Religious Right

Dear Religious Right, Nothing To Fear Over Halloween

While a few right-wing groups are using Halloween this year to put on "Hell Houses" which torture attendees with graphic portrayals of gay people dying of AIDS and women suffering from abortions, many Religious Right figures have called on people to stop celebrating Halloween altogether. Back in 2009, Jacksonville city councilwoman and past CBN commentator Kimberly Daniels warned that Halloween candy is under a demonic curse as a result of Satanic orgies, and last week Christian radio commentator Linda Harvey said that celebrating Halloween is cheating on Jesus with ‚"our spiritual enemy." Pat Robertson warned Christians earlier this month that‚ "Halloween is Satan‚Äôs night; it's the night for the devil. It's All Hallow's Eve but it's time when witches and goblins."

But according to Christian researcher Jill Martin Rische, who co-authored The Kingdom of the Occult with her father, the evangelist Walter Ralston Martin, Halloween actually has Christian roots. While Rische laments what the holiday has become in contemporary America, she told Christian broadcaster Janet Parshall earlier this month that the day is not in fact from the occult:

Rische: I started searching for what Halloween was and oh, ran across some very fascinating thing, the most fascinating of all is, recently, over the last ten to fifteen years, secular historians’ views of Halloween have changed. They used to promote the fact that this was a pagan holiday and that the Church took it over to wipe out what the pagans were doing and you’ll find this all over the place, all over the net, all over different sites, a lot of information that says this is a pagan holiday that was taken over by the Church. But in reality, you have these scholars now, some from Harvard and other places that have gained a lot of respect, big names, saying that this is not true. They’re saying that there is no historical evidence whatsoever for the witches’ holiday of Sowan. None.

It was the Church actually, there was more evidence for the Church, and this relates to All Saints Day. Now as far as being celebrated all over the world, there were different feasts that were celebrated and there is evidence that there were feasts celebrating the beginning of winter when animals were killed and there was a lot of partying, but again there is no evidence for what went on during that time. None. So it’s all kind of been lumped together under something bad but really All Hallow’s Eve, which comes before All Saints Day the First of November, was meant to be a great time of celebration, celebrating the lives of those who have really lived for Christ and often have given their life.

American History 101 With Professor Kirk Cameron

Yesterday WallBuilders' Rick Green, the poor man's David Barton, appeared as a guest on TBN's "Praise The Lord" program to promote and share the patented brand of Religious Right pseudo-history with which WallBuilders is synonymous.

And Green had some stiff competition in the regard as host Kirk Cameron - yes, that one - tried to stump the audience with a trick question by asking if they knew the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and which one contained the phrase "four score and seven years ago." 

The answer, of course, is that neither document contains that phrase, which Cameron admitted ... before mistakenly claiming that it appeared in the Emancipation Proclamation when, in actuality, it was the opening line of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.
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  • The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.
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  • Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.
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  • FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage Amendment that will protect the definition of natural marriage as found in the Bible."
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  • Bryan Fischer says "the left is profoundly anti-science," which is why they refuse to admit that gays can choose to become straight.
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  • Finally, Concerned Women for America has released talking points [PDF] opposing the Respect for Marriage Act.  Point one: "Despite its deliberately deceptive name, the 'Respect for Marriage Act' insidiously seeks to destroy the historical, traditional definition of marriage."

Barton Suggests Biblical Law Is Best For Women

On a Believers Voice of Victory episode that aired today, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that women are most elevated in a society that has “conformed to the Scriptures.” Citing Religious Right activist Rabbie Daniel Lapin, Barton said that the Bible is actually the basis of women’s rights, while in “Islam” and secular societies like France and “the Norwegian countries,” women have fewer rights and less respect. Perhaps Barton should read The Handmaid’s Tale before arguing that women will prosper in a society run strictly according to biblical law:

Watch:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC has released its Congressional scorecards.
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  • I look forward to watching the Religious Right turn this pastor who was arrested for protesting a high school's demon mascot into their newest cause célèbre.
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  • Is Charisma Magazine, which routinely features people like Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, really suggesting that people should be jailed for delivering false prophecies?
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  • Gary Cass bravely launched a new "anti-bullying campaign" yesterday - by which he means "an anti-Muslim campaign."
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  • Finally, Mat Staver says "I think what we see is militant atheism trying to use the courts to literally crush Christianity, silence anyone who believes in God, and to make those who do a target of punishment."  I think Staver doesn't understand what the word "literally" means.

