Arizona

Arizona Tea Party Group Defends SB 1062: 'The First Amendment Protects Only The Practice Of The Christian Faith'

An Arizona-based Tea Party group is rallying around the state’s ‘right-to-discriminate’ legislation, SB 1062, by claiming that “the First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith.”

The Williams Tea Party of Coconino County defended the anti-gay bill on its website, alleging that “the First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith” and that the First Amendment “protects the right of those of the Christian faith to not serve those who are clearly abhorrent to that faith.”

The group also attacked a pastor who joined a protest against the bill, saying that the pastor must not have read the Bible.

The First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith.

The Arizona Republic gathered the twenty, or so, protestors against S.B. 1062 close together for a photo to place on the front cover of their Thursday edition. The gathering together is an attempt to show that thousands of protestors came to their demonstration.

In the center of the photo they placed a guy who just happens to be able to afford the tab-collar clergy shirt with a sign about how religions should be against this legislation. I am not sure from which Internet “U” this person obtained his certification, but they certainly had no requirement to read the Bible.

The “columnists” at the Republic are in full swing typing out their indignation at the “discrimination.”

Of course, when you are dealing with a group of people who get their Constitutional training from the Salon and Russia Today web sites, it is difficult for them to understand that this legislation should never have been written. You see, there is already a law that protects the right of those of the Christian faith to not serve those who are clearly abhorrent to that faith.

It’s called the First Amendment.



The First Amendment was meant only to protect the Christian faith. When the founders spoke of religion, they meant the Christian religion. They did not have to keep saying the Christian religion because everyone knew that is what they were talking about.

Gohmert Endorses Arizona Anti-Gay Bill For Challenging 'The Religion Of Secularism'

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) says he is a fan of the Arizona bill that would pave the way for legal anti-gay discrimination by businesses. Speaking today with Janet Mefferd, Gohmert said that the law would merely uphold constitutional principles.

“These are religious beliefs and how have we gotten so far afield from the Constitution that we say, well if you’re not willing to embrace the liberal beliefs that we have then your religious beliefs are not protected,” Gohmert said. “It doesn’t say that in the Frist Amendment, it avoids the establishment of a religion. Well some are establishing the religion of secularism and everybody else’s religion has just got to basically go to blazes.”

He also claimed President Obama would have lost the 2008 election if he had supported marriage equality then: “Let’s face it, if the president had said he believed marriage was between two men and two women back when he and [John] McCain were being interviewed in California, he would never have won the first election. But he changed his stated belief and that got him elected and once in it’s easier to get re-elected to a second term.”

Gohmert also claimed that the gay rights movement is undermining the Civil Rights Movement and moved the U.S. away from God.

“Some of them are very shocked, they participated in the Civil Rights Movement and then to turn around and have gay rights folks saying now ‘you can’t practice your religious beliefs,’ wait a minute, wait a minute, we stood up for you and your beliefs and now you’re saying we can’t stand up for our beliefs because they conflict with you? That’s now what freedom is about.”

Glenn Beck Supports Arizona's Legal Discrimination Law: 'That's Freedom'

Do you recall the story Glenn Beck told a few years back when he traveled to New York City and he was treated badly when he dined in several restaurants and then treated even worse on his flight back to Texas?

Beck railed about it on his program the following week, repeatedly complaining that he was treated "as a subhuman," stating that he "just wanted to be treated as a human" who was worthy of dignity and respect:

I’m tired of being treated as a criminal, a disease, mentally challenged, stupid, or subhuman just because I happen to believe that the founders weren’t racists, that the Constitution was and still is inspired and the greatest document for government ever created, that the military is not full of a bunch of baby‑killers, or that we shouldn’t spend the money that we don’t have, or that we should stick up for the little guy, the small business owner, that the corrupt businessman should go to jail and that capitalism is still the best system to lift people out of poverty. I will not shy away from saying proudly that I believe in God, that I believe churchgoers in all churches get a bad rap. We are good people and the reason, Christians are the reason the Nazis were stopped, slavery was stopped, and man was eventually set free all over the planet. It was Christians that did it. I’m sorry that you might find that offensive, or that I ‑‑ that I go to church and you find that offensive, or that I happen to go to the wrong church and you find that offensive. But I will not apologize for what I believe in or who I am. Because what I believe in compels me to stand up for you and your right to be who you are. I’d just like to be treated with a little dignity along the way.

