Better Courts Now

CA Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Better Courts Now Candidates

A few months back, a group called Better Courts Now was formed on the idea that if the state of California just elected that proper sorts of Christian judges on the bench, then controversial issues like Proposition 8 would never even arise.  To make that happen, the group backed a slate of candidates with an openly Christian bias who were committed to carrying out God's will from the bench ... and promptly saw each one of them get trounced in yesterday's election

Four incumbent judges were headed to easy victories over a slate of challengers who were backed by a group of religious and social conservatives ... Judge Lantz Lewis was well ahead of challenger Craig Candelore in early unofficial results, and his colleague Judge DeAnn Salcido was leading challenger Harold Coleman. Judge Joel Wohlfeil was well ahead of Larry “Jake” Kincaid, and Judge Robert Longstreth was handily beating Bill Trask.

...

The four challengers ran as a slate backed by Better Courts Now, a group formed by pastors and supported by foes of same-sex marriage and abortion rights. It said it wanted to unify the “moral vote” and promote judges who would reflect their values.

Each of the victorious judges got more than 60 percent of the vote in his or her race, and several saw that wide margin as a rejection of the Better Courts Now effort to influence the makeup of the bench.

Better Courts Now Founder Hosted CADC Series Attacking Obama's Christian Faith

I've already written a few posts about Better Courts Now, the right-wing group that is seeking to get judges with a Christian bias elected to the courts in California, and eventually nationwide, and has endorsed a slate of candidates who are vowing to carry out God's will if elected to the bench.

But it wasn't until I just watched this piece on the group from Fox 5 in San Diego that I recognized Better Courts Now's founder: 

The organization was founded by Don Hamer who passed away shortly thereafter and the group has since been taken over by Brian Hendry.   

But I recognized Hamer from the 7-part video series produced by the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission during the 2008 election attacking President Obama's Christian faith in which Hamer asserted that Obama is "not a Christian by any Biblical or historic measure" and declares that Obama's statements of faith were nothing but stunning examples of "subtle, diabolical deceit":

Better Courts Now: Seeking Judges With a Christian Bias

When Better Courts Now was launched back in March, its stated goal was to see right-wing judges elected "across San Diego County and eventually America."  For now, the group is focusing on California and has, in recent weeks, been making it clear that they are not looking to support merely conservative judges, but Christian judges who will carry out God's will on the bench.

The election is tomorrow and pastor Brian Hendry, who is running the group, really wants to make their goal clear:

"We've always been involved in the political realm, in believing that too often Christians have dropped the ball over the years and have allowed...an agenda that's not a biblical agenda to take over," Hendry explains. "In our prayers and in looking for different ways to attack, we realized, especially in California, that the judiciary was definitely an area that had been running amok, if you will."

He contends that judicial activists have tried to push a social agenda, such as when the state Supreme Court legalized, albeit for a short time, homosexual marriage. Better Courts Now wants godly men on the bench, but opponents say Christian judges would be activists for Christ.

"To say that somehow a Christian coming in with a biblical worldview will give them a bias that will lead them to not be able to follow the law -- we actually believe that bias, if you will, or that worldview helps them to follow the law, because they stand on virtues and principles that they cannot violate," Hendry contends.

Hendry was also the guest on "WallBuilders Live" last Friday where he discussed this effort with Rick Green, who recently lost his own run for the state Supreme Court.  To say that Green was excited by this new effort would be a massive understatement, as Green and Hendry spent a large part of the interview discussing their desire to see this operation duplicated all across the country.

So it should not come as a surprise if we see some sort of WallBuilders/Better Court Now joint operation emerge down the road.   

Better Courts Now Endorsed Candidates Vow To Carry Out God's Will

A few months back, I wrote a post about a new right-wing group that had formed in California for the purpose of taking control of the state's court system.  Many of those involved had been highly active in the Prop. 8 fight and saw this new effort, called Better Courts Now, as a way of making sure that issues like Prop. 8 never succeed in the courts by "unifying the moral vote" and electing judges with a right-wing agenda.

Well, the election for state judges in California takes place on June 8 and Better Courts Now has rolled out its slate of candidates:

A group of conservative attorneys say they are on a mission from God to unseat four California judges in a rare challenge that is turning a traditionally snooze-button election into what both sides call a battle for the integrity of U.S. courts.

