Religious Right

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Michele Bachmann spoke at the Florida Family Policy Council awards banquet last night where she received the organization's "William Wilberforce Award."
  • Rick Joyner says "the Obama’s extravagant lifestyle at the expense of taxpayers is far out of bounds, especially with the hard times so many are going through now."
  • NOM continues to lose in its effort to flout disclosure laws.
  • Religious Right activists are threatening to sue if they are prevented from praying at Ground Zero on 9/10, even though they have no reason to think that they will be.
  • You know your movie is bad if you are reduced to sending out press releases announcing that someone drove three hours in bad weather to see it.
  • Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will all be attending the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Kick-Off Rally on Sept. 22.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The ACLJ pushes back against the reports that Jay Sekulow is making millions off the organization.
  • Michele Bachmann loses two key campaign staffers.
  • CWA's Penny Nance worries about incivility while asserting that "violence is nothing new for unions."
  • There is just something hilarious about reading a piece on the AFA's OneNewsNow about how the Religious Right has an image problem caused by their over-the-top rhetoric.
  • Case in point, the AFA's Bryan Fischer says Muslims should at least have the decency to hang their heads in shame on 9/11.
  • Finally, Gary Cass is really starting to give Fischer a run for his money as the Religious Right's most viciously anti-Muslim activist.

Rick Perry Endorses Janet Porter's Radical 'Heartbeat Bill'

After passing the Ohio State House, Janet Porter’s ‘heartbeat bill’ is now poised to have a vote in the Republican-controlled State Senate. Porter, an avowed dominionist who thinks supporters of President Obama are destined to Hell and that legal abortion is responsible for tornadoes, has been leading the fight to pass the ‘heartbeat bill,’ a patently unconstitutional measure that would “ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception.” She told James Dobson yesterday on his program Family Talk that she thinks her bill will eventually lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. “We are so close that I can see the end of abortion from here, that’s how close we are,” Porter said, “everything we have prayed is happening…God has been in this from the beginning.”

Porter has lost some allies along the way, as the Ohio Right to Life Society opposes her extreme bill and one of its chief proponents, State Rep. Jarrod Martin, who called for the bill’s passage to help the U.S. compete with Chinese children, currently faces charges of drunk driving and child endangerment.

But she has picked up one major endorsement: Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He joins other presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Roy Moore in backing Porter’s extreme legislation. According to the statement from Porter’s group Faith 2 Action, Perry announced his support at his meeting with Religious Right leaders at James Leininger’s ranch in Texas where he spoke “before a group of 250 pro-life and pro-family leaders”:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who recently announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for President, has announced his support for the Heartbeat Bill. He joins three other Presidential candidates in support of the bill: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

“We’re grateful to Governor Perry for his strong support of the Heartbeat Bill. I don’t think there’s a bill in America with more support,” declares Faith2Action President Janet (Folger) Porter. She adds, “Come to the Statehouse Atrium on September 20 and get a glimpse of the statewide support for the Heartbeat Bill!”

At a meeting in Texas, Governor Perry announced his support before a group of 250 pro-life and pro-family leaders. His response of support to a question about the Heartbeat Bill received an extended standing ovation.

Bachmann Gushes, Says Schlafly "Most Important Woman In The United States In The Last 100 Years"

A few weeks we wrote a post noting that, at her core, Michele Bachmann was just a Religious Right activist who got elected to Congress and now hopes to become president.  

In that post, we compared Bachmann to fringe right-wing activist Janet Porter but it would probably have been more accurate to compare her to Phyllis Schlafly, as that is what Bachmann herself did on a recent "Tea Party Cyber-Town Hall and Webcast" where she lauded Schlafly as her heroine, mentor and everything that Bachmann hopes to be while also calling her the most important woman in the US in the last century:

If I could just say a couple of words about Phyllis Schafly, she is my heroine and my example as a forerunner. As a young bride and a young mother, I read faithfully "The Phyllis Schlafly Report;" she was my lifeline to what was happening in the world.

She truly is the mother of the modern conservative movement ... I think she is the most important woman in the United States in the last one hundred years.

Whatever Phyllis Schlafly says, it's important that we listen because she's there on every issue, on every front. She is our hero, our heroine, our stalwart and I absolutely adore her. So God bless you, my dear mentor and the person that I hope to be some day. So thank you very much, Phyllis.

Really?  We should listen to whatever it is that Schlafly has to say?  You mean like how feminists are "bitter, unhappy and not successful women" and how men should not marry "career women" and how the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech was the fault of the English Department and how, by getting married, women have consented to sex and therefore cannot be raped by their husbands?

Pat Robertson Implies He Was Not Qualified To Be President

On The 700 Club today, Pat Robertson said that executive experience in government is “the only qualification for running for president,” arguing that President Obama made “mistake after mistake after mistake” because he never had the experience of a mayor or a governor, saying, “we put somebody in charge of America with no experience, not wise.” But Obama was far from the only presidential candidate who never served a mayor or a governor; others include John McCain, Barry Goldwater and…Pat Robertson.