Given that experience, you'd think that he would be opposed to the Arizona legislation that would allow business to discriminate against gay customers (or anyone else, for that matter) in the name of "religious liberty," would you not?

Well, you'd be wrong, as he voiced his support for it during yesterday's morning meeting, saying that while he doesn't necessarily like it, he doesn't see anything hateful about it.

"I don't like that world," Beck said, "where everybody is able to say 'I'm not going to serve your kind' but that's freedom. That's freedom. Freedom is ugly":

Cathi Herrod: Soldiers Fought Wars To Preserve Right To Discriminate Against Gays

The president of a right-wing Arizona group that’s advocating for the state’s gay segregation bill said yesterday that the extremist legislation is simply an expression of the religious freedom that American service members fight to preserve.

Speaking withto Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Washington Watch, Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy accused the bill’s opponents of “incredible hostility to religion.”

“Our first freedom, our ability to live out our religious belief as our founders intended, as wars have been fought for our right to live out our religious belief, that is what is very much under attack,” Herrod said, adding that she is shocked that people would oppose the right-to-discriminate bill. “This was non-controversial until the last four or five days.”

She told Perkins that listeners should “pray for a miracle and to pray for an intervention” for the governor to sign the legislation.

ADF: Religious People Will Become 'Second Class Citizens' If Gay Segregation Bill Isn't Signed Into Law

In an interview yesterday on Line of Fire Radio, Alliance Defending Freedom counsel Joseph La Rue defended the Arizona gay segregation that bill the ADF helped craft.

La Rue insisted that religious people will be “treated as second class citizens by their government” if the legislation — passed by both houses of the Arizona legislature — isn’t signed into law, and preposterously claimed that the bill “is not about denying service.”

“Comparing it to Jim Crow is just beyond the pale,” he said.

Fischer: Gay Activists Are 'Jack-Booted Homofascist Thugs'

Last week, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would allow businesses to legally discriminate against gay customers in the name of "religious liberty."

Predictably, Bryan Fischer has come out strongly in support of the law on the grounds that gay activists are "jack-booted homofascist thugs" who are trying to force Christian business owners to engage in sin.

"They are jack-booted homofascist thugs," Fischer said "who want to use the totalitarian and tyrannical power of the state to send men of faith to jail. That sounds far more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America":

Kobach Still Struggling To Clean Up Kansas Voter Registration Mess

A strict proof-of-citizenship requirement for Kansas voters pushed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach has now suspended the voting rights of over 19,000 Kansans who were unable to provide a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship to election officials, and Kobach continues to struggle to clean up the mess the law has made.

In his latest attempt to fix the problem, Kobach has arranged with another state agency to start checking the names of voters in limbo against birth certificate records to confirm voters’ citizenship.

The problem? The birth certificate search will only find voters born in Kansas, and it may not catch people, such as married women, who have changed their names. The Kansas City Star interviewed Kobach, who explained that he was simply practicing “good government” and providing an “extra service”:

The state’s vital statistics office will compare lists of would-be voters to its records. Kobach’s office would be notified when matches are confirmed. The procedure will be followed in the future as Kansans register to vote.

“This, in my view, is good government,” Kobach said.

But critics were quick to point out that Kobach’s idea could pose constitutional problems because it treats voters born in Kansas differently from voters born elsewhere.

It also raises questions about how women might be treated. Many change their names after getting married and might not be matched with birth records kept by the state.

“That is not actually going to work,” said Doug Bonney, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri.

Kobach said provisions will be made for women. He said the state health department tracks name changes and those records will be matched against the voting records.

Kobach, however, conceded that prospective voters born in Kansas will benefit more than voters born in another state.

He said there are many examples throughout government where people might have an advantage because of their age, marital status or residence.

