Sarah Palin

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/11/14

  • Jeremy Hooper: GOP governors gaily canoodle brothers who equate homosexuality with satan; no homo.
  • Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: Reality TV star Josh Duggar warns conservative Christians of Obama’s gay-friendly agenda.
  • Dorsey Shaw @ BuzzFeed: Sarah Palin’s Weirdest Argument Ever.
  • Alan Colmes: ‘War On Whites’ Congressman Says Republicans ‘Don’t Categorize People By Race.’
  • Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite: James O’Keefe Snuck Across the U.S.-Mexico Border Wearing an Osama bin Laden Mask.

Conservative Activist Proposes Third Party With Sarah Palin As Its Leader

Steve Baldwin, a former California lawmaker and onetime executive director of the Council for National Policy, believes that Tea Party and Religious Right activists should form a third party to “do to the GOP what the GOP did to the Whig Party 150 years ago.”

“I believe a coalition between social and fiscal conservatives could be formed around the issue of eliminating all federal abortion funding, reversing Roe vs. Wade (let the states fight it out), and prohibiting the Federal government from granting special rights to people based upon sexual behavior (laws that almost always infringe on our religious, property, and freedom of association rights). I believe such a platform would unite all factions of conservatives and libertarians,” Baldwin writes in BarbWire today.

And he already knows who he would like to lead the party: Sarah Palin.

The biggest obstacle to creating a Third Party is the fear conservatives have that by voting Third Party, it will weaken the GOP, thus allow more Democrats to win. And that’s a legitimate fear and is why all Third Parties in existence today receive only a few percentage points every election and have zero impact upon the political process.

However, there is a way to create a Third Party without helping the Democrats win and that involves using the power of the internet to create a Third Party on paper but not launch it until it is strong enough to be competitive.

For a Third Party to be effective, millions of voters need to join it, become active, recruit others and support its candidates. Moreover, millions of dollars would need to be raised to market the party and fight for ballot access changes. I propose that a website be set up that collects pledges. By that, I mean a person would log on, register themselves, and then electronically sign a “pledge” that commits him or her to vote for a Third Party when the party officially launches. Of course, such a pledge cannot be legally binding, but I doubt most voters would go through the process of registering themselves online unless they were serious. Of course, there would be some fraud, but that would be factored in when determining how much support the new party has.



Once the party launches and it is obvious to voters that it will be a viable party, I predict many more voters will pile on. The new party will do to the GOP what the GOP did to the Whig Party 150 years ago: it will replace the GOP as the main party contesting the Democrat Party. We would also need a stable of respected national conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin and others to lead the charge on such an effort. A well-funded marketing plan would be needed with a heavy emphasis on using the social media. Such an effort may take years but even the process of building a viable Third Party may be beneficial. It will send a strong message to the Republican Party that if it continues its liberal drift, it will be replaced. Perhaps even the mere existence of such an effort will possibly save the GOP.



Even on the social issues, I believe a coalition between social and fiscal conservatives could be formed around the issue of eliminating all federal abortion funding, reversing Roe vs. Wade (let the states fight it out), and prohibiting the Federal government from granting special rights to people based upon sexual behavior (laws that almost always infringe on our religious, property, and freedom of association rights). I believe such a platform would unite all factions of conservatives and libertarians.

The internet has been used to unite millions of people for all kinds of causes. Why can’t it be used to build the infrastructure of a new Third Party? For this to become a reality, a group of respected leaders from the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and the libertarian right would have to come together to form this new party, agree on a set of principles and then launch the website to be used to college pledges.

GOP's Base Clamors To Impeach Obama

Nearly two years into President Obama’s second term, a do-nothing Republican Congress is focusing on its next project: the 2014 midterm elections. But that effort might be complicated by increasing pressure from the party’s base to turn Congress’ energy to impeaching President Obama. The impeachment call, which has existed on the right-wing fringe since the start of Obama’s presidency, has picked up steam in recent weeks as it has been endorsed by right-wing media figures, activists and elected officials.