Barton: America Must Instruct Children In "The Fear Of The Lord"

Today on Believers Voice of Victory, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that the only way to rejuvenate America’s education system is to instill in kids the “fear of the Lord.” Barton launched his career as a Religious Right activist with the 1989 booklet What Happened in Education?, in which he concluded that a decline in SAT scores was a result of the end of school prayer, and that only Christian teachings in schools could bring SAT scores back up. Barton explained to Copeland, a Prosperity Gospel preacher, what that instilling the “fear of the Lord” in children would require establishing the Bible as the basis of all school curricula:

Barton: This shows you what public education is supposed to look like, the educational system was supposed to come—and it did, these guys started the first public schools in 1642 and cited Bible verses on why they were doing it, they also cited Bible verses on the courses they taught and the way they taught the courses. Now most Christians today, ‘Well we got government schools that’s the way it was supposed to be.’ Really? Show me in the Bible where government’s supposed to do the education, show me how that works, show me what courses government’s supposed to be teaching. See we can’t do that anymore, we don’t use the—we’ve been conformed to the culture, we’ve had public schools for so long that we think that’s the way it is.

Copeland: So now we’ve done then, we’ve gone, into our own—

Barton: Dark ages.



Barton: This book right here, every Bible says, in Proverbs 1:7, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ Now I don’t know why today we think, ‘oh I’m going to know more about the Lord if I fear God,’ we’ve made the fear of the Lord the beginning of spiritual knowledge. He didn’t say that, He said the fear of the Lord’s the beginning of knowledge. If you want education you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good scientist you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good musician—1962, ’63, the U.S. Supreme Court in three decisions said no more fear of God in education, we want education to be secular. All right, that’s a theological issue. How’s that working out? In 1962, ’63, America was number one in the world in literacy, we are now number sixty-five in the world in literacy. We don’t have the fear of the Lord, because guess what, we don’t have knowledge, it goes down.

Blackwell Ditches Bachmann For Perry

Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race.

How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry:

Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and one time candidate for Governor who lost against Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

“I am proud to endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president,” said Blackwell in a release from the Perry campaign. “Gov. Perry’s successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again. His proven conservative values, and his proven executive experience are exactly what this country needs to reverse the failed policies of the Obama Administration.”

Blackwell’s endorsement comes just as Perry’s campaign is having a second roll-out following a major slip in the polls as a result of dreadful debate performances and other missteps. Bachmann’s poll numbers have also dropped significantly as Herman Cain, for now, has emerged as Mitt Romney’s closest rival. But with Cain flubbing and flip-flopping even straight-forward questions on abortion rights and gay rights and Bachmann’s campaign running low on support, staffers and funding, it may be time that establishment figures in the Religious Right rally behind Perry as their choice.

Rep. Ted Poe: Obama Administration Is "Anti-Religious"

Speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch last week, Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe accused President Obama and his administration of promoting policies that are “anti-religious.” Poe and Perkins were discussing with the manufactured controversy over a Texas veteran’s cemetery that prohibits a volunteer group from holding religious services at a funeral if the family does not request it. The New York Times points out that this rule was created in 2007 by the Bush administration, but according to Poe, the policy is actually all Obama’s fault.

As Kyle noted, “To the Religious Right, preventing outside groups from attending funerals and offering prayers at services where they are not wanted or requested is a violation of the religious freedom of the volunteers.” Last month, Poe attacked the cemetery director as “anti-Christian, anti-religion and anti-veteran” and introduced legislation that he said would end the supposed “religious censorship.”

