Faith and Freedom Coalition

D'Souza Calls New Movie A 'Weapon' He'll Drop Like 'A Grenade' Into Democratic Convention

Dinesh D’Souza, who has seemingly abandoned his pretense of being a scholar to become an overt right-wing propagandist, has been pushing his latest movie, “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,” for months. He bragged back in March that it is so “emotionally powerful” that it will cause Democrats to need counseling.

At last week’s Road to Majority conference, Religious Right activists were subjected to the trailer for “Hillary’s America” three times on Friday. D’Souza described the movie as “a retelling of the whole story of progressivism and the Democratic Party.” In it, he purports to expose the “soul of the Democratic Party.” The trailer features dramatic re-enactments of southern Democrats’ support for slavery, the KKK and Jim Crow.

Sound familiar? This is territory trod a full decade ago by D’Souza’s fellow conservative propagandist David Barton. At the time, PFAW called Barton’s DVD “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” “staggeringly misleading” and “one-sided history.” The RNC had been bankrolling Barton’s outreach to African American and Hispanic churches. In Barton’s version of the Democrats-as-the-source-of-all-evil tale, history conveniently ended with passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That allowed him to ignore the past half century, Goldwater’s opposition to civil rights legislation, the GOP’s infamous “southern strategy,” the GOP’s embrace of the segregationist “Dixiecrats,” and the modern Right Wing’s record of inflaming white racial resentment and using racial dog-whistles for political gain — as if it were a complete mystery why African Americans would ever vote for a Democratic candidate.

D’Souza seems to update Barton by portraying Democratic support for social safety net programs as a means of moving “from slavery to enslavement.” After all, what progressivism really means is “social engineering and social control.”

Of course, thanks to the success of his earlier “documentaries,” D’Souza’s film will have Hollywood-level production values, complete with sinister, pounding music to drive the point home. According to a memorable description by Michelle Goldberg, the movie’s “farcical bombast” is “aimed at those who find Michael Bay films too restrained and artful.”

Bombast is in fact D’Souza’s aim. “A movie is a weapon,” he declared at a Friday evening session at Road to Majority. “There’s a much bigger battle. There’s a political battle, but underneath that there’s a cultural battle, and…underneath that is a moral and spiritual battle.” Democrats have controlled the levers of culture, he said, and there’s a “desperate need” for conservatives to “up the ante on all fronts.”  He said his new movie “blows the lid” off the “gangsterism” of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who he said is “at the pinnacle of this whole crime syndicate.”

“What are these Democrats hiding?” he asks in the trailer. “What if the goal of the Democratic Party is to steal the most valuable thing the world has ever produced? What if their plan is to steal America?”

“Hillary’s America” is scheduled to open on July 22, between the two parties’ political conventions. The idea, he said, is to “drop this grenade in the middle of the Democratic convention.”

Of course this isn’t the first time D’Souza has tried to sway the outcome of an election. His 2012 movie, “2016: Obama’s America,” made a lot of money, but failed to prevent Obama’s re-election. D’Souza has been fuming for years that if only more voters had seen the movie, the outcome would have been different, a claim he made again on Friday night. It was part of his pitch for people to take their friends and fellow churchgoers to see his new movie on its opening weekend; he said a good opening would take it from 1500 to 2000 theaters.

“Hillary’s America” is the second of D’Souza’s films aimed at keeping Clinton out of the White House. That was also the goal of 2014’s “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” which portrayed Obama and Clinton working together to carry out Saul Alinsky’s plan to lead America down the path to national suicide and socialist tyranny. The two movies also appear to have something else in common: D’Souza complaining that he was a victim of political persecution in his conviction for violating campaign finance laws (to which he pled guilty).

Like many Road to Victory speakers, D’Souza closed by making a pitch for people to elect Donald Trump in spite of his obvious shortcomings. Like the Super Bowl, he said, elections come down to two competing teams, and the winner gets to do what it wants with America.

It is a “true and grim fact of politics,” he said, that you have to fight alongside people who don’t agree with you on all things. We are, he said in a “one of these bizarre moments in American politics,” but that is where we are and we have to choose between the actual choices before us:

And so it seems to me that here we are, and the question before us is, do we want this Obama-Hillary machine, which has been grinding us down, not just picking our wallets but in a sense stealing— my book is “Stealing America,” and by stealing America I don’t just mean our money. I mean stealing our freedom. I mean stealing our American dream. I mean stealing our aspirations, stealing our ability to be who we are and pray as we wish and speak as we believe and think as we will.

 

Matt Barber: Christians Must Take America Back From Demonic 'Islamo-Progressive Axis Of Evil'

At last week’s Road To Majority conference sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America, anti-gay pundit and Liberty University law school associate dean Matt Barber promoted his new book, “Hating Jesus: The American Left’s War on Christianity.”

Barber’s remarks were a typically toxic mix, portraying Christians in America as being under assault from the “secular left, so-called progressives, orthodox Islamists and other pagan traditions, as well as fanatical atheists and others.”

Mankind’s enduring culture war, this is something we did not start. It’s nothing new. It first began in a garden, long ago, and today has reached a fever pitch worldwide, and right here in America in our own backyard. The battle lines are drawn, not so much as between conservative and liberal, as many presume, but rather between biblical and unbiblical, between truth versus deception, and in its most distilled form, the culture war is really a worldly manifestation of an otherworldly battle between good and evil.

Barber admiringly quoted Catholic Cardinal Robert Sarah, who has equated “atheistic secularism” and Islamic fundamentalism with Nazism and communism, “almost like the beasts of the apocalypse.” These two movements, he said, have “the same demonic origin.”

Barber said the progressive left is overwhelmingly anti-Semitic and anti-conservative-Christian, and called President Obama an “apologist for radical Islam.” And he repeated the Religious Right’s charge that the LGBT equality movement is somehow allied with radical Islamic jihadists in a war against Christian civilization:

Liberals and Islamists seem to have forged a bizarre and notably incongruous partnership that I call the Islamo-progressive axis of evil. You ever notice? It just defies logic that secular leftists will trip over themselves to make excuses for radical Islamists who, believe me, they’re coming for them too. The only explanation that I can see for this strange connection is best illustrated by the old adage, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ And the common enemy, of course, is who? Christ Jesus. It is the person of Christ Jesus who is truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through him. He is the personification, the embodiment of truth, and so they align against him. And so, Christians in America, ladies and gentlemen, are under attack…

Is this George Washington’s America or is this Joseph Stalin’s Russia? It’s starting — the lines are becoming pretty blurred ... We American Christians are now struggling to maintain our fundamental constitutional freedoms, and are now living under the daily threat of legal, reputational and even physical abuse simply for exercising our faith. Now let me be clear here. We are moving from a soft persecution to a hard persecution here in the United States. Now we’re not being beheaded. No, we’re not being burned alive … but we need to be praying for our brothers and sisters around the world.  We are on that trajectory.