“It’s an extra service but it’s not something that would amount to a violation of equal protection of law,” he said.

This is only Kobach’s latest attempt to clean up the mess that his law has created. Along with Arizona, he has sued the federal government to allow Kansas to require proof of citizenship with the federal voter registration form. He has said that if he loses that case he’ll move to set up a two-tiered voting system in the state in which those who register with the federal form without additional proof of citizenship are barred from voting in state elections.

Daniel Hernandez, Former Intern Who Saved Giffords, Hit With Nasty, Homophobic Recall Campaign

UPDATED

Daniel Hernandez Jr., the former intern credited with helping to save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life when she was shot in 2011 and now an elected member of a Tucson-area school board, is facing a nasty recall election in which anonymous opponents are attacking him for being openly gay and for his advocacy on behalf of gun violence prevention.

The story behind the recall is the kind of byzantine saga found only in local politics. Four of the five members of the Sunnyside Unified School District, which includes parts of Tucson and surrounding areas, are now facing recall petitions – two members who faced recall for their support of an embattled schools superintendent turned around and filed recall petitions on two members who opposed the superintendent, including Hernandez.

But the tactics being used against Hernandez are unusual. A source in the district sends us two flyers that Hernandez’s opponents are reportedly handing out to parents dropping their children off at schools in the district. Right Wing Watch repeatedly tried to contact Marcos Castro, the manager of the effort to recall Hernandez and brother in law of school board president Louie Gonzalez, to discover whether the flyers came from his campaign, but Castro refused to take our calls. [UPDATE: Castro tells us that he himself got one of the flyers left at his house but he has "no knowledge" of where they came from.]

The first attacks Hernandez for being openly gay, imploring, “Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board...Daniel Hernandez is LGBT...We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values.”

The second flyer attacks Hernandez’s work on behalf of gun violence prevention in the wake of the Giffords shooting, claiming (punctuation and spelling are a direct quote), “Daniel Hernandez cares about only one things taking your guns away”:

Hernandez’s opponents must gather 1,300 signatures by December 14 in order to put the recall on the ballot.

 

Kobach’s Latest Plan to Keep 15,000 Kansans From Voting: Sue the Federal Government

Kansas secretary of state and national voter suppression advocate Kris Kobach has been struggling in recent months to implement a new “proof of citizenship” voter registration requirement that he pushed into law. But now he has a new plan: sue the federal government to make it harder to register to vote with a federal form in his state.

Like a similar Arizona law that was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, Kansas’ law requires those registering to vote to produce documented proof of citizenship beyond the sworn oath required on federal voter registration forms. This has produced an administrative nightmare in Kansas, throwing the voting status of at least 15,000 people who registered with the federal form into limbo.

Kobach’s first plan to fix this was to force the thousands of Kansans who had registered with the federal form to cast provisional ballots in the next election, which would then only count if they showed up later at an elections office armed with a birth certificate or other citizenship document. The state board of elections rejected the plan, which one Republican state senator called “disingenuous at best.”

Kobach then got creative, suggesting that Kansas create two classes of voters, with those who register with the federal form only allowed to vote in federal elections. Voting rights advocates balked.

Now, Kobach has a new plan. Along with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Kobach is suing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to require the federal government to add extra “proof of citizenship” requirements to federal voter registration forms in the two states. Andy Marso at the Topeka Capital-Journal sums up the scheme:

Facing the possibility of legal action over 15,000-plus suspended voter registrations, Secretary of State Kris Kobach struck back by announcing Wednesday his own suit against a federal election commission.

Kobach said at a news conference that he and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, both Republicans, have filed a complaint against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asking that federal voter registration forms issued to residents of their states include state-specific proof of citizenship requirements like the ones on state forms largely responsible for putting thousands of Kansas registrations on hold.

Kobach said the court case is "the first of its kind."

Kansas voters will be best served when the EAC amends the Kansas-specific instructions on the Federal Form to include submitting concrete evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote," Kobach said.