Vowing to be God's ambassadors on the bench, the four San Diego Superior Court candidates are backed by pastors, gun enthusiasts, and opponents of abortion and same-sex marriages.

"We believe our country is under assault and needs Christian values," said Craig Candelore, a family law attorney who is one of the group's candidates. "Unfortunately, God has called upon us to do this only with the judiciary."

...

The Better Courts Now candidates accused the bar of being swayed by politics. Candelore said a victory would mark only the beginning: "If we can take our judiciary, we can take our legislature and our executive branch."

Better Courts Now has posted campaign videos from each of its endorsed candidates, including Candelore:

Garlow's "Non-Partisan" Efforts to Help Gingrich Renew American Leadership

A few weeks ago we noted that Jim Garlow had been tapped to head Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership, where he will focus on getting pastors involved in cultural and social issues:

Much of what Garlow will be focusing on includes re-educating pastors about their moral and ethical responsibility to speak out on cultural issues impacting their flocks and their families. He said too many pastors have strayed from the historical context of when the pulpit was the main communicating point for social issues.

“I think most people realize the Bible has a lot to say about coming to Christ and growing in Christ,” the Wesleyan pastor, who has authored 11 books, said. “And then, in a process of time many people realize it has a lot to say about marriage and family, and lots to say about relationships. Most people would say the Bible has a lot to say about the nature of the church and how it is supposed to function, but what seems to be lacking so much is an awareness that the Bible actually speaks to the issue of national formation and how a nation is to function.”

He said clergy and other Christian leaders have become intimidated by secularist threats and with the notion that speaking out from the pulpit may offend their flock.

“What is so frustrating is there was a time when the pulpits thundered with the truth of the issues of civil governance and we’ve been largely emasculated. We’ve lost any sense of boldness of voice,” Garlow said.

But rest assured, even though he has teamed up with the likes of Gingrich to run an organization "dedicated to educating, organizing, training and mobilizing people of faith to renew American self-government and America’s role in the world," this is going to be a strictly non-partisan effort: 

Garlow describes his political passion more as a hobby that is completely separate from role he will play for ReAl.

“It’s a very distinct thing,” he said. “It comes from quite a different angle. It comes from a biblical (perspective), and my historical and theology training.”

...

In his pursuit of Judeo-Christian values, Garlow stressed his campaign will not be partisan.

“I did not sign up to be part of a party, Republican or Democrat or independent or tea party,” he said. “I did not sign up to identify with any candidate, including even Newt Gingrich. Although personally I hope he runs.

“I signed up for one reason, and that is because it causes the pulpit to be used for what it is supposed to be, and that is the bully pulpit; not bullying and tearing people down; but bullying in terms of influence and range, to speak to certain issues in the culture.”

Whether it’s dealing with the culture, politics, religious freedoms or the inherent issues that stem from being a church pastor, Garlow said his vision is to direct everything to the cross.

“I don’t have an interest in being over identified with a party,” he said. “I have a great interest in being identified with biblical issues. That was something I weighed very extensively. I was real clear and up front with (Gingrich). I said, ‘You need to know, though, I’m a patriot, and I’m American, I’m a proud American, I have no interest in elevating the country at the price of or failure to be able to exalt Christ.”

Sure, just like his Prop. 8, Better Courts Now, and Wilderness Outcry activism is all non-partisan.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he will sue if Congress passes health care reform.
  • Pastor Don Hamer, founder of the right-wing "Better Courts Now" campaign, died of a heart attack yesterday.
  • Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia is partnering with the Tea Partiers at Americans for Prosperity for a "Defending the American Dream Summit" which will feature Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Erick Erickson, Jonathan Krohn, and others.
  • Apparently, Alberto Gonzales and several other former Texas Supreme Court Justices are preparing to endorse Debra Lehrmann in her run-off election against Rick Green.
  • Were gay soldiers responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica?
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee tells the Boy Scouts that the keys to America success are the "Judeo-Christian values system" and the Ten Commandments.

Prop 8 Backers Seek to Take Control Of California Courts

Several Religious Right activists and California state legislators have unveiled a new effort to take control of the court system "across San Diego County and eventually America" via elections through a new organization called "Better Courts Now", arguing that Proposition 8 would not have even been necessary if the state had the proper judges:

Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, and one of his predecessors from the 77th Assembly District are among those appearing in videos for a new Chula Vista-based group that is urging conservatives to elect local judges who value "life and traditional family."

