Rick Perry

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Alan Keyes is not impressed with Rick Perry and doesn't seem to think he is a very sincere Christian.
  • But Keyes is an anomaly, as lots of other Religious Right leaders really love Perry.
  • S&P makes clear that it was the fact that a minority of "people in political arena [that] were even talking about a potential default" that led to the downgrade.  Can you guess who they are talking about?
  • James Robison is still worked up about living in a "secular theocracy."
  • Finally, Gary Cass explains that it is okay to outlaw drugs and prostitution because they are unbiblical, but not alcohol, because it is.

Rick Perry, Alice Patterson, And The Demons Who Control Our Politics

When Gov. Rick Perry took to the stage at his prayer rally last weekend, he brought with him two close friends: C.L Jackson and Alice Patterson, whom he publicly praised and thanked:

Patterson, as you may recall, is deeply involved in the New Apostloic Reformation where she focuses on "racial healing" in order to get African Americans to leave the Democratic Party, which she believes is literally controlled by demonic spirits.

As it turns out, not only is the Democratic Party controlled by such spirits, but the Republican Party is as well.  But whereas the Democrats are controled by "Jezebel" via a "network of demonic principalities that demanded allegiance, worship, and the shedding of innocent blood," the Republicans are controlled by "Ahab" which makes GOP leaders passive and yield to intimidation instead of standing up on Godly principles.

In fact, Patterson explains in her book how it was this very spirit of passivity that caused prayer to be removed in school, which resulted in the murder to President Kennedy:

Passivity caused the court cases that removed prayer from our public schools to remain, causing the protective wall around the United States, our schools and our government to crumble. The very next year President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The country mourned but the protective walls were not restored.

Patterson warns that "the further you get up the ladder in Washington, D. C. or state government, the harder it is to withstand the power of the Ahab structure if you’re a Republican" ... which is why President George W. Bush did so many ungodly things, like appointing "an open homosexual to high office," meeting with Muslims, and failing to pass a federal marriage amendment:

Although the Republican Party Platform is full of virtue, many individual Republicans tolerate what the platform does not. Take former evangelical President George W. Bush. Here are just a few of his actions that align with King Ahab’s tolerance of Jezebel.

• He was the first Republican President to appoint an open homosexual to high office— Scott Evertz to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

• After the Islamic terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001, President Bush invited 50 ambassadors from Muslim countries for a traditional meal and prayer at the White House in November 2001 to mark the start of Ramadan. A Republican President was the first to invite Muslims to pray in the White House. President Barack Obama continued the celebration of Ramadan in the White House, but it was started by a Republican President.

• President and Mrs. Bush bowed before the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

• President Bush “removed his shoes, entered a mosque and praised Islam for inspiring ‘countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity and morality.’ For the second time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president yesterday visited Washington’s oldest mosque, the Islamic Center, where Muslims from 75 nations gather to worship. Bush marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by praising Islam as a hopeful religion of mercy and tolerance.”

• President Bush outraged evangelicals by stating that he believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.

• In 2004 President Bush campaigned in favor of a Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, when he was elected, he said no more about it. If he had put as much importance on it as he did in reforming Social Security, the Marriage Amendment would have passed through Congress. He even said on several occasions that he supported civil unions, which give the same rights as marriage to same-sex couples.

• President Bush proved over and over again that he was an Ahab.

Understanding The "Apostle" In The New Apostolic Reformation

Last night, Rachel Maddow dedicated a segment of her program to discussing the New Apostolic Reformation and its ties to Rick Perry as well as a follow-up segment with Forrest Wilder, author of the excellent piece on NAR in The Texas Observer - also, if you watch carefully, you will recognize lots of our videos:

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For all the recent talk about the New Apostolic Reformation, one of the issues that has largely gone uncovered is just what it means to be an  "apostle" within this movement.  I have recently been reading C. Peter Wagner's "Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power" in which he helpfully sets out his definition:

An apostle is a Christian leader, gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church and for the extension of the kingdom of God.

Wagner also explains that there is no such thing as "self-appointed apostles" because all apostles are appointed by God.  But that creates a bit of a dilemma for those trying to determine who are actual apostles versus those who are false apostles and so Wagner offers a rather ingenious way to tell the difference:

God's decision to make an individual an apostle must be recognized and affirmed by real people. If someone says, “God has called me to be an apostle,” but no one else agrees, then I have to doubt whether that person has accurately heard from God.

