Family Research Council

Anti-Choice Crowd Celebrates as GOP Picks Joe Pitts, Presses for New Restrictions on Abortion

When Michigan Republican Fred Upton was tarred as a “moderate” during his campaign to lead the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, leading anti-choice groups including the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List suggested back in November that they could support Upton if he picks Joe Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee. Pitts, the co-author of the restrictive Stupak-Pitts amendment during the health care reform debate, is one of the most fervently anti-choice members of Congress. Now, Upton won his campaign to lead the committee and selected Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee which not only deals with health care legislation but also sets policy with regards to abortion rights and reproductive health.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called Pitts’s appointment “a major pro-life victory,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told LifeNews that Pitts is committed to passing anti-choice legislation to stop the purported taxpayer funding of abortion.

While the nonpartisan PolitiFact already determined that rightwing claims of taxpayer funding for abortion are false and simply untrue, the facts didn’t stop groups like SBA List, CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), and the Family Research Council from spreading the badly misleading claim.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” better known as “Stupak on steroids” would impel private insurers to drop abortion coverage by taking away the insurance plans’ tax deductions, make the Hyde Amendment permanent, and prevent “any government department from funding any program that touches on abortion in any way, however notional.” There is already a drive by Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann to pass the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act," which would de-fund reproductive healthcare organizations which provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, even though such financing does not go to abortion coverage.

During an interview with CNSNews, Bachmann was asked “What should Republicans do to advance protections for the lives of those unborn babies who are being slaughtered in this country?” Bachmann repeats the two baseless and fallacious claims that women in Pennsylvania received taxpayer funding for abortions and that “for the first time in American history under Obamacare, socialized medicine, under President Obama, we have federal funding of abortion.” She also calls for the reinstatement of the global gag rule, which cuts off US funding to international family planning services.

Watch:

Religious Right Tries to Marginalize SPLC

The Religious Right continues to react to the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and it is becoming clear that we've gotten to the point where people are speaking out against it without even having read it, which is why we have Ed Meese calling the list "despicable" and insisting that he knows the groups well, so they could not possibly be considered hate groups:

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese says it is “despicable” for the Southern Poverty Law Center to classify the Family Research Council and a dozen other top conservative organizations as “hate groups” similar to the Ku Klux Klan.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Meese told CNSNews.com about the list published by the SPLC. “I know about seven or eight of those groups. I know the people very well. I know the groups very well, I’ve worked with them over the years, and I think it actually undermines the credibility of the Southern Poverty Law Center to make such a statement.”

Last week, the Southern Policy Law Center announced that it was going to classify the Family Research Council and 12 other organizations as “hate groups” because of their positions on homosexuality.

Among the groups being designated by the SPLC are the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Institute, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, MassResistance, National Organization for Marriage and the Traditional Values Coalition.

The SPLC said these organizations will be named to its "hate group" watch list.

But Meese said the Southern Poverty Law Center had cited no evidence whatsoever to show that the FRC or the other major pro-family conservative organizations were hate groups.

First of all, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage were not designated hate groups - they were simply listed among active anti-gay groups.

Secondly, the SPLC laid out the statements and agenda of all the groups included on the list in its report, so the only way Meese could claim they "cited no evidence whatsoever" is if he hadn't bothered to read it.

And then, in one final bit of irony, Maggie Gallagher complained that the goal of the SPLC was to marginalize conservative groups so that no elected or government officials would associate with them ... while Messe demanded that the government have nothing to do with the SPLC:

The liberal law firm informs the media and law enforcement of its “surveillance,” and has close ties to both the media and the Justice Department.

“The question is, can they get away with it? Is it going to become the case that a politician can’t have anything to do with the Family Research Council or they’ll be associating with a ‘hate’ group. Will the media now say ‘We can’t talk to the Family Research Council because they are an extremist hate group?’” Gallagher asked.

...

Meese, meanwhile, called on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize and remove the FRC and the other groups from the list. He also said no one in law enforcement should take these latest deisgnations seriously.

“What should happen is, they should rescind their statement and apologize,” Meese said. “If in fact, in any way, they are in collusion with the Justice Department or any other department of the federal government on this, I think it is a serious problem for the government."

Barber: Liberty Counsel Will Eventually Be Designated a Hate Group

When the Southern Poverty Law Center unveiled its update list of anti-gay hate groups, it made clear that "viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups." Rather, the designation was "based on [the] propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling."

As I noted at the time, how Liberty Counsel managed to stay of the list of anti-gay hate groups was a mystery - a point that I just want to reiterate in light of the video we just posted of Matt Barber and Mat Staver claiming gays need to be kept out of the military on the grounds that they are "moral perverts."

And, as it turns out, tomorrow's edition of LC's "Faith and Freedom Radio" is dedicated entirely to attacking the SPLC's update list, with Matt Barber predicting that LC will eventually be designated as a hate group but that the SPLC is currently too intimidated by him to do so now:

Staver: And I really think that it points out that this organization has marginalized itself because it has lost all credibility. I mean, Family Research Council is not a hate group. They may disagree with Family Research Council on the issue of same-sex marriage or homosexuality, but it's not a hate group. And the American Family Association is the same way.

