Indiana

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/21/10

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: In Weekly Standard profile, Barbour lauds racist, pro-segregation Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn’t remember Jim Crow era as “that bad” (TPM, The Hill; 12/20).

Mississippi: Tries to shape his legacy as governor (Clarion Ledger, 12/19).

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee conference in February (ACU, 12/16).

Mike Huckabee

Fox News: As a guest, Rep. Anthony Weiner asks Huckabee, “How Much Do You Make Over There At Fox?” (Mediaite, 12/18).

Health Care: Backs 9/11 First Responders care bill blocked by GOP (HuffPo, 12/17).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Sarah Palin

Obama: Palin continues to knock Michelle Obama in her Reality TV show (LA Times, 12/20).

Poll: New ABC-WaPo poll shows that a majority of Americans would refuse to back Palin for President (The Fix, 12/17).

Foreign Policy: Pens National Review column against START Treaty (NRO, 12/17).

Tim Pawlenty

Labor: Claims about public sector workers receives “pants on fire” rating by PolitiFact (PolitiFact, 12/16).

Health Care: Compares health care reform law to “drug dealing” (Minnesota Independent, 12/15).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Mike Pence

2012: Will decide in January whether to run for President or Governor of Indiana (Politico, 12/20).

Religious Right: Uses unemployment as a reason to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood; signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/20; 12/15).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Romney “trying to have it both ways” on health insurance mandate (Boston Globe, 12/19).

GOP: Conservatives debate whether Romney has firm ideas or just panders to base (The Atlantic, 12/17).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Meets with far-right American Principles Project, touts his socially conservative views (Caffeinated Thoughts, 12/18).

Taxes: Opposes tax compromise, says Republicans didn’t “keep their pledge” (CNN, 12/16).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

John Thune

Congress: Accuses Democrats of “flouting” midterm election by passing major bills during lame duck session (AP, 12/20).

New Hampshire: Says he is considering presidential run during interview on NH radio station (WMUR, 12/17).

Taxes: Criticizes Republican opponents of the tax compromise as “politically expedient” (HuffPo, 12/15).

Pence: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood Because of High Unemployment

Empowered by Republican gains and the recent selection of Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to Chair the Subcommittee on Health, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is again speaking about ending what he calls “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Pence is the sponsor of the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would cut-off federal finances to health services groups such as Planned Parenthood. However, the title of Pence’s bill is deceiving, as under current law “Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” As a result, there is no taxpayer funding of abortion either under Title X or the new health care reform law, another baseless charge frequently used by the right wing activists.

Under Pence’s bill, the government will stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations which perform abortions or contribute to groups which perform abortions, even though abortion coverage is already banned from using federal dollars. As The Nation points out, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest and most well-known groups working in the extensive field of reproductive and sexual healthcare, and would incur most of the damage from this bill: “The aim is to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of clinics for family planning and women’s health, and in many regions the only provider within reach.”

Now Pence, the winner of the Values Voter Summit 2010 presidential straw poll, believes that cutting funds to reproductive healthcare organizations is not just necessary to constrain a woman’s access to healthcare but also to address unemployment. Pence told the anti-choice news service LifeNews:

With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”

Michele Bachmann has also embraced Pence’s bill, and the bill’s 103 co-sponsors include Speaker-designate John Boehner, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pitts, who plans to push anti-choice legislation through his Subcommittee on Health. Pence isn’t the first leader on the Right who suggested that anti-choice bills address economic problems like unemployment, as Jim Garlow, the Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, recently claimed that abortion is responsible for high unemployment:

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Mike Pence: Obama Treats Country “Like a Dog”

With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce” proposed by Indiana’s governor, defends the prominent role of social conservatives in the Republican Party, and maintains that Obama wants Americans “simply to obey” like a dog:

You’re about to start hearing a lot about a conservative Republican Indiana congressman, Rep. Mike Pence. That’s because the Hoosier, considered a shoo-in to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2012, is weighing a challenge to outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and about 10 others in the Republican presidential primaries. “We’ve gotten encouragement to run for governor in 2012,” says Pence, a former broadcaster. “We’ve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president.”

While Pence will decide in the spring, the presidency currently has his attention. Not just because he thinks President Obama is stretching the traditional boundaries of the office and isn’t worthy. “The current administration is the most egregious example of excess,” he says, accusing Obama of treating the nation like “a dog whose duty is not to ask why ...but simply to obey.” As he considers a run, Pence also has become a student of the presidency and recently delivered thoughtful speeches on the office.



