Christian Defense Coalition

Reports: Anti-Abortion Activist Shot In Michigan

Early reports are coming in that a "well-known anti-abortion activist" was shot and killed in Michigan this morning, and that another man was shot a few miles away.  The police say the two shooting are related and that a suspect is in custody but aren't releasing any more information:

A well-known anti-abortion activist was shot multiple times and killed Friday morning in front of a Michigan high school and another man was shot and killed just miles away in what police are investigating as related incidents.

Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody but have not released the name of the victim, the Flint Journal reported. The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were injured or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.

School officials say the shooting took place outside of school grounds around 7:30 a.m., when most students were already inside the building for classes. The school, located 20 miles west of Flint, is now allowing students to leave with a parental escort, WLNS News reported.

The suspect was picked up at his home at about 8:15 a.m. and is now being investigated in connection with a second killing that occurred a few miles away from the school, WNEM News reported.

Anti-abortion have already scheduled a press conference before anything is even known about the situation:

The Washington DC based Christian Defense Coalition will hold a news conference today, Friday, September 11, at 2:30 PM, in front of the US Department of Justice, on Pennsylvania Avenue.
News Conference Details---

When: Friday, September 11, at 2:30 PM
Where: In front of the U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania, Washington, DC
Who: Christian Defense Coalition director Rev. Patrick Mahoney, and other pro-life leaders
Why: To Comment on Murder of a pro-life activist in Michigan this morning

"Pro-life leaders have received numerous death threats. We call upon the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice to put the manpower and attention they have given in the past to the murder of abortion providers toward solving this case. If breaking news reports are accurate, this was a long time friend of mine." -- Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition

Priests for Life says it was a man named James Pouillon:

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today upon learning of the shooting of longtime pro-life activist James Pouillon in front of a high school in Owosso, Michigan.

"We do not know the motive yet. But this is a time to console one another, and to renew our determination to organize peaceful protests. It is no time for fear. And I am waiting to hear the abortion advocates condemn this killing."

UPDATE: The Flint Journal confirms his identity:

An anti-abortion activist gunned down Friday morning in front of Owosso High School has been identified as James Lawrence Pouillon, 63, of Owosso.

Pouillon was a longtime abortion protester, known for his highly vocal and visible public demonstrations around the community and even outside the state.

Longtime friend and fellow activist Judy Climer, president of Flint Right to Life, described Pouillon as "just a nice, elderly gentleman who was disabled, used an oxygen tank and wore leg braces."

Climer said Pouillon had a regular weekly schedule of visits to abortion clinics in Flint and Saginaw, where he would park across the street and pray when abortions were allegedly being conducted.

"I knew him very well. He told me one time God put in his heart a passion for the little babies that have the right to be born and they were being denied that right," said Climer, who said Pouillon often stopped at her office for coffee breaks as he drove from one location to another to demonstrate.

"He even told me once he'd be willing to die for that belief. That's what I hear him saying right now."

Climer said Pouillon called her last week and told her he planned to be in Flint later today, parked across the street from the Feminine Health Care Center, 2032 S. Saginaw Street.

"He always comes. He would even go up to Saginaw at 7:30 a.m. and pray, then come here to Flint at noon," said Climer. "This was a passion he's had for 20 years, to just pray that abortion would come to an end and that women would see the truth that abortion is murder."

...

Pouillon was arrested in 1994 for disorderly conduct, in a case where he allegedly harassed parents as they took their children to day care at First Congregational Church in Owosso.

In a 2003 Flint Journal report of the case, Pouillon said that he targeted the church because it had hosted a 25th anniversary celebration for the local Planned Parenthood office.

At the time, Pouillon said he urged parents escorting children, "Don't take your kids to that church. They kill babies in there. They support abortion."

The 1994 police report indicated Pouillon was screaming at pre-school children and their mothers but Pouillon said he and a church member were shouting only because they stood hundreds of feet apart.

The state Supreme Court ordered the state Court of Appeals to rule on the case, which overturned Pouillon's conviction in 2003.

In another case, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a ruling that ordered the city of Owosso to reimburse Pouillon for legal costs from another 1994 incident in which Pouillon was cleared of charges of resisting a police officer. In that incident, Pouillon was jailed after failing to heed a police demand that he stop demonstrating on an outdoor landing near City Hall.

Anti-Choice Activists Heading to Martha's Vineyard

Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition announces that they are heading up to Martha's Vineyard to conduct protests during President Obama's vacation:

The activists will be holding large banners saying "Abortion is Not Health Care" and "President Obama human rights begin in the womb... Protect America's children."

The events on Martha's Vineyard are part of a national campaign called "Abortion is Not Health Care" sponsored by the Christian Defense Coalition, Operation Rescue, Expectant Mother Care and the Coalition for Life.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

"We are traveling to Martha's Vineyard to publicly remind the President that abortion is not health care and not one penny of public monies should be spent on paying for abortions.

"We think it is important during this national debate on health care, that President Obama embrace social justice and human rights for all. We do not want the President to turn health care, which is supposed to heal and bring comfort to those in need, into something that destroys and diminishes innocent human life.

"Our activities will remind President Obama there is no vacation from human rights, social justice and the truth.

