Newt Gingrich

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/28/10

Haley Barbour

2012: Political work profiled by TIME Magazine (TIME, 9/23).

New Hampshire: Stumps with GOP gubernatorial candidate (Nashua Telegraph, 9/28).

Mitch Daniels

2012: Fundraising circuit points to presidential bid (Indianapolis Star, 9/28).

Poll: About 75% of Americans haven’t heard of the Indiana Governor (Journal Gazette, 9/28).

Newt Gingrich

Democrats: Calls Democrats “the food stamp party” (Chicago Sun Times, 9/25).

GOP: How Gingrich transformed the Republican Party (Salon, 9/24).

2010: Approves new “Pledge to America” (Politico, 9/23).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Campaigned with Rand Paul over the weekend (BluegrassPolitics, 9/22).

Health Care: Walks back on previous position on coverage for pre-existing condition (The American Prospect, 9/23).

Business: Huckabee-endorsed Goldline company sued by SEC (ABC, 9/23).

Sarah Palin

2012: New poll shows her growing unpopularity among voters (ThePlumLine, 9/27).

2010: Launches “Take Back the 20” campaign against Democrats who supported Health Care Reform (The Hill, 9/27).

Media:  Claims media "piles on" her endorsed candidates (GOP 12, 9/27).

Religious Right: Article looks into Palin’s relationship with Dominionism (Religion Dispatches, 9/26).

Tim Pawlenty

Foreign Affairs: Calls Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “nutty” (City Pages, 9/24).

New Hampshire: Plans to fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen (Concord Monitor, 9/26).

Minnesota: Visits flooded areas of state (WCCO, 9/25).

Mitt Romney

2010: Endorses West Virginia Republicans (The Hill, 9/27).

Obama: Calls Presidency an “abject failure” to New Hampshire GOP (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/26).

Rick Santorum

Media: Santorum, Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee all on Fox payroll (Politico, 9/27).

John Thune

2012: Weekly Standard profiles South Dakota Senator John Thune (Weekly Standard, 10/4).

Florida Bar To File Misconduct Complaint Against John Stemberger

A few weeks back we noted that the Florida Family Policy Council's John Stemberger was being sued for $10 million over his role in the Rifqa Bary saga.

And now it looks like things are getting progressively worse for him as the Florida Bar Association is preparing to file a misconduct complaint against him:

A professional organization for lawyers said Thursday it is drafting a misconduct complaint against the former attorney of a teenager from Ohio who ran away to Florida after converting to Christianity.

John Stemberger, an Orlando, Fla., lawyer, represented Rifqa Bary after she alleged her Muslim parents in suburban Columbus would harm her for converting.

The Florida Bar's grievance committee found enough evidence of alleged misconduct to prepare a complaint, said bar spokeswoman Karen Kirksey.

The bar looked into the matter after a formal complaint was filed with the group by Ohio lawyer Omar Tarazi, who represented Bary's parents in Ohio juvenile court.

Tarazi alleged Stemberger misrepresented himself as Bary's lawyer after Bary returned to Ohio and had new lawyers. Tarazi, who is Muslim, also accused Stemberger of alleging that Tarazi has terrorist ties.

The bar committee expects to file its complaint with the Florida Supreme Court this fall.

Gee, who would have ever imagined that Stemberger's legal work might be questionable:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

On a side note, according to Stemberger's Twitter account, he attended an Arlington Group meeting in Washington DC last week and then spoke in South Carolina along with Newt Gingrich and David Barton.

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/21/10

Your update on the potential 2012 Presidential candidates for 9/14-9/21:

Mitch Daniels

2012: Newt Gingrich says Daniels should run for President (Courier & Press, 9/21).

Economy: Attends Chamber of Commerce event in Indianapolis (WIBC, 9/20).

PAC: Leadership PAC runs ads encouraging IN voters to support Republicans (Politico, 9/19).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Demands ban on Sharia Law’s use in US Courts (TPM, 9/18).

Health Care: Calls for HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation, compares her service to “Soviet tyranny” (Politico, 9/18).

GOP: Headlines fundraiser for the Minnesota GOP (Star Tribune, 9/17).

