Exodus

Leading Republicans Embrace Personhood Amendment and “Christian Exodus,” Separatist Advocate

Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos.

Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments” due to the extreme nature of the measure and the fringe Personhood USA. Colorado voters rejected three different Amendments from Personhood Colorado by wide margins, with the 2010 measure failing with less than 30% of the vote.

Activists in Mississippi, however, have made great headway in receiving support from the Religious Right and the GOP. Leading Religious Right groups and Republican politicians, including the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, and Congressman-Elect Alan Nunnelee, have backed Personhood Mississippi’s efforts. Mississippi’s Republican Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant has embraced the Personhood Initiative as well. Bryant, when announcing his bid for governor on the AFA’s radio program, claimed that “one of my goals in public life is to end abortion in Mississippi, so we’re going to work really hard on that.” A vocal and ardent supporter of the “Personhood Amendment,” Bryant called the initiative “another way of trying to stop abortion in Mississippi and simply allow once and for all the opportunity for the people to say we want to do that and we feel so strongly about it that we want to add it to our Constitution.”

Today, Personhood Mississippi (the state affiliate of Personhood USA) will be hosting a rally in Jackson to celebrate the measure’s inclusion on the 2011 ballot, and Bryant is scheduled to speak at the event.

But who is behind Personhood Mississippi and the Personhood Amendment’s sponsor?

The head of Personhood Mississippi is right wing activist Les Riley, a featured blogger of the group Christian Exodus, which has “goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

Christian Exodus had attempted to move thousands of supporters to South Carolina in order to “form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States,” and also has close ties to the separatist and Neo-Confederate League of the South. Christian Exodus also is encouraging adherents to move to Panama and Idaho in order to build theocratic settlements.

Lt. Governor Bryant said he wanted to “personally thank Les Riley” for his work, and Les Riley told AFA Radio that Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is “the biggest news in the pro-life movement in twenty years” because it will not only eradicate reproductive rights in Mississippi but also set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

As the “Personhood Amendment” movement finds more allies and greater support in the Religious Right and Republican Party, its extremist leaders and radical beliefs have not changed.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Brian Fischer takes a break from his vacation to wonder if the repeal of DADT will lead to "mandatory cross-dressing."
  • Why am I not surprised that Fox News loves the living nativity?
  • Need racist soap?  This is the store for you.
  • You know that Jesus is coming back soon because foreign Christians are picking grapes in Israel.  Seriously.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera rejoices over the failure of the DADT vote: ""[I]f Obama and Sen. Reid succeed in repealing the homosexuality ban, it will devastate our military, lead to an exodus of Christian- and tradition-minded servicemembers from the military, and serve as a catalyst for America's continued moral decline."

Hispanics Support Republicans Says Republican Opposed By Hispanics

Rep. Lamar Smith says that the GOP should go ahead and press it's anti-immigration agenda because Hispanics support the Republican agenda and don't really care about the issue of immigration:

"The idea that we need to listen to our liberal Democratic friends who say you have to be for amnesty if you want to get Hispanic votes, we've disproved that this year -- and I hope we've laid that to rest," he adds.

With the understanding that "Hispanics have the same values that almost every other American has," he thinks the GOP can attract Hispanic voters by treating everybody as Americans.

"They care about education for their children, they care about jobs for their family members [and] they care about good healthcare, of course," Smith reports. "According to the various polls they've been taking of Hispanic voters, immigration is number five. I think it's in the single digits, it's so far down the list of their priorities."

The Texas representative goes on to point out that the Republican Party ran more new Hispanic candidates this year than Democrats, many of whom are identified "as having a pro-enforcement or anti-amnesty stance."

He finds it interesting that "Republican Hispanics are not going with the stereotype that they have to be for amnesty, but actually that they want to enforce immigration laws." He thinks that should also send a powerful message that "you can be respectful, you can be for law and order, you can be for the rule of law, and you can be for secure borders and opposed to amnesty and be elected, either as Hispanics or Anglos."

Of course, this argument might be more convincing if Somos Republicans, "the largest and fastest growing Hispanic Republican Organization in the Southwest," hadn't recently written a letter to Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor begging them not to let Smith and Rep. Steve King become assume key leadership positions because of their radical anti-immigrant views and rhetoric:

As we are already looking toward the 2012 Presidential Elections, we respectfully ask you to take heed to our request out of concern for our nation. Congressmen Smith and King have repeatedly engaged in rhetoric that is aimed negatively toward Hispanics. Steve King has used defamatory language that is extremely offensive to Hispanics, which is found in numerous congressional records. We believe Steve King’s behavior is not appropriate for a high-level elected Republican who might be in charge of a committee that handles immigration rules. Steve King and Lamar Smith have adopted extreme positions on birthright citizenship, and promise legislation that would undermine the 14th amendment of the constitution, which both swore an oath to uphold.

While it is indeed the duty of the Judiciary and Immigration committees to oversee and enforce existing immigration laws, Representatives Smith and King have engaged in an ill-advised platform and rhetoric that has been perceived as insensitive with their inflammatory “immigration statements,” and this has caused an exodus of Hispanic voters to the Democratic party. We ask that you review Mr. King’s and Mr. Smith’s congressional statements desiring to “pass a bill out of the House to end the Constitution’s birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants,” or what Steve King has made reference to “anchor babies.” We find both this rhetoric and this un-constitutional conduct reprehensible, insulting and a poor reflection upon Republicans because we don’t want our Party to be viewed as the Party of changing the United States Constitution.

