Family Research Council

Tea Party Activism and The Religious Right

I have to take issue with Andrew Sullivan's assertion that the Tea Party movement is "Christianist" at its core.

By "Christianist," Sullivan means essentially the Religious Right and the idea that the Religious Right's anti-gay, anti-choice political agenda has played a central in Tea Party activism is ludicrous. 

When the movement began last year, the "TEA" in Tea Party stood for "Taxed Enough Already" and was aimed at the bailouts and stimulus measures put in place in an attempt to stabilize our economy.

At first, the Religious Right more or less watched from the sidelines as the fiscal conservative groups like Freedomworks, National Taxpayers Union, Americans For Tax Reform, and The Club for Growth started to institutionalize the Tea Party effort. 

Eventually, groups like the American Family Association climbed on board, as did leaders like Ralph Reed, but that was done in order to try and capitalize on the Tea Party success and tie their "Christianist" agenda to the already established Tea Party activism.  

The presence of Religious Right fringe figures like Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough at the National Tea Party Convention is more a sign of the power of the Tea Party narrative than it is of Religious Right control or influence over the movement or its agenda.

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the fundamental merging of overall right-wing movement under the banner of the Tea Party than the fact that the Tea Party front-runners at Freedomworks recently partnered with Religious Right powerhouses like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America despite that fact that, just a few years back, Freedomworks' founder Dick Armey was calling the socially conservative wing of the movement a bunch of stupid, lazy demagogues.

At the moment, Tea Party activism is the face of the conservative movement and so it is no surprise that Religious Right groups are climbing aboard the bandwagon in an effort to try and utilize it to press their own agenda.  

The Tea Party movement does not have a Religious Right agenda at its core, but rather as a component ... and that is only because Religious Right groups have set out aligning themselves with the movement in order to co-opt and exploit it.

The Religious Right Will Decide What Is Best For Women in Uniform

I didn't realize that in joining the military, women agreed to give up their right to medical treatments to which the Religious Right objected ... but apparently they do:

Late Thursday, the Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill. The Department of Defense will soon begin having military medical facilities stock the Plan B drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

...

Obama's decision is not going over well with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America.

"The military needs to focus on its prime mission, yet leftists view it as a means to promote their agenda," she told LifeNews.com. "The morning-after pill is highly ineffective in preventing pregnancies and completely useless in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. But it's a political tool for abortion advocates."

Wright worries the decision is the first step to pushing abortions at military hospitals.

"By making this drug required, the next step will making drugs like RU-486, the abortion pill, mandatory," she said. "And doctors or pharmacists who have objections will be purged from the ranks."

"The military needs to focus on discipline and proper behavior - because lives depend on it - not promoting risky behavior," Wright continued.

The Family Research Council is likewise demanding that women in the military be denied access to this option:

"Family Research Council opposes requiring military bases worldwide to carry Levonorgestrel, or 'Plan B,' because the drug can prevent a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus and thereby destroy a human life. We can all agree that there is a huge difference between preventing and destroying human life. And women in uniform deserve to know the truth about their medications.

"In the last year we have witnessed the Obama Administration move from the status quo of abortion as legal and available in health care plans to aggressively promoting U.S. government funded abortions. In the same way, the fact that Plan B is optional for military facilities is not sufficient for the Obama Administration, so now military facilities will be compelled to carry and disseminate Plan B.

"Moreover, a requirement to carry this drug would be a violation of the conscience rights of military personnel who have moral objections to providing it, not to mention the majority of American taxpayers supporting military operations. Taxpayers should not be required to pay for military medical personnel to carry Plan B anywhere in the world ... Forcing military professionals to carry over-the-counter Plan B will make it more difficult to enforce age requirements for a drug not widely tested on young girls.

"Finally, the requirement to carry Plan B on military bases doesn't include a parental notification provision in cases in which a minor obtains Plan B by prescription. This new policy undermines the right of parents to properly care for their daughters' physical well-being. In a society that requires teachers to send students to the nurse for a band-aid, the Administration's approach on something profoundly more important than a paper cut defies common sense."

Peter Sprigg: Run Lisa Run

Does anyone find it entirely predictable that the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, who thinks that gay behavior should be outlawed and carry criminal penalties, supports Lisa Miller's kidnapping of her daughter and disappearance so as to avoid adhering to court ordered custody arrangements? 

Imagine that you are a mother (perhaps you are). You have only one child -- your own flesh and blood, conceived with your egg, borne in your body, pushed out into the world by your own exertions.

She is seven and a half years old, and for the last six years you have been her sole caretaker. Single parenthood is tough, but your parents help, and it seems your daughter is doing well. She is happy and well-adjusted. You have worked hard to support her and transmit your values to her. She goes to church with you every week.

