Rick Santorum

Bachmann to Personhood USA: Ending Abortion 'Is What I Would Literally Die For'

It is remarkable to realize how, in just a few years and despite repeated losses, the "personhood" movement has gone from a fringe effort that had no support to a central part of the Republican presidential primary.

When the first personhood effort in Colorado got trounced at the polls in 2008, anti-choice groups ranging from National Right to Life and Americans United for Life to the Eagle Forum all refused to support these sorts of amendments.

But this year nearly the entire Religious Right movement got behind the personhood effort in Mississippi ... which likewise failed miserably.  Nonetheless, the movement vows to press forward and has even managed to get nearly all of the leading Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge promising to support both state and federal personhood amendments.

Last night, Personhood USA and a gaggle of Religious Right anti-choice groups hosted a "Pro-life Tele-Town Hall and Radio Simulcast" that featured Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry being interviewed by Iowa radio show host Steve Deace and Personhood USA's Keith Mason.

Each candidate received roughly ten minutes to proclaim their anti-choice bona fides and assure those listening that, if elected, they would do everything in their power to outlaw abortion. Rick Santorum even went so far as to declare that presidential candidates should not even be saying they "believe" life begins at conception because it is not a belief, it is a scientific fact:

I want to make sure that everybody understands that when politicians say "I believe life begins at conception," that is conceding ground. And the ground that we concede is by using the term "believe." Life beginning at conception is not a belief, it is not an article of faith, it is an article of fact. It's a biological fact that life, in fact, begins as conception and we need to begin to understand that we have to use language that is consistent with what the truth is. 

While each of the candidates used the call as an opportunity to highlight their anti-abortion views and agenda, none of the candidates could hold a candle to Michele Bachmann, who made it quite clear that outlawing abortion has been her life's work ... one she is willing to die to see happen:

I want everyone to know that I recognize and respect the dignity of every human life from conception until natural death. This is not a check the box thing for me; this is the core of my conviction, this is what I would literally die for. We have a moral obligation to defend other people and the reason for that is because each human being is made in the image of likeness of a holy God.

Some of the most elegant words about life came to us from the Declaration of Independence and ti says that God has given us our right to life, and we know that President Obama has a war on the family.

What we need to do to end Roe v. Wade and end that horrible holocaust in the United States of life is to pass the Personhood Amendment. I am the first person to sign Personhood USA's pledge, and I am proud to say that, to define life from the moment of conception. We don't have to wait for the Supreme Court; we can be involved in this ourselves and I am thrilled to have signed the Personhood Amendment.

As President of the United States, I won't just talk this talk, I won't relegate pro-lifers to the corner and pat them on the head, I will actually do something about it and I will veto any congressional attempt to provide federal funding of abortion. That's why I led 40,000 Americans to the United States capitol to block Obamacare.

I'm 55, since I've been 19 I've been very active in the pro-life movement. I get it. This isn't a check the box issue for me; this is life itself. The one thing we can't get wrong in this election is the life issue. Too many times we have been relegated to the corner - I will not, as president I will actively pursue the personhood legislation.

Santorum Warns of 'Dire Consequences to our Society' if America Strays from God's 'Principles'

On the second segment of Rick Santorum’s appearance on Family Talk with James Dobson, the presidential candidate said that one of the reasons he entered the race is because of the “degrading of our respect for human life” he sees upheld by President Obama and other pro-choice politicians. A staunch opponent of reproductive freedom, earlier this year Santorum said he found it “almost remarkable” that a “black man” like Obama could support abortion rights. On an earlier episode of Dobson’s show, he linked Planned Parenthood with Nazism.

Santorum maintained that while the election may be focused on issues like “economics and jobs,” the country is on the verge of walking away from God’s “teachings,” which will bring about “dire consequences to our society”:

Santorum: This is the kind of just unsettling, degrading of our respect for human life that we see in the political arena, and it was one of the reasons that I felt compelled to get out there because everything is so focused on economics and jobs, which are of course important, but this country is a great country because we were blessed by God and that we are a country that lived according to His principles and His teachings. If we walk away from that, there are dire consequences to our society.