Robertson ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, winning the Ames straw poll and coming in second place in the Iowa caucus. After Robertson dropped out, he founded the Christian Coalition, which became one of the principal forces in the Religious Right until he left in 2001.

Before he ran for president, Robertson headed the Christian Broadcasting Network and was the founder and chancellor of CBN University, since renamed Regent University. Robertson never served as a mayor or a governor, in fact, he never served in elected office before or after his run for the presidency.

We at Right Wing Watch would like to know if Robertson believes that he too should’ve been disqualified for the presidency:

The Secrets Of Jay Sekulow - The Sequel

Several years ago, Tony Mauro wrote an article for The Legal Times entitled "The Secrets of Jay Sekulow" which examined how "through the ACLJ and a string of interconnected nonprofit and for-profit entities, [Sekulow] has built a financial empire that generates millions of dollars a year and supports a lavish lifestyle -- complete with multiple homes, chauffeur-driven cars, and a private jet that he once used to ferry Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia."

The article went on to note how "Sekulow's wife, brother, sister-in-law, and two sons have been on the boards or payrolls of organizations under his control or have received generous payments as contractors" ... but none of the revelations in the article seemed to have diminished Sekulow's reputation among his Religious Right allies in any way, as he remains a recognized and respected leader in the movement to this day.

So presumably this new article revealing that all the money donated to the ACLJ actually goes to a Sekulow-controlled organization called Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism won't raise any eyebrows among Sekulows' Religious Right allies either:

Sekulow, a celebrity among conservative Christians, now sits as the principal officer of two closely related multimillion-dollar legal charities: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, which he founded in San Francisco, and the better-known American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson and based in Virginia Beach.

...

Since 1998, the two charities have paid out more than $33 million to members of Sekulow's family and businesses they own or co-own, according to the charities' federal tax returns.

One of the charities is controlled by the Sekulow family — tax documents show that all four of CASE's board members are Sekulows and another is an officer — an arrangement criticized by a nonprofit watchdog group.

...

Sekulow was running CASE before he became involved in ACLJ in the 1990s. Today both charities operate under the name American Center for Law and Justice. When supporters send donations to ACLJ, the funds actually go to CASE, which handles the fundraising for both groups, tax records show.

According to the article, the ACLJ asserts "that Sekulow has taken no salary since 2002."  Of course, that might have something to do with the fact this little tidbit that Mauro reported in his earlier article:

Sekulow outsourced his own legal services from the ACLJ, shifting from a position with a publicly disclosed salary to that of a private contractor that requires no public disclosure. He acknowledged to Legal Times that his salary from that arrangement is "above $600,000" a year.

Barber: Those Writing About Dominionism "No Different Than 9/11-truthers [and] Holocaust-Deniers"

It seems that Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber is none-too-pleased with the coverage that dominionism and its influence and role within the Religious Right movement has been receiving in the media and on blogs like Right Wing Watch and so he has dedicated his more recent column to attacking and mocking those -including me, by name - who have been writing about it:

There has been great gnashing of teeth in “progressive” circles of late over “Christian Dominionist Theology.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has warned that much of the Republican presidential field embraces this startling, seditious sect of extreme fundamentalism. She’s breathlessly warned that Christian Dominionists “believe they have a direct line to God” and intend to “clear the way for the [end of the world]…by infiltrating and taking over government.”

The Daily Beast/Newsweek chimes the tocsin with a hard-hitting, brilliantly penned – though deeply disturbing to all who love freedom – investigative piece headlined: “A Christian Plot for Domination?”

Author Michelle Goldberg warns that Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry are deeply entrenched in a “little-known movement of radical Christians” who are preparing “an army of God” to “commandeer civilian government.”

But it gets worse. It’s much bigger than all that.

Kyle Mantyla with the atheist group “People for the American Way” has been warning for months now that this organized craze of underground Christians plan “to take dominion over, literally, seven specific facets of modern life in order to wrest control away from Satan and his demonic spirits so that Christians can put them to use in bringing about God’s kingdom on Earth.”

Now, you may laugh. You may think these anti-Christian “Dominioners” like Maddow, Goldberg and Mantyla – these fearless progressives risking all to sound the alarm on the rising threat of Christian Dominionism – are just a bunch of liberal, tinfoil hat-wearing kooks.

You might believe they’re merely a left-wing gaggle of tattooed, body-pierced pot-brownie pies in pajamas, no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.

Oh, you may suppose these liberal Dominioners – daring beyond measure – are simply a batty band of anti-Christian bigots and Daily-Kos-, MSNBC-types looking to smear Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential hopefuls as a bunch of clandestine theocrats bent on Christian world domination.

Barber goes on to facetiously reveal that there really is a secret plan to take control of "the Seven Mountains of Influence," as well as as well as the "6 Pyramids of Supremacy" and the "32 Molehills of Utter Despotism."

Of course, as we have said before, we are not the ones writing books and holding conferences about gaining dominion through taking control of the Seven Mountains ... people like Peter Wagner are:

In the 2000s, he began to move strongly in promoting the Dominion Mandate for social transformation, adopting the template of the Seven Mountains or the 7-M Mandate for practical implementation.

