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More Barton Falsehoods: Mentions of God were not Banned at Veterans' Funerals

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, David Barton has a problem accurately reporting on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable, which calls into question his reliability, especially when it comes to the pseudo-history he uses to promote his political agenda.

And he did the same thing again today on his "WallBuilders Live" program where he read from his recent "America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President" document about President Obama, which he claimed represented a "Declaration of Independence[-like] chain of abuses,"  as he asserted that the Department of Veterans Affairs under Obama had banned mentions of God and Jesus during funerals:

2011: the Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial [ceremonies] at Houston National Cemetery.

I'm sorry. You may be buried there as a veteran, but the government is not running your funeral. You have other people come and do your funeral but the government is saying that since you're being buried on Veteran land, your preacher, your rabbi, your priest can't use Jesus or God during the funeral ceremony.

Really? At your own funeral? It's my husband, it's my brother, it's my uncle, somebody being buried and I can't use Jesus or God? No, you can't.

That is, of course, entirely false.  As we pointed out last year, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." In essence, the policy stated that volunteer groups were not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family. Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have every right to so.

Nobody was being told that there could be no mention of God or Jesus during a funeral ... but, as with so many other issues, Barton portrayed the issue in an utterly misleading manner in order to promote his right-wing political agenda.

Ex-Gay Activist Wants Homosexuality to Go the Way of Pluto

Earlier today we noted that the North Carolina Values Coalition teamed-up with the Southern Baptist Convention for a panel to marshal support for Amendment One, a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages and civil unions, which are already banned by statute. Following a speech by Richard Land, panelist Tim Wilkins made the case for why gays and lesbians should not have rights equal to those of their straight counterparts. Wilkins began his remarks by describing how he is “ashamed” of his “past homosexuality.”

Wilkins in fact, is a professional “ex-gay” activist whose ministry “stems from his own freedom from homosexuality some thirty years ago.” He is also a member of NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and organizes a conference that “addresses such topics as If a Friend Says ‘I’m gay’, Debunking the ‘Gay Gene’, ‘What’s a Parent to Do?’, Untwisting ‘Gay Theology’, Counseling the Homosexual, Preventing Homosexuality, and A Biblical Bridge Out of Homosexuality.’”

He maintained that a same-sex relationship is inherently “unequal” and actually “lacks the very diversity it seeks to promote,” urging audience members not to treat homosexuality as a sexual orientation but instead as a “temptation.” Wilkins argued that homosexuality should be reduced to a “temptation” just as Pluto was relegated from its status as a planet to dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union.

Watch:

Co-opting King: Why the Right Tries to Claim MLK

Today’s conservatives are claiming Dr. Martin Luther King’s moral authority as their own, positioning themselves as inheritors of his righteous struggle.

Why Is Ann Coulter Appearing on ABC's 'This Week'?

On Sunday morning, ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” gave right-wing shock pundit Ann Coulter a national platform to opine on national politics and promote herself and her books. “This Week” is generally a serious and reasonable look back on the week’s political events. Coulter, however, is neither serious nor reasonable – not even close. 

Coulter, a self-described “mean-spirited, bigoted conservative,” goes out of her way to provoke and offend and even promote violence. Based on her own words, she’s a strident racist and bigot who openly despises much of humanity. Many of her defenders, however, claim that she’s really just an entertainer who says ridiculous things for comedic effect. But it doesn’t matter whether she’s really a fanatic or just plays one on TV. What matters are the vile things she says, often to huge audiences thanks to mainstream media outlets that mistake bigotry for edginess.
 
A few of her most outrageous comments are captured here:
 
 
Recently, talking about the Occupy Wall St. protests in November, Coulter suggested that violence against protesters could shut down the movement: “Remember the lesson from my book: It just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good.”
 
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Coulter attacked a group of widows that had joined together to lobby for a government investigation into the attacks, culminating with the 9/11 Commission:
These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.
There is really nothing that Coulter won’t say. Coulter – among many many other things – has said that:
  • Women shouldn’t be allowed to vote: "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen."
  • Killing an abortion doctor isn't murder: "Well, apparently, this one random nut who shot Tiller -- I don't really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester."
  • John Edwards is a “faggot”: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I -- so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards."
  • Whites don’t think about blacks because they’re inferior: "Here's a little inside scoop about white people: We're not thinking about you. Especially WASPs. We think everybody is inferior, and we are perfectly charming about it."
  • Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to fly on airlines: "I think airlines ought to start advertising: 'We have the most civil rights lawsuits brought against us by Arabs.'" "[Muslims] could use flying carpets."
  • Jews need to be “perfected” by becoming Christian: "We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express."
I could go on, but the point is that Coulter has firmly established herself as a hate-filled provocateur and radical – not a conservative. We fully expect ABC and “This Week” to have conservative guests with whom we disagree, and vice versa, but that’s not the issue here. Coulter has been playing the same game for years, making millions off bigotry and hate. The mainstream media shouldn’t play along.
 
