Randy Forbes

Religious Right Activists Laud Congressman's Campaign Against Gay Republicans

Anti-gay leaders are cheering on Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) in his effort to block funding and support for two openly gay Republican congressional candidates. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera praised Forbes for trying to preserve the GOP’s hard line against gay equality:

"The Republican party platform is opposed for the most part to homosexual activism, especially gay so-called marriage," says LaBarbera. "So Forbes understands that the Republican Party should not be in the business of promoting candidates that are going to promote sexual immorality."

LaBarbera says he is disappointed that many other prominent Republicans don't have a problem with "gay" GOP candidates.

"It's disappointing to see House Speaker Boehner and other prominent Republicans backing openly homosexual candidates because these candidates are not going to serve the interest of the Republican Party if the party still claims to be pro-family," the family advocate tells OneNewsNow.

Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, meanwhile, criticized House Speaker John Boehner for distancing himself from Forbes’ initiative.

In fact, Burress thinks “it is time for Boehner to be replaced as speaker” for caving to “self-proclaimed homosexuals” and “the homosexual agenda.”

"Sometimes I think he's been in Washington too long," Phil Burress, chairman of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values Action Political Action Committee, says of House Speaker John Boehner.



"If you're going to elect people who are self-proclaimed homosexuals, then you're totally ignoring what the Republican Party stands for in its national platform, marriage between one man and one woman," Burress tells OneNewsNow.

Burress observes he has never seen a homosexual in the Republican Party "who does not promote the homosexual agenda," which he says includes same-sex marriage and abortion.

One problem plaguing the GOP is the so-called big tent approach.

"The Democrats have two non-negotiable issues, same-sex marriage and abortion rights," Burress claims. "The Republican Party never talks about their non-negotiable issues because I don't think they have any."

Burress also says it is time for Boehner to be replaced as speaker.

UPDATE: Family Research Council president Tony Perkins also favors Forbes’ push against gay candidates:

While Forbes has been blasted for his comments, he knows -- as well as we do -- that this debate is about a lot more than someone's sexual preference. While we reject the false dichotomy of private and public morality, I -- like most Americans -- would rather not know about a person's bedroom habits. That's not the issue for Rep. Forbes. What he cares about --and what the GOP should too -- is whether these candidates will abide by the party's platform. When Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked if his party could support an openly homosexual candidate, he replied, "I do." But the real question isn't whether the GOP would support an openly homosexual candidate, but whether it would support an openly homosexual activist who has sought to redefine marriage and undermine religious freedom. At the end of the day, conservatives and homosexual activists cannot coexist in a movement predicated on virtues that pre-date positive law. If there is a litmus test, it should be on ideology.

Instead, the NRCC and Republican Establishment are so desperate to beat the opposition that they'll sacrifice core principles to try. And here's the irony: that weak-kneed approach is what turns voters off. "Our decisions on the Republican nominees we support will not be based on race, gender, or sexual orientation," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the NRCC, "but will be based on the strength of their candidacy and their ability to defeat Democrats." Translation: the GOP will throw its support behind any candidate they believe can win, even it means throwing the party's stated principles overboard.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/5/13

AFA Lunch at VVS: Call for 'Aggressive' and 'Offensive' Church in Culture War

The American Family Association hosted a luncheon on Friday at the Values Voter Summit. The featured speaker, Rep. Randy Forbes, was a no-show, though the audience was assured his non-appearance had nothing to do with ads being run in his district urging him to stay away.  Whatever was keeping Forbes so busy that he couldn’t break away didn’t prevent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) from making it to the VVS hotel to give some opening remarks. Aderholt praised the activists, saying that the only way for America to be saved is for the country not to forget its founding values.  In Forbes’ absence we also heard from Jerry Boykin, the retired general who is now a VP at the Family Research Council, and Lea Carawan, the director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

Boykin was his blunt self, asserting, “we are in a culture war today like America has never been” and complaining that the problem was with the church in general and with “Christians in name only” in particular.  “The majority of the Christians in America today are dead, asleep,” he groused. “They are not involved in what’s going on in our culture. They’re not engaged in this culture war. They are not putting their faith into action.”  He said it was the church that brought about the Revolutionary War and the abolition of slavery through the Civil War.  When he looks at America today, he said, “There is no other solution to our ills than for the church to wake up, get off your dead behinds and get in this culture war that we’re involved in.”

Carawan picked up on Boykin’s message, saying that members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and affiliated members in state legislatures are disappointed that they aren’t getting more backup from churches.  For example, she said, members of the Maine legislature have had to do the organizing to get pastors involved in a push for a “religious liberty” bill.  Carawan said the caucus was committed to an “offensive strategy” – one example she gave was Pennsylvania legislation requiring the display of “In God We Trust” in all the state’s public schools. 