Like many speakers at Road to Majority, Barber denounced efforts to protect the ability of transgender people to use facilities appropriate for their gender identity, portraying the issue in apocalyptic terms:

There are wicked sacrileges being forced upon the American people today, things we couldn’t even imagine five years ago, by our own godless government in the name of so-called progress. Things like utterly evil and insane presidential edicts that open up little girls’ bathrooms and showers to grown men terrorizing themselves, violating their privacy and threatening their safety … Things like the sin-centric and oxymoronic notion of genderless marriage; forced taxpayer funding of child sacrifice and forced participation by Christ’s followers in all of the above sins, under penalty of law, to name but a few of these travesties that are being foisted upon us.

Amid the sprint to the election 2016, the secular left’s utter disdain for both Christ and his followers is reaching a fever pitch. Self-styled progressives, and that is America’s cultural Marxist agents of ruin … they typically disguise their designs on despotism in the flowery and euphemistic language of  and you have heard all of these  reproductive health, anti-discrimination, civil rights and their favorite, of course, multiculturalism. But their ultimate goal here is to silence all dissent and force Christians to conform to their pagan demand or, potentially, face even incarceration.

In addition, said Barber, the U.S. has become “a global force for evil” whose chief export is immorality.

On top of this, the United States has become, in many ways, a global force for evil. Once the moral authority of the world, our chief export now is immorality. We are evangelizing against Christianity as a government, official government policy, pushing radical homosexualism, pushing the transgender agenda worldwide, and using the power of the purse to blackmail countries, poor countries, into acquiescing and casting aside their Christian history and beliefs and embracing this evil …

And also like other speakers, Barber promoted the importance of electing Donald Trump to the White House without mentioning him by name, calling the upcoming election “absolutely critical” to the future of the nation. Christians are called to be salt to the culture, said Barber, and when the culture is an open wound, salt is going to burn. America is “ripe for revival,” he said. “We are going to burn people.”

We must fight back as Christians. It’s time to stop being nicer than Jesus … there is such a thing as righteous anger. We need to be angry because righteousness is being trampled and evil is being promoted to your children …

We can set this nation back on a path toward peace and prosperity and, most importantly, a deep love for God, both individually and, as our founding fathers intended, corporately. We can take America back for Christ, but we can only do it with and through Jesus Christ himself.

 

Jeff Sessions: Keep 'Secular Mindset' Off The Supreme Court

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned in a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference today that “the courts are at risk” in the upcoming presidential election, lamenting that at least one current Supreme Court justice displays a “secular mindset.”

Sessions said that as the committee’s ranking member during the confirmation hearings of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, “I felt, like so many of you, the court hasn’t been performing in a way we like it to.”

He repeated a criticism of Sotomayor that conservatives had leveled at her during her confirmation hearings, expressing dismay that she had approvingly quoted legal scholar Martha Minow’s observation that in the law "there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives — no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging," an acknowledgment of the hidden assumptions and biases that all judges bring to the law.

Sessions said the quote “still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

“You see, this is a postmodern, relativistic, secular mindset and I believe it’s directly contrary to the founding of our republic,” he said.

“So I really think this whole court system is really important,” he added later in the speech, “and the real value and battle that we’re engaged in here is one to reaffirm that there is objective truth, it’s not all relative. And that means some things are right and some things are wrong, and we’re getting too far away from that in my opinion and it’s not healthy for any country and it’s really not healthy for a democracy like ours that’s built on the rule of law.”

Trump: Hillary Will Flood America With Terrorists

Donald Trump told Religious Right activists today that, as president, he will stop refugees from coming to America and will instead focus on the real victims of persecution: American Christians.

Trump, who read the majority of his speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference off a teleprompter, kicked things off by bragging about how well he has “done with the evangelicals and with the religion, generally speaking.”

He went on to talk about the need “to restore faith to its proper mantel in our society” and “respect and defend Christian-Americans” along with the need to reject refugees fleeing war and violence.

“Hillary will bring hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of whom have hostile beliefs about people of different faiths and values and some of whom absolutely and openly support terrorism in our country,” he said after demonstrators briefly interrupted his speech. Trump later added: “We have to take a rest. We have to take a timeout.”

Hillary Clinton has said that the U.S. should accept 65,000 refugees escaping the war in Syria, while Trump has consistently lied throughout the campaign about the refugee crisis.

Trump also repeated his vow to appoint conservative judges to the bench, boasting that the judges on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees “are all pro-life.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx: 'I'm Not Willing' To Leave America 'To the Philistines'

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., devoted her speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference today to telling activists not to lose faith in the political process and to remember that elected officials — or, more specifically, Republican elected officials — know that America needs a “moral and spiritual foundation in order to survive and thrive.”

She had a message for those who think that “politics is a dirty business”: “If people of faith are not involved in political life, then you’re leaving it to the Philistines. And I’m not willing to leave it to the Philistines.”

Jeff Sessions: My Immigration Position Is the 'Biblical' One

Speaking today at the Road to Majority conference, an annual event hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a fierce immigration opponent in Congress who helped craft Donald Trump’s immigration policy, referred to a handful of Bible stories to declare that immigration reform advocates’ position, which he characterized as that nations can’t “establish who can and can’t enter,” is “not biblical.”

Sessions spoke of the biblical figure of Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls in Jerusalem after obtaining traveling papers from the king of Persia, and referred to another story, which although Sessions seems to have gotten the details mixed up, seems to be the tale of the Israelites being barred by the king of Edom from crossing his land.

“So the idea that nations don’t set laws, establish who can and can’t enter, is not biblical in my opinion. Nations do that and they’ve done it since time immemorial and there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.

 

Louie Gohmert: Oppose Transgender Rights To Save Veterans' Lives

Today, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went on yet another anti-trans rant, this time at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Washington, D.C.

The congressman spent most of the time criticizing sex reassignment surgery, saying that the practice will “destroy people’s lives.”

