Calvin Beisner

Christian Reconstructionism And The GOP: 'Biblical Justice' vs Social Justice

There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family.

According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional conservatives” who believe, for example, the Constitution does not authorize any federal government role in education.

A stark example of the increasingly indistinct line between conservative Republicans and hard-core Christian Reconstructionists and dominionists (who believe the right kind of Christians are meant to have dominion over every aspect of society) can be found in the recent Republican primary victory of Michael Petrouka in a race for a county council seat in an Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Peroutka believes that any law that runs counter to God’s law is invalid, and that the Maryland General Assembly is itself no longer a valid legislative body. Here’s a concise summation of his approach to government:

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!

This religion-inflected ideological view of government is not relegated to inhabitants of the far-right fringe like Peroutka. David Barton, an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012, claims that the Constitution was drawn directly from the Bible and the sermons of colonial preachers, and that its focus on individual freedom reflects the founders’ theology of individual salvation. In this view, the Tea Party’s belief in a radically limited federal government is not only a question of constitutional interpretation, it is a mandate of Holy Scripture.

Just this month, Barton promoted these views on “Praise the Lord,” the flagship program of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel. “In the Bible, Jesus has a teaching about minimum wage,” Barton said. “In the Bible, Jesus has two teachings on capital gains tax.” The Bible, according to Barton, opposes those taxes as well as estate taxes and progressive income taxes. A flat tax is “what the Bible supports.”

On the same show Barton denounced government spending on welfare. “It’s not the government’s responsibility to take care of the poor and needy,” he said, “it’s the church’s responsibility.”

According to Barton, there are 205 verses in the Bible that instruct the family or church to take care of the poor, but not the government. “The government is told to do only one thing with taking care of the poor and that one thing is to make sure that when the poor come into court they get justice. That’s the only thing government is told….What we’re doing right now is for the first time in America we have ignored what the Bible says, the Bible says you don’t work, you don’t eat.” He went on to say that people “not having to work and getting free money…violates everything the Bible tells us” about dealing with the poor.

These themes are repeated in Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel, a booklet published last year by the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance. The booklet, written by Cornwall’s Calvin Beisner (according to him, at the request of the Family Research Council), was distributed at last month’s “Road to Majority” conference, which was organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

The premise of the booklet is that “social justice” is contrary to “Biblical justice.” If that sounds familiar, you may be recalling Glenn Beck’s diatribes against “social justice” a few years ago, when he urged people to leave their church if its website included the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.”

It is wrong, Beisner writes, to try to mitigate inequality “through force of government.” Why? “Because God ordained the state to dispense justice, and the church to dispense grace.” According to Beisner, giving someone “unearned” benefits is grace, not justice. People should graciously serve the poor, he writes. “But if care for the needy is made a matter of justice to the needy rather than to God, then grace becomes law. Then, the needy—and those who merely profess to be needy—may claim the benefits of grace as their due by justice.”

In other words, government has no right to tax someone in order to help feed someone else.

That is a widely shared belief on the Religious Right. Speakers at Religious Right conferences like Reed’s June event, and Republican Members of Congress, can be heard justifying cuts in food stamps with an appeal to the Bible passage that David Barton quoted on TBN. That verse, depending on your translation, says something like “he who will not work shall not eat.”

Reps. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee cited that verse last year. Fincher said, “The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.” In equating taxation for social services with theft, Fincher echoes Barton, Beisner, and others. (In context, by the way, the work-to-eat verse referred to early Christians who were so confident of the imminent return of Christ that they quit doing anything.)

Poor people turning to the government, Beisner writes in his anti-social-justice booklet, results in “the stultifying effects of wealth redistribution by the coercive power of the state.” Even worse, he says, “it blinds [poor people] to their deepest need: the grace of God offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is another theme of the Republican Party’s right wing. Sharron Angle, the GOP’s 2010 Senate nominee in Nevada, said during her campaign that entitlement programs are “idolatry” because they “make government our God.” Farris Wilks, the Texas fracking billionaire who gives huge amounts to the Heritage Foundaiton and other right-wing groups, declares that “the Torah is set up on the free enterprise system” and that “Yahweh never intended for us as a people to be afraid and reliant on government.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation, says “the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets.