In his conversation with Poe last week, Perkins claimed that “this is symptomatic of a much larger problem that we’re seeing in this administration where this type of hostility, I would describe it as, toward traditional, orthodox religious views is being unleashed.” Poe said that he agreed with Perkins’ assessment and went on to blame the Obama administration for having an “anti-religious” bias.

Perkins: This is symptomatic of a much larger problem that we’re seeing in this administration where this type of hostility, I would describe it as, toward traditional, orthodox religious views is being unleashed. We won this battle but the war is far from over, so you’ve got legislation that will say, ‘hey, nowhere in this country will veterans be denied their rights nor their families to the right to these religious services in federal cemeteries,’ so where does that legislation stand?

Poe: The legislation has been filed and it is before the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives. As soon as they get a hearing we’ll get it to the floor as soon as we can and get a vote on it, and I see no reason why it wouldn’t pass. What you say Tony is exactly correct. It is my opinion that the administration—this problem is systematic throughout the administration in areas that it’s just almost anti-religious, non-religious and anti-religious in areas such as this. We’re calling them out on this to stop this nonsense.

Perkins Ignores Palin To Spin The 2008 Election Loss

Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee.

During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population.

Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate can hope to win the general elections and pointed to John McCain as proof:

This idea that a candidate that would be supported by social conservatives that would win the Republican nomination would be unacceptable to the general populace is just not true. I think the opposite it true; we saw that in the last election cycle. There was a Republican nomination that was not acceptable to social conservatives. He did not have the enthusiastic support of social conservatives and, as a result, the Republicans lost the general election.

Now, obviously McCain and the Religious Right had a rather contentious history, but to say that the McCain campaign did not receive the "enthusiastic support of social conservatives" requires one to completely ignore the rapturous lovefest that exploded when McCain announced the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, which we chronicled at the time:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”

Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”

Janet Folger, Faith2Action: “[T]he selection of Sarah Palin is more than ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Electrifying!’ and ‘Energizing!’ The selection of Sarah Palin will lead to words like: ‘Rejuvenating!’ ‘Victory!’ and ‘Landslide!’"

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”

Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments’"

David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

If social conservatives were unenthusiastic about the McCain ticket last time around, some apparently forgot to tell all of these social conservatives who were gushing about just how thrilled they were. 

Perkins Agrees With Jeffress That Voters Should Prefer Christian Leaders

Coverage of the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this year was dominated by stories of Robert Jeffress’ criticism of the Mormon faith; Bryan Fischer’s unabashed bigotry; and the infighting that rose to the surface when Bill Bennett rebuked Jeffress and Mitt Romney, tepidly and not by name, denounced Fischer. The press coverage of the Religious Right conference was so completely focused on Jeffress and Fischer that the FRC even asked members to pray that the media will stop reporting on the story.

Today FRC president Tony Perkins used his radio alert today to defend Jeffress, who made it clear that Romney’s Mormon faith was a reason he endorsed his chief rival, Rick Perry. “His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian,” Perkins said, “I whole heartedly agree.”

Listen:

Do you have the freedom to choose between Christian and a non-Christian candidate? Hello, this is Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Texas pastor Robert Jeffress created a firestorm when he declared at the Values Voter Summit he was voting for Rick Perry because he was a Christian. His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian. I whole heartedly agree. So did the first justice of the Supreme Court John Jay who said it was in the "interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Many so-called journalists have gone apoplectic claiming such a bigoted position violates article 6 of the Constitution, how absurd. The article reads, “Congress may not require religious tests for an office." The Constitution restricts what the government can require, not what individuals can consider. If voters can consider a candidate's party and that party's platform, they can consider a candidate’s religion and the tenets of that faith. We should prefer mature, qualified Christians for public office over those who reject the orthodox teachings of scripture.

This prompts the question: how would Tony Perkins feel about the competence of a Jewish leader over a Christian one? Perkins and the Religious Right always talk about their Judeo-Christian coalition and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, addressed the Values Voter Summit and is seen as a rising star in GOP circles. So much for that.

