Christian Coalition

Hobby Lobby And 'Biblical Economics'

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case that the Court’s conservative majority had “ventured into a minefield” with its decision. Many of those mines have already been placed by right-wing leaders who claim a religious grounding not only for anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-contraception positions, but also for opposition to collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, progressive taxation and government involvement in the alleviation of poverty.

In Hobby Lobby, the Court found for the first time that for-profit corporations have religious rights just like real people and can therefore make claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that they should be exempt from laws that burden their corporate “exercise” of religion. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was deeply skeptical of Justice Samuel Alito’s assertion that the decision was limited only to the contraception mandate and only for closely held corporations.

“Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?” she asked. How would the Court justify applying its logic only to religious views about contraception?  “Indeed, approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.’”

Ginsburg’s questions are not merely rhetorical. Conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders who have signed the Manhattan Declaration, including some U.S. bishops, declare themselves willing to engage in civil disobedience – maybe even martyrdom – in order to avoid any participation in abortion or any “anti-life act.” Nor, they declare, “will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

Alito’s majority opinion says Hobby Lobby does not extend the right to religion-based discrimination on account of a person’s race, but is conspicuously silent on other kinds of discrimination. That silence raises concerns that business owners could use the Hobby Lobby decision to opt out of a future federal LGBT civil rights law, or the Obama administration’s executive order against anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.

Indeed, especially in light of Alito’s mention in Hobby Lobby that RFRA applies to the District of Columbia as a federal enclave, such a claim could be brought today to seek an exemption from D.C.’s Human Rights Act that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.  What happens if and when a local bishop instructs Catholic business owners that it would be sinful to treat legally married gay employees the same as other married couples, or an evangelical businessman declares he will not “bend” to DC’s Human Rights Act?

As Zoe Carpenter writes for The Nation,

Business owners now have a new basis for trying to evade anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities to their employees. Religious liberty is already the rallying cry for conservatives looking for a legal way to discriminate against LGBT Americans; other business owners have tried to use religion to justify opposition to minimum-wage laws and Social Security taxes. Faith groups are already trying to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby decision out of court; on Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for an exemption from a forthcoming federal order barring federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

To be clear, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was used as the basis for the Hobby Lobby decision applies only to federal and District of Columbia laws and regulations, including presidential executive orders, not to state laws.

The stories of business owners being told they cannot exempt themselves from anti-discrimination laws have mostly involved questions about state-level civil rights and religious freedom statutes. Earlier this year the US Supreme Court declined to review a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that a wedding photography business had violated anti-discrimination law when it refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Although Hobby Lobby does not apply directly to state laws, it could influence state courts weighing religious claims by business owners in states with their own versions of RFRA.

The clash between religious conservatives and advocates for LGBT equality has been well publicized. But the minefield Ginsburg refers to extends well beyond traditional “social issues.” Religious Right leaders have been working hard to convince conservative evangelicals that the Tea Party’s anti-government, anti-union, anti-welfare agenda is grounded in the Bible – an effort that started well before the Tea Party arrived on the scene.

David Barton is an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012. Barton’s “Christian nation” approach to history has been denounced by historians and scholars, including some who are themselves evangelical Christians, but it is embraced by conservative politicians who extol a divinely inspired American exceptionalism. Barton teaches that Jesus and the Bible are opposed to progressive taxation, minimum wage laws, collective bargaining, and “socialist union kind of stuff.” 

In addition, “mainstream” Religious Right leaders and conservative politicians are increasingly allied with a group of Pentecostal leaders who promote a “dominionist” theology that says God requires the right kind of Christians to take dominion over every aspect of society, including the business world. Many of them were sponsors of, and participants in, the prayer rally that Texas Gov. Rick Perry used to launch his ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign.

Thanks to previous Supreme Court decisions, alluded to and affirmed by Alito’s majority opinion in Hobby Lobby, the Court has for now seemingly closed the door to companies making a religious challenge to paying Social Security and federal income taxes based on their objection to a particular government program funded with those taxes. But the same might not be true for more targeted taxes and fees, or for laws regulating company behavior or the relationships between companies and their employees.

Opposition to unions has deep roots in Christian Reconstructionism, which has influenced the Religious Right’s ideology and political agenda. An early Christian Coalition Leadership manual, co-authored by Republican operative Ralph Reed in 1990, is a stunning example. A section titled “God’s Delegated Authority in the World” argues that “God established His pattern for work as well as in the family and in the church.” It cites four Bible passages instructing slaves to be obedient to their masters, including this one:

Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 

The conclusion to be drawn from these slaves-obey-your-masters passages?

Of course, slavery was abolished in this country many years ago, so we must apply these principles to the way Americans work today, to employees and employers: Christians have a responsibility to submit to the authority of their employers, since they are designated as part of God’s plan for the exercise of authority on the earth by man. 

More recently, Religious Right leaders have cheered on corporate-funded attacks on unions in Wisconsin and Michigan. Does the Hobby Lobby ruling open another front in the right-wing war on workers? It is not uncommon for companies to refuse to cooperate with union organizers or negotiate with a properly organized union. Imagine that a business owner objects to a National Labor Relations Board finding that they have violated the National Labor Relations Act by arguing in federal court that their company’s religious beliefs prohibit them from dealing with unions?

It’s not as far-fetched as it might seem. Since long before the Hobby Lobby case created an open invitation to business owners to raise religious objections to bargaining with unions, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has encouraged workers to raise religious objections to requirements that they join or financially support a union. Here’s an excerpt from their pamphlet, “Union Dues and Religious Do Nots.”