Heritage is just one of the institutions working to make right-wing economics an article of faith just like opposition to gay rights and abortion. The Freedom Federation, one of the many right-wing entities created in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, brings both "mainstream" and fringe Religious Right groups together with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Freedom Federation’s “Declaration of American Values” includes not only the expected rhetoric about traditional values, but also opposition to progressive taxation.

John Lofton, a right-wing pundit, is the spokesperson for Republican county council candidate Peroutka, and for Peroutka’s Christian Reconstructionist Institute on the Constitution, which has trained Tea Party activists on the biblical basis of the Constitution. Lofton has spoken on “God and Government” at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. In 2012, in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, Lofton wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God’s Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church – God’s people – to provide this help and NOT government.”

Tea Party? Religious Right? GOP? Or all of the above?

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/10/14

  • Rick Santorum's movie studio and the American Family Association have teamed up to make a movie about "the erosion of America's religious freedoms."
  • FRC's Connor Headrick explains "Why It's OK to Let the Bible Guide Your Politics."
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt wants a future president to reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell: "When they repealed don't ask, don't tell, they technically went back to the older policy where the commander-in-chief has the power to make that decision. So if a commander-in-chief were courageous, he could issue an executive order and return to the 1980s' ban when homosexuality was absolutely outlawed under the UCMJ. So it would not take an act of Congress – just one courageous president."
  • Lloyd Marcus, Chairman of Conservative Campaign Committee, says that "because Obama is black, Americans suffer and die."
  • Finally, a typically smart point from Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance: "The hypocrisy of those who supported the EPA's efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the name of children's health while supporting members of Congress who support abortion on demand is palpable and disgusting."

Beisner Explains Why Environmentalism Represents the 'Greatest Threat to Western Civilization'

Yesterday, Dr. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Mefferd's radio program where he explained that the modern environmental movement represents "the greatest threat to Western civilization" because it combines "the utopian vision of Marxism, the scientific facade of secular humanism, and the religious fanaticism of jihad" into a pseudo-religion that undermines Christianity:

Mefferd: That seems like, maybe to some people, like hyperbole Dr. Beisner, but why do you think that that's the case?

Beisner: Well, let me just give you four simple, direct reasons.

First, because unlike the Soviet Union and its satellites in the Cold War and unlike Islamic jihad today which were, or are, external and clearly recognized as enemies by the overwhelming majority of people in the free world, environmentalism is internal and thought by most to be friend, not foe.

Second, because unlike arid and nihilistic secular humanism, environmentalism speaks to the inherent spiritual yearnings of human souls and it provides plausible answers to dogged questions about how we got here and what causes suffering and how suffering might come to an end.

Third, because environmentalism incorporates the strengths of all three of those other threats: the utopian vision of Marxism, the scientific facade of secular humanism, and the religious fanaticism of jihad.

And fourth, finally, because environmentalism encompasses all the vague spiritualities that have frankly overwhelmed secular humanism in the West and now threaten the Christian faith as so many people now take to referring to themselves as "oh well, I'm spiritual but not religious," which basically means they are all involved in designer religion.

Fischer & Beisner Say That Not Using Fossil Fuels is an Insult to God

Earlier this month, the Religious Right's favorite climate change-denying "expert," Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, appeared on American Family Radio where he declared that believing in climate change "is an insult to God."  Yesterday, when he joined Bryan Fischer on "Focal Point" for yet another discussion about the "myth" of global warming, both he and Fischer declared that failure to use coal, oil, and natural gas is an insulting rejection of the gifts that God has given to us - gifts which, incidentally, He buried deep in the earth because He delights in our search for and discovery of them:

Beisner: Belief in Climate Change 'is an Insult to God'

Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance is the Religious Right's favorite anti-climate change "expert" despite the fact that his academic credentials are limited to a doctorate in Scottish History.  While appearing on AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program today, Beisner provided the most concise explanation of why Christians cannot believe in climate change when he declared that the entire theory rests on the assumption that the earth is an extremely fragile place, which conflicts with the Biblical view that the earth was built by God for man's use.

Therefore, to believe in climate change "really is an insult to God" ... and it will eventually lead to tyranny:

Beisner: Hurricane Sandy was Sent By God as 'a Matter of Grace'

Today on "Focal Point,"  Bryan Fischer brought on Dr. Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance to discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy.  Beisner, who received his doctorate in Scottish History, is the Religious Right's favorite climate change "expert" primarily because his entire agenda is rooted in the belief that environmentalism is a religion that is out to destroy Christianity.

