Family Research Council

House Passes Health Care Reform; Religious Right Melts Down

Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Senate's version of health care reform legislation, making it the latest step in what has been a long and bitter process to overhaul the nation's health care system. 

And given how vehemently opposed the Right has been to this effort, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that their response to this development has been nothing short of apoplectic, starting with the Susan B. Anthony List which had been planning on giving Rep. Bart Stupak its "Defender of Life" Award but has now publicly rescinded the offer

In response to Rep. Bart Stupak's announcement that he and other self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

"This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-we will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.

"Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.' The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote 'yes' on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.

That sort of over-the-top response was, frankly, the typical response from the Right, with the American Center for Law and Justice promising to file suit and everyone else vowing to vote the Democrats out of office in November:

Family Research Council:

"Passage of this partisan government takeover of health care with all of its Medicare cuts, tax increases, a continued marriage penalty, individual mandates, and abortion funding shows the extreme leftist orientation of this Congress.

"The American people, regardless of their view of its legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. Those who voted for this legislation cannot legitimately claim to be even neutral on the issue of abortion. This legislation accomplishes this abortion mandate in spades.

...

"The President's disregard for the unborn is no surprise. It is the betrayal from those who have fought for life within his party that is the biggest shock. Especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) who had fought so valiantly in this debate, but folded when it really mattered.

"FRC Action will seek to defeat many of the Members from majority pro-life districts who voted wrong today, and they will have plenty of free time to realize the grave mistake they have committed on the unborn today with their vote."

Eagle Forum:

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who voted ‘Yes' on the Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote has exposed the myth of the ‘pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party has divided our nation into the Democrat Party of Death and the Republican Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

Americans United for Life Action:

"This deal to pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade is a tragedy for America. We believe that Mr. Stupak's choice to succumb to the intense pressure of the last week has resulted in his endorsement of a charade that does not even begin to address the anti-life provisions in this legislation. The American people do not support taxpayer funding of abortion and Speaker Pelosi and the President have undermined representative democracy by working to pass this legislation with this unprecedented contortion of the legislative process."

Operation Rescue:

"Operation Rescue supports efforts to oppose this ill-conceived abortion-funding scheme in the streets through peaceful protest, in the courts, and at the ballot box," said Newman. "We are taking notes, and will let it be known that a vote for this health care bill is a vote for abortion. It is certain that in spite of the outcome of today's political shenanigans, this is not over yet."

Christian Defense Coalition:

"We are confident this will have a powerful impact on Catholic and Evangelical voters this November.

"After the defeat of the Alamo, a powerful cry was heard across the nation which has inspired Americans for generations. That cry was, 'Remember the Alamo!'

"From the ashes of this defeat, another powerful cry will be heard. 'Remember March 21!' We believe as Americans understand what happened today they will work with unprecedented passion to ensure this bill is reversed and human rights and social justice are once again embraced in this country."

Catholic Advocate:

"Today's vote will go down in history as one of the greatest expansions of abortion since Roe v. Wade," said Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. "On November 2, American Catholics need to hold members of the House accountable for this betrayal."

"History has shown no executive order can trump the law of the land passed by Congress. Do the un-born have a champion in the Senate willing to fix the bill and truly stop federal funding for abortion?" asked Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith. "Senator Ben Nelson and others who claim to carry the pro-life mantle now have an opportunity to return their pieces of silver from December."

Concerned Women for America:

"We are not fooled," said Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO Penny Nance. "This is the biggest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade. And a flimsy promise of an executive order from the President may make it more comfortable for "pro-life" Democrats like Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) to vote for the bill, but in the end, such an illusory promise is not even worth the paper on which it's written. Backroom deals and compromises will not soften the blow of this attack on life and liberty as we know and enjoy it. Americans will not forget those Members of Congress who refused to listen to them. They will make their voices heard in November."

Mike Huckabee:

With this vote, Congress decided what kind of health care you have access to and how much it will cost.

They also decided not to respect us and take us for fools.

I am frustrated and I know you are as well. Ten days ago I launched a website called CallCongressNow.com and asked voters to call their representatives and Senators and tell them to vote no. Over 151,000 people visited the website and spent almost 4,000 hours on making calls pleading with their leaders in Washington to vote no. This time Congress listened more to party bosses than to you.

Now there is something else you can and must do: Get personally involved to dump them. Let’s replace this Congress with Republicans that will listen to the people.

Behold Today's Religious Right and Its Congressional Allies

The other day we noted that it was seemingly impossible for any Religious Right figure to be deemed so radical that Republican members of Congress would decline to appear at events with them, highlighting the fact that the American Family Association's militantly anti-gay Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy, Bryan Fischer, was being featured in a Family Research Council hosted health care webcast along with Rep. Tom Price, (R-GA), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

The event aired earlier this week and, as it turned out, Fischer wasn't even the most radical person involved as that honor went to Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall:

Last month, Marshall made news by declaring during an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion and then asserting that he had never said anything of the sort.