To determine whether your beliefs are religious instead of political or philosophical, ask yourself whether your beliefs are based upon your obligations to God. Do you simply dislike unions or hate this particular union’s politics? Or, does your desire to stand apart from the union arise from your relationship to God? If your beliefs arise from your decision to obey God, they are religious. 

It is possible that conservative courts may not give the same weight to religious claims about anti-gay discrimination or the Bible’s opposition to unions or minimum wage laws as they did to Hobby Lobby’s anti-contraception claims. Those claims were based on the owners’ belief – one that runs counter to medical scientific consensus – that some of the most effective forms of birth control work by causing abortions, and are therefore the moral equivalent of murder.

But as Justice Ginsburg pointed out, it is not clear how courts will differentiate between different types of claims. And it will be easier for claims to meet the new, lower threshold created by the Court in effectively altering the “substantial burden” test.

As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, rather than having to show that a person’s, or corporation’s, practice of religion has been burdened, they simply need to show that a law is “incompatible with” the person’s religious beliefs. Additionally, it seems that a wide array of regulations, conceivably including minimum wage laws, could be threatened by Alito’s reliance on the idea that having the government pay for the cost of implementing a regulation is less restrictive than having the company  bear the cost of a regulation it objects to.   

It is also not clear that the decision will remain “limited” to the 90 percent of American companies that qualify as closely held, which employ more than half of the nation’s workforce. The Court explicitly acknowledged the possibility that publicly traded corporations could raise such claims, but argued that it would be “unlikely.” But in this new world in which corporate religious claims can be made against government regulation, what is to prevent the CEO or board of a publicly traded organization from finding religion with regard to, say, greenhouse gas emissions?

The Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, promoted by the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance, declares as a matter of faith that earth’s ecosystem is not fragile and that efforts to reduce global warming, like regulating the emission of carbon dioxide, are not only “fruitless” and “harmful” but would discourage economic growth and therefore violate Biblical requirements to protect the poor from harm.

Justice Alito’s opinion rejects Justice Ginsburg’s characterization of the ruling’s “startling breadth.” But it is undeniable that the Court majority has opened the door to owners of for-profit corporations making an array of claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

Justice Ginsburg writes in her dissent, “Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood—combined with its other errors in construing RFRA—invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.” For today’s right-wing leaders, who claim religious grounding for just about every aspect of their political ideology, there aren’t many forms of regulation that would be off-limits.

Flashback: E.W. Jackson Joins Pat Robertson To Attack PFAW, Promote Christian Coalition

Back in 1997, E.W. Jackson was working for Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition as the director of the Samaritan Project, a short-lived campaign designed to reach out to minority voters by passing off the Coalition’s political agenda as a “bold and compassionate agenda to combat poverty and restore hope.”

According to the New York Times, Jackson took part in a blessing over Robertson: “With Mr. Robertson kneeling, a half-dozen black pastors blessed him, touching his shoulder. The Rev. Earl Jackson, an African-American preacher from Boston who heads the Samaritan Project, pronounced the scene ‘not just an event but an epiphany.’”

People For the American Way had criticized the Samaritan Project with a campaign called “Don’t be Fooled by the ‘Christian’ Coalition.”

In a 1997 interview on the 700 Club, Robertson and Jackson, who is now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, discussed the Christian Coalition’s outreach to the black community and criticized PFAW. “People For the American Way needs to try to do a little bit more of the American way, and the American way is a way of faith and that’s something that they just don’t seem to understand,” Jackson said.

HT: Pat Robertson’s Vault.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/4/12

  • As promised, Liberty Counsel has filed suit against the new California law banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors.
  • On a related note, Randy Thomasson is calling on parents and counselors to defy this "tyrannical" law.
  • The Christian Coalition is releasing voter guides for the 2012 election.  Apparently, the Christian Coalition still exists.
  • James Dobson needs donations because "the ministry barely made it through the summer months, and emerged from it with nothing to spare."
  • FRC prays that members of the military will react to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by voting and swinging the election: "May strong moral Military leaders restore moral standards in the ranks. May God stir our military men at home and abroad to move quickly to make their right and their family member's right to vote count, by voting in this years Election."
  • Finally, Janet Porter explains why you cannot vote for President Obama:

Romney and Santorum Rally with Corrupt Lobbyist Ralph Reed in Wisconsin

Tomorrow morning in Waukesha, WI, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, among others (Gov. Scott Walker is listed as an invited speaker), will rally with corrupt former lobbyist Ralph Reed and the state chapter of his Faith & Freedom Coalition, which Reed created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Here are the event details:
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off, sponsored by the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition, to be held at the Country Springs Hotel on Saturday, March 31st in Waukesha, WI.  Come hear from CONFIRMED speakers Governor Mitt Romney, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
 
When Romney and Santorum – the standard–bearers of the GOP – appear on stage tomorrow with Reed, they’ll be embracing a corrupt hustler who has survived scandal after scandal by delivering cash and foot soldiers to Republican leaders (and not for the first time).
 
It wasn’t long ago that Ralph Reed was damaged goods in Republican circles, and for good reason. Reed came to national prominence as the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, beginning in 1989. However, by 1997 the groups finances were collapsing, the FEC had found that the group violated federal campaign finance laws in 1990, 1992, and 1994, and federal prosecutors were investigating allegations of financial misconduct made by the organization’s CFO. So Reed resigned and moved to Georgia to become a lobbyist.
 
In 1999, Abramoff hired Reed and ultimately paid him $1.3 million to generate opposition to legalizing video poker and a state-sponsored lottery in Alabama. The money came from the Choctaw Tribe, which runs a casino in nearby Mississippi. Reed used his extensive Religious Right contacts and engaged James Dobson and the Alabama Christian Coalition, which had a policy against being the “recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” He funneled $850,000 to the group, but made sure to launder it through his longtime friend Grover Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform.
 