We have been writing about how Wagner and his New Apostolic Reformation have been working their way into the "mainstream" Religious Right as demonstrated by the fact that people like Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs and Rick Joyner have all been speakers at "The Awakening" conferences organized by Liberty Counsel and held at Liberty University. 

So considering that that Barber works for both of those organizations and spoke at the events personally, you would think that he might be aware of that. 

But then again, this is the same man who continues to insist that there is no such thing as dominionism despite the fact that his employer just last year sponsored the "2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference - Biblical Blueprints for Victory!":

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that God created us to multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion of His creation for His Glory. When Jesus came to earth, He gave his disciples the Great Commission and told them to make disciples of all nations, Baptize them, and teach them to obey all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). These two mandates form the basis for why Christ’s Church exists on this planet. Every square inch of this world belongs to King Jesus. It is our privilege to serve Him by exercising servanthood dominion in every area of life.

You know, it takes a special sort of ignorant dishonesty to work for an organization that directly sponsors a dominionism conference organized by a bona fide Christian Reconstruction group that advocates the death penalty for homosexuality and then, when people start to point that out, respond by attacking your opponents as a bunch of kooks and comparing them to Holocaust-deniers.

Turek Rails Against Gay Pride And Diversity Training Programs

Frank Turek is a corporate consultant who "conducts dynamic training and development programs in Leadership, Sales, Customer Service, Team Building and other people-skill topics essential for business success."

He is also a Religious Right activist who writes books like "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" and "Correct, Not Politically Correct; How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone" and hosts a radio program called "Cross Examined" that airs on the American Family Association's radio network.

Recently, those two career paths have begun to come into conflict with one another and Turek's anti-gay activism has started to cost him consulting jobs. This development has, of course, transformed Turek into a Religious Right hero and yesterday showed up on "Today's Issues" with the AFA 's Tim Wildmon and FRC's Tony Perkins to tell his tale.

During the discussion, the topic turned to the AFA's boycott of Home Depot (or "Homo Depot," as they called it) over the corporation's support for equality and gay pride parades ... which prompted Turek to rail against gay pride and diversity training programs:

Anytime you have to call something "pride," there's a problem with it, particularly when it comes to behavior because you don't hear people walking around saying "heterosexual pride" ...

Pride? Pride? Pride is, as we all know, really the root of all sin; we want to do it our way rather than God's way.

And secondly, the other thing I'd like to bring up is do you have to have corporate training programs to teach people that men were made for women and that women were made for men? No! You only need corporate training or indoctrination programs to try and cause people to believe something they know isn't right. You don't need diversity training for man-women relationships - we all know that's the natural way, that's the designed way, that's the teleological way. We only need to be talked out of what we know is true, and that's why we have these corporate propaganda programs.

NOM's Morse: America Becoming Like Nazi Germany

Jennifer Roback Morse, the president of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, hosted Religious Right leader Chuck Colson on her radio show on Monday. During the program, Morse compared the position of marriage equality opponents to that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the renowned Lutheran pastor involved in the anti-Nazi resistance who was executed by the Nazis in 1945. Morse said that “the parallels” between Nazi Germany and contemporary America “are really quite chilling” and what happened in Nazi Germany “is happening to us”:

Morse: We need to be strong and we need to stand together here on these issues of the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and religious liberty because if we don’t stand up for it now we’re going to lose it. I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the parallels are really quite chilling because the Nazis were able to scare people into being silent, and they scared people by threatening their jobs, and they scared people by creating an atmosphere of intimidation. I hate to say it but it is happening to us and it happens because good people remain silent and the plain fact of the matter is that there are more of us than there are of the people who want to silent us, and even people on the left are on our side on this type of issue so I think it’s very important that we keep speaking because if we don’t use these rights, if we don’t use our free speech rights we will lose them.

Gingrich's Lone Religious Right Supporter Being Wooed By Perry

As we noted last week, Rick Perry gathered with a whole range of Religious Right leaders at the ranch of right-wing megadonor James Leininger over the weekend and details continue to emerge about what took place during the event, like Perry vowing to them that there would be no revelations about his past that would ever embarrass them.

We are also seeing more reports about which leaders were in attendance:

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

It is especially interesting to see that Garlow was present at the gathering, given that he had pretty much been the only Religious Right leader supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential bid.

The fact that Garlow traveled to Texas to participate in this meeting with Perry seems to suggest that even Gingrich's most ardent supporters know that his campaign is dead in the water.

Religious Right Makes Michael Bloomberg Enemy Number One For His "Insult To God"

In planning a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept a policy observed in previous years and declined to invite religious leaders to speak at the events, which a spokesman says is to make sure “the focus remains on the families.” Of course, the Religious Right is now apoplectic and using their outrage at Bloomberg as their latest fundraising tool.