Now they also list Liberty Counsel in there as well - they don't classify Liberty Counsel as a hate group, they've actually included 18 different organizations of which they've put a star by 13 that are considered hate groups. And Liberty Counsel is in there, not as a hate organization but is added in there and, who knows, before long it's going to get an asterisk.

Barber: I'll make a prediction right now, Matt: I've written several articles, I've underscored and pointed out and exposed the Southern Poverty Law Center on a number of occasions. They personally attack me in this report that they put out, but they do not classify us as a hate group yet. I think they're a little leery of doing that because I have been one person at the forefront of exposing their activities here.

But I am going to make a prediction here: they are eventually going to do that in retaliation for us pointing out what they're doing, their fraudulent activities. They will do that and at that point the mainstream media is going to be held accountable. They will try to marginalize Liberty Counsel eventually as a hate group and we're going to hold their feet to the fire when they do that.

I am actually inclined to back Barber's prediction that the SPLC will eventually designate Liberty Counsel as a hate group, but not out of "retaliation" for Barber's attacks on them, but rather because Barber is an unapologetic anti-gay bigot.

Right Wing Round-Up

DADT Defenders Desperate Last Stand: Keep Ban Since Intel Leaker Was Gay

If you thought that the arguments opposing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell weren’t desperate enough, many on the Right are now suggesting that the ban on gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military should be kept in place because the alleged Wikileaks-leaker is gay. A New York Times profile on intelligence analyst Bradley Manning’s “desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur” found that much of his “social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.” The Times went on to report that “even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself ‘emotionally fractured’ and a ‘wreck’ and said he was ‘self-medicating like crazy.’”

For the right wing media, the story wasn’t that Manning had a history of being victimized and excluded because of his sexual orientation, but that as a result of his sexual orientation he became a traitor. Ann Coulter suggests that Manning was a “narcissistic hothouse flower” and the “poster boy for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”:

With any luck, Bradley's court-martial will be gayer than a Liza Minelli wedding. It could be the first court-martial in U.S. history to feature ice sculptures and a "Wizard of Oz"-themed gazebo. "Are you going to Bradley's court-martial? I hear Patti LaBelle is going to sing!"

Maybe there's a reason gays have traditionally been kept out of the intelligence services, apart from the fact that closeted gay men are easy to blackmail. Gays have always been suspicious of that rationale and perhaps they're right.



Bradley's friends told the Times they suspected "his desperation for acceptance -- or delusions of grandeur" may have prompted his document dump.

Let's check our "Gay Profile at a Glance" and ... let's see ... desperate for acceptance ... delusions of grandeur ... yep, they're both on the gay subset list!



Look at the disaster one gay created under our punishing "don't ask, don't tell" policy. What else awaits America with the overturning of a policy that was probably put there for a reason (apart from being the only thing Bill Clinton ever did that I agreed with)?

Liberals don't care. Their approach is to rip out society's foundations without asking if they serve any purpose.

The Family Research Council has also jumped in, commenting:

Now that the enemy has access to American intelligence, our mission in the Middle East may be irreparably harmed--all because President Obama is less concerned with winning the war than he is with winning the far-Left's approval. Unfortunately for all of us, Manning's betrayal painfully confirms what groups like FRC have argued all along: the instability of the homosexual lifestyle is a detriment to military readiness. By foisting this agenda on our soldiers, the White House is not only jeopardizing the future of national security but compromising its present.

WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah said that “the system of moral blindness and the disconnect from common sense,” which allowed Manning to serve as a closeted gay man in the first place, “made [the leak] inevitable.” Cliff Kincaid of the conservative Accuracy In Media blasted news outlets for not covering Manning’s sexual orientation enough for his liking, and claims that Manning’s sexuality and support for gay rights show that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell doesn’t go far enough and should become more stringent. Kincaid writes:

Now, because of the obvious mishandling of this homosexual ticking time bomb, it appears that the United States, its soldiers, and relations with countries in the region will pay the price. Lives-and a war on terrorism in Afghanistan-could be lost.

The revelations of Manning's openly pro-homosexual conduct suggest that a more liberal Department of Defense policy, in deference to the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief, had already been in effect and has now backfired in a big way.



The dramatic revelations about Manning's circle of friends and associates suggest that, rather than repeal the homosexual exclusion policy, as Obama is demanding, the prohibition on homosexuals should have been more strictly enforced and that it should be strengthened today.

As the Right tries to score political points by saying that due to Manning’s individual problems and turmoil, all gay and lesbian servicemembers should be viewed as disgruntled, treacherous, unstable, and disloyal people. And, the say, rather than dismantle Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which produces extreme and troubling pressures on closeted soldiers, the policy should become more severe and oppressive.

Right Wing Round-Up

Beware The Green Dragon!