Before the wheels came off Jack Abramoff’s criminal lobbying enterprise, he described Reed to his business partner as “a bad version of us.” Abramoff, explaining the comment after being released from prison, said that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.” And Abramoff knows more than a thing or two about Reed. He gave Reed his first job after college and, along with Norquist, formed what some called the “triumvirate” at the College Republican National Committee.
 
After the Abramoff scandal broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests,” but the Senate Indian Affairs Committee determined that Abramoff told Reed as early as 1999 that he was taking casino money. In an interview last year with Alan Colmes, Abramoff called Reed’s denial ridiculous:
Abramoff: It's ridiculous. I mean, even the tribes that had other business, 99% of their revenue came from gaming. But a lot of those tribes had nothing but gaming.
Colmes: So, in other words, Ralph Reed was saying "hey, I'll work with you but I don't want to be paid with gambling money, I'm too clean for that." But are you saying that conversation never happened?
Abramoff: No. Never happened. Ralph didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money and, frankly, that was his choice and I think it was a big mistake.
Reed went on to become the chair of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001 and ran for lieutenant governor in 2006. However, the Abramoff scandal had broken by then, and Reed “suffered an embarrassing defeat” in the primary. The New York Times described Reed as a “close associate of Jack Abramoff” whose “candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.”
 
In 2009, Reed founded the Faith & Freedom Coalition to help resurrect his image and stature in the movement. Faith & Freedom, which Reed described as a “21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids,” is really just a Tea Party-stained version of the original, and much smaller despite the steroids.
 
However, Reed is an operator in the truest sense, and knows how to “tap dance” and “constantly ask for money” with the best of them. He has apparently earned, and I do mean earned, his way back into the good graces of Republican leaders. It’s unclear, however, how long Reed can go without another scandal.

Perkins Agrees With Jeffress That Voters Should Prefer Christian Leaders

Coverage of the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this year was dominated by stories of Robert Jeffress’ criticism of the Mormon faith; Bryan Fischer’s unabashed bigotry; and the infighting that rose to the surface when Bill Bennett rebuked Jeffress and Mitt Romney, tepidly and not by name, denounced Fischer. The press coverage of the Religious Right conference was so completely focused on Jeffress and Fischer that the FRC even asked members to pray that the media will stop reporting on the story.

Today FRC president Tony Perkins used his radio alert today to defend Jeffress, who made it clear that Romney’s Mormon faith was a reason he endorsed his chief rival, Rick Perry. “His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian,” Perkins said, “I whole heartedly agree.”

Listen:

Do you have the freedom to choose between Christian and a non-Christian candidate? Hello, this is Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Texas pastor Robert Jeffress created a firestorm when he declared at the Values Voter Summit he was voting for Rick Perry because he was a Christian. His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian. I whole heartedly agree. So did the first justice of the Supreme Court John Jay who said it was in the "interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Many so-called journalists have gone apoplectic claiming such a bigoted position violates article 6 of the Constitution, how absurd. The article reads, “Congress may not require religious tests for an office." The Constitution restricts what the government can require, not what individuals can consider. If voters can consider a candidate's party and that party's platform, they can consider a candidate’s religion and the tenets of that faith. We should prefer mature, qualified Christians for public office over those who reject the orthodox teachings of scripture.

This prompts the question: how would Tony Perkins feel about the competence of a Jewish leader over a Christian one? Perkins and the Religious Right always talk about their Judeo-Christian coalition and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, addressed the Values Voter Summit and is seen as a rising star in GOP circles. So much for that.

And would it impact Perkins’ decision in the Republican primary? During the Jeffress spat, Perkins told CNN’s John King that he does not consider Mormons to be Christians: “Well, let me say this, John. I do not see Mormonism as the same as Christianity. Now, whether it’s defined as a cult, I don’t know. I would say it’s not Christianity the way evangelicals view Christianity. There’s a distinction. There’s no question there’s a theological distinction between Mormonism and Christianity.”

If Perkins thinks that Christians should be given preference over non-Christians, and that Mormons are not Christians, is there any difference between his view and Jeffress’ view on Romney’s candidacy?

Right Wing Round-Up

Unearthing Right-Wing Treasure

People For the American Way is preparing to move its headquarters to another location in Washington, D.C. , after more than 20 years in the same space. That has meant a monumental effort to sort through decades of accumulated paper and figure out what to do with video recordings in more formats than you could imagine – and endless save-or-toss decisions.

Fortunately, earlier this year PFAW’s huge library of primary source materials on the Religious Right political movement was transferred to the University of California Berkeley’s Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements, where it will be more accessible to scholars and journalists. But even still, preparing for the move has meant weeks of memory-triggering moments while plowing through file cabinets and finding hidden stashes of materials.
 
