Knights of Columbus

Why the Religious Right is glomming on to the Tea Party

Several scholars of religion and politics held a briefing at the National Press Club today to discuss the role of religion and religious voters in the upcoming elections. Polling presented by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute and Gregory Smith of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life included some bad news for Democrats (e.g., among white Catholics, party identification has flipped from a 49-41 Democratic advantage to a 42-49 Republican advantage in just two years), some potentially good news for progressives (there’s huge majority support across religious groups for a boost in the minimum wage), and some very good news for advocates of marriage equality (support for same-sex marriage is growing significantly). The data also include some bad news for Religious Right leaders, which may explain why they have been so eager to attach themselves to the Tea Party movement and why they were so willing to settle for a few crumbs from the House Republicans’ “Pledge to America.” According to Pew, when voters were asked about the importance of 13 issues to their thinking about this year’s elections, abortion and same-sex marriage were at the very bottom of the list. Special note to Maggie Gallagher, Robert George, and the Knights of Columbus: same-sex marriage was also the very last issue in importance to Catholic voters. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Nobody, it seems, wants to see Sarah Palin become President: About a third of Americans think the best job for Palin is homemaker (32 percent), while nearly one in five see her as a television talk show host (17 percent). Vice president of the United States comes in third (14 percent), followed closely by college professor (10 percent), with president coming last (6 percent).
  • No surprise here: Mitt Romney has been confirmed for the Values Voter Summit.
  • If you are interested, you can read the opening prayer that Jerry Falwell Jr. delivered in the House of Representatives yesterday here.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has received a “Defender of Economic Freedom Award” from the Club for Growth.
  • Finally, Concerned Roman Catholics of America is condemning the Knights of Columbus "for their continuing failure to expel pro-abortion and pro-homosexual politicians."

How Much Are Mainers Willing To Spend to "Stand for Marriage"?

Yesterday, Joe Sudbay took a look at the first campaign finance report in the Maine marriage campaign that was released yesterday and found out that national Religious Right groups were dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the fight.

Today, the Lewiston Sun Journal took a look as well and concluded that "the group hoping to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law has out-raised the measure's proponents by more than two to one":

Stand for Maine Marriage, the group leading the effort for repeal, raised a total of about $343,000 from nine donors as of July 5, the end of the reporting period.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland contributed $100,000, the Knights of Columbus of Washington, D.C., chipped in $50,000 and Focus on the Family, a Christian group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., donated $31,000 to the political action committee seeking to repeal the gay marriage law.

Nearly half of the group's fundraising, $160,000, came from the National Organization for Marriage, a New Jersey-based group established in 2007 "in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures," according to its Web site.

While Stand for Marriage raised more than $340,000, Maine Freedom to Marry raised about $138,000 - but the amazing thing is that of the donations brought in by Freedom to Marry, $80,000 came from residents of Maine. 

Guess how much of the money raised by Stand for Marriage came from Maine residents?

The campaign finance report also shows four Maine citizens contributed a total of $400 to the cause.

$400?  That means that, out of the total amount raised, the amount donated by actual residents of Maine to the effort constituted a whopping .1%, whereas the amount donated by Religious Right groups like NOM and FOF made up the other 99.9%.

I can't wait to see how this right-wing effort manages to spin this and produce ad claiming to speak on behalf of Mainers who want to protect "traditional marriage" considering that actual residents of the state don't seem to support the effort at all.

More Trouble for Giuliani from Conservative Catholic Activists

A few weeks ago we noted the formation of an anti-Giuliani Catholic front, including Joseph Cella of Fidelis and Steve Dillard of Catholics Against Rudy, right-wing activists key to forcing the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from nomination to the Supreme Court. Now more self-identified Catholic activists are mobilizing against Rudy Giuliani, himself a Catholic and the leading GOP candidate for president.

Acting under the rubric of “Republicans Against Rudy Giuliani,” two activists put out a press release targeting the candidate for “liberal views on foundational issues of abortion, homosexuality, judges, and gun control” – in particular, his dressing in drag for comedy sketches:

Republicans upset with Rudy Giuliani's anti-family policies protested on Sunday, June 10th when the "Republican" presidential candidate appeared in Irvine. A "Rudy Giuliani in drag" was among dozens of sign-holding protestors outside the hotel. …

"Imagine what heads of state would think of an American president known for dressing up as a woman," said Bob Cielnicky, a southern California pro-life leader. "What was Rudy Giuliani thinking when he did this publicly three times as mayor of New York? Obviously not the Presidency." …

"It's appalling to see some Republicans abandoning their Republican Party core principles for Rudy Giuliani," said Ken Fisher, a conservative Republican activist in Orange County, California. "If you support Giuliani, you aren't supporting family values."