And would it impact Perkins’ decision in the Republican primary? During the Jeffress spat, Perkins told CNN’s John King that he does not consider Mormons to be Christians: “Well, let me say this, John. I do not see Mormonism as the same as Christianity. Now, whether it’s defined as a cult, I don’t know. I would say it’s not Christianity the way evangelicals view Christianity. There’s a distinction. There’s no question there’s a theological distinction between Mormonism and Christianity.”

If Perkins thinks that Christians should be given preference over non-Christians, and that Mormons are not Christians, is there any difference between his view and Jeffress’ view on Romney’s candidacy?

Even Pat Robertson Thinks Republican Voters Are Too Extreme

Today on The 700 Club televangelist and past Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson warned that the Republican primary base is pushing their party’s potential nominees to such extremes that they will be unelectable. While Robertson has said that he will not make an endorsement this cycle, in 2008 he caught flak from many in the Religious Right for supporting Rudy Giuliani. After a segment on Herman Cain’s ever-changing and completely incoherent views on abortion rights, Robertson told viewers that he thinks that the Republican presidential nominee may be unelectable if he or she embraces all of the policy positions of the party’s far-right base.

When even Pat Robertson thinks the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right, you know there is a problem:

I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said, ‘Don’t these people realize if they push me over to an extreme position I’ll lose the election? And I’m the one who will be supporting what they want but they’re going to make it so I can’t win.’ Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off of this stuff. They’re forcing their leaders, the frontrunners, into positions that will mean they lose the general election. Now whether this did it to Cain I don’t know, but nevertheless, you appeal to the narrow base and they’ll applaud the daylights out of what you’re saying and then you hit the general election and they say ‘no way’ and then the Democrat, whoever it is, is going to just play these statements to the hilt. They’ve got to stop this! It’s just so counterproductive!



Well, if they want to lose, this is the game for losers.

Media Banned From Secretive Religious Right Event

Shortly after Rick Perry's prayer rally earlier this year, organizers of that event started promoting a Religious Right voter mobilization effort called "Champion The Vote," which seeks to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012."

It turned out that the Champion The Vote effort was a project of organization called United In Purpose, which is being funded by conservative millionaires for the purpose of mobilizing "40 million out of the estimated 60 million evangelicals in the United States to vote" over the next decade.

As part of this effort, United In Purpose/Champion The Vote are producing an event called "One Nation Under God" where churches and Religious Right activists will gather to watch a three-hour DVD being provided United In Purpose and featuring David Barton, Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, and others talking about the importance of keeping America "one nation under God":

Over the weekend, all of the speakers gathered in Florida for a Florida Renewal Project event for pastors at which the filming for the DVD was presumably done ... and it seems that organizers did not want any attention because when a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel showed up at the event, he was tossed out of the hotel by security:

The media was advised that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s speech to a gathering of Florida pastors Friday would be closed to the public, but apparently the group behind the meeting didn’t even want media in the same hotel.

A couple weeks ago, Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry were announced as possible speakers at a two-day event in Orlando Thursday and Friday called the Florida Renewal Project. But this week no one wanted to talk about it, except to say it would be closed to the media and public.

Perry’s staff even denied he would attend. Gingrich’s staff confirmed his appearance but would not return phone calls to discuss it.

I went anyway this morning, to the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, to see if Gingrich would be willing to talk to me before or after his speech. When he arrived shortly before noon, I was the lone journalist on the scene, waiting in the hallway outside the meeting room. Gingrich and his staff agreed to talk to me later, at another hotel. After seeing that exchange, hotel officials approached me and, saying they were acting on behalf of event organizers, ordered me to leave the Rosen Centre property immediately, and escorted me to my car.

...

Then it turned out Perry had attended after all, sort of, Thursday night - by satellite link-up, according to tweets posted Thursday night by John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, which was a participant in the Florida Renewal Project.

