Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/29/15

  • Ben Carson knows what’s to blame for the fall of the Roman Empire: gay marriage.
  • Bobby Jindal wants to make sure everyone knows that Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” did not switch his endorsement to Donald Trump.
  • Bill Muehlenberg of BarbWire says God sanctioned the death penalty so if opponents think it’s wrong then “they really need to deal with God about it”: “It is time we let God be God in these areas, and not insist that we can somehow do a better job of governing the universe than he does.”

Janet Porter: Christians In America Are Just Like Jews In Nazi Germany

Faith 2 Action’s Janet Porter is joining other Religious Right leaders in claiming that conservative Christians in the U.S. are now facing the same attacks as Jews who lived under Nazi rule, which comes as no surprise as she issued a litany of absurd warnings in her recent “documentary” film featuring Republicans such as Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul.

Today in BarbWire, Porter suggests that the recent controversy surrounding Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is signaling an upcoming holocaust of American Christians:

Religious Right's Persecution Complex On Full Display At The Values Voter Summit

We understand how difficult it might be for Religious Right activists to find cases of “anti-Christian persecution” in the U.S., especially for people like Todd Starnes and Bryan Fischer, who have done their best to rile up Christian conservatives in an effort to depict themselves as the truly marginalized and victimized class in America.

Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute tried his best at the Values Voter Summit last week — just as he did at last year’s summit — to portray America as a country that is no different than the former Soviet Union in how it treats Christians.

Shackelford whipped out a mix of new and old “persecution” cases. He told the crowd, for instance, that his organization had defended “senior citizens who were told that their federally funded meals were being taken away because they were praying over their meals and that would violate the separation of church and state.” Unsurprisingly, that’s just not true. As Chris Rodda pointed out after Shackelford told this story at an event last year, what actually happened was that back in 2003 three senior citizens in a Texas town complained that a city-owned senior center was hosting pastors and gospel bands during meal hours. The city council tried, in a move that was ultimately rejected in court, to restrict such activity — it did not take away anyone’s meals.

Shackelford then went on to allege that a Florida college professor directed his students to step on a sheet of paper with “Jesus” written on it. The lesson in question was created by a professor from St. Norbert College, a Catholic institution in Wisconsin, and was not about religion at all, but rather the importance of symbols:

One of the "most distinguishing features" of humans (compared to other animals) is the way they view symbols, some of which are quite powerful, he said. That's the message of the exercise. When the students hesitate to step on the word "Jesus," they understand that a piece of paper has meaning to them because of the word, which helps them understand the force of symbols, he added.

At St. Norbert, [Jim] Neuliep said he has been doing the exercise for 30 years -- without any complaints. He said that the discussion that follows tends to involve students "talking about how important Jesus is to them, and they defend why they won't step on it. It reaffirms their faith." And at the same time, he said, they learn about symbols.

The most dishonest point of Shackelford’s speech, however, was when he described the case of Marco Perez, a Florida father who said his daughter was told by a cafeteria worker that it is “not good” to pray before she eats. At the time, Perez was working to promote Starnes’ book on supposed cases of anti-Christian persecution in America and Starnes was, coincidentally, the first one to report on the story. Starnes did not mention his connection to Perez in his original report, only adding the disclosure later after the connection was revealed.

Shackelford insisted that Perez’s daughter ultimately received an apology for the incident. What he conveniently left out was the fact that the culprit identified by Perez’s daughter wasn’t in or near the cafeteria at the time and the school found no evidence whatsoever of the incident taking place. A spokesman said the school “apologized for the incident she believes occurred, but there was nothing warranted or found” in the investigation. Liberty Institute senior counsel Jeremy Dys, who was representing Perez, at first accepted the school’s apology but then rejected it, saying it wasn’t a “real apology.”

That’s right: Liberty Institute’s senior counsel rejected an apology because the school’s investigation found that the student’s story was baseless, and now this is the same apology that Liberty Institute’s president is citing as proof that the school admitted fault.

Another tale that Shackelford told the Values Voter Summit was that a “girl was punished” for “saying ‘God bless’ and ‘bless you’ when somebody sneezed,” a charge that was denied by girl in question’s the school.

He then brought up the cases of Sgt. Phillip Monk, whose tall tale of “persecution” was roundly debunked when his story fell apart under an Air Force investigation, and Cpt. Wes Modder, whom Shackelford claimed was going to be kicked out of the military simply for opposing same-sex marriage, which, as you may have guessed, was not the case.