“Now this administration says, ‘We’re going to have the V.A. do sex change operations.’ Really?!” he asked. “Do we not have enough veterans committing suicide without you increasing that 20 times? Enough is enough! We have to stand up for our veterans. We’re the adults. We have to stand up for our children.”

Sen. David Perdue: Pray Obama's 'Days Be Few'

Today at the Road to Majority summit, the annual Washington, D.C., conference held by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Sen. David Perdue of Georgia half-jokingly urged the crowd to pray for President Obama using Psalm 109:8: “May his days be few; and let another have his office.”

The Psalm goes on to read, “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.”

Ralph Reed Thinks Elected Officials Should 'Do Your Job,' But Apparently That Doesn't Apply To Senate Republicans

Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition has released an ad attacking North Carolina Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper for his refusal to defend the state's recently enacted anti-LGBT law, HB2.

Insisting that the only goal of the law was to give people privacy in the restroom "just like it's always been," the ad declares that "Attorney General Roy Cooper should do his one job: Defend North Carolina."

It's rather ironic that the FFC's ad would tell Cooper to "do your job," considering that #DoYourJob is exactly the message that thousands have been sending to Republicans in the Senate who are refusing to give President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland so much as a hearing.

Reed and the FFC, of course, are not particularly interested in urging Republican senators to do their jobs and have repeatedly praised them for not doing their jobs:

The wheels of power in Washington, DC move at a very plodding pace, and in this case and throughout our nation’s history, appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court are not, and should not, be any different. Accordingly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley have both publicly vowed to block any nominees from the White House until the American people have elected a new president in November.

Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides the U.S. Senate with the power to confirm or reject Presidential appointments to the Court. Our founders included the clause as a safeguard against authoritarianism by providing a clear separation of powers. Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley are performing their duties to the full extent authorized by the Constitution and conservatives should commend and support their leadership.

...

Thanks to Mr. McConnell and Mr. Grassley, and the social conservatives standing behind them, he will not have the opportunity to continue to fundamentally change America through the courts.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/27/15

  • With every passing day, Franklin Graham is sounding more and more like Bryan Fischer.
  • Speaking of Fischer, his understanding of the First Amendment remains consistently incoherent.
  • Mark Creech says that Donald Trump must seek God's forgiveness for his "support of gambling."
  • Gov. Scott Walker's recently hired two staffers for his presidential campaign who both ran Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition at one point.
  • Eugene Delgaudio says his Democratic opponents "want my demise" because they cite the SPLC's coverage of his long history of insane views and comments.
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee encourages churches to donate to FRC's Watchmen on the Wall effort:

Todd Starnes Calls On God To Send Hornets And Cicadas To Attack Obama

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes spoke at the Faith and Freedom Conference last Saturday in order to warn his Christian comrades that a war is coming. Starnes argued that if “our Founding Fathers” could see “these Republicans campaigning as culture war conservatives but governing as godless Democrats” they would “start another revolution.”

Standing before the audience to “sound a warning, an alarm,” Starnes claimed that “the American way of life is under attack” from an “active and aggressive war on religious liberty.” However, this war does not affect “the Jewish faith, or the Muslim faith, or the Hindu faith,” but instead is targeted only against “people of the Christian faith.”

As evidence for this war against Christianity, Starnes used the horror story of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans. “Understand this,” Starnes commanded.

“This is not just about marriage; this is about whether or not a government can begin to put limitations on the conscience and the convictions of people of faith.” Christians, according to Starnes, are already facing “considerable adversity” as “our businesses, and our families, and our churches are in jeopardy.”

However, moral Christians should not be hopeless. Starnes finds hope for the salvation of America in the Old Testament’s Book of Exodus, in which God sent a “swarm of hornets to clear the battlefield” for an outnumbered Israelite army. This story, argued Starnes, should be the “battle prayer of every patriot saint:”

When the public schools tell students that our Founding Fathers were a bunch of terrorists: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear the field! When a teacher tells a little boy he can’t pray over his meal: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear that field! When the Pentagon tells them to take down a cross on a Christian chapel: Send those hornets! Clear the field! When the Supreme Court says they know better than God: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear the field!

And, when the president says that America is no longer just a Christian nation: Don’t send the hornets, Lord. Send the mosquitoes and the gnats, and the bumblebees and the lightning bugs and the cicadas! Send every critter you got, Lord! Clear the field!”

Washington Times Recruits For David Lane's Christian-Nation 'Army'

Last week the Washington Times published a glowing profile of David Lane, a GOP political operative and Christian-nation extremist. The article reported on Lane’s efforts to mobilize “an army” to lead the charge for his battle with “secularists.” Just days later, the Washington Times officially became part of David Lane’s recruitment effort, launching a petition campaign co-sponsored and co-branded with Lane’s American Renewal Project.

According to the campaign’s website, “The Washington Times has agreed to deliver the petition to the Supreme Court.” It’s ridiculous to imagine that the decision in the marriage case has not already been made, even if it has not yet been made public, or to think that petitions to the Supreme Court would have any impact at this late date, which is, as the website recognizes, “just days away from deciding whether homosexual couples are entitled to marry.” So the only real purpose for the petition seems to be for the Washington Times and Lane’s American Renewal Project to build their email lists and recruit participants for a campaign of massive resistance to a pro-equality ruling.

They didn’t even bother to put much effort into the writing. Here’s the utterly non-compelling petition:

Tell the Supreme Court to Leave Traditional Marriage Alone

To: The Supreme Court

I want the Supreme Court to know I believe that marriage should remain the sanctified union of a man and women.

I want the Supreme Court to know that I believe, as Thomas Jefferson did, that judges should stick to the Constitution and not create new law when it comes to the issue of marriage in America.

I want the Supreme Court to know that I believe opening marriage to same-sex couples invalidates the institution of marriage that hundreds of millions of American men and women agreed to over the last two centuries when they said their vows.

I'm signing this petition because I want the nine Supreme Court justices to leave traditional marriage alone.

As we reported just last week, the Washington Times “has long been a right-wing propaganda vehicle in the guise of a newspaper,” and has partnered with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Lapin: 'The State Religion Of Secular Fundamentalism' Seeks To Obliterate Christianity

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was among the speakers today at Ralph Reed's "Road To Majority Conference," where he declared that "secular fundamentalism" has become an "official state religion" and that, just like Islam, it is seeking to "obliterate" Christianity from American society.