Back in 2011, after a massive tornado devastated parts of Missouri and killed more than 300 people, Beisner claimed that it was sent as "a little taste" of God's judgment, which is a claim he reiterated this time around, saying that through Hurricane Sandy, God is alerting mankind that "there is an eternity of suffering ahead" for those who do not repent and is therefore really "a matter of grace."  That prompted Fischer to declare that Americans now need to "search our hearts, we need to go before God, we need to fast and pray to see if we can understand why we may be, at this time, the object of God's wrath": 

Truth in Action Ministries: America Becoming a 'Lawless' Nation Due to Gay Rights

A recent film released by Truth in Action Ministries, entitled Why Christians left the Political Arena, implores evangelicals to remain politically engaged. Featuring activists Calvin BeisnerWayne Grudem and Rick Scarborough along with an eminent montage of gay rights, pro-choice, and environmental activists, the film decries any separation between religion and public policy. It implies that if a truly observant Christian is to obey the commands of Jesus, they must advocate for laws that “protect” marriage, and warns that God will hold us accountable for “how we have acted in responsibility towards influencing government.”

Truth in Action Ministries has previously embraced anti-gay activists who have likened homosexuality to “slavery” and warned that “moral chaos” was inevitable due to “liberal secular people” marginalizing religious people in the public arena.

Watch:

Beisner: Law plays a proper function in curtailing sin. So, we have a responsibility to seek to use laws to retrain the outward sinful conduct of people, even where we can’t use them, we never can use them, to change people’s hearts.

Grudem: If I truly love my neighbor I want laws that will protect my neighbor’s marriage, that will give good education to neighbor, that will protect my neighbor’s health and well-being, and economic well-being, so government doesn’t steal everything from us. I think it is a way of obeying Jesus’ command ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

...

Scarborough: If pastors don’t get involved in confronting the moral issues of our day, biblically, we will soon digress into becoming a lawless nation. And frankly, we’re on the very edge of that right as we speak. Our country is becoming an amoral country because so many preachers have withdrawn from the culture completely.

Beisner: There is no part of life that is neutral, to which Christ doesn’t say “it’s mine”. No part of life. And there is no neutrality on any moral issue whatsoever. And all of life is religious.

Grudem: The bible does tell us that God will hold us accountable for how we act. I think that includes all of life and certainly it includes how we have acted in responsibility towards influencing government.

Fischer and Beisner Praise Ryan's 'Biblical View of the Environment'

American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today was joined by pro-corporate, anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner on Focal Point to discuss Rep. Paul Ryan’s egregious record on environmental protection. The two celebrated his votes against the EPA and climate change legislation as signs that he has a “sane, objective and biblical or evangelical understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. “Paul Ryan seems to get it,” Fischer said, and Beisner applauded Ryan’s voting record “fits well with the biblical understanding” of the environment, which for them means that there should be few if any restrictions on environmental exploitation. Later, Beisner repeated his bogus charge that increased carbon dioxide levels and climate change will help the environment and the poor.

Watch:

Fischer: It seems like we’ve got another clear differential when it comes to a sane, objective and biblical or evangelical understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. Paul Ryan seems to get ii and the other team doesn’t. So that would be potentially very good news for those of us that care about seeing a biblical view of the environment in public policy.

Beisner: Yes it would. Ryan’s understanding I think fits well with the biblical understanding that God made man in His image to be creative and productive as He is, to fill and to rule the earth. Not to abuse the earth, not to rape the land so to speak as many environmentalists talk, but rather to increase its fruitfulness, its beauty and its safety to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors. I think that really underlies the comments that Ryan has made on these issues through the years and it comes I think from his solidly Christian worldview background.



Beisner: Most Americans do not see any real purpose in tight restrictions on CO2 admissions. Many Americans actually remembered what they learned way back in seventh and eighth grade biology class, mainly that carbon dioxide is plant food. So the more of that there is in the air the more the crops grow and the cheaper the food is around the world, this actually helps especially the poor.

