Religious Right

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

The Catholic League has rallied to the defense of their anti-gay allies the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family as a reaction to a campaign by LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates to have corporations drop out of the Charity Give Back Group, which sponsors the FRC and Focus. The Charity Give Back Group (formerly known as the Christian Values Network) allows customers to shop in a virtual mall and direct proceeds to CGBG affiliated groups, which led to complaints as a number of the CGBG’s charities are actually anti-choice and anti-gay political groups.

Yesterday, Bill Donohue joined Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, on his radio program Washington Watch. “Radical proponents of gay marriage have taken the culture war to the marketplace,” Donohue said in a statement on the CGBG controversy, charging them with declaring “economic war against any organization that embraces the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage.” He told activists: “If these extremists get their way, they will silence the Christian voice. Which is why the bullies must be defeated.”

Of course, it is ironic for the Catholic League to accuse “extremists” of trying to “silence” the voices of their opponents, seeing as that Donohue led the successful push for the Smithsonian to censor their exhibit on LGBT-themed art.

But the irony doesn’t end there.

During his interview with Perkins, Donohue denied that Religious Right organizations like the Catholic League or the Family Research Council lead similar pressure campaigns, saying “our side doesn’t do likewise,” continuing, “I don’t want people to say, ‘oh well you know Catholics and Protestants and Christians in general when we don’t get our way we try to do the same thing through retaliation,’ we do not.” He asserted, “we’re not asking companies, corporations to take sides in the culture war…we’re not asking for reprisal against those people with whom we disagree, we just leave the marketplace to itself.”

Donohue also warned Perkins that just as South Africa’s white minority held power for decades under the racist Apartheid system, supporters of gay rights can do the same in America:

If people don’t realize what we’re up against here, they may be a minority but you know it was a minority of people in South Africa who took away the rights of Black people. You can be a well-organized minority in this country here such as those on the left, gay and straight alike, and have a tremendous amount of influence if you have this lust and appetite for power.

While we already know that the Family Research Council backed pressure campaigns against companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, the Catholic League under Donohue has led countless boycotts and pressure campaigns.

Here are some of the companies and programs that Donohue launched what he would call “retaliation” and “reprisal” campaigns against: Disney; 20th Century Fox; Wal-Mart; ‘The Golden Compass;’ Miller; Showtime, and CBS, which it promised to face the “biggest boycott in history” if CBS hired Howard Stern.

So remember, when LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates ask companies to drop out of a service that directs money to right-wing political organizations, it’s “economic war,” but when Religious Right groups lead boycotts and pressure campaigns against companies, they are simply standing up for their values.

"It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest ... And We Must Never Settle For Anything Less"

As we have been noting for the last week or so, it seems as if the entire Religious Right movement has developed collective amnesia when it comes to the concept of dominionism, claiming never to have heard of it and to have no idea what it means.

In fact just yesterday, Pat Robertson was saying that he had no idea what the term meant and, whatever it was, it did not apply to him.

But, as Sarah Leslie at Herescope reports, it is a little hard to believe that Robertson has no idea what dominionism is considering that he has been quoted as directly advocating for it:

This strange denial by Pat Robertson, cited above, that he doesn't know anything about Dominionism is ludicrous! Robertson is one of the chief purveyors of this doctrine. In Al Dager's book Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion (Sword, 1990), he describes Pat Robertson's Dominionist views and transcribed a speech in Dallas in 1984 where Robertson said:

Now what do you do? What do all of us do? We get ready to take dominion! We get ready to take dominion! It is all going to be ours--I'm talking about all of it. Everything that you would say is a good part of the secular world. Every means of communication, the news, the television, the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance--it's going to be ours! God's going to give it to His people. We should prepare to reign and rule with Jesus Christ. (Dager, p. 95)[emphasis added]

By the same token, we now have Matt Barber claiming that dominiomism is nothing more than some silly liberal conspiracy theory:

Barber is the Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Liberty University.  Just last year, Liberty University was a sponsor of the American Vision’s Worldview Super Conference entitled "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.

Or what about John Aman, Director of Communications at Truth in Action Ministries, who claimed that "dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right" that was dreamed up by the Left as "a handy way to smear evangelicals like Bachmann and Perry who bring biblically informed moral convictions into public debate."

Truth in Action Ministries was, until just last month, known as Coral Ridge Ministries.  George Grant, who served as the executive director of Coral Ridge Ministries and a close associate of the late D. James Kennedy, wrote a book in 1987 entitled "Changing Of The Guard" [PDF] in which the following passage appear:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.

Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.

Amazing, isn't it, how Robertson has no idea what dominionism is despite having openly advocated for it, and how Barber says it is a silly scare tactic even while his employer sponsors conferences promoting it, and how Aman says it doesn't even exist while the former Executive Director of his organization makes it explicity clear that "world conquest" is their goal.

If the Religious Right really doesn't know anything about dominionism, maybe they ought to start reseraching their own history and agenda.

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel

Since the Charity Give Back Group was forced to defend its financing of right-wing organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, spokesman Kevin McCullough (who himself has propagated virulent anti-gay rhetoric) has stated that the campaign to have companies withdraw from the CGBG represents bullying. Tony Perkins, the president of the FRC, even said it was an attempt to “censor” Christians. After Apple dropped out of the CGBG, which was previously known as the Christian Values Network, McCullough told The Christian Post, “We're not asking Apple to embrace our position or the other side's position. We just want them to stay neutral,” and the FRC is calling on activists to tell companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles.”

But by indirectly assisting the FRC and Focus on the Family, two of the major ‘culture war’ players, companies listed in the CGBG’s virtual mall are inadvertently finding themselves anything but ‘neutral’ parties. Both groups are heavily involved in the electoral politics and lobbying, which makes it difficult to consider them purely charitable organizations. FRC is one of the most prominent Religious Right advocacy groups in Washington D.C., and Focus on the Family has a policy arm (CitizenLink) dedicated to political activism. If companies really wanted to ‘remain neutral in the current cultural battles,’ that is more reason to drop out of the CGBG’s list.