The Traditional Values Coalition emailed members today pleading for donations to stop Bloomberg’s attempts “to exterminate expressions of faith” and set up a fundraising page warning that “Islamists Continue Conquest of New York City…Islamists are spiking the football at Ground Zero! All while Mayor Bloomberg bans faith from New York's 9/11 ceremonies?!”

The American Center for Law and Justice, the right-wing legal outlet founded by Pat Robertson and led by Jay Sekulow, launched a petition demanding Bloomberg change his “damaging policy now” and include clergymen and prayer in the event. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said it was a “travesty that Mayor Bloomberg is so confused and clueless about America’s history, and so confused and clueless about the threat Islam poses to the West,” arguing that prayer should be included in the ceremonies but restricted to only Christian and Jewish clergy.

The Family Research Council has its own petition and prayer alert to oppose Bloomberg’s “shocking assault on religious liberty,” calling on members to pray to “Help the Mayor see that he has made a mistake and reverse his decision. Stir the families who will attend the 9/11 memorial service to insist that You, Lord, be honored there”:

The beginning of America's precipitous moral decline can be traced, statistically, to 1962, when atheist Madeleine Murray O'Hare's [sic] legal assault resulted in prayer being removed from public schools. Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld prayer in public ceremonies. Bloomberg's behavior is not a matter of legal philosophy, dullness or insensitivity; it is a deliberate defiance and insult to people of faith across America.

More important to Bible believers, it is an insult to God upon whom our nation depends for our safety. Amid unprecedented natural disasters, economic calamity, homeland threats, wars abroad, troubles in our families and schools, etc., we must not insult God.

The FRC referenced the 1962 Supreme Court case Engel v. Vitale and the 1963 Abington v. Schempp, in which Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist, and Edward Schempp, a Unitarian Universalist, sued against laws in their states that required their children to partake in religious exercises like Bible study and reading the Lord’s Prayer. The Court found such policies a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

Many in the Religious Right see the cases as the critical juncture where America turned its back on God. Pat Robertson writes in The New Millennium:

On June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in a case titled Engle v. Vitale [sic] that state-sponsored prayer could not be said in public school rooms. On June 17, 1963, the court ruled in the case of Abington v. Schempp that the Holy Bible could not be read to students in classrooms.



Acting on behalf of all the citizens of the United States, our government has officially insulted Almighty God and has effectively taken away from all public school children any opportunity for even the slightest acknowledgment of God’s existence. By rejecting Him, we have made the Protector and Champion of the United States his enemy.

The events that followed are not coincidence. On November 22, 1963, less than six months after the Bible-reading decision, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Within two years after that decision, America was massively embroiled in its second most painful war, which decimated our treasure, our servicemen, and our national resolve.

Robertson goes on to blame Watergate, the 1973 oil crisis, stagflation and the Iranian revolution on the rulings.

David Barton got his start in Religious Right politics by authoring the booklet, What Happened in Education?, where he argues that the removal of school prayer caused SAT scores to plummet. Barton claimed that the two cases represented “the first occasion in national recorded history that the public inclusion of God in academic endeavors had been officially prohibited,” as the only event “corresponding to the time of the beginning of the downturn in scores was the banning of God and of religious principles from schools.” He concludes by urging schools to reintroduce explicitly Christian teachings if they want to reverse the trend.

It’s interesting that the FRC brought up the school prayer cases: both the case of school prayer and clergy participating in the September 11th anniversary ceremonies show the Religious Right trying to gin up panic over a supposed but not actual infringement on religious freedom, and then warning of divine punishment when they don’t get their way.

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

For the last several weeks, the Religious Right has been hyping allegations from Kelly Shackleford and his Liberty Institute claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a ban on "the use of Christian words or phrases at veterans’ funerals."

Liberty Institute has even launched a website called "Don't Tear Us Down" which claims that "Jesus is not welcome at gravesides" and the campaign is receiving support from other Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Today the New York Times took a look at the controversy and discovered - shockingly - that the claims being made by the Religious Right are totally misleading.  As the NYT explains, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." 

In essence, the policy states that volunteer groups are not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family.  Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have that right as well.

But 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:

The plaintiffs, aided by a conservative legal group, the Liberty Institute, contend they should be allowed to use a Veterans of Foreign Wars script dating from World War I that refers to the deceased as “a brave man” with an “abiding faith in God” and that seeks comfort from an “almighty and merciful God.” The institute has broadcast the dispute nationwide with slick videos and a Web site declaring that “Jesus is not welcome at gravesides.”

...

The lawsuit, which alleges religious discrimination by the government, and videos have generated angry letters and Internet commentary against the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as demands from members of the Texas Congressional delegation, mostly Republicans, that the Obama administration fire the Houston cemetery director, Arleen Ocasio.

Department of Veterans Affairs officials say that the original policy, enacted under President George W. Bush, resulted from complaints about religious words or icons being inserted unrequested into veterans’ funerals. They noted that active duty military honor guards, including the teams that do funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, say almost nothing during their ceremonies.

“We do what the families wish,” said Steve L. Muro, the under secretary for memorial affairs. “I always tell my employees we have just one chance to get it right.”