But he sees Ronald Reagan as “the last president in my lifetime to really model a traditional American presidency.”

While some may say Daniels is the better-positioned Hoosier for 2012, the social and fiscal conservative Pence senses an advantage. He won’t go along with Daniels’s push for a truce on social issues to let candidates focus on economic topics. “To those who say we should simply focus on fiscal issues,” Pence says, “I say you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family collapses.”

DeMint Will Give GOP Incumbents a Pass in 2012, Viguerie Will Not

It has been no secret that many of Sen. Jim DeMint's Republican colleagues have been unhappy with his willingness to back radical candidates to challenge, and in some cases defeat, establishment-backed candidates and to openly attack them for failing to embrace his ultra-right-wing agenda.

Of course, DeMint's ideological zealotry has made him a hero to the Religious Right and the Tea Party Movement. But now comes word that DeMint is privately assuring his Republican colleagues that he will not support any candidates who might decide to offer a primary challenge to a sitting senator:

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is privately reassuring his Republican colleagues up for reelection that he won’t recruit or endorse any primary opponent against them, vowing to raise more than $10 million aimed mainly at taking down Democratic incumbents.

In a letter obtained by POLITICO, the tea party favorite appears to be taking steps to soothe post-election tensions with his GOP colleagues, including some who say his political tactics have been counterproductive.

At the same time, however, the South Carolina conservative’s latest move could disappoint some of his most fervent grassroots supporters who are preparing to line up tea-party-backed candidates in states like Indiana, Utah and Maine where Republican senators have become targets of the right wing.

...

“First, despite rumors to the contrary, I want to assure you that I will not recruit or support primary challengers to incumbent Republicans, and you can also be assured I will support all of our Republican nominees for the Senate,” he wrote in the letter he sent Wednesday.

Given that there are several Senators up for re-election in 2012 who are regularly derided as RINOs, this move by DeMint seem likely to anger Tea Party activists ... and, in fact, Richard Viguerie is already declaring that "other conservatives cannot, and will not, give these out-of-touch Republicans a pass":

"Senator DeMint has repeatedly taken heat from establishment Republicans for his strong conservative stances and support for the tea party movement, and no doubt feels tremendous pressure from his colleagues to fall in line with the GOP leadership.

"All small-government, constitutional conservatives are deeply in Senator DeMint's debt for his sacrifices, work, and leadership in behalf of our cause.

"However, four or five of the ten Republican Senators up for re-election in 2012 need to be voted out, and if Sen. DeMint feels that he cannot involve himself in those primary races, then it is up to grassroots conservatives and tea partiers to provide the leadership to replace RINO Republicans or ineffective Republicans with effective and principled conservatives."

Barton: Gays Are "Hypersensitive" And "Behave in Such a Way That People Want to Kick You"

Today, David Barton and Rick Green dedicated their "Wallbuilders Live" radio program to discussing the recent situation in Indiana where a bakery owner refused to make cupcakes for customer who wanted to celebrate "National Coming Out Day" with Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana.

Barton began by framing the discussion by asserting that gays are "hypersensitive" and pointed to his recent statement that the government ought to be regulating gay sex as evidence, claiming that he received death threats because of it.  Finally, Barton says that gays have a "kick me mentality" and "behave in such a way that people want to kick you":

Barton: If there's a group in America that is hypersensitive, it is homosexuals. I mean, they got a short fuse on everything. You're a homophobe, you're a whatever and anything you say or do, they interpret as coming after them.

And so they really have a short fuse and a great example is, remember back a few weeks ago we had Pastor Hutcherson on and remember that article he did in Townhall and WorldNetDaily - "Transexual, Transgender, and Transfast" - and he's talking about how the government thinks it should regulate that bad for our health, well it needs to read its own website and look what it says about homosexuality and how bad that is for health and yet they encourage that, they don't regulate it.

Well I now found out that we have a number of people who listen to "Wallbuilders Live" who I didn't know about: Alan Colmes and Keith Olbermann and MSNBC and all these folks. Because when we said that, they came after me in unbelievable ways.

MSNBC called and they had me posted on the front page and they were doing programs on what I said - I'm repeating Hutcherson, you know, I'm just reading an article. But it was so funny. They wanted me to come on NBC and appear on ... but I didn't want to talk to their twelve viewers so I left that.