While FRC and Focus have received the most attention, another group listed as an affiliated organization is Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel is a sister organization of Liberty University and Liberty Action, part of the network established by the late Jerry Falwell. Liberty Counsel’s Liberty Alerts depict their legal victories as “Gaining Ground in the Culture War,” and the head of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, wrote a book called Take Back America that he descried a Liberty Action flyer called “an Invaluable Resource to Help Win the Intensifying Culture War!” Staver’s deputy at Liberty Counsel Matt Barber even described liberalism as “hatred for God” and demanded President Obama’s impeachment for providing family benefits to federal employees in domestic partnerships. Most recently, they defended Lisa Miller, who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country to escape a court order granting her former partner custody of the child, and the Florida teacher who used his Facebook to post anti-gay messages. Like FRC and Focus, Liberty Counsel consistently propagates the most stringent anti-gay rhetoric.

Barber has argued that marriage equality is “rebellion against God,” held that gay and lesbian youth who commit suicide do it because they intuitively know homosexuality is “immoral” and called anti-bullying programs part of a “a homosexual activist political indoctrination agenda.” Such anti-gay rhetoric is extremely similar to that used of the FRC and Focus. The FRC’s Perkins claimed that homosexuality is “man shaking his fist in the face of God” and said that gay and lesbian children are likely to commit suicide because they “recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.” Focus on the Family led the push against anti-bullying programs across the country, calling them efforts “to promote homosexuality to kids.”

Liberty Counsel and the FRC also defended Malawi’s law that criminalizes homosexuality and attacked American efforts to alter it.

Despite right-wing criticisms of the pressure campaign on companies tied to the CGBG, Liberty Counsel launched their own pressure campaign against schools that allowed students to participate in the ‘Day of Silence,’ which protested anti-gay bullying. Liberty Counsel also conducts an annual campaign against companies that they believe are supposedly undermining Christians, and Staver calls on customers to “shop elsewhere” if the store is not seen as sufficiently respectful of Christmas.

Liberty Counsel even joined forces with the militantly anti-gay Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, and the American Family Association to launch a boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds after it made a donation to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Barber lashed out at McDonalds for working with “militant homosexual activists” in front of their company headquarters.

Who else supported the boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds?

Why, none other than the Family Research Council, which supported the boycott against McDonalds and lauded “McDonald’s agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda.”

Now, will FRC and its allies please stop complaining that pressure campaigns against companies represent “discrimination” and the undue influence of ‘cultural battles’ into the corporate world? Probably not.

Robertson: "What In Heaven's Name Is A Dominionist?"

As we've been noting, it sure is amazing how all of these journalists and Religious Right activists are suddenly telling everything that dominionism doesn't exist and that, even if it does, it is really just a left-wing scare tactic.

Just last week, Lisa Miller wrote a piece in the Washington Post where, as our colleague Peter Montgomery noted, she dismissed any concerns about dominionism as little more than an attempt to raise "fears on the left about 'crazy Christians" in order to "paint them as freaky and dangerous."

Miller admitted that "extremist dominionists do exist," but said she views are relegated to fringe figures like Pat Robertson:

Christian conservatives in America are not more militant than ever. Pat Robertson, a Christian minister, ran for president in 1988. Robertson was, actually, a dominionist. “There will never be world peace until God’s house and God’s people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world,” he wrote.

On today's broadcast of "The 700 Club," Robertson was asked if he was a dominionist and, like seemingly everyone else these days, claimed that he had never even heard of it and asserted that, whatever it was, he most certainly wasn't one:

It is rather remarkable how we seem to know so much about the tenets of dominionism while the Religious Right claims to be universially ignorant about it ... especially given that pretty much everything we have learned about it has come from studying them.

Rick Perry To Spend The Weekend With A Pseudo-Historian, A Christocrat, And God's Sugar Daddy

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reports that Rick Perry is heading to a weekend retreat to meet with a group of Religious Right leaders and donors:

When Rick Perry heads this weekend to Jim Leininger's ranch for a confab of Christian conservatives, he'll be on hallowed ground. Leininger has long been one of Perry's financial angels. He's been a leading proponent of school vouchers. And he's given large sums to Perry campaigns over the years. In some quarters, he's seen as saving Perry's political career with a last-minute infusion of $1.1 million to fuel Perry's 1998 victory as lieutenant governor.

...

Perry is scheduled to attend and to talk politics with leading evangelical leaders including retired judge Paul Pressler, a Southern Baptist leader, Christian historian David Barton, East Texas evangelist Rick Scarborough and others who supported Perry's Christian prayer rally in Houston. The event isn't about fundraising, but about motivating true believers.

Leininger has been called "God's Sugar Daddy" due to his willingness to dump large sums of money onto right-wing groups and candidates that share and promote his views.

David Barton is already well-known to readers of this blog – he's the Religious Right's favorite pseudo-historian who thinks that Jesus supports employment discrimination and opposes and the minimum wage, that the Founding Father's were against the teaching of evolution and that gay sex ought to be regulated by the federal government.

And Rick 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 who stated, just a few months ago, that AIDS is God's judgment for engaging in an immoral act:

We can now add these activists to the ever-growing list of extremist Religious Right activists with whom Rick Perry is associating himself.

Downplaying The Religious Right's Embrace Of "Sovereignty & Dominion"

As we mentioned the other day, there have been a lot of articles lately from journalists, columnists, and Religious Right activists completely dismissing any talk of "dominionism" among the Religious Right.