Carawan said the prayer caucus favors a neutral public square and religious liberty for all Americans, but in the next breath said “we are equally committed to advocate, aggressively engage the public for advocating that Judeo-Christian values be reflected in our laws and policy, because somebody’s values are going to be reflected in laws and policies.” The founding fathers, she said, fought “so that we could have Judeo-Christian values reflected in our government, laws, and policy.” The founders understood, she said, “that it is only Christianity, Judeo-Christian principles, that provides the only valid moral basis that will secure freedom for all Americans.”

Carawan warned that “the strategy of the secular progressive agenda is simple and dangerous:  use the limitless financial resources at their disposal and the power of government to overwhelm and bury religious freedom in the ash heap of history. And that’s their plan. Not on our watch. Not on our watch. We’ve relied on defending our freedom in the courts. But this isn’t sufficient. We have to go on the offensive. We have to be aggressive. We have to stand up. We have to be intentional and strategic.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/9/13

  • Josh Glasstetter @ Hatewatch: Rep. Randy Forbes to Raise Cash for Anti-Gay Hate Group on Friday.
  • Lee Fang @ The Nation: Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Gohmert shrugs off debt limit: Government can’t default if it stays shut down.
  • Ben Dimiero & Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind This Week's Trucker Rally In D.C. & Conspiracy Theorist Radio Host Calls For Violence If Trucker Protest Fails.
  • ADL: Extremists Exploit Issue of Immigration Through Activism.
  • Towleroad: Anti-Gay San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan Resigns, Announces Bid For State Senate.
  • Alan Colmes: Rick Joyner Tells Me We’re Better Off With A Military Takeover.

Civil Rights Groups Urge GOP Leaders to Skip Values Voter Summit

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 Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.

The letter [pdf] reads in part:

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.  Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming  that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature”  and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.

In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
 

Randy Forbes at CPAC: America on the Verge of Rejecting God

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) warned today at CPAC that America has started to “reject the sanctity of life” and the “rights set forth in the Constitution.” Speaking during a panel focused on undermining reproductive rights, Forbes warned that we are “dangerously close as a nation to rejecting the God that gave us that life” and who “gave us those rights.”

Watch:

CPAC Reject McDonnell Welcomed at Religious Right Prayer Breakfast

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not officially welcomed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but he was invited to speak at Friday morning’s prayer breakfast hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, along with a couple Members of Congress.

Not everybody was happy that McDonnell was on the premises: activists from the National Taxpayers Union and the insanely anti-gay Public Advocate USA gave out anti-McDonnell flyers and stickers to people entering the breakfast.  McDonnell’s sin against CPAC orthodoxy was his support for a transportation plan in Virginia that activists say violates a campaign pledge against raising taxes.  Public Advocate also complained that by praising the General Assembly’s approval of a gay district court nominee, McDonnell “BROKE HIS PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE.”

Inside the prayer breakfast, McDonnell (like the Coalition’s Executive Director Gary Marx an alum of Pat Robertson’s Regent University) was introduced by Rep. Randy Forbes and warmly received.  McDonnell gave a talk that was light on conservative red meat and focused on themes of faith and service, urging activists to pray for humility and wisdom.  He did say it is the job of public officials to get things done according to “Judeo-Christian principles.”  And he cited George Washington saying that the nation could not expect “the smiles of heaven” if it abandoned “eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself have ordained.”

Forbes, a leader of the congressional prayer caucus, said our nation’s problem is that God belongs on the throne, we’ve taken Him off, and we need to put Him back up there.  Forbes resorted to a caricature common among Religious Right leaders, complaining about people he said were trying to change the concept of church-state separation to mean that no one in government can speak about their faith and no one in church can talk about the government.

Also speaking was Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, who invoked a mural of the radical abolitionist John Brown that portrays him with a Bible in one hand, a rifle in the other, and the tornado of the civil war approaching. He called the HHS requirement for insurance coverage of contraception a “tremendous threat” and an attack of religious liberty. “What would John Brown be doing now?” he asked, suggesting that Brown would be on his knees in prayer but also on his feet demanding action from Congress.  Huelskamp complained that his colleagues in Congress are not acting to protect religious liberty, and denounced their “deafening silence” on threats to marriage. Huelskamp has previously complained to Tony Perkins about “the folks on the left that would like to delete, exclude and repeal any religious liberties or any religious values throughout our entire government and our entire society.”

Rachel Campos-Duffy, a conservative activist, author, and Real World: San Francisco alum who is married to Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, talked about the dangers of churches and families having ceded territory to “an ever-expanding and insatiable government.” For example, Campos said, school breakfast programs for poor students give parents an excuse not to make breakfast for their own kids and just push them out the door rather than talking to them.

