Concerned Women for America

May Day on the Mall: Lifting The Curse That Obama's Election Has Brought Upon America

 
On Saturday, May 1, Religious Right leaders and public officials will gather at the steps below the Lincoln Memorial to beg God to forgive America for having elected wicked leaders like President Obama. If you can’t make it to the national mall on Saturday morning, you can watch live on God TV or via webcast thanks to the American Family Association.
 
The "May Day - A Cry to God for a Nation in Distress" event is the brainchild of Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist/conspiracy theory-promoting radio host, and member of presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s inner circle. Porter believes America is under a curse for having “made the choice of death” by electing President Obama (even though God TV warned us not to). She announced the May Day event at last fall’s How to Take Back America conference.  
 
Since then, Porter has lined up support from a significant number of Religious Right heavy-hitters like former Focus on the Family head James Dobson, who recorded an audio message recruiting pastors to get involved, and at least five members of Congress, including  Randy “Pray Against Health Care” Forbes (Virginia), Trent “Obama is an enemy of humanity” Franks (Arizona), Louie “Hate Crimes Act is a Pedophile Protection Act” Gohmert (Texas), and Steve “Know Your Enemies” King (Iowa).  
 

SCOTUS Round-Up: Right Ready To Spend Millions Fighting Gay Nominee Women Don't Like

Remember last time around when various Religious Right groups were saying that they would not oppose a Supreme Court nominee just because said nominee was gay

In fact, Focus on the Family's Bruce Hausknecht went on record saying "the issue is not their sexual orientation. It’s whether they are a good judge or not":

“Our concern at the Supreme Court is judicial philosophy,” FOF spokesperson Hausknecht continued. “Sexual orientation only becomes an issue if it effects their judging.” For example, he said, “If someone says, `I don’t care what the law says, on the next case involving sexual orientation, I’m going to decide the case in favor of the openly gay party,’ that would be a breach of judicial duty.”

Well, Focus received a lot of flack for that from professional anti-gay activists like Gary Glenn and Peter LaBarbera and now Focus' Tom Minnery has "clarified" their position to LaBarbera, stating that the organization would oppose a gay nominee because said nominee would be, by definition, sinful and immoral: 

“It has been reported that we would not oppose any U.S. Supreme Court nominee over their ’sexual orientation.’ Our Judicial Analyst [Bruce Hausknecht] made a statement to this effect in an interview with The Plum Line. To be honest, this is one of those conversations we’d like to ‘do over.’ We can assure you that we recognize that homosexual behavior is a sin and does not reflect God’s created intent and desire for humanity. Further, we at Focus do affirm that character and moral rectitude should be key considerations in appointing members of the judiciary, especially in the case of the highest court in the land. Sexual behavior–be it heterosexual or homosexual–certainly lies at the heart of personal morality.”

In other news, right-wing groups are planning on raising and spending millions of dollars to fight Obama's nominee, without even knowing who it is:

Even without a nominee, some conservative organizations are bracing for a fight based on the ideological leanings of previous Obama judicial nominees.

Carrie Severino, the general counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, formerly called the Judicial Confirmation Network, said her group was prepared to launch a media campaign costing in the seven figures, similar to the one it waged against Sotomayor.

“I think we have funding in place. We are prepared to really fight,” she said.

Curt Levey, executive director of the Committee for Justice, another conservative group, said that a judicial fight can boost fundraising and energize the base to get out and vote in the midterm elections.

Finally, Penny Young Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, has an op-ed on FoxNews.com explaining just "What Women Want In a Supreme Court Nominee" - remarkably, what all women want seems to be exactly the same as what CWA wants:

Just because Justice Stevens was a liberal on the Court, it does not mean that President Obama must nominate another liberal to replace him. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is already salivating at the possibility of a justice who will “stand equally strong for” abortion on demand.

Obama sailed into office as a man expected to heal the nation, unite the political parties, and bring warm fuzzies to a country divided. On the contrary, since entering the White House our president and his policies have driven the country into an unfathomable divide, even lending to the uprising of the Tea Party movement, which brought out everyone from retirees to soccer moms -- and professionals who never cared about politics -- because Obama introduced policies that would destroy the lives they had built.

Women want a Justice who will uphold the Constitution, the right to life, and will preserve the family as a foundational cornerstone of our society. They don’t want someone who will legislate from the bench and uphold abhorrent legislation like the health care bill.

Fighting For Their Right To Discriminate

A few weeks ago we noted that an organization called NotMyBathroom.com was formed in Missoula, Montana in order to oppose a proposed city ordinance that would protect people from discrimination in their jobs and homes based on "actual or perceived ... sexual orientation, gender identity or expression."

The organization is associated with Concerned Women for America and the focus of its campaign is on the claim that the ordinance will make it legal for men to use women's restrooms, thereby leading to assaults on women and children.

