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The Personhood Movement: Internal Battles Go Public: Part 2

This is the second post in a RWW series on the reemergence of the fetal personhood movement and what it means for the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

As proponents of the “personhood” strategy to end legal abortion like to remind those who will listen, the original goal of the anti-abortion rights movement after Roe v. Wade was to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the decision. And one possible amendment — along with a dubious statutory alternative  — would have done so by defining “personhood” as starting at conception.

In the 1970s and 1980s, dozens of anti-Roe “Human Life Amendments” were introduced in Congress, containing a variety of language. Only one made it to an up-or-down vote in Congress: the “Hatch-Eagleton Amendment,” which would have simply gutted Roe by stating, “A right to abortion is not secured by this Constitution.” In June of 1983, the amendment fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional amendment, garnering just 49 yes votes.

But there was another strategy for amending the Constitution to reverse Roe, one that rather than just returning to the states the power to regulate abortion would have overturned Roe by declaring that fetuses are "persons" protected under the Constitution. In 1976, one such amendment was put up for a test vote in the Senate, garnering only 40 votes in support.

The language of these amendments was a matter of bitter internal debate among anti-abortion rights groups. One draft amendment formulated by the National Right to Life Committee in 1974, known as the NRLC Amendment, would have declared that the word "person" in the 14th and 5th Amendments "applies to all human beings irrespective of age, health, function, or condition of dependency, including their unborn offspring at every stage of their biological development," but included a specific exemption for "medical procedures required to prevent the death of the mother."  

Some members of NRLC’s budding coalition thought the amendment didn’t go far enough to prohibit abortion, arguing that the “life of the mother” exception was too broad. Two founding members of NRLC, Judie and Paul Brown, had left the group because they perceived it as too willing to compromise and founded their own anti-choice group, the American Life League (ALL) and helped to establish the radical abortion “rescue” movement. In 1979, ALL wrote its own amendment, nicknamed the “Paramount Amendment,” which would have erased all abortion exceptions by declaring, “The paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency.”

Faced with a splintering movement, NRLC held months of talks with its fellow anti-abortion groups, hoping to hammer out a Human Life Amendment that they could unify behind. In October of 1981, NRLC announced that “with tears of joy and happiness” it had “solved what formerly appeared to be an irreconcilable difference over a fundamental question: how to allow for just those abortions truly needed to prevent the death of the mother without at the same time making her right to life superior to that of her unborn child.”

NRLC’s new “Unity Amendment,” which was introduced by Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina that December (and which ALL still refused to support), tightened the “life of the mother” exception by adding the stipulation that abortion would be allowed only to “prevent the death of either the pregnant woman or her unborn offspring, as long as such law requires every reasonable effort be made to preserve the life of each.”

All of these amendments failed to get off the ground, as did a novel and controversial legislative approach to achieve the same goal. In 1981, Helms and Sen. Henry Hyde introduced a bill that they claimed could overturn Roe without a constitutional amendment or a new Supreme Court majority, by simply declaring that life begins “at conception.” The effect of the law, the New York Times reported at the time, would be to once again allow “states, if they choose, to prosecute abortion as murder.” President Reagan got behind the strategy, but legal scholars called the bill unconstitutional. NRLC and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops continued to favor the constitutional amendment strategy, doubting that the Helms-Hyde bill would hold up in the courts.

By that time, however, it became clear that a constitutional amendment and the Helms-Hyde personhood bill weren’t going anywhere in Congress, and proponents had already started focusing on other strategies to turn back the tide on abortion rights.

In 1975, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops had developed a plan to turn every diocese into an anti-choice political machine and to use its existing infrastructure to set up an office in every congressional district. The bishops’ plan included a four-pronged legislative strategy, which continues to guide the anti-choice movement today:

(a) Passage of a constitutional amendment providing protection for the unborn child to the maximum degree possible.

