Focus on the Family

Dobson's Lament: Obama Is No Reagan

The Council for National Policy is a notoriously secretive organization, so it came as a bit of a surprise to see that Focus on the Family had posted video of the entire speech that James Dobson recently delivered at the group's annual meeting when he accepted the "Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award."

For the majority of the speech, Dobson recounted his personal history in light of the difficulties those who share his right-wing views and values faced in the 1960s and 1970s and contrasted that with the joy they felt with the election of Ronald Reagan.  Toward the end of his remarks, Dobson turned to the current political environment, lamenting that President Obama is opposed to everything that Ronald Reagan stood for, alleged that Obama believes in "peace through appeasement" with the nation's enemies and compared him to Neville Chamberlain, and declared that the nation is in "greater danger, right now I think, than at any time since the Civil War."

Dobson closed by laying out the recipe for conservative (and Republican) political success in the coming elections and "save America from national disaster," warning that efforts to purge the Religious Right from the GOP will lead to disaster and proclaiming that what the movement needs "are political candidates who love conservative principles, who believe in them, who can articulate and defend them to the public, men and women who cherish liberty and are willing to give their very lives for it, and will oppose the evil of liberalism, and will speak with conviction about the institutions of marriage and parenting, and will revere and uphold free enterprise and defend the Constitution.  If American patriots will do this and then bathe their efforts in prayer, as did the Founding Fathers, then they will restore our country to its heritage and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity":

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam's House Blend: Washington Times publishes ugly hit piece on Kevin Jennings.
  • Truth Wins Out: Focus on the Family Seeks to Exempt Alabama Gays from Antibullying Protection.
  • Rob Boston: At the Values Voter Summit, Wing-Nut Christian Right Plots Its Comeback.
  • Texas Freedom Network: David Barton Promotes Oklahoma Extremist Sally Kern.
  • Amanda Hess: Ex-Gay Group Calls Hate Crime Laws “Anti-Ex-Gay.”
  • Wow, Hitler and Obama really do have a lot in common.
  • Finally, I'll be out for the rest of the week.  See you Monday.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Randall Terry and company are now targeting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • The Freedom Foundation of Texas has received Focus on the Family Action's "Family Champion Award."
  • Tullian Tchividjian says members of D. James Kennedy's church tried to oust him because he wasn't talking about politics enough from the pulpit.
  • Do you remember the brothers responsible for Huck's Army? The are now working to save thousands from wasting their youth.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has announced its second Pulpit Freedom Sunday, to be held on September 27 in order to challenge IRS restrictions on what pastors and priests can say.

When You See Malkin on TV, You Can Thank James Dobson

Following up on the post from earlier today regarding Michelle Malkin's appearance on James Dobson's radio program, it turned out that most of the discussion revolved around Obama, taxes, healthcare, czars, and every other right-wing talking point.  But there was one interesting revelation regarding Malkin's recent move to Colorado Springs, CO from the "swamp" that is Washington, DC.

Malkin revealed that the move had been made for the benefit of her family and that, as a result, she had had to give up some of her more high-profile television opportunities, at which point Dobson chimed in to note that she is still doing a lot of television appearances and that, when she does, she utilizes the studios at Focus on the Family headquarters:

Dobson: You're still on television a lot, aren't you?

Malkin: Yes.

Dobson: And you do some of that right here from this ministry.

Malkin: Yes, it is such a blessing ...

Dobson: So when you're seen now on Fox News, you're probably broadcasting uplink from one of our studios.

Malkin: That's exactly right. And you have a wonderful staff here and, it's just, I feel at home.

Forgetting the "Judeo" Part of their "Juedo-Christian" Values

The Family Research Council says that it "promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society."

Gary Bauer of American Values says "a belief in God and a commitment to the principles of our Judeo-Christian tradition ... are what the country was founded on and they're the secret to our prosperity."

Focus on the Family says its "primary reason for existence is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ [based upon "pillars"] drawn from the wisdom of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian ethic.".