This has put Republican congressional leaders in a tricky spot as they attempt to placate their base without alienating moderate voters. When House Majority Whip Steve Scalise appeared on Fox News Sunday this week, he continually dodged the question. Ted Cruz similarly batted away a question about impeachment, calling it politically unfeasible. Right-wing leaders including Pat Buchanan and Tom DeLay have urged caution in the impeachment campaign, although DeLay said he would personally “love to impeach him.” Likewise, Karl Rove has warned that when it comes to impeachment, “the politics of it are all wrong.”

Even Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, who last year distributed to every office on Capitol Hill a book on why the president should be impeached and removed from office and hired an attorney to look into impeachment, is now backtracking and warning that impeachment proceedings could benefit Democrats in the midterm elections.

Now, House Speaker John Boehner is claiming that talk of impeachment is a Democratic “scam” to win voters…an odd claim since it’s members of his own party who have been beating the drum about impeachment.

But it might be too late for Republicans to backtrack on a steady buildup of rhetoric questioning the president’s legitimacy, love of country, and authority to govern, which has led to increasing calls for impeachment from right-wing lawmakers, activists and media personalities... although nobody can quite agree on what the impeachment should be for.

  • In a radio interview last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann said that she believed the president has "committed impeachable offenses” but that first “the American people have to agree with and be behind and call for the president’s impeachment.”
  • This month, Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania said that there are “probably” the votes in the House to impeach the president for “absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws, and ignoring the checks and balances.”
  • Also last year, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan said that impeaching the president would be “a dream come true.”

WorldNetDaily Pundit Thinks Americans Must Dislike America Because They Didn't Elect Sarah Palin

Clearly, most Americans must lack an "American Spirit," explains one WorldNetDaily columnist, because how else would one explain why voters didn't back Sarah Palin in 2008 and still mostly view her unfavorably?

Selena Owens of WND writes​ today that unlike President Obama, Sarah Palin "embodies" the American spirit and "belongs to We the People and has absolutely nothing to do with political pandering."

"The American spirit is embodied in national political figures such as Sarah Palin," Owens gushes, warning that if Republicans don't embrace Palin's call to impeach President Obama, then "we forfeit America."

I’m wondering where the American spirit is these days, because I’m encountering conversations and commentary pushing the notion that Sarah Palin, a prominent conservative politician and noted tea party champion of We the People, should concede and hush her mouths for the sake of Republicanism.

...

Specifically, I’m speaking of the former governor’s choice to proudly display some American spirit and tell Congress to impeach Barack Obama.

Yes, I am on the Palin bandwagon in this issue. Our country is at stake.

Sarah Palin is calling for Obama’s impeachment, citing the immigration crisis as “the last straw that makes the battered wife say ‘no mas.’” Barack Obama has proven time and again that he couldn’t care less about American principles, laws, or citizens. Impeachment has been the rally cry of conservatives for a few years, even from prominent leaders like Allen West and other congressmen. Barack Obama needs to go – or we forfeit America.

...

Sarah Palin is a prominent political figure who belongs to We the People and has absolutely nothing to do with political pandering. She makes waves and people take notice – especially Republicans who want to just go along to get along and try to ensure that their party’s image is not tarnished and that they can “safely” ensure votes by not allowing anyone to disturb their plans. So they want Palin to shut up and not rock the boat. Specifically, House Speaker John “I disagree” Boehner.

You would think the GOP would know better to expect anything less than a challenging confrontation and bold patriotism from the gutsy governor. Apparently, they don’t.

...

Obviously, the American spirit is nowhere in this current administration. Think Obamacare. Benghazi. IRS scandal. NSA spying. Immigration. Open borders. Gun control.

...

The American spirit is embodied in national political figures such as Sarah Palin – and others – who fight for the American people. The American spirit is embodied in local tea party leaders in Mississippi and Connecticut and Tennessee and anyone else who champions adherence to the two most fantastic documents revered worldwide: The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/8/14

  • Former half-term governor Sarah Palin is calling for President Obama's impeachment.
  • Pat Buchanan laughably insists that the Southern Strategy wasn’t racist: “Nixon won the South not because he agreed with them on civil rights -- he never did -- but because he shared the patriotic values of the South and its antipathy to liberal hypocrisy."
  • This should work: "Liveprayer's Rev. Bill Keller has sent a personal video message to the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encouraging him to renounce Islam and inviting him to convert to Christianity."
  • FRC says "Americans everywhere are indebted Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood for being modern-day Daniels. They stared down the lions of intolerance and won a victory for the whole nation."
  • Matt Barber thinks the Hobby Lobby decision means that President Obama has no constitutional authority to issue an executive order prohibiting anti-gay discrimination among federal contractors.

