Florida

Religious Right Activists Slam Degrassi For Transgender Character

The far-right Florida Family Association is enraged that Degrassi, a Canadian teen drama on TeenNick, now features a female-to-male transgender character. TeenNick, charging the show with advancing “salacious and irresponsible propaganda.” While Adam has been a character on Degrassi since Season 10 began in July of 2010, leading to criticism from the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell, Religious Right groups now are demanding a boycott of advertisers on MTV, which operates TeenNick. The FFA has also attacked Campbell’s for making halal soups and monitors the “behavior of Gay Day patrons” at Disney World.

The article in WorldNetDaily even features a fan video about the relationship between Adam and Fiona, describing “intimate” details of their relationship (spoiler alert: they break up):

"You would think by the number of episodes that MTV devotes to including the relationship between a female to male transgender high school student and a bisexual lesbian student that such relationships are common occurrence in America's high schools," said the Florida Family Association in its alert to constituents. The family group has provided an email link for viewers to contact the show's advertisers with their concerns.

The organization identifies advertisers as State Farm Insurance, Proctor and Gamble, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Coca Cola, Loreal, Kimberly Clark and other major industrial names. "The odds of this bizarre relationship occurring in high school are likely less than one in a million. Yet, MTV feeds this salacious and irresponsible propaganda to an audience made up almost exclusively of young teens and children as if it were commonplace," the family association continued.

"MTV airs a free promo for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) on DeGrassi which directs kids to an organization that will encourage our youth to embrace a different sexual identity that may stay with them for life," the organization said .



The family group notes the "Chasing Pavements II" episode of the program "contains graphic intimate relations between the female to male transgender character Adam (Gracie) and bisexual, lesbian character Fiona."

"In one scene Fiona kisses Adam, pulls up Adam's shirt and rubs her hand slightly above Adam's groin," the alert said.



"These are just a few examples of the irresponsible content of the DeGrassi shows which push transgender identity," said the Florida Family Association.

"Unfortunately, millions of young teens and children witness this irresponsible affirmation of a transgender lifestyle and are directed to an organization that will encourage kids to embrace a sexual identity which is different from their birth sex."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

Chuck Norris’s New Project: Fighting Creeping Sharia

After railing against Obama’s purported attempts to wean Christianity out of public life, Chuck Norris now is warning of the supposed threat of religious involvement in government. Of course, in this case the threat comes from Islam. In his WorldNetDaily column “Holy Week, Holy Sharia? Part 1,” Norris begins his investigation into “creeping Sharia law.” He recommends the book Muslim Mafia, which alleges that radical Muslims are infiltrating the government through the congressional internship program, and says he plans to write at least four more articles as part of his exposé into the menace of Sharia.

Norris’s only evidence of creeping Sharia is a Florida judge’s ruling upholding a religious arbitration scheme (make sure to read Sarah Posner’s thorough debunking), an Alabama bill to ban Sharia law whose chief sponsor admits that he doesn’t even know what Sharia law is, and an Obama adviser’s statements on misconceptions about Sharia law:

The main point here is this: Where Muslim religion and culture has spread, Shariah law has shortly followed.

Of course, many Americans watch on video a Middle Eastern woman allegedly caught in adultery, buried in the ground up to her head and being stoned to death, and think, "That could never happen in America." But they fail to see how Shariah law has already been enabled and subtly invoked in our country, and that any such induction like it is brought about by understated lukewarm changes, like a frog boiled in a kettle by a slow simmer.

For those who don't believe in that Shariah simmer, consider in just the past few months that:

• A Florida judge ruled that a dispute between Muslim parties could proceed under Shariah law. "This case," the judge wrote, "will proceed under Ecclesiastical Islamic Law."

• Alabama is joining a growing list of states that are considering outlawing the use of foreign and religious laws, specifically Muslim Shariah law, in their courts.

• President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, appeared on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Shariah law. Miss Mogahed said the Western view of Shariah was "oversimplified" and that the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice." Does she really think that Shariah is the ideological bastion of gender equality?