Now, someone wants to take her away from you. Her father? No -- another woman wants to be her mother. This woman lives in a different state hundreds of miles away. Your daughter once knew the woman, but so long ago that she has no memory of her. The woman has no biological relationship to your child. She has no adoptive relationship to your child. But she wants to take your daughter away from you and be her mother now.

No court has ever found you to be an unfit mother. And yet -- unbelievably -- the courts of two states have ordered you to transfer custody of your child to this other woman.

What would you do? Do you simply give your child away?

This is not the plot for a Hollywood thriller. This nightmare scenario is the real-life situation that Lisa Miller found herself in recently.

Apparently, Lisa couldn’t give her daughter away. She chose to run instead.

Of course, there is more to the story. But if reading the description above leaves you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, it should. This is the brave new world of family law, thanks to the gains made by the homosexual movement.

...

Lisa was told to transfer custody of her daughter on New Year’s Day. She never showed up.

Would you?

In Sprigg's world, it's gays who are the criminals while ex-gay Christian women kidnap their daughter and violate court orders are heroes. 

And on a related note, in my post yesterday on Sprigg's "gay behavior should be illegal" comment, I wondered if FRC would make him issue an apology.  Well, apparently they won't be since they are featuring his "Hardball" appearance on their website and touting it in their most recent "Washington Update"

Judging by our busy press room, FRC continues to be the go-to organization on this issue in the media. Apart from a series of print interviews, Peter Sprigg and I took the lead on a few national talk shows yesterday, debating the fallout of homosexuals in the military with experts from the other side. You can watch all three appearances--on CNN, MSNBC's "Hardball," and "Larry King Live"--by visiting our newsroom. 

A Horrifying Picture of Life With Christians In the Workplace

Want to know why we shouldn't repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?  Because all gays are sexual predators who will immediately attack their fellow soldiers - at least that seems to be the message from the Family Research Council which can barely stomach the "horrifying picture of life with homosexual soldiers":

Under this administration, the new policy seems to be ordering the military to disobey the rule of law--the very thing they've been sworn to protect. Richard Black (U.S. Army-Ret.), former chief of the Army's Criminal Law Division, explains why that's an irresponsible and potentially dangerous decision. In today's Washington Times, Black paints a horrifying picture of life with homosexual soldiers that would only worsen once gays and lesbians are empowered to flaunt their sexuality. "...At Fort Sill, Okla., in 1991, two homosexual recruits caught a lone soldier showering at night. They violently sodomized the soldier, forcing him to submit by strangling him with a bath towel. At the time of trial, the victim was hospitalized under psychiatric care... Recruit training is especially problematic. Male recruits had to physically subdue one homosexual drill instructor at an Army base to keep him from raping a male recruit as that recruit struggled to escape out a second-story window... At Marine Corps Base Quantico, a company gunnery sergeant sexually attacked a young officer candidate who had stayed back at the barracks while his platoon was out training." The other side drones on about "political correctness" but says nothing about the safety forfeited to achieve it.

Apparently, a few isolated, decade-old instances is sufficent proof that all gays are a sexual menace. 

And so, using that logic, I hereby demand an end to the practice of allowing Christians to work at Religious Right organizations ... 

A former Focus on the Family radio-ministry employee has been sentenced to five years of intensive probation for attempting to lure an underage teen into having sex with him.

... or universities ....

A judge has granted $25,000 bond to a Liberty University professor accused of a sex crime with a student. Joshua Young Moon is charged with object sexual penetration by force.

... because they are all sexual predators

Court records show the McPhersons manipulated the teens into submitting to fondling, kissing and other sex acts. They cited Bible verses that they said justified the abuse and, afterward, would pray together for God's forgiveness.

On Wednesday, the McPhersons admitted in separate hearings in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to committing the crimes. Stephen McPherson, a former assistant dean at Regent University, pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with two of the girls; his wife pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with the third.

Stephen McPherson, 40, already is serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted of similar charges in Chesapeake. He pleaded guilty in January to forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration stemming from incidents involving two of the girls in his Chesapeake home.

Clearly, this horrifying picture of life with Christians in the work place will only worsen if we don't act now to end this abomination.

Or would that kind of offensive smear job be wildly unfair?

FRC's Sprigg Wants To See Homosexuality Criminalized

I don't know what has gotten into Religious Right spokespeople in the last week, but twice now they have called for criminal penalties for gays simply for being gay. 

Last week, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer declared that we should "impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse," and force them into therapy. 