Obama: Gingrich attacked by critics for pushing over the top anti-Obama rhetoric (NY Daily News, 9/20).

Mike Huckabee

Obama: Criticizes President’s treatment of Christians (Newsmax, 9/17).

GOP: “Thrilled” about the defeat of “establishment” candidate in primaries (Huffington Post, 9/20).

2010: Expects a Republican wave in home state of Arkansas (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/20).

Sarah Palin

Iowa: Speaks at Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner, tells Fox News she may “give it a shot” to Presidential run (NY Daily News, 9/18).

2012: Wins straw poll of presidential prospects at RightNation convention (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/20).

2010: Tweets to Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell with a warning against “appeasing nat'l media” that’s “seeking ur destruction” (The Hill, 9/19).

Religious Right: FRC head Tony Perkins suggests that Palin is a “cheerleader” rather than a presidential candidate (Politico, 9/18).

Media: Claims that journalists disrespect fallen troops when they “tell lies” about her (Des Moines Register, 9/17).

Poll: Rasmussen survey says slight majority of Americans identify more with Palin’s views than Obama’s (Rasmussen Reports, 9/20).

Tim Pawlenty

2010: Fundraising for GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker in Wisconsin (AP, 9/20).

Economy: WSJ profiles Governors like Pawlenty and others who visited China (WSJ, 9/20).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Indiana Congressman wins a plurality of votes at Values Voter Summit’s 2012 straw poll (MSNBC, 9/18).

2012: Speaks to conservative Hillsdale College about the Presidency (EducationNews, 9/21).

2010: Defends Christine O’Donnell in Delaware from attacks (CNN, 9/20).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Romney’s Leadership PAC endorses and donates to victors of GOP primaries (Politics Daily, 9/18).

Religious Right: Lashes out at Obama’s economic and social policies, “counterfeit” values at Values Voter Summit (Religion Dispatches, 9/20).

Poll: Leads 2012 pack with 22% support from Republicans (Public Policy Polling, 9/12).

2010: Going to Florida to stump for Gov hopeful Rick Scott (Daily Sun, 9/20).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Tests message in early primary state (Daily Caller, 9/16).

Religious Right: Says that families don’t exist in poor neighborhoods (CBS News, 9/17).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update

Although there are no announced Republican candidates for President, the race for 2012 is already underway with a number of candidates testing the waters. RightWingWatch will begin bringing you weekly updates on new speeches, events, controversies, and activities of potential 2012 contenders.

Haley Barbour

2012: Claims that his lobbyist experience will help him as President (US News & World Report, 9/14).

Civil-rights: Odd history from Barbour on Ole Miss integration (McClatchy, 9/9)

Mitch Daniels

2012: Meets with GOP fundraisers and “well-connected Republican figures” (Politico, 9/14).

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Claims that Obama represents “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview citing a D’Souza article in Forbes which says Obama’s agenda is to fulfill the dreams of his father, whom D’Souza calls a “philandering, inebriated African socialist” (WhoRunsGov, 9/12).

2010: Predicts GOP majority in House and Senate, Reid loss (CNSNews, 9/13).

Government: Floats government shutdown if GOP wins majorities (GOP12, 9/12).

Abortion: Gingrich adviser blames legal abortion for unemployment (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Education: Scheduled to appear on Rev. Al Sharpton’s new show on education issues (Hollywood Reporter, 9/13).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Fundraises for Rob Portman and Steve Chabot in Ohio (Business Courier, 9/13).

2012: Set to address the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on economy, education, and health care (WLNS, 9/14).

Sarah Palin

2010: Holds fundraiser for Rand Paul in Louisville on Thursday (Kentucky Enquirer, 9/13); records robocalls for two Mama Grizzlies: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire before primaries.

GOP: David Plouffe claims “Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck” lead the Republican Party. “All of these Republican candidates have to pledge allegiance to them, their intolerance and their backwards thinking” (New York Times, 9/13)

Right-wing: Says Statue of Liberty meant to be a “warning” to the US “not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies” (FireDogLake, 9/13).

Park51: Imam Rauf cites Palin for encouraging a “growing Islamophobia” (NY Daily News, 9/12).