Now, if that logic seems rather circular to you, Wagner also offers up a list of "12 characteristics that are displayed by many (if not most) apostles," though he is careful to explain that not all apostles have all 12 characteristics. 

But, as a basic rule of thumb, seeing Jesus, performing miracles, suffering persecution, casting out demons, and fighting witchcraft are among the characteristics that a NAR apostle might posses:

1. Seeing Jesus personally. Of course the original 12 saw Jesus, but so did Paul, when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus Road, and as he indicated in 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” According to an informal survey of the apostles whom I know today, about 20 percent have actually seen Jesus personally.

2. Performing supernatural manifestations such as signs and wonders. “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor. 12:12). Almost every apostle I know has seen physical healing in their ministry, but not many have seen mass healings through the casting of their shadow as did Peter (see Acts 5:15). The application of this, therefore, might well be mostly a matter of degree.

3. Planting churches. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation and another builds on it” (1 Cor. 3:10). While planting churches is a very important apostolic characteristic (one that David Cannistraci even included in his definition above), not all apostles have a church-planting ministry.

4. Appointing and overseeing local church pastors (or “elders”). Paul and Barnabas planted churches, and then returned and “appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting” (Acts 14:23). Paul instructed Titus, a member of his apostolic team in Crete, to “set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).

5. Settling disputes in the church. The Corinthian believers were at each other’s throats. Paul wrote, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). Apostles are frequently called upon to bring resolution and unity to division.

6. Applying discipline, including excommunication. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! … In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:1,4-5). Denominational pastors are rarely equipped to take this kind of drastic action. Apostles, however, have few inhibitions about doing it when needed. Sadly, I have found it necessary through the years to dismiss or to force the resignation of several members of ICA.

7. Providing spiritual covering for other leaders. Paul did this. Here are two examples: “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you” (Rom. 16:12). And, “Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore, let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace” (1 Cor. 16:10-11).

8. Suffering physical persecution. “For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles … From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep” (2 Cor. 11:5,24-25).

9. Attracting and distributing financial resources. “All who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need” (Acts 4:34-35). Most apostles have access to the financial resources necessary to implement the vision that God has given them.

10. Casting out demons. “So that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from [Paul’s] body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:12). Not all apostles have deliverance ministries, though many do.

11. Breaking curses of witchcraft. Paul broke the spirit of divination (witchcraft) in Philippi (see Acts 16:1618) and directly confronted the occult sorcerer Elymas in Cyprus (see Acts 13:8-11).

12. Frequent fasting. As he displays his credentials as an apostle, Paul mentions that he fasted often (see 2 Cor. 11:27).

Fischer's New Definition of "States' Rights"

I always thought that when conservatives used the phrase "states' rights," it meant that the federal government was to have limited powers and the individual states were to have the right to decide how to legislate issues for themselves.

Once upon a time, Gov. Rick Perry was a supporter of that idea ... until he decided he wanted to run for president and realized that "states' rights" meant that states could recognize marriage equality and a woman's right to choose. 

Seeing as such things are diametrically opposed to the agenda of the Religious Right base he needs to court to win the GOP nomination, Perry quickly flip-flopped on that position, announcing his support for constitutional amendments to outlaw both abortion and gay marriage.

But make no mistake, Perry's cowardly pandering has not gone unnoticed by those he seeks to court ... but don't imagine that they are holding it against him becuse they are not.  In fact, Bryan Fischer is praising and defending Perry for taking this stand by unveiling a rather novel new definition of what the term "states' rights" really means:

Gov. Rick Perry has been castigated by some conservatives and 10th Amendment aficionados for his public support of federal amendments to protect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.

They accuse him of abandoning his commitment to federalism, states’ rights, and the 10th Amendment and committing unpardonable Tea Party heresy in the process

But to consider amending the federal Constitution as an abandonment of the 10th Amendment and states’ rights absurd.

You can’t get any more “states’ rights” than amending the Constitution, for one simple reason: only the states can amend the Constitution in the first place.

Unless proponents can get voters in 38 states to agree with them, our supreme legal document remains unchanged.

When the Constitution is amended, this is the exact opposite of the federal government imposing something on the states, but is rather a manifestation of the states expressing their political will. If anything, it’s the states imposing something on the federal government. Everybody ought to get pumped up about doing something like that.

So it turns out that "states' rights" doesn't mean that the states have the right to decide the issues as they see fit, but rather that the majority of the states have the right to decide what the minority must do.