That appearance, which included a speech and taking questions from the pastors, came just hours after the Texas governor’s campaign staff assured the Sentinel he would not attend.

Who organized the event though? No one would say for sure, though Stemberger acknowledged that the California-based organization United in Purpose, which had organized similar “Renewal Project” events in California and Iowa earlier this year, “was involved.”

The last time United In Purpose hosted one of these conferences, we caught Mike Huckabee telling the audience that Americans ought to be forced to listen to David Barton at gunpoint.  But when United In Purpose later broadcast the event, that exchange was entirely edited out

So while organizers are going to be releasing a DVD of this Florida event in the coming weeks, it seems that they want to be able to control what people actually see and don't want reporters around revealing what was really taking place.

Religious Right Erupts Following Herman Cain's Incoherent Position On Abortion

Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.

Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:

Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association argued that Cain’s remarks “could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook” and wrote a column taking Cain to task:

Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.

Ouch.

In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.

Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.

Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:

Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:

I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.



He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.

Why Is Everyone Always Misunderstanding Herman Cain?

You really have to feel for Herman Cain because it seems that people are always misunderstanding his perfectly consistent and reasonable statements. 

Like how his 9-9-9 plan will not raise taxes on the poor because he has a super-secret solution that he just hasn't told anyone about or how just because he said he wouldn't allow any Muslims to serve in his administration, that doesn't mean he wouldn't allow Muslims to serve in his administration.

Yesterday Cain made news again after saying that it is not the "government’s role, or anybody else’s role" to make the decision about whether to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest.

That statement made Religious Right activists question Cain's anti-choice bona fides, to which he responded with a tweet declaring that he was "100% pro-life.  End of story."

That, of course, was not the end of the story because it directly contradicted what Cain had just said.  So now Cain is out there trying to set the record straight by explaining that he believes that abortion ought to be illegal in all circumstances ... but that the decision to break the law and get an abortion is none of the government's business: 

FOX HOST MARTHA MACCALLUM: Do you believe that abortion should be legal in this country for families who want to make that decision [to abort]?

CAIN: No. I do not believe abortion should be legal in this country, if that's the question.

MACCALLUM: So then you're saying that if those circumstances come up and the family does make that decision, that they decide that that is the best thing for this young person or she decides that on her own, then if that's what they decided, then it would be an illegal abortion that they would seek.

CAIN: It would be an illegal abortion! Look, abortion should not be legal -- that is clear -- but if that family made a decision to break the law, that's their decision. 

In attempting to clarify his position, Cain has done the opposite and is only generating more confusion.

If the government outlaws abortion, then obviously a decision about whether to break the law and get an abortion anyway is not a situation where the government "shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision" ... mainly because the government has already made that decision for them by outlawing abortion.

Is this really Cain's position: that in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government's business to tell them what to do?

Here is helpful tip for Cain to consider: if people are repeatedly asking you to clarify your incoherent positions and your clarifications only induce further confusion, then just maybe it is not everyone else that is woefully misinformed.

Stemberger Warns Of America's Imminent Collapse If The Church Doesn't "Rise Up"

John Stemberger earlier this week appeared on a conference call for Champion the Vote and warned that the future of the country relies on the Religious Right. Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council and the past chairman of the campaign to have a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in Florida, was promoting the One Nation Under God event with Newt Gingrich, David Barton, James Dobson, Sam Rodriguez and Lila Rose which focuses on boosting right-wing activism and learning about “God’s fingerprint all over the founding of our country”:

While Champion the Vote is technically nonpartisan, Stemberger warned that America is being “fundamentally transformed into a different type of culture, a different country” and that “we will lose this beautiful thing we call America.” According to Stemberger, only Christians are capable of creating a free society. “As only the Christian presuppositions of theology created this country,” Stemberger said, “only Christians can save it and unless the church rises up, we’re done.” He went on to say that without the resurgence of the church, “our country’s going to slip away into something we don’t even recognize”:

Stemberger went on to say that Christian conservatives are facing extreme “hostility” in American society and warned that their opponents want their anti-gay views “expunged from the marketplace”:

Once Upon A Time, Barber Called For The "Repeal Of All State And Federal Hate-Crimes Laws"

Back in 2009, when Congress was working on legislation to expand hate crimes laws to include protections for sexual orientation, the Religious Right pitched a fit and mobilized to try and stop it. 

