Alan Sears

Truth In Action Ministries Cites Bogus Jefferson Quote To Refute Separation Of Church And State

Truth in Action Ministries, a purveyor of incendiary “documentaries” that explore our country’s apparent slide into anti-Christian moral turpitude, is back to warn us that Christians are now an increasingly persecuted minority in America.

Watch highlights of the film here:

Hosted by conservative activists Jerry Newcombe and John Rabe, the group’s most recent film, “We the People: Under Attack,” is a field guide to how “activist judges” are restricting religious liberties and the freedom of speech, and includes appearances from right-wing figures such as Herb Titus, Phyllis Schlafly, Carrie Severino and Alan Sears.

The subject of scorn in “We the People” is the federal judiciary, seen as a rogue branch of government with a revisionist interpretation of the Constitution. Newcombe warns that “our country is under attack by activist judges, including some on our nation’s Supreme Court.”

The separation of church and state is framed as both a slap in the face to Christians and a subversion of the will of our Founding Fathers, and Titus laments that the U.S. government doesn’t strictly adhere to the Ten Commandments and the Bible in its public policy. Rabe breathlessly reports that “in recent decades, the federal judiciary has instituted abortion on demand, overturned limits on partial-birth abortion, silenced voluntary prayer in schools and discovered a so-called ‘right to sodomy’ in the constitution.”

Newcombe argues that recent decisions by the Supreme Court defy the Constitution’s purportedly religious themes, and relays this quote by Thomas Jefferson to prove that even he believed in mixing religion with government:

No nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man, and I as chief magistrate of this nation am bound to give it the sanction of my example.

One slight caveat, however: this quote appears absolutely nowhere in any of Jefferson’s writings or records of his speeches, and first materialized in 1857, decades after Jefferson died. Looks like Newcombe will have to find more fake quotes from the nation’s founders to prove his point. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/15/13

  • CBN correspondent David Brody warns “evangelicals all across the country may start walking away from the GOP” if Republicans aren’t “willing to take a stand for traditional marriage.” 
  • Liberty Counsel’s Steve Crampton claims that gay marriage will “lead to the disintegration of the family” and that “when the history of this administration is written, it will be recorded that its deception and aggressive advocacy on this issue were among the most destructive actions of any administration in the history of our nation.” 
  • Scott Lively urges lawmakers not “to arm militant ‘gay’ social engineers with legal weapons to hunt down and destroy the lives of people of faith.” 
  • Jim Garlow predicts that marriage equality will have “horrific” consequences including the abolition of the First Amendment.
  • Alan Sears of the Alliance Defending Freedom, while quoting Martin Luther King Jr., calls for prayers against same-sex marriage. 

Prop 8 Defenders Call For 'National Day to Pray for Marriage'

Back when the fight over Proposition 8 first started working it way through the legal system, the folks over at Liberty Counsel tried to force their way onto the case of concern that the ProtectMarriage.com legal team in general, and the Alliance Defense Fund specifically, were doing a poor job of defending the amendment.

They did such a poor job, in fact, that after the amendment was ruled unconstitutional by Judge Vaughn Walker, Liberty Counsel dedicated most of its press release to attacking the ADF's handling of the case.

ADF continues to be deeply involved in the legal efforts to defend Prop. 8, but after their efforts were thwarted yet again earlier this month, it looks like the organization is looking for all the help it can get as ADF President Alan Sears is now calling for a "National Day to Pray for Marriage":

I hope you will make plans to take an active part in the National Day to Pray for Marriage on February 26, praying with other concerned Americans coast to coast about this critical issue. We know that a day of unified, focused prayer for marriage can and will have a powerful impact on this case – and on the future of marriage – and marriages – nationwide. Please join us, and spread the word about this special day to your friends, neighbors, and fellow church members. May God bless and grant our petitions, and accomplish what only He can in the hearts of our nation’s judges.

ADF has even released a prayer guide [PDF] with suggestions of goals and court cases for which to pray:

The institution of Marriage is under severe attack in our culture today. Will you join in a nationwide day of unified, focused prayer for Marriage in America?

