Concerned Women for America

The Right Readies for Sotomayor

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

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

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

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

Randall Terry States:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan Keyes Is (The Only One) Making Sense!

The emerging convention wisdom among the Religious Right and conservative commentators regarding Sarah Palin's abrupt decision to resign before the end of her sole term as Governor seems to be that she was hounded out of office by Democrats, bloggers, and mean people who criticized her.

Gary Bauer says "she was tired of being harassed" but that her decision is "a move that could end up serving her very well."

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America decried the "dirty politics" that forced Palin out, saying no other politician in "public life has ever had her children and family so maligned and attacked so brutally, explicitly, and disrespectfully" but likewise believes that Palin will "find a way back into national politics, and she'll be a formidable force when she does."

Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard, who has a book called "The Persecution of Sarah Palin" coming out next year, just wrote an article for the next issue in which he explains that she has been "trapped" in the Governor's office and has now been set free. Continetti explains that, in her short time in office, Palin has been so successful that not only did not need to run again, but that she didn't even have to finish out her first term and that she had finally become fed-up with the incessant attacks:

As the months passed, Palin arrived at the conclusion that she didn't want a second term as Alaska's governor. She had achieved what she had set out to do, so why bother with one more lame-duck legislative session in 2010? "I know that we've accomplished more in our two years in office than most governors could hope to accomplish in two terms," Palin said. "And that's because I hired the right people." For Palin to remain shuttling between Juneau, Anchorage, and Wasilla would waste both her and her constituents' time. And "I cannot waste time," she said. "I cannot waste resources."

...

Why is Palin leaving? At this writing, there is no reason to doubt her stated position: Her enemies' concerted efforts to tear her down have caused her family financial stress and distracted her from her duties as governor. Since she returned to Alaska in November 2008, she has been hemmed in. Ethics complaints, insults, invective, undue attention, and legal bills have been all-consuming. "I can't fight for what's right when I'm shackled to the governor's seat," Palin said. For the last seven months the governor's office has been a ward. A trap. She is breaking free.

...

Unable or unwilling to grasp her true accomplishments and character, the media shoehorned Palin into a ready-made caricature of the know-nothing Christian PTA mom who enters politics because of "those damned lib'ruls." The reality is far different. Palin is a savvy and charismatic politician whose career has been filled with courageous stands against entrenched authority. Ideological or partisan attachments do not concern her. She has her flaws--who doesn't?--but they should be measured against her strengths. Instead the media ignored the positives and colluded with Palin's adversaries to reduce her to a cartoon.

Oddly, the only one who doesn't seem to be buying into the "Palin-as-vicitm" explanation is Alan Keyes, who accuses her of dereliction of duty and "bad statesmanship":

In her speech, Sarah Palin refers to a "recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas" and "what we can all learn from our selfless troops ... they're bold, they don't give up and they take a stand …" Here words are an apt reminder of what the faithful performance of duty requires. Soldiers take a stand in the very teeth of enemy fire, even though it means certain death or grievous wounds. There is a word for soldiers who quit their posts because the enemy is shooting at them. It is not intended as a compliment, especially when it's their own bad judgment that has put them in the way of enemy fire in the first place.

Sarah Palin calls to mind our wounded soldiers in the very moment when she fails to follow their heroic example. In the process, she acknowledges that, thanks to the provision of Alaska's taxpayers, she has successfully evaded the cost-free political attacks allowed by "the ethics law I championed." She won! Had Custer won the battle at Little Big Horn, I doubt that anyone would have questioned the money expended for the guns and bullets required to do so. He had a duty to defend his command, especially after his own mistakes exposed it to danger.

Of course, resignation would have been in order once he acknowledged and took responsibility for those mistakes. But Sarah Palin has done no such thing. She claims Alaska is being damaged by the attacks against her, but that the fault lies entirely with the bad motives and actions of others. She says her tenure as governor has been successful; her judgments and actions sound; her record all for the good of the state and its people. But if this is true, it makes no sense to deprive the state of the governor duly elected by the people simply because bad folks attack her. In that case, resigning simply lets the (political) assassins finish their work. How can letting the duly elected governor be taken out in this way be consistent with her sworn duty to defend the state?

If she is without fault or blame, then Palin's explanation makes no sense except as a clear dereliction of duty. She swore faithfully to perform the duties of her office. She claims to have done so. Others have abused the law to attack her. She successfully defended against them. If, as she contends, she has simply been performing her duties, her defense of herself is in fact simply a defense of her office, in the literal sense. To preserve that office with integrity is one of her duties as governor. By resigning, she fails in the performance of that duty. She encourages the "politics of personal destruction" in much the same way that allowing terrorists to succeed encourages further acts of terrorism. This cannot be good for Alaska, and it does not keep faith with the people who elected her. They rightly expected her to defend the integrity of the office, which obviously means standing firm against those who attack its occupant without good reason.

If her stated explanation makes no sense, we are forced to look for an alternative that does. Absent that, we are forced to conclude that her decision to resign is, like championing the law used to harass her, just another example of her bad statesmanship.

You know something bizarre is underway when the only person on the Right who is making any sort of sense is Alan Keyes.

Roberts and Alito: Good for Women, Sotomayor: Bad

Apparently the confirmations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito were great things for women in this country whereas the possible confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, an actual woman, would be a bad thing - at least that seems to be the message of the Women's Coalition for Justice:

Members of the Women's Coalition for Justice released the following statements in advance of the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor beginning next Monday.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, stated, "Women are best protected by the rule of law -- and blind justice. Their rights are most endangered when personal preference, ideology or painful personal history inform judgment ... Given what we know about Sonia Sotomayor's own judicial philosophy, including her support of policymaking from the bench, senators have just cause to reject her appointment to the United States Supreme Court."

Genevieve Wood, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, The Heritage Foundation ..."[Sonia Sotomayor's] statements raise grave concerns about whether she can truly be impartial and the current defense that she simply endorses including different perspectives doesn't hold water. The Senators must ask challenging questions to determine whether she believes that a wise woman can reach the same conclusion as a wise man, or whether she intends to bring bias, as she has suggested, even to most cases."

Connie Mackey, Senior Vice President for FRCAction ... Women think independently and most women will see that Sonia Sotomayor is a judicial activist who will use the courts to make policy reflective of her own personal judgments as opposed to ruling based upon the tenets put forth by the Constitution.

Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life remarked ... "Her record of activism in support of a radical pro-abortion agenda is clear and documented. This is a judge with a record significantly worse than Judge Souter's. We are asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to seriously consider the consequences of confirming a Supreme Court justice whose radical record shows she would rule against all common-sense legal protections for the unborn, including parental notification, informed consent and bans on partial-birth abortion. The American people will not tolerate a nominee who is outside the mainstream of American public opinion."

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee stated, "Sonia Sotomayor's record reveals she lacks the primary characteristic required of a judge -- impartiality ... After giving her the benefit of the doubt, her record of giving preferences to certain classes of people and denying equal justice to others obliges Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee to oppose her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor has disqualified herself from the U.S. Supreme Court. Senators need to set aside their party loyalty and do their Constitutional duty to uphold equal justice for all by opposing Sonia Sotomayor's nomination."

Not surprisingly, many of these same conservative women also participated in the "Women For Roberts" coalition which held a press conference at which they praised the fact that John Roberts "doesn't have a sexist bone in his body" as well as a “Women for Alito” press conference to make the case that "Samuel Alito possesses the capability, character and commitment to the law America needs in a Supreme Court justice, and he deserves a swift and fair confirmation."

So there you have it: the appointment of ultra-conservative men to the Supreme Court by President Bush greatly advances the interests of women, whereas the appointment of an actual woman by President Obama greatly undermines those interests and Senators have an obligation to uphold the rights of all women by rejecting the nomination of this particular woman.

Concerned Women for America, Confused on Sanford

A few days ago, Kyle mentioned that one Focus on the Family state affiliate, the Palmetto Family Council, couldn't quite make up their mind on whether or not to call for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's resignation.

Then, their national organization, Focus on the Family, spoke, albeit rather softly, about the governor's actions. It seemed a good deal of family values organizations were having a difficult time deciding how to react when a "family-values" governor goes against the family values they preach about.

It seems, today, that Concerned Women for America have outdone the indecisiveness of both the Palmetto Family Council and Focus on the Family. On Thursday, CWA published an article in which they chastised the governor for his "teary press conference" and showing "no emotion as he talked about betraying and hurting his wife and sons."