Is this any surprise, coming from a man who doesn't believe the First Amendment covers non-Christians?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Hey, CBN's David Brody got a book deal. Should be an objectively journalistic look at why Democrats hate God.
  • Gary Bauer can't believe anyone would think Gov. Rick Perry partnered with a bunch of extremists for his prayer event ... and that just proves that those people are extremists!
  • Les Kingsolving says "for President Obama and his new secretary of defense to rejoice as they force our armed forces to accept the self-announced sodomites who are the nation's leading AIDS-spreaders is a national outrage that truly should be remembered at the polls one year from this November."
  • Not surprisingly, Robert Spencer is not pleased with Gov. Chris Christie.
  • Finally, I am sure that is someone warming up the crowd for an event with President Obama called conservatives "political suicide bombers," the Right would lose their minds.

Perry, Prayer, Politics and the Presidency

Casual viewers of “The Response,” including some political reporters who don’t pay a lot of attention to the Religious Right, may have watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally on Saturday and wondered what all the fuss was about.  Most of the time was taken up with prayer and praise music.  Few of the speakers seemed overtly political.  Nobody used the occasion to endorse Perry’s pending presidential bid.

But context is everything, and the context for this event was remarkable: a governor launching a presidential bid by teaming up with some of the nation’s most divisive extremists to hold a Christians-only prayer rally that suggested Americans are helpless to solve the country’s problems without divine intervention. Some media coverage is missing the boat: the issue wasn’t whether it was ok for a politician to pray, or the size of the audience, but the purposes of the event’s planners and their disturbing vision for America.

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that “The Response” was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast, and organizations like the Family Research Council, whose president was among the speakers, are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building.  They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

By calling for this rally, and partnering with the far right of the evangelical world, Perry aligned himself with all these troubling strategies.  When he drew criticism for the event and the extremism of its sponsors, Perry suggested his critics were intolerant of Christians.  Speakers returned to the theme, with one of them declaring that “there is an attack on the name of Jesus.” Such claims of anti-Christian persecution are a tried-and-true strategy of the Religious Right for rousing conservative Christians to political activism.  And for those who actually believe that Christianity is on the verge of being criminalized in America, Perry’s event defined him as a defiant and courageous defender of the faith. 

As journalist Dave Weigel writes, “That's the brilliance of what Perry has done here…He doesn't need to talk about politics, or do anything besides be here and understand this event. The religion is the politics. These worshippers understand that if they can bring ‘the kingdom of God’ to Earth, economic problems, even macroeconomic problems, will sort themselves out.”

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.”  Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.  But in spite of their well-documented extremism, they are embraced by Republican leaders.  Engle, for example, took part in a Family Research Council prayer-a-thon against health care reform, at which he introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Christian-nation crowd, like Response speaker David Barton and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who says the First Amendment protects only Christians’ religious liberty, shares a certain vision for America’s future.  Some of the political goals of “The Response” sponsors were brutally clear at the rally; a series of speakers prayed for an end to legal abortion.  While rhetorical gay-bashing was surprisingly absent at an event whose sponsors include the most vehemently anti-gay groups in America (including the AFA, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), it is clear that in the America envisioned by “The Response” planners, same-sex couples would have no chance at legal recognition or protection for their families.  Shortly before the event, Perry himself was forced to walk back from his very brief flirtation with a states’ rights defense of New Yorkers’ decision to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples -- and to vow his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would strip married same-sex couples of their rights and make sure that in the future gay couples could not get married anywhere in the U.S.
And lest anyone think that Perry’s religious agenda is limited to social issues, he made clear that a rigid conservative economic agenda was central to his spiritual mission. Just days before the rally, on “The 700 Club,” Perry said he’d be praying for “our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.” Those words echo the theology of activists like Barton, who have preached that the Bible condemns progressive taxation, the minimum wage and collective bargaining.
 
Perry is clearly positioning himself to enter the Republican presidential primary as a political savior to right-wing activists who are underwhelmed with their choices so far.  Yet, oddly for someone who wants to be president, he insists that America’s problems are beyond human ability to fix. (Sadly, that may only be true to the extent that enough legislators believe that God, like Grover Norquist, is opposed to any tax increases.)