Among the random bits of right-wingalia I stumbled across:
  • a letter from Jerry Falwell urging his supporters to call Congress and oppose sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa in order to prevent a Communist takeover (an  accompanying 16-page “Fundamentalist Journal – Special Report” included a Falwell interview with the foreign minister saying that the West “has been doing the work of Moscow.”);
  • a 1990 Christian Coalition leadership manual that includes the assertion that the relationship between employers and employees should be based on Bible verses telling slaves to obey their masters, no matter how harsh;
  • a 1982 PFAW report on the Religious Right’s efforts to use the Texas textbook process to foist their ideology on American students nationwide (sound familiar?);
  • books and campaign plans for the takeover of America by once-obscure Christian Reconstructionist figures who are now in the news thanks to the frightening ascension of followers like Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann;
  • candidate questionnaires from Religious Right groups in the 1980s demanding to know whether politicians would support across-the-board tax cuts, a reminder that the Religious Right has been pushing Tea Party economics for a long time;
  • a lavishly produced press kit for the 2006 opening of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, where a disturbing number of Americans have flocked to be mis-educated about biology, geology, and history; and
  • in honor of Rick Perry’s recent prayer rally in Houston, a 1985 campaign flyer from the "Straight Slate" of candidates for Mayor and City Council, warning that Houston “has become the Southwest capital for homosexuality and pornography” and insisting that “We must not allow Houston to become another San Francisco!” (Current Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who was sworn in last year, is a lesbian who parents three children with her partner.)
It’s also been a reminder that the Religious Right has been declared dead more often than Freddy Krueger, usually by someone who is focusing on one organization in disarray or one election defeat for conservatives. But as our current political climate makes clear, the Religious Right and its political and economic allies have built a massive infrastructure of national and state-level think tanks, legal and political organizations, radio and TV networks, universities and law schools, and elected officials they have helped put into office at all levels of government.  They aren’t going anywhere. And neither are we – well, just a few blocks across town.

The Intersection of David Barton, Dominionism, Texas Republicans And Racial Politics

Alice Patterson is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally and is, not surprisingly, deeply involved in the New Apostolic Reformation movement where she focuses on "racial healing."

Last year she released a book entitled "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which she explained how she had served as Field Director of the Texas Christian Coalition for years until she discovered the works of "apostles" and "prophets" like Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets and Ed Silvoso.  Her growing involvement with this movement led her to step down from the Texas Christian Coalition in order to focus on "reaching entire cities for Christ." 

As the granddaughter of a former Ku Klux Klan member, Patterson dedicated herself to reaching out to African Americans through "identificational repentence" whereby individuals repent for the sins of their forefathers in order to break the various curses that plague this land because of past unforgiven sins.

In this capacity, Patterson worked closely with Susan Weddington who, at the time, was Chair of the Texas Republican Party:

As intercessors began to pray many weeks before the [Republican State] convention, one of them envisioned Susan pouring oil on bricks. So we started looking for bricks. Susan wanted to meet privately in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and pray about whatever caused Black Republicans to walk away from the political party they had founded in that city. I called Doug Stringer in Houston, founder of Somebody Cares America and he sent two Black ministers from his staff. Tim and Joyce James, pastors of Total Man Christian Ministries in Houston, a mostly Black congregation and formerly on my Pray Texas board, came as well. It was a small group. We met in a little park right across the street from the convention center. Lo and behold, there were the bricks!

We worshiped. The presence of God came. When it came time for Susan to pour the oil on the bricks as the intercessor had visualized, Susan surprised me. I thought she would ask forgiveness for whatever White Republicans did to drive Blacks away from their party but instead she prayed, "Lord, I forgive our leaders for walking away. And I open the door and invite them back in."

As part of the effort to bring African Americans back to the Republican Party, Patterson reveals, Weddington eventually reached out to none other than David Barton:

Two years before, Susan had asked David Barton to do research to find out why Black Republicans had left the party they founded. He had been researching for two years and he discovered some astounding facts. David's research is now in both DVD and a book, "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White."

And with the research in hand Patterson, Barton and others then embarked upon a campaign to use it to win African Americans back to the GOP: 

We had an agenda. Worship to invite the presence of God, repent for racism share Dr. Jackson's testimony, and have David Barton give the truth about American and Black history. This wasn't a Republican meeting even though Susan and David were Republican Party officials. It was a spiritual meeting. And lives were changed.

Our team consisted of Blacks Dr. Jackson and Falma Rufus, Hispanic Ruben Duarte, and Whites David Barton, Susan Weddington, and me. Ruben led us into God's presence with worship. Falma released the prophetic word in song and worshiped along with Ruben. They are powerful together. Susan or I would repent for racism. Dr. Jackson would share his story and give his favor to David. David shared hidden truths about America's spiritual heritage and eye opening facts about Black History.

As we have have been saying all along, Barton's attempt to "set the record straight" on this issue was blatantly misleading and obvious propaganda designed to convince African Americans to stop supporting the Democratic Party.

And now, thanks that Alice Patterson, we have proof that that was in fact the intention all along.

Reed: It Is Unfair For Conservatives To Be "Judged On Their Past"

Tonight, the Iowa affiliate of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is hosting it's "Spring Kick-off Event" featuring Five potential presidential candidates - Herman Cain, Buddy Roemer, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich.

And Reed wants it known that social conservatives have no intention of riding in the "back of the bus":

The Iowa political season is set to kick off with Monday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition forum featuring a slew of potential 2012 hopefuls — an event that group’s national chairman says will show that social issues “shouldn’t ride in the back of the bus” in the Republican primaries.

“This is a reminder that in spite of what the polls say nationally about the most important issues, there are literally tens of millions of grassroots activists within the Republican Party who will play an exaggerated role in the nominating process,” coalition leader Ralph Reed Jr. told POLITICO.

He added that those activists “want to have a nominee who thinks that social [issues] shouldn’t ride in the back of the bus. They want to see... a leader in the party and in the country who can lead on more than one front at the same time.”

Given that Religious Right activist expect to be front and center, you would expect that would be bad news for Gingrich who, with his checkered past, might have some trouble convincing these "family values" activists that he is worthy of their support ... but Reed insists that that is not the case at all:

“I just reject the argument that ... Newt's past would be a liability,” said Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition chief. “I think as long as he’s prepared to confront those challenges and he can do so in an authentic way, people’s (inclination) will be to be forgiving. Who wants to be judged on their past? Everybody has had issues.”

Gee, Reed doesn't think that Religious Right leaders ought to be "judged on their past"?  I wonder why that would be?