"The only form of sex that the official state religion of secular fundamentalism despises is the sex described as ideal in God's book, the Bible," Lapin said. "All other forms of sex [are] highly desirable and indeed brave and courageous to practice, but what you and your spouse do, that's retrogressive and negative."

"It's exactly what the Muslim hoards did when they invaded Spain in the eighth century," he continued. "They obliterated every sign of Christianity and that's what the state religion of secular fundamentalism does as it conquers our society, works at obliterating the only hope this country has, which is a fervent, revived Christianity."

Washington Times Partners with Ralph Reed

The Washington Times has long been a right-wing propaganda vehicle in the guise of a newspaper. Its pages have been a home to birtherism, anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric, and assorted Obama conspiracy theories. So it was not exactly surprising to get an email from political operative Ralph Reed about a new partnership between the paper and his Faith and Freedom Coalition.

I am very excited to share with you a valuable new partnership we have forged with The Washington Times! In addition to valuing the Times' conservative thought, leadership, and its trusted news coverage, we will now be publishing our own custom content inside the Times' national digital newspaper, viewable on any computer or mobile device.

The Times has extended an exclusive free 30-day trial subscription to all FFC members to try its TWT News App, its digital subscription newspaper filled with the country's best conservative opinion, investigative reporting, political news and faith and family coverage. At the end this 30-day trial, you will automatically be enrolled in a discounted yearly subscription to the TWT News App, allowing you complete and uninterrupted access to the full daily news report of The Times -- as well as our exclusive content -- at a discounted member rate of only $34.95 per year. The Washington Times has also agreed to donate $10 per subscription back to the FFC, enabling us to continue and expand our mission with additional resources.

This “news” came just days before the FFC’s annual “Road to Majority” conference gets under way in DC, featuring a long list of right-wing activist leaders and Members of Congress.

The Washington Times knows how to partner with right-wing groups. It has been a sponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference and was the “official media sponsor” of last year’s March for Marriage.

John Kasich Kicks Off Presidential Bid By Addressing Religious Right Gathering

The Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Religious Right group led by disgraced right-wing lobbyist Ralph Reed, is holding its annual “Road to Majority” conference next week. Nearly every Republican presidential candidate has signed up for the event, and today, the FFC announced that Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be addressing the conservative summit.

Kasich recently made waves by tapping John Weaver and Fred Davis, two veterans of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, to work for his increasingly likely campaign for president.

The conference is cosponsored by radical right-wing groups such as Concerned Women for America, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family & Property and the World Congress of Families, and will feature speeches from Religious Right favorites such as Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, Christian Broadcasting Network “reporter” David Brody, pastor Jim Garlow, rabbi Daniel Lapin and activists like Phyllis Schlafly, Lila Rose and Gary Bauer.

Clearly, no right-wing activist is too radical or corrupt for Republican presidential candidates to embrace, which is why Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina have no qualms about attending this event organized by someone like Reed.

Reed is best known for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal, where he organized a Christian Coalition anti-gambling campaign in Alabama with the help of secretive funding from Mississippi tribes that owned casinos – who just so happened to be Abramoff’s clients that didn’t want business competition from the neighboring state. Reed denied knowing the source of the funding, even though investigators uncovered emails from Abramoff asking Reed to send invoices for approval from a Mississippi tribe which controlled major gaming interests. Abramoff later said that Reed “didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money,” adding that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.”

The Religious Right Reacts To SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision: 'Unconscionable, Unconstitutional, And Un-American'

Earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from several states challenging court decisions striking down gay marriage bans, resulting in such marriages now being legal in several more states.

To say that anti-gay Religious Right groups are furious with the Supreme Court would be a massive understatement and nobody was more livid about it than the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who spent two segments of his radio program today blasting the Supreme Court for having now issued the "de facto Roe vs. Wade of sodomy-based marriage" by "imposing on every state in the union marriage that is based on the infamous crime against nature."

"It unconscionable, unconstitutional, and un-American," Fischer fumed:

Groups like Liberty Counsel were equally outraged, issuing a press release blasting the Court for its "decision to watch marriage burn to ashes:

"This is a total dereliction of duty," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "The Supreme Court abandoned its duty to take up or at least hold these marriage cases. The responsibility for the undermining of marriage rests solely at the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year's decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case that started this fire, and today's decision to watch marriage burn to ashes is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. The actions of the Supreme Court in particular, and of the judiciary in general, undermine the rule of law and erode the confidence of the people in the judicial branch of government. When the people lose confidence in the rule of law, the judiciary will lose is legitimacy. Everyone will be affected by same-sex marriage because it is an intolerant agenda that will directly collide with religious freedom," said Staver.

The Family Research Council was likewise outraged, warning that "more and more people [will] lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage":

"The Supreme Court decision to not take up these lower court rulings, which  undermine natural marriage and the rule of law, for now, puts the issue of marriage back before the US Congress.  This decision, in part, is an indication that those on the Court who desire to redefine natural marriage recognize the country will not accept a Roe v. Wade type decision on marriage.

"Unfortunately, by failing to take up these marriage cases, the High Court will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage.   Even more alarming, lower court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves.  This judicially led effort to force same sex 'marriage' on people will have negative consequences for our Republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law.

"The Court decision ensures that the debate over natural marriage will continue and the good news is that time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage.  As more states are forced to redefine marriage, contrary to nature and directly in conflict with the will of millions, more Americans will see and experience attacks on their religious freedom.   Parents will find a wedge being driven between them and their children as school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals parents are teaching their children.  As more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, Americans will see the true goal, which is for activists to use the Court to impose a redefinition of natural marriage on the entire nation.

"Congress should respond to today's announcement by moving forward with the State Marriage Defense Act, which is consistent with last year's Windsor ruling and ensures that the federal government in its definition of marriage respects the duly enacted marriage laws of the states," concluded Perkins.

As was the National Organization for Marriage, which called for the passage of a national marriage amendment:

"We are surprised and extremely disappointed that the US Supreme Court has refused to grant review of the same-sex marriage cases pending before them. This is wrong on so many levels. First, the entire idea that marriage can be redefined from the bench is illegitimate. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman; it has been this throughout the history of civilization and will remain this no matter what unelected judges say. Second, it's mind-boggling that lower court judges would be allowed to impose the redefinition of marriage in these states, and our highest court would have nothing to say about it. Third, the effect of the lower court rulings is to say that a constitutional right to same-sex ‘marriage' has existed in every state in the union since 1868 when the 14th Amendment was ratified, but somehow nobody noticed until quite recently. That's the absurd belief we are being told to accept.

