Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family Election Special Claims US Government is Modeled after Biblical Israel

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly hosted conservative pastor Tony Evans to discuss the importance of voting yesterday, which Daly kicked off by claiming that just a single vote brought Texas into the Union, would have stopped Hitler from coming to power, made German a second language in the US and defeated John F. Kennedy. While of course every vote is important, unfortunately, Daly’s list is entirely false and based on urban legends.

Daly made sure to keep the program nominally nonpartisan but did discuss why evangelical voters should prefer a conservative non-Christian candidate over a left-leaning Christian and lamented the supposed tendency of African Americans to only vote only according to race. While it was already clear who Daly and Evans wanted listeners to support, they made their pitch more apparent when the two asserted that the current administration is quashing freedom and attacking Christians. Daly warned that government keeps getting “bigger and bigger and wants to take away more and more of our freedoms” and Evans maintained that there is an attempt “to remove God from government” by increasing its size and weakening freedom.

Daly: Going back to this idea when government gets bigger, our liberties tend to get smaller. The Founding Fathers were uniquely geared to understanding corrupt government and what happens when tyranny occurs. How do we guard against that in this modern day? It seems like nothing new under the sun is occurring and as government in the US gets bigger and bigger and wants to take away more and more of our freedoms, how do we actually respond?

Evans: I think the church of Jesus Christ has to rise up as a unit and say it is unacceptable to remove God from government, it is unhistorical, it is certainly biblio-centrically unacceptable and therefore we’re going to as responsible citizens raise up godly people to run for office; we are going to vote for people who have biblical value system to get into office; we are going to on the various levels of government make our voices heard; we are going to register our people to vote on Sunday after church; we are going to make a comprehensive statement that we are not to be denied as Christians our freedoms in America and we can argue clearly from the Bible on small government. You know 1 Samuel 8, He says if you elect a government of me it will expand, it is going to overtax you and it will take, take, take, take, take, and you will lose the freedom that I intended for you. That’s what is happening in America and that is why God’s people have got to vote for the right government.

Adding a dose of pseudo-history, Daly argued that the Founders established the US government according to the Bible and Evans said that the US is modeled after biblical Israel and the Garden of Eden.

Daly: Tony, as we look at the mandate in the Bible to vote there is so much there and the Founding Fathers again were brilliant in understanding God’s design for things and the Scripture is pretty clear and really the Founding Fathers in creating a Republic based it on their biblical understanding of God’s ordination of government, didn’t they?

Evans: Absolutely, they went right to Exodus 18, how Israel was organized as a representative government, and used that as a pattern for the government of the United States. The principles and the freedom which dominates the uniqueness of the United States is drawn right from Scripture, in fact freedom started with God in the Garden, ‘from every tree of the Garden you may freely eat,’ there was broad freedom, limited regulations and dire consequences, that’s how government is supposed to work, so whenever government gets too big it gets unbiblical.

Focus on the Family Lists Homosexuality alongside Rape and Adultery as Signs of 'Brokenness'

Ex-gay activist and Focus on the Family analyst Jeff Johnston is launching a new group, with Focus’s blessing, focused on sexual orientation conversion therapy in the wake of criticisms of the tactic by Exodus International’s Alan Chambers. Johnston says that Satan is responsible for the “sexual brokenness” found in gays and lesbians and that their sexual orientation is a result of poor parenting and molestation. Today, Johnston posted on an article on Focus’s political arm CitizenLink where he mocked homophobia and heteronormativity as rare, ridiculous and unfounded, comparing the LGBT rights movement to a campaign of people with deteriorating eyesight who stop wearing their eyeglasses, even if that means causing accidents while driving, in protest of “binocular-normativity.” He lambasted LGBT rights advocates for having people be “defined” by “their brokenness,” saying that homosexual and transgender people are just more signs of the world’s “brokenness,” just like rape, adultery and STIs.

Aside from my own near-sightedness, astigmatisms and presbyopia, three family members have lost an eye – for a variety of unrelated reasons. Two of them wear prosthetic eyes. Yet everywhere I look, it is a two-eyed world. When was the last time you saw someone on television take out his prosthetic eye? My family started a campaign; you may have seen some of our bumper stickers: “Monoculars Unite!” “Blind is Good!” “End Binocular-Normativity!”

Textbooks should show more people with no eyes or one eye – why do they all assume people have two eyes? Kids with glasses get teased and called “four eyes.” Our national anthem is an insult – no, I can’t “see by the dawn’s early light” – until I fumble around and find my glasses. I spent a month protesting 20/20-vision-normativity by not wearing my glasses. After a couple car accidents, my wife made me put them on again. People with good vision don’t have to spend thousands of dollars over their lifetime for glasses, contacts, prosthetic eyes, LASIK, cataract surgery, seeing-eye dogs or learning braille. It’s just not fair.



Aside from nature and culture, God has also revealed his truth for our sexuality in the Bible. We go back to the words of Genesis – affirmed by Jesus in the Gospels – and read that God created us male and female in his image. Things are defined by their perfection, by what they are supposed to be, not by their brokenness. So we don’t redefine God’s creation or gauge how we should live by the broken sexuality we see around us: adultery, pornography, sexually-transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, abortion, infertility, transgenderism, homosexuality, misogyny, lust, divorce, rape.

Same-sex lusts, fantasies and sexual activity violate God’s male-female design in a unique way. Instead of normalizing brokenness, calling homosexuality “good,” and identifying people by their sexual attractions, those who follow Jesus are called to bring redemption, grace and transformation.

Similarly, our sexuality and relationships have been dreadfully impacted by sin. Many of us under-estimate the power and effects of sin; we don’t understand how what Dallas Willard calls “radical evil in the ruined soul” has affected our sexuality and relationships. Sin devastates lives. And sexual sin, because sexuality is so good, so powerful, and such a deep part of our being, is especially destructive.

Even in our sexual brokenness, we see glimmers of God’s design. One of those glimmers is that though humans have the capacity for all kinds of sexual behaviors, and despite sin, the world is largely heteronormative – and not arbitrarily so. Most cultures recognize the truth displayed in our bodies, that humanity is divided into two sexes, male and female. And almost all have some form of marriage – mainly to keep children with the husband and wife who procreated them.

Dobson and Passno Mourn that Feminist 'Lies' Have Ruined both Women and Men

For the second edition of James Dobson’s Family Talk program criticizing the feminist movement with former Focus on the Family vice president Diane Passno, the two fielded questions from an audience of young adults. One young woman asked what they would recommend to a person like herself who is “not ready to be a mom and a wife” but does have career aspirations. Passno, who is promoting her new book that criticizes feminism, told her that it is wonderful she has so many “opportunities that women of my era never had,” seeming to overlook the fact that the tremendous growth in opportunities for women is one of the accomplishments of the feminist movement. But she did caution her that she may only have those career aspirations because of what she hears from her parents and colleagues.