The American Family Association says its "goal is to inform, motivate, and equip God's people to take action on issues that threaten to undermine and destroy the traditional family and the Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded."

All four groups are sponsoring the Values Voter Summit beginning tomorrow, but it seems that none of them paid much attention to the "Judeo" aspect of their mission statements when planning this event:

The Family Research Council is holding its annual "Values Voter Summit" in Washington this weekend. The summit gives Republicans, including some would-be presidential candidates, a chance to play to activists -- unless, that is, those activists happen to be Jewish.

The summit this year coincides with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and one of the religion's most important holidays; it begins Friday night at sundown. There aren't very many Jewish Republicans to begin with, but chances are very few of them will make it to the summit, to hear from the likes of Mitt Romney and others. There are more speakers on Friday -- Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty (and also Stephen Baldwin) -- but it's hard to imagine many Jewish conservatives heading to Washington for the event just for one day.

Does the FRC think Jews don't have values? Or was this just the only fall weekend they could get into the Omni Shoreham hotel?

How Clinton's Impeachment Led to The Collapse of the Christian Coalition

Joel Vaughan was a high-ranking staffer during the heyday of the Christian Coalition and its inexorable decline into obscurity. He eventually left the organization and now serves as special assistant to Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, and has written a book called "The Rise and Fall of the Christian Coalition: The Inside Story." 

Recently, he appeared on a Christian radio program called "The Georgene Rice Show" to promote the book and provided a fascinating insider's view on the group's rise and decline following the departure of Ralph Reed.

But, Vaughan says, what ultimate doomed the Christian Coalition was Pat Roberston's decision to abandon the impeachment effort against President Clinton

Georgene: We know that the Christian Coalition was a bi-word to the media that tended toward the left, and that anything that was accomplished there was lauded as not positive. But let’s talk about the fall of the Christian Coalition and what ultimately left the organization in utter obscurity. Talk about the high point and then the slide downward.

Vaughan: There were three main things: finances, mission and staffing. The high point was after the 1994 elections, all through 1995 and leading up to 1996. But when Dole lost to Clinton in 1996, we immediately began experiencing a cash crunch. When it didn’t pick back up in 1997, we started to accumulate debt. Making matters worse, we were being hounded by the IRS and the Federal Elections Commission. And we were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on those defenses. In April, Reed announced he was leaving to go into consulting full time, and his successors, Hodel and Randy Tate, weren’t announced until June. And during that period, money went into the tank, and the debt increased. Therefore, the debt was unmanageable by the first two or three months of the new administration. After about a year, they had kind of gotten things back on an even keel. Hodel and Robertson both put in their own money to keep the Coalition afloat and to help meet payroll. Direct mail was getting back up. Things were on a good line until the Clinton impeachment in 1998 over his then alleged affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

All the conservative groups were fighting hard to get Clinton impeached, and he was impeached, and his trial was set for January, 1999. Then Clinton made his State of the Union address right before the trial. He did such a good job. It was a true Clintonian performance. There is no one better before a camera. He doesn’t even need the teleprompters that our current President needs. He did such a good job that Robertson went on the 700 Club the next day and said Clinton did such a great job, and this impeachment thing is over, and as far as he was concerned, we should get on with something else. Well the Christian Coalition supporters across America didn’t agree. They thought we should keep fighting and keep working and, even if we were going to lose the impeachment trial, we should still hold Clinton’s feet to the fire and stay based on the matter of fighting for principal……Robertson thought it was more expedient to get on with a battle we could win……Finally, Hodel told Robertson that we needed to apologize to the grass roots. Pat didn’t feel like that was something he wanted to do…So Hodel decided to leave and return to Colorado where he could return to his private pursuits.