Ralph Reed didn’t make the breakfast, but Gary Marx delivered a version of Reed’s post-2012 “it’s not my fault” analysis. Marx ran through statistics on the millions of contacts the Faith & Freedom Coalition made with the 23.3 million evangelical and Catholic voters in its proprietary database, and he said five million more evangelicals voted in 2012 than in 2008, with 78 percent of them voting for Romney. He said the group is actively engaged in this year’s Virginia elections and pledged that 2014 will see the largest mid-term conservative turnout ever.

The breakfast opened with a prayer by Father John De Celles of St. Raymond Penafort Roman Catholic Church in Springfield, Virginia, and closed with a benediction from Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Caucus for America, who called for a reaffirmation of our “national identity” as a “Judeo-Christian nation” and denounced those who threaten the country from within by trying to "dismantle" that heritage and usurp God’s will.

Footnote: Among the VIP attendees acknowledged from the podium was conservative mega-donor Foster Friess, who backed Rick Santorum’s presidential bid but who has more recently encouraged a more moderate approach to LGBT issues, which he has said is due to his familiarity with gay people, including his brother-in-law and his partner.  There was no mention at the breakfast of news that broke last night about Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s about-face on marriage after his son came out to him. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/9/13

  • Cindy Jacobs explains how she became a "respected prophet."
  • This is apparently a real thing: "11-Year-Old Ordained Minister is America's Next Superstar Evangelist."
  • Unfortunately for us, Fox News' resident quack psychiatrist Keith Ablow will not run for the vacant senate seat in Massachusetts.
  • Rep. Randy Forbes is very worried about "America’s new government-imposed religion," by which he means conservative Christians not getting their way on everything.
  • Finally, the Family Research Council cannot possibly be a hate group because someone who interned there says they are "the most delightful, friendly, sweet, loving, caring, and Christ-like people you will ever meet."

Does Randy Forbes Understand How the First Amendment Works?

One of the most remarkable things about the Religious Right today is the amazingly widespread belief that any criticism or disagreement with their agenda is somehow a violation of their First Amendment rights. 

The Religious Right seems to truly believe that the First Amendment protects their rights to say anything they wish while simultaneously rendering them immune from criticism or opposition, as if the very same First Amendment that protects their free speech rights does not protect the free speech rights of those who disagree with them.

Case in point:  the day after the election, the American Humanist Association sent a letter to all the newly elected members of Congress, encouraging them not to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus. But to Rep. Randy Forbes, founder of the Prayer Caucus, this is nothing more than an attempt to "censor people" and prevent them from talking about their faith, as he explained on "Wallbuilders Live" today:

None of us, and no member of our caucus believes, that we want government to dictate what the church should do and we don't want the church dictating what the government should do.

But these extremist groups try to switch that around and they try to carry it to another dimension where they don't want anybody in government to have the right to even speak about their faith, or prayer, or God, or religion.  And they don't want anyone in the church to be able to speak about government.

What they want to do is censor people from their faith and from their First Amendment rights.

Members of Congress have the right to join the Prayer Caucus if they want, just as others have a right to ask them not to do so.  That is how the First Amendment works. 

Disagreement is not censorship and the Constitution does not protect you from criticism.

Congressional Prayer Caucus Teams Up for Seven Mountain-Themed Pre-Election Prayer Rally

At the end of September, Religious Right leaders will once again partner with the "prophets" and "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation for a pre-election "American For Jesus" rally on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

But apparently that won't quite be enough, so just a few days later, many of these same leaders and activists are hosting another prayer rally called "The Summons 2012" in Washington, DC that is being organized by National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is chaired by Shirely Dobson, the wife of James Dobson:

With each generation seeming to drift away from the God of our Fathers, now more than ever, it seems that we are truly at the precipice of a societal migration away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. With this in mind, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force has called a Solemn Assembly in Washington D.C. for such a time as this. The urgency of the moment, and the prompting of God, has paved the way for The Summons (October 3-7, 2012) to be a moment in time for God’s people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans – perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106). Based on Psalm 50:1-6, this special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington D.C. and include outdoor, corporate worship near the steps of the Capitol building, as well as the base of the Washington Monument. Groups will meet with various congressional leaders, travel to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, and many other key locations to PRAY. This is not an assignment for the faint of heart. You will need walking shoes and clothing suitable for being on location and ‘hitting the streets’, regardless of weather. We invite you to join with us, and several hundred other like-minded believers, for this unique time of prayer and worship in our nation’s capital.

Speakers include the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. Randy Forbes along with NAR leaders like Negiel Bigpond and Luis Cataldo, who played a key role in organizing Gov. Rick Perry's NAR-infused "The Response" prayer rally.

Interestingly, the Congressional Prayer Caucus is listed among the "partner ministries" along side Lou Engle's TheCall, Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer, Intercessors for America and various others.