In the end, it seems to me we have a choice to believe that Shariah law is, or is not, a pro-Islamic system of civic, religious, moral and social laws, which is being used to run other countries and governments but is not being (nor ever will be) invoked to run ours, based upon the belief that our constitutional republic and Bill of Rights is inferior.

"Birther Bill" Advances In Arizona, Introduced In Pennsylvania

Perhaps the rise of Donald Trump’s poll numbers among Republicans following his escalating “birther” rhetoric has given a boost to the discredited birthers, as the Arizona State Senate just passed a “birther” bill. The legislation requires candidates to prove that they are born on U.S. soil if they want to receive a spot on the ballot, and its chief sponsor in the House even met with Trump to discuss the bill’s prospects:

The measure, House Bill 2177, is aimed at President Barack Obama and those on the political right who want him to produce a birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya, where his father is from.

The Arizona Legislature passed the bill 20-8 on a party-line vote in the State Senate with Republicans backing and Democrats opposing.

The measure includes some changes that allow for other documents beside birth certificates to be produced by presidential contenders. It now goes back to the Arizona House of Representatives for another vote. The House previously approved the birther bill without new Senate changes.

In addition, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe today introduced a similar bill in his state, saying, “It is beyond perplexing and greatly troubling that a political candidate can ascend to the highest levels of government without providing sufficient documentation verifying his or her place of birth or American citizenship.”

Trump, who will be speaking this weekend to the South Florida Tea Party, has won plaudits from leading ‘birthers’ and Republicans like Sarah Palin for promoting the discredited conspiracy theory. At least ten states are considering such “birther bills” this year.

GOP Congressmen Line-Up To Attend Ralph Reed's Conference

Leading Republicans have signed up to address the conference led by disgraced Religious Right activist Ralph Reed this summer in Washington. Following commitments by potential presidential candidates Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), numerous Republican congressmen are now confirmed to speak to Reed’s 2011 Conference and Strategy Briefing.

Reed, who also plans to speak alongside presidential candidate Herman Cain and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Florida next week, has just announced a new list of speakers: Rep. Allen West (R-FL); Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO); Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX); Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL); Rep. Tom Price (R-GA); Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX); Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA); Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC).

The freshmen Congressmen slated to speak are strongly tied to the Religious Right: West’s anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric has made him a darling of leaders like Pat Robertson; Hartzler has consistently fought against gay rights in both Congress and Missouri, and even wrote a book about tips for Religious Right activists running for office; Webster is a Christian Reconstructionist and close to David Barton and Phyllis Schlafly, and Mulvaney was a legislative leader of the far-right Palmetto Family Council.

ACT! For America Warns Against "Anti-American" History Textbooks

“Is your child’s classroom becoming a recruiting ground for Islam?” asks ACT! for America, the burgeoning anti-Muslim group led by activist Brigitte Gabriel. In a recent program of their new television show, ACT! for America discussed the organization’s new “textbook project” and how the head of their Sarasota, Florida chapter interrogated schools about their textbooks.

The group’s Sarasota chapter is led by Rich Swier, a Tea Party activist who yesterday warned that as a result of same-sex marriage and lower birthrates, “the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture.”

Swier told ACT! for America’s Brant Travis: “I would encourage every parent and grandparent that [sic] look at your child’s and grandchild’s textbook, it is not the same textbook that you grew up with, it is dramatically different, it is I would almost say anti-American.”

In Texas, the ultraconservative State Board of Education already passed a resolution alleging that “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks” and warned they would reject textbooks with “gross pro-Islamic/anti-Christian distortions in Social Studies texts.”

Watch:

Land: America Didn't Realize How Good We Had It Under George W. Bush

The Florida Baptist Witness reports that Richard Land spoke at the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute last week and said that America was on the verge of revival that would reverse all of the horrors that President Obama has inflicted upon this nation ... provided that none of the conservatives on the Supreme Court die before Obama can be voted out of office. 

Oh yeah, and Americans will also come to realize just how good they had it under George W. Bush:

Addressing abortion, Land said the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which effectively legalized abortion on demand, likely will be overturned during his lifetime. One pro-choice justice being replaced by a pro-life justice would result in a majority willing to overturn Roe, he said.

“We just need one more vote,” Land said, “which means that we need to pray that none of the justices that are conservatives die until after we get a conservative president. And then one of the liberals has to change.”