They failed, but Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel was among the leaders of the movement, going so far as to not only oppose adding sexual orientation to the law but calling for all hate crimes laws to be repealed:

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — in Washington and around the country — should not only reject S. 909, but should also begin working toward repeal of all state and federal hate-crimes laws.

All violent crimes are "hate crimes." Ever known anyone cracked upside the head in love? There may have been a time when hate-crimes laws were temporarily necessary, but that time has come and gone. When the 1968 federal hate-crimes bill passed, there were multiple and verifiable cases of local prosecutors refusing to indict whites for violent crimes committed against blacks. This was the justification for the law at the time.

We've moved well beyond those days, and FBI statistics bear out that reality. In today's America, every citizen, without fail, is both guaranteed and granted equal protection of the law regardless of race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, dominant hand, favorite color or "American Idol" pick. This renders all extraneous hate-crimes laws woefully obsolete and fatally discriminatory.

...

Rather than continuing down the wrong path and creating new hate-crimes laws that unfairly favor whichever boutique special-interest group screams the loudest, we should move toward inclusion and equality for all Americans. We should look to the future instead of the past. We should both reject S. 909 and repeal all outdated and discriminatory hate-crimes laws.

After it was signed into law, Barber even participated in a rally protesting the new legislation as unconstitutional ... which is interesting, since today he will be participating in a press conference along with Peter LaBarbera to demand that the act of vandalism against the site hosting their anti-gay training session be treated as a hate crime:

A coalition of ministers and pro-family advocates is questioning the double-standard on "hate crimes" in the wake of an attack Saturday against Christian Liberty Academy (CLA) -- which was threatened with more violence if it continues to host conservative groups like Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH).

...

Americans For Truth President Peter LaBarbera said, "Some in the media are calling this terrorist act 'vandalism,' which we doubt they would do if the situation were reversed and right-wing extremists threw two large bricks through the glass doors of a gay church."

"As conservatives we oppose the concept of 'hate crimes,' but since hate crimes laws are on the books they must be enforced even-handedly," LaBarbera said. “It is scandalous that a left-wing website post taking credit for this act of domestic terrorism -- and threatening more violence -- is still up and running."

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel said hard-left groups like Gay Liberation Network create a "climate of hate" against Christians by demonizing them with vicious lies that equate the defense of Judeo-Christian morality with "hate."

"We will not compromise on God's truth. Neither will we be terrorized into silence," Barber said.

Liberty Counsel Floats Boycott Against "Pro-Homosexual" Starbucks

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver floated a boycott of Starbucks today on Freedom’s Call, Staver’s daily news alert. Staver was addressing the controversy over Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s cancelled appearance at the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek church, which in the past had ties to the ex-gay group Exodus International.

Staver alleges that Schultz was “intimidated” by “homosexual activists” into withdrawing from the conference, falsely arguing that the petition to Schultz was about the church’s view on marriage while it was actually regarding Willow Creek’s connections to the ex-gay ministry. In fact, marriage is nowhere mentioned in the petition. Staver also claimed that “Schultz and Starbucks have routinely been pro-abortion in their policies and actions” and that Schultz is beholden to “his homosexual constituency.”

“Since Starbucks is so pro-homosexual,” Staver said, “probably the people that buy Starbucks ought to consider patronizing another place”:

Liberty Counsel previously endorsed a boycott against McDonalds for allegedly working with “militant homosexual activists” and pressure campaigns against schools that permit students to participate in the “Day of Silence,” which protests anti-gay bullying.

Staver’s weighing of a Starbucks boycott is especially ironic because his deputy at Liberty Counsel, Matt Barber, accused gay rights advocates of “economic terrorism” for protesting companies that were part of the CGBG, a commercial group that allowed customers to grant proceeds to the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Liberty Counsel.