Dominionism, they claim, is just some meaningless conspiracy-theory dreamed up by the Left as scare tactic because nobody within the Religious Right movement would ever embrace those ideas or associate with anyone who espoused any sort of Christian Reconstructionist views.

Really?  While searching for something else, I stumbled upon this 2007 article from Americans United about a conference organized by the Christian Reconstructionists at American Vision and co-sponsored by several "mainstream" Religious Right organizations:

The gathering, dubbed “Preparing This Generation to Capture the Future,” was hosted by American Vision, a ministry that has been toiling away since 1978 to “help Christians build a truly Biblical worldview.” In a conference handout, American Vision states that “By God’s grace, we will work together to make America a truly Chris­tian nation for our children’s children.”

Based in Powder Springs, Ga., American Vision also produces reams of material that push Christian Reconstruc­tionism, a form of fundamentalism that argues for a re-writing of American history, dismantling secular democracy and constructing an America governed by “biblical law.” Reconstructionists seek to impose the criminal code of the Old Testament, applying the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible juvenile delinquents and those who spread false religions.

Despite its overtly radical theocratic agenda, American Vision is allied with some of the Religious Right’s most powerful outfits. This year’s conference was cosponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-funded Religious Right law­yers’ outfit that James Dobson and other religious broadcasters helped create; Michael Farris’s Home School Legal Defense Association; the late TV preacher Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law; and World Magazine, Marvin Olasky’s influential evangelical Christian periodical.

The event was promoted heavily by the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, and it was held in a facility owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination and a religious body closely aligned with the Bush administration.

American Vision is run by Gary DeMar, who is a self-identified Christian Reconstructionist.  Last year, DeMar's organization hosted another Worldview Super Conference.  Take a guess what it was called?

Sovereignty & Dominion: 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.

This conferece was co-sponsored by Liberty University Law School and among those attending the event were Janet Porter, who served as the co-chair of Mike Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign and John Eidsmoe, who spoke at the event. Eidsmoe, as you may recall, was Michele Bachmann's mentor who advocates a variety of far-right views.

So Religious Right groups openly co-sponsor an event organized by Christian Reconstructionists and Michele Bachmann's mentor is a featured speaker at an event organized by these same Christian Reconstructionists which is entitled "Sovereignty & Dominion" ... but to point out the influece of Christian Reconstruction and Dominioism among the Religious Right and some GOP presidential candidates is "just another attempt to discredit opponents rather than answer them"?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida school teacher Jerry Buell has been reinstated after posting anti-gay marriage remarks on his Facebook page. But that probably won't be the end of the Religious Right's crusade about it.
  • Tony Perkins says the Religious Right would be pretty happy with any of the GOP frontrunners. I highly doubt that is true regarding Mitt Romney.
  • Rick Perry has signed the Susan B. Anthony's anti-choice pledge.
  • Another day, another piece dismissing dominionism devoid of any research whatsoever.
  • The defamation claim against John Stemberger over statements he made while representing Rifqa Bary has been dropped.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera thinks that Fox News is pro-gay because it is "based in New York City, which is a gay Mecca."

Anti-Gay Groups Rally To Defend Anti-Gay 'Charity' Group

A campaign spearheaded by LGBT rights and women’s rights groups Change.org and AllOut.org, encouraging companies to drop their ties to the Charity Give Back Group (formerly the Christian Values Network), unsurprisingly has the Religious Right up in arms. The CGBG “operates a sort of online mall, donating a portion of each purchase to religious nonprofits,” Michelle Goldberg explains. “Among them are conservative organizations like Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, Promise Keepers, and a number of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.”

The campaign to get businesses to opt out of CGBG’s program has been very successful, with over 200 companies such as Delta, Apple and Macy’s dropping out of the program so far.

Focus on the Family is now encouraging its members to write to the companies that have ended their ties with CGBG. And today, the Family Research Council launched the “Resist Discrimination” campaign, demanding companies “resist pressure to discriminate against customers with a traditional, biblical view of marriage” with a warning that they “should beware of online activists who spread misinformation to pressure retailers to discriminate against customers and charities with Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Of course, Focus on the Family and the FRC would never support similar pressure campaigns…right?

As a matter of the fact, FRC was part of a campaign last year that threatened to boycott Comedy Central if the channel did not drop a planned comedy show about Jesus Christ, and in 2008 endorsed a five month boycott of McDonalds and Wal-Mart because of the companies’ ties to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Focus on the Family also closed its Wells Fargo accounts in 2005 to protest the bank’s donation to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 2006, Focus on the Family founder and then-president James Dobson urged members to boycott Proctor & Gamble because of its support for a gay-rights initiative. “For Procter & Gamble to align itself with radical groups committed to redefining marriage in our country is an affront to its customers,” Dobson said.

The CGBG was founded by Stephen Baldwin (Alec Baldwin’s brother) and Michael Lohan (Lindsay Lohan’s father), with Mike Huckabee acting as its spokesman. Now, the CGBG is advised by Baldwin and Kevin McCullough, who run XtreMEDIA. McCullough recently acted as a spokesperson for CGBG’s response to the AllOut! and Change.org campaign, saying the groups were disseminating a “dishonest message.” While FRC and Focus’s active opposition to LGBT and women’s rights is well documented, McCullough is a lesser known activist. He has a radio show on the Christian channel Family NET and stands in for American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer when the latter is on vacation from his show on American Family Radio.

While McCullough claims that the CGBG shouldn’t be attacked over its ties to the FRC and Focus, McCullough’s own anti-gay activism speaks for itself.

Bachmann To Address FL Group Responsible For Gay-Marriage Amendment

John Stemberger is a leading Religious Right activist in Florida.  He was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga and also serves as the President of the Florida Family Policy Council, which was the organization behind the successful 2008 Florida For Marriage effort to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage equality in the state.

