Family Research Council

FRC Prays Against Muslims, Lame Duck Congress, and Liberal Marches

The Family Research Council has released its latest group of prayer targets, including once again the Muslim prayer rally scheduled for next month on the National Mall:

May Americans learn to defeat Muslim political religion while loving people caught in its web. May believers worldwide find favor to win Muslims to Christ.

In addition, FRC is urging prayers to win the election and shut down any lame-duck session of Congress:

Pray for the election of God-fearing public servants, but also that Congressional liberals utterly fail to enact their agenda in the lame duck session.

And finally, they are praying against the "One Nation Working Together" march:

May God enable Americans to discern the motives, attitudes and plans of these groups. May their disingenuous efforts to rally voters backfire as Americans reject what they see for what it is.

Obama Speaks About His Faith, Gets Accued of Being An Ignorant, Lying "Limousine Marxist Hypocrite"

You have to wonder why President Obama even bothers to talk about his Christian faith because nothing he says will ever be good enough for the "real" Christians in the Religious Right.

Earlier this week, Obama was asked about his faith and responded:

"I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead," Obama said. "Being my brothers' and sisters' keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings."

But of course, that just opens him up to attacks from the likes of Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

The man we know as President may be a Christian by choice--but he's far better known as the leader of a movement about "choice." And while his salvation may be deeply private, his agenda to advance abortion has been anything but. He told the crowd in New Mexico that his "public service" is an "effort to express his Christian faith." If so, then he has a vastly different understanding of biblical truth than I do. Funneling billions of American dollars to the killers of innocent unborn life--life created by God and in His image--is not an "expression" of the Christian faith, or most other faiths for that matter. It's a horrifying government-funded massacre.

And Bryan Fischer, who attacked him for being totally ignorant:

According to Obama, his understanding of the story of Cain and Abel is 180 degrees out from reality, and his understanding of the Golden Rule is that he gets to be as mean to others as he thinks they are to him ... the phrase “brother’s keeper” was not found on the lips of Jesus but on the lips of a murderer who was trying to dodge a felony charge from God himself. In other words, the phrase “brother’s keeper” meant the exact opposite of what the president thinks it means.

Then The One compounded his theological error by turning the Golden Rule on its head, and verbalizing a version that gives him permission to be as malicious and cruel as he perceives his political opponents to be, which could explain a lot.

...

Obama also exposed his anti-Christian mindset when he said, regarding other people, that it was his task “to help them find their own grace.” This “all roads lead to heaven” nonsense is about as far from the “precepts of Jesus Christ” as you can get. For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”

Of course, the president has the right to hold and promote a view of salvation that is different than the view of Christ. What he is not entitled to do is to call himself a Christian while doing it.

And finally from Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, who used it as an excuse to attack Obama as a "typical, limousine Marxist hypocrite":

What Obama really means by being his "brother's keeper" is what he always means: the theft and redistribution of your money through the coercive powers of the government. You'll have a very difficult time justifying that on biblical grounds. Even Marx admitted that the Bible did not teach collectivism. But, Obama either doesn't care or seem bound by the need to be consistent.

If you read other accounts of Obama's conversion it sounds very much like he choose to be a Christian because, with a selective reading of a few biblical texts, he could justify to his Marxist / Socialist / Jeremiah Wright / Black Liberation political ideology. Obama has created Christ in his own image with a communist beret. No wonder he finds Christ appealing.

But, Obama is a typical, limousine Marxist hypocrite. Although he makes millions of dollars every year, his concern for his real biological family is completely lacking. Otherwise, his aunt would not have been living on government assistance in government subsidized housing.

Why The Religious Right Never Talks About Divorce

Via Al Mohler we get this fascinating study by Mark A. Smith of the University of Washington in "Political Science Quarterly" entitled "Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America" [PDF].