Questioner: What is your advice to young women like myself who—I’m not ready to be a mom and a wife and I have aspirations and I do have longings and hopes and desires to do things, is there a balance for that future? What’s your advice to me now as singles who are built with passions to serve the Lord and to do different things?

Passno: It’s wonderful. You have opportunities that women of my era never had and so I can totally understand when you say ‘I’m really not ready for marriage, I don’t even have a boyfriend and actually I’m really looking forward to taking my education and having a great career.’ My caution to you would be this: career isn’t everything and always use discernment in your professional life. Are you doing what you’re doing because you’re getting plaudits from your parents? From people you went to college with? Are you climbing up the corporate ladder because it’s what you’ve been told is important? Just remember to submit yourself daily to the Lord and He will guide you to where He wants you to be.

As Passno and Dobson later explained, the culture has been inculcated with “lies” from the feminist movement, leaving society with unhappy childless women, immature men, and remorseful feminists.

Dobson: You know what’s happening over and over now is that young women hear this message and they either postpone or decide not to have babies and then at 33 and 34 and 35 they start to panic and they realize they’ve missed an opportunity and it’s getting very late and there are many childless women today who would love to hold a baby and they were sold a lie. I resent the lies that are being told to the young women that are out there because in twenty years they will regret it, many of them will regret it and it will be too late.

Passno: I resent the lies that are fed to the young men as well because we have a generation of men who don’t know what it means to make a commitment, who don’t know what it means to protect a family, who don’t know what it means to cherish a woman and remain pure until marriage. The feminist movement has distorted so many things that were precious and that the Lord said in Scripture were precious.



Passno: There are many older feminists who are now looking back at their lives and questioning what they indoctrinated this generation with and they’re questioning it and they’re going ‘maybe I didn’t have all the answers,’ and unfortunately so many of them will never look to Christianity for the answers.

Dobson: And their children are even more confused because they’ve gotten mixed messages and the passion with which the early feminists started has now kind of diminished with time in the present generation.

Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family Unveil New Anti-Anti-Bullying Strategies

Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund, has been working with Focus on the Family to put together an “anti-bullying yardstick” that provides quite weak and watered-down measures to fight bullying. But backing ineffective measures to combat bullying may be the point, as the Religious Right has fiercely opposed comprehensive anti-bullying policies because of protections that would help curb anti-LGBT bullying, even to the point of supporting loopholes for bullies. Ironically, just today the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a report detailing the disproportionately high rates of bullying faced by LGBT youth, and how such bullying is less likely to materialize in schools with stronger anti-bullying policies.

ADF attorney Matt Sharp appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to denounce “oppressive” anti-bullying policies, and while Sharp insisted that the campaign is not linked to either the ADF or Focus’s anti-LGBT advocacy, it probably didn’t help that he was speaking to a talk show host who has consistently denounced LGBT rights and people. Just before Sharp appeared on her program, Mefferd criticized the Democratic Party for backing marriage equality by asking, “where’s the lightning?”

Sharp said that gay rights groups are using bullying as “an avenue for them to insert their homosexual agenda into the schools” and promote “the re-education of students.” He claimed ADF and Focus will provide an alternative to “the propaganda of homosexual activist groups that seek to promote their agenda in the schools,” describing their “propaganda” as books that dare to recognize the reality that some children are raised by same-sex couples!

Sharp: It’s important for schools to have proper respect for the First Amendment rights of students to express their views on religion, politics and other subjects without fear of being labeled as bullies or being punished by an oppressive anti-bullying policy that violates their rights.

Mefferd: Definitely, so we’ve seen a lot of these activist organizations getting involved in the schools, GLSEN is one that comes to mind because they’re been so big and have been so active, talk a little bit about what they have done in the way of anti-bullying policies?

Sharp: Yeah, we’ve seen several instances where they will come into schools and place pressure upon schools to adopt their model policies that are really just an avenue for them to insert their homosexual agenda into the schools. We actually saw a situation not too long ago up in Iowa where the group was promoting the re-education of students and tolerance training and all of this stuff that was meant to normalize same-sex marriage in these books they were giving to young elementary students portraying a family with two daddies and two mommies and things like that. The school district really didn’t know how to respond so it was important for us to get involved with them and help them to know that you don’t have to cave into these groups, there’s alternatives, that’s why we’re really excited about teaming up with Focus on this to provide an alternative to schools, to help them know what a proper anti-bullying policy that protects all students equally looks like without having to accept the propaganda of homosexual activist groups that seek to promote their agenda in the schools.

Sharp later asserted that groups like GLSEN “focus upon specific characteristics and elevate those to say ‘bullying against this is really bad and we don’t want that in school but other types of bullying may be tolerable.’” Actually, that is exactly what the ADF is doing by supporting religious exemptions for bullying. He even speak about bullying as almost only dealing with physical harm, which again ignores the serious harm posed by verbal abuse, cyber-bullying and harassment.

His argument is that enumeration, the policy of mentioning certain distinguishable characteristics tied to bullying to help combat bullying not only after it occurs but also to prevent it from happening in the first place, somehow doesn’t protect all students. For example, research shows that students with mental and physical disabilities are more likely to face bullying, and therefore enumerated anti-bullying policies frequently list ability as a highlighted characteristic. Similarly, studies demonstrate that LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth have a higher likelihood of being bullied.

Policies that mention sexual orientation and gender identity, along with ability, race, class, sex, national origin and religion, as characteristics that are linked to bullying help strengthen anti-bullying programs and don’t leave anyone out, as Sharp implies.

But ADF and Focus don’t really have a problem with enumeration, they just have a problem with anti-bullying plans that may be used to protect LGBT students. If ADF or Focus simply took a principled stand against enumeration in anti-bullying policies, then why haven’t these groups denounced them before they began including characteristics like sexual orientation and gender identity?

Indeed, putting an added emphasis on factors that are commonly connected to bullying does not make any student less protected—or as Sharp baselessly argues, allow for other cases of bullying—but help reduce bullying and create a safer climate for all students.

Dobson and Passno Deride Feminists for Becoming an 'Exact Replica of Male Chauvinist Pigs'

James Dobson dedicated yet another program on Family Talk to criticizing the “radical feminist movement,” this time interviewing Diane Passno of Focus on the Family, the Religious Right group founded by Dobson. Passno is out with a new book, Feminism: Mystique or Mistake?, which features a foreword by conservative talk show host Janet Parshall. Passno claimed that the feminist movement has “distorted” its Christian past and “is now completely antagonistic to the Christian faith,” and revealed her own unfamiliarity with feminism by arguing that contemporary feminism solely relies upon a “love affair with abortion” and a belief that men are not “necessary.” She told Dobson that women no longer scrutinize “the nonsense that’s being shoved down their throats” and the modern feminist has become “an exact replica of ‘male chauvinist pigs’ of thirty years ago.”

Passno: What’s so tragic about the feminist movement today is that what started as a Christian movement based on Christian principles and the wonderful examples that Jesus gives in Scripture—there’s so many women that are mentioned specifically in Scripture whose lives He touched and whose lives He changed for the better—and a movement that started in that way has become so distorted and is now completely antagonistic to the Christian faith.