For those who don't recall, Bickle is the one who thinks that Oprah is a forerunner of that Antichrist:

According to the schedule, the event lasts for four days, during which participants will "meet with designated elected officials" and receive a "Private Capitol Tour Led by Congressman Louie Gohmert."

And you will not be surprised to learn that the entire event is rooted in Seven Mountains theology:

As we move toward The Summons in Washington D.C., please pray specifically, focusing on the seven points of prayer for each state. As we pray, day by day, and state by state, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to sweep through our nation like a ‘mighty, rushing wind’!

Seven Point of Prayer for each State

1) Government – Pray for local and state leaders asking God to grant them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.

2) Church – Pray for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout that state. Ask God to preserve and protect them, as He inspires and empowers His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the building up of the Church, and for the spreading of the Gospel.

3) Military – Pray for our Military, Guard, and Reserve units and their leadership. Pray for God to grant courage, protection, and strength for our service men and women, and their families, as they serve our country.

4) Family – Pray for families in your community and across the state. Ask Him for protection, and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure traditional values in each home.

5) Education – Pray for God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling.

6) Media – Pray for Christian influence in the media industry, from local television and radio stations, to newspaper and magazine publishers. Ask for the Lord to provide Godly men and women to work in and influence the media throughout the state and in every city.

7) Business – Pray for divine intervention in the state and local economies. Ask that God raise up Godly business leaders and provide industry to provide honest employment and generous provision for individuals and families in each community.

Harry Jackson Says MLK Would Oppose Marriage Equality

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the House Armed Services Committee Authorization bill, which included three amendments designed to delay the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

With the Senate taking up the bill, Rep. Randy Forbes, along with Bishop Harry Jackson and a group of right-wing pastors, held a press conference to encourage the Senate to pass the pro-DADT amendments.

Attempting to seem semi-reasonable, Jackson began the conference by claiming that amendments intending to make the repeal of DADT more difficult and time-consuming weren’t about DADT itself, but instead about “clarity.”

That line of reasoning lasted all of 15 minutes. By the time Q&A rolled around, Jackson and the Religious Right figures that had joined him used all of the same tired arguments that have been used against DADT in the past. When asked if the repeal of DADT would hurt recruitment, Bishop John Neal claimed that he wasn’t sure, but what he was really worried about was the “close quarters” that soldiers have to share, and what would happen when there was “only one spigot” on the shower.

This again?

Multiple speakers claimed that “no one should be marginalized for their religious beliefs,” but they all seem to believe that marginalizing people for their sexual orientation is perfectly acceptable. One of the speakers, John Neil, went so far as to claim that the military discriminates all the time, by not allowing, for example, extraordinarily tall people to pilot cramped fighter jets. Because that’s exactly the same situation.

Despite their claims to be promoting the rights of chaplains, this group showed that their real goal was restricting the rights of the LGBT community, going so far as to assert that Martin Luther King Jr. would disapprove of same-sex marriage:

Jackson: There were members of his family who were for gay marriage, others were against. I know this: King basically spoke from two vantage points that he thought were very, very sacred within the American culture - one was the Bible and the other was the Constitution. And I think what we're dealing with here is that from a biblical perspective, King no doubt would have been with us biblically. And I think, again, the lines of what is exactly the right of an American to do, I've got a hard time believing that "the pursuit of happiness" crosses into some of these areas. So I think that King would be with us, as a preacher first.

Question: Just to clarify: you're saying Dr. King would be against gay marriage?

Jackson: Yes. Very specifically, yes. Because it's against what is clearly written in Scripture. And if you listen to any of his messages, that clarion call to scriptural accountability even to the point when his own house was firebombed and folks came up in Montgomery armed and ready to go fight folks, he said "no, no, no, we will turn the other cheek."

So there was not just a tacit biblical acceptance or kind of whitewashing, if I can use that phrase, certain kinds of behaviors and say this is Christian, this is not. I think there was an inherent commitment to those issues in our social culture.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Hate Watch: David Barton – Extremist 'Historian' for the Christian Right.

Barton: Obama Wants To Eliminate "In God We Trust"

With guest Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), pseudo-historian David Barton cast doubt on President Obama’s religious beliefs and maintained that he wants to take God out of government. Barton lauded a resolution championed by Forbes which reaffirms and encourages the existing motto “In God We Trust” and claimed that Obama is imposing a “secularist” agenda, adding that “when you forget that God is part of the equation, you will lose your prosperity, you will lose your rights, you will lose your stability.”

Barton, who believes that Obama has “a worldview that is devoid of God,” has previously (and erroneously) suggested that the President tried to suppress the phrase “endowed by their Creator.” Channeling many right-wing conspiracy theories, Barton now alleges that Obama wants to do the same with “In God We Trust.”

