Focus on the Family

Some Voting Advice From Focus on the Family

With the mid-term elections approaching, Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery has some simple advice on how to choose the correct candidate for whom to vote: vote for the Christian.

And how do you know which candidate is the true Christian? Well, it is the candidate that supports Focus on the Family's agenda, of course:

Does the candidate have a Christian world-view? Is he pro-life? A clue is whether he knows the embryonic stem-cell debate and opposes the process. Does she firmly support God’s definition of marriage, and does she oppose civil unions that give marriage benefits to same-sex couples? Does he believe that parents, rather than the state, have ultimate say over what a child learns in school? Is she hostile toward or silent on matters of faith? A candidate’s positions on all these issues are important indicators.

But beware that you can't just vote for the Christian - you have to make sure that you vote for the candidate from the right party because that determines who gets to set the agenda: 

Political Parties matter. You like the platform and values of a local candidate who’s running with the party you typically vote against. Should you cross party lines and vote for him? Don’t forget that whichever party is in the majority has control over which bills eventually reach the floor. You’re voting for more than individual candidates; you’re voting for which party sets the agenda.

Gee, since Focus on the Family is nonpartisan, I wonder what they could possibly mean by warning their activists not to "cross party lines"?

Does Focus On The Family Stand By Its Campaign Against Anti-Bullying Initiatives?

Back in August, Focus on the Family launched “True Tolerance,” its campaign to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying plans that include protections for LGBT students. Since the start of the school year, there have now been five reported cases of teens who have committed suicide following anti-gay bullying. GLSEN has been documenting anti-gay bullying, and according to a 2009 survey, the vast majority of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, and “40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.”

Focus on the Family, however, says that bullying isn’t the problem, anti-bullying policies are. The group’s True Tolerance campaign argues that school strategies to target bullying are really covert ways for “activists who want to promote homosexuality in kids” to “capture the hearts and minds of our children at their earliest stages.”

Candi Cushman of True Tolerance asserts that “gay activists” are “infiltrating classrooms under the cover of ‘anti-bullying’ or ‘safe schools’ initiatives.” That’s why Focus on the Family claims to be defending the “innocence and purity” of children against LGBT groups that conspire “under the cover of so-called safe-school initiatives” and use “‘Safety’… as a political arm-twisting tool to force an adult agenda into schools.”

True Tolerance goes on to suggest:

Listing certain categories creates a system ripe for reverse discrimination, sending the message that certain characteristics are more worthy of protection than others. Instead of bringing more peace and unity, this can politicize the school environment and introduce divisiveness among different groups of students and parents.

Why not emphasize instead the things we have in common as Americans? For example, we can unite around the teachings of our Founding Fathers—in particular, the principle that all men are created equal and that they are endowed with unalienable rights.

Under the calls for unity and equality, Focus on the Family turns the victims of bullying into the victimizers, claiming that the supposed discriminatory and manipulative actions of “gay activists” are the real problems in schools. After what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, maybe Focus on the Family should rethink its opposition to protecting all students from bullying.


Stanton Focused On Ensuring "Family" Doesn't Include Gays

Last week we noted how a new book "showed a significant shift toward counting same-sex couples with children as family" and how this trend was not sitting well with the Religious Right, especially Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton, who refused to accept the idea that legally married gay couples constitute a family.

And Stanton is apparently so very intent on restricting the use of the word "family" to only situations that meet his narrow definition, which is why he is lashing out against it once again, saying that people who think gay couples are a family are young and naive and generally have no idea what they are talking about:

"If they want to be called a family, that's fine. But, first of all, the conviction is not very deep," contends Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family. "It's absolutely not well thought out because if you ask them -- and other scholars have done this -- what supports [their] conviction...there's not a whole lot they can tell you."

He further argues that the demographic target of the study greatly influences the polling outcomes.

"This is primarily among young people, and young people are especially akin to that kind of 'whatever' attitude," Stanton points out. "Plus, one of the ideals of being young is sort of your open-mindedness, your idealism. [But] when you get older -- when you start to get married, when you start to have kids yourself -- you...become more conservative in the sense of they start to do need a mom and a dad."

Stanton is the "director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family" and he sure does seem focused on making sure that the term "family" does not include gays.

Finally, Rock-Solid Proof That Liberals Hate The Declaration of Independence!

Yesterday, Sarah Posner tweeted that this post from CBN's David Brody would become the "next idiotic anti-Obama meme":

In a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute last week, President Obama ad-libbed a key line from the Declaration of Independence but in the process left out the word “creator”.


If you look at President Obama’s prepared remarks before the speech was delivered, the Declaration of Independence line was not in there so clearly President Obama ad-libbed the line...and gets it wrong.

Conservative websites have been quick to pounce on this to possibly suggest that President Obama left the word “Creator” out on purpose.