You just make a comment like that, you just repeat an article that Pastor Hutcherson did and, man, they have come after me and the death threats, you know I got all of these death threats.

These guys are wacky. They are absolutely wacky and it's like they look for ways to get rejected so they can so "you did that because I'm homosexual." No, I did that because you're a jerk.

And literally, if you get this kick me mentality, it's like you wear a sign that says "kick me" and you behave in such a way that people want to kick you.

Of course, if anyone dares to criticize Barton these remakrs, they are just being hypersensitive.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/09/10

Jim DeMint

Far-Right: Radio talkshow host Michael Savage wants DeMint to run (NewsMax, 11/8).

Book: Authors new book, “The Great American Awakening” (PoliticalWire, 11/8).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Marquee speaker for Iowa Family Policy Center event (IDA, 11/8).

Alaska: Solicits help for Joe Miller’s legal effort (TPMDC, 11/6).

Sarah Palin

GOP: Congressman blames Palin for Senate losses (The Hill, 11/8).

Economy: Plans to criticize Fed Reserve at trade convention (LA Times, 11/8).

George Pataki

Palin: Stresses his own political experience over Palin’s in interview (Daily News, 11/8).

GOP: Wants Party to reevaluate after failure of “extreme candidates” (The Note, 11/8).

Tim Pawlenty

Health Care: Will focus on repealing reform law if President (MN Independent, 11/8).

Minnesota: Recount in governor’s race may mean an extension of Pawlenty’s term (Star Tribune, 11/4).

Mike Pence

2012: Weighing bids for Indiana governor or President (CBN News, 11/8).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Rick Perry says that Romney’s MA health care law will sink his 2012 bid (Daily Caller, 11/9).

Obama: President compares his law to Romney’s MA health care law (Boston Globe, 11/8).

Party (Again) At Brent Bozell's House!

Right after the election in 2008, a group of right-wing leaders gathered at Brent Bozell's house to lick their wounds and begin plotting their return.

They are now crediting the meeting with laying the groundwork for the republican gains in the last election and so they are gathering once again to strategize ways to solidify and expand their gains in the next election:

A group of conservative leaders who helped steer their movement away from a painful defeat in 2008 and toward an electoral comeback in 2010, plan to meet privately on Friday to map out their strategy for the next two years.

Led by Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, and the nephew of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., the gathering will include a who’s who of right-leaning activists.

Joining Bozell at his mountain retreat in Stanley, Va. will be Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of the most active conservative groups of 2010 election cycle; former Indiana Republican Rep. Dave McIntosh; Becky Norton Dunlop, vice president at the Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy; Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator magazine; and Leonard Leo, executive vice president of The Federalist Society.

The group includes many of the same individuals who, in the words of one conservative activist, helped define President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “far leftists” who were tipping the country “toward socialism” -- an idea that energized the conservative base this year.

...

Many of the same individuals who will gather at Bozell’s home this week took part in a similar meeting after the 2008 election, not only to lick their wounds after Obama swept into the White House and Democrats scored big gains in Congress, but also to plot a course out of the political wilderness

After that session, Bozell declared “the moderate wing of the Republican Party is dead,” and his counterpart, Tony Perkins, warned that candidates for elected officials who are “squishy on conservative principles” would no longer be tolerated.

Friday’s discussion will focus on the issues that will continue to drive movement supporters, including an emphasis on limited, constitutional government. The group also plans to look ahead to the 2012 election cycle, identifying some of the rising-star candidates who have the best chance to defeat President Obama.

To pass muster among members of this group, the activist who outlined the meeting’s agenda, said potential 2012 candidates will have to be “full-throttle, across-the-board conservatives."

"Real Christians" Say Bullying Is Bad, But Being Gay Is Even Worse

A coalition of "real Christians" want to make it clear that they disapprove of bullying ... but they disapprove of gays even more:

A coalition of pro-family leaders today urges Christian families to be faithful to biblical morality and discerning in the face of false and irresponsible accusations. Christianity and traditional values are not the cause of teen suicides, and attempts to link the two are deceptive and will ultimately harm children...

