Miranda Blue's blog

Brigitte Gabriel: 'No Chance' Of Muslim Americans 'Blending In' To U.S.

Anti-Muslim activist Brigitte Gabriel told Newsmax host Dennis Michael Lynch last week that there is “no chance” of American Muslims ever “blending in” with U.S. society.

In an interview on Friday, Lynch told Gabriel that he had recently traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, and “did not see all but maybe one or two homes with an American flag waving outside” and at one point stopped to ask for directions and was ignored.

“Why is it that the Muslim community is not blending in with the rest of American society?” he asked.

“Because this is what they are being told in mosques across the United States,” Gabriel responded, claiming that American mosques are “instructing their people not to shake hands on Christmas or Easter or wish the Americans a happy holiday.”

“Is there any chance that the Muslim community will ever turn it around?” Lynch asked.

“No,” Gabriel responded, “there is no chance, we are seeing a reverse, actually, instead of a blending in, instead of assimilation.”

Rick Santorum Wishes Obama Would Be A Racial Uniter Like Segregationists Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms

Potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had an opportunity to speak at length to Iowa conservatives last week, when he guest hosted Steve Deace’s radio show on Veterans Day. The three-hour program gave Santorum plenty of time to muse on a variety of topics, including his admiration for segregation proponents Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms and his belief that President Obama’s “greatest failing” has been his failure to end racism in America.

Santorum mentioned that he had recently been invited to speak at Liberty University, which led him into a tangent on how much he admires the school’s founder, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Although “how the press treated Rev. Falwell was not necessarily positive,” Santorum said, he found Falwell to be “completely gracious, warm [and] affirming.”

This made Santorum think of the late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who he said exhibited “probably the starkest contrast of what the press used to portray and what the reality was.”

“There was no one nicer than Jesse Helms,” Santorum said. “I mean, I don’t think a single Democrat would tell you that on a personal level, there was anybody that was more gentlemanly, more kind than Jesse.” (He might want to check with Carol Mosely-Braun on that.)

He added that the “breakup of any kind of cooperation” in government is happening because people like President Obama are failing to be gentlemen like Jesse Helms:

Later in the program Santorum took a call from a listener who complained that the media was giving less coverage to looting and vandalism in Ferguson, Missouri, than to “this police officer who has generally a pristine record in law enforcement" who "simply chose to defend himself.”

“I completely understand your position,” Santorum responded, before accusing the media and President Obama of fomenting “racial division” and “pitting one group against another.”

President Obama’s “greatest failing,” he added, was that he had the opportunity "to be a transformational figure from a racial point of view and he has abandoned the field.”

Tony Perkins: Normalization of 'Inappropriate' Homosexuality In US Causing Worldwide Anti-Christian Persecution

In an interview with Rick Santorum on Tuesday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that American Christians are being persecuted because the U.S. “began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate” and that such supposed persecution in the U.S. is contributing to violent religious persecution around the globe.

“You hate to use the term persecution, because when you look around the world, we see real religious persecution,” Santorum, who was guest hosting Steve Deace’s show, said. “We see people dying, churches being burned, we see mass killings of Christians, so I sort of tread lightly on the world persecution.”

But, he added, “this is really the first time in this country where we’ve seen any kind of coordinated effort of government really imposing its will on the American public and forcing them to comply or else.”

Perkins told Santorum that he need not use caution in referring to things like nondiscrimination ordinances in the U.S. as “persecution,” telling him “there is a correlation…between the increase in persecution abroad and the increase of intolerance from our own government here at home.”

“They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.

Perkins routinely attacks the Obama administration for “doing nothing” to stop the persecution of Christians abroad, even in cases when the administration is demonstrably doing things to combat such persecution.

Earlier in the program, the two gave a clearer idea of what they mean by the “persecution” of Christians in America, discussing the situation in Houston where a number of pastors received subpoenas as part of a lawsuit filed by anti-gay activists trying to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

Perkins commended Santorum for warning America that “this was coming if we began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate and began to protect it and provide preferential treatment to it.”

Steve King: Immigration Action Would Send Country 'Descending Abruptly Into An Abyss'

In an interview this week with Rick Santorum, who was guest-hosting Steve Deace’s radio program, Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that if President Obama takes  executive action to grant deportation relief to some immigrants, he may push for Congress to shut down the government or impeach President Obama in order to prevent the country from “descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”

King said that if the president were to issue such an order, he would advocate for Congress to only pass a spending bill funding the government until January “so that we could address this thing by shutting off the funding.”