Though two of the largest veterans organizations, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have criticized the Houston National Cemetery, some veterans’ advocates have risen to the department’s support. Those advocates say that families who want prayers can have them and assert that the Liberty Institute has blown the dispute out of proportion to embarrass the Obama administration.

Lawyers with the Liberty Institute deny that ... The Department of Veterans Affairs said that funeral directors, rather than the veterans themselves, should tell families the details of the V.F.W. or other rituals, to give those families room to make their own decisions on what is recited.

“If the family wants prayers, the family will get them,” said John R. Gingrich, the department’s chief of staff.

Sprigg: "Nothing That We Have Done Can Reasonably Be Called Hate"

Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg appeared today on The Matt Friedeman Show on the American Family Association’s American Family Radio to discuss the budding controversy over the right-wing “charity” service CGBG. The progressive groups AllOut.org and Change.org have persuaded over 200 retailers to leave the CGBG, a for-profit group that allows customers to shop at companies online and direct part of their proceeds to right-wing organizations like FRC and Focus on the Family – success that, unsurprisingly, has got the Religious Right up in arms.

It’s rather ironic that the AFA is helping the FRC denounce the pressure campaign against the CGBG, as the AFA itself led boycotts against Ford, Home Depot, Old Navy, Pepsi, and Glee along with pressure campaigns against Burger King, Toyota, Lexus and Cellular South to stop running ads on Glee and Google and Disney to drop out of the It Gets Better Project. But this double-standard should come as no surprise, as the FRC endorsed the AFA’s boycott campaign against McDonalds and led its own campaign against Wal-Mart.

Sprigg and Freideman alleged that FRC is only facing a backlash from gay rights and women’s rights groups because the group oppose marriage equality. However, the AllOut.org petition urging companies to drop CGBC doesn’t mention the FRC’s position on marriage at all, instead focusing on FRC’s advocacy for laws criminalizing homosexuality, opposition to anti-bullying efforts and dishonest attempts to tie homosexuality to pedophilia.

Sprigg: People are afraid of the homosexual activists and they’re particularly afraid of this character assassination that comes in the form of the word ‘hate.’ Nobody wants to be accused of participating in ‘hate’ and so throwing that word  ‘hate’ around becomes a trump card even when nothing that we have done can reasonably be called  ‘hate.’ On the contrary, everything we do is motivated by love for the people who are hurt by this lifestyle.

Friedeman: Well, again I think what Tony Perkins has done and Peter Sprigg you by extension, you just say, we’re asking people, and AFA does this all the time as well, you urge retailers to remain neutral in the culture wars, the current cultural battles, particularly when you come down to something like homosexuality.

Such a claim is hard to believe coming from Peter Sprigg, who:

  • Argued that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be judges because a gay judge can’t “be held up as a role model.”
  • Opposed allowing same-sex partners or their adopted children from collecting their deceased partner or parent’s Social Security benefits.
  • Cheered on Lisa Miller after she kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America in order to evade court order granting custody to her former partner.

But the LGBT community, Sprigg says, should see all these as acts of love.

The Governor and The Christocrat: A Match Made In Texas

As we noted last week, Rick Perry spent some time this weekend at James Leininger's ranch in Texas meeting with a bevy of Religious Right leaders and activists.

According to Time, there was some 300 such leaders in attendance and Rick Scarborough, though he refuses to confirm that he was actually in attendance, appears quite smitten with the Texas Governor:

Last weekend, Rick Perry privately met some 300 conservative evangelical leaders at long-time supporter Jim Leininger’s home near Fredricksburg, Texas. And on Monday afternoon, reported-attendee and evangelical leader Rick Scarborough told TIME he is endorsing Perry: “I was holding judgment,” says Scarborough, who in 1998 founded the group Vision America to mobilize pastors and their congregations to vote on social issues, “but the more I’ve studied and listened, the more I have liked what I have heard.”

Perry first charmed Scarborough, who supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President in 2008, over a decade ago when Perry gave an impromptu personal testimony of his evangelical faith at a 1998 Republican convention. “It was obvious to me as a preacher that it was real, it was undoctored, it was unprepared, it was off the cuff. It really resonated with me.”

The governor had help in winning over the evangelical leader. Scarborough cited Perry’s wife Anita as a major factor in his decision. “I’ve had a chance here recently to hear Anita, much more close and personal,” Scarborough said. “Unlike [previous Presidents’ wives], I find that she holds the same values that he holds.”

...

The pastor’s endorsement has real sway. Vision America’s “Patriot Pastor” coalition has 20,000 members, and American Family Association founder Don Wildmon and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye are on the group’s advisory board. Scarborough says he’s already begun making his case to other influential social conservatives. “That’s not to say Rick Perry is Jesus because he is not,” he says. “But when you look at his full body of work, he’s been the best governor we’ve ever had.”

As we noted before, Scarborough is a self-proclaimed "Christocrat" who believes that it is his duty to "mix church and state God's way" in order to stop the country's "slide further into Communism/Socialism [and] sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and fight President Obama's efforts to "de-Christianize" this country.