...

It is our sincere belief that if representatives Smith and King were to become the Chairs of the House Judiciary and Subcommittee on Immigration, and if they indeed continue such insensitive rhetoric towards Hispanics, the conditions for a Republican presidential candidate to garner the necessary Electoral College Delegates to win the 2012 presidency will not be possible.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Truth Wins Out: Ex-Gay Survivor to Exodus: ‘Leave the Kids Alone’
  • Think Progress: Washington Post Continues Media Whitewash Of Radical GOP Rep.-Elect Allen West
  • Salon: Palin, blueblood-bashing and Mitt Romney
  • TPM: Minn. Pol With Gun Outside Abortion Clinic Says He Was Just In Area 'Checking On' His Girlfriend

Focus On the Family Takes Over Anti-Gay "Day of Truth"

Last month, Exodus International announced that it was dropping it annual anti-gay "Day of Truth" event because "all the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not."

So it is no surprise that Focus on the Family, which is vehemently opposed to any effort to implement anti-bullying plans that include protections for LGBT students, would step in that take over the effort:

A major Christian group will take over an annual event that challenges homosexuality, weeks after the event's main Christian sponsor pulled support for the student-focused program, saying it had become too divisive and confrontational.

Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical organization, will begin sponsoring the event known as the Day of Truth but will change the name of the happening to the Day of Dialogue, the group is set to announce Thursday.

...

Focus on the Family said that the Day of Dialogue "will boast a new name while maintaining the same goal it's had since its 2005 inception: encouraging honest and respectful conversation among students about God's design for sexuality," in a press release that is scheduled to go out Thursday.

...

"We're trying to raise awareness that more than one side needs to be heard on the issue of homosexuality, and we're helping to ensure Christian students have the chance to express their viewpoint," said Candi Cushman, a Focus on the Family education analyst, in the release. "What is freedom of speech, after all, but a guarantee of the right to have dialogue?"

Will FRC Take Over The "Day of Truth"?

Earlier this week, CNN's Dan Gilgoff reported that Exodus International was shutting down it annual "Day of Truth":

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group's president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

In was just last year that Exodus took over running the Day of Truth from the creators at the Alliance Defense Fund, so it'll be interesting to see if ADF will be willing to retake control over the effort.

If they do, they can probably expect the support of Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who tells Gilgoff that he is eager to see this sort of effort continue:

We stand ready to work with all pro-family groups to ensure that students continue to hear an alternative to the ideological indoctrination in support of the homosexual movement which has become all too prevalent in our public schools.

As we have repeatedly stated, we unequivocally condemn verbal or physical harassment or violence directed at any person, particularly a child, because of sexuality, religious beliefs, or for any other reason. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest any connection between those kinds of acts and the loving witness of Christian believers or the reasoned dialogue of pro-family activists.

We will never allow the slanders of activist groups that promote homosexual behavior to deter us from speaking the truth in love, and that includes the message that the choice to engage in homosexual conduct is a destructive one and that change is possible for those who experience same-sex attractions.

If FRC refuses to stop "speaking the truth in love" and wants to make sure that students continue to hear the Day of Truth's message, it only makes sense for FRC to take over the organizing of this annual event, does it not?

FRCs Latest Prayer Targets: Values Voter Summit, Prop 8, and All Things Islam

At regular intervals, the Family Research Council sends out updates to its "Prayer Team" listing a variety of political issues that team members should make the target of their prayers.

A recent update called upon FRC's prayer activists to focus on the upcoming election because for too long America has elected politicians who lead "flagrantly godless personal lives" and "pass ungodly laws":

The American electoral process has the potential to produce qualified candidates, yet year after year we elect men and women who enter public office and pass ungodly laws. Some lead unwholesome, even flagrantly godless personal lives. Yet far too many of our pastors and Christian leaders have remained uninvolved, failing even to teach and preach about responsible Christian citizenship ... It is our duty to select leaders who respect the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and family, and religious liberty and who oppose pernicious efforts to advance abortion, sexual immorality, socialism, profligate government spending, and now, Muslim Sharia law. Praying, fasting, speaking out and taking extraordinary action during the next 81 days, Christians must follow biblical principles (e.g., Exodus 18:21) in voting their values.

And FRC listed a specific set of issues on which the prayer team was to concentrate in order to reverse this trend - namely the Values Voter Summit, the Prop 8 ruling, Rifqa Bary, and Park 51:

- Pray that God will pour out his Spirit upon this year's [Values Voter Summit]; that it will be the best yet -- life-changing and nation-shaking.

- May God give our lawyers wisdom and may He superintend a complete reversal to vouchsafe Biblical marriage in U.S. federal judicial precedent.

- May God protect Rifqa's health. May U.S. officials help her along the road to citizenship. May God guide her education and her promising and needed ministry!

- May America reject this Mosque and the wider Islamist political agenda! May the Church stand against all false religion, while reaching out to Muslims with love.

Fischer: Christians Are Not Bound By Old Testament Law, Except When They Are

To say that Bryan Fischer is one of the most radical voices in the Religious Right today would be a massive understatement.  On everything from gays to immigration to Islam, Fischer stakes out extreme positions which he inevitably claims are rooted in the Bible. 

But it seems that when someone actually tries to have a discussion about the Bible with Fischer, he's not particularly interested in participating. 