There are many ways you can be in prayer for marriage on this special day. This is merely a guide to help you, and your church, as you go before the Lord in prayer for marriage.

Praise God for the impact of Marriage:

• Thank Him for how marriage refines our character, creates stable community for the birth and nurture of children, and unites men & women in an enduring whole-life union.

• Thank Him for giving the distinct, irreplaceable gifts a mom and a dad each uniquely bring to children, through marriage.

Pray for the marriages in your community:

• For healing, restoration, and divine protection over the relationships between husbands and wives in your church, neighborhood, and among your friends and family.

• That Christians will hold fast to the Biblical truth about marriage and boldly stand up for children, who are most protected and impacted by marriage.

Pray for the future of Marriage:

• For the nation to uphold the truth that marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of society and the best environment for raising children.

• For Americans to remember the damage already done to marriage in our society, and how that has hurt children.

Pray for God’s design for sex and sexuality in Marriage:

• Pray for sexual purity; that sex will be reserved for marriage, and celebrated in marriage.

• Pray for those hurting and suffering from going outside of God’s plan for sexuality.

• Pray for sexual fidelity and faithfulness between husbands and wives.

• Pray for children’s innocence to be protected from false sexual indoctrination in schools.

Pray for victory in the lawsuits and legislation that threatens to undermine Marriage:

• Perry v. Brown – a lawsuit to redefine marriage by creating same-sex “marriage.”

• Bishop v. United States – a lawsuit to overturn our nation’s highest law about marriage.

• Brown v. Utah – a lawsuit to legally recognize polygamy.

Alliance Defense Fund To Launch Law School Aimed At Creating "Liberal Chaser" Attorneys

Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers.

Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent University School of Law’s (originally Oral Roberts University’s Coburn School of Law) alliance with the American Center for Law and Justice. As Sarah Posner notes, such law schools intend to “teach the ‘biblical’ foundations of the law” and create “lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.”

According to the National Law Journal, the new law school “is named for Paul Pressler III, a former Texas Court of Appeals judge who helped lead the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1970s.”

The founding dean of the Pressler law school, J. Michael Johnson, was previously senior counsel of the ADF and, according to his Townhall.com bio, has “provided legal representation to organizations such as Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Toward Tradition, the American Family Association, and Coral Ridge Ministries, and numerous family policy councils and crisis pregnancy centers.” In 2005, Johnson won the “Faith, Family and Freedom” award from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for his work defending the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.

Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Perkins, who is a member of Pressler’s board of reference, spoke to Johnson about the new law school. Johnson said the law school would be “not unlike what our colleagues are doing at the Liberty University School of Law and the Regent University School of Law.” Perkins said, “This law school’s not going to be pumping out ambulance chasers, this is going to be pumping out liberal chasers, I mean we’re gonna track them down, wherever they are and we’re gonna defeat them, and if we can’t defeat them in the policy realm we’re gonna defeat them in the courts.” He added, “This law school is gonna be pumping out God-fearing, American-loving, family-defending attorneys”:

The choice of Louisiana College is no surprise. The school claims it “seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline” and believes “academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.”

In 2008 the school barred members of the Christian LGBT group Soul Force from appearing on campus. In his decision to bar the group, the college’s president cited a fake James Madison quote propagated by David Barton, which states that the U.S. government was based on “the Ten Commandments.”

Now David Barton is serving on the board of the law school.

Along with Perkins and Barton, Religious Right leaders on the board include Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, Alveda King of Priests for Life, Religious Right luminary Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Kelly Shackleford of the Liberty Institute and Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese. Republican politicians including Reps. Rodney Alexander and John Fleming, former congressman Bob McEwen, and senatorial candidate and Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are also on the board.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Twice-divorced, thrice-married Newt Gingrich has been confirmed as a speaker for the FRC's Values Voter Summit.
  • The Traditional Values Coalition, of all groups, opposes "Burn a Quran Day."
  • David Barton, Rick Green, and Tom DeLay go on and on about how poor DeLay was the victim of a partisan witch-hunt because he was such an awesome Congressman and Christian.
  • Focus on the Family is outraged that George Soros donated $100 million to the "Anti-Family, Anti-Faith Group" Human Rights Watch.
  • I genuinely have no idea what the point of this Catholic League press release is supposed to be.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund: "Judges and politicians can ignore all the legal and constitutional standards they want to ram the homosexual political agenda down our throats. But they will never make the actions at the base of that agenda anything but a sin—and like any other sin, its indulgence brings only misery, for individuals, and for a nation."