Dobson: With a lot of either unintended consequences or consequences that were hidden. The National Organization for Women and what I would call the radical feminist movement really boils down to two issues today; you got them on the tip of your tongue?

Passno: Yes, you can define feminism today really as having two foundational issues. One is abortion, and of course this is a result of their love affair with abortion and so many of our listeners know that and understand that. What is less understood is the fact that what the feminist movement has done it’s gone from wanting equality with men to being a movement that doesn’t think men are really necessary at all.



Passno: I’m terribly disappointed in women today and I’m terribly disappointed that they are so quiet about some of the nonsense that’s being shoved down their throats and they swallow it, never question it. As a result, women, feminists today, are an exact replica of male chauvinist pigs of thirty years ago.

Focus on the Family Kicks off the RNC with 'Prayer Rally for America's Future'

After successfully crafting the Republican Party’s platform to be the “most conservative platform in modern history,” Religious Right activists were out in full force at Focus on the Family’s and the Florida Family Policy Council’s “Prayer Rally for America’s Future” in Tampa’s River Church, led by faith healer Rodney Howard Browne. Along with disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton, who argued that abortion is banned under the constitutional amendment guaranteeing jury trials, and the FFPC’s John Stemberger, who concluded the rally by attacking minority faiths, conservative leaders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and pastors Jim Garlow, Pam Olsen and Harry Jackson spoke at the prayer rally.

Watch highlights here:

Bachmann told participants that “at this moment in our End Time we are quite literally looking at a hurricane here at Florida, we are looking at political hurricane in our own country, we are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land,” telling them to “show up and suit up and stand up” and “pour it out for Him.” Scarborough mourned the prominence of Lady Gaga, “the Big Bang Theory,” Jerry Seinfeld, and “Brokeback Mountain,” while Jim Garlow warned that Satan is pushing gay rights in order to “destroy the image of God” and curtail freedom.

Staver said that courts have begun to “deconstruct the foundation of law,” leading to tyranny, legal abortion and same-sex marriage, and Olsen prayed for the Supreme Court to repent: “Lord we cry out for the US Supreme Court, God that these justices will realize that there is a judge higher than they are and God that they will bow before You. We a crying out for a president that will appoint pro-life justices that will stand for truth and this nation will turn back to You, touch the Supreme Court now.” Towards the end of the rally, Jackson asked for participants to pray that Maryland will overturn the new marriage equality law and to “let the fire of Your Holy Spirit to fall upon Mitt Romney.”

Focus on the Family Reveals How Colorado Wildfires Are Providing a Valuable Lesson About Sex Ed

Right now, wildfires are currently devastating parts of Colorado and these fires are making the Colordao-based political arm of Focus on the Family think about ... sex? 

It seems that to the folks at CitizenLink, the tragic consequences of these wildfires are just like the tragic consequences of sex-education since teaching students about safe sex is no different than handing them matches and sending them out into the woods:  

Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath?

These questions are similar to what the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is asking Congress and state legislatures about our nation’s approach toward pre-marital sex ... Certain questions arise: Why aren’t our schools, our states and our nation placing a clear and unquestionable priority on sexual risk avoidance (SRA)? Why are we intentionally spending billions of dollars handing kids matches (condoms), which result in careless (sexual) “fires” and treating victims who have been unnecessarily burned by sex (STDs, pregnancy)? Wouldn’t prevention be cheaper and healthier?

“Safe” sex education – or promoting casual sex, while handing out condoms and birth control to kids – is analogous to passing out matches to kids in school, and telling them, “Be sure you play safely with these in the forest and, above all, have fun!”

It’s irresponsible messaging that encourages high-risk behavior at a great cost to families and our entire nation.

Yet our federal government currently pours nearly 16 times as much money into “safe” sex education than it does into helping kids learn how to avoid starting fires in the area of sexuality or SRA. Perhaps this is why we have so many uncontained “fires” caused by sex outside of marriage.

What can we learn?

  • Neither adults nor children should ever play carelessly with matches or fire, especially in forests. Safe places exist to enjoy the warmth of a contained fire in the right context at the right time – started and monitored by responsible adults.
  • Neither adults nor children should carelessly play with sex, especially outside of marriage. A safe place exists to enjoy sexual bonding within the right context at the right time – when a responsible, adult man and adult woman are able sustain a lifelong, commitment to each other within the context of marriage.
  • Don’t get burned by fire or sex; both can get out of control quickly, and both have the potential to harm you – and to hurt many other people, as well. Keep fires in the fireplace, and keep sex inside of marriage.

 

Jim Daly Claims Satan is Behind Push for Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly hosted Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Focus on the Family board member, to discuss same-sex marriage and its supposed threat to religious freedom. Daly claimed that Satan himself is promoting same-sex marriage since “he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image.” “The Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him,” Daly said, “and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.” Later, Mohler maintained that “same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes” and will replace religious liberty with a more limited freedom of worship:

Daly: When you look at human sexuality, someone suggested to me the other day, they said, if you think about it, the Enemy of our soul, yes we refer to this entity as Satan, that he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image. In other words, in the Scripture it talks about us being made in God’s image, male and female, and when we come together in lifelong commitment to marriage we become one flesh, that the Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.



Mohler: There’s no doubt that religious liberty is now very much on the line. As a matter of fact, same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes, and both sides on the controversy know it. You can look at the papers, the law articles, the kinds of things that are already on both sides of the argument. There’s a fundamental, shared understanding that this is going to be the big issue. You mentioned Christians running bed and breakfasts, Christians in any kind of employment situation or public services, photographers for weddings and frankly even churches are going to be very much on the line because what we’ve seen in recent political decisions is that religious liberty is really being reduced, and listen very carefully to what people are saying, is a freedom of worship. Religious liberty means much more than freedom of worship.

Religious Right Divided on Obama's Immigration Announcement

A number of top Religious Right figures over the last few years have been trying to rally support among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that Hispanics are potential allies in their anti-choice and anti-gay advocacy work while warning that if the Right continues to alienate and demonize Latino voters then they will be writing their own political death sentence. As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference enthusiastically applaud the Obama administration decision to stop deporting undocumented immigrations who are under the age of 30 and arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 years old, and Republican activist Adryana Boyne endorsed the move at the stage of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s national summit on Saturday.

However, not all social conservatives are on board.

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, who earlier this month signed onto the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table, called the announcement partisan and divisive. Minnery even suggested that the decision to stop deporting some young migrants is bad for families because they won’t be deported with their parents:

Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family’s senior vice president for government and public policy, said he was disappointed with the president’s actions.

“A quick fix in a contentious issue seems designed only for partisan advantage and will divide the country even further,” he said.

Minnery noted that the action will serve to break up families by targeting parents for deportation, while leaving young people behind to fend for themselves.

“Teenagers just out of high school, without intact families, are more likely to wind up dependent on the government,” he said. “This is no solution at all.”