But, let's look at the facts. Gov. Sanford turned to Mrs. Chapur again and again via e-mail and long-distance visits; there is no evidence that he attempted to turn away from temptation. Gov. Sanford was not honest in his accounting of the times they got together. Amazingly, even after his wife accidentally learned of the affair, Gov. Sanford asked her repeatedly for permission to go to Argentina to see Mrs. Chapur. 

Can you imagine anything more bizarre? He asked his wife for permission to go visit his mistress!

When a politician won't keep his commitments to his family (the philanderers are generally men), how can we trust him to keep his commitments to the public he represents? If his wife and children can't trust his word and depend upon his character, how can we?

CWA had their course laid out and it seemed their stance could be easily deciphered...until today, that is.

The CWA's president, Wendy Wright, has written an article commenting on the affair and, of course, blaming the media for "salivat[ing] over the juicy details" of it. Wright does acknowledge Sanford's failings, but reels back heavily from the rhetoric of CWA's first statement on the issue. She pleads for a "civil and sober moment to sympathize with Gov. Mark Sanford and his family."

As we watched his heartrending press conference on Wednesday, our immediate thoughts were for his family. Confessing his infidelity, apologizing to his family and loyal friends, recognizing that breaching God’s law carries serious consequences, it was a stark contrast to other politicians caught cheating who act defiantly.

Christians understand that humans are broken, all of us are sinners in need of redemption through a Savior, Jesus Christ. God has given us high moral standards, and we commit to help each other to live up to them. People fail (as we all do in some manner). The conversation at that point is: Is the person sorry, willing to make amends, and do all it takes not to fall again?

So, CWA, is Sanford an "untrustworthy, not credible, [person who] treats those closest to him with disdain" or is he "a stark contrast to other politicians caught cheating who act defiantly?"

Focus Speaks Out (Very, Very Quietly) On Sanford

Yesterday we noted that the most influential Religious Right group in South Carolina couldn't decide if Gov. Mark Sanford should resign.

Dan Gilgoff wrote a semi-related post on the same topic, commenting on the noticeable silence coming from Religious Right goups on the issue:

One week after Mark Sanford admitted to his affair with an Argentine woman—and a day after he called his mistress his "soul mate" and acknowledged further indiscretions—I'm struck by the total silence of pro-family groups.

The Family Research Council has been completely quiet on the South Carolina governor's affair. So has Concerned Women for America. Ditto for Focus on the Family.

The wall of silence is all the more striking given that 10 Palmetto State senators in Sanford's own party have called for him to step down. Does the pro-family movement burn up credibility if it looks the other way when Republican allies own up to extramarital affairs?

Today, Gilgoff writes that Focus on the Family took exception to his claim:

Focus on the Family's vice president of communications E-mails to protest my post about the silence of family values groups on Mark Sanford's affair. Focus, he says, has hardly kept quiet, responding to interview requests from Politico, the Washington Times, and a small New England newspaper.

Gilgoff wisely notes that these few examples are not particularly impressive "given what Focus's powerful media ministry is capable of," but I'd take it a step further by pointing out that I can find no article from Politico quoting the organization on Sanford's affair and the Washington Times quote doesn't exactly take what anyone would consider a particularly strong stand:

Focus on Family's Carrie Gordon Earll agreed.

"If anything, it hurts the nation," she said. "Any time you have an elected official who has a moral failure, I think it affects people's general confidence in leadership. Decisions have consequences, and Gov. Sanford is experiencing that today."

She said voters have one standard when it comes to marital fidelity, regardless of party. "Adultery is a moral failure, and I think the pubic doesn't have a stomach for it," she said.

Maybe Focus spoke out more forcefully in whatever small New Englad paper it is referring to, but if it did, I haven't seen it.

Until today, the only Religious Right leaders we had seen call for Sanford's resignation was Rob Schenck:

I humbly offer to you this pastoral advice: First, when these sins overtake us and ruin what is best of our lives, it is better to say less to the public and more to God and to those who have been injured by us. I urge you to now observe an extended period of public silence and address your interior spiritual life and the repair of your family. I also admonish you to immediately step down from public office. It has been my experience and that of many others in the ministry, that such turbulent and injurious human failings, such as this one in your life, require our complete and undivided attention.

And now this call has been echoed by Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Governor Sanford is no King David, and the people of South Carolina -- as well as the watching world -- now observe the sad spectacle of a man who, while admitting to wrongdoing, shows no genuine repentance. As the Christian church has long recognized, true repentance is reflected in the "detestation of sin." This is a far cry from what we've heard from Governor Sanford.

If the governor is really serious about demonstrating character to his four sons, he should resign his office and give himself unreservedly to his wife and family. He must show his sons -- and all who have eyes to see -- how a man is led by the grace and mercy of God to hate his sin, rather than to love it. Until then, the governor must be understood to indulge himself in wistfulness for his affair and in a desperate determination to maintain his office. His remaining days in office are like a Greek tragedy unfolding into farce. The whole picture is just unspeakably sad.

Despite it claims to the contrary, aside from this one article on FOF's CitizenLink discussing efforts to voice support for Sanford's wife, Focus has been noticeably silent on the entire issue.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Right Starts A New Group

Despite all of the predictions that the Religious Right was on its deathbed, they sure do seem to be extremely active of late.

Of course, they don't seem to have any new ideas or desire to change their agenda in any way, but in last few months have seen a flurry of new groups popping up designed to fill some unseen void that has been apparently responsible for their current predicament.

In the last few months we seen the arrival of the Faith and Freedom Institute, which was followed by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, while Newt Gingrich was unveiling his Renewing American Leadership effort, and Lou Engle was announcing his Call to Action.

And now we come to find out via Pam that pretty much every Religious Right group has joined together under the umbrella of something called The Freedom Federation, incuding Renewing American Leadership and Call to Action, which were just recently created - so now you have two new groups created specifically to fill this void joining a new coalition effort ... designed to fill this very same void:

Press Conference to discuss the formation of the Freedom Federation and its purpose.

The Freedom Federation is a new and unique federation of some of the largest multi-ethnic and transgenerational faith-based organizations in the country committed to plan, strategize, and work together on common interests within the Judeo-Christian tradition to mobilize their grassroots constituencies and to communicate faith and values to the religious, social, cultural, and policymaking institutions.

-- American Association of Christian Counselors
-- American Family Association
-- Americans for Prosperity
-- Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND)
-- Campaign for Working Families
-- Catholic Online
-- Concerned Women for America
-- Conservative Action Project
-- Eagle Forum
-- Exodus International
-- Faith and Action
-- Family Research Council
-- High Impact Leadership
-- Liberty Alliance Action
-- Liberty Counsel
-- Liberty University
-- Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN)
-- Marc Nuttle
-- Morning Star Ministries
-- National Clergy Council
-- National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
-- Renewing American Leadership
-- Strang Communications
-- Teen Mania
-- The Call to Action
-- Traditional Values Coalition
-- Vision America

Wow - did they put this coalition together by going through our list of right-wing organizations and simply inviting all the groups and individuals we write about most frequently to join?  Sorry,  Christian Anti-Defamation Commission  - if only we had written about you a few more times, maybe you would have been deemed worthy of inclusion in this ground-breaking new effort by the Religious Right ... to do whatever it is this new organization is going to do.

Honestly, what purpose can this possibly serve?  Are the Council for National Policy and the Arlington Group somehow lacking and so these groups decided that what they really needed was yet another coalition to carry out the same work?

Anyway, this effort seems to be organized by Rick Scarborough ... or at least he is the first to send out a press release trying to take credit for it:

Today, representatives of some of America's largest faith-based groups gathered in the nation's capital to announce that they will organize and mobilize their grassroots constituencies in a common cause.

At the National Press Club, Vision America President Pastor Rick Scarborough joined other conservative leaders, including Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University Law School and the Federation's convener, to formally announce the formation of the Freedom Federation.

The Federation encompasses individuals of different races, faiths and backgrounds who are committed to the preservation of freedom and American values, founded on the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Freedom Federation is not a separate organization, but an association of like-minded national organizations with large and unique religious and political constituencies.

...

Scarborough commented: "These organizations represent some of the nation's largest constituencies of youth, Hispanics, African-Americans, women, pastors and churches, who are uniting to defend a tradition increasingly under attack."