War And Peace: The Tea Party And The GOP

It’s not completely clear why Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he created in the wake of Obama’s election, has decided to hold an annual conference in Washington, D.C.  After all, the conservative Christian voters his group works to identify and mobilize already have the Values Voter Summit, the much larger fall event sponsored by the Family Research Council and a gaggle of other right-wing groups.

One reason may be for the once-disgraced Reed to show off his political access: last week’s Road to Majority conference was thick with Republican officeholders and presidential wannabes, and I lost count of how many times Reed told participants how impressed they should be by the lineup.  For the lobby day that preceded the conference itself, he was able to get face time for his participants with Religious Right and Tea Party heroes from the Senate -- Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and  Marco Rubio – and House of Representatives – Louis Gohmert, Steve King, and David Jolly – along with “establishment” Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen John Cornyn.

In fact, the conference may be seen by Reed as a way for him to play peacemaker among the sometimes warring factions within the Republican Party and encourage unity going into the election year. At last year’s conference, RNC head Reince Priebus had a chance to tell attendees, many of them skeptical, that he was indeed one of them, as a Christian and a conservative; this year he made an appearance via video.

Last Saturday, on panel on the 2014 elections, conservative pundit and author John Fund predicted that Thad Cochran would be defeated by Chris McDaniel. Fund said it would mark a second “humiliating defeat” for the Republican establishment (after Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss) and should lead to a demand from the grassroots for McConnell and Boehner to work out a “peace treaty” with Tea Party activists so they could stop spending an “insane” amount of resources on internal fights. “The real enemy is in November,” he said.

Of course that’s not what happened on Tuesday. With a boost from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and ads by football great Brett Favre – and more notably with a direct appeal to African American voters – Cochran squeaked out an unexpected victory.

The “humiliating defeat” was now pinned on Tea Party groups and there was little talk about peace negotiations.  Chris McDaniel’s already infamous non-concession speech turned into a rant against the Cochran campaign and Republican officials who sided with him:

There is nothing dangerous or extreme about defending the Constitution and the civil liberties therein. And there’s nothing strange at all about standing as people of faith for a country that WE built, that WE believe in. But there is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual, about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.”

“This is not the party of Reagan,” he declared. “But we’re not done fighting. And when we’re done it will be. We have fought too long we have fought too hard to have a voice in this party. And today, the conservative movement took a back seat to liberal Democrats in the state of Mississippi. In the most conservative state in the republic, this happened. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. And that’s why we will never stop fighting.”

McDaniel was backed heavily by FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which denounced as “disgraceful” the money spent by the NRSC to back Cochran.

National Review’s Eliana Johnson, who moderated the 2014 panel, said the Establishment / Tea Party split has been vastly overblown by the media slapping the Tea Party label on every gadfly challenger.  But on the night of Cochran’s Democratic-voter-assisted victory, Sarah Palin was talking about a third party.

For those of us outside the movement, who see the overlapping Tea Party and Religious Right movements relentlessly pushing the GOP further to the right, it can be hard to understand why there is so much anger directed at the establishment.  After all, it’s not as if Eric Cantor and Thad Cochran are some kind of liberal Rockefeller Republicans.

But even these conservative leaders are not enough for grassroots activists who imbibe a steady ideological diet, from right-wing media and movement leaders, calling for a radically limited federal government and viewing compromise made in the process of governing as complicity with tyranny. Republican leaders who encouraged an angry grassroots uprising against the “tyranny” of health care reform are now reaping the whirlwind.