If Shackelford wants to find some more false examples of persecution that have been parroted by the Religious Right, we are happy to provide him with further cases, seeing that it seems that he doesn’t mind giving a speech riddled with dishonest claims.

GOP Congressman: Planned Parenthood Unnecessary Because 'As A Guy' I Have Plenty Of Options

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc., perhaps best encapsulated today’s House hearing grilling Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards when he told Richards that her organization’s services aren’t necessary because “as a guy” he has plenty of health care options in his home state.

Grothman, who presumably receives very good health insurance through his job as a member of Congress, told Richards that “when I look at cities around me that have a Planned Parenthood clinic … usually in those cities, as a guy, I could go to many clinics locally that have all the machines that one would need, all these clinics as far as I know take Medicaid dollars, so you could go to any of those clinics to get any medical service you could.”

“I guess what I’m getting at is if Planned Parenthood disappeared tomorrow in those towns, there would still be three or four or five clinics or hospitals providing all the … medical care you would want,” he said.

Grothman then claimed that Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income people, is “superior care” to private insurance because “without the deductibles and copays it’s usually better insurance than other people have.” Grothman has previously claimed that people who use the public safety net are fleecing taxpayers by living luxuriously.

Richards reminded Grothman that Planned Parenthood’s 22 health centers in Wisconsin serve 65,000 people a year. The claim that other health care providers could easily absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients if it was forced to stop providing care is simply false, especially since many of the supposed “replacement” clinics Planned Parenthood’s critics point to don’t have reproductive health care expertise.

How Abortion Restrictions Can Land Pregnant Women In Jail

In a new paper for the Guttmacher Policy Review, Andrea Rowan explores how the many new restrictions on abortion access, combined with laws criminalizing women who attempt to self-induce abortions, are leading to disturbing cases of women being prosecuted for attempting to self-induce or even for suffering miscarriages.

Rowan writes:

Since Roe v. Wade, a number of women have been prosecuted in the United States for self-inducing abortion under a variety of state statutes, ranging from fetal homicide to failure to report an abortion to the coroner. Recently, the issue has gained greater attention because of several well publicized cases in which women were prosecuted—and even imprisoned—for self-inducing an abortion or being suspected of doing so. Despite claims from antiabortion advocates and lawmakers that abortion restrictions are intended to only criminalize providers of abortion care, some prosecutors have exercised their discretion under current state laws to penalize women who end their pregnancies on their own. Moreover, these laws are even being used to pursue women who are merely suspected of having self-induced an abortion, but in fact had suffered miscarriages.

She notes that this pattern can be seen clearly in El Salvador, where abortion is criminalized and dozens of women have been charged with attempting to self-induce an abortion:

This phenomenon has been playing out for some time and most starkly in other countries where abortion is illegal altogether. For instance, El Salvador has been one of the most aggressive countries in terms of accusing, prosecuting and imprisoning women believed to have medically self-induced an abortion. An estimated 129 women in El Salvador were charged with self-inducing an abortion between 2000 and mid-2011, and at least 26 were convicted of homicide and imprisoned; however, some of these women emphatically assert that they did not know they were pregnant or that they miscarried without attempting to self-induce.

Laws criminalizing “fetal homicide” in a number of states have been an important part of the radical anti-choice movement’s attempt to establish fetal “personhood” with the goal of one day outlawing all abortion and even some forms of birth control. Sociologists Jeanne Flavin and Lynn Paltrow have documented hundreds of cases since Roe v. Wade in which pregnant women have been detained under these and other laws that can effectively criminalize pregnancy.

Rick Joyner: Jade Helm 15 Could Lead To Martial Law, Which Might Be A Good Thing

In a program that aired over a week after the conclusion of the Jade Helm 15 training exercise televangelists Jim Bakker and Rick Joyner wondered if the military drill was a precursor to martial law.

Joyner said that he received a message from God in 1987 that martial law was coming to America, insisting that “it can be a good thing” if we “get the right martial who can get things back on track.”

Bakker, who worried that he would end up in jail as a result of Jade Helm 15, then asked Joyner if he was worried that “martial law is going to come out of” the military exercise, which Joyner said is a possibility since all “first world nations” are “preparing for everything from pandemics to whatever to create a situation where you need martial law.”