(b) Passage of federal and state laws and adoption of administrative policies that will restrict the practice of abortion as much as possible.

(c) Continual research into and refinement and precise interpretation of Roe and Doe and subsequent court decisions.

(d) Support for legislation that provides alternatives to abortion.

In other words: fight for an amendment to undo Roe, but at the same time work through the courts and legislatures to make it harder for women to access legal abortion. While Roe would remain the law of the land, women would not be able to actually exercise their rights.

Part of this strategy involved targeting public funding for abortions. Frederick Jaffe, Barbara Lindheim and Philip Lee explained in their 1981 book "Abortion Politics":

The new strategy was outlined by RTL [Right to Life] leader Randy Engel, who urged restrictive riders on “any and all federal legislation related directly or indirectly to health,” in order to keep the abortion issue visible and build support. She argued that the efforts to win interim legislation would provide antiabortion workers with political experience, would educate the public, and would force members of Congress to go on record one way or the other. Not least important, she added, this strategy would require the forces supporting abortion rights to expend time, effort and resources in opposing riders.

One of the early victories of this strategy was the 1976 passage of the Hyde Amendment, a rider to the health and human services spending bill that prohibited Medicaid from funding abortions for low-income women. The Hyde Amendment was a victory, but it provoked yet more squabbling within the anti-abortion rights movement.

When it was first passed, the Hyde Amendment contained one exception: for abortions that could save the life of a “clearly endangered” pregnant woman. But because it was attached to a spending bill, the Hyde Amendment had to be renewed annually. The next year, after a lengthy legislative deadlock, Congress kept the exception for saving a woman’s life and added additional exceptions for ensuring a woman’s long-term health and for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

The 1977 compromise allowing abortion funding for rape and incest survivors — which has been modified several times since then — was a setback for anti-choice hardliners, but the anti-abortion rights movmement's leaders continue to celebrate the Hyde Amendment’s repeated renewal. In 2013, on the amendment’s anniversary, National Right to Life crowed that “over one million people are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment.”

But Daniel Becker, a longtime personhood activist and founder of the new Personhood Alliance, sees it differently. “The Hyde Amendment,” Becker wrote in his 2011 book on the personhood concept, “damaged the very fabric of our mission. No longer would the lofty rhetoric of ‘sanctity of all human life’ and ‘the personhood of the unborn’ be embodied in a strategy to achieve those protections. The prolife movement had a seat at the political table, but contented itself with crumbs.”

In 2007, the anti-choice movement achieved another seeming victory that was divisive in its own ranks. The Supreme Court, which now included George W. Bush appointees John Roberts and Samuel Alito, reversed a previous decision and upheld the 2003 ban on a specific procedure that the anti-choice movement had labeled “partial birth abortion.”

Linda Greenhouse wrote in the New York Times that the decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, was a “vindication” of the anti-choice movement’s strategy of pursuing a “partial birth” ban after the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey made a more sweeping victory look unfeasible: “By identifying the… procedure and giving it the provocative label ‘partial-birth abortion,’ the movement turned the public focus of the abortion debate from the rights of women to the fate of fetuses.”

As with the congressional fight over abortion coverage in Medicaid, abortion rights opponents hoped to use the debate over so-called “partial birth” abortion, an exceedingly rare procedure, to keep attention on their efforts to end legal abortion entirely.

But not everybody in the anti-choice movement was thrilled. In fact, the decision that was widely seen as a victory for the anti-choice movement brought into the public eye a long-simmering split in the movement.

Six weeks after Gonzales was handed down, a coalition of anti-abortion groups, including the Colorado chapter of National Right to Life, took out a full-page ad in newspapers around the country attacking Focus on the Family founder James Dobson for supporting the ruling.

