abraham lincoln

American History 101 With Professor Kirk Cameron

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

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

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

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

WallBuilders Enlists Christopher Columbus & Reconstructionist Eidsmoe in Christian Nation Crusade

David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.  

Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had installed in the state courthouse.

As we have reported, Eidsmoe believes that feminists “violate the normal order” that God put in place for husbands to head households, that “homosexuality invites the judgment of God upon all of society,” that gays will turn the military into a “cesspool of immorality,” and that public education is brainwashing students to believe in secularism and evolution.  Ryan Lizza recently reported that Eidsmoe was uninvited from a Tea Party event last year after addressing an event in Alabama commemorating Secession Day and telling an interviewer that it was the state’s “constitutional right to secede,” and that “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”

Eidsmoe’s book on Columbus has an introduction by Peter Marshall, another “Christian Nation” advocate who served with Wallbuilders’ founder David Barton as an “expert” to Religious Right members of the Texas Board of Education pushing massive revisions to social science textbooks.  Marshall writes:

In his customary careful and thorough manner, John Eidsmoe has pierced through the obfuscating fog of twentieth-century humanist bias and judgments that have obscured the truth about two of the most controversial figures in American history, Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez. Using earlier sources, he has presented us with a well-researched, even-handed, and fair treatment of both their Christian motives for their incredible exploits, and the very real mistakes they made .This is a valuable contribution toward restoring a true Christian perspective on our American past.

WallBuilders’ Columbus Day email celebrates Columbus’ belief that he was being led by the Holy Spirit and complains that modern scholarship has denigrated Columbus specifically because of his religious motivation:

It is especially because of Columbus’ religious motivations and convictions that today he has become a villain for most modern educators and writers, who regularly attack and condemn him.

That echoes Eidsmoe’s book, which claims, “A scholarly desire to correct the historical record is not the primary reason [for modern criticism of Columbus]…No, the attack is directed toward values – biblical values and the Christian civilization that is based on biblical values.”

Eidsmoe writes:

The reason may of us find history boring is that we fail to see the sovereign hand of God at work as history unfolds. The way you look at history depends in large part upon your world view….For the Christian, history is, or should be, the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race. For the Christian, the discovery, exploration and settlement of the Western Hemisphere takes on a whole new dimension of meaning as God works through imperfect vessels like Columbus, Cortez….and others who bring salvation to the inhabitants of the Western world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

He decries the effort to “move this nation away from its Christian foundations” in order to “remake America into a secular or pagan society….If the Christian professions of Christopher Columbus and others can be proven insincere, if their deeds can be downplayed and their sins and shortcomings magnified, then this element of America’s Christian past can be discredited and set aside.”

Engle: Obama Can Become The Next Lincoln By Banning Abortion

Back in July, we reported Lou Engle’s prophesy that the deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, was God’s punishment for legal abortion. This week, Engle got together with Rick Joyner of The Oak Initiative to promote The Call: Detroit with Transformation Michigan, an affiliate of The Oak Initiative. They took advantage of their time together to make a video discussing Engle’s Joplin prophesy. In the video, Engle tells Joyner that he received a message in a dream that President Obama has the potential to be the next Abraham Lincoln if he bans abortion through his very own "emancipation proclamation."

Watch:

President Obama is now presiding over a nation under the judgments of the shedding of the innocent blood, of 52, 54 million babies; I believe he is a Lincoln-type president. And wouldn’t it be God, that a man from Illinois would be elected president to release an emancipation proclamation for the blacks, and now a black man could be a president from Illinois that if we pray for him rather than point the finger at him we could actually break through the racial issues, we could find our black brothers and sisters in a realm that’s beyond politics and division. And actually if we pray for him as strong as we prayed for President Bush maybe God would loose a healing in our nation and he could become a pro-life president who would release an emancipation proclamation to end the shedding of the innocent blood and that the black voice in America would rise up maybe, because abortion started with racism with Margaret Sanger, would the black voice would arise and call this whole thing down, the shedding of innocent blood. This is a profound dream encounter; you just can’t treat it lightly.

Understanding Where Michele Bachmann Gets Her Extreme Views

Ryan Lizza has a long profile in the new issue of The New Yorker in which he explains that "Bachmann's views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians" and that "her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature."

As Lizza explains, one of the people who played a key role in shaping Bachmann's views was John Eidsmoe, her professor at Oral Roberts Univeristy: 

At Oral Roberts, Bachmann worked for a professor named John Eidsmoe, who got her interested in the burgeoning homeschool movement. She helped him build a database of state homeschooling statutes, assisting his crusade to reverse laws that prevented parents from homeschooling their children. After that, Bachmann worked as Eidsmoe’s research assistant on his book “Christianity and the Constitution,” published in 1987.

Eidsmoe explained to me how the Coburn School of Law, in the years that Bachmann was there, wove Christianity into the legal curriculum. “Say we’re talking in criminal law, and we get to the subject of the insanity defense,” he said. “Well, Biblically speaking, is there such a thing as insanity and is it a defense for a crime? We might look back to King David when he’s captured by the Philistines and he starts frothing at the mouth, playing crazy and so on.” When Biblical law conflicted with American law, Eidsmoe said, O.R.U. students were generally taught that “the first thing you should try to do is work through legal means and political means to get it changed.”