George Pataki

New Hampshire: Tells Bedford audience that “government is intimately involved in creating the problems,” responsible for stoking the economic crisis (Union Leader, 9/13).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed calling for repeal of Health Care Reform (USA Today, 9/13).

Tim Pawlenty

New Hampshire: Sends six staffers from leadership PAC to the Granite State (AP, 9/14)

Economy: Visits Shanghai World’s Fair, says of China: “They're not racing us to the bottom. They're racing us to the top” (Minnesota Post, 9/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Fundraiser in the works for GA Senator Johnny Isakson (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/13).

Rick Santorum

2012: Calls for infusion of religion into politics, rejects JFK’s 1960 speech defending the separation of church and state (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Obama: Claims the President is “condescending” to GOP leaders (GOP12, 9/13).

Right Wing Leftovers

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

Gingrich Wants Ground Zero Declared a National Battlefield Memorial to Stop Park 51

David Barton and Newt Gingrich have been working together for years now, but today was the first time Gingrich had ever appeared on Barton's "Wallbuilders Live" radio program.

Gingrich came on to discuss his recent column opposing the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" and did so did so with typical Gingrichian belligerence, but eventually the topic turned toward how to actually prevent it from being built and Gingrich's preferred solution is for Congress to declare Ground Zero to be a national battlefield memorial:

Well, there are a lot of places. I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war.

The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to.

I am surprised that Mayor Bloomberg said it was okay and I think that if he reconsiders it, he'll decide its not.

There are a number of different steps that could be taken. There's no reason this has to occur and whether it's city, state, or federal there are plenty of ways for America to stop it.

Elsewhere, Barton gushes over Gingrich's amazing genius and notes that he has been utterly forgiven by the Religious Right for his previous multiple marital failings:

And finally, Rick Green asked Gingrich if he was planning on running for president in 2012, to which Gingrich replied that if he does decide to do so, Barton and Wallbuilders will be asked to play a key role in the campaign:

Green: Mr. Speaker, my wife and I were really wanting to be able to vote for you for president two years ago. Are we going to get to do that in 2012?

Gingrich: All I can tell you is that sometime in February or March, Calista and I and our family will be making this decision. As you know, I'm a great admirer of your work and of all you've done to teach Americans about their history and the roots of American freedom. And I can assure you that if we do decide to run next year, we're promptly going to call you and say "we need your help, and we need your advice, and we need your counsel." It's more than a voting matter. If we decide to run, David, we're going to need you.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Gov. Bob McDonnell has now been confirmed as a speaker at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Tony Perkins again warns the GOP not to abandon social issues.
  • Shockingly, people on the Right are not happy about the revelation that Keh Mehlman is gay.
  • Bryan Fischer says ... well, it's Bryan Fischer, so you know what he says.
  • Mike Huckabee asks you to join him in thanking Ken Cuccinelli for fighting health care reform.
  • Newt Gingrich is listed on this new list of confirmed speakers for Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom conference.
  • You know what America needs?  A new documentary featuring Bryan Fischer, Janet Porter, Wendy Wright, Phyllis Schlafly, Cliff Kincaid and others explaining how Obama is turning this nation into a Communist state:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah continues his feud with Ann Coulter.
  • Peter LaBarbera is now very upset with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
  • Stephen Prothero wonders why Mormons like Mitt Romney haven't been speaking out on behalf of Muslims regarding Park 51.
  • Newt Gingrich will apparently not be participating in the 9/11 rally against Park 51.
  • Alan Keyes really doesn't like Glenn Beck.
  • I just might have to pick up the book "Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today's Culture Wars" because it sounds pretty interesting.

Gingrich Knows The Right Will Never Hold Him Accountable For His Hypocrisy

Esquire has a long profile of Newt Gingrich in which his ex-wife Marianne says he won't run for President because he is more interested in making money, as Justin Elliott explains:

Despite the recent hype, Marianne does not believe Newt is really serious about running for president. Why not? He's too busy making lots and lots of money ... So how is Newt making all this money? With a network of non-profit and for-profit groups that are financed by industry and are devoted above all to promoting Gingrich himself. It turns out this very much resembles the setup that got Gingrich fined $300,000 by the House ethics committee in the 1990s.