 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Washington Post reports: A total of 12 forged letters -- all appearing to come from local groups unhappy with a climate-change bill -- were sent to three congressional offices this summer by a Washington lobbying firm, according to the pro-coal group for which the firm was working. That is six more fraudulent letters than were previously known to have been sent by the firm, Bonner and Associates.
  • Marco Rubio writes that he "could not in good conscience support [Sonia] Sotomayor’s confirmation and would vote against it if I were in the Senate today."
  • Anyone in the market for a creationism theme park? You are in luck, as one is about to be seized by the government in order to satisfy the $430,400 its owners owed to the federal government in taxes.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition announces that its "Abortion is Not Health Care" campaign will begin on Saturday, September 12, in Washington, D.C. and will "include public prayer vigils, rallies, lobbying, demonstrations and cutting edge pro-life witness on Capitol Hill."
  • It's probably not a good sign when Sarah Huckabee has to write a post on the Huck PAC website seeking to answer "a lot of questions from people confused about what the purpose of Huck PAC is."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum teams up with the National Organization for Marriage.
  • The Parental Rights Amendment now has 110 co-sponsors.
  • The Apostolic and Prophetic Conference is scheduled for Oct. 8 to 10 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Rod Parsley will be there.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition congratulates itself for forcing a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring First Lady Michelle Obama to move indoors after it showed up with a bullhorn.
  • Colleen Raezler of the Culture and Media Institute is not happy with all the gays on TV, saying it is part of an effort "to sell viewers on the idea of accepting homosexuality ... They don't talk about the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases within the gay community ... They don't talk about the fact that their lifestyles are much more unstable; ...they don't have the commitment that married couples have or anything like that. Nor do the programs acknowledge that homosexuals tend to live shorter lives, as statistics point out."

The Right Readies for Sotomayor

With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing getting underway, the Right readies its attacks.

Manuel Miranda says "the Sotomayor hearings are a spotlight on the president who nominated her, and if the Republicans don't use it that way they are fools."

Yesterday, the Christian Defense Coalition held a prayer vigil outside the Supreme Court  while Randall Terry is planning more protests:

On Monday, a Sotomayor look alike will parade around with a "Sickle of Death," showing Sotomayor's support of the slaughter of unborn children. There will also be child coffins holding "dead babies."

Randall Terry States:

"We are tired of Senators using unborn babies to seduce pro-lifers before elections - taking pro-lifers' volunteer labor, money, and votes - only to cast us and the babies aside like an embarrassing mistress after an election. It is disgusting.

"Any pro-life Senator who votes for Sotomayor is turning their back on unborn children and continuing this holocaust. They can't say, 'I want to overturn Roe,' and then confirm a Supreme Court Judge who will uphold Roe. To do so is hypocrisy, cowardice, and treachery of the first order.

Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network lists some questions she want to see asked:

Does Judge Sotomayor believe the abortion industry should be excused from having to prove its case in court when it sues to strike down a duly-enacted abortion regulation?

Does she believe medical records are relevant and admissible as a general matter but not if they involve abortion?

Does Sotomayor have such great faith in abortion providers that she is willing to accept their verbal claims as fact and impose them as a matter of law?

The American Center for Law and Justice likewise wants to see "tough questions" asked:

“The Senate must fulfill its constitutional role in providing advice and consent and that means asking the tough, in-depth questions about Judge Sotomayor’s view of the Constitution and her judicial philosophy,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “What does Judge Sotomayor believe is the proper role of judges? How does she view her role as a judge? These are important questions that deserve straight-forward answers. A Supreme Court appointment is the lasting legacy of a President. And, as President Obama moves to reshape the federal judiciary, it’s critical that the American people understand the judicial philosophy and temperament of Judge Sotomayor. Let’s not forget the scope and intensity of questions posed to President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees – John Roberts and Samuel Alito. The questioning of Judge Sotomayor must be direct, focused and in-depth. The nominee must answer the questions clearly and without reservation. The American people deserve nothing less.”

Concerned Women for America is sending a letter to Senators asking them to oppose her nomination:

CWALAC President Wendy Wright said, "Sonia Sotomayor has lived the American dream. Rising from a poor childhood to being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor is a testimony to the opportunities and blessings of America. But as we investigate her record, we are struck by her unwillingness to allow others to have the same opportunities as she has had. Her record reveals she lacks the primary characteristic required of a judge: impartiality. She has used her position as a judge to deny equal opportunity to people based on their ethnicity. She worked with organizations that aggressively fought against basic human rights for preborn children and ethical rights to ensure women and girls are not coerced into abortion. After giving her the benefit of the doubt, her record of giving preferences to certain classes of people and denying equal justice to others obliges Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee to oppose her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. We urge senators to vote against her nomination.

The Traditional Values Coalition has released a "scorecard" containing "16 questions Americans must demand U.S. Senators ask Judge Sonia Sotomayor before approving her lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land."  The questions include [PDF]:

How can we expect her to rule impartially on the law and the Constitution when she considers herself a world citizen – and openly supports Obama’s political agenda? She has violated the code of conduct for judges and should be disqualified.

Does Judge Sotomayor still believe in the superiority of female Hispanic justices over justices of other races and sex?

Why did race disqualify Miguel Estrada from receiving Senate approval, but not Sonia Sotomayor?

Will Judge Sotomayor refrain from abusing her new power on the Supreme Court to bring about radical change in American society?

