Herb Titus

The 5 Worst Arguments Against Marriage Equality At The Supreme Court

In the weeks leading up to oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a collection of marriage equality cases being heard at the Supreme Court this month, groups on both sides of the issue have been flooding the Court with amicus briefs.

These have inevitably included some very bad arguments from lawyers arguing on behalf of anti-LGBT groups. Here are five of the worst:

5. Gays Need ‘Tough Love,’ Like Smokers Or Drug Abusers

Mike Huckabee Policy Solutions (which identifies itself as a group “backed by private citizens and organizations who support the national policy aims of Mike Huckabee”) and anti-gay “statistician” Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute tell the Justices that “[h]omosexuality and same-sex marriage are tied to early death” and thus gay people, much like drug abusers, need “tough love” instead of marriage rights.

As with smoking or drug abuse, it would be neither compassionate nor kind to normalize and encourage a known and significant public health risk such as homosexuality. Heightened early mortality risk suggests that homosexual practice (whether in casual or long-term unions) is self-injurious and therefore would put undue financial, emotional, and health burdens on survivors, especially children, as well as society, pursuant to any normalization of same-sex marriage by decree of this Court.

Just as in the cases of drug abusers or suicidal individuals, it would not be compassionate nor kind of this Court to attempt to further normalize and encourage known and significant public health risks represented by LGBT lifestyles and unions. Thus, the expansion of LGBT activity by decree of this Court is likely to proliferate undue financial, emotional, and health burdens upon survivors, especially children, and upon wider society as well. Far from “hateful,” the amici curiae herein hold that deference to the States in the regulation of lawful marriage, as well as federalist restraint and humility by this Court, would represent an act of love. “Tough love,” perhaps, but love nonetheless.

4. Marriage Equality Will Lead To Civil War

While the Texas chapter of Eagle Forum, in a brief written by Phyllis Schlafly’s son Andrew, never exactly says in its Supreme Court brief that a broad ruling in favor of marriage equality would lead to civil war, it does draw an awful lot of parallels between the effects of Obergefell and those of the infamous pre-Civil War Dred Scott case.

The Texas Eagle Forum brief warns of “a badly fractious effect” if the Court declares that “the Bible is wrong about marriage,” drawing out “regional differences” similar to the regional divide over slavery before the Civil War. The group warns that, like Dred Scott, “any ruling by the Court that imposes homosexual marriage on Texas and every corner of the United States would cause vastly more conflict, along regional lines.”

In 1857, as now, there were sharp regional differences over a fundamental social issue. But rather than allow Congress to sort the disputes out, the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds and attempted to dictate one solution nationwide about slavery. That poured fuel on the fire, as history teaches. Likewise, any ruling by the Court here that attempts to establish homosexual marriage for every region of our country, thereby declaring that the local voters are wrong, their political leaders are wrong, and the Bible is wrong about marriage, will have a badly fractious effect.

The disunity will greatly worsen if the Court rules that Texas and other southern states must begin performing homosexual marriage. Far from unifying the Nation, as some argue, such a Court ruling would have a divisive effect similar to that of the Dred Scott decision. The Dred Scott Court felt that by imposing its view of slavery on the entire Nation, the Court was resolving the conflict. In fact, of course, the decision made the conflict far worse. Likewise, any ruling by the Court that imposes homosexual marriage on Texas and every corner of the United States would cause vastly more conflict, along regional lines.

Texas Eagle Forum specifically argues that the supposedly unbiblical nature of same-sex marriage would “be disastrous for the unity of our Nation” because the Bible is “the strongest link that holds our society together.”

The Bible is perhaps the most unifying force of our Nation.

A Supreme Court ruling that endorses homosexual marriage would directly conflict with clear teachings in both the Old and New Testaments. See, e.g., Genesis 2:24 (“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”) and Mark 10:6-8 (“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’”) (ESV). In essence, the Court would be rejecting the Bible as false, and by implication perhaps even disparaging the Bible as hate speech. Whether the large percentage of Americans who respect the Bible would be persuaded by such a ruling remains to be seen. But if they are persuaded, then the results would be disastrous for the unity of our Nation, because it would weaken the strongest link that holds our society together.