The Freedom Federation is committed to defending and extending core values expressed in the Declaration of American Values, the organization's founding document. These include the right to life, the institution of marriage, parental rights, religious liberty, an environment free of pornography and indecency, the right to property, freedom from excessive taxation, and national sovereignty. The statement is posted on the Vision America website at www.visionamerica.us.

And here is their Declaration of American Values, which they vow to protect with their lives:

We the people of the United States of America, at this crucial time in history, do hereby affirm the core consensus values which form the basis of America’s greatness, that all men and women from every race and ethnicity are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We adhere to the rule of law embodied in the Constitution of the United States and to the principles of liberty on which America was founded. In order to maintain the blessings of liberty and justice for ourselves and our posterity, and recognizing that personal responsibility is the basis of our self-governing Nation, we declare our allegiance –

1. To secure the sanctity of human life by affirming the dignity of and right to life for the disabled, the ill, the aged, the poor, the disadvantaged, and for the unborn from the moment of conception. Every person is made in the image of God, and it is the responsibility and duty of all individuals and communities of faith to extend the hand of loving compassion to care for those in poverty and distress.

2. To secure our national interest in the institution of marriage and family by embracing the union of one man and one woman as the sole form of legitimate marriage and the proper basis of family.

3. To secure the fundamental rights of parents to the care, custody, and control of their children regarding their upbringing and education.

4. To secure the free exercise of religion for all people, including the freedom to acknowledge God through our public institutions and other modes of public expression and the freedom of religious conscience without coercion by penalty or force of law.

5. To secure the moral dignity of each person, acknowledging that obscenity, pornography, and indecency debase our communities, harm our families, and undermine morality and respect. Therefore, we promote enactment and enforcement of laws to protect decency and morality.

6. To secure the right to own, possess and manage private property without arbitrary interference from government, while acknowledging the necessity of maintaining a proper and balanced care and stewardship of the environment and natural resources for the health and safety of our families.

7. To secure the individual right to own, possess, and use firearms as central to the preservation of peace and liberty.

8. To secure a system of checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches within both state and federal governments, so that no one branch – particularly the judiciary – usurps the authority of the other two, and to maintain the constitutional principles of federalism which divide power between the state and federal governments.

9. To secure our national sovereignty and domestic tranquility by maintaining a strong military; establishing and maintaining secure national borders; participating in international and diplomatic affairs without ceding authority to foreign powers that diminish or interfere with our unalienable rights; and being mindful of our history as a nation of immigrants, promoting immigration policies that observe the rule of law and are just, fair, swift, and foster national unity.

10. To secure a system of fair taxes that are not punitive against the institution of marriage or family and are not progressive in nature, and within a limited government framework, to encourage economic opportunity, free enterprise, and free market competition.

We hereby pledge our Names, our Lives and our Sacred Honor to this Declaration of American Values.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

Last week, I wrote a post about an incoherent claim from Focus on the Family's Steve Jordahl in which he mashed together the infamous DHS report, the current hate crimes bill in the Senate, and an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act by Rep. Alcee Hastings that "would prohibit the recruitment, enlistment, or retention of individuals associated" with hate groups by the US military to claim that the "hate-crimes bill may target pro-life servicemen and women."

As I wrote in that post:

[E]ven though this claim is utterly incoherent and fundamentally nonsensical, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it get picked up by others in the right-wing echo chamber and quickly establish itself as part of the narrative.

So imagine my complete lack of surprise when I saw this:

Opposition is surfacing to a move in Congress that could categorize pro-life organizations and their members as dangerous.

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America (CWA) has written a letter to Congress, urging defeat of the measure. "An amendment has been added to the Defense Authorization Bill that would prohibit the recruitment, enlistment, or retention of military personnel who are connected to groups associated with what the amendment calls 'hate-related violence,'" she explains.

Wright recalls the recent Homeland Security report on right-wing extremists, which inferred that people associated with single-issue groups are potentially problematic. In the 1990s, Wright says the Department of Justice initiated a politically driven investigation against pro-lifers and religious leaders based on them being pro-life.

CWA has even dashed off a letter [PDF] opposing this amendment and sent it to members of Congress:

On behalf of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) 500,000 members nationwide, I am writing you today to respectfully raise concerns with an amendment offered by Representative Alcee Hastings to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 which would prohibit recruitment, enlistment or retention of military personnel connected to groups associated with “hate-related violence.” The language in this amendment is vague and unclear and raises constitutional questions.

...

The Hastings amendment on its face targets people “associated or affiliated with” certain groups. However, the Constitution gives individuals the right to associate and the Supreme Court has determined that the government cannot penalize an individual for “mere association” without proof that a person shares the illegal aims of the group. The Hastings amendment appears to prohibit recruitment, enlistment or retention of military personnel simply based on one’s affiliation with a particular group that the Attorney General disfavors.

CWA urges you to oppose this amendment in its present form and to clarify the language in this amendment on the House floor or during conference process to make it more consistent with current Department of Defense policies and the Constitution.

You can read Hastings' amendment here [PDF] and, if you do so, you'll see that it explicitly defines "hate groups" as those that advocate violence against others based on race, religion, or ethnicity, engage in criminal activity, or advocate armed revolution against the government or that are otherwise "determined by the Attorney General to be of a violent, extremist nature."

The language is in no way "vague and unclear" and contains no threat to constitutional rights to association - it simply, and logically, prohibits the military from recruiting those who are associated or affiliated with violent extremist groups. 

But that doesn't matter to the Right, which apparently thinks that it has found yet another non-issue over which it can raise and ruckus and try to set off a "controversy" for political gain. 

Look for this issue to start picking up steam in the days and weeks ahead. 

The Key to Right-Wing Success

I don't really have anything to say about this latest column from Matt Barber other than to marvel at how he's managed to become a relatively high-profile right-wing activist based on little more than his seething animosity toward gays:

The idea of open homosexuality within our armed services has long been considered preposterous.

[George] Washington wisely understood that to allow men among the ranks who sodomized other men would necessarily distract from the mission at hand, disrupt unit cohesion and damage the morale of non-sodomy-disposed soldiers forced to sleep and bathe alongside those so inclined. It's understandably disquieting to wonder whether your foxhole buddy "has your back" or wants to rub it.

Barack Obama is no George Washington. He and a like-minded gaggle of congressional liberals have pledged to repeal the federal law, Section 654, Title 10, which stipulates that homosexual practice is incompatible with military service. Furthermore, they intend to do away with Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" administrative compromise.

The president has asked Congress to pass and send to his desk H.R. 1283, which, for the first time in American history, would homosexualize the military. To wit, he seeks to supplant military vitality with San Francisco vice. Whereas George Washington put a premium on combat readiness and national security, these indispensable safeguards play last fiddle to liberals' obtuse fixation with political correctness.

In the deadly game of war it's dangerously irresponsible to place extreme social ideology above national security. In combat, even the slightest disruption or distraction can spell the difference between victory and defeat – life and death. The left fails to understand this grave reality.

...

I'm speaking from personal experience. I served 12 years in the Army National Guard. During basic training a young man who later turned out to be homosexual was discharged after making unwanted advances toward other soldiers and for inappropriately touching several while they slept in the barracks.

A lengthy investigation ensued. Troops were pulled away from their regular training to answer questions. It was a tremendous distraction for our entire platoon. This incident most definitely disrupted unit cohesion and harmed troop morale.

But none of this matters to liberals. Obama is the un-Washington. The left – of which Obama sits on the fringe – loathe the armed services. Rather than viewing the military as a noble and necessary institution designed as our last line of defense, they consider it a giant petri dish ripe for radical social experimentation. Move over Army National Guard; make way for the smarmy avant-garde.

Once upon a time, Barber was an manager for Allstate Insurance until he was fired for writing anti-gay pieces for right-wing websites like The Conservative Voice and Men's News Daily. That firing transformed him into a right-wing hero and he quickly became Policy Director for Cultural Issues with Concerned Women for America, where he continued his militantly anti-gay diatribes.  He was eventually lured away from CWA by the Liberty Counsel where he became Director of Cultural Affairs, as well as the Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

In just four years, Barber has gone from an unknown employee at an insurance company to an associate dean at a right-wing university thanks solely to his unrelenting hatred of gays.

Amazing.