Finally, the Committee for Justice claims that Sotomayor is as unpopular as was Harriet Miers and unveils two ads calling for her defeat, with one contrasting her to Martin Luther King and another claiming she wants to "take away your guns":

With Tiller Dead, Operation Rescue Turns Its Attention to Carhart

When Dr. George Tiller was gunned-down while attending church in May, Operation Rescue's Troy Newman was quick to issue a statement decrying the assassination and insisting that Tiller's murderer "has never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue."

In the days that followed, Newman made it clear that OR, which had been targeting Tiller for years, was not going to give up its anti-choice activism, saying "Operation Rescue will not stand by and act as if this organization's Pro-Life message has been silenced by [this] egregious act" and proclaiming that the organization "will continue to advocate for the sanctity of human life, born and unborn."

Tiller was one of only three physicians in the country who performed the types of procedures that made him the focus of the anti-choice activist's protestations and harassment.  One of the others is LeRoy Carhart, the man at the center of the 2000 Supreme Court case Stenberg v. Carhart in which the court held that "Nebraska's statute criminalizing the performance of 'partial birth abortion[s]' violates the Federal Constitution."

So with Tiller now dead at the hands of an assassin, it looks as if Operation Rescue is now focusing its efforts entirely on Carhart:

A coalition of four pro-life groups have sent a letter to Nebraska Attorney General Jon Buning asking him to open a "comprehensive" investigation into late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart and his Bellevue abortion clinic.

Signing the letter were Troy Newman of Operation Rescue headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, DC, Larry Donlan of Rescue the Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska, and Ann Bowen of Nebraskans United for Life, also of Omaha.

The group expressed concerns about the legality of certain aspects of Carhart's abortion business as well as concerns about the condition of Carhart's run-down abortion clinic that was damaged by an accidental fire earlier this year.

Carhart has indicated that he wants to begin doing risky third trimester abortions at his Bellevue clinic.

"There is concern that this decision will create an unacceptable safety risk to women," the group stated in their letter dated July 6, 2009.

"The safety of the public is our paramount concern, thus we are requesting the most comprehensive investigation of Carhart and his Nebraska abortion business as soon as possible from the Attorney General's office, and that your investigation not be limited solely to the concerns listed in this letter. Women's lives and future health literally depend on it."

Troy Newman moved OR's "offices to Wichita, Kansas in 2002, where he began an intensive campaign to close George Tiller’s abortion mill."

Any bets on how long it is before we see OR announce that it is relocating its offices to Bellevue, Nebraska?

The Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS) Pick-Up Right-Wing Support for NEA "Prayer and Picket"

Bob Pawson, national coordinator for Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS), has announced that he's added a few familiar faces to his "prayer and picket" planned for the National Education Association's annual conference in San Diego on July 2nd.

Earlier this month, I wrote about Pawson's personal vendetta against the NEA, a group who is hardly an outspoken abortion advocacy group (they dedicate three sentences of their 462-page charter to reproductive rights).

Now, he's gained some support from, among others, the recently jailed Rev. Walter B. Hoye, president of Issues4Life Foundation. Along with Hoye, Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, and Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition have pledged their support:

Bob Pawson of Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS), announces, "Our growing team of pro-life coordinators now includes Jeff White from Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition, and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, for the July 2 prayer-and-picket demonstration during the NEA teacher union convention at the San Diego Convention Center and NEA-State-Affiliate offices across America.

"These esteemed pro-life leaders are promoting and recruiting for our peaceful, prayerful demonstrations regarding the NEA leadership's pro-abortion track record. They are speaking at the Rally for Life at New Beginnings Church in Norco, CA, this Tuesday evening alongside Rev. Walter B. Hoye II, president of Issues4Life Foundation."

While Pawson didn't re-affirm his belief that abortion caused the current economic crisis, he did downplay the size of the protests at state-level NEA offices. He also advised parents to bring their children, because hey, they make for good marketing:

"Gather together your family members and a few pro-life friends and just go to your state's NEA-affiliate offices with pro-life posters. Pray and picket for an hour. Children are especially effective messengers highlighting the hypocrisy of teacher-union leaders supporting abortion," said Pawson.

"The number of locations nationwide is more important than the number of picketers at any location. We don't necessarily need hundreds of picketers at each state's NEA-HQ. A dozen or two would be sufficient -- multiplied by many sites across 50 states. Pro-Lifers far from state capitals can picket their county or town's local NEA-affiliate listed in telephone book white pages."


Right Wing Leftovers

  • The group of right-wingers who gathered to protest David Letterman yesterday were outnumbered by members of the media, but still managed to get lots of attention for saying things like Letterman "rapes children with his mouth."
  • Senator John Ensign has admitted that he had an extramarital affair with a member of his campaign staff and stepped down from his position as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is asking organizers of the "Jindal for President Draft Council" to disband the organization.
  • The Family Research Council is predictably unhappy with President Obama's decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, calling it a violation of the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • A former Regent University law school assistant dean who was convicted of sex acts with underage girls has been ordered to serve 16 years in prison.
  • Changes really are afoot at Focus on the Family: Men no longer have to wear ties and women no longer have to wear skirts or dresses.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition and others are organizing a prayer vigil at George Tiller's now-closed clinic. The vigil is not for Tiller, but rather to pray "that no abortions would ever be performed in the city again."
  • Finally, John Lofton wants it made clear that even though Tiller's work was entirely legal, it was actually illegal:
  • [K]illing by abortion of innocent human beings, in their earliest stage of development, was mass murder. Murder can never be "legal" because God's Law prohibits it. Thus, none of Tiller's abortions were "legal."