"It's possible that the Supreme Court wants to wait to take a case when a Circuit split develops so that it can rule in favor of the people's right to define marriage as it has always been defined. We're hopeful that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in our favor and that the Supreme Court will then take that case and decide that marriage is not unconstitutional.

"At the same time, given what the Supreme Court has allowed to happen, the only alternative to letting unelected judges impose their view of marriage on Americans across the country is to pursue a process that will allow the American people to decide for themselves what is marriage. It is critical not only to marriage but to the republican form of government in this country to amend the Constitution to reaffirm the meaning of marriage. We therefore call on the US Congress to move forward immediately to send a federal marriage amendment to the states for ratification.

"We call upon Americans vigorously to contest this development by turning to the political process, starting with the upcoming mid-term elections. We urge voters to hold politicians accountable and demand to know if they will accept the illegitimate act of attempting to redefine marriage or whether they will stand with the American people to resist. In particular, we urge Republicans to hold their party leaders to account, and to demand that they remain true to their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman which was a pillar of the party's founding in 1856, and remains essential to society's well-being today.

Focus on the Family warned that it will result in a "further expansion of threats to religious freedom"

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to accept five state marriage cases sets the stage for the further spread of same-sex marriage, and with it, a further expansion of threats to religious freedom.

Marriage has always been – and will always be – between a man and a woman.  Ultimately, no court can change that truth.  So regardless of legal outcomes, we’ll continue to address the importance of one-man, one-woman marriage to families, society and especially for children who have a right to both a mother and a father.

Our concern continues to be for children who deserve to grow up with both a mom and a dad, as well as for the religious freedom rights of people who strongly believe in God’s design for marriage and want to live consistently with those beliefs.

Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition called the decision a "miscarriage of justice" and warned that the Supreme Court will "reap a political whirlwind":

Today’s Supreme Court decision not to hear appeals of lower-court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage in five states is a miscarriage of justice that lays the predicate for a Roe v. Wade decision on marriage that will impose same-sex marriage on the entire country by judicial fiat.  The Court’s action has the effect of overturning the will of the voters in Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, including instances in which state constitutions were amended to codify marriage as the union between a man and a woman.  Today’s decision further insures that the marriage issue will motivate and mobilize voters of faith who are concerned about marriage and deeply resent having the institution redefined contrary to the clearly expressed will of the people by federal judges who legislate from the bench.  For candidates running in 2014 and those who run for president in 2016, there will be no avoiding this issue.  If the Supreme Court is planning a Roe v. Wade on marriage, it will sow the wind and reap a political whirlwind.

The Florida Family Policy Council's John Stemberger warned that "Supreme Court risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy" if it rules in favor of gay marriage:

Over the last 15 years, more than 40 million Americans in more than 30 states have voted at the ballot box to define marriage as one man and one woman – the same definition of marriage used worldwide. In the last nano-second of human civilization, some U.S. judges have attempted to ignore and erase those votes. The Supreme Court risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy if they ignore biology, logic, anthropology, social science and the collective wisdom of human history, and overturn an act of direct democracy by such an overwhelming number of American voters who protected marriage in their state constitutions.

Marriage is about more than who you love; it’s about bringing together the two great halves of humanity, male and female-- not gay and straight. Also it’s important to recognize that legalizing same-sex marriage ignores and eliminates the importance of gender in society: it costs kids either a mom or a dad (who are not interchangeable), and it costs people of faith their First Amendment rights as government imposes the new definition across all aspects of society. States and counties that have so-called “non-discrimination” laws which cover sexual orientation are being used as weapons to punish people of faith, and mainly Christians, for failure to facilitate or host same sex marriage ceremonies. We as a state and a society need to carefully count those costs before we run headlong into this latest social experiment with marriage, which will have negative impact on so many areas of life and law."

The Right Enemies: A Look Back At Right-Wing Attacks On Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder, who today announced his plans to resign, has been a leader in addressing systems of racial discrimination and protecting the fundamental rights of every American to be treated equally under the law and participate in our democracy.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the Right loves to hate him.

In February of this year, the American Family Association demanded Holder’s impeachment after he had the audacity to treat married same-sex couples like married opposite-sex couples with regard to a host of legal rights and recognitions. Shortly after, both Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed and Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp echoed the call for Holder’s impeachment because of his support for marriage equality. Televangelist Pat Robertson also joined the impeachment parade, alleging that under Holder, “sodomy” was being “elevated above the rights of religious believers.”

Holder’s commitment to redressing racial injustice was no more warmly received by the Right than his work in support of LGBT equality. After Holder spoke out against voter ID laws, which disproportionately harm people of color, Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused him of “purposefully” “incit[ing] racial tension.” Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt argued that Holder’s open discussion of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system means that he is the real “racist,” asserting last year that Holder wants to “intimidate the rest of the country so that we don’t think about defending ourselves” against “attacks by black mobs on white individuals.” Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association went so far as to say that Holder would never “prosecute someone if the victim is white.” And after Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri last month, David Horowitz outrageously commented that the attorney general was leading a black “lynch mob.”

And those are just a handful of the attacks the Right has leveled against Holder for his work protecting equality under the law.

The fact that the far Right has reacted with so much vitriol to the attorney general’s leadership is a sign not only of how uninterested they are in the civil rights that the Justice Department is meant to protect, but also of how effective Holder’s work has been. The next attorney general should share Holder’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans – and, by extension, make all the “right” enemies among those hoping to turn back the clock on civil liberties.

This post originally appeared on the PFAW blog.

Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' - The Book Is Not Better Than The Movie

This week Dinesh D’Souza’s “America: Imagine the World Without Her” is sitting at the top of the New York Times “nonfiction” bestseller list. Earlier this month, the movie version crossed the $14 million dollar mark, which moved it into six place overall for earnings by a political “documentary.”

But D’Souza is not just out to make money, of course. At a June screening of “America,” right-wing strategist Ralph Reed called D’Souza “a national treasure for our cause.” D’Souza’s last movie, “2016: Obama’s America,” was designed to keep Barack Obama from being elected.  “America” is an attempt to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected in 2016, wrapped in an attack on the progressive movement.

At a time when corporate power and profits are at record highs, “America” the movie argues that America the country is being led down the road to national “suicide” and socialist tyranny in a plan that was conceived by organizer Saul Alinsky and is being carried out by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Central to this long-term leftist scheme to bring about American decline has been an effort to convince Americans to be ashamed of the country’s history so that they will support a reduced role for America in the world.