In it, Smith examines why Religious Right groups who spend all of their time talking about family values and the sanctity of marriage seem to give only lip-service, at best, to fighting divorce, despite the fact that it is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. The Right may mentione it, generally when bemoaning the deteriorating culture, but they invest little to no effort in actually trying to change the laws to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

Smith notes that neither Jerry Falwell with his Moral Majority nor Pat Robertson with his Christian Coalition paid much attention to the issue; a trend which continues today with the Family Research Council: 

The FRC regularly sends email alerts to its members and supporters in an attempt to inform, persuade, and reinforce their attitudes and beliefs about matters of interest to the group. In 2006 and 2007, the FRC dispatched hundreds of these, most of which contained three paragraph-length items. Surprisingly for an organization that structures its activities around marriage and the family, only 8 of the 1,366 items centered on divorce. In the context of its total volume of communication with members and supporters, the FRC rarely broached the topic of divorce. The organization has stated that “we will not relent in our insistence to reform divorce laws,” but that abstract support has
not been matched by a sustained commitment to spending time or resources on the issue.

Perhaps the FRCʼs emails do not accurately reflect its priorities, meaning that analyzing a different facet of the groupʼs activities would yield a different answer. Accordingly, it will be useful to examine the messages the FRC expresses when it broadcasts its views through the mass media. As part of a larger strategy to influence both the mass public and political leaders, the FRCʼs staff regularly write editorials and attempt to publish them in leading news outlets. During 2006 and 2007, the staff succeeded in placing editorials on topics falling within the organizationʼs mission, including abstinence programs in schools, gay rights and hate crimes, abortion laws in the states, and judicial activism regarding online pornography. Yet FRC staff also published editorials that criticized wasteful government spending, warned against universal health care, and challenged the science behind global warming. Certainly no one could deny that government spending, health care, and global warming are important subjects for American citizens and political leaders to consider. For an organization whose self-definition holds that it “champions marriage and the family,” however,
these issues are considerably removed from its core mission.

The FRC has stated that constraints of budget, time, and staff prevent it from engaging questions surrounding same-sex marriage and heterosexual divorce at the same time, but it managed to allocate its scarce resources to addressing many other issues of current interest. Even if one could justify on practical or biblical grounds prioritizing gay marriage over divorce, such a view could hardly justify pushing divorce all the way to the bottom of the pecking order, below issues with only a tenuous connection to marriage and the family. Of course, a comprehensive search of all of the FRCʼs communications with members, the media, and government officials from 1983 to the present would probably uncover sporadic advocacy for changing public policy regarding divorce. Such a finding would not undermine the conclusion drawn here, namely that the subject occupies a low spot on the groupʼs priority list. Indeed, in the statement from its Web site quoted above, the FRC conceded that it spends little time on divorce.

Smith notes that FRC's lack of focus on divorce is especially odd given that FRC President Tony Perkins authored the nationʼs first covenant marriage bill back when he was a state legislator in Louisiana. 

But Smith also notes that there is very little chance that FRC or any other Religious Right group is going to "move beyond just saying that they endorse divorce reform and actually turn that abstract support into concrete action" because Americans so widely accept divorce to such an extent that even a significant portion of the Religious Right's base would oppose such efforts:

Needless to say, it is not a winning strategy for mobilization to tell your potential constituents that they have committed immoral acts that you are attempting to restrict through governmental regulations. Without an organized and vocal constituency making positions on divorce a litmus test for political support, it is difficult to imagine how the issue could join the ongoing culture war.

Brownback Admits to Having Concerns Over Some of Lou Engle's Views

As we noted several times in the past, Sen. Sam Brownback lived with Lou Engle for several months after his condo burned down, during which time Engle prophesized that Brownback would become President:

As I was mobilizing for Boston I said to kids in California ‘we need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston’. Amazingly a week later, I received a phone call from the US Senator from Kansas, Senator Sam Brownback, he’s a godly man. He calls me up, he says ‘Lou, I’m in England, you need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston’. Almost word for word. A Senator was prophesizing me, glory to God.

In fact, it was prophesized to me that I would be connected with a man named Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas. But I forgot about the prophecy, so when I rented a condo in DC to mobilize for The Call, a week later I received a phone call from the owner of the condo and he said ‘there’s a man named Senator Sam Brownback. His condo just burnt down, he wants to know if he could stay in your condo’. I became the room mate of Senator Brownback for 7 months. We began to get dreams that he would be the president of the United States and right now, who knows? We are praying.