Authentic Christians will remember several key concepts from Scripture:

1. Homosexual behavior is always a sin, God's plan for sexuality is male/female marriage, and God has not changed His mind about this (Genesis 19; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

2. Jesus described marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that humans were created male and female "from the beginning." Gender change is a defiant and ungrateful sin against God's direction and design (Matthew 19:4-6)

3. Violence against children is wrong. Jesus was very clear in his protection of children and also had harsh words for those who would forbid children from knowing His truth and love ( Luke 17:2; Luke 18: 15-16). "Gay" activists want to keep children from knowing, loving and following the real Jesus Christ. At the very least, schools must not interfere in the desires of parents to raise their own children to follow Christ and live out biblical morality.

4. School boards aid child corruption and insult faithful families when they allow "gay-straight alliances," homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the "gay" lobby.

And this coalition of "real Christians" just so happens to consist of some of the gay-hatingest right-wing activists and organizations operating today:   

These pro-family leaders have signed on to this statement:

Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans for Truth
Gary Glenn, President, American Family Association of Michigan
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Rena Lindevaldson, Associate Director, Liberty Center for Law & Policy
Matt C. Abbott, Catholic columnist,RenewAmerica.com

These leaders may spend their professional lives sending out the message that gays are sinful, diseased perverts, but that is just because they know that "traditional values always help families and students, not the opposite, as extremists are trying to claim."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/19/10

Haley Barbour

Washington: Ranked #1 of GQ’s “DC Power List” (GQ, 10/18).

Mississippi: NYT columnist looks into his record of pardons as Governor (NYT, 10/15).

GOP: Raises $31 million for Republican Governors Association (WaPo, 10/14).

Mitch Daniels

Economy: Hit by conservatives for floating idea of value added tax (Newsweek, 10/18).

2012: Praised by President of US Chamber of Commerce (Courier & Press, 10/13).

Newt Gingrich

2010: Predicts takeover of House and Senate by GOP (KTAR, 10/18).

Fundraising: His 527, which has no cap on donations, raised over $4 million (Politico, 10/16).

Mike Huckabee

Media: Brings Ohio GOP gubernatorial nominee on TV show, says he is “not the least bit objective” (Media Matters, 10/18).

Crime: Seattle Times looks into Huckabee’s pardon of Maurice Clemmons (Seattle Times, 10/17).

Religious Right: Tells “Freedom, Faith and Family” conference that God guided Founding Fathers, condemns abortion (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/16).

2010: Predicts a “tsunami of change” while campaigning for Indiana Republicans (Indiana News Center, 10/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Campaigns for Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Minnesota’s Tom Emmer (GOP12, 10/18).

Fundraising: Collects $1.7 million for leadership PAC over summer (Politico, 10/14).

Iowa: May not focus as much attention on Iowa Caucuses in 2012 as he did in 2008 (Des Moines Register, 10/14).

Sarah Palin

Tea Party: Launches Tea Party Express Bus Tour in Reno, NV (Christian Science Monitor, 10/18).

2010: Set to rally in Florida with Michael Steele and Marco Rubio after appearing with Steele in California (Politico, 10/18).

Religious Right: Speaks to Liberty and Freedom Foundation about patriotism, God, and Pat Tillman; knocks First Lady Michelle Obama (Opposing Views, 10/17).

George Pataki

Health Care: Wants 1 million people to sign his petition to repeal reform law (Jackson Citizen Patriot, 10/14; The Hill, 10/14).

Economy: Criticizes Obama Administration’s green-jobs initiatives (Wall Street Journal, 10/14).

Tim Pawlenty

GOP: Holds rally with Mitt Romney in Minnesota (Star Tribune, 10/18).

Government: Criticizes federal government spending but requests money from Washington for flood aid (Up Take, 10/18).

Fundraising: Leadership PAC raised over half a million dollars over the Summer (AP, 10/14).

Rick Santorum

Abortion: Set to address Tennessee Right to Life’s annual dinner (Knoxville News, 10/17).

Religious Right: Spoke Friday to Cornerstone Action fundraiser (CPR Action, 10/15).

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

Pence Embraces Reed and the Religious Right in Iowa

After winning the Values Voter Summit straw poll of likely 2012 presidential contenders, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence spoke in Iowa to Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition. Pence appeared to reject “the truce” proposed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, which called on conservatives to play down social issues in order to push their economic agenda, and showed why he is so beloved by the Religious Right. In his remarks, Pence did discuss fiscal issues, calling for a “balanced federal budget” but also for extending the budget-busting Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He went on to link the right wing social agenda of stopping same-sex marriages and Planned Parenthood to the nation’s budgetary issues:

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say ‘what is more fiscally responsible than rolling back this administration’s effort to expand funding for abortion at home and abroad?