Kobach said the lawsuit would partially preempt a suit being prepared but he American Civil Liberties Union over the suspended registrations.

“It does block many of the arguments the ACLU might wish to raise,” Kobach said.

Kobach explains that he is answering the “invitation” that Justice Antonin Scalia left in his opinion in the Arizona case, in which the justice suggested that Arizona try such a move.

Kobach and the ACLU have disagreed on much when it comes to voting laws, but both he and Bonney said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., invited a lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is pursuant to Scalia's invitation," Kobach said.

Arizona Congressman Calls for 'National Referendum' to Reverse Supreme Court on Voting Rights

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, told Mike Huckabee on Monday that the U.S. should consider a “national referendum” to make voter registration more difficult.

The two were discussing the Supreme Court ruling that invalidated an Arizona law mandating that people registering by mail to vote in the state using a federal voter registration form produce additional documentation to prove their citizenship. The federal form already requires voters to certify under oath that they are citizens. Civil Rights groups worried that the Arizona requirement would disenfranchise low-income voters and jeopardize voter registration drives.

Gosar told Huckabee that the ruling, which found that Arizona’s requirement was preempted by federal law, was “very disappointing,” adding, “We really have to solve this process from the federal level, with regards to either legislation or a national referendum.” It is unclear what he meant by a “national referendum.”

Gosar also lamented that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has “upheld or disdained certain groups’ privileges over others,”  echoing Justice Antonin Scalia’s dismissal of the Voting Rights Act as a “racial entitlement.” (Scalia, however, wrote the opinion striking down the Arizona law.)
 

Huckabee: This morning, the Supreme Court handed down a very significant decision striking down your state’s law regarding voter documentation. Did the ruling surprise you? And what kind of reaction are you hearing from your home state?

Gosar: Well, I mean, they’re disappointed. They cited the supremecy clause, the federal government over the states, and they bypassed what would be legal documentation. I think that’s what’s eluding us is that what, you know, what is being dictated to the states in regard to voter safety. But then you have a federal government that fails to respond, particularly when you look at the Department of Justice under Eric Holder and how they have upheld or disdained certain groups’ privileges over others. I think it’s very disappointing, and it tells me that we really have to solve this process from the federal level, with regards to either legislation or a national referendum.

Trent Franks Goes Akin: His History of Anti-Choice Extremism

At a hearing today on his bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy without exception, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said he opposed adding a rape exception to the bill in part because “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” 

Franks added, nonsensically, “But when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation. And that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

Franks’ misinformed, Todd Akin-like comments on the mechanics of pregnancy are just the latest in a long line of extreme anti-choice positions.

Aside from his anti-choice activism, Franks pushes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, has flirted with birtherism, and has claimed that marriage equality is a “threat to the nation’s survival.”

Rep. Trent Franks Compares Anti-Choice Movement to Abolition of Slavery, Ending Holocaust

Rep. Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, joined Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and anti-choice activist Lila Rose on an FRC webcast yesterday  on “exposing America’s late-term abortion industry.” Franks, who recently introduced a bill that would institute a national ban on the rare practice of abortion after 20 weeks, compared his fight against reproductive rights to the ending of the Holocaust and the abolition of slavery. “We are the ones that rushed into Eastern Europe and arrested the Holocaust, we are the ones that said no more to slavery after thousands of years, and by the grace of God,  we’re going to be the ones that say that we’re going to protect our own children,” he said.

When Perkins asked him to elaborate on the stakes of his bill, Franks answered that if it fails, “I would suggest to you that we undermine everything that America was ever dreamed of to be and we step into that Sumerian night where the light of compassion has gone out and the survival of the fittest finally prevails over man…If we turn our backs on this, I’m afraid we’ve broken the back of what America really is.”

Birthers of the World Unite: Larry Klayman to Represent Group Defending Joe Arpaio

Well this comes as no surprise.

Larry Klayman, the birther attorney who is now calling for an armed revolution against President Obama, is representing a new group of Tea Party members defending Sheriff Joe Arpaio from a potential recall election.