“Christianity and the Constitution” is ostensibly a scholarly work about the religious beliefs of the Founders, but it is really a brief for political activism. Eidsmoe writes that America “was and to a large extent still is a Christian nation,” and that “our culture should be permeated with a distinctively Christian flavoring.” When I asked him if he believed that Bachmann’s views were fully consistent with the prevailing ideology at O.R.U. and the themes of his book, he said, “Yes.” Later, he added, “I do not know of any way in which they are not.”

Eidsmoe has stirred controversy. In 2005, he spoke at the national convention of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a defiantly pro-white, and anti-black, organization. (Eidsmoe says that he deeply despises racism, but that he will speak “to anyone.”) In Alabama last year, he addressed an event commemorating Secession Day and told an interviewer that it was the state’s “constitutional right to secede,” and that “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.” In April, 2010, he was disinvited from a Tea Party rally in Wausau, Wisconsin, because of these statements and appearances.

Bachmann has not, however, distanced herself, and she has long described her work for Eidsmoe as an important part of her résumé. This spring, she told a church audience in Iowa, “I went down to Oral Roberts University, and one of the professors that had a great influence on me was an Iowan named John Eidsmoe. He’s from Iowa, and he’s a wonderful man. He has theology degrees, he has law degrees, he’s absolutely brilliant. He taught me about so many aspects of our godly heritage.”

When Bachmann spoke at the Rediscover God In America conference in Iowa earlier this year, she prasied Eidsmoe for the influence he had on her:

She also pointedly praised David Barton, calling him "a gift to our nation":

So the next time Bachmann says something absurd and you wonder "where does she get these extreme ideas?" ... well, now you know.

Celebrating Jefferson Davis's Inauguration, Youth for Western Civilization Links Obama to "Oppressive" Union Government

The far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization, which hosted a panel at CPAC on immigration featuring Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and former Reps. Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode, is now promoting the Confederacy’s 150th Anniversary and “Anglo-Celtic” pride. William L. Houston of YWC attended a ceremony commemorating Jefferson Davis’s inauguration, and discussed the need for ethnic and historical pride among the “native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South.” He went on to say that the federal government both under Lincoln and Obama are rightly “perceived as being out of control, hostile toward, and oppressive of the people of the states,” and concludes that the “common soldier of the Union Army could have only seen what has become of the Union in our own times, quite assuredly he would have laid down his arms and deserted to the other side.” Houston writes:

As far as heritage and ethnic pride events tend to go, they don't come more politically incorrect than the Southern Rights parade held by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Montgomery on Saturday.

Before a cheering throng of hundreds of Anglo-Celtic Southerners, an actor portraying Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol.

Confederate flags flapped in the Southern breeze. Dixie was played. Cannons were fired. There were speeches of defiance and rebellion - about events both historical and modern.

The purpose of this event was to remember and celebrate the birth of the Confederacy a hundred and fifty years ago. Yet everyone who gathered there left with the sense that there was more to the story.

This was a direct assault on the double standard of multiculturalism by "the wrong sort" of people - the only people in the United States who are denied a sense of pride and identity in their heritage - the native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South - who are told that every group in the world can come to the South and celebrate their heritage but the people who were born and raised here.

"What is it in a man that would cause him to deny his fellow man the pride and dignity of his heritage," said Chuck Rand, an adjutant in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.



The crowd in attendence [sic] in Montgomery didn't hesitate to draw parallels between the Confederacy and contemporary America. Then as now, the federal government was perceived as being out of control, hostile toward, and oppressive of the people of the states.

In 1861, it was Southerners who felt this way. In 2011, it is the majority of Americans who live in the South, West, and Midwest.

In their worst nightmare scenarios, even the secessionists couldn't have imagined anything like the President of the United States attacking the State of Arizona for defending itself from a Mexican invasion, celebrating Kwanzaa and Cinco de Mayo in the White House, Obamacare, affirmative action, abortion, gay marriage, or Barack Obama's $3.7 trillion dollar proposed federal budget.

Even Abraham Lincoln would be flabbergasted at his modern heirs who have declared war on traditional marriage and Christmas celebrations. Nothing is more pointless than arguing over the causes of the Civil War.

If the common soldier of the Union Army could have only seen what has become of the Union in our own times, quite assuredly he would have laid down his arms and deserted to the other side.

Celebrating Jefferson Davis's Inauguration, Youth for Western Civilization Links Obama to "Oppressive" Union Government

The far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization, which hosted a panel at CPAC on immigration featuring Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and former Reps. Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode, is now promoting the Confederacy’s 150th Anniversary and “Anglo-Celtic” pride. William L. Houston of YWC attended a ceremony commemorating Jefferson Davis’s inauguration, and discussed the need for ethnic and historical pride among the “native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South.” He went on to say that the federal government both under Lincoln and Obama are rightly “perceived as being out of control, hostile toward, and oppressive of the people of the states,” and concludes that the “common soldier of the Union Army could have only seen what has become of the Union in our own times, quite assuredly he would have laid down his arms and deserted to the other side.” Houston writes:

As far as heritage and ethnic pride events tend to go, they don't come more politically incorrect than the Southern Rights parade held by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Montgomery on Saturday.

