Republican Party

Following Fischer's Logic, First Amendment Doesn't Apply To Mormons Either

Bryan Fischer has been demanding a ban on the construction of mosques in the United States for a year now and argues that such a prohibition is entirely constitutional because the First Amendment does not apply to Islam.

In fact, as Fischer is fond of saying, the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions":

[T]he First Amendment was written neither to guarantee freedom of religion to Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus nor to prohibit their free exercise of religion. It wasn’t written about them one way or another.

It was written for one specific purpose: to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion ... We must be clear: the First Amendment does not prohibit the free exercise of alternative religions, but neither does it guarantee it. It simply does not address the issue at all.

In defense of this view, Fischer has lately started arguing that prohibitions on polygamy prove that "non-Christian religions" (i.e., Mormonism) do not have First Amendment protections:

That the free exercise clause provides no guarantee for non-Christian religions is made clear in the case of Mormonism. It was part and parcel of the “free exercise” of the Mormon faith to have as many wives as you wanted. Congress said nope. In fact, the Mormon church was required to prohibit plural marriages as a condition of Utah’s statehood.

(It’s worth noting in passing that the Mormon church has never renounced plural marriage. It has simply instructed its followers to obey federal law in the matter.)

Idaho came into the union in 1890, at virtually the same time as Utah, and the first page of Idaho’s state constitution makes it explicitly clear that the free exercise of religion shall in no sense be construed to justify plural marriages.

...

In fact, the Republican Party came into existence in 1854 to combat two evils: slavery and the pernicious Mormon practice of plural marriage, what the original GOP called "those twin relics of barbarism." (Let me point out that I’m talking about the LDS faith as it existed then, not as it exists today.)

Clearly, then, as our political experiment with the Mormon faith makes clear, there is no guarantee of the free exercise of religion for religions which are outside the stream of historic Christianity, as Mormonism is. (It denies the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, the unique deity of Christ, his all-sufficient atoning sacrifice on the cross, and the completeness of God’s revelation in the Old and New Testaments.)

Following Fischer's logic, it only stands to reason that local communities likewise have the power to deny Mormons permission to build temples in their communities as well.

Fischer claims that the Mormon church "never renounced plural marriage" and therefore it must be entirely acceptable for local officials who do not want Mormons or their "pernicious" teachings polluting their communities to deny them permission to build houses of worship, precisely because the First Amendment does not apply to "non-Christian religions" like Mormonism. 

The Intersection of David Barton, Dominionism, Texas Republicans And Racial Politics

Alice Patterson is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally and is, not surprisingly, deeply involved in the New Apostolic Reformation movement where she focuses on "racial healing."

Last year she released a book entitled "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which she explained how she had served as Field Director of the Texas Christian Coalition for years until she discovered the works of "apostles" and "prophets" like Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets and Ed Silvoso.  Her growing involvement with this movement led her to step down from the Texas Christian Coalition in order to focus on "reaching entire cities for Christ." 

As the granddaughter of a former Ku Klux Klan member, Patterson dedicated herself to reaching out to African Americans through "identificational repentence" whereby individuals repent for the sins of their forefathers in order to break the various curses that plague this land because of past unforgiven sins.

In this capacity, Patterson worked closely with Susan Weddington who, at the time, was Chair of the Texas Republican Party:

As intercessors began to pray many weeks before the [Republican State] convention, one of them envisioned Susan pouring oil on bricks. So we started looking for bricks. Susan wanted to meet privately in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and pray about whatever caused Black Republicans to walk away from the political party they had founded in that city. I called Doug Stringer in Houston, founder of Somebody Cares America and he sent two Black ministers from his staff. Tim and Joyce James, pastors of Total Man Christian Ministries in Houston, a mostly Black congregation and formerly on my Pray Texas board, came as well. It was a small group. We met in a little park right across the street from the convention center. Lo and behold, there were the bricks!

We worshiped. The presence of God came. When it came time for Susan to pour the oil on the bricks as the intercessor had visualized, Susan surprised me. I thought she would ask forgiveness for whatever White Republicans did to drive Blacks away from their party but instead she prayed, "Lord, I forgive our leaders for walking away. And I open the door and invite them back in."