A who's who of Religious Right leaders have come together for a 12-part series called "Resisting the Green Dragon" which seeks to expose how the environmental movement is out to control the world and destroy Christianity:

Resisting the Green Dragon is therefore particularly timely because it not only refutes the scientific case for dangerous manmade warming and other "crises," but also exposes how environmental organizations use sophisticated media campaigns and even seek increased global governance to promote their agenda among policy makers, religious leaders, and youth.

"One of the greatest threats to society and the church today is the multifaceted environmentalist movement," says Cornwall Alliance founder and national spokesman Dr. E. Calvin Beisner. "There isn't an aspect of life that it doesn't seek to force into its own mold."

Many well-known Christian leaders agree. Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery joined Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission's Richard Land, Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright, Home School Legal Defense Association's Michael Farris, National Religious Broadcasters' Frank Wright, WallBuilders' David Barton, and radio talk-show host Janet Parshall in filming introductions and commentary for the 12-part DVD series, which started shipping last week.

A twelve minute preview is available here (password: RESIST) but I have edited it down because it is a marvel of delusional right-wing projection with Richard Land saying environmentalists have a long history of believing exaggerations and myths, David Barton saying environmentalists' claims are rooted in their own biases, Bryan Fischer claiming the movement relies on outright lies, and Janet Parshall warning that Christians must fight back against this false religion because God has called upon them to take dominion over the earth:

Religious Right United In Outrage Over SPLC Hate Group Designations

Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center updated its list of anti-gay groups and added several new organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups. 

Many influential Religious Right groups found themselves placed upon the SPLC's updated list, including the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for American, National Organization for Marriage, and Liberty Counsel.  And to say that they are not happy about it would be a massive understatement.

NOM called it an "absurd distraction," saying it stood by its work and that the report was really an attack "on the majority of Americans who believe that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife" while Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America both responded by accusing the SPLC of being the ones "who are actually filled with hate and bigotry."

For it's part, the Family Research Council called the designation part of a "smear campaign" designed to silence Christians and demanded an apology:

"The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?

"Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination."

Matt Barber, who is one of the most vehemently anti-gay Religious Right activists operating today, yet somehow he and Liberty Counsel managed to avoid being labeled a hate group ... but that didn't stop him from ripping the SPLC in an op-ed in the Washington Times accusing the SPLC of comparing conservatives to Nazis:

So, center-right America: If you happen to believe in the sanctity of natural marriage and that, as a culture, we're best served by honoring the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic of our forefathers, you're now an official "hater."

Of course, the tired goal of this silly meme is to associate in the public mind's eye mainstream conservative social values with racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The ironic result, however, is that, as typically occurs with such ad hominem and hyperbolic attacks, the attacker ends up marginalizing himself and galvanizing his intended target (I'm rubber, you're glue and all that).

Hence, beyond a self-aggrandizing liberal echo chamber, the SPLC - and by extension the greater "progressive" movement - has become largely, as it stews in its own radicalism, just another punch line.

It's often said that the first to call the other a Nazi has lost the argument.

Congratulations, conservative America: They're calling you a Nazi. Carry on.

Of course, that argument might carry more weight if, as Warren Throckmorton points out, groups like the American Family Association weren't regularly saying that all the Nazis were literally gay.

But in terms of sheer absurdity, it is hard to beat the reaction from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

"The Southern Poverty Law Center has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values," said Rev. Gary L. Cass, of DefendChristians.Org, a ministry of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

"Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding."

"Defend Christians.Org will work to form a coalition of organizations to lobby Congress to withhold funds from SPLC. We will also demand Congress restrict Federal law enforcement from relying on the biased SPLC reports, like the discredited 'Report on Right-Wing Extremism' SPLC wrote for the Department of Homeland Security," said Cass.

This tatic could possibly be effective if the SPLC actually received federal funds ... but it doesn't.  And for some reason Cass continues to insist that the SPLC wrote the DHS report despite having absolutely no evidence that that is the case. 

Another Conservative Fears DADT Repeal Will Lead to Draft

Last week Kyle reported that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council feared that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military will damage recruitment to such an extent that the President would have to “bring back the draft.” Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is now too sounding the alarm that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would lead to the collapse of the volunteer military. In his Washington Times column, Gaffney uses the recent panic about TSA procedures to make his point that the draft will be reinstated if gays serve openly:

Suddenly, just as the Obama-led campaign to foist the radical homosexual agenda on the U.S. armed forces is reaching its denouement, the American people are getting a taste of forced intimacy - and they don't like it. In airports around the country, they are being subjected to intrusions on their personal space by people and machines of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Team Obama's line is that "most" in uniform think there will be no problem, or at least "mixed" good and bad repercussions. But if even an estimated 10 percent choose to leave the service - let alone 40 percent of Marines, who, according to the leakers, think repeal will cause problems - the effect will be traumatic, possibly devastating, for the U.S. armed forces. If tens of thousands choose not to submit and "vote with their feet," as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, has called on them to do, it may become impossible to rely only on volunteers to staff our military.

In that case, a vote for repeal of the 1993 law barring homosexuals from the military amounts to a vote for reinstating the draft.