Case in point: yesterday Alan Colmes invited Fischer on to Fox News' "Strategy Room" webcast to discuss Fischer's recent statements that there ought to be a ban on the construction of any more mosques in America:

Most of Fischer's defense of that position rested on making blanket assertions about how the Koran calls for the death of all non-Muslims and therefore any Muslims who doesn't repudiate those verses is a threat to the United States.  

Colmes responded by asking Fischer about Bible passages like Deuteronomy 13, which calls for the deaths of anyone who entices you to worship another God, and Deuteronomy 17, which calls for the death of anyone who worships another God, asking if that means Christianity is an inherently violent religion and that Christians should have to renounce those passages.

Fishcer's response was a total cop-out, insisting that Colmes would have to bring on an Old Testament Jewish scholar to explain those passages and the reasoning for those sorts of laws, while simultaneously claiming that those laws are no longer binding on Christians. 

When Colmes asked how he could say that Christians are not bound by Old Testament laws, especially considering Matthew 5:17 where Jesus says "do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them," Fischer's response was to claim that Jesus never said anything about killing those who worship a different God and that Jesus' message was to love your neighbor and pray for those who persecute you.

Of course, that was part of Jesus' message, as was "do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."  But maybe Fisher doesn't think that passage is applicable to Christians either. 

Fischer claims Jesus never said anything about killing infidels, so those Old Testament passages don't apply today ... but Jesus never said anything about homosexuality either, but that hasn't stopped Fischer from citing Old Testament passages to support of his anti-gay views:

I have suggested on more than one occasion that a practicing homosexual should not serve in public office. This is for the simple reason that character is important qualification for public office, and sexual conduct is an essential component of character.

Homosexual behavior is aberrant sexual behavior. It is clearly contrary to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” to which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently referred in the Declaration of Independence.

Biblical passages such as Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 make it abundantly clear what “Nature’s God” thinks of homosexual behavior.

As a matter of fact, Fischer constantly cites Old Testament passages in defense of his views:

- He cites Exodus in calling for the death of a whale at Sea World;

- He cites Leviticus in calling for bears to be put to death;

- He cites Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy in laying out the proper standards for judges;

- He cites Genesis in claiming that the US must stop spilling its Christian blood for Muslims;

- He cites Numbers in decrying sexual immorality;

- He cites Numbers and Ecclesiastes in supporting the death penalty;

- He cites Numbers and Nehemiah in defending his views on immigration.

Why is it that we need an expert Jewish scholar to explain some Old Testament passages, but Fischer is free to cite other Old Testament passages at will when they justify his extremist views?  

Can Fischer tell us which Old Testament laws are still binding and which are not and why?  Because I would really like to hear a coherent rationalization for this sort of absurdly self-serving defense.  

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Texas Freedom Network: The Whole Truth about the Confederacy.
  • David Weigel: The sagging popularity of the tea parties.
  • Justin Elliot: Republican Jewish Coalition Hosts Birther Taitz As 'Special Guest' At Annual Bash.
  • Andy Birkey: Bachmann riles New Jersey Tea Partiers with robo-calling.
  • Alvin McEwen: THIS is what a hate attack looks like!
  • Iowa Independent: Mailers focus on gay marriage in HD66 Democratic primary.
  • Jim Burroway: Exodus President Expresses Regret For Uganda Debacle.
  • Towleroad: John Podesta and Robert Levy to Co-Chair Advisory Board of AFER, Currently Fighting Prop 8 in Federal Court.

WallBuilders Sponsoring Next Tea Party Convention?

Considering that Glenn Beck has been working diligently to turn WallBuilder's David Barton into the official "historian" of the right-wing Tea Party/912 movement, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the organization would be signing on as one of the sponsor of the next National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas ... at least that is how it appears, judging by this press release from Tea Party Nation

The Tea Party Unity Convention will be the most powerful political event of the summer as we network and empower attendees for the November 2010 elections.

Convention spokesman, Judson Phillips said, "We look forward to working with World Net Daily, Resistnet, The Leadership Institute, Judicial Watch, Numbers USA, Wall Builders, Voices of America, NAACCP, NC Freedom, The Dallas Tea Party, The Heritage Foundation, Chicago Young Republicans, National Tea Party Federation and others in this fight."

Featured speakers and participants include: Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, Andrew Breitbart, Neal Boortz, SE Cupp, Michael Reagan, Jonathan Kahn (Jon David), Lloyd Marcus, Frantz Kebreau, Ken Blackwell, Mark Thiessen, Ana Puig, Barbee Kinnison, Amy Kremer, Darla Dawald, Tom Fitton, Richard Viguerie, Michael Patrick Leahy, David DeGerolamo, Erika Franzi, Dr. B. Leland Baker, Bishop EW Jackson, Dr. William Forstchen, Fred Houck and Melody Kite.

Topics to be covered: Achieving Unity, Combating Racism Allegations, How to Raise $50,000 in 90 days For Your Tea Party Group, Fair Tax, Emergency Preparedness, Attracting and Keeping Young Activists in the Movement, Community Organizing, Women in the Tea Party Movement, Losing Our Religion, Freedom of Information Act and Open Government Laws, How to do Voter Registration Drives and Where to Find Conservative Voters.

I have to say that organizers have a real knack for getting fringe Religious Rigth activists to speak at their conventions - last time it was Rick Scarborough of Vision America, and this time it is EW Jackson:

 

Bishop E.W. Jackson is, even by right-wing standards, something of a fringe figure. He seems to have some ties to Rick Scarborough and appeared on Janet Porter's radio program not too long ago.