The Judicial Watch founder is threatening to sue activists who are collecting petitions to recall the Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff. In a video posted by Arizona Nightly News, Klayman ironically calls Arpaio opponents “vigilantes” who seek to “harass” the sheriff and distorts state election law to claim that the recall attempt is illegal.

Poor legal advice aside, Klayman’s selection to represent the group may not be a boon to the image of Arpaio, who is currently under fire for hiring a child-sex offender for his armed posse to guard schools, since Klayman himself has been accused of child sexual abuse.

Arizona Republicans Propose Anti-Evolution Education Bill

A group of Arizona Republicans are out with a new bill to undermine the teaching of evolution and subjects such as climate change and cloning in the classroom. The National Center for Science Education called the legislation another “instance of the ‘academic freedom’ strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution and climate change.”

The proposed “teach the controversy” bill is a stealthy attack on evolution as it tries to make science classes give equal weight to nonscientific beliefs and theologies. It’s the equivalent of including claims made by the Flat Earth Society in a geology class, all for the sake of “balance.”

A. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO:

1. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN SCHOOLS THAT ENCOURAGES PUPILS TO EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS, LEARN ABOUT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY AND RESPECTFULLY TO DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.

2. ASSIST TEACHERS TO FIND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PRESENT THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM AS IT ADDRESSES SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSIES. TEACHERS SHALL BE ALLOWED TO HELP PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

B. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL NOT PROHIBIT ANY TEACHER IN THIS STATE FROM HELPING PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

C. THIS SECTION PROTECTS ONLY THE TEACHING OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AND DOES NOT PROMOTE ANY RELIGIOUS OR NONRELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST A PARTICULAR SET OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR NONBELIEFS OR PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST RELIGION OR NONRELIGION.

Sec. 2. Intent

The legislature finds and declares that:

1. An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens.

2. The teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy.

3. Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.

Beck Tells Tea Party Activists They're Being Attacked, Just Like Washington, Lincoln, & Reagan

Over the weekend, Glenn Beck traveled to Arizona where he delivered a "spoken word speech while accompanied" by music to Tea Party activists attending a FreedomWorks "FreePAC" event.  For an hour, Beck lamented the loss of America's greatness while beseeching the audience to rise up and save this nation, but warning them that by doing so, they would be making themselves unpopular to the media and the elites who would ridicule and marginalize them, just as they have always done in the past: “They did it to Abraham [in the Bible]. They did it to Washington. They did to Lincoln. They did it to Reagan. They’re doing it to you”:

FRC Partners with Church that Urged Members to ‘Actively Pray and Work for the Defeat of Barack Obama’

FRC president Tony Perkins and vice presidents Jerry Boykin and Kenyn Cureton are heading to Catalina Foothills Church in Tucson, Arizona for “Recapture America.” Cosponsors include the Center for Arizona Policy, the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) and the church’s Christian Impact Committee. Recently the church claimed [PDF] that Obama is pushing a “reprioritization in human rights policy in favor of the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights” that is contributing to a “global crisis in religious liberty” and likened Obama to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Saddam Hussein.

During his Sunday sermon, Rev. Allen Cooney called on members of the church to “actively pray and work for the defeat of Barack Obama” in the upcoming election as he is an “enemy” of Christianity and religious freedom.

Of course that shouldn’t be a surprise as Perkins believes it is a sin for a Christian to vote for Obama and Boykin thinks Obama is using health care reform to create a personal Brownshirt army.

Barton: Cops Should Have Refused to Arrest Arizona Pastor for Illegally Building a Church

Yesterday on "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green discussed the case of Arizona pastor Michael Salman who has recently become a Religious Right cause célèbre because he is  supposedly being persecuted simply because he wanted to hold Bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and had been holding multiple-weekly church services on his property until he was found guilty of dozens of code violations and sentenced to sixty days in jail.