Gaffney’s column adds to the increasing scare-tactics by right-wing leaders to stop the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell at all costs. Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy has previously allied with vehemently anti-gay groups to prevent the repeal of DADT, and believes that the greatest threat to the military isn’t gays but President Obama, who he called “America’s first Muslim President.” Even though the Pentagon report is expected to show that the vast majority of troops have no problem with gay and lesbians serving openly and even a Sergeant who spoke to Perkins believes that soldiers will “serve anyway” following repeal, the draft drumbeat continues to grow.

FRC, AFA Among New Organizations Designated "Anti-Gay Hate Groups" By SPLC

Via Truth Wins Out, we see that the Southern Poverty Law Center has released a piece profiling Of 18 anti-gay organizations and has announced that they will be adding 5 new organizations to their list of active anti-gay hate groups.

The new additions are:

1. American Family Association
2. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
3. Dove World Outreach Center
4. Family Research Council
5. Illinois Family Institute

The other anti-gay groups profiled by the SPLC but not offically designated as hate groups are:

1. Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
2. Concerned Women for America
3. Coral Ridge Ministries
4. Liberty Counsel
5. National Organization for Marriage

Given that SPLC make these designations "based on their propagation of known falsehoods...and repeated, groundless name-calling," how some other these other groups - like Matt Barber/Liberty Counsel and Robert Knight/Coral Ridge Ministries - managed to stay off the list of designated hate groups is a bit of a mystery.

Perkins: If DADT Is Repealed, The Draft Will Be Reinstated

You have to hand it to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, as he just keeps trying out new reasons as to why Don't Ask, Don't Tell should not be repealed, with his latest being that if it is, so many current soldiers will leave that the military will be forced to re-institute the draft:

Barack Obama is opposed to the draft as a matter of principle, to be sure. So are most politicians in both parties. But the president’s drive to repeal the ban on open homosexuality in the military could have this unintended consequence: It could bring back the draft.

...

The military is not a red state/blue state institution. It unifies our country. It draws its dedicated members from all regions. Still, it is no secret that the military is a socially conservative institution. It recruits heavily from rural areas in the South, the Midwest, and the Inter-Mountain states.

In our larger cities, black and Hispanic recruits are encouraged to consider the military — which has historically been a great ladder of achievement for racial and ethnic minorities.

These are the very areas and groups who have been most resistant to the demands of the homosexual lobby. These are the very regions and groups who have rallied to our side whenever we put a defense of marriage initiative on the ballot

If these regions and groups do not enlist in our all-volunteer force, President Obama will be driven to the place he does not want to go: the military draft.

Of course, during FRC's own anti-DADT repeal webcast earlier this year Sergeant First Class Benjamin Ratcliff told Perkins point blank that soldiers who loved their country would continue to serve even if DADT was repealed:

I would tell them to serve anyway. If all men of courage and men that had a moral compass were to leave the military, then we wouldn’t have a military. There’d be nobody left to serve and protect. So I don’t really – I would serve regardless of what comes out of Washington. Even though I disagree with it strongly, I love my country more. So I would understand if parents had concerns. I was recruited for several years and I sat and listened to parents’ concerns, talked with them. They asked me a lot of questions about the wars and a lot about the liberal agenda. But I would tell them, serve anyway, absolutely.

But I guess that tends to undermine Perkins' anti-gay agenda, so he decided to just ignore it when penning this op-ed.

Religious Right Putting Pressure on CPAC to Drop GOProud

The other day we noted that the American Principles Project had informed the American Conservative Union that they would not be participating in next year's CPAC because of the decision to allow GOProud to serve as a sponsor.

Today, APP's Malia Blom went on CBN News to explain that they would not participate so long as CPAC was going to include groups like GOProud to who "actively work against a fundamental principle of conservatism: faith, family, traditional marriage": 

And the APP is not alone in pressuring CPAC to drop GOProud, as both the American Family Association and the Family Research Council weighing in as well

The American Family Association is also deciding whether to stay away from CPAC again this year over GOProud.

"We didn't send our radio talk show hosts up there last year because of GOProud," said AFA president Tim Wildmon. "We will have to look at their level of participation this year. In the next couple of weeks we'll decide."

The Family Research Council is working with ACU directly about the GOProud issue.

"We have communicated privately with the board with the desire to see this resolved in a way that benefits America's families," Family Research Council vice president for communications JP Duffy told WND.

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv); Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Meet Congressman-Elect Tom Marino: Plagued by Corruption Charges

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our ninth candidate profile is on Tom Marino of Pennsylvania:

In 2007, Tom Marino resigned from his position as US Attorney in Pennsylvania after a corruption scandal clouded his career and raised questions about his honesty. Marino had used his official title as US Attorney to provide a reference in 2005 to his “close friend,” convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was trying to win the state gaming commission’s approval to open slot machines at a resort he owned. When his office began an investigation into DeNaples for lying about his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants uncovered his reference and notified the Justice Department, which transferred the investigation out of Marino’s office. But questions about Marino’s ties to DeNaples remained.

