Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher and Penny Nance Gush Over Rick Santorum

Religious Right activists are positively giddy over the new momentum behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy for president, and Maggie Gallagher today praised the former Pennsylvania senator as “a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic photo finish.” Gallagher said that the left wants “to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race,” writing that progressives “hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.”

On Tuesday night in Iowa, he stood before the cheering throngs like a Republican Rocky, or better yet, a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic storybook finish. On Tuesday night, for the first time, Rick Santorum was a contender. And a contender like nobody has yet seen in this race.



I have not yet endorsed anyone in this presidential race. And unlike some values voters, I am not anti-Mitt Romney. Romney is a fundamentally decent, extremely capable man, who fought hard for marriage in Massachussetts [sic]. If he is the GOP nominee, I can vote for him with great good will and a clean conscience.

But when the guy who has taken more hits than any other for standing up for life and marriage fights his way with nobody's help from nowhere to, well, Tuesday night -- you have to cheer.

The left, which thought it had buried Santorum years ago, is going to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race. They hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.

They will go after him not just to defeat him, but to smear his good name, to associate it with their own muck, to take a decent and honorable man and try literally to make his name mean mud. They will not succeed.



I am not anti-Romney. But after Tuesday night's victory, count me as pro-Rick.

Meanwhile, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance penned a column lauding Santorum and couldn’t help herself from taking digs at Romney’s Mormon faith:

Santorum’s appeal to women and evangelicals centers on a desire for authenticity. Rick’s been consistent in behavior and record. His stance on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage gained the voters’ attention.



Many of my Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) members respect Mitt’s savvy business skills, but they are having a hard time wrapping their minds around him as a whole package.

They can’t ignore that it was the former Massachusetts governor who championed health care reform that cost the state $4.3 billion and 18,000 jobs. Nor can they ignore his past support for so-called “domestic partnerships” or the fact that after the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s paper tiger ruling on “gay marriage,” he ordered Justices of the Peace in the state to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples or be fired.

With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, “the Mormon thing” may be an issue, but I am not convinced this is what has held him back. However, some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole “eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,” which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Maggie Gallagher explains how to explain your disapproval of marriage equality over Thanksgiving dinner.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton: "Hang These Four Republican Scalps Over The Senate Rail" For Supporting Marriage Equality

Today on WallBuilders Live, David Barton and co-host Rick Green had the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher as a guest to discuss NOM’s efforts to defeat senators that voted for the marriage equality law in New York, especially the law’s four Republican supporters. Following Gallagher’s interview, Barton lauded NOM’s campaign and warned that unless those Republicans are defeated, “Ken Mehlman,” the former head of the Republican National Committee and Bush campaign chief who recently came out as gay, “and his kind [will] come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff.” Barton went on to say that “this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail,” to intimidate other Republicans who consider supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians:

Barton: If you allow the Ken Mehlman kind of Republicans to come in, and Melhman’s the guy who ran the Republican National Convention, he’s the guy who came out, who’s openly homosexual, trained with Karl Rove and was an understudy to Karl, if you allow those guys to be able to facilitate the Republicans to turn on these issues and other squishy Republicans across the country will say, ‘hey I can take on these pro-family people,’ they’ll start doing the same thing. Then you’ll lose your opportunity to have at least one party that still has the ability to allow people to talk about biblical, moral issues. You just cannot let this happen. Here I sit in Texas, I’ll contribute to the campaign to take these guys out, I’ll send money from Texas to New York.

Green: It’s kind of like the Iowa deal, going after judges up there and the necessity to defeat them.

Barton: Hey, you think that didn’t scare a bunch of judges straight in other states? You bet it did. And I want to see pro-family guys scared straight that are squishy on this issue, and if we can’t take out these four Republicans and the Majority Leader in New York, we will have opened a huge door for Melhman and his kind to come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff, and you just can’t let that happen.



Barton: No disrespect to our Native American friends, but this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail. You hang these four Republican scalps over the Senate rail and every other Republican senator looks up and sees those scalps and says, ‘my gosh, I’ll be hanging up there beside them if I don’t stay with this pro-family stuff.’ And that’s exactly what has to happen.

At Ralph Reed Confab, Obama Portrayed as Enemy of Faith and Freedom

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C. this past weekend was essentially a relentless repetition of the GOP’s 2012 attack themes on the Obama administration, mixed with Religious Right leaders’ demands that the Tea Party not abandon social conservatives’ priorities and conservative politicos’ appeals for unity behind whichever candidate emerges from the presidential crowd.  Just about everyone running, or thinking about running, for the presidency on the Republican side was in attendance with the exception of Newt Gingrich.

