Arkansas

Arkansas Family Council Blasts Decision To Overturn Gay Adoption Ban As "Anti-Child"

Today the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s opinion that a recently passed law that would prohibit unmarried, cohabitating couples from adopting or fostering children is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the law, which was targeted at gay and lesbian families, needlessly violated their right to privacy. As Arkansas Justice Robert Brown maintained, under the ban such couples “must choose either to lead a life of private, sexual intimacy with a partner without the opportunity to adopt or foster children or forego sexual cohabitation and, thereby, attain eligibility to adopt or foster.”

Naturally outraged, the far-right Arkansas Family Council condemned the decision as “judicial tyranny” and “anti-child.” The AFC actually brought in the Alliance Defense Fund to defend the adoption prohibition, which was passed in 2008, because the group didn’t trust the state’s Democratic administration to effectively defend the law:

“This is a classic example of judicial tyranny,” said Family Council Action Committee President Jerry Cox. “We have said all along that Act One was about child welfare, and fifty-seven percent of the voters in 2008 agreed. They declared that the State of Arkansas has an obligation to adoptive and foster children to ensure that they are placed in the best possible homes. The Arkansas Supreme Court has chosen to run roughshod over the people’s will and refused to uphold a good law that protected the children in the state’s care.”

Cox said, “I’d like to personally thank the 75 county coordinators and 2,700 volunteers who helped gather signatures to get Act One on the ballot. They worked hard to gather over 100,000 signatures between January and August of 2008. It is because of their dedication that this good law made it on the ballot and passed in 73 counties. I will be forever grateful to everyone who put time and effort into this worthy initiative.

“Today’s ruling was anti-child,” said Cox. “The ACLU couldn’t defeat this good law in a fair election, so they used the court system against the people of Arkansas. This is the worst decision ever handed down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.”

Jacobs: "Everything That I Said Has Happened"

In January, Cindy Jacobs posted a video claiming that birds were dying in Arkansas because the United States had repealed Don't Ask, Don' Tell.

Today, she posted a new video discussing the various situations in the Middle East, the earthquake in Japan, and the looming earthquake in California which she used as an opportunity to declare that everything that she said would happen in her last video is now happening because "we have disrupted the laws of God":

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/5/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Hires Mike Huckabee’s former state director for campaign (MN Public Radio, 4/4).

Religious Right: Slated to speak at Family Leader events (Des Moines Register, 4/4).

Fundraising: Tops Mitt Romney in fundraising (Time, 4/1).

Obama: Says President Obama is deliberately damaging the economy (RWW, 3/31).

Haley Barbour

2012: Wife concerned about presidential race, says bid “horrifies” her (Reuters, 4/2).

Mississippi: Economic conservatives criticize Barbour’s record as governor (Politico, 4/2).

Poll: Trails Huckabee in poll of home state’s Republican voters (Mississippi Press, 3/31).

Herman Cain

Obama: Says President Obama is “not the president of black people” (Daily Caller, 4/4).

Birther: Joins Donald Trump in questioning President Obama’s birth certificate (Politico, 4/1).

Newt Gingrich

Iowa: Defends financial assistance to Religious Right group in Iowa judicial election (Think Progress, 4/4). 

Obama: Likens Obama's fundraising goal to extortion (CNN, 4/4). 

Religious Right: Poised to kickoff right-wing Awakening conference at Liberty University (RWW, 3/28). 

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Frames himself as an electable Republican candidate (GOP12, 4/4).

Foreign Affairs: Criticizes President Obama’s handling of Libyan crisis (Ozarks Unbound, 4/4).

Mike Huckabee

Campaign: Advisers want Huckabee's 2012 campaign to be less family-run (US News & World Report, 4/4). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in heavily GOP county in upstate South Carolina (UPI, 4/3). 

Background: Public records as governor destroyed (Mother Jones, 4/1). 

Sarah Palin

Media: Slated to appear in E! True Hollywood story biopic (Mediaite, 4/4).

New Hampshire: Former GOP Senator from New Hampshire slams Palin as overly ambitious, polarizing (Boston Globe, 4/4). 

Rand Paul

Religious Right: Scheduled to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 4/4).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowa GOP’s “Night of the Rising Stars” (Iowa Independent, 4/4).