3. Marriage Equality Is Bad For Gay People’s Kids Because Right Wing Watch Criticized Robert Oscar Lopez

There was a big splash in the right-wing media when four adults who were raised for at least part of their lives by same-sex couples, most prominently activist Robert Oscar Lopez, submitted an amicus brief against marriage equality.

Lopez cites one flawed study about same-sex parenting and uses it as a jumping-off point for discussing what he speculates is a trend toward things getting “harder, not easier” for children raised by same-sex couples as “gay marriage has become a broader and more accepted phenomenon."

It has gotten harder, not easier, for COGs [Children of Gays], to the extent that gay marriage has become a broader and more accepted phenomenon. The younger generation of COGs has lived with an enormous amount of surveillance and speech policing by people interested in ensuring that they say nothing to undermine the social prestige of their gay guardians. The younger generation of COGs seems to feel more uprooted from the missing half of their ancestry and more fearful of defying the authority of gay stepparent figures whom they still tend to view as stepparents even if they are fond of them.

COGs are now treated with less dignity, more suspicion, fewer protections and heightened discrimination/harassment/retaliation than they saw before same-sex marriage achieved a level of national success. All of this is emanating from within the gay community, enabled by complacent groups such as COLAGE and emboldened by the gay-marriage equality movement. Put simply, the situation for COGs has worsened as their numbers have multiplied.

Lopez’s main piece of evidence for the “heightened discrimination/harrassment/retaliation” being directed at the children of gay parents since those parents began to gain marriage rights seems to be his own experience being criticized by blogs, including Right Wing Watch, which he details at great length in a separate section of the brief.

2. It’s Okay To Discriminate Against Women, So Why Not Gays?

Mark Joseph Stern at Slate flagged a brief submitted by the state of South Carolina which illustrates at length the concern that the drafters of the 14th Amendment had about it granting rights to women. Since the state at the time sought to discriminate against women, the brief argues, then it is absurd to apply the amendment’s protections to gay and lesbian people who want to get married.

Here’s a representative paragraph:

Nor did the framers and their contemporaries conceive that the definition of marriage consisted of anything other than the union between man and woman. Indeed, the framers insisted upon leaving untouched those state laws depriving women of basic rights upon marriage to a man. Surely then, those state laws exclusively defining marriage as between a man and woman were hands off under the Amendment’s original meaning.

Representatives from the South Carolina solicitor general’s and attorney general’s offices followed up with Stern to clarify that “that their state does not wish to implement the sexist laws outlined in its brief—though it could if it wanted to.”

1. Marriage Equality Will Cause God To Destroy America

Really any constitutional argument you can come up with becomes irrelevant if we are threatened with God’s judgement on America. A coalition of right-wing groups (two of which have close ties with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore), pulled out that trump card in a brief in which they warn the Justices that should they “require the States and the People to ‘ritualize’ sodomite behavior by government issuance of a state marriage license, it could bring God’s judgment on the Nation.”

The groups, including Public Advocate of the United States and the Institute on the Constitution (run by longtime Moore funder and Maryland GOP official Michael Peroutka) and assisted by former Moore collaborator Herb Titus, assure the Justices that the warnings of Leviticus are still very much in effect:

Should the Court require the States and the People to “ritualize” sodomite behavior by government issuance of a state marriage license, it could bring God’s judgment on the Nation. Holy Scripture attests that homosexual behavior and other sexual perversions violate the law of the land, and when the land is “defiled,” the people have been cast out of their homes. See Leviticus 18:22, 24-30. Although some would assert that these rules apply only to the theocracy of ancient Israel, the Apostle Peter rejects that view: “For if God ... turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” 2 Peter 2:4-6. The continuing application of this Levitical prohibition is confirmed by the Book of Jude: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering 1 Kings 14:24. 41 the vengeance of eternal fire.”