The article is long and quite interesting and you really should read the whole thing, but I am just going to highlight this section in which Marianne discusses their divorce, which she says did not come as a particular surprise since Gingrich had also carried on an affair with her while still married to his first wife and even "went to the hospital to present her with divorce terms while she was recovering from uterine cancer."

Then he did the same thing to her:

But Marianne was having problems of her own. After going to the doctor for a mysterious tingling in her hand, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Early in May, she went out to Ohio for her mother's birthday. A day and a half went by and Newt didn't return her calls, which was strange. They always talked every day, often ten times a day, so she was frantic by the time he called to say he needed to talk to her.

"About what?"

He wanted to talk in person, he said.

"I said, 'No, we need to talk now.' "

He went quiet.

"There's somebody else, isn't there?"

She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. " 'I can't handle a Jaguar right now.' He said that many times. 'All I want is a Chevrolet.' "

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He'd just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he'd given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, "How do you give that speech and do what you're doing?"

"It doesn't matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

Prop 8: Engle Calls It The End of Democracy While Garlow Warns Of Bestiality

Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church, was a key leader in the effort to pass Proposition 8 and earlier this year explained how he brought Lou Engle in to lead their prayer and fasting effort; an effort which paid off where somewhere between 4:20-4:50 pm on November 1 during TheCall rally in San Diego they felt that "something had snapped in the Heavenlies" and "we knew God had moved":

Garlow's Prop 8 success led Newt Gingrich to tap to him to head his new Renewing American Leadership organization ... and so it is not particularly surprising to see Garlow (and Engle) reacting with alarm to the court decision striking down their handiwork:

"The next court case could conceivably say that if three people wanted to marry or four people or five people or if someone wanted to marry their dog or their horse, they have a right to that because no longer do we have a right to ‘discriminate' based on equal protection," Garlow said.

Proposition 8 advocates argue that same-sex marriage is not ideal for child rearing, but they say it also has serious implications on religious freedom.

"It's a chilling moment," said TheCall founder Lou Engle, who organized a prayer rally in support of Proposition 8 in September 2008. "Democracy is crumbling, and I believe, again, we're going to see the persecution of the church. ... Across the board, religious freedom now is being trumped by gender freedom."

Garlow said in several areas where gay marriage has been legalized, Christians have lost personal and religious liberties. He points to Swedish pastor Ake Green, who was jailed after preaching that homosexuality is a sin, and to a Christian camp in Ocean Grove, N.J., that lost a discrimination lawsuit filed after it refused to allow a lesbian couple to hold a commitment ceremony at its facility.

"If we lose on this one, we lose the capacity to be able to proclaim the gospel as we know it," Garlow said.

And, as we've noted before, Garlow and Engle are planning to dust off their Prop 8 playbook heading into the 2010 midterm elections: 

The case could take years to reach the Supreme Court, but conservative observers believe Wednesday's ruling could impact the upcoming midterm election. Garlow said voters with conservative moral values "are going to rise up and say enough is enough."

He and Engle are encouraging that kind of activism through Pray & Act, an initiative calling for 40 days of prayer and fasting in the run up to Nov. 2. The effort begins Sept. 20 and ends with a webcast event at the Lincoln Memorial Oct. 30.

Garlow said he believes there is a 27-month window to "turn" the nation toward biblical values. "I'm not trying to deadline God, but my sensing is we have a short window left after which it will be too late to see America ever return to any sense of God-honoring truths," he said. "That being the case, prayer and fasting is critical."

Engle, too, is urging prayer and political activism. He believes the timing of TheCall Sacramento, being held Sept. 3-4, is strategic.

"God, in times of crisis, calls for solemn assemblies when there is no hope and there's no remedy," Engle said. "I think this is an incredible opportunity for people to gather from all over America to say: ‘God, we have no recourse ... We are coming to You for help in the time of trouble, to ask forgiveness for treating so lightly marriage in the church.'