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson attacked the decision by revisiting a debunked conspiracy theory that the Department of Homeland Security thinks that people “who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists vote,” and then went on to wonder whether Obama is going to allow the young people impacted by the decision to vote, even though they won’t be granted citizenship:

It’s so interesting to me that these people who are, whether they were brought here as children by fault of their known or not, they are still in the process of violating US immigration law. Janet Napolitano will work with her president to do whatever she can to honor those folks while first thing she did in this position, right out of the shoot back in 2009, was issue a white paper to all law enforcement saying that people like you and me who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists. Incredible; I continue to ask every day now what country am I living in? It is not the America I grew up in.



Another thing that was suggested by some, and I have tried to be fair about this and to try to ascertain how this could happen. I don’t know what the process would be to make this happen, but some have suggested that 800,000 young but old enough to get work permit illegals that the president is throwing out the welcome mat to, giving them basically a soft, backdoor amnesty, could this be his way in an election year, in just months before the election, of adding 800,000 plus votes to his side of the ledger in November? Good question to ask.

The Religious Right's Organizing Philosophy: Victory Through Redundancy

One of the most amazing things about Religious Right activism, especially around elections times, is how redundant so much of it is.

Back in 2010, it seemed like every organization was organizing a prayer campaign aimed at swaying the election.  But this time, it looks like the Religious Right is focusing more on getting conservative Christians registered to vote.

We have already written about the Champion The Vote effort, which seeks to register 5 million new Christian voters ahead of the 2012 election and some 50 million over the next decade.  And now it looks like Focus on the Family is heading up a joint voter registration with pretty much the same goal.

Yesterday, Focus released a new video in which Gary Schneeberger, the organization's vice president of communications, (mistakenly?) claimed the goal of the effort was to register some 50 million new Christian voters before the election, which would seemingly require them to begin registering more than 250,000 new voters daily. 

That seems highly unlikely, especially since the rudimentary website for the effort, called Commit2Vote2012.com, says that the goal is to reach some 5 million unregistered voters: 

It's really a matter of simple math: If we want politicians and policies that reflect our most deeply held Christian convictions to win on Nov. 6, we need to ensure fellow believers register to vote and then get to the polls on Election Day.

And you can help make that happen with your financial gift to Focus on the Family's most ambitious voter-registration effort to date. "Commit 2 Vote 2012," an unprecedented partnership with six other pro-life, pro-family groups, aims to reach 5 million unregistered, pro-life Americans with easy registration materials and the motivation to vote their values on Election Day. Every dollar we raise is another potential voter activated who shares our morals and biblical values.

The election is only six months away and Focus is just announcing this massive registration effort now?  How exactly do these various Religious Right groups plan on registering nearly one million voters per month via a project that doesn't even have so much as a website yet?

Focus on the Family Withdraws 'License to Discriminate' Amendment in Colorado

This weekend Tom Minnery, the head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, announced that the group will be withdrawing a so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” from consideration in the upcoming election, citing what he deemed cumbersome rules on petitions. Zack Ford of Think Progress points out that the amendment effectively would give certain groups or individuals “veto power over all policy decisions,” as pharmacists could cite “a sincerely held religious belief” not to fill prescriptions like birth control, teachers could refuse to teach evolution, and employers could have free rein to discriminate against LGBT employees.

The Denver Post reports that Minnery is considering “another attempt at a ballot measure in the 2014 election cycle or look at a legislative push next year”:

Focus on the Family senior vice president Tom Minnery said Friday the conservative Christian advocacy group soon will withdraw its ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment prohibiting state interference with the religious freedom of a person or organization.

The draft language of the ballot measure said government may not directly or indirectly burden a person or organization by withholding benefits, assessing penalties or excluding a person or group from government programs or facilities.

"There's a tangled thicket of regulations that make it difficult to negotiate our way through the process," Minnery said. "When you think of a genuine grassroots effort by volunteers, (some rules) are a wet blanket in that process."

Minnery said there is pending federal litigation — the Independence Institute, Jon Caldara et al. vs. Bernie Buescher — challenging many aspects of state rules governing the initiative process. It could result in removing some of the worst thorns, Minnery said.

Minnery said one drawback in the process as it now stands is that anyone can file a civil lawsuit alleging fraud against ballot-petition circulators if any petition signers falsify information.

Colorado Springs-based Focus would consider another attempt at a ballot measure in the 2014 election cycle or look at a legislative push next year, Minnery said.

Focus also withdrew a similar measure in 2010.

Garlow Says Satan is behind 'The Radical Gay Homosexual Agenda,' then Demands Gays 'Dial Down the Rhetoric'

Jim Garlow, who helped lead the campaign to pass Proposition 8 and head of Renewing American Leadership, appeared on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly today where he called on gay right advocates to “dial down the rhetoric” they use against their conservative opponents. Before his appeal to the gay community for more civil discourse, however, Garlow said that “the radical gay homosexual agenda” will “shut down” religious freedom and that the “redefinition” of marriage is actually a plan of Satan. Repeating a claim he has made before, Garlow alleged that the legalization of same-sex marriage is a demonic plot to “destroy marriage on earth.” Surely, Garlow may want to reconsider lecturing gays and lesbians about the use of divisive rhetoric after telling them they are led by Satan and out to crush religion.

Everybody on both sides of this issue full well knows the implications, that these are two locomotives coming at each other and those two locomotives cannot exist on the same track on the same time, and one is the radical homosexual agenda and the other one is religious liberty. They cannot be in the same country at the same time. People at the upper levels on both sides full well know that, they are fully, clearly aware that religious liberties, the capacity to worship God as we do, will be shut down if the radical gay homosexual agenda actually succeeds.



If I were Satan, this is key, if I were Satan, I would want to destroy the image of God on the planet. How do you do that? You’ve got to destroy the institution of marriage. If I were Satan I would want to destroy marriage on earth with divorce, I would want to destroy it with redefinition.



I would appeal with all my heart for the rhetoric to be dialed down and not to substitute ‘you’re a hatemonger’ when really what you’re saying is ‘I disagree with you.’ We mean it when we say we truly love you, we truly love you and we know our hearts better than you do, we truly love you, if we didn’t we’d be manifesting things in a very, very different way. I would appeal to you, if you happen to be one who feels vociferous about this issue and you’re a leader of the homosexual community, if you can, if you see it within yourself, dial down the rhetoric.

Focus on the Family Warns of Day of Silence 'Indoctrination,' 'Promoting Homosexuality and Transgenderism'

Religious Right activists are reviving their anti-anti-bullying campaign by attacking April 20th’s Day of Silence, an annual event when students protest bullying and anti-LGBT bias. Religious Right groups are once again promoting Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue, a counter event scheduled for the previous day. Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family on Friday joined Janet Mefferd to warn about how the Day of Silence “crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.” Mefferd, delighted that the Day of Dialogue would stand opposed to the “deluge” of “gay propaganda,” was especially startled by the idea that gay rights advocates wanted same-sex couples to be allowed to participate in proms.

