Kansas

Beck: Immigration Reform Advocates Practicing KKK-Style 'Domestic Terrorism'

Whatever you think of the decision by Kansas immigration reform advocates to hold a peaceful protest outside of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s house this weekend, you could probably agree that there is a significant difference between the protesters – pictured here – and the Ku Klux Klan.

But not if you’re Glenn Beck. Beck was scheduled to interview Kobach on his program yesterday, but Kobach had to drop off the call due to technical difficulties. So Beck winged it, showing a video of the protest and asking, “What’s the difference between that and the Klan coming to Martin Luther King’s house?”

“This is not just domestic terrorism, this is civil rights stuff,” he added. “This isn’t America. This is old-style South kind of tactics.”

Responding to the protest yesterday, Kobach said the “mob” at his house is the “reason we have the Second Amendment” and worried that the protesters could have tried to break in.

UPDATE: Beck finally got on the phone with Kobach, who agreed with him about the demonstrators: “They’re just not wearing white cloaks, but this is exactly KKK type of intimidation."

Kobach Tells 'Mob' that Protested at His House: 'There's a Reason We Have a 2nd Amendment'

Yesterday, a group of about 100 supporters of comprehensive immigration reform staged a protest at the house of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been a driving force behind anti-immigrant laws around the country. By all accounts, the protest was peaceful: a short video of the event shows protesters carefully staying off the grass as they repeat the chants of a man with a bullhorn.

But Kobach, who was not at home at the time, tells Fox News' Todd Starnes, “I shudder to think what would have happened if one of those members of the mob had tried to break into the house.”

He added that he would have considered using a firearm against the protestors: “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.”

Starnes reports that Kobach told him  “a large number of the protesters were believed to be illegal aliens."

“I was just appalled,” Kobach told Fox News. “They have a right to protect at my office or at public places – that’s fine. But they don’t have a right to enter someone’s private property and engage in this kind of intimidation.”

“I have four little girls and they would have been terrified to see 200 protesters shouting at their daddy on megaphones on the front lawn,” he said.

The secretary of state said a large number of the protesters were believed to be illegal aliens. They can be seen on video chanting in Spanish, standing on Kobach’s porch, front yard and driveway and demanding that he come outside.


Kobach said he was especially troubled to learn that it took police at least 15 minutes to respond to his house.

“You have a mob of 200 people gathering on someone’s property and it takes the police 15 minutes to get there,” he said. “That doesn’t give you a whole lot of confidence either. I shudder to think what would have happened if one of those members of the mob had tried to break into the house.”

He also feared what would have happened had he been home with his wife and four young daughters.

“On a typical Saturday, my four girls would have been riding their bikes and coloring chalk in the driveway,” he said. “That’s where they play. If four buses pulled up and the mob started marching down upon them, they would have been absolutely terrified.”

The secretary of state is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment – and he said the incident at his home is an example of why Americans should bear arms.

“If we had been in the home and not been armed, I would have felt very afraid – because it took the police 15 minutes to show up,” he said. “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.”

He said had they been home and the mob had gotten out of hand, his family would have been in “grave jeopardy.”

“The Second Amendment is the private property owner’s last resort,” he said.

Kobach said he’s asked local police and the county attorney to investigate the incident. He believes a number of laws were violated including terrorizing a public official.
 

Kansas' Kobach Pushes Plan that Would Disenfranchise Alaska Natives

Back in April, two Alaska House committees approved a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls – a particularly damaging measure in a state where many rural communities don’t even require photos on drivers’ licenses. Now, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that there is a familiar face behind the measure. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind voter suppression and anti-immigrant measures around the country, reportedly coordinated with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell to push the bill in what looks like an effort to damage Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in his 2014 reelection bid. (Treadwell denies that he worked with Kobach on the bill, which he says he opposes.)

Alaska Natives say a photo ID rule would be a roadblock to voting in the Bush. A decline in turnout there, with its traditionally heavy Democratic vote, could affect the 2014 reelection hopes of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning state. One of his potential rivals is Alaska's top election official, Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Treadwell says he doesn't support the voter ID bill, but Kobach says Treadwell was instrumental in getting him involved in promoting the Alaska legislation.

In an April statement to reporters that didn't mention Kobach or Kansas, Treadwell touted the cross-checking as having found 14 people suspected of "actually voting in both Alaska and another state" in 2012. Treadwell threatened to prosecute the voters if the allegations were confirmed.

Alaska elections director Gail Fenumiai recently said 12 of the 14 voters cited in Treadwell's April statement were wrongly identified as duplicate voters and actually voted only in Alaska.



Kobach told the Daily News it was he who suggested to Treadwell that Alaska get involved in the Kansas project. "I personally talked to Mead Treadwell, your lieutenant governor, and encouraged him to join, and he did so," Kobach said.

And his testimony on the photo ID bill, Kobach said, was the result of a conversation with Treadwell.

"I spoke to Mead about it at one of our national conferences -- he mentioned that you guys were considering a photo ID law," Kobach said. "I said I'd be happy to share some of the experiences we've had in Kansas."