"We [will] come together and ask God for some kind of sovereign intervention," he added. "We need to pray for a great awakening."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin will headline the Pennsylvania Family Institute's annual fundraiser later this month.
  • Mat Staver and David Barton are holding a series [PDF] of "Florida Awake!" events across this state next month.
  • Rep. Steve King does not approve of efforts by liberals to cite the Bible in support of their political agenda.
  • Newt Gingrich is winning accolades from professional Muslim bashers.
  • MassResistance is excited about Peter LaBarbera's upcoming anti-gay conference.
  • On the final day of campaigning, MI Gov. candidate Pete Hoekstra held "tele-town halls with evangelical author and radio talk show host Dr. James Dobson and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann."

Gingrich, Sharia, Marital Rape, and Phyllis Schlafly

Earlier this week I wrote about the absurd hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich decrying efforts by Muslims to impose their religious views on the world through Sharia while his very own organization is seeking to impose its religious views on the world through Dominionism.

One of the other points that Gingrich made in that same article was that Sharia tolerates marital rape, but I didn't bother to include that as it was not related to the point I was making at the time. 

But now that Gingrich made the same point in his speech yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, let's revisit it:

In June 2009, a New Jersey state judge rejected an allegation that a Muslim man who punished his wife with pain for hours and then raped her repeatedly was guilty of criminal sexual assault, citing his religious beliefs as proof that he did not believe he was acting in a criminal matter. “This court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.” Thankfully, this ruling was reversed in an appellate court.

As I pointed out earlier this week, you know who else supports marital rape?  Phyllis Schlafly:

At one point, Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.

"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said.

Schlafly said that back in 2007.  In 2008, Washington University in St. Louis decided to honor Schlafly with an honorary doctorate, which set off protests on campus ... to which Schlafly responsed by reiterating this view:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

And it's not like this was some anomaly, as Schlafly has a long history of making outrageous statements. I mean, doesn't anyone remember when she blamed the Virginia Tech massacre on the university's English Department?

And how does the Religious Right respond to such views?  By awarding Schlafly the James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award at last year's Values Voter Summit.

So, to sum up:  conservatives are outraged that Sharia says husbands are free to rape their wives, which is proof that Muslim values are at odds with our cherished America values ... while Phyllis Schlafly believes the exact same thing and she is honored a visionary and leader of the conservative movement.

Gingrich Warns of Sharia While Seeking Dominion

Last week, when Newt Gingrich came out in opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque," I noted that his position seemed rather hypocritical considering that he had recently founded an organization called Renewing American Leadership that has, as its mission, the protection and encouragement of the free exercise of religion in America.

But the hypocrisy at the root of that piece pales in comparison to the hypocrisy at the root of his latest piece:

Radical Islamism is more than simply a religious belief. It is a comprehensive political, economic, and religious movement that seeks to impose sharia—Islamic law—upon all aspects of global society.

Many Muslims see sharia as simply a reference point for their personal code of conduct. They recognize the distinction between their personal beliefs and the laws that govern all people of all faiths.

For the radical Islamist, however, this distinction does not exist. Radical Islamists see politics and religion as inseparable in a way it is difficult for Americans to understand. Radical Islamists assert sharia’s supremacy over the freely legislated laws and values of the countries they live in and see it as their sacred duty to achieve this totalitarian supremacy in practice.

Some radical Islamists use terrorism as a tactic to impose sharia but others use non-violent methods—a cultural, political, and legal jihad that seeks the same totalitarian goal even while claiming to repudiate violence.

Does Gingrich not realize that the man he hired to run Renewing American Leadership, Jim Garlow, is a full-bore advocate of the 7 Mountains Mandate, which is a Dominionist theology that seeks get Christians in control of the levers of power and influence the world over so as to create God's kingdom on Earth and bring about the return of Jesus Christ?