As part of the effort to bring African Americans back to the Republican Party, Patterson reveals, Weddington eventually reached out to none other than David Barton:

Two years before, Susan had asked David Barton to do research to find out why Black Republicans had left the party they founded. He had been researching for two years and he discovered some astounding facts. David's research is now in both DVD and a book, "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White."

And with the research in hand Patterson, Barton and others then embarked upon a campaign to use it to win African Americans back to the GOP: 

We had an agenda. Worship to invite the presence of God, repent for racism share Dr. Jackson's testimony, and have David Barton give the truth about American and Black history. This wasn't a Republican meeting even though Susan and David were Republican Party officials. It was a spiritual meeting. And lives were changed.

Our team consisted of Blacks Dr. Jackson and Falma Rufus, Hispanic Ruben Duarte, and Whites David Barton, Susan Weddington, and me. Ruben led us into God's presence with worship. Falma released the prophetic word in song and worshiped along with Ruben. They are powerful together. Susan or I would repent for racism. Dr. Jackson would share his story and give his favor to David. David shared hidden truths about America's spiritual heritage and eye opening facts about Black History.

As we have have been saying all along, Barton's attempt to "set the record straight" on this issue was blatantly misleading and obvious propaganda designed to convince African Americans to stop supporting the Democratic Party.

And now, thanks that Alice Patterson, we have proof that that was in fact the intention all along.

Perry and Bachmann Heading to Liberty U In September

If you are thinking that you might like to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and Jerry Falwell's Liberty University invites you to come and speak, you say "of course, I would love to do so" ... which is why Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will both be speaking there in September:

Two Republican presidential prospects, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, will speak at Liberty University this fall, LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said today.

Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, is an announced candidate for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

Perry, in his 10th year as governor of Texas, has said publicly that he's thinking about running for the GOP nomination for president. He, too, is popular with tea party followers.

"Since Liberty is the world's largest Christian university, we think it is important to expose the students to as many candidates as possible," Falwell said.

Candidates should be able to take some cues from the students, as well, Falwell said.

"How well they are received at Liberty will be a good indicator for how they will be received in Christian circles nationwide," Falwell said.

Perry will speak at one of LU's thrice-weekly convocations on Sept 14.

Bachmann is scheduled to speak at a convocation Sept. 28.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Despite having accomplished next to nothing legislatively, Rep. Michele Bachmann is running for president.
  • But she is confident that the Republican Party will "be very happy" with her serving as the GOP presidential nominee.
  • Of course, her former Chief of Staff says Bachmann is entirely unready to be president.
  • Herman Cain is looking for people who "have been abused by the EPA" ... so he can put them in charge of the EPA when he becomes president.
  • But before he can do that, he better start looking for people to staff his campaign in New Hampshire.
  • When Glenn Beck heads to Israel for his next rally, he will also address a Knesset committee to "discuss how to fight the delegitimization of Israel around the world."

Fox News Targets Media Matters with Strange Spokesperson

Fox News is apparently getting tired of media watchdog Media Matters  pointing out the network’s inaccuracies and right-wing bias. How else to explain the recent even-less-fair-and-balanced-than-usual attack  on Media Matters and its tax status?

While flashing phrases like “Tax-Paid Propaganda” and “Gov’t Funded Group Launching Media ‘War’” on the screen, Fox News’ Steve Doocy complains about Media Matters’ nonprofit status “subsidizing their agenda and their war on Fox News” and asking why the IRS and the Federal Government lets Media Matters “get away with it.”
 
Doocy sought out Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), a Religious Right legal group created when Pat Robertson wanted a legal arm for the Christian Coalition. Sekulow gave Fox what it was looking for:
You cannot be a wing of the Democrat Party and get 501 c3 status. The terminology that they’re using, their founder and their directors are using, is very dangerous if you’re trying to keep your tax exempt status, saying that Fox news has now taken over the Republican Party and that they’ve declared a guerilla war on Fox News means that they are a purely partisan organization. That doesn’t qualify under 501 c3 status.
There’s a huge basic flaw in this argument. Engaging in a public battle of ideas, like calling out Fox for its demonstrated bias, is not the kind of electoral work that is off-limits for 501 c3 groups, even if you accept, as Sekulow seems to be saying, that Fox has indeed become simply an arm of the Republican Party. 
 