Since abortion was legalized in 1973, more Americans have been aborted each year than have died cumulatively in all the wars the nation has fought, according to Land. Yet abortion is not merely a moral issue, but also an economic one, he said.

“How many people that are not working would be working if we hadn’t killed those babies?” he asked. Unemployed Americans could be “making goods and services for those people, building homes for those people, building schools for those people, teaching in the schools for those people.”

Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so- called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.

“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”

...

Land predicted that President George W. Bush will experience a similar fate as Harry Truman, who left office with a low approval rating but was appreciated decades later as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

Evangelicals likely will not see a president in the near future who identifies with them as much as Bush, he said, calling Bush’s two inaugural addresses “extraordinary” and “insightful.”

“I suspect too many Americans didn’t realize what they had when they had George W. Bush,” Land said.

Right Wing Round-Up

Personhood Law Would Ban Treatment of Life-Threatening Pregnancies

As personhood legislation sprouts up in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, the radical anti-choice group Personhood USA also hopes to introduce their extreme (and unconstitutional) legislation in North Dakota. Personhood bills criminalize abortion and certain forms of birth control by granting legal rights to zygotes, declaring it a separate ‘person’ from the mother. Many doctors believe that such legislation would ban in vitro fertilization and prohibit doctors from giving medical assistance to women with serious pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancies. The AP reports on North Dakota doctors speaking out against the radical legislation in their state:

Doctors told the North Dakota Senate's Judiciary Committee that it could affect couples using in vitro fertilization to try to have a baby as well as women who have complications in early pregnancy that will prevent an embryo from developing into a viable baby. Such complications include an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus. The doctors who testified said they did not perform abortions.



Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that "causing injury to a human being" is not justified.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota's only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.

"The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo," Dahl said. "It is unavoidable."

Dr. Shari Orser, a Bismarck obstetrician and gynecologist, told the committee that most eggs that are fertilized for in vitro fertilization never become viable embryos "and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child."

"To suggest that every embryo is a person is absurd," Orser said.

Orser said the law also would complicate the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Without treatment, a tubal pregnancy can result in serious internal bleeding and death, she said.

Other conditions can result in a fetus developing without kidneys, lungs or a brain, Orser said.

"These diagnoses are often made in the first half of these pregnancies," Orser said. "Should a woman be forced to continue the pregnancy when she knows that her baby will die, or can she be spared the emotional distress and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term?"

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Welcome to the Shari'ah Conspiracy Theory Industry.
  • Salon: NPR caves to O'Keefe -- and we all lose.
  • Good As You: Equality Confounds NOM’s Jennifer Roback Morse.
  • County Fair: After Shootings, Does Pat Robertson Still Support Recalcitrant Ivory Coast Leader?
  • Florida Independent: ‘Choose Life’ companion bill moves forward, would gut rule that funds go to pregnant women.
  • Amanda Terkel @ HuffPo: Indiana Bill Would Force Doctors To Tell Women That Having An Abortion May Lead To Breast Cancer.
  • Steve Benen: Did You Hear The One About The $7.5 Million Clean-Up?

Right Wing Round-Up

Gingrich, Barton, Bachmann, Huckabee Team Up for Religious Right Webcast

John Stemberger is the President of the Florida Family Policy Council who has recently become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right because he is facing both a $10 million defamation lawsuit and misconduct complaint stemming from his actions during the Rifqa Bary saga in 2009.

A legal defense fund has been set up with the backing of the Newt Gingrich, Jerry Boykin, David Barton, Tony Perkins, and Lou Engle ... and according to this flyer [PDF], many of these leaders -  along with Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and Haley Barbour - will be joining Stemberger for a "Florida Family Council Special Event" later this month in the form of a live webcast broadcast to churches around the nation entitled "Rediscover God in America":

History is clear: the founders of our country drew their inspiration, wisdom, and direction from the Bible. Beginning in colonial times, church leaders spoke to their congregations about the events and issues of the day in the context of Biblical truth. Rediscover God in America will lay a foundation of critical knowledge for your congregation. They'll learn how to interpret and assess current events in light of God's Word, as our founding fathers did, and how to respond Biblically and take action that aligns with His truth.