He is also Founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and last year founded something called Staying True to America's National Destiny [S.T.A.N.D] and was among the participants at the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally last year, where he railed against the legislation as the result of a "virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred."

 

But today, Jackson announced his most grandiose plan yet with the formation of the STAND AMERICA PAC though which he is "declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus" as part of an effort to end the deception that is causing the black community to support the "Coalition of the godless."

Bishop E.W. Jackson Vows To Rescue Black Americans From the "Coalition of the Godless"

Bishop E.W. Jackson is, even by right-wing standards, something of a fringe figure. He seems to have some ties to Rick Scarborough and appeared on Janet Porter's radio program not too long ago.

He is also Founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and last year founded something called Staying True to America's National Destiny [S.T.A.N.D] and was among the participants at the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally last year, where he railed against the legislation as the result of a "virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred."

But today, Jackson announced his most grandiose plan yet with the formation of the STAND AMERICA PAC though which he is "declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus" as part of an effort to end the deception that is causing the black community to support the "Coalition of the godless": 

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., retired attorney and Harvard Law graduate, is declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Bishop Jackson, having fought for pro-life and pro-family causes for 25 years, has entered fully into the political arena by forming a political action committee. The top priority of STAND AMERICA PAC, formed on April 1, 2010, is to recruit and support conservative black candidates to run against liberals in Congressional Black Caucus districts.

Says Bishop Jackson, "The black community has been deceived into voting for liberal black leadership which does not reflect their values." Jackson's strategy is to have black voters register as independents and vote their Christian values. He argues that the black voter is a conservative church going person. "This was shown by the large black vote for Proposition 8 to ban homosexual marriage in California. The black legislative leaders supported it, but the black voters did not. What does that tell us? These leaders are out of touch with the people. It is time to vote them out."

According to Bishop Jackson, CBC members insult the black community by "conflating the black struggle for civil rights with the demands of radical homosexuals for marriage and other special rights." He calls it "one of the most preposterous frauds ever perpetrated on a people." In a recent speech before a black Christian men's group in Williamsburg, Virginia, Bishop Jackson said, "Homosexuals have no history of slavery, Jim Crow, lynching or being legally defined as 2/3 of a person. I have known people who have been delivered from homosexuality. I have never known anyone to be delivered from being black. The Democrat Party's commitment to abortion, homosexuality and moral relativism is an affront to the values of the black Christian community. It is a 'Coalition of the godless.' Black Christians do not belong in a 'coalition of the godless,' and should not vote for those who are."

Bishop Jackson says the time has ended when getting elected to Congress in the black community requires no more than being a Democrat and play the race card. He says, "We must demand that representatives of the black community start respecting the values of the people who elect them. STAND AMERICA PAC has been formed to make sure that happens."

Tea Party Tries to Clean Up Its Act? Not Exactly

Earlier today I wrote that Tea Party activists were trying to improve their image and salvage their reputation by dropping Orly Taitz from a California tea party rally.

I may have spoken too soon:

The Starkville Tea Party will hold a rally Thursday at noon in front of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse. The Columbus Tea Party will hold a rally Thursday at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowndes County Courthouse steps.

...

In Columbus, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, is one of three scheduled speakers. The American Family Association “represents and stands for traditional family values and exists to motivate and equip citizens to reform our culture to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded,” according to the group’s Web site.

In fact, I am sure that I spoke too soon:

The sound of freedom rung throughout the Ervin J. Nutter Center on Tuesday, Apr. 13 as conservatives came out for the Dayton Tea Party Rally.

...

The highlight of the evening was former presidential candidate and conservative activist Alan Keyes.

Keyes criticized "an elite that has abandoned allegiance to God almighty" for the nation's current ills and, in a not-so-subtle allusion to the Biblical book of Exodus, stated that "the Tea Party movement is turning November into a Passover election" that will dethrone the elite.

"I take God really seriously," said Keyes. "And I take the connection between God and our liberty even more seriously than that."

Keyes challenged Tea Party members to define the movement, using the Spirit of 1776 as a point of reference. The conservative activist called on Tea Party participants to mimic the founding fathers' resistance of oppression as a means of restoring the nation to its former glory.

"No matter how much you like tea, if it comes at the price of your freedom, you'll throw it in the ocean," said Keyes. "You'll say no."

While Republicans in California refused to be seen with Orly Taitz due to her Birther obsession, that was apparently not a concern for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, who shared the stage with Keyes (whom Taitz is representing in her Birther lawsuits) at the Ohio rally.

As for Fischer, in the last week he's declared that all Muslims in America must be deported and that all Muslim citizens are traitors who must convert to Christianity.  And let's not forget his recent calls for all gays to be treated like criminals and for the stoning of a killer whale at Sea World in accordance with Biblical teachings.

AFA's Bryan Fischer Explains That's He's The Reasonable One

I'm starting to sense a pattern developing whereby the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer makes some absurd statement, that statement eventually gets picked up by various blogs and media outlets who marvel at its absurdity, and then Fisher responds by claiming that everyone completely misrepresented his original piece, which was really quite reasonable and sane.

He did it a few weeks ago when he wrote that gays should be treated like criminals and are no different than slave-owners and drug users.  That set off a round of condemnation, to which he responded by claiming that everybody was over-reacting because he never said "we should lock homosexuals up in prison" and repeatedly weaseled his way out of explaining what he really meant.