Miranda Set To Issue More Demands

Just yesterday I wrote a post about the fact that Manuel Miranda seems to think that the time-line for a vote on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court should be determined primarily by ... well, Manuel Miranda.

Today, CQ reports that Miranda and his Third Branch Conference will be sending a letter to Senators tomorrow demanding that any debate and vote on the nomination be held off until after the August recess:

The Third Branch Conference will send a letter to senators Friday asking that debate on Sotomayor's nomination be postponed until September, said the group's leader, Manuel Miranda.

"It would be a failure of leadership to allow a confirmation vote before the August recess," Miranda said Thursday.

Asked about the idea Thursday, Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said, "I haven't given that any thought. Obviously they're trying to rush this through."

But Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who serves on the Judiciary Committee told reporters the confirmation schedule will not slip into September.

Miranda said the focus should be on trying to push back the floor vote rather than Sotomayor's confirmation hearing scheduled to begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 13.

"I'm afraid the postponed hearing will be the basis for a barter," Miranda said, in which Republicans would agree to a floor vote prior to the August recess.

Despite Miranda's claim that they would never engage in an "obstructive filibuster" of Sotomayor's nomination, you can already see them plotting to do just that by incessantly issuing demands that, are they not met, they can use to justify to filibuster or otherwise obstruct the confirmation process.

The Hill has more on this "not-a-filibuster" effort to filibuster Sotomayor's nomination:

A coalition of more than 100 conservative activists have called on Senate Republicans to delay a final vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor until the fall.

A group of conservatives have called on Senate Republicans to use every tactic at their disposal to hold up Sotomayor’s confirmation until September.

“The confirmation debate and the final vote should occur is September and Republicans should ensure that happens, to allow the American people to engage in this debate,” said Manuel Miranda, chairman of the Third Branch Conference, which includes groups such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America.

The Third Branch Conference polled its members in recent days and found unanimous desire among more than 100 conservative activists and leaders to press Senate Republicans for a delay.

“This issue is bigger than partisan politics; some of the statements Sotomayor has made should be of concern to everybody,” said Mario Diaz, policy director of legal issues for Concerned Women for America.

Members of the coalition will begin contacting and writing letters to Senate Republicans on Friday.

...

Miranda argued that Republicans could delay the nomination by refusing to participate in a vote to move Sotomayor to the Senate floor.

Rule IV of the Judiciary Committee states that at least one member of the minority party must vote to cut off debate in committee.

Right Wing: Campaign Promises Only Valid When Made to Us

Yesterday, President Obama extended some benefits to same-sex partners of US government workers, but progressive groups and activists were decidedly unimpressed.  We released a statement calling it a "very small step in the right direction" and urged the president to live up to his own rhetoric about being a "fierce advocate" for gay and lesbian Americans and many others issued similar statements.

On the opposite side, Religious Right groups blasted the move, calling it an affront to traditional marriage and a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act while accusing Obama of pandering, with the Family Research Council saying he was using taxpayer funds to "placate an angry portion of his base" while Concerned Women for America called the move an "outrageous abuse by the president to benefit his supporters and quell their criticism of him.”

In fact, the idea that President Obama was somehow caving to a bunch of gay rights whiners seems to be predominant theme of the Right's response:

A Christian pastor and staunch opponent of same-sex "marriage" says President Obama threw a bone to homosexual activists yesterday, but they're acting like "playground bullies" because he's not moving quickly enough to enact their top priorities ... Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, believes President Obama issued the directive in order to placate homosexual activists who are upset that the Obama Justice Department defended DOMA in a legal brief earlier this month -- a move that was at odds with Obama's campaign pledge to repeal DOMA.

Apparently, the prospect of activists trying to hold a president to his campaign rhetoric is completely foreign to the Right ... or at least it is now that they are no longer in power because, in case they have forgotten, when George W. Bush was in office and making nominations to the Supreme Court, they were very very vocal in demanding a “return on their investment” and crowed repeatedly about how Bush had kept his promise when he nominated John Roberts. And when Bush later nominated Harriet Miers, the Right went absolutely bonkers, accusing him of betraying the very voters who had put him in office, forcing Miers to withdraw her nomination and then, when Bush subsequently nominated Samuel Alito, the Right went back to crediting him for once again living up to his promise.

It is especially hypocritical of Jackson, of all people, to be claiming that activists are acting like "playground bullies" for holding President Obama to his promises, considering that, ahead of the 2008 election, Jackson told Jay Sekulow that if John McCain were to win the election, they were going to make sure that McCain knew that they got him elected and that they expected a significant return on their investment (skip ahead to the 3:25 mark):

Sekulow: Senator McCain becomes President-elect McCain, what's the message? What is the message you say to him as President-elect?

Jackson: Well, I think you say to him "we got you elected." If he gets elected, it's only going to be because Christians turned out en masse at the last minute, without being really wooed by him, and then we need to say "look, we have several key priorities, we need to protect life" and we can go down the list of things that we're very concerned about. But we need access - most people don't realize that we did not have as much access to President Bush in the last term that we should have had by rights, having put him in 2004.

The Right Joins Hands To Stop Hate Crimes Legislation

Last week we noted that Religious Right groups were planning on making a coordinated push to stop hate crimes legislation by threatening to "shut down the Capitol Switchboard to stop this dangerous bill that will criminalize Christianity and protect pedophiles."

Now, it looks like a variety of groups and leaders have done just that and banded together to send a letter to the Senate begging members to join their colleague Sen. Jim DeMint in filibustering the bill: 

This week, a letter is being hand-delivered to every member of the United States Senate imploring conservatives to join Senator Jim DeMint's filibuster of the pending Hate Crimes bill, which would criminalize preaching the Gospel and put preachers in the crosshairs.

The letter explains that, in its current form, the Hate Crimes legislation would: "Silence the moral voice of the Church" -- "Punish principled dissent from the homosexual agenda" -- "Be a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression" -- and "Empower the left and encourage it to move forward with even more radical measures."

The letter is signed by more than 60 conservative leaders, including some of the leading lights of the Values Voter movement, among them: James Dobson (Focus On The Family), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Gary Bauer (American Values), Hon. Tom DeLay (former Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives), Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum), Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America) and Rick Scarborough (Vision America).

Vision America President Dr. Rick Scarborough commented: "We are urging Senators to join DeMint (R, SC) in filibustering this pernicious -- one might almost say 'toxic' -- legislation. As Values Voter leaders, we are saying this vicious assault on the Church and the First Amendment must not and will not be allowed to succeed."

The press release didn't include an actual copy of this letter, which is rather odd.  Presumably, the letter has not been finalized or sent yet but, when it is and it is made available publicly, we'll be sure to write it up.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • You know what Lou Pritchett? You scare me.
  • Barbara Simpson has been too lazy to get her TV set up for the digital conversion, so now she's mad at the government.
  • Thanks to the Alliance Defense Fund, a local ministry will now be able to hand out religious literature at St. Louis' upcoming PrideFest.
  • Sam Brownback's main primary challenge for Governor has now dropped out.
  • Anti-choice activists are going to recreate the Civil Rights march across the Pettus Bridge in Alabama along with Alveda Kind and 70 pro-life organizations.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint is set to endorse Marco Rubio's bid for Governor of Florida.
  • This column from Kathryn Jean Lopez says that Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America used to work for Operation Rescue, which is something we didn't know.
  • Speaking of K Lo, she is transitioning to a new position at the National Review.
  • President Obama was in Illinois addressing the American Medical Association ... and Peter LaBarbera was there protesting the "radical homosexual agenda."
  • Finally, Pat Boone declares ""Like it or not, believe it or not, the end times seem to be drawing near."

The Religious Right: Always The Victim

It was just over a week ago that Dr. George Tiller was murdered and today his family announced that the clinic he operated in Kansas would be shutting down permanently:

The Wichita clinic of slain abortion provider George Tiller will be "permanently closed," his family said Tuesday.

Operations at Women's Health Care Services Inc. had been suspended since Tiller's death May 31. In a statement released by his attorneys, Tiller's family said it will close, effective immediately.

...

Randall Terry, who founded the original Operation Rescue group, responded to news that Tiller's clinic would remain closed with, "Good riddance." He said history would remember Tiller's clinic as it remembers Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.

"What set him apart is that he killed late-term babies," Terry said. "If his replacement was going to continue to kill late-term children, the protests would continue, the investigations would continue, the indictments would continue."