Tim Pawlenty

Obama: Launches new cinematic video to respond to Obama's reelection announcement (HuffPo, 4/4). 

Background: Left Minnesota with a massive budget deficit (LA Times, 4/2). 

Mitt Romney

Foreign Affairs: Claims his experience in business will help him in foreign policy (RCP, 4/5).

New Hampshire: Set to address Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity forum in New Hampshire (CNN, 4/4). 

Campaign: Runs subdued campaign in order to reintroduce himself to voters (NYT, 4/2).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Accepts invitation to appear in South Carolina debate for presidential candidates (CBS News, 4/1).

Religious Right: Blames legal abortion for Social Security problems (RWW, 3/29).

Jacobs In Alaska, Announces Mobilization of a Half Million Intercessors to Swing 2012 Election

Pop Quiz:  What is this?

If you answered "Cindy Jacobs preaching," you get a gold star. 

But can you tell me where Jacobs is preaching?

Here's a hint: Sarah Palin

Looks familiar, does it not?  That is because Jacobs was preaching at Palin's home church, Wasilla Assembly of God, on March 3, 2011.

And what was Jacobs preaching, you ask? 

That her army of prayer intercessors was responsible for the Republican wins in the 2010 elections; so much so that they are mobilizing 500,000 such intercessors to shift this nation in the 2012 election toward righteousness and justice:

And, just as a reminder, here is Jacobs explaining earlier this year that birds were dying in Arkansas because Don't Ask, Don't Tell had been repealed:

 

Huckabee Would Reinstate DADT: "That's Really What The Military Wants"

Mike Huckabee tells the AFA's OneNewsNow that he supports reinstating Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 

Mike Huckabee says he would support legislation aimed at reinstating the 1993 law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

In January former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said if he were to become president in two years, he would work to reinstate the prohibition of open homosexual service. Now former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, another potential GOP presidential hopeful, tells OneNewsNow that he, too, would support re-imposing the ban.

"I would -- because that's really what the military wants," says Huckabee. "There's been some talk that the military is fine with having same-sex orientation people. But if you really surveyed the combat troops, that is not at all the case."

According to Huckabee, currently a political analyst for Fox News, politicians should back out of the picture. "...I don't think that these are decisions that politicians should make. These are decisions that soldiers should make," he says emphatically. "And when the soldiers in the foxholes make the decisions, they choose something different -- and we should listen to them."

Arkansas GOP Campaigns Against "Pro-Abortion Jewish Lawyer"

RWW reported in November on an internal Republican feud in Texas where the Religious Right unsuccessfully tried to push out the Speaker of the House, who is Jewish, in favor of a challenger who was a “True Christian.”

Now, Republicans in Arkansas are using a similar tactic against Democrat Jerry Repham in the race to fill a vacancy in the state legislature. The blog Blue Arkansas found a campaign email from Chuck Chatham, a committeeman of the local Republican Party, which contrasts Republican candidate Bruce Cozart with Repham, who Chatham calls a “pro-abortion Jewish lawyer.” He goes on to say that “this is a very important race to anyone who values Christian principles.”

Tuesday [March 8th is a special election to fill the vacant state legislature seat that was vacated by Keith Krass’s death last year. The election is between Bruce Cozart (R) a pro-life, Christian who has served a number of years on the Lake Hamilton school board and Jerry Rephan (D). Jerry is a pro-abortion Jewish lawyer who specializes in “environmental law” which means his primary clients as such were the Sierra Club and PETA, among others.

Bruce Cozart is pro-second amendment rights and has been an active member of the First Assembly of God church for many years. He has been a local contractor and construction worker for the last 35+ years here in Garland County. We need a contractor/dozer driver instead of another liberal lawyer in the Arkansas state legislature. Please go and vote!! This is a very important race to anyone who values Christian principles.

The 24th district includes most of the area south of highway 27O and west of Central avenue. It extends to the lake near 270 and on both sides of highway 70 west of the lake to near Lake Hamilton school. Your voters card will show if you are located in the 24th district, but if Keith Krass was on your ballot in November, you are in that district. If you don’t live in the district, please encourage your friends that do to go vote for Bruce, just as I am doing for you.