Cal Beisner Rallies the Troops to Fight the 'Spiritual World War'

The Cornwall Alliance's Cal Beisner returned to Janet Parshall's radio program yesterday to continue their anti-environmentalism collaborations and promote his latest effort called In His Image 2012 which seeks to "completely reshape the way Americans, and then people around the world, think of human beings and our role on Earth – to reassert the sanctity of human life and sexuality, the beauty and centrality of marriage, the goodness of human multiplication, and the dignity of human work and godly dominion over the Earth."

As Beisner explained, this new effort is necessary to help Christians understand that Judeo-Christian civilization is facing a "spiritual world war" being waged by proponents of Darwinsim, gay rights, and environmentalism, all of which are "rooted in the rejection of the fundamental Biblical doctrines of God and humanity":

This is the launch of what we intend to be a multi-year educational program to help people to understand what are the common roots behind a lot of the challenges that the Christian faith and frankly the whole Judeo-Christian civilization faces.

Whether it's naturalistic Darwinism with the eugenics and population control and government family-planning programs that come out of it with coerced sterilization and abortion and euthanasia. Or free-sex, no-fault divorce, gender confusion, homosexual so-called marriage, polygamy and polyamory. Or radical environmentalism, animal rights, ecosystem rights and Gaia worship. Or the war on abundant, affordable, reliable energy. Or ever-tightening environmental regulations at federal and state levels. Or eco-imperialist rules that are forced on poor nations, and more.

What we recognize is that all of these are rooted in the rejection of the fundamental biblical doctrines of God and humanity. All these different threats are not isolated; they're different parts of a spiritual world war. It's not primarily a political war, it's certainly not primarily a military war, it's a spiritual world war and we as Christians have got to recognize that spiritual enemy and then bring spiritual weapons into battle against that.

Beisner: Pixar's 'Brave' is Part of Satanic Plot to Undermine God's Plan for Mankind

Yesterday, Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance was a guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program where he revealed that God had given him an insight that Satan was engaged in a systematic attack against God's mandate for humanity as set out in Genesis 1: 27-28.

As Beisner explained, God's created us in His image and made us male and female and commanded us to "be fruitful and multiply" and take dominion over the earth.  Since Satan cannot attack God directly, he instead attacks God's representatives (mankind) by undermining our beliefs in these very principles, which is why we tolerate things like abortion and homosexuality and environmentalism, all of which are aimed at slowing population growth ... oh, and movies like Pixar's "Brave":

Fischer & Beisner Describe the Doctrines of the Religion of Environmentalism

On Bryan Fischer's radio program yesterday, Fischer and Cal Beisner discussed how environmentalism was becoming the established religion in America. 

How exactly is environmentalism a religion, you ask? Well, as Beisner explained, it has its own doctrines, its own holy day (Earth Day,) its own food taboos, sacrifice rituals (recycling,) paradoxical beliefs, sacred structures (recycling bins,) and it proselytizes.  And, as Fischer added, just like with the early church, heretics (i.e. global warming deniers like Fischer and Beisner) are punished and excommunicated:

Cal Beisner Warns the 'Depraved' Environmental Movement Models itself after Satan

The Religious Right’s favorite anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show In The Market on Monday where he maintained that environmentalists are following the same path as Satan. Ironically, the corporate-allied Beisner lamented the presence of “theft,” “covetousness” and “greed” in society, which he said that along with “sexual perversion” and disobedience were part of “the growing depravity in the United States,” which he of course linked back to the environmental movement. Beisner later used the refrain, used by conservatives from Rick Santorum to David Barton, that efforts toward environmental protection are dislodging God and humanity from their rightful place and is turning the natural order “upside down just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden.”

As I look at the growing depravity in the United States, whether it’s in those things that most of us think about in terms of depravity, sexual perversion and so on, or in those things that people don’t usually think of in those terms but Paul certainly does: theft, disobedience to parents, dishonoring of authorities, covetousness, greed, idolatry. All of these things are signs of the depraved mind to which God gives people over when they choose not to recognize Him. The Cornwall Alliance is trying to call attention to these things to show particularly how they are dominant in the environmentalist movement.