You can see the video here which, a few months ago, became an issue in Kansas where Brownback is now running for Governor.

And now, as Sam Stein reports, Brownback has been asked about it and admits that some of Engle's views are rather worrisome: 

Voter: Hi Senator, thanks so much for coming out. It's great to meet you. Clarissa Unger.

Brownback: What's your name again?

Voter: Clarissa Unger. It's so nice to meet you. I just have to say that there's one thing that really concerns me about this race, and it's that a minister, Joe Engle has...

Brownback: Lou.

Voter: Lou Engle. Yes, I'm sorry. He claims that you have lived with him. And I was just curious, is that true? Did you live with him while you were in the Senate?

Brownback: Lou and I were...we...Lou and I were...we were...That's when I got burned out of an apartment, I was trying to think of the year...and then I subleased a place for a period of time. [Inaudible]...but yes.

Voter: You did?

Brownback: Yeah.

Voter: Some of his positions really concern me.

Brownback: Yeah, I know, they do me too.

Voter: The views on [inaudible]. Great, well thank you so much again for coming.

Brownback: You bet, thank you.

Maybe someone should follow up with Brownback and ask him which of Engle's views concern him the most:  his Dominionism? or his view that homosexuality should be criminalized? or his fear that President Obama is unleashing demons upon this nation? or that universities are conditioning students to accept the Mark of the Beast? or that Satan has gained control over the US government?

Of course, these concerns didn't prevent him from joining Engle at the Family Research Council's anti-healthcare "Prayercast" last year.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Freedom Federation has released a variety of voting guides and scorecards targeting specific Congressional races.
  • The Family Research Council has also released its scorecard for the current Congress [PDF].
  • Does anybody else get the impression that this post was prompted primarily by the fact that Christine O'Donnell turned down an interview request from CBN's David Brody?
  • Four Christian missionaries who were accused of inciting a crowd while videotaping themselves proselytizing to Muslims at the Dearborn Arab International Festival in June were acquitted on Friday.
  • I did not know that Dr. Wynne LeGrow, the Democrat who is challenging Rep. Randy Forbes, is an avowed atheist.
  • Harry Jackson defends Bishop Eddie Long and says that media coverage of the issue is an "attempt to cast aspersions on the black church as an institution."
  • Finally, GOProud laughably hails Ann Coulter's appearance at Homocon 2010 as "a complete and total success."

Is Biblical Economics Becoming Part of the Religious Right Agenda?

For months now, Jim Garlow has been telling anyone who will listen that they need to read the book "Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem" by Jay W. Richards because it perfectly explains how economic issues should be handled from a biblical perspective.  He even dedicated a segment during the first Pray and Act webcast to promoting the book and its ideas:

If we have 535 people in Washington, DC - House and Senate - who are voting through laws that cause grandchildren and great-grandchildren of yours yet unborn to be saddled with a debt they cannot handle, that is called thievery.

There's a law against stealing: Thou shalt not steal. We have no right to steal from future generations. So the whole economic issue is a biblical issue.

Debt like we have in America is immoral. It is wrong. There should be a screaming up. This could cause a suffocation and a complete destruction of all we hold dear. The taxation is becoming oppressive.

The reason that we have these kind of bad laws passing in our Congress is very simple: what percentage of the people making the laws are attending a church where the Bible is being taught? Let me go further though: if it's a small percentage that are there, let's just pick an arbitrary number - 10%, 15%, 20% - are attending a church where the Bible is being taught, let me ask you a question, how many of them are going to a church where biblical economics is being taught so the person who goes to make the laws has the moral foundation, the biblical background, to be able to vote through the right kind of laws? We have been silent and I believe the spirit of God is stirring something at a deep level.