One Denver pastor in the group, Bob Enyart, accused mainstream pro-life groups of fundraising off a strategy that “has no authority to prevent a single abortion” because other procedures could be used in place of the banned operation. Colorado Right to Life President Brian Rohrbough told the Washington Post, “What happened in the abortion world is that groups like National Right to Life, they're really a wing of the Republican Party, and they're not geared to push for personhood for an unborn child — they're geared to getting Republicans elected. So we're seeing these ridiculous laws like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban put forward, and then we're deceived about what they really do."

As the Post noted, NRLC’s detractors started referring to the group as the “pro-life industry” — a term intentionally reminiscent of the anti-choice movement’s “abortion industry” epithet for abortion providers, implying that those groups had sold out and cared more about their fundraising than their mission. (Several years later, Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia was using similar rhetoric to question the group’s motives.)

A week later, leaders of Colorado Right to Life confronted the board of NRLC at its annual meeting, attacking its “immoral and failed anti-abortion strategy.” Enyart told the board, in a speech secretly recorded by Colorado Right to Life:

We’ve provided cover to pro-choice politicians, even Democrats, who would say, ‘I’m not an extremist, I supported the partial-birth abortion ban.’ We wasted 15 years while 20 million kids — 20 million kids — have died. We’ve spent a quarter of a billion dollars as an industry for a ban that does not have the authority to save one life. You guys are worried about what’s growing in Colorado. I’ll tell you what’s growing in Washington, D.C. It’s called the abortion weed. Child-killing regulations — that’s what National Right to Life is really good at — child-killing regulations prune the abortion weed and sanction its root.

National Right to Life promptly voted to kick the Colorado group out of the organization. Colorado Right to Life then hired an Abraham Lincoln impersonator to accost conference-goers with a revised version of the Gettysburg Address: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...no exceptions!"

It was around this time that the “personhood” strategy began to see a national reemergence in the public eye, and along with it a legal theory that had long been dismissed even by leaders in the anti-choice movement.

The next post in this series will look at the debate within the anti-choice movement on how to best confront Roe v. Wade in the courts.

Jindal: Liberals Want Us To Pretend 'It's A Good Thing To Kill Journalists'

During his Wednesday interview on “The Steve Deace Show,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal repeated his criticisms of Muslim faith leaders who denounced the recent attacks in Paris, insisting that their condemnations didn’t go far enough because they didn’t specifically say that the perpetrators are going to Hell. Maybe he missed the statements saying just that, or he is simply moving the goalposts so he can continue to score political points at the expense of a frequently demonized minority.

Nonetheless, Jindal made clear that as president, he plans to “hunt down, exterminate and kill” Islamists, which he, unlike President Obama, will apparently do by ignoring political correctness.

“He can’t seem to find the words ‘terrorism’ or ‘radical Islam’ in his vocabulary; he continues to think of this as a criminal act, that is not what this is,” Jindal said. “Other people want to tiptoe around the truth, they can do that if they want but I’m not going to do it anymore. We cannot be intimidated by the left or all of these liberals who don’t want us to speak about this. The reality is, we can pretend like it’s not happening, we can pretend that it’s a good thing to kill journalists, to kill teenagers for watching soccer, to kill over 150 schoolchildren, to treat women as second class citizens, but it’s not.”

Jindal said extreme Islam “sees weakness in the West and is trying to attack that weakness. According to Jindal, the radicals “use our freedoms to undermine our freedoms,” and liberals are letting them do it with political correctness and multiculturalism: “that’s not immigration, that’s invasion.”

GOP Rep: Ban Abortion To Lift God's Curse Off Of America

On Wednesday, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., called into conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show to promote the House GOP’s 20-week abortion ban, a bill which was supposed to be brought up for a vote on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade but was scuttled after several members raised concerns about the bill’s language regarding rape.

The congressman told the “InfoWars” host that abortions after 20 weeks are “partial birth abortions,” which is actually a specific procedure banned by a 2003 law, and called on Republicans to rally around the bill.