The Republican Nanny State Strikes Again

During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all. 

As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Legislation was introduced that would have repealed that prohibition and let voters decide via referendum whether their cities or counties would allow retailers to sell alcohol on Sundays and appeared on the fast-track to passage. 

And why wouldn't it?  Republicans ought to love it because it a) limits government and b) gives voters the choice to decide for themselves. 

But then the Georgia Christian Coalition mobilized and started "suggesting that our supporters tell their city councilman or commissioner to call their state senator and say alcohol is an issue that divides us. Just leave Sunday alone."

And that was the end of that:

The chances of a Sunday sales bill passing this year took a major hit on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders said the measure lacks the support necessary among the majority caucus.

...

The bill, SB 10, would allow local governments to allow their voters to decide whether to allow sales of beer, wine and liquor in stores on Sundays.

It appeared to finally have the votes to pass after years of failure during Gov. Sonny Perdue's administration. Perdue, who left office this year, had promised to veto it. But Gov. Nathan Deal has said he would allow it to become law.

But in the past two weeks, Republican support for the bill in the Senate began to crumble as social conservatives, including the Christian Coalition, marshaled opposition to it.

The Republican Nanny State Strikes Again

During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all. 

As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Legislation was introduced that would have repealed that prohibition and let voters decide via referendum whether their cities or counties would allow retailers to sell alcohol on Sundays and appeared on the fast-track to passage. 

And why wouldn't it?  Republicans ought to love it because it a) limits government and b) gives voters the choice to decide for themselves. 

But then the Georgia Christian Coalition mobilized and started "suggesting that our supporters tell their city councilman or commissioner to call their state senator and say alcohol is an issue that divides us. Just leave Sunday alone."

And that was the end of that:

The chances of a Sunday sales bill passing this year took a major hit on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders said the measure lacks the support necessary among the majority caucus.

...

The bill, SB 10, would allow local governments to allow their voters to decide whether to allow sales of beer, wine and liquor in stores on Sundays.

It appeared to finally have the votes to pass after years of failure during Gov. Sonny Perdue's administration. Perdue, who left office this year, had promised to veto it. But Gov. Nathan Deal has said he would allow it to become law.

But in the past two weeks, Republican support for the bill in the Senate began to crumble as social conservatives, including the Christian Coalition, marshaled opposition to it.

AFA: Tea Party Married to Religious Right, Like It or Not

We have reported on the close ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party as well as the tensions between social conservatives and libertarians in the Tea Party movement. An article in the February 2011 issue of the AFA Journal, published by the American Family Association, is the latest salvo in the ongoing effort to define the Tea Party agenda. 
 
Rise of the Teavangelicals” decries efforts by the “homosexual Republican” group GOProud to define the Tea Party as part of a  “leave-me-alone-coalition” that is uninterested in social issues.
 
If the GOP says it wants only tea partiers who are for smaller government but not any of those loony social conservatives, Republican leaders will undoubtedly discover that many of the latter are also part of the former category.
 
The article suggests that Religious Right activists see economic issues through a moral lens (much the way that David Barton has been promoting a biblical basis for Tea Party views on economics and the Constitution):
 
Perhaps it is precisely because many social conservatives have come to see the economy in moral terms that so many of them have found a home in the Tea Party movement.
 
The article concludes by quoting former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed saying that the Tea Party and Religious Right movements are “inextricably intertwined.”
 
Whether or not they like the idea, tea partiers are now married to the religious right. And as Reed insisted, “Those who ignore or disregard social conservative voters and their issues do so at their own peril.”

AFA: Tea Party Married to Religious Right, Like It or Not

We have reported on the close ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party as well as the tensions between social conservatives and libertarians in the Tea Party movement. An article in the February 2011 issue of the AFA Journal, published by the American Family Association, is the latest salvo in the ongoing effort to define the Tea Party agenda. 
 
Rise of the Teavangelicals” decries efforts by the “homosexual Republican” group GOProud to define the Tea Party as part of a  “leave-me-alone-coalition” that is uninterested in social issues.
 
If the GOP says it wants only tea partiers who are for smaller government but not any of those loony social conservatives, Republican leaders will undoubtedly discover that many of the latter are also part of the former category.
 
The article suggests that Religious Right activists see economic issues through a moral lens (much the way that David Barton has been promoting a biblical basis for Tea Party views on economics and the Constitution):
 
Perhaps it is precisely because many social conservatives have come to see the economy in moral terms that so many of them have found a home in the Tea Party movement.
 
The article concludes by quoting former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed saying that the Tea Party and Religious Right movements are “inextricably intertwined.”
 
Whether or not they like the idea, tea partiers are now married to the religious right. And as Reed insisted, “Those who ignore or disregard social conservative voters and their issues do so at their own peril.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Is anyone surprised that Janet Porter used Jerry Boykin's crazy conspiracy video about Obama as the basis for her latest WND column?
  • James Robison continues to work to re-establish himself as a Religious Right leader.
  • Rick Scarborough really, really wants pastors to get involved in politics.
  • I suspect this has more to do with poor technology than high demand because nobody has cared about the Christian Coalition in years.
  • Did you know Liberty University has a nationally ranked paintball team?  Weird.
  • Finally, what are the chances that any Religious Right group will actually criticize Lisa Miller for kidnapping her daughter and fleeing the law?  Try zero.

New Ralph Reed Ad Campaign Literally Declares "It's Us Vs Them"

Ever since he was anointed as "The Right Hand of God" fifteen years ago, Ralph Reed has enjoyed a reputation as the Religious Right's leading political operative. 