Along with co-host Rick Green, Barton tried to link Obama’s “secularist” views with his administration’s decision to end “conscience-protection” clauses, which allow health care workers to refuse medical care if they say it conflicts with their religious beliefs. According to Barton, the Bush-era medical regulations were supported by the Founders and their repeal shows that government is moving away from God:

Barton: I don’t care what Obama says about his faith. He says he’s a Christian, fine, lots of people say that. What I know for sure is that he’s a secularist. Because seven times he’s deliberately omitted the word ‘Creator’ when he said the Declaration of Independence, he said that national motto doesn’t have ‘In God We Trust.’

And so if you’re a secularist, then you believe rights come from government, which is why his administration right now is repealing conscience-protection. Now conscience-protection was considered by the Founders as an inalienable, God-given right. We’re the first nation in the world to protect the rights of conscience.

Green: And if it comes from God, government you can’t touch it and government should protect it.

Barton: That’s right. Government protects it. Well he’s saying, look, if you don’t want to perform abortions, you need to get out of the healthcare industry, you don’t have a right to be in healthcare industry, you don’t have a rights to you’re beliefs about abortion.

So all these conscience-protection regulations we’ve had are going away, but that makes sense if they didn’t come from God. And when you have a secular viewpoint—and that’s why it is so important to continue to preserve and fight for little bitty acknowledgments of God because it keeps reminding us that wait a minute, God’s part of our government, God is involved in our philosophy of government, God is part of what we have in our documents. We got to remember that. When you forget that, when you forget that God is part of the equation, you will lose your prosperity, you will lose your rights, you will lose your stability, you will lose all those things that have been at the base of that. So, this really is a big deal.

Only "The Supernatural Hand Of God" Can Save America

Apparently, April 6 was Virginia Call to Prayer Day ... but we totally missed it.

But fortunately the Virginia Christian Alliance put together a three minute video featuring various members of Congress promoting the event and posted it on YouTube, allowing us to post this edited version here:

You can watch the original here, featuring Michele Bachmann, Randy Forbes, Mike Pence, Trent Franks and many others:

The Founding Fathers Had a National Motto: E Pluribus Unum

Rep. Randy Forbes is on a mission to pass a resolution affirming that the national motto "In God We Trust" and House Republicans are playing right along, so it is no surprise that Religious Right activists like the Family Research Council's Ken Klukowski are stepping up to make their contribution to this important effort as well:

Odds are good the Founding Fathers would be astounded by the religious controversies of this past week.

First, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-VA, introduced a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto. He did so in part after President Obama wrongly claimed the national motto is “E Pluribus Unum.”

Forbes’s resolution failed last year when he introduced it under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic majority. Now under Republicans, the resolution is headed to a floor vote after being approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Even so, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, claimed the words “In God We Trust” are unconstitutional, an assertion that would likely stun James Madison and members of the first Congress who approved the First Amendment.

Can I just point out that "In God We Trust" did not become our national motto until the 1950s, as John Fea explained in "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction":

In 1954 Congress approved an act to add the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance ... In 1955 this connection between God and the United States was further strengthened when Congress opted to put the words "In God We Trust" on all United States coins and currency. The following years it changed the national motto from "E Pluribus Unum" to "In God We Trust."

Allow me also to point out that in 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were tasked with designing Great Seal of the United States, which they did - and it carried the phrase "E Pluribus Unum."

In fact, "E Pluribus Unum" was considered the de facto motto of the United States for nearly two hundred years ... until it was changed to "In God We Trust" in 1955.

So I am pretty sure that the Founding Fathers would be stunned to learn that the national motto is "In God We Trust," given that Congress adopted the Great Seal with its motto of "E Pluribus Unum" in  1782.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A judge has blocked the Wisconsin law designed to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights.
  • I am guessing that the polls showing that more than half of Americans support marriage equality will not get a lot of attention from the Religious Right.
  • Guess what?  Phyllis Schlafly doesn't know what she is talking about.
  • Just so know you know, Herman Cain is the butter that rises to the top.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Rep. Randy Forbes: “The most important thing that we want to establish is not whether or not you are a Christian, but we have to stop the tide that suggests that America has lost its right to trust in God. I don't believe it has lost that right. I think it still has it. We just want to make sure that we are there to protect it and defend it.”

Barton and Forbes On The Imporance of Stopping "Parent 1" Before It Can Contaminate The Holy

Earlier this year, there was a short right-wing freak-out when the State Department announced that the spaces for "mother's name" and "father's name" on passport applications will be replaced with "parent one" and "parent two."

The State Department quickly backtracked but that wasn't good enough for Rep. Randy Forbes who quickly introduced legislation to require the use of "mother" and "father" on all federal forms.