I didn't bother grabbing any of the video of Fischer or Marshall because, frankly, they didn't say anything particularly interesting, with both insisting that health care reform is unconstitutional.

But what was interesting was the fact that Fischer and Marshall were featured together in the webcast and their appearance was sandwiched in between Rep. Mike Pence and Sen. David Vitter.

In short, today's conservative movement consists of right-wing leaders who think gays should be treated like criminals and that God punishes women who've had abortions with disabled children ... and high-profile Republican members of Congress.

Girl Scouts Ensnared in the Right's Hatred of Planned Parenthood

Last week, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute claimed that during the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the "World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled 'Healthy, Happy and Hot'":

The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!” The brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.”

The brochure also tells students that national laws requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their partner(s) “violate the rights of people living with HIV” and calls for advocacy to “change laws that violate your rights.” It explains, “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.”

Predictably, this became a source of outrage on the Right, with articles about it showing up on OneNewsNow, World Magazine, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Catholic Online, and LifeNews, among other places.  The National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez even made it the focus of her column.

The only problem is that the Girl Scouts unequivocally deny that it ever happened:

Earlier this month, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) was honored to attend and participate in the 54th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, where girls were encouraged to take action on global issues concerning women and girls. Our participation in that conference was recently the subject of numerous internet stories and blogs that are factually inaccurate and troubling. Here are the facts of that meeting:

• The Girls Only Workshop was jointly hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA, UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls, Girls Learn International and The Grail. The meeting was only open to the girls and participating sponsors.

• Only seven adults were in the room at the time of the meeting, each representing one of the sponsors of the event. No one from Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute was in the room to report on the event.

• 30 - 35 girls from across the world participated in this event. All teenagers.

• The girls received a copy of the only document they were working on titled (“The Girls’ Statement”). No other documents were given to the girls as part of this event.

• The room in question was also used to host other events over the course of the multi-day conference. Prior to our girls entering the room, we did not “sanitize’ the room to ensure that no trash or other items were left behind. We did request that those not associated with the sponsors to leave the room prior to our session.

• The Girl Scouts of the USA was not contacted by Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) regarding its initial story to discuss the facts of this event. Had they applied these basic journalistic standards, perhaps the true details of this event would have been reported.

The Girl Scout organization does not take a position on family planning. Our membership is a cross-section of America with regard to opinions on religious and social issues and practices. We believe these matters are best decided by girls and their families.

The Girl Scout organization has no affiliation with any political organization.

Our Mission in Girl Scouting is to build girls of courage, confidence and character – who make the world a better place. We continue to be proud of our girls and look forward to showing the world what our girls can do. We thank everyone for their support of Girl Scouting.

Honestly, does the right-wing claim even seem plausible?  Are we really supposed to believe that Girl Scout leaders kicked all the adults out of the room so that Planned Parenthood could distribute a brochure [PDF] to a group of young girls about how to lead sexually fulfilling lives while living with HIV

I realize that the Religious Right fundamentally loathes Planned Parenthood and will believe just about any horror story about them, but this is just ridiculous.

Can Anyone Be Too Radical For Today's GOP?

I just have to ask if there will ever come a time when Republican members of Congress will be held accountable for the Religious Right activists with whom they willingly associate:

On Tuesday, March 16, at 8:30 p.m. EST, Family Research Council's legislative lobbying arm FRC Action will host a live webcast, "National Townhall on Health Care: Stop the Government Takeover." The webcast will mobilize tens of thousands of supporters only days before an expected vote on "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," a health care reform bill that the United States Senate passed on Christmas Eve, 2009.

...

Who:

Tony Perkins, President, FRC Action
Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director, Students for Life
Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director, National Right to Life
Bryan Fischer, American Family Association
Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
More to be announced...

So that is three GOP members of Congress who are going to be joining with the AFA's Bryan Fischer who, in recent months, has declared that all Muslims should be banned from the military, homosexuality should be illegal and all gays should be treated like criminals, praised Ryan Sobra for his anti-gay rant at CPAC, and called for the stoning of a killer whale at Sea World.

Just how utterly radical does a Religious Right activist have to be in order to become toxic to Republican members of Congress, considering that one who openly calls for the criminalization of gays is deemed perfectly acceptable? 

The Religious Right's Fight For The Tea Party Mantle

Ever since Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll, traditional Religious Right activists have been arguing that the event was overtaken by Libertarians and therefore did not represent "true" conservatives ... a belief that was only reinforced by the fact that Young Americans for Freedom's Ryan Sorba was booed by the audience for his attack from the stage on the conservative gay group GOProud.