Perry’s worldview and that of “The Response” organizers seems to see no useful role for non-Christian Americans, whose religious beliefs were denigrated at “The Response.”  When Perry told Americans on Saturday that we, “as a nation,” must return to God, it’s clear he meant God as understood by the event’s organizers.  Jim Garlow, who organized anti-marriage equality pastors in California before being hired by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, told journalist Sarah Posner on Saturday that “The Response” was “not about whether Perry becomes president, it’s about making Jesus king.” Perry used the event to let right-wing religious voters and churches nationwide know that for those who see politics as spiritual warfare, he is the warrior they have been waiting for.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • In a shocking move, Rick Perry is going to announce that he is running for president a week after holding his massive "nonpolitical" prayer rally.
  • And Bryan Fischer thinks that, thanks to said prayer rally, the GOP nomination will be Perry's to lose.
  • Fox News viewers don't seem very fond of atheists.
  • Neither is Gary Bauer, for that matter.
  • James Robison complains that America has become a "secular theocracy."
  • Finally, Michele Bachmann says she is "not a talker; I'm a doer."  Which is interesting considering that she hasn't actually done anything.

Robertson: Perry "Founded His Administration On The Bible"

Today on The 700 Club, Pat Robertson praised Texas Gov. Rick Perry for leading The Response prayer rally in Houston on Saturday. Perry did an interview with The 700 Club just days before the event to publicize it, disclosing that he would be praying against the “over-taxed, over-regulated, and over-litigated” economy. Robertson lauded Perry’s much disputed handling of Texas’s economy, arguing, “He has founded his administration on the Bible, and if I might add it works.” Robertson went on to say that Perry is trying to bring America “back to the roots of our nation” against forces that are trying to “separate this country from God.”

Watch:

Robertson: Is it any wonder that man was elected for three terms to lead one of the largest states in our nation, and if I might add a very prosperous states, a state that has low unemployment, paying the bills. He has founded his administration on the Bible, and if I might add it works. Man, it took courage for him to do this. All this ‘blurred the lines of separation of church and state,’ no it doesn’t. We had never, never had a time in our country where we separated this country from God, but it looks like we’re trying to do it as hard as we can. And I appreciate Gov. Perry, bringing that emphasis to come back to the roots of our nation.

Perkins Tries And Fails To Downplay The Extreme Views Of 'The Response' Organizers

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Friday to discuss The Response. During the show, Matthews played a number of videos, first posted on Right Wing Watch, of Response organizers Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer, John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church, and John Benefiel of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network.

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Lynn said Perry’s links to such extreme figures don’t represent “guilt by association” but “guilt by construction.” Perkins, on the other hand, tried to distance the import of Bryan Fischer, saying, “Look, he has a talk show on the American Family Association.”

While Perkins may be trying to downplay Fischer’s role at the AFA, he knows full well that Fischer isn’t just some radio talk show host but is in fact the public face of the American Family Association. In fact, his official bio lists him as the “spokesman for AFA.” He represented the AFA at Perkins’ Values Voters Summit and had a prime speaking slot, although as Kyle notes Fischer is not a listed speaker this year. Fischer is the group’s Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy, hosts AFA’s flagship radio program Focal Point and is the go-to voice of the AFA for inquiring journalists. Perkins himself co-hosted Today’s Issues with Fischer on AFA radio.

Perkins acknowledged that he knew the background of Fischer and other organizers, commenting, “Look, I don’t, as I said before, not everybody that’s on that platform agrees with what others have said or what they hold to believe.”

But no one has suggested that Rick Perry agrees with Bryan Fischer’s argument that gays and lesbians should be banned from holding public office, Mike Bickle’s claim that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist or John Benefiel’s belief that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol. The problem is that a sitting governor and likely presidential candidate is effectively endorsing and promoting individuals and organizations with such far-right and extreme views in an exclusively fundamentalist Christian prayer rally.

While Perkins attempted to give Perry cover about the extreme views of the prayer rally organizers, The Response represented the extent Republican leaders and Religious Right groups will go to jockey for the support of even the most fringe figures and elevate their voices.

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like Tim Pawlenty will also sign the National Organization for Marriage's pledge.
  • Speaking of NOM, they are unsurprisingly not impressed with the American Psychological Association's support for marriage equality.
  • Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's hatred of Gov. Rick Perry continues, as she announces she won't endorse him for president.
  • Apparently, praying at Gov. Perry's prayer rally is just like being Indiana Jones.
  • Finally, is there any anti-gay activist more obsessed with gay sex than Peter LaBarbera?

Maybe David Barton "Should Take A Lesson in Religious Freedom"

Not too long ago, David Barton tweeted a link to this piece by Kelly Shackleford, suggesting that those who dare to criticize Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally need a "lesson in religious freedom":

It seems that criticizing or opposing a public prayer rally is an attack on the religious freedom of those organizing such a rally. 