A just and prosperous nation is born and sustained by truth, not compromise. Join with thousands of churches across the nation! Bring the truth about God and America to your congregation and community.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Repent Amarillo Leader Running for Mayor, Wins Endorsement of Terry Jones

The fundamentalist ministry Repent Amarillo has gained notoriety for badly failing in their attempt to burn the Quran, harassing swingers, and executing Santa Claus in a firing squad. Now, the leader of the self-proclaimed “Army of God” has announced his bid for mayor of Amarillo.

David Grisham of Repent Amarillo explained his political philosophy in his announcement, stating that “if we get elected office then we take Christ with us into office. He rules over us and then we rule over people – that’s just how the government works, so as far as I’m concerned there is no separation of church and state.”

Grisham also believes that God has called him to run for mayor in order to make life easier for businesses and more difficult for “promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship”:

“The Scriptures are quite clear that the governing authorities are ministers of God, and if that is true — and we know from God’s word that it is — then it just makes sense that ministers of God should be running for office,” Repent Amarillo Director David Grisham Jr. said before filing paperwork Monday to run in the May 14 mayoral election.



Grisham said he wants to lead the city in a different direction, repealing ordinances that place design standards on downtown properties and a sign ordinance he thinks limits the freedoms of business owners.



Repent Amarillo and Grisham aim to deter promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship practices through confrontation and prayer, and their actions have sparked controversy, both locally and nationwide.

He has already won the coveted endorsement of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Quran in a bonfire to mark the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. “I’m glad to have his endorsement because he’s a brother in Christ,” Grisham said, “and that’s what’s more important to me than political implications.”

Jones believes that Grisham is simply “trying to do the right thing,” adding, “I believe he has the best interests of the city in mind.”

Repent Amarillo Leader Running for Mayor, Wins Endorsement of Terry Jones

The fundamentalist ministry Repent Amarillo has gained notoriety for badly failing in their attempt to burn the Quran, harassing swingers, and executing Santa Claus in a firing squad. Now, the leader of the self-proclaimed “Army of God” has announced his bid for mayor of Amarillo.

David Grisham of Repent Amarillo explained his political philosophy in his announcement, stating that “if we get elected office then we take Christ with us into office. He rules over us and then we rule over people – that’s just how the government works, so as far as I’m concerned there is no separation of church and state.”

Grisham also believes that God has called him to run for mayor in order to make life easier for businesses and more difficult for “promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship”:

“The Scriptures are quite clear that the governing authorities are ministers of God, and if that is true — and we know from God’s word that it is — then it just makes sense that ministers of God should be running for office,” Repent Amarillo Director David Grisham Jr. said before filing paperwork Monday to run in the May 14 mayoral election.



Grisham said he wants to lead the city in a different direction, repealing ordinances that place design standards on downtown properties and a sign ordinance he thinks limits the freedoms of business owners.



Repent Amarillo and Grisham aim to deter promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship practices through confrontation and prayer, and their actions have sparked controversy, both locally and nationwide.

He has already won the coveted endorsement of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Quran in a bonfire to mark the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. “I’m glad to have his endorsement because he’s a brother in Christ,” Grisham said, “and that’s what’s more important to me than political implications.”

Jones believes that Grisham is simply “trying to do the right thing,” adding, “I believe he has the best interests of the city in mind.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • John Thune tells CBN's David Brody he won't apologize for having a Christian worldview.
  • Color me unsurprised: Rick Santorum will speak at the ultra-Catholic Ave Maria University.
  • Peter LaBarbera wants to know why Republicans are so motivated to repeal "Obama" care but not reinstate DADT.
  • Frankly, I'm pretty sure that Bill Keller doesn't actually have $100,000.
  • Ben Shapiro says Shirley Sherrod's lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart is "unconstitutional."
  • Finally, FRC releases is latest list of prayer targets: "May we and our leaders repent for our improper use of wealth and position entrusted to us. May God help the House to end our national borrowing spree and cut the deficit, to purge every evil from our spending agenda, and to set American families free from the tyranny of an over taxing, over-spending federal government."
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