The website, BetterCourtsNow.com, also includes testimonials from at least one person affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that has been in the center of political battles over gay marriage in California and around the country.

"It’s important that we unify our votes so we ensure that solid men and women of high morals, who will not legislate from the bench, are elected to office," Anderson says in a 97-second video. Later he adds, "We are in full agreement that we need to get behind BetterCourtsNow.com."

...

The group has promised to release a slate of candidates, but has not yet done so. Much of its focus seems to be on the San Diego area where it is based.

Anderson is probably the most recognizable person on the list. Other prominent people on video page include: Steve Baldwin, who held the AD 77 seat from 1995 through 2000; Ron Prentice, San Diego chairman for the Yes on 8 Campaign; Don Hamer, a prominent black pastor in San Diego; Dean Broyles, an attorney the Western Center for Law & Policy; Brian Jones, vice mayor of Santee; and Charles Li Mandri, west coast regional director of the Thomas More Law Center.

A less familiar name is Dr. Jennifer Morse, the founder and president of the Ruth Institute in San Marcos. The Institute’s website displays prominently that it is "A project of the National Organization for Marriage."

Other videos feature John Woodrum, President of the Eagle Forum in San Diego, and Jim Garlow:

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Better Courts Now Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/09/2010, 9:07am
A few months back, a group called Better Courts Now was formed on the idea that if the state of California just elected that proper sorts of Christian judges on the bench, then controversial issues like Proposition 8 would never even arise.  To make that happen, the group backed a slate of candidates with an openly Christian bias who were committed to carrying out God's will from the bench ... and promptly saw each one of them get trounced in yesterday's election:  Four incumbent judges were headed to easy victories over a slate of challengers who were backed by a group of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/07/2010, 3:56pm
I've already written a few posts about Better Courts Now, the right-wing group that is seeking to get judges with a Christian bias elected to the courts in California, and eventually nationwide, and has endorsed a slate of candidates who are vowing to carry out God's will if elected to the bench. But it wasn't until I just watched this piece on the group from Fox 5 in San Diego that I recognized Better Courts Now's founder:  The organization was founded by Don Hamer who passed away shortly thereafter and the group has since been taken over by Brian Hendry.    But I... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/07/2010, 9:32am
When Better Courts Now was launched back in March, its stated goal was to see right-wing judges elected "across San Diego County and eventually America."  For now, the group is focusing on California and has, in recent weeks, been making it clear that they are not looking to support merely conservative judges, but Christian judges who will carry out God's will on the bench. The election is tomorrow and pastor Brian Hendry, who is running the group, really wants to make their goal clear: "We've always been involved in the political realm, in believing that too often... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/02/2010, 8:53am
A few months back, I wrote a post about a new right-wing group that had formed in California for the purpose of taking control of the state's court system.  Many of those involved had been highly active in the Prop. 8 fight and saw this new effort, called Better Courts Now, as a way of making sure that issues like Prop. 8 never succeed in the courts by "unifying the moral vote" and electing judges with a right-wing agenda. Well, the election for state judges in California takes place on June 8 and Better Courts Now has rolled out its slate of candidates: A group of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/31/2010, 11:35am
A few weeks ago we noted that Jim Garlow had been tapped to head Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership, where he will focus on getting pastors involved in cultural and social issues: Much of what Garlow will be focusing on includes re-educating pastors about their moral and ethical responsibility to speak out on cultural issues impacting their flocks and their families. He said too many pastors have strayed from the historical context of when the pulpit was the main communicating point for social issues. “I think most people realize the Bible has a lot to say about... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/18/2010, 4:45pm
VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he will sue if Congress passes health care reform. Pastor Don Hamer, founder of the right-wing "Better Courts Now" campaign, died of a heart attack yesterday. Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia is partnering with the Tea Partiers at Americans for Prosperity for a "Defending the American Dream Summit" which will feature Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Erick Erickson, Jonathan Krohn, and others. Apparently, Alberto Gonzales and several other former Texas Supreme Court Justices are preparing to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/12/2010, 4:05pm
Several Religious Right activists and California state legislators have unveiled a new effort to take control of the court system "across San Diego County and eventually America" via elections through a new organization called "Better Courts Now", arguing that Proposition 8 would not have even been necessary if the state had the proper judges: Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa, and one of his predecessors from the 77th Assembly District are among those appearing in videos for a new Chula Vista-based group that is urging conservatives to elect local judges who value... MORE >