Concerned Women for America

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.

Let The Outrage Begin: Atheists Get Meeting With Administration Officials

When I saw this article this morning reporting that Obama Administration aides were scheduled to meet with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America today, I wondered how long it would take for some Religious Right group to throw a fit that the Administration was meeting with atheists.

Turns out, it took about an hour:

The advocacy group In God We Trust today ripped the Obama administration for meeting to plot political strategy with 60 atheist activists representing organizations comprising the Secular Coalition of America.

"It is one thing for Administration to meet with groups of varying viewpoints, but it is quite another for a senior official to sit down with activists representing some of the most hate-filled, anti-religious groups in the nation," says In God We Trust's Chairman Bishop Council Nedd.

...

"President Obama seems to believe that it is a good idea to have a key senior aide plan political strategy with people who believe faith in God is a disease," Nedd says. "Some of the people in this coalition believe the world would be better off with no Christians and no Jews and they aren't shy about it. The fact that this meeting is happening at all is an affront to the vast majority of people of all faiths who believe in God."

...

"The President should tell the American people whether he believes these groups' hate-filled views to be 'mainstream' and worthy of his supposedly inclusive administration," Nedd says.

Outrageous! 

President Bush would never have met with anyone who esposed "hate-filled views" ... would he

  • For the period April 2001 through June 2006, Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Emeritus James Dobson visited the White House 24 times; 10 of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director of the Traditional Values Coalition, made an astonishing 50 visits to the White House starting on February 1, 2001, and continuing through March 16, 2008. Six of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, made 43 visits to the White House between May 2001 and August 2006. Four of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Gary Bauer, President of American Values, made 10 visits to the White House, starting with a January 6, 2003 visit to Vice President Cheney and ending with a July 20, 2006 visit to President Bush.
  • The late Jerry Falwell, of Jerry Falwell Ministries, made eight visits to the White House between May 2001 and September 2004. Three of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, visited the White House 14 times between February 2001 and June 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
  • Louis Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, made 19 visits to the White House between March 2001 and September 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
  • The late Paul Weyrich, the Founder of Free Congress foundation, made 17 visits to the White House between May 2001 and July 2005, including six visits to President Bush and one to Karl Rove.
  • Donald Wildmon, Founder of the American Family Association, made three visits to the White House between July 2001 and March 2003, including one visit to President Bush. 

Of course, this is different because it is Obama Administration officials who are meeting with the Secular Coalition of America today at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building while these Religious Right leaders only got to meet with President Bush at the White House.

Religious Right Now Exporting Its Anti-Marriage Equality Abroad

By now, we are all used to out-of-state Religious Right groups descending on places like Maine, Washington, DC, and elsewhere in order to set up shop in their nonstop effort to fight marriage equality ... but I have to admit that I never expected them to start exporting their efforts abroad.

But here they are, setting their sights on now fighting marriage equality in Mexico:

In response to a move to institute same-sex marriage in the Federal District which includes Mexico City (on March 4), more than 120 pro-family/pro-life leaders from 35 countries have signed the "World Congress of Families Leadership Petition To Save Marriage In Mexico City."

The Petition notes that "Mexico's Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman." Further, that all social ills begin with the decline of the family. Also "marriage substitutes ... undermine marriage and the family." The Petition observes that "children need both a mother and a father" and that those raised by two men or two women are "psychologically and socially disadvantaged."

The Petition calls on the government of Mexico City to refrain from implementing same-sex marriage and demands that the issue be decided at the national level, "with due regard to the nation's religious traditions, the wishes of the Mexican people and the needs of children and families, and consistent with Mexico's Constitution." Click here (www.worldcongress.org/special/wcf.mexpetsig.1002.pdf) to access the full Petition along with a list of signers.

U.S. signers (signing as individuals) include: Gary Bauer (American Values), Allan Carlson (World Congress of Families), Tom DeLay (former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives), Joseph Meaney (Human Life International), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Michele Velasco (Priests for Life), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage), Dr. Paige Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary),Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family) and Dr. Jerry Newcombe (Coral Ridge Ministries).

Does Concerned Women For America Know Lisa Miller's Whereabouts?

A few weeks ago I noted how Lisa Miller's lawyers at Liberty Counsel and her supporters at the Protect Isabella Coalition were quietly trying to wash their hands of her after she kidnapped her daughter and disappeared.

Well, it looks like these right-wing activists are still active in supporting her, as they gathered for a prayer rally in Virginia last week during the court hearing at an event which featured a briefing from Mat Staver and the participation of Wiley Drake:

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Virginia joined the Protect Isabella Coalition and other conservatives, who traveled from as far away as Suffolk, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke, and as near as Bedford and Lynchburg, at the Bedford County Courthouse on February 17, to support Lisa Miller and her daughter, Isabella, in prayer.