One of the easiest, and most frequently used, ways to get applause at F&F was to pledge that Obama will be a one-term president.  Among the other major themes:
 
American Exceptionalism
 
Former Senator Rick Santorum, who officially announced his presidential bid this morning, said his campaign theme will be American exceptionalism.  Unfortunately, for Santorum, it seems that every Republican candidate is talking about American exceptionalism – and the claim that President Obama, Democrats, and “liberal elites” don’t believe that the U.S. is the God-ordained greatest nation in the history of the world – so it’s going to be hard to break away from the pack on that score.  Gary Bauer claimed that American elites don’t believe the words of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
‘Obamacare’ = Socialism = The End of Freedom
 
Many speakers cited health care reform as the ultimate example of the Democrats’ commitment to freedom-destroying socialism.  Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network said it was one example of progressives’ tendency to say “to hell with the Constitution” when it got in the way of their policy goals.  Rep. Allen West even attacked the notion of “shared sacrifice,” which he said was code for “redistribution of wealth,” which is how the right-wing looks at progressive taxation.  Rep. Tom Price, who clearly needs to spend some time studying American history, called the health care reform bill “the furthest reach of oppression that this society has ever seen.”  Others similarly insisted that the implementation of the law would mean the end of liberty in America.  Michele Bachman shouted, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare. America will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the fight against Obamacare is just one sign that federalism is reemerging.  He argued that Americans need to understand that there is a “liberty pie” that does not grow – and it has only two slices, government power and individual liberty – and one necessarily grows at the expense of the other. 
 
America Needs More Religion (as long as it’s not Islam)
 
The FFC was long on Religious Right rhetoric on religion and politics.  The pastor who gave the opening prayer for the conference gave thanks for “a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”  The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins exulted that it was good to be among folks who are “not ashamed to defend the Christian principles on which this nation was founded.”  The Republican National Committee’s Reince Priebus said America’s greatness is “rooted in our faith” and that “faith in our God, and faith in our savior” is “not a convenience, it is the foundation of a good life.” But Islam was clearly deemed a threat, with one participant telling a contentiouspanel on Sharia law that in Minnesota “we practically have a Muslim state.”  
 
Reproductive Rights and Gay Rights = Big Government
 
In the “Social Issues: Why They Still Matter” panel, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal discussed “the psychology of those who are trying to undermine the moral fiber of this country,” arguing that liberals are compelled by a lust for power and therefore need to “control people” and “lower standards of society as a whole.” Fund explained that “if you can lower standards” by permitting legal abortion and gay equality, then liberals can gain control over society, and insisted that “we have to bring back shaming” of women who had abortions because “we need to be judgmental about this issue, we need to call out people for the choices that they made, ‘shaming’ is not a bad word in this society.” On a separate panel, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said, “When you redefine marriage, you also redefine the relationship between Genesis and the American tradition,” which would jeopardize freedom because “in some cases, the power of government is already being used to marginalize and stigmatize people who disagree with the foundational ideas of same-sex marriage.”
 
Obama as Enemy of Israel
 
Michele Bachman was one of several speakers who misportrayed recent Obama administration comments about Israel, calling them a “shocking display of betraying our greatest friend and ally.” One participant commented that “life, liberty, and Israel” were the elements that make up “the pursuit of happiness.” Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said Obama may soon be referring to Israel as “the Zionist regime” and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission implied that Obama may bringing upon the country the curse of God for his policy towards Israel. Peter Roff of U.S. News and World Report lamented that “the American Jewish community is for some reason enamored of Democratic politicians in general and Barack Obama specifically.”
 
Unified Conservative Movement
 
FRC’s Perkins was among many Religious Right speakers who argued for keeping social conservatives’ priorities at the forefront of the movement in the name of conservative movement unity.  Perkins used a strange mixed metaphor, saying it is the “bottom of the ninth for our beloved country” and no time to lapse into an undisciplined orchestra, calling for a “rousing symphony” – drums of national defense, the horns of economic abundance, and the strings that bind a strong family.  Among others who sounded the same theme were Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence, who said, “we have to recognize that our present crisis is not just economic or political but moral in nature” and touted the importance of the sanctity of life, “traditional marriage,” and the importance of organized religion in our daily life.
 
Haley Barbour, one of the potential presidential candidates who decided not to run, devoted his remarks to lecturing attendees about the need to rally behind whichever candidate was nominated even though the nominee won’t be perfect.  “In politics,” he said, “purity is the enemy of victory.” Tony Blankley warned that the media and Democrats would love to “divide and conquer” the movement.
 
Advocating for social issues at the FFC was clearly preaching to the choir.  But some Tea Party activists were clearly annoyed by the “you’re nothing without us” attitude of Religious Right activists Jordan Sekulow and Matt Barber at a panel on the “Teavangelicals” that was moderated by the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.

Gallagher: "People Are Afraid To Say What They Really Think About Marriage"

Back in March, Maggie Gallagher wrote a column attacking the idea that marriage equality could be a way to foster economic growth for states and today she was the guest on "Wallbuilders Live" to discuss it.

To kick things off, hosts David Barton and Rick Green mocked the idea, calling it "wacko on steroids" while Barton, of all people, demanded that we be "logical" about this before asserting that the Disney corporation lost money year after year when it supported gay rights and, once it reversed course, became profitable:

Barton: So everything is about economics now and suddenly you get this really ... I don't know what say ...

Green: Wacko is the only way ...

Barton: No, I am looking for something stronger than wacko - wacko on steroids - I mean there are some terms that come to mind, but you've got this proposal that says 'hey, we've got economic problems and here's part of the economic development solution and that's promoting gay marriage.' Wait a minute, run that by me again?

Green: I don't even know how to respond to that.

Barton: States are proposing this ... It doesn't pass the smell test. It sure doesn't pass the logic test. And I hate to say this, but let's be logical for a minute. Let's just look at what works.

Why don't they think about asking Disney how well promoting gay stuff helped their economics. You remember Disney, when they were being boycotted for doing all the gay stuff people stopped going there, they didn't want to be a part of that. And so while every other entertainment venue in the country was making money, Disney went fifteen out of sixteen quarters, as I recall, losing money. Finally got rid of [Michael] Esiner, got the whole philosophy turned around and now they're making money again.

Then Green interviewed Gallagher, who claimed that marriage equality advocates are so accustomed to "getting a pass" from the media that they can now just make absurd and embarrassing arguments before going on to assert that she does not believe national polls showing that a majority of Americans support marriage equality, saying instead that people are just being intimidated into saying they support it:

Gallagher: It's just an absurd argument for someone to make. Gay marriage advocates are just getting so used to getting a pass in the mainstream media from any kind of rational scrutiny, it's just embarrassing to go out in public and make a claim like this. I don't really understand how they think they can get away with it.

...

So I don't believe those polls. One of the things that's happening is that people are afraid to say what they really think about marriage, which is kind of extraordinary. That's power of a kind, but they are not persuading people; they are trying to shut down this debate.

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is holding a Facebook fundraiser seeking donations from those who "support traditional marriage and disagree with Pres. Obama's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act."
  • Rick Santorum wants to know why he and Newt Gingrich were suspended from Fox but Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin were not.  That is a good question.
  • Maggie Gallagher reacts to the Supreme Court's Westboro Baptist decision by declaring that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." I have no idea what she is talking about.
  • Ed Meese will receive the 2011 Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Abby Johnson is challenging Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to a public debate. I challenge Johnson to come clean about the real reason for her departure from the organization.
  • Bryan Fischer longs for the good old days when blasphemy was illegal.
  • Finally, here is Janet Porter-approved footage of her "Heartbeat Bill" stunt:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Maggie Gallagher of NOM gives Rick Santorum’s CPAC speech a rave review.
  • American Family Association talkers rail against “CPAC and its Acceptance of Unconservative Groups.”

Right Wing Leftovers

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

NOM’s Gallagher Outnumbered at Catholic Conversation on LGBT Issues

Georgetown University’s College Republicans and College Democrats hosted “A Catholic Family Conversation” on LGBT issues last night. The event at the Jesuit school was moderated by columnist E.J. Dionne and featured a debate between author/blogger Andrew Sullivan and Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage.

At the outset, Gallagher asked for a show of hands on where members of the audience stood on gay marriage. There appeared to be more supporters than opponents (not surprising given the mostly young audience and data on widespread Catholic support for LGBT equality). That may be why Gallagher condescendingly told young Catholics who support gay marriage not to pat themselves on the back for bravery, because, she said, what takes courage these days is to defend the church’s teaching. Gallagher and others were wearing a NOM button that tries, clumsily and not very successfully IMHO, to co-opt the term “marriage equality”:

Dionne spoke about his own journey from opposition to support for marriage equality. “Be not afraid,” he said, quoting from the day’s Gospel reading to suggest that Catholics should not fear conversation or engagement with modernity. He said that the Catholic Church has sometimes challenged modernity and sometimes been enriched by it, and sometimes both.

Many of Gallagher’s arguments were familiar to those who follow the marriage issue: Gallagher insisted that marriage is primarily about procreation and that “traditional” marriage serves a societal benefit of ensuring that children are raised by their mothers and fathers. She asked how society would be able to channel young men’s sexual energies into marriage if the traditional ideal of marriage is redefined as bigotry.

Gallagher said she was “shocked” at how opponents of gay marriage are being stigmatized as akin to racists and claimed that the gay rights movement is going to create intensifying conflict between the government and faith communities. (Perhaps she was thinking about NOM board member Orson Scott Card’s call for the overthrow of the government and Constitution if that Constitution is interpreted to permit gay couples to marry.)

In response to one audience question about what she would say to a teen in despair, she said she would counsel that God loves him, and claimed that she would confront his bullies because she has no respect or tolerance for bullying. When a later questioner asked how that statement could be reconciled with some of the groups NOM works with, she essentially dismissed the question by saying she couldn’t respond without specific examples. (We’d be happy to provide a few, or a ton.)

Gallagher slammed Catholics for Equality, which helped organize the event, calling on the group to repent for language she thought too critical of the church. (She seems sensitive in that regard, saying during the debate that Sullivan’s blunt criticism of the pope’s denigrating language about gay people made her want to cry.) And although she criticized her opponents for being uncivil, NOM distributed a flyer to attendees attacking Catholics for Equality. (The flyer slammed People For the American Way as an “anti-religious group funded by George Soros.”)

Sullivan was particularly effective as a speaker because he combined hard-hitting debate about the logic of NOM’s positions and the consequences of the church’s anti-gay teachings with a very personal, moving and disarming honesty about his own life and the way it has been strengthened by his marriage and his husband’s love.

Sullivan said he agreed with much of what Gallagher said about heterosexual marriage as an amazing, beautiful, mysterious event, but that he does not accept that marriage is an “either/or” proposition, adding that neither his parents’ marriage nor his sister’s is invalidated by his own. Sullivan told Gallagher that of course it hurt that she was trying to forcibly divorce him from his husband. It was, he said, a dehumanizing effort to deny gay people human happiness.

For more on the event, see journalist Sarah Posner’s report here.

Religious Right Tries to Marginalize SPLC

The Religious Right continues to react to the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and it is becoming clear that we've gotten to the point where people are speaking out against it without even having read it, which is why we have Ed Meese calling the list "despicable" and insisting that he knows the groups well, so they could not possibly be considered hate groups:

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese says it is “despicable” for the Southern Poverty Law Center to classify the Family Research Council and a dozen other top conservative organizations as “hate groups” similar to the Ku Klux Klan.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Meese told CNSNews.com about the list published by the SPLC. “I know about seven or eight of those groups. I know the people very well. I know the groups very well, I’ve worked with them over the years, and I think it actually undermines the credibility of the Southern Poverty Law Center to make such a statement.”

Last week, the Southern Policy Law Center announced that it was going to classify the Family Research Council and 12 other organizations as “hate groups” because of their positions on homosexuality.

Among the groups being designated by the SPLC are the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Institute, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, MassResistance, National Organization for Marriage and the Traditional Values Coalition.

The SPLC said these organizations will be named to its "hate group" watch list.

But Meese said the Southern Poverty Law Center had cited no evidence whatsoever to show that the FRC or the other major pro-family conservative organizations were hate groups.

First of all, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage were not designated hate groups - they were simply listed among active anti-gay groups.

Secondly, the SPLC laid out the statements and agenda of all the groups included on the list in its report, so the only way Meese could claim they "cited no evidence whatsoever" is if he hadn't bothered to read it.

And then, in one final bit of irony, Maggie Gallagher complained that the goal of the SPLC was to marginalize conservative groups so that no elected or government officials would associate with them ... while Messe demanded that the government have nothing to do with the SPLC:

The liberal law firm informs the media and law enforcement of its “surveillance,” and has close ties to both the media and the Justice Department.

“The question is, can they get away with it? Is it going to become the case that a politician can’t have anything to do with the Family Research Council or they’ll be associating with a ‘hate’ group. Will the media now say ‘We can’t talk to the Family Research Council because they are an extremist hate group?’” Gallagher asked.

...

Meese, meanwhile, called on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize and remove the FRC and the other groups from the list. He also said no one in law enforcement should take these latest deisgnations seriously.

“What should happen is, they should rescind their statement and apologize,” Meese said. “If in fact, in any way, they are in collusion with the Justice Department or any other department of the federal government on this, I think it is a serious problem for the government."

NOM Compares SPLC To Joseph McCarthy

If you think the Religious Right is over the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has added several new organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups, think again.

Even though pretty much every group mentioned in the report has already weighed in to voice their outrage, activists continue to blast the SPLC, with the AFA of Pennsylvania accusing them of "attempting to silence" Christians and WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah calling them a "marginal, fringe, extremist organization."

But the latest response from National Organization for Marriage really takes the cake, as Robert George compares the SPLC to Joe McCarthy while Maggie Gallagher complains that they are being treated like racists:

In a Nov. 29 e-mail to CNA, Princeton University law professor and National Organization for Marriage chairman emeritus Robert P. George compared the action to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s smearing of opponents by accusing them of being communist sympathizers.

While the Law Center continues to do some good work in the area of civil rights, its “tarring” of those it opposes “reveals itself to have become an ideologically partisan organization bent on shutting down dissent by intimidating into silence those with whom it should be engaged in honest debate.”

...

Gallagher saw the Law Center’s action as a vindication of her past statements.

“I wish they would stop proving that we’re right so consistently. I’m not surprised. This is what I predicted would happen. I’m a little surprised it’s happening so fast.

“They believe you should be treated like a racist if you think marriage is a union of a man and a wife,” she said.

Asked to explain the difference between having racist views and having views opposed to homosexual acts, Prof. George said that debates about sexual ethics are about whether certain acts are “consistent with the dignity of human beings.”

However, this debate assumes “the equal and inestimable worth and dignity of all human beings” because it asks whether certain acts are worthy of them. Racist ideology rejects this, basing itself on “skin pigmentation” or other “morally irrelevant factors.”

“We need to face squarely the goals of this movement, the rhetoric of this movement, and the fact that this is an issue,” Gallagher remarked.

She added that Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic bishops have made clear that “it doesn’t get better” if opponents of same-sex “marriage” stand down.

“The next fight is going to be whether or not our religious institutions and parents and schools are going to be stigmatized in the public square as racists, and face legal disabilities that racists face.”

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv); Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Pray and Act Ends With a Whimper

When we first learned of the "Pray and ACT" effort which sought to link 7 Mountains Dominionism with election-oriented prayer and fasting, we were pretty surprised by the number of high profile Religious Right leaders who had signed on to the effort, like Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee, Harry Jackson, Richard Land, Maggie Gallagher and various others.

In addition to orchestrating forty days of prayer and fasting in an effort to save this nation by electing "candidates who affirm the sanctity of life in all stages and conditions, the integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty and respect for conscience," Pray and ACT organizers also hosted a series of events that became less and less ambitious with every successive outing. 

The first of these events was a two-hour live webcast that featured Jim Garlow, James Robison, Samuel Rodriquez, Jordan Lorence., Lance Wallnau, Tony Perkins, and Richard Land speaking before a tiny crowd at a church in Washington, DC.  

The second event was another webcast, but this one featured little more than pre-recorded interviews with various activists who were attending the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.

And the forty days of prayer and fasting was supposed to culminate with an event held at "the steps of the Lincoln Memorial" on October 30 ...  but instead if turned out to be nothing more than a forty-five minute webchat between Jim Garlow and Chuck Colson:

I don't know about you, but when Pray and ACT organizers rolled out their agenda earlier this year, I was expecting a bit more. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Peter LaBarbera wants Ann Coulter to donate her GOProud fee to some "worthy pro-family organizations." Good luck with that.
  • Good news: Rick Joyner has successfully restored Todd Bentley.
  • Jennifer Roback Morse explains that "David Blankenhorn didn’t mess up in the Prop 8 Trial."
  • Maggie Gallagher says the anti-Prop 8. side wants the appeal thrown out on the issue of standing because "they understand how extreme and weak Walker's ruling actually is, how unable it is to withstand substantive review by higher courts."
  • Eugene Delgaudio and Public Advocate are now targeting Augusta State University, which they say is "brainwashing" it students "just as the North Koreans do to their people."
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Maggie Gallagher Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 10/25/2013, 5:00pm
Sarah Posner: Culture War Cease Fire: True or False?  David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Christian activist warns: Obama turning us all into pro-gay, European zombies. Good As You: ‘If only he’d been more anti-gay…’: A look at Maggie Gallagher & fellows’ silly ‘GOP autopsy.’ Towleroad: Baylor University Votes To Remove ‘Homosexual Acts’ From School’s ‘Sexual Misconduct Code.’  Jason Sattler @ National Memo: 6 Other Times Republicans Admitted Voting Restrictions Are Just About... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/24/2013, 2:45pm
National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher has been sounding the alarm about moves to moderate the GOP’s positions on issues such as abortion rights and LGBT equality. Gallagher recently harangued Ken Cuccinelli for not adequately advocating for his ultraconservative views on social issues in his foundering gubernatorial campaign. That’s right: Even though over half of Virginia voters consider Cuccinelli to be “too conservative,” she believes he is trailing in the polls because he isn’t playing up his right-wing credentials. Speaking with... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 10/18/2013, 11:32am
National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher has a curious op-ed in the Washington Post today in which she insists that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is behind in the polls because he isn’t talking enough about his opposition to reproductive rights. Cuccinelli sure has what Gallagher calls “conservative credentials” on the issue of choice. For instance, when he was in the state legislature, he sponsored a “personhood” bill that would have banned abortions in all circumstances and even criminalized some common forms of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/12/2013, 4:38pm
Jeremy Hooper: Listen up, class—Ms. Gallagher will now lead you in Boycotting Ethics 101. Matt Gertz @ Media Matters: EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Glenn Beck Details His New Stealth Weapon In The Culture War. Michelle Cottle @ The Daily Beast: The Shady Group Behind the African-American Anti-Immigration Rally. Stephanie Mencimer @ Mother Jones: Why the Latest Zimmerman Race Riot Conspiracy Theory Is the Dumbest Yet. Greg Howard @ Deadspin: Jets Lineman's Palestinian Heritage Is A Dog Whistle For Bigots. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Conservatives’ New Smear Campaign:... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/08/2013, 1:50pm
Not content with just claiming that Justice Anthony Kennedy has proclaimed a “fatwa” against opponents of gay marriage, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher is now blasting the Supreme Court for issuing a “head-on declaration of war against at least half of the American people.” In an interview with Lars Larson, Gallagher said that the court’s pro-marriage equality rulings limit the “democratic rights” of activists who seek to ban same-sex unions and argued that the justices could “not name” where gay and lesbian... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/03/2013, 4:30pm
Rush Limbaugh says that while “the one in Egypt’s a military coup, here it’s a Democrat Party coup.”  North Carolina Republicans have added far-reaching abortion rights restrictions to a bill banning Sharia law.  Maggie Gallagher calls on marriage equality opponents to fight back against “Kennedy’s fatwa against us.”  Sorry David Barton, but chaplains won’t be compelled to officiate same-sex marriages.  Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values wants Ohio Gov. John Kasich to run for... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/20/2012, 5:34pm
Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Preppers Are Getting Ready for the Barackalypse. Noah Rothman @ Mediaite: Fox & Friends Asks ‘Santa’ For His Thoughts On The ‘War On Christmas.’ David Weigel @ Slate: The Ghosts of Benghazi. Nicole Flatow @Think Progress: Iowa’s GOP Election Official Has Found Only 6 Examples Of Voter Fraud Out Of 1.6 Million Votes Cast. Joe.My.God: Maggie Gallagher To Defend Jewish "Ex-Gay" Group Against SPLC Lawsuit. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Mosque arsonist tells court: ‘I only know what I hear on Fox News... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/11/2012, 5:37pm
Daily Kos: Free-spending Republican leadership not putting mouth where money is on DOMA review. Towleroad: Maggie Gallagher: We're Going to Lose DOMA and GOP Lawmakers Refuse to Speak Up About It. Tara Culp-Ressler @ Think Progress: Colin Powell Urges Congress To Remove Abortion Restrictions For Military Women. Jeremy Hooper: Is this how's NOM's Next Generation will sound? Kevin Drum: The High Cost of Rube Goldberg Policymaking. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: A GOP consultant's accidental candor on voter-ID laws. MORE >