Thanks

Chuck Chatham

The special election will take place on March 8th.

Land Takes Preemptive Shot At Daniels Presidential Bid, Calls Truce "Political Suicide"

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Richard Land took a preemptive strike against Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who raised eyebrows after calling for a “truce” on social issues and is considering a run for president. Land writes just one day after a WSJ poll found that the majority of GOP primary voters would be sympathetic to the “truce” offered by Daniels, who believes that the nation should be focusing on economic issues instead of fighting the “culture war.” Land, like many other Religious Right leaders, has come out swinging against Daniels’s proposal and dubbed the truce “political suicide.” The influential head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said that if Daniels continues to pursue the truce, he would go the way of former Sen. Phil Gramm, who lost many socially conservative supporters in his failed 1996 campaign for president. Land writes:

Indiana governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels has suggested that Americans call a "truce" on divisive social issues until our precarious financial house is back in order. Many pundits have praised the idea, typically thrilled that a Republican leader seems willing to jettison, even temporarily, strong positions on abortion or gay marriage. But social conservatives are mad, and rightly so.

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, social conservatives were the foot soldiers for Republican victories—only to see their issues bargained away or shoved to the bottom of the GOP agenda, beneath issues of fiscal and foreign policy. Reacting to Gov. Daniels, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently said: "For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking."

Perhaps Gov. Daniels interprets the emergence of the tea party as a sign that GOP candidates don't have to depend on social-issues voters as they once did. That seems unlikely. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has said, "Calling for a truce on core conservative principles might get you some high profile media sound bites, but it won't win you the Republican presidential nomination."



For Republicans to do anything to de-energize this voting bloc would amount to political suicide.

Most social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives. They recognize that a federal government that borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends is committing generational theft, spending our grandchildren's money and impoverishing their future. Social conservatives also argue that government has such high costs partly because of the broken families, broken communities and broken ethics generated by moral relativism.



As Mark Twain reportedly observed, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." There once was a promising Republican presidential candidate known for being an economic guru and master of the numbers: Sen. Phil Gramm. At one point in 1996, he had raised more money than any other candidate. Like Gov. Daniels, Sen. Gramm had a sterling social conservative voting record and his lack of telegenic charisma was seen as an advantage, in contrast to President Clinton's slick persona. But Sen. Gramm's candidacy went down in flames after he dismissed a question about social issues by saying: "I'm not running for preacher, I'm running for president."



There is a deep longing in large segments of the American populace for a restoration of a morality that emphasizes personal obligations and responsibilities over rights and privileges. Such a society will have a restored moral symmetry in which exemplary personal and professional behavior is rewarded and less exemplary behavior is not. As Jesus reminded us, "Man shall not live on bread alone."

Will Republican Presidential Prospects Address The Iowa Renewal Project?

A little-reported Iowa event may bring together Religious Right leaders and potential Republican presidential candidates for a summit with pastors. Iowa Renewal Project is hosting a “Pastors’ Policy Briefing,” according to The Iowa Independent, that plans to include Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Haley Barbour. The Iowa Renewal Project is one of many state-level “restoration projects” that attempt to organize pastors to support conservative causes and Republican candidates. Most recently, Gingrich and David Barton participated in an event by the Nevada Renewal Project and the American Family Association to mobilize pastors to help Sharron Angle’s unsuccessful Senate bid.

Today, The Iowa Independent uncovered details of a group in Iowa that hopes to connect Republican presidential candidates with not only Iowa pastors but also extreme Religious Right figures such as Don Wildmon, John Stemberger, George Barna, Ken Graves, Jack Hibbs, and Laurence White. Despite the prominence of the attendees, the Iowa Renewal Project like other restoration projects offers little openness or transparency to the public (which might explain why we found out about this event from a letter to pastors, not a press release to the media):

But several rumored Republican candidates will gather in Des Moines later this month for conversations with clergy and congregants, and unlike most events featuring presidential hopefuls, very little is known about exactly who is behind the two-day, all-expenses-paid “Pastors’ Policy Briefing.”

An invitation, stamped with the return address of a West Des Moines UPS Store mailbox, went out this week to Iowa’s faithful. Those who received the call will have an opportunity to hear from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann during a two-day conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel on March 24 and 25.

