Focus on the Family

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.

James Dobson Endorses Santorum, Hopes He Can Stop Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson endorsed Rick Santorum today, which comes as no surprise as Dobson advocated for Santorum behind closed doors at a meeting with fellow Religious Right leaders in Texas. According to reports, Dobson feared the repercussions of electing Newt Gingrich and having “a woman who was a man’s mistress for eight years” as First Lady.

In his endorsement, Dobson said that “the institution of the family” is “in serious jeopardy,” warning that the “very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.” Dobson has previously compared Santorum to Tim Tebow and saluted him for “standing up for righteousness,” and joins social conservative activists Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance, Richard Viguerie, John Stemberger and Gary Bauer in endorsing the former Pennsylvania Senator:

Dr. Dobson, well-known radio broadcaster, psychologist and author of 35 best selling books, and consultant to three U.S. Presidents, said today, "The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation. It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests. If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order. And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy. The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.

"Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern. He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children. What a refreshing message. The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children. That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back. Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013. We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation.

"While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign."

UPDATE: Rick Santorum thanked Dobson in a statement and hoped his endorsement would help “build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win”:

I am truly honored to receive Dr. Dobson's endorsement today. Dr. Dobson has been a light for conservative movement, an unwavering leader in the face of forces both within and outside our Party to call a truce on the foundational principles that make our nation the greatest in the history of the world, but he knows that calling a truce is nothing more than surrendering. I commit to never surrender our principles, our foundational values, and the moral enterprise that is America. I am excited to work with Dr. Dobson in the weeks to come as we build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win.

Meanwhile, the Red White and Blue Fund, a pro-Santorum Super PAC, is airing a new ad in South Carolina narrated by Bauer, who helped found the Family Research Council with Dobson, calling Santorum an opponent of “liberal elites and those who seek to undermine the nation’s freedoms and moral fabric”:

After Multiple Layoffs and Budget Cuts, Focus Branches Out into Financial Planning

Since 2007, Focus on the Family has undergone round after round of layoffs while watching its annual budget get cut almost in half as the organization has regularly struggled to make ends meet.

So I guess it only makes sense that Focus has decided to expand its counseling services to helping families struggling with financial problems to "become debt free and live a life of financial freedom":

Focus [On The Family] has banded together with two Christian organizations, Crown Financial Ministries and Finicity, to bring a message of freedom and hope to millions of families trapped in cycles of financial disorder.

...

"At Focus we hear from countless families who are struggling with significant personal debt and having difficulty living within their means - the numbers of those looking for help has especially increased during these trying economic times," says Rich Bennett, Vice President of Ministry Strategy at Focus on the Family. "The financial piece impacts their marriages, their ability to effectively parent, their spiritual, mental and emotional health, and even the quality of their lives."

"To that end, we are excited to partner with these trusted organizations to bring proven, effective solutions to assist with these pervasive family problems."

According to Focus on the Family, it's not 'Pro-Life' to Protect Newborns from Mercury Poisoning

Like David Barton, who has no academic training as a historian but is the Religious Right’s point person on American history, Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”

Beisner is especially concerned about growing calls for environmental protection made by evangelical Christians, and has went out of his way to attack groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network for calling on public officials to clamp down on mercury poisoning. Beisner’s outburst against his fellow evangelicals should come as no surprise, as he has even gone after a Koch-financed study which actually confirmed the science behind climate change. He joined Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, whose head Tom Minnery appeared in Beisner’s Green Dragon video series, to disparage the EEN for thanking both Republican and Democratic politicians who supported efforts to reduce mercury emissions:

According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.” Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.”

In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.

“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”

But the Center for Disease control did in fact find that one in six newborns, or 630,000 of the 4 million babies born annually, are “at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother's womb,” which PBS described as mercury levels “so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities and motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.”

This attack on evangelical environmentalists comes at a time when Focus on the Family head Jim Daly pledged to take the organization in a different direction than his predecessor James Dobson, and Christianity Today reported that CitizenLink recently launched “an effort to reach young adults on issues related to sex trafficking, poverty, and the environment.” It also puts the group at odds with the long list of evangelical leaders who signed the “Evangelical Call to Stop The Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn.”