Before a cheering throng of hundreds of Anglo-Celtic Southerners, an actor portraying Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol.

Confederate flags flapped in the Southern breeze. Dixie was played. Cannons were fired. There were speeches of defiance and rebellion - about events both historical and modern.

The purpose of this event was to remember and celebrate the birth of the Confederacy a hundred and fifty years ago. Yet everyone who gathered there left with the sense that there was more to the story.

This was a direct assault on the double standard of multiculturalism by "the wrong sort" of people - the only people in the United States who are denied a sense of pride and identity in their heritage - the native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South - who are told that every group in the world can come to the South and celebrate their heritage but the people who were born and raised here.

"What is it in a man that would cause him to deny his fellow man the pride and dignity of his heritage," said Chuck Rand, an adjutant in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.



The crowd in attendence [sic] in Montgomery didn't hesitate to draw parallels between the Confederacy and contemporary America. Then as now, the federal government was perceived as being out of control, hostile toward, and oppressive of the people of the states.

In 1861, it was Southerners who felt this way. In 2011, it is the majority of Americans who live in the South, West, and Midwest.

In their worst nightmare scenarios, even the secessionists couldn't have imagined anything like the President of the United States attacking the State of Arizona for defending itself from a Mexican invasion, celebrating Kwanzaa and Cinco de Mayo in the White House, Obamacare, affirmative action, abortion, gay marriage, or Barack Obama's $3.7 trillion dollar proposed federal budget.

Even Abraham Lincoln would be flabbergasted at his modern heirs who have declared war on traditional marriage and Christmas celebrations. Nothing is more pointless than arguing over the causes of the Civil War.

If the common soldier of the Union Army could have only seen what has become of the Union in our own times, quite assuredly he would have laid down his arms and deserted to the other side.

Heck: Obama's Support For Reproductive Choice Makes Him a Disgrace To His Ancestors

A few weeks back, Rick Santorum made news when he declared it "almost remarkable for a black man" like President Obama to be in favor of reproductive choice because, in the Religious Right worldview, abortion is just like slavery.

But in case that tortured analogy was not clear enough, right-wing Indiana talk show host Peter Heck has penned a column that has been posted on the AFA's OneNewsNow claiming that Obama's support for reproductive choice means he is an enemy of the likes of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln and is therefore a disgrace to "his ancestors":

Only a man terrifyingly unmoved by the injustices perpetrated against his own ancestors could, just a century and a half later, facilitate even worse atrocities without a hint of remorse.

Intellectual honesty demands that we face a harsh and uncomfortable reality: Barack Obama -- our first black president -- has chosen to take up the whip against his fellow man. By doing so, he carves out an eternal legacy for himself far removed from the dignified halls of honor reserved for those with the moral courage to defend the defenseless. By instead regarding them as subhuman, Obama wars against the life work of [Frederick] Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine how history would regard Lincoln had he chosen to respond to the great moral evil of his day as Barack Obama has chosen to respond to the holocaust of child sacrifice that has occurred with impunity since 1973. Imagine Lincoln proclaiming that determining whether blacks were entitled to human rights was "above his pay grade." Imagine Lincoln pledging to "protect this constitutional right" of slavery, while calling the brutality of plantation masters a "legitimate disciplinary procedure."

How would history have judged such a small man if not for the same way it will soon regard Mr. Obama: an utter coward. When given the incredible opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the Great Emancipator -- an opportunity generations of slaves labored to make possible -- Barack Obama chose not to use it to defend the inalienable rights of all, but to undermine them.

In the final analysis, such an incomprehensible betrayal of human rights for the sake of convenience and political expediency far outweighs any contributions his electoral success has brought to "black America." For what Douglass, Tubman, Truth and so many other courageous black abolitionists fought for was not the day when they would see a man with dark skin pigmentation sitting in the White House. They fought for the day when all men -- black and white, large and small -- would see their inalienable rights protected from those who would callously demean them as less than human.

Obama has failed miserably in living up to their vision, and shamefully discredits their efforts. As he commits himself to what Douglass called the denial of justice, the perpetuation of ignorance, and the organized conspiracy to degrade his fellow countrymen, it can rightly be concluded that Barack Obama disgraces his office, his ancestors, and his place in the eternal struggle for the rights of man.

Heck: Obama's Support For Reproductive Choice Makes Him a Disgrace To His Ancestors

A few weeks back, Rick Santorum made news when he declared it "almost remarkable for a black man" like President Obama to be in favor of reproductive choice because, in the Religious Right worldview, abortion is just like slavery.