And right she was, as Focus on the Family called it part of a "troubling trend," while Rob Schenck sees it as further evidence that Obama is a "skeptical humanist universalist," and Day Gardner sees it as proof that Obama is a secret Muslim because "no real Christian would do that."

And, of course, Bryan Fischer declares it to be due to the incontrovertible fact that liberals hate the Declaration of Independence:

So the President of the United States quotes the Declaration of Independence but omits the references to the Creator with a capital C.

And this highlights something that I observed before; I observed it with Elena Kagan and that is a striking thing, but liberals in the United States of America hate the Declaration of Independence.

Liberals, and statists, and socialists, and Marxists, and communists, and the political class by and large hates the Declaration of Independence.


They hate the Declaration of Independence because it unapologetically affirms the existence of a Creator.

Focus on the Family: Legally Married Couples Do Not Count As "Families"

A new book, "Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definition of Family," reports that surveys taken over the last several years "showed a significant shift toward counting same-sex couples with children as family - from 54 percent of respondents in 2003 to 68 percent in 2010. "

Of course, the surveys also found that there is "a solid core resisting this trend who are more willing to include pets in their definition than same-sex partners" ... and I am guessing that Focus on the Family falls into that category:

"Same-sex marriage is a dangerous social experiment," said Glenn Stanton, director of family formation studies for Focus on the Family. "A lesbian couple who legally married in Massachusetts - are they family? We would say, 'Absolutely not.'"

Stanton said it was increasingly difficult to engage in serious debate on the definition question.

"We're moving in this headlong direction toward same-sex families without any intelligent discussion about whether it's actually good for the children and the adults," he said. "This whole issue has boiled down to, 'Are you a bigot or not?'"

You know, I keep wondering when we are going to see this new kinder and gentler Focus on the Family that Jim Daly keeps promising.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Twice-divorced, thrice-married Newt Gingrich has been confirmed as a speaker for the FRC's Values Voter Summit.
  • The Traditional Values Coalition, of all groups, opposes "Burn a Quran Day."
  • David Barton, Rick Green, and Tom DeLay go on and on about how poor DeLay was the victim of a partisan witch-hunt because he was such an awesome Congressman and Christian.
  • Focus on the Family is outraged that George Soros donated $100 million to the "Anti-Family, Anti-Faith Group" Human Rights Watch.
  • I genuinely have no idea what the point of this Catholic League press release is supposed to be.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund: "Judges and politicians can ignore all the legal and constitutional standards they want to ram the homosexual political agenda down our throats. But they will never make the actions at the base of that agenda anything but a sin—and like any other sin, its indulgence brings only misery, for individuals, and for a nation."

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Land Calls Mormonism "The Fourth Abrahamic Faith" While The SBC Calls It a "Cult"

Yesterday I wrote a post highlighting a recent column by Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he blasted the idea that Evangelical Christians would support a Mormon like Glenn Beck as he called the nation to revival. 

Moore called it a "scandal" and shortly after it appeared online Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tweeted his support for Moore's article, which got me wondering about Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, because I know that Land has been among those working closely with Beck in recent weeks:

A few weeks before organizing a massive rally on the Mall that had the feel of a religious revival, Glenn Beck sought the blessing of some of the country's most prominent conservative Christian leaders.

The Fox talk show host wanted their support as he shifted from political commentary to a more spiritual message, he told the group of about 20.

This is where God is leading me, Beck declared, according to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was there, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

Land said most in the group found Beck's faith genuine and heartfelt, although not everyone agreed to embrace him publicly.

"We walked back to the hotel after and said: 'That was extraordinary,' " Land said of his conversation with Dobson after the dinner in Manhattan. "I've never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith. He sounded like Billy Graham."

Today, Land sat down with NPR's Robert Siegel and disputed Beck's claims that President Obama's Christian faith is unrecognizable while also claiming that though Mormonism is not a Christian religion, it is an "Abrahamic faith": 

SIEGEL: Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Is that brand of Christianity as distant or more so from yours than the National Council of Churches mainline Protestantism you...

Dr. LAND: Probably more so.

SIEGEL: More so.

Dr. LAND: And look, Glenn knows this. He said, look, I'm a Mormon. Most Christians don't think that I'm a Christian. And so, you know, I'll quote the pope, when he's talking about liberation theology.

I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.

SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.

Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith.

Really? That is pretty amazing that Land would place Mormonism on par with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially considering that the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board labels Mormonism a "cult" [PDF]:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

Focus on the Family: Dedicated to Defending The Rights of "People of all Faiths," Just Not Muslims

Earlier this month, just as the right-wing anti-mosque hysteria was getting whipped up, Focus on the Family posted a video in which Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht complained about how municipalities were discriminating against churches using zoning laws:

Shepard: What does this tell us about the state of religious freedom in the United States?