And yesterday, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg appeared on Hardball in opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell where he declared that Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided and that gay behavior should be outlawed:

Matthews: Let me ask you Peter, so you think people choose to be gay.

Sprigg: People do not choose to be have same sex attractions, but they do choose to engage in homosexual conduct. And that conduct also which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn't make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Well I think certainly...

Matthews: I'm just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Yes.

The last time Peter Sprigg made a statement like this, the Family Research Council forced him to quickly apologize, though I doubt they will make him do so for this statement.

More interestingly, Sprigg is also on the Board of Directors of PFOX and frequently serves as a spokesperson for the organization.  Since PFOX's mission is to encourage and support "ex-gays," I wonder how the organization feels about Sprigg's assertion that all of its members and activists ought to have been treated like criminals.  

Conservative Action Project: A New Name For the Same Old Right-Wing Agenda

Several months ago, I wrote a post noting the emergence of the new right-wing coalition calling itself that Conservative Action Project. At the time, all that I could figure out about it was that its membership included several Religious Right leaders and it seemed to operate out of the Council for National Policy.

Today, the Washington Post examines the role that new media is playing in shaping and disseminating conservative messaging throughout the right-wing echo chamber and reports that the Conservative Action Project is playing a a key role in that effort through the weekly meetings hosted by the Family Research Council:

Inside the Beltway, much of it is fueled by the Conservative Action Project (CAP), a new group of conservative leaders chaired by Reagan-era attorney general Edwin Meese III. CAP, whose influential memos "for the movement" circulate on Capitol Hill, is an offshoot of the Council for National Policy, a highly secretive organization of conservative leaders and donors.

...

At 7:30 a.m., members of the Conservative Action Project gather at the Family Research Council, a social conservative group.

CAP grew out of a series of meetings of conservatives, determined to engineer a political comeback, in the weeks after Obama's election. One took place during a Council for National Policy meeting at a D.C. hotel, conservatives said. The secretive council was formed in the early 1980s to coordinate what was then called the "New Right."

Key players in CAP, members said, include Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway; Greg Mueller, president of CRC Public Relations; and former congressman David M. McIntosh (R-Ind.). Its only paid staff member is Patrick Pizzella, an official in the George W. Bush administration, who works out of the Council for National Policy offices.

Among CAP's projects was supporting the Health Care Freedom Coalition, whose more than 50 economic and social conservative groups quietly built health-care opposition, CAP members said. The coalition is a spinoff of FreedomWorks, the D.C.-based group that works extensively with tea-party activists.

CAP also worked unsuccessfully to defeat David F. Hamilton, Obama's first appellate judicial nominee. A Nov. 9 CAP memo calling Hamilton "an ideologue first and a jurist second" helped trigger blog blasts from Erickson and an anti-Hamilton speech at the conservative Federalist Society by Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Judiciary Committee Republican.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council is seeking signatures for a petition opposing efforts to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Self-proclaimed King of the Tea Partiers Dick Armey tells Michael Steele that he has to gain their trust by proving his bona fides on fiscal issues.
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty's PAC took in $1.3 million in its first few months.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has $1 million in the bank for her re-election bid.
  • Religious Right activists are holding a prayer vigil outside of CBS headquarters in support of Focus on the Family's anti-choice Super Bowl ad.
  • Finally, will Sarah Palin still be attending the National Tea Party Convention, even though all the other political leaders have dropped out?  You betcha.

Janet Jenkins on Nightline

As we noted yesterday, the Janet Jenkins/Lisa Miller story was featured on "Nightline" last night, and while Liberty Counsel still refuses to comment, "Nightline" did manage to get Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, to go on the record about it, though he did so in his capacity as a spokesperson for PFOX:

Armey Partners With Stupid, Lazy Demagogues

It was just the other day that I was noting that Mike Huckabee, who had long been identified with the socially conservative wing of the movement, had suddenly jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon.

But for those who need more proof that tea party activism has become the driving force of the entire right-wing movement, look no further than fact that the Family Research Council is hosting an event next week featuring several tea party groups

On Tuesday, February 2 at 8 p.m. EST, Family Research Council's headquarters will be the host site for a special webcast, State of the Union, Voice of the People. This live webcast, one week after the President's address, will provide a voice to the American people and an opportunity for them to give their own State of the Union response. Family Research Council is partnering with TVTownhall.com and eight leading national conservative organizations that represent a combined membership estimated to be over 15 million Americans.

...

Organizations joining Family Research Council include THE New Voice, the Institute for Liberty, Media Research Center, Let Freedom Ring, Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Women for America, TEA Party Patriots and Freedomworks.