Which is interesting considering that back in 2009 when a group of Muslims sought to organize a prayer rally on the National Mall, David Barton, Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Shirley Dobson, Cindy Jacobs and others swung into action to mobilize their their own activists to counter the rally's "dark spiritual intent":

[O]n the 25th of September, Muslims are calling for a Muslim Day of Prayer in Washington DC (http://www.islamoncapitolhill.com/). They are calling for 50,000 Muslims to gather and pray on the DC Mall. This is the exact word of one of the Sheikhs who is leading this historic gathering, "Muslims should march on the White House. We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into a Muslim house." These are not empty words. They speak of a dark spiritual intent and a coming day of great trouble to America.

Therefore we are calling Christians all over America to join Lou Engle, Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, David Barton, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us on Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern Time for possibly one of the greatest moments in American history.

A related group of Religious Right activists them unveiled a letter demanding that rally organizers disavow a list of specific acts of terrorism that were "committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam" while Barton used it as an opportunity to pen a long piece blaming President Obama for giving Muslims courage to gather in this sort of public manner and urging Christians to use it as an opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity:

Heartened by this new encouragement, Muslim leaders have called 50,000 observant Muslims to come to the Capitol this Friday, September 25, for a day of Jummah (Friday congregational prayer). The sponsors promise that from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., "the Athan [the call given five times each day for Muslims to participate in mandatory prayer] will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill." The goal of this event is that "the peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America's capitol." In fact, their website for this unprecedented event proudly and unabashedly declares, "Our Time Has Come!"

As Bible-believing people, let's also make this Friday a day of prayer – and please encourage others to participate with you. We know that our contest is with spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12), and we firmly believe that He Who is within us is greater than any other god or force (1 John 4:4), so I encourage you to fill America with prayer to the True God this coming Friday.

Of course, Barton tried to downplay the idea that he was urging Christians to directly compete against Islam:

This call for Christians to pray this Friday is not a prayer "competition" between Christianity and Islam, nor is it a spiritual Christian "jihad" or "holy war" (what an oxymoronic term – a holy war!). After all, in I Kings 18, Elijah encouraged the prophets of the god Baal to take more time in their praying; he didn't object to their prayers, he just wanted to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers to the True God. This Friday offers a similar opportunity for those who fear God and believe His Scriptures to offer up their own prayers to Him.

And that might seem like a convincing argument ... unless you actually know that in the Bible passage Barton cites the prophet Elijah literally pitted God against Baal in competition and then "taunted" Baal's prophets when they lost - and then killed every one of them:

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"

40 Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

So when Muslims wanted to hold a public prayer rally, the Religious Right mobilized to challenge it in "one of the greatest moments in American history." 

But when Rick Perry organizes a public prayer rally and anyone dares to criticize it, those anti-Christian bigots need to "take a lesson in religious freedom."

Barton: Schools "Force" Students "To Be Homosexual"

Republican leaders including Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry like to trumpet the work of pseudo-historian David Barton despite his long record of blatant dishonesty and anti-gay bigotry. Back in January, Barton and WallBuilders Live co-host Rick Green denied the existence of bullying against LGBT youth and said that anti-bullying laws represented “homosexual indoctrination.” On today’s program, Barton continued to press his extreme views that students are becoming gay because of “indoctrination,” citing a discredited far-right doctors’ group.

Barton cited the American College of Pediatricians, a right-wing group that split off from the much larger and mainstream American Academy of Pediatricians because of the ACP’s stringent opposition to LGBT rights, particularly the right of gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. According to the AAP, the ACP’s “campaign does not acknowledge the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education.” The ACP also endorsers 'ex-gay' reparative therapy, saying, “therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.”

Barton wrongly cites the ACP as “the leading pediatric association in America” and then repeats its anti-gay rhetoric, arguing that courses against bullying and that affirm non-heterosexual orientations are simply “indoctrination.”

Discussing how schools should attend to LGBT students, Barton said: “If you’ll just let this develop naturally, they’ll end up being heterosexual unless you force them to be homosexual.” He goes on to say, “Let it run its course. If you let it run its course it’s gonna turn out normal and natural unless you guys intervene and make the unnatural stuff natural, it’s gonna run its course.”