Defending his actions, Marino said on a local radio show that the Department of Justice gave him permission to be a reference for DeNaples. But the Justice Department says there is “no record of Marino having received the permission” to serve as a reference for DeNaples and that Marino never informed the General Counsel office. Although Marino stands by his claim that he received written permission, he failed to produce any letter from the Department.

When the Justice Department launched an investigation into Marino’s actions, he resigned and promptly took a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” Marino later under-reported his income on his financial disclosure forms, reporting that he only received $25,000 from DeNaples. Even Zack Oldham of the conservative blog RedState said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

The DeNaples affair wasn’t even the first time Marino had run into corruption accusations. When Marino was District Attorney in Lycoming County, he tried to get a friend out of a drug charge by going behind the back of the county judge who had refused to toss out his friend’s conviction. According to the Luzeme County Citizens Voice, Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Marino continued to struggle with the truth in his campaign for Congress. He criticized his opponent, Rep. Chris Carney, for leaving Washington as an anti-abortion rights bill was being circulated during the health care reform debate. Carney was not in Washington at the time because his wife was undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

He later alleged that Carney “has no problem spending taxpayers’ money for abortions” and that Pennsylvania women were receiving taxpayer-subsidized abortions under the new health care law, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have confirmed, repeatedly, that the law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Marino also berated his opponent for refusing to take questions from the press on political matters after Carney, a Navy Reservist, was called for active duty and was barred by law from making “statements to or answer questions from the news media regarding political issues or regarding government policies.”

But his ethical challenges have not kept the far-right from embracing him. In fact, his rightwing politics have earned him the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Rick Santorum’s America’s Foundation, Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC, the Family Research Council, and the Government Is Not God PAC.

On the issue of immigration, Marino opposes a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and touts his endorsement from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been called a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his Americans for Legal Immigration PAC survey, Marino says he strongly favors Arizona’s severe SB 1070 law, would refuse to support comprehensive immigration reform, and that he would consider impeaching the President over immigration policy.

Marino said he would vote against extending unemployment benefits, maintaining that some of the people on unemployment simply don’t “want to go get work because they are being paid to stay home.” He said that non-senior citizens should face cuts in Social Security benefits if not the elimination of the program altogether, saying: “my generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are not going to get Social Security.’” The 60 Plus Association, a front group for the health care and pharmaceutical industries which supports privatizing Social Security, aired TV ads on Marino’s behalf.

In a radio interview in August, Marino reportedly suggested eliminating the IRS and the Departments of Education and Energy and replacing them with new agencies, saying, “There’s got to be a total revolution there.”

Despite the ethical cloud surrounding Marino, his hard-line conservative views and support from the Radical Right helped him win election to Congress. Watch this segment from an NBC affiliate revealing Marino’s ethical troubles:

 

 

 

Religious Right Blasts GOProud For Trying To Co-Opt Movement and Destroy Society

As we noted yesterday, the gay conservative group GOProud was urging the Republican Party to ignore the Religious Right's social issues agenda and the effort, not surprisingly, was not going over well with the Religious Right.

Concerned Women for America responded by saying that rather than ignoring social issues, such issues must be placed "at the very top of the list," which is a view shared by Gary Bauer, who dismisses GOProud as a "liberal group": 

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the GOP establishment trying to co-opt the Tea Party into abandoning its commitment to fiscal conservatism. Unfortunately, at least one liberal group has already convinced some Tea Party leaders to abandon values issues.

I was very disappointed to read this morning that a pro-homosexual rights group has gotten more than a dozen Tea Party activists to sign on to a letter to new members of Congress. According to Politico, the letter urges them to focus exclusively on fiscal issues, and to oppose the consideration of social issues as part of the agenda for the new Congress. That is terrible advice, and it presents a false choice ... Tonight, I will be attending a reception for new House members. I promise you I will encourage them to fight for the entire conservative agenda — including values issues!

The Family Research Council also weighed in to blast GOProud as a phony conservatives who are out to co-opt the movement in an effort sow anarchy and destroy the fabric of society:

A group that had nothing to do with bringing the Republicans to power suddenly wants to dictate what the party does with it. GOProud, an aggressive pro-homosexual organization that desperately wants to be taken seriously by conservatives, is trying to force its way into the movement by persuading a small handful of tea partiers to sign on to a social truce for the 112th Congress.

...

If anyone's doing the co-opting, it's GOProud--whose "social truce" isn't a truce at all. If Republicans stand down on social issues, it's in this group's interest! GOProud is the one actively fighting for same-sex "marriage," homosexuals in the military, and gay "rights." Essentially they're saying, "We'll keep marching our priorities forward and you" (meaning conservatives) "stand down."

I say, no way! For starters, that won't fly with the broader Tea Party movement which is solidly in the social conservative camp (see DeMint, Jim). Secondly, it's a losing strategy for America. We need to shrink the size of government, but America needs strong families. Those families--not GOProud's phony substitutes--are the backbone of society. Think about the welfare costs associated with the breakdown of social order. Think about the cost in terms of crime and the criminal justice system. What about the loss of human potential? Do these folks really think we can just eliminate those government expenditures overnight? What this crowd is advocating will lead to anarchy, which, ironically, would provide GOProud and friends a perfect environment for their lifestyle.