But apparently for Focus on the Family, being “pro-life” does not entail protecting newborns from mercury poisoning.

“Mormon Issue” Keeps Romney out of Weekend GOP Debate, Highlights Religious Right Schism

The next Republican presidential debate – the Thanksgiving Family Forum – is tomorrow in the crucial early caucus state of Iowa. The elephant in the room will be the elephant not in the room – frontrunner Mitt Romney who is avoiding the event, presumably to prevent the “Mormon issue” from heating up again.

The Thanksgiving Family Forum is being sponsored by three right-wing organizations: Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Leader, an Iowa-based Christian conservative organization. On the face of it, Romney fits in rather well with this crowd. He has called homosexuality “perverse” and “reprehensible” and has signed on to NOM’s pledge against equal rights for committed gay and lesbian couples. So far so good for Mitt, but there’s a theological snag.
 
Many Religious Right activists and organizers care first and foremost about supporting a “real” Christian. However, according to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, “nearly half (49 percent) of white evangelical Protestant voters do not believe that the Mormon faith is a Christian religion.”
 
Romney desperately wants to avoid a repeat of the Values Voters Summit, where high profile Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress introduced Rick Perry and then claimed that Romney is not a "true, born again follower of Christ." The attack captured national headlines and greatly hindered Romney’s efforts to woo the Religious Right.
 
After Romney bowed out of tomorrow’s debate, which will feature all the other top GOP candidates, Family Leader founder Bob Vander Plaats went on Fox News to denounce the decision:  “Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa[.]This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president.” Earlier Vander Plaats said that “should Romney decide to show up, there is no doubt that the hidden question on Mitt Romney has been his Mormon faith.”
 
Despite Romney’s deeply  conservative social views, the “Mormon issue” will continue to haunt him, and no amount of pandering can overcome what appears to be a deep-seated theological objection. Look no further than Religious Right radio giant Focus on the Family.
 
Focus’ CitizenLink made headlines in late 2008 when it pulled an interview with Glenn Beck over his Mormon faith, as the Deseret News reported:
 
James Dobson's Focus on the Family ministry has pulled from its CitizenLink Web site an article about talk show host Glenn Beck's book "The Christmas Sweater" after some complained that Beck's LDS faith is a "cult" and "false religion" and shouldn't be promoted by a Christian ministry.
 
The controversy reportedly began when the group Underground Apologetics issued a press release on Christian Newswire attacking the Mormon faith:
 
While Glenn's social views are compatible with many Christian views, his beliefs in Mormonism are not. Clearly, Mormonism is a cult. The CitizenLink story does not mention Beck's Mormon faith, however, the story makes it look as if Beck is a Christian who believes in the essential doctrines of the faith.
 
Shortly after, Focus on the Family caved:
 
We do recognize the deep theological difference between evangelical theology and Mormon theology, and it would have been prudent for us at least to have pointed out these differences. Because of the confusion, we have removed the interview from CitizenLink.
 
Earlier in 2008, Tom Minnery – CitizenLink’s executive director and an organizer of tomorrow’s debate – was quoted in Time saying that “Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith.” However, he acknowledged that “on the social issues we are so similar.”
 
Minnery appeared somewhat conciliatory on Wednesday, saying that “There is room for people who do not hold an orthodox Christianity, we prize Thomas Jefferson, but I don’t think anybody would say he was an orthodox Christian in his beliefs.” However, that begs the question of whether the Religious Right views Romney as a non-orthodox Christian or a non-Christian. Minnery himself seemed to answer that question four years ago.
 
As for Romney, he will continue to tout his social conservative credentials while doing his best to keep his religious views out of the limelight.

 

Alliance Defense Fund To Launch Law School Aimed At Creating "Liberal Chaser" Attorneys

Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers.

Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent University School of Law’s (originally Oral Roberts University’s Coburn School of Law) alliance with the American Center for Law and Justice. As Sarah Posner notes, such law schools intend to “teach the ‘biblical’ foundations of the law” and create “lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.”

According to the National Law Journal, the new law school “is named for Paul Pressler III, a former Texas Court of Appeals judge who helped lead the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1970s.”

The founding dean of the Pressler law school, J. Michael Johnson, was previously senior counsel of the ADF and, according to his Townhall.com bio, has “provided legal representation to organizations such as Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Toward Tradition, the American Family Association, and Coral Ridge Ministries, and numerous family policy councils and crisis pregnancy centers.” In 2005, Johnson won the “Faith, Family and Freedom” award from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for his work defending the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.

Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Perkins, who is a member of Pressler’s board of reference, spoke to Johnson about the new law school. Johnson said the law school would be “not unlike what our colleagues are doing at the Liberty University School of Law and the Regent University School of Law.” Perkins said, “This law school’s not going to be pumping out ambulance chasers, this is going to be pumping out liberal chasers, I mean we’re gonna track them down, wherever they are and we’re gonna defeat them, and if we can’t defeat them in the policy realm we’re gonna defeat them in the courts.” He added, “This law school is gonna be pumping out God-fearing, American-loving, family-defending attorneys”:

The choice of Louisiana College is no surprise. The school claims it “seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline” and believes “academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.”

In 2008 the school barred members of the Christian LGBT group Soul Force from appearing on campus. In his decision to bar the group, the college’s president cited a fake James Madison quote propagated by David Barton, which states that the U.S. government was based on “the Ten Commandments.”

Now David Barton is serving on the board of the law school.

Along with Perkins and Barton, Religious Right leaders on the board include Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, Alveda King of Priests for Life, Religious Right luminary Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Kelly Shackleford of the Liberty Institute and Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese. Republican politicians including Reps. Rodney Alexander and John Fleming, former congressman Bob McEwen, and senatorial candidate and Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are also on the board.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pamela Geller declares victory in the ten million dollar lawsuit filed against her.
  • Richard Land explains how the death penalty is actually pro-life.
  • Focus on the Family warns that liberals are using cute, fuzzy animals to brainwash kids into supporting homosexuality.
  • Bryan Fischer explains that we have to support Israel because God said so.
  • Janet Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" prayer rally reportedly drew hundreds of participants.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC calls on the Pentagon to postpone the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • I have no idea why the AFA is warning that "a horrific global water crisis is coming," but they are.
  • Shockingly, Bill O'Reilly is a massive egomaniac.
  • Tom Tancredo goes after the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Right-wing anti-government activist Hal Turner was found not guilty of threatening federal officials.
  • Finally, Focus on the Family has been forced to lay off yet more employees.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms do not appear to approve of our efforts to get New York town clerks to do their job.
  • Speaking of Focus, for all of the organization's talk of seeking common ground on the issue of abortion, The Colorado Springs Gazette is unable to find evidence that there has been any outreach.
  • Operation Rescue stands by Priests For Life.
  • Herman Cain has been confirmed for the Values Voter Summit.
  • Finally, is anyone surprised to find that WND is now publishing Bryan Fischer's bigoted columns?

Focus on the Family Doubles Down On Their Fight Against Anti-Bullying Programs

Focus on the Family has been one of the foremost opponents of anti-bullying initiatives that address the problem of bullying against LGBT youth, often working through its affiliate True Tolerance. True Tolerance organizes parents to fight “pro-homosexual curriculum” and holds an annual “Day of Dialogue” to counter the anti-bullying Day of Silence. Candi Cushman of True Tolerance joined Carrie Gordon Earll, the Senior Director of Issues Analysis of CitizenLink (Focus on the Family’s political arm), on yesterday’s CitizenLink Report. On the program, Cushman warned against “one-sided promotion of homosexuality to kids” and Earll lamented that anti-bullying programs are “flooding [students] with adult themes and messages.”