Religious Right Film: Activist Judges Are Attacking America With Gay Rights, Taxpayer-Funded Pornography

As if their first video didn't quite hammer the point home, Religious Right advocacy group Truth in Action Ministries has returned with part two of "We the People: Under Attack," an exhausting indicment of the federal judiciary and its allegedly anti-Christian agenda. 

Watch highlights of the film here:

“We the People,” hosted by the group’s spokesmen Jerry Newcombe and John Rabe, convenes right-wing activists like Phyllis Schlafly, David Limbaugh and Herb Titus for a collective hand-wringing over the rulings of judges who have “turned the First Amendment on its head” and obstructed religious liberties in support of their own political causes.

 The group especially lambasts the federal judiciary for “casting off constitutional limitations” and “imposing its will on the other branches, and even you and me individually” with its rulings on marriage equality and abortion rights.

Rabe lashed out at the courts’ “harmful agenda” when it “attacked two thousand years of traditional marriage” by striking down voter-approved marriage bans like Proposition 8.

In the spirit of defending the rights of the “majority,” Phyllis Schlafly paints a grim scenario of judicial tyranny usurping American values: 

We have judges who have created new rights, who have knocked down laws and practices that have been part of our heritage since the beginning, and you can call the roll of what they’ve done: tried to throw up traditional marriage between a man and a woman; throwing out the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag because it has the words ‘under God’ in it; creating new rights that are not in the Constitution, like the right to abortion, the right to sodomy, the right to same-sex marriage licenses, the right to have pornography even with taxpayer’s money. You know these are not in the Constitution, and it is an offense against the American people, against We the People, and against our whole form of government. And the result is that the First Amendment has been turned on its head.

And herein lies the ultimate goals of these activist judges: to abolish expressions of patriotism and ensure taxpayer-funded pornography for all. 

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. 

How To Make 'The Whole Homosexual Marriage Debate Go Away'

Anti-gay activists can’t be happy that polling data shows that a majority of Americans support marriage equality, and are also displeased with libertarian and conservative leaders who think it might be time for the government to get out of the marriage business altogether.

In a WorldNetDaily article about the debate on “privatizing marriage,” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said that while heterosexual marriage should remain a government-sponsored institution, he is “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” since gay people haven’t proven how same-sex unions “benefit society.” Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute agreed that removing a government role from marriage “capitulates” to the gay rights movement and harms children.

Herb Titus said the government should define marriage based on Leviticus and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.”

But Matt Trewhella has a plan to end the debate over marriage rights once and for all.

Trewhella, the Religious Right activist who you may remember for his rant about how gays are “filthy people,” revealed that the only way to make “the whole homosexual marriage debate go away” is not through “privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.”

Jennifer Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, which supports traditional marriage, says privatizing marriage “doesn’t really resolve the gay marriage issue, it capitulates on the key point, which is what is the public purpose of marriage, and whether the state has any role in protecting the interests of children.”

“This is a rhetorical tactic for trying to make it go away. I don’t think it works.”

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, said marriage deserves a privileged place in the law because it brings benefits “that are important to the well-being of society as a whole and not just a couple.”



Sprigg, a leading defender of traditional marriage, sayid [sic] he’s “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” but rejects privatizing true marriage because of its special status.

“Society gives benefits to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. Therefore the burden of proof is on the advocates of alternatives to marriage to prove that their relationships benefit society. I think that’s a burden of proof that same-sex marriage cannot meet.”

Morse said the libertarian idea that two or more people can make up their own “marital” contract any way they wish collides with the needs of children. Crafting intimate arrangements without guidance from God, culture or the state “just doesn’t work when you have a child,” she said. “The modern world does not know quite what to do with these helpless creatures.