Hausknecht: Well, we're seeing first a hostility toward religion. You would think in this day and age of tolerance that there would be tolerance for religious views, religious people. There is not. We're seeing it in the zoning cases, we're seeing it in the schools. That is a definite wake-up call for people of all faiths to stand up and protect their rights.

At the time, Focus was one of the few Religious Right groups that had not yet taken a position on Park 51, so I wondered if the organization would defend the right of Muslims to build the Islamic Center, especially in light of the organization's plea for "people of all faiths" to wake up and protect their religious freedoms.

So I know it will come as a shock to you all to learn that Focus' concerns for the rights of "people of all faiths" does not, in fact, apply to Muslims:

During CitizenLink's weekly webcast, Tom Minnery said, "Nobody is suggesting that the brand of Islam practiced by the owners of this mosque [is] going to lead to more terrorist attacks. But for Heaven's sake, in the name of all that is decent and in the name of common sense, build it elsewhere."

He said the group had the right to build, but he questioned the prudence of doing so. "Is it dishonoring to the 3,000 people who gave their lives to have this mosque which, in some minds, represents a similar religious belief that caused the terrorists to do what they did?" said Minnery.

Stuart Shepard, host of the webcast, noted that this position is a departure from Minnery's previous positions on religious liberty.

"You have spent a lot of time talking about religious freedom. And you work for Alliance Defense Fund quite a bit helping them fight for the rights of people, for religious freedom. It is quite a turn for you to say that this is not the right location for religious freedom to be expressed," said Shepard.

"Well, it is indeed," said Minnery.

That Was Then: Glenn Beck's Plea For Religious Tolerance

Do you remember back in late 2008/early 2009 when Focus on the Family ran a short interview with Glenn Beck about his book "The Christmas Sweater," only to yank it down shortly thereafter because people started complaining that Beck is a Mormon and Mormonism is a cult?

Do you remember how Beck responded?  With a plea for religious tolerance

The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement. Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship. I'm humbled and grateful that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read the book and have appreciated its uplifting message for themselves. At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness.

That would be the same Glenn Beck who is now actively engaged in the right-wing campaign against Park 51.

Amazing how the book Beck wrote was an opportunity to bridge gaps and bring hope, forgiveness, and understanding, whereas hoping to bulid an interfaith center is spitting in people's faces.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Liberty Counsel is not happy with Judge Walker's decision not to permanently stay his Prop 8 ruling.
  • Neither is FRC or Tony Perkins.
  • Meanwhile, Harry Jackson and CBN complain about the original ruling as well.
  • I guess we'll be hearing a lot from "Susan" in the coming months as Focus on the Family highlights how its Super Bowl ad convinced her not to have an abortion.
  • Chuck Colson, Timothy George, and Robert George were guests on Hugh Hewitt yesterday.
  • Finally, kudos to Donald Crosby of God's Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, Georgia for taking a bold stand against demon mascots.

Focus Seeks to Capitalize On Tim Tebow, Will Now Run Ads During Denver Bronco Games

Man, Focus on the Family really, really loves Tim Tebow.

Just because they are laying off people left and right as they struggle to stay within its shrinking budget, it doesn't mean that they can't start running statewide ads during Denver Broncos games:

Focus on the Family denies that the crossover appeal of religious rookie quarterback Tim Tebow is the sole reason the conservative Christian ministry has, for the first time, bought statewide TV ads to air during Denver Broncos games.

But it didn't hurt.

The Colorado Springs-based family-counseling ministry said it got a good package deal with Colorado CBS affiliates, including Denver's KCNC-Channel 4, on ads that will run during more than a dozen games, beginning with this weekend's preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Focus on the Family bought a Super Bowl ad featuring Tebow and liked the results.

"We saw from our Super Bowl advertising experience that, for a family-help organization like ours, football is a perfect place to advertise," Focus vice president Gary Schneeberger said. "The Broncos are a real family tradition here on the Front Range."


The ads are a logical extension of the Focus campaign to raise brand awareness among a new generation of young families that began with the Tebow ad, Schneeberger said.

He wouldn't disclose specifics about the new campaign, except to say the ads won't feature Tebow.

"They're not political ads. They're not religious ads," Schneeberger said. "They will make people aware of the services Focus offers to help families thrive. They will make statements on social values and touch on the sanctity of life, but it would be a leap to say the ads will address family issues from a controversial standpoint."

Right Wing Reactions to Prop 8 Decision

I'll be updating this post as more statements are released reacting to the decision to oveturn Prop 8, but Focus on the Family is out with the first statement blasting the ruling (if you don't count Harry Jackson, who Tweeted a statement hours ago):

“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.

“During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008.

“Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word.

“We fully expect the judge’s decision to be overturned upon appeal. The redeeming feature of our judicial system is that one judge who ignores the law and the evidence must ultimately endure the review and reversal of his actions from the appellate courts.