    To those who say Tiller's mass murders were "legal" because abortion has been made "legal" by various "laws" and/or court rulings, this assertion is also false. Man-made "laws" that contradict God's Law are not law.

Sotomayor Hearing Set, So Bring on the Oil

Now that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing has been set to begin on July 13, you know what comes next: Rob Schenck has to anoint the room with oil.

David Brody reports:

The Christian group "Faith and Action in the Nation's Capitol" has made its way to Capitol Hill and Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor might be interested in what they did. They blessed the doors of Senate Hart Building Room 216 with prayer and oil because they believe this will be the room most likely used for her confirmation hearing which begins July 13th.

Here is the video Faith and Action has posted of Schenck in action, along with an alert the organization is sending out to its members:

You probably heard the news that US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy has set the start date for confirmation hearings surrounding Judge Sonia Sotomayor as President Obama's nominee to the United States Supreme Court. They will begin Monday, July 13, and probably last through that week. I waited for that announcement before making one of my own:

A firm foundation of prayer has been laid for this confirmation process. Wednesday morning, June 3, about 8:00, I went to the US Senate Hart Building across the street from our ministry center where the last two Supreme Court nomination hearings took place. Once there, I proceeded to Committee Room 216, the very same chamber where we have held numerous prayer and worship services over the years. This will most likely be the venue for the Senate hearing.

I went to the hearing room doors, and, following biblical and long-held Christian traditions, anointed them with oil as a symbol of consecration, or a setting apart for God's purpose. In respect for Judge Sotomayor's strong Catholic background, I used oil specially formulated for this purpose. It was also blessed by a Catholic priest at the St. Francis Monastery here in Washington, DC.

As I prayed, I touched the doors in three spots, making the sign of the cross. I prayed for God to superintend over the entire confirmation process and mark them with truth because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life," and He prayed to His Father, saying, "Thy Word is Truth." Of course, in the end, we always pray that God's will be done.

There is so much we can do as part of this enormously consequential exercise, including letting our senators know how we feel about this nomination. Nothing, though, is as important as prayer. I invite you to join me in praying as often as you can during the entire hearing process beginning Monday morning, July 13.

I will keep you informed.

Your missionary to Capitol Hill,

Rev. Rob Schenck
President
Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital

This is the first time Schenck has done this sort of thing alone, as he has traditionally been joined by Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition in the anointing ceremonies they carried out before the hearings for John Roberts and Samuel Alito and the inauguration of President Obama.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council has announced that Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Maggie Gallagher, and others would be gathering for an anti-marriage rally tomorrow in Albany, NY.
  • Sen. David Vitter says that his prospects of being re-elected in 2010 are "very good," despite the revelations that he had been involved with a prostitution ring.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition erected a 16 foot cross, the Star of David and a sacred symbol for the name of Jesus in front of the White House on Sunday, June 7 because "the group is troubled and finds hypocritical that President Obama would highlight religious liberty and freedom at his recent speech in Cairo, yet here in America he chooses to cover up Christian religious symbols and trample on religious liberty."
  • Only in Texas is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a woman with a "near-perfect scores from anti-tax groups and the gun-rights lobby, and an 89.4 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union [while] NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates abortion rights, has given her a zero the past four years, the same score she gets from gay-rights advocates," considered insufficiently conservative.
  • In its coverage of George Tiller's funeral, the Christian Post notes that the service was being protested by Westboro Baptist Church, which it calls "a virulent cult that has terrorized funerals across the nation."
  • Finally, David Brody has posted a CBN segment on the Reclaiming God in America Conference, featuring quotes from Mike Huckabee saying that the only reason Prop. 8 passed was because of prayer and Newt Gingrich saying he was "compelled to get back into the arena to take on the secular fanatics who are trying to destroy our relationship with God."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A gaggle of right-wing groups - including Abiding Truth Ministries, AFA, Americans for Truth, Citizens for Community Values, Concerned Women for America, Faith2Action, Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, Mission America, and PFOX - are calling on parents to pull their kids from school on the Day of Silence.
  • The Hill reports that right-wing groups are livid with Republicans for not doing more to try and stop Kathleen Sebelius.
  • Iowa Family Policy Council reacts to the marriage ruling: "It's only a matter of time now before those of us who are still willing to speak the truth and say that homosexuality is wrong are the ones that they are calling criminals. We have to rise up now. We have to protect marriage."
  • Faith and Action has posted video of Rob Schenck and Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition carrying out their annual Stations of the Cross prayer pilgrimage on Capitol Hill.
  • Ben Stein will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University this year.
  • Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is reportedly facing growing dissatisfaction from conservatives in the state who are contemplating a possible primary challenge if he runs for the U.S. Senate next year.
  • The ACLJ is warning that the Obama administration is "embracing foreign and economic policies that may very well put U.S. sovereignty at risk." Their proof? "The Obama Administration is reversing a long-standing U.S. policy refraining from participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council."

Faith And Action's Tangled Web

A few weeks back, Faith and Action's Rob Schenck provided a video update in which he reported that Focus on the Family's new lobbyist to Capitol Hill, former Bush administration aide Tim Goeglein, would soon be sharing office space with them.

Shortly after we highlighted the video, Faith and Action yanked it down, but in it Schenck related how their office was actually the office of several allied ministries as well including the Christian Defense Coalition, Priests for Life, the National Pro-Life Action Center, the Judicial Action Group, and the Life Education and Resource Network.