Herbert W. Titus, former dean of the Regent University School of Law and Government, agrees that state and federal laws, especially no-fault divorce, have fostered social chaos but says a return to marriage laws that conform to biblical norms is the solution, not privatization.

Marriage licenses serve a useful purpose, Titus said, because they determine “if you’re entitled to a marriage certificate” and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.” He cited Leviticus 18, which forbids sexual relations between close relations, family members and individuals of the same sex.

But once the law allows same-sex marriage, Titus said, “then it’s very difficult to see that there are any … barriers to marriage,” and that opens the door to sodomy and polygamy.



Conservative Protestant minister Matt Trewhella, founder of Missionaries to the Preborn, is sometimes lumped in with the advocates of marriage privatization because he tells Christians not to get marriage licenses and refuses to marry couples who do.

Trewhella regards marriage licenses as a grant of authority to marry from the state. “The state cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.”

Despite that view, Trewhella wants the state to ban same-sex marriage.

“I think the whole idea of privatizing marriage is absurd because the state should uphold and affirm the law word and created order of God regarding marriage as revealed in Scripture.”

He believes the solution to same-sex marriage is not privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.

“That’s what makes the whole homosexual marriage debate go away,” he said.

Anti-Gay, Anti-Immigrant, Birther Groups Join Forces to File Mother of All Prop 8 Briefs

In reading through the amicus briefs submitted by anti-gay groups to the Supreme Court, we’ve been generally impressed by the relative restraint of their legal arguments compared to their day-to-day anti-gay tirades. But not so with the two briefs submitted last week by a hodgepodge coalition of conservative groups.

Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer filed two no-holds-barred amicus briefs last week, one in defense of Prop 8 [pdf] and one in defense of DOMA [pdf]. They were joined in both by the anti-immigrant groups Declaration Alliance and English First; WorldNetDaily affiliate the Western Center for Journalism; the Institute for Constitutional Values (founded by white supremacist ally Michael Peroutka, who also argues that the solution to school violence is to abolish schools); Gun Owners Foundation (the research wing of Gun Owners of America); the extremely and occasionally comically anti-gay Public Advocate; the birther group U.S. Justice Foundation; Protect Marriage Maryland and others. Far-right Virginia Del. Bob Marshall and Sen. Dick Black joined the DOMA brief. Both are signed by Michael Boos, general counsel of Citizens United, and by Herb Titus, an attorney with a sideline as a birther advocate.

So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the filings contain passages like this one, in the Prop 8 brief, arguing that laws against homosexuality affirm rather than deny the humanity of gay people:

Second, while the discrimination against Blacks in America denied them their rightful status as a member of the human race vis-à-vis their white counterparts, the discrimination against homosexuals affirmed their status as full and equal members of the human race. Indeed, the very definition of the “crime against nature,” was employed to emphasize that the sexual behavior condemned was contrary to the law of human nature. Homosexual behavior, then, while unnatural did not mean that those guilty of it were any less human.

Or this one from the DOMA brief arguing that gays and lesbians have not historically faced discrimination because some criminal sodomy laws also “extended to opposite sex unnatural couplings”:

As a class, homosexuals have not been discriminated against in the way that the court of appeals has so “easily” assumed. The appellate panel below concluded that “the most telling proof of animus and discrimination is that, for many years and in many states, homosexual conduct was criminal.” Yet historically, even the crime of sodomy was not so targeted. Rather, it was defined as “carnal copulation against the order of nature by man with man; or in the same unnatural manner with woman; or by man or woman in any manner with a beast.” Thus, the crime of sodomy was “known in the common law by the convertible and equivalent name [] of ‘crime against nature,” the offense not only extended to opposite sex unnatural couplings, but was one of several sexual offenses that fit under the broad category of “offenses against the public health, safety, comfort and morals.” Among these sexual offenses were bigamy, adultery, fornication, lewdness and illicit cohabitation, incest, miscegenation, and seduction, all of which could be committed by persons of the opposite sex. Rather than a narrow negative purpose, these laws reflect a perceived concern for the public health, safety, comfort, and morals of certain sexual behaviors.