Rick Joyner: God Could Be Sending Donald Trump To Save America

Conservative televangelist Rick Joyner is a big fan of Donald Trump, so used some of his time at a “Prophetic Conference” organized by Jim Bakker last week to sing the praises of the GOP presidential frontrunner.

Likening Trump to King Cyrus, the Persian king hailed for liberating the Jews from captivity in Babylon, Joyner said that God could use a President Trump to “turn it around” for the country because “his kind of boldness” and “courage” is exactly what America needs.

“It’s going to take incredible boldness to think ways nobody else can think and do things, if God is going to send us somebody to do it,” he said.

The Radical History Behind The Center For Medical Progress' Sham Planned Parenthood Investigation

This summer, a group called the Center for Medical Progress began to release a series of videos from an undercover “investigation” which it claimed showed that Planned Parenthood “sells aborted baby parts” for profit.

Since then, those claims have been roundly debunked, but the stir created by CMP’s videos has led to votes on defunding Planned Parenthood in the House and Senate and in several states, multiple House hearings (including one happening right now) and the threat of a government shutdown, and even contributed to the resignation of the speaker of the House.

Although little was known at first about who the Center for Medical Progress was, researchers and journalists quickly traced its ties to a number of radical anti-choice groups, and especially to Operation Rescue, which has existed for decades on the radical fringe of the anti-choice movement.

In a new report released today, People For the American Way explores the ties between CMP and its founder, David Daleiden, and Operation Rescue, placing Daleiden’s project in the history of the “direct action” anti-choice movement’s attempts to harass and intimidate abortion providers and patients.

In a radio interview first reported in the PFAW report, Operation Rescue’s second-in-command, Cheryl Sullenger, who spent time in federal prison in the 1980s for attempting to bomb an abortion clinic, explained that Daleiden approached her organization because he “shared our vision” for bringing “an end to the abortion industry in America” through attacking Planned Parenthood.

The “direct action” movement that Operation Rescue and CMP represent originated with dissidents from the National Right to Life Committee, which after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was the main organization working to overturn the decision and outlaw abortion through legislation. Early “direct action” protesters abandoned this legislative strategy and instead focuses on attacking legal abortion at its source, harassing abortion providers and patients and sometimes physically preventing women from entering abortion clinics in what became known as “rescue” missions.

As part of this strategy, Operation Rescue now advises activists to use a wide range of methods, including covert ones such as the “sting” operation Daleiden carried out, to gather information on abortion providers (and sometimes patients) in order to harass them at their homes and workplaces or to make their clinics expensive to operate.

One strategy later perfected by Mark Crutcher, who runs a group called Life Dynamics, used sham “investigations” to infiltrate and unnerve abortion providers. One of Crutcher’s investigations attacked the legal practice of fetal tissue donation for medical research; Daleiden has admitted that Crutcher gave him the idea for CMP’s project. The purpose of Crutcher’s investigations was not to shed light on hidden truths, but instead to intimidate abortion providers in order to stop them from offering their services, with the goal of building Crutcher once called “an America where abortion may indeed be perfectly legal, but no one can get one.”

Although Daleiden calls himself an “investigative journalist,” he actually comes out of this tradition of intimidation and harassment disguised as investigation.

PFAW’s full report, “Operation Rescue’s Big Break: How an Organization Rooted in the Radical Fringes of the Anti-Choice Movement Is Threatening to Shut Down the Government,” is available here.

Mike Huckabee: Launch Proceedings Against Judge In Kim Davis Case

In an interview on American Family Radio on Friday, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denounced the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling as “illegal” and “unconstitutional,” insisting that if he is elected president, his administration will not recognize such a ruling.

“It is not the law of the land because it has not been affirmed by the people’s representatives,” Huckabee said, seemingly unaware of the concept of judicial review. “There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the authority to decide what states should do about marriage. Nothing.”

A future Huckabee administration, he said, would defend people like Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who repeatedly defied court orders requiring the county to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, and would ensure that “proceedings started against the judge who overreached” in the case because Davis was “put in jail because she’s a Christian.”

WND Pundit: Rosa Parks Supported 'Systematic Murder' Of African-Americans

Following the CNN Republican presidential debate, we pointed out the irony of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio taking time to heap praise on Rosa Parks in between attacks on Planned Parenthood seeing that the late civil rights leader was an active supporter of the women’s health organization, even serving on its board of advocates.

WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie today boasted that unlike Cruz and Rubio, “I for one have been well aware of Rosa Parks’ dubious association with Planned Parenthood, which is exactly why I have made it a point not to sing her praises over the years like so many others have.”

“The behavior of the referenced liberal groups demonstrates the pleasure these ‘Hitlerians’ derive from persons of color systematically exterminating themselves,” he wrote, referring to the right-wing myth that abortion is “black genocide,” before adding that “Rosa Parks, the Obamas, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus and every black Democrat support blacks systematically murdering their future generations.”

Liberal websites were beside themselves with the frenetic glee typically displayed by winos and drug addicts when they ask for change and the person gives them a $20 bill.

The noxious liberal groups were gleeful because Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio had said they would like to see the image of the late Rosa Parks on one of the bills. They mocked Rubio and Cruz because the two failed to realize the question was a “gotcha” question intended to trip up the candidates.

Liberals saw it as a moment of uncontested irony that the adversaries of the murder of unborn children would advocate for a baby-killer group board member to be on our currency.

But I look at it differently. Let me first point out that liberals are clamorous, but they aren’t overly informed. I for one have been well aware of Rosa Parks’ dubious association with Planned Parenthood, which is exactly why I have made it a point not to sing her praises over the years like so many others have.

The behavior of the referenced liberal groups demonstrates the pleasure these “Hitlerians” derive from persons of color systematically exterminating themselves!

Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, would be delighted to know that the very people persons of color esteem and idolize are the very people who are responsible for their murder!

Rosa Parks, the Obamas, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus and every black Democrat support blacks systematically murdering their future generations. If Hitler had been as devious as Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and liberals who support the most depraved forms of sexual behavior but who are committed to making sure blacks do not reproduce on a level consistent with even 10 percent of their total populace, he would be applauded today even as liberals applaud Sanger.

Liberals today have specialized in the extermination of blacks, and even more cleverly, they have the people being exterminated paying hundreds of millions of dollars annually to kill their own offspring and cancel all hope of any meaningful future history.

Carly Fiorina Falsely Claims She Never Called Obergefell The 'Law Of The Land'

As a number of commentators have pointed out recently, Carly Fiorina’s swift rise in Republican presidential polls has given her an opportunity to display what Mother Jones called her “adventurous relationship to the truth,” which includes deliberately misleading statements on everything from the contents of the Planned Parenthood smear videos to her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Fiorina displayed her signature truthiness once again in an interview Friday with Iowa conservative radio host Jan Mickelson, who asked her to defend her statement that Supreme Court decisions like Obergefell v. Hodges are “the law of the land,” which he said would turn off voters in Iowa.

Fiorina insisted that she had never said that, speculating, “I think that is a quote from someone else, not from me,” and suggesting that Mickelson might be thinking of her Republican rival John Kasich.

In fact, Fiorina said those very words in an interview with the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts in May when asked about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in the marriage equality case.

“I think the Supreme Court decision will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, I wouldn’t support an amendment to reverse it,” she said. “And I very much hope that we will come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people’s right to hold religious views and to protect their right to exercise those views.”

Fiorina told Mickelson that “there is an argument to be made for judicial engagement to rectify when the law begins to impinge on the personal immunities and privileges of citizens,” but seemed to imply that the denial of marriage rights was not such a case. Grasping onto the Right’s argument that LGBT equality undermines religious freedom, she called for the passage of state Religious Freedom Restoration Act laws similar to a controversial one passed and later amended in Indiana, which would have opened the door for anti-LGBT discrimination. She also called for the passage of such a law at “the federal level” — there is already a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so presumably Fiorina supports one that would expand the ability of people to discriminate against LGBT people.

Fiorina also promised that if she were to become president, she would “appoint the right justices” and “spend a lot of time” with potential nominees “to see how well they hold up to pressure, because people look like they’re one thing and then become another thing when they can’t take pressure.”

When Mickelson suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz might fit the bill for a Fiorina Supreme Court, Fiorina laughed: “Well, wouldn’t that be an interesting selection. He clearly can stand up to pressure.”