For decades, CPAC has been the conservative gathering in Washington, but this year a man who for years had been relegated to the sidelines of the movement suddenly won the event's straw poll thanks largely to the support from Tea Party activists, which re-exposed a basic rift between the economic conservatives and social conservatives that in recent years the movement has been trying hard to bridge ... apparently without much success:

The rise of a new conservative grass roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass roots, the evangelical Christian right.

A reeling economy and the massive bank bailout and stimulus plan were the triggers for a resurgence in support for the Republican Party and the rise of the tea party movement. But they’ve also banished the social issues that are the focus of many evangelical Christians to the background.

And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud.

“There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”

...

There’s no centralized tea party organization, and anecdotes suggest that many tea party participants hold socially conservative views. But those views have been little in evidence at movement gatherings or in public statements, and are sometimes deliberately excluded from the political agenda. The groups coordinating them eschew social issues, and a new Contract From America, has become an article of concern on the social right.

The contract, sponsored by the grass-roots Tea Party Patriots as well as Washington groups such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, asks supporters to choose the 10 most important issues from a menu of 21 choices that makes no mention of socially conservative priorities such as gay marriage and abortion.

“They’re free to do it, but they can’t say [the contract] represents America,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a veteran of the Christian right. “If they do it they’re lying.”

Groups such as FreedomWorks, said Perkins, bring a libertarian bias that doesn’t represent the “true tea parties.”

As we noted a few weeks ago, social conservatives like Perkins have long been at war with Tea Party/economic conservatives like Dick Armey, but had recently swallowed their pride and linked up with Armey's FreedomWorks in an attempt to get in on the Tea Party activism which Armey's activism has come to represent:

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.

And now you have Perkins claiming that FreedomWorks doesn't represent the "true tea parties," which is laughably pathetic and just goes to prove, as we have been arguing all along, that the Religious Right is desperately trying to co-opt the Tea Party narrative and graft their own religious agenda on to a movement that, from its founding, has had no real interest in such issues.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rather than allow a lesbian student to attend prom with her girlfriend, a Mississippi school has decided to cancel the prom entirely.  Pathetic.
  • Apparently, Chief Justice John Roberts thinks it is "very troubling" for the President to criticize his rulings. Boo hoo.
  • "Founder of Christian Apparel Maker 1M4JC (1 Million for Jesus Christ) to Run for US Congress." Awesome.
  • The Family Research Council is calling for an investigation into the Eric Massa scandal.
  • Finally, the AFA's Bryan Fischer goes after VA Gov. Bob McDonnell: "Bob McDonnell won the governorship of Virginia last November by campaigning as a social and cultural conservative, and pledging to uphold conservative social values. That pledge lasted about 54 days, shorter even than the shelf life of most of President Obama's empty promises."

The Family Research Council for Truth About Homosexuality?

While reading through the most recent "Washington Update" from the Family Research Council, I had to stop and wonder if the organzation had perhaps hired Peter LaBarbera or Matt Barber and put them in charge of drafting the daily email.

But no, this language can be attributed to FRC president Tony Perkins himself, who responds to this Washington Post article claiming that Washington DC's recognition of marriage equality will be a boon to the District's economy by claiming that it'll actually damage the economy due to the "massive health care expenses incurred by taxpayers every year to cope with the diseases spread by homosexual behavior":

Not so fast, says FRC. The last census counted 3,678 same-sex partner homes in D.C. Assuming that number has stayed roughly the same, then the 150 who applied for marriage licenses yesterday would amount to a whopping four percent of the local homosexual population--hardly the stuff of economic recovery. For the Post's $52.2 million projection to come true, all 3,678 of those D.C. couples would have to get married and spend over $14,000 per wedding. (I don't know about you, but my wife and I spent a LOT less!) These "marriages" (which have yet to meet financial expectations in other states) may make a fast buck in the short term, but they will do nothing but drain the economy down the road. Consider the massive health care expenses incurred by taxpayers every year to cope with the diseases spread by homosexual behavior. According to the Kaiser Foundation, federal funding grew to more than $18 billion in 2004 to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over half of all U.S. infections are in men having sex with men! That means taxpayers spend roughly $10 billion a year treating the diseases caused by a behavior celebrated in same-sex "marriage." So much for economic development!

Making a Federal Case Out of Perkins' Rescinded Invitation - Literally

Remember last week when I noted that Religious Right activists and a few members of Congress were trying to make a federal case out of the fact that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was uninvited to a private prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base?