Moreover, Sekulow was an extremely odd choice to be making accusations about partisanship. “I’m a pretty partisan guy, as you know,” he told attendees at the recent Faith & Freedom Coalition summit, where he represented ACLJ. “If we actually want to beat this administration, which has been the most aggressive on these issues, we still have to vote Republican, we still have to unite….Let’s get ready to unite, whoever the GOP nominates, and stop this administration.” He also bragged that the Religious Right had taken over the Republican Party and “made it ours.”

As Sekulow acknowledged, the ACLJ is itself a 501 c3 organization. So by Doocy’s logic, shouldn’t the “government-funded” ACLJ and the “tax-paid propaganda” put out by Sekulow and the ACLJ warrant a federal investigation? How about the “federal subsidies” going to support the lavish multiple-homes-and-private-jet lifestyle reportedly  enjoyed by Sekulow’s father, Jay, thanks to the tax-exempt dollars that flow into the ACLJ and connected organizations?

Fischer: Right Wing Watch Is Waging Jihad Against Me!

Last week, we released a new report on the unrelenting torrent of bigotry that is spread by the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer on a daily basis and an accompanying video chronicling some of his "highlights," while our colleague Peter Montgomery discussed Fisher and the AFA in the context of Gov. Rick Perry's prayer rally with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC.

Fischer has already made it clear that he does not particularly appreciate all of the attention we have devoted to covering him here, so it was not surprising that he spent nearly a half-hour of his program on Monday discussing the new report and the O'Donnell segment and accusing us of waging "jihad" against him and committing a "slow motion hate crime":

Ladies and gentlemen, right now out on the left wing there is a jihad that has been launched against me and against Focal Point and against the AFA. It is holy war. This is, in spiritual terms, a jihad. They are trying to destroy me, destroy Focal Point, to destroy AFA.

Now People For the American Way, and I've mentioned this before, I've played some soundbites of what they've done, they have been cyberstalking me for I don't know how long. It's just like a creepy obsession, they same kind of creepy obsession that the left has had with Sarah Palin. I mean, it's just weird, it's just bizarre. And so they have been monitoring everything I write, everything I say, everything we do here on Focal Point, keeping a list and checking it twice.

Here is a piece on Right Wing Watch referring to me as "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer." And this puppy is seventeen pages long!

Remember, we are watching the unfolding of a hate crime against yours truly. You are watching a slow motion hate crime being engineered against yours truly.

Now, if we managed to put together a report chronicling Fischer's bigotry and that reported ended up being seventeen pages long, that probably means Fischer has a absurdly long record of engaging in insane bigotry. But to Fischer, it means we are cyberstalking him while waging jihad and committing a hate crime.

For those that are interested, here is the nearly half-hour segment Fischer dedicated to discussing our report and O'Donnell segment:

Four Minutes of Hate: The Naked Bigotry Of The AFA's Bryan Fischer

Our colleague Peter Montgomery is scheduled to appear on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell tonight to discuss the upcoming "The Response" prayer event that Texas Governor Rick Perry is organizing with the American Family Association and stocking with anti-gay activists.

To coincide with this appearance, we are also releasing a comprehensive report we have written on the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer entitled "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer" which chronicles Fischer's long record of unmitigated bigotry:

Responsible politicians wouldn’t fawn over an unhinged activist who opposes civil rights and religious freedom for minorities, wants to make being gay a crime and decries his personal rivals as enemies of God, right? But that is exactly what is taking place today in the Republican Party, as likely and declared GOP presidential candidates line up to win the approval of Bryan Fischer, a radio talk show host and spokesman for the American Family Association.

