Hampshire (Boston Herald, 3/16).

Rick Santorum

Foreign Affairs: Derides Obama for turning the US into "the military of the UN" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/18).

Health Care: Calls Mitt Romney's health care reform law a "failure" (The State Column, 3/18).

Religious Right: Tells far-right Catholic group that he was "appalled" by JFK's "radical" support of the separation of church and state (Boston Globe, 3/15).

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Zaid Jilani @ Think Progress: GA GOP Rep. Bobby Franklin Says America Is Like Qadaffi Because Abortion Is Legal.
  • Alan Colmes: Franklin Graham: Japan Disaster Could Mean Second Coming.
  • Alvin McEwen: Religious right leader Bryan Fischer: Obama is a boy president.
  • Truth Wins Out: Scientist Calls On Apple to Remove ‘Ex-Gay’ app That Distorts His Research.
  • Benjy Sarlin @ TPM: Herman Cain to Muslims: Stop Trying to Convert Us to Islam.
  • County Fair: Washington Times' Knight Uses Anti-Bullying Legislation To Attack Muslims, Gays.
  • Joe.My.God: JMG Wins 2011 GLAAD Media Award!

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Hey, guess what? Tim Pawlenty is running for president.
  • Police wanted to charge many of those involved in helping Rifqa Bary run away with crimes, but prosecutors have refused to do so.
  • Herman Cain says the race card has expired.  Good to know.
  • Wow, Donald Trump is just a joke.
  • Janet Porter is hosting a "Heartbeat Bill Summit" on April 4.
  • Speaking of Porter, she has this to say about the earthquake in Japan: "Another type of darkness in Japan should be of great concern to us. That’s the spiritual darkness that covers this island nation."
  • The first confirmed speaker for Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Summit is ... Dick Morris.  Wow, what a coup!
  • Quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "We’re going to get the worst of both worlds with the admission of open homosexuals into the ranks: virile straights aren’t going to sign up, and fewer homosexuals will since they lost their get-out-of-jail free card when DADT was repealed. They can’t try it and decide they don’t like it any more. We’re going to be left with a weakened, effeminate, dumbed-down military."
  • Finally, Karen Santorum shared parenting advice with James Dobson on his radio program today and warned that the Devil tries to make stay-at-home moms second-guess their decision:

Garlow: The Left's "Ideological Radiation" Is Poisoning America

Last week, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, and Chuck Pierce all weighed in on the tragedy in Japan to explain that God was seeking to break the "stronghold of spiritism" that gripped the nation in order to free them from the "grip of idolatry" while warning that the earthquake was a sign that demonic Nazism was going to engulf the United States.

Over the weekend, Jim Garlow who, in addition to running Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership also has close ties to Jacobs, Lou Engle and the entire movement of self-proclaimed prophets and apostles, took to his Facebook page to say that while there may be some cause for alarm about radiation from Japan reaching America, the real threat to this nation is the secular left:

As one who lives on the West Coast, I am concerned about potential radiation drift from Japan, as well as the failures of our own nuclear reactors in earthquake-prone California.

But as one who lives on the Left Coast, I am infinitely more concerned about the lethal ideological “radiation” that has been leaked into our “atmosphere” for forty years from the radical secular left. It is killing our nation.

This is not a future threat. It is a present day struggle of life and death – now. In fact, a faulty understanding of the beginning of life has resulted in the deaths of 52,000,000 persons in the womb. After all, when do human rights begin?

But that is only one small part of the ideological damage from radical secularism. They would, if they could, destroy the very concept of a mother and a father leading a home. They will, if they can, spend us into oblivion, destroying the future for our children.

We will all be safer when we come to the realization that the anti-biblical secular philosophies are, at this moment, a greater threat to our nation’s existence than our nuclear reactors.

We can examine, alter and improve our aging and vulnerable nuclear reactors. And we should. They are old and need attention.

But secularism’s largely undetected toxic political ideology is poisoning us and our children. America needs a massive dose of “political, historical and theological potassium iodide” to protect us from the radical left’s destruction. And we need it quickly. Morally, America has been getting closer to a Chernobyl-like “level 7” condition for over two years.

Idaho GOP Hosts Anti-Muslim Activist

In yet another example of the deepening anti-Muslim sentiment in the GOP, the keynote speaker for a recent Idaho Republican Party fundraiser was a noted anti-Muslim activist from neighboring Washington. Pastor Shahram Hadian said he converted to Christianity during his childhood and now claims to be an expert on Islam. He unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for state legislature last November and also targeted customers of a café whose employees delivered coffee wearing bikinis by taking their photos and posting their names online.

Hadian has addressed local Republican groups and a chapter of the staunchly anti-Muslim group ACT! for America on “how Islam is a political ideology focused on establishing oppressive Islamic law (Shar’ia) in every country, including America.” Hadian claims that “Shar’ia law has already infiltrated some of our local, state, and federal governmental laws and policies here in the U.S.” because of “political correctness and liberal ideology that is sympathetic to Shar’ia law.”