In the movie, D’Souza sets out to refute progressive “indictments against America: We stole the country from the Native Americans, we stole the labor of the African Americans, we took half of Mexico in the Mexican War. Today our foreign policy and free market system are forms of theft.” D’Souza says this “new story of American shame” is “not just an attack on the one percent. It’s an attack on all of us. We are a nation of immigrants and settlers and we are the ones accused of these crimes.” 

D’Souza interviews some leftists and liberals as foils, including Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, and Michael Eric Dyson, and turns to Alexis de Tocqueville, writing more than 150 years ago, as a “more reliable” source. De Tocqueville understood, D’Souza says, that slavery and the treatment of Native Americans were nothing unique to America, but reflected a universal “conquest ethic.” Throughout history, he says, wealth was built by conquest and theft. But America is uniquely based on a different idea – the idea of acquiring wealth not by taking it from someone else but through innovation, entrepreneurship and trade.

In the process of taking on these progressive “indictments” of American history, D’Souza essentially tells Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans that in the big picture they really have nothing to complain about, and could be successful if they were just willing to work rather than spending all their time complaining.

D’Souza is proud of himself for being willing to take on racial taboos, which he calls “the enemies of history and truth.” His point seems to be that African Americans were not uniquely abused by slavery and so they should stop thinking the country owes them something. Yes, he says, enslavement was theft of life and labor. But Irish people were also sold into indentured servitude. And some free blacks also owned slaves. Slave-owning founders should not be viewed as hypocrites but as pragmatists who had to accept slavery as the price of creating the U.S. And besides, slavery is part of the “universal conquest ethic” but “what’s uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.”

The movie ignores Jim Crow, but tells the story of Madam C.J. Walker, an African American woman who was born just after the Civil War and who became wealthy by building a successful business in the early 20th Century. In the movie, an actress playing Walker lectures workers about freedom and opportunity and hard work. Of course, the movie does not mention her support for the NAACP or her active involvement in its anti-lynching campaigns. D’Souza claims she is left out of history because her success “confounds the shaming narrative.”

D’Souza also interviews Star Parker, a familiar figure at right-wing conferences, whose I-used-to-be-lazy-and-on-welfare shtick suggests that it is only an unwillingness to work hard that keeps people from being successful. In remarks made after the screening, D’Souza said nonwhite immigrants are doing better than African Americans because the latter have adopted a strategy of “agitate, agitate, agitate” rather than “work, work, work.”

In the movie, D’Souza portrays American foreign policy and global capitalism as fundamentally noble. So why are progressives out to destroy America and its place in the world?

The answer is Saul Alinsky. “America” portrays Alinsky as the ruthless mastermind of a plot to bring socialism to America, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as his equally ruthless acolytes. Hillary Clinton turned down a job offer from Alinsky after she graduated from college because she had more nefarious plans. “While Alinsky wanted the radicals to pressure the government, Hillary wanted the radicals to become the government,” D’Souza says. Why shame people from the outside when you can intimidate them from the inside? “Hillary figured it out,” says D’Souza, “Obama is now carrying it out.”

D’Souza wraps up the movie with a disjointed section on the surveillance state. D’Souza says the government is gathering information on all Americans so that it can target political opponents, the way he says the Obama administration has targeted conservatives through the IRS and other agencies. Not very convincingly, he portrays his recent prosecution for violating campaign finance laws – he has pleaded to a felony and faces sentencing in September – as part of this ideological warfare.

All of which is a long way of saying the movie is a jumbled, self-indulgent, right-wing mess, aside from the slanted take on American history. Critics have not been kind to “America,” which has a 9% rating from movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers put the movie in the “Scum Bucket,” calling D’Souza a “lunatic.”

But plenty of good books have been made into mediocre movies, right? At the screening, D’Souza described the book as the “intellectual spine” of the movie, and said it had been hard to fully communicate all of the book’s ideas and make the movie entertaining.

So, if the book any better? Sadly, no. If anything, D’Souza’s polemics are even more ridiculous and incendiary when he has the space to spell them out. For example, “Today’s progressivism is less indebted to Marx than it is to Lenin.”

D’Souza’s take on race and civil rights is particularly noteworthy given events in Missouri that have focused national attention on the unequal treatment of people of color by police and the justice system.

D’Souza says the Civil Rights movement was hardly revolutionary because racism was already on the decline after World War II.  Government-enforced segregation was bad, he acknowledges, because it represented “a triumph of government regulation over the free market.” But private discrimination is not theft and should not have been banned, he says, writing, “Private employers should no more be forced to hire employees than employees should be forced to work for employers against their will.”

“Somewhat weirdly, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not merely outlaw discrimination by the government; it also outlawed most forms of private discrimination. While I consider these restrictions on the private sphere to be unwise and unnecessary, they are also understandable.”

D’Souza says the election of Barack Obama, the existence of affirmative action programs, and changing attitudes toward racial intermarriage are all evidence of the continuing decline in racism in America.

“Blacks know it too: ask blacks today to recall when they personally experienced racism—when for example someone called them ‘nigger’—and many are hard pressed to give a single example.”

So there’s no reason for whining about racism, or God forbid, reparations. “Racism today is not strong enough to prevent blacks or any other group from achieving its aspirations,” he says, adding a couple pages later,

“Progressives are still chasing the windmills of old-style racism, whipping the nation into a frenzy every time there is some obscure incident. The reason blacks remain so far behind whites, however, has very little to do with racism. It has to do with African American cultural backwardness.”

Here are some other highlights:

·         Obama: “Obama is simply part of a fifty-year scheme for the undoing and remaking of America,” he writes. So how did Obama get elected? “There is a one-word answer: slavery.”

·         Clinton: “If Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016, the baton will have passed from one Alinskyite to another. In this case, Alinsky’s influence will have taken on a massive, almost unimaginable, importance. Obama will have had eight years to remake America, and Hillary will have another four or perhaps eight to complete the job. Together these two have the opportunity to largely undo the nation’s founding ideals.”

·         Native Americans: “The Indians were here first, but they were only sparsely and sporadically occupying the land. Consequently, many settlers regarded America as largely unoccupied, although the Indians surely disagreed with that perspective. Too bad the two groups could not amicably work out a way to share and benefit from this vast country.” Too bad? “They couldn’t, I believe, because both groups continued to espouse at least elements of the conquest ethic. Neither wished to be taken from, but both were willing to take when they had the power and the inclination to do so.” D’Souza has little sympathy for those “forlorn” Indians who “seem to prefer the joy of victimhood – and the exertions of claiming reparations of one sort or another –to the joy of entrepreneurial striving” – unlike those who are making money with casinos.