I wasn't exaggerating:

One of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives wants answers from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The Brody File has obtained a letter sent from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and Congressman Roy Blunt) to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking him to explain why the Air Force rescinded a prayer luncheon invitation to conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

...

Click here to read the entire letter ... :

“This action troubles us a great deal, not only in this particular case, but because of the implications for anyone who might disagree with the Administration in the future.”

“What is clear from this letter (from the letter sent by Lt. Col. Gary Bertsch to Tony Perkins) is the establishment of a new litmus test: if one disagree with the President, that person is not welcome to participate in military activities.”

“The chilling impact such a standard could have on the free speech of private citizens and those who serve in our armed forces-guaranteeing precisely these types of freedoms-cannot be allowed to stand.”

“Specifically, is it the policy of the Air Force and/or other branches of the armed services to allow only those individuals who agree with the President on all matters of policy to participate in ministry events they host?”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Randall Terry is heading to the Vatican.
  • I had no idea that incompetence could be so lucrative.
  • Harry Jackson says that even though the Supreme Court refused to stop marriage equality in DC, he sees a "silver lining" in the decision.
  • This just might be one of the most poorly written ads I have ever seen.
  • Quote of the Day I from the Family Research Council about Kevin Jennings: "Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of 53 Congressmen to call for an investigation, spoke on the House floor about the hypocrisy of giving more taxpayer dollars to a drug-abusing, statutory rape-supporting czar for the purpose of securing America's classrooms."
  • Quote of the Day II from Peter LaBarbera: "Here you have a rise of male-on-male harassment cases, and it doesn't seem to lay any blame for the homosexual activist movement The fact is, I don't know many straight guys who would ever touch another man sexually. That's not something normal people do -- that's something perverted people do."

Donohue: When It Comes to Gays, the GOP Gets All Jittery and Inarticulate

Religious Right activists are predictably upset that Congressional Republicans didn't make more of an effort to prevent Washington, DC's marriage equality law from taking effect:

"I'll be straight with you: I think they could have done more," Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said of Republican leaders. "We needed a vote, and we didn't get one."

...

"I haven't seen any effort by Senator Bennett to push the legislation, or by the Senate [Republican] leadership," said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the Family Research Council Action.

There are obviously various reasons for why this happened, but Bill Donohue blames it on the fact that Republicans become "jittery" and inarticulate when it comes to speaking out against gays .... go figure: 

William Donohue, the president of the New-York based Catholic League, questioned the party's commitment to a traditional marriage agenda. "They have an inarticulateness about homosexuality that they don't have on economic issues," Mr. Donohue said. "They can talk on and on about the free market, but when it comes to gays, they're jittery."

You know who Republicans could learn from in overcoming their jittery inarticulateness when it comes to attacking gays?  Bill Donohue:

Honestly, is anyone surprised that a conservation between Pat Robertson and Bill Donohue discussing how "intellectually, morally, and spiritually bankrupt" liberals are trying to "tear down society" consists entirely of a five minute rant from Donohue declaring "we're not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that's against nature, it's against nature's god," saying that the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was due entirely to gays, and finally asserting that those who don't share his views are nothing but "termites" who are "no more Christian than the Man on the Moon"

Cliff Kincaid Defends The Conservative Movement's Good Name

Every time I write a post about something Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid as written (which seems to be happening quite frequently lately) I marvel at his consistency.  While most of the people we write about frequently occasionally write uninteresting or irrelevant things that don't really warrant any sort of coverage, Kincaid seems able to produce pieces so chock-full of craziness that they are impossible to ignore.

Case in point is his latest column, which is built around refuting this Politico article by Kenneth Vogel claiming that the conservative establishment is finally trying to distance itself from the "movement’s extremist elements."

Now, I don't buy Vogel's claims for a minute ... and neither does Kincaid, but for completely different reasons.  For instance, Vogel cites as evidence of his premise the fact that Ryan Sorba was jeered at CPAC for attacking GOProud from the stage, but Kincaid sees it differently, claiming that it was those who were booing Sorba who are extremists who don't represent the conservative movement:

What he ignores is the evidence that the "jeering" came mostly from non-conservatives, many of them libertarians, and that the "anti-gay activist," Ryan Sorba of Young Americans for Freedom, was rebutting a pro-gay speaker, a leader of a group who told me he wasn't a conservative in the first place.

To clear things up for Kenneth Vogel and others in the media, let us make it clear that a true conservative like Howard Phillips, who has been a leader in the conservative movement for several decades, understands that conservatism means traditional moral and religious values, a strong national defense, and economic freedom. There is nothing complicated or confusing about it. The homosexual movement, founded by a member of the Communist Party by the name of Harry Hay, simply doesn't qualify for admission, no matter how many libertarians in the CPAC audience may applaud for GOProud or jeer Ryan Sorba.