Garlow brought it up again the second Pray and ACT webcast and preached a sermon on it at his church last weekend:

I preached then, and in four Sunday services, on a topic about which I had never taught: the biblical economic principles related to the current crushing national debt and the oppressive taxation. The Bible has much to say about civil governance (and how peace and tranquilly can be experienced in our communities) and has much more to say about the underpinnings to our national economic situations than I had previously anticipated. If you have the time or interest, you can hear it at http://www.skylinechurch.org/skyline/?page_id=26. And, as I have stated before, I commend Jay Richard’s exceptional book, Money, Greed and God to everyone.

To date, Garlow had pretty much been all alone in recommending the book and its teachings, but that looks like that is about to change as the Family Research Council has announced that they will be hosting an event featuring Richards and his book in December:

Jay Richards is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and a Contributing Editor of The American at the American Enterprise Institute. In recent years he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and a Research Fellow and Director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute.

He has written many academic articles, books, and popular essays on a wide variety of subjects. His most recent book is Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.

I had resisted reading this because for a long time it seemed that only Garlow was recommending it, but now that it looks like it might be becoming a playbook for the movement, I guess I'll have to actually take a look at it.

Pawlenty Joins FRC's Watchmen to Fight Pawns of Satan

Lately I have started regularly posting the regular updates sent out by the Family Research Council's "Prayer Team" because they provide insights into what the Religious Right's priorities are at any given moment.  And this "Prayer Team" is actually part of a series of ways that FRC targets pastors for political involvement, even going so far as to provide sample sermons for them to use on Sundays.

But the main way FRC seeks to mobilize pastors is through its Watchmen on the Wall events where they learn to be just like John the Baptist and Martin Luther King, Jr. as they work to save our nation because "the problems we face are not just political in nature, they are spiritual in nature. Consequently, these problems ultimately require a spiritual solution administered by spiritual leadership."

In addition to the main Watchmen conference held in Washington, DC every year, FRC also holds smaller conferences around the country ... like the one on Monday that will be held in Minnesota featuring Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

Please encourage your pastor to join Tony Perkins, Governor Tim Pawlenty, and other pastors from across Minnesota next Monday, September 27th for Watchmen on the Wall 2010, a regional event sponsored by Family Research Council and Minnesota Family Institute. The year 2010 could be a turning point in the life of our nation, and we need pastors to lead in defending human life, traditional marriage, and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Among the other speakers will be Dr. Kenyn Cureton, FRC's Vice President for Church Ministries, who, as Rob Boston of Americans United recently reported, spoke during a breakout session at last week's Values Voter Summit where he declared that those who do not support FRC's agenda are pawns of Satan:

Are you an agent of Satan?

Kenyn Cureton is worried that you might be. Cureton is vice president for church ministries for the Family Research Council. During the FRC’s recent “Values Voter Summit,” he warned attendees at a breakout session on churches and politics to be ready for some intense action.

“The battle that we’re fighting,” he said, “is not just a political and cultural battle, it’s a spiritual battle.”

And when a battle is spiritual, you can be sure that some people are serving the wrong side.

“When you think about it, you know, the real enemy is not the poor, deluded souls who are advancing these evil agendas,” Cureton said. “Really, they’re just simply pawns in the hands of their malevolent master. They’re simply doing the bidding of the devil, OK?”

FRC's Prayer Targets: Muslims Rallying On The Mall

The Family Research Council has released its latest list of prayer targets, and among them is one that seeks a modern day Esther to save Christians from destruction:

May God help millions to unite in fasting, and, as He delivered the Jews in Esther's day from plans to destroy them, may He grant us leaders who will reverse plans now in place to rob Americans of their religious and economic freedom.

Interestingly, the list also targeting a planned Muslim prayer rally on the National Mall:

Muslims on Capitol Hill -- The imam who organized a prayer rally on the National Mall last year hopes to bring 100,000 Muslims to Washington October 15th for what may become an annual "Jummah Prayer on Capitol Hill." Last year the group fell far short of its goal to rally 50,000 Muslims. Indeed, estimates are that from one to five thousand attendees, included Christians, were there. Christian lay evangelists and prayer warriors use the opportunity to reach Muslims.