“We do want Americans to understand the seriousness of this decision, however. If this judge’s decision is not overturned, it will most likely force all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage. This would be a profound and fundamental change to the social and legal fabric of this country.

“Our Founders intended such radical changes to come from the people, not from activist judges. Alexander Hamilton, in advocating for the ratification of our Constitution in 1788, argued that the judiciary would be ‘the least dangerous’ branch of government. Today’s decision shows how far we have come from that original understanding.”

Randy Thomasson and Save California:

"Natural marriage, voter rights, the Constitution, and our republic called the United States of America have all been dealt a terrible blow. Judge Walker has ignored the written words of the Constitution, which he swore to support and defend and be impartially faithful to, and has instead imposed his own homosexual agenda upon the voters, the parents, and the children of California. This is a blatantly unconstitutional ruling because marriage isn't in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that state policies be by the people, not by the judges, and also supports states' rights, thus making marriage a state jurisdiction. It is high time for the oath of office to be updated to require judicial nominees to swear to judge only according to the written words of the Constitution and the original, documented intent of its framers. As a Californian and an American, I am angry that this biased homosexual judge, in step with other judicial activists, has trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority, and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow and which both the people of California and California state authorities should by no means respect."

Concerned Women for America:

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said:

“Judge Walker’s decision goes far beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ to strike at the heart of our representative democracy. Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves. The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately.

“Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement.

“Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.

“CWA stands in prayer for our nation as we continue to defend marriage as the holy union God created between one man and one woman.”

CWA of California State Director Phyllis Nemeth said:

“Today Judge Vaughn Walker has chosen to side with political activism over the will of the people. His ruling is slap in the face to the more than seven million Californians who voted to uphold the definition of marriage as it has been understood for millennia.

“While Judge Walker’s decision is disappointing it is not the end of this battle. Far from it. The broad coalition of support for Proposition 8 remains strong, and we will support the appeal by, the official proponent of Proposition 8.

“We are confident that Judge Walker’s decision will ultimately be reversed. No combination of judicial gymnastics can negate the basic truth that marriage unites the complementary physical and emotional characteristics of a man and a woman to create a oneness that forms the basis for the family unit allowing a child to be raised by his or her father and mother. Any other combination is a counterfeit that fails to provide the best environment for healthy child rearing and a secure foundation for the family. It is this foundation upon which society is – and must be – built for a healthy and sustained existence.”

Family Research Council:

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. It's time for the far Left to stop insisting that judges redefine our most fundamental social institution and using liberal courts to obtain a political goal they cannot obtain at the ballot box.

"Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a 'marriage' is.

"Marriage as the union between one man and one woman has been the universally-recognized understanding of marriage not only since America's founding but for millennia. To hold that the Founders created a constitutional right that none of them could even have conceived of is, quite simply, wrong.

"FRC has always fought to protect marriage in America and will continue to do so by working with our allies to appeal this dangerous decision. Even if this decision is upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals-the most liberal appeals court in America-Family Research Council is confident that we can help win this case before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Liberty Counsel:

Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 initiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.

The California Supreme Court previously stated, “The right of initiative is precious to the people and is one which the courts are zealous to preserve to the fullest tenable measure of spirit as well as letter.” Moreover, the U.S. Constitution cannot be stretched to include a right to same-sex marriage.

Except for this case, since Liberty Counsel was excluded by ADF, Liberty Counsel has represented the Campaign for California Families to defend the state’s marriage laws since 2004 and has argued at the trial, appellate and state Supreme Court levels.

Mary McAlister, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “This is a classic case of judicial activism. The Constitution is unrecognizable in this opinion. This is simply the whim of one judge. It does not reflect the Constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. I am confident this decision will be overturned.”

Alliance Defense Fund:

“In America, we should respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process--especially ones that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the foundation of the country and beyond,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.

“We will certainly appeal this disappointing decision. Its impact could be devastating to marriage and the democratic process,” Raum said. “It’s not radical for more than 7 million Californians to protect marriage as they’ve always known it. What would be radical would be to allow a handful of activists to gut the core of the American democratic system and, in addition, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve.”


“The majority of California voters simply wished to preserve the historic definition of marriage. The other side’s attack upon their good will and motives is lamentable and preposterous,” Raum said. “Imagine what would happen if every state constitutional amendment could be eliminated by small groups of wealthy activists who malign the intent of the people. It would no longer be America, but a tyranny of elitists.”

“What’s at stake here is bigger than California,” Pugno added. “Americans in numerous states have affirmed--and should be allowed to continue to affirm--a natural and historic public policy position like this. We are prepared to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Capitol Resource Institute:

"Today's ruling is indicative of an out-of-control judiciary willing to circumvent California's direct democracy by imposing their point of view," said Karen England Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI). "Family values are under constant assault now more then ever. CRI was instrumental in passing proposition 22 in 2000 and we fought to get proposition 8 on the ballot and subsequently in California's Constitution. We will continue to battle interest groups who wish to redefine one of our oldest institutions; the institution of marriage. We will continue to represent the 7 million Californians who took to the polls in favor of marriage."