“It just seems irresponsible and possibly even damaging for school officials just to open up their doors to messages from homosexual activist groups, political activist groups, that might push students to prematurely embrace a sexual identity that they’re not really equipped to handle,” Cushman tells Earll. “If we really want students to be safe we shouldn’t be allowing groups to come in and sexualize our children.”

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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

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/16/2013, 4:20pm
The House GOP’s resident provocateur Steve Stockman (R-TX) appeared on The Steve Deace Show yesterday to urge his fellow Republicans to oppose immigration reform because Latinos typically vote Democratic. Stockman mocked the claims of pro-reform conservatives who believe that many Latinos would back the GOP if the party backed away from its hard-line stance on immigration reform, while noting that reform efforts would only help Obama in his plan to “destroy America.” Stockman: Their advice is: allow this to happen and they will somehow overnight turn into Republicans. I... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 03/26/2013, 4:02pm
For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/11/2013, 2:18pm
Just last week, the New York Times ran a profile of a new 'kinder and gentler' Focus on the Family under current president Jim Daly who purports to be trying to change the tone of the debates over contentious issues like abortion and marriage equality while defending his conservative Christian positions on such issues. Daly operates under the impression that so long as he approaches these debates in a gentle, thoughtful, and prayerful manner, he can open others up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make converts, and ultimately win people over to his side of the argument. Today, on Focus... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/20/2013, 6:33pm
Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: "Friends of Hamas -- The Origin Story." Jeremy Hooper: Focus on the Family wants to flout nondiscrimination laws; but they're the 'victims,' natch. Rebecca Berg @ BuzzFeed: Missouri State Representative Shoots Holes Through Gun Control Bill. Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Fox Liberal Host’s Shocking Question: ‘When Was The Last Time You Heard About A Rape On Campus?’ Bradlee Dean Info: Bradlee Dean Says He Spent $77,000 on His Failed Lawsuit Against Rachel Maddow. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/07/2013, 5:45pm
Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family appeared with John Rabe and Carmen Pate on Truth that Transforms, the flagship radio program of Truth in Action Ministries, to argue that same-sex marriage is an oppressive and satanic ploy. After Rabe asked him why opponents of same-sex marriage sometimes have problems explaining “why redefining [marriage] is deadly,” Stanton claimed that the marriage debate “goes deep into not just our own faith but humanity itself.” He argued that resistance to same-sex marriage is necessary because “throughout the world if you look at how... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/30/2013, 3:15pm
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly is upset that the Boy Scouts of America may ditch its nationwide ban on gay membership and he is using Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and author, to make his case. Daly cites Wiesel in a blog post which claims that allowing “openly practicing homosexuals” in the Boy Scouts will undermine “the character and safety of the boys.” To the shock and disappointment of many of us, the Boy Scouts of America released a statement yesterday indicating the possibility of changing its policy that prevents the participation of openly... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/14/2013, 6:38pm
Michael B. Keegan @ The Huffington Post: A Tea Party Tipping Point? Michele Bachmann Returns to the Intelligence Committee. Anjali Sareen @ Mediaite: Colin Powell Accuses GOP Of Racism: They ‘Still Look Down On Minorities.’ Towleroad: Anti-Gay Maryland Lawmaker: Gay Marriage Vote Made Me Drink. Jeremy Hooper: Focus on the Family prez says homosexuality 'not a super sin.' Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Virginia State Senator’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Allow Students to Opt Out of Learning About Evolution. Eric Lach @ TPM:... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/19/2012, 6:36pm
Adam Peck @ Think Progress: Newt Gingrich Blames ‘Anti Religious’ Secular Government For Newtown Shooting. Anjali Sareen @ Mediaite: Piers Morgan Eviscerates Pro-Gun Advocate: ‘You’re An Unbelievably Stupid Man, Aren’t You?’ Dave Weigel: The Stupidest Thing Anyone Has Written About Sandy Hook. Ben Dimiero, Matt Gertz, & Rob Savillo @ Media Matters: Bill O'Reilly Covers The "War On Christmas" More Than Actual Wars, Again. Jeremy Hooper @ GLAAD Blog: Focus on the Family's Stanton goes after little girl, her fathers... MORE >