Barton goes on to say that classes that promote a positive view of the LGBT community and condemn bullying will cause more students to become gay in the same way anti-suicide courses supposedly made more students commit suicide:

Barton: The American College of Pediatricians is cautioning educators about what they do with same-sex attraction or symptoms of gender identity or gender confusion in schools.

Green: You’re kidding, this is the Pediatric Association?

Barton: Got it, get this. The letter reminds school superintends that it is ‘not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient,’ that’s a big word, ‘transient confusion about their sexual orientation,’ and is telling 14,800 superintendents that ‘most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.’ And they’re saying, guys, back off. This indoctrination you’re doing—

Green: You plant that stuff in their minds, your leading them down that path.

Barton: If you’ll just let this develop naturally, they’ll end up being heterosexual unless you force them to be homosexual. Well that’s a remarkable letter coming from the leading pediatric association in America. And this is what it says, ‘for this reason schools should avoid developing policies that encourage non-heterosexual attractions among students who may be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion.’ The discouraging program, so all this bullying stuff--

Green: Forcing stuff into classroom—

Barton: All the NEA [National Education Association] nonsense. The ’docs are saying, leave it alone. Back off. Let it run its course. If you let it run its course it’s gonna turn out normal and natural unless you guys intervene and make the unnatural stuff natural, it’s gonna run its course. And by the way, as the ’docs point out, there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born homosexual. You have to force them to accept that position.

Green: That’s big man. And I remember Dobson saying years ago talking about how you’re gonna have an increase in the number of people that identify themselves as homosexuals simply because we’re putting out there in all the television programs, in all the movies now that’s the funny person, that’s the acceptable person. So naturally, when they’re in that state just as pediatricians are talking about, of confusion or temptation or whatever, if society’s saying ‘yeah yeah yeah, go down that road’ obviously you’re gonna have more go down that road.

Barton: This may be a little bit before you’re time, but do you know how many schools now teach suicide courses, anti-suicide courses? Zip. You know why?

Green: Because it planted the seed in their minds.

Barton: Because in the early 80’s when they’re teaching anti-suicide courses all these kids started committing suicide.

Green: Wow, that just makes sense when you think about it, you plant that seed.

Barton: You’re doing fine, and now you start teaching the course, and now you think about it all the time and the more you think about it.

Perry: Join Me At The Response To Pray Against High Taxes

During an interview with The 700 Club today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry disclosed what he will be praying for at tomorrow’s The Response, the supposedly apolitical prayer rally which he is hosting with the far-right American Family Association. Perry, who said that this rally definitely has nothing to do with his presidential ambitions, claims that he will be praying against government’s alleged high tax rate and regulations that he says hurt our economy:

Wishon: What will you personally be praying for on Saturday?

Perry: I’m gonna be praying for our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity. I just don’t see any relief in sight.

The Response: Non-Christians Are "Excluding Themselves" From Our Christians-Only Prayer Rally

Eric Bearse, the former Rick Perry spokesman who is now the official spokesperson for The Response prayer rally, wants to make clear that people of all faiths are welcome to tomorrow’s event. But Perry’s rally is organized by hard-line fundamentalists, and one rally organizer said the participation of non-Christians would be “idolatry of the worst sort.” Many people may not feel welcome based on the fact that the host organization, the American Family Association, wants all immigrants to convert to Christianity and believes non-Christians don’t have First Amendment rights, or because Response endorser C. Peter Wagner promotes the destruction of Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects and endorser John Hagee has a record of anti-Catholic remarks and once claimed that God sent Hitler to be a Hunter of Jews.

Despite all of this, Bearse told the AFA’s OneNewsNow that if Christians or non-Christian people feel uncomfortable about attending The Response, it’s their own fault:

But Eric Bearse, spokesman for "The Response," assures that non-Christians are welcome to attend the prayer event on Saturday -- and if critics choose not to come, "they're excluding themselves," he says.

Indeed, Bearse thinks that “non-Christians are welcome to attend”…but only if they intend to convert to Christianity. Bearse told the AFA’s American Family Radio back in June that “the message” of The Response is to encourage non-Christians to “seek out the living Christ.”

Bearse: A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths. But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ. And that’s the message we want to spread on August 6th.

Right Wing Round-Up

Perry Prayer Rally Organizer Says Democratic Party Controlled By Demons

A few weeks ago we noted that Alice Patterson has been is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally.  Patterson has dedicated her career to "racial healing" and has been working closely with David Barton to convince African Americans to support the Republican Party.