“Meals and lodging are complimentary,” states the invitation, “and will be provided by the Iowa Renewal Project.”

An insert “from the desk of Mike Huckabee,” who addressed the group in 2007, reads:

America and our Judeo Christian heritage is under attack by a force that is more destructive than any threat America has faced in decades. Over the past year, we have been declared to be “not a Christian nation”; a response is necessary from those who believe that while government itself should not establish a faith, our principles are rooted in the notion that we are the result of providence and a dynamic Creator. Defeating the radicals who wish to ignore or revise our history will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.

Rediscovering God in America’s goal is to ignite people of faith to again engage the culture and bring America back to our standing around the world as a Beacon of Hope and a Shining City on a Hill.

Because God has entrusted you to care for His flock, you are a critical component to reclaiming the centrality of God in American life and confronting the evil that faces us now. At a time when Congress is busy trying to legislate defeat, we are inviting you to a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will help you engage the battle, to walk point. Today, with our troops facing danger abroad and our nation looking for guidance here at home, America’s need is to rearm spiritually through the leadership of her Pastors. The silence of the church and her pastors have helped to create this mess: Russell Kirk offers insight into the political climate of America if bible believing pastors pick up the mantle, “politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience”. Rediscovering God in America-Des Moines is to remind and encourage us that the proper position for America when facing evil and confronting enemies is not to find excuses for defeat but to find the resources, the courage and the strength from God necessary to win.

As Waddington notes, Huckabee’s letter is extremely similar to one Texas Governor Rick Perry sent to the Texas Renewal Project in 2008:

Both our nation and our Judeo Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more dangerous than any threat our world has faced in recent memory. I am convinced that our ability to defeat the radical jihadists who threaten our nation will be significantly impacted by the prayers and leadership of America’s evangelical pastors.

"Rediscovering God in America” was created to inspire people of faith to engage the culture and bring America back to our worldwide standing as a beacon of hope, a city shining on a hill.

Because God entrusted you to care for and lead His flock, you can play a key role in restoring God to the center of American life, thus strengthening our nation to confront this looming threat.

While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.

Rediscovering God in America-Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.

Huckabee: If I Run Again, It'll Be To Fight Abortion

Mike Huckabee continues to insist that he hasn't yet made up his mind about whether he intends to make another run for president.

But yesterday he was in Tennessee to headline a fundraiser for an ultra-right wing anti-choice group called Tennessee for the Center for Bioethical Reform which operates under the tag line" Graphically Exposing The Injustice of Abortion" and "on the principle that abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words fail us when attempting to describe its horror. Until abortion is seen, it will never be understood."

The CBR is responsible for something called The Genocide Awareness Project which is "a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context."

And while delivering his keynote address, Huckabee asserted that if he does decide to run for president, it will be simply so that he can make abortion an issue:

During an appearance at a pro-life fundraising event on Monday night, pro-life potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee confirmed that, for him, abortion is the most important political issue.

“For me this is an issue that — as I’ve said before — it transcends all of the political issues,” he said. “I’ve often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life.”

At the event, held at the Knoxville Convention Center, the former Arkansas governor confirmed he is “seriously looking at” running for president again in 2012 and may do if only to “elevate the issue of life.”

Huckabee: If I Run Again, It'll Be To Fight Abortion

Mike Huckabee continues to insist that he hasn't yet made up his mind about whether he intends to make another run for president.

But yesterday he was in Tennessee to headline a fundraiser for an ultra-right wing anti-choice group called Tennessee for the Center for Bioethical Reform which operates under the tag line" Graphically Exposing The Injustice of Abortion" and "on the principle that abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words fail us when attempting to describe its horror. Until abortion is seen, it will never be understood."

The CBR is responsible for something called The Genocide Awareness Project which is "a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context."

And while delivering his keynote address, Huckabee asserted that if he does decide to run for president, it will be simply so that he can make abortion an issue:

During an appearance at a pro-life fundraising event on Monday night, pro-life potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee confirmed that, for him, abortion is the most important political issue.

“For me this is an issue that — as I’ve said before — it transcends all of the political issues,” he said. “I’ve often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life.”