The former Pennsylvania senator also claimed that the reason he has faced attacks on the campaign trail is because he is “standing up for the Son of Man” and is committed to “speak the truth.” Dobson compared Santorum to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who he said is being “reviled” for his public displays of faith, and Santorum lamented that it “is sort of sad that we have a society that wants our heroes to be broken”:

Dobson: I can ask you how you feel about the exhaustion and the constant pressure and the media in your face and all that it means to pay the price for the responsibility you’re reaching for.

Santorum: Well I just feel blessed to have the opportunity to be able to go out and speak the truth, and to do so as someone who is not the favorite, not expected to win, but went out there to witness. I really believe that we need folks who are willing to stand up and just speak the truth and take the consequences. I have several favorite Bible passages that talk about that ‘they will hate you’ and ‘they will call your name evil’ because of standing up for the Son of Man, this is a great comfort to me that this is part of standing up for Him and doing the part as being a Christian.

Dobson: You know I think of what Tim Tebow must be going through now, if you dare utter the name of Christ, you can talk about God every now and then, but if you dare to mention the name of Jesus Christ you are going to be reviled and rejected and mocked and made fun of. Would they rather Tim would be buying drugs on a street corner? Would they rather he would have eight women in a course of a year, or in a course of a month? I mean those things go on in professional athletics. You’ve got this man kneeling and saying, ‘thank you Lord,’ and when they ask him how he is doing or how he felt about winning a game, he deflects it, he talks about his teammates and his coaches, and they hate him for it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you haven’t had a little bit of that.

Santorum: Well, certainly not on the scale that in the last week or so that Tim Tebow has, but he is a great inspiration to me and I think to many, many others. It is sort of sad that we have a society that wants our heroes to be broken.

Bachmann, Gingrich and Santorum to Participate in Forum hosted by Radical Anti-Choice Activists

Republican presidential candidiates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signed on for a “Presidential Pro-Life Forum” hosted by Personhood USA and moderated by Iowa conservative radio personality Steve Deace. The three candidates along with Rick Perry have already announced their support for personhood laws.

Personhood USA wants abortion and even common forms of birth control banned without exception, and personhood laws may even outlaw in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies. The group launched unsuccessful referendums in Colorado and Mississippi, and has characterized President Obama as the “Angel of Death” and likened opponents to Nazis.

The other organizations listed as hosts of the forum are just as radical, if not more so.

The Call is led by Lou Engle, who has claimed that legal abortion may lead to civil war and is responsible for the Joplin tornado. Engle has also used his The Call prayer rally to bolster Ugandan legislation that would criminalize and in some cases give the death penalty for homosexuals. Moreover, Engle has compared gay rights to Nazism, advocated for Seven Mountains dominionism, and said that both gays and Muslims are demonic.

Another organization hosting the forum is the Oak Initiative, a project of South Carolina pastor Rick Joyner, who has argued that God will imminently destroy California, Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment for homosexuality, “extremist Islam” is God’s judgment for “perversions” and “abortions,” and that very soon “God’s judgment is going to come upon Hollywood.” Joyner also believes that President Obama may be a Muslim and that Muslims are trying to take control of Michigan, school textbooks and Christianity. Like Engle, Joyner is a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism.

Both Engle and Joyner are closely affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes that God is raising up modern day apostles and prophets, and another cosponsor, the Freedom Federation, includes the NAR groups Generals International, led by the self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, and Harvest International Ministries of self-proclaimed apostle Che Ahn.

Three Republican candidates for the nation’s high office including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich have confirmed their participation in the Presidential Pro-Life Forum on Tuesday, December 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm CST. The national tele-town hall and radio simulcast will be hosted by Personhood USA and their partner organizations: National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, Liberty Counsel, Bott Radio Network, Freedom Federation, Frederick Douglass Foundation, Champion the Vote, Oak Initiative, The Call, Georgia Right to Life, Rock for Life, and Iowa Right to Life. An invitation has been extended to the remaining GOP presidential candidates.