If there were a unifying message from Ralph Reed’s conference, it was, “America is in decline and the world is going to hell and it’s all Obama’s fault.” The solution offered was a combination of spiritual and political warfare. While right-wing groups have a common enemy in the White House, and will certainly work together this year to try to give Republicans control of the Senate, it is clear that we haven’t yet seen the end of the struggle over  just how far to the far right the Republican Party will be pushed.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/7/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/6/14

  • Rob Schenck of Faith and Action calls upon Sarah Palin to retract her comments about waterboarding: "I admonish you in the name of the Lord to retract your comments about waterboarding and baptism and clarify what you were doing and trying to say."
  • Glenn Beck has released a new book about Common Core and he is telling people to buy a copy and rip the cover off and give it to their friends who will refuse to read it if they know that Beck wrote it.
  • Speaking of Common Core, a respected Republican pollster is warning candidates not to run for office by opposing it.
  • Tony Perkins says "one look at the headlines and we can all agree: If there's one thing this country could use more of, it's prayer!" I am pretty sure that we don't all agree on that.
  • Phyllis Schlafly seems to think that the short-term Democrat strategy is to get the unmarried women to vote while the long-term strategy is to push policies what will increase the population of unmarried women.
  • Finally, you can't argue with Bryan Fischer's logic: "The death penalty for cold-blooded murder was right in the days of Noah and it is right today."

Fischer Says Palin Was Just Being 'Clever And Funny' Because 'Waterboarding Is Not Torture'

While speaking at the NRA Convention last weekend, Sarah Palin said that if she was president, waterboarding would be "how we baptize terrorists." Predictably, Bryan Fischer came to her defense on his radio show today, saying that Palin was just being "cute" and "clever and funny," mainly because "waterboarding it not torture."

Bizarrely, Fischer insisted that waterboarding is nothing like pulling out fingernails or shocking people with a car battery precisely because people are willing to undergo waterboarding in order to demonstrate that it is torture.

As Fischer sees it, if waterboarding really was torture, then nobody would ever volunteer to be subjected to it. Since people have done so, Fischer argued, then it must not be "real torture."

As such, people who are outraged by what Palin said "ought to just kind of lighten up just a little bit":

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/28/14

  • Sarah Palin is an American treasure.
  • The only thing worse than gays is Christians who defend gays.
  • The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund is raking in millions of dollars and spending almost none of it on candidates.
  • Glenn Beck has some "pretty big plans" for his movie studio and promises that people will be "absolutely shocked" by what he has in store.
  • Finally, on a semi-related note, Alex Jones is attacking Beck because "he actually works for Obama," which is just about the most deliciously ironic thing we have ever seen.

Paranoia-Rama: Hitler's 'Super Gay' Race, Gun Tracking Bracelet Myth & Another Bogus Religious Right Persecution Story

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Did you know that it is illegal to be a Christian in America? Or that World War II was all about promoting homosexuality?

Probably not, but you might just think that if you get all of your news from the paranoid world of the Religious Right media.

5. Hitler’s Gay Dream

Religious Right talk show host Rick Wiles is not happy about the growing support for gay rights in America, which he believes is really the fulfillment of Adolf Hitler’s dream to engender a “race of super gay male soldiers” that would “slaughter” Christians.

According to Wiles, Nazism and World War II had nothing to do with promoting the supremacy of the “Aryan race,” but were all about Hitler’s plan to create a Christian-killing “homosexual special race.”

His guest, BarbWire editor and pastor Jeff Allen, unsurprisingly agreed.

4. Gays Targeting South Carolina For ‘Recruitment’

South Carolina Republicans are fighting the scourge of gay “recruitment,” which apparently has become a major problem in the Palmetto State. State senator and US Senate candidate Lee Bright, for example, is worried that the “homosexual agenda” has “seized the educational establishment” and has gone on “full march in our institutions of higher ed and we’ve gone from education to indoctrination.”

Fellow GOP state senator Mike Fair similarly fears that a lesbian comedian is “recruiting” students into homosexuality at the University of South Carolina-Upstate, and wants to punish the school along with the College of Charleston for their “glorification of same-sex culture.”