Mefferd: I just love the idea of the Day of Dialogue because we do see so many Christian kids hearing gay propaganda and being deluged with this stuff. Let’s go back to the Day of Silence, now how long has this been around and how has this played itself out in the schools?

Cushman: It’s been around for a longtime, nearly a decade now. It started just as a group of college students, actually this was first intended for older students but now GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, has done a good job of infiltrating this event all the way down to middle schools, sometimes even elementary I believe, and the event is now in I would say nearly 8,000 middle schools and high schools and some colleges today.

Mefferd: Wow. What goes on during the Day of Silence? Obviously they are silent and it’s all about bringing attention to the LGBT issues but how does it play itself out?

Cushman: Well they say it’s all about promoting safe schools and anti-bullying but if you look at what they actually encourage students and teachers to do it crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism. For example they encourage teachers on this day to discuss LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender themes in the classroom, to have materials on homosexuality and transgenderism displayed, books about it in the classroom, they have encouraged students to lobby for things like a ‘queer friendly prom.’ So it really gets into transforming students into being actions for adult gay and lesbian causes.

Mefferd: Wait, queer friendly prom? Is that what I think it is?

Cushman: That’s their word. That any combination of genders can go to prom together. it’s a problem when you have these things endorsed by the school.

Conservative 'Pro-Family' Groups Silent on Rush Limbaugh's Sexist Outbursts

The Media Research Center criticized everyone from Perez Hilton and Gossip Girl to the cast of Jersey Shore for using the word “slut,” but after right-wing talk show host tagged law student and women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute,” the group that claims to stand up for “people and institutions that hold traditional values” has repeatedly come to Limbaugh’s defense. MRC’s Scott Whitlock said NBC’s depiction of Limbaugh’s sexist remarks as “ugly” represented “a left-wing attack” and Brent Baker dubbed coverage of Limbaugh’s rant a “left-wing effort to impugn and silence Rush Limbaugh.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber even tweeted in defense of Limbaugh, Barber even saying that Limbaugh “showed class.”

Apparently, the word “slut” is only acceptable when it is used by a right-wing ally.

Concerned Women for America, which describes itself as committed to promoting “decency” in the media, has been completely silent about Limbaugh’s tirade. But the group is happy to post a statement regarding the talk show host’s praise for CWA, along with claims about the supposedly sexist treatment of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin by the media.

Focus on the Family considers the word “slut” a profanity and blamed “hip-hop/rap culture” for making it “become acceptable and even in vogue to be called a ‘slut,’” and urged people to stop buying music with words like “slut” that “objectify women.” But the organization still hasn’t commented on Limbaugh’s misogynist rants. In 2009 the group defended Limbaugh with a video, “When the liberals came for Rush.”

While these so-called “pro-family” organizations love to claim that they promote decency and values on the airwaves, they are either unwilling or uninterested in criticizing a prominent conservative who spent four days straight calling a student a “slut” on national radio

Religious Right Hyperbole on Contraception Coverage Mandate goes into Overdrive

The extreme and hysterical arguments emanating from the Religious Right over the contraception mandate in insurance plans would continue to amuse if not for the fact that their pathetic arguments only trivialize actual cases of religious persecution. While speaking with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, talk show host Janet Parshall claimed that the health care reform law shows that President Obama is “blinded by a doctrine of death” and is a “person whose heart is hardened.” She warned of an “erosion of free speech” and “an erosion of our practices” under the Obama administration:

Chuck Colson even told Jim Daly on Focus on the Family Radio that the contraception mandate may even lead government to dictate to churches on the doctrine of the Trinity:

Not to be outdone, Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council compared the contraception insurance coverage mandate to Nazi Germany, saying that churches should prepare to follow the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazi government for his involvement in the resistance movement and the plot to kill Adolf Hitler:

In recent days, Jewish rabbis have joined all Catholic bishops in the United States in expressing alarm over the President's "healthcare" mandates and other violations of the Constitution. The National Clergy Council deliberated for the last week on what it would do, consulting pastors, moral theologians, organizational executives and activists from around the US. As a result, the Reverend Rob Schenck, president of the Washington, DC based group, will begin the holy season of Lent 2012 by appealing to President Obama for answers with a "State of Emergency and Time for Speaking" declaration to be hand-delivered to the White House on Ash Wednesday morning, February 22, 2012.



As Rev. Schenck explains in the document, the action he and his committee have taken is inspired by the Nazi-era hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "the German pastor and martyr, who is an exemplar of what it means to hold to and to exercise one's religious, moral, and ethical convictions, even to the surrender of every other right, including the right to one's life." Bonhoeffer wrote on the "status confessionis," a time when churches must speak out. Schenck says in his letter this is such a time, "during which we must take extraordinary action to respectfully resist your decrees, state our deeply held and felt reasons for doing so, and call our coreligionists, and all people of conscience to stand with us." President Obama was publicly given a copy of a recent biography on Bonhoeffer by the author, Eric Metaxas, when Mr. Metaxas and the President shared a podium at the February 2 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel Action even likened the situation to the American Revolution:

Barack Obama is literally forcing insurance companies and self-insured religious organizations to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to Americans who want to pay for neither.

As I told you on Friday, President Obama has once again grossly overstepped the constitutional authority of his office. Thankfully, it appears that Americans have finally had enough.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, a leading member of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, recently said the Obama administration is “…as close to a monarchy as there’s been since the days of George III.”

In reality, our situation today may be even worse than during the founding era since King George III merely TAXED the goods that inspired the Boston Tea Party. Even so great a despot as he did not imagine he could FORCE the colonials to BUY the stuff!

Focus on the Family Spokesman Calls it 'Very Unscientific' to Believe Same-Sex Parents Can have Healthy Families

Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton joined John Rabe of Truth in Action Ministries on Truth that Transforms yesterday to discuss same-sex parenting. The two claimed that supporters of marriage equality are “unscientific” when it comes to family stability and have “completely ignored” evidence showing that same-sex parenting harms children.

Rabe: Glenn, it’s always very interesting to me because we Christians are portrayed as being often anti-science and anti-progress and so forth yet when you talk about the issue of marriage and family it’s interesting how the other side very quickly becomes the sentimentalists in the group, suddenly all the empirical data, all the scientific stuff, is completely ignored and you hear statements about ‘people who just love each other should be able to marry and define that for themselves.’ From an empirical perspective there’s not even any argument about how beneficial a traditional man-woman marriage and family is as opposed to other models, is there?

Stanton: You said it exactly right. It’s remarkable how those folks on the other side being the ‘reasonable ones,’ the ones who unlike us don’t believe in sentimentality and myth and things like that, they become very, very unscientific.

The claim that there is no “empirical data” or “scientific stuff” confirming the idea that same-sex parents can raise healthy and well-balanced children is false. In fact, it is anti-gay activists who are ignoring the research about same-sex parenting.