On Saturday night, Michele Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at FFPC's 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner:

We hope you will be able to join us for our Florida Family Policy Council, 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner on August 27, 2011 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando

In addition to celebrating the amazing and historic pro-life, pro-family victories achieved recently in Florida, and announcing exciting new developments here at your FFPC, you are sure to enjoy hearing from U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, our special Keynote Speaker!

Recently, I had the opportunity to personally experience hearing Congresswoman Bachmann speak in a live forum. I was so impressed, that I wanted you to have the opportunity to hear from her personally as well. (There is nothing like being there in person!)

This year’s theme is “Igniting A Cultural Transformation” and I can’t think of a time in our history when it was needed more!

If Bachmann doesn't want to talk about "fringe" issues like gay marriage on the campaign trail because she doesn't judge people, perhaps she shouldn't be keynoting events for Religious Right groups that dedicated to fighting "fringe" issues like gay marriage.

If Dominionism Doesn't Exist, Someone Forgot To Tell The Dominionists

Thanks to the presidential campaigns of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, there has been a lot of attention focused lately on dominion theology and its role within the Religious Right political movement.

This, in turn, has led to a number of pieces asserting that there is no such thing as "dominionism" and claiming that it is nothing more than a conspiracy-theory/scare-tactic dreamed up by the Left.

Our colleague Peter Montgomery addressed this effort to downplay dominionism in an excellent piece he wrote for Religion Dispatches yesterday, but Religious Right activists continue to claim that there is no cause for alarm whatsoever.

Today, John Aman, Director of Communications at Truth in Action Ministries, went a step further, writing a piece for the Christian Post claiming that dominionism doesn't even exist:

I had never even heard the term until 2005 when a Christian Science Monitor reporter asked me about it in connection with our Reclaiming America for Christ conference.

The reason I was so clueless is because, as Joe Carter explains in First Things, it’s a label used exclusively on the left. Berkeley-educated sociologist Sara Diamond, the author of several critiques of Christian civic engagement, including Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, invented the term in the 1980s.

Dominionism, Carter explains, is a term “never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation.”

It is, however, a handy way to smear evangelicals like Bachmann and Perry who bring biblically informed moral convictions into public debate.

...

The truth is that dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right.

Really? Maybe someone ought to tell that to all the dominionists who have suddenly started downplaying their dominionism. 

And I guess someone ought to really tell C. Peter Wagner to change the name of his book:

And perhaps Aman ought to talk to Janet Porter, since she lost her radio program because of her well-documented dominionism

As it happens, Porter was once the National Director for the Center for Reclaiming America, the sister organization to Coral Ridge Ministries ... which just so happens to be the former name of Truth in Action Ministries, where none other than John Aman serves as the Director of Communications.

Rick Perry's Long History Of Attending "Nonpolitical" Religious Right Events

The Austin Chronicle has begun tweeting links to old articles about Rick Perry, like this one from 2005 when Perry spoke at a "Texas Restoration Project" with a gaggle of anti-gay Religious Right activists:

A source who attended the event spoke to the Chronicle but requested anonymity because he serves in a local congregation and was sensitive to its politically diverse viewpoints. He recorded the event and provided the audiotape to the Texas Freedom Network, which in turn provided copies to the media.

Millionaire San Antonio conservative James Leininger was in attendance, as was East Texas chicken tycoon Bo Pilgrim, who introduced the governor. The two are among Perry's most generous campaign donors, most recently chipping in $50,000 apiece to the governor's re-election campaign, according to state Ethics Commission filings.

Though the audiotape is of poor quality, there is no mistaking the fever-pitched gay-bashing theme of most of the speeches. The group is fashioned after a similar evangelical organization in Ohio that worked to pass that state's marriage amendment in November and helped produce a narrow victory there for President Bush. Critics accuse the Ohio group of operating in tandem with the Bush presidential campaign, managed by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now running for Ohio governor in 2006. Blackwell was one of the featured speakers in Austin. Other guests who spoke in Austin included two key players in the Republican Party of Texas – Vice Chair David Barton, a self-described Christian nationalist, and former executive director Susan Weddington, who now heads Perry's faith-based initiatives program. Weddington called Perry "a spiritual giant."

Additionally, Ohio evangelical Pastor Rod Parsley lambasted the "homosexual agenda" and railed against Islam; Arlington minister Dwight McKissic – other than Blackwell, apparently the only African-American speaker at the event – delivered a hellfire condemnation of gays and lesbians, climaxing his address with the biblical story of the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and declaring, "God has another match!" The crowd roared. "He said the most horrible things," the attendee said. "He was the most difficult to listen to."

Kelly Shackelford, who heads the Plano-based Free Market Foundation, may have stolen Perry's thunder in being the first to announce the governor's choice to fill the vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court – Don Willett, who was seated in the audience. Shackelford introduced Willett as a "strong believer in Jesus Christ. … I have no doubt where this man stands on any issue." Shackelford urged pastors to start organizing support for the upcoming constitutional election. "The other side is very organized," he said of the "No Nonsense in November" campaign, which opposes the amendment. "They are out there working in your communities."

Perry steered clear of directly incendiary comments, but left no doubt where he stands on the referendum. "For the record," he said, "this is one Texan who's going to be voting to protect the family unit this November by voting to preserve the institution of marriage between one man and one woman." Afterward, someone asked the governor what they could do to help him – the closest anyone came to mentioning his re-election campaign. Perry thought a moment before responding.

"Pray for me."

If the names of the participants sound familiar, there is a reason for that:  many of them also endorsed Perry's recent prayer rally, including David Barton, Dwight McKissic, and Kelly Shackelford.

You may also recognize the name of Susan Weddington, who has been working wtih Barton and close Perry friend Alice Patterson, to get African Americans to support the Republican Party.