It turns upside down the whole understanding that Scriptures gives us of God, man and the earth. In Scripture, in Genesis 1-3, we see that God is supposed to be in supreme authority, He rules over man, man then rules earth as God’s representative, so hierarchically it’s God, then humanity, then the earth. The environmental movement turns that upside down just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden as he tempted Eve, he wanted Eve to submit her will to a serpent, one of the creatures, and put that serpent over her and God under her, so it becomes earth, then humanity, then God. That happens in the secular movement but frankly, Janet, it increasingly begins to happen among some evangelicals.

Santorum and the 'Green Dragon': Faith-Based Attacks on Environmentalism Nothing New from the Religious Right

Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum raised a lot of eyebrows this weekend when he attacked environmentalism as anti-Biblical and said that President Obama has a “phony theology” that sides with “radical environmentalists” over the Bible. While it was remarkable to hear these theories coming from a major presidential candidate, the theories themselves are nothing new. Instead, Santorum was drawing from a dual line of attack on environmentalists and progressive people of faith that has recently come into wide use among the Religious Right.

In 2010, People For the American Way looked at the concerted right-wing effort to frame environmentalism as anti-Biblical in a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report, The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection . The report took its title from a right-wing “documentary” called “Resisting the Green Dragon,” which featured major Religious Right figures including the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and faux historian David Barton. Kyle put together a highlight reel:

 

The Religious Right’s relatively new antipathy to environmentalism is largely the result of the hard work of E. Calvin Beisner, a purveyor of dominion theology and the leader of The Cornwall Alliance, a group with financial ties to the oil industry. The Cornwall Alliance’s sole purpose is to convince the Religious Right to buy into the Corporate Right’s climate change denialism and help them demonize environmentalists. The RWW report details the growing partnership:

In the last decade, as evangelical Christian leaders increasingly became involved in conservation , “creation care” and taking action against global climate change , the alarms went up in corporate America that many traditional members of the conservative coalition were becoming advocates for environmental protection. To counter the rise of the faith-based environmentalist Evangelical Climate Initiative, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance emerged. The ISA, propped up by business interests including Exxon Mobil , has peddled misleading and false claims to make the case that climate change is a myth. In 2007, the ISA was renamed the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and became more belligerent and zealous in its anti-environmental activities.

The Cornwall Alliance is led by E. Calvin Beisner, who believes that since God granted humans “dominion” over the earth, humans have a right to exploit all natural resources. As Randall Balmer writes in Thy Kingdom Come, Beisner “asserts that God has placed all of nature at the disposal of humanity.” Balmer quotes Beisner’s own summary of his dominion theology: “All of our acquisitive activities should be undertaken with the purpose of extending godly rule, or dominion.” As Balmer notes, “the combination of dominion theology from the Religious Right and the wise use ideology of corporate and business interests has created a powerful coalition to oppose environmental protection.”

According to a report by Think Progress , the Cornwall Alliance is a front group for the shadowy James Partnership. Both the James Partnership and the Cornwall Alliance are closely linked to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an anti-environmental group that is “funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil, $60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations, which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.” CFACT is also part of a climate change denialist network funded by the ExxonMobil-financed Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Beisner is a CFACT board member and an “adjunct fellow” of the Acton Institute , which is primarily funded by groups like ExxonMobil, the Scaife foundations and the Koch brothers. Beisner is also an adviser to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which is financed by the oil-backed Earthart Foundation , the Koch brothers, and ExxonMobil.

In fact, Beisner is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials. Despite claiming to be an authority on energy and environmental issues, he received his Ph.D. in Scottish History.

Beisner has been extraordinarily successful in convincing the Religious Right that environmentalism presents a threat to Christianity. Earlier this month, he told Fischer that the EPA is violating the separation of church and state by helping to promote the upcoming film version of “The Lorax.” Why? Because he claims that environmentalism is itself a religion. This is rhetoric that Santorum, in saying that Obama’s theology is influenced by “radical environmentalists,” has swallowed whole.

Also active in the effort to recruit the Religious Right to the Corporate Right’s view of environmentalism has been David Barton, self-proclaimed historian and all-purpose fake expert. In 2010, he appeared on the Glenn Beck show along with Beisner explain that environmentalists want us to “live in fear”:

Barton -- who is no more a historian than Beisner is a scientist – is a widely influential figure in the Right, cited by prominent figures including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, and who has even been invited to testify before the Senate about climate change.