* May Christians use this opportunity to share the gospel with Muslims! May efforts to advance Shari'ah law be met with overwhelming biblical truth, Christian love and firm political rejection.

You may recall that when organizers held this event last year, FRC, Lou Engle and others lost their minds and quickly mobilized to organize counter-events which culminated with the formation of a group called The Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for Transparency and Honesty in Religion which demanded that organizers of Muslim prayer rally denounce acts of terrorism:

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

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

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

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

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

• The 2002 Bali bombings (202 dead)

• The 2007 plot to murder soldiers at Ft. Dix

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

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

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

And all of this took place in a right-wing environment that wasn't nearly as swept up in anti-Muslim hysteria as today, so I can't even begin to imagine what sorts of insane reactions we are going to see from the Right when they learn that 100,000 Muslims may be gathering on the National Mall.

AFA: Sen. Cornyn Promoting "Men Having Sex With Men" By Attending LCR Fundraiser

Earlier this week we noted how Sen. John Cornyn was coming under attack from the Family Research Council, which was upset that he will be attending a fund-raising event from the Log Cabin Republicans where he will also be receiving an award.

It looks like the outrage among the Religious Right is spreading, as Cornyn is now getting hammered by the American Family Association as well:

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said Cornyn’s decision was inexplicable, given the fact that the senator has supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and traditional marriage in the past--and that the Log Cabin Republicans are far from mainstream.

“I don’t buy it, I don’t understand it and I think he’s making a big mistake,” he told CNSNews.com.

“Would he (Cornyn) go speak to a group that was for a 90 percent federal income tax and say, ‘You know, we need to respect their opinions, and I need to speak to them?’” Wildmon asked.

“If it were a fiscal issue in which they were way out of line with the base of the Republican Party, I really don’t think Sen. Cornyn would go speak to that group,” Wildmon said ... “You’re talking about men having sex with men--that’s what you’re promoting when you go there,” Wildmon said. “These people are for same-sex marriage. They're fundamentally opposed to the core of the Republican Party on that one."

Wildmon also said Cornyn should know that he has angered pro-family conservative Republicans to placate homosexual activists.

“This is an affront to pro-family conservatives who make up a large percentage of the Republican Party to appease – I don’t know who," Wildmon told CNSNews.com.

Of course, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to find that the AFA is upset that Cornyn would meet with a gay group considering that they are one of the most militantly hostile anti-gay groups in existence today and daily give a platform to Bryan Fischer to equate gays with terrorists.

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

Repealing DADT = Denying Spiritual Comfort to Dying Soldiers

I put together this quick video featuring some of the "highlights" from the Family Research Council's anti-DADT repeal press conference, including Harry Jackson warning that "introducing sexual tension and conduct into our barracks" would create a slippery slope toward allowing adultery in the military.  Jackson also claimed that any comparison between discrimination African Americans and gays is "insulting" and a "revision of American history"; a point which was echoed by Aubrey Shines who called any such comparison "asinine." Finally, Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund warned that "the agenda of sexual liberty and anarchy does not mix with religious freedom" and asked where you would be willing to deny those serving in the military the "spiritual counsel of their chaplain and of their God as they are looking at death":

Perkins, Jackson, Engle Team Up to Oppose DADT Repeal

In about one hour, Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Lou Engle and others are joining forces for a webcast opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Family Research Council President and Marine veteran Tony Perkins will join Bishop Harry Jackson, Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks and African American pastors from five states at a news conference Monday at 2 p.m. ET in Washington, D.C. The speakers will address religious liberty concerns on the eve of the U.S. Senate vote to overturn the law against the practice of open homosexual behavior in the military.