While the group's effort is obviously aimed at stirring up fear in order to defeat the measure, CWA's Wendy Long admits that they have absolutely no evidence that anti-discrimination ordinances lead to such assaults and that their real mission is to fight the anti-discrimination out of fear that it'll eventually lead to marriage equality:

Even one of the most staunch opponents of those laws can't point to increases in frivolous lawsuits or sexual predation. Still, Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright said such ordinances lead the country down the wrong track.

"We have a constitutional protection for religious freedom in our First Amendment," Wright said. "There is not a constitutional protection for sexual orientation, and yet judges and city councils and others are acting as if sexual orientation trumps religious freedom."

The Concerned Women aim to bring biblical principles to public policy, and the Montana office opposes the Missoula ordinance. It's one member of Notmybathroom.com, a group that formed to defeat the local ordinance in large part because of fear sexual offenders will prey on women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms.

Wright couldn't point to places that have counted increases in sexual offenses because of such laws, but she said such data is beside the point.

"It doesn't go back to numbers," Wright said. "It goes back to the issue that people will have legal rights that will trump other people's rights. The right of a woman or a girl to feel safe in a fitting room, a locker, a restroom, their rights will be trumped by a person who is claiming their sexual orientation right has legal protection."

She noted as troubling a couple of specific examples where transgender women fought for access to dressing rooms. In one Philadelphia case in 2008, a woman denied access to a fitting room planned to file a complaint against the department store, whose manager agreed to train employees to grant equal access.

Wright said one big reason Concerned Women opposes such laws is because the group does not want local ordinances to be used as stepping stones toward making gay marriage legal and teaching it in the public schools.

In essence, the less society tolerates discrimination against gays, the more likely gay marriage becomes ... and so groups like CWA must fight to protect the right to discriminate.

With Stevens Retiring, Right Readies For a Fight

Today, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court after nearly 35 years of service ... and the Right has been quick to issue warnings to President Obama that they are ready to fight.

American Center for Law and Justice:

"The announcement of Justice Stevens' retirement underscores the reality that President Obama will make a second appointment to the nation's highest court that will impact generations to come," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.

"While there's certain to be much debate about Justice Stevens' replacement, there is one thing that is clear - President Obama is likely to name a nominee who will embrace an extremely liberal judicial philosophy. Make no mistake about it - this appointment really represents more than just replacing one vote on the court. With a replacement who is likely to serve for 30 or 40 years, it's clear this replacement will have a long-term impact on judicial philosophy and likely play a determining factor in decisions for decades to come.

"Once a nominee is named and the confirmation process begins, it's important that the nominee face full and detailed hearings – with specific focus on the nominee's judicial philosophy including how the nominee views the Constitution, the role of judges, and the rule of law. That is what the American people expect and deserve."

Liberty Counsel:

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The Supreme Court should be about law, not politics. Beginning in the 1950s, the Supreme Court morphed into a political machine. When judges impose their political will rather than the rule of law, the rule of law is undermined and the people lose confidence in the system. As Chief Justice John Roberts said during his confirmation hearings, judges ought to be umpires who simply call the balls and strikes. They ought not play in the game or change the rules. The American people deserve a Supreme Court nominee who respects the rule of law and who will set aside personal bias in order to be faithful to the Constitution.”

Concerned Women for America:

Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said, “The news is no shock for those of us who follow the issue. Justice Stevens has been sending all the signals for the White House to be prepared. Our hope is that President Obama has had time to reflect on the issue and will make a change in the way he has looked at nominations. Will he nominate a justice who will show respect for our laws and the Constitution or will he continue to put ideology over the will of the majority of Americans?

“All three of the nominees in the short list are not encouraging. Elena Kagan’s apparent willingness to look at international law when deciding domestic cases, Judge Merrick Garland’s support of granting constitutional rights to enemy combatants, and Diane Wood’s extremely radical pro-abortion activism should bring chills to every American. We know the President can do better than that.”

CWA President Wendy Wright said, “Coming off of a debate over health care that has deeply divided the country against Pres. Obama, in which he ignored the Constitution and foisted his contentious beliefs onto millions of Americans, President Obama desperately needs to choose a qualified and Constitutionally-sound nominee. It would be healing for the country for President Obama to change course and select a nominee that respects the Constitution more than their own –or foreign countries’ – ideology.

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA’s Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, “The President has the opportunity to change the radically divisive image he has created in the minds of many Americans. If he decides to nominate someone who respects the Constitution as written, instead of someone who believes in a living Constitution that they can mold to say whatever they want, he can do a lot to repair his image.