In the days that followed, right-wing anti-choice activists were lamenting that Tiller's murder would undermine their cause, warning that "pro-abortion activists and politicians to use this tragedy to manipulate public opinion or our laws," and saying that Tiller was murdered because anti-choice activists feel "helpless" and under attack.

But what has been most remarkable about this is the way that the Right has tried to use Tiller's murder to claim that they are being victimized

Operation Rescue will not stand by and act as if this organization's Pro-Life message has been silenced by Mr. Roeder's egregious act and insidious statements. Operation Rescue will continue to advocate for the sanctity of human life, born and unborn.

While Operation Rescue recognizes the Obama Administration's endeavor of protection of abortion providers we caution that this protection should not be used as a ruse to conduct a witch-hunt against the Pro-Life movement. Neither persecution nor adulteration of the rule of law can be tolerated pursuant to this sad event.

Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright made a similar complaint

Late Friday afternoon, the DOJ made it clear that it believes other individuals or groups may have been involved in Tiller's shooting on Sunday, May 31. The agency's press release stated it will "work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law." (See earlier story)

Is it a legitimate investigation -- or a political payoff from the Obama administration to the pro-abortion movement? Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, believes politics could be a motive. But she suspects there may be more behind the announced investigation than meets the eye.

"This may be more of a nefarious effort than it appears on its face," she exclaims, "that in fact, the Department of Justice may be trying to smear pro-lifers, as if we all belong in the same camp, as if we all advocate violence, when it's [actually] just the opposite."

You really have to marvel at the Right's ability to take the cold-blooded murder of the man they routinely demonized as the incarnation of the absolute wickedness of abortion and turn it into a pity party for themselves.

What's Norm Coleman Up To?

I have to say that, in the six years that Norm Coleman was in the Senate, I don't ever recall him showing up at right-wing events and hob-nobbing with grassroots activists.

But times have changed, apparently:

Norm Coleman will be joined by Phyllis Schlafly, Rush Limbaugh's brother, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son - a Roman Catholic priest - at a gathering this week in St. Louis for a conference on conservative principles.

Coleman will be the keynote speaker for the Conservative Heartland Leadership Conference, which began Wednesday and concludes Thursday at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis.

...

Coleman is scheduled to speak Thursday at a luncheon with an introduction by political commentator and author David Limbaugh, brother of talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Underwriting the event is the conservative American Issues Project, a nonprofit group that has aired political ads, including one linking candidate Barack Obama to 1960s radical William Ayers.

...

The Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest of the Arlington, Va., diocese and the Supreme Court justice's son, will host a prayer breakfast featuring Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America; Joe Ortweth of Missouri Family Council; and Don Hinkle of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent will speak on national security.

Kris Kobach, a candidate for Kansas secretary of state who has helped draft laws sanctioning illegal immigration, will discuss judicial selection in Kansas. Kobach is an attorney and University of Missouri law professor.

For the record, Grover Norquist is also attending.

O'Reilly Was Not Alone In Targeting Tiller

Bill O'Reilly is deservedly getting lots of attention for his years-long vicious crusade against George Tiller:

But it should be pointed out that O'Reilly had a lot of company in this effort to demonize Tiller, as Religious Right groups had been targeting Tiller for years and regularly holding him up as the epitome of the "evil" that is reproductive choice.

For instance, just last month, more than two dozen right-wing groups and activists sent a letter to Senators opposing the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, citing among their primary concerns her "ties" to Tiller:

Governor Sebelius has long close and personal ties to notorious abortionist George Tiller, known for performing late-term abortions in Kansas, include donations from Mr. Tiller of hundreds of thousands of dollars to PACs and organizations controlled by the Kansas Governor. She has also repeatedly interfered in cases brought against Mr. Tiller, including recruiting a candidate to replace the state attorney general who was originally prosecuting the abortion doctor.

Signatories of the letter included the likes of Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Brian Burch of Fidelis, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

The fact of the matter is that, for years, right-wing groups sought to make Tiller the face of the abortion fight and a quick search of several of the leading organization's websites demonstrates just how often they citied Tiller in their own anti-abortion efforts.

For instance, Tiller's name was mentioned dozens if not hundreds of times on the websites of organization's like Focus on the Family, Faith 2 Action, Vision America, American Family Association, Christian Coalition, American Center for Law and Justice, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, the Traditional Values Coalition, and the Alliance Defense Fund where he was often referred to with terms like "accused serial abortionist," the most notorious abortionist in America," "George (the Killer) Tiller," and "Tiller the Killer."

There are at least 78 mentions of the name "George Tiller" on the Family Research Council website, often in connection with statements like this from March of this year:

The trial of notorious Kansas abortionist, George Tiller, is now underway. During his career as an abortionist, Tiller has performed over 80,000 abortions, among them thousands of viable, third-trimester babies. Women travel to Kansas from all over the world to obtain late abortions they cannot get elsewhere. Tiller's body count is greater by far than all the American troops killed in Vietnam ... This man should be in jail. Whatever the outcome of the trial now underway, the fact is that jail is the only appropriate place for 'doctors' who kill children" ... May George Tiller finally be brought to some semblance of justice!

But perhaps no organization outside of the single-issue groups like Operation Rescue made Tiller a bigger target than did Concerned Women for America, which has more than 200 mentions of him on its website, including this column by Janice Crouse from just a few weeks ago:

The bloodshed of the thousands of late-term abortions that Dr. George R. Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, performs each year vastly eclipses the death toll from the struggle over the slavery contest in Kansas in the years immediately prior to the Civil War. The slaughter in Tiller's abortion clinic - by his own account he has performed over 60,000 abortions, with a "special interest" and focus on "late-term" abortions - should justly revive the label of "Bleeding Kansas."

It is hard to know what is in the mind of someone like George Tiller, the abortionist who for years has routinely killed the babies of women in the last stages of their pregnancies - seven, even eight months along ... Tiller takes upon himself the role of God and condemns to death any innocent child whose mother chooses to label it as "unwanted." Then he executes them.

As I've been reading the coverage of Tiller's murder over the last two days, I've been asking myself "why do I even know his name?"  

I don't know the name of even one other women's health provider in this country, yet I was well-aware of George Tiller ... and that is because, for years, the Right had demonized Tiller and his perfectly legal practice, turning him into the poster boy for the abortion debate writ large, and routinely holding him up as the incarnation of the absolute wickedness of abortion. 

George Tiller and the DHS Report

It was just a few weeks ago that the Religious Right was up-in-arms over the report released by the Department of Homeland Security called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” [PDF] because it contained this footnote:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Because of this passage, Religious Right leaders immediately began decrying the report as not only "offensive to millions of Americans who hold constitutionally-protected views opposing abortion" but also an outright attack on Jesus Christ:

[Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America] tells OneNewsNow the report is a direct attack on the church. "[It's] a direct assault on the basic principles of religious beliefs that have been here since the time of Christ," she argues. "These are the things that Christ died on the cross for."

Within days, groups like the American Center for Law and Justice and the Family Research Council were using the report in their fund-raising efforts:

Today, federal employees whose salaries we pay are issuing reports from the Department of Homeland Security that say some conservatives are a grave threat to America. Why? Because we oppose abortion and the massive growth of the federal government. Do they no longer see Al Qaeda or the Taliban as the greatest threat to Americans' liberty? Apparently they are now targeting us. I remind DHS and all who read this that we oppose all violence or lawbreaking. But speaking out is an American right we will not give up!

...

Will you help Family Research Council (FRC) fight excessive government and defend your rights with a donation today? 

Soon calls began to emerge for an investigation into the drafting of the report, and that was quickly followed by the launching of an ad campaign supported by various right-wing groups demanding DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's resignation:

Among the groups sponsoring the ad were Operation Rescue, the American Family Association, Faith2Action, Vision America, Americans for Truth, Liberty Counsel, Traditional Values Coalition, and others. 

All of the caterwalling eventually lead DHS to pull the report ... but in light of the details emerging about Scott Roeder, the man arrested in the killing of physician George Tiller, it seems as if the report - far from being an offensive attack on Christians and anti-choice activists - was remarkably timely and accurate.

The real irony here is that the report itself focused almost entirely on violent anti-government extremists and militia groups, never mentioning anti-choice activists outside of this one isolated footnote.