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Vicky Hartzler: Missouri’s Anti-Gay Zealot

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our seventh candidate profile is on Missouri's Vicky Hartzler:

Although Ike Skelton, the long-time representative in Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was far from a supporter of LGBT equality, Vicky Hartzler, who defeated him in this year’s election, has based her political career on supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians.

A former state legislator, she was the spokeswoman and public face of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, which successfully amended the state constitution to include a ban same-sex marriage (which was already banned by statute) in 2004. The New York Times writes that her group used “church functions, yard signs and a ‘marriage chain’ of rallies across the state,” and Hartzler “said she hoped that the outcome would send a loud message to the rest of the country: ‘Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage.’”

Her work helped her receive praise from Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Penny Nance of Concerned Women PAC.

Mother Jones asked if Hartzler was the “most anti-gay candidate in America” since she believes that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will “put us at risk,” maintains that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore gay people aren’t entitled to civil rights, and dubbed hate crimes legislation one of the “the extreme agenda items of the gay movement.”

Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign told Mother Jones that while “Ike Skelton has not been a friend of the LGBT community,” unlike Hartzler, “he does not wake up in the morning thinking about what he can do to harm the LGBT community.”

A staunch anti-choice activist, Hartzler supported legislation which “would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder” and “also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against doctors who performed such procedures.” She was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would pressure women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms. Throughout her career in the State House, she consistently received perfect ratings from the right-wing Missouri Family Network.

Hartzler wrote a book for Christian activists running for office called “Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign,” which “discusses how to run a political campaign by using events and stories in the bible as a guide.” Phyllis Schlafly gave her a laudatory introduction at an Eagle Forum event, calling her book “a manual for action.”

In a profile by the American Family Association, Hartzler said that she found inspiration from God to run for public office at the age of nine, and her book maintains that “Christians must become more active in politics if they are to have the impact God calls them to have.” Hartzler said that her book provides Christian candidates with “the tools and inspiration they need to bring God’s light in a darkening world.”

According to one sympathetic review in a local newspaper, Hartzler’s book “praises Absalom — a rebellious son of King David, God’s anointed leader for Israel and according to Christian theology an early example of divinely ordained rule prefiguring that of Jesus Christ — as being the “first politician” and an example for modern political leaders. In Hartzler’s words, ‘Absalom won over the hearts of the people of Israel using time-tested campaign strategies. We, too, can campaign successfully following these same guidelines.’”

A climate change denier, Hartzler asserted that she does not believe in climate change since she read “some articles that [said] it’s actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder…and certainly, I don’t believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that.”

Hartzler ran an ugly anti-immigrant ad against Ike Skelton, where she claimed that by voting to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program he supports “welfare benefits” for “illegal immigrants”, and criticized him for opposing a measure that would prohibit illegal immigrants from attending public schools as “giving illegal immigrants free education.”

She appealed to Tea Partiers by slamming government spending, as she blasted Congress’s spending plans and said that “we just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.” However, according to the Kansas City Star, Hartzler’s “farm has received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009.” She defended the government farm subsidies as a “national defense issue,” and claimed that she would not support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or defense.

In an editorial board interview she couldn’t name any programs she would cut funding to other than “the Lady Bird Highway Beautification projects. She indicated that garden clubs could do some of this work along the highways, saving public funds.”

However, Hartzler does appear to support spending money to expand the role of the Navy in Missouri, as she argued that under Skelton’s watch the landlocked state has “the smallest Navy here that we have had since the early 1960s.”

Hartzler blended her Tea Party lip service and Religious Right advocacy to topple one of the most powerful members of the House, and will now bring her years of anti-equality and anti-choice activism to become a prominent voice of the Far-Right in the GOP-led House.

 

 

 

 

 

Right Lines Up Squarely Behind DeMint, Threatens to Take Out Any Republican Who Opposes Him

Since the election, it has become abundantly clear that Sen. Jim DeMint has become the member of Congress who represents the agenda of the GOP's right-wing base and Tea Party movement.

Earlier this week, the Family Research Council announced that it was seeking one million people who were willing to pray for DeMint as takes on the Republican establishment and seeks to remake it in his own image.

And now Richard Viguerie and dozens of right-wing leaders are opening threatening the entire GOP establishment that they will seek to destroy any Republican who stands in DeMint's way:

Prominent conservative leaders are putting critics of Sen. Jim DeMint on notice: Stop blaming the South Carolina Republican for the GOP’s failure to take back the majority in the Senate -- or else.

Led by conservative icon Richard Viguerie, who heads the Web site ConservativeHQ.com, a group of three dozen high-profile DeMint backers, say they will respond to the senator’s detractors “in word and deed.”