Oh yeah, and he is also a Birther who stated, just a few months ago, that AIDS is God's judgment for engaging in an immoral act:

Barber: Gays Want To Put Conservatives "Behind Bars"

On an episode of Faith & Freedom scheduled to air tomorrow, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Baber dedicates the program to discussing how “homo-fascists” are unfairly pressuring businesses to drop out of the “charity-giving” program run by the right-wing CGBG. As noted in previous posts, the CGBG sets up a virtual mall for consumers to shop at companies and donate part of their proceeds to charity groups. However, these charities include the far-right, anti-gay Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Liberty Counsel. Barber, who in 2008 personally led a boycott rally in front of McDonalds’ corporate headquarters, now complains that LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates are using “economic terrorism” to convince retailers to leave the CGBG.

Taking a page from Tony Perkins and Bill Donohue, Barber claims that the Religious Right are victims of persecution from gays and lesbians.

Barber: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it right now. The sexual anarchist lobby, this radical, militant lobby, wants three things in this order: they want to see those of us who hold traditional values and have a biblical view of sexual behavior and sexual morality; they want to see us behind bars. Absent that, if that doesn’t work, they want to see us discredited, our licenses, my law licenses revoked, unable to teach in schools and so forth. They want us completely discredited and marginalized to the fringes of society. Finally and included in that is the inability, they want to see people like us not able to make a living. And that’s why they’re going after these organizations and they’re using economic terrorism, for lack of a better phrase.

C. Peter Wagner: "Dominion Means Ruling As Kings"

As we have been noting for the last week or so, everyone on the Religious Right has developed collective amnesia when it comes to the issue of dominionism, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

One of the major proponents of dominionism is C. Peter Wagner, the guru behind the New Apostolic Reformation, who, in 2008, wrote a book entitled "Dominion!: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World." Taking dominion was also the focus of the remarks he delivered at that same year a the "Starting The Year Off Right" conference hosted by Chuck Pierce of Global Spheres and Glory of Zion International Ministries:

Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing and it relates to society. In other words, what the values are in Heaven need to be made manifest here on earth. Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings. It says in Revelation Chapter 1:6 that He has made us kings and priests - and check the rest of that verse; it says for dominion. So we are kings for dominion.

It sure is odd how we keep finding all of these people promoting dominionism while the Religious Right keeps telling us that it doesn't exist.

Turek: Homosexuality Is A "Road To Destruction," Like Getting Run Over By A Truck

Frank Turek has become a hero of sorts to the Religious Right after Cisco terminated his contract as a consultant when an employee complained about his work as an anti-gay activist. Turek, who was a motivational speaker for Cisco before he was canned, is a radio commentator on American Family Radio, the American Family Association’s far-right radio network, and is the author of Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. He also frequently appears on broadcasts from Rick Joyner’s the Oak Initiative and joined Joyner, Tony Perkins and Jerry Boykin to create the Religious Right’s own '300' Spartan army. While a guest on Bryan Fischer’s AFR radio show in May, Turek warned that gay rights advocates and Islamic extremists are “in concert together” because “they both hate Western Civilization” and “hate Judeo-Christian natural law values that our Constitution and particularly our Declaration of Independence.”

Turek now writes columns for the American Family Association. In his latest piece, he claims that the people who truly love gay people are the ones like him, who believe they should become ‘ex-gays,’ while the people who hate gay people are those who affirm their sexual orientation. “If I have good reason to think you are on the road to destruction—if a truck is about to run over you,” Turek writes, “the only way to love you is to urge you to get out of the street”:

Everyone puts limits on marriage—if marriage had no definition it wouldn’t be anything. Recognizing that marriage is between a man and a woman is not bigotry, but common sense rooted in the biological facts of nature. That’s why the state recognizes marriage to begin with—not because two people love one another but because only heterosexual unions can procreate and best nurture the next generation.

Everyone also puts limits on behaviors. But opposing behavior is not the same as opposing or “hating” people. In fact, to really love people, we often have to oppose what they do! Parents know this, and all former children know it as well.

Celebrating behavior that leads to disease and an early death is closer to hate than love. According to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control, homosexual men comprise more than 80 percent of sexually transmitted HIV cases despite comprising less than 2 percent of the population. The FDA says that men who have sex with men have an HIV infection rate 60 times higher than the general population. Why should we be encouraging behavior that results in such tragic outcomes? If I have good reason to think you are on the road to destruction—if a truck is about to run over you—the only way to love you is to urge you to get out of the street. If I tell you to keep walking down that road—that I celebrate the road you’re on—how could I hate you more?

But isn’t homosexuality like race? No. Race has nothing to do with behavior, but homosexuality is a behavior! Skin color affects no one, but destructive behavior affects many. Moreover, sexual behavior is always a choice, race never is. You’ll find many former homosexuals, but you’ll never find a former African-American.

So if you don’t approve of a man because of his race, you are a bigot. But if you don’t approve of a man’s destructive behavior, you are wise.