Santorum’s remarks were so shocking because this is the first time they have been heard on the national political stage – but his talking points on environmentalism and progressive faith have already been polished and accepted as gospel by the movement the Religious Right.

Beisner: EPA Promoting 'The Lorax' Violates the Separation of Church and State

Back in 2010, the Cornwall Alliance released a 12-part DVD series entitled "Resisting the Green Dragon" featuring a who's who of Religious Right leaders attacking environmentalism and warning that it represents a dire threat to Christianity:

Calvin Beisner, the founder of the Cornwall Alliance, has become the Religious Right's favorite "expert" in fighting any environmental effort and a regular guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program, despite the fact that his scientific credentials appear to be limited to possessing a Ph.D. in Scottish History.

Beisner is now complaining that the Environmental Protection Agency is one of many partners involved in promoting the upcoming film "The Lorax" and that, by doing so, the agency is in "violation of the separation of church and state" because Beisner believes that environmentalism is a religion:

The film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax features a tiny, but tenacious creature who "speaks for the trees" and fights industrialism. Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, says this is just one of many films geared toward children to spread such a message.

...

[W]hat really concerns Beisner is the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency is among nearly 70 partners with Universal in promoting the film.

"What you've got there is the mixing of taxpayer dollars into the promotion of a clear ideology that has a particular religious flavor to it," the Cornwall Alliance spokesman concludes. "And frankly, I think that this is a violation of the separation of church and state."

According to Focus on the Family, it's not 'Pro-Life' to Protect Newborns from Mercury Poisoning

Like David Barton, who has no academic training as a historian but is the Religious Right’s point person on American history, Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”

Beisner is especially concerned about growing calls for environmental protection made by evangelical Christians, and has went out of his way to attack groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network for calling on public officials to clamp down on mercury poisoning. Beisner’s outburst against his fellow evangelicals should come as no surprise, as he has even gone after a Koch-financed study which actually confirmed the science behind climate change. He joined Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, whose head Tom Minnery appeared in Beisner’s Green Dragon video series, to disparage the EEN for thanking both Republican and Democratic politicians who supported efforts to reduce mercury emissions:

According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.” Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.”

In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.

“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”

But the Center for Disease control did in fact find that one in six newborns, or 630,000 of the 4 million babies born annually, are “at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother's womb,” which PBS described as mercury levels “so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities and motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.”

This attack on evangelical environmentalists comes at a time when Focus on the Family head Jim Daly pledged to take the organization in a different direction than his predecessor James Dobson, and Christianity Today reported that CitizenLink recently launched “an effort to reach young adults on issues related to sex trafficking, poverty, and the environment.” It also puts the group at odds with the long list of evangelical leaders who signed the “Evangelical Call to Stop The Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn.”

But apparently for Focus on the Family, being “pro-life” does not entail protecting newborns from mercury poisoning.

Beisner Rejects Koch-Funded Study Confirming Climate Change Science

Calvin Beisner is running low on allies in his effort to deny climate change. Beisner, the head of the Cornwall Alliance, is trying to stop other evangelical Christians from supporting efforts to curtail climate change with warnings that scientists are liars and environmental protection will destroy Christianity, promote mass genocide and hurt the poor.

But a recent study sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation that was meant to prove that scientists were twisting data on climate change actually confirmed the science behind climate change. The physicist behind the study, climate skeptic Richard Muller of UC Berkeley, now declares, “Global warming is real.”

Naturally, Beisner is now attacking Muller for practicing bad science. As we reported in our report The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection, Beisner has close ties to oil and gas organizations and climate change denying organizations. Moreover, “Beisner is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials. Despite claiming to be an authority on energy and environmental issues, he received his Ph.D. in Scottish History.”

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics writes in EthicsDaily that Beisner is losing allies fast because “[s]cience and experience are working against them.” Parham writes:

Muller's work debunks the agenda of the Koch Foundation, which helped to underwrite the study. The Koch brothers are climate polluters.

Now, the ice under the global warming deniers and skeptics is thinning as fast as the ice is thinning from climate change in the Arctic.

Disregarding their increasingly precarious position, deniers and skeptics moved quickly to discredit Muller.

Fundamentalist theologian Calvin Beisner announced that physicist Muller's study was irrelevant.

He called Muller's position a "rhetorical sleight of hand." He said the study had inherent flaws and criticized his papers for not being peer reviewed.