In fact, Patterson wrote a whole book about it which I have just finished reading called "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which mentions how she went to hear Chuck Pierce speak in Louisiana where he preached on "Saul Structures" at which points she realized that the Democratic Party is "an invisible network of evil comprising an unholy structure" that is, quite literally, controlled by demonic forces: 

As Chuck described Saul Structures, my thoughts raced to politics. "Oh my God, Chuck is describing the Democratic Party!" This was the first time I'd ever considered that an evil structure could be connected to and empowered by a political party ... One strong fallen angel cannot wreak havoc on an entire nation by himself. He needs a network of wicked forces to restrain the Church and to deceive the masses. Unlike the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere at once and can speak to millions of people simultaneously, the devil can only be in one place at a time. By himself Satan would be totally ineffective, but in cooperation with other powers of darkness he erects structures to deceive and manipulate entire nations ... At the time I was listening to Chuck Pierce in Louisiana, I hadn't given any thought at all to strongholds in political parties. If I had ever thought about it, of course, it would have made sense, but it was new information. As Chuck's words began to sink in, I asked the "Lord, Father, what is the demonic structure behind the Democratic Party?"

Patterson goes on to explain that "the demonic structure behind the Democratic Party" is in fact "the Jezebel structure" which is rooted in long-ago Democratic support for slavery and which remains today because of the party's support for reproductive and gay rights.

More on Gov. Rick Perry's "Apolitical" Prayer Rally

The Response, a day of prayer and fasting called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and hosted by the American Family Association, will take place at Houston’s Reliant Stadium this Saturday. Perry has tried to deflect criticism of his sponsorship of this religiously exclusionary event by claiming (unconvincingly) that it is meant to be unifying and apolitical, even though it is sponsored by a dizzying array of divisive, bigotry-promoting individuals and groups, including those encouraging him to enter the presidential race.
 
It is true that participants recently received instructions not to wear shirts with political messages. But an email that arrived today with suggestions for daily contemplation in preparation for The Reponse sounded suspiciously like an action alert from the far-right AFA:
In Joel's day Israel experienced the destruction of a massive locust plague. The nation's economy was crippled because of the decimation of the agriculture. The reason these plagues came was because of the people's negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises.
 
In America today we face a similar crisis. We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available on-demand through the internet. Biblical signs of apostasy are before our very eyes. While the United States still claims to be a nation "under God" it is obvious that we have greatly strayed from our foundations in Christianity.
 
This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO. And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.
 
Furthermore, because of mismanagement and greed, our national economy is in incredible disarray, with our national debt topping 14 trillion dollars. We have effectively mortgaged our children's future, while spending money we do not have on entitlements as we search in vain for "the American dream". The first "wave of locusts" has begun to descend upon us and many are oblivious to the fact that destruction has come and is still coming.
 
God destined America to be a gospel beacon to the rest of the earth a nation under God who declares His goodness, truth and mercy to a world desperately in need. How we have strayed from God's original intent for us! The crisis is extreme and the hour is urgent.

The Response email includes several days' worth of items to consider.  And while Religious Right groups like the AFA often blame secularists, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, environmentalists, and President Obama for the nation’s problems, today's email suggests the real problem is that the Church has not been fervent enough:

Often the church imagines that it is the wickedness of unbelievers that causes the deterioration of a nation. While unbelievers do contribute to a nation's moral state, Scripture is clear - God holds His people responsible for their actions and identifies their sin or obedience as the key contributor to the blessing or cursing of a nation. . . .
 
There is much at stake for the church in America. In many ways we are at a crossroads of two divergent paths. Either the church will turn to the Lord with her whole heart, sparking a great revival and reformation in our nation, or she will continue in compromise, keeping the status quo as we watch our nation turn to debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.
 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah celebrates CPAC's dumping of GOProud.
  • Get your tickets for the forthcoming anti-Palin documentary "Sarah Palin — You Betcha."
  • Rick Perry says he has "no idea what God's plans are for me, but I'm going to try to be as faithful to him as I can be" in deciding to run for president.
  • On a related note, perhaps all the talk of Perry shaking-up the GOP race is just that.
  • Finally, I can't wait to see the National Organization for Marriage maintain its anti-boycott stance and start going after the American Family Association.

Maybe Rick Perry Should Have Just Rented Out One-Tenth Of Reliant Stadium

Back in June when Gov. Rick Perry announced that he was hosting his massive "The Response" prayer rally and inviting all of the nation's governors to join him, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback immediately announced that he would attend.  But now, with the event only three days away, it appears as if Brownback might be having second thoughts and will no longer confirm him attendance.