Now he's doing it again, responding to all the attention generated by his post blaming the death of a trainer at Sea World on the failure to follow Biblical mandates and kill animals that harm humans by insisting that everyone is misrepresenting his very reasonable point:

It's been rather surreal to see my little blog post/column of Feb. 25 take on a life of its own, and become the subject of endless and hysterical rants in the blogosphere. In addition, I was contacted today for interviews by the Chicago Tribune (whose reporter told me she'd read about it on the Daily Mail in London), and by radio stations in Alaska, Seattle, and L.A. Plus I have been chewed out by numerous animal rights zealots either via phone or email.

What apparently gave the story some legs is that I was falsely reported as calling for the stoning of the killer whale, when of course I did nothing of the sort. I simply called for the animal to be euthanized, which can be done humanely and entirely without using rocks. I'm sure, for instance, that the veterinarians at SeaWorld have put animals down any number of times. Plus even if you wanted to stone a giant dolphin to death, I'm not sure exactly how you'd go about doing it.

Also, and likewise bizarrely, I have been reported as calling for the owners of SeaWorld to be stoned, which of course I did not do either. I called for legal action against them to hold them accountable for negligently exposing an employee to life-endangering risk. Perhaps this additional note will reduce the level of unhinged bloviating on the internet.

The simple truth is that this story is about the value we place on human life. In a Judeo-Christian worldview, a human being has infinite, eternal value while an animal does not. Because of the sanctity of human life, we ought to euthanize an animal which kills a human being so that it cannot kill again.

Fischer claims his point was merely that the whale ought to have been put down a long time ago and that it is no different than putting "a pit bull to sleep after it has mauled a child."

Of course, that's not what he said.  What he actually said was that the failure to properly follow Scripture is what led to this death at Sea World, and the passages he cited explicitly called for the stoning of animals and the death of their owners

If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone's misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.

Says the ancient civil code of Israel, "When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable." (Exodus 21:28)

So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:29)

Apparently, Fischer can't quite understand how a post entitled "Bible Ignored, Trainer Dies," which blamed the death of a trainer at Sea World on the failure to abide by Biblical passages mandating the stoning of animals and the death of their owners, could possibly have been interpreted as calling for the stoning of animals and the death of their owners.

Bible-Based Legal Theory vs The Death Penalty for Gays

While it is quite common for Religious Right leaders to root their public policy positions in Biblical teachings, they generally refrain from citing chapter and verse as the literal framework for our laws and regulations. But twice in the last week, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association had done just that. 

He started out by blaming the death of a trainer at Sea World on the fact that the Bible is too often ignored:

If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone's misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.

Says the ancient civil code of Israel, "When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable." (Exodus 21:28)

So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:29)

And today he is back,  making "The Biblical Case For the Death Penalty" which consists of several Biblical citations aimed at making the case that God supports the death penalty ... but it also contains this remarkable passage declaring that our criminal justice system ought to operate on "biblical standards of evidence"

There is still no evidence that an innocent man has ever been executed in the U.S. But one of the reasons we occasionally find the innocent convicted of other crimes is that we have abandoned biblical standards of evidence. In Israel’s civil code, no one could be executed based on circumstantial evidence, or on the evidence of just one witness.

“On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness" (Deuteronomy 17:6). Ignoring this standard of evidence is how innocent people wind up convicted for crimes they did not commit. It goes without saying that capital cases should require that the highest standards of evidence be met.

Given that Fischer believes our laws ought to literally be based upon the rules set down in the Bible, it raises some questions about this series of posts he wrote a few weeks back about how "homosexual behavior" should be against the law.

Considering that Fischer explicitly advocates the idea that our current laws ought to be built upon Old Testament rules and regulations and thinks that gays ought to be punished for their "criminal sexual conduct," it is not unreasonable to wonder if he would support efforts to make our legal code conform to Leviticus 20:13.  And if not, why? 

Presumably, Fischer would stand by his claim that when he says it should be illegal, he merely believes that gays should be treated exactly the same as intravenous drug abusers (whatever that means) ... but that seems rather inconsistent. After all, if Fischer thinks that our laws regarding issues like animals and standards of evidence should conform to Biblical dictates, then why not our laws regarding gays? 

Fischer: Sea World Death Due To West's Failure to Follow Scripture

Sometimes I wonder if the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer ultimate goal is just to make his organization look foolish by writing pieces like this one claiming that the death of a trainer at Sea World yesterday was the result of a failure to abide by Biblical mandates.

Fischer cites this article noting that the whale in question was considered particularly dangerous and had a history of violent incidents to claim that the death can be chalked up to "animal rights insanity and to the ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture:

What about the term "killer whale" do SeaWorld officials not understand?

If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone's misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.

Says the ancient civil code of Israel, "When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable." (Exodus 21:28)

So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn't know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.

But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, "the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:29)

If I were the family of Dawn Brancheau, I'd sue the pants off SeaWorld for allowing this killer whale to kill again after they were well aware of its violent history.

If Fischer thinks we ought to be following Scripture here, then why isn't he calling for Sea World's  owners to be put to death instead of merely sued? After all, he's the one who cites Exodus 21:29 which mandate a death sentence for the animal's owners.