The Right's New Manhattan Project

It seems that Chuck Colson has gathered together a group of right-wing activists and clergy for something called the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" in order to create a unified front in fighting the culture war

The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders. They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues.

For some reason, the headline of the New York Times article is "Christian Leaders Unite on Political Issues" instead of "Right Wing Activists Unite On Political Issues," which would have been far more accurate considering that a significant number of those who signed on to this declaration are standard Religious Right political activists:

Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, VA)

Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)

Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York, NY)

Dinesh D’Souza Writer & Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)

Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA)

Maggie Gallagher President, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a co-author of The Case for Marriage (Manassas, VA)

Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, WA)

Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, MD)

Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, DC)

Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA)

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)

Alan Sears President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ)

Mark Tooley President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)

The Declaration can be found here:

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.

Mark Your Calendars

Prepare yourself, because the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Values, and the Alliance Defense Fund announced that they will be hosting a follow-up to last year’s “Values Voters Summit.”

Apparently not only are they committed to mobilizing their activists for 2008, they are also hoping to influence the primaries as well, which would explain why they’ve scheduled the event a full year in advance of the actual election:

FRC Action President Tony Perkins and cosponsors Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Alan Sears will once again be joined by a distinguished line-up of speakers addressing grassroots leaders from across the country.

"This event is a call to action for voter participation, education and training and a rallying event for people who want to transform the political landscape on issues such as the sanctity of life and marriage, religious freedom, health care, radical Islam, judicial activism, immigration reform, geopolitics, the media and much more," said FRC Action President Tony Perkins.

But more importantly, the organizers state that “this year, all 2008 presidential hopefuls and a number of noteworthy conservative leaders will be invited to speak.” 

Does that include Democratic candidates?  That remains to be seen.  

Rest assured, we’ll be keeping an eye on developments to see just which “presidential hopefuls” agree to join the likes of James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer at this year’s summit.  

Religious Right Claims Hate-Crimes Law an Attack on Christianity

With the reintroduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the House and the prospect that it may pass in a Democratic Congress, religious-right groups are waging a sizeable campaign to portray the bill as part of a mythical persecution of Christians. Although hate-crimes laws expand penalties for violent crimes causing bodily injury or death (as well as attempts through firearms and explosives), the Religious Right is labeling them “thought crimes” laws the “only effect” of which “is to gag people of faith.” Although federal law has punished hate crimes based on race for more than a decade, the Religious Right is incensed at the prospect of using the law to protect gays as well.

This reaction follows a pattern of asserting that gay rights – or a so-called “homosexual agenda” – will lead to the “repression” of religion in America, an anti-gay marketing effort typified by last year’s “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, where speakers from Mitt Romney to Tony Perkins claimed that, in the words of Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, “The homosexual agenda and [freedom of] religion are on a collision course.” “They know they must silence the church,” warned Perkins. At that time, the issue was same-sex marriage; the co-sponsor of the federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), said that “"If we have gay marriage, our religious liberties are gone!”

Values Voter Summit: Anti-Gay Activists Warn of Repression of Religion

On the first day of the Values Voter Summit, speakers discussed embryonic stem-cell research (Sen. Brownback: "If you research and you kill a human at that stage [embryo], that human doesn't have a rest of a life"), abortion (Bishop Wellington Boone: African Americans are an "endangered species" because of "black genocide" through abortion), and the war on terror (James Dobson, ever conscious of upcoming elections: "I really see that as a family issue"). But by far the greatest emphasis was placed on the supposed dangers of the "homosexual agenda."