At the event, held at the Knoxville Convention Center, the former Arkansas governor confirmed he is “seriously looking at” running for president again in 2012 and may do if only to “elevate the issue of life.”

At Last Minute, Barton Backs Out of Teaching Seminar for Arkansas Legislators

Earlier this month we noted that the Arkansas Family Council had scheduled a two-day seminar for Arkansas legislators to be held today and tomorrow that was to be led by David Barton, who was going to teach them that helping the poor is not the government's responsibility.

But, at the last minute, Barton backed out without providing an explanation:

Evangelical activist David Barton has declined an invitation from the Family Council to speak to Arkansas lawmakers at the state Capitol, Family Council President Jerry Cox said Monday.

Cox said he did not know why Barton declined. The Family Council had reserved a room at the Capitol for Barton to hold a seminar today and Wednesday. The Christian conservative Family Council has no plans to reschedule the seminar, Cox said.

At Last Minute, Barton Backs Out of Teaching Seminar for Arkansas Legislators

Earlier this month we noted that the Arkansas Family Council had scheduled a two-day seminar for Arkansas legislators to be held today and tomorrow that was to be led by David Barton, who was going to teach them that helping the poor is not the government's responsibility.

But, at the last minute, Barton backed out without providing an explanation:

Evangelical activist David Barton has declined an invitation from the Family Council to speak to Arkansas lawmakers at the state Capitol, Family Council President Jerry Cox said Monday.

Cox said he did not know why Barton declined. The Family Council had reserved a room at the Capitol for Barton to hold a seminar today and Wednesday. The Christian conservative Family Council has no plans to reschedule the seminar, Cox said.

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Jacobs: Birds Are Dying Because of DADT Repeal

Over the weekend, Cindy Jacobs of Generals International posted a new video prompted by the fact that, as a prophet, people have been asking her about the meaning behind the recent rash of bird deaths ... to which she replied that it might be due to the fact that America is violating God's prohibition on homosexuality with support for gay marriage and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

According to biblical principles, marriage is between a man and a woman, so we have to say “what happens when a nation makes a decision that’s against God’s principles?” Well, often what happens is that nature itself will begin to talk to us – for instance, violent storms, flooding. And you know there are actually some patterns that you can see where a nation will make a decision that is contrary to the principles of God and after that there is some kind of answer that God gives - being the God of creation, the God who created nature - but we don’t always understand what He’s saying.

Well, there’s something interesting we have been watching – let’s talk about this Arkansas pattern and say, could it be a pattern? We’re going to watch and see. But the blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Arkansas. Well the Governor of Arkansas’ name is Beebe. And also, there was something put out of Arkansas called "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" by a former Governor, this was proposed, Bill Clinton. As so, could there be a connection between this passage [Hosea 4] and now that we’ve had the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, where people now legally in the United States have broken restraints with the Scripture because the Scripture says in Romans 1 that homosexuality is not allowed.

It could be because we have said it’s okay for people who commit these kinds of acts to be recognized in our military for the first time in our history, there is a potential that there is something that actually happened in the land where a hundred thousand drum fish died and also where these birds just fell out of the air.

More Religious Right Seminars for Elected Leaders

Looks like members of Congress and legislators in Arkansas might not be the only elected officials David Barton will be teaching in the coming weeks, as Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that he has also been invited to participate in a joint Minnesota Family Council/Family Research Council summit for Minnesota legislators: 

When state legislators checked their office mailboxes Wednesday, they found an invitation to attend a Minnesota Family and Marriage Summit featuring a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group. The summit, to be held next week, is organized by the Minnesota Family Council and the Family Research Council and will teach legislators how to pass a constitutional amendment banning rights for same-sex couples.

The summit includes courses for legislators such as “Bullying bills: The homosexual agenda in your child’s public school” and “Why family matters,” but the bulk of the summit appears to be focused on getting an amendment on the ballot in 2012 banning gay marriage.

Sessions entitled “Effective marriage protection amendment strategies” and “What’s the harm in same-sex marriage?” are aimed at getting the amendment passed, and the latter is taught by a man who once said gays should be “exported” and that homosexuality should be outlawed: Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

...

Invited, but not confirmed, is David Barton of Wallbuilders.