“Last time, even his own nominee, Justice Sotomayor, rejected the President’s idea of the role of a judge, even though her own record lined right up with the President’s radical view. That is how radical the President’s view is in this area. So if experience tells us anything, it tells us he will go with ideology instead of what is best for the country, but we hope and pray that we can finally see a ‘change,’ like he promised us.”

Priests for Life:

"The opening of a Supreme Court seat will again open the ongoing debate in our nation over abortion -- and it well should, not because Justices are supposed to shape public policy, but because the very purpose of government is the protection of human rights, starting with life. Anyone who fails to affirm that does not belong in any public office, much less the US Supreme Court."

Judicial Crisis Network:

This vacancy will open a new dialogue about the role of courts in our society. The American people are fed up with President Obama’s left-wing agenda and will make their frustration known at the polls. But he still has one ace up his sleeve: packing the Supreme Court with rubber stamps instead of judges. To an activist judge, the constitution represents an inconvenient truth that they will distort, ignore, or defy to push their radical liberal agenda.

President Obama painted Justice Sotomayor as the epitome of moderation, but her record on the court has been anything but. In her first term she has yet to meet a left-wing position she didn’t like. When President Obama speaks about maintaining balance on the court, don’t believe it. If Justice Thomas were the one retiring, the word “balance” would have been already banned from the White House.

 Traditional Values Coalition:

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is good news and bad news. It’s good news that he will no longer be free to impose his liberal ideas on Americans through his Supreme Court edicts. But, the bad news is that President Obama will undoubtedly appoint someone equally liberal and far younger who will rewrite the Constitution according to his or her political purposes.

Ultimately, the retirement of Justice Stevens and appointment of a new Justice is an even trade.

If President Obama had any honor, he would pick a replacement for Stevens who respects the Constitution, but this is unlikely. He will choose a radical ideologue who will push the Court to the left for decades to come. Obama will replace an old judicial activist with a younger one.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council is running radio ads targeting Rep. Bart Stupak.
  • Speaking of FRC, Tony Perkins has been invited to speak at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint is out to fill the Senate with as many ultra-right-wing senators as possible.
  • Concerned Women for America says their criticism of the RNC has brought in a lot of money for the organization.
  • On a related note, Sarah Palin says RNC Chair Michael Steele is "doing a great job."
  • Finally, behold the current state of the GOP:
  • Although the rally was for Bachmann, the lawmaker spoke first and introduced Palin. The two women were quick to share their mutual admiration for each other.

    “She is so much one of us,” Bachmann said of Palin, “And as absolutely drop dead gorgeous this woman is on the outside, I’m here to testify that she is 20 times more beautiful on the inside.”

    Palin responded in kind, recalling a meeting in Alaska: “I knew that we’d be buddies when I met her when she said, ‘Drill here, drill now.’ And then I replied, ‘Drill, baby, drill’ and then we both said, ‘You betcha!’”

CWA Struggles To Go On After Rep. Stupak Broke Their Hearts

It seems as if the women over at Concerned Women for America are still not over having had their hearts broken by Rep. Bart Stupak's support for health care reform, which is why they released this video documenting their grief:

Concerned Women for America: You (Stupak) Broke My Heart

Liberty U: Home of Tomorrow's Religious Right Leaders

A while back, Liberty Counsel stated that it was expecting more than 10,000 people to attend the Freedom Federation's upcoming "Awakening" conference to be held next week at Liberty University.

The idea that this new organization could get 10,000 attendees to its very first conference seemed pretty unlikely, considering that events like CPAC, which are extremely influential and have a long history, had a record attendance this year of around 9,000.

But now it is all making sense, as Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver spoke with Concerned Women for America about the event and reported that Liberty University was allowing students out of class in order to attend the event:

The fact that the event is free to everyone, Liberty students and others alike, might also account for the large number of attendees expected. 

But what is most remarkable about this is that it provide further evidence that Liberty University sees itself as, quite literally, a training ground for tomorrow's Religious Right leaders because, as Staver says, Liberty's students are "our replacements ... [who] will be the future leaders of America."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC's Tom McClusky says his statement about President Obama being our "first gay President" was just a joke.
  • Liberty University Chancellor defends secretly recording a meeting with city officials as the school seeks to pressure the City Council to change its zoning status.
  • Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert has signed two bills authorizing the state to use eminent domain to seize land held by the federal government.
  • Hooray!  Another person with ties to Wallbuilders is running for office in Texas.
  • Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have declared April as Abortion Recovery/Awareness Month.
  • Rob Schenck and Pat Mahoney have completed their annual Stations of the Cross pilgrimage.
  • I never thought I 'd see that day that Concerned Women for America claimed Christians don't have the right to protest and exercise their religion.
  • Finally, behold Sean Hannity praising tea part activists as "Tim McVeigh wannabes" :

Right Wing Leftovers

  • 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: "[I]f it was argued during his two terms in office that Bill Clinton was 'our first black President' because of his supposed liberal policies that would benefit African-Americans ... shouldn’t Barack Obama already be our 'first gay President' due to his liberal policies pushing the homosexual agenda?"