Barton took up the case today and voiced his outrage, calling on voters in Phoenix to work to remove political leaders in that city for allowing something like this to happen. Barton went on to falsely claim that Salman's home was raided by a SWAT team sent to arrest him and said that law enforcement officers must refuse to participate in things like this because they have an obligation to uphold the Constitution:

And the one we have today, the one we're going to talk about today is a great example is a bunch of political leaders in a city who need to be seriously removed. The fact that they would even think about enforcing this particular ordinance against anybody means that we've got a bad set of leaders there that need to be gone.

...

There needs to be some changes in Phoenix and people really do need to let city hall hear it over this. And I'm really concerned about cops who are willing to go in as a SWAT team to arrest a pastor who's had Bible study. The cops should have said "no, we're not doing that. I mean, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution too; there's the right of assembly, the right of speech, the right of religion. We're not going to go arrest this guy with AR-15s and a SWAT team." At some point, citizens are going to have to say we're not going to be part of this and that should have happened at this point.

Jailed AZ Unfairly Pastor Stuck in Arpaio's 'Concentration Camp'

Yesterday we wrote a post noting that John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, which is representing jailed Arizona pastor Michael Salman, was complaining about the conditions in which Salman is being held within the infamous tent city jail compound created by "America's Toughest Sheriff" and Birther extraordinaire Joe Arpaio.

Whitehead is now making the rounds on right-wing radio programs to plead Salman's case and stopped by AFA's "Today's Issues" where he complained that Salman was being held in a "concentration camp":

He's in Tent City. If you don't know what Tent City is, I'm telling your listeners, go Google it - it is a concentration camp. It has stun fences, electric fences, no air conditioning, people live in tents on the ground and men have to wear pink underwear to humiliate them. There's no air conditioning; it's a 145 degrees there. So that's where he's at.

The Right's Sudden Concern About Arpaio's Prison Camps

Over the last few weeks, Arizona pastor Michael Salman has become a Religious Right cause célèbre and the current poster boy for religious persecution. In the Religious Right's version of events, Salman has supposedly been harassed and persecuted by local officials for years simply because he wanted to hold bible study meetings at his home. 

In reality, Salman had been attempting to illegally build a church in his back yard and was found guilty of dozens of code violations, resulting in a sixty day jail sentence, which Salman is now serving ... and about which his supporters are now complaining:

Pastor Michael Salman is serving his 60-day sentence for holding a home Bible study in Tent City Jail, a prison compound in Maricopa County, Ariz. The Phoenix pastor’s attorney describes conditions there as similar to the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

“This is where you would put Osama bin Laden, not Michael Salman,” says Rutherford Institute founder and attorney John Whitehead in an interview yesterday with International Christian Concern (ICC).

“The temperature there has been around 140 degrees, and there is no air conditioning. They’re [living] in tents. They have stun fences … barbed wire … large German shepherds walking the perimeter, armed guards and facial recognition software so that the prisoners are studied all the time.”

According to Whitehead, Salman has reported being imprisoned with “really hardened criminals.” He is unsure why the pastor has been specifically sent to Tent City. In late June, the jail was the focus of thousands of protesters who gathered outside the Maricopa County Sherriff’s office to express their disapproval of the allegedly prison camp-like conditions.

It should be noted that this Guantanamo-like prison camp in which Salman is currently serving his time just so happens to be the system set up by the Right's hero, "America's Toughest Sheriff," and Birther extraordinaire Joe Arpaio.

Oddly, nobody on the Right seemed particularly concerned about the conditions in the compound until now. 

Franks: Obama Assaults Catholics While Apologizing to Muslims

Last week, President Obama issued an apology after NATO mistakenly burned copies of the Quran, which not only set off riots in Afghanistan while the apology predictably outraged Republicans here at home.

Today, Rep. Trent Franks joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on the "Today's Issues" radio program, where all three voiced their disgust with President Obama, whom they accused of undermining the troops while appeasing the enemy.

Franks was so incensed that he even managed to compare Obama's apology for this incident to his push for contraception coverage in health insurance, saying Obama has no problem about blatantly insulting and assaulting Catholics while groveling before Muslim.  Franks then went on to warn Catholics that if Obama is willing to "crush under foot their religious freedom in an election year, God help us when he gets re-elected ... because you ain't seen nothing yet":

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