WHO: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition

Pastor Aubrey Shines, Tampa, FL

Pastor Christopher Brooks, Detroit, MI

Bishop Leon Benjamin, Richmond, VA

Reverend Dean Nelson, Washington, DC

Reverend Lou Engle, President, The Call

Austin Nimocks, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

WHERE: Watch Online: www.frc.org

Or in-person: FRC Media Center, 801 G. Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

WHEN: Monday, September 20, 2010, 2 PM ET

Heritage Foundation on Money and Morals

The Heritage Foundation, one of the co-sponsors of the Values Voter Summit, held a breakout conversation to push one of the conference’s central themes: the indivisibility of social and economic conservativism. The overall political goal was aptly summed up by the Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall, who spoke of the need to call attention to the “moral bankruptcy” of the war on poverty and the welfare state.

Heritage has been promoting for some time now “Indivisible,” a small book of essays with a gimmick: Heritage asked people known for being social conservatives to write on an economic theme, and vice versa. Anti-gay crusader Harry Jackson, for example, contributed a chapter on the evils of the minimum wage, which he says is a form of coercion of employers that “reminds me of slavery.”
 
One of the speakers on the Heritage panel was Stephen Moore, founder of the radically anti-tax Club for Growth and now the senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal’s notoriously right-wing editorial board. Moore said the growing national debt erodes the nation’s moral fabric, and he called for an end to the progressive income tax and the estate tax (described as a “death tax,” which he called “obscene.”) Moore also called global warming “the biggest myth of the last one hundred years,” suggesting that the bumper crop of reality- and science-denying congressional candidates may have friendly WSJ editorials to fall back on when challenged on their climate change denialism.
 
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now at the Family Research Council, warned that federal spending in the U.S. is approaching levels of western Europe, and warned that anytime government has gotten big “it has accelerated the collapse of the most basic economic unit in our country and in western civilization – the family.”
 
The workshop came to an awkward end when an audience member who said he has complications from diabetes and tens of thousands of dollars in chronic medical expenses wondered what the panel would offer people like him once they abolish “Obamacare,” and the panelists had nothing much to offer beyond standard right-wing talking points about medical malpractice, medical savings accounts, and marketplace competition. He didn’t seem convinced that they understood or cared about his problem.

BS on DADT

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, a former Marine, hosted an offensive Values Voter summit panel on the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which featured Sgt. Brian Fleming, a young veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan and retired Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis. Maginnis recycled bogus charges that if the ban on gays serving in the military is lifted, chaplains would be required to conduct gay weddings, and therefore Bible-believing churches would no longer send chaplains to the military.

Fleming claimed to speak for 99 percent of those in the military who he said would oppose repeal (not a reality-based claim). He said that it’s important for soldiers to develop a sense of unity, but suggested that wouldn’t be possible with openly gay soldiers because you couldn’t trust their motives when they said they wanted to be your friend.
 
Perkins contributed his own offensive and ridiculous commentary in trying to dismiss the experience of allied armed forces that allow gays to serve. Those armies, said Perkins, “participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free.” Um, Britain? Israel? Aren’t these the same right-wing leaders who have been slamming Obama for what they say is his disrespectful attitude toward our allies? 

VVS Double Whammy: Smearing Gay Soldiers and US Allies

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis warned Americans that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will make the military weaker, understaffed and morally corrupt. They went on to say that military forces which allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly no longer participate in wars, only parades. However, Great Britain and Australia, two countries that have contributed significant numbers of soldiers to the war in Iraq and are close allies of the US, both allow gays to serve openly. Israel's military also permits gay and lesbian troops in its ranks, as do NATO countries including Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, all of which have forces in Afghanistan. Because at the Values Voter Summit, maligning the military forces of key American allies like Israel, Great Britain, and Australia is acceptable as long as it serves the greater goal of denigrating gays and lesbians.

Maginnis: That's why countries like the ten largest militaries in the world, that have the ten largest militaries in the world say 'no, this isn't the thing to do.' They spin this as if Great Britain and we ought to copy them and the Dutch. Well the fact is that 80 percent of the militaries in the world don't embrace this particular view. 

Perkins: Well, those that do, they're the ones that participate in parades, they don't fight wars to keep the nation and the world free. So there's a big difference.