3. Gun Tracking Bracelets A-Comin’

It didn’t take long for conservative media outlets to disseminate the false claim that Attorney General Eric Holder announced he would be exploring “gun tracking bracelets” as part of a looming crackdown on gun rights. Of course, Holder never said that he would be tracking gun owners through bracelets.

As Erich Lach of TPM writes, Holder only “talked about ideas for gun safety technology including finger print identification and a bracelet that ‘talks to’ a gun, to allow use only by the lawful owner,” a technology that many gun manufacturers are working to develop.

Naturally, the story moved up from right-wing pundits to GOP politicians like Mitch McConnell and Sarah Palin, who pushed the gun tracking bracelet myth regardless of the actual facts.

2. Religious Right Persecution Story Debunked, Again

It’s time for another bogus Religious Right tale about persecution in schools, this time in North Carolina. Conservatives were outraged when a teacher allegedly tried to dissuade a student from writing a short essay about how Jesus is her hero, and now there is a phony photo circulating of an essay marked with “F: Remove Jesus Please!”

However, as the myth-busting website Snopes points out, the school explained that the only reason the teacher spoke to the student about the assignment was because the student approached the teacher and told her she is having problems writing it.

“Our school has recently been the target of intense negative publicity in numerous forms of the media,” the school’s principal said in a statement [PDF], noting that at no point was the student pressured to drop Jesus as the subject of the essay and that the finished product “is still entitled, ‘Jesus is my Hero.’”

As is often the case, right-wing activists quickly jumped at the first cry of “persecution!,” without waiting for the facts of the case to come out.

1. Christianity Made Illegal!

Back in 2011, a seniors group affiliated with the Traditional Values Coalition sent out mailers with the headline “Christianity Now Outlawed,” warning that President Obama has declared the Bible to be “illegal hate literature.”

Of course it wasn’t true, but conservative activists every year seem to come up with new ways to claim that it is now against the law to be a Christian.

Just this week, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins said that the gay rights movement is transforming America into Nazi Germany, while Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage maintained that Christians are now facing anti-religious Jim Crow laws.

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer took the ridiculousness to a new level, declaring that “it is now a criminal offense according to the Supreme Court of the United States, it is now a punishable offense, you can be fined for being a Christian in the United States of America. For living, behaving as a Christian, it has now become a crime in the United States of America.”

Sarah Palin Rewrites Green Eggs And Ham For CPAC: 'Hat Tip The Internet!'

And the crowd eats it up. See this and more of the best of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at RightWingWatch.org.

Religious Right Leader With GOP Ties Under Investigation For Sexual Harassment, Abuse Cover-up

Another leader of the right-wing Quiverfull movement is now in danger of losing his post over a sex scandal. Homeschooling advocate Bill Gothard has been put on administrative leave from the organization he heads, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in response to allegations from thirty-four different women that he engaged in sexual harassment and failed to notify Child Protective Services about abuse claims.

The allegations against Gothard are chronicled on the website Recovering Grace, which aims to expose the activist’s record of “emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse.”

The revelations about Gothard’s alleged misconduct are another blow to the patriarchal, anti-birth control Quiverfull movement, which suffered a setback last year when Vision Forum head Doug Phillips resigned because of an extramarital affair.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles has been championed by conservative figures including Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, who attended one of the institute’s conferences and adopted its “Character Cities” program as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Mike Huckabee has provided an endorsement of the group for its website: “As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.” GOP mega-donor Jim Leininger was once a member of the IBLP’s advisory board.

TLC’s Duggar family are also followers of Gothard’s teachings on homeschooling and Quiverfull families, which teaches that “the husband is the undisputed leader of the family.”

After Gothard’s close ties to Florida congressman Daniel Webster became an issue in a 2010 congressional election, Sarah Posner released an exposé on how the IBLP promotes marital submission and cult-like practices.

She quoted critics who said Gothard instilled a “culture of fear” and preached “the terrible picture of the chain of command in the family with the husband as the hammer, the wife as the chisel and the children as the gems in the rough... The ghastly picture is that he beats on her and she chips on them.” One woman who belonged to the movement said that Gothard taught that women “don’t have any rights.”