Taking control of the 7 Mountians is the foundational principal of Garlow's new Pray and ACT political organization, which is being prominently featured by Gingrinch's own ReAL website and has the support of a who's who of Religious Right leaders:

Jim Garlow, Skyline Church & Renewing American Leadership
Chuck Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship & BreakPoint
Che Ahn, Harvest International Ministry
Vonette Bright, Co-Founder, Campus Crusade for Christ, International
Bishop Keith Butler, Founding Pastor, Word of Faith International Christian Center
Jim Daly, President & CEO, Focus on the Family
Lou Engle, TheCall to Conscience, TheCall
Father Joseph Fessio, Editor in Chief, Ignatius Press, San Francisco
Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage
Professor Robert George, Princeton University
Professor Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School
Jack Hayford, Founder and Chancellor, The King's College and Seminary
Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas & Host, The Mike Huckabee Show
Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., High Impact Church Coalition
Alveda King, Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Richard Land, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Ron Luce, Founder, Teen Mania & Battle Cry
Bishop Richard Malone, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland (Maine)
Eva Muntean & Dolores Meehan, Co-Founders, West Coast Walk for Life, San Francisco
Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
James Robison, Life Outreach, International
Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Alan Sears, Alliance Defense Fund
Chuck Stetson, Let’s Strengthen Marriage Campaign

Obviously, these leaders and this Dominionist theology do not advocate the use of violence to achieve their goals, but you have to marvel at Gingrich's willingness to warn that "Islamists" are seeking to impose their religious views on all cultural, political, and legal matters while his very own organization is seeking to do the exact same thing.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Bil Browning @ Bilerico: NOM Sign: Lynch Gay Couples to Save Marriage.
  • HRC: HRC to National Organization for Marriage: Your Summer Bus Tour is a Sham.
  • Frederick Clarkson @ Religion Dispatches: The End of the Religious Right? Not So Fast.
  • Robin Marty @ RH Reality Check: Phyllis Schlafly: Obama "Subsidizing" Illegitimate Babies to Increase Voter Base.
  • Towleroad: Florida AG Bill McCollum Doesn't Like Gay Adoption, Says He Hired Rekers Because Other 'Experts' are Afraid to Testify.
  • Steve Benen: Showing the Scouts Some Love.
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Tom Tancredo's Top 12 Moments Of Nativism, Racism And Fear-Mongering.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Joe Klein: "Newt Gingrich is clearly running for President. How do I know? He gets dumb and angry when running for office."

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The following sentence appeared in an FRC fundraising email opposing the DISCLOSE Act and I have no idea what it is supposed to mean: "Too often, such tactics are used to intimidate donors. We saw this in the sixties during the civil rights struggles." 
  • Mike Huckabee is now a daily talk show host.
  • Tom Tancredo and his massive ego have decided to run for Governor in Colorado.
  • Newt Gingrich will decide by early next year whether he is going to run for president. I can hardly wait.
  • Joseph Farah says Tea Party activists cannot listen to those who advocate focusing the movement solely on economic issues.
  • Peter LaBarbera appears to be launching a one-man boycott of McDonalds.
  • Chuck Norris has written part one of series on Obama's U.S. assassination program. I guarantee you that part two will claim Obama is going to start killing conservatives.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Al Mohler, via Twitter: "In recent days I have seen evidence of tremendous activity among Jehovah's Witnesses & Mormons in our area. Are we as committed as they are?"

Newt Gingrich's First Amendment Hypocrisy

Wasn't it just the other day that I was writing about the Religious Right warning Christians that the Obama administration was out to destroy their "freedom of religion" by referring to it merely as "freedom of worship"?  

So how do they justify this bigoted rant from Newt Gingrich arguing for the need to limit the religious rights of Muslims in America?

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.

...

America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.

No mosque.

No self deception.

No surrender.

The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue.

As Steve Benen points out, Gingirch's suggestion doesn't even make any sense

So, by Newt Gingrich's estimation, Saudi Arabian officials are wrong to squelch religious liberty in their country -- so we should be equally wrong in ours. Gingrich sees Saudi Arabia discriminating and showing a lack of tolerance for spiritual diversity and, in effect, concludes, "Let's follow their lead."

But in addition, how exactly does does Gingrich plan on going about preventing this Mosque from being built considering that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"? 

I thought the Religious Right was willing to lay down their lives to defend religious liberty

And doesn't limiting free exercise of religion in America directly contradict the mission of Gingrich's own organization, Renewing American Leadership?

How To Renew American Leadership

So what should Americans who love their country, and believe in its ideals, do to reclaim the vision so ably constructed for us by the founding fathers and every legal immigrant who has come here to achieve the American Dream? Our initial prescription for Renewing American Leadership can be summarized in four points.