UPDATE: Fiorina appeared again on Mickelson’s program on Monday, where he confronted her a clip of her “law of the land” comments. Fiorina evaded the question, telling Mickelson that she had “no idea what reference that snippet was from,” but that if it was “about gay marriage” she was saying that “we profoundly disagree with this” and will focus on finding Supreme Court nominees who will overturn it.

What I said, for example, was we need to be, if that was about gay marriage, we profoundly disagree with this, we need to invest our political capital and our leadership now in protecting religious liberty all across this nation, which means every state needs to enact a religious freedom protection act, as we have a national act. And it also reminds us how important it is who’s on the Supreme Court. So, let’s focus our energies on making sure we have the right nominees and the right protections and liberties.

Are You Ready For 'Ex-Gay Awareness Month'?

On Friday’s edition of “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle advertised the upcoming “Safe Exit Summit” [PDF], a Washington, D.C., event honoring “Ex-Gay Awareness Month.” Prominent Religious Right groups including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel are sponsoring the event, which includes a congressional lobby day, speeches and worship sessions.

Doyle congratulated Rios on winning the summit’s “Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award” last year, which she said she has prominently placed in her office, and said that this year’s event will focus on how churches “can love those experiencing SSA [same-sex attraction] the right way.”

Rios had her own idea, saying that just as churches developed crisis pregnancy centers — faux medical offices designed to deter women from having an abortion, often by peddling misleading information questioning the safety of abortions — churches should also launch “para-church organizations” geared towards dissuading gays and lesbians from homosexuality.

She noted that one leading ex-gay organization, Exodus International, “turned out to be a train wreck” when its leaders renounced ex-gay therapy.

Later in the program, Doyle shared with Rios a story about how he is currently working to “heal” a “young man” who had “over 10,000 sexual partners in his lifetime.”

Michele Bachmann Lies About Drowned Syrian Boy To Attack Refugees

Michele Bachmann joined “Understanding the Times With Jan Markell” over the weekend not only to push her latest End Times claims but also to discuss the refugee crisis resulting from the Syrian civil war.

The former Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate told Markell that Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washing up onto a Turkish beach was captured in a series of iconic photos, was not actually Syrian but from a Turkish family that was trying to reach Europe in order to secure dental benefits. Aylan, his four-year-old brother and his mother died after a boat headed to Greece capsized, three of over 2,600 migrants who have died traveling to Europe this year.

“That was a terrible tragedy but the fact is, that boy’s father and mother were in Turkey; they weren’t from Syria, they were from Turkey,” she said. “The father wanted European-style welfare benefits, he wanted for somebody to pay for the dental care for his kids.”

Bachmann’s assertion is false. The Kurdish boy’s family lived in Damascus before fleeing to Aleppo and then Kobani, each time leaving to avoid fighting. They left Kobani, where Aylan was born, for Turkey after the predominantly Kurdish city became the site of a brutal assault from ISIS forces. Close to two million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, which denies asylum to Syrians along with all non-Europeans, making it very difficult for Syrian refugees to legally rent a house or find a job since they don’t have legal status.

She went on to cite a claim made by Lebanon’s education minister that two of every 100 Syrian refugees are ISIS militants posing as refugees, and agreed with Markell’s claim that accepting Syrian refugees is “national suicide.”

Bachmann: God May Destroy America Over Gay Marriage Just Like Sodom

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann is not backing away from her End Times prophecies about how President Obama and gay rights advocates are paving the way for America’s destruction and the Apocalypse, returning to “Understanding the Times with Janet Markell” this weekend to issue her latest warning.

Denouncing “Barack Obama’s dangerous policies,” Bachmann said that the president is putting America in God’s crosshairs:

When we raise our fist to a holy God and say that we are going to redefine marriage, we are going to be okay with paying a Planned Parenthood to cut up innocent baby parts and sell them for research, that clearly is a problem and as we have seen God render judgment in the days of Noah, in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and so forth throughout history, what the prophets have told every generation is that there is a just God and the people must repent and turn to him. So too in this day of wickedness in our own culture, we need to do the same. We need to repent and we need to confess because a holy Savior is coming to save us and redeem us from this sin-sick world.

Markell said that we are so close to the end that she wondered if the two could witness “the Lord’s literal return even before we finish this broadcast.”

Markell said that while Iranian leaders are “End-Times-focused,” “apocalyptic-oriented,” “excited about the End Times” and “looking for a Messiah,” churches in America have failed to preach about “what the Bible has to say about the incredible Last Days that we are in.”