He also claimed that he had an “ability to heal ‘stress’ and cancer” and instructed men on how to guard against Satanic attacks on his family.

Gothard taught that homosexuality would lead to the End Times:

He used the graphic of a thermometer to illustrate the moral temperature of society. The lowest and healthiest temperature was the ideal characterized by a spiritually moral society guided by the Laws of God. The next level up showing a rising unhealthy temperature was the development of concupiscence where the soulical natural man with his sensual cravings had begun to dominate and suppress the spiritual. The next level up representing the highest and most dangerous threat to a vibrant society was blatant perversion or homosexuality. Gothard said “That when a society reaches the point of condoning perversion, God will destroy that society” (Israel and Rome are examples from the past).

This wouldn’t be the first scandal for the Gothard family either, as “Gothard’s own brother, who worked for IBLP, was dismissed from his organization after it was discovered that he was having sex with students.”

The Baptist website Ethics Daily reported on abuse allegations stemming from the institute’s “cult-like” and “abusive” practices back in 2007.

One woman who recounted her experience working for Gothard on Recovering Grace said that IBLP board members were well aware of complaints from girls as young as fifteen-years-old:

What I did not know was that in the Summer and Fall of 1997, after the San Jose conference and around the time I arrived at Headquarters, the father of one of the young men on the San Jose trip had approached the IBLP Board with a spectrum of concerns about Gothard’s conduct, particularly his penchant for taking young girls on road trips and conducting himself in a questionable manner with them while on those trips. I do not know what Gothard’s verbal or written response was to the Board when presented with these concerns, but I know firsthand that his conduct with me and other young women did not alter in the months after the Board asked him to change his behavior. The other girls and I were all between 15 and 24 years of age.

I stayed and worked at Headquarters because it was too late for me to start college that year, and because I wanted to make a success of my first job. I stopped explaining away Gothard’s creepy and invasive behavior with young women, although I believed myself powerless to do anything about it. I repeatedly saw him initiate long hand-holding sessions with various young women on staff wherein he would rub and massage their hands as he gazed into their eyes. I heard him praise two of my housemates effusively for their “discipline of figure” after one of them lost weight during a serious illness and the other started exhibiting all symptoms of full-on anorexia nervosa, while other girls were “reassigned” from Headquarters for becoming too heavy. I tentatively discussed Gothard’s hyper-tactile behavior with girls who were or had been in my place. I saw girls rotate on and off of Gothard’s roster of favored companions and stopped trying to convince myself that every brush of his hand against a thigh must be a unique accident. There were always between two and six girls on this rotation, and I couldn’t figure out how to get off of it.

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/19/14

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/3/14

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/26/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/23/13

  • A federal judge has denied Utah’s attempt to block a judge’s decision to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. 
  • Is Star Parker aware of what Phil Robertson also said about being nostalgic for the Jim Crow era?
  • Meanwhile, Religious Right groups have put together a campaign arguing that Robertson lost his “freedom of religion and…freedom of speech.” 
  • Sarah Palin laughably claims that she would “never see myself as a ‘victim.’”

What Persecution Looks Like

Nothing like putting things in perspective.

At the end of a week in which Religious Right leaders, cable TV pundits, and conservative politicians acted as if freedom were being destroyed because a rich TV star was suspended for making offensive racist and anti-gay comments, the Parliament in Uganda passed a bill that threatens gay people with life in prison.

And with that vote, all the alarmist bluster about persecution from Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and every Religious Right leader who saw a chance to boost year-end fundraising by jumping on the martyrdom bandwagon was made to look ridiculous.

This week’s news gave us plenty of evidence about real persecution, and it had nothing to do with Duck Dynasty. The face of persecution is not Phil Robertson, but the terrified LGBT people in Uganda who fear that they are about to be hunted.  Persecution looks like gay teenagers in Russia being beaten by thugs, and like gay parents who have the ability to leave Russia fleeing because anti-gay political leaders are threatening to take their children from them. Persecution looks like LGBT people all over the globe whose lives and freedom are threatened by new laws that enshrine discrimination and define them as criminals. Persecution looks like LGBT teens in Jamaica facing vigilante violence.  And on and on.