·         Immigration: “Immigration—legal and illegal—is the mechanism that today’s progressive organizers are counting on to undo the consequences of the Mexican War, and make the dream of Aztlan a reality.”

D’Souza asserts that “in no circumstance over the past hundred years” has America “stolen the wealth of any other country.” It’s not foreigners, but Americans, who are victimized by the federal government, “the biggest thief of all,” he writes. “In fact, progressives have turned a large body of Americans—basically, Democratic voters—into accessories of theft by convincing them that they are doing something just and moral by picking their fellow citizens’ pockets.”

With this line of reasoning, D’Souza aligns himself with the proponents of biblical economics, who argue that the government has no right to tax someone in order to alleviate someone else’s poverty.  “It does not promote the common good for the state to insist that successful people pay other people’s medical bills,” he says, describing Obamacare and progressive taxation as forms of theft. Transfer payments, unlike roads, do not constitute “general welfare.” Rather, “It constitutes a forcible extortion from one group and an unearned benefit to another.” The federal government is therefore not an instrument of justice but “an instrument of plunder.”

As in the movie, D’Souza takes time in the book to complain about his own prosecution (even though he admits having broken the law) and to suggest that the current surveillance state is part of the progressive movement’s strategy to impose totalitarianism: “Surveillance is simply the means to ensure that no one is safe.” He writes, “If progressives enforce their agenda through total control and compliance, America will truly be an evil empire, and it will be the right and duty of American citizens to organize once again, as in 1776, to overthrow it.” (Of course, aggressive surveillance began well before the Obama presidency, and progressives have been among those opposing government overreach.)

D’Souza denounces what he says is the progressive plan to diminish America’s influence globally, and closes the book with a warning about what the world might look like when its dominant force is not America but China, whose growing economic power is translating into greater military force and geopolitical influence. Similar concerns may be shared across the political spectrum, but having celebrated China’s adoption of market economics and economic growth, and having defended the export of American manufacturing jobs to cheap-labor China – trends that cannot be blamed on the Obama presidency –D’Souza does not make it clear what he would have American leaders do to forestall China’s rising influence. If he has a solution, he’s keeping it to himself.

The same can be said for the plight of unemployed and underemployed American workers. It doesn’t matter that you’re willing to work hard if there are no jobs to be had. And while D’Souza describes inequality as an essential element of the free market economy, he does not address the fact that in recent decades American workers have received almost none of the benefits of increasing productivity. His lectures to African Americans that their unwillingness to work hard is the only obstacle to their success ignore both evidence of continuing impacts of structural racism – reflected for example in exploitive mortgage underwriting – and the brutal consequences of the recent economic downturn on the already huge disparities of wealth between white and African American (and Latino) households.

The facile ideology of “America: Imagine the World Without Her” – both book and movie – should be no surprise. D’Souza’s entire career, beginning with his work at the right-wing Dartmouth Review and continuing through stints at the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, has been nurtured by far-right funders. His claim to being a “scholar” is grounded in his authorship of a series of polemical books, including “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” an exercise in ideological excess that even some conservative commentators found embarrassing. He champions traditional values, but in 2012 he resigned as president of the Christian King’s College after news that he had traveled with, and become engaged to, a woman who was separated from but still married to her husband.  Like his old friend Ann Coulter, D’Souza has learned that there is seemingly no end to the money to be made, and fame to be enjoyed, by repackaging and peddling ideological diatribes to the country’s right-wing activists.

 

Ralph Reed Compares 'War On Faith Being Waged Here In America' To Violent Persecution Abroad

Glenn Beck invited Ralph Reed onto his program this morning to discuss the violent oppression of Christians in countries like Syria and Sudan, such as the case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to death for her faith but has now reached safety in the U.S. Of course, the two inevitably slipped away from talking about the actual brutal persecution of Christians in those countries to the supposed persecution of Christians in America through things like health insurance coverage for contraception and same-sex marriage.

After talking about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Beck told Reed, “We have a problem with hostility to religion here in America too.”

When Beck asked Reed why American pastors aren’t speaking out enough about the persecution of Christians throughout the world, Reed said that one reason “is because we’ve had our own war on faith being waged here in America, not obviously with bombs and bullets and tear gas, but rather with court rulings and executive orders and laws that seek to marginalize the role of faith in our own society.”

“So if people are sitting around wondering, why aren’t we doing more, it’s because we’ve been callous about it in our own midst.”

Christian Reconstructionism And The GOP: 'Biblical Justice' vs Social Justice

There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family.

According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional conservatives” who believe, for example, the Constitution does not authorize any federal government role in education.

A stark example of the increasingly indistinct line between conservative Republicans and hard-core Christian Reconstructionists and dominionists (who believe the right kind of Christians are meant to have dominion over every aspect of society) can be found in the recent Republican primary victory of Michael Petrouka in a race for a county council seat in an Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Peroutka believes that any law that runs counter to God’s law is invalid, and that the Maryland General Assembly is itself no longer a valid legislative body. Here’s a concise summation of his approach to government:

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!

This religion-inflected ideological view of government is not relegated to inhabitants of the far-right fringe like Peroutka. David Barton, an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012, claims that the Constitution was drawn directly from the Bible and the sermons of colonial preachers, and that its focus on individual freedom reflects the founders’ theology of individual salvation. In this view, the Tea Party’s belief in a radically limited federal government is not only a question of constitutional interpretation, it is a mandate of Holy Scripture.

Just this month, Barton promoted these views on “Praise the Lord,” the flagship program of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel. “In the Bible, Jesus has a teaching about minimum wage,” Barton said. “In the Bible, Jesus has two teachings on capital gains tax.” The Bible, according to Barton, opposes those taxes as well as estate taxes and progressive income taxes. A flat tax is “what the Bible supports.”

On the same show Barton denounced government spending on welfare. “It’s not the government’s responsibility to take care of the poor and needy,” he said, “it’s the church’s responsibility.”

According to Barton, there are 205 verses in the Bible that instruct the family or church to take care of the poor, but not the government. “The government is told to do only one thing with taking care of the poor and that one thing is to make sure that when the poor come into court they get justice. That’s the only thing government is told….What we’re doing right now is for the first time in America we have ignored what the Bible says, the Bible says you don’t work, you don’t eat.” He went on to say that people “not having to work and getting free money…violates everything the Bible tells us” about dealing with the poor.