 

Amendment One Proponents Warn Marriage Equality Threatens Liberty, Society

North Carolina activists pushing Amendment One, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state, met at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where Richard Land said that the referendum “is not about gay rights” but about whether marriage will “be transformed by the whims of a minority,” i.e. gays and lesbians. Land tied marriage equality for gays and lesbians to growing rates of single motherhood, and said that North Carolina vote would influence a potential Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage. Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition, the group behind the campaign in favor of Amendment One, added that “gay marriage is the beginning of the end for religious freedom,” and the seminar professor Daniel Heimbach said marriage equality “will harm everybody by harming social stability”:

"If the people speak in North Carolina, and also in other states, to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman, it will tip the balance of the Supreme Court to reject trying to foist by judicial imperialism same-sex marriage on a populous that is clearly opposed to it," Land said at the March 28 forum.



Land went on to say that the federal government spends $700 billion in domestic programs to support women and children due largely to the absence of fathers. The epidemic of fatherlessness has been "catastrophic" on America's landscape, Land mentioned. The issue, Land said, "is not about gay rights," but instead "about the basic building block of human society" -- and "whether we'll allow it to be transformed by the whims of a minority."

The issue of religious liberty was also discussed as gay rights groups throughout the United States have pursued legal action against Christian owned-companies and religiously affiliated adoption agencies, forcing compensatory damages and even closure. "This is not a question of sexual freedom, but of religious freedom," Land said. "The agenda of the homosexual community is to have their behavior and their lifestyle normalized and have same-sex marriage normalized and to have those who disagree with it to be ostracized."

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of North Carolina Values Coalition, said that "when marriage is redefined as genderless, there are legal consequences for anyone who disagree with it."

"Everything from inheritance laws to property rights must then change," she said. "If you disagree with this, you're treated as a racist and as a bigot."

"Gay marriage is the beginning of the end for religious freedom," she said.

With upcoming votes on gay "marriage" in other states, Land said, the future of marriage could be settled in the next 18 months. No state has, by popular vote, chosen to create same-sex "marriage," Land said.

Gay marriage proponents insist that the proposed amendment is unnecessary, discriminatory and unfairly targets gay persons. Daniel Heimbach, an ethics professor at Southeastern Seminary, said gay "marriage" is not about equality.



"The harm of legalizing gay marriage will radically change marriage in a way that it will then deny all fixed structures," Heimbach said. "It will de-institutionalize marriage as an institution.

"It will harm everybody by harming social stability."

Bush in 2007: Unelected Judges Making Law are a Threat to Democracy

Earlier this week, President Obama predicted that the Supreme Court would uphold the constitutionality of healthcare reform legislation, saying it would be unprecedented that "an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”

And now Republicans and the Right and even sitting judges are throwing tantrums, accusing Obama of attempting to "intimidate" the Supreme Court. 

Can we just point out that one of the central platforms [PDF] of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign was that he was literally going to arrest federal judges who issued rulings that he didn't like and ignore Supreme Court decisions with which he disagreed?

Oddly, nobody on the Right uttered a peep when Gingrich made those threats ... nor did they voice any outrage back in 2007 when President George W. Bush addressed the Federalist Society and warned that unelected judges legislating from the bench represented a "threat to our democracy": 

When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they had a clear understanding of tyranny. They also had a clear idea about how to prevent it from ever taking root in America. Their solution was to separate the government's powers into three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Each of these branches plays a vital role in our free society. Each serves as a check on the others. And to preserve our liberty, each must meet its responsibilities -- and resist the temptation to encroach on the powers the Constitution accords to others.

For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it's the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy -- and it needs to stop.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/3/12

  • Towleroad: Liberian Group Posts 'Hit List', Intends to Kill Gays 'One by One.'
  • Good As You: Co-head of campaign to oppose marriage equality in Maine: 'Homosexuals have absolutely nothing good to contribute to family life.'
  • Sarah Devlin @ Mediaite: Gov. Nikki Haley On The View: ‘Women Don’t Care About Contraception.’
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: DOJ Cuts Off Negotiations With Sheriff Joe Arpaio In Civil Rights Probe.
  • Zack Ford @ Think Progress LGBT: Log Cabin Republicans Repudiate NOM As ‘Cancer That Needs To Be Removed’ From Party.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/3/12

  • Sarah Palin suggests the GOP presidential nominee should not "play it safe and do just what the GOP establishment expects" when picking a running mate.  Because that worked out so well for John McCain.
  • Newt Gingrich has now been reduced to focusing his efforts on "persuading GOP delegates to adopt a series of platform proposals that will hold [Mitt] Romney to conservative positions."
  • Lila Rose says that the voices of "anti-abortion feminists" are being shut out of the debate over healthcare and contraception.
  • Frank Turek warns that Christians need to get involved in politics because "you won't be able to preach the Gospel if you don't get involved in politics."
  • Finally, Cindy Jacobs asks her prayer network to "pray against all legislation being pushed to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii."