But it was that footnote that the Right seized upon, repeatedly and intentionally misrepresenting what is said in order to generate controversy over the report, culminating in this sort of fear mongering from the ACLJ ... which is now blowing up in their face:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has labeled you, a member of the pro-life community, THE MOST DANGEROUS DOMESTIC TERRORIST

Targeting Sotomayor With Right Wing Myths

One thing that has always amazed me about the Right is its ability to discover obscure but outrageous anecdotes and quickly transform them into evidence that Christians and conservatives are under attack. 

Years ago, I remember reading an Ann Coulter column in which she related the sad tale of one Raymond Raines, who supposedly received a week's detention for simply praying before lunch in the school cafeteria.  The story hung around for years and was regularly trotted out by the likes of Newt Gingrich and David Limbaugh whenever it served their purposes, despite the fact that it was completely untrue.

Ever since then, I have been fascinated by how these stories pop up in right-wing news outlets and are immediately taken as gospel by the Right, which uses them to further their political agenda. 

As a prime example, take this new column by Sandy Rios, former president of Concerned Women for America, explaining why Sonia Sotomayor must be defeated:

It was Good Friday when the knock came on the door at the home of Pastor David Jones and his wife, Mary. San Diego County officials were hot on the trail of reportedly suspicious activities taking place inside the couple’s home each and every week.

Mrs. Jones, the co-conspirator, was interrogated vigorously. “Do you sing? Do you say ‘Praise the Lord?’ Do you say ‘amen?’” San Diegans can be relieved their county officials are in hot pursuit of major trouble makers. Especially on Good Friday. How could authorities possibly sit by and allow homes to be the centers of meal sharing and Bible Study in the midst of unsuspecting, at-risk neighbors?

The Joneses were warned that if they did not pay for an expensive Major Use Permit, normally used for the city to conduct studies on environmental impact, traffic patterns, etc., their weekly gatherings of 15 would have to stop. And if they did not stop, there would be escalating fines and “then it will get ugly.” Seems like it already has.

Meanwhile, down in Louisiana, a man was reportedly stopped by police and held for questioning and a background check for displaying the notoriously offensive “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker. Christopher Gadsen, a Revolutionary War era general designed “Don’t Tread on Me” for a flag representing the need to defend America’s rights from tyranny. Ben Franklin loved the symbolism Gadsen used of the rattlesnake and the rebellion. Good thing Franklin wasn’t traveling in Louisiana, bearing that flag on his carriage, when those police were out to catch “right wing extremists.” Imagine … Homeland Security urging the nation’s law enforcement to protect the homeland from those who want to protect the homeland. Is there a category for that?

Or for that matter, for this: Debbie McLucas is a hospital supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas. Her husband and sons have all served in the military. Her daughter is currently stationed in Iraq as a combat medic. In honor of Memorial Day, Debbie did the unthinkable: She hung a three-by-five foot American flag in an office she shares with three other supervisors. One was quite offended. So offended, she took down the flag all by herself. Take that, Debbie McLucas. The hospital refused to support the display, claiming other patients and visitors were also offended.

...

These three stories currently in the news represent the types of issues that may very well end up in the United States Supreme Court ... What’s at stake with the nomination of a judge like Sonja Sottomayor [sic] are real-life consequences for ordinary American citizens. What we don’t need is a justice taking the bench with the notion that somehow the Constitution doesn’t mean what it has always meant, who proceeds to twist it to reflect his or her own viewpoint—a justice like Sonia Sotomayor.

Of course, if you bother to track down some non-right-wing news coverage of these anecdotes, you inevitably end up with far more rational explanation of what actually happened.

Here is what happened with the Jonse' and their Bible Study:

Every Tuesday night about 15 people drive to Jones’ Bonita home to eat dinner and discuss the Bible. They usually park on Jones' property, he said, but sometimes that parking spills out into the cul-de-sac.

Last month, someone filed a complaint about the number of cars.

A county code enforcement officer visited the house and asked Jones' wife about the weekly Bible studies.

"She said, 'Do you say amen?' and my wife said, 'Well, yes,'" Jones recalled.

"And she said, 'Do you say praise the Lord?’ she said, 'Well, yes but what does that have to with it?'" Jones said.

10News asked the county official about the officer's line of questioning.

"Did the officer actually do that? Is that part of the requirements to ask those questions?" Reporter Joe Little asked.

"Obviously, I wasn't there, so I can't tell you exactly what was said. However, what our officer was trying to do is establish what the use is so that we know what regulations to actually utilize," explained Chandra Wallar of the county's land use and environment group.

Wallar said it's the officer’s job to determine what kind of event is hosted at Jones’ house to decide what part of county code the event falls under.

And here is what happened with McLucas and her flag:

A Texas hospital owned by Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare drew online criticism after a Dallas television station reported that it wouldn't let a supervisor display a large U.S. flag in her office.

But Kindred said yesterday that the incident has been portrayed inaccurately, giving the false impression "that we do not respect the flag or the sacrifice it represents."

According to the TV report, Debbie McLucas hung a 3-by-5-foot flag last week in the office she shares with the other three supervisors at Kindred's hospital in Mansfield, Texas. Later her boss told McLucas that an officemate found the flag offensive and that some patients' families had also complained, the report said.

Kindred said "this was simply a dispute between two employees who shared a small workspace, one of whom removed the flag because of its size." Both employees have had family in the military, the statement said.

As for the tale of some motorist being pulled over for having a "Don't Tread On Me" sticker on his car, that can't even be verified because it is based almost entirely on a WorldNetDaily article in which WND withheld "the driver's name and the relative's name at their request" and was itself largely based upon an American Vision blog post:

Our friends at The Patriot Depot just received a call from Rosemarie in Ball, Louisiana alerting Patriot Depot that her brother-in-law was stopped by small town Louisiana police and detained by the roadside for half an hour. A background check was conducted to determine whether he was a member of an "extremist" group. Why? Her brother-in-law (name not disclosed for privacy) had purchased and displayed a conservative "Don't Tread on Me" bumper sticker on his car.

So did this actually happen?  There is no way of knowing ... though, personally, I am not particularly inclined to give too much credence to fourth-hand hearsay that originated with the brother-in-law of "Rosemarie in Ball, Louisiana."

Yet, for the Right, these sorts of completely unverified and/or fundamentally misrepresented myths are  presented as established fact which are then used to explain why Sonia Sotomayor is unfit to sit upon the Supreme Court.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Start Another Right Wing Group

Everyone knows that conservatives and Republicans are struggling at the moment and trying to figure out how to regain their influence in politics, motivate their supporters, and start winning elections. 

Nobody seems to be able agree on a course of action or any sort of messaging ... but what they can agree on apparently is that what they need are new groups. 

A few weeks back a new group called The Faith and Freedom Institute emerged in order to combat "satanic wickedness" and return America to a foundation of Biblical principles.  Since that is pretty much the mission of every other right-wing group, why this new one is needed is beyond me. 

And just last week we found out that Tony Perkins, Richard Land, Wellington Boone, and Harry Jackson were launching something known as Call 2 Fall ... which seems to be some sort of Lou Engle-less version of "The Call."  Again, why this new duplicate effort is necessary remains a mystery.

Now, via Dan Gilgoff, we find out that yet another new right-wing effort in underway:

As religious conservatives are receiving some cold shoulders from the Republican Party, they're beginning to launch new political organizations of their own. Tonight, coinciding with his debate with Doug Kmiec at the National Press Club—an exchange that began here on God & Country—conservative Catholic legal scholar and activist Robby George will be unveiling one of them: the American Principles Project.

The group's website says it will hold Republicans to account on conservative positions:

The message of the 2006 and 2008 elections is not that the American people want to be governed by the ultraliberal and statist ideology of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid; rather it is that Americans will not tolerate Republicans and "conservatives" who refuse to honor in practice the principles they purport to affirm—Republicans and "conservatives" who expand government, spend our tax dollars wantonly, do nothing about out-of-control judges who undermine democracy, and sit idly by as marriage is redefined and further weakened.

The key difference between this group and others cropping up to chart a course forward for the GOP is that the American Principles Projects counts opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage among its top priorities.

The American Principles Project seems to be a response to the National Council for a New America, which angered the Religious Right when it unveiled its agenda for the remaking the GOP which contained no mention of the social issues like gay marriage and abortion that make up the core of their mission.

The confusing thing about this is that there are already dozens of right-wing groups for whom opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage are their top priorities.