Newsweek reported a week ago that Ethiopia had declared war on gay men this year, noting, “A representative from the Ethiopian Inter-Religious Council Against Homosexuality announced that the council was making ‘promising’ progress in convincing the government to introduce the death penalty to punish ‘homosexual acts.’”

How do American conservative religious and political figures respond to this kind of persecution? Not with shouts of outrage but with enthusiastic cheering. It is no small irony that many of those most loudly screaming "persecution" over Robertson's suspension have been equally vocal supporters of international efforts to literally criminalize homosexuality. 

Brian Brown, Pat Buchanan, Matt Barber, and a sad parade of other religious conservatives fawn over Russia’s violently anti-democratic strongman Vladimir Putin as if he were Christendom’s new Defender of the Faith. Putin, in Barber’s words, is being allowed to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” (Of course many American Christians want nothing to do with Barber or his interpretation of the faith.)

And to their lasting shame, American Religious Right leaders’ financial and political support have been inflaming anti-gay passions in Uganda for years.  Lou Engle and Scott Lively actually traveled to Uganda and helped rally support for the bill. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who takes such umbrage at FRC’s designation as a hate group, dismissed criticism of the Uganda law in its earlier and more sinister incarnation, calling the proposed law an effort to “uphold moral conduct.”

There’s no indication that the Uganda bill’s passage is causing any noticeable soul-searching among the far right.  Far from it. The American Family Association’s always-repellant Bryan Fischer invoked the Duck Dynasty flap in celebrating the passage of the anti-gay law in Uganda: “Uganda stands with Phil. Makes homosexuality contrary to public policy. It can be done.”

Actually, as offensive as Phil Robertson’s statements were, they pale in comparison to Fischer’s. Robertson hasn’t suggested, as far as I know, that gay people should be arrested and put in prison for life. And I seriously doubt that Robertson has ever traveled to Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, or Australia to promote legal discrimination against and criminalization of LGBT people or anyone who advocates for equality, the way right-wing figures like Engle, Lively, Brown, Mat Staver, Peter LaBarbera, Paul Cameron, and others have.

No worries about the Olympics on the American Right.  In fact the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society is excited about having its 2014 “World Congress of Families” summit in Moscow, which they see as a new stronghold for “traditional values” against the secular moral squalor of Western Europe.

Conservative activists were prepared to see Phil Robertson as a victim of religious persecution because they’ve been primed for years with the “religious liberty” narrative being pushed by Religious Right leaders and their conservative Catholic allies. They portray criticism as persecution. They equate being on the losing side of policy debates with being under the heel of oppression. And when courts and legislatures struggle with the challenge of balancing religious liberty with other constitutional values like equality under the law, they see only black-and-white battles between good and evil.

Their rhetoric cheapens and distorts the meaning of terms like tyranny. Anti-religious persecution is a violent, heartbreaking reality for Christians in many parts of the world. But not for the privileged and powerful figures in the United States who wrap themselves in the mantle of martyrdom.

The next time you hear some talking head on Fox talk about persecution, think about people in the Central African Republic who are caught in sectarian violence verging on genocide. Or think about LGBT people whose lives and freedom are threatened every day in the name of Christian values.  

The Right Wing Watch Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Your Favorite Preppers, Tea Partiers & Obama Impeachers

We here at Right Wing Watch aren’t always fighting the War on Christmas. In fact, we’ve positively gotten into the Christmas spirit as holiday gift suggestions from all of our favorite right-wing groups come flooding into our inboxes.

Sorry Sarah Palin, But Thomas Jefferson Led The War On Christmas

Sarah Palin seems to be under the impression that Thomas Jefferson would stand with her and the folks at Fox News and Liberty University in protesting the non-existent “War on Christmas” and set straight “those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christianity.”

But Palin might want to read The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, or The Jefferson Bible, from which the nation’s founder actually removed passages from the Bible, including the virgin birth and angelic visitations detailed in Matthew and Luke, at the center of Christian teaching on Christ’s birth:

1: And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2: (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3: And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8: And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS.