Is There An Award For Selling The Most Copies of Hannity's Book?

I always figured that Sean Hannity, with his radio and television programs and "Freedom Concert" events, had an audience of millions to whom he could pitch his latest book.

But apparently Hannity needs all the help he can get, which is why the RNC is busy hawking it as are right-wing groups like Concerned Women for America and even the National Organization for Marriage:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • The RNC spent nearly $2,000 at a bondage-themed nightclub, the RNC says Chairman Michael Steele had nothing to do with it, and Concerned Women for America is outraged over the whole thing.
  • When the Minutemen urged activists to come to the border "locked, loaded, and ready," they apparently were alarmed when activists took that literally.
  • Americans United is distinctly unimpressed with Liberty Counsel's "Adopt a Liberal" cards.
  • Could you stand seven hours of Glenn Beck? Me either, but Will Bunch sat through Beck's recent rally.
  • CREW has filed a complaint with the FTC and IRS against Sean Hannity, his Freedom Concerts, the Freedom Alliance and Lt. Col. Oliver North for engaging in illegal and deceptive marketing practices.
  • Finally, if you ever needed proof that the GOP now works for Fox News, you need look no further.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Matt Barber continues to attack the SPLC for labeling Peter LaBarbera's Americans for Truth a hate website while LaBarbera takes pride in the designation.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke at a Susan B. Anthony List fund-raiser last night where she declared that she was among the first to highlight President Obama's "anti-American views ... and now I look like Nostradamus.”
  • Speaking of the Susan B. Anthony List, Sarah Palin will be headlining their "Celebration of Life Breakfast" in May.
  • Operation Rescue says that it has been inundated with hateful messages and death threats for its opposition to health care reform.
  • Not surprisingly, the Family Research Council does not like the new Don't Ask, Don't Tell guidelines.
  • Concerned Women for America claims that "thousands of women we represent cannot and do not feel safe with AG [Eric] Holder directing the Department of Justice."
  • Finally, behold Pat Robertson's birthday cake:

Taking a Bold Stand for the Sanctity of Our Public Bathrooms

I don't know what the Right's obsession is with protecting the sanctity of our public bathrooms, but they have recently been making it a centerpiece of their local efforts to fight proposed anti-discrimination ordinances. 

They did it Colorado and now they are doing it in Montana to justify their bigotry:

An organization called NotMyBathroom.com announced this week its opposition to a city ordinance that would protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity ...So far, the only other group willing to identify itself as affiliated with NotMyBathroom.com is Concerned Women For America, said [Dallas] Erickson. CWA representatives already have come out against the proposed ordinance.

... 

The group fears the law would create "a government assigned sex," cost businesses money "to provide toilet facilities," and possibly "force ministers to perform homosexual marriages."

But NotMyBathroom.com chairman Tei Nash said the chief concern is the safety of women and children in public restrooms. He said the ordinance would give a man who "is female affirmed" the freedom to use women's restrooms.

"When he walks into the bathroom, you can't stop them," Nash said. "Is that going to surprise you and the kids? It probably is. Most women will be frightened to no end. Kids, too. They won't understand."

The argument seems to rest in part on the notion some predatory men are waiting for such an ordinance so they can attack women in bathrooms. Nash, though, said culprits will use the law as a cover and business owners won't be able to stop them.

"I don't mind saying this. It's not so much trans people. It's sexual offenders," Nash said. "This has already happened in Portland, and it's happened in Florida."

Laws protect people against sexual crimes, but Erickson also said he fears for people in the Bitterroot who come to Missoula and have to use bathrooms. Society should maintain the standard that people are born a man or a woman, he said.

"If you've got a peeping Tom that likes to see how the other side lives, all they have to do is say they're a woman today," Erickson said.

If there was ever a moment when the anti-gay Right jumped the shark, I'd have to say that NotMyBathroom.com just might be it.

House Passes Health Care Reform; Religious Right Melts Down

Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Senate's version of health care reform legislation, making it the latest step in what has been a long and bitter process to overhaul the nation's health care system. 

And given how vehemently opposed the Right has been to this effort, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that their response to this development has been nothing short of apoplectic, starting with the Susan B. Anthony List which had been planning on giving Rep. Bart Stupak its "Defender of Life" Award but has now publicly rescinded the offer

In response to Rep. Bart Stupak's announcement that he and other self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

"This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-we will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.

"Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.' The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote 'yes' on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.