Fischer’s unabashed bigotry is on full display throughout his writings and on-air rants. His entire career is based on leveling venomous attacks against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans, progressives and other individuals and groups he detests. He wants to redefine the Constitution to protect only Christians, persecute and deport all American Muslims, prohibit gays and non-Christians from holding public office and impose a system of biblical law.

While Fischer’s views are undeniably shocking, what is most disturbing is his growing influence within not only the Religious Right but also the Republican Party.

And to celebate it's release, we decided to put together this "best of" video featuring some of Fischer's greatest hits - enjoy: 

Barton: Founding Fathers Were Against Teaching Evolution; Revolution Was Fought To End Slavery

Pseudo-historian David Barton visited the Christian television program Celebration on the Daystar Television Network with host Joni Lamb on Monday to discuss his right-wing, pro-GOP view of American history.

Barton, who says that the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin opposed Net Neutrality, claims he also knows the views of the Founding Fathers in the debate over whether schools should teach Creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Naturally, Barton says that the Founding Fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and sided with Creationism. Of course, Charles Darwin wrote On The Origin of Species in 1859 andThe Descent of Man in 1871 – but apparently the Founding Fathers knew about evolution science:

Barton continues to lash out at “deconstructionism” in the education system for distorting the truth about the Founding Fathers, arguing that the Founding Fathers did not support slavery or engage in the practice themselves. While Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Patrick Henry were all slaveholders, Barton has created his own theory of the cause of the American Revolution: the Founding Fathers’ desire to reject the British Empire’s endorsement of slavery. “That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery,” Barton said:

He concluded his talk by saying “I want to see Christians take over the Democrat Party, I want to see Christians take over the Republican Party, I want to have a fight for who has the more Biblical candidate.” Barton, a proponent of Seven Mountains Dominionism, called on people “to move the most Godly candidate through” both parties:

David Barton's "Expertise" On African American History

Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Posts reports that, according to tax records, David Barton considers himself an expert on Black history:

David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history.

In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans."

As luck would have it, we actually wrote an entire report about the very video that Barton produced a few years ago called "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White" ...  and I am sure you will be surprised to learn that it was utterly and intentionally misleading:

Though the program is billed as an attempt to recognize “the forgotten heroes and untold stories from our rich African American political history,” it is, in reality, a 90-minute effort to portray the Democratic Party as responsible for every problem that has ever plagued the African American community in America and imply that the Republican Party is the antidote. Barton’s website proudly claims that he “is currently breaking ground in the African-American community with his presentations” based on this DVD.

Throughout the program, Barton presents a staggeringly slanted, openly partisan, and tellingly incomplete view of American history. Barton focuses on the Democratic Party’s historical support for slavery and Jim Crow, but completely ignores the transformation of American politics brought about by the civil rights movement. Barton, of course, never mentions that the rise of the modern Republican Party was built on a “southern strategy” of embracing and exploiting the resentments of racist southern Democrats who joined the Republican Party after Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed and signed landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation.

We even took several clips from Barton's program and included them in the report, and so I decided to edit a few of them together just to give you a sense of what sort of propaganda Barton is peddling in the DVD as he tries to link today's Democratic Party to the Ku Klux Klan and asserts that Democrats supported slavery just as they support abortion today:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

Michele Bachmann

2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16). 

Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13). 

Herman Cain

Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16). 

Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16). 

Mitch Daniels

Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Boykin: Obama Creating Personal Brownshirt Army To Enforce Marxism

Last year, Retired General Jerry Boykin recorded a video for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he claimed that President Obama was using healthcare reform legislation as cover to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only to him.

At the Oak Initiative Summit last month, Boykin reiterated and expanded upon that claim ... while also explaining that American Jews don't support the Republican Party because they mistakenly believe that Hitler was on the right when he was really "an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist":

We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it's at an accelerated pace. There are lots of indicators as to exactly how we're moving along the lines of the Marxist model - if you look back historically at how societies, what they've done as they've moved toward Marxism, we're doing all of those things.

One of which is, you look at Hitler - and one of the most disgusting things I hear is people who call Hitler "the extreme right." The absolute opposite was true - it was the National Socialist Party, he was an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the right and they equate that to Hitler when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. So, that's just a data point.