The 90-minute pro-life tele-town hall will feature the candidates discussing their views on the rights of the preborn and other issues of great importance to pro-life voters. Pro-life groups around the nation are inviting their members to attend. Callers will have an opportunity to ask questions via email and give instant feedback to thoughts and ideas shared.

Nationally-syndicated radio host Steve Deace, whose influence in the Iowa Caucuses has been highlighted by numerous national media outlets, will broadcast the event live on his Salem Network program. Last week, four candidates, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Gov. Rick Perry, signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Republican Candidate Pledge, declaring their intentions to stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“We’re pleased to see the candidates standing for the rights of every person to live, love, and be loved. The time has come to end the 40-year reign of the abortion industry, once and for all,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “This is an opportunity for everyone who understands that ‘all men are created equal’ to hear from the candidates their plans to recognize the most fundamental rights of every human being, no matter their age. Come, take advantage of this interactive and important event, and be a voice for the voiceless.”

Dobson Salutes Santorum for 'Standing up for Righteousness'

On December 16, Rick Santorum and his wife Karen joined James Dobson on his radio show Family Talk in a program, broadcasted today, where the Focus on the Family founder gushed that Santorum and his wife “epitomize what a Christian family is all about.” Today’s show comes a day after Santorum received the endorsement of leading Iowa Religious Right figures, and weeks following Michele Bachmann’s appearance on Family Talk, where Dobson hailed her and her husband as “role models.”

The conversation stayed clear of over political rhetoric and mostly focused on their family life, but the Focus on the Family founder lauded Santorum has the “guts” for “not being afraid” to speak “about the family, about marriage about childrearing, about the principles that we find in Scripture”:

Dobson: LuAnne, I’m looking forward to this program too because we’re honored to have the former US Senator Rick Santorum with us in the studio and also with us by phone is his lovely wife Karen, I have worked with both of these folks before and I love them like members of my own family and it’s just great to have them with us. These folks have been good friends for many years and they epitomize what a Christian family is all about.



Let me just express appreciation to you for standing up for righteousness, not being afraid to do so, speaking often about the family, about marriage about childrearing, about the principles that we find in Scripture. You have had the guts to do that, and with Karen more than that, to live it out, and that is very, very impressive to all of us.

Bob Vander Plaats Endorses Rick Santorum, 'The Huckabee in this Race'

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, who led Mike Huckabee’s victorious Iowa campaign in 2008, endorsed Rick Santorum for president today. Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center also endorsed Santorum. Speaking as an individual and not on behalf of his organization, Vander Plaats lauded Santorum as the “Huckabee in this race” and a “champion of the family.” Echoing Huckabee, who frequently reminded Religious Right voters, “I come from you,” Vander Plaats concluded, “I believe Rick Santorum comes from us, he’s not to us, he comes from us, he’s one of us.”

Watch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santorum: Single Moms Not Marrying Their Boyfriends so They Can Collect Welfare

Dear Single Moms on Welfare: Watch out! Rick Santorum is on to your trickery. 

At Saturday’s GOP presidential forum hosted by Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum sounded off the many ways that the federal government supposedly opposes marriage. In particular, he highlighted the supposedly common phenomenon of single welfare mothers who aren't marrying their live-in boyfriends so they can get extra goodies from the government:

I’m sure everybody, a lot of folks listening here tonight, are gonna know people who are, who father and mother are living together, but they’re not married, for the reason they’re not married is so they, mother, can receive welfare benefits to help support that child, those children.

Yes Rick, I’m sure everybody watching knows a family just like that. Living in sin, but also in style, thanks to those ever-so-generous welfare checks.
 

Santorum Calls For Public Schools To Undermine The Teaching Of Evolution

During a meeting with the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph, Rick Santorum urged public schools to begin teaching claims that undermine evolution, no matter their scientific veracity. He blamed “the left and the scientific community, so to speak,” for the inability of schools to teach about the role of God or a Creator, and said that “maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things.”