Robertson made a decision to bring in one of the state directors [Roberta Combs] from South Carolina to take over the organization. She did a good job running the Coalition in South Carolina, but bless her heart, she wasn’t ready to run a national organization. She was in over her head from day one. The staff didn’t want her there. She didn’t want any of the staff there. She questioned their loyalty. People started leaving in mass. She started firing a few people. Before you know it, the thing was just gone. By the end of the year, it was only a vapor.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Adele M. Stan: Make no mistake; the Tea Party movement is the new religious right. The megaphone of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and James Dobson's Focus on the Family media empire has been replaced by FOX News Channel and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.
  • How many people showed up at the 9/12 rally?  Millions? Not quite.
  • For those who couldn't attend, view photos from the rally here and here.
  • Rick Santorum: running for president?
  • Think Progress: Neal Boortz compares President Obama to a child molester.
  • Bob McDonnell tries to stem the damage from his Regent thesis with a new ad.
  • Karen Ocamb: The Religious Right is Swiftboating Same Sex Marriage in Maine.

Maine: Religious Right Barring the Media From Their Anti-Marriage Rally

The other day, Jeremy at Good As You noticed that Religious Right groups organizing behind the anti-marriage equality effort in Maine were suddenly distancing themselves from Mike Heath of the Maine Family Policy Council.

I assumed these groups were trying to avoid being seen in public with Heath because of the rabidly anti-gay insanity he's been spreading recently.  But, as it turns out, these groups just trying to avoid being seen in public period:

The Stand for Marriage Rally is being organized by Focus on the Family, The Maine Jeremiah Project, Family Research Council and Stand for Marriage Maine, which includes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Bishop Richard Malone is expected to address the crowd, along with religious leaders from Maryland and California.

James Dobson of Focus on the Family will provide a video message, [Rev. Bob Emrich] said.

The event is free, but tickets are required. Emrich said members of the media will not be allowed inside the event.

The most recent campaign finance reports from Main showed that of the money raised by the Religious Right groups fighting marriage equality in the state, the amount that came from actual residents of Maine constituted a mere .1%, whereas the amount donated by national Religious Right groups like the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family made up the other 99.9%.

These groups sure do seem to be dumping a lot of time, money, and effort into this campaign while simultaneously trying to keep the people of Maine in the dark about it.

Bush's White House Visitor Log Reveals Revolving Door of Religious Right Leaders

From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

Newly disclosed Bush-era White House visitor records suggest leading conservative Christian leaders may have had a significant voice in President Bush’s administration, and many seem to have had the ear of the president himself. The White House produced these records in response to CREW’s request for the visitor records of nine individuals beginning in January 1, 2001.

Only one record indicates a visit after October 4, 2006, the date of CREW’s request. The data is summarized below.

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

The Religious Right's Miraculous Recovery

In the months following the election, there appeared a series of articles all carrying a similar theme: With the election of Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress, the Religious Right was all but dead.

As we pointed out in a series of posts and reports, these sorts of pieces tend to get written whenever Republicans fare poorly in an election and there is rarely any validity to their claims:

I have to say I find this temptation from commentators to write the Religious Right’s obituary after every Republican electoral setback rather remarkable. For one thing, as we pointed out not too long ago, these sorts of pieces appear every few years, only to be overtaken a short time later with pieces marveling that the “sudden” and “unexpected” resurgence of the “values voters" crowd. In addition, despite the gloominess from the likes of Mohler and Deace, the Religious Right is more committed than ever to regrouping as a “resistance movement” to fight for its agenda and eventually regain its position as an influential and powerful political and social force.

And that day may come sooner than many realize. While it might seem at the moment that the Religious Right is on its way out, it is important to remember that the GOP has lost exactly one mid-term election and one presidential election and Democrats have controlled Congress and the White House for less than three months.

Doesn’t anyone else remember all the talk following George W. Bush’s election, and especially his re-election, about the “values voters” and coming of a “permanent Republican majority” which would give the GOP ironclad control over the reigns of government for decades to come?

Remind me again: how did that all work out?

The point is that political fortunes change … and often change rapidly. It is far, far too early to be declaring the Religious Right to be dead based on two elections and three months of Democratic government.

Well, guess what?  After being declared moribund just a few months ago, the Religious Right has been miraculously resurrected, thank to the healthcare reform debate, declares the Washington Post:

The Christian right, facing questions before the presidential election about its continuing potency as a force for cultural and political change, has found new life with Barack Obama in office, particularly around health care.