Today, Forbes showed up on "Wallbuilders Live" with David Barton and Rick Green to discuss the importance of stopping these sorts of changes at the source while Barton warned that is was an example of the unholy contaminating the holy:

Barton: And it really is important. A little bitty deal like changing the mother and father designation on a passport, those are not small deals.

Green: Even though it sounds small, isn't it a fundamental change? It's really at the heart of this question of is the family going to continue to be the major nucleus of our culture and is there a definition of family and marriage that we're going to stick with or are we going to go to anything counts?

Barton: Well, it becomes death by a thousand paper cuts, is what it amounts to. Nothing really enough to cut to the bone, but you just bleed to death a drop at a time. And that's what this is because you say "man, we're so busy with the President trying to get DOMA defended, we don't have time to mess around with what they're writing on passports." Well, when it comes at you from a hundred directions, you may repel ninety-eight of the attacks, but if two of them get through, that's two more than you had when you started this thing. And those are attacks that you have to push back on every single one of these fronts one hundred percent of the time. You cannot give ground.

The minor prophets talked about the fact that if you take something holy and put just a drop of unholy in there, does the holy make the unholy become holy? Or does the unholy make the holy become unholy? And the answer is: the unholy contaminates the holy.

Forbes: The other big thing that we're worried about is, as you know, the slippage of these kinds of things and how they work their way in and then ripple throughout all of government. If we let this stand, the next thing we know is there's going to be another agency that does it and then another agency and then before you know it they're going to come back and say "we've done this with the State Department and we did it with such and such. We ought to make it in all federal documents everywhere." And that's the way these things happen unless you try to put them out at the source.

And the other thing, imagine with children. You know, for how long have we said "who's your mothers?" and "who's your father?" and now we're going to say "well, who's your parent one and who's your parent two?"And these are the kinds of things that have huge ripple effects through the federal government if gone unchecked.

David Barton: Obama Trying to 'Remove God' from U.S.

The title of today’s Wallbuilders Live radio broadcast, brought to you courtesy of Religious Right “historian” David Barton, was “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God From the United States?”

Barton, whose Christian-nation version of U.S. history is promoted by right-wingers including Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann, has attacked Obama’s Christian faith before. Today, Barton and co-host Rick Green were joined by Rep. Randy Forbes to complain about the president’s insufficient godliness.
 
Forbes has complained about a speech President Obama gave in Indonesia in November, in which Obama said,
 
“But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope.  It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum - out of many one...our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag.”
 
Forbes and his colleagues in the congressional prayer caucus saw that sentiment as threatening rather than inspiring. The caucus sent a letter to President Obama in December complaining that he had repeatedly referred to Americans having “inalienable rights” without mentioning God as their source; that he had told Indonesians that the American motto was E Pluribus Unum rather than the official “In God We Trust,” and that he had referred to our country as being united under one flag without mentioning that the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase “under God.”
 
Forbes once gave a speech on the House floor attacking President Obama for supposedly saying in Turkey that the U.S. was not a Judeo-Christian nation. (In fact, Obama had said that one of America’s strengths is that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.")
 
Barton sees conspiracy afoot, saying that this is no dumb mistake but a “deliberate intent” to leave God out of traditional acknowledgments in order to try to get Americans to forget that devotion to God is a defining characteristic of the U.S.
 
“The President is trying to communicate a worldview that is devoid of God because that’s his worldview. That’s where he is.”
 
Barton even suggested darkly that Obama is violating his oath to uphold the Constitution when he cites the Declaration of Independence without mentioning the Creator.
 
Barton and Green lavished praise on Rep. Forbes and celebrated the fact that the new Congress will have more people like him. Said Barton, “that’s the cool thing about this last election. We sent a bunch of people to Congress who think like we do.”
 
Forbes predicted that the size of his prayer caucus could double. And he said that “one of the first items” that will come up in the Judiciary Committee would be a resolution affirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Then, he said, they will encourage state legislatures to pass similar resolutions so that “we can look these liberal judges in the eye, we can look some of these editorial board writers in the eye and say ‘wait a minute, America hasn’t changed. We still have this as our national motto.’”
 

David Barton: Obama Trying to 'Remove God' from U.S.

The title of today’s Wallbuilders Live radio broadcast, brought to you courtesy of Religious Right “historian” David Barton, was “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God From the United States?”

Barton, whose Christian-nation version of U.S. history is promoted by right-wingers including Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann, has attacked Obama’s Christian faith before. Today, Barton and co-host Rick Green were joined by Rep. Randy Forbes to complain about the president’s insufficient godliness.
 
Forbes has complained about a speech President Obama gave in Indonesia in November, in which Obama said,
 
“But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope.  It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum - out of many one...our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag.”
 
