Michele Bachmann

Bachmann Hopes to Reshape the Judiciary According to her 'Biblical View of Law'

Michele Bachmann has made so-called “activist judges” a consistent target of her presidential campaign, dubbing them “black-robed masters” and in last night’s debate she called for Americans to “take the Constitution back” from the courts. Railing against the judiciary is a safe bet for Republicans trying to pander to social conservative voters, but Bachmann’s view of the legal system has come out of her experience as a Religious Right activist and student at Oral Roberts University Law School.

At Oral Roberts, Bachmann worked for Professor John Eidsmoe, and as reported by Ryan Lizza, Eidsmoe taught that when “Biblical law conflicted with American law, Eidsmoe said, O.R.U. students were generally taught that ‘the first thing you should try to do is work through legal means and political means to get it changed.’” Bachmann has consistently trumpeted her work with Eidsmoe, whose legal philosophy has been greatly influenced by Christian Reconstructionist RJ Rushdoony and has urged Christians to promote Biblical law in government.

Today on The Jan Mickelson Show, Bachmann said that her “biblical view of law” molded her view that America needs to disempower the judiciary:

Bachmann: I hold a biblical view of law. If you look at the original constitution and the founding documents of our country, it was clear that the founders wanted to separate power, they wanted to separate the presidency from the Supreme Court and from the Congress, because they thought that the Congress should be the most powerful of all the people’s voices because the people would have the ability to change out the members of the House every two years, originally the state legislatures would chose the Senators and they would have the state’s interest in mind, and the President was meant to execute the laws that Congress would put into place. The courts had a relatively minor function, it was to take current facts and apply it to the law that Congress had passed. So it was really a beautiful system that set up but it’s been distorted since then, and that’s what we need to do, get back to the original view of the Founders because it worked beautifully.

Gingrich, Santorum, and Bachmann All Sign Radical Personhood USA Pledge

Last month, the radical "personhood" amendment in Mississippi was trounced in the polls, with 58% of voters rejecting the Religious Right's effort to implement draconian anti-choice restrictions in the state.

But that has not stopped supporters of this "personhood" movement from moving ahead with plans to try and pass similar amendments in states across the nation. 

And now Personhood USA has announced that Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all signed the organization's pledge to support and promote both state and federal "personhood" laws:

Personhood USA has unveiled a detailed and unique pledge declaring a commitment to advance the personhood rights of every human being, born and preborn. Ahead of the nation’s first presidential caucus in Iowa, Personhood USA is asking the Republican candidates to sign the pledge and declaration.

“I ____________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life,” it reads.

So far, candidates who have returned the pledge with their signatures include Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The "Personhood Republican Persidential Candidate Pledge" reads as follows:  

I __________________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.

I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,” and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

I believe that in order to properly protect the right to life of the vulnerable among us, every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise. I recognize that in cases where a mother’s life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life as well; leaving the death of an innocent child as an unintended tragedy rather than an intentional killing.

I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings.

I pledge to the American people that I will defend all innocent human life. Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited.

If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.

The Family Leader Wants a Winner, While Bachmann Pushes for Religious Right Support

After narrowing their decision to four candidates in the Republican field, The Family Leader is set to announce their endorsement on Monday…or their decision not to endorse at all. With the caucus less than a month away, Bob Vander Plaats claims that their desired candidate must not only be conservative but must also have the strength to defeat Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination and ultimately President Obama. While Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry have all signed The Family Leader’s pledge, Newt Gingrich recently penned a letter committing to their right-wing agenda and pledging faithfulness to his third wife. The conservative Iowa Republican reports:

Bob Vander Plaats and his Family Leader organization plan to make a decision on whether or not to make an endorsement, and whom they might endorse, by next Monday. The group’s backing is one of the most sought after in the GOP presidential race, especially in Iowa.



“That’s going be a great question, because if you read the pledge that he wrote and submitted, there’s a lot of our verbiage in there,” Vander Plaats said. “He takes some strong stances on life, marriage and religious freedom. As we read it, we wondered why he didn’t sign the pledge, but he did almost everything we talked about and used a similar language.”



Vander Plaats says he is looking for an “authentic conservative”, but adds that viability is one of the issues The Family Leader will consider when picking their candidate. “If you’re going to beat Obama, then you also have to beat Romney to get the nomination,” The Family Leader CEO said. “If we were to endorse on what we’re looking for, we’re looking for a very conservative principled, but we’re also looking for someone who can win.”