But in case that tortured analogy was not clear enough, right-wing Indiana talk show host Peter Heck has penned a column that has been posted on the AFA's OneNewsNow claiming that Obama's support for reproductive choice means he is an enemy of the likes of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln and is therefore a disgrace to "his ancestors":

Only a man terrifyingly unmoved by the injustices perpetrated against his own ancestors could, just a century and a half later, facilitate even worse atrocities without a hint of remorse.

Intellectual honesty demands that we face a harsh and uncomfortable reality: Barack Obama -- our first black president -- has chosen to take up the whip against his fellow man. By doing so, he carves out an eternal legacy for himself far removed from the dignified halls of honor reserved for those with the moral courage to defend the defenseless. By instead regarding them as subhuman, Obama wars against the life work of [Frederick] Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine how history would regard Lincoln had he chosen to respond to the great moral evil of his day as Barack Obama has chosen to respond to the holocaust of child sacrifice that has occurred with impunity since 1973. Imagine Lincoln proclaiming that determining whether blacks were entitled to human rights was "above his pay grade." Imagine Lincoln pledging to "protect this constitutional right" of slavery, while calling the brutality of plantation masters a "legitimate disciplinary procedure."

How would history have judged such a small man if not for the same way it will soon regard Mr. Obama: an utter coward. When given the incredible opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the Great Emancipator -- an opportunity generations of slaves labored to make possible -- Barack Obama chose not to use it to defend the inalienable rights of all, but to undermine them.

In the final analysis, such an incomprehensible betrayal of human rights for the sake of convenience and political expediency far outweighs any contributions his electoral success has brought to "black America." For what Douglass, Tubman, Truth and so many other courageous black abolitionists fought for was not the day when they would see a man with dark skin pigmentation sitting in the White House. They fought for the day when all men -- black and white, large and small -- would see their inalienable rights protected from those who would callously demean them as less than human.

Obama has failed miserably in living up to their vision, and shamefully discredits their efforts. As he commits himself to what Douglass called the denial of justice, the perpetuation of ignorance, and the organized conspiracy to degrade his fellow countrymen, it can rightly be concluded that Barack Obama disgraces his office, his ancestors, and his place in the eternal struggle for the rights of man.

Schlafly: Overturn Birthright Citizenship Just Like We Overturned Dred Scott

Opponents of birthright citizenship have mobilized in Congress and in fourteen state legislatures to pass legislation that would reinterpret the 14th Amendment to deny birthright citizenship. At a forum of state legislators who support scrapping birthright citizenship, Republican State Rep. Daniel B. Verdi of South Carolina compared illegal immigration to “the malady of slavery” and Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said such legislation would help “bring an end to the illegal alien invasion.”

Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly praised their efforts in a column today, promoting the plans by Republican politicians to do-away with birthright citizenship through legislation rather than an amendment to the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled that even the children of illegal immigrants have constitutional protections in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), a ruling confirmed in Plyler v. Doe (1982).

According to constitutional scholar James Ho, “the text of the Citizenship Clause plainly guarantees birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of all persons subject to U.S sovereign authority and laws” and “the clause thus covers the vast majority of lawful and unlawful aliens.”

Schlafly, however, insists that the longstanding interpretation of the 14th’s Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship should be tossed out just as Dred Scott, the infamous case which declared that African Americans could not be citizens and as result have no rights under the constitution, was reversed by the 14th Amendment:

It's long overdue for Congress to stop the racket of bringing pregnant women into this country to give birth, receive free medical care and then call their babies U.S. citizens entitled to all American rights and privileges plus generous handouts. Between 300,000 and 400,000 babies are born to illegal aliens in the United States every year, at least 10 percent of all births.



The amnesty crowd tries to tell us that the 14th Amendment makes automatic citizens out of "all persons" born in the United States, but they conveniently ignore the rest of the sentence. It's not enough to be "born" in the U.S. -- you can claim citizenship only if you are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, overruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African-Americans could not be citizens. Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln's warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, "the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."



Terminating the anchor-baby racket is very popular with the American people. A Rasmussen poll reports that 58 percent oppose it, while only 33 percent favor it.

Now that state legislatures are flexing their muscles, representatives from 14 states unveiled state legislation to clarify who is and who isn't a citizen in those states. The Arizona bill establishes that state law parallels the definition of citizenship in the 14th Amendment, and that a U.S. citizen is, "for the purposes of this statute, a person who owes no allegiance to any foreign sovereignty."

The Arizona bill, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh, would create two kinds of state birth certificates. One would be for children of citizens and the other for children of illegal aliens.

Barber: SPLC Attacking "Very Christian Leadership That Led The Civil Rights Movement"

When the Southern Poverty Law Center released its updated list of anti-gay hate groups, Liberty Counsel didn't achieve the designation, but that hasn't stopped Matt Barber from repeatedly attacking the SPLC in his columns and on his radio program ... and it was once again the topic of discussion this week as Barber and Shawn Akers accused the SPLC of attacking the Religious Right as a way to raise money and claimed that the group was now attacking the "very Christian leadership that led the Civil Rights movement":

Barber: The SPLC has grabbed the tiger by the tail and now they get the teeth. They are really marginalizing themselves outside of a very liberal echo chamber; the SPLC has really embarrassed itself and really marginalized itself in the mainstream.