The inclusion of Freedomworks is especially telling.  While the organization has been at the forefront of the tea party activism, it has long had a rather icy relationshyip with the Religious Right.  Back in 2006, right around the time Republicans lost control of Congress, Freedomworks' chairman Dick Armey had this to say about the socially conservative wing of the party: 

"[James] Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There's a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn't work unless it's dumb, shallow as water on a plate. These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic. These issues become bigger than life, largely because they're easy. There ain't no thinking."

That set off a round of attacks and counter attacks between Dobson's supporters and Armey that eventually involved FRC's Tony Perkins.  It continued into 2008, when Armey even attacked Perkins outright and questioned his conservatism.

Tea party activism is so entirely driving the right-wing movement at the moment that the most influential Religious Right organization is willing to co-host an event with a group lead by a man who publicly and repeatedly insulted them as stupid, shallow demagogues just to get in on the action.

If that doesn't tell you just where the Religious Right fits in to the conservative movement, I don't know what does.

Religious Right Vows to Fight Effort to "Sexualize the Military"

In his State of the Union Address last night, President Obama pledged to "work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are" and Religious Right groups wasted no time in pledging to fight his "sexualize the military":

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama's first State of the Union Address:

"At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, the timing of the President's call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation's security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.

"The military is a warrior culture for a reason: Our service members wear the uniform to fight and win wars, not serve as liberal social policy guinea pigs. The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected.

While Rob Schenck doesn't seem to realize that gays are already serving in the military

Come ‘on, let’s be grown ups. There’s a reason the military doesn’t have men and women showering together. Please don’t dismiss this one as a childish vestige of a now distant Victorian past. The fact is you don’t want people around you in a shower that are erotically stimulated by your naked body. Now, I may be betraying my naïve ignorance here about how gay people get excited, but none of my gay acquaintances have ever said it works terribly different for them then it does for straights. The site of an attractive nude body probably does for gays what it does for straights. (Unless, of course, you are gifted with a disinterest in sex, period. That’s another matter.) For most of us, testosterone, estrogen and libido are forward moving forces that need at least a modicum of external controls, including segregated showering and dressing spaces.

I’ve purposely left until last the most incendiary element of this State of the Union attack on personal, moral, social and religious sensibilities—its affect on our relations with the Muslim world. When I participated in my first face-to-face formal dialogue between Christian and Muslim leaders in an Islamic country, I was asked at the start, “Do you accept homosexuality?” Homosexuality is a deal-breaker for the vast majority of Muslims. I know, we don’t want to kowtow to oppressive religions, no matter how many adherents they have, but, again, if we’re looking to solve problems, this is not the way to do it.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I see that James Dobson has now been added to the list of those supporting Janet Porter's May day for America rally.
  • Operation Rescue wants to make it clear that it has nothing to do with Randall Terry.
  • Roy Moore is running for governor of Alabama, and now his former spokesperson is running for lieutenant governor.
  • What a surprise, the Family Research Council gives President Obama miserable grades for this first year in office.
  • Finally, we have no idea who Mike Adams is, what he is talking about, or what it has to do with us.

Beck, Bachmann, Farah, Santorum, Schlafly Team Up For Another Right Wing Conference

There sure do seem to be a lot of right-wing conferences coming up.  You have the annual CPAC convention and the first National Tea Party Convention, in addition to first annual Freedom Federation Summit, the Family Research Council's "Faith & Family Summit," and Janet Porter's May Day for America prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

To this list we can add The Constitutional Coalition's 2010 conference entitled "What Makes America Work? Lessons Children and Others MUST hear" which features everyone from Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum to Phyllis Schlafly and Joseph Farah and will be highlighted by "An Evening With Glenn Beck."

Just check out some of these speakers and topics:

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM and KEN FERGUSON How to rid your TV of ALL Sexual programs and advertisements

- MICHAEL MEDVED, Lies About America that Must Stop

- PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY Child Abuse in the Classroom

- DAVID HOROWITZ Teaching Revolution on College Campus

- FRANK GAFNEY It is a Dangerous World – America Under Attack

- AN EVENING WITH GLENN BECK

- CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN Fundamentals of a Good Education That will keep us Free and Strong

- DR. JERRY NEWCOMBE ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR: The Role of God in America

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM CREATED LIFE: The Declaration, Life and Liberty

- JOSEPH FARAH FREE IDEAS: America’s Unique Freedom of the Press

- SENATOR JIM TALENT SECURITY: The Constitutional and Moral Underpinnings of National Defense

Cindy McCain's Support for Marriage Equality Is Why She's Not First Lady

Tony Perkins responds to the news that Cindy McCain posed for the NOH8 Campaign by suggesting that her husband lost his race for the White House because people did like her views

[C]onservatives shrug at the suggestion that Cindy McCain is influencing the public.