Or that the groups oh-so-cleverly invoke the court’s Obamacare decision to argue that the extra taxes same-sex spouses pay under DOMA are an acceptable way of “deterring certain activities”:

Additionally, this Court has consistently ruled that Congress’s power to tax is not limited to the purpose of raising revenue. Thus, this Court found that it is permissible for Congress to adopt a taxing policy for the purpose of deterring certain activities by the levying of a tax on them, as well as for the purpose of collecting revenue. Therefore, according to precedent, it is a constitutionally permissible exercise of Congress to adopt a tax policy for the purpose of nurturing traditional marriage as the ideal family structure for raising children, just as this Court has recently observed, that it is perfectly permissible for Congress to impose a tax “to encourage people to quit smoking” or “to shape decisions about whether to buy health insurance.”…It is not for the courts to second-guess whether Congress should promote a traditional family policy in the exercise of its taxing powers.

But what is truly remarkable about the Citizens United coalition’s legal arguments is their eagerness to burn all bridges and declare everything they come across unconstitutional. While the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel, presumably trying to appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy, hold their noses and accept Kennedy’s pro-gay rights opinions in Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans as law, Citizens United et al have no such scruples. Not only should Lawrence and Romer be overturned, this group argues, but so should Bolling v. Sharpe, the 1954 Brown v. Board companion case that desegregated the District of Columbia’s public schools. Bolling was the first decision in which the Supreme Court explicitly found an equal protection component in the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, thus setting the stage for six decades of prohibitions on discrimination by the federal government – all of which the coalition would like to see go.

But these groups don’t just go after decades of legal precedent. They also personally attack two judges who ruled against Prop 8 before it reached the Supreme Court, in particular district court judge Vaughn Walker, who is openly gay:

With the understanding of Judge Walker’s personal interest in the outcome of the case, it becomes much easier to understand his finding every fact for the plaintiffs and his willingness to impute ill will to the proponents of Proposition 8. For example, having in his personal life rejected 6,000 years of moral and religious teaching, we can see how Judge Walker could readily determine that California voters were motivated solely by “moral and religious views…that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples [and] these interests do not provide a rational basis for supporting Proposition 8.” The same is true for Judge Walker’s conclusion that supporters’ motivations were: “fear,” “unarticulated dislike,” not “rational,” based on “animus toward gays and lesbians,” “irrational,” “without reason,” and “born of animus.” Petitioners were entitled to have their case heard by an impartial judge – not one who was leading a secret life engaging in behaviors which he appeared to believe were being unfairly judged and criticized by the proponents of Proposition 8.

 

(Citations omitted in block quotes)
 

New Religious Right Film Warns Judges will 'Destroy the Country'

Many conservatives took a break over the summer from their typical screeds against so-called judicial activism as they demanded the Supreme Court step in and overturn the 2010 health care reform law. After the court upheld the law, they simply decried the ruling as “activism” anyway, further proving that right-wing activists see cases of judicial activism as really just decisions they disagree with.

Now, Truth in Action Ministries has released a new film, Freedom on Trial, featuring Robert Bork, the failed Supreme Court nominee and a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, Christian Reconstructionist attorney Herb Titus and Heritage Foundation vice president Genevieve Wood, among other conservative speakers who denounce the judiciary for “circumventing the Constitution and legislating from the bench.” Freedom on Trial focuses on the usual conservative criticisms of Supreme Court decisions regarding organized prayer in public schools, reproductive rights and LGBT equality. Bork warns that courts are “teaching the people that religion is evil” and Titus claims that decisions that go against the Ten Commandments will “destroy the country” while rulings in favor of LGBT rights are “making a certain sexual behavior straight when it is crooked and the nation will self-destruct.”

Watch highlights here:

Traveling through Time with Kirk Cameron: Looking at America through a Religious Right Lens

After a tour of both mainstream and right-wing media outlets that largely focused on Kirk Cameron’s denigration of gays and lesbians, last night his “documentary” Monumental premiered in select theatres with little public attention.