That sort of over-the-top response was, frankly, the typical response from the Right, with the American Center for Law and Justice promising to file suit and everyone else vowing to vote the Democrats out of office in November:

Family Research Council:

"Passage of this partisan government takeover of health care with all of its Medicare cuts, tax increases, a continued marriage penalty, individual mandates, and abortion funding shows the extreme leftist orientation of this Congress.

"The American people, regardless of their view of its legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. Those who voted for this legislation cannot legitimately claim to be even neutral on the issue of abortion. This legislation accomplishes this abortion mandate in spades.

...

"The President's disregard for the unborn is no surprise. It is the betrayal from those who have fought for life within his party that is the biggest shock. Especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) who had fought so valiantly in this debate, but folded when it really mattered.

"FRC Action will seek to defeat many of the Members from majority pro-life districts who voted wrong today, and they will have plenty of free time to realize the grave mistake they have committed on the unborn today with their vote."

Eagle Forum:

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who voted ‘Yes' on the Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote has exposed the myth of the ‘pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party has divided our nation into the Democrat Party of Death and the Republican Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

Americans United for Life Action:

"This deal to pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade is a tragedy for America. We believe that Mr. Stupak's choice to succumb to the intense pressure of the last week has resulted in his endorsement of a charade that does not even begin to address the anti-life provisions in this legislation. The American people do not support taxpayer funding of abortion and Speaker Pelosi and the President have undermined representative democracy by working to pass this legislation with this unprecedented contortion of the legislative process."

Operation Rescue:

"Operation Rescue supports efforts to oppose this ill-conceived abortion-funding scheme in the streets through peaceful protest, in the courts, and at the ballot box," said Newman. "We are taking notes, and will let it be known that a vote for this health care bill is a vote for abortion. It is certain that in spite of the outcome of today's political shenanigans, this is not over yet."

Christian Defense Coalition:

"We are confident this will have a powerful impact on Catholic and Evangelical voters this November.

"After the defeat of the Alamo, a powerful cry was heard across the nation which has inspired Americans for generations. That cry was, 'Remember the Alamo!'

"From the ashes of this defeat, another powerful cry will be heard. 'Remember March 21!' We believe as Americans understand what happened today they will work with unprecedented passion to ensure this bill is reversed and human rights and social justice are once again embraced in this country."

Catholic Advocate:

"Today's vote will go down in history as one of the greatest expansions of abortion since Roe v. Wade," said Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. "On November 2, American Catholics need to hold members of the House accountable for this betrayal."

"History has shown no executive order can trump the law of the land passed by Congress. Do the un-born have a champion in the Senate willing to fix the bill and truly stop federal funding for abortion?" asked Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith. "Senator Ben Nelson and others who claim to carry the pro-life mantle now have an opportunity to return their pieces of silver from December."

Concerned Women for America:

"We are not fooled," said Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO Penny Nance. "This is the biggest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade. And a flimsy promise of an executive order from the President may make it more comfortable for "pro-life" Democrats like Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) to vote for the bill, but in the end, such an illusory promise is not even worth the paper on which it's written. Backroom deals and compromises will not soften the blow of this attack on life and liberty as we know and enjoy it. Americans will not forget those Members of Congress who refused to listen to them. They will make their voices heard in November."

Mike Huckabee:

With this vote, Congress decided what kind of health care you have access to and how much it will cost.

They also decided not to respect us and take us for fools.

I am frustrated and I know you are as well. Ten days ago I launched a website called CallCongressNow.com and asked voters to call their representatives and Senators and tell them to vote no. Over 151,000 people visited the website and spent almost 4,000 hours on making calls pleading with their leaders in Washington to vote no. This time Congress listened more to party bosses than to you.

Now there is something else you can and must do: Get personally involved to dump them. Let’s replace this Congress with Republicans that will listen to the people.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Rep. Steve King and Glenn Beck agree: Voting for health reform on Sunday is ‘an affront to God.’
  • Samantha Thompson: Christian Coalition backs Sen. Graham on climate legislation.
  • Sarah Posner: Actor Stephen Baldwin Takes Christian Indoctrination to the Xtreme.
  • Joe.My.God: NOM Goes After DC Marriage Architect.
  • Finally, two posts from Good As You: the first on a resolution in the Kentucky legislature commending those who have signed The Manhattan Declaration; the second on the utterly bizarre development involving Concerned Women for America hawking nutritional supplements.

Girl Scouts Ensnared in the Right's Hatred of Planned Parenthood

Last week, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute claimed that during the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the "World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled 'Healthy, Happy and Hot'":

The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!” The brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.”

The brochure also tells students that national laws requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their partner(s) “violate the rights of people living with HIV” and calls for advocacy to “change laws that violate your rights.” It explains, “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.”