Beisner heads the Cornwall Alliance, a global warming denial group of right-wing Christians more committed to the free market than environmental stewardship.

Beisner, other fundamentalist Christians and profiteers from global warming pollution (big oil and dirty coal) will likely be the last outpost of climate change deniers.

Science and experience are working against them.

Beisner Attacks Evangelicals Who Want To Reduce Mercury Poisoning

Energy industry apologist Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show yesterday to once again do the bidding of polluters. As we’ve reported in The Green Dragon Slayers, Beisner has no scientific credentials but is closely tied to energy companies. During the interview, Beisner directed his animus as the Evangelical Environmental Network, which launched a pledge to combat mercury poisoning:

One in six babies, over 700,000 each year, are born with harmful levels of mercury in their blood, and coal-burning power plants are the largest source of domestic mercury pollution.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

We believe this is an urgent and escalating moral crisis which calls for immediate action!

According to the National Institutes of Health, “For fetuses, infants and children, the primary health effects of mercury are on neurological development. Even low levels of mercury exposure such as result from mother’s consumption methylmercury in dietary sources can adversely affect the brain and nervous system.”

But Beisner said that it was more important to leave polluters unregulated. He insisted that regulations against pollution were actually going to kill people and that his pro-corporate view is the real “pro-life” position. He went on to say that advocates of environmental protection want to deliberately weaken the economy because “the environmental movement hates human prosperity”:

These were people who frankly didn’t know the science behind it, all they saw was that babies were endangered and they wanted to protect these babies. Well of course we would want to protect the babies but the science isn’t good and so consequently the EEN has succeeded, at least temporarily anyway, in fostering the notion that this is a pro-life cause. It's not a pro-life cause if anything the opposite is a pro-life cause because whereas the current levels of mercury admissions are not causing any deaths to anyone, the reduced economic output for this country will indeed increase premature deaths among the American population.



The real aim is to try to get us to use less energy overall because energy fuels a prosperous economy and the environmental movement hates human prosperity because it sees it as a threat to the environment.

Perkins Warns Of Government "Promotion Of Same-Sex Relations" For Population Control

Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show In The Market on Tuesday to discuss the “Green Dragon” film series which was made by Beisner’s group and hosted by Parshall. As we discussed in our report The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection, the “Green Dragon” series represents efforts by the Religious Right and the Corporate Right to paint environmentalism as anti-Christian and ungodly:

During the radio show, Parshall played clips from the “documentary,” including one from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who argues that in the name of “population control” the government will eventually push “infanticide” and promote “same-sex relations”:

Perkins: Population control is a very loaded term. It includes not only abortion, contraception and sterilization, all at government expense of course, but it also includes infanticide and the promotion of same-sex relations. At the heart of this push for population control is an unbiblical view of children and of life.

Another clip featured right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton. Barton, who has made a career of infusing Religious Right beliefs into politics and American history, accused environmentalism of being “a religion” with its own rules and “high priests,” and went on to tell people to contest environmental beliefs because “that’s not science, that is the faith position that you’re taking”:

Barton: People say that environmentalism is a religion. Others say, ‘Oh no, that’s not true,’ but it really is. Now how do we know? I’ve been involved in seven cases at the US Supreme Court and I can point to a number of court decisions where the court has said religion is whatever you believe so strongly that it affects the way you live your life. That’s why the court recognizes even atheism as a religion. Environmentalism definitely is a religion, it has its own high priests, it has folks that tell us what we can and can’t do with the environment and how we can treat it and they’re the guardians of it as if it’s a great temple. It’s a religion. And as soon as we recognize that environmentalism is a religion then it helps us to understand better how to respond to what’s being said, how to filter what’s being said, and say, now wait a minute, that’s not science, that is the faith position that you’re taking.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC is seeking fifty thousand signatures on its petition to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to include members of the clergy in the 9/11 memorial service.
  • Michele Bachmann assures us that she has a great sense of humor.
  • Frank Gaffney and Rick Joyner, together again.  What could go wrong?
  • If you thought the offical end of the Fairness Doctrine was going to bring an end to right-wing fearmongering about efforts to shut down Christians ... well, you were wrong.
  • Calvin Beisner says that Christians who care about the environment and protest "are actually disobeying scripture by doing this."