These themes are repeated in Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel, a booklet published last year by the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance. The booklet, written by Cornwall’s Calvin Beisner (according to him, at the request of the Family Research Council), was distributed at last month’s “Road to Majority” conference, which was organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

The premise of the booklet is that “social justice” is contrary to “Biblical justice.” If that sounds familiar, you may be recalling Glenn Beck’s diatribes against “social justice” a few years ago, when he urged people to leave their church if its website included the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.”

It is wrong, Beisner writes, to try to mitigate inequality “through force of government.” Why? “Because God ordained the state to dispense justice, and the church to dispense grace.” According to Beisner, giving someone “unearned” benefits is grace, not justice. People should graciously serve the poor, he writes. “But if care for the needy is made a matter of justice to the needy rather than to God, then grace becomes law. Then, the needy—and those who merely profess to be needy—may claim the benefits of grace as their due by justice.”

In other words, government has no right to tax someone in order to help feed someone else.

That is a widely shared belief on the Religious Right. Speakers at Religious Right conferences like Reed’s June event, and Republican Members of Congress, can be heard justifying cuts in food stamps with an appeal to the Bible passage that David Barton quoted on TBN. That verse, depending on your translation, says something like “he who will not work shall not eat.”

Reps. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee cited that verse last year. Fincher said, “The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.” In equating taxation for social services with theft, Fincher echoes Barton, Beisner, and others. (In context, by the way, the work-to-eat verse referred to early Christians who were so confident of the imminent return of Christ that they quit doing anything.)

Poor people turning to the government, Beisner writes in his anti-social-justice booklet, results in “the stultifying effects of wealth redistribution by the coercive power of the state.” Even worse, he says, “it blinds [poor people] to their deepest need: the grace of God offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is another theme of the Republican Party’s right wing. Sharron Angle, the GOP’s 2010 Senate nominee in Nevada, said during her campaign that entitlement programs are “idolatry” because they “make government our God.” Farris Wilks, the Texas fracking billionaire who gives huge amounts to the Heritage Foundaiton and other right-wing groups, declares that “the Torah is set up on the free enterprise system” and that “Yahweh never intended for us as a people to be afraid and reliant on government.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation, says “the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets.

Heritage is just one of the institutions working to make right-wing economics an article of faith just like opposition to gay rights and abortion. The Freedom Federation, one of the many right-wing entities created in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, brings both "mainstream" and fringe Religious Right groups together with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Freedom Federation’s “Declaration of American Values” includes not only the expected rhetoric about traditional values, but also opposition to progressive taxation.

John Lofton, a right-wing pundit, is the spokesperson for Republican county council candidate Peroutka, and for Peroutka’s Christian Reconstructionist Institute on the Constitution, which has trained Tea Party activists on the biblical basis of the Constitution. Lofton has spoken on “God and Government” at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. In 2012, in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, Lofton wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God’s Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church – God’s people – to provide this help and NOT government.”

Tea Party? Religious Right? GOP? Or all of the above?

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Faith and Freedom Coalition Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/07/2011, 11:22am
Tonight, the Iowa affiliate of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is hosting it's "Spring Kick-off Event" featuring Five potential presidential candidates - Herman Cain, Buddy Roemer, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich. And Reed wants it known that social conservatives have no intention of riding in the "back of the bus": The Iowa political season is set to kick off with Monday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition forum featuring a slew of potential 2012 hopefuls — an event that group’s national chairman says will show that social issues... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/07/2011, 11:14am
Rick Santorum is set to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa tonight along with Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer. On Saturday he wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register where he repeated the same groundless right-wing arguments that marriage equality will lead to the end of religious freedom and that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. In Iowa, a state which has had equal marriage rights since 2009, religious liberty has yet to collapse, as many conservatives predicted. And while the Obama... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 10:29am
Michele Bachmann New Hampshire: Announces intention to visit New Hampshire at CPAC (Minnesota Independent, 2/14). CPAC: Uses faulty tax math at her CPAC speech (WaPo, 2/11). Health Care: Says that repealing reform law is “the driving motivation of my life” (RWW, 2/10). Haley Barbour Immigration: Lobbied for Mexico to support the extension of an “amnesty” program (Salon, 2/14). Lobbying: Politico looks into conflicts of interest as Governor after lobbying for tobacco industry (Politico, 2/14). Iowa: Plans to address a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on March 15 (The... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 10:29am
Michele Bachmann New Hampshire: Announces intention to visit New Hampshire at CPAC (Minnesota Independent, 2/14). CPAC: Uses faulty tax math at her CPAC speech (WaPo, 2/11). Health Care: Says that repealing reform law is “the driving motivation of my life” (RWW, 2/10). Haley Barbour Immigration: Lobbied for Mexico to support the extension of an “amnesty” program (Salon, 2/14). Lobbying: Politico looks into conflicts of interest as Governor after lobbying for tobacco industry (Politico, 2/14). Iowa: Plans to address a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on March 15 (The... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/08/2011, 6:35pm
The Tea Party plans to save America by launching its own magazine. Hooray, Pat Robertson's CBN has started its own country music station.  Finally! Ralph Reed's second annual Faith and Freedom Coalition "strategy briefing" is scheduled for June. It's extra funny because 91 people died. Finally, I guess nothing prepares a Republican to run for public office like a job at Hooters. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/04/2011, 6:49pm
Right wing activists in Texas continue to oppose Joe Straus. Apparently, CNS considers it "news" that "Gen. George Washington approved the dismissal of a soldier for 'attempting to commit sodomy,' with 'abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes.'" Bryan Fischer puts his money on Rep. Mike Pence as the GOP's nominee in 2012. Bob Vander Plaats plans on capturing the momentum. The full list of the CADC's "Top Ten Anti-Christian Events in 2010" is pretty pathetic. Finally, the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition has invited... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/15/2010, 11:21am
Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family." By doing so, we pointed... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 11/11/2010, 12:23pm
For some reason, Ralph Reed still has a career in politics and a corresponding platform from which he can share his "expertise" about how President Obama really needs to be, in addition to a political leader, a Christian leader ... kind of like Sarah Palin:  Democrats would have had fewer losses on election Tuesday if President Obama had embraced a "Christ-like model of leadership," says Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed, who used to run Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, says a good leader is one who provides not just the... MORE >