The premiere included a live stream of Cameron in his living room right before and after the film, where he listened to praise music, gazed over food and mingled with family members and friends, while recounting how “truly sick” America has become.

Cameron admitted that he is no history buff, telling his pastor, “I feel like a dry sponge when I learn all these things.”

Just as Cameron was a “dry sponge” when learning lessons about how the banana disproves evolution, he accepted the claims of Religious Right activists posing as historians at face value.

One of whom was Glenn Beck, who appeared via satellite feed. Cameron and Beck took turns complimenting each other, with the former Fox News host lauding Cameron, “You were in Left Behind while I was reading it.” Curiously, Cameron decided against attending Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally after Brannon Howse, among others, warned evangelicals about joining forces with Beck, a Mormon.

Beck told Cameron that God told him that their mission to “wake up” America is a path they can’t veer from. “Return to me and I will protect you,” Beck says was God’s message, adding that God wants to be America’s “sword and shield.”

But the conservative celebrity appearances didn’t end there: Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece and a Religious Right activist, was in Cameron’s living room as well. Cameron asked her what she thought her uncle would want people to do if he were here today, to which Alveda responded that King would want people to watch Monumental!

She seems to think that King would endorse a movie that whitewashes America’s past, as Cameron determines that America’s problems only began in the last few decades.

In the film, Cameron’s adventure starts in England, where we learn how Puritans were persecuted by the Church of England and ultimately, at great personal and familial sacrifice, made their way to Holland to find religious freedom and escape a society where the “government controlled the church.” It was a stark if simplistic look at religious persecution at a time when many on the Right are decrying the Obama administration’s “attacks on religious liberty.”

Visiting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cameron claims that the Pilgrims established a governmental “system of all men created equal under the law.” He then sets forth to find the Pilgrims’ “training manual” and the “secret sauce” that will be the key to stopping America’s plunge into moral and economic disarray.

He finds the “secret sauce” at Plymouth’s National Monument to the Forefathers, which was built in 1910 under the leadership of Freemasons, though from just watching Cameron’s documentary you would think the Pilgrims themselves helped construct it. The message from the monument is that faith leads to personal morality, spreading that faith creates a moral and therefore just society, and a just society produces mercy for the disadvantaged and education for the children. Cameron used the part about education to bemoan how parents can send their children to “government schools” where they are trained to be “slaves to the state,” generating an entitlement culture that breeds government dependence rather than reliance on faith. Ultimately, the “secret sauce” creates “Liberty Man,” who Cameron says is “not a wimpy religious man but a stud.”

Cameron, in seeking to find out how America went from a country of Liberty Men to a fallen people, glosses over how the mythical country of Liberty Men considered African Americans, Native Americans and women to be inferior and endorsed slavery, racism, and discriminatory and violent treatment of women. He also neglects to mention that in Plymouth religious liberty was nonexistent and religious dissenters were mercilessly persecuted. For instance, people were not allowed to become Quakers or even give aide Quakers and Quakers were even executed by the colony’s government.

Just as damning, Cameron conflates the Pilgrims with the Founders: the film gives the impression that the Founders had the same religious convictions and beliefs in the role of religion in government as the Pilgrims. Never mind that more than a few of the Founders were members of the Church of England, the very same church that Cameron noted persecuted the Pilgrims.

Cameron spoke to Christian Reconstructionist ‘historians’ David Barton and Herb Titus to find out how evil, atheist academics from Boston (scary music included) lied to Americans about the country’s Christian heritage. Barton said there is a “deliberate attempt” to hide the faith of the Founding Fathers by using “revisionism,” and Titus warned that “a nation that attempts to build a foundation not based on God’s law will ultimately self-destruct.”