The American Psychological Association’s review of mainstream scientific literature has debunked claims that children of same-sex couples would have more mental and emotional problems. In addition, studies consistently find that children raised by same-sex parents are just as well-adjusted those raised in households with opposite-sex parents.

A University of Amsterdam study [pdf] on the “quality of life (QoL) of adolescents in planned lesbian families” found that their quality of life is no different from their peers:

In conclusion, the reported QoL for adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families is similar to that reported by the matched adolescents in heterosexual-parent families. This finding supports earlier evidence that adolescents reared by lesbian mothers from birth do not manifest more adjustment difficulties (e.g., depression, anxiety, and disruptive behaviors) than those reared by heterosexual parents.

Researchers from the University of Virginia similarly found that “adolescents with same-sex parents did not differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with opposite-sex parents”:

The results of the present study, which is the first based on a large national sample of adolescents living with same-sex couples, revealed that on nearly all of a large array of variables related to school and personal adjustment, adolescents with same-sex parents did not differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with opposite-sex parents. Regardless of family type, adolescents were more likely to show favorable adjustment when they perceived more caring from adults and when parents described close relationships with them. Thus, as has been reported in studies of children with lesbian mothers (e.g., Chan et al., 1998), it was the qualities of adolescent – parent relationships rather than the structural features of families (e.g., same- vs. opposite-sex parents) that were significantly associated with adolescent adjustment (Golombok, 1999; Patterson, 2000).

A Stanford University sociologist also sees no major differences among children in terms of educational achievement:

To the extent that normal progress through primary school is a useful and valid measure of child development, the results confirm that children of same-sex couples appear to have no inherent developmental disadvantage. Heterosexual married couples are the most economically prosperous, the most likely to be white, and the most legally advantaged type of parents; their children have the lowest rates of grade retention. Parental [Socio-Economic Status] accounts for more than one-half of the relatively small gap in grade retention between children of heterosexual married couples and children of same-sex couples. When one controls for parental SES and characteristics of the students, children of same-sex couples cannot be distinguished with statistical certainty from children of heterosexual married couples.

But groups like Focus on the Family and Truth in Action Ministries try to damage to the health and welfare of families led by same-sex parents with their consistent promotion of anti-gay laws and social stigmas.

CPAC: Goeglein Says Obama 'Savaged and Attacked' Marriage, Life and Religious Liberty

Focus on the Family's Tim Goeglein, a former Bush Administration official who resigned in disgrace after admitting to plagiarism, told CPAC today that more than any other president "in the history of the United States," President Obama has "savaged and attacked" marriage, life and religious liberty.

Watch:  

After 9th Circuit Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, Marriage Equality Opponents Look to the Supreme Court

The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco.

The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal victory:

Moments ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed down a sweeping ruling striking down California’s Proposition 8 and—for the first time ever—finding a "right" to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution!

This sets up an all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court.



A Supreme Court victory would preserve the marriage laws of 44 states, denying same-sex marriage radicals in their campaign to force gay marriage on the entire nation in one fell swoop. But if we lose at the Supreme Court, marriage will be jeopardized not just in California, but in all 50 states.

NOM also posted additional statements from Brown and board chairman John Eastman, who called it an “absurd ruling”:

“As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.”



“Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.”

The Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum dubbed the ruling a “Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage”:

No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.

We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage–tried in San Francisco–turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court. Every pro-marriage American should be pleased that this case can finally go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team’s arguments align with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision on marriage in American history.

Catholics for the Common Good president William May derided the court for failing to “to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society”:

"It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society," May said.

Federal District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided over a show trial about marriage in which plaintiff's counsel trotted out witness after witness with emotional arguments in a PR attempt to re-argue Proposition 8.

"Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory," said May.

"To reach his judgment about the voters and his decision to strike down Prop 8, he created a new definition of marriage as merely the public recognition of a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, the voters of California know that marriage is much more than that. It is the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. This is what marriage is; that is what it does. It is a reality that can only be recognized by law and never changed."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council accused the court of “judicial tyranny” and trying to “impose San Francisco values on the entire country”:

"Today's decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming from the most liberal Circuit Court in the country. This Hollywood-funded lawsuit, which seeks to impose San Francisco values on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists to force their will on their fellow citizens.

"This ruling substitute's judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a 'right' to homosexual 'marriage,' and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.

"Voters in 31 states have voted to uphold the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions," concluded Perkins.

Focus on the Family analyst Bruce Hausknecht called the ruling “yet another instance of social engineering”:

“Opponents of Prop 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father," Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family, said in a statement after the ruling.

“But no judge has the right to redefine marriage," he continued. "Doing so redefines parenthood, and offers yet another instance of social engineering based on the desires of adults rather than the interests of children."

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance asserted that the judges “undermined the foundations of the family and liberty”:

Once again, the Ninth Circuit lives up to its reputation as the most overturned court in the country. Only this time, they have reached a new low. They not only showed a complete disregard for the Constitution, but also for those principles and values that gave birth to it, and for "we the people" who are supposed to be the ultimate authority.

Californians voted overwhelmingly to support the traditional definition of marriage that has been the foundation of this great nation. Our experiences have shown us, as science proves, that the best environment for children to develop as productive members of our society is in a home where there is a mother and a father who love them and each other unconditionally. Yet with a stroke of the pen these three judges have undermined the foundations of the family and liberty.

Shame on them.

We know this issue will eventually end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and we hope, for the sake of our country's future, that they will show much more respect for the Constitution, our foundations and the people who give them the right to make these rulings in the first place.

UPDATE: The Capitol Resource Institute blasted the ruling as “a stunning assault on democracy”:

"This is a stunning assault on democracy and California's initiative process," explained Karen England, Executive Director of pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute and a key leader in the passage of Proposition 8. "Well over 50% of California voters approved Proposition 8; today their will was overturned by a panel of arrogant judges who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of us."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling is not the end of the road for Proposition 8.

"The truth will always prevail and we are confident that the traditional-and true-definition of marriage will be upheld by the Supreme Court," stated England. "The voice of the people must be heard and respected. The future of California and American families depends upon the sanctity of traditional marriage. It's time for the courts to recognize marriages' critical role in society and protect it."

Former NOM head Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes on National Review Online that the ruling represents a “breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic”:

In a breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic, a divided Ninth Circuit ruled 2–1 that because Prop 8 does not take away civil-union benefits for same-sex couples, it’s an unconstitutional exercise in irrational animus towards gay people.

Dishonestly, the court claimed it did not require any heightened scrutiny to reach this result.

Gordon Klingenschmitt said that the “Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves” as a result of the ruling:

The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the Founding Fathers wrote homosexual 'marriage' rights into the U.S. Constitution, and overturned California's Proposition 8 traditional marriage law, which had twice been passed by voters. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves, since all of them believed sodomy was a crime, and certainly not a Constitutional right.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver claimed the ruling “undermines the legitimacy of the judicial system” and represents the “unraveling of the actual judiciary”:

"This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. This is, I think, an illustration of why the judiciary has lost the confidence of the American people."