Alex Jones was positively thrilled: “If we get rid of this abortion industry, I think the curse that is on this country, and who can deny that we are under a curse, will be lifted. Who can kill 55 million babies and get away with it? It’s just unbelievable.”

“I agree,” Rep. Jones replied.

Bobby Jindal Hopes To Emulate Rick Perry's Miracle-Producing Prayers

Just as Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his 2012 presidential bid with a prayer rally called “The Response,” fellow Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is set to lead his own “Response” prayer event this Saturday in Baton Rouge. Many of the pastors and conservative activists who backed the 2011 rally credited Perry’s actions with various miracles, raising the bar for Jindal’s event, which is being organized by the very same people.

Unfortunately for Perry, the various miracles produced by his prayer rally did not include producing even a single delegate in his disastrous presidential campaign, but it did save Texas from the scourge of Native American cannibals, at least according to Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed prophet who endorsed both “Response” prayer rallies.

Jacobs said that Native Americans who “ate people” produced a “curse” in Texas, until it was healed by Perry’s prayer rally:

Another evangelist who joined Perry at “The Response,” Lou Engle, noticed evidence that God blessed Perry’s bid for president. According to Engle, God sent rain to Texas in response to the governor’s campaign announcement.

“I heard that actually the day that Governor Perry announced that he’s running for president, and this is not an endorsement I’m giving here, it simply it rained I believe he said for five hours, it poured,” Engle said on a 2011 conference call. “And people think that that could’ve been a sign, I don’t know. I think that was a historic prayer gathering for a governor to call a true Joel:2 solemn assembly. You don’t always see an immediate answer to these kinds of prayers but God does, God sees and responds and I believe we’ll look back at that gathering as a historic moment in American history and that’s what I’ve got to believe.”

Rick Scarborough, a prominent Texas conservative activist, also claimed that Perry’s prayers ended a drought during a conference call for his 40 Days to Save America campaign. Texas Republican leader David Barton agreed, adding that Perry’s prayers also controlled the BP gulf oil spill:

Scarborough: Our Governor here in the state of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting last May. We were at the height of a drought that meteorologists were telling us was part of a cycle that would last perhaps for a number of years and that it would take us years to get our lake levels back up and so forth. It occurs to me that, not immediately, but after that prayer event that thirty thousand people participated in, we started getting rain and in less than a year, our lakes are full, our fields are brimming. A lot of people seem not to connect the dots on that, but we've got a fresh illustration of how God honors prayer.

Barton: Yeah, that's one of those many things that historians will looks back upon and say 'look at the correlation.' But I look back over the last few years at Sonny Perdue of Georgia who called, in the middle of their drought - that was an unprecedented century drought that they had there - he called for prayer and within three days they had rain falling in Georgia again. They're back in good condition.

I recall what happened with the oil spill in the Gulf, how all the Gulf governors except for Charlie Crist of Florida got together and called for a time of prayer that God would mitigate the damage of that and cause that thing to be sealed. And guess what? All the expected damage along the shorelines to all the wildlife, it didn't happen.

Bobby Jindal Won't Rest Until Non-Existent No-Go Zones Are No More

Even after Fox News retracted several of their reports on European Muslim “no-go zones,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says he knows that such areas are real since “people in Europe” have personally told him that no-go zones run according to Sharia law are popping up throughout the continent.

Jindal, speaking to Iowa talk show host Steve Deace yesterday, said that such anecdotal evidence trumps whatever facts are out there.

He warned that America may be next, unless his upcoming prayer rally ushers in a spiritual revival: “Folks, if we don’t get serious, that’s what is going to be in our future. One of the reasons we’re doing something called The Response this Saturday at LSU where we are calling Christians together in prayer, just to pray to turn back to God for a spiritual revival in our country. When you talk in those terms, the media, the academic left, they go apoplectic. Just like they will call you a racist for calling out radical Islam, they will attack you for talking about a spiritual revival. That is what our country needs.”