One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. The Brownshirts where his constabulary force to control the population because, as you're making these radical changes, there has to be some entity that stands by you with the strength and the muscle to allow you to make these over the opposition and the protest of the sovereign, the people. So Hitler had the Brownshirts.

Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President , I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.

For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?

Now most people say, well we haven't seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that's the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.

Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - we talked about all those things here - which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.

Geller: Obama Is An Illegitimate Child And Therefore An Illegitimate President

Pamela Geller’s rabid anti-Muslim activism helped her win friends in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, and she even had her own panel at CPAC earlier this year. But Geller has now been focusing her efforts on a different issue: Birtherism. Geller accused President Obama of doctoring his birth certificate and took to the Birther website WorldNetDaily to claim that Obama is ineligible to be president because his parents had a sham marriage. Virginia School of Law professor G. Edward White plainly points out that the term “natural born citizen” is “understood to mean a person born in the United States or born abroad to parents who are both American citizen” (emphasis mine) and had nothing to do with the children of purported “sham marriages.” But for Geller, who now professes to be an expert on Obama’s parents’ romantic life, even if Obama was born in the United States he can’t be considered a “natural born citizen” because the Founders wouldn’t have wanted “an illegitimate child of a foreign bigamist” to be President:

The release of Barack Hussein Obama I's immigration file is stunning in what it reveals and the questions it poses. BHO I's visa expired Aug. 8, 1961 (Barack Junior was born Aug. 4, 1961) – is that why he married Obama's mother? Stanley Ann Dunham was a white girl in a family way with a mixed-race child, desperate for legitimacy in a culture that condemned such behavior as abject immorality, and Barack Obama Sr. was a con man from Kenya desperate to stay in the USA. Was the marriage merely a business arrangement (she was 17 when she got pregnant)? Is that why it was so important to place the ads in the Hawaiian papers announcing the birth of the future president – because his father was about to be deported?

Stanley Ann Dunham could not have been so savvy as to know that BHO I was a Muslim polygamist. Yet clearly, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was never divorced from his first wife in Kenya. The Immigration and Naturalization Service suspected that the elder Obama's marriage to Dunham was a sham, arranged strictly to secure immigration status for him. Despite the fact that BHO I had married Dunham, the government wasn't buying it: An INS official wrote in 1961 that the agency should "make sure an investigation is conducted as to the bona-fide of the marriage."



It is interesting to note that BHO I claims in the documents to have divorced first wife, Kezia, "verbally." According to the Shariah, a man can divorce his wife by repeating it three times. Further, when BHO I returned to Kenya, he apparently lived with his first Kenyan wife and his American third wife, suggesting that the "divorce" he ostensibly secured to marry Dunham was a transitory ruse.

That would make the president illegitimate. In 1787, illegitimate children had different rights. There is no way the founders of this great nation intended for an illegitimate child of a foreign bigamist to attain the highest, most powerful position in the new land.

Similarly, WND editor Joseph Farah maintains that if Obama is eligible to serve as president, then so are “anchor babies,” or the US-born children of illegal immigrants. Unfortunately for Farah, so-called “anchor babies” are in fact American citizens:

We have a pretender to the throne sitting in the highest office of the land – the most powerful elected position in the world.

America has, without a vote, without a constitutional amendment, without even a court decision, dumbed down the eligibility requirement for the presidency. And that is unacceptable. …

Americans do not want illegal aliens to serve as presidents. That's not what the founders envisioned at all. But conceding to Obama's eligibility will open the door to American presidents who were "anchor babies" – children born of illegal aliens born on U.S. soil.

That's not what the Constitution means. That's not what the founders intended. And it's not what Americans want today.

Exposing David Barton's Bunk

Today, People For the American Way released a new report entitled "Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America" written by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery that exposes David Barton's shoddy pseudo-history and why it matters: 

Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities; and he feeds a toxic political climate in which one’s political opponents are not just wrong, but evil and anti-God.