“Islamic countries are obsessed with End Times and bringing about End Times,” Bachmann replied, claiming that Christian pastors in America must “also observe the times that we live in and explain it from a biblical perspective.”

She added: “Christians all across the United States feel the pulse of something is happening.”

Far-Right's Choice For Speaker Tied To Disgraced Duggar Leader

While House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is rounding up votes to seal his bid to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House, far-right congressmen are backing an insurgent bid by Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., who tried to unseat Boehner earlier this year.

Webster could also win support from the Religious Right, as he has, in the words of University of North Florida professor Julie Ingersoll, “aligned himself with organizations and individuals who advocate the application of biblical law to contemporary society, including wives submitting to their husbands.”

Specifically, Webster has long history of collaborating with the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), a ministry founded by Bill Gothard. Ingersoll writes that Webster’s speeches to Gothard’s group emphasized that “God is on his side and that God opposes his opponents,” even “attribut[ing] the fact that he has often run unopposed to God’s intervention as a result of these prayers.”

Most controversially, Webster spoke at one IBLP event about the need for wives to submit to their husbands and for husbands to be the heads of their households, which, as Sarah Posner notes, is strongly in line with Gothard’s views about the dominance of male authority. Posner writes:

[S]ubmission is a central tenet of Gothard's teachings. His evangelical critics have described the insular world of Gothard's organization as "a culture of fear" and Gothard's teachings as a "parody of patriarchalism," the "basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context," and "anti-woman." The core of Gothard's authoritarian teachings is a chain of command of spiritual authority from God to the husband and father, who is responsible for seeing to his wife's and children's obedience in order to ensure their eternal salvation.

Last year, Gothard faced accusations of sexual harassment from 34 women and charges that he engineered a cover-up of abuse claims.

While GOP leaders like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry have also worked with Gothard groups, his best known disciples are the Duggar family, which recently faced its own sex abuse scandal. Gothard’s teachings on patriarchy and sexual abuse, which appeared to blame women survivors, drew controversy in the wake of the Duggar scandal.

Even Michael Farris, a Religious Right activist and leader in the conservative Christian homeschooling movement, felt compelled to condemn Gothard and Doug Phillips, another Christian patriarchy movement leader embroiled in a sex scandal, claiming that their teachings are “truly dangerous.”

While a court-ordered plan to redraw Florida’s congressional map is seen as endangering Webster’s chance at re-election by adding more Democratic voters to his district, Posner describes how Webster told participants at Gothard events that God is protecting his district to make sure that conservatives are in the majority:

Webster boasts of how his “commitments,” based on Gothard’s teachings, cause his enemies to fail. In the [Advanced Training Institute] video, he recounted making “commitments” that included never watching TV in a hotel room, getting up early in the morning, and praying for a “hedge of thorns of protection” around his Florida district so that he would win reelection. (Both Webster and Gothard have made much of the fact that for several of his reelection bids in the Florida legislature, Webster ran unopposed.) Webster said that he prayed for anyone considering a run in his district to “lose interest.”

That “that hedge of thorns has protected me all these years,” Webster continued, even when his political opponents referred to him and allies as “conservative, gun-toting Bible thumpers.” He claims that “pride is so destructive,” yet seems quite proud that his “hedge of thorns” has made his political career a success.

Razing Ruth, another anti-biblical patriarchy blog, describes Gothard’s teaching on the “hedge of thorns”:

Bill Gothard teaches that Satan can gain “jurisdictional authority” over a person’s soul. When a father or husband, as the authority and spiritual protector of the family, fears that this (Satan attempting to get ja) has happened or may happen, the man is instructed to “pray a hedge of thorns” around his wife/family/son/daughter. In doing so, Gothard teaches that the man will have created a “stronghold for Christ.”

We will see how far Webster’s rhetoric on spiritual warfare and biblical authority takes his campaign for speaker.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's Election Theft, Pope Francis' Diabolical Scheme And Cashing-In On Kim Davis

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

While some Religious Right groups are busy trying to turn Kim Davis into a modern-day martyr, other conservative activists are addressing more pressing concerns, such as Pope Francis’ murderous agenda, ISIS infiltration of American churches and looming cannibalism.

5) Welcome To America, Pope Francis!