Mike Huckabee: I'm Not Homophobic, Just Applying Biblical Rules On Gay Rights

Mike Huckabee, doing his best to channel Dr. Jenna Jacobs, said in a recent interview with televangelist Jim Bakker that he doesn’t have any personal animus towards gay people, explaining that he opposes gay rights merely because that is what the Bible commands him to do.

Huckabee, who once called homosexuality “an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle” and demanded that the government quarantine people with HIV/AIDS, said he is offended that anyone thinks he is homophobic.

“The way that we’ve allowed words like tolerance, bigotry — what has happened to us, we allow ourselves to be called homophobic or bigoted, we’re not,” Huckabee told Bakker in the latest segment of their interview recent interview to be posted online. “We are just people who believe that there is a standard that was not ours, it was God’s, it was given to us and for us to change it we have to get his permission.”

This led Huckabee to rant against the public schools for undermining “core moral values” and teaching that America is an “evil, imperialistic nation,” telling Bakker that “it’s pretty frightening in that there are so many ways in which the education system is not educating but indoctrinating, it’s why we see so many parents who are going to homeschool or pulling their children out of government-operated school.”

Bakker also talked with Huckabee about how the former governor had many gay employees at Fox News and “gay people visit in your home,” proving that he is “not a hater.”

“We’re not trying to outlaw anybody, we’re not trying to cut back anybody, all we’re saying is, we want to believe the word of the Bible that we believe to be the word of the living God,” Bakker said.

Huckabee then took the opportunity to call on conservative Christians to get involved in politics to fight the War on Christmas and gay rights: “We’re involved when the government says you can’t have a nativity scene, you can’t sing Christmas carols. We’re already involved when we’re told that we can’t have a marriage ceremony that is limited to one man, one woman. We’re already involved when a photographer is told that she’s going to have to take photos of a same-sex wedding or a caterer is told that she’ll have to do a same-sex wedding cake.”

Fox News Darling: Do Whatever It Takes To Stop 'Evil' Gays From Marrying

Steven Hotze, the Texas-based conservative activist and doctor beloved by Fox News for his crusade against Obamacare, is out with yet another anti-gay diatribe, this time calling on members of Conservative Republicans of Texas to back a Texas bill that would prohibit clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even if marriage equality were to become legal in the state.

In a post on his website, Hotze hails the legislation, authored by GOP state representative Cecil Bell Jr., as a way to engage in “spiritual warfare” against “the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda.”

The bill, Hotze hopes, will defeat “those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.”

“Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation,” Hotze writes. “If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.”

Conservatives, he says, should “warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas” (He uses the term “homosexual mirage” because “the idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.”).

Publicizing a video from the far-right group MassResistance about how “radical and evil” gay rights supporters destroyed Massachusetts through the legalization of same-sex marriage, Hotze warns that the introduction of marriage equality means “anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

“It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage,” he adds. “This is spiritual warfare.”

Marriage equality is legal in 36 states, and nothing Hotze described is even remotely close to being true.

Via Texas Freedom Network:

It’s time to rise up and take a stand for God’s truth about marriage! A fierce battle for the soul of Texas has begun. The liberals and their pro-homosexual allies want to force Texans to accept ‘homosexual mirage’ as morally right, just as they have done in Massachusetts and California.

The idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.



State Rep. Cecil Bell has introduced HB 623, the Preservation of State Sovereignty and Marriage Act, which would ban Texas civil servants from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.

Taxes or public funding should not be used to issue ‘homosexual mirage’ licenses or be used to enforce any court order to recognize ‘homosexual mirage.’

HB 623, which follows this letter, would prohibit any state or local government employee from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.

Rep. Cecil Bell has demonstrated the courage of his convictions by introducing HB 623. He needs to know that you support him in this battle. The homosexuals have already begun harassing him with filthy and hateful emails, hoping to intimidate him and his staff. This has always been the modus operandi of those who oppose God’s Word.



Will you warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas by showing them the 28 minute video, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts?