“Conservatives will not only challenge and beat more Republican senators in Republican primaries, but conservatives will stop funding and volunteering for the NRSC and the RNC,” Viguerie wrote in a letter addressed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. “Instead, conservatives will send their money to, and volunteer for, Senator DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund and the candidates Senator DeMint supports.”

And Viguerie and his counterparts didn’t stop there:

“It would be our goal for the Senate Conservatives Fund to raise more money than the NRSC,” the letter continues. “Conservatives will also work to defeat in Republican primaries those Republicans who retain consultants who criticize or try to undermine Senator DeMint.”

...

In his letter Viguerie warned that “such false and unfair attacks aid and abet President Obama, the Democratic Party and the liberal media,” adding: “We consider such attacks on Senator Jim DeMint an attack on us and all conservatives.”

As of Friday the letter was co-signed by 36 leaders and the writers are seeking to double that number by Monday.

The Republicans made huge gains in the election just over a week ago ... and they are already at each others throats.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sadly, Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped her leadership bid.
  • But Richard Viguerie is not giving up.
  • Speaking of Bachmann, why am I not surprised to see that she thinks David Barton would be a great teacher for his classes on the Constitution?
  • Minnesota Family Council intends to push for a vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage.
  • The Religious Right expects big things from the new GOP Congress when it comes to abortion.
  • Shockingly, when Peter LaBarbera offered half-price admission to married couples, he didn't intend it to apply to married gay couples.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council's latest prayer update: "Lord, thank You for Your grace, so evident in these elections. We dedicate our newly elected leaders to You. Help them to draw near and draw strength from You as never before. Grant them spiritual discernment in an environment of intense daily spiritual warfare. Protect them and their families. Enable them to withstand every evil. May God's people, in pulpit and pew, intercede for them often, pulling down spiritual strongholds that will enable them to enact public policy that is righteous and just. Guide them by the light of Your Word and grant them success!"

FRC Blasts Cao, Warns Other Republicans Not To Support Gays

Last week we noted that, after having endorsed Joseph Cao in 2008, the Family Research Council turned around and ran ads against him this year because he was insufficiently anti-gay.

Today, Cao told Warren Throckmorton that he thought FRC's actions were "inexcusable," and FRC responded with a statement blasting Cao and warning every other Republican that they would face similar campaigns if they don't support FRC's anti-gay agenda: 

First, FRC Action is not a Republican organization. We are a conservative Christian organization that advocates for the family based upon biblical values and truths. Many of the problems we face today in America are the result of Republican leadership.

When Cao first ran in 2008, he sought my support and promised to be a conservative, morally based vote for the family. I endorsed him in that race and because of the unique situation with Jefferson under indictment and no other viable Democrat in the race, Cao won. In the last two years he has amassed one of the worst voting records of any Republican in Congress on our issues. By the way, the homosexual community masquerading as Republicans in New Orleans decried our ad against Cao because he was pro-life. Cao was at best a pro-life vote, under pressure.

Cao was the lone Republican who voted for the government takeover of healthcare when it first passed the House. A lot of time and energy was spent on getting him to vote against the measure when it came back to the House from the Senate with taxpayer funding of abortion included. It he was truly pro-life, he would have been leading the charge against President Obama’s plan; instead he was meeting with him in the White House. Secondly, we are not a single issue organization that only focuses on the life issue. We look at where Members stand on life, marriage, family and religious liberty. Cao’s score on FRC Action’s vote scorecard was 62, lowest of the Louisiana House delegation. His score was lower than Charlie Melancon, the one Louisiana Democrat in the House.

Cao repeatedly voted for key provisions of the homosexual agenda including: Hate Crimes, the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” even though military leaders said don’t do it. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when he recently helped the Log Cabin Republicans (homosexual Republicans) raise money for their political operation. It was the Log Cabin Republicans that recently filed a lawsuit against the military in an attempt to force them to allow open homosexuality in the military, which military leaders have said could potentially undermine their ability to accomplish their mission. The Log Cabin Republicans succeeded at the district court level and for one day the military was forced to change their policy and even had to recruit homosexuals. That case is currently on appeal.

I also wanted to send a very clear message to Republicans across the country; if you take a stand against the family, we will take a stand against you. These squishy Republicans need to know that we will come after them, just like the Democrats.

Of course, Cao wasn't alone in attending the Log Cabin fundraiser - he was joined by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Sen.John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rep, Pete Sessions (R-TX).

I guess these GOP members of Congress should all expect FRC to run ads against them as well? 

FRC Seeking a Million Prayers For Sen. DeMint

The Family Research Council has sent out an email seeking one million people who are willing to pray for Sen. Jim DeMint in his battle against the Republican establishment:

Recently Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a well-rounded conservative stalwart in the U.S. Senate, has come under attack from both left wing groups and establishment Republicans because he has refused to waver in his defense of the family. When liberals gang up on a principled leader, doing what is right can seem like a lonely effort. That's why we're gathering together one million Americans to pray on a regular basis for Sen. DeMint.

The senator has expressed his appreciation for those who would pray for him, and has agreed to keep those who pledge to pray updated with specific prayer requests as he works with the new Congress on issues critical to faith, family, and freedom.