In fact, these Restoration Project events are organized by David Lane, who was not only responsible for the recent similar Rediscover God In America conference, but just so happened to also serve as the National Finance Chairman of Perry's The Response prayer rally.

Perry has been attending these distinctly political Restoration Project events for several years and then partnered with many of these very same activists in organizing his recent prayer rally ... all while bogusly insisting that the event was distinctly non-political.

Perkins: Advocates of Church-State Separation Are "Cultural Terrorists"

While the Family Research Council tries to paint itself as one of the Religious Right’s more mainstream and respectable lobbying organizations, its extreme rhetoric continues to gain exposure. Just yesterday, for instance, FRC president Tony Perkins called the anti-suicide It Gets Better Project “immoral” and “disgusting” in a fundraising letter.

Now, Perkins is calling advocates of church-state separation “cultural terrorists.” Yesterday during Today’s Issues with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon on the AFA’s American Family Radio, Perkins portrayed liberals as unpatriotic and attacked legal organizations that support secular government as un-American, comparing them to terrorists.

Earlier this month, Perkins joined FRC Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell in expressing outrage about a questionable report that Vice President Joe Biden likened Tea Party activists to terrorists. As Kyle pointed out at the time, the FRC had itself produced a documentary which described the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as “economic terrorism” for adding job protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Now, Perkins is using the ‘terrorist’ language to depict people who believe in the separation of church and state:

Perkins: It’s still ok to pray before a football game, it’s still ok to stand for the American flag, it’s still ok to be an American, yes, it’s tea party country, it’s people that love this country, it’s people that send their sons and daughters to fight for these liberals who enjoy all the liberties and the freedoms but won’t lift a finger to protect it and they want to come down here and intimidate these folks. And the school board’s strapped for money, don’t want to take on these expensive cases to defend themselves with these out of town, carpet bagging lawyers.

Wildmon: You preach it brother.



Perkins: That’s what these groups are banking on, because in these financially difficult times, administrators wanting to be prudent, some of them not having enough backbone, will say, ‘ah we shouldn’t challenge this let’s just give in and appease them.’

I like President Reagan’s view, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. These are cultural terrorists.

They want to remake America in their own godless image, and we should not tolerate that. You know Tim, enough is enough. It’s time that Christians be bold and stand up for the rights that we have, rights that were won with the blood of patriots and sustained by patriots and by those that love this country, and it’s time that we in this generation stand up and defend those rights as well. We have those rights in this country but if we don’t stand up and defend them, using the laws, using our voice, and a lot of time that’s all it takes Tim, just stand up and say, I don’t care what you think, I don’t care about your atheist agenda. Take a hike, we’re gonna pray, we’re gonna acknowledge God, and if you don’t like it, so what?

Meet The Religious Right Extremists Behind The Pro-Bachmann Super PAC

A secretive ‘Super PAC’ tied to an Ohio political operative is planning to aid congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign after working to defeat South Carolina congressman John Spratt in the last midterm election. Chris Cillizza writes that “Citizens for a Working America, as the group is known, will be chaired by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ed Brookover, a longtime political consultant and adviser to Bachmann, will be involved as will conservative lawyer and economist Marc Nuttle.”

Ken Blackwell’s ties to the Religious Right are well known, but Nuttle’s activism has flown below the radar.

Blackwell was Ohio’s Secretary of State from 2002-2006 whom after leaving office, unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006 and chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009. He is now a senior fellow with the ultraconservative Family Research Council, a senior fellow with the far-right American Civil Rights Union, and a board member the pro-corporate Club for Growth. Columbus-based televangelist Rod Parsley vigorously backed his failed gubernatorial campaign and Religious Right activists endorsed his abortive bid for RNC chair. His staunchly anti-gay views will serve him well in the Bachmann camp, as Blackwell once compared gay people with arsonists and kleptomaniacs and same-sex couples with farm animals.

Nuttle is a Republican adviser and economist with deep ties to an extreme movement within the Religious Right composed of advocates of Seven Mountains Dominionism. Nuttle is in fact Chairman of The Oak Initiative, a far-right organization dedicated to promoting the Seven Mountains ideology. The group claims in its mission statement, “The Oak Institute is being developed to raise up effective leaders for all of the dominant areas of influence in the culture, including: government, business, education, arts and entertainment, family services, media, and the church,” otherwise known as the Seven Mountains of society that Dominionists think should be controlled by fundamentalist Christians.

The Oak Initiative’s president Rick Joyner, the founder of MorningStar Ministries, has claimed that God is planning to destroy California and that God used Hurricane Katrina to punish America for tolerating homosexuality. The Oak Initiative’s board is filled with leading proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, including Jerry Boykin, Janet Porter, Lance Wallnau and self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs. Lou Sheldon, the head of the Traditional Values Coalition who described LGBT activism as “the very face of evil,” is also a board member.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (Blackwell’s boss) and 2000 GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes addressed the Oak Initiative’s 2011 Summit alongside Nuttle, where Perkins called gays and lesbians “hateful” people who are “pawns” of Satan and Keyes urged Congress to impeach President Obama before he seizes power with the help of foreign countries. At the Summit, Boykin said that Obama is creating his own Brownshirt army to usher in Marxism and Joyner suggested that a secretive cabal crashed the economy to help Obama win the presidential election.

Nuttle spoke to Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries on how to “apply proper biblical principles to the marketplace and the workforce” and that God “has a plan and a solution for this current world crisis we find ourselves in.” Nuttle said that people “don’t have to figure” out all the economic solutions, “all you have to do is be obedient” to God. He also claimed that the United States is the only country with a government subservient to God: “Every other government in the world is some sort of government authority, it’s a dictatorship, or Islam where government is God, or where the dictator is God, or the Constitution is God, over the constituents.” Nuttle argued that “the fight is against the 30% [of politicians] who don’t care” about the decline of the economy, “because then there’s more room for government. Government’s what they want, socialism is the goal.” He ended his speech by saying, “lock your shields with each other against the enemy.” 