American Family Association:

“This is a tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional display of judicial arrogance. Judge Walker has turned ‘We the People’ into ‘I the Judge.’

“It’s inexcusable for him to deprive the citizens of California of their right to govern themselves, and cavalierly trash the will of over seven million voters. This case never should even have entered his courtroom. The federal constitution nowhere establishes marriage policy, which means under the 10th Amendment that issue is reserved for the states.

“It’s also extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a practicing homosexual himself. He should have recused himself from this case, because his judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual proclivity. The fundamental issue here is whether homosexual conduct, with all its physical and psychological risks, should be promoted and endorsed by society. That’s why the people and elected officials accountable to the people should be setting marriage policy, not a black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to believe he could be impartial.

“His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute. He’d have to recuse himself on conflict of interest grounds, and Judge Walker should have done that.

“The Constitution says judges hold office ‘during good Behavior.’ Well, this ruling is bad behavior - in fact, it’s very, very bad behavior - and we call on all members of the House of Representatives who respect the Constitution to launch impeachment proceedings against this judge.”

Traditional Values Coalition:

"It is an outrage that one arrogant and rogue federal judge can take it upon himself to overturn a centuries old definition of marriage and family," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). "On November 4, 2008, 7 million voters of California cemented into the state constitution a definition of marriage for one man and one woman only. Now with US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling today he has completely undermined the expressed will of voters at the ballot box. Direct Democracy has been blatantly attacked today."

"First it was the California Supreme Court's decision in 2008 to overturn Prop 22 and force the people of California to accept homosexual marriages. Well, the people adamantly rejected their ruling and homosexual marriages and they passed Prop 8, which was designed to forever tie the hands of judges from redefining marriage. Now one judge has yet again slapped the people in the face, even though the state constitution now clearly tells them what marriage means; we spelled it out for them in black and white," Sheldon added. "This is a blatant sign of judicial activism and lack of judicial restraint."

Sheldon added: "There is more at stake than just traditional marriage and the centuries long definition of the family. This ruling seriously undermines the expressed vote and will of the people on initiatives and proposed amendments they approve at the ballot box. This judge's ruling says that any vote of the people will have no weight, credence, sovereignty, value or worth at all. On appeal, the courts will either realize their limits and not undermine the constitutional power of the vote, or they will continue to demonstrate the most blatant arrogance and impose judicial tyranny by declaring that they alone, and not the people, have the ultimate final say on all matters of the state. Democracy, the constitution and the people would be beneath them."

TVC state lobbyist Benjamin Lopez, who was publicly credited by homosexual State Senator Mark Leno for the defeat of his proposed homosexual marriage bill in 2005, echoed Sheldon's statements:

"The issue at hand now is whether the will of 7 million voters outweighs that of either 7 Supreme Court justices or any one judge anywhere in the state. Homosexual marriage advocates may kick and scream the loudest demanding that Prop 8 be struck down, but they should be drowned out by the deafening voice of 7 million Californians who settled this issue not once, but twice already. We are hear because homosexual radicals continue to act like immature children who throw tantrums when they do not get their way."

"Same-sex marriage supporters repeatedly beat the drum of civil rights to equate their cause to the legitimate struggles of minority groups and say the public is on their side. Yet not even in 'liberal' California have they won over the people so they must resort to sympathetic, liberal black-robed activists who sit on the bench to force same-sex marriage on the people.

"If folks think that the Tea Party movement is a force to be reckoned with now, wait until the silent majority of pro-family voters flex their political muscle once again. Judges beware, you will go the way of Rose Bird, stripped of their robes and kicked off the bench," Lopez added.

The battle of same-sex marriage began in March 2000 when California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22. It stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Homosexual marriage advocates challenged Prop 22 in court and in March 2005, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer struck it down ruling it in violation of the equal protection clause. Kramer's ruling was then challenged all the way to the California Supreme Court. In early 2008 the high court upheld Kramer's ruling allowing homosexual marriages to take place. Voters passed Prop 8 in November 2008 cementing Prop 22's language into the state constitution. After challenges to Prop 8 reached the state supreme court, the justices upheld Prop 8 and allowed for some 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand. The current ruling by Judge Walker was the result of a challenge to the California Supreme Court's ruling.

Richard Land:

 “This is a grievously serious crisis in how the American people will choose to be governed. The people of our most populous state—a state broadly indicative of the nation at large demographically—voted to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, thus excluding same-sex and polygamous relationships from being defined as marriage. 