Scholars have criticized Barton for presenting facts out of context or in misleading ways, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting his theories through books, television, and, yes, the textbooks that will teach the next generation of Americans. He promotes conspiracy theories about elites hiding the truth from average Americans in order to undermine the nation from within. Last summer, he declared that liberal and media attacks on the Tea Party were just like attacks on Jesus. In February, Barton spoke at the Connect 2011 Pastors Conference, where he said that Christians needed to control the culture and media so that “guys that have a secular viewpoint cannot survive.” Said Barton, “If the press lacks moral discrimination, it’s because we haven’t been pushing our people to chop that kind of news off.”

Barton’s work is not just an academic exercise. It is meant to have a political impact. For Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Barton promotes a false reality in which anyone who opposes any element of his political agenda stands in opposition to both the Founding Fathers and to God. He believes that everything in our society – government, the judiciary, the economy, the family – should be governed according to the Bible, and he promotes a view of the Bible and Jesus that many Christians would not recognize. Opponents, even Christians, who disagree with Barton about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.

President Obama is a particularly frequent target of Barton’s. In January, one of his WallBuilders Live radio shows was titled “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God from the United States?” In March, right-wing “news” service WND quoted Barton accusing Obama (falsely of course) of being “engaged in a pattern of ‘willfully, deliberately’ repudiating America's Christian heritage.”

Those are the kind of accusations long favored by the Religious Right, and they are destructive. Claims that political opponents are evil and are actively trying to destroy Americans’ freedoms poison the public arena, make constructive civic discourse nearly impossible, and have the potential to incite acts of violence.

Elected officials who endorse Barton give his claims credibility they do not deserve. He in turn gives cover and a veneer of legitimacy to right-wing politicians interested in putting their notions of a nation created by and for Christians into public policy. Both Barton and his backers are undermining understanding of, and respect for, vital American values and constitutional principles like separation of church and state and equal treatment under the law.

And last night, Peter appeared on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss Barton and his influence:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Glenn Beck Leaves Fox to Spend More Time with his Chalkboard.
  • Truth Wins Out: TWO Calls On The Republican Party to Denounce The American Family Association After Racist Rant By AFA Radio Host Bryan Fischer.
  • Towleroad: Judge Vaughn Walker Says He is Gay for First Time Publicly, Says Judges Should Never Recuse Themselves Over Sexuality.
  • Lee Fang @ Think Progress: Bristol Palin Responds: Legally Required Nonprofit Disclosure Part Of An Anti-Palin Conspiracy.
  • Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Herman Cain slams Ellison, says he supports Sharia law.
  • Zack Ford @ Wonk Room: VA Del. Bob Marshall’s Argument Against Same-Sex Adoption: Gay Couples Are ‘Disordered.’

Rand Paul To Address Ralph Reed's Religious Right Conference

Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January.

Paul has also helped serve as a bridge between the Tea Party and the Religious Right, and conservatives were quick to defend him after he said he publicly opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2009 Paul headlined an event for the Constitution Party, which wants to establish “biblical law,” and his far-right positions have helped him win endorsements from prominent Religious Right figures like James Dobson and Beverly LaHaye.

During his Iowa speech, he said that politicians should refuse to compromise on the issue of abortion, connecting it to compromises on slavery laws prior to the Civil War. Earlier this year, he tried to connect his opposition to abortion rights to his battle against low flush toilets.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is forming a presidential exploratory committee, is also slated to speak at the conference. The group’s Iowa convention hosted likely candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann will be attending a fundraiser hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Arizona Republican Party this weekend.
  • Bachmann will also "deliver a special message to the attendees at The Awakening 2011" ... whatever that means.
  • I really am getting tired of hearing the phrase "American Exceptionalism."
  • Janet Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" made it out of committee by one vote.
  • The Oklahoma Family Policy Council is shutting down, mainly because it lost grants it had been receiving to teach abstinence education.
  • Finally, Ken Hutcherson warns that a DOMA cobra wants trick you into trusting it so that it can bite and kill you ... or something.  I have no idea what he is talking about:

Right-Wing Activist Frets Over Gay Member Of The California Republican Leadership

After an openly gay Republican, Greg Gandrud, was elected to the board of directors of the California Republican Party at their convention, anti-gay organizations were obviously displeased. Similar to the debate over GOProud’s inclusion in the Conservative Political Action Conference, when right-wing groups blasted GOProud because it represents gay and lesbian conservatives, the head of the California Republican Assembly has taken issue with Gandrud’s sexual orientation. Celeste Greig of the California Republican Assembly said that Gandrud shouldn’t “bring his personal lifestyle” to the GOP.