Earlier this year he addressed Liberty University’s Awakening 2011, the Religious Right political event hosted by Mat Staver of the LU-affiliate Liberty Counsel. Nuttle also appeared on God Knows with Jacobs, where he shared with the 'Prophet' his plan to solve the nation’s debt troubles.

As heads of the pro-Bachmann Super PAC, Blackwell and Nuttle will surely help Bachmann link her far-right economic views with her deep-seated social conservative activism.

The Religious Right's Spin On Science

The mainstream scientific community rejects the Religious Right’s assertion that gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation to become heterosexual: the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychiatric Association all deny the effectiveness, safety and ethics of ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy.

But that doesn’t stop right-wing activists from citing and exaggerating the claims of small, fringe organizations in order to bolster their support of reparative therapy and claim that such “therapy” has extensive backing in the medical community.

Today, Liberty Counsel heads Mat Staver and Matt Barber, who according to their official biographies have no background in psychology, dedicated their Faith & Freedom radio show to assailing the American Psychological Association, arguing that they have more psychological expertise than the APA. Staver pointed to a small, Christians-only psychological group has “the most definitive, most recent research that’s come out that says change is possible” for gays and lesbians:

Liberty Counsel even declared that the American Association of Christian Counselors is “larger than American Psychological Assn”:

 

In reality, the AACC has just one-third of the membership of the APA, which has 154,000 members.

Staver and Barber are far from the only anti-gay figures to promote the findings of tiny, religious groups over the claims of more reputable and mainstream organizations.

As reported on RWW, David Barton on WallBuilders Live last week falsely described the American College of Pediatricians as “the leading pediatric association in America” as he cited a memo from the group claiming that “most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.” Barton used the ACP’s memo as evidence to show that all children will “end up being heterosexual unless [schools] force them to be homosexual”:

The ACP is not “the leading pediatric association in America,” but a far-right offshoot of the real leading pediatric group, the American Academy of Pediatricians, which vigorously condemned the ACP’s memo. Barton’s co-host Rick Green tried to defend his dishonest representation of the ACP, but as Warren Throckmorton points out, while the ACP has “probably less than 200” members, the AAP has around 60,000.

Moreover, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America frequently cite the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality as a reliable source of information on reparative therapy despite the group’s history of fraud and promotion of anti-gay and racist views.

The argument over the efficacy of ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy mirrors the fight over teaching Creationism and Creationist-influenced Intelligent Design in public schools. Religious Right figures have a tendency to call any study from a leading and mainstream scientific associations biased if it doesn’t reflect their views, and then find (or create) small, non-credible organizations to reflect their viewpoints. Desperate to reject the consensus of the scientific community, like clockwork Religious Right activists try to pass off these tiny groups as large, credible, and legitimate institutions in an effort to lend authority to their foundering arguments.

Jackson: There Is No Separation Of Church And State

Earlier this month Harry Jackson appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network to talk about his commitment to Seven Mountains dominionism, the ideology that calls on fundamentalist Christians to take control key sectors of society: business, media, education, arts and entertainment, family, religion and the church, and government. Jackson has emerged as a regular Religious Right spokesman and is a vociferous opponent of abortion rights and LGBT equality. He was even co-chair of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally.

Yesterday, Jackson was the guest on TBN’s Praise The Lord yesterday and discussed how he thinks God is using him to help fundamentalists seize the ‘government mountain’ because the separation of church doesn’t exist and “Jesus came not to take sides, but to take over”:

Jackson: It’s one thing to be in a church preaching all these messages, seeing people shout and whatever it is. But it’s another thing to command the attention of the nation, and then begin to tell these folks, ‘we vote too.’ We don’t just dance and sing, we vote. And some of what you’re doing has to be accountable to us, the people of God. There really is no separation of church and state. In God’s mind, the word of the Lord should impact everything that happens out there in the state. So time and time again we got folks who want us to say our place is just behind these four walls. But Jesus came not to take sides, but to take over.

Exodus International: Children "Face An Assault Upon Their Innocence Unlike Any Generation Before"

Jeff Buchanan, the vice president of the ‘ex-gay’ group Exodus International, argues that positive representations of gays and lesbians in the media and education are corrupting America’s youth. In a column in Charisma magazine, Buchanan lambasted an online petition calling for Bert and Ernie to get married. Anti-gay activists have pointed to the petition as proof of an attempt to “sexualize kids” even though PBS said that as puppets, Bert and Ernie cannot be married and don’t have sexual orientations. Buchanan laments that children are going to be “pawns in a cultural agenda” and have to meet children with same-sex parents:

The situation with Bert and Ernie is a prime example of an attempt to indoctrinate children and use them as pawns in a cultural agenda. Do we really believe that toddlers and 4-year-olds are struggling to make sense of a fictional relationship between two felt puppets? The innocence of a child should not be required to wrestle with the complexities involving same-sex orientation. Nor should a parent be forced to educate their child on these issues before that child is mature enough to understand and cope with those complexities.

Unfortunately, the current culture is going to force parents and church leaders to address the issues surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage with younger and younger kids. When Tommy comes home from preschool and asks, “Why does my friend Jennifer have two daddies?” we must be ready to provide sound answers grounded in compassion and truth. Theirs will be a generation that must face an assault upon their innocence unlike any generation before.

Buchanan uses the trite argument of right-wing activists that advocates of LGBT equality want to “indoctrinate children” and expose them prematurely to issues involving sexuality. While previous generations of children were instructed in ideas of racism, sexism and nativism (just to name a few), apparently those concepts are far less harmful than positive images of gays and lesbians.