While Vander Plaats may be concerned about electability, the campaign of the very-unelectable Michele Bachmann organized a group of the state’s Religious Right leaders, including Danny Carroll of The Family Leader, to promote her struggling campaign:

A group of conservative Christian faith leaders are hitting the road to urge conservatives to caucus for Michele Bachmann – not the race’s frontrunner, Newt Gingrich.

 

“Frankly, we’re looking to shake things up a little bit,” former Iowa Rep. Danny Carroll, a conservative Republican from Grinnell, told reporters at a news conference at the Iowa Capitol this morning.

The pastors delicately made it clear that they don’t think Gingrich is the best choice for president. Nor is Rick Santorum, a religious conservative who has been courting the evangelical vote in Iowa.

“(Gingrich) is tremendous in debates,” said Brad Sherman, an evangelical Christian minister with Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville. “Part of me wants to say I’d love to see him debate Obama because I think he would chew him up. But I have to live by principle – and Michele Bachmann has proved it.”



Carroll said during the news conference: “We have determined that Michele Bachmann is Biblically-qualified to be the president, to be a leader. She is capable. She is trustworthy. She fears God and she hates dishonest gain.”

Iowans should to go to the caucuses on Jan. 3 “unless you support someone other than Michele Bachmann. Then you should take the night off,” he said.

Carroll and various faith leaders are embarking on an eight-city tour of Iowa – Oskaloosa, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Mason City, Council Bluffs and Sioux City – to call on Christians “to be informed.”

Bachmann Wins Dobson’s Heart, But Not his Endorsement

Today’s program on Family Talk concluded James Dobson’s interview with Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who both lavished Dobson with praise and accolades. Dobson said they were “in sync on everything I’ve heard so far,” and Bachmann said it was because she “agrees” with everything she learned from him. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network reports that Dobson is not planning to endorse Bachmann or any other candidate for that matter, but will “reach out to Iowa leaders on her behalf”:

Dobson told her afterwards that he plans to reach out to Iowa leaders on her behalf. Dr. Dobson is not planning on endorsing any candidate.



In addition to the private meeting with Dr. Dobson, Marcus and Michele Bachmann spoke to all of the staff and had lunch with him as well.

Beyond the meeting with Dobson, she also met with Jim Daly, president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, along with the department heads within the organization. According to the Bachmann campaign, they discussed the political dynamics of the presidential race as well as the state of politics in the country today. Bachmann did not go there seeking an endorsement but rather to listen to the top concerns from those within the important evangelical organization.

Surely, Dobson’s tacit support for Bachmann may come as a disappointment to Rick Perry, as Perry named Dobson co-chair of The Response and gave Dobson the honor of kicking-off the prayer rally. Dobson may be gun-shy about endorsing a candidate given the struggle he faced in 2008 when he only endorsed Mike Huckabee late in the game and he refused to support John McCain, at least until he put Sarah Palin on the ticket when Dobson changed his mind.

Bachmann and Dobson showered each other with admiration, with Dobson describing the Bachmann’s as “role models” and Bachmann calling the Focus on the Family founder “a legend in modern Christendom”:

Dobson: Well what a pleasure it’s been to talk to you all because we are in sync on everything I’ve heard so far.

Bachmann: Well because we agree with you!

Marcus Bachmann: We were mentored.

Dobson: Why do you think you’re here?

Bachmann: You really have lived a wonderful life Dr. Dobson, I have to tell you, you really have. You’ve given to all of us by your own example and by these shows over the years, you’ve given us a wonderful life. That’s not gratuitous, I’m just saying the legacy that you have left has been built into our life for thirty three years of marriage, it was built into our biological children’s lives, your legacy will be felt in our grandchildren so we want to thank you.

Dobson: That’s so nice of you. I have a very special relationship with the Lord, I steal his ideas and I get the credit for it, it really works well! It’s been great having you here, I appreciate it so much you taking the time to be here out of what has to be a horrendous schedule. We prayed before we started today and just asked the Lord not only to be here in this discussion and he has been; I’m aware of it, aren’t you?

Bachmann: Amen, there’s no question.

Dobson: And also to be with you as you go through this very challenging season of your life, it is a pleasure getting better acquainted with you and I’ll see you at the National Day of Prayer.

Bachmann: Yes you will, God bless you.

Dobson: Thank you Dr. Marcus Bachmann and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, you are the role models that we talked about earlier today.