Akers: You know, it's kind of funny Matt, this is one of those groups that has in recent times prided itself on being among the most open-minded in the nation, they would be leaders in being open-minded and they've sacrificed any shred of legitimacy that they could have held claim to in recent times by basically adopting this definition of a hate group - it's if you disagree with the Southern Poverty Law Center, you are a hate group. If you disagree with them on social matters - and chief among those would be sexuality and marriage - if you disagree with them on that, you are going to be listed, especially if you have voice in public circles, you're going to be listed as a hate-monger, and as a hate villain, and in their great hope a hate criminal at some time in the future if they can get legislation through that they would like. Now the problem with that for them is one that you pointed out: it smacks of desperation.

We had great success in remedying the evil of discrimination and you can see that that success probably caused a dip in the funds of somebody like the Southern Poverty Law Center and they have sold out and begun acting like a Washington bureaucracy that says we have to have a new windmill to tilt at and it's going to be everybody that disagrees with us.

Barber: And now they find themselves fighting against the very Christian leadership that led the Civil Rights movement, the very Christians that fought for abolition under the Republican Party, under Abraham Lincoln, now they have those very Christians in the cross-hairs.

Neo-Confederate Radical Catches GOP Wave, Elected to Arkansas State House

As the Republican Party lurches farther to the right and comes to the successful conclusion of its Southern Strategy, even the party’s most radical candidates can win elections. In an open Democratic seat in Arkansas, where Republicans made significant gains in the election, Republican candidate Loy Mauch defeated his Democratic opponent. According to the Arkansas Times, State Representative-elect Mauch is a staunch Neo-Confederate who is “a current member of The League of the South,” a white supremacist group, and an avowed opponent of Abraham Lincoln and his legacy. He describes the Confederate Battle Flag as “a symbol of Jesus Christ” and “Biblical government,” and an affiliate of the Sons of Confederate Veterans he led presented a speech entitled “Homage to John Wilkes Booth.” David Koon of the Arkansas Times writes:

For seven years, Mauch was the commander of James M. Keller Camp 648 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He stepped down as commander last year. In 2004, angered by the city of Hot Springs' refusal to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln displayed in the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, the Keller Camp hosted a conference in Hot Springs called "Seminar on Abraham Lincoln — Truth vs. Myth," with a keynote address called "Homage to John Wilkes Booth."

Mauch said that he believes Lincoln didn't follow the Constitution. Of the statue of Lincoln in the convention center, Mauch said: "I didn't think it had any place down in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He wasn't friendly to Arkansas. He didn't have anything to do with Arkansas. Nobody in Arkansas voted for him."

A prolific writer of letters to the editor (Garland County Democratic Party chair George Hozendorf said one of the only things he knew about Mauch was that he recalled a letter to the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record in which Mauch advocated for enlarging the controversial Confederate flag and Confederate soldier statue at the fork of Central and Ouachita Avenues), Mauch took pen in hand in 2008 during the controversy stirred up by Huntsville businessman James Vandiver's decision to respond to the election of Barack Obama by flying a Confederate battle flag in front of his motel.

"The government has lost its moral authority over God-fearing Americans," Mauch wrote to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "I wish more patriots like James Vandiver would take their stand for what the Confederate Battle Flag truly symbolizes."

When asked what the Confederate flag symbolizes, Mauch said: "It's a symbol of constitutional government. It's a symbol of Jesus Christ above all else. It's a symbol of Biblical government."

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s profiles of the League of The South, which calls for Whites to “establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities,” and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which has ties to extremist groups such as the League and the Council of Conservative Citizens, reveal their radical underpinnings. The SPLC has documented the Southern Republican politicians who have ties to such racist groups, and Mauch appears to be the latest example of a politician who views the Southern Confederacy with nostalgia and praises its history with religious fervor and nationalistic devotion.

How Many Crossroads Must a Man Walk Down?

One of the most frequently used rhetorical images at Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" event was the crossroads. Attendees were told urgently and repeatedly by Beck and others that America is at a crossroads, that everyone has to make a big, historic, important decision to save America – right now! Do it!

But since this was Beck’s “non-political” event, he couldn’t say the big choice or big crossroads had anything to do with the 2010 or 2012 elections, on which Tea Party activists are intensely focused.
He said his rally was not about politics but God, about “turning back to the values and principles that made us great.” He told people how to pray and how much money to give to their churches. And he demanded they make that big choice, whatever it is.
 
Here are just a few of the very many crossroads to which Beck led his followers. None of them seem likely to be clear or focused enough to spark the national transformation Beck promised from this rally:
 
“America is at a crossroads and we must decide.  Are those words that Abraham Lincoln spoke and they have no relevance or meaning on us today?”
 
“America is at a crossroads and today we must decide who we are, what is it we believe. We must advance or perish. I choose advance.”
 