Liberty University Hosting Two Day Anti-Gay Conference

Mat Staver, Matt Barber, Elaine Donnelly, Alan Chambers, Robert Knight and various other anti-gay activists will be gathering at Liberty University for two days next week to discuss all things gay ... or rather, the threat that the "homosexual agenda" poses to this nation:

Liberty University School of Law will host a one-day conference followed by a one-day symposium addressing homosexuality and its consequences. The Friday, February 12, conference is entitled “Understanding Same-sex Attractions and Their Consequences.” On Saturday, February 13, the Liberty University Law Review will host a legal symposium entitled “Homosexual Rights and First Amendment Freedoms: Can They Truly Coexist?”

The first day of the conference will focus on the issues underlying same-sex attractions with personal and ministry insights shared by Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. Conference leaders will then discuss the American Psychological Association Task Force Report on counseling people with same-sex attractions. Current research and therapies will be discussed by experts from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors. The first day is designed for lay people, counselors, pastors, educators, attorneys, and those interested in learning more about the subject. The second day will focus on the legal implications arising from the clash between the quest for homosexual rights and freedom of speech, religion and association.

This two-day long symposium begins at 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 12, in the Vines Center of Liberty University at Liberty’s convocation service during which Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, will speak. The afternoon event, titled “Understanding Same-Sex Attractions and Their Consequences,” begins at 2:00 p.m. in the Supreme Courtroom of Liberty University School of Law. Speakers include Alan Chambers; Julie Harren-Hamilton, President of NARTH; Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors; Rena Lindevaldsen, Associate Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and Mathew Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law.

The symposium reconvenes at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, February 13, at the School of Law, and ends with a banquet held in the Grand Lobby of Liberty University, located in DeMoss Hall, at 5 p.m. Saturday speakers include: Professor Lynne Marie Kohm of Regent University School of Law; Professor Lynn D. Wardle of Brigham Young University and J. Reuben Clark Law School; Elaine Donnelly, Founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness; Robert H. Knight, Senior Writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and Senior Fellow for American Civil Rights Union; Matt Barber, Associate Dean at Liberty University School of Law, and others.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The clash between free speech, religious and homosexual rights is a like the grinding of two tectonic plates. It is imperative to understand the implications of same-sex attractions and the broader homosexual agenda. Those struggling with same-sex attractions need understanding and hope for a life without conflict. The politicized radicalism of the homosexual agenda on the other hand is aggressive and intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms of anyone who may disapprove. That is why this conference at Liberty University is vitally important.”

ERLC Files Bible-Heavy Prop. 8 Brief

Not surprisingly, several Religious Right groups have filed briefs in the Proposition 8 lawsuit making the same basic arguments against marriage equality that they always make:  marriage is for procreation; bans on gay marriage are not discriminatory because men and women are still free to marry those of the opposite sex, etc...

The Family Research Council and the Thomas Moore Law Society filed a brief (PDF) that makes all of these claims and more, and also released a statement likening this case to Roe v. Wade, warning that a court decision will "only make the issue more volitile": 

"After major setbacks in Maine, New York, and New Jersey, advocates for same-sex 'marriage' are turning to their old standby: the courts. Homosexuals have failed at the ballot box, where the people have made their commitment to traditional marriage clear time after time. So now, proponents of same sex 'marriage' are attempting to sue their way to legitimacy in the courts of America.

"The marriage laws of all fifty states would be endangered should this lawsuit succeed. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. As such, it's time for the far Left to stop asking judges to redefine our most fundamental social institution.

"The plaintiffs are really asking for a wholesale recasting and redefinition of this vital human institution that has been the foundation of civilization's progress for millennia.

Whereas the FRC brief focused primarily on legal issues and filled with legal citations, the same cannot be said for the brief [PDF] filed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which consists primarily of Biblical citations as it attempts to make the case that one-man, one-woman marriage is the only arrangement acceptable to God: 

Our love for God and our love for all people, not atavistic hatred of difference, motivates our opposition to all forms of non-marital sexual union, including between persons of the same sex. We believe that any sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is contrary to the will of God because God has designed marriage as the only appropriate context in which sexual relations should occur. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25.

Engaging in sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage demeans the dignity of the individual, ignores God's full plan for marriage, and interferes with a person's relationship with God. Sexual activity within God's design is good. Hebrews 13:4. When one engages in sexual activity outside of God's design, that person demeans his or her dignity as God's creation in His image. Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:18.

The Baptist Faith and Message affirms that marriage provides for a man and a woman "the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race." Article XVIII, "The Family." Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverb 22:6; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21. Any sexual activity in which all of these fundamental purposes are not represented ignores God's design for marriage.

Our beliefs about marriage and human sexuality must also be understood in the context of our love for all people. Matthew 22:39. There is no authority in Biblical teachings for hatred of any people including those who identify as gay or lesbian. Of course, sinful behavior cannot be approved or promoted, but we believe that all people are sinners. Romans 3:23. There are many forms of sin, including dishonesty, gossip, lust, envy, jealousy, love of money, and all sexual impurity (sexual relations outside the marital union of a husband and wife). We invite all sinners (or in other words all people) to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Southern Baptists must, and do, pray that all people, including those who experience same-sex attraction, come to know and love Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. We aspire to follow the example of Jesus Christ who loves all people and who extends the possibility of forgiveness and freedom from sin to all who seek Him.

The Pathetic State of the Anti-Gay Right

Last week we noted that Peter LaBarbera was reporting that anti-gay right-wing groups, led by Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber, were threatening to boycott the next CPAC convention if the conservative gay organization GOProud was allowed to remain as a co-sponsor.