“The people of California have been very clear on this issue,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, one of the groups that supported the Proposition 8 campaign in California. “They’ve voted twice to preserve the definition of marriage.”

...

“There’s probably a reason she’s not first lady,” Perkins said. “People were worried about the influence she would have on social issues such as this.”

Oddly, when just about every Religious Right group in existence was ardently backing McCain during the election, nobody was raising concerns about his wife's views.  But since that he lost, it's because people were worried that she might support for marriage equality?

Don't Get Too Comfortable, Scott Brown

It seems that while the pundits and prognosticators are mulling over just what Scott Brown's victory means for President Obama, the Democratic agenda in Congress, and the future of the Republican Party, a theme is starting to emerge among the Religious Right that as exciting as Brown's win may have been, he's really just another RINO.

Randall Terry was first out of the box, saying that Brown's win was better than a Coakley win, but "we must not deceive ourselves or our supporters about Scott Brown, and his true position on child killing. We need to replace Scott Brown as soon as we can with a true defender of babies' lives, not a phony who supports their murder." 

Alan Keyes has made a similar point:

Conservatives working to restore constitution freedom can cheer for Obama's defeat, but take no cheer from Brown's victory because he is a typical RINO (Republican-in-name-only) who:

* has no differences in principle with the socialist-minded Democrats;

* embraces the substance of Obama's socialist agenda, but "opposes" Obama by criticizing his implementation of socialism, especially when it comes to fiscal matters;

* agrees in principle with the Democrats on the fundamental issues of justice and morality but employs the deceptive rhetoric of personal opinion to evade the questions of public law and policy they involve. Such issues include child-murder and other abrogations of the unalienable right to life, as well as the rejection of the God-endowed rights of the natural family.

Matt Barber is likewise of the view that Brown is little more than a "tourniquet"

Many social conservatives (of which I’m one) have complained that the senator-elect is woefully flawed on social issues – particularly abortion. This is true.

Still, to my pro-life, pro-family compatriots, I offer this: While bleeding to death, one may be left no choice but to apply a tourniquet. A tourniquet is less than ideal. It may even cost a limb; however, it’s also likely to save one’s life. Obama has sliced open America’s wrists with his cutting political agenda. Time is of the essence. By providing Senate Republicans the crucial 41st vote needed to filibuster, Scott Brown supplies the tourniquet.

...

Of course, none of this justifies Brown’s indefensible position on abortion, “civil unions” and other social issues. I and others will not rest until he, and all who have been so deceived by the euphemistic language of “choice” and “reproductive freedom,” likewise recognize that all persons – whether born or pre-born – share an “inalienable right to life” that in every instance trumps another’s phantom “right to choose” premeditated murder.

Most importantly, even the Family Research Council admits that they are not happy with many of Brown's views but withheld criticism in pursuit of short term goals: 

Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views--and, in some cases, openly supported him--because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill. Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010.

So it remains to be seen just how long the current infatuation with Brown lasts and if, when he comes up for re-election down the road, right-wing groups who are happy with his election now will be change their tune and end up backing a "true conservative" primary challenger later.

Obviously, that is a long way away ... but given that the Right doesn't really support Brown now, it is entirely possible that he might eventually find himself the next Dede Scozzafava or Charlie Crist.

Citizens United: A Win For The "Regular Guy"

Yesterday's Citizens United ruling [PDF] by the Supreme Court has has now made it possible for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates ... and to hear the Religious Right tell it, it's a victory for the little guy:

Kelly Shackelford, president of the Free Market Foundation, tells OneNewsNow the decision is a great victory for freedom for every citizen.

"The government has no right to control the speech of citizens speaking out as a group during elections -- and these types of campaign finance laws are pure evil and destructive to any free society," he comments.

Shackelford notes that wealthy individuals such as George Soros are having a huge impact on elections, and he adds, "The idea that a group of citizens can't come together in some sort of corporate entity and speak their mind is really discrimination against the regular guy in this country" and against smaller businesses that want to take part in the election process.

The Family Research Council hails it as a victory for all of those oppressed "corporate citizens":

"Under the principles established by the First Amendment, nothing is more foundational than free speech. This is a win for free political speech and the right of corporate citizens to join the political process.

"The court's decision is a step toward restoring open political discourse in this country. Speech should not be truncated by government regulation; rather, transparency should be pursued. The standard of accountability must be full and prompt disclosure, not unconstitutional prohibitions on financial contributions.