Forbes and his colleagues in the congressional prayer caucus saw that sentiment as threatening rather than inspiring. The caucus sent a letter to President Obama in December complaining that he had repeatedly referred to Americans having “inalienable rights” without mentioning God as their source; that he had told Indonesians that the American motto was E Pluribus Unum rather than the official “In God We Trust,” and that he had referred to our country as being united under one flag without mentioning that the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase “under God.”
 
Forbes once gave a speech on the House floor attacking President Obama for supposedly saying in Turkey that the U.S. was not a Judeo-Christian nation. (In fact, Obama had said that one of America’s strengths is that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.")
 
Barton sees conspiracy afoot, saying that this is no dumb mistake but a “deliberate intent” to leave God out of traditional acknowledgments in order to try to get Americans to forget that devotion to God is a defining characteristic of the U.S.
 
“The President is trying to communicate a worldview that is devoid of God because that’s his worldview. That’s where he is.”
 
Barton even suggested darkly that Obama is violating his oath to uphold the Constitution when he cites the Declaration of Independence without mentioning the Creator.
 
Barton and Green lavished praise on Rep. Forbes and celebrated the fact that the new Congress will have more people like him. Said Barton, “that’s the cool thing about this last election. We sent a bunch of people to Congress who think like we do.”
 
Forbes predicted that the size of his prayer caucus could double. And he said that “one of the first items” that will come up in the Judiciary Committee would be a resolution affirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Then, he said, they will encourage state legislatures to pass similar resolutions so that “we can look these liberal judges in the eye, we can look some of these editorial board writers in the eye and say ‘wait a minute, America hasn’t changed. We still have this as our national motto.’”
 

Barton: The Smithsonian, like Satan after the Crucifixion of Jesus, Regrets Hide/Seek Exhibit

David Barton was joined today by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) to make patently false accusations about the Smithsonian and the recently censored Hide/Seek exhibit. Religious Right activists like Bill Donohue and Brent Bozell successfully pushed House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor to threaten the Smithsonian’s funding over a video, A Fire in My Belly, which featured eleven seconds of a crucifix with ants on it. The video was about the struggle with AIDS, and it was far from the first time an artist used the image of Christ to display suffering and stigmatization. Ultimately, the Smithsonian censored the exhibit and pulled the video, but many right wing activists and Republican leaders want to strip the Smithsonian of its funding altogether and have the entire exhibit pulled.

Barton repeatedly falsely stated that Hide/Seek, which was about the struggle of gay and lesbian Americans, was actually a “Christmas exhibit” that was being paid for with tax dollars. However, Hide/Seek, which is in the National Portrait Gallery, is separate from the Smithsonian’s “Holidays on Display” exhibit, which is located in the National Museum of American History. Barton and his co-host Rick Green also wrongly maintained that the exhibit was “taxpayer funded,” even though Hide/Seek only used private funds and did not receive any taxpayer money.

Barton: If you go into the Smithsonian this year for Christmas, you'll find that the display is what they call "homoerotic," that is the title they give at the Smithsonian. And as you walk among, you get to see all these wonderful little pictures - and I'm not going to be real graphic, but I'm going to give you the tone of this - you take your family and you go through this nice little Christmas exhibit and, on look there, there's a picture of two naked brothers kissing - what a wonderful Christmas ... and there's Ellen DeGeneres, except she's grabbing her breast. And over here, look, there's Jesus on the cross, except he's covered with ants.

Green: This is not some private museum, this is the Smithsonian, paid for with tax dollars.

Barton: This is not a club that has a cover charge to it. This is the Smithsonian museum, this is their Christmas exhibit. Christmas exhibit!

Green: How demented do you have to be for this to be your Christmas exhibit? How messed up ...

Barton: Hold on, you got the wrong pronoun in there: how demented do we have to be, because we're the ones paying for this ... we're doing this guys, this is our Christmas exhibit that we have up at the nation's capital right now with our money. You and I have been paying money all year long so that this could be up at the Smithsonian.

Later, Barton claimed that the Smithsonian must regret hosting the Hide/Seek exhibit just like Satan regretted the crucifixion of Jesus:

Green: These people that are making these decisions, David, have they been inside the Beltway for so long and in their protected government job, only running around with their fellow liberals for so long, that they're that out of touch with the American people that they wouldn't realize that this is going to be grossly offensive to most Americans?

Barton: Well, there's two things going here - please tell me any homosexual-type activity that is not grossly offensive to most Americans, which is why they keep it out public view most times ... so it’s the kind of thing where they know it’s offensive but then every once in a while they feel emboldened. as they do right now with what’s been in DC for the last four years. They feel that hey, you know, the nation's finally caught up to us and then they do something stupid like this.

And I go back to Scripture where it says if Satan had known what would happen with crucifying Jesus, he never would have done it. It’s the kind of thing where they just miscalculate every once in a while, and I hope this is a miscalculation.