Such attacks on the teaching of evolution are nothing new from Santorum, who attached language in the Conference Report of the No Child Left Behind Act that says a “quality science education” include topics that challenge biological evolution as part of his “teaching the controversy” campaign. He also endorsed the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s requirement that teachers offer textbooks on “Intelligent Design,” which was developed by proponents of Creationism, and the teaching of “Intelligent Design” was declared unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In fact, the “teach the controversy” approach originates from the anti-evolution Discovery Institute, and the National Center for Science Education points out that evolution “is not scientifically controversial, nor are resources for each side of comparable quality – evidence for evolution comes from peer-reviewed literature whereas evidence against evolution is built on flawed assumptions and popularized misconceptions.”

Watch:

Santorum: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because oh my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, “God” in the classroom, or “Creator,” or that there may be some things that are inexplainable by nature where there may be, where it’s better explained by a Creator, of course we can’t have that discussion. It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. And if it does point to that, why don’t you pursue that? But you can’t because it’s not science, but if science is pointing you there how can you say it’s not science? It’s worth the debate.

Santorum: God's Law And Civil Law Must Be The Same

During The Family Leader's Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa on Saturday, forum moderator Frank Luntz's first question to Rick Santorum was "what's the number one value that America has lost and how would you get it back?"

Santorum's response was that America has lost the recognition that this nation was founded on the principle that our rights come from God and that, as such, we are also required to abide by God's laws ... which, he explained, was totally unlike Sharia:

Now, unlike Islam where the higher law and civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.

Our civil laws have to ... and that's why, with the issue of abortion, as long as abortion is "legal" - at least according to the Supreme Court, "legal" in this country - we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God's law which says that all life has value, all life is created by [God,] I knew you in the womb.

And as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.

So, to clarify: In Islam, God's laws and the civil laws are one-and-the-same and that is theocracy and that is bad ... whereas here in the United States, our civil laws merely must be in accordance with God's law, and that is not theocracy and that is good. 

And until that happens, Santorum says, this country will never have rest. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.
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  • The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.
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  • Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.
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  • FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage Amendment that will protect the definition of natural marriage as found in the Bible."
  •  

  • Bryan Fischer says "the left is profoundly anti-science," which is why they refuse to admit that gays can choose to become straight.
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  • Finally, Concerned Women for America has released talking points [PDF] opposing the Respect for Marriage Act.  Point one: "Despite its deliberately deceptive name, the 'Respect for Marriage Act' insidiously seeks to destroy the historical, traditional definition of marriage."

Right Wing Round-Up

Religious Right Erupts Following Herman Cain's Incoherent Position On Abortion

Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.

Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:

Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association argued that Cain’s remarks “could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook” and wrote a column taking Cain to task:

Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.

Ouch.

In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.

Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.

Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:

Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:

I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.



He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.

Right Wing Round-Up

Santorum: Curtail Single Motherhood To Reduce The Democratic Advantage

While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Today’s Issues, Rick Santorum argued that single mothers were the “political base” of the Democratic Party, and that Republicans should work to lessen single motherhood in order to score political points against their Democratic rivals. The Democratic Party, Santorum said, relies on “single mothers who run a household” and have a “desire for government” as their voter base, and concluded that building “two parent families” is necessary “to reduce the Democratic advantage.”

Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: it is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.

Santorum: Curtail Single Motherhood 'To Reduce The Democratic Advantage'

While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Today’s Issues, Rick Santorum argued that single mothers were the “political base” of the Democratic Party, and that Republicans should work to lessen single motherhood in order to score political points against their Democratic rivals. The Democratic Party, Santorum said, relies on “single mothers who run a household” and have a “desire for government” as their voter base, and concluded that building “two parent families” is necessary “to reduce the Democratic advantage.”

Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: it is single mothers who run a household. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government.

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

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

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

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Bryan Fischer

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

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

Fischer has:

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

Tony Perkins

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

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

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

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

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

Mat Staver

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

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

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

Jerry Boykin

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

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

Star Parker

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

Ed Vitagliano

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

Bishop Harry Jackson

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

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

Lila Rose

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

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

Glenn Beck

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

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up

PFAW Urges GOP Candidates To Condemn Fischer

We reported yesterday that American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer will not only be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit but will immediately follow Mitt Romney. Today, People For the American Way released a statement urging Romney and fellow Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to condemn Fischer’s unmitigated bigotry rather than lending it legitimacy by appearing with him:

• Fischer, the chief spokesman for the AFA, has insisted that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights, has said that Muslims should be banned from the U.S. military, and has called for a ban on the building of new mosques in the U.S.