So influential is Reed, in fact, that even his work exploiting his Religious Right allies on behalf of disgraced criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff's gambling clients could not sink his career, as he returned last year with a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he touted as a more hip, more strident "21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids, married with MoveOn.org, with a sprinkling of the NRA." And the rest of the right-wing movement eagerly embraced him once again.

But at heart, Reed is just another right-wing political hack, and a pretty blatant and unoriginal one at that.  And nothing better demonstrates that the FFC is spending half a million dollars to run a more absurdly over-the-top radio ad than you could even imagine: 

The Faith and Freedom Coalition will announce Tuesday evening that it is launching a $500,000 radio ad campaign to increase evangelical and conservative turnout next week.

The socially conservative group, led by Ralph Reed, will target 18 House and Senate races with the independent expenditure effort.

At the top of its list is the Nevada Senate contest, where Republican Sharron Angle is trying to unseat Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. The group will also debut ads bolstering the Republican nominees in the tight Colorado and Washington Senate races.

Incumbent House Democrats being targeted by the group are Ciro Rodriguez (Texas), Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania), Jerry McNerney and Loretta Sanchez (California), Tom Perriello (Virginia), Sanford Bishop and Jim Marshall (Georgia), John Spratt (South Carolina), John Boccieri (Ohio), Allen Boyd and Ron Klein (Florida), John Salazar (Colorado), Leonard Boswell (Iowa) and Lincoln Davis (Tennessee).

Here is ad Reed is running against Harry Reid and its theme is literally "us vs. them" - you really need to listen to it in order to fully understand just how truly awful it is:

It's Us versus Them. Big government versus a big belief in faith and freedom. Sharron Angle versus Harry Reid.

Reid is a "them," like Obama, like Pelosi. He voted for their stimulus plan that only wasted our money, civilian trials for foreign terrorists, and government-run health care.

Angle is one of us. She says it is faith in God and the freedom to become all we want that made America great.

We must choose an "us." Someone who gets it, will protect our freedom, and defend our faith.

Please, vote faith, vote freedom, vote Angle.

It's Us versus Them.

The various other versions of the ad can be found here.

The Right truly has become a parody of itself.

Together Again: Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson Reminisce

Ralph Reed joined Pat Robertson today on "The 700 Club," ostensibly to discuss his new novel "The Confirmation" but spent most of the fifteen minute segment talking politics.

At first, Reed explained how the plot of his novel is loosely based on the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight, saying that it was that issue that made him realize that he was really engaged in a spiritual battle:

Robertson: The whole concept though was based, I guess, on Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing.

Reed: Yeah, and you know Pat I was then at the Christian Coalition and you I worked very closely together on that confirmation. And I'll never forget while we were in the midst of that fight, I got a call one night from Bill Bright who was then still with us and was at Campus Crusade and he said "you know, I never do this but I was on my knees at five o'clock this morning praying for this man." And he goes "I generally don't get involved in legislative battles, but I want to write a personal letter to every member of the Senate and ask them to vote for Clarence Thomas."

And what that showed me Pat, and of course he was ultimately confirmed, it showed me that this is not just a temporal or a political or a legislative battle, that there's a spiritual realm.

So what I try to show in "The Confirmation" is yes they are negative attack ads and yes there are hit pieces in the newspaper, but God is on the throne ... that there is a genuine struggle between good and evil and that Godl'y men and women can get involved in the political process and they can advance and build his kingdom.

Next the discussion turned to the Tea Party movement, which Robertson said was a descendant of the Christian Coalition before turning to the issue of politicians who use the Religious Right for political benefit, which Robertson singling out President Bush:

Reed: I will predict this, on November 2 you are going to see the biggest turnout of evangelical Christians in a midterm election in modern American history, even bigger than in 1994. You know there is a survey Pat that showed that half of the Tea Party Movement were evangelicals.

Robertson: Sure, I think some of the carry over from the Christian Coalition, they morphed into this. What about this Tea Party? I'm a little bit ambivalent, they need some structure.

Reed: Well, I have to tell you I'm a big fan. I know a lot of the organizers personally. I work closely with the Tea Party Patriots and in fact two of those three national leaders I worked with in Georgia for many years. And I want to tell you Pat, they're believers by and large. They are people who are not looking for power, they're looking to give back, not to get anything from the system.

I predict that with them, as with the pro-family movement of which you were such a key pioneer, that there will come sophistication, maturation and structure over time. But it's kind of like at the beginning of the so-called Religious Right it was a few guys flying around in airplanes doing rallies. But now look how sophisticated it is. But that took thirty years.

Robertson: Well, I hope that they'll be included. In your book, it's very well presented, the evangelicals are sort of on the outside and viewed with disdain by some of the insiders. You wrote it very well.

Reed: You know a little about that.

Robertson: Yeah, I know where that disdain is. Out in the front they hug you and kiss you and behind the scenes they make fun of you.

Reed: Right. Or the other way around, they want to meet with you in private before the election but then don't want to be seen with you at the cameras.

Robertson: I had that with the late, great President Bush. I know exactly how it is. Let's not let anybody know you are coming in. Guard the room, so we don't have any cameras.

Finally, Reed marvelled at the impact Robertson has had, noting that it has taken generations, but now Regent University graduates like Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Michele Bachmann are Republican leaders:

Reed: We're celebrating this year fifty years of your ministry and I was thinking about it as I was coming to do the show and you've got Scott Rigell who's a Regent University grad who's running for Congress right here in the Second District, one of the most high-profile races in the country.

Bob McDonnell, a Regent grad, is governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. You've got people serving in positions of influence and effectiveness all over the country at very high levels.

Robertson: Michele Bachmann is one of ours too.

Reed: Is Michele Bachmann?

Robertson: Yeah, she's a Law School grad ...

Reed: Well, there you go. I rest my case.