[B]eing born a certain way is irrelevant to what the law should be. Laws are concerned with behaviors not desires, and we all have desires we ought not act on. In fact, all of us were born with an “orientation” to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors. If you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that mean you should be an alcoholic? If you have a genetic attraction to children does that mean you should be a pedophile? What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing? (Don’t blame me—I was born with the anti-gay gene!) Certainly, those that oppose alcoholism, pedophilia and gay bashing are not “bigots”—they are wise.

If Dominionism Is A Liberal Conspiracy, Why Does It Have Conservative Critics?

Over the last week Kyle has been rebutting claims by some journalists and Religious Right activists that Dominionism, which contends that fundamentalist Christians must take ‘dominion’ over society and government, is nothing more than a liberal conspiracy. Dominionism has been gaining attention as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s close ties with outspoken propagators of the radical dominionist ideology come to light.

In a post today, Rachel Tabachnik takes on the Washington Post’s Lisa Miller’s much-discussed article dismissing dominionism. Tabachnik notes that Miller’s article quoted Mark DeMoss downplaying the prevalence of dominionism in the Religious Right - without noting that the DeMoss Group has ties to Bill Bright, the founder of the dominionist Seven Mountains ideology, and Gary DeMar, who is a chief proponent of the Christian Reconstructionism, a hardline dominionist ideology.

As Kyle noted last week, Pat Robertson denied knowing anything about Dominionism, even though he delivered a speech where he urged his audience to “get ready to take dominion!” and Matt Barber of Liberty University School of Law called it a “scary Christian monster that lives under liberals’ beds,” despite the fact the Liberty University School of Law sponsored DeMar’s conference last year, called "2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference — Biblical Blueprints for Victory!" In fact, the Communications Director of Truth In Action Ministries, which until recently was called Coral Ridge Ministries, claimed that “dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right,” even though prominent dominionist Janet Porter was once the head of a Coral Ridge Ministries affiliate. So if domininionism doesn’t exist and is merely a construct of the left, then why was Porter fired by two conservative Christian radio stations for promoting…“dominionism”?

Last year, Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) fired Porter because of what they called the “drift of [Porter’s] program toward ‘dominion theology.’” VCY America says it is dedicated to “featuring solid Bible teaching programs” and features conservative programming like ‘The Phyllis Schlafly Report’ and ‘Freedom’s Call,’ Liberty Counsel’s radio bulletin.

Listen to VCY’s decision on Porter’s firing, which states that “VCY America does not believe in Dominion theology or waging spiritual war for the establishment of an earthly kingdom of power, that is dominion theology and it is being promoted by many who are guided by their own dreams and visions and not necessarily the Word of God”:

VCY America also hosted Sarah Leslie of the Discernment Research Group and the Herescope blog, who has worked to expose dominionism. Leslie is the former head of Iowa Right to Life, hardly a liberal activist, who talked to VCY America about the rise of Seven Mountains Dominionism:

VCY America wasn’t the only Christian radio station to fire Porter for promoting dominionism. Worldview Radio also dropped Porter for promoting “Dominion theology” and working “with the Dominion theory theology people” during her May Day prayer rally.

Surely, Barber can ask Porter herself why she was fired, since she was a featured speaker at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 and Liberty Counsel sponsored Porter’s How To Take Back America conference. Or ask Dominionism’s many conservative critics.

If you want a taste of what dominionism sounds like, watch Janet Porter preach with Cindy Jacobs about taking control of the mountain of government:

Engle, Joyner Come Together To Promote The Call

Lou Engle and Rick Joyner will be working together in September to promote The Call: Detroit, Engle’s prayer rally on November 11. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since both are closely involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, or the movement which believes that God is ordaining a new generation of prophets and apostles. Both have prophesied that America is turning into Nazi Germany and have claimed to know the reasons behind natural disasters, with Joyner calling Hurricane Katrina God’s judgment for homosexuality and Engle asserting that the Joplin, Missouri tornado was God’s punishment for legal abortion. Engle and Joyner, who leads MorningStar Ministries and The Oak Initiative, are also strong proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, which posits that fundamentalist Christians should take control over the seven most influential sectors of society: government, family, media, business, education, arts and entertainment, and the church.

Engle and Joyner are hosting the 'Mobilization Conference for The Call Detroit' on September 9-10, where the two “will be sharing a message that evening on the seasons of time we are in and the importance of the upcoming gathering at Ford Field in Detroit.”

The Call has previously won endorsements from Republican and Religious Right leaders including Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Tim Wildmon, Harry Jackson and Mat Staver. The rally is intended to use “spiritual warfare” to make abortion illegal and ban same-sex marriage. Engle has said that The Call: Detroit will also focus on converting Muslims to Christianity along with the usual anti-choice and anti-gay efforts. Engle also released a new video publicizing the prayer rally:

Another figure running the ‘Mobilizaiton Conference for The Call’ with Engle and Joyner is self-proclaimed apostle Barbara Yoder. Yoder says she is a follower of Peter Wagner, who is seen as the architect of the New Apostolic Reformation, and her biography lists her as a: “Member of Eagles’ Vision Apostolic Team led by Drs. Peter and Doris Wagner; Michigan State Coordinator Global Apostolic Prayer Network under Dr. Peter Wagner and Dr. Chuck Pierce; Member of the core faculty for Wagner Leadership Institute; Member of the International Coalition of Apostles under the direction of Dr. Peter Wagner.”