"If you look at ideology ... pushed by this particular panel, obviously that's what this panel did: they looked at their own ideological bias, their radical positions -- not the Constitution itself. And when they did that, it undermined their own legitimacy -- and I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny."

"They're not only saying that the voters don't have the right to amend their own constitution and define marriage, they're also saying that there is a constitutional, guaranteed right to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution itself. That's absolutely absurd. It is insane to suggest that there is such a right in the United States Constitution."

The Family Leader dubbed the court a “friend of the radical homosexual agenda” and referred to the ruling as a case of bullying:

Today's decision by the liberal 9th Circut Court, while expected, is sad and outrageous on many levels. Not least of which is "we the people" get bullied again by a few "robed masters." It's also evidence that when executives go wobbly on fighting the left's agenda and not appointing ONLY strict constructionist judges, who take the Constitution and due process seriously, we continue to lose these battles. However, the 9th Circuit's opinon is no surprise; they have been a friend of the radical homosexual agenda for years. As for us; we have only begun to and will continue to be in the fight! Join us!

Gary Bauer of American Values chided the “Circus” Court for attempting to “force its radical agenda down our throats” and “threatening religious liberty”:

The Ninth “Circus” Court of Appeals has struck again. Today, a divided three-judge panel overruled the majority of California voters and struck down Proposition 8 — the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The court’s majority ruled that traditional marriage “fails to advance any rational basis.” So in spite of thousands of years of recorded history, in spite of the values held by every major faith, in spite of basic biology and common sense and in spite of the will of the people, these left-wing judicial ideologues believe that normal marriage is irrational.

Here’s the bottom line: The culture war is real. The left does not intend to allow these issues to be decided by the people in their respective states. It will use the courts to force its radical agenda down our throats.

This is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be informed and active in the public policy debates of our time. These decisions are redefining our cherished values and threatening religious liberty.

After 9th Circuit Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, Marriage Equality Opponents Look to the Supreme Court

The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco.

The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal victory:

Moments ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed down a sweeping ruling striking down California’s Proposition 8 and—for the first time ever—finding a "right" to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution!

This sets up an all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court.



A Supreme Court victory would preserve the marriage laws of 44 states, denying same-sex marriage radicals in their campaign to force gay marriage on the entire nation in one fell swoop. But if we lose at the Supreme Court, marriage will be jeopardized not just in California, but in all 50 states.

NOM also posted additional statements from Brown and board chairman John Eastman, who called it an “absurd ruling”:

“As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.”



“Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.”

The Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum dubbed the ruling a “Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage”:

No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.

We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage–tried in San Francisco–turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court. Every pro-marriage American should be pleased that this case can finally go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team’s arguments align with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision on marriage in American history.

Catholics for the Common Good president William May derided the court for failing to “to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society”:

"It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society," May said.

Federal District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided over a show trial about marriage in which plaintiff's counsel trotted out witness after witness with emotional arguments in a PR attempt to re-argue Proposition 8.

"Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory," said May.

"To reach his judgment about the voters and his decision to strike down Prop 8, he created a new definition of marriage as merely the public recognition of a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, the voters of California know that marriage is much more than that. It is the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. This is what marriage is; that is what it does. It is a reality that can only be recognized by law and never changed."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council accused the court of “judicial tyranny” and trying to “impose San Francisco values on the entire country”:

"Today's decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming from the most liberal Circuit Court in the country. This Hollywood-funded lawsuit, which seeks to impose San Francisco values on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists to force their will on their fellow citizens.

"This ruling substitute's judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a 'right' to homosexual 'marriage,' and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.

"Voters in 31 states have voted to uphold the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions," concluded Perkins.

Focus on the Family analyst Bruce Hausknecht called the ruling “yet another instance of social engineering”:

“Opponents of Prop 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father," Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family, said in a statement after the ruling.

“But no judge has the right to redefine marriage," he continued. "Doing so redefines parenthood, and offers yet another instance of social engineering based on the desires of adults rather than the interests of children."

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance asserted that the judges “undermined the foundations of the family and liberty”:

Once again, the Ninth Circuit lives up to its reputation as the most overturned court in the country. Only this time, they have reached a new low. They not only showed a complete disregard for the Constitution, but also for those principles and values that gave birth to it, and for "we the people" who are supposed to be the ultimate authority.

Californians voted overwhelmingly to support the traditional definition of marriage that has been the foundation of this great nation. Our experiences have shown us, as science proves, that the best environment for children to develop as productive members of our society is in a home where there is a mother and a father who love them and each other unconditionally. Yet with a stroke of the pen these three judges have undermined the foundations of the family and liberty.

Shame on them.

We know this issue will eventually end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and we hope, for the sake of our country's future, that they will show much more respect for the Constitution, our foundations and the people who give them the right to make these rulings in the first place.

UPDATE: The Capitol Resource Institute blasted the ruling as “a stunning assault on democracy”:

"This is a stunning assault on democracy and California's initiative process," explained Karen England, Executive Director of pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute and a key leader in the passage of Proposition 8. "Well over 50% of California voters approved Proposition 8; today their will was overturned by a panel of arrogant judges who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of us."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling is not the end of the road for Proposition 8.

"The truth will always prevail and we are confident that the traditional-and true-definition of marriage will be upheld by the Supreme Court," stated England. "The voice of the people must be heard and respected. The future of California and American families depends upon the sanctity of traditional marriage. It's time for the courts to recognize marriages' critical role in society and protect it."

Former NOM head Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes on National Review Online that the ruling represents a “breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic”:

In a breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic, a divided Ninth Circuit ruled 2–1 that because Prop 8 does not take away civil-union benefits for same-sex couples, it’s an unconstitutional exercise in irrational animus towards gay people.

Dishonestly, the court claimed it did not require any heightened scrutiny to reach this result.

Gordon Klingenschmitt said that the “Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves” as a result of the ruling:

The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the Founding Fathers wrote homosexual 'marriage' rights into the U.S. Constitution, and overturned California's Proposition 8 traditional marriage law, which had twice been passed by voters. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves, since all of them believed sodomy was a crime, and certainly not a Constitutional right.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver claimed the ruling “undermines the legitimacy of the judicial system” and represents the “unraveling of the actual judiciary”:

"This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. This is, I think, an illustration of why the judiciary has lost the confidence of the American people."

"If you look at ideology ... pushed by this particular panel, obviously that's what this panel did: they looked at their own ideological bias, their radical positions -- not the Constitution itself. And when they did that, it undermined their own legitimacy -- and I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny."

"They're not only saying that the voters don't have the right to amend their own constitution and define marriage, they're also saying that there is a constitutional, guaranteed right to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution itself. That's absolutely absurd. It is insane to suggest that there is such a right in the United States Constitution."