If you thought Christine O’Donnell was bad…

Meet the GOP’s extreme nominee for Delaware's open seat in the House, Glen Urquhart.  Since Mike Castle vacated the seat in order to (unsuccessfully) run for Senate, the Republicans nominated Urquhart in a tight primary election. A wealthy real estate investor who self-financed his campaign, Urquhart campaigned as a social conservative with the backing of the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Conservative Fund, along with Tea Party groups such as the 9/12 Delaware Patriots.  Here is Urquhart’s opinion regarding the separation of Church and State, where he misattributes Thomas Jefferson’s quote that the US Constitution creates a “wall of separation between Church & State” to… Adolph Hitler: 

Do you know, where does this phrase separation of Church and State come from? Does anybody know? ... Actually, that's exactly, it was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. He was reassuring that the federal government wouldn't trample on their religion. The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from.  Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

  

O'Donnell To Speak At Values Voter Summit, Will She Denounce Fischer's Bigotry?

Prepare the hero's welcome, because Christine O'Donnell is coming to the Values Voter Summit:

FRC Action PAC-endorsed candidate Christine O'Donnell is confirmed to speak Friday afternoon, September 17 at FRC Action's fifth annual Values Voter Summit. This will be the Delaware Republican Senate nominee's first address to a national gathering of conservative activists since defeating Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) on Tuesday.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Mitt Romney, Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), David Limbaugh, Dr. Bill Bennett, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Phyllis Schalfly are among the confirmed speakers attending the Summit from September 17-18 at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C.

Family Research Council Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"We are pleased to announce that Christine O'Donnell will join us to speak at the Values Voter Summit. We applaud her for valiantly defending faith, family and freedom throughout this campaign.

"Christine O'Donnell has spoken out on behalf of the average person in her state who has been burdened by excessive tax and regulatory policies. She has tapped into the deep-seated mistrust that voters have toward big government. As in so many other states, the citizens are angered at the slow and steady loss of individual freedoms due to the massive overreach of government," concluded Perkins.

As such, we can now add O'Donnell to our list of conservative leaders - along with like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann - who are willing to share a stage with an anti-gay, anti-Muslim bigot like Byran Fischer and have no qualms about attending an event being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, the group that has given Fischer a national platform:

I've never called gay people terrorists although I've said that what they have done is like domestic terrorism. You've got these Mujaheddin on the battlefield setting out these syringes with the HIV virus in it as a way to carry out terrorism.

This is exactly what happens when two males have sex with one another. If one of them is HIV Positive, then it's just like injecting his partner with a needle with HIV.

That's domestic terrorism. I don't know what else you'd call it.

Right Wing Round-Up

FRC Begs Sen. Cornyn Not To Attend Log Cabin Fundraiser

Peter LaBarbera makes no secret of his views that gays have no place in the conservative movement and the Republican Party and has long waged a campaign against the Log Cabin Republicans and any GOP leader who might even consider meeting with the group - a campaign which continues to this day, as he's currently mad at Sen. John Cornyn for agreeing to attend a fundraiser for the group.

But LaBarbera is not alone, as Ben Smith reports that Tony Perkins has written his own letter [PDF] to Cornyn espressing his "profound disappointment" and asking him to withdraw from the event:

I do, however, want to express my profound disappointment in the fact that you are assisting the very organization that sought this decision from Judge Phillips. You are participating in a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republican (LCR) organization, the lead group in the law suit (Log Cabin Republicans vs. the United States of America).

How can a group that professes allegiance to the GOP at the same time be committed to using judicial activism to advance its radical social policies even at the risk of undermining the U.S. military and, as a result, national security?

...

In light of all this activity against both Republicans and conservatives, it is deeply troubling to me that you would lend your credibility to this organization. Your work in the U.S. Senate on issues important to the family is well known, as is your close association with Family Research Council and the work we do, which makes the association all the more distressing.

In deference to the work you have done against the debasement of our culture, I would ask respectfully that you withdraw from attending the event. Additionally, I would also like to arrange a meeting so we can both discuss this matter and will have my staff contact yours to do so.

As we've noted before, the Religious Right is losing its fight against gay equality ... and nothing better exemplifies this than the fact that a leading conservative group like FRC has to more or less beg a leading conservative Senator like Cornyn not to "lend your credibility" to a gay conservative group.