While we were disappointed not to be allowed in the courtroom — the judge had honored an ACLU request to deny access to the public— it was a privilege to join Pastor Wiley Drake of Buena Park, California, and others across the country on the Telephonic Prayer Line to pray during the court proceedings.

Mat Staver, chief attorney for Liberty Counsel, briefed our group before and after the hearing. The opposition wanted the Virginia court to find Lisa in contempt of court for failing to follow a Vermont court’s order to relinquish custody of her daughter, Isabella, to Janet Jenkins, who was Lisa’s homosexual companion before Lisa’s conversion to Christianity. It should be noted that Miss Jenkins is a Vermont resident who has no biological ties to Isabella and has never sought to adopt her, but has been awarded full custody by a Vermont court merely on the basis of Lisa and Miss Jenkins’ brief “civil union.”

Judge Harrison did not issue an order for Lisa's arrest, because she cannot be found for papers to be served. The judge also denied Janet Jenkins the opportunity to testify by phone, because there was no one present in Vermont to swear her in as a witness.

The next hearing on this case is tentatively scheduled for May 19, 2010. Please continue to pray for the three judges of the Appellate Court of Virginia; pray that their decision will put up a firewall between the laws of Vermont and Virginia to protect Isabella and allow Lisa to return to her home state.

This post contains a relatively important revelation: everybody who has been involved in this case insists that they have no idea where Lisa Miller has gone and that they have had no contact with her since she disappeared ... so why is CWA and the Protect Isabella Coalition praying that she will be allowed to "return to her home state"?  

That suggests that she is not in Virginia at the moment ... and how would these supporters know that unless they know where Miller actually is

So here is a simple question: Does CWA or the Protect Isabella Coalition know Miller's whereabouts?  If so, why aren't they informing the authorities?  Are these groups protecting and hiding Miller as she run from the law and violates her court orders? 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • James Dobson has endorsed Gov. Rick Perry.
  • Speaking of Perry, he's gone full-on Tenther in his latest ad.
  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he can't rule out the prospect of accepting a Vice Presidential slot if offered.
  • RNC Chair is just burning through money.
  • Concerned Women for America is accused of being insufficiently pro-life.
  • Prosecutors are worried they will be unable to find jurors who don't have an opinion about murdered anti-abortion activist James Pouillon as they make their case against Harlan Drake because Pouillon's protests and antics had made him notoriously unpopular.
  • Apparently, Ken Blackwell got a book deal.  The title of his tome? "THE BLUEPRINT: Barack Obama’s Secret Plan for an Imperial Presidency and a Permanent Liberal Government."
  • Finally, Quote of the Day from Gary Cass: "Thankfully, many principled Christian organizations pulled out of CPAC and they should be commended for standing up for truth. We cannot allow anti-Christian groups like GOProud to infiltrate and corrupt the conservative movement."

Look Who's Joining TFP For DADT Press Conference

In my earlier post about the absurdly anti-gay Tradition, Family and Property "report" opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I wondered who would be joining them at their press conference tomorrow to unveil it at CPAC.

Now we know

* Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
* Tom Minnery, Vice President, Public Policy, Focus on the Family
* Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
* Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy
* David Keene, President, American Conservative Union
* Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America
* Matthew Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law
* Jordan W. Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
* Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.), Flag & General Officers for the Military

Leaders from other prominent organizations, such as Eagle Forum, Let Freedom Ring, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, and Tradition, Values & Property (partial list) are lending support to the Military Culture Coalition, an informal network of individuals and organizations who support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C.).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Did you know that today is the "Day of Purity"?  It is, thanks to the Liberty Counsel.
  • Maggie Gallagher and Andrew Sullivan will debate the question "Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?" next week at the Cato Institute.
  • Concerned Women for America hops aboard the Judge-Walker-Is-Biased-Because-He's-Gay bandwagon.
  • Do you ever get the impression that conservatives are just going to attack President Obama over anything and everything.
  • Finally, why did Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing suddenly stop distributing food to those in need in Arizona?

Scarborough Unveils Yet Another Right Wing Coalition and Declaration

Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights attended the National Tea Party Convention and notes that Rick Scarborough used his address at the event to unveil a new coalition called "Mandate to Save America":

A workshop by Dr. Rick Scarborough indicated a shift taking place at the convention, transforming the focus from bailouts and deficits to the culture war. Scarborough is a former Southern Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas, and a he heads up a corporate constellation including Vision America, Vision America Action and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. He has been fixture on the Christian Right for several years (Jerry Falwell published his first book).