What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?

To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, ‘you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.

We are at our strongest when fiscal and social conservatives are united. Victory comes when we stand together, fighting arm in arm for fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional moral values.

Men and women, we must demand, here and now, that those who would lead the Republican Party stand for life and traditional marriage without apology.

This is our moment. Now is the time. It’s time for us to do all that we can to preserve what makes this country great.

Men and women of Iowa, the time has come to take our stand. We must not be afraid, and we must fight for what has always been the source of American greatness: our faith in God and our freedom.

And if we hold that banner high, I believe with all my heart the good and great people of this land will rally to our cause. We will win this Congress back in 2010, and we will win this country back in 2012, so help us God.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/28/10

Haley Barbour

2012: Political work profiled by TIME Magazine (TIME, 9/23).

New Hampshire: Stumps with GOP gubernatorial candidate (Nashua Telegraph, 9/28).

Mitch Daniels

2012: Fundraising circuit points to presidential bid (Indianapolis Star, 9/28).

Poll: About 75% of Americans haven’t heard of the Indiana Governor (Journal Gazette, 9/28).

Newt Gingrich

Democrats: Calls Democrats “the food stamp party” (Chicago Sun Times, 9/25).

GOP: How Gingrich transformed the Republican Party (Salon, 9/24).

2010: Approves new “Pledge to America” (Politico, 9/23).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Campaigned with Rand Paul over the weekend (BluegrassPolitics, 9/22).

Health Care: Walks back on previous position on coverage for pre-existing condition (The American Prospect, 9/23).

Business: Huckabee-endorsed Goldline company sued by SEC (ABC, 9/23).

Sarah Palin

2012: New poll shows her growing unpopularity among voters (ThePlumLine, 9/27).

2010: Launches “Take Back the 20” campaign against Democrats who supported Health Care Reform (The Hill, 9/27).

Media:  Claims media "piles on" her endorsed candidates (GOP 12, 9/27).

Religious Right: Article looks into Palin’s relationship with Dominionism (Religion Dispatches, 9/26).

Tim Pawlenty

Foreign Affairs: Calls Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “nutty” (City Pages, 9/24).

New Hampshire: Plans to fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen (Concord Monitor, 9/26).

Minnesota: Visits flooded areas of state (WCCO, 9/25).

Mitt Romney

2010: Endorses West Virginia Republicans (The Hill, 9/27).

Obama: Calls Presidency an “abject failure” to New Hampshire GOP (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/26).

Rick Santorum

Media: Santorum, Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee all on Fox payroll (Politico, 9/27).

John Thune

2012: Weekly Standard profiles South Dakota Senator John Thune (Weekly Standard, 10/4).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/21/10

Your update on the potential 2012 Presidential candidates for 9/14-9/21:

Mitch Daniels

2012: Newt Gingrich says Daniels should run for President (Courier & Press, 9/21).

Economy: Attends Chamber of Commerce event in Indianapolis (WIBC, 9/20).

PAC: Leadership PAC runs ads encouraging IN voters to support Republicans (Politico, 9/19).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Demands ban on Sharia Law’s use in US Courts (TPM, 9/18).

Health Care: Calls for HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation, compares her service to “Soviet tyranny” (Politico, 9/18).

GOP: Headlines fundraiser for the Minnesota GOP (Star Tribune, 9/17).

Obama: Gingrich attacked by critics for pushing over the top anti-Obama rhetoric (NY Daily News, 9/20).

Mike Huckabee

Obama: Criticizes President’s treatment of Christians (Newsmax, 9/17).

GOP: “Thrilled” about the defeat of “establishment” candidate in primaries (Huffington Post, 9/20).

2010: Expects a Republican wave in home state of Arkansas (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/20).

Sarah Palin

Iowa: Speaks at Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner, tells Fox News she may “give it a shot” to Presidential run (NY Daily News, 9/18).

2012: Wins straw poll of presidential prospects at RightNation convention (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/20).

2010: Tweets to Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell with a warning against “appeasing nat'l media” that’s “seeking ur destruction” (The Hill, 9/19).

Religious Right: FRC head Tony Perkins suggests that Palin is a “cheerleader” rather than a presidential candidate (Politico, 9/18).