Alex Jones welcomed Pope Francis to the U.S. the only way he knows how: by ranting that Francis is bent on turning Americans into slaves and paving the way for the death of at least one billion people.

Jones added that he was “going to vomit” while thinking about the fawning media coverage of the “slimebag” pope.

4) Kim Davis, Still The No. 1 Martyr

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, is back in the news for losing yet another legal challenge and reportedly altering marriage licenses as part of her crusade to bar her county office from issuing marriage licenses to eligible couples.

Naturally, Davis' defenders are using her flouting of the law to raise money.

Liberty Counsel, the extreme anti-gay group that is representing Davis, put it this way in a fundraising email: “The American Civil Liberty Union’s motion to again hold Kim Davis in contempt reveals that their interest is not their clients’ license but rather a marriage license bearing the name of Kim Davis. They want her scalp to hang on the wall as a trophy!”

Another conservative group, the Family Research Council, said in a fundraising email that Davis’ plight would lead to mass persecution of Christians.

Consider that carefully. If "politically correct" government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?

Depending on the circumstances, they'll do whatever is necessary to drive Christianity from influence in America by indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.

3) ISIS Everywhere!

While groups like the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel are on the lookout for phony cases of anti-Christian persecution, televangelist Jim Bakker thinks that people should really be investigating all of the ISIS terrorists who have stealthily joined every church in the U.S.

Pitching survivalist food buckets, Bakker told his audience to watch out for future troubles because “ISIS has already infiltrated every single church in America.”

2) From SNAP To Cannibalism

Bakker is far from the only one trying to stir up fears in order to sell merchandise. Chuck Holton of the NRA radio show “Frontlines,” for instance, warned this week about a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.

Along with killing nine out of every 10 Americans, Holton said, an electromagnetic pulse attack will lead to people be “eating each other in the streets, because when you have these sort of systemic issues in our government of nearly half of the people in the United States receiving some sort of subsidy from the government, imagine what happens when all the EBT cards start flashing zeroes.”

Watch via Media Matters:

1) Indisputable Proof Obama Stole The 2012 Election

According to at least one poll, half of all Republicans believe that ACORN, which hasn’t existed since 2010, stole the 2012 election for President Obama.

Those still trying to find proof of this massive fraud finally have some convincing evidence, courtesy of “Trunews” host Rick Wiles.

As Wiles explained on his radio show this week, secretive forces must have rigged the election for Obama, because he personally didn’t know anyone who voted for him, and therefore something nefarious must be at work!

Mike Huckabee: America Will Not Survive Gay Marriage

Earlier this month, Mike Huckabee spoke to Trinity Baptist Church’s “Calling America Back to God Rally” in Van Wyck, South Carolina. Huckabee claimed that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was illegitimate, saying that the court “cannot overturn God when it comes to the definition of what marriage is.”

“They can no more redefine the purpose of marriage then they can redefine the laws of gravity and say that we can all go floating everywhere we go and don’t need to take cars anymore,” he quipped.

Later in his remarks, Huckabee addressed Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ legal battle, defending her for preventing county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to eligible couples. “I think we put the wrong Democratic woman in jail,” he said. (Davis has since become a Republican).

Huckabee said that Americans have “rebelled against a holy God” and tried “to rewrite the word of God to make it tune to our lifestyle.”

“We cannot possibly survive if we defy any standard that God has given to us,” he said, before calling for a “spiritual revival” that would cause God to “give us the political reformation that we need.”

When Donald Trump 'Waged War' On Christmas

Donald Trump offered up his typical word salad to the Values Voter Summit today, but this time while hoisting his Bible in the air and claiming that it is “the reason” that he is leading among evangelical voters in Iowa and declaring that it is “the key” to saving America.

One of the threats to America, Trump said, is the so-called War on Christmas.

“The word ‘Christmas.’ I love Christmas," he said. "I love Christmas. You go to stores, you don’t see the word ‘Christmas.’ It says ‘Happy Holidays’ all over. I say, 'Where’s Christmas?’ I tell my wife, ‘Don’t go to those stores. I want to see Christmas. I want to see Christmas.’ Other people can have their holidays but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see ‘Merry Christmas.’ Remember the expression ‘Merry Christmas’? You don’t see it anymore. You’re going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now.”

Of course, Trump himself has waged war on Christmas:

As has the Trump Hotel Collection:

But we are just glad that Trump is ready to take on the important issues of the day… like the War on Christmas.