And through the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which I really learned how to do that here at the Christian Coalition, the reality is that sometimes you don't see the full impact you are going to have on a country until a generation or two later.

Why The Religious Right Never Talks About Divorce

Via Al Mohler we get this fascinating study by Mark A. Smith of the University of Washington in "Political Science Quarterly" entitled "Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America" [PDF].

In it, Smith examines why Religious Right groups who spend all of their time talking about family values and the sanctity of marriage seem to give only lip-service, at best, to fighting divorce, despite the fact that it is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. The Right may mentione it, generally when bemoaning the deteriorating culture, but they invest little to no effort in actually trying to change the laws to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

Smith notes that neither Jerry Falwell with his Moral Majority nor Pat Robertson with his Christian Coalition paid much attention to the issue; a trend which continues today with the Family Research Council: 

The FRC regularly sends email alerts to its members and supporters in an attempt to inform, persuade, and reinforce their attitudes and beliefs about matters of interest to the group. In 2006 and 2007, the FRC dispatched hundreds of these, most of which contained three paragraph-length items. Surprisingly for an organization that structures its activities around marriage and the family, only 8 of the 1,366 items centered on divorce. In the context of its total volume of communication with members and supporters, the FRC rarely broached the topic of divorce. The organization has stated that “we will not relent in our insistence to reform divorce laws,” but that abstract support has
not been matched by a sustained commitment to spending time or resources on the issue.

Perhaps the FRCʼs emails do not accurately reflect its priorities, meaning that analyzing a different facet of the groupʼs activities would yield a different answer. Accordingly, it will be useful to examine the messages the FRC expresses when it broadcasts its views through the mass media. As part of a larger strategy to influence both the mass public and political leaders, the FRCʼs staff regularly write editorials and attempt to publish them in leading news outlets. During 2006 and 2007, the staff succeeded in placing editorials on topics falling within the organizationʼs mission, including abstinence programs in schools, gay rights and hate crimes, abortion laws in the states, and judicial activism regarding online pornography. Yet FRC staff also published editorials that criticized wasteful government spending, warned against universal health care, and challenged the science behind global warming. Certainly no one could deny that government spending, health care, and global warming are important subjects for American citizens and political leaders to consider. For an organization whose self-definition holds that it “champions marriage and the family,” however,
these issues are considerably removed from its core mission.

The FRC has stated that constraints of budget, time, and staff prevent it from engaging questions surrounding same-sex marriage and heterosexual divorce at the same time, but it managed to allocate its scarce resources to addressing many other issues of current interest. Even if one could justify on practical or biblical grounds prioritizing gay marriage over divorce, such a view could hardly justify pushing divorce all the way to the bottom of the pecking order, below issues with only a tenuous connection to marriage and the family. Of course, a comprehensive search of all of the FRCʼs communications with members, the media, and government officials from 1983 to the present would probably uncover sporadic advocacy for changing public policy regarding divorce. Such a finding would not undermine the conclusion drawn here, namely that the subject occupies a low spot on the groupʼs priority list. Indeed, in the statement from its Web site quoted above, the FRC conceded that it spends little time on divorce.

Smith notes that FRC's lack of focus on divorce is especially odd given that FRC President Tony Perkins authored the nationʼs first covenant marriage bill back when he was a state legislator in Louisiana. 

But Smith also notes that there is very little chance that FRC or any other Religious Right group is going to "move beyond just saying that they endorse divorce reform and actually turn that abstract support into concrete action" because Americans so widely accept divorce to such an extent that even a significant portion of the Religious Right's base would oppose such efforts:

Needless to say, it is not a winning strategy for mobilization to tell your potential constituents that they have committed immoral acts that you are attempting to restrict through governmental regulations. Without an organized and vocal constituency making positions on divorce a litmus test for political support, it is difficult to imagine how the issue could join the ongoing culture war.

Ralph Reed "Proud" Of His Work For Jack Abramoff: "It Was Outstanding & It Advanced Sound Public Policy"

Last night I watched "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," a documentary all about the shady dealings of Jack Abramoff and his cronies.  One of those cronies was Ralph Reed, who just so happened to be on Alan Colmes' radio program last night pitching his new novel "The Confirmation."

First, Colmes asked Reed about his infamous "I do guerrilla warfare ... You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag" quote, which Reed claimed was simply a poor choice of words for his method of taking on the boring, ground-level grunt work like knocking on doors and turning out voters - it is not sexy or flashy, but it wins elections.

Colmes then turned to Reed's work with Jack Abramoff exploiting his clout within the Religious Right to protect Abramoff's client's gambling interests, which Reed defended on the grounds that he made it clear that he would not accept any money that was derived from gambling and never was. 

Of course, as I explained several years ago when I wrote a report of Reed and his ties to Abramoff, this explanation is entirely self-serving and frankly rather pointless, as Reed was fully aware of why Abramoff was working on there and where the funding for the effort was coming from, which is why it had to be routed through Grover Norquist in order to hide its origin:

In 1999, Abramoff subcontracted Reed’s firm to generate opposition to attempts to legalize a state-sponsored lottery and video poker in Alabama, an effort that was bankrolled by the Choctaw Tribe in order to eliminate competition to its own casino in neighboring Mississippi. Reed promised that Century Strategies was “opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back” and his firm ultimately received $1.3 million from the Choctaws for this effort, which included engaging the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, as well as influential right-wing figures such as James Dobson, to work to defeat the proposals.

The strategy had one small problem: the Alabama Christian Coalition had an explicit policy that it “will not be the recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” (Emphasis in original.) Knowing this, Reed and Abramoff worked to hide the source of the $850,000 paid to the Christian Coalition for its anti-gambling efforts by funneling money from the Choctaws through Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, DC anti-tax organization headed by their old College Republican friend Grover Norquist. When asked why the tribe’s money had to be funneled through conduits such as ATR, a Choctaw representative stated it was because Reed did not want it known that casino money was funding his operation: “It was our understanding that the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns.”