As the president prepares to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night to press for health-care reform, conservative Christian leaders are rallying their troops to oppose him, with online town hall meetings, church gatherings, fundraising appeals, and e-mail and social networking campaigns. FRC Action, the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council, has scheduled a webcast Thursday night for tens of thousands of supporters in which House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other speakers will respond to the president's health-care address.


"It's a busy time," said Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family Action, the lobbying arm of Focus on the Family. He said donations to Focus Action have climbed beyond expectations, although he declined to say by how much.

[F]or the moment, conservative Christian leaders are riding high on opposing health-care reform.

"Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Henry Waxman have done more to energize Christian conservatives than any conservative leader could have done with this health-care package," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "I, who never believed that we were dead, did not believe that it would happen this quickly."


"We're not having to build a grand new organization. We're using the strengths of other organizations that understand the needs of their particular constituencies," said Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law and an organizer of the Freedom Federation.

Christian right leaders say it is too soon to tell whether health-care reform will trigger a flood of donations, but they are encouraged by the response they are seeing in other ways.

Gary Bauer, who heads the socially conservative group American Values, said that the list of addresses to which he sends his daily e-mail alerts was down to 170,000 and that he was getting only 50 requests a week to sign up for it before the election. Now, he said, the e-mail list is up to 225,000, and he is getting 1,000 or more requests a week asking to be added.

"The passion that was so evident in the Obama campaign right now, at least, has shifted to our side," he said.

The Post reports that "experts say the resurgent interest is proving that predictions of the death of the Christian right -- widespread before the election -- were again premature." 

Gee, really? 

And who exactly was making all those "predictions" about the "death of the Christian right"?  It was the media that declared the Religious Right dead ... and now it is the media declaring that they have been resurrected. 

It is sort of like a doctor declaring a sleeping patient to be dead and then proclaiming it a miracle when the patient wakens while blaming others for "prematurely" writing their obituary.

Another 75 Layoffs At Focus on the Family

To follow-up on a post from yesterday, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Focus on the Family is undergoing another round of layoffs:

Focus on the Family announced a reorganization Wednesday that will eliminate 75 jobs — an 8 percent reduction in a workforce that already has been cut twice since September 2008.

The Colorado Springs-based ministry is shutting down the creative division of its advertising department, accounting for 30 of the layoffs. The others are from various departments throughout the ministry, including Love Won Out, a program aimed at homosexuals that Focus is handing over to an organization in Florida.

In 2002, Focus’ employment reached a high of about 1,400. A year ago, it was down to about 1,155. The cuts announced Wednesday, coupled with two rounds of layoffs since 2008, bring the local workforce to 860.

“These are tough economic times,” Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said. “The challenges have made us take a hard look at what we do structurally and strategically so we can accomplish our mission more efficiently.”

Most workers affected will be paid through Sept. 18, though not all will be expected to report to work, Schneeberger said.

Even though Focus cut its budget from $160 million in fiscal 2008 to $138 million in fiscal 2009, it still suffered a $6 million shortfall. Schneeberger said the deficit largely was due to the loss of donations from small- to medium-sized businesses. Donations from families has remained steady, he said.

The latest job cuts are part of a series of moves by Focus to reorganize its operations in response to a drop in donations during the recession. Focus eliminated 46 positions a year ago and 202 in November. The organization also axed the print editions of four of its eight magazines.

More Layoffs Looming At Focus On the Family?

That is what local media outlets are reporting.


Amid a serious budget shortfall, Focus on the Family has announced plans to restructure. That will include a reduction of staff.

This news comes less than a month after Focus president and CEO Jim Daly wrote in a letter to 800,000 donors that projected income for the year is 6-million dollars short of expectations.

The organization’s fiscal year budget is $138 million.

It remains to be seen how many staff members will be let go during the restructuring. But more details are expected later today.

News Channel 13:

More changes could be on the way for Springs-based Focus on the Family.