Media: Claims that journalists disrespect fallen troops when they “tell lies” about her (Des Moines Register, 9/17).

Poll: Rasmussen survey says slight majority of Americans identify more with Palin’s views than Obama’s (Rasmussen Reports, 9/20).

Tim Pawlenty

2010: Fundraising for GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker in Wisconsin (AP, 9/20).

Economy: WSJ profiles Governors like Pawlenty and others who visited China (WSJ, 9/20).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Indiana Congressman wins a plurality of votes at Values Voter Summit’s 2012 straw poll (MSNBC, 9/18).

2012: Speaks to conservative Hillsdale College about the Presidency (EducationNews, 9/21).

2010: Defends Christine O’Donnell in Delaware from attacks (CNN, 9/20).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Romney’s Leadership PAC endorses and donates to victors of GOP primaries (Politics Daily, 9/18).

Religious Right: Lashes out at Obama’s economic and social policies, “counterfeit” values at Values Voter Summit (Religion Dispatches, 9/20).

Poll: Leads 2012 pack with 22% support from Republicans (Public Policy Polling, 9/12).

2010: Going to Florida to stump for Gov hopeful Rick Scott (Daily Sun, 9/20).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Tests message in early primary state (Daily Caller, 9/16).

Religious Right: Says that families don’t exist in poor neighborhoods (CBS News, 9/17).

PFAW Sends Letters to GOP Leaders Urging them to Denounce Fischer, Skip Values Voter Summit

People For's President, Michael Keegan, sent the following letter today to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, all of whom are scheduled to appear this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, alongside the virulantly anti-Muslim and anti-gay Bryan Fischer.

Dear ________:

I am writing to express my concern about your appearance this weekend at the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Among the participants this weekend will be Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. We urge you to publically denounce Fischer’s record of hate speech and extremism, and reconsider appearing beside him this weekend.

People For’s RightWingWatch.org blog has tracked Fischer’s career over the past several years. His long and prolific record of hate speech and extremism includes the following recent statements. Just in the past year, Fischer has:

I am attaching the names of over 6,500 concerned citizens who have signed the following letter regarding your participation in the summit:

Values Voter Summit Participants:

Reasonable people can, and do, have reasonable differences of opinion. Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, is not a reasonable person.

By sharing a stage with Fischer at this year's Values Voter Summit, public figures acknowledge the credibility of his shameless anti-Muslim and anti-gay propaganda. Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America; insulted Muslim servicemembers; claimed that brave Americans died in vain because Iraq was not converted to Christianity; and called gay people deviants, felons, pedophiles and terrorists. Bryan Fischer is no mainstream conservative. And neither is any person who shares a platform with him while refusing to denounce his hate-filled propaganda.

We urge you to denounce Fischer's extremism and separate yourself from his comments.

For more background on Fischer’s extreme rhetoric, please click here.

Fischer’s appearance with conservative leaders such as yourself lends his extreme hate speech credibility. We urge you to publicly denounce Fischer’s record and to think twice about sharing the stage with him.

Sincerely,

Michael B. Keegan
President, People For the American Way

Americans for Job Security: Corporate Astroturfing Extraordinaire

The same group who hailed the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United as an “unequivocal victory” has launched new ads to promote corporate interests in this year’s election. After spending handsomely to criticize Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Democratic primary opponent with offensive and inaccurate ads, Americans for Job Security today began to run television ads against Rep. Zack Space (D-OH) and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), along with Democratic candidates Bryan Lentz in Pennsylvania and Trent Van Haaften in Indiana. The group has already spent close to $3 million in the election, and is a huge booster of Republicans such as Pat Toomey and Ken Buck.

Americans for Job Security is a true corporate creation: founded in 1997, it initially received two $1 million contributions from the American Insurance Association and the American Forest and Paper Association. In fact, it is registered as a 501c6 trade association, and consequently does not have to disclose its donors to the IRS.  Also, since it generally runs  “issue ads,” it is not required to disclose its donors to the FEC, although the thin line between political advocacy and lobbying is often difficult to see. The Washington Post writes that even though Americans for Job Security classifies itself as a trade association, it “spends the vast majority of its budget on television and radio ads before elections,” and the vast majority of them are negative.