In fact, there are so many different organization operating out of that office and being run by people with ties to Faith and Action that it is almost impossible to tell them apart.  For instance, Schenck and Christian Defense Coalition Director Patrick Mahoney regularly work together, like when they got together to annoint the door through which Barack Obama would walk on his way to his inauguration.

Priests for Life is run by Frank Pavone, who is also a trustee at Faith and Action, as well as president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and Pastoral Director of Rachel’s Vinyard.

The National Pro-Life Action Center is run by Paul Schenck, Rob's twin brother, who is Chairman of Faith and Action as well as the Chief Operating Officer for National Pro-Life Radio, which itself was founded by Stephen Peroutka, who just so happens to also be the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Pro-Life Action Center.  National Pro-Life Radio's on air broadcasters include Frank Pavone, Paul Schenck, and Rob Schenck, as well as other allies like Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice who has his own close ties to Rob and Paul Schenck.

As for Rob Schenck, in addition to being a co-founder of Faith and Action, he is also president of the National Clergy Council. Among the board members of the NCC are Patrick Mahoney of the CDC as well as a man named Gary Dull, who is also an executive board member of Faith and Action.

All of which is a long way of saying that it looks like we'll soon have yet another Faith and Action-related group to try and keep an eye on because Dull is set to announce that he is starting his own new right-wing organization to confront the problem of godlessness in America:

Why is the USA in the midst of a great economic crisis? Why is there so much corruption in government? Why are American marriages breaking up at the rate of nearly 50%? Could it be that there is a root cause that many are overlooking? Could it be that the America we love is facing the judgment of God due to rejecting His laws regarding abortion, same-sex marriages, the public display of God in public spaces, trying to borrow our way into wealth, and the funding of godless programs? It appears that we too often attempt to fix the symptom of the problem, as the root of the problem continues to eat at the very core of the nation.

Today, Faith and Action in the Nation's Capitol, HOPE Ministries of Hickory, NC, and The Way of Truth Ministries of Altoona, PA are announcing the formation of THE FAITH AND FREEDOM INSTITUTE for the purpose of motivating religious, governmental, and community leaders to call our nation back to its basic values defined in historical documents. The vision of TFFI will be to perpetuate true patriotism and generate a genuine desire for biblical values in churches, schools and governmental entities within the USA.

...

Today (March 5) at 4:00 PM, a press conference will be held by the organizers to TFFI at the headquarters of the Faith and Action Ministry at 109 2nd Street, NW Washington (behind the Supreme Court) to explain the mission and objectives of the organization.

Sebelius: The Right Opposes While Brownback Endorses

To say that the Religious Right has been opposed to the prospect of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius might be named as Secretary of Health and Human Services since her name was first floated a few weeks back would be something of an understatement.

Back in early February, Concerned Women for America, Operation Rescue, and the Christian Defense Coalition are already on record opposing the nomination and now that the announcement is official, they are ramping up their opposition and being joined by groups like the Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, the Susan B. Anthony list, the Catholic League and Americans United for Life and others.

As Ezra Klein explained, their opposition is rooted in Sebelius' purported "ties" to George Tiller:

George Tiller is, in the words of the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, a "late-term abortionist." Closing his clinic has been a main goal of of the Operation Rescue folks. In 1993, in fact, Tiller was shot twice by an anti-abortion activist who'd decided picketing was inefficient.

So what does this have to do with Sebelius? She's met him.

Worse than that: She's had him over for dinner. As the Concerned Women for America wrote, Sebelius "held a private party in the governor's mansion for notorious abortionist George Tiller." That, of course, is the sort of detail that can matter amidst nomination fights. Maybe Sebelius could be blocked.

But this fell apart rather quickly: Tiller and his staff won the evening in a fundraising auction. Nothing personal, but their invitation was, well, nothing personal.

Nonetheless, it is obvious that the Right is going to attempt to make a spectacle out of Sebelius’s nomination, but that doesn't look like it will be easy considering that both of Kansas's Republican Senators, including the ardently anti-choice Sam Brownback, are supporting her:

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today congratulated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius on her nomination by President Obama to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services,” the Senators said. “It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president’s cabinet. We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department. We look forward to working with her on issues important to the state including a National Cancer Institute Designation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.”

Donohue Wants You To Have Children You Can’t Afford

LifeNews reports that the proposed stimulus plan includes a provision allocating money to Planned Parenthood for its contraceptive services ... and predictably anti-choice activists are voicing concerns:

A Clinton-era program allows states to seek a waiver to offer Medicaid “family planning” services -- including people who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. If they seek the waiver, the federal government matches the state funding with $9 for every $1.

On Friday, when the House Energy & Commerce Committee considered the congressional Democrats’ spending bill, the committee eliminated the waiver requirement.

As a result, all 50 states will now offer Medicaid “family planning” services (including contraception) with the federal government offering the same $9 to $1 match. Although the money doesn't fund abortions directly, it goes to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, which would otherwise have to spend its own money on contraception.

Pro-life advocates say the governmental funds frees up Planned Parenthood dollars to promote and perform abortions that it would otherwise have to spend on family planning.

This does not seem all that remarkable, and when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi about it yesterday, she provided a rather coherent explanation:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

Now, people can differ about whether or not this sort of thing counts as “stimulus” but the fact that the federal government is giving money to states to help cover the costs of their programs at a time when they are facing massive budget shortfalls seems pretty self-explanatory, as does the idea that allowing families to make informed decisions about having children (and avoid unexpected pregnancies) ultimately ends up saving money for both states and the federal government. 