After showing an eight minute video cataloguing his many television appearances, the jovial Scarborough told a packed room of around 215 people that the gap between “fiscal and social conservatives has got to cease.” In addition to attacking the Obama administration for its commitment to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians into federal hate crimes protections, Scarborough warned that we "now have a government of thieves" and that we are moving towards a “collectivist” society. We have a Godly duty to defend “American exceptionalism,” he said.

Scarborough used much of his speech to launch a new campaign, called the Mandate to Save America, a project of the S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.

The pamphlet he distributed read, “We, the undersigned, and millions of other American patriots, including many who comprise the growing TEA Party movement, are no less determined than patriots of the past, who fought for our freedom. We will make any sacrifice, endure any hardship, and confront any foe to keep the flame of freedom burning bright; so help us God.”

The list of signers reads like a who’s who of the Christian Right: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Gary Bauer of American Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, and many more. The ten campaign demands marked an overt attempt to fuse Tea Party desires with the broader agenda of the Christian Right into a more potent form of Christian nationalism.

Scarborough worked up the crowd in the room, and got a standing ovation when he demanded, “enough is enough!” When he finished, an older woman in the front row stood up and stated, “What we need is revival and revolt!” which also brought enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

And sure enough, Mandate to Save America has a website carrying this declaration:

So far the list of signers includes Gary Bauer, Tom DeLay, Janet Porter, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Mat Staver, Tim Wildmon, Wendy Wright, Richard Viguerie, and several others.

Pots Calling Kettles "Radical"

Back in 2007, the D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America for Christ shut down, as Coral Ridge Ministries announced that it would focus on expanding its media operations.  

Since then, Coral Ridge has produced several DVD programs like "10 Truths About Hate Crime Laws Book and Hate Crime Laws" and "Pastors, Pulpits, And Politics" ... and now, via Good As You, we see that they are back with their latest production "Radical Rulers And The Obama White House Radicals": 

America has come under the rule of the most radical administration in our nation’s history. In this explosive new book, journalist Robert Knight identifies more than a dozen White House appointees (plus President Obama) who are all working to bring extreme change to America. The Obama team’s far left ideology means a government takeover of healthcare, soaring budget deficits, redistribution of wealth, forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortions, punitive energy and environmental rules, restrictions on free speech, a push to mainstream homosexuality, and much more.

Along with the book, the DVD, The Obama White House Radicals, uncovers the backgrounds of several Obama Administration appointees—from a self-avowed Communist to a member of the Socialist International. The DVD also examines the influence of Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky on President Obama’s political education. Experts appearing on the program include Janice Shaw Crouse, political commentator for Concerned Women for America; William Federer, a nationally known speaker and host of the American Minute radio broadcast; and Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

In case you missed it, the point is that President Obama's administration is extremely "radical" ... at least, according to far-right radicals.

And for a mere $40, this insightful DVD exposé and accompanying book explaining that can be yours.

Tea Party Activism and The Religious Right

I have to take issue with Andrew Sullivan's assertion that the Tea Party movement is "Christianist" at its core.

By "Christianist," Sullivan means essentially the Religious Right and the idea that the Religious Right's anti-gay, anti-choice political agenda has played a central in Tea Party activism is ludicrous. 

When the movement began last year, the "TEA" in Tea Party stood for "Taxed Enough Already" and was aimed at the bailouts and stimulus measures put in place in an attempt to stabilize our economy.

At first, the Religious Right more or less watched from the sidelines as the fiscal conservative groups like Freedomworks, National Taxpayers Union, Americans For Tax Reform, and The Club for Growth started to institutionalize the Tea Party effort. 

Eventually, groups like the American Family Association climbed on board, as did leaders like Ralph Reed, but that was done in order to try and capitalize on the Tea Party success and tie their "Christianist" agenda to the already established Tea Party activism.  

The presence of Religious Right fringe figures like Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough at the National Tea Party Convention is more a sign of the power of the Tea Party narrative than it is of Religious Right control or influence over the movement or its agenda.

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the fundamental merging of overall right-wing movement under the banner of the Tea Party than the fact that the Tea Party front-runners at Freedomworks recently partnered with Religious Right powerhouses like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America despite that fact that, just a few years back, Freedomworks' founder Dick Armey was calling the socially conservative wing of the movement a bunch of stupid, lazy demagogues.

At the moment, Tea Party activism is the face of the conservative movement and so it is no surprise that Religious Right groups are climbing aboard the bandwagon in an effort to try and utilize it to press their own agenda.  

The Tea Party movement does not have a Religious Right agenda at its core, but rather as a component ... and that is only because Religious Right groups have set out aligning themselves with the movement in order to co-opt and exploit it.

The Religious Right Will Decide What Is Best For Women in Uniform

I didn't realize that in joining the military, women agreed to give up their right to medical treatments to which the Religious Right objected ... but apparently they do:

Late Thursday, the Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill. The Department of Defense will soon begin having military medical facilities stock the Plan B drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

...