In fact, this mission statement from the American Principles Project could, literally, apply to just about every other right-wing group currently in existence:

The United States of America does not need new principles. It needs renewed fidelity to the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are timeless principles: truths that we hold, in Jefferson's immortal words, to be, "self-evident." They are, moreover, universal principles, not the historically contingent beliefs or customs of a particular sect or clan or tribe. They are rooted in the nature of man as a being who, by virtue of his God-given dignity and rationality, owns the right to participate in the great project of self-government as a free and equal citizen. Whatever others may say, we at the American Principles Project and all who join with us reaffirm the truth that each and every member of the human family is, "created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

If these timeless principles are to be restored and our national commitment to them renewed, then a new voice is needed in American politics, a voice that is unafraid to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong. Indeed, that "voice" must be nothing less than millions of American voices raised in unison in defense of political liberty and economic freedom, the sanctity of human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, and the sovereignty and security of our nation.

The Right already has dozens of national and state-based organizations committed to this very same mission.

Has anyone at the American Principles Project ever heard of the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the American Family Association, or the Traditional Values Coalition? 

What exactly is this new group going to bring to the table that these various other groups don't? 

Whatever the conservative movement's problems might be at the moment, I can assure them that their dilemma is not rooted in the fact that there are just too few groups pressing the right-wing agenda.

Understanding Sotomayor’s Reversal Rate

The Washington Times seems to have serious problems doing simple math.  Just last month, they published a editorial claiming that President Obama was the “second-least-popular president in 40 years” when, in fact, the very poll it cited showed that Obama’s standing was “well above the historical norm for all approval ratings.”

And now we get this equally inane claim from the Times today:

With Judge Sonia Sotomayor already facing questions over her 60 percent reversal rate, the Supreme Court could dump another problem into her lap next month if, as many legal analysts predict, the court overturns one of her rulings upholding a race-based employment decision.

Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed, providing a potent line of attack raised by opponents Tuesday after President Obama announced he will nominate the 54-year-old Hispanic woman to the high court.

"Her high reversal rate alone should be enough for us to pause and take a good look at her record. Frankly, it is the Senates duty to do so," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.

So the Supreme Court granted review in a total of five cases where she authored the majority opinion and reversed the decision in three of them, giving her a 60 percent reversal rate … which is actually quite good considering that, in recent years, the Supreme Court has reversed more than 70% of all the cases it has heard.

But more importantly, as the article points out, Sotomayor wrote 380 majority decisions in her 11 years on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the vast majority of which didn’t get reversed by the Supreme Court. In fact, only five even ended up there and thus her three reversals out of 380 decisions gives her a reversal rate of exactly 0.00789473684.

The only “problem” for Sotomayor here is the Times’ pathetic lack of math skills.  

Right Wing Reaction to Sotomayor

So, anything happen while I was on vacation? 

Oh yeah, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.  And guess what?  The Right already doesn't like her:

Family Research Council:

"President Obama has chosen a nominee with a compelling personal story over judicial pick with a solid constitutional judicial philosophy. A compelling personal story is no substitute for allegiance to the Constitution and its sound application to public life.

"Judge Sotomayor's failure to premise her decisions on the text of the Constitution has resulted in an extremely high rate of reversal before the high court to which she has been nominated.

"With that fact in mind Judge Sotomayor appears to subscribe to a very liberal judicial philosophy that considers it appropriate for judges to impose their personal views from the bench. President Obama promised us a jurist committed to the 'rule of law,' but, instead, he appears to have nominated a legislator to the Supreme Court.

Focus on the Family:

"From what we know about her, Judge Sotomayor considers policy-making to be among a judge’s roles, no matter what the law says," said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family Action. "She disregards the notion of judicial impartiality."

...

Hausknecht said: "The president's professed desire for judges with 'empathy' rather than impartiality might deny the country what the Founding Fathers intended and wrote into the Constitution — judges who dispense justice without regard for the status of any party that comes before them."

Traditional Values Coalition:

To no one’s surprise, President Obama has nominated an individual who supports his position of deciding cases based on who you are, rather than on the facts and the law. Although Sotomayor spoke strongly of the importance of the rule of law and principles of the Founding Fathers, her previous decisions contradict this, as do the previous statements and promises of President Obama.

...

Judge Sotomayor fits the “empathy” qualification. During a law conference, she has openly bragged that she views her role as a judge as a policymaker and activist who will impose her leftist political views on the rest of us. She may have empathy for the poor, gays and minorities – but she is likely to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. She is clearly the ideal nominee for President Obama but will be a disaster for our legal system.

Concerned Women for America:

CWA President Wendy Wright said, "A necessary quality for a Supreme Court justice is to be committed to equal treatment of the law, regardless of ethnicity or sex. Sonia Sotomayor has an extensive record and several troubling opinions where she seems willing to expand certain 'rights' beyond what the Constitution establishes and the appropriate Supreme Court precedent. Revealing her immodest bias, she stated that a 'Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.' Congress needs to thoroughly vet Judge Sotomayor and Americans deserve enough time to evaluate her record and her announced bias for certain people. Her high reversal rate alone should be enough for us to pause and take a good look at her record. Frankly, it is the Senate's duty to do so."

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA's Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, "Much has been made in the media about a Hispanic woman being nominated, but the truth is that none of that should matter as the Senate fulfills its 'advise and consent' role. What matters are the judge's judicial temperament and her view of the Constitution. We must determine if Judge Sotomayor will respect the Constitution as written or legislate from the bench. She has made some disconcerting statements that should require everyone to examine her record with an open mind and reach some conclusions. For example, she said once that 'policy was made at the appellate level,' a very dangerous way of looking at the role of a judge for those of us who value our freedoms as guaranteed in the Constitution."

Judicial Confirmation Network:

"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.

"She reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution, even to the point of dishonoring those who preserve our public safety. On September 11, America saw firsthand the vital role of America's firefighters in protecting our citizens. They put their lives on the line for her and the other citizens of New York and the nation. But Judge Sotomayor would sacrifice their claims to fair treatment in employment promotions to racial preferences and quotas. The Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision.

"She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court."

Committee for Justice:

Having told colleagues that I thought President Obama was too smart to pick someone with as much baggage as Sonia Sotomayor, I was surprised to learn of her nomination. Many other people were surprised as well, given both the widespread expectation that Obama would choose an intellectual heavyweight and Obama’s own recent statement that he would not make gender or race the major factors in his selection. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley summed it up well on MSNBC yesterday, expressing bewilderment that Obama chose Sotomayor when heavyweights like “[Seventh Circuit Judge] Diane Wood would have met all his criteria.”

The only plausible explanation for Sotomayor’s selection is that the President was boxed in by demands from Hispanic and women’s groups that he pick one of their own. What else could explain his choice of a nominee who presents such a big target for conservatives and so clearly forces red state Democratic senators to choose between the values of their constituents and those of the nominee?

Priests for Life:

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, says he has just one question about Judge Sonia Sotomayor as she is nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court: "Does justice include the right to tear the arms and legs off of babies, crush their skulls, and treat them as medical waste?"

"We all draw the line somewhere. An avowed racist or anti-Semite is not acceptable on the Supreme Court. Why should we give a pass to the violence of abortion?"

Operation Rescue:

"Just as Obama has attempted to abuse the process of law in reshaping America to the far left, so too Sonia Sotomayor believes in the abuse of judicial authority having stated that courts can create social policy," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "This philosophy dangerously overreaches the duties of the judicial branch and flies in the face of the separation of powers doctrine."

"Sonia Sotomayor is a far left ideologue that blurs the lines between the legislature and judiciary and will surely be a rubber stamp for Obama's radical abortion agenda, which is opposed by the majority of Americans."

Organized for Life:

Peter Shinn, National Director of Organized for Life, commented that, "Sonia Sotomayor is out of step with the American people. Quoted in 2005 as believing that policy comes from the bench, she stands counter to the American people's desire to end the tragedy of abortion."

Ruben Obregon, President of Organized for Life, added, "In nominating Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama chose to further his own pro-abortion agenda rather than seek common ground on the abortion issue. Instead of faithfully representing America's views, President Obama has added another reliably liberal member to the Court who will continue to impose the Court's will on the people. Pro-life activists, the Davids in this epic battle for life, can only stop the Goliath of the White House by banding together and signing the petition at www.stopsotomayor.com."