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/video_2013/index.html.



If the Texas Marriage Amendment is overturned permanently, then every Texas citizen, every church and business would be coerced and compelled to recognize and affirm homosexuality and other deviant sexual relationships as morally and legally equivalent to marriage. If this occurs then anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If you do not think that this could happen in Texas, then it is vital that you educate yourself on what has occurred in Massachusetts since homosexual marriage was allowed by the courts there in 2003. If you want to know what the horrendous, long term, adverse effects of legalizing homosexual marriages are, then you simply must watch this shocking 28 minute documentary, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts. You may watch it online at

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/video_2013/index.html.

This documentary reveals how radical and evil the homosexual movement is. It demonstrates the dramatic legal changes that the homosexuals and their allies have imposed on every area of life in Massachusetts since 2003, when ‘homosexual mirage’ was legalized by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage. This is spiritual warfare. See Ephesians 6:10-20.

“The wicked strut about on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).

As you will see after viewing this documentary, the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda, have a godless, secular worldview and have taken control in every area of public life in Massachusetts. This is so tragic because our Savior and King Jesus Christ gave believers the Great Commission to take the entire world captive to obedience to Him (Matt. 28:18-20).

The most important issue facing our state and nation is whether we are going to follow God’s ordained plan for marriage.

Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation. If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.



I am drawing a “line in the sand” and asking you to join with me, Rep. Cecil Bell and other conservative Republican state legislators in defeating those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.

Staver: If People Accept A SCOTUS Ruling In Favor Of Gay Marriage 'Then America Is Gone'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver warned that if the American people accept a Supreme Court ruling recognizing same-sex marriage, it will be the end of this nation as we know it.

After Staver and co-host Matt Barber absurdly argued that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan are legally required to recuse themselves from the upcoming marriage equality case, Barber wondered what will happen if the court "unconstitutionally imposes counterfeit same-sex marriage on all of those states that live in marriage reality," to which Staver replied that it will spell the end of America.

"The question is whether the church, whether the community, whether our society will sit back and tolerate it," he said. "If they do, then America is gone":

Jindal For Christian Nation President?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s upcoming prayer rally has been organized by David Lane, a Christian-nation absolutist who believes America was founded by and for Christians and demands that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. The American Family Association, whose chief spokesperson believes the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections do not apply to non-Christians, is paying for the rally.

It’s clear that Jindal, a convert to Christianity, is positioning himself to win the support of conservative evangelicals for a potential presidential bid. (Lane for one has cheered Jindal’s recent remarks about Muslims.) But does Jindal see himself as a potential president for all Americans, or only American Christians?

Jindal’s initial letter inviting “friends and fellow patriots” to the eventon his official letterhead —declared, “We are in need of spiritual and transforming revival, if we are to recapture the vision of our early leaders who signed on the Mayflower, ‘In the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.’” Jindal’s letter declared, “Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Lord of Life, is America’s only hope.” What does that say to non-Christian Americans about how Jindal views them and their contributions to America’s future?

Jindal also recorded a video promoting the event as the spark that would help bring the “spiritual revival” America needs.

This week the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody reported that Jindal sent a letter to the other 49 governors inviting them to attend. “We need an appeal to heaven for heaven’s intervention over us,” he wrote. “We need to pray to the Lord that He will send spiritual revival to our nation.”

“This gathering will be apolitical in nature,” Jindal writes unconvincingly to his fellow governors, adding, “There will only be one name lifted up that day – Jesus!”

Is Jindal unaware that not all his fellow governors are Christians, or does he just not care?

Jindal, of course, has the right as an American to participate in a rally like this. But it is wrong for him to use the power of his office to proselytize for his own faith and denigrate the faith of others. The critics of his prayer rally have the right, and good reason, to question what his promotion of this event says about Jindal’s judgment, values, and commitment to religious pluralism and other constitutional principles.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/22/15