An anonymous source tells NEWSCHANNEL 13 that employees will be told of the upcoming layoffs during a staff meeting to be held around 4:00 p.m. The ministry would not confirm if any jobs will be cut Wednesday -- only that they will be making some major changes.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin's PAC filings show donations to Reps. Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch.
  • LifeNews: A federal judge has issued a ruling saying a collection of pro-life groups don't have standing to file a lawsuit against the FDA over its decision allowing the sales of the morning after pill to minors. The groups wanted to reverse the Food and Drug Administration ruling opening the morning after pill to 17-year-olds.
  • The Republican National Lawyers Association has named James Bopp its Republican Lawyer of the Year.
  • Take that, Woodstock.
  • Focus on the Family President and CEO Jim Daly is scheduled to appear on Thursday night's episode of "Hannity" as part of "The Great American Panel."

The Values Voter Summit Gets With The Times

Every fall for the last several years, the Family Research Council and allied groups like Focus on the Family and American Values have hosted the Values Voter Summit to which Republican presidential candidates have come seeking the support of Religious Right activists while right-wing speakers have warned that the Antichrist is gay and exhorted the audience to use words like"faggot" and "sissy" as a statement of principle.

This year things look to be a little different as organizers seek to get in on all the right-wing activism that is the rage at the moment, tweaking what has traditionally been known as the "Values Voter Summit" so that it is now being billed as the "Values Voter Town Hall":

Like the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference, this event is offering a variety of exciting and informative workshops and break-out sessions as well:

I am particularly intrigued by the panel entitled "The New Masculinity" and really look forward to hearing what Senator Tom Coburn's Chief of Staff has to say about it:

Dr. Pat Fagan, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Family and Religion, FRC; Michael Schwartz, Chief of Staff, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.); Dr. Matthew Spalding, Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Feminism has wreaked havoc on marriage, women, children and men. It is time to redress the disorder it has wrought and that must start with getting the principles and ideals for a new "masculinism" right. Such a "masculinism" will have its dovetailing counterpart in a new "feminism" for they mutually define each other and, in nature, are meant to be complimentary. This panel will begin this exploration.

What Would That "Good Reason" Be?

Newsweek profiles LeRoy Carhart, one of the few remaining doctors capable and willing to perform late-term abortions. Given the small number of doctors willing to perform this service, Carhart is making efforts to train more of them:

He's fielded calls from three physicians who want to learn how to do abortions. Two have already begun training. "I think the only thing I can do…is just train as many doctors as I can to go out on their own and provide abortions and get enough people providing them," says Carhart. "That makes [the anti-abortion activist's] job 10 times harder because there are now 10 times more of us."

Not surprisingly, Focus on the Family doesn't approve:

Carrie Gordon Earll, senior bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said that may be easier said than done.

"Many obstetrics and gynecology residency programs offer abortion training, yet the number of physicians willing to do abortions doesn't seem to be on the increase," she noted. "It's not a preferred profession or even sideline for most doctors, and for good reason."

And what would that "good reason" be for why doctors might be reluctant to provide this sort of service? Presumably, Earll thinks they have some sort of moral opposition to it, but the real reason probably has more to do with the fact that they would prefer not to be routinely harassed, vilified, and even murdered:

Carhart knows there are people who want him dead, too. A few days after Tiller's murder, Carhart's daughter received a late-night phone call saying her parents too had been killed. His clinic got suspicious letters, one with white powder. It's been like this since Carhart started performing abortions in the late 1980s. On the same day Nebraska passed a parental-notification law in 1991, his farm burned down, killing 17 horses, a cat, and a dog (the local fire department was unable to determine the fire's cause). The next day his clinic received a letter justifying the murder of abortion providers. His -clinic's sidewalks have been smeared with manure. Protesters sometimes stalk him in airports ... A wave of anti-abortion violence in the 1990s—three doctors killed in five years—coincided with a dramatic drop in providers, from 2,680 in 1985 to 1,787 in 2005.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Is Rick Santorum contemplating a presidential run in 2012?  We can only hope so.
  • Focus on the Family is facing a budget shortfall and handing off its "Love Won Out" conferences to Exodus International.
  • Charisma profiles Alveda King.
  • Time profiles Marco Rubio.
  • The Right is quite unhappy that Harvey Milk is being posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • The Family Research Council is hosting several right-wing events in the coming months in New Jersey, California, and Maine.
  • The ACLJ is apparently so concerned that Democrats are trying to "intimidate and silence critics of President Obama’s policies" that it felt the need to release a report reminding lawmakers "that this nation has a long history of Americans exercising free speech to comment on important social issues of the day."
  • Finally, I am going to be on vacation until Thursday, August 20.  Hopefully, the Right will have gotten all of the crazy out of its system by the time I get back.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Steve Benen: For some reason, a recent Gallup poll showing strong "pro-life" numbers was a huge story, even though the results were dubious, whereas a new Gallup poll showing weaker "pro-life" numbers is a complete non-story.
  • Eleanor Bader at RH Reality Check examines the Right's campaign against ENDA and hate crimes legislation.
  • David Weigel reports that conservative TEA Party and town hall protesters are literally taking a page out of Saul Alinsky 1971 book “Rules for Radicals."
  • Autumn Sandeen: "I couldn't be more surprised to find out that I'm apparently now the honest to gawd, serious 'face' for the second tier religious right organizations regarding Obama Tranny-Care."
  • David Hart debunks Exodus International's new study that claims a 53% "success rate" in converting gays.
  • Good As You reports that the Family Research Council has gotten into the act of peddling Paul Cameron's bogus "research."
  • Truth Wins Out: Even though Focus on the Family is facing a $6 million budget shortfall, it doesn't mean it is necessarily hurting for money.

The Religious Right Gets In On the Town Hall Fun

As anybody who has been paying any attention knows, right-wing groups have been busy urging activists to descend on Congressional "town hall" meetings during the August recess and voice their opposition to health care legislation, in some cases going so far as to encourage them to cause a commotion in an effort to disrupt them.

To date, most of these efforts have been carried out by anti-tax and fiscal conservative groups:

Conservative and business groups, some funded in part by insurers, are mobilizing members and supporters to participate in health-care forums that lawmakers are holding in their states and districts this month.


America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national association representing 1,300 health insurers, is out with “August Recess Talking Points” that assert a “government-run plan would dismantle employer-based coverage … [and] add significant liabilities to the federal budget.”

The group is also offering a sample “August Recess Activation Letter” for CEOs to send to employees.

“All over the country, conversations on health care reform are taking place, from Town Halls to coffee shops,” the letter says. “Members of Congress and the Administration are planning and participating in several events during the month of August as Congress breaks for recess. You can help share the perspective of the health plan community during these conversations by signing up.”

AHIP’s director of strategic communications, Robert Zirkelbach, says the group discourages confrontations “We encourage people to be positive and constructive.”

FreedomWorks, chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, is e-mailing 380,000 supporters this week with a link to an “August Recess Action Kit.”

“Turn Up the Heat in August: Help Defeat ObamaCare,” the group says on its website. “While Senators and Representatives are home for their August recess they need to hear from you, regardless of party. … Find a town hall meeting near you. If your representative or senator isn’t holding one - ask them why.”

Americans for Prosperity is going a step further and recommending in-person visits to lawmakers’ district and state offices. The groups says on its website that it “has always encouraged members to visit the district offices and attend town hall meetings of their senators and representatives, especially during this August break when issues like health care and cap-and-trade are at the peak of debate.”

But it looks like Religious Right groups are getting into the act as well, encouraging their own activists to attend these events and get in on the action:

Focus on the Family Action has been sending e-mail alerts to subscribers that encourage them to attend town-hall meetings and demand that abortion funding be explicitly excluded from any reform bill, according to Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for the Colorado Springs-based group.

recent Washington Update from the Family Research Council likewise urged activists to attend their local meetings and provided a list of various town hall events across the country:

Americans are talking. The leadership just refuses to listen. Until it does, House and Senate Democrats can expect a long, uncomfortable August where the temperatures outside are nothing compared to the heat they're feeling inside their District offices. FRC has posted a schedule of townhall meetings across the country and sample questions you can ask. Please make a point of going to the forums near you and share--in a respectable manner--your thoughts with your congressman. While you're at it, why not bring your video camera?