“Now, an unelected federal judge has chosen to override the will of the people of California and to redefine an institution the federal government did not create and that predates the founding of America. Indeed, ‘marriage’ goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God defined His institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“This case will clearly make its way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of the United States, where unfortunately, the outcome is far from certain. There are clearly four votes who will disagree with this judge—Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. The supreme question is: Will there be a fifth? Having surveyed Justice Kennedy’s record on this issue, I have no confidence that he will uphold the will of the people of California.

“If and when the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court, then the American people will have to decide whether they will insist on continuing to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or whether they’re going to live under the serfdom of government by the judges, of the judges and for the judges. Our forefathers have given us a method to express our ultimate will. It’s called an amendment to the Constitution. If the Supreme Court fails to uphold the will of the people of California—if we are going to have our form of government altered by judicial fiat—then the only alternative left to us is to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Many senators who voted against the federal marriage amendment the last time it came up said publicly if a federal court interfered with a state’s right to determine this issue, they would then be willing to vote for a federal marriage amendment. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to vote.

“Despite egregious court rulings like this one, there is nonetheless an unprecedented effort going on across the nation of Christians uniting for sustained prayer, for revival, awakening and deliverance. I encourage everyone to join me in this effort and go to for more information.” 

National Organization for Marriage:

"Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

"Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple - there isn't!" added Brown.

"The 'trial' in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people's right to vote for marriage," stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.

"Gay marriage groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and Equality California will, no doubt, be congratulating themselves over this "victory" today in San Francisco. However, even they know that Judge Walker's decision is only temporary. For the past 20 years, gay marriage groups have fought to avoid cases filed in federal court for one good reason - they will eventually lose. But these groups do not have control of the Schwarzenegger v. Perry case, which is being litigated by two egomaniacal lawyers (Ted Olson and David Boies). So while they congratulate themselves over their victory before their home-town judge today, let's not lose sight of the fact that this case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where the right of states to define marriage as being between one man and one woman will be affirmed--and if the Supreme Court fails, Congress has the final say. The rights of millions of voters in states from Wisconsin to Florida, from Maine to California, are at stake in this ruling; NOM is confident that the Supreme Court will affirm the basic civil rights of millions of American voters to define marriage as one man and one woman," noted Gallagher.

Robert George - American Principles Project:

“Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Robert P. George, Founder of the American Principles Project. “In striking down California’s conjugal marriage law, Judge Walker has arrogated to himself a decision of profound social importance—the definition and meaning of marriage itself—that is left by the Constitution to the people and their elected representatives.”

“As a decision lacking any warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, it abuses and dishonors the very charter in whose name Judge Walker declares to be acting. This usurpation of democratic authority must not be permitted to stand.”

Judge Walker’s decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to invalidate California Proposition 8, which by vote of the people of California restored the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife after California courts had re-defined marriage to include same-sex partnerships.

“The claim that this case is about equal protection or discrimination is simply false,” George said. “It is about the nature of marriage as an institution that serves the interests of children—and society as a whole—by uniting men and women in a relationship whose meaning is shaped by its wonderful and, indeed, unique aptness for the begetting and rearing of children.

“We are talking about the right to define what marriage is, not about who can or cannot take part. Under our Constitution the definition and meaning of marriage is a decision left in the hands of the people, not given to that small fraction of the population who happen to be judges.”

“Judge Walker has abandoned his role as an impartial umpire and jumped into the competition between those who believe in marriage as the union of husband and wife and those who seek to advance still further the ideology of the sexual revolution. Were his decision to stand, it would ensure additional decades of social dissension and polarization. Pro-marriage Americans are not going to yield to sexual revolutionary ideology or to judges who abandon their impartiality to advance it. We will work as hard as we can for as long as it takes to defend the institution of marriage and to restore the principle of democratic self-government,” concluded Dr. George.

Newt Gingrich:

"Judge Walker's ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they've affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy. Today’s notorious decision also underscores the importance of the Senate vote tomorrow on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because judges who oppose the American people are a growing threat to our society.”

Where Does Focus On The Family Stand On The "Ground Zero Mosque"?

While some Religious Right groups have made it very clear that they oppose the construction of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York City despite their so-called commitments to religious freedom, other groups have remained rather silent. 

As far as I can tell, the only comment the Family Research Council has made on this issue came in the form of this radio commentary back in June:

Muslims are gaining ground all right--Ground Zero. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Nine years after terrorists forever altered the New York City skyline, an Islamic leader is threatening to do it again--this time, by building a mosque three blocks from where the twin towers collapsed. To the families of 9-11, this 13-story project is the ultimate insult. "This is a burial ground," said a dad who lost his son in the attack. The man who bought the land said his people's only goal was peace. But that'll be a tough sell in a city that lost 3,000 to his religion's extremists. Besides, if he really cared about harmony, he'd have picked a less offensive location. Instead, he's building a monument to Islam on a site where terrorists committed mass-murder in Allah's name. For years, Muslims have said we need to be sensitive to their needs, their customs, their rights. But is there anything more insensitive than creating a foundation for shar'iah law on the graves that its fanatics killed?