The movie ended with warnings about secular government and democracy run amok, with one guest repeating the myth that Adolf Hitler was a democratically elected dictator, and Alveda King appearing once again to tell us that “America hasn’t been destroyed because we call upon the Lord.”

Accuracy shouldn’t have been expected from a film about American history made by someone who freely admits that he had little knowledge of history and was a “dry sponge” who didn’t think critically about the nation’s past. But since Cameron’s findings easily conformed to the Religious Right view of American history and government, Monumental will surely find a place along with David Barton books and episodes of Glenn Beck that feed faux-history to conservative audiences across the nation.

Biblical Birthers? Titus Claims Bible Says Obama Ineligible for Presidency

Birther spokesman Herb Titus went on Voice of Christian Youth America’s Crosstalk on Friday to discuss the progress of the birther movement.  Undeterred by recent setbacks to the movement, Titus claimed that President Obama’s ineligibility for office is written into the Bible and that in any case, the president “is more loyal to his African father than he is to the American nation.”

When President Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year, birthers did not accept the blow to the central premise of their movement. Instead, they switched tacks and started claiming that the birth certificate was inconsequential and that the president was in fact ineligible because one of his parents was not a United States citizen.

Now, Titus seems to have blended this new definition of “natural born citizen” with some David Barton-style biblical analysis to conclude that God himself has declared Obama ineligible for the American presidency:

Titus: What’s important is to realize that being a natural born citizen is based upon the law of nature. Any natural law is based on a law of nature which is revealed by God. And the notion is that no one is accidentally born in any particular nation to any particular parent. You’re not born by accident, you’re born by design. And who’s the designer? Well, God’s the designer. So if you’re born of two parents, that is a mother and father, who are of the same citizenship, then you have been ordained by God to be a citizen of the nation of your parents. That’s why he’s a natural born citizen. So, there’s a design in this that goes all the way back to scriptural principles.

Schneider: Dr. Titus, when this issue has come up time and time again to either the president or his press secretary, they are now referring to the long-form birth certificate that they released in 2011. In your opinion, does the presentation of this long-form certificate, as they have given it and said, ‘See, there’s the evidence,’ in your opinion does this satisfy the matter?

Titus: Well, I think it does if your definition of natural born citizen is that the parents have to be citizens of the United States. Because the form that was produced by the Obama administration indicates that his father was not an American citizen. Where people said, where race usually you put ‘black’ but it has ‘African.’ Well, it shows that he had a national citizenship that was not the United States. So, you don’t need anything more than the evidence that’s already been furnished by the Obama administration themselves. You don’t have to go behind it, you don’t have to determine whether it’s a fraudulent certificate. It says it on its face.

Titus: The people have a responsibility here to make sure that the Constitution is followed as it is written. I mean, if people don’t like the natural born citizen requirement, then they can amend the Constitution. I think in this particular case, it demonstrates why the natural born citizen requirement is so important, because I think this president does have a divided loyalty. I think he is more loyal to his African father than he is to the American nation, and I think that’s been well-documented.
 

Even WND is Debunking the Right's "Original Jurisdiction" Nonsense

Yesterday I noted that Bryan Fischer and others had stumbled upon a novel justification for why they didn't have to recognize court decisions they didn't like by claiming that the Supreme Court has "original jurisdiction" in "all cases...in which a State shall be Party." 

As such, any ruling involving a state that was not decided by the Supreme Court first "has no legal weight" and does not carry "the slightest constitutional authority."

As I pointed out, that means that any rulings in Virginia's lawsuit against health-care reform are likewise illegitimate, as are all the rulings in countless other cases making their way through the federal court system.

But you don't have to take my word for it, as even WorldNetDaily recognizes this simple fact

[C]onstitutional expert Herb Titus, who is affiliated with the William J. Olson law firm, said the full text of the constitutional provision needs to be noted, because it does not provide the Supreme Court with "exclusive" original jurisdiction.

He noted the constitutional text:

"In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

It is that provision that allows Congress to make exceptions and regulations that provides the authority for Bolton's court to hear the case, he noted.