In her book Taking on Goliath: How to Stand Against The Spiritual Enemies in Your Life and Win, Yoder warns of the loss of America’s white majority and the rampant bisexuality unleashed after Britney Spears and Madonna kissed at the MTV Video Music Awards:

In terms of spiritual beliefs, pluralism means that there is no single path to God. Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, or whatever someone thinks is ‘the way’ will work as long as we end up with ‘god’—and ill-defined god at that. Pluralism rejects the Bible as the source of absolute truth. Many Americans prefer pluralism as the most plausible belief system.

In terms of human cultural mix, American culture is increasingly formed from multiple cultures. Hispanics or Latinos have emerged as the leading minority group, Latinizing the national culture. The Caucasian majority, who came from European roots, is aging and cannot compete with the fertility rates of the minorities. Asian and Middle Eastern nations are sending a flood of immigrants to American shores. This has a noticeable effect on the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our national character.



It seems as if there are no boundaries anymore. Adultery and fornication are rampant, not only in the society at large but in the church as well. Television and Internet ads are sexualized. Previous taboos have been eliminated, and television programs include sex acts.

It is now ‘normal’ to be homosexual or bisexual. When Madonna and Britney Spears were photographed kissing each other, a forbidden boundary was removed. Now it is the rage among junior high and high school girls to take pictures of themselves kissing each other and post them on their Myspace.com pages. Anything goes.

Yoder’s warning of the deleterious consequences of Madonna and Britney Spears kissing has already been addressed at The Call, when self-proclaimed Prophet Cindy Jacobs preached against it at The Call: Sacramento last year:

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Peter Montgomery, Thursday 10/06/2011, 12:03pm
David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.   Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 10/05/2011, 10:20am
This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics. The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/05/2011, 9:54am
Yesterday, the Barna Group released the results of a survey it conducted comparing President Obama to Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on four key "character or competency qualities that voters often evaluate when selecting their preferred candidate." The four characteristics examined were perceived honesty, intelligence, philosophy of government, and leadership ability and Barna added together each candidate's "excellent" or "good" ranking and determined that on three of the four characteristics, President Obama came out on top (Romney came out on top in the category... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/04/2011, 4:41pm
I imagine that if the American Cancer Society rejected an effort by Christians to raise money for the organization, we'd never hear the end of it from the Religious Right. Eddie Long wants his money back. Michele Bachmann's campaign staff continues to lose key members. Will Chris Christie's announcement that he will not run for president finally satisfy the media?  Finally, Bradlee Dean must be really desperate for attention. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/04/2011, 10:36am
Religious Right talk show host Janet Mefferd yesterday lashed out at the gay rights movement, arguing that “the homosexuality issue is an excuse” to “wipe out Christianity” and that “pagans” are using homosexuality to stifle the “word of God” and “shut Christians up.” This is, of course, not the first time Mefferd has used her program to denounce rights for gays and lesbians. Listen: Mefferd: I think the homosexuality issue is an excuse, I think it’s an excuse. I think it’s an excuse of the pagan mind to begin what... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/03/2011, 2:58pm
Last week Kyle noted that Denny Burk of the Southern Baptist Convention is urging Christians to “drop the phrase” “gay Christian” because “Christians never speak of ‘lying Christians, ’ ‘adulterer Christians, ’ ‘fornicating Christians, ’ ‘murderer Christians, ’or ‘thieving Christians.’” On Friday, Religious Right radio talk show host Janet Parshall made a similar claim on her show In The Market, where she criticized a self-described “gay Christian” who wrote to her: I got an... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/30/2011, 4:46pm
Joseph L. Conn @ Wall of Separation: The Religious Right’s Partisan Scheme To Politicize Churches. Steve Benen: The end of The Great Muffin Myth. Good As You: Maggie Gallagher on 'taking over the world for Christ.' James Crugnale @ Mediaite: Rick Santorum Lashes Out At Perry, Cain, Romney On Laura Ingraham Show. Alvin McEwen: Teacher in the middle of 'suspended for being anti-gay' scandal exonerated, may seek further legal action. Ashley Lopez @ Florida Independent: Abby Johnson: Planned Parenthood ‘working with the devil.’ MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/30/2011, 3:00pm
Back when Gov. Rick Perry was organizing his massive "The Response" prayer rally, we were hard at work chronicling the ties between organizers of the event and the self-proclaimed prophets and apostles affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation. But it was not just people like us who were taking note of the fact that Republicans and Religious Right leaders were embracing this new breed of spiritual warriors, as some conservatives leaders began to raise alarms of their own. One of the leading conservative critics of this development has been Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend, who... MORE >