In order to purge the conservative movement of its extremists, CPAC will have to remove its own organizers who let them in.

The story ignores the real problem of how the "conservative establishment"-in the form of the CPAC organizers--picked actual and real extremists to co-sponsor their event. And those were the self-described "gay conservatives" who reject the social conservatism that has been an essential part of the conservative movement. The well-established and well-known Family Research Council pulled out of CPAC because CPAC organizer David Keene decided to allow GOProud, a relatively new organization that works for the election of "centrist" and liberal Republicans, into the event. But this mistake is overlooked by Vogel.

[Does anybody have any idea what Kincaid is talking about when he says that the Family Research Council pulled out of CPAC?  I know the Liberty University Law School did so, but I don't recall FRC ever following suit.]

Kincaid then goes on to dispute Vogel's claim that some conservatives were uneasy about the fact that the John Birch Society was allowed to co-host CPAC ... and does so by defending the John Birch Society:

Communism was and is a conspiracy. Without commenting on every charge made by the JBS or its leaders over the years, its central claim--that U.S. leaders are working with the communists and others to lay the groundwork for world government--cannot be dismissed out of hand. Objectively speaking, one has to admit that talk of global taxes and world government is frequently in the news and cannot be said to be the fantasies of the "black helicopter" crowd. Even the Pope has stated his belief in a "World Political Authority." His own Vatican newspaper published a favorable review of Marxist theory.

At this late date, no one can seriously doubt that a "New World Order" of some kind is coming into being. The real questions are to what extent it is being deliberately designed to subvert America's standing in the world and the American way of life, and what role President Obama is playing in it.

Critics of the JBS have to concede the organization has been on the right track about an emerging world government.

Kincaid finally wraps up his piece by defending the Birthers and attacking the "so-called 'conservatives'" who spoke to Vogel for his Politico piece, accusing them of giving the conservative movement a bad name.

I can hardly wait for Part II of Kincaid's piece, which he promises will focus on the conservative movement's relationship with "Alex Jones, Russian Television, and the Oath Keepers."

Making a Federal Case Out of Perkins' Rescinded Invitation?

Last week we noted that an episode involving the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins having his invitation to speak at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base rescinded was big news on right-wing outlets, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association even going so far as to declare it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism.

The issue continues to outrage the Right and appears as if it is becoming one of those stories that right-wing media outlets will work covering diligently until they can blow it up into an all out "scandal ."

For instance, CNS News has a long article noting that conservative activists are livid about it which quotes no less than six separate leaders voicing their outrate, including Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (which just so happens to be the parent organization of CNSNews,) Ron Robinson of Young Americans for Freedom, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Alfred Regnery of Regnery Publishing, Elaine Donnell of the Center for Military Readiness, and Gary Bauer of American Values.

But it also quotes several Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Pence who vows that Republicans will "be making appropriate inquiries" about the decision

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com that he’s “disappointed” the Air Force would “un-invite” Perkins because of his positions.

“These actions are out of line with the caution that the heads of the military branches have expressed with regards to this policy,” Inhofe said.

“Each one of them has indicated that it would be best for the Pentagon to finish its review before addressing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a manner that disrupts readiness and recruitment. I wonder if Tony Perkins would have received the same treatment if his views on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had matched those of President Obama.”

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was outraged.

“I think many members (of Congress) are outraged,” Kingston told CNSNews.com. “The mainstream media hasn’t given this as much coverage as they would if they agreed with Perkins. This is something that I think that people will be asking a lot of questions--a harbinger of what may be out there to come, you know, if on a high-profile captain like Tony Perkins, they reject him. They may (start) doing it to everybody else."

Kingston said he thought the Air Force was "using" the incident to send a message to its own chaplains about what they could and could not say from the pulpit.

“(W)hat they were doing is using him to drive a message--that your brand of sermon is no longer welcome in the U.S. military,” he said.

He added: “I think it probably does go beyond the Air Force. They knew there would be a backlash to this, and I think they had a design about that: ‘OK, you know, we want other (chaplains) to understand and pipe down on your personal views on this biblical view, and you believe it, just keep it mellow; we want watered-down messages.’”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, said he would be looking into the incident more deeply.

“I hold Tony Perkins in the highest regard, as do pro-family Americans across this country,” Pence said. “And I would hope that the change in the speaking roster had nothing to do with his stated positions on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But we’ll be making appropriate inquiries,” Pence said.

FRC: Failure to Mandate Pledge of Allegiance Creates More "American Talibans"

Earlier this week it was reported that, back in January, a teacher at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, Maryland had publicly reprimanded a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and even called the school's security officer to escort the student to the counselor's office when she continued to refuse.  This, despite that fact that the "Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students cannot be forced to salute the flag [and] Maryland law explicitly allows any student or teacher to be excused from participating in the pledge."