Other Religious Right groups don't appear particularly eager to take a position on the issue either:

The Becket Fund, which describes itself as a "public interest law firm protecting the free expression of all religious traditions," has been notably silent considering how outspoken it has been in the past. In addition to helping the Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Washington, DC sue the city using RLUIPA in 2008, the fund represented a New Jersey mosque in 2006 in a RLIUPA case claiming that the city of Wayne, N.J., was "improperly and arbitrarily delaying the mosque's land development application" due to "community anti-Moslem hostility." The group is normally not shy about wading into public debates, and recently caused a minor furor by reading nefarious intent into President Obama's use of the phrase "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion." Its silence may be related to its conservative political backers. For instance, Newt Gingrich, who has loudly opposed Cordoba House, served as honorary vice chair of one of its annual black-tie dinners.

The Alliance Defense Fund, another conservative religious rights group that has made frequent use of RLUIPA cases, has also stayed out of the debate. "We've been asked by a few outlets," a spokesperson told The Upshot. "We're not commenting."

The Upshot spoke with just one person within this ecosystem of religious rights organizations who was neither silent nor contradicting past actions: Matthew Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a religious rights law firm associated with Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

"The Constitution cuts both ways," Staver said. "I think you have to be principled from a legal perspective, because the First Amendment is a double-edged sword."

Which brings us to this new report from Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht of Focus on the Family's Citizenlink voicing their outrage over a church being shut down in Georgia for violating zoning regulations:

Hausknecht: Well here's the problem: for some reason, around the country cities and counties and other municipalities are hostile to churches, they don't want them for some reason or another. Usually its taxes ...

Shepard: The fact that they don't pay property taxes.

Hausknecht: They're usually exempt and so they try to zone them away or discourage them away. And by creating zoning laws the discriminate against churches, they're violating federal law and the First Amendment.

Shepard: What does this tell us about the state of religious freedom in the United States?

Hausknecht: Well, we're seeing first a hostility toward religion. You would think in this day and age of tolerance that there would be tolerance for religious views, religious people. There is not. We're seeing it in the zoning cases, we're seeing it in the schools. That is a definite wake-up call for people of all faiths to stand up and protect their rights.

So, does that mean that Focus on the Family supports the right to build this Islamic Center or does the organization, like seemingly so many others on the Right, really only believe in protecting and defending "religious freedom" when it involves Christians? 

Another 100+ Focus Employees Let Go

Last Friday we noted that Focus on the Family was facing another round of lay-offs, though it was unknown at the time just how many employees would lose their jobs

Today, it is being reported that another 110 employees have been let go, reducing the organization's size almost by half from it's peak in 2002:

Focus on the Family laid off 110 workers Friday, a 13 percent reduction in workforce.

While most of the positions eliminated were in service departments, more than 15 managerial jobs, including two senior executive positions, were also axed, Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said today.

With Friday's layoffs, Focus has let go 385 employees over the past two years. Since 2002, Focus' workforce has been trimmed almost in half, from 1,400 to 750.

"The economy continues to be in recession," said Schneeberger, explaining a reason for the layoffs. "And people who have given in the past are having financial difficulties of their own."

The ministry's fiscal 2010-11 budget is $105 million, a $27 million cut from last year's fiscal budget, Schneeberger said.

Focus' budget for fiscal 2008-09 was $160 million.

More Layoffs Looming At Focus?

Via Joe.My.God it looks like we can expect yet another round of layoffs at Focus on the Family:

I’ve gotten a few calls from people saying Focus on the Family is planning to announce layoffs, more than 100, on Friday.

I called Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger on Monday. He did not confirm or deny the rumors. Later he sent me a statement, which you can read below.

“We are still working out the details of fitting our FY ‘11 budget to the figure our board of directors established,” Schneeberger wrote. “As soon as those decisions are final — we’re aiming for next week — we’ll share them with our ministry family first and then with our constituents and friends in the media.”

Focus has laid off hundreds of employees since 2002, when its workforce was about 1,400. Currently Focus has 860 employees. It’s latest round of layoffs was in September 2009, when 75 employees were let go.

Let's all hope that Adam Holz of Plugged In survives the cut so that he can continue his important work exposing how the new movie "The Kids Are Alight" is "even more subversive than Brokeback Mountain":

Focus on the Family's Plugged In is raising a warning flag about a movie called The Kids Are All Right, which is making its way into American theaters ... Plugged In spokesman Adam Holz tells OneNewsNow the comedy paints the idea of a "modern family" -- one stemmed from a same-sex couple -- in a positive light.

"The upshot of it all is not only does that cause some conflict in the family, but the man that they discover is their father, a man named Paul, ends up having an affair with one of the women in the couple," Holz reports.