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Family Research Council Top Posts

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.... MORE >
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, Tuesday 12/18/2012, 6:05pm
The Family Research Council is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit.  One of America’s largest megachurches has been rocked by a sexual and physical abuse scandal.  The Texas pastor who endorsed Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill now says he never read it. Gary Bauer joins other Religious Right activists in blaming the Sandy Hook shooting on abortion rights, evolution and secular government.  Frank Gaffney says conservatives should oppose Chuck Hagel if he nominated to be Secretary of Defense because he has “pro-Islamist views.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/13/2012, 6:34pm
Good grief, now Glenn Beck is obsessed with the new Hobbit movie and its hidden Christian meaning. FRC wonders what is happening because "it's as if sex were the new constitutional right." Speaking of FRC, Jim DeMint is featured in the organization's latest prayer alert: "Thank God for the Heritage Foundation. May God anoint and use Sen. Jim DeMint mightily in his new post. May the three important segments of the conservative movement strengthen their coalition! May those who labor ceaselessly to divide conservatives, completely fail in their efforts! May God... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/11/2012, 6:32pm
  FRC is now bravely boycotting UPS.  That'll show 'em! Eastern Michigan University has settled a lawsuit filed by a former student who was dismissed from the school's counseling program for refusing to provide counseling to gay clients. Twitchy might literally be the most pathetic website we've ever seen. Does anyone at MRC ever do any basic research before spouting off? Jennifer Roback Morse says there is no "war on women" ... but there is a "war on women's fertility." Finally, Roger Schlafly explains why... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/06/2012, 6:33pm
Sen. Jim DeMint is resigning from the Senate to become the next president of the Heritage Foundation and FRC's Tony Perkins is thrilled: "We are proud to partner with Heritage on numerous projects, including our annual Values Voter Summit and our recently completed national bus tour. With a good friend like Jim DeMint joining this great organization, I look forward to that partnership deepening even further." Speaking of the Values Voter Summit, regular VVS speaker Stephen Baldwin has been charged with tax evasion. We'll see how the Religious Right feels about ... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/04/2012, 2:55pm
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities failed to capture the 2/3 vote needed for ratification in the U.S. Senate today due to fierce Republican opposition. Many Republicans and their allies in the conservative movement claimed that the treaty codifies abortion into law, even though that preposterous claim was rejected by the National Right to Life Committee and Sen. John McCain. Along with the false charges about abortion, opponents of the treaty claimed it will undermine U.S. sovereignty and harm children. Critics like Rick Santorum warned that the treaty may kill his... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/03/2012, 12:15pm
After President Obama’s huge victory over Mitt Romney, conservatives are already trying to spin the results by insisting that his big win does not mean that Americans favor the agenda he actively campaigned on. For example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that voters actually elected Republicans “to be in charge” and resist tax increases while Weekly Standard columnist Fred Barnes claimed Obama “hardly has a mandate for anything,” like his tax policy, because it was a “status quo election.” Naturally, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) told Tony Perkins last week... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/30/2012, 6:34pm
FRC claims that reports that the organization has defended Uganda's proposed draconian anti-gay legislation is due to the "cozy relationship between the liberal media and unreliable sources like HRC" and is "fostering a culture of hatred and violence--that same culture that led to the attempted mass murder of the entire FRC office." Apparently, you can't be against abortion without also being against gay marriage. It seems that Erick Erickson is wise enough to realize that running for public office might not be a good idea, given his record. Any sort of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 11/30/2012, 12:00pm
After his group said that discredited and dangerous sexual orientation conversion therapy is “designed to bring homosexuals out of bondage and into healthy behavior,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins maintained that such counseling is simply a “compassionate” and “nonjudgmental” way for gays and lesbians to find the “wholeness that has been eluding them in their current lifestyle.” While speaking today with con man and ex-gay group leader Arthur Goldberg, who once again compared his embattled group to Weight Watchers, on Washington... MORE >