The ads slam the stimulus package, which improved job growth and Real GDP and prevented total economic collapse, and dishonestly malign progressive legislation. In their ad against Bryan Lentz, who is running to replace Joe Sestak, Americans for Job Security alleges that health care reform cuts $500 billion from Medicare, a claim FactCheck.org forcefully debunked as a gross distortion. When criticizing Rep. Space for backing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (“cap and trade”) in their new ad, the group claims the bill would “kill Ohio jobs.” However, a University of California, Berkeley study found that ACES “would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year, and boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion.”

Like the Club for Growth, Americans for Job Security is not afraid to take on Democrats and even some conservative Republicans who they feel haven’t fully embraced the pro-corporate agenda. Public Citizen claims that “Americans for Job Security is a sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections” and also alleged that it was “one of the most egregious offenders” in circumventing FEC rules on “electioneering activity.”

Utilizing hefty and anonymous corporate donations to run a misleading and deceptive ad campaign, Americans for Job Security proves that it is truly the epitome of pro-corporate astroturfing.

Barbour: Religious Right is "Using Up Valuable Time and Resources" On Issues Voters Don't Care About

Earlier this year, Gov. Mitch Daniels came in for all sorts of criticism from the Religious Right for suggesting that truce might be needed in the culture wars so that the nation can focus on addressing economic and security issues.

If there is one thing the Religious Right hates, it is being told that their issues should be placed on a back burner or that they don't motivate voter turn out.  In fact, just yesterday we noted that the Religious Right was warning House Republicans not to ignore social issues as they lay out their issues and agenda, warning that it would be an "electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off" the anti-choice, anti-gay social conservatives who make up much of the grassroots base.

So I am guessing that this is not going to sit well with them:

Republican Governor's Association Chair Haley Barbour cautioned Republican candidates on Wednesday against bringing social issues into the campaign, arguing that any discussion beyond the economy would prove distracting and problematic to their election hopes.

In a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Mississippi Republican was asked for his take on remarks made earlier in the year by Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Governor, who had urged social and fiscal conservatives to reach an informal truce for the purposes of 2010.

"I think what Mitch said is very similar to what I have responded to today," Barbour replied. "The voters have on their mind the economy, jobs, spending, debt and taxes and good campaigns are about the issues that are on the peoples minds.

"I'll put my bonafides up against anybody as a social conservative," he added, noting that as governor, Mississippi was voted the safest state in the country for an unborn child. "But that ain't going to change anybody's vote this year because people are concerned about job, the economy, growth and taxes... you are using up valuable time and resources that can be used to talk to people about what they care about."

You know, Mitch Daniels thought that it was his bonafides as a social conservative that gave him the standing and credibility to be able call for a truce in the culture wars, but that didn't stop him for getting raked over the coal ... so if Barbour thinks that the Religious Right is going to simply accept it when he tells them that they "are using up valuable time and resources" talking about issues nobody cares about, I think he is going to be in for a bit of a surprise.

Pawlenty Requests Stimulus Funds He Criticized

After criticizing Congress for passing a $26 billion aid package to state governments, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has sent a formal request to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for $236 million for Medicaid from the very same funding bill he blasted as a “reckless spending spree.” After pronouncing that “the federal government should not deficit spend to bail out states,” the governor and likely presidential candidate even offered clues that he won’t accept any new money from the federal government (unless that money was for abstinence-only programs).

Pawlenty decided to relent like other “principled” Republican governors before him such as Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford, who proudly disparage government programs and threaten to refuse the federal aid meant to protect the jobs of public employees and salvage state budgets—then agree to accepting stimulus dollars when it’s politically convenient. Similar to the Republican members of Congress who proudly vote against the stimulus and later publicly take credit for providing stimulus dollars in their districts, Pawlenty is attempting to both please the anti-government zealots in the GOP base while also benefiting from Democratic efforts to govern responsibly.

Pawlenty’s backpedaling on the stimulus coincides with the news that Michele Bachmann isn’t the only government spending-critic to receive farm subsidies from the federal government, as Indiana’s favorite Tea Party politician and congressional candidate Marlin Stutzman also obtains federal aid in the form of farm subsidies. Stutzman, who explicitly said that “it’s time to get rid of farm subsidies” in the name of free market orthodoxy, collected $179,370 from the federal government since 1995 for his farm.

For Republicans such as Pawlenty and Stutzman, it’s easy to denounce federal spending to further their political careers and agendas, but they still have no problem with benefiting from the same federal government programs they rail against.