But if Exodus International doesn’t believe that children should even ponder issues of sexual orientation then why does the group’s website have an entire section dedicated to promoting youth-oriented literature? Exodus promotes their ‘ex-gay’ material to youth groups and middle school students, and was even involved in the “Day of Truth” (since renamed the Day of Dialogue by Focus on the Family) to promote ‘ex-gay’ messages in schools.

Plus, who could forget “Alfie’s Home”? The illustrated children’s book by leading ‘ex-gay’ activist Richard Cohen who depicted a boy who thought he was gay after he was molested by his uncle, bullied at school, and had a distant relationship with his father…until he was successfully ‘cured’ through reparative therapy.

The Religious Right continues to have one set of rules for themselves, and another set of rules for the groups they seek to marginalize.

Liberty Counsel Lawyer Releases Book About The Lisa Miller Saga

In early 2010, Lisa Miller kidnapped her daughter and fled the country in order to avoid a court order telling her to hand over her daughter to her former partner due to her repeated refusal to abide by custody arrangements.

For years, Miller had been represented in court by lawyers at Liberty Counsel who worked to turn this new-found "ex-gay" Christian into a Religious Right cause célèbre.  At least until Miller disappeared, at which point Liberty Counsel went silent and started frantically trying to wash its hands of its involvement, which made sense considering that by kidnapping her daughter and fleeing, Miller was engaging in civil disobedience in order to uphold God's law, exactly as instructed by her lawyers.

To this day, Liberty Counsel continues to claim that they have no idea where Miller and her daughter have gone, despite the fact that they were reportedly living in a home owned by the father of a woman who worked directly for Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen.

Lindevaldsen, in fact, was Miller's lead attorney who tried to get herself removed from the case after Miller disappeared only to have her effort rejected by the judge.

But that was years ago and now Lindevaldsen is apparently so proud of her efforts that she has actually written about book about it:

Have you ever wondered... "What can I do to help those involved in homosexuality?" "How extensive is the culture war over marriage and family?" "What are they exposing our children to in schools?" Or, perhaps... "Why should I even care?" This book answers those questions and more! Only One Mommy exposes the truth about the homosexual rights movement and its destructive consequences. Written from the vantage point of Lisa Miller's seven-year custody battle for her biological child against her former same-sex partner, Only One Mommy offers a first-hand account of how people are lured into believing that they are born "gay" and cannot change. As a result of that belief, they make life choices that have devastating consequences for our children, families, and freedoms. This book offers truth to those struggling with homosexuality, encourages churches to minister to those caught in the lifestyle, and stirs freedom-loving Americans to get involved in the culture war that is raging all around them. Rena Lindevaldsen is a leading legal expert in the battle to defend traditional family and marriage. Written from the front lines of the cultural battle, Only One Mommy offers a rare glimpse into a woman's personal struggle with same-sex attractions and the seven-year legal struggle to keep custody of her biological daughter.

I have just ordered a copy, so I will bring you updates which I receive and have a chance to read it.

Engle: The Call Needed To Convert Gays and Lesbians, Muslims

After many of the organizers for Lou Engle’s The Call put on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston, Engle is gearing up for The Call: Detroit on November, 11th. The Call is a youth-focused prayer rally centered on militantly anti-choice and anti-gay messages and has received the endorsements of leading Republican and Religious Right figures like Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Tim Wildmon, Mat Staver and Pat Robertson. Engle recently promoted The Call at Awakening: 2011 in Chicago, and echoed his earlier sentiment about The Call’s goal of converting “millions of Muslims” to Christianity and transforming “urban communities”:

Later, Engle discussed the 2008 The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium which he led with Dobson, Perkins, Jim Garlow, Dutch Sheets, and Che Ahn where they supposedly secured the passage of Proposition 8 through their prayers. He said that during the rally he prayed for gays and lesbians to become heterosexual ‘ex-gays,’ saying, “We held a big gathering of The Call in San Diego praying that God would save and can transform a hundred thousand gay and lesbian men and women by the power of God.” Engle even claimed that he later met a woman who said she became an ‘ex-gay’ as a result of their prayers:

The Ames Straw Poll Victors: From Robertson To Bachmann

Following Michele Bachmann’s triumph in the Ames Straw Poll, she was immediately crowned the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus. While winning the Ames Straw Poll does not guarantee a victory at the Iowa Caucus (just ask Mitt Romney), it does show the strength of a candidate’s campaign operation and popular support. But most importantly, victory at Ames does not make a candidate a mainstream political figure. As Tim Murphy writes today in Mother Jones and consistently chronicled on RWW, Bachmann throughout her entire political career has seen herself and acted as an ultraconservative, Religious Right fanatic, and her victory at Ames makes her no more mainstream or less radical.

For example, Pat Robertson won the 1987 Ames Straw Poll, topping both George Bush and Bob Dole, who went on to win the Iowa Caucus. But defeating the Vice President and the Senate Republican Leader did not make Robertson a mainstream politician, in the same way Bachmann is still a right-wing extremist even after her straw poll victory. Their victories in Ames show the endurance and growth of the Religious Right base of the Republican Party.

Need a reminder of how out of the mainstream Robertson is? Just today on The 700 Club, for instance, Robertson explained how he performed an exorcism on a girl and “cast this demon out of her” before she tried to kill her mother:

So if Pat Robertson can win in Ames, is it any surprise that Michele Bachmann could too?

Bachmann Wasn't The First GOP Candidate To Be Asked About "Submission"

During last week's Republican presidential debate, Michele Bachmann was asked by Washington Examiner’s Byron York about her past statement that she ended up studying tax law even though she "hates taxes" and never had a desire for it" but did so because wives "are to be submissive to your husband" and so she "was going to be faithful to what I felt God was calling me to do through my husband."

In her response and since, Bachmann has been trying to claim that being "submissive" merely means that she and her husband "respect each other," which is nonsense, as Sarah Posner explained today in Salon.