Sen. DeMint need not feel alone in his convictions -- will you stand with me and Americans across the nation as we pray for Sen. Jim DeMint?

From FRC's press release:

"To those of us who know and admire Sen. Jim DeMint, these recent attacks on his character have been difficult to stomach. In the aftermath of last Tuesday's election, Sen. DeMint has been unfairly blamed for the Republicans' shortcomings in the Senate. Perhaps more than any other GOP member, Sen. DeMint is responsible for giving Americans hope that what's wrong in Washington can be fixed if we simply return to our nation's founding principles and work within - not around - the Constitution.

"When the Establishment failed to energize the base with its moderate platform, Sen. DeMint became a crusader for principled conservatism that reached beyond the GOP. When people gang up on a principled leader, doing what is right can seem like a lonely effort. That's why FRC is gathering together one million Americans to pray on a regular basis for Sen. DeMint.

"We want the men and women from both parties to know that an attack on Sen. DeMint is an attack on all conservatives and people of faith. In my conversations, Sen. DeMint has expressed his appreciation for those who would pray for him and has agreed to keep those who pledge to pray updated with specific prayer requests as he works with the new Congress on issues critical to our families. To join us in lifting up Sen. DeMint and other leaders of conviction, go to www.frc.org/pray."

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801 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 www.frc.org President: Tony Perkins Date of founding: 1983 Membership: 455,000 members. Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)   MORE >

Family Research Council Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 01/25/2013, 4:35pm
Fox News Sunday announced today that it will host Family Research Council vice president and anti-Muslim activist Jerry Boykin on this weekend’s program. The last time Boykin appeared on Fox News, Megyn Kelly confronted him about his extremism, asking him about his statement that the U.S. should ban mosques. Boykin, now the vice president of the Family Research Council, tried to backtrack on the statement he made on Bryan Fischer’s radio show that there should be “no mosques in America” by arguing that he only was referring to the “Ground Zero mosque,” even... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/24/2013, 2:30pm
While the Religious Right reacted with apoplectic rage following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the lifting of the ban on women in combat has brought dejected but relatively subdued responses from conservatives. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who in December spoke out in favor of the ban by lying about the Israeli military’s policy on women in combat, tweeted that the decision was part of Obama’s plan to “feminize and weaken the U.S. military.” Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness said that “lives could be... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/17/2013, 4:15pm
The right-wing group Gun Owners of America has for the past few years been pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that the health care reform law will be used to collect information on gun owners, information that will later be used as part of a gun-confiscation scheme. Speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) echoed that theory, claiming that President Obama’s new executive actions have “language in there talking about doctors being required to report on patients and ask patients if they own guns or not.” He warned that... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 01/17/2013, 3:14pm
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins welcomed former presidential contender Rick Santorum to his “Washington Watch” radio program on Tuesday, where the two discussed the moral decline of the nation. Santorum blamed colleges and universities for “indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity,” leading to the “symptoms” of abortion, marriage and pornography: Santorum: The cultural indicators that I talked about earlier that are sort of going the wrong way, we're, you know, in ever-increasing numbers, less... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/15/2013, 3:17pm
At the end of last year, MorningStar Ministires hosted a New Year's Conference featuring presentations from Rick Joyner, Kamal Saleem, Jerry Boykin, and others.  Clips from that conference have now begun showing up on the MorningStar TV website like this one featuring Boykin explaining that the massacre at Sandy Hook was not at all surprising because "when you remove God, it is always replaced with evil" and placing the blame on video games and pornography, which he claims inevitably leads people to bestiality and pedophilia: MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/10/2013, 6:34pm
The Family Research Council says Pastor Louie Guglio's decision to withdraw from President Obama's inauguration is "another example of intolerance from the Obama administration toward those who hold to biblical views on sexuality" while Al Mohler calls it "moral McCarthyism." TVC's Andrea Lafferty says Chuck Hagel was right to oppose James Hormel's nomination back in 1998 because she "went to the Hormel library in San Francisco and spent three days there bringing forth all of this filth and disgusting stuff that was in this man's library.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/10/2013, 1:10pm
Sometimes you really have to wonder whether anyone on the Religious Right has ever used YouTube before. Last month, conservative news outlets including Fox News and groups like Concerned Women for America jumped on a LifeNews post which alleged that Planned Parenthood was promoting ways to cover-up domestic abuse. They were upset that back in August, a Planned Parenthood-affiliated Facebook page posted a video by a British anti-domestic violence group entitled “How to look your best the morning after”: Even the author of the original LifeNews article admits that the video, made... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/08/2013, 12:00pm
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins today is using his radio bulletin to slam the Marine Corps for teaching meditative practices to Marines, designed by a former Army captain, that intend “to bolster their emotional health and improve their mental performance under the stress and strain of war.” He criticized the techniques like breathing exercises and Yoga that are used to reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and improve attentiveness as “goofy” and “New Age.” Perkins quoted Staff Sgt. Nathan Hampton in the Washington Times questioning the... MORE >