“America is at a crossroads and there is a clear and simple choice. Do we choose to just look at the scars, do we choose to look back, or do we do what every great generation has done in America in times of trouble: look ahead, dream about what we’re going to become, not worried about what we are, look forward, look west, look to the heavens, look to God, and make your choice.”
 
“My challenge to you today is to make a choice. Does America go forward and the American experience expands, or does the experiment fail with us?”
 
Beck repeatedly urged everyone in the crowd to “grab your stick,” a reference to his earlier description of Moses as “a guy with a stick.”   With all due respect, Glenn, Moses gave his people clearer instructions.

FRC's GOTV Efforts Get Under Way

I can always tell when election season is approaching because the Family Research Council releases a series of web ads featuring a very serious Tony Perkins explaining why it is imperative for Christians to vote.

And FRC has now released its latest batch, which I will sum up for you so that you don't have to waste your time watching them:

Thomas Jefferson thought life was important, which means you should vote against abortion:

You've never heard of John Witherspoon, but he'd want you to vote only for Christians:

I've taken a knee outside the Washington Monument to tell you that George Washington supports our agenda:

Our fight against abortion and gays makes us just like Abraham Lincoln:

If you don't vote and vote properly, then our Founding Fathers all died in vain:

Do Not Underestimate The Right's Opposition to Gov. Daniels' Truce

Several weeks ago, Gov. Mitch Daniels set off a firestorm when he suggested calling a truce in the culture wars in order to focus the nation on addressing economic and security issues. 

Needless to say, that suggestion did not sit well with the Religious Right, since fighting culture war issues is their main priority.  But eventually the story ran its course and the attacks on Daniels subsided as everyone involved moved on to other issues. 

Or so we thought ... but apparently the Family Research Council is still upset about it since FRC Senior Fellow Robert Morrison just wrote an op-ed attacking Daniels once again that ran in the Indianapolis Star

Daniels' supporters had been defending him on the grounds that he has a solid pro-life conservative record and thus he could get away with calling for a truce because nobody could question his credentials.  But it looks like that is not the case, as Morrison slams Daniels for allowing Planned Parenthood to host a fundraiser in the Governor's mansion and slams his "blinkered view [of] prosperity [with] no moral foundation": 

What Mitch Daniels missed in his call for a "truce" in the culture clash -- a call he has adamantly repeated in recent days -- is that we can no more be quiet about the slaughter of innocents than we can about the plundering of the next generation's hopes for prosperity.

Planned Parenthood hosted a fundraiser in the Indiana governor's residence. No pro-life governor would allow that. If we accept that, how can we complain when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius invites the grisliest of partial-birth abortionists to her governor's mansion? Is it somehow OK because Daniels is a Republican?

...

The Republicans have ever been a party of enterprise. This is not wrong. Abraham Lincoln believed passionately in "the right to rise." He unleashed great engines of wealth production in the form of new inventions and a trans-continental railroad. Even with the tragedy and destruction of the Civil War, American industry and agriculture prospered.

But what saved Lincoln's new Republican Party from being dismissed as advocates only for "Golden Calf" politics -- a soulless worship of great wealth -- was its basic commitment to human dignity, to the right of every man to eat the bread his own hands had earned.

Daniels misses all this. He does not understand that human life is the basis for all wealth. President Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine was not just a cutoff of federal funds from the death-dealing minions of Planned Parenthood. It was importantly that, but much, much more.

Reagan's Mexico City Doctrine boldly declared that human creativity and human procreativity were the indispensable sources of all wealth. Every farmer knows you cannot prosper if you eat the seed corn ... We know that where there is no vision the people perish. With Mitch Daniels' blinkered view, the perishing will continue apace, and prosperity will have no moral foundation.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Peter LaBarbera continues his crusade against Jim Daly and Focus on the Family.
  • Ted Nugent loves Sarah Palin.
  • And Sarah Palin loves Glenn Beck.
  • Will you help restore Stephen Baldwin?
  • You know what book I won't be reading? "The Wildmons of Mississippi: A Story of Christian Dissent."
  • At least one newspaper is dropping Star Parker's syndicated column now that she is running for Congress.  Will others follow suit?
  • Mat Staver explains that Charlie Crist's moderation destroyed his political career.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Rep. Mike Pence on the need for the GOP to diversify its base:  "In my judgment there may be no higher priority for Republicans in the 21st century then to return to that Abraham Lincoln, Jack Kemp vision that at the very center of everything we are as Republicans is the principle of equality of opportunity."

A Slightly Less Intolerant Rick Santorum?

CBS News profiles former Senator Rick Santorum as he mulls over the idea of making a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 despite the fact that, just four years ago he was voted out of office in Pennsylvania by 18%.

Interestingly, it looks like Santorum might be trying to downplay his rabidly anti-gay history, even going so far as to try and distance himself from his infamous "man on dog" comment:

In an interview, Santorum said he was hurt by the reaction to his comments and insisted he had been mischaracterized. His interviewer, he said, had engaged in a "hatchet job" that clouded the fact that he was simply making a legal argument that "if the court created a right that sexual activity was all based on consent, then consent can be consent to do anything." Santorum said his focus was not on gay sexual activity specifically, and went on to stress his work to fight AIDS worldwide.