Barton To Inform AR Legislators Helping The Poor Is Not a Government Responsibility

The other day we noted that the Arkansas Family Council is going to be bringing David Barton in to lead a two-day seminar for state legislators and government officials and explain to them that "helping the poor ... is primarily a function of the church," not government.

And indeed, the idea that it is not the government's responsibility to help the poor seems as if it is going to be one of the main points Barton intends to impart, as the AFC's Jerry Cox explained to Arkansas News columnist John Brummett:

Cox told me that Barton will not be lecturing these legislators on imposing Christianity on the government. Instead, he said, this highly polarizing Texan of dubious academic credentials will explain that some responsibilities belong to government, some to families and some to the church.

Quoting Barton from a recent lecture in Garland County, Cox said:

—Justice belongs to the government because a system of church punishment might bear alarming comparisons to inquisitions.

—Child rearing belongs to the family.

—Services for the poor and needy are the rightful responsibility of the church.

Interesting, isn't it, how Barton isn't going to churches with the message that it is their responsility to help the poor but is instead going to legislators with the the message that it is not their responsibility to help the poor?

Barton to Teach Two-Day Seminar for Arkansas Legislators

If Rep. Michele Bachmann believes that David Barton is qualified to teach members of Congress about the Constitution, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Arkansas Family Council is bringing Barton in for a two-day seminar to impart his wisdom to state legislators and government officials:

A political activist who claims America was founded on biblical principles has been invited to speak to elected officials at the state Capitol later this month.

The Christian conservative Family Council has asked David Barton to hold a seminar for state legislators and constitutional officers on Jan. 25 and 26 and has reserved the Old Supreme Court chamber on those dates, said Jerry Cox, the group's executive director.

Barton, of Aledo, Texas, is the founder of the group WallBuilders and the author of several books on American history. Cox said he has spoken with Barton and is 90 percent certain he will accept the invitation.

Barton has argued that the Founding Fathers intended for the United States to be a Christian nation and did not support the separation of church and state as the phrase is understood today. Cox said Barton will discuss his views on the proper role of government, including his belief that "helping the poor ... is primarily a function of the church," not government.

Cox said he agrees with Barton's views and wants to help educate lawmakers who will be sworn into office next week, the first week of the legislative session.

"I want to help our lawmakers understand what the role of government is and then try to keep the laws that we pass within the bounds of the proper role of government," he said.

Maybe Barton will use the seminar to encourage Arkansas legislators to regulate gay sex.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/4/11

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3).

2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mike Huckabee

Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home state of Arkansas (Politics Daily, 1/2).

Poll: Two out of three Republicans said that they were "very or somewhat likely" to back Huckabee, leading the field (CBNNews, 1/2).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Still open to presidential bid despite his appointment as Ambassador to China (Newsweek, 1/1).

Sarah Palin

Social issues: Re-tweets Tammy Bruce, who said that "the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed" (Gawker, 1/4).

GOP: Conservative writer George Will and blogger Erick Erickson dismiss Palin's chances of winning the Presidency (Salon, 1/3).

Book: Reviewer of America By Heart finds that "there is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim" (Religion Dispatches, 1/2).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: With Mark Dayton's inauguration as governor, Pawlenty now "full-time candidate" (The Atlantic, 1/3).

Book: Will begin tour for new book, Courage to Stand (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/3).

Mike Pence

Indiana: Fundraising plans point to potential gubernatorial bid (TPM, 1/4).

GOP: Wins the endorsement of RedState's Erick Erickson (RedState, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Newt Gingrich, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mitt Romney

Massachusetts: May have a "Willie Horton" situation from his parole board appointments as Massachusetts governor (UPI, 1/3).

South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls Romney "the most electable conservative" (Greenville Online, 1/3).

House GOP Picks Ethically-Challenged Freshmen for Judiciary Committee

The House Republican Leadership recently announced that incoming Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino and Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin have been assigned seats on Rep. Lamar Smith’s Judiciary Committee. Marino and Griffin, who were profiled in Right Wing Watch’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, are peculiar picks for a committee which has “jurisdiction over matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies” since both Republicans were dogged by corruption and ethics scandals prior to their successful bids for Congress.