Nonetheless, Reed repeatedly assured the Christian Coalition that the funding for its work was not coming from gambling interests. This was technically true as the Choctaws were paying for it out of their non-gambling revenue, though their objective was obviously to protect their own gambling interests and revenue. According to emails obtained during a Senate investigation into Abramoff’s activities and reported in the media, Reed was well aware of who was paying for this anti-gambling effort. When the information began to surface in the press and the Christian Coalition learned of the source of the $850,000 it had received, it demanded an explanation from Reed who apologized in a letter saying he should have “explained that the contributions came from the Choctaws,” thus admitting that he had been fully aware of the source of the funding. But by the time Reed offered his “after-the-fact apology,” the gambling initiative had been defeated and the Christian Coalition had been duped.

When word of Reed’s work for Abramoff first broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests.” But according to the report recently released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Abramoff’s bilking of the tribes, Reed was informed by Abramoff as early as 1999 that the money that was funding his anti-gambling operations was coming from the casino-owning Choctaw tribe.

The report published an email Abramoff sent to Reed instructing him to “page me with a page of no more than 90 words ... informing me of your completion of the budget and giving me a total budget figure with category breakdowns. Once I get this, I will call Nell [Rodgers] at Choctaw and get it approved.” A subsequent email to Reed asked him to send “invoices as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks asap.”

Thus, Reed was clearly aware that the funding for his anti-gambling work was coming from the Choctaw and that he was indirectly working to protect the tribe’s multi-million dollar gambling interests. Despite the repeated references to the Choctaw in Abramoff’s emails, Reed continued to publicly insist that he did not know the source of the funding.

Reed told Colmes that he would not accept this sort of work today, which is not surprising given that it was this very work which caused him to lose his race to be the GOP nominee Lt. Governor of Georgia, but insists that he did nothing wrong and that the work he did for Abramoff "was outstanding, I'm proud of it, and it advanced sound public policy":

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Christian Coalition Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 07/22/2014, 12:16pm
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case that the Court’s conservative majority had “ventured into a minefield” with its decision. Many of those mines have already been placed by right-wing leaders who claim a religious grounding not only for anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-contraception positions, but also for opposition to collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, progressive taxation and government involvement in the alleviation of poverty. In Hobby Lobby, the Court found for the first time that for-profit corporations have... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 11/04/2013, 11:15am
Back in 1997, E.W. Jackson was working for Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition as the director of the Samaritan Project, a short-lived campaign designed to reach out to minority voters by passing off the Coalition’s political agenda as a “bold and compassionate agenda to combat poverty and restore hope.” According to the New York Times, Jackson took part in a blessing over Robertson: “With Mr. Robertson kneeling, a half-dozen black pastors blessed him, touching his shoulder. The Rev. Earl Jackson, an African-American preacher from Boston who heads the Samaritan... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/04/2012, 5:39pm
As promised, Liberty Counsel has filed suit against the new California law banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors. On a related note, Randy Thomasson is calling on parents and counselors to defy this "tyrannical" law. The Christian Coalition is releasing voter guides for the 2012 election.  Apparently, the Christian Coalition still exists. James Dobson needs donations because "the ministry barely made it through the summer months, and emerged from it with nothing to spare." FRC prays that members of the... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 03/30/2012, 3:51pm
Tomorrow morning in Waukesha, WI, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, among others (Gov. Scott Walker is listed as an invited speaker), will rally with corrupt former lobbyist Ralph Reed and the state chapter of his Faith & Freedom Coalition, which Reed created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Here are the event details: It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off, sponsored by the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition, to be held at the Country Springs Hotel on... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:55pm
Coverage of the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this year was dominated by stories of Robert Jeffress’ criticism of the Mormon faith; Bryan Fischer’s unabashed bigotry; and the infighting that rose to the surface when Bill Bennett rebuked Jeffress and Mitt Romney, tepidly and not by name, denounced Fischer. The press coverage of the Religious Right conference was so completely focused on Jeffress and Fischer that the FRC even asked members to pray that the media will stop reporting on the story. Today FRC president Tony Perkins used his radio alert today to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/19/2011, 5:48pm
Greg Sargent @ The Plum Line: It's official: `Don’t ask don’t tell’ is history. Eric Kleefeld @ TPM: Through The Looking Glass: Bachmann’s Long History Of Strange Statements. Warren Throckmorton: David Barton: Did Early Presidents Sign Documents “In the Year of Our Lord Christ?” Nick @ Bold Faith Type: ACT! for America and "Open the Koran" Day. Joe My God: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Works To Keep Obama Off 2012 Ballot. Lee Fang @ Think Progress LGBT: California Christian Coalition Explains Repeal Effort Against... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 08/12/2011, 2:48pm
People For the American Way is preparing to move its headquarters to another location in Washington, D.C. , after more than 20 years in the same space. That has meant a monumental effort to sort through decades of accumulated paper and figure out what to do with video recordings in more formats than you could imagine – and endless save-or-toss decisions. Fortunately, earlier this year PFAW’s huge library of primary source materials on the Religious Right political movement was transferred to the University of California Berkeley’s Center for the Comparative Study of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/14/2011, 4:52pm
Alice Patterson is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally and is, not surprisingly, deeply involved in the New Apostolic Reformation movement where she focuses on "racial healing." Last year she released a book entitled "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which she explained how she had served as Field Director of the Texas Christian Coalition for years until she discovered the works of "apostles" and... MORE >