LaBarbera's piece contained his paragraph:

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

On Friday, Exodus International took issue with Barber's quote and contacted Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver about it, who responded by denying that Barber had ever said such a thing:

“Neither Matt Barber nor anyone with Liberty Counsel wrote or made any such public statement that is being alleged in this blog. Liberty Counsel promotes the traditional family of one man and one woman because we believe that such relationships are best for society and for children. While we strongly disagree with the sexual politics and agenda of activist organizations and individuals, we also believe that each person is entitled to respect. While there are some that hate us because of our message of sexual integrity, redemption, change, and hope, we have never, and will never, confuse the person with the agenda. We have never sought to dehumanize people to promote our message. Our message is one of redemption through the power of Jesus Christ.”

LaBarbera then showed up in the comments to the Exodus post and insisted that Barber had indeed made the comments in question and that Barber had given him permission to quote him.

Then Barber weighed in to say that they were both right - he had made the statement, but before he started working for Liberty Counsel:

“This is for clarification only. As affirmed in Liberty Counsel’s statement, neither I nor anyone with Liberty Counsel ever publicly ‘wrote or made’ the comment in question – an unapologetically direct and accurate depiction of the sin of sodomy (a sin that God directly and accurately calls both an ‘abomination’ and ‘detestable’). Some years before I began working with Liberty Counsel, I made the comment in private conversation with Peter LaBarbera. At the time, Peter asked if he could ‘quote me on it’ and I said yes."

Barber is among the most vicious of anti-gay activists.  He routinely launches attacks calling gays "homo-fascists" and liberals modern day Baal worshipers, while likening homosexuality to incest and bestiality ... but he wants it known that while he did make the statement in question and stands by it wholeheartedly, he didn't make it while he was working for Liberty Counsel.

As if that makes one iota of difference.

Staver's claim that they "believe that each person is entitled to respect" is utterly laughable given his own history of outrageous anti-gay statements.  Liberty Counsel was fully aware of Barber's rapidly anti-gay views when they hired him away from Concerned Women for America, and to try and claim that Barber's views don't represent the organization because he made them several years ago is pathetic considering that it was because of those views that Liberty Counsel hired him in the first place.

The Right's New Manhattan Project

It seems that Chuck Colson has gathered together a group of right-wing activists and clergy for something called the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" in order to create a unified front in fighting the culture war

The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders. They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues.

For some reason, the headline of the New York Times article is "Christian Leaders Unite on Political Issues" instead of "Right Wing Activists Unite On Political Issues," which would have been far more accurate considering that a significant number of those who signed on to this declaration are standard Religious Right political activists:

Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, VA)

Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York, NY)

Dinesh D’Souza Writer & Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)

Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA)

Maggie Gallagher President, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a co-author of The Case for Marriage (Manassas, VA)

Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, WA)

Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, MD)

Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, DC)

Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA)

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)

Alan Sears President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ)

Mark Tooley President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)

The Declaration can be found here:

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

Muslim Prayer Rally Sets Off a Full-Blown Right Wing Crusade

In my last post, I noted that the upcoming Muslim prayer rally has, over the last few days, suddenly become a full-fledged Religious Right crusade to save America from the Islam's "dark spiritual intent" and that activists are vowing to "storm the gates of hell to defeat the false god of Islam."

It seems that with every hour that passes, more and more Religious Right leaders are getting involved, to the point that this is now pretty much a full-blown holy war between the right-wing Christian activists and the organizers of this Muslim prayer rally.

The latest development is this press release highlighting a letter signed by a variety of Religious Right leaders under a newly formed group called The Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for Transparency and Honesty in Religion demanding that organizers of rally to denounce acts of terrorism:

Muslim Americans assure us that Islam categorically rejects terrorism and that the concept of "jihad" refers to a "spiritual struggle," and has nothing whatsoever to do with "holy war."

However, the Letter notes that, "Around the world, the overwhelming number of terrorist acts are carried out by Muslims, that many Muslim-American groups have terrorist ties and that justification for acts of violence against 'infidels' is found in the Koran."

Signers of the letter ask rally organizers to disavow the following acts of terrorism, "committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam":

• The 9/11 attacks (more than 3,000 dead)

• The 2002 bombing of a hotel in Netanya, Israel (30 killed)

• The 2002 Bali bombings (202 dead)

• The 2007 plot to murder soldiers at Ft. Dix

• The 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India (173 dead)

• The 2009 conspiracy to bomb a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Bronx

The letter asks recipients if they are "willing to join millions of other people of faith in America and denounce these and similar acts of terrorism?"