Beisner: Environmentalists' Objective Is To Kill 95% Of Humanity

Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance spoke to Bryan Fischer yesterday on American Family Radio about the evil plans that environmentalists have in store for humanity. Beisner, who has his PhD in Scottish History and whose group is tied to energy companies, previously worked with Fischer and other Religious Right leaders on the “Resisting The Green Dragon” miniseries which attacked the supposedly anti-Christian, anti-human environmentalist movement.

Last time Beisner was on Fischer’s program, Beisner said that the deadly tornadoes in the American South were “little tastes” of God’s judgment. Yesterday, the two discussed how they believe environmentalists are earth-worshippers who are deliberately destroying the economy and that climate change is a myth, lauding Rick Santorum for calling global warming a “patently absurd,” liberal plot.

Fischer asked Beisner if the environmental movement wanted a return “into dark paganism” and Beisner agreed, saying that the end-game of environmentalism “would require the disappearance of about 95% of the human race.”

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Calvin Beisner Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 07/22/2014, 2:53pm
There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family. According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 06/10/2014, 5:30pm
Rick Santorum's movie studio and the American Family Association have teamed up to make a movie about "the erosion of America's religious freedoms." FRC's Connor Headrick explains "Why It's OK to Let the Bible Guide Your Politics." Gordon Klingenschmitt wants a future president to reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell: "When they repealed don't ask, don't tell, they technically went back to the older policy where the commander-in-chief has the power to make that decision. So if a commander-in-chief were courageous, he could issue... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/19/2013, 2:51pm
Yesterday, Dr. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Mefferd's radio program where he explained that the modern environmental movement represents "the greatest threat to Western civilization" because it combines "the utopian vision of Marxism, the scientific facade of secular humanism, and the religious fanaticism of jihad" into a pseudo-religion that undermines Christianity: Mefferd: That seems like, maybe to some people, like hyperbole Dr. Beisner, but why do you think that that's the case? Beisner: Well, let me just give you four simple,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/30/2012, 12:26pm
Earlier this month, the Religious Right's favorite climate change-denying "expert," Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, appeared on American Family Radio where he declared that believing in climate change "is an insult to God."  Yesterday, when he joined Bryan Fischer on "Focal Point" for yet another discussion about the "myth" of global warming, both he and Fischer declared that failure to use coal, oil, and natural gas is an insulting rejection of the gifts that God has given to us - gifts which, incidentally, He buried deep in the earth... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/19/2012, 4:44pm
Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance is the Religious Right's favorite anti-climate change "expert" despite the fact that his academic credentials are limited to a doctorate in Scottish History.  While appearing on AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program today, Beisner provided the most concise explanation of why Christians cannot believe in climate change when he declared that the entire theory rests on the assumption that the earth is an extremely fragile place, which conflicts with the Biblical view that the earth was built by God for man's use. Therefore, to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/31/2012, 4:28pm
Today on "Focal Point,"  Bryan Fischer brought on Dr. Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance to discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy.  Beisner, who received his doctorate in Scottish History, is the Religious Right's favorite climate change "expert" primarily because his entire agenda is rooted in the belief that environmentalism is a religion that is out to destroy Christianity. Back in 2011, after a massive tornado devastated parts of Missouri and killed more than 300 people, Beisner claimed that it was sent as "a little taste" of God's judgment, which... MORE >
, Wednesday 08/15/2012, 3:05pm
A recent film released by Truth in Action Ministries, entitled Why Christians left the Political Arena, implores evangelicals to remain politically engaged. Featuring activists Calvin Beisner, Wayne Grudem and Rick Scarborough along with an eminent montage of gay rights, pro-choice, and environmental activists, the film decries any separation between religion and public policy. It implies that if a truly observant Christian is to obey the commands of Jesus, they must advocate for laws that “protect” marriage, and warns that God will hold us accountable for “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/13/2012, 4:50pm
American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today was joined by pro-corporate, anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner on Focal Point to discuss Rep. Paul Ryan’s egregious record on environmental protection. The two celebrated his votes against the EPA and climate change legislation as signs that he has a “sane, objective and biblical or evangelical understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. “Paul Ryan seems to get it,” Fischer said, and Beisner applauded Ryan’s voting record “fits well with the biblical understanding” of... MORE >