Predictably, this became a source of outrage on the Right, with articles about it showing up on OneNewsNow, World Magazine, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Catholic Online, and LifeNews, among other places.  The National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez even made it the focus of her column.

The only problem is that the Girl Scouts unequivocally deny that it ever happened:

Earlier this month, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) was honored to attend and participate in the 54th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, where girls were encouraged to take action on global issues concerning women and girls. Our participation in that conference was recently the subject of numerous internet stories and blogs that are factually inaccurate and troubling. Here are the facts of that meeting:

• The Girls Only Workshop was jointly hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA, UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls, Girls Learn International and The Grail. The meeting was only open to the girls and participating sponsors.

• Only seven adults were in the room at the time of the meeting, each representing one of the sponsors of the event. No one from Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute was in the room to report on the event.

• 30 - 35 girls from across the world participated in this event. All teenagers.

• The girls received a copy of the only document they were working on titled (“The Girls’ Statement”). No other documents were given to the girls as part of this event.

• The room in question was also used to host other events over the course of the multi-day conference. Prior to our girls entering the room, we did not “sanitize’ the room to ensure that no trash or other items were left behind. We did request that those not associated with the sponsors to leave the room prior to our session.

• The Girl Scouts of the USA was not contacted by Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) regarding its initial story to discuss the facts of this event. Had they applied these basic journalistic standards, perhaps the true details of this event would have been reported.

The Girl Scout organization does not take a position on family planning. Our membership is a cross-section of America with regard to opinions on religious and social issues and practices. We believe these matters are best decided by girls and their families.

The Girl Scout organization has no affiliation with any political organization.

Our Mission in Girl Scouting is to build girls of courage, confidence and character – who make the world a better place. We continue to be proud of our girls and look forward to showing the world what our girls can do. We thank everyone for their support of Girl Scouting.

Honestly, does the right-wing claim even seem plausible?  Are we really supposed to believe that Girl Scout leaders kicked all the adults out of the room so that Planned Parenthood could distribute a brochure [PDF] to a group of young girls about how to lead sexually fulfilling lives while living with HIV

I realize that the Religious Right fundamentally loathes Planned Parenthood and will believe just about any horror story about them, but this is just ridiculous.

Texas School Board Member Cynthia Dunbar Joins May Day Prayer Rally

Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter continues to move ahead with her organizing for the "May Day: a Cry to God for Our Nation in Distress" prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1:

Porter called on Christians to take part in a 40-day fast prior to the event. She said participants will give up something important to them in the days leading up to May Day.

"We just want God to know we're serious about standing in the gap for America," she said. "We are calling the remnant to come and repent. It's a two-fold plan to not only pray but to proclaim what our founders believed – that we are one nation under God."

Vision America President Dr. Rick Scarborough added, "We need to let God know we're serious about turning back to Him and fasting from something – whether it's television, dessert or food – will provide the breakthrough we desperately need as a nation."

...

Pro-family leaders across denominational boundaries have joined together for the effort including: Dr. James Dobson, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver, NRB President Dr. Frank Wright, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Dutch Sheets, David Barton and many members of Congress.

Porter has explained that the event is designed to break the curse that our nation is under for having elected President Obama, and now she's picking up some interesting new supporters for her effort:

Porter said Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer who serves on the Texas State Board of Education, will attend and ask God for forgiveness for how the nation has removed Him from American schools.

"She is going to come to May Day and repent for how we have taught our children lies, not only in revisionist history but also evolution, how we've kicked God out of school," Porter said. "She will repent on behalf of the education system, and she's also going to welcome God back in."

Dunbar played a central role in Texas' recent rewriting of its social studies requirements in order to make them better reflect the conservative worldview and, given her views, it is no surprise that she would team up with the likes of Porter:

In 2008, Cynthia Dunbar published a book called “One Nation Under God,” in which she stated more openly than most of her colleagues have done the argument that the founding of America was an overtly Christian undertaking and laid out what she and others hope to achieve in public schools. “The underlying authority for our constitutional form of government stems directly from biblical precedents,” she writes. “Hence, the only accurate method of ascertaining the intent of the Founding Fathers at the time of our government’s inception comes from a biblical worldview.”

Then she pushes forward: “We as a nation were intended by God to be a light set on a hill to serve as a beacon of hope and Christian charity to a lost and dying world.” But the true picture of America’s Christian founding has been whitewashed by “the liberal agenda” — in order for liberals to succeed “they must first rewrite our nation’s history” and obscure the Christian intentions of the founders. Therefore, she wrote, “this battle for our nation’s children and who will control their education and training is crucial to our success for reclaiming our nation.”