While Focus on the Family rejoices, because apparently up until now, they too were having their voices silenced:

Tim Goeglein, vice president of external relations for Focus on the Family Action, said the pro-family movement will benefit.

"Organizations like Focus on the Family Action, the family policy councils, all of our allies," he said, "this will give us an incredible voice in the great issues of our time."

And Concerned Women for America declares that "Americans are the real winners today" and says the decision is the first step toward reclaiming "the ideals our Founders believed in when they fought and died to establish a country where we can be truly free to speak and worship our God without government interference":

Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America's (CWA) Chief Executive Officer, said, "The Court correctly concluded that judges should stop playing semantics with our Constitution and read the text as it is written. The government should not be limiting political speech because someone is rich or poor, or because they disagree with a particular point of view. Americans are the real winners today. Further, I recall upon the passage of the legislation that Members of Congress openly admitted voting in favor of the McCain-Feingold knowing it was unconstitutional. Those days have to end."

CWA President Wendy Wright said, "CWA joined an Amicus brief asking the Court to overrule these laws that serve only to chill political speech and open the door for those in power to choose favorites. We applaud the Court for listening to the voices of millions of Americans who believe in those foundational principles embodied by the First Amendment.

"We hope this is just the first in a series of steps to reclaim the ideals our Founders believed in when they fought and died to establish a country where we can be truly free to speak and worship our God without government interference."

You know, I wonder what these groups will be saying if the makers of Plan B were to now start pumping their $11 Billion into taking out conservative candidates who oppose their product.

Farah Missing From Blogs for Life Schedule

just wrote a post noting that Joseph Farah had been invited to speak at the Family Research Coucil's "Blogs For Life" conference tomorrow, but now FRC has released its schedule and Farah is nowhere to be seen:

8:30 – 8:35a Jill Stanek, emcee introduction

8:35 – 8:45a Kristen Day, Democrats for Life

9:05 – 9:20a PANEL: “Hosting a winning pro-life blog,” American Life League’s Katie Walker and ALL’s Pro-life Blog Contest winners

9:20 – 9:33a Carol Clews, Executive Director, Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Baltimore, Md.

9:33 – 9:35a Kristin Hansen, VP of Communications, Care Net

9:35 – 9:45a Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List

9:45 – 10:05a Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.

10:05 – 10:15a Break

10:15 – 10:25a Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D, President and CEO, Americans United for Life

10:25 – 10:45a Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio

10:45 – 11:05a PANEL: Emerging Online Technologies, Molotov Mitchell,Illuminati Pictures; Peter Shinn, President, Pro-Life Unity; Founder, Blogs for Life; Krystle Weeks, Web Editor, Family Research Council

11:05 – 11:15a David Prentice, Ph.D, Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, FRC, StemCellResearchFacts.org

11:15 – 11:30a Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Notice the gap between 8:45 and 9:05?  That what where Farah was scheduled to speak.

The FRC's new press release still lists Farah as a participant, so why is he not included on the schedule? 

Birds of a Feather: WorldNetDaily and the Religious Right

I have to say that I am rather amazed with the types of people the Family Research Council has been associating itself with recently.  In addition to regularly paring-up with Lou Engle, it looks like FRC is now including Joseph Farah in its activities

WND founder Joseph Farah will join pro-life bloggers and online social-media activists as they gather in the nation's capital to celebrate life and lay out strategies to advance the pro-life message this Friday.

The Family Research Council will host Blogs for Life Jan. 22, a conference that also features pro-life leaders and speakers including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest, and WND commentators Jill Stanek and Molotov Mitchell – all speaking with bloggers live from Family Research Council's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"We'd like to hear from Joseph Farah, as somebody who has created an online presence with a strong pro-life stance, on how online journalism has affected the pro-life movement," said Jared Bridges, director of online communications for the Family Research Council.

And, for good measure, FRC is also including Molotov Mitchell in the event:

You Say You Want a Revolution

I have to say that the right-wing reaction to Scott Brown's victory is pretty remarkable, even for them.  Not only does Brown's victory signal an end to things like health care and immigration reform and Democratic dominance in Washington, but it is apparently the first shot in a "second American revolution," as the Christian Defense Coalition.

Indeed, the idea that Brown's win is the start of some sort of revolution seems to be the right-wing talking point of the day - from the Family Research Council:

"For a Senate seat considered to be in the left-hand column into eternity, the results of the Massachusetts race are nearly revolutionary. President Obama's desperate visit to the Bay State made it clear that this race was a referendum on his liberal agenda. While the individual candidates were important, it was the respective banners they marched under that were decisive. Martha Coakley marched under the banner of the President's big government agenda embroidered with healthcare reform. Sen.-elect Brown marched under the opposing standard - and won.