The Family Leader dubbed the court a “friend of the radical homosexual agenda” and referred to the ruling as a case of bullying:

Today's decision by the liberal 9th Circut Court, while expected, is sad and outrageous on many levels. Not least of which is "we the people" get bullied again by a few "robed masters." It's also evidence that when executives go wobbly on fighting the left's agenda and not appointing ONLY strict constructionist judges, who take the Constitution and due process seriously, we continue to lose these battles. However, the 9th Circuit's opinon is no surprise; they have been a friend of the radical homosexual agenda for years. As for us; we have only begun to and will continue to be in the fight! Join us!

Gary Bauer of American Values chided the “Circus” Court for attempting to “force its radical agenda down our throats” and “threatening religious liberty”:

The Ninth “Circus” Court of Appeals has struck again. Today, a divided three-judge panel overruled the majority of California voters and struck down Proposition 8 — the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The court’s majority ruled that traditional marriage “fails to advance any rational basis.” So in spite of thousands of years of recorded history, in spite of the values held by every major faith, in spite of basic biology and common sense and in spite of the will of the people, these left-wing judicial ideologues believe that normal marriage is irrational.

Here’s the bottom line: The culture war is real. The left does not intend to allow these issues to be decided by the people in their respective states. It will use the courts to force its radical agenda down our throats.

This is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be informed and active in the public policy debates of our time. These decisions are redefining our cherished values and threatening religious liberty.

Dobson Joins Santorum on the Stump

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson appeared with Rick Santorum at a campaign rally in Colorado, which has its caucus on February 7. Dobson joined other Religious Right leaders in endorsing Santorum and hailed him for fighting against same-sex marriage, and reportedly also backed Santorum because he disapproved of Newt Gingrich’s third wife Callista. Dobson said that neither Mitt Romney nor Gingrich are authentic conservatives, lauding Santorum for caring “about the moral integrity of this nation” and his consistent “fight for marriage and fight for the unborn.” While Dobson stressed social issues, the former Pennsylvania senator claimed that his image as a “social conservative” was responsible for his third place defeat in Florida:

After delivering a pointed version of his stump speech before a crowd of more than 1,200 people at Mr. Biggs Family Funhouse here, Santorum introduced Dobson, the head of the conservative group Focus on the Family.

Dobson, who endorsed Santorum in January, made the point that he was at the event “as a private individual,” and this disclaimer may have allowed him to be a bit more candid.

“It would appear to me that Mitt Romney is not a conservative,” Dobson said to much applause. “And Newt Gingrich is not – well I don’t know what he is. You’re the only true conservative in the race.”

The two men then had a conversation that veered more personal than political, with Dobson explaining the rationale behind his decision to support Santorum in the Republican primary.

“I believe you really care about the moral integrity of this nation and I believe you will fight for it,” Dobson said to Santorum. “Fight for marriage and fight for the unborn child and fight for the all the other principles that matters so much to me and so many others.”

During his opening remarks, Santorum suggested that his image as a staunch social conservative potentially damaged his efforts to appeal to the majority of the Republican electorate whose primary concern for 2012 is the flagging economy.

“I had the highest favorability as anybody in Florida,” Santorum said. “But I didn’t win, even though I had the most positive – highest positive, lowest negative. I didn’t win, and you ask the people why, ‘well, we’re not sure you can win. People think you’re a social conservative and we need someone who’s an economic conservative.’”

But looking at the issues, Santorum argued, none of the three other major GOP candidates differ in their stated positions on social issues. “What makes me more socially conservative than they? Some would suggest that I actually believe what I’m saying as opposed to them,” Santorum said.
Syndicate content

Focus on the Family Top Posts

Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson is perhaps the most influential right-wing Christian leader in the country, with a huge and loyal following that he can reach easily through an impressive media empire. MORE >

Focus on the Family Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 10/24/2013, 10:04am
Last week, we reported that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown had just gotten back from a Moscow planning meeting for the 2014 World Congress of Families gathering in Russia. Brown confirmed his participation to Rachel Maddow, telling her “we are proud to work with our allies in Russia and around the world to protect marriage as the union as one man and one woman.” We now have a clearer idea of who those allies are. In a press release yesterday, the World Congress listed many of the participants in last week’s planning meeting. They included leaders... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/13/2013, 4:31pm
Employees at Focus on the Family are facing yet another round of layoffs. Meet the new, hard-line, action-oriented Heritage Foundation. This is what happens when Glenn Beck tries his hand at topical comedy. This sorry spectacle literally went on for half an hour. A poll commissioned by FreedomWorks found that "78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate." That cannot be good news for the Religious Right. Rand Paul loves the peaceful Jesus Finally, FRC prays that God will stir... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/09/2013, 8:46am
Over the weekend, Politico ran a profile of David Barton which pointed out that he remains extremely popular with the Religious Right and members of Congress, despite the fact that he is the author of the "least credible history book in print" and his "scholarship" is laughable. The piece noted that even his supporters have been forced to secretly edit videos and programs posted on their websites in order to remove some of Barton's more egregious falsehoods, yet they continue to stand by him, as Barton brags that the mounting evidence of his fundamentally inaccurate... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/22/2013, 2:25pm
Tom Minnery , head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, criticized Gov. Chris Christie for signing a bill barring the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. He told Stuart Shepard that ex-gay therapy is “common and there is a history of them working well, many people have lost their confusion about sexuality as a result of them to the good.” Minnery also feared the society is making kids think they are gay when they are not, increasing the need for the discredited pseudo-scientific practice: “As society prides itself on putting homosexuality on a pedestal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/16/2013, 2:45pm
Focus on the Family spokesman Glenn Stanton, who called same-sex unions satanic, ironically told virulently anti-gay talk show host Janet Mefferd in an interview yesterday that the Religious Right should move away from the polarizing rhetoric of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson, the founder of Focus. While discussing a study pointing to greater acceptance of gay rights among evangelicals, Stanton said that people are moving away from the tactics and style of leaders like “Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, you know even speaking here from Focus, Dr. Dobson.” Stanton said... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/24/2013, 4:37pm
Zoe Schlanger @ TPM: Texas GOP Rep On Abortion: Women Get ‘Cleaned Out’ With ‘Rape Kits.’ Joe.My.God: Byran Fischer Cites Biblical Support For Slavery As Reason To Oppose Immigration. David Weigel @ Slate: A Conspiracy So Vast ... Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Focus On The Family Leads Effort To Defend Ex-Gay Ministries After Exodus Shuts Down. Thomas Bishop: Fox's Todd Starnes Misses The Target On Military Persecution Claims. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/24/2013, 4:30pm
"Coach" Dave Daubenmire is quite proud of being a "right-wing wacko" and being featured on this blog. This is the spectacle with which Glenn Beck is going to forever change the Fourth of July? Of course, Muslim terrorists were responsible for the Colorado wildfires. Rick Santorum is now the head of a Christian movie studio. Seriously. On tomorrow's radio program, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly will interview U2's Bono. Finally, Steve Deace says "We don't need an Islamist invasion. Our elites are doing a great job of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/03/2013, 12:25pm
Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality. Watch highlights here: MORE >