After the book came out, Dunbar was derided in blogs and newspapers for a section in which she writes of “the inappropriateness of a state-created, taxpayer-supported school system” and likens sending children to public school to “throwing them into the enemy’s flames, even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.” (Her own children were either home-schooled or educated in private Christian schools.) When I asked, over dinner in a honky-tonk steakhouse down the road from the university, why someone who felt that way would choose to become an overseer of arguably the most influential public-education system in the country, she said that public schools are a battlefield for competing ideologies and that it’s important to combat the “religion” of secularism that holds sway in public education.

On a related note, Rev. Paul Blair of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ has put together this video urging people to attend the May Day event and "appeal in penitent prayer to the King of Kings for revival in our land":

Matt Barber's Two Minute Hate

Via Good As You we see that Matt Barber got together with Concerned Women for America to discuss their mutual opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and discuss Barber's most recent column in which he asserts that the FDA's policy banning gay men from donating blood should, for some reason, be playing a central role in the debate.

The entire segment was just under fifteen minutes long, but I've edited it down to just over two minutes in an effort to demonstrate that, for all of Barber's supposed concerns about morality or safety or unit cohesion or whatever, he fundamentally just hates gay people, as he wonders if the military will have to "stamp a scarlet G" on the uniforms of gay men so that everyone knows they can't give blood and complains that nobody is willing to acknowledge the "pink elephant in the room," which is that a "radical, obnoxious President" is intent on appeasing "a loud and obnoxious minority of sexual anarchists who are trying to redefine what is or is not normal":

You know, now might be a good time to point out that when Barber released a collection of his rantings in book form last year, it was glowingly blurbed by both Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.

Concerned Women for America: Dedicated to Keeping Guys In Dresses Out of Montana's Swanky Restaurants

I always enjoy local press coverage that features state representatives of national Religious Right groups because the local leaders tend to be a far more open about their motivations and biases.

Case in point is this article about efforts to gather signatures in support of a proposed "Missoula City Council on a proposed ordinance barring discrimination against LGBT folks in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations" that would be the first of its kind in Montana.

Of course, the head of the state chapter of Concerned Women for America opposes it, because if it passes "homosexuals ... will go after people of faith" and "some guy dressed in a dress" would be able to dine at her "swanky restaurant," if she owned one: 

One group has come out in opposition to the Missoula ordinance. Concerned Women for America of Montana state director Patti Kanduch said such legislation will hurt religious business owners who don't want to serve people who are gay or lesbian.

"These homosexuals, once they get this passed, they will go after people of faith whether it's Muslims, Christians, Jews," Kanduch said.

Many churches, such as the University Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Missoula, embrace LGBT folks. But Kanduch said she doesn't believe members of the LGBT community worship alongside her.

"If they are, then they're being disobedient to God," Kanduch said.

The Concerned Women is a national group that professes family values and religious liberty. Kanduch said it counts 1,200 to 1,500 members in Montana. She does not believe only a few people hold the group's views.

"Oh, no, no, no. We're in the majority, people who are against homosexuality," Kanduch said.

She said religious business owners have won battles in court but lost a lot of money in the fight.

She offered an example of someone she would want to keep out of a business.

"If I had a swanky restaurant, I wouldn't want some guy dressed in a dress just because he wanted to dress that way. I should have a right to say, ‘No. That isn't what I want,' " Kanduch said. "I want a man that's a man and a woman that's a woman. But you know what? There's other restaurants that wouldn't mind."

Making a Federal Case Out of Perkins' Rescinded Invitation?

Last week we noted that an episode involving the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins having his invitation to speak at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base rescinded was big news on right-wing outlets, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association even going so far as to declare it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism.

The issue continues to outrage the Right and appears as if it is becoming one of those stories that right-wing media outlets will work covering diligently until they can blow it up into an all out "scandal ."

For instance, CNS News has a long article noting that conservative activists are livid about it which quotes no less than six separate leaders voicing their outrate, including Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (which just so happens to be the parent organization of CNSNews,) Ron Robinson of Young Americans for Freedom, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Alfred Regnery of Regnery Publishing, Elaine Donnell of the Center for Military Readiness, and Gary Bauer of American Values.

But it also quotes several Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Pence who vows that Republicans will "be making appropriate inquiries" about the decision

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com that he’s “disappointed” the Air Force would “un-invite” Perkins because of his positions.

“These actions are out of line with the caution that the heads of the military branches have expressed with regards to this policy,” Inhofe said.

“Each one of them has indicated that it would be best for the Pentagon to finish its review before addressing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a manner that disrupts readiness and recruitment. I wonder if Tony Perkins would have received the same treatment if his views on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had matched those of President Obama.”

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was outraged.

“I think many members (of Congress) are outraged,” Kingston told CNSNews.com. “The mainstream media hasn’t given this as much coverage as they would if they agreed with Perkins. This is something that I think that people will be asking a lot of questions--a harbinger of what may be out there to come, you know, if on a high-profile captain like Tony Perkins, they reject him. They may (start) doing it to everybody else."