"Could you imagine every case that involves a state as a party being before the Supreme Court. The court would be so loaded with those kinds of cases …" he said.

Another top constitutional expert, John Eidsmoe, of the Foundation for Moral Law, agreed.

"Congress can make exceptions out of that area," he told WND. "What the courts have said in areas where the court has original jurisdiction, Congress by its power to create exceptions, can add [responsibility or authority]."

You know that your arguments are doomed when even WorldNetDaily agrees that they are utter nonsense.

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Herb Titus Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Friday 04/10/2015, 1:53pm
In the weeks leading up to oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a collection of marriage equality cases being heard at the Supreme Court this month, groups on both sides of the issue have been flooding the Court with amicus briefs. These have inevitably included some very bad arguments from lawyers arguing on behalf of anti-LGBT groups. Here are five of the worst: 5. Gays Need ‘Tough Love,’ Like Smokers Or Drug Abusers Mike Huckabee Policy Solutions (which identifies itself as a group “backed by private citizens and organizations who support the national policy aims of... MORE >
Ian Silverstone, Tuesday 07/29/2014, 12:30pm
As if their first video didn't quite hammer the point home, Religious Right advocacy group Truth in Action Ministries has returned with part two of "We the People: Under Attack," an exhausting indicment of the federal judiciary and its allegedly anti-Christian agenda.  Watch highlights of the film here: “We the People,” hosted by the group’s spokesmen Jerry Newcombe and John Rabe, convenes right-wing activists like Phyllis Schlafly, David Limbaugh and Herb Titus for a collective hand-wringing over the rulings of judges who have “turned the First... MORE >
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 09/13/2013, 11:50am
Anti-gay activists can’t be happy that polling data shows that a majority of Americans support marriage equality, and are also displeased with libertarian and conservative leaders who think it might be time for the government to get out of the marriage business altogether. In a WorldNetDaily article about the debate on “privatizing marriage,” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said that while heterosexual marriage should remain a government-sponsored institution, he is “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” since gay people haven’t proven... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 02/06/2013, 12:05pm
In reading through the amicus briefs submitted by anti-gay groups to the Supreme Court, we’ve been generally impressed by the relative restraint of their legal arguments compared to their day-to-day anti-gay tirades. But not so with the two briefs submitted last week by a hodgepodge coalition of conservative groups. Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer filed two no-holds-barred amicus briefs last week, one in defense of Prop 8 [pdf] and one in defense of DOMA [pdf]. They were joined in both by the anti-immigrant groups Declaration Alliance and English... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/02/2012, 2:35pm
Many conservatives took a break over the summer from their typical screeds against so-called judicial activism as they demanded the Supreme Court step in and overturn the 2010 health care reform law. After the court upheld the law, they simply decried the ruling as “activism” anyway, further proving that right-wing activists see cases of judicial activism as really just decisions they disagree with. Now, Truth in Action Ministries has released a new film, Freedom on Trial, featuring Robert Bork, the failed Supreme Court nominee and a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Eagle Forum... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/28/2012, 1:35pm
After a tour of both mainstream and right-wing media outlets that largely focused on Kirk Cameron’s denigration of gays and lesbians, last night his “documentary” Monumental premiered in select theatres with little public attention. The premiere included a live stream of Cameron in his living room right before and after the film, where he listened to praise music, gazed over food and mingled with family members and friends, while recounting how “truly sick” America has become. Cameron admitted that he is no history buff, telling his pastor, “I feel like a... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 01/30/2012, 4:06pm
Birther spokesman Herb Titus went on Voice of Christian Youth America’s Crosstalk on Friday to discuss the progress of the birther movement.  Undeterred by recent setbacks to the movement, Titus claimed that President Obama’s ineligibility for office is written into the Bible and that in any case, the president “is more loyal to his African father than he is to the American nation.” When President Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year, birthers did not accept the blow to the central premise of their movement. Instead, they switched tacks and... MORE >