For it's part, the Traditional Values Coalition is urging its activsts to participate as well:

The U.S. House of Representatives is on their summer break and the Senate starts on August 7th. They will be in their home districts through Labor Day.

Sign up today to learn where your elected officials are holding their Town Hall meetings! They need to hear from you and hundreds of other concerned Americans.

President Obama has been trying to rush through his government-run health care reform bill. It took him six months to pick a dog for the White House, but he wanted Congress to pass a health care bill in only a few weeks!

His plan to nationalize health care has been slowed down by citizen activism, but he still plans on pushing for passage of his government-run health care plan this fall. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has admitted that Obama's health care plan is designed to socialize our medical system!

Attend Your Congressional Member's Town Hall MeetingGo to Town Hall meetings and challenge your legislators on these issues:

1. Government-Run Health Care and the 53 New Federal Bureaucracies it creates.

2. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (will force religious employers like Bible publishers, day cares, camps, etc., to hire gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons)

3. Pledging to read Legislation before voting on it!

Important Civics Lesson!

Bring a van load of friends, children and grandchildren to these Town Hall meetings. Most students have not returned to school, yet. Let them learn a valuable civics lesson about how our system of government works!

Once you sign up for our Town Hall alert, you’ll be sent the dates of your elected officials’ Town Hall meetings. We want your feedback on how they responded! Sign up today!

As is the American Family Association:

Gary Bauer sent out a special alert yesterday concerning how the liberal politicians and liberal media outlets are seeking to silence those who are speaking out against out of control spending and the take over of vital industries. The liberals are upset that common citizens like you are exercising their right to free speech, and are using it to let the liberals know they have had enough and are going to let their voice be heard.

I urge you to get involved, stand up and speak out. Make the phone calls, send the e-mails, make the phone calls. Don't let the liberal left silence you! The future of our country and our children and grandchildren is at stake. The ugly name calling shows that your voices are being heard. Please keep it up!

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Religious Right's healthcare webcast was held last night and you can listen to the audio here. It was apparently such a success that the Family Research Council has decided to hold its own webcast next week.
  • Boy, it seems like Republicans can't even send around racist emails about President Obama any more with getting into loads of trouble.  What is this world coming to?
  • Al Mohler explains why the Southern Baptists aren't going to be changing their stance on the role of women in the faith any time soon: "Ultimately, I'm not so fearful that the times will judge us as I'm aware that God will judge us, and I hope with all my heart that he will find our church is faithful to his word."
  • Alan Chambers talks to Focus on the Family about his new book Leaving Homosexuality: "The key thought here is the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness. There are people who are conflicted with their sexuality, involved with homosexuality, and there is a way out for those who want it. But it doesn’t say that they’re going into heterosexuality, because that’s not the point. The point is that people can leave whatever it is that God calls less than His best and move into something that is His best, becoming more like He is."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bill Donohue says Randall Terry’s threat not to pay taxes is a "recipe for anarchy."
  • Al Mohler is not impressed by Jimmy Carter's decision to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • Focus on the Family really seems to be getting behind The Civility Project.
  • Oral Roberts University has signed an agreement with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference that will position ORU as the exclusive educational strategic partner for the NHCLC.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit against Wisconsin's Domestic Partnetship law, claiming it violates the marriage amendment passed in 2006.
  • You just can't win against WorldNetDaily: "The announcements of Barack Obama's birth printed by two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 do not provide solid proof of a birth in the Aloha State."
  • Finally, Jesse Lee Peterson weighs in on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates:
  • "Henry Gates and Al Sharpton are abusing police while black," said Rev. Peterson. "Their false allegations say to young blacks that they too can abuse police and cry racism. Gates was abusive and disorderly and the police dealt with him accordingly--where's the racism? This is a case of black males gone wild."