Kingston said he thought the Air Force was "using" the incident to send a message to its own chaplains about what they could and could not say from the pulpit.

“(W)hat they were doing is using him to drive a message--that your brand of sermon is no longer welcome in the U.S. military,” he said.

He added: “I think it probably does go beyond the Air Force. They knew there would be a backlash to this, and I think they had a design about that: ‘OK, you know, we want other (chaplains) to understand and pipe down on your personal views on this biblical view, and you believe it, just keep it mellow; we want watered-down messages.’”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, said he would be looking into the incident more deeply.

“I hold Tony Perkins in the highest regard, as do pro-family Americans across this country,” Pence said. “And I would hope that the change in the speaking roster had nothing to do with his stated positions on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But we’ll be making appropriate inquiries,” Pence said.

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Concerned Women for America Top Posts

Founded by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Religious Right activist Tim LaHaye, as a counter to the progressive National Organization of Women, Concerned Women for America (CWA) describes itself as "the nation's largest public policy women's organization." CWA opposes gay rights, comprehensive sex education, drug and alcohol education, and feminism, while advocating what it calls "pro-life" and "pro-family" values. MORE >

Concerned Women for America Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 04/23/2012, 1:00pm
The far-right group Concerned Women for America has continued its campaign against the Violence Against Women Act, calling it “a boondoggle for feminists” and alleging that it supports the “homosexual agenda” by ensuring that LGBT victims aren’t turned away from shelters. Republicans in Congress have been working to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, even though the law has been a success in helping spouses report domestic abuse and incidences of domestic violence have been on the decline since it was signed into law. The group said in an... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/18/2012, 2:45pm
Earlier today we posted video from Truth in Action Ministries of Religious Right leaders condemning the Obama administration’s push to curb anti-LGBT violence and persecution and the criminalization of LGBT status. now the group’s president Dan Scalf is comparing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Pharisees in John 8:1-11, who wanted to stone a woman for adultery, for her attempt to “promote homosexuality globally”: How should Christians react to our tax dollars being used to promote homosexuality globally? I am reminded of the situation religious leaders... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/16/2012, 3:15pm
Following the defeat of an ordinance in Anchorage, Alaska, which would have prohibited discrimination based on people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, the anti-gay group Concerned Women for America rejoiced at the proposition’s defeat with warnings that such anti-discrimination ordinances open the door for the legalization of pedophilia and education classes to turn children gay: Alaska is one of a dozen states that have not caved to the pressure of pro-homosexuality activist groups, liberal politicians, and the "mainstream" media to equate sexual behavior with... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/12/2012, 1:30pm
Today, the National Right to Life Committee endorsed Mitt Romney, who last week met with NRLC executive director Darla St. Martin along with other conservative activists including Jay Sekulow, Ed Meese and David Keene. In a press release, NRLC said it is time “for time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney.” Determined to secure a pro-life victory in the November election, which will decide the fate of unborn children for decades to come, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/21/2012, 11:05am
Concerned Women for America’s Chelsen Vicari on Monday hosted a call with Linda Harvey of Mission America and Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute where they discussed their plans for a walkout on the Day of Silence, when students protest anti-LGBT bullying and bias by remaining silent throughout the school day. The walkout endorsers also include the American Family Association, Citizens for Community Values, Faith 2 Action, Liberty Counsel and Save California, all prominent supporters of the Religious Right’s anti-anti-bullying campaign. We posted highlights from... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/19/2012, 5:25pm
Conservative organizations are planning to hold rallies on March 23rd across the country to “Stand up for Religious Freedom” and “Stop the HHS Mandate” on contraception coverage. Members of the new coalition include the Alliance Defense Fund, American Life League, Christian Defense Coalition, Concerned Women for America, Operation Rescue, Thomas More Society and various anti-choice groups, and they seek to organize demonstrations “outside federal buildings, Congressional offices and historic sites across the country.” In a statement responding to a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/19/2012, 11:30am
American Values president Gary Bauer demanded Republicans oppose the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, writing in Human Events today that the bill is a “trap.” Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans all voted against re-authorization and Bauer insisted that they oppose the legislation because of “provisions allowing abused illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas and programs for same-sex couples.” As Legal Momentum’s Lynn Hecht Schafran notes, protections for immigrants and women in same-sex relationships have “always been true about... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/15/2012, 5:35pm
Rick Santorum’s campaign repeated the right-wing myth that the Obama administration refuses to prosecute “obscene” pornography. He announced his support of efforts by groups including the Family Research Council, Morality in Media, the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America to increase obscenity prosecutions, and lamented that the Justice Department “refused to enforce obscenity laws.” For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.... MORE >