But then again, I’m not Bill Donohue, who sees this as proof that Pelosi, Obama, and the Democrats hate children:

“Looks like the Democrats have abortion and contraception on the brain. Last week, President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on federal funds being used to promote and perform abortions overseas. Now we have Pelosi arguing that the way to balance the budget is not by cutting expenditures, but by cutting kids. Her comment matches up well with what Obama said during the presidential campaign about comprehensive sex education: speaking of his own daughters, he said that ‘if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.’

“We have reached a new low when high-ranking public office holders in the federal government cast children as the enemy. But at least it explains their enthusiasm for abortion-on-demand.”

Over at TPM, Elana Schor explains that, once again, this is much ado about nothing.

UPDATE: The Christian Defense Coalition likewise weighs in:

Christian Defense Coalition calls Speaker Pelosi's decision to add contraceptives to the economic stimulus package bigoted, racist, elitist and anti-child.

...

This policy would lay the foundation for racism and eugenics because it would seek to reduce the number of children to the nation's poorest economic groups, which tend to be persons of color and other minorities.

...

Speaker Pelosi's actions are even more troubling and hypocritical when one realizes she herself has five children. Perhaps she thinks they have more value because they are white European children.

Understanding The Meaning of "Exclusive"

Unlike David Brody, I am not a journalist and don't regularly get asked to host programs and provide insight on CNN ... so maybe there is some journalistic definition of the word "exclusive" with which I am unfamiliar:

EXCLUSIVE: Video of Pastors Physically Blessing Obama's Inaugural Walkway
January 9, 2009

You have to check out this video. It was sent exclusively to The Brody File.

The video in question is of Congressman Paul Broun, Rob Schenck of Faith and Action and Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition anointing the doorway President-Elect Barack Obama will pass through on his way to being sworn in next week ... which we posted last week:

Considering that Schenck and company sent out a press release about it on January 7th and then posted the video the same day on Schenck's Faith and Action YouTube page, at which point we and others wrote about it, it's hard to understand how this is in any way a Brody File "exclusive." 

Anti-Choice Activists to Protest During Inauguration

Earlier this week we mentioned that Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition announced that he would be leading a daily prayer vigil outside the White House until Barack Obama's inauguration that would coincide with his own 21-day hunger strike to "stand in solidarity and identify with the homeless, poor and disenfranchised of America, as well as the 50 million innocent victims of abortion."

As we noted before, the focus of Mahoney's stunt was far more about abortion than any sort of concern regrading the homeless and poor - and now it looks like it will culminate with a CDC-led anti-choice rally during the Inaugural Parade:

The Christian Defense Coalition has been issued a permit to conduct a pro-life vigil and display along the parade route during the Presidential Inauguration.

The permit was issued after discussions between the American Center for Law and Justice, who is representing the Christian Defense Coalition, and the National Park Service and the Secret Service.

The group plans to display 25 large signs on Pennsylvania Ave. showing the development of life from conception until birth.

...

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments,

"It is critical that moments after Barack Obama takes the oath as the 44th President of the United States he drive by a visible reminder of those who will have no voice or rights in his Administration. Those are the over 50,000,000 innocent lives that have been brutalized and lost through the violence of abortion.

"While millions will be celebrating along the Inaugural Parade route, we will be speaking 'truth to power' and calling for justice and equality for all Americans. Sadly , President-elect Obama is on the wrong side of history and human rights by embracing the most radical abortion policies of any President in American history.

"This display will also serve as a 'teaching moment' for the new President in helping him understand that life begins at conception and that social justice begins in the womb.

You can see the full series of CDC signs here.

But speaking of this event, it looks like the CDC aren't the only ones planning on staging a protest during the inauguration - they'll have some company in the form of members of the militantly anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church: 

The U.S. Park Service granted some groups permits to protest on Inauguration Day.

The Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kan., will have 15 people at the northeast corner of John Marshal Park protesting military funerals and gays until the parade clears, the park service said.

Protesting abortion clinics in front of the Canadian Embassy will be 100 to 200 people from the Christian Defense Coalition in New Jersey.

The Resistance Movement: Targeting African Americans With Prayers, Buzzwords, and Charges of Genocide

With Barack Obama’s inauguration just around the corner, it looks like anti-choice activists are swinging into high gear:

Beginning January 1, the Christian Defense Coalition will lead prayer for President-Elect Obama outside of the White House every day at 12:00 noon until the Inauguration.

The group will close with a large prayer vigil on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday on Monday, January 19 at noon.

The Christian Defense Coalition is encouraging the faith community to pray for Mr. Obama at noon in their homes, churches and local communities all across the nation.

That sounds rather innocuous, but the Baltimore Sun reports that, like every other CDC event, there is more to it than meets the eye:

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, will be going on a 21-day fast and hunger strike to pray for and "stand in solidarity and identify with the homeless, poor and disenfranchised of America, as well as the 50 million innocent victims of abortion."

Considering that Mahoney is a tireless anti-choice crusader, it’s pretty safe to assume that his efforts are aimed more at ending abortion than helping the homeless.  

But Mahoney is not alone is seeing the upcoming inauguration as an opportunity to press his anti-choice ideology:

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said today that African Americans celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama should carry a pro-family agenda to Washington, DC.