I love the fact that the new Speaker, [John] Boehner, jumped down their throats at the Smithsonian on this. He says, “You will get that out or you will not have funding, period.” They took it down within about 24 hours - they took part of it down, they still have a lot of it up. But they were showing videos - can’t even describe the videos - but this is part of the Christmas exhibit.

They still have the pictures up. Jesus is still up covered with ants on the cross, they still have all the sacrilegious stuff up, but they did take other stuff down. And they admitted that people coming through, virtually everybody was yelling at them for having it.

Of course, only one single person who actually saw the exhibit, which opened on October 30th, complained to the Smithsonian. The right wing activists and Republican leaders who demanded censorship admitted that they never visited the exhibit themselves, although A Fire in my Belly was censored following their outcry, despite Barton’s claim that “Jesus is still up covered with ants.”

Barton went on to compare the exhibit to child pornography and said he believes that the Smithsonian’s decision to host Hide/Seek was a result of the Obama Administration’s purported leniency to obscenity. Barton said that “since Obama has taken office and Holder as the Attorney General they have not prosecuted one obscenity case” since in their eyes “child pornography doesn’t exist” and “is fine.” But Barton’s allegation is completely untrue: Holder’s Department of Justice has been prosecuting such cases under Obama, and the National Law Journal reports that “in 2009, 20 defendants were charged with obscenity crimes.”

Syndicate content

Randy Forbes Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 12/09/2013, 12:35pm
Anti-gay leaders are cheering on Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) in his effort to block funding and support for two openly gay Republican congressional candidates. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera praised Forbes for trying to preserve the GOP’s hard line against gay equality: "The Republican party platform is opposed for the most part to homosexual activism, especially gay so-called marriage," says LaBarbera. "So Forbes understands that the Republican Party should not be in the business of promoting candidates that are going to promote sexual... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/05/2013, 5:40pm
Josh Glasstetter @ Hatewatch: Rep. Randy Forbes Is Unfit to Serve – as Chairman. Jeremy Hooper: Cincinnati radio host thoroughly smacks down AFA's Bryan Fischer; 'why are you losing sleep over this?!' Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: Robert Oscar Lopez: Tom Daley’s Relationship Proves Gay Men Are Sexual Predators. Kevin Drum: No, Pre- Existing Conditions Are Not Like Car Wrecks. Ben Dimiero @ Media Matters: Some Questions For S.E. Cupp To Ask Glenn Beck On CNN. Warren Throckmorton: Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 10/11/2013, 3:37pm
The American Family Association hosted a luncheon on Friday at the Values Voter Summit. The featured speaker, Rep. Randy Forbes, was a no-show, though the audience was assured his non-appearance had nothing to do with ads being run in his district urging him to stay away.  Whatever was keeping Forbes so busy that he couldn’t break away didn’t prevent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) from making it to the VVS hotel to give some opening remarks. Aderholt praised the activists, saying that the only way for America to be saved is for the country not to forget its founding values.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/09/2013, 4:33pm
Josh Glasstetter @ Hatewatch: Rep. Randy Forbes to Raise Cash for Anti-Gay Hate Group on Friday. Lee Fang @ The Nation: Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Gohmert shrugs off debt limit: Government can’t default if it stays shut down. Ben Dimiero & Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind This Week's Trucker Rally In D.C. & Conspiracy Theorist Radio Host Calls For Violence If Trucker Protest Fails. ADL: Extremists Exploit Issue of Immigration Through Activism. Towleroad: Anti-Gay... 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, Friday 03/15/2013, 2:35pm
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) warned today at CPAC that America has started to “reject the sanctity of life” and the “rights set forth in the Constitution.” Speaking during a panel focused on undermining reproductive rights, Forbes warned that we are “dangerously close as a nation to rejecting the God that gave us that life” and who “gave us those rights.” Watch: MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 03/15/2013, 11:01am
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not officially welcomed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but he was invited to speak at Friday morning’s prayer breakfast hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, along with a couple Members of Congress. Not everybody was happy that McDonnell was on the premises: activists from the National Taxpayers Union and the insanely anti-gay Public Advocate USA gave out anti-McDonnell flyers and stickers to people entering the breakfast.  McDonnell’s sin against CPAC orthodoxy was his support for a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/08/2013, 5:27pm
Cindy Jacobs explains how she became a "respected prophet." This is apparently a real thing: "11-Year-Old Ordained Minister is America's Next Superstar Evangelist." Unfortunately for us, Fox News' resident quack psychiatrist Keith Ablow will not run for the vacant senate seat in Massachusetts. Rep. Randy Forbes is very worried about "America’s new government-imposed religion," by which he means conservative Christians not getting their way on everything. Finally, the Family Research Council cannot possibly be a hate group because... MORE >