“I don’t want to go down the path that would bring us to where the confrontation between Congress and Bill Clinton in 1998, but neither would I take it off the table,” King said, referring to impeachment. He then compared his strategy for confronting Obama with the president’s national security policy: “The president has said some things like no boots on the ground and the war in Afghanistan is over at the end of 2014. You don’t make those kinds of predictions and you don’t unilaterally disarm. You use all the constitutional tools at our disposal. ”

“Our constitution will be torn asunder if we let the president do this,” King continued.

“What he’s contemplating doing is the equivalent of standing up in front of America, opening up the Constitution, taking ahold of Article 1 — all of the congressional legislative authority — tearing that out and putting it in his shirt pocket and saying, ‘I’ll do the lawmaking in this country, it’s not your business, Congress.’ If we let that happen, our constitutional republic is descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”

As the American Immigration Council has documented, every president since Eisenhower has used executive authority to grant “temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance.”

Tony Perkins Will Join Anti-Gay Leaders At Vatican Marriage Meeting

Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.

The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.

Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.

“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”

He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”

On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.

Five Conservatives Who Don't Understand Net Neutrality…But Are Definitely Against It!

On Monday, President Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strong rules preserving net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must treat all data equally.

Obama’s comments placed a previously fairly niche technical issue right into the middle of the national political debate, forcing commentators to take a side on something many of them did not seem to understand. But luckily, many conservative politicians and pundits have an easy way of deciding where to stand on an issue: if Obama is for it, it will destroy America and they are against it!

1. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz got the right-wing net neutrality pile-on started with a tweet calling the proposal “Obamacare for the Internet."

It didn’t really make sense, but as Matt Yglesias notes, that wasn’t the point: “What, if anything, that phrase means is difficult to say. But its political significance is easy to grasp. All true conservatives hate Obamacare, so if net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet, all true conservatives should rally against it.”

2. Bryan Fischer

As soon as Cruz spoke out, his far-right acolytes seem to have felt obligated to follow. On his radio program on Monday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer struggled to grasp the proposal that he was definitely against, claiming that it would ban internet providers from charging customers more for faster service — something that already happens and that has nothing to do with net neutrality.

3. Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is outraged that President Obama wants to end “the freedom of the internet” and ruin something that’s “working pretty well” because “the government is not involved in it at all.” Apparently unaware that current FCC regulations allow his online network, The Blaze, to stream on an open internet, Beck claimed that regulations preserving net neutrality would end this supposedly government-free system in which he operates his business.

Beck’s cohost Pat Gray accidentally debunked his own point by comparing Internet regulation to the interstate highway system, which he seems to also think remains open and accessible because it’s free from government interference.

4. FreedomWorks

The Tea Party group FreedomWorks got into the game yesterday with a video “clearing up” net neutrality for its supporters.

As Consumerist explains, FreedomWorks’ net neutrality explanation is basically a work of fiction:

“Supporters of the plan call it a [uses finger quotes] ‘free and open Internet’ but in reality it’s anything but,” says Somberg. “What net neutrality does is force providers to treat all Web content equally — the same speeds, the same prices, the same access.”

This is simply untrue.

Net neutrality merely says that ISPs can’t slow down, block, or prioritize any content. It doesn’t mean that everything gets treated with the same speed — just that an ISP does nothing to impede or boost any particular content company’s speed. So if it’s fast coming in from the company, it should be fast going out to the end-user. And if the host is slow, then it remains slow.

5. Alex Jones

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones added his own special twist to the net neutrality debate, claiming that it is a “high tech version of what the Soviets and the Nazis and the Chinese Communists and Fidel Castro and every other nut ball did.” 

Bonus: David Barton

While net neutrality might have just recently crossed the radar of many right-wing commentators, make-believe historian David Barton has been beating the anti-net-neutrality drum for years. In 2011, Barton called net neutrality “socialism on the internet” and “redistribution of wealth through the internet” and insisted that it is "wicked stuff" that goes against the dictates of the Bible and the Founding Fathers.

This launched Barton into a discourse on the concept of “fairness,” which he said “is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary” because “what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair.”

The Anti-Choice Movement's Big Tobacco Strategy

Abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Abortion causes depression. Abortion isn't safe.

These claims, repeated ad nauseam by the anti-choice movement, have found their way into legislative debates and even into court decisions.

But they aren’t true. In fact, they’ve been created and spread by a small, tightly knit group of doctors and scientists who have set up nonprofits, cite each other’s false research and provide “expert” testimony to bolster the cases of lawmakers trying to restrict abortion access.

In a new investigation, RH Reality Check’s Sofia Resnick and Sharon Coutts have uncovered the small network of “false witnesses” who are providing a sheen of respectability to the anti-choice movement’s unproven claims.

“What we’re seeing here is the same strategy that was used by big tobacco and by climate denialists,” Coutts said in a conference call unveiling the research this morning. Like in the efforts to deny climate change or cover up the risks of tobacco use, this small circle of activists “create the artifice that there is genuine disagreement” among doctors and scientists about the safety of abortion care, she added.