"President Obama's defeat yesterday is the culmination of the town halls, tea parties, and other efforts of the millions of Americans who continue speaking out against the takeover of our health care system. Many social conservatives held back criticism of Scott Brown's social views and in some cases openly supported him because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill.

"Family Research Council and the thousands of families we represent hope this repudiation of President Obama's Leftist policies will resonate in the halls of Congress. Liberals in Congress can no longer ignore the American people who are outraged by a health care bill that will force every American to support Planned Parenthood in the killing of unborn children, saddle families with higher insurance premiums, raise our taxes and deny our parents and grandparents the essential health care they need."

The point is echoed by Liberty Counsel:

A new revolution is unfolding in America

"The people of Massachusetts fired a shot heard ‘round the world,” said Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Staver continued, “We are witnessing a new revolution in America. It is a revolution of ideas and values. President Barack Obama misread his election victory to be a referendum on radical liberalism. It was not. The radical policies of Obama, Reid and Pelosi have been rejected. The tax and spend, big government, anti-life agenda has been pushed back. ObamaCare has been derailed. It is dead. If, after this election, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party tries to resurrect this Frankenstein called ‘healthcare’ and does not drastically change course, then the Massachusetts election will be a microcosm of November 2010.”

Republican Scott Brown won an historic election last night in Massachusetts by defeating Democrat Martha Coakley to fill the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy for 47 years. Brown becomes the first Republican elected to the United States Congress in Massachusetts since 1972. More importantly, this election breaks the Democratic stranglehold on the 60-vote majority in the Senate.

Staver continued, “Reality is stranger than fiction. How ironic it is that the person who replaced Ted Kennedy could be the deciding vote that kills government healthcare.” Staver concluded, “Democratic and liberal pundits are pointing fingers at Martha Coakley as the reason for this historic shift in the election. In Virginia they tried to explain the defeat of liberal policies to a lackluster candidate. In New Jersey, they said Jon Corzine had too much baggage. Liberal Democratic leaders suffer from the same disease as alcoholics. Until they admit that the problem is their radical policies, they will continue to self-destruct.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Statement: Guess Who's Coming to the McDonnell Inauguration.
  • Rev. Byron Williams, a member of PFAW Foundation’s African American Ministers in Action program, weighs in on the Pat Robertson saga.
  • As always, the Family Research Council has something useful and insightful to say when it comes to Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Media Matters tracks the Interpol conspiracy theory through right-wing media.
  • If Michael Steele wasn't chairman of the RNC last summer, who was?
  • Finally, Rep. Steve King puts every other absurd response to the crisis in Haiti to shame with this statement: "Illegal immigrants from Haiti have no reason to fear deportation but if they are deported, Haiti is in great need of relief workers and many of them could be a big help to their fellow Haitians.”

It's DHS Deja Vu All Over Again

Last year, I wrote a whole series of posts about the utterly manufactured "controversy" over a Department of Homeland Security report which right-wing activists claimed labeled conservatives as "domestic terrorists."

Needless to say, the report did nothing of the sort, but no matter how many times we or others pointed out this lie, the Religious Right would not stop repeating it. 

That issue finally faded away, but now it looks like were going to have to relive it in a slightly different form, thanks to this new manufactured "controversy":

President Barack Obama's nominee to head the agency charged with keeping American travelers safe from terrorism thinks pro-life advocates are terrorists. A new video shows Transportation Security Administration nominee Erroll Southers including pro-life advocates in a list of terrorist groups.

The new video from 2008 shows Southers responding to a documentary-style interview question about terrorist organizations.

The documentary asked Southers, "Which home-grown terrorist groups pose the greatest danger to the U.S."

Southers explained, "Most of the domestic groups that we pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They're anti-government, in most cases anti-abortion, they are usually survivalist type in nature, identity oriented."

"Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian identity oriented," he continues.

Here is the video in question, which has already been seized upon by right-wing activists:

And predictably, groups like the Family Research Council are all over it:

What's the story on the President's choice to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)? Well, if you've traveled through airport security, blogger Erick Erickson says that you've probably been screened more thoroughly than this pick. Among other things, Erroll Southers, the latest in the White House's parade of unqualified nominees, is on record saying that pro-lifers pose one of our nation's greatest security risks. In a video from 2008, Southers specifically targets "Christian identity" groups and anti-abortionists as a homegrown threat.