The ACLU got involved and now the teacher has agreed to apologize, but Robert Morrison of the Family Research Council is outraged about the whole thing, holding it up as evidence that the ACLU is creating "future American Talibans":

Is the Montgomery County school case too trivial to merit national attention? No. It illustrates how classroom discipline and American patriotism are under constant assault by the ACLU. Our tax dollars are funding this radical outfit. Thomas Jefferson said “to require a man to provide contributions of money for the propagation of opinions he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.” Surely, the fact that the ACLU uses our tax money against us is a gross violation of our rights.

Does it matter? John Walker Lindh is currently sitting in federal prison. He is the so-called American Taliban who was convicted of fighting against Americans in Afghanistan. Young Lindh was educated in Montgomery County Public Schools. Was he taught anything about why he should be loyal to his country? Why jihadism is a threat to all our rights? I seriously doubt it. By punishing a teacher who simply tried to give students the opportunity to express their patriotism and support for our country during a time of war, the Montgomery County public schools are doing nothing to avoid future American Talibans.

Let The Outrage Begin: Atheists Get Meeting With Administration Officials

When I saw this article this morning reporting that Obama Administration aides were scheduled to meet with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America today, I wondered how long it would take for some Religious Right group to throw a fit that the Administration was meeting with atheists.

Turns out, it took about an hour:

The advocacy group In God We Trust today ripped the Obama administration for meeting to plot political strategy with 60 atheist activists representing organizations comprising the Secular Coalition of America.

"It is one thing for Administration to meet with groups of varying viewpoints, but it is quite another for a senior official to sit down with activists representing some of the most hate-filled, anti-religious groups in the nation," says In God We Trust's Chairman Bishop Council Nedd.

...

"President Obama seems to believe that it is a good idea to have a key senior aide plan political strategy with people who believe faith in God is a disease," Nedd says. "Some of the people in this coalition believe the world would be better off with no Christians and no Jews and they aren't shy about it. The fact that this meeting is happening at all is an affront to the vast majority of people of all faiths who believe in God."

...

"The President should tell the American people whether he believes these groups' hate-filled views to be 'mainstream' and worthy of his supposedly inclusive administration," Nedd says.

Outrageous! 

President Bush would never have met with anyone who esposed "hate-filled views" ... would he

  • For the period April 2001 through June 2006, Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Emeritus James Dobson visited the White House 24 times; 10 of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director of the Traditional Values Coalition, made an astonishing 50 visits to the White House starting on February 1, 2001, and continuing through March 16, 2008. Six of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, made 43 visits to the White House between May 2001 and August 2006. Four of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Gary Bauer, President of American Values, made 10 visits to the White House, starting with a January 6, 2003 visit to Vice President Cheney and ending with a July 20, 2006 visit to President Bush.
  • The late Jerry Falwell, of Jerry Falwell Ministries, made eight visits to the White House between May 2001 and September 2004. Three of those visits were to President Bush.
  • Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, visited the White House 14 times between February 2001 and June 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
  • Louis Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, made 19 visits to the White House between March 2001 and September 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
  • The late Paul Weyrich, the Founder of Free Congress foundation, made 17 visits to the White House between May 2001 and July 2005, including six visits to President Bush and one to Karl Rove.
  • Donald Wildmon, Founder of the American Family Association, made three visits to the White House between July 2001 and March 2003, including one visit to President Bush. 

Of course, this is different because it is Obama Administration officials who are meeting with the Secular Coalition of America today at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building while these Religious Right leaders only got to meet with President Bush at the White House.

Perkins' Revoked Invitation Is Just Like Dred Scott

I have to say that the American Family Association's decision to promote Bryan Fischer from the head of the Idaho Values Alliance to the AFA's Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy last year has been a real boon for this blog as be has since become a constant source of good posts.

Today he weighs in on the news that the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins had his invitation to speak at a Andrews Air Force Base prayer luncheon rescinded with a complete and utter meltdown, declaring it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism:

The homosexual agenda represents a clear and present danger to virtually every fundamental right given to us by our Creator and enshrined for us in our Constitution.

Start with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the first two of our inalienable rights secured for us in the Bill of Rights.

As a culture, we must choose between the homosexual agenda or the Constitution because we can't have both.

Further proof comes from the abjectly pathetic decision of the chaplains' office at Andrews Air Force Base to rescind a long-standing invitation to Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council. Perkins had been invited to give a non-political talk at a prayer luncheon on the base yesterday, but was abruptly dis-invited for one simple reason: he supports the current law which makes homosexuals ineligible for service in the United States military.

...