And now the Religious Right is rallying around Bachmann, attacking the question as unfair and inappropriate:

Penny Nance, president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, expressed her dismay at the question in a statement: "Byron York's question to Michele Bachmann about her relationship with her husband was incredibly inappropriate and downright ignorant.”

...

Given that both men and women are called to give of themselves in marriage, Nance lamented that the male presidential candidates were not asked the same or a similar question.

Ummm ... does Nance not remember when Mike Huckabee was asked by Carl Cameron about the 1998 ad he signed stating that a "wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband" during a Republican debate in South Carolina in 2008 where Huckabee delivered a more eloquent but equally Bachmann-like response:

CAMERON: Governor Huckabee, to change the subject a little bit and focus a moment on electability.

Back in 1998, you were one of about 100 people who affirmed, in a full-page ad in the "New York Times," the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration that, quote, "A wife us to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband."

Women voters in both parties harshly criticized that. Is that position politically viable in the general election of 2008, sir?

HUCKABEE: You know, it's interesting, everybody says religion is off limits, except we always can ask me the religious questions. So let me try to do my best to answer it.

(APPLAUSE) And since -- if we're really going to have a religious service, I'd really feel more comfortable if I could pass the plates, because our campaign could use the money tonight, Carl.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

We'll just go all the way.

First of all, if anybody knows my wife, I don't think they for one minute think that she's going to just sit by and let me do whatever I want to. That would be an absolute total misunderstanding of Janet Huckabee.

The whole context of that passage -- and, by the way, it really was spoken to believers, to Christian believers. I'm not the least bit ashamed of my faith or the doctrines of it. I don't try to impose that as a governor and I wouldn't impose it as a president.

But I certainly am going to practice it unashamedly, whether I'm a president or whether I'm not a president. But the point...

(APPLAUSE)

... the point, and it comes from a passage of scripture in the New Testament Book of Ephesians is that as wives submit themselves to the husbands, the husbands also submit themselves, and it's not a matter of one being somehow superior over the other. It's both mutually showing their affection and submission as unto the Lord.

So with all due respect, it has nothing to do with presidency. I just wanted to clear up that little doctrinal quirk there so that there's nobody who misunderstands that it's really about doing what a marriage ought to do and that's marriage is not a 50/50 deal, where each partner gives 50 percent.

Biblically, marriage is 100/100 deal. Each partner gives 100 percent of their devotion to the other and that's why marriage is an important institution, because it teaches us how to love.

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Religious Right Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/30/2011, 9:26am
Allow us to present part one million in our never-ending series chronicling how the AFA's Bryan Fischer can say whatever he wants about gays or Muslims, or both, and will never have to worry that anything he says will in any way threaten to undermine his standing with Republican leaders or within the Religious Right movement. The most recent installment comes from his radio program yesterday where he declared that gay activists and radical Islamic fundamentalists are driven by the same "dark energy" and anti-Christ spirit: I will not disabuse you - if you think there is a parallel... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/29/2011, 11:28am
As mentioned in our earlier post, we are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce Bryan Fischer's long history of unmitigated bigotry. This time we are focusing on Mitt Romney because, according to the conference schedule, he will be speaking immediately before Fischer on Saturday morning. Our efforts in the past to get someone, anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer's relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/29/2011, 9:57am
Shortly after Gov. Rick Perry's giant prayer rally in August, organizers started emailing those who had registered for the event, urging them to get active in a new Religious Right voter mobilization effort called Champion The Vote. It turns out that this registration and mobilization effort is being backed by millions of dollars from Rick Perry supporters who are dedicated to doing what they can to register tens of millions of Christian voters in the coming years in an effort to take back America. Yesterday, Champion The Vote's Bill Dallas was a guest on The Janet Mefferd Show where he... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/28/2011, 1:47pm
Last month, we asked why Bryan Fischer was not being pictured among the confirmed and invited leaders to the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Fischer has been a featured speaker for each of the last two years at the event and has always been prominently featured on the speaker's list in years past.  And considering that his employer, The American Family Association, is a co-sponsor of the event, it seemed rather unlikely that Fischer had been dropped, despite his long record of unmitigated bigotry. The Values Voter Summit is being held next week and Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/28/2011, 11:56am
Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers. Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/27/2011, 11:27am
Jim Garlow of Renewing America’s Leadership (ReAL), Newt Gingrich’s Religious Right group, told activists at Janet Porter’s Heartbeat Bill rally last week that the end of abortion in America will be remembered just like the end of the Holocaust. Garlow told the crowd that after abortion is criminalized, people will tour shuttered abortion clinics in the same way that people now tour concentration camps in Europe. Garlow, who has also been organizing the “Pulpit Initiative” to convince pastors to use more partisan political rhetoric from the pulpit, also... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/27/2011, 9:56am
Lou Engle traveled to Columbus, Ohio last week to join Janet Porter, Wendy Wright, Jim Garlow, Bob McKeown, Dutch Sheets and other Religious Right leaders at Faith 2 Action’s rally promoting Porter’s Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases. The legislation has passed the state House, but the Republican leadership in the Senate has been reluctant to hold a vote on the bill, which is so extreme and clearly unconstitutional that it’s even opposed by the Ohio Right to Life Society. In a speech at the rally, Engle repeated his... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/26/2011, 12:45pm
Over the last several weeks, Jim Garlow has taken the lead in promoting the Alliance Defense Fund's "Pulpit Initiative," an effort to get pastors to speak out on political issues and even endorse or oppose candidates during their sermons in a direct challenge to the IRS. Last week, Garlow and Richard Land were featured on Glenn Beck's new program to push the effort and got Beck to announce his support as he vowed to do whatever he can to promote it, get pastors signed up, and "make a big deal out of it": MORE >