In the end, she said, “we are making decisions as a society that are based on literally fictional ideas about the dangers of abortion.”

From RH Reality Check’s report:

They create nonprofits, staffed with die-hard ideologues, and set about producing and promoting bogus science, to build the illusion of dissent or doubt over conclusions drawn by peer-reviewed scientific or medical research. They develop their own “research findings” to suit their ideological views. Then they deploy scare tactics, all with the goal of passing laws that suit their agenda.

In this case, the agenda is to promote the theory that abortion harms women’s health—physically and mentally. It’s a strategy anti-choice activists have been working on for decades, but in recent years, sympathetic state attorneys general have been increasingly relying on a cadre of so-called experts who will defend and promote anti-choice laws.

Our investigation reveals the close connections between many of the ostensibly independent “research” groups that feature prominently in the anti-choice movement. Several groups, such as the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the Reproductive Research Audit, and the World Expert Consortium for Abortion Research and Education, share many of the same officers and experts.

Our work details how the scientific and medical claims of these groups and individuals have been publicly discredited in episodes ranging from lying to the public, presenting false data in scientific journals, and being forced to retract articles that proved to be works of fiction presented as fact. Other doctors and professors catalogued in this gallery carry impressive credentials, appear to be apt in their fields, and are technically qualified to testify on reproductive-health issues. However, fueled by their religious or political beliefs (or both), many of these professionals have testified in support of unproven or discredited theories.

RH Reality Check's profiles of the 14 key "false witnesses" are here.

Phil Burress: Nondiscrimination Laws Let 'A Mentally Disturbed Person' 'Be Around Women And Girls'

Phil Burress, head Citizens for Community Values, the Ohio affiliate of the Family Research Council, told Religious Right activist Molly Smith this week that a proposal to expand Cleveland’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for transgender people would allow “mentally disturbed” people to “be around women and girls in a women’s restroom.”

“A transgender person is a mental disorder,” Burress insisted, adding “it would take someone who has a mental disorder that would want to walk into a women’s bathroom in the first place.”

“This is directly tied to the same-sex unions, the same-sex marriage debates,” he concluded. “This is exactly what they want, they want to force you to comply.”

Burress also falsely claims that the new regulations would apply to churches.

Tony Perkins Reacts To Kenneth Bae's Release By Attacking Obama

The Religious Right has for the past two years joined with human rights groups in lifting up the case of Kenneth Bae, an American Christian missionary who was imprisoned in a North Korean work camp on charges of trying to overthrow the government.

Bae was released this weekend after the Obama administration sent national intelligence director James Clapper on a secret mission to retrieve him and a fellow American prisoner, Matthew Todd Miller. Upon his return to the United States, Bae thanked President Obama and the State Department for “working tirelessly” to secure his release.

You might expect that a group like the Family Research Council that has been championing Bae’s case would take a break from partisan bickering to celebrate the good news of Bae's freedom. But you would be wrong!

In his daily email yesterday, FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, reacted to Bae’s release by accusing the Obama administration of not caring enough about Christian political prisoners — like, for instance, Bae. Perkins wrote that the administration’s work to free Bae was “surprising” and went on to attack the president for his “absolute silence” on the imprisonment of American pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran:

Although the suffering left deep scars, Bae insists that he is “recovering.” He and Miller, who the communist government sentenced to hard labor for participating in what they called a “Christian conspiracy,” thanked the Obama administration for sending a “brief message” through his intelligence officials asking for Bae and Miller’s release. For the President, it was a surprising move given his absolute silence on Pastor Saeed Abedini, another American who languishes in a torturous existence at the hands of a ruthless Iranian government.

Meanwhile, here at home, his family’s pleas to the White House continue to fall on deaf ears. As we cheer Kenneth and Matthew’s release, our earnest prayers continue to lift up the millions of people -- like Pastor Abedini -- who are shackled for the true freedom of Jesus Christ.

In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly urged Iran to release Abedini and President Obama personally pressed for Abedini’s release in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last year.

Judson Philips: Shut Down The Government Over Immigration Or Foreign Ebola Patients

In an interview with Newsmax yesterday, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Philips urged soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep the threat of a government shutdown “on the table.”

Claiming that last year’s government shutdown helped Republicans, Phillips said that Republicans in Congress should be ready to shut down the government if President Obama takes executive action to prevent the deportation of some undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., or if he brings “non-American Ebola patients to this country.”

The conservative media has latched onto an undated State Department memo discussing options for treating non-U.S. citizen medical personnel who contract Ebola, but the administration has firmly denied having plans to bring noncitizen Ebola patients into the United States for treatment.

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