The days of Dred Scott have returned. Christians now are the ones are being confined on the plantation, and warned about being too uppity ... McCarthyism has now struck the U.S. military with a vengeance. The question now that the military is asking is this: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of traditional morality?" If the answer is yes, you go on our blacklist, and we deprive you of your freedom of religion, speech and military service.

Realize the ominous portents here for the future of our military. Perkins' view represents the view of the vast majority of Americans, especially those considering military service. The new standard appears to be that, even if you are heterosexual, you must embrace the homosexual agenda or you will be banned from the military. That's where this is going, and at Andrews Air Force Base, we're already there.

Religious Right Now Exporting Its Anti-Marriage Equality Abroad

By now, we are all used to out-of-state Religious Right groups descending on places like Maine, Washington, DC, and elsewhere in order to set up shop in their nonstop effort to fight marriage equality ... but I have to admit that I never expected them to start exporting their efforts abroad.

But here they are, setting their sights on now fighting marriage equality in Mexico:

In response to a move to institute same-sex marriage in the Federal District which includes Mexico City (on March 4), more than 120 pro-family/pro-life leaders from 35 countries have signed the "World Congress of Families Leadership Petition To Save Marriage In Mexico City."

The Petition notes that "Mexico's Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman." Further, that all social ills begin with the decline of the family. Also "marriage substitutes ... undermine marriage and the family." The Petition observes that "children need both a mother and a father" and that those raised by two men or two women are "psychologically and socially disadvantaged."

The Petition calls on the government of Mexico City to refrain from implementing same-sex marriage and demands that the issue be decided at the national level, "with due regard to the nation's religious traditions, the wishes of the Mexican people and the needs of children and families, and consistent with Mexico's Constitution." Click here (www.worldcongress.org/special/wcf.mexpetsig.1002.pdf) to access the full Petition along with a list of signers.

U.S. signers (signing as individuals) include: Gary Bauer (American Values), Allan Carlson (World Congress of Families), Tom DeLay (former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives), Joseph Meaney (Human Life International), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Michele Velasco (Priests for Life), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage), Dr. Paige Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary),Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family) and Dr. Jerry Newcombe (Coral Ridge Ministries).

Right Mobilizes For Marriage Amendment In West Virginia

Yesterday, the West Virginia House of Delegates killed an effort to press for a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in the state.

And, of course, that means the right-wing, anti-marriage equality groups are trotting out their standard "let us vote" rhetoric for a press conference tomorrow to complain about it:

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia will hold a press conference during its "Let Us Vote" marriage rally featuring Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Randy Wilson, National Field Director for Family Research Council (FRC) and Jeremy Dys, President and General Counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. Several West Virginia lawmakers have also been invited to speak.

...

WHAT: Almost half of West Virginia's state senators have signed on as sponsors to a marriage protection amendment resolution promoted by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. The West Virginia Senate is sending a strong message that there is no legitimate reason to prevent the voters of West Virginia from settling the legal definition of marriage.

WHY: The proposed amendment, which a recent poll indicates is supported by at least 78 percent of registered Democrat voters, was introduced with broad bipartisan support, including the chairmen of three major senate committees and the vice-chairman of a fourth. If approved, the resolution, SJR 14, would allow West Virginians to settle the legal definition of marriage at a special election in 2010. It proposes a simple 19-word definition of marriage: "Only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in West Virginia."

WHERE: West Virginia Capitol, North Steps

WHEN: Thursday, February 25, noon

Fischer, LaBarbera Hail Sorba For This Anti-Gay Rant at CPAC

Last week we posted this video of California Young Americans for Freedom's Ryan Sorba blasting CPAC organizers for allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to serve as a conference co-sponsor:

Not surprisingly, Sorba is now being hailed as a hero by the likes of Peter LaBarbera:

I am so proud of this young man, Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans For Freedom, for having the guts to hold CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, accountable for allowing a homosexual activist group, GOProud, to sponsor its conference. Organized homosexuality has no part in a truly “conservative” movement. We need a few dozen more Ryan Sorbas in our pro-family movement to put the “queer” activists on their heels for a change – instead of constantly being put on the defensive by a perversion lobby that equates sexual misbehavior and gender confusion with “civil rights.

The AFA's Bryan Fischer likewise praised him:

Sorba showed the courage of his convictions by simply declaring the truth. Said Sorba, "Civil rights are grounded in natural rights, and natural rights are grounded in human nature...and the intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction...civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary..."

...

Sorba was certainly right to condemn CPAC for this move. The bottom line here is if conservatives are looking for an annual convocation of genuine conservatives - those who are fiscal, national security and social conservatives - the place to be is the Values Voter Summit.

VVS, sponsored each fall by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, will never waver on the truth that protecting one man - one woman marriage is the most fundamental conservative value of all.