"African Americans are pro-life and favor procreative marriage," said Dr. King.  "As we see the dawn of a new year and a great milestone being passed, blacks across the country should let our new president know that we want babies in the womb protected and traditional marriage respected.  The accomplishment of an African American holding the nation's highest office will be of little value if the black community continues to be destroyed by the horrible plague of abortion."

Tips-Q raises a good point – when did the Religious Right start replacing their standard “traditional marriage” with “procreative marriage”?

But nobody in the anti-choice movement seems to be as excited about the opportunity they believe they will have to highlight the evils of abortion under Barack Obama as Clenard Childress, who proclaims the incoming president to be the face of black genocide:

Clenard Childress Jr., senior pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., and founder of BlackGenocide.org, criticizes Obama's pro-abortion voting record and rhetoric but says, "The good thing about an Obama presidency is that we now have a face to put on the genocide of African-American babies in this country."

In fact, it looks like anti-choice adovcates are now embarking on an effort to specifically target African American communities:

Georgia Right to Life is pleased to announce that Catherine Davis will be leading GRTL in outreach efforts to the African American community. In 2006, Catherine Davis ran for the 4th District Congressional Candidate because she had a desire to impact her community. Now just a few years later, she will have that opportunity by helping GRTL to preserve the legacy of the African American community ... As the new director of minority outreach for GRTL, Catherine will work to dramatically decrease the number of abortions while educating Georgians about the holocaustic impact this practice has had on the Black community.

Right after the election, we wrote about many of the people mentioned here when they simultaneously announced that they intended to form an anti-abortion resistance movement once Obama took office … and it looks like that is exactly what they are setting out to do.

Testing Obama's Commitment to Inclusion

Considering that Barack Obama is committed to ensuring that his inauguration is going to be "the most open, accessible, and inclusive" by including the likes of Rick Warren, one wonders if that committment is going to carry over when he moves into the White House.

If so, he'll probably be getting lots of requests like this:

In a letter sent to the President-Elect it states, "...the pro-life community seeks a first time face-to-face meeting with you."

The purpose of meeting would be to "...establish a foundation on how we can all work together to build a 'culture of life' which honors equality and human rights and ends abortion."

...

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states, "President-Elect Obama has repeatedly stated during his campaign and in post election comments his strong desire to meet with those who have differing views from his. It is our hope and prayer that these words truly reflect his heart and were not shallow campaign promises to be discarded after the election.

"President-Elect Obama has never sat down face with members of the pro-life community that represent the values embraced by millions of Americans. He has never heard the narratives of women who have been bruised and diminished through abortion.

"Mr. Obama has never heard the personal stories from thousands of dedicated professionals that have laid aside personal ambition and financial gain in order to serve women who find themselves in challenging pregnancies. He has never heard from faith and human rights leaders that are devoted to standing for social justice and ending the tragedy and violence of abortion.

"If President-Elect Obama is truly interested in reducing abortions, it is imperative that he sit down and dialogue with those who have dedicated their lives toward ending this tragedy."

Mahoney has not had particularly flattering things to say about Obama in the past, blasting him for having a "fundamental lack of integrity" and proclaiming that he does not posses the "moral authority" to comment on the subject of reproductive choice. He's also part of a self-described anti-choice resistence movement that emerged following Obama's election, declaring that they would "not go silently into the night and allow the violence to continue."

But he's also a human rights protester who was arrested during the Olympics in China.

So, since Mahoney has a "history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden," like Warren, and Obama is "committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground," can we expect Obama to grant this meeting to this militantly anti-choice activist?

Let The Right Wing Resurrection Begin

It has been less than twelve hour since the historic election that saw Barack Obama become President-elect of the United States and the Democratic Party widen its margins in the House and Senate, and while we are still months away from them actually taking office, the Religious Right is already warning that their first order to business will be to presecute Christians:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, believes Senator Obama was elected, in large part, because the church in America has failed to address sin in its own ranks and also in society.

Perkins says Christians should pray for and return to a biblical model of holiness and righteousness. And believers in America, he adds, should prepare for persecution.

Tony Perkins"We are going to see, I think, unprecedented attacks against our faith through measures like the hate crimes [legislation] to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he says. "We're going to see attacks on innocent human life through the Freedom of Choice Act, trying to erase all the gains that have been made in the pro-life movement. And I think even our freedoms are going to come under attack."

And before that happens, other right-wing leaders are rallying the troops to launch their own right-wing attacks with Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, declaring that Obama has already "failed miserably":

"Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency," Fr. Pavone wrote. "He said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights. How can one govern from that starting point of ignorance? Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin. The President-elect has already failed that test miserably."

Fr. Pavone sounds a note of defiant confidence, declaring that the pro-life movement is winning in the culture and that "a new chapter of the pro-life movement has just begun. ...We will keep marching toward that pro-life America we seek, and won't stop until we get there."

For its part, the Christian Defense Coalition has announced its own "The Birmingham Letter Project" which they plan to use to "challenge the radical pro-abortion policies of President-elect Barack Obama":

"We will be coming to Washington, D.C., as President-elect Obama is sworn in, to boldly stand as public and prophetic witness for life. As the pro-life community, we will not go silently into the night and allow the violence to continue. Instead, we are issuing this national call for the pro-life community to come to the streets of our nation's capital and be a prayerful voice for those who have no voice.