Bachmann: You have been a legend in modern Christendom, we mean that sincerely, and we’re grateful to you for your living example.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

Bachmann Lauds Schlafly, LaHaye for Inspiring Her Political Career

After exalting James Dobson on his show Family Talk yesterday, today Michele Bachmann credited antifeminist luminaries Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye, along with Dobson and his wife Shirley, for motivating her to become a conservative activist. Bachmann has previously called Schlafly, who has endorsed her presidential campaign, her “hero” and “the person that I hope to be someday,” and said that LaHaye is “an extraordinary woman of God.” In fact, Bachmann said that LaHaye’s warnings “on the threats to the family” riled her enough to join LaHaye’s organization Concerned Women for America:

Bachmann: As a young woman I read a lot, I was a big reader my whole life, and I loved reading Phyllis Schlafly, she is just smart as a whip.

Ryan Dobson: Who started off as a homemaker and a mom, and then had a law career.

Bachmann: And who also taught her children how to read at home, she did that, she was self-taught in many ways and she was very interested in national security, as I am, and defense issues, but also very cognizant on financial issues.

And also Bev LaHaye, Marcus and I were brand new newlyweds and I got in our mailbox a cassette tape back in the cassette tape days from Bev LaHaye, talking about where our nation was at. I listened to it, and she was trying to pull the alarm on the threats to the family, like Dr. Dobson was doing, so I joined Concerned Women for America, that was the inception, and started getting materials from her, from Phyllis Schlafly, from Dr. Dobson. Over the course of the years, I’ve poured all of these great women and Dr. and Shirley Dobson into my life, and they’ve really been my teachers.

LaHaye, whose husband Tim is best known for writing the Left Behind series and for his attacks on gays, Roman Catholics and “the Illuminati,” still chairs CWA and has a long history of Religious Right activism. She started CWA because she “knew the feminists’ anti-God, anti-family rhetoric did not represent her beliefs, nor those of the vast majority of women,” and also outlined the “biblical worldview” in politics that Bachmann often talks about: “America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.” According to LaHaye, conservative Christians need to enter politics in order to “stand up against the wiles of the devil.”

Not only does LaHaye have harsh words for feminists and people “who do not use the Bible to guide” their political lives, but also doesn’t take kindly to gays and lesbians, writing in a CWA mailer: “[Homosexuals] want their depraved ‘values’ to become our children’s values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!”

With her role models holding such extreme views, it is no wonder Bachmann turned out to be one of the most far-right figures in contemporary politics.

Bachmann Shares with Dobson Her Religious Right Credentials and "Biblical Worldview"

Today, Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus joined James Dobson on Family Talk. The congresswoman described her career in politics, which started with her working against the public education system up to today as a presidential candidate. Bachmann told a familiar story where she took on two of the institutions most opposed by the Religious Right, public schools and the federal government. She said she entered politics when she became troubled about “what came home in the backpack” from her foster children who attended public schools, and diligently worked until she “overthrew” the “national standards” that public schools followed, which she called “politically correct, dumbed down standards, in many ways they were against the Christian values that a lot of parents hold.”

Bachmann also gushed over Dobson for helping her and Marcus lay “the foundation brick by brick in our life” and credited Francis Schaeffer with leading her to develop “the concept of biblical worldview, that God has something to say every aspect of life, because He’s the creator of life.” Schaeffer’s series, How Should We Then Live?, blames increasing secular humanism and moral relativism for social decay and calls on Christians to fight back and put biblical precepts into law in order to curb society’s unraveling. The film series, along with Schaeffer’s other works such as A Christian Manifesto and Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, had a tremendous role in shaping the modern Religious Right, a movement that Bachmann isn’t just courting but is also a part of.

Bachmann: To be with Jim and Shirley Dobson and your family is a thrill. Marcus and I have known about you since the very earliest days that you went on your show, there’s hardly a show that we ever missed and we almost committed to them to memory.

Dobson: Are you exaggerating?

Bachmann: Not at all, you and Shirley have been tremendous mentors for us. You’ve been a wonderful example, a teacher, a preacher for us in a lot of ways. And we knew of you before we got married and we’ve listened through our early married years as we had our children and you’ve really pricked our hearts on many different subjects and you laid the foundation brick by brick in our life growing up, maturing in our own family life, and we want to thank you for that.