• Fischer has written that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism,” thinks gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office,” claims that gays are responsible for the Nazi Party and that gay people today will “do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”

• Fischer has insisted that Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from controlling American land and insists that American Indian communities are “mired in poverty and alcoholism” because not all have converted to Christianity.

• He has written that African American welfare recipients “rut like rabbits.”

• Last year, Fischer insulted Medal of Honor winner Sal Giunta, who saved the lives of two fellow soldiers under heavy fire in Afghanistan, saying “we have feminized the Medal of Honor” because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

People For the American Way president Michael Keegan urged Romney and his fellow presidential candidates to denounce Fischer’s bigotry before appearing with him at the event.

“Bryan Fischer’s stunning record of public bigotry would make him a pariah in any sane political movement,” Keegan said. “But his long record of hate speech doesn’t seem to bother the supposed ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who are sharing the stage with him at an event sponsored by his employer. Candidates don’t have to agree with the views of everyone they appear with – but they should be wary of lending legitimacy to those who peddle hate and fear of their fellow Americans.

“If Mitt Romney wants to appeal to mainstream audiences, he should publicly disassociate himself from Fischer’s bigotry before handing him the podium.”

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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/20/2013, 2:48pm
Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin? Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 06/11/2013, 5:31pm
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Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/28/2013, 6:15pm
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Layne, Wednesday 05/22/2013, 2:12pm
As the Boy Scouts of America consider lifting a ban on openly gay scouts, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent claims from the Religious Right on what might happen if that shift were to occur.  Relying on outlandish predictions and harmful lies, right-wing personalities are linking gays in the Boy Scouts to everything from sexual abuse to North Korean nuclear threats. Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s recent reporting on right-wing opposition to lifting the ban on gay members in the Boy Scouts: 5. Swanson: Allowing Gays in Boy Scouts Like... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/10/2013, 1:05pm
This week, a Michigan high school canceled a planned speech by Rick Santorum after Santorum refused to provide school district officials with an advance copy of his remarks. But Religious Right activists think there is another explanation for the cancellation. Fox News commentator Todd Starnes reports that he spoke to a conservative youth group spokesman who said that Santorum’s speech was cancelled because of his well-known anti-gay remarks. In the past, Santorum has likened same-sex unions to “man on dog” and “man on child” marriages. Talk show host Janet... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/09/2013, 5:30pm
Rick Santorum says "it would be suicidal" for the Republican Party to accept marriage equality. Melissa Harris-Perry responds to the right-wing freakout over her MSNBC promo. Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, responds to news that Sen. Bob Casey Jr. now supports gay marriage by saying that "if Bob Casey, Sr. was still alive, he would be extremely disappointed in his son." Judging by the fact that its website is now defunct, we are guessing that the Newt Gingrich-founded and Jim Garlow-led Renewing American... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/08/2013, 12:40pm
Rick Santorum’s group Patriot Voices is out with a new contest focused on saving the American dream before President Obama destroys it. During an appearance on Patriot Voices Radio last month, Santorum declared that it is necessary to protect the American dream from companies like Starbucks that support gay rights. Starbucks is the focus of a boycott campaign backed by groups like the National Organization for Marriage, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council over the company’s endorsement of Washington state’s marriage equality. At a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/05/2013, 5:29pm
Rick Santorum is considering another run for president in 2016 because, if recent history has demonstrated anything, it is that GOP presidential candidates who can't even win the nomination the first time have a really good track record of winning the next time around. Did you miss NOM's sparsely-attended anti-marriage rally outside the Supreme Court?  Now you can watch all the boring speakers. Michael Brown explains that "there is no such thing as an unrepentant, born-again Christian prostitute." Edward Hudgins of The Atlas Society says the GOP should... MORE >