Marino resigned from his position as a US Attorney in the wake of a brewing scandal over his ties to resort owner and convicted felon Louis DeNaples. He described DeNaples as his “close friend” and provided a reference for DeNaples when he attempted to win state approval to have slot machines at his resort.

But when Marino’s own office opened an investigation into DeNaples over his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants discovered the reference and the Department of Justice (DOJ) transferred the case to the US Attorney of Binghamton, NY. The DOJ later launched an investigation of Marino “for allegedly violating several department guidelines” over the “reference letter he wrote to help Louis DeNaples get a casino license,” but the investigation ended once Marino resigned.

Responding to criticism about his ties to DeNaples, Marino declared during an interview that he has evidence the DOJ gave him permission to serve as a reference. However, Boryk Krawczeniuk of The Times-Tribune found that DOJ officials never gave him permission, and Marino failed to produce his “evidence.” Krawczeniuk writes that the DOJ confirmed to multiple news outlets that Marino never sought or received such permission: “an Associated Press story, quoting an anonymous Justice Department source, said the department had ‘no record’ that Mr. Marino sought or received Justice authorization to serve as a reference for Mr. DeNaples. A Justice spokeswoman confirmed the department had no such record last week to The Citizens’ Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, which is owned by the same company as The Times-Tribune.”

Eventually, Marino backed away from his false claim that he was given permission from the DOJ, and “told the Sunbury Daily Item he never asked the Justice Department for permission to serve as a reference.”

After Marino resigned in order to end the DOJ investigations into his actions, he quickly obtained a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” In his financial disclosure form, Marino under-reported his income and stated that his DeNaples’ salary was just $25,000 annually.

The conservative blog RedState’s Zack Oldham said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

Marino’s relationship with DeNaples and his attempts to cover-up his ethics troubles were not his first encounter with ethics questions. As a District Attorney, Marino approached a judge to toss out his friend’s conviction on drug charges. After the Judge refused, the Luzeme County Citizens Voice reports that Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Despite the corruption accusations, false statements, and the DOJ investigation which plagued Marino’s legal career, House Republicans still picked him for a Judiciary Committee post. Perhaps, Marino was picked due to his staunchly anti-immigrant views, as incoming Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) intends to use the committee to push a hard line agenda that includes overturning the 14th Amendment’s of birthright citizenship. Marino opposes comprehensive immigration reform, backs Arizona’s draconian SB 1070, and was endorsed by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been described as a “nativist extremist organization.” Just as Smith said that President Obama was “awfully close to a violation of [his] oath of office” as a result of his immigration policy, Marino said he would consider impeaching the President over his handling of immigration.

Like Marino, freshman Tim Griffin was forced to resign as a US Attorney and faced his own ethics questions. Griffin worked his way up through the Republican Party ranks through his work in opposition research and was known as “a protégé of Karl Rove.” He worked for the Bush presidential campaigns and has ties to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Griffin then aided efforts in the Bush White House to replace US Attorneys with partisan appointees, and then-US Attorney Paul Charlton said that Griffin “spread the rumors around the White House that Bud Cummins,” who was the US Attorney of Northeast Arkansas at the time, “was not a good U.S. attorney.”

When Cummins was fired, Griffin was appointed to take his place. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNaulty later testified that “Cummings was fired to make a place for Griffin at the urging of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers,” the former White House Counsel. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Chief of Staff, wrote in an email that “getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.” Former US Attorney David Iglesias, said that Tim Griffin “never should have been U.S. Attorney, he was fundamentally unqualified.”

However, Griffin resigned from his position as US Attorney when the BBC uncovered documents showing his work in “vote caging” operations in Florida while he was working for the Bush reelection campaign. Griffin tried to suppress the vote by designing and sending out “caging lists” which “were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.”

The Arkansas Leader wrote that “The White House intended to fully consolidate the entire federal criminal justice system into its political operation” and Griffin’s “resignation or dismissal ought to be imminent.” Griffin resigned from his post as US Attorney on May 30, 2007.

Now, two former US Attorneys who resigned under the cloud of scandal will have seats on the Judiciary Committee. By selecting Marino and Griffin, the Republican leadership rewarded coveted posts to two freshmen with serious and troubling ethics questions on the committee which oversees the court system, the rule of law, and law enforcement.

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