Holz explains the film is a story about how infidelity can devastate a family -- but certainly not a family that viewers are used to seeing on screen by any way, shape, or form. So the conservative spokesman feels those are among several reasons why Christians should object.

"Not the least of which are several really explicit sex scenes -- one between two women and several between a man and a woman," the Plugged In spokesman gives as an example. "And so there's all kind of content here on top of the philosophical problems."

Holz rates the movie as a "hard R" and adds that the film is even more subversive than Brokeback Mountain.

Dobson Memo Announces Plans to Launch Political Arm For His New Organization

You know who we haven't mentioned here in a while?  James Dobson. 

Ever since he left Focus on the Family, he has sort of fallen off the radar, but rest assured that he is still hard at work advancing his Religious Right agenda, only on a much smaller scale with his new effort "Family Talk With James Dobson."

For instance, earlier this month he hosted a two-day discussion with Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer about how President Obama is on a mission to systematically destroy the Christian faith and another two-day discussion with Chuck Colson and Robert George about the same thing.

And he has also penned a new memo explaining that God told him he was not allowed to retire because "there is still too much work to be done" and to that end Family Talk will soon be launching a 501c4 political organization so that they can take a more active role in the fight: 

I have never been more concerned about this great nation and its families than I am right now. Every day, it seems, another tenant of traditional morality goes down in flames. When I left Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and USC School of Medicine, the institution of the family was already showing signs of cracking. I’m not claiming to be a prophet, but I foresaw three decades ago what we are experiencing as a nation today. The Judeo-Christian system of values was despised even then in some circles. The only thing that has changed is that the assault on the family and cultural morality has become much more vicious.

The institution of marriage is undergoing a complete overhaul. For example, despite the fact that 30 out of 30 states have voted to define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman, various courts have begun chipping away at that foundation. One of them, a district court in Massachusetts, struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, on July 8th, which was passed by the votes of 427 members in Congress, and signed by President Bill Clinton. It has been the law of the land since 1996. A single, arrogant, imperious judge has decided to declare the law null and void. The Obama Administration might not choose to appeal the ruling, which causes me anguish.

On another front, the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court is considering the constitutionality of Proposition 8, by which the exclusivity of traditional marriage between one man and one woman was affirmed by the people of California. The Ninth Court is the most liberal appellate court in the land, yet the future of marriage rests in its hands, at least for now. A decision is expected any day.

The attack on America’s institutions continues in full swing. The National Day of Prayer has been declared unconstitutional, and Congress is about to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for the military, which will make open homosexuality legal in all branches of our Armed Forces.

The country is being systematically bankrupt, and beginning January 1, 2011, every family is going to be hit with draconian new taxes. Even the marriage penalty tax is scheduled to be reinstated. We MUST fight this attempt to undermine the financial integrity of the family!

Judge Elena Kagan, President Obama’s selection for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, may be confirmed by the time you get this letter. She has encountered little opposition from Republicans to this point. Kagan is a supporter of partial birth abortion and holds numerous other leftist positions.

And on it goes. This is a time for Christian people to be in fervent prayer for our country.

Family Talk will fight with all its resources to defend the family against those who would destroy it. We will wage war on those who would manipulate children for political purposes, or try to weaken the military. These and other institutions of our democracy need all the help they can get. We want to be counted among those who will stand firm against the forces that are trying to bring Western Civilization down.

In order to do that job more effectively, we hope to start a 501(c)(4) organization just as soon as we are able to accomplish it financially. This will be a vitally important addition to the Family Talk tool chest, helping us do even more to address the moral and cultural issues confronting the family. Our day will come, but it is not here yet.

Of course, that might have to wait a bit because elsewhere in the memo, Dobson reports that "only 25% of the required funds are coming in to support Family Talk even at current levels."

But perhaps the most interesting revelation is that Dobson admits that though he intended to eventually step away from Focus on the Family, the Board basically forced him out this year:  

There is another reason for my departure. There is wisdom in the old adage that two captains can sink a ship. Jim Daly was my choice to succeed me, and we saw many things similarly. It gradually became clear, however, that we had significant philosophical differences. Jim has expressed his views on these matters in numerous articles and interviews. I have not spoken about them until now, but my perspectives are quite different, especially when it comes to confronting those who would weaken the family and undermine our faith. When I recognized these divergent views, therefore, I knew that I would be leaving, probably on June 1st or August 27th of this year. Our board of directors agreed but asked us to complete the transition on February 26th. Thus, my tenure at Focus on the Family suddenly came to an end.

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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, Monday 03/26/2012, 12:50pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/05/2012, 11:45am
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-... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/21/2012, 5:00pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/16/2012, 3:50pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 02/11/2012, 1:00pm
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:   MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/07/2012, 2:10pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/07/2012, 2:10pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/02/2012, 11:45am
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... MORE >