Vision America:

Scarborough warned: "At age 54, Sotomayor could be a member of the United States Supreme Court for the next 20 years -- or longer. As a dedicated liberal, we know her views on abortion, gay marriage and reverse-discrimination -- whether or not she's ruled directly on these issues."

"That much power simply can't be bestowed by a compliant Senate," Scarborough observed. "This nomination must be stopped dead in its tracks. Sonia Sotomayor isn't a 'centrist,' she's a disaster at every level."

Susan B. Anthony List:

"Women are best protected by the rule of law -- and blind justice. Their rights are most endangered when personal preference, ideology or painful personal history inform judgment. Susan B. Anthony and her early feminist compatriots fought for a human rights standard sustained only through blind justice. When evidence of personal preference appears in any Supreme Court nominee's judgment, it should give all women pause. Given what we know about Judge Sonia Sotomayor's own judicial philosophy -- including her support of policymaking from the bench -- Americans should be concerned about the role of personal preference in her overall judicial philosophy.

When it comes to protecting all human life, one group is never served by undermining the rights of another. Women will never be served by ignoring the rights of unborn children. Judge Sonia Sotomayor's record of support for judicial activism offers little comfort that she will be a friend to the unborn on the Supreme Court. As the Senate fulfills its Constitutional role to 'advise and consent,' Senators should ask the hard questions to thoroughly assess Sotomayor's judicial temperament, and reaffirm the authentic feminist standard of blind justice for all."

Randall Terry:

"The filibuster trail was blazed by President Obama, VP Biden, Majority Leader Reed, Sec State Clinton, and other Democrat leaders in 2005 with Justice Alito. Do GOP leaders have the courage and integrity to filibuster an activist, pro-Roe judge?

"The Democrats have two weak links in their chain; Senators Nelson (NE) and Casey (PA) who both declare they are 'pro-life.' The question of conscience and courage is on the table: will they choose babies' lives or party loyalty?"

Ken Blackwell:

The White House is telling us all about Judge Sotomayor’s compelling personal story — and it is an amazing story of what is possible “only in America.” But compelling personal stories are not the question. Miguel Estrada, whom President George W. Bush nominated to the D.C. Circuit appeals court and was planning on nominating to the Supreme Court, had a compelling story as a Hispanic immigrant who legally came to this country not even speaking English. Democrats filibustered Mr. Estrada.

Supporters point out that Judge Sotomayor was first appointed by George H.W. Bush for the federal trial court — before Bill Clinton elevated her to the Second Circuit appeals court. That’s true, but George H.W. Bush also gave us Justice David Souter, so clearly he wasn’t too careful about putting liberals on the federal bench. We can’t allow the left to hide behind the Bushes.

But when it comes to gun rights, we don’t need to guess. Judge Sotomayor has put in writing what she thinks. President Obama has nominated a radically anti-Second Amendment judge to be our newest Supreme Court justice.

There are a number of pro-Second Amendment Democratic senators from deeply red states, including Mark Begich from Alaska, Jon Tester and Max Baucus from Montana, Ben Nelson from Nebraska, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad from North Dakota, and Tim Johnson from South Dakota.

These senators will jeopardize their seats if they vote to support an anti-gun radical for the Supreme Court. Second Amendment supporters will now be up in arms over this radical anti-Second Amendment nominee, and you should never underestimate the political power of American gun owners.

Mike Huckabee (after first mistakenly calling her "Maria Sotomayor"):

The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bi-partisan way were mere rhetoric. Sotomayor comes from the far left and will likely leave us with something akin to the "Extreme Court" that could mark a major shift. The notion that appellate court decisions are to be interpreted by the "feelings" of the judge is a direct affront of the basic premise of our judicial system that is supposed to apply the law without personal emotion. If she is confirmed, then we need to take the blindfold off Lady Justice.

Richard Viguerie actually issued three different releases, including this one:

"The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor unites all wings of the conservative movement--economic, foreign policy, social, traditional, neocon, and libertarian--in a way we haven't seen since the early Clinton years.

"Judge Sotomayor frightens all conservatives. As the debate over her nomination heats up, conservatives will provide the primary opposition to Sotomayor and will quickly launch a massive educational campaign using direct mail, the Internet, talk radio, cable TV, You Tube, and other forms of new and alternative media.

"It was sad to read that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's comment on the Sotomayor nomination reflected the typical reaction Americans have come to expect from Republican politicians when he said that Republicans will reserve judgment on Sotomayor.

"No wonder conservatives now look to talk show hosts and other unelected conservatives for leadership, rather then wet-finger Republican politicians who always seeming to be waiting to see the direction of the political winds.

"It remains to be seen how active and effective Republican politicians will be on this historic fight, but conservatives are on the field, engaged, and ready to battle President Obama and all U.S. Senators who support Sotomayor."

This collection is actually just a fraction of the statements made in opposition to Sotomayor by right-wing groups, but it's more than enough to drive home the point that they appear intent on doing everything they can to oppose her nomination.

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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 05/13/2011, 11:15am
The Religious Right’s favorite Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the “honorary host” of a Virginia fundraiser for Concerned Women for America. Cuccinelli won plaudits from right-wing activists for using his Virginia post to challenge anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, attack scientists who believe in climate change, undercut health care reform, and censor the official state seal over nudity. It makes sense that Cuccinelli is hosting a fundraiser for a group which believes that health care reform violates the Ten Commandments, gays are... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 11:09am
In an email to supporters, Concerned Women For America CEO Penny Nance said that they have one final opportunity to prevent the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Nance tells supporters that while the House GOP is likely to approve amendments to three Defense bill that would block the repeal and restrict gay-rights in the military, the Senate would be a graver challenge because Majority Leader Harry Reid “is beholden to the homosexual lobby.” She asks activists to show the Republicans support “in light of the likely response from the radical homosexual activists.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/09/2011, 12:52pm
Concerned Women for America has led the fight against the U.S.’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women since Jimmy Carter first signed it in 1980, and is now ramping up pressure against ratification following a Senate hearing on the treaty. Thanks to pressure from CWA and other Religious Right groups, the U.S. joins Iran, Somalia and Sudan in not ratifying CEDAW, which works to end political, economic and healthcare gender disparities, sex trafficking, and violence and discrimination against women. In an email to members,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 04/15/2011, 10:33am
While the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel are calling on parents to prevent their children from attending school today and Concerned Women for America is encouraging a “Day of Silence Walk Out,” other Religious Right groups are trying to add anti-gay “balance” to today’s Day of Silence. Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue, which will take place on Monday in order to directly follow the Day of Silence, wants to help students they believe are “messed up sexually.” The “Day of Dialogue” is the successor to the ex-gay... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 04/12/2011, 11:12am
As we have previously noted, right-wing activists have waged a year-long smear campaign against legal scholar Goodwin Liu, who was nominated by President Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. Liu’s nomination was not acted on in the last Congress; he had his second confirmation hearing on March 2, 2011, and on April 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination. In the wake of that approval, Religious Right activists are ramping up their rhetoric and demanding that Republican senators block Liu’s confirmation. On Sunday, the Oak Initiative, a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/11/2011, 1:10pm
At the Freedom Federation’s The Awakening 2011, right-wing activists unleashed their venom at the gay community and supporters of gay rights at the “Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda” panel. Robert Knight, a columnist for the Washington Times who is the executive director of the far-right American Civil Rights Union, maintained that gay congressional staffers represent one of the most difficult hurdles for opponents of LGBT equality. According to Knight, who has also worked for a wide range of conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 5:38pm
Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council Action, 40 Days for Life, Students for Life of America, Concerned Women for America, Catholic Vote, LifeNews.com, American Values and Catholic Advocate have all teamed up to inundate Congress with phone calls demanding the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Is Japan Disaster Another Apocalyptic Sign? Yes. Herman Cain sees signs everywhere that God has big plans for him. Peter LaBarbera is unveiling the line-up for his next anti-gay "Truth Academy." Can somebody explain to me when Christians are to be counted as... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 10:11am
Only in the worldview of the Religious Right do marginalized Americans like gays and lesbians have excessive clout in government while conservatives have little to none. Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, one of the most influential right-wing lobbyist organizations, describes LGBT-rights organizations as “bullies” whose crime is raising too much money. She told the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow that opponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are “claiming rights that don’t exist” and are trying to “intimidate”... MORE >