But for Religious Right groups, pressure campaigns are only tolerated when they are the ones organizing them.

Priest Says Catholics Must Oppose Politicians Who Don't Oppose "Intrinsically Evil" Homosexuality

The mayor of El Paso, Texas and two city councilmembers are facing recall elections after their support of domestic partner benefits for city employees raised the ire of Religious Right activists. One of the proponents of the recall, Rev. Michael Rodriguez, was reassigned out of the El Paso Roman Catholic diocese after paying for advertisements saying that the choice for Catholic voters in the election was “clear” and they must support the recall.

In an interview last week with Michael J. Matt of The Remnant, Rodriguez said, “Every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions” and “oppose this homosexual agenda.” Rodriguez told the newspaper that “even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.”

MJM: Up until last year, I believe, things were pretty quiet in your priestly life. What happened to change all that?

FR: The local, and even national, "controversy" that has engulfed me is due to the fact that I have been vocal in promoting what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in regard to the whole issue of homosexuality. It's a disgrace, but the City Council of El Paso has been adamant in trying to legitimize same-sex unions. This goes completely contrary to Catholic Church teaching. I've made it clear to the Catholics of El Paso (and beyond) that every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions. A Catholic who fails to oppose this homosexual agenda, is committing a grave sin by omission. Furthermore, if a Catholic doesn't assent to the infallible moral teaching of the Church that homosexual acts are mortally sinful, then such a Catholic is placing himself / herself outside of communion with the Church. These are the Catholics who are actually excommunicating themselves, not the Society of St. Pius X!

MJM: I can understand why the civil authorities and media might find this “controversial”; but why would your ecclesial superiors find it so?

FR: The dismal response of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to homosexuality demonstrates how extreme the current crisis of faith actually is. It really can't get much worse. There's hardly any faith left to lose! Even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Reason, natural law, and consideration of the male and female anatomy more than suffice to confirm this moral truth.

Harvey Denies Anti-Gay Bullying, Warns Of "Destructive" Gay Activists

During her Saturday radio show, Linda Harvey of Mission America called on parents to rise up and “stop homosexuality in our schools.” Harvey warned that “homosexual activism” in public schools is endangering the health of children:

Homosexual activism is very, very destructive. It is creating—while taking in the moral high ground or trying to and saying it’s all about rights and so on—no, they’re undermining sanity, morality, security for our kids. They are undermining of course religious liberty for believers.

Reflecting the Religious Right’s adamant opposition to anti-bullying programs, Harvey described anti-bullying initiatives as a “Trojan Horse” for gay-rights advocates who do not use the efforts to “deal with bullying.” Harvey denied that there is widespread bullying problem, mocking “sympathetic” kids and saying that the real tragedy is that there are kids who identify with the LGBT community:

Big, big issue out there now is bullying. The homosexual activists are using this as a wedge to not deal with bullying, because it can be dealt without dealing with homosexuality at all, you don’t have to embrace homosexuality and cross-dressing to end bullying even if the people involved, the victims of the bullying, are identifying or sadly and tragically—at this point in their lives, maybe they’ll change—involved in those lifestyles or drawn to that. No you don’t have to deal with this issue at all, you just deal with insults, punish insults. If there’s physical assault you deal with that in the appropriate way.

No, what’s happening more and more is that that’s being used as a Trojan Horse to bring in all aspects of retraining everybody’s thinking to accept homosexuality in the schools. You got to watch out for that because it’s very slick, plays on people’s sympathies, our kids are all over this, ‘oh so sympathetic’ you know. There is not an epidemic of bullying for homosexual kids, there is simply not, that’s going unpunished. There is plenty of bullying incidents are getting punished every day around the country. The hard facts are simply not there.

Palin Schedules Next Speaking Engagement In Mississippi Because of AFA

Earlier this month, Brian noted that Sarah Palin was scheduled to speak at an Extraordinary Women Conference held at Liberty University.