The California Republican Assembly represents the state’s hard-right activists that Ronald Reagan called “the conscience of the Republican Party.” The group wants government guided by “moral law as expressed by the Judeo-Christian ethic and contained in the Holy Scriptures of these historic faiths” and said the “government is duty bound” to oppose marriage equality.

Greig told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:

The California Republican Party has elected its first openly homosexual board member. One incumbent is hopeful the action will not further enforce a "gay" agenda on citizens of The Golden State.



Celeste Greig, president of the volunteer California Republican Assembly, says many Republicans did not know of Gandrud's sexual orientation until recently. But she adds that her conservative group will stand its ground, both fiscally and socially.

"I hope that he doesn't bring his personal lifestyle within the party," says Greig. "Of course everyone is welcome to be members, to be productive. If they try to bring up more of their issues and promote more of their lifestyle, I'm sure that's not going to go well at all with members of the California Republican Assembly and with me."

Idaho GOP Hosts Anti-Muslim Activist

In yet another example of the deepening anti-Muslim sentiment in the GOP, the keynote speaker for a recent Idaho Republican Party fundraiser was a noted anti-Muslim activist from neighboring Washington. Pastor Shahram Hadian said he converted to Christianity during his childhood and now claims to be an expert on Islam. He unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for state legislature last November and also targeted customers of a café whose employees delivered coffee wearing bikinis by taking their photos and posting their names online.

Hadian has addressed local Republican groups and a chapter of the staunchly anti-Muslim group ACT! for America on “how Islam is a political ideology focused on establishing oppressive Islamic law (Shar’ia) in every country, including America.” Hadian claims that “Shar’ia law has already infiltrated some of our local, state, and federal governmental laws and policies here in the U.S.” because of “political correctness and liberal ideology that is sympathetic to Shar’ia law.”

Leading politicians including Governor Butch Otter, US Senator Mike Crapo and freshmen congressman Raul Labrador were also present at the gathering. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports:

Close to 450 guests attended the Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday night at The Coeur d'Alene Resort convention center. Hosted by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, the event brought together many of the state's brightest political stars, including Idaho GOP Chair Norm Semanko, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.



According to Hadian, Islam is not a religion of peace. A large number of Muslims, led by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, are bent on world domination, he said.

"In Islam, peace is achieved when a country becomes predominately Muslim," Hadian said. "Islam is not just a religion. Islam is a constitution. It is a political ideology."

He spoke of sharia law and jihad, and claimed some Islamic groups are actually fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Muslims are allowed to impose their rules, "Sharia law will not be subservient. It will be parallel," Hadian told the audience. "Please stop being politically correct."

The pastor implored his listeners to make immigration a national security issue. But, he said, his message is not about hating Muslims.

"I appreciate the honesty," said Marissa Mendive of Coeur d'Alene. "I think America needs to stop being so tolerant, because we're heading downhill fast. And I appreciate the patriotism here."

James Hoialmen of Post Falls said he found the evening's topics interesting.

"I think (Hadian) had a lot of good points. I also look at it as, 'In God We Trust' - it's stamped right on our bills. Our nation is founded on God. I'm a true, strong Christian, and definitely always stand with Christ."

Arkansas GOP Campaigns Against "Pro-Abortion Jewish Lawyer"

RWW reported in November on an internal Republican feud in Texas where the Religious Right unsuccessfully tried to push out the Speaker of the House, who is Jewish, in favor of a challenger who was a “True Christian.”