9: And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
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Sarah Palin Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/11/2014, 5:32pm
Jeremy Hooper: GOP governors gaily canoodle brothers who equate homosexuality with satan; no homo. Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: Reality TV star Josh Duggar warns conservative Christians of Obama’s gay-friendly agenda. Dorsey Shaw @ BuzzFeed: Sarah Palin’s Weirdest Argument Ever. Alan Colmes: ‘War On Whites’ Congressman Says Republicans ‘Don’t Categorize People By Race.’ Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite: James O’Keefe Snuck Across the U.S.-Mexico Border Wearing an Osama bin Laden Mask. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/05/2014, 11:15am
Steve Baldwin, a former California lawmaker and onetime executive director of the Council for National Policy, believes that Tea Party and Religious Right activists should form a third party to “do to the GOP what the GOP did to the Whig Party 150 years ago.” “I believe a coalition between social and fiscal conservatives could be formed around the issue of eliminating all federal abortion funding, reversing Roe vs. Wade (let the states fight it out), and prohibiting the Federal government from granting special rights to people based upon sexual behavior (laws that almost... MORE >
Drew Courtney, Tuesday 07/29/2014, 3:25pm
Nearly two years into President Obama’s second term, a do-nothing Republican Congress is focusing on its next project: the 2014 midterm elections. But that effort might be complicated by increasing pressure from the party’s base to turn Congress’ energy to impeaching President Obama. The impeachment call, which has existed on the right-wing fringe since the start of Obama’s presidency, has picked up steam in recent weeks as it has been endorsed by right-wing media figures, activists and elected officials. This has put Republican congressional leaders in a tricky spot... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/16/2014, 1:15pm
Clearly, most Americans must lack an "American Spirit," explains one WorldNetDaily columnist, because how else would one explain why voters didn't back Sarah Palin in 2008 and still mostly view her unfavorably? Selena Owens of WND writes​ today that unlike President Obama, Sarah Palin "embodies" the American spirit and "belongs to We the People and has absolutely nothing to do with political pandering." "The American spirit is embodied in national political figures such as Sarah Palin," Owens gushes, warning that if Republicans don't embrace... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/08/2014, 5:30pm
Former half-term governor Sarah Palin is calling for President Obama's impeachment. Pat Buchanan laughably insists that the Southern Strategy wasn’t racist: “Nixon won the South not because he agreed with them on civil rights -- he never did -- but because he shared the patriotic values of the South and its antipathy to liberal hypocrisy." This should work: "Liveprayer's Rev. Bill Keller has sent a personal video message to the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encouraging him to renounce Islam and inviting him to convert to Christianity."... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/26/2014, 5:27pm
It’s not completely clear why Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he created in the wake of Obama’s election, has decided to hold an annual conference in Washington, D.C.  After all, the conservative Christian voters his group works to identify and mobilize already have the Values Voter Summit, the much larger fall event sponsored by the Family Research Council and a gaggle of other right-wing groups. One reason may be for the once-disgraced Reed to show off his political access: last week’s Road to Majority conference was thick with Republican... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/07/2014, 5:33pm
Josh Glasstetter @ Hatewatch: New Report Reveals the Extremists Behind the Right-Wing Attacks on Common Core. Jeremy Hooper: Globalization of American homo-hostility continues: MassResistance's propaganda enters Hong Kong, Finland, more. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Arkansas Congressman: LGBT Job Protections Would Burden Businesses With ‘Frivolous Lawsuits.’ Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Alabama Chief Justice Clarifies Comment About Religion, 1st Amendment. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Todd Starnes Claims Fifth-Grader Isn’t Allowed to Read Bible at... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/06/2014, 5:32pm
Rob Schenck of Faith and Action calls upon Sarah Palin to retract her comments about waterboarding: "I admonish you in the name of the Lord to retract your comments about waterboarding and baptism and clarify what you were doing and trying to say." Glenn Beck has released a new book about Common Core and he is telling people to buy a copy and rip the cover off and give it to their friends who will refuse to read it if they know that Beck wrote it. Speaking of Common Core, a respected Republican pollster is warning candidates not to run for office by opposing it. Tony... MORE >