1. It is imperative to teach Americans the truth about the greatness of their country.

2. It is imperative to return to limited government by restoring our system of constitutional checks and balances.

3. It is imperative to protect and encourage the free exercise of religion in America.

4. It is imperative to take control of our borders, and reform our immigration system to admit people able to contribute the skills and the values we need for America’s future.

Jim and David's Excellent Right-Wing Adventure

Several months ago, we noted that Jim Garlow and David Barton were leading a 12 day tour of the East Coast where participants would learn all about the Christian history of our nation and its founder and visit "the sites of the 1st and 2nd Great Awakening, while praying for the 3rd."

This "Next Great Awakening Tour" wrapped up in Washington, DC on July 4th and, as we noted last week, it was during this tour that both Barton and Garlow were featured on Glenn Beck's television program.  As it turns out, participants in this tour also got to participate in a taping of Beck's program and met with several Republican and Religious Right leaders, according to updates from Garlow's Skyline Church blog:

Day 2 ... we went on to New York City that night, where we were met by Mike Huckabee. He shared with our group for over an hour.

Day 4 ... [W]e went back to New York City [and] the women of our group went to the Glenn Beck Show for the taping of the Friday broadcast entitled, “Women of the Revolutionary War.”

Day 5 ... David Barton and I and our wives left Ocean Grove and were driven back to New York City to go to the taping of the Glenn Beck Show, along with a number of other pastors. Then we met with Glenn Beck for three hours after that taping.

Day 6 ... David and I flew back to New York City to be on the Glenn Beck Show with a group of about 7-8 pastors / Christian Leaders. Lance Wallnau flew in from Dallas to speak to the group in Philadelphia. Lance Wallnau was, as usual, exceptional in his laying out of how to see the culture transformed.

Day 7 ... we traveled to Washington, DC, where we met with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Immediately following that we went to the Fairmont Hotel where Senator Rick Santorum gave one of the most impassioned speeches I have ever heard.

Day 8 – Saturday, July 3 – began with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich addressing our group. He was profound. Newt has the capacity to focus on macro-ideas in a way like no other. From there we made our way to Mt. Vernon, beloved home of George Washington. Rick Tyler, spokesman for Newt Gingrich and Founding Director of Renewing American Leadership, spoke to the group via the intercom on the way to/from Mt. Vernon, clarifying the nature of participation in civil governance.

We then went back to the Capital and met in the Longworth Congressional Building (home of the offices of the House of Representatives) for a talk by Congressman Bob McEwen entitled, “Politics: As Easy as PIE.”

On Day 9 – Sunday, July 4 – we attended Hope Christian Fellowship (Beltsville, MD), where we had arranged for Maggie Gallagher, the articulate founder of the National Organization for Marriage, to speak to our group, followed by the morning service, for which Bishop Harry Jackson – one of America’s most courageous pastors – had prepared a sermon appropriately entitled “The Next Great Awakening.”

At one point, Garlow and his wife were allowed to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ... which, of course, made him realize that Elena Kagan should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court:

Later I found myself inwardly agitated as I began to reflect on the tragedy of Elena Kagan – an outspoken critic of the military [in spite of her attempts to deny it now] – being considered for a position on the Supreme Court. How unfortunate for our nation.

The Dominionist Agenda Driving Gingrich's New Organization

I've been writing a lot about the steadily increasing influence that 7 Mountains/Dominion theology has been having on the Religious Right recently, though mostly as it has relates to Janet Porter.

But it is important to note that Porter is not alone in embracing this theology and partnering with activists who espouse it.  For instance, Lou Engle played a central role in last year's Family Research Council "prayercast" against health care reform and has developed ties to many other Religious Right leaders as well. Others, like Cindy Jacobs of Generals International, have likewise been making similar connections and several of these groups have also become members of the right-wing supergroup known as the Freedom Federation

And even Newt Gingrich is cultivating his own ties to 7 Mountains advocates.  Last year, Gingrich appeared alongside Engle at a "Rediscovering God In America" conference where Engle laid hands upon Gingrich and prayed for God's protection for him. Not long thereafter, Gingrich formed a group called Renewing American Leadership and tapped Engle-associate and Prop 8 leader Jim Garlow to serve as Chairman of the organization.