Fisher is president of Concerned Roman Catholics of America, which seeks to “undo the last thirty-plus years of watered-down Catholicism.” One section of the group’s website attacks the “Pro-Sodomite, Pro-Abortion” Knights of Columbus, listing politicians associated with the Catholic fraternal order. Fisher is joined by Cielnicky, who has been involved with various groups in California including the Life Priority Network, the Alliance Against Abortion Funding, and Californians Against Assisted Suicide.

In addition, the New York Observer reports on the question of whether the Roman Catholic Church itself will get involved against Giuliani’s bid. Some U.S. bishops made headlines in 2004 by announcing that they would not permit Democratic candidate John Kerry to receive communion in their dioceses; one clergyman told the Observer, “We’ll wait and see if the dozen or so bishops who all went after Kerry, if they go after Giuliani for the same thing.”

Right Applauds Bush Veto of Medical Research

As some puzzled at the politics of Bush’s first veto, striking down the popular embryonic stem-cell research legislation, the Right Wing offered typical praise for the president--and atypical scorn for congressional Republicans. "His unswerving commitment to the cause of the preborn underscores the lack of conviction displayed by the supposedly pro-life members of the House and Senate who voted to pass this barbarous legislation," said Focus on the Family President James Dobson. "They should have known better," added Focus on the Family Action's Amanda Banks, speaking of the House of Representatives. Frank Pavone of Prists For Life also criticized Congress, saying "I thank God and I thank the values voters of this nation that we have a president who acknowledges" that such embryos should be protected from science.
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Knights of Columbus Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 10/13/2010, 3:30pm
Several scholars of religion and politics held a briefing at the National Press Club today to discuss the role of religion and religious voters in the upcoming elections. Polling presented by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute and Gregory Smith of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life included some bad news for Democrats (e.g., among white Catholics, party identification has flipped from a 49-41 Democratic advantage to a 42-49 Republican advantage in just two years), some potentially good news for progressives (there’s huge majority... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/30/2009, 5:26pm
Nobody, it seems, wants to see Sarah Palin become President: About a third of Americans think the best job for Palin is homemaker (32 percent), while nearly one in five see her as a television talk show host (17 percent). Vice president of the United States comes in third (14 percent), followed closely by college professor (10 percent), with president coming last (6 percent).No surprise here: Mitt Romney has been confirmed for the Values Voter Summit.If you are interested, you can read the opening prayer that Jerry Falwell Jr. delivered in the House of Representatives yesterday here... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/16/2009, 2:47pm
Yesterday, Joe Sudbay took a look at the first campaign finance report in the Maine marriage campaign that was released yesterday and found out that national Religious Right groups were dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the fight.Today, the Lewiston Sun Journal took a look as well and concluded that "the group hoping to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law has out-raised the measure's proponents by more than two to one":Stand for Maine Marriage, the group leading the effort for repeal, raised a total of about $343,000 from nine donors as of July 5, the end of the... MORE >
, Wednesday 06/13/2007, 5:48pm
A few weeks ago we noted the formation of an anti-Giuliani Catholic front, including Joseph Cella of Fidelis and Steve Dillard of Catholics Against Rudy, right-wing activists key to forcing the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from nomination to the Supreme Court. Now more self-identified Catholic activists are mobilizing against Rudy Giuliani, himself a Catholic and the leading GOP candidate for president. Acting under the rubric of “Republicans Against Rudy Giuliani,” two activists put out a press release targeting the candidate for “liberal views on... MORE >
, Thursday 07/20/2006, 3:08pm
As some puzzled at the politics of Bush’s first veto, striking down the popular embryonic stem-cell research legislation, the Right Wing offered typical praise for the president--and atypical scorn for congressional Republicans. "His unswerving commitment to the cause of the preborn underscores the lack of conviction displayed by the supposedly pro-life members of the House and Senate who voted to pass this barbarous legislation," said Focus on the Family President James Dobson. "They should have known better," added Focus on the Family Action's Amanda Banks, speaking of the House of... MORE >