Leading politicians including Governor Butch Otter, US Senator Mike Crapo and freshmen congressman Raul Labrador were also present at the gathering. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports:

Close to 450 guests attended the Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday night at The Coeur d'Alene Resort convention center. Hosted by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, the event brought together many of the state's brightest political stars, including Idaho GOP Chair Norm Semanko, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.



According to Hadian, Islam is not a religion of peace. A large number of Muslims, led by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, are bent on world domination, he said.

"In Islam, peace is achieved when a country becomes predominately Muslim," Hadian said. "Islam is not just a religion. Islam is a constitution. It is a political ideology."

He spoke of sharia law and jihad, and claimed some Islamic groups are actually fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Muslims are allowed to impose their rules, "Sharia law will not be subservient. It will be parallel," Hadian told the audience. "Please stop being politically correct."

The pastor implored his listeners to make immigration a national security issue. But, he said, his message is not about hating Muslims.

"I appreciate the honesty," said Marissa Mendive of Coeur d'Alene. "I think America needs to stop being so tolerant, because we're heading downhill fast. And I appreciate the patriotism here."

James Hoialmen of Post Falls said he found the evening's topics interesting.

"I think (Hadian) had a lot of good points. I also look at it as, 'In God We Trust' - it's stamped right on our bills. Our nation is founded on God. I'm a true, strong Christian, and definitely always stand with Christ."

Huckabee: "I’d Love the World to be Led by People Who Have a Biblical Worldview"

Speaking at a "Faith, Family and Values" fundraiser yesterday for Statesville Christian School in North Carolina, Mike Huckabee praised the school for instilling Christian values, saying he wished that every leader in the world shared their Christian worldview:

Huckabee also said that when he grew up (in the town Hope, Ark., in the late 1950s and 1960s), folks were more open about their faith.

“We were not ashamed of Judeo-Christian heritage,” he said. “And schools and the community did everything they could to support it.”

...

He said that the kind of “biblical worldview” taught at SCS was in the direction of unmitigated equality.

“I’d love the world to be lead by people who have a biblical worldview,” he said.

“Wouldn’t it be an exciting thing to have leaders who believe all of us are equal?” he later asked ...

Huckabee said Sunday that he has been asked many times if it is difficult to be a Christian and a politician/elected official.

“I always answer that actually it’s a lot easier to be a Christian,” he said. “I wake up every day knowing what I believe.”

So Much For The New Scott Lively

Earlier this year, The Boston Globe reported that notorious anti-gay activist Scott Lively was "toning down his antigay rhetoric and shifting his focus to helping the downtrodden" by opening a coffee shop, saying this new venture was going to be "completely different from all the things that I’ve done in the past" and that he was going "to stop being involved in the other [anti-gay] stuff."

Not surprisingly, Lively hasn't actually given up his anti-gay activism, as earlier this month Lively was in Moldova warning of "secret plan by the homosexual powers of the EU" to destroy the country. 

And now he warned the AFA's OneNewsNow about efforts to "include social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people," claiming it is an attempt to coerce people iton "being pro-gay":

Dr. Scott Lively, president of Defend the Family International, tells OneNewsNow that now is the time for Christians to voice their concern.

"And politics is a part of every church, it's part of every family -- and frankly, the reason we're suffering the consequences that we are is because the church has abdicated its responsibilities to be stewards of civil society."

The bill would mandate that teachers, textbooks, and materials present a positive image of the LGBT lifestyle.

"This isn't about tolerance. This isn't even about acceptance," Lively emphasizes. "This is about celebration and even goes further than that -- the next step after that is forced acceptance; you're coerced into being pro-gay."

Lively explains that the bill is another method for homosexual activists to identify and go after those who do not support homosexuality -- in much the same manner that activists aggressively targeted those who supported Proposition 8.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Nick Baumann @ Mother Jones: GOP Bill Would Force IRS to Conduct Abortion Audits.
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: James O'Keefe Doesn't Want To Be Videotaped: 'He's Got Lawsuits Up The Gazoo.'
  • Towleroad: TX Democratic County Chair Dan Ramos Calls Gay Groups 'Termites', Compares Them to Nazi Party.
  • John @ Bold Faith Type: Immigration Reform: Who Would Jesus Shoot?
  • Pam Spaulding @ Pam's House Blend: Here comes Bam Bam and The Peter with the 'Truth Academy' circus.
  • Steve Benen: Those who are 'sympathetic' to the terrorists' 'cause'.
  • Greg Sargent: An easy way to burnish your conservative cred: Beat up on poor Mitt Romney.
  • Media Matters: Beck: "If This President Is Re-Elected In 2012, There Is No Way We As A Nation Survive In Any Form That We Understand."