As for the "conservative movement" that was so badly damaged by President George Bush, Phyllis Schlafly declares that they are already in the process of rebuilding:

"I think we’re going to be looking for new leaders who express conservatism across the board – whether its sovereignty, limited spending, limited government, cuts in spending, cuts in taxes, the social issues – to simply reject these groups who are trying to muscle into the driver’s seat of the Republican Party, such as the multinationals with their ‘free-trade globalism’ agenda ... We have about 30 very good members of Congress who are destined to become good leaders.”

The Logical Next Step

For the last few weeks, I've been mocking the Right's claim that somehow our current economic crisis is actually due to abortion, homosexuals, and an overall breakdown in the family whenever it comes up.

And, for some reason, it keeps coming up and getting odder every time … to the point where we now have Religious Right activists calling for a nationwide prayer vigil as our only hope of reversing the economic slide:

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states, "America is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  In times of great crisis and challenge Americans have always turned to God for comfort, support and guidance.  We call upon President Bush, to follow the example of Abraham Lincoln, and issue a proclamation for a National Day of Prayer just as Lincoln did in April of 1863 during the Civil War.

"It is important that Americans humble themselves and turn to God to address this grave crisis which political leaders seem to have no power to solve.

 "As President Lincoln stated, '...it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:'"

Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action, adds, "Americans are living in fear and confusion in the wake of this tragic economic crisis.  Many are seeing their investments and retirement funds vanish before their eyes.  In response to this massive uncertainty, we call upon President Bush to proclaim a National Day of Prayer.

Regardless of whether or not President Bush actually follows through on their demands, I predict that, at some point down the road when the chaos subsides and the economy begins to recover, the Christian Defense Coalition will subsequently release a statement taking credit for it - just as they did back in 2007 when they attempted to take sole credit a decline in the murder rate in Washington DC.

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Christian Defense Coalition Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 04/06/2011, 10:50am
Looks like other ant-choice activists are taking a page out of the Randall Terry playbook by seeking to upgrade the shock value of their efforts to get Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, which is why Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and Johnny Hunter of the Life Education and Resource Networks [LEARN] will be demonstrating in front of Speaker John Boehner's office displaying white sheets in an effort to link Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan: Leaders to display "white sheets" to draw attention to the fact that Planned Parenthood Founder, Margaret... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/09/2010, 4:36pm
International Burn a Koran Day has been canceled. Which makes the trip by Faith and Action and the Christian Defense Coalition to Florida rather moot now, doesn't it? Bryan Fischer continues to demonstrate just what a tremendous asset he is to the American Family Association. Rick Scarborough has joined the line-up at WorldNetDaily's Take Back America Conference. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, author John R. Lott, and Kris Kobach will speak at the annual Eagle Forum Leadership Conference this weekend. The Christian Coalition sure is web savvy... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/20/2010, 10:59am
I have to say that this op-ed from Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition alleging that there has been some sort of double-standard in the treatment of Elena Kagan and Harriet Miers might just be the dumbest thing that anyone has written during this entire confirmation process:  The parallels between the nominations of Kagan and Miers — their similar legal background and connection to the presidents who nominated them — makes the various reactions from the right and the left stand in stark contrast. While Miers was harassed and criticized by both sides of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 06/08/2010, 4:33pm
A father and son have been arrested with threatening to kill Rep. Bart Stupack for voting for health care reform, saying they would "paint the Mackinaw [sic] Bridge with the blood of you and your family members." The Duggars will receive the first ever "Pro-Family Entertainment Award" at the Family Research Council's fifth annual Values Voter Summit. Speaking of FRC, they are launching a new website that "tracks state legislation related to issues of importance to families, including religious liberty, abortion, homosexuality, domestic violence, the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/30/2010, 4:29pm
The person responsible for the $2000 RNC expense at a bondage-themed nightclub has been fired. And Concerned Women for America is still very upset about the whole thing. Janet Porter says that President Obama's views toward Israel are "racist." Rob Schenck of Faith and Action and Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition will honor the fifth anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death by protesting the White House. The Media Research Center seems unable to understand the importance of context. Finally, the quote of the day from the FRC's Tom McClusky... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/23/2010, 4:49pm
Several weeks ago, two men who were preaching Boynton Beach, Florida were murdered and ever since Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has been convinced that this was an anti-Christian hate crime, claiming without any justification or evidence whatsoever that the crime is proof that a "violent anti-Christian spirit is growing in America" and that the two men were killed "for preaching the gospel." Cass eventually got Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition involved and the two groups held a press conference/vigil for the victims last week at which... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/04/2010, 12:18pm
Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition declares that President Obama is not a Christian and lists some of the reasons why: The President covered up a white cross and a symbol for the name of Jesus at a Georgetown University speech. President Obama did not publicly celebrate the National Day of Prayer at the White House yet celebrated Gay and Lesbian Pride Month as well as Islamic religious observations at the White House. For the first time in 43 years, the Obama Administration banned a military flyover at a "God and Country Rally" in Nampa, Idaho. On a White House... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/15/2009, 5:49pm
The National Organization For Marriage declares war after the DC Council passes marriage equality legislation while Bishop Harry Jackson says they have an "airtight legal case" for getting the issue put to a vote. The Tulsa Word remembers Oral Roberts, who passed away today at the age of 91. Janet Porter is trying to get a movie made about herself.  Seriously. Mat Staver says that the custody fight between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller is nothing more than an effort to claim a "political trophy [for] the homosexual agenda." Ralph Reed's... MORE >