The event is being held at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, which can seat 86,000 people, so obviously organizers had pretty grand plans for this event.  A spokesperson for the stadium said they were expecting 30,000-35,0000 to attend ... but with only a few days to go, the number of confirmed attendees stands at about one-tenth of the stadium's capacity

Openly and deeply religious, Texas Gov. Rick Perry organized what seemed like a slam-dunk event for a politician in a state where religion and politics walk hand in hand: He would fill Houston's Reliant Stadium with fellow believers in a seven-hour session of Christian atonement by some of the nation's most conservative preachers, exhorting believers to pray about the nation's moral decline.

Since he set up the event scheduled for Saturday, however, Perry has become the most talked-about almost-candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field. But with only 8,000 RSVPs for a stadium that seats 71,500 people, virtually no politicians planning to attend, and a slate of organizers who hold out-of-mainstream views on religious freedom, gay rights and even Adolf Hitler, the event has become a potentially risky gamble if Perry is serious about running for the White House.

By contrast, when Lou Engle organized his "The Call" prayer rally on the National Mall in 2000, it drew an estimated 400,000 people.

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Rick Perry Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/20/2011, 11:00am
Rick Perry, Quoting Isaiah, Asks God: “Here I am! Send Me!” Last night, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been working vigorously to court Religious Right activists, appeared on a conference call with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition where he spent most of the time discussing his accomplishments in Texas and his committed opposition to abortion rights and gay rights. He quoted Ezekiel 22:30 to call on Americans to “stand in the gap” by fighting “for the unborn and for the traditional values” and against “the secular left.” Perry also... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/15/2011, 5:20pm
Following a series of debate gaffes and blunders that have pushed him out of his spot as a frontrunner in the presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has tried to win back support by stressing his social conservative credentials. He is kicking off a bus campaign around Iowa focusing on “faith, family and freedom” and has framed himself as a victim of the media, claiming he is being “criticized for standing up for the values Jesus Christ talked about.” In one ad he discusses alleged liberal attacks against his faith and in another attacks openly gay soldiers while... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/12/2011, 4:40pm
Rick Perry’s desperate ad attacking openly gay service members and criticizing President Obama’s purported “war on religion” has quickly become one of the most disliked videos on YouTube, but it has found a few unsurprising fans: anti-gay zealots in the Religious Right. The ad even divided Perry’s own campaign staff with one pollster calling it “nuts”: But vilifying gay soldiers and stoking fears about the administration’s supposed hostility to religion is common currency in the Religious Right. American Family Association spokesman Bryan... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/08/2011, 12:52pm
Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist": Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 12/07/2011, 10:41am
Rick Perry is out with a new TV spot that uses a seasonal “War on Christmas” theme to attack gays serving openly in the military and accuse President Obama of waging a “war on religion.” Just last week, Perry released an ad assuring us that he’s “not ashamed of his faith” even though, he claims, “some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness.” Oddly, we had never assumed that Perry was at all ashamed of his faith. Openly attacking gay people seems to be something of a new strategy for Perry. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Tuesday 12/06/2011, 2:53pm
“Strict constructionism,” whatever that means, was a hot topic at Saturday’s GOP presidential forum on Fox News. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry took pains to show that they would be very strict about their constructionism. Channeling George W. Bush, they heartily endorsed the rulings of Roberts and Alito and spoke out against judges who supposedly “legislate from the bench.”   Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli kicked things off by asking Perry, “What does the term ‘strict constructionist’ mean to you and would that be the standard for... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Monday 12/05/2011, 3:15pm
The issues of border security and illegal immigration are incredibly complex and directly affect tens of millions of Americans – not to mention the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are estimated to be living in the United States. In other words, these are issues that call for some level of nuance. Nuance, however, isn’t something that Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann do:   When asked about border security by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Perry responded: I have made the commitment that 12 months after being inaugurated as president, that... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 12/03/2011, 9:40pm
Texas Gov. Rick Perry during Mike Huckabee's presidential candidate forum demanded that Supreme Court justices have term limits because of decisions he finds "offensive" regarding organized prayer and the placement of the Ten Commandments on government grounds. He said that Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito are his models for the courts because they were "strict constructionists." When asked what strict constructionism means in layman's terms, he pulled out the Constitution, holding it upside down, and argued that the current Justices have strayed from it by using the... MORE >