Now, Republicans in Arkansas are using a similar tactic against Democrat Jerry Repham in the race to fill a vacancy in the state legislature. The blog Blue Arkansas found a campaign email from Chuck Chatham, a committeeman of the local Republican Party, which contrasts Republican candidate Bruce Cozart with Repham, who Chatham calls a “pro-abortion Jewish lawyer.” He goes on to say that “this is a very important race to anyone who values Christian principles.”

Tuesday [March 8th is a special election to fill the vacant state legislature seat that was vacated by Keith Krass’s death last year. The election is between Bruce Cozart (R) a pro-life, Christian who has served a number of years on the Lake Hamilton school board and Jerry Rephan (D). Jerry is a pro-abortion Jewish lawyer who specializes in “environmental law” which means his primary clients as such were the Sierra Club and PETA, among others.

Bruce Cozart is pro-second amendment rights and has been an active member of the First Assembly of God church for many years. He has been a local contractor and construction worker for the last 35+ years here in Garland County. We need a contractor/dozer driver instead of another liberal lawyer in the Arkansas state legislature. Please go and vote!! This is a very important race to anyone who values Christian principles.

The 24th district includes most of the area south of highway 27O and west of Central avenue. It extends to the lake near 270 and on both sides of highway 70 west of the lake to near Lake Hamilton school. Your voters card will show if you are located in the 24th district, but if Keith Krass was on your ballot in November, you are in that district. If you don’t live in the district, please encourage your friends that do to go vote for Bruce, just as I am doing for you.

Thanks

Chuck Chatham

The special election will take place on March 8th.

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Republican Party Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/04/2011, 10:29am
As we mentioned yesterday, C. Peter Wagner was the guest on NPR's "Fresh Air" where one of the topics discussed was the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation and the role of NAR leaders in Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally. The audio and transcript of the program has now been made available and it contains lots of interesting revelations.  For instance, host Terry Gross asked Wagner about the presence of NAR-affiliated activists at the event and even Wagner admitted that he was surprised by just how many were involved, speculating that it had a lot to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/29/2011, 3:46pm
The ever so humble David Barton told listeners on a conference call for United In Purpose’s “ One Nation Under God” event today that the criticisms he faces for his erroneous, reliably wrong and consistently debunked portrayal of history are just like what Jesus endured. Bill Dallas of United In Purpose and Champion the Vote asked why the “secular press” always questions Barton’s faulty interpretations of history. In fact, Barton’s critics include historians from both Christian and secular... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/15/2011, 5:47pm
Apparently the National Religious Broadcasters is releasing a report about how companies and the internet are censoring Christians. The fact that Mat Staver's lawsuit against healthcare reform was tossed out of court is apparently evidence that healthcare reform's days are numbered. On a related note, Liberty Counsel has produced a new video explaining just how important it is. The Oregon state Republican Party may have removed some anti-gay language, but that  doesn't mean much. Shockingly, FRC's Peter Sprigg opposes gay characters in "Archie" comics... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/26/2011, 10:20am
Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily, is out with yet another column attacking marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, arguing that it will lead to the downfall of civilization. Farah, who once called for “literally, a break-up of the nation” because several states have legalized same-sex marriage, writes that marriage equality will inevitably lead to polygamy. Claims that same-sex marriage are not uncommon from the Right, Farah fears that if Republicans support the right of states under the Tenth Amendment to legalize same-sex marriage that they will ultimately... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/22/2011, 3:19pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/22/2011, 1:38pm
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah contends that “the homosexual agenda and the Shariah agenda” are working together to endanger the future of America. Farah claims that both the LGBT community and Muslim-Americans want to alter the institution of marriage, use hate crimes laws to silence critics, and implement Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to weaken the U.S. military. According to Farah, only right-wing activists like him are standing up to the “Muslim Mafia and the Gay Mafia,” but even many leaders of the conservative movement are selling out for “Arab cash... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 10:37am
Pamela Geller has a second column out today attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his ties to the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and to one of Geller’s favorite targets, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Anti-Muslim activists have long viewed Norquist as one of the principal architects of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and American society at large because of his work to make the political Right more inclusive of Muslim-Americans. Geller writes today in her WorldNetDaily column that she doesn’t “want to see a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/15/2011, 3:23pm
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... MORE >