Obama's decision is not going over well with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America.

"The military needs to focus on its prime mission, yet leftists view it as a means to promote their agenda," she told LifeNews.com. "The morning-after pill is highly ineffective in preventing pregnancies and completely useless in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. But it's a political tool for abortion advocates."

Wright worries the decision is the first step to pushing abortions at military hospitals.

"By making this drug required, the next step will making drugs like RU-486, the abortion pill, mandatory," she said. "And doctors or pharmacists who have objections will be purged from the ranks."

"The military needs to focus on discipline and proper behavior - because lives depend on it - not promoting risky behavior," Wright continued.

The Family Research Council is likewise demanding that women in the military be denied access to this option:

"Family Research Council opposes requiring military bases worldwide to carry Levonorgestrel, or 'Plan B,' because the drug can prevent a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus and thereby destroy a human life. We can all agree that there is a huge difference between preventing and destroying human life. And women in uniform deserve to know the truth about their medications.

"In the last year we have witnessed the Obama Administration move from the status quo of abortion as legal and available in health care plans to aggressively promoting U.S. government funded abortions. In the same way, the fact that Plan B is optional for military facilities is not sufficient for the Obama Administration, so now military facilities will be compelled to carry and disseminate Plan B.

"Moreover, a requirement to carry this drug would be a violation of the conscience rights of military personnel who have moral objections to providing it, not to mention the majority of American taxpayers supporting military operations. Taxpayers should not be required to pay for military medical personnel to carry Plan B anywhere in the world ... Forcing military professionals to carry over-the-counter Plan B will make it more difficult to enforce age requirements for a drug not widely tested on young girls.

"Finally, the requirement to carry Plan B on military bases doesn't include a parental notification provision in cases in which a minor obtains Plan B by prescription. This new policy undermines the right of parents to properly care for their daughters' physical well-being. In a society that requires teachers to send students to the nurse for a band-aid, the Administration's approach on something profoundly more important than a paper cut defies common sense."

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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, Friday 03/02/2012, 10:20am
Yesterday the US Senate voted 51-48 to kill the Blunt Amendment to the transportation bill that would have given employers the right to deny insurance coverage for any treatment that they objected to for any reason, representing a major setback for Religious Right groups who urged passage of the extreme amendment. Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink called the vote an affront to the First Amendment, although it is hard to see how anyone’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is being violated: “Today the government, this time via Congress, again... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/14/2012, 2:35pm
During an appearance on Concerned Women for America’s radio program, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) admitted that his bill to ban abortions based on the race or sex of the fetus wasn’t so much about stopping race or sex-based abortions but a ploy to criminalize abortion overall. “The people on the pro-abortion side say, ‘Trent you have a much bigger issue and a much bigger agenda here than just sex-selection and race-selection abortion,’” Franks said, “and I think the honest thing for me to do is say yes that’s true.” Franks has long been a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/07/2012, 2:10pm
The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco. The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/07/2012, 2:10pm
The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco. The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/06/2012, 3:30pm
Komen Crisis Reveals Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Activists On Friday, we reported on how Religious Right groups reacted furiously to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s move to roll back their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood under the excuse that they won’t work with groups under federal investigation — as Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) opened a politically charged investigation into the women’s health organization. Many Americans were perplexed by a move that would terminate potentially life-saving healthcare for tens of thousands of women in... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 01/06/2012, 2:22pm
Religious Right activists are positively giddy over the new momentum behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy for president, and Maggie Gallagher today praised the former Pennsylvania senator as “a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic photo finish.” Gallagher said that the left wants “to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race,” writing that progressives “hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.” On Tuesday night in Iowa, he stood before the cheering... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/15/2011, 2:00pm
Cindy Asmussen of Concerned Women for America’s Central Texas chapter pleaded with the organization’s members to boycott Macy’s over the company’s LGBT rights policy and to protest the Obama administration’s directive to combat discrimination against the LGBT community abroad. Macy’s has faced a torrent of criticism from Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association because the company fired a worker in San Antonio, Texas, who refused to abide by the company’s guidelines on LGBT customers. Asmussen said that members should stop shopping at the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 12/12/2011, 4:44pm
Last week, Concerned Women for America posted a video featuring Janice Crouse, a Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, discussing the three biggest threats to the institution of marriage. Among them were promiscuity, co-habitation, and, of course, homosexuality. Crouse's presentation was chock-full of statistics that she pulled from who-knows where but they featured heavily in her case that the institution of marriage was threaten by gay relationships because gays have a much shorter life span, much higher suicide and STD rates, do not maintain relationships for longer than a... MORE >