This weekend, Palin is scheduled to speak at another one of these conferences, which is being held in Tupelo, Mississippi ... and she has reportedly decided to speak at this event because of its proximity to the American Family Association:

Former Alaska governor and conservative Republican star Sarah Palin will anchor a lineup of female Christian speakers who will give their testimonies this weekend in Tupelo.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee will speak Saturday at 3 p.m. as the climax of the Extraordinary Women Conference at the BancorpSouth Arena.

Palin announced earlier this month that she would not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but her appeal among conservatives remains strong, and that's part of why she chose to make Tupelo one of only four stops on the Extraordinary Women tour at which she'll speak.

"We looked for markets where her appearance demographically made sense," said Michael Stewart, the conference's vice president for event development. Stewart also mentioned the presence of the American Family Association as a reason why Palin chose to speak in Tupelo.

The AFA is a certified anti-gay hate group and the employer of one of the Religious Right's most relentless bigots ... but it seems that for Palin, the AFA is a draw that is luring her to Mississippi.

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Religious Right Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 10/28/2011, 3:55pm
While a few right-wing groups are using Halloween this year to put on "Hell Houses" which torture attendees with graphic portrayals of gay people dying of AIDS and women suffering from abortions, many Religious Right figures have called on people to stop celebrating Halloween altogether. Back in 2009, Jacksonville city councilwoman and past CBN commentator Kimberly Daniels warned that Halloween candy is under a demonic curse as a result of Satanic orgies, and last week Christian radio commentator Linda Harvey said that celebrating Halloween is cheating on Jesus with ‚"our... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/28/2011, 2:00pm
Yesterday WallBuilders' Rick Green, the poor man's David Barton, appeared as a guest on TBN's "Praise The Lord" program to promote and share the patented brand of Religious Right pseudo-history with which WallBuilders is synonymous. And Green had some stiff competition in the regard as host Kirk Cameron - yes, that one - tried to stump the audience with a trick question by asking if they knew the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and which one contained the phrase "four score and seven years ago."  The answer, of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/27/2011, 4:38pm
Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.   The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.   Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.   FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/27/2011, 4:05pm
On a Believers Voice of Victory episode that aired today, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that women are most elevated in a society that has “conformed to the Scriptures.” Citing Religious Right activist Rabbie Daniel Lapin, Barton said that the Bible is actually the basis of women’s rights, while in “Islam” and secular societies like France and “the Norwegian countries,” women have fewer rights and less respect. Perhaps Barton should read The Handmaid’s Tale before arguing that women will prosper in a society run strictly... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 4:45pm
FRC has released its Congressional scorecards.   I look forward to watching the Religious Right turn this pastor who was arrested for protesting a high school's demon mascot into their newest cause célèbre.   Is Charisma Magazine, which routinely features people like Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, really suggesting that people should be jailed for delivering false prophecies?   Gary Cass bravely launched a new "anti-bullying campaign" yesterday - by which he means "an anti-Muslim campaign."  ... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 3:05pm
Today on Believers Voice of Victory, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that the only way to rejuvenate America’s education system is to instill in kids the “fear of the Lord.” Barton launched his career as a Religious Right activist with the 1989 booklet What Happened in Education?, in which he concluded that a decline in SAT scores was a result of the end of school prayer, and that only Christian teachings in schools could bring SAT scores back up. Barton explained to Copeland, a Prosperity Gospel preacher, what that instilling the “fear of the Lord... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 12:41pm
Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race. How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry: Ken Blackwell, the former... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/25/2011, 2:00pm
Speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch last week, Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe accused President Obama and his administration of promoting policies that are “anti-religious.” Poe and Perkins were discussing with the manufactured controversy over a Texas veteran’s cemetery that prohibits a volunteer group from holding religious services at a funeral if the family does not request it. The New York Times points out that this rule was created in 2007 by the Bush administration, but according to Poe, the policy is actually all Obama... MORE >