Brigitte Gabriel Sees Islamic Indoctrination Everywhere; Sandy Rios Warns of 'Jewish Leftists' who are 'Eager to Embrace Islam'

The extremist group ACT! for America has combined the far right’s loathing of public schools and animosity towards Muslims into a new report, warning that public school students are “indoctrinated in Islam” through their history textbooks which have turned classrooms into “recruiting grounds for Islam.” Yesterday, we noted that ACT! for America’s Executive Director Guy Rodgers and Eagle Forum president Phyllis Schlafly urged parents to imitate notorious textbook censor Norma Gabler. Today the organization’s president Brigitte Gabriel appeared on the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios in the Morning where she claimed that their new “shocking” report reveals that textbook publishers and Muslims are using the same tactics as Adolf Hitler to indoctrinate students:

Gabriel: What we found was shocking and we found that history is being whitewashed, Islam is given preferential treatment in public schools, and political correctness has literally altered how history is being taught in our public schools to our children.



How can the future generation of America protect America and make the right decisions that will protect and serve America and keep America a great nation if they are being fed mistruths about historical, factual information. Hitler made a very important statement, Hitler said, ‘give me the children, I will change society in ten years,’ and that is exactly what he did and look where we ended up and we’re seeing the same thing happening with our children right now. And by the way, all paid for by our tax dollars in public schools.

Later in the show, Rios, who earlier said that secular Jews have been “the worst enemies of the country,” asked Gabriel why “Jewish leftists in this country” such as Anti-Defamation League president Abraham Foxman “are eager to embrace Islam.” Gabriel, of course, blamed universities for teaching “anti-America and anti-Israel” material with the help of Saudi oil money. She even claimed that President Obama’s supposed belief that “America is bad” and must apologize for its wrongdoings “is a direct result of what is being taught at our universities.”

Rios: I read a quote from Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, you know Jewish leftists in this country are eager to embrace Islam, even in Europe, they are denying, they are trying to bridge the gap, they’re saying ‘oh, no, no, no, our Islam brothers,’ even though there’s slaughter going on in Europe. We see the American left, we see commentators, and I have to tell you, firsthand knowledge here in Washington, we see even Republicans in leadership here bending over backwards to accommodate Islam. Why? From your perspective, as a person born and raised in the Middle East now living here and married to an American, why are Americans doing this?

Gabriel: Great question because this is exactly why we are talking about the importance of education. In my first book, Because They Hate, I dedicated chapters to how we’re losing our children on college campuses because for the last sixteen to twenty years, because of the oil wealth, the Saudis have been pumping millions into our universities, setting up Middle East Studies departments and Political Science departments and appointing Arab professors who are anti-America and anti-Israel, to teach our children that America is bad, Israel is evil and the Islamic world is oppressed because of the imperialism of the United States. So you have these children who have been graduating out of our universities for the last twenty years who have been fed a steady diet of mistruth, misrepresentations and hate and resentment against America who are today the policymakers, the decision makers, the one on Capitol Hill, the graduates of our Ivy League universities. Look, we don’t have a Commander-in-Chief, we have an ‘Apologizer-in-Chief’ who never misses an opportunity to apologize on behalf of America because in his mind he thinks America is bad, America has done a lot of wrong in the world that we have to apologize for, and that is a direct result of what is being taught at our universities.

JCN's Wendy Long Resurfaces in Run for Senate

Once upon a time, there was a right-wing group called The Judicial Confirmation Network that was created "to ensure that the confirmation process for all judicial nominees is fair and that every nominee sent to the full Senate receives an up or down vote." 

Such a mission made sense back during the George W. Bush administration, when the group was founded ... but didn't work so well when Barack Obama was elected and suddenly the organization was fighting to ensure that his nominees didn't get confirmed.

Eventually, the JCN realized that it couldn't keep calling itself the Judicial Confirmation Network if it was actively working to prevent the confirmation of judges, so the name was changed to the Judicial Crisis Network and the group likewise wrote up a new mission statement.

Eventually, the original founders left, with Executive Director Gary Marx signing on with Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition and Chief Counsel Wendy Long stepping down in order to "devote her time to her family and other causes."

Among those "other causes" to which Long is dedicating herself is a run for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

Last month, Long won the endorsement of the Conservative Party of New York State and today secured the endorsement of the anti-abortion zealots over at the Susan B. Anthony List:

The Susan B. Anthony List, the influential pro-life organization, offered an early and enthusiastic endorsement for Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long this morning.

“There could not be a more clear contrast between longtime pro-life leader Wendy Long and EMILY’s List poster child Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group's president, in a statement ... “From her days as a Hill staffer to her time at Americans United for Life and her work on behalf of Supreme Court Justices who practice judicial restraint, Wendy has constantly been engaged in the fight for adherence to the Constitution and the right to Life laid out in the Declaration of Independence,” Dannenfelser said in the statement. “We look forward to having her back on Capitol Hill and adding to the number of pro-life women in the Senate.”

...

In her statement, Dannenfelser echoed Long's earlier criticism of Gillibrand for accusing Republicans of waging a "war on women."

“Wendy understands that the only ‘war on women’ is the one being waged against women of faith and conscience by the Obama administration and their allies in Congress and the abortion lobby. She has boldly called on Senator Gillibrand to end the assault on Life, conscience, and religious liberty.”