While looking on the Renewing American Leadership website today, I found a link to a video from April of Garlow sitting down with James Robison (who gave Mike Huckabee his start) to voice their concerns about the state of this nation under President Obama and the Democrats. 

During the conversation Garlow explained how the 7 Mountain/Dominionist theology is being implemented on various levels: first by identifying leaders at the "top" of these mountains and creating support networks for them; then by identifying Godly young people and putting them in contact with these leaders in an effort to turn them into future leaders who will "live out Jesus' life in influencing those seven mountains"; and finally by targeting leaders "who are not standing for the truth of Christ" and launching armies of prayer warriors against them so that God will either change their hearts or remove them from office: 

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Newt Gingrich Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/08/2011, 11:52am
Yesterday, Newt Gingrich addressed some 60 conservative and Religious Right leaders suburban Washington, DC at a gathering organized by direct mail guru Richard Viguerie. Yesterday afternoon, following the meeting, Viguerie's ConservativeHQ posted a report on the meeting, noting that Gingrich was "interrupted numerous times by applause" as he called upon those in the room to "be with me, not merely for me – because if you are merely for me that implies you can vote and go home and expect me to fix things, but for this level of change to occur I need you working with... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/06/2011, 12:30pm
With Newt Gingrich sharply rising in the polls, more and more Religious Right activists are saying that his personal background of serial adultery and multiple divorces will not be a deal breaker for social conservative voters. Bob Vander Plaats cited Gingrich’s “life transformation” and “Christian-historical worldview,” and Tony Perkins told Lou Dobbs that Gingrich is still viewed as more conservative and trustworthy than Mitt Romney, even though he is Romney’s “opposite” when it comes to their personal lives. “No one knows the story of... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 12/02/2011, 12:00pm
It’s as predictable as the change of seasons: even before shopping malls start playing Christmas muzak, Religious Right leaders and pundits like Bill O’Reilly are fulminating about the supposed “War on Christmas” and how retailers who choose to wish all their customers a “happy holidays” are part of an evil plot to purge Christianity from Christmas and American culture.  This year, the far-right Liberty Counsel has been promoting a “naughty or nice” list of companies based on things like the use of “Merry Christmas” or “... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/29/2011, 4:57pm
Richard Land has penned an open letter to Newt Gingrich, warning him that his personal research reveals that "evangelical women are far less willing to forgive and let bygones be bygones" and won't just ignore his multiple affairs, divorces, and marriages. As such, Land says Gingrich's only option is to find a "pro-family venue" where he can deliver a public speech where he will confess his sins, seek forgiveness, and assure these women of his respect for marriage:  Even my own mother, a rock-solid Evangelical, was extremely uncomfortable voting for Sen. John McCain... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/29/2011, 4:07pm
Think Progress has posted a video of Newt Gingrich calling on President Obama to "repudiate the concept of the 99 and the 1," saying it is "un-American [and] divisive" and promising that, if he is elected, he will be "president of all the American people, not part of the American people, and I will seek to unify the American people, not to divide them against each other." Yes, of course ... because Gingrich would never seek to divide Americans and pit the majority against the minority.  So obviously his remarks at the recent "One Nation Under God"... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 11/19/2011, 9:20pm
At The Family Leader's Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, Newt Gingrich used his platform to once again attack Occupy Wall Street and dismiss concerns about economic inequality and corporate power in America. Gingrich said that the Occupy Wall Street movement proves "how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, " telling demonstrators: "go get a job right after you take a bath." MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 11/11/2011, 1:35pm
After Rick Perry jumped into the presidential race, the Texas governor quickly took the lead among Republican voters nationwide and in surveys in critical states like Iowa and South Carolina. Analysts reasonably predicted that the nomination would come down to a choice between Perry and Mitt Romney as other candidates like Michele Bachmann fizzled and Tim Pawlenty dropped out. Perry, who announced his candidacy following his The Response prayer rally, courted and won plaudits from Religious Right luminaries including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Richard Land, David Barton, Don Wildmon, David... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 10/12/2011, 11:04am
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... MORE >