Treadwell, who said he doesn't support the Alaska bill because of the difficulty for Bush residents to get photo identification, said he didn't recall talking to Kobach about it.

As the Daily News explains, a photo ID bill would be especially damaging to Alaska Natives living in rural communities where DMVs are hard to access and where many towns don’t even require photographs on drivers’ licenses:

Photo ID measures are controversial across the country. Advocates say they help prevent fraud. Opponents say they make it more difficult for particular groups of people to vote: the elderly, students and the poor who don't own cars. In Alaska, the situation is compounded by the difficulty of getting to a Division of Motor Vehicles office in a regional hub like Nome or Bethel from a small village. Alaska doesn't even require a photograph on a driver's license in dozens of Bush communities.

Democratic activists say photo ID bills have the effect of disenfranchising more Democratic voters than Republicans. In his annual address to the Alaska Legislature this year, Begich criticized the bill as making it more difficult for Alaska Natives and Hispanics -- two traditional Democratic groups -- to vote.

The sponsor of Alaska’s bill, who has acknowledged that he drafted the measure using materials from the corporate-funded conservative group ALEC, had odd words of consolation for those concerned about the suppressive impact of the bill: at least it wouldn’t be as bad as Iraq!

Rep. Bob Lynn, an Anchorage Republican who is prime sponsor of the voter ID bill, said he wasn't trying to disenfranchise anyone. He dismissed opponents as complainers who should be happy they don't face the kind of obstacles voters do in places like Iraq.

"Terrorists have threatened to kill anyone who voted, but they voted anyway, and then these voters put ink in their finger to prove they had voted -- evidence that could have gotten them killed. Now that's a hassle, to say the least. Needing a photo ID to vote in Alaska wouldn't even come close to that," Lynn said when his State Affairs Committee first heard the bill in February.
 

Kobach Seeks to Expand Own Power Over 'Election Fraud' Cases

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the driving force behind draconian anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama and a rising national figure on the Right, is close to a major victory on one of his other pet projects – gaining attention for the mythical problem of “election fraud.”

Kansas’ legislature is poised to grant Kobach’s office the power to prosecute election fraud cases that it identifies, a responsibility previously reserved for county and federal prosecutors. Kobach claims that prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office are neglecting these cases because of “a very full plate.”

But a look at even a few of the cases Kobach claims that prosecutors are neglecting tells a very different story. In February, Kobach told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he had referred eleven “slam dunk” cases to prosecutors, none of which had ended in convictions. But one of the prosecutors responsible for following up on those cases found that most were isolated incidents involving people who were just confused about the voting laws:

Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe took exception to some of Kobach's characterizations in his testimony on behalf of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association. Howe said Kobach's bird’s-eye view of widespread voter fraud crumbles when investigated by those on the ground.

For instance, Howe said one double-voter his office investigated was an elderly man showing "the early stages of dementia." Howe's office notified the man's family rather than prosecute him.

Another alleged double voter was a developmentally disabled man.

“Are we supposed to prosecute that case?" Howe asked. "I chose not to.”

This fits with the pattern. In 2011, Kobach claimed that there had been 221 incidents of voter fraud in Kansas between 1997 and 2010. Yet just seven of these resulted in convictions.

Kobach now claims that he has identified at least 30 cases of illegal double voting in the 2012 election by finding people with the same name and birthdate who voted in two separate states. Such matching tactics have in the past have resulted not in legitimate voter fraud convictions, but in embarrassing errors and mass wrongful disenfranchisement.

Kobach’s issue with the state’s prosecutors seems to be not that they haven’t properly investigated voter fraud – but that they have failed to promote the conspiracy theory about widespread voter fraud that, when it becomes popular, benefits people like Kris Kobach and the policies they pursue.
 

Brownback Declares Saturday to be a 'Day of Restoration'

In August of last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry organized and hosted a large public prayer rally featuring a host of Religious Right activists along with various self-proclaimed "prophets" of the New Apostolic Reformation.  For the most part, other elected leaders stayed away from the event, with the notable exception of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who spoke and delivered a prayer from the stage.

It was no surprise that Brownback would have no qualms about sharing the stage with these sorts of modern-day prophets, as he had a long history of working closely them and speaking at their events back when he was serving in the US Senate and even lived with Lou Engle for several months. In fact, Brownback's close ties to Engle became a bit of an issue when he was running for Governor in 2010.

And just as it was no surprise that Brownback would appear at "The Response," it is also not surprising that he has now publicly endorsed a similar prayer event that is taking place in Topeka, Kansas this weekend called Reign Down, organized by a group that began "in July of 2005, [when] God woke up a 31-year old stay-at-home mom to give her a vision" of then-President George W. Bush "repenting on behalf of the nation, culminating in a movement of God's hand across America to bring healing, restoration and unprecedented unity and prosperity."

When Reign Down organized a prayer event on the National Mall in 2008, severe thunderstorms threatened to cancel it ... until their prayers held them off: 

Leading up to the four-hour event, a massive storm with life-threatening tornadoes, heavy rain and winds, and lightning was heading straight towards the gathering at the National Mall in D.C. The National Park Service