    Rev. Peterson said, "What's regrettable is that the city of Cambridge and the police have allowed themselves to be intimidated by a race hustler like Al 'The Riot King' Sharpton. The race card has once again been used to unjustly smear law enforcement and thwart justice. This is Tawana Brawley all over again!"

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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

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 4:39pm
As we have been saying all along, Herman Cain's pants are on fire. Speaking of Cain, if he doesn't become president, some would like to see him run for governor in Georgia. Is a spat brewing between the Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin camps?  Let's hope so. The Fairness Doctrine is dead ... but I don't expect that will stop the Religious Right's fear-mongering. Harry Jackson has launched some new group ... to do something. Finally, Focus on the Family claims its ultrasound program has stopped 100,000 abortions. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/07/2011, 2:27pm
Only a writer for the ultraconservative WorldNetDaily would believe that the Religious Right is too soft on the issue of gay rights. WND’s Josh Craddock of the Institute for Cultural Communicators claims that the reason more Americans support marriage equality is because social conservatives haven’t fought gay rights or attacked the LGBT community enough. Responding to Focus on the Family president Jim Daly’s recent claim that the Right Wing “probably lost” the debate over equal marriage rights, Craddock alleges that organizations like Focus on the Family... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/03/2011, 10:14am
In May Rep. Pete Stark (R-CA) introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which prohibits “discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.” While it is unlikely that the GOP-controlled House would approve the legislation, it is an important step in the fight to ensure that children awaiting adoption or foster care can find homes. But the “pro-family” Religious Right wants to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/26/2011, 4:34pm
Looks like Sarah Palin will be launching a "hey, please pay attention to me" bus tour. Rep. Eric Cantor is the latest Republican to sign on to Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. Focus on the Family looks at how marriage equality was defeated in Maryland. John Stamos will be joining The Beach Boys for the second annual Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert. Sounds exciting. The AFA loves Herman Cain so I wonder how long it will be before they remove this Elijah Friedeman post from their blog. Finally, I am looking forward to seeing... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/24/2011, 10:21am
Over the weekend, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly made news for admitting in an interview in World Magazine that "we've probably lost" the fight over marriage equality and the Religious Right would "need to start calculating where we are in the culture." Focus on the Family then admitted to Jeremy Hooper at Good As You that this was admission was not "big news, but it’s really just another expression of what he’s been saying for years." But, as Jeremy noted, this admission was in fact a big deal and probably would not go over very well with the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 12:24pm
Private school voucher advocates and their allies in the so-called “education reform” movement readily talk about the need for rigorous, constant testing along with the application of free market principles to education: reward high-performing schools and teachers and punish bad ones. Over the last decade, Milwaukee has been a laboratory for private school vouchers, and the results have been poor: numerous studies have shown that vouchers failed to make any difference in student performance. Just like in Washington, DC and Cleveland, private school vouchers in Milwaukee failed... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/12/2011, 3:41pm
Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, thinks that the Hallmark Channel should make a movie about Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned anti-choice leader. Johnson, who now works with Lila Rose’s Live Action, has received plaudits (and earnings) from Religious Right activists for her book deal and speaking tour. At the center of Johnson’s experience is a purported account where she saw a fetus on the ultrasound machine move away from the doctor during an abortion, and she abruptly quit and joined a 40 Days for Life protest outside the clinic. While... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/11/2011, 4:40pm
Newt Gingrich is officially blah, blah, blah. Speaking of joke GOP candidates, Donald Trump is meeting with some pastors. In related news, Mike Huckabee wants your prayers ... but not officially. But back to Gingrich - can the media please stop quoting Ralph Reed about how Gingrich's past misdeeds should not be held against him? Gary Bauer says "rarely have I seen such an assault on our values as we have witnessed in the past 24 hours." Focus on the Family thanks Lou Engle. Finally, some bravely anonymous "Southern Baptist leader"... MORE >