The Mystery of Richard Viguerie's Sudden Support For The Mount Vernon Statement

Earlier today I wondered just what Richard Viguerie's name was doing on The Mount Vernon Statement since, on Monday, he called it embarrassing pablum.  But today he went ahead and signed it and even issued his own statement praising it as a good first step:

"I am pleased to be a signer of the Mount Vernon Statement.

"I feel it's a good first step, and I applaud those conservatives who have provided the leadership to produce this statement of conservative principles.

"In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with all principled conservatives, including the newest branch of the small-limited government coalition, the Tea Partiers, to take the steps necessary to maximize our victories in 2010 and beyond.

This doesn't really make any sense; why would he dismiss the statement as a meaningless joke on Monday only to turn around two days later and add his name to it?

I wonder if it might have had something to do with the fact that initially it looks like he wasn't asked to sign on. 

The first mentions of this statement appeared last week, first on The Atlantic and Politico, both of which listed key signers but didn't include Viguerie:

The Atlantic - "Some key conservative luminaries will be in attendance at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, VA (an original part of George Washington's Mount Vernon properties): Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, former Reagan policy adviser Kenneth T. Cribb, Kenneth Blackwell of Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh."

Politico - "The big names attached to it include former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which is putting on CPAC, among others."

On Monday, the Washington Times wrote about it and quoted Viguerie dismissing the statement as meaningless.

And guess what? The very next day, Politico wrote another article about the statement and guess who's name appeared in the list:

The statement's drafters, who will sign it near George Washington's Mount Vernon home Wednesday afternoon, include figures from differing wings of the movement: former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and David Keene, the head of the American Conservative Union, sponsor of this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, with which the signing of the Mount Vernon statement is meant to coincide.

This list is nearly identical to the list Politico provided last week, with the exception of the sudden inclusion of Viguerie.

So what happened between Monday, when Viguerie was telling the Washington Times the whole thing was a pathetic joke, and Tuesday when he name was being listed among the statement's primary supporters? 

I'm guessing that organizers reached out to him and asked him to add his name, which was all it took to make this embarrassing pablum into a demonstration of conservative leadership and principles.

Look Who's Joining TFP For DADT Press Conference

In my earlier post about the absurdly anti-gay Tradition, Family and Property "report" opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I wondered who would be joining them at their press conference tomorrow to unveil it at CPAC.

Now we know

* Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
* Tom Minnery, Vice President, Public Policy, Focus on the Family
* Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
* Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy
* David Keene, President, American Conservative Union
* Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America
* Matthew Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law
* Jordan W. Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
* Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.), Flag & General Officers for the Military

Leaders from other prominent organizations, such as Eagle Forum, Let Freedom Ring, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, and Tradition, Values & Property (partial list) are lending support to the Military Culture Coalition, an informal network of individuals and organizations who support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C.).

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

Family Research Council Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/04/2012, 1:55pm
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, 11:15am
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, 5:34pm
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, 11:00am
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 >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 11/29/2012, 5:39pm
Michael B. Keegan @ Huffington Post: Dear Fellow White Men. Asawin Suebsaeng @ Mother Jones: The Latest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama's Third Term. Alvin McEwen: Hate group is livid over SPLC's lawsuit against 'ex-gay' group. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Fox News Freaks Out: Gay-Inclusive Marriage Forms Will Destroy Society. Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Walid Shoebat Claims Jewish Ancestry “On Both Sides.” Warren Throckmorton: Unconditional Love Reparative Therapy Style. Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Bill O’... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/29/2012, 4:55pm
The Family Research Council claimed on its blog today that the group has always opposed Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and accused progressive bloggers of having “mischaracterized” a tweet sent by FRC head Tony Perkins praising Uganda’s leadership just as its Parliament is preparing to vote on the notorious legislation. But while it sends one message to the public, in 2009 the FRC admits to having spent thousands of dollars lobbying for Congress trying to revise and muddy the resolution condemning the bill because they said it would entail “pro-homosexual... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/29/2012, 3:40pm
Conservative organizations have come out strongly against the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities, with Rick Santorum leading the charge. The groups are upset about the treaty ensuring that people with disabilities have equal rights because they claim it is “pro-abortion.” Article 25 of the Treaty reads in part:  States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/16/2012, 5:30pm
Allen West's request for a recount in his lost bid for re-elections has been denied. On a related note, Gary Cass claims that West is being denied a recount because "he’s being singled out as a Christian elected official." Matt Barber says that churches that do not preach against homosexuality "are not engaging in love and grace; they are doing something most hateful." Beware! The "Twilight" books and movies are a "doorway to darkness." Franklin Graham is now claiming he was unaware that the Billy Graham... MORE >