ACLJ, Spiritual Warfare, and Zimbabwe's Constitution

For a while now, we've been covering the fact that Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice has set up offices in Kenya and Zimbabwe for the purpose of shaping the draft constitutions that are being prepared in both nations.

Today, Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches has an important new report on the intersection between the ACLJ, "Word of Faith" spiritual warfare, and the future of Zimbabwe's government as demonstrated by a recent "Women, Weapons of Warfare conference" that took place in Kentucky:

At the heart of this women’s conference is the concept of “spiritual warfare,” the idea that God has anointed his “generals” to defeat Satan and bring the world to Christ. During this pre-conference prayer session, the group prays for a “mega-breakthrough” and for God to “take down the enemy.” It’s not a war of flesh and blood, conference speakers are quick to point out, but against the evil evident everywhere around us: in the “total moral decay” of America; in the nearby “liberal” Indiana University; in the unexpected frog in the throat of a speaker from Georgia; in the angry outburst of a woman whose husband had left her; and in the fear of failure recounted by speaker after speaker—until they found Jesus, that is. It becomes evident, as the speakers give testimony about their relationship with Jesus, that for many he is not only their savior, but someone they converse with to obtain instructions for most details of their lives. Many call him “Daddy.”

Bourland introduces special guest from Zimbabwe, Pastor Vicky Mpofu, her “spiritual mother” whom she likens to Moses, a figure “God has anointed” to “deal with an affliction on her people.” Mpofu is, says Bourland, “an oracle of God to bring a warning to our country.” She predicts that people, “will wake up and listen”; then she prays for there to be “more than enough to take care of all the children of Zimbabwe.”

...

Mpofu, who co-founded the WWW conference with Bourland, is the executive director of the African Centre for Law and Justice, a branch of the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson in 1990 as a “Christian” answer to the American Civil Liberties Union ... The African Centre for Law and Justice is injecting itself into the political process of drafting a new constitution that will supposedly pave the way for new elections. The African Centre for Law and Justice is aiming to do in Zimbabwe precisely what the religious right seeks to accomplish in the United States: declare the country a “Christian nation” guided by biblical principles, outlaw abortion, and ostracize and criminalize LGBT people ... Together with the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the African Centre for Law and Justice is working to garner the support of religious leaders and activists for constitutional provisions that would “affirm that Zimbabwe is a predominantly Christian nation founded on Biblical principles,” and require application of “the Laws of God in order to prosper and avoid chaos and destruction,” according to a pamphlet prepared by the EFZ and supported by the ALCJ.

Backed by the ACLJ, Mpofu has been traveling Zimbabwe to rally religious support for the EFZ’s constitutional proposals. “We’ve had a lot of support from ACLJ in America because for me to be able to go around the country to visit the ten provinces we’ve received some help financially and also we’ve received some help from the teams from America visiting and working with us,” Mpofu said. “The support has been tremendous.”

...

The EFZ/ACLJ pamphlet also calls for constitutional prohibitions on both abortion, by defining life as “beginning at conception,” and on attempts to reform the country’s laws criminalizing homosexuality. It calls for defining marriage “as being between a man and a woman” and for “any and all definitions of a family or marriages or relationships or legal unions that seek to include or permit same sex unions to be prohibited,” as well as for “sexual relations between partners of the same sex, bestiality, and other perversions to remain a criminal activity.”

Posner also posted video highlights of the conference, which has a Lou Engle/Cindy Jacobs sort of familiarity to it:

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Daniels: "Atheism Leads to Brutality" and Will Destroy America

Over the last several weeks, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been under attack from Religious Right activists for his statement that the nation needed to call a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on more important issues.

Obviously, social conservatives refuse to accept any such truce, as fighting the culture war is their entire reason for existing and have begun questioning Daniels' conservative bona fides.

But that is clearly unjustified because, as this interview with him from December demonstrates, he clearly shares their worldview:

Mellinger: Is there part of you that is bothered by the aggressive atheism of a [Sam] Harris, a [Christopher] Hitchens, a [Richard] Dawkins? And what I mean is... this atheism is a little different than atheism has been in the past because it does seek to convert people.

Daniels: I'm not sure it's all that new. People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.

Everyone's certainly entitled in our country to equal treatment regardless of their opinion. But yes, I think that folks who believe they've come to that opinion ought to think very carefully, first of all, about how different it is from the American tradition; how it leads to a very different set of outcomes in the real world.

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