That's right. The man chosen to be first line of defense against another 9-11 is more worried about churchgoers than radical Islamic fundamentalists. Unfortunately, that makes him the perfect choice for Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano, who last year included pro-life and pro-marriage conservatives on the domestic "watch list." So far, Southers is just parroting what the President's official policy has been all along: marginalizing values voters who don't see the federal government as the solution to every problem.

Do these people really not realize that "Christian identity" is a specific term with a specific meaning?

Christian Identity is a religious ideology popular in extreme right-wing circles. Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the "Lost Tribes of Israel." Many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent, while non-whites are "mud peoples" created before Adam and Eve. Its virulent racist and anti-Semitic beliefs are usually accompanied by extreme anti-government sentiments. Despite its small size, Christian Identity influences virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements. It has also informed criminal behavior ranging from hate crimes to acts of terrorism.

The term "Christian identity" doesn't mean your average "churchgoer," it mean a movement consisting of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-government extremists.

But the Religious Right obviously doesn't care that and isn't about to let its fundamental misunderstanding get in the way of its efforts to generate controversy.

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Family Research Council Top Posts

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

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/15/2012, 2:21pm
Last week, Brian noted that FRC president Tony Perkins and vice presidents Jerry Boykin and Kenyn Cureton were all heading to Catalina Foothills Church in Tucson, Arizona for a "Recapturing America" conference where they would join up with a pastor who had been called on members of the church to “actively pray and work for the defeat of Barack Obama” in the upcoming election as he is an “enemy” of Christianity and religious freedom. The event was held this weekend and after delivering his remarks, Perkins took some questions from the audience including from... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/11/2012, 4:31pm
Randall Terry is now running his insanely racist new ads on 130 stations in over 30 markets. Rick Santorum says marriage equality will "will destroy and undermine the church in American more than any other movement." FRC prays that "America's pastors [will] arise to pray, preach and partner to communicate the whole Word of God as it pertains to our elections, our candidates and our nation without fear and intimidation. May the election of God-fearing public servants and God-sent Revival be the result!" Speaking of FRC, their PAC is now running... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/10/2012, 12:30pm
FRC president Tony Perkins and vice presidents Jerry Boykin and Kenyn Cureton are heading to Catalina Foothills Church in Tucson, Arizona for “Recapture America.” Cosponsors include the Center for Arizona Policy, the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) and the church’s Christian Impact Committee. Recently the church claimed [PDF] that Obama is pushing a “reprioritization in human rights policy in favor of the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights” that is contributing to a “global crisis in religious... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/09/2012, 1:49pm
Amid reports that absentee ballot requests among those serving in the military are down dramatically this year in comparison to 2008, Tony Perkins and Don Wildmon brought Jerry Boykin on to "Today's Issues" today so all three could wildly speculate as to the cause. While some are suggesting that requests for absentee ballots are down because the number of soldiers who are deployed is down and other are explaining that levels are similar to what they were in 2004, Perkins and Boykin suspect that something else is going on; namely that military leaders have had to spend so much time... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/04/2012, 4:39pm
As promised, Liberty Counsel has filed suit against the new California law banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors. On a related note, Randy Thomasson is calling on parents and counselors to defy this "tyrannical" law. The Christian Coalition is releasing voter guides for the 2012 election.  Apparently, the Christian Coalition still exists. James Dobson needs donations because "the ministry barely made it through the summer months, and emerged from it with nothing to spare." FRC prays that members of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/04/2012, 2:31pm
An amateurishly made video of an interview with Jerry Boykin, the Executive Vice President at the Family Research Council, recently popped up on YouTube, seemingly shot when Boykin was at the Values Voter Summit last month, in which he discussed his various conspiracy theories about the Muslim Brotherhood and the Middle East in general. At the end of the video, Boykin asserted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had better be keeping a close eye on the polls tracking the presidential election in order 'to determine when was the best time for me to get the support of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/03/2012, 4:23pm
Last week, Dan Savage set off a controversy when he declared that "every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council," so it was no surprise that today Mike Huckabee invited FRC's Tony Perkins on to his radio program to respond, allowing both men to spend most of the discussion voicing their outrage about his remarks, with Perkins even hinting that legal action might be taken: Huckabee: I found Dan Savage to be unnecessarily rude, vile, and angry. Just angry. He was not a happy person and he just takes out his venom on other people, but he's gone to a level I've... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/28/2012, 11:30am
While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway said she told her client Todd Akin to withstand the controversy that emerged following his comments on “legitimate rape” just like David Koresh, the Waco compound cult leader whose standoff with the ATF led to over eighty deaths. Conway told Perkins that she advised Akin to survive efforts to “smoke him out” like Koresh until they “realize the guy’s not coming out of the bunker.” She was speaking with Perkins just as the... MORE >