While some speakers, such as Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), asserted that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is a "foundational value" upon which America is built, and others proclaimed the unfitness of gays to be parents (Jennifer Giroux of Citizens for Community Values: "The ultimate child abuse is placing a child in a gay home"), many speakers pushed the notion of a "homosexual agenda" to the limit. Dobson asserted that the goal of advocates of same-sex marriage is to simply "bring down marriage." (Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that the divorce of the Goodridges, named in the Massachusetts case that established marriage equality in the state, proves that point. "That tells you the commitment to the institution of marriage," he said.) Princeton Professor Robert George, architect of the "Princeton Principles" against gay marriage, warned that the "forces arrayed against the conjugal conception of marriage are very powerful ... And they will strike hard."

And, beginning with Romney, speakers warned that equality for gays will lead to "repression" of Christians. "The homosexual agenda and [freedom of] religion are on a collision course," said Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, as Perkins added that "They know they must silence the church."

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colorado), sponsor of the federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, said that "If we have gay marriage, our religious liberties are gone!" And Maggie Gallagher, noting the analogy between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement, said that "They're going to have to start enforcing" some kind of "repression," just as there is "a broad array of ways in which the law penalizes, marginalizes, and punishes racial bigots."

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Alan Sears Posts Archive

Ian Silverstone, Wednesday 07/23/2014, 11:14am
Truth in Action Ministries, a purveyor of incendiary “documentaries” that explore our country’s apparent slide into anti-Christian moral turpitude, is back to warn us that Christians are now an increasingly persecuted minority in America. Watch highlights of the film here: Hosted by conservative activists Jerry Newcombe and John Rabe, the group’s most recent film, “We the People: Under Attack,” is a field guide to how “activist judges” are restricting religious liberties and the freedom of speech, and includes appearances from right-wing... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/15/2013, 5:45pm
The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer responds to Rob Portman’s announcement by likening gay people to bank robbers.  CBN correspondent David Brody warns “evangelicals all across the country may start walking away from the GOP” if Republicans aren’t “willing to take a stand for traditional marriage.”  Liberty Counsel’s Steve Crampton claims that gay marriage will “lead to the disintegration of the family” and that “when the history of this administration is written, it will be recorded that... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/17/2012, 12:28pm
Back when the fight over Proposition 8 first started working it way through the legal system, the folks over at Liberty Counsel tried to force their way onto the case of concern that the ProtectMarriage.com legal team in general, and the Alliance Defense Fund specifically, were doing a poor job of defending the amendment. They did such a poor job, in fact, that after the amendment was ruled unconstitutional by Judge Vaughn Walker, Liberty Counsel dedicated most of its press release to attacking the ADF's handling of the case. ADF continues to be deeply involved in the legal efforts to defend... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/28/2011, 12:56pm
Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers. Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/08/2010, 5:36pm
Twice-divorced, thrice-married Newt Gingrich has been confirmed as a speaker for the FRC's Values Voter Summit. The Traditional Values Coalition, of all groups, opposes "Burn a Quran Day." David Barton, Rick Green, and Tom DeLay go on and on about how poor DeLay was the victim of a partisan witch-hunt because he was such an awesome Congressman and Christian. Focus on the Family is outraged that George Soros donated $100 million to the "Anti-Family, Anti-Faith Group" Human Rights Watch. I genuinely have no idea what the point of this Catholic... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/20/2009, 10:29am
It seems that Chuck Colson has gathered together a group of right-wing activists and clergy for something called the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" in order to create a unified front in fighting the culture war:  The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/25/2007, 11:15am
Prepare yourself, because the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Values, and the Alliance Defense Fund announced that they will be hosting a follow-up to last year’s “Values Voters Summit.” Apparently not only are they committed to mobilizing their activists for 2008, they are also hoping to influence the primaries as well, which would explain why they’ve scheduled the event a full year in advance of the actual election: FRC Action President Tony Perkins and cosponsors Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Alan Sears will once again be... MORE >
, Thursday 03/29/2007, 6:37pm
With the reintroduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the House and the prospect that it may pass in a Democratic Congress, religious-right groups are waging a sizeable campaign to portray the bill as part of a mythical persecution of Christians. Although hate-crimes laws expand penalties for violent crimes causing bodily injury or death (as well as attempts through firearms and explosives), the Religious Right is labeling them “thought crimes” laws the “only effect” of which “is to gag people of faith.” Although... MORE >