(In an e-mailed statement, Associated Press Media Relations Manager Jack Stokes said, "Our story was accurate then, and it has withstood the passage of time." You can see a transcript of the interview here.)

That isn't to say Santorum, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, has exactly changed course. But he does seem to want to avoid controversy. Asked about his position on homosexuality, Santorum said, "I have no problem from a public policy point of view with homosexuality."

Asked about his personal feelings on the subject, Santorum said, carefully, "I have personal feelings on a lot of things." He added that people have a right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home. "There are things that people do that I think are good, there are things that are bad, that really doesn't matter much," he stated.

But while Santorum might be trying to sound a bit less intolerant when it comes to gays, the same cannot be said for his views regarding evolution:

At the same time, Santorum has resisted leftward drift when it comes to the controversial social issues that once made him such a prominent target. Asked about his position on evolution, Santorum requested a definition of the term more than once; he then suggested that the question actually concerned "Darwinism."

"Look, I believe that we were created by God," Santorum said. "That we have a soul. Now, if you can square that with evolution, fine. I don't know. I'm not an expert in evolution. What I can say is that I believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God, that we have a soul, and that we are not just a mistake. A mutation. I think we are something that God put on this earth, and have a divine spark, as Abraham Lincoln said."

"My feeling is the bottom line is I think it's important for society to understand that we are not just animals," he added. "…if we are just animals, and we're no different than any other animal out there, then the world is a very different place. And our expectations of others are very different. And I don't think it's true. And I don't think it's healthy."

Virginia Foxx's "Revisionist History"

For the last several years, we've been chronicling efforts by far-right activists like David Barton and the National Black Republican Association to claim that throughout American history it has been Republicans who have been the champions of civil rights while Democrats were the party of racists and it seems that this idea has now worked its way into the House of Representatives thanks to Rep. Virginia Foxx:

During a debate on the House floor today over designating 21 miles of the Molalla River as “wild and scenic,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who opposes the legislation, tried to claim a progressive environmental record for her party. “Actually, the GOP has been the leader in starting good environmental programs in this country,” said Foxx.

Foxx then extended her claims of the GOP’s progressive history to the issue of civil rights. “Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the ’60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle,” said Fox. “They love to engage in revisionist history.”

A few years back, Barton produced an entire video pushing this idea.  Entitled "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White," Barton's presentation chronicled the decades of oppression and discrimination against Blacks for which Barton claimed the Democrats were entirely responsible, only to suddenly stop with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, completely ignoring the political transformation that overtook the country in its wake and the rise of the Republican Party’s "Southern Strategy" as we explained in our report:

Having been so eager to recount every historical Democratic disgrace, Barton falls silent when it comes to mentioning the split that emerged within the Democratic Party in the 1960s between the growing number who embraced the civil rights movement and those who continued to oppose it. Barton does not mention that President Johnson risked his career and his party’s future to do the right thing, nor does he mention that racist and segregationist southern Democrats left the party and were welcomed by the national Republican Party as part of its “Southern Strategy” to building power. Nor, of course, does he mention a particularly shameful modern-era example of that strategy – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 bid for the presidency with a visit to Philadelphia, Mississippi to declare his support for states’ rights – with no mention of the town’s notoriety as the place where civil rights workers were murdered and townspeople jeered federal investigators.

Even an amateur historian like Barton shouldn’t be able to ignore that sordid history. In fact it’s so well documented that even RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman once openly acknowledged it in the context of his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Party. Mehlman gave an apology of sorts, saying "By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Even President Bush acknowledged that whatever prestige the Republican Party once had with African Americans has been squandered, telling the NAACP on July 20, 2006 that he understands why “many African Americans distrust my political party” and that he considers it “a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party” – admissions which were met with rousing applause from the audience.

But that is nothing compared to the efforts of Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association, who prefers flat out lying about it:

The 30-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party began in the 1970s with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy," which was an effort on the part of Nixon to get Christians in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were still discriminating against their fellow Christians who happened to be black.

As we asked once before:

The obvious question raised by all of this is not why the Democrats are reluctant to discuss it, but why right-wingers who are obsessed with it never manage to explain the so-called “Southern Strategy” employed by Richard Nixon to win over traditional Southern Democrats who were angry by the party’s emerging pro-civil rights positions. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips explained it:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Ronald Regan’s strategist Lee Atwater was even more blunt about the reasoning behind the strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

It's amazing to see this sort of right-wing propaganda being spread on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

Amazing, but sadly not surprising.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • In what is a first, I am linking to a conservative in the daily round-up to highlight David Frum's post wondering just what on earth is wrong with Glenn Beck and Fox News.
  •  

  • Good as You highlights the news that thirty-eight graduates of the West Point Military Academy publicly came out on Monday.
  •  

  • Tips Q notes that OneNewsNow and Peter LaBarbera have responded to the recent reports that Washington, DC has an epidemic of HIV infections by calling on the "government to take action against the homosexual behavior that is spreading the deadly disease."
  •  

  • Sarah Posner reviews two books examining the ministries of a variety of celebrity preachers, including Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, Eddie Long, and Creflo Dollar.
  •  

  • AU reports the Rep. Randy Forbes continues the Right's fight over the Capitol Visitor's Center by introducing a resolution mandating that a Bible owned by President Abraham Lincoln be displayed there and which contains language stating that the “Holy Bible is God’s Word.”
  •  

  • Finally, Steve Benen notes that it might not be all the gaffes that lead to RNC Chair Michael Steele being shown the door, but something much simpler: poor fund-raising.

Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday

Yesterday was the birthday of Lincoln and Darwin, and Virginia GOP chairman Jeff Frederick couldn't pass up the opportunity to go all Cro-Magnon on the father of modern biology.

Frederick obviously put a lot of thought into his assault on evolution and created a foolproof (or so it seemed) plan -- put Darwin up alongside Lincoln and let the people see Darwin for the monster he was.

First he talked about Lincoln; it went haltingly but we got his point:

"Abraham Lincoln is best know (sic), as you all well know, for freeing the slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation affirming in his Gettyburg (sic) Address in 19, I'm sorry, 1863..."

Then on to that bad, bad man:

"Darwin however is best known for the theory of evolution, arguing that men are not only, quote, are only, not, not created, but they are not equal, as some are more evolved... Darwin's theory was used by atheists to explain away the belief in God."

I can only imagine what this guy has up his sleeve for Galileo's birthday, but it's really a shame that Frederick knows so little, perhaps nothing, about the man he's attacking.

He could have learned a lot from this recent piece marking Darwin's bicentennial:

"While many of his contemporaries approved of slavery, Darwin did not. He came from a family of ardent abolitionists, and he was revolted by what he saw in slave countries[.] 'It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.'"

But anyone who's familiar with Frederick knows that this kind of thing is par for the course -- Karen Tumulty captured him in his element last fall:

He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." [...] "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born."

It's pretty clear in which direction Frederick is taking the Virginia GOP. No wonder the party has continued to lose ground under his tenure.

But maybe I'm being too hard on Frederick. He is after all facing a strong challenge to his chairmanship from this gentleman:

[Note to interested readers: you too can look like the guy above by shopping here]

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abraham lincoln Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/28/2011, 2:00pm
Yesterday WallBuilders' Rick Green, the poor man's David Barton, appeared as a guest on TBN's "Praise The Lord" program to promote and share the patented brand of Religious Right pseudo-history with which WallBuilders is synonymous. And Green had some stiff competition in the regard as host Kirk Cameron - yes, that one - tried to stump the audience with a trick question by asking if they knew the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and which one contained the phrase "four score and seven years ago."  The answer, of... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 10/12/2011, 10:04am
As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 10/06/2011, 12:03pm
David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.   Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 11:09am
Back in July, we reported Lou Engle’s prophesy that the deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, was God’s punishment for legal abortion. This week, Engle got together with Rick Joyner of The Oak Initiative to promote The Call: Detroit with Transformation Michigan, an affiliate of The Oak Initiative. They took advantage of their time together to make a video discussing Engle’s Joplin prophesy. In the video, Engle tells Joyner that he received a message in a dream that President Obama has the potential to be the next Abraham Lincoln if he bans abortion through his very own "... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/08/2011, 9:51am
Ryan Lizza has a long profile in the new issue of The New Yorker in which he explains that "Bachmann's views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians" and that "her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature." As Lizza explains, one of the people who played a key role in shaping Bachmann's views was John Eidsmoe, her professor at Oral Roberts Univeristy:  At Oral Roberts, Bachmann worked for a professor... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 4:17pm
The far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization, which hosted a panel at CPAC on immigration featuring Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and former Reps. Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode, is now promoting the Confederacy’s 150th Anniversary and “Anglo-Celtic” pride. William L. Houston of YWC attended a ceremony commemorating Jefferson Davis’s inauguration, and discussed the need for ethnic and historical pride among the “native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South.” He went on to say that the federal government both under Lincoln and Obama are... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/22/2011, 4:17pm
The far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization, which hosted a panel at CPAC on immigration featuring Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and former Reps. Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode, is now promoting the Confederacy’s 150th Anniversary and “Anglo-Celtic” pride. William L. Houston of YWC attended a ceremony commemorating Jefferson Davis’s inauguration, and discussed the need for ethnic and historical pride among the “native Anglo-Celtic population of the American South.” He went on to say that the federal government both under Lincoln and Obama are... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/31/2011, 2:44pm
A few weeks back, Rick Santorum made news when he declared it "almost remarkable for a black man" like President Obama to be in favor of reproductive choice because, in the Religious Right worldview, abortion is just like slavery. But in case that tortured analogy was not clear enough, right-wing Indiana talk show host Peter Heck has penned a column that has been posted on the AFA's OneNewsNow claiming that Obama's support for reproductive choice means he is an enemy of the likes of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln and is therefore a disgrace... MORE >