The letter can be found here [PDF] and appears to have been organized by Rick Scarborough of Vision America, as his is the only name listed on the above press release while the letter itself is hosted on his organization's website. Below is the list of signers:

Ted Baehr – Christian Film and Television Commission
Brian Camenker – President, Mass Resistance
Christopher Carmouche – Chairman, GrassTopsUSA
Joseph Farah – Editor and CEO, WorldNetDaily
Don Feder -- former syndicated columnist, Don Feder Associates
William J. Federer -- American Minute
Linda Harvey – President, Mission America
Bishop E.W. Jackson -- Exodus Faith Ministries
Phillip Jauregui – President, Judicial Action Group
Rabbi Daniel Lapin – President, American Alliance of Jews and Christians
William J. Murray – Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition
C. Preston Noell – President, Tradition, Family and Property
Tony Perkins – President, Family Research Council
Dr. Kevin Roberts – Executive Director, Catholic Families of America
Rick Scarborough -- Vision America Action
Mat Staver – founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Mike Valerio – Mike and Helen Valerio Foundation
Richard Viguerie – Conservative HQ.com
Herb Zweibon – Chairman, Americans for A Safe Israel

In fairness, I feel I ought to point out that not all Religious Right leaders are joining in this effort to wage a holy war against Islam, as earlier this week Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney issued a statement welcoming the prayer vigil:

Rev. Rob Schenck, President of the National Clergy Council, comments,

"With over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, it is important that Christians have an open dialogue with the Islamic community. The church must never be timid in reaching out to peoples and groups with differing beliefs and traditions. Too much is at stake for future generations not to begin this historic conversation. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss."

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

"The heart of Christ is to reach out and build bridges to all peoples regardless of what their faith traditions or beliefs might be. Several years ago the Christian Defense Coalition began reaching out to the Muslim world which resulted in a prayer delegation going to Baghdad to pray for the nation of Iraq and Prime Minister Maliki (see photo).

"Since then we have had many conversations and discussions with Islamic leaders in Washington, D.C. and around the world. This news conference gives us another chance to dialogue and share with our Islamic neighbors.

"It also gives us the platform to celebrate the greatness of America where everyone is allowed to practice their faith tradition in the public square free from government interference of harassment. The prayer vigil on the lawn of the Capitol this Friday highlights that timeless truth.

"Since 9/11, the church should not run from Muslims in America but begin reaching out with God's love."

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Exodus Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/11/2011, 5:25pm
Michele Bachmann told an audience in 2006 that she followed her husband’s education path because, “The Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.” Her mentor John Eidsmoe makes a similar case throughout God & Caesar, his book on how Christians should engage in politics and government. For Eidsmoe, the role of a woman is chiefly second class to her husband: “God’s Word gives women respect and respectability which they had never enjoyed in any other culture, and we must do what we can to preserve biblical standards. But it... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/14/2011, 12:46pm
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is working with yet another extreme organization ardently opposed to gay rights. The virulently anti-gay American Family Association is the host of Perry’s prayer rally, and another endorser of The Response is David Kubal of Intercessors for America, an organization which claims to helps Christians who recognize “the need for God to intervene in U.S. governmental and cultural issues” about current political and cultural issues. Among the issues Intercessors For America focuses on include the threat of microchips implanted into humans, the so-called... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/10/2011, 5:36pm
Lauri Lebo @ Religion Dispatches: David Barton: Creationist Founding Fathers Settled Debate Over Evolution. Steve Benen: What prompted the Gingrich exodus. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Bradlee Dean and Minnesota Family Council share more than marriage amendment success. Jeff @ Bold Faith Type: Signs of Fissure Between GOP Establishment and Religious Right. Frances Martel @ Mediaite: GOProud Board President Sticks By Herman Cain After ‘Homosexuality Is A Sin’ Comment. Ed Brayton @ Dispatches From the Culture War: The Fraudulent... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/10/2011, 3:03pm
In another stinging defeat for the burgeoning “personhood” movement, a Louisiana personhood bill which would ban all abortions was defeated in the state legislature. The legislation, sponsored by Republican State Rep. John LaBruzzo, was hailed by Personhood USA as one of their best chances to pass a personhood law this year. Personhood legislation gives legal rights to zygotes, banning all abortion without exception along with procedures to treat problem pregnancies, certain forms of contraception, and even in-vitro fertilization. Incidentally, the federal Hyde Amendment, which... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/19/2011, 1:14pm
Scott Lively says that God recently gave him a prophecy that He "would soon use me to lead some homosexuals to Him" and so it seemed like a good time for him to write an open letter to the gay community explaining his history and motivation: I am Pastor Scott Lively and it has been my mission for 25 years to work against the “gay” agenda. I am probably one of your best-known opponents in this world. Amongst the many hate-mail messages I receive are the occasional sincere requests to explain my motivation. I believe the time has come to do that. On March 8th of this year... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/05/2011, 1:50pm
The Daily Show - David Barton Pt. 2 Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook In the second part of the televised interview on The Daily Show, David Barton claims that the Constitution contains “four references to God” in Article VII. Article VII reads: “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” That’s it. Barton is presumably referring to the following line: “Done in Convention by the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/05/2011, 11:12am
Google Chrome featured the anti-bullying “It Gets Better Project” in its new ad, and now the ex-gay ministry Exodus International is outraged. Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus, is upset that Woody from Toy Story is featured in Google’s ad sending an anti-suicide message to bullied LGBT youth, with Woody saying, “you’ll be fine, partner.” Chambers condemns the ad, which also includes stories from celebrities, a police officer and gay parents, in The Christian Post, saying that the answer to anti-gay bullying is for gay youth to become “ex-gays... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/21/2011, 11:53am
On Monday, Focus on the Family kicked off their first Day of Dialogue, which replaced the Day of Truth that had been sponsored by the “ex-gay” group Exodus International. Brad Clark, the executive director of One Colorado, wrote an open letter to Focus on the Family calling for them to work towards building “a true dialogue about what it means to be LGBT—instead of encouraging young people to spread harmful rhetoric to vulnerable youth in our schools.” Focus on the Family has consistently claimed that anti-bullying programs send students a “homosexual... MORE >