Far-Right Gets Its Wish: Speaker Boehner Resigning From Congress

During the 2013 government shutdown fight, Rep. David Nunes, R-Calif., referred to the extremist members advocating a shutdown as “lemmings with suicide vests.” But the far-right flank, often called the “Suicide Caucus,” has only grown in power since then and has recently gained momentum in its push to remove John Boehner, who they say hasn't done enough to fight President Obama, from his position as speaker of the House.

The "Suicide Caucus" is particularly angry that the House Republican leadership approved an increase in the debt ceiling and hasn’t successfully defunded Planned Parenthood or the Affordable Care Act. Of course, there was little Boehner could do to accomplish any of these goals, since Republicans could not override an inevitable veto from the president or overcome opposition from Senate Democrats. But the “Suicide Caucus” doesn’t exactly function according to logic.

Many of the most radical members of Congress became more organized with the formation of the House Freedom Caucus, which The Economist described as a group dedicated to making “reckless and unrealistic” demands of Boehner, “consistent with their record of attempting wild, hapless heists against both Mr. Obama and the Republican leadership.”

With Boehner announcing his resignation today, it’s important to remember that the people who have spent years calling for Boehner’s ouster also represent the far-right flank of the party. As Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., put it, “this is a victory for the crazies.”

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who organized a failed attempt to topple Boehner earlier this year, blasted Boehner for leading a system that was reminiscent of “China, Cuba or any other communist country.” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for whom Boehner had some choice words after he ranted about the size of immigrants' calves, criticized Boehner for how he handled immigration issues, claiming that the speaker was “throwing tantrums” and “taking a shovel and digging himself into a hole a little bit deeper.” Like King, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., attacked Boehner’s leadership, claiming that he “surrendered to the left” and “let Pelosi and Reid run the House and the Senate.”

And, of course, the "Suicide Caucus" treats Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as its leader, which Boehner doesn't exactly like.

The anti-Boehner caucus also got help from conservative talk radio. American Family Radio's Sandy Rios dubbed Boehner a “big liar,” AFR's Bryan Fischer compared him to Pontius Pilate and syndicated radio host Michael Savage referred to the speaker as a “deranged drunk.”

One of Boehner’s most vocal opponents was Glenn Beck, who told his listeners that they should consider themselves “done with the Republican Party” if Boehner won re-election to his post as speaker (which he did).

Beck’s choice to replace Boehner? None other than Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, the top conspiracy theorist of the House GOP.

After Gohmert tried, and failed, to win the speakership earlier this year, he explained that Americans would only turn to him to be speaker in a time of war or a similar crisis, when everyone would realize that he was the right choice all along. “The only way a guy like me could ever get elected to be speaker would be is if we were during a time of all-out war and people had figured, ‘Wow, Louie’s been right all along and maybe we should give him a chance,’” he said. “That’s the only — we’re not going to elect me in a time of undeclared war and I know that and I understood that.”

But who could better reflect the Republican Party’s decline into a hotbed of radicalism and conspiracy theories than Gohmert?

Rick Wiles Thinks Obama Stole The 2012 Election Because He Doesn't Know Anyone Who Voted For Him

End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles invited Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy In Media onto his “Trunews” program yesterday to discuss Ben Carson's remark that he would never support a Muslim candidate for president. Wiles and Kincaid said that the Republican presidential candidate didn't go far enough, wondering why Carson didn't assert that we already have a Muslim president in the White House.

A larger conspiracy, Wiles said, must be at work, which led him to imply that the same people who are covering up the truth about President Obama's Muslim faith are the very same ones who helped Obama steal the 2012 election. Wiles knows that Obama only defeated Mitt Romney by nefarious means because he, Wiles, doesn't personally know anyone who supported the president’s reelection. 

"Barack Obama was speaking to empty coliseums, empty auditoriums," Wiles said. "Mitt Romney was attracting these huge, enthusiastic crowds. It was obvious there was momentum for the Romney campaign. So on election night with suddenly Obama to win re-election it was very weird, it was strange, it was like, where are these Obama supporters? I never met anybody that was enthusiastic about re-electing Obama and suddenly he wins re-election."

Wiles said his gut feeling told him that Obama's re-election wasn't legitimate: "There was just that feeling on Election Night, something really strange and weird and evil and corrupt just happened tonight." 

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