Bachmann: You asked us before about ‘pro-life,’ when Marcus and I were nineteen in college we had gone to see the film series by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live, and when we saw that film series it changed our lives forever. We understood the concept of biblical worldview, that God has something to say every aspect of life, because He’s the creator of life. And Dr. Schaeffer said in that series that the abortion issue is the watershed issue of our time, that struck a chord of recognition with us. And we started reaching out to women in unplanned pregnancies, we got married right after college, and we started inviting women into our home, and informally we counseled them, we took them to pro-life centers, I went through childbirth classes with women, I held their hands as they gave birth to babies, because we didn’t want to just talk the talk, we wanted to walk the walk.

Perry and Bachmann on Immigration: Shut Down the Border, Deport 11 Million People

The issues of border security and illegal immigration are incredibly complex and directly affect tens of millions of Americans – not to mention the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are estimated to be living in the United States. In other words, these are issues that call for some level of nuance.

Nuance, however, isn’t something that Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann do: 

 When asked about border security by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Perry responded:
I have made the commitment that 12 months after being inaugurated as president, that border will be shut down, and it’ll be secure. 
We can only hope that Perry misspoke about shutting down the border with Mexico. Bachmann, however, was very clear in stating her determination to tear apart millions of families and devastate the economy by deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants: 
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: You have pledged to deport all 11 million illegal aliens. Homeland Security tells us that will cost $135 billion. Tell us, first, how you plan to pay for that and how you will execute that plan.
 
Bachmann: This is the thorniest, most difficult issue in dealing with illegal immigration. What about deportation? I believe that we should uphold the laws of the land which does include deportation. […]
 
Bondi: What is your plan for executing it?
 
Bachmann: It would be enforcement. Enforcement both at the border but also by the ICE agents. Right now, essentially, our ICE agents – those are the agents in the interior of the country who are tasked with enforcing the laws – they’re not enforcing them. We also have sanctuary cities where they don’t enforce the laws either on deportation. 

 

Bachmann Picks Up the Support of Her "Dear Mentor," Phyllis Schlafly

Michele Bachmann yesterday picked up the support of the person she called “the most important woman in the United States in the last one hundred years,” Phyllis Schlafly. The Des Moines Register reports that the anti-feminist leader and head of Eagle Forum urged Iowa caucus-goers to back Bachmann:

In a written statement, Schlafly says: “Most important, Michele has the courage to be a leader among her peers. She is a real champion in speaking up for values we care about. Michele is a woman of faith and the mother of a beautiful family. She has a 100 percent pro-life record and is a strong supporter of traditional marriage.”



“If I were an Iowa voter, I would be making plans right now to cast my vote for Michele Bachmann for president on January 3. I hope you will take advantage of this golden opportunity to support a candidate we can all be proud of.”

Schlafly said conservatives don’t want the media to choose their candidate, “or tell us we must choose one of the two who currently lead in the polls.”

Bachmann praised Schalfly at the Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit and even awarded her the Citizens United Lifetime Achievement Award at CPAC earlier this year. During a conference call with tea party members, Bachmann described Schlafly as “my heroine and my example as a forerunner” along with “my dear mentor and the person that I hope to be some day”:

Best known for leading the effort to stop the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Schlafly has continued to work as an ardent Religious Right activist and commentator who in recent years blamed the Virginia Tech shooting on English professors, called President Obama an enemy of “real Americans” who wants to “take us into socialism,” and argued that married women cannot be raped by their husbands.

Franks Endorses Bachmann, Adding To Her List Of Far-Right Supporters

Today, Michele Bachmann’s foundering presidential campaign picked up the endorsement of Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and promptly appointed him “Congressional Co-Chair”:

The Bachmann for President campaign has announced the appointment of Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) as Congressional Co-Chair. Rep. Franks joins the growing list of endorsements and support for the Bachmann team, not only in Iowa, but also across the country.

“I know Michele is right on the issues that are important to conservatives across the country and I know she won’t back off,” Rep. Franks said. “I have seen her at work in Washington, standing firm on key issues like Obamacare, the debt ceiling, and TARP.”



“Congressman Franks and I have fought together in Washington for smaller government and responsible government spending, and I’m honored to have him on my team,” Bachmann said. “He’s a respected colleague, and will be invaluable in our work to gain support in Iowa and the early primary states, eventually securing the GOP nomination.”

Like previous Bachmann endorsers like Tamara Scott, George Grant and Peter Waldron, the Arizona congressman appears to be a great fit for the far-right and conspiratorial Bachmann, as Franks:

  • called President Obama an “enemy of humanity” at a right-wing conference, and later tried to explain that he meant to call Obama an “enemy of unborn humanity”;
  • believes that President Obama consistently “acts un-American” and “seems to go against American interests”;
  • demanded the impeachment of President Obama and the defunding of the Justice Department over their decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);
  • floated “birther” conspiracies and suggested that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen, even considered filing a lawsuit against Obama;
  • said the Obama Administration has an “ideological commitment” to “weaken America”;
  • claimed a Muslim civil rights group was using congressional interns to spy on Congress;

Bachmann's Iowa Campaign Chair Says Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Object Marriage

A candidate with a long and ferocious anti-gay record as Michele Bachmann needs a campaign chairman with a similar history of activism against gay rights. Last week, Bachmann’s campaign announced that Tamara Scott will serve as her Iowa Co-Chair, with campaign manager Eric Woolson announcing, “We are proud to have the support of an honorable conservative leader like Tamara.”

Scott is the director of Iowa’s Concerned Women for America chapter, and last year successfully fought to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court after they legalized marriage equality in the state. She claimed that the future of America and people’s potential to enter Heaven would be in jeopardy if marriage equality remains the law of the land, telling supporters, “This is a battle for your future as Americans, for your future as a society and for your future someday when you stand before the Throne.”

One reason Scott said that voters should oppose marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is that it would open the door for polyamory and legalizing marriages between people and inanimate objects. While speaking with Bob Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader, Scott warned that gay rights will lead to people marrying objects like the Eiffel Tower:

Bachmann Endorser Grant Says "It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest"

For months now, all we have been hearing is that there is no such thing as "Dominionism" and that nobody on the Religious Right has ever even heard of it and even if it did exist, it was something believed only by a tiny minority of activists who have no ties to the Religious Right or leading Republicans.

Which is all very confusing, because here is a video of Dr. George Grant endorsing Michele Bachmann for president:

Grant, it should be noted, reportedly supports the death penalty for homosexuals and just so happens to be a pretty vocal advocate of Dominionism:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.

Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.

This Grant endorsement video was actually posted on Bachmann's presidential campaign website at one point, which makes sense as Grant was among the Religious Right activists to whom her campaign has been reaching out, but it has already been removed

We can't imagine why.

Blackwell Ditches Bachmann For Perry

Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race.

How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry:

Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and one time candidate for Governor who lost against Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

“I am proud to endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president,” said Blackwell in a release from the Perry campaign. “Gov. Perry’s successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again. His proven conservative values, and his proven executive experience are exactly what this country needs to reverse the failed policies of the Obama Administration.”

Blackwell’s endorsement comes just as Perry’s campaign is having a second roll-out following a major slip in the polls as a result of dreadful debate performances and other missteps. Bachmann’s poll numbers have also dropped significantly as Herman Cain, for now, has emerged as Mitt Romney’s closest rival. But with Cain flubbing and flip-flopping even straight-forward questions on abortion rights and gay rights and Bachmann’s campaign running low on support, staffers and funding, it may be time that establishment figures in the Religious Right rally behind Perry as their choice.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Things are continuing to go well for Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign.
  •  

  • So I am guess that Penny Nance would not be impressed by the several hours I spent last night playing "Arkham City"?
  •  

  • Eric Cantor bravely canceled his speech on income inequality when he found out it would be open to the public.
  •  

  • A hotel refuses to host one of her speaking engagements, which obviously means that the hotel caved to Islamic supremacists and America is falling under Sharia.
  •  

  • Finally, the quote of the day from Star Parker: "We can’t divorce our sexual promiscuity from our fiscal promiscuity. Restoring personal responsibility in both areas is what we need today to get our nation back on track."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Meanwhile, Jeffress falsely claims “that there has never been a church in American history that has ever lost its tax-exempt status,” while the not self-aware pastor attacks Barry Lynn for seeking “publicity.”
  • WorldNetDaily’s Jane Chastain can only dream that President Obama will tell the Occupy Wall Street protest, “You have disgraced yourself by your public displays of indecency.”
  • The New York Times looks into Michele Bachmann’s education in biblical law at Oral Roberts University.

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

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

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

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bill Keller and Janet Mefferd rally to Robert Jeffress' side and defend his assertion that Mormonism is a cult.
  •  

  • Chris Christie has endorsed Mitt Romney.
  •  

  • Tim Pawlenty regrets dropping out of the presidential race.
  •  

  • Michele Bachmann is still trying to pretend that her campaign is right on track.
  •  

  • Joe the Plumber is running for Congress.  This ought to be good.
  •  

  • Matt Barber says the Religious Right doesn't seek "dominion," but simply "intend to 'take over government' insofar as this means ensuring that true, traditionalist statesmen are elected to office."
  •  

  • Finally, Herman Cain didn't really want to run for President, but God insisted.

Bryan Fischer's Speech To The Values Voter Summit

During his address to the Values Voter Summit, Bryan Fischer made the same claims he always made: Islam is evil and Muslims are traitors, LGBT equality threatens freedom, and the Constitution protects only Christians (not Mormons). After posting clips from the speech of Fischer attacking gay rights and the theory of evolution, we decided to post his speech in full.

Remember that presidential candidates Herman CainMichele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have all appeared on his show, along with past candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee. In addition, Fischer is the spokesman for the organization, the American Family Association, that co-hosted The Response prayer rally with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Part I:

Part II:

WallBuilders Enlists Christopher Columbus & Reconstructionist Eidsmoe in Christian Nation Crusade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eidsmoe writes:

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

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

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 10/11/2013, 3:10pm
Michele Bachmann tried to outdo Ben Carson at today’s Values Voter Summit in her attack on health care reform, calling Obamacare an “egregious system” that “will ultimately be known as DeathCare.” Such language comes as no surprise from the Minnesota congresswoman, who has repeatedly warned that Obamacare will establish death panels and “literally” kill people. She added that Obamacare will turn the US into a “police state” that will make NSA surveillance seem small (ironically, Bachmann was one of the NSA’s biggest defenders).... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/09/2013, 11:00am
Speaking with conservative talk show host Rusty Humphries on a conference call sponsored by TheTeaParty.net yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota suggested that the House hold hearings on impeaching the president. Bachmann said that “impeachment is the stain” on the presidency and “We can have an impeachment hearing in the House and in my mind the President has committed impeachable offenses.” “With Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, unless there is some miracle that happens,” Bachmann lamented, “Harry Reid is not going to remove Obama from... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 10/07/2013, 3:58pm
This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups. The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer. On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/07/2013, 2:40pm
In an interview with Understanding the Times host Jan Markell on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann accused President Obama of giving aid to Al Qaeda, which she said is proof that we are living in the Last Days. Of course, on the same day Bachmann gave the interview, a Delta Force operation approved by Obama nabbed a key Al Qaeda figure in Libya. But according to Bachmann, Obama is now championing the terrorist group. The Minnesota congresswoman referred to a decision by the Obama administration to allow vetted Syrian rebels not affiliated with terrorist organizations to help them resist... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/03/2013, 4:30pm
Alex Pareene @ Salon: How Ted Cruz is coordinating the (incoherent) conservative shutdown strategy.  Steve Benen @ Maddow Blog: The fine art of editing.  Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: No, the House GOP Isn't Standing Up for Kids With Cancer.  Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Bachmann to Hannity: ‘This Is About the Happiest’ GOP Has Been in a While.  Dahlia Lithwick @ Slate: Conscience Creep.  Zachary Pleat @ Media Matters: Fox Smears Obama With New Benghazi Falsehood.  Warren Throckmorton: Rick Joyner Doubles Down On... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/01/2013, 11:00am
Now that the House GOP leadership has listened to its far-right Tea Party wing and shut down the government in a failed attempt to block the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress are trying to present themselves as American heroes. They are patting themselves on the back for attempting to stop a law that they claim most voters oppose…despite the fact that voters re-elected President Obama just last November and overwhelmingly oppose the Tea Party shutdown. We attempted to wade into the Tea Party’s alternate universe to condense Right’s six favorite... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/30/2013, 11:20am
In an interview published today on the conspiracy-theory-happy website WorldNetDaily, Rep. Michele Bachmann likens President Obama to a crack dealer, accusing him of trying to “get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care.” The Minnesota congresswoman, who has alleged that Obamacare denies healthcare to conservatives, implements death panels and “literally kills” people, even tried to link health insurance exchanges to supposed ACORN-esque voter fraud in which non-existent people will sign up for insurance to make money.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/25/2013, 12:40pm
Louie Gohmert wasn’t the only far-right congressman to stop by The Lars Larson Show in recent days, as Michele Bachmann last week told the conservative radio host that “the Clintons have very close ties to people who have very close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.” “We’re not talking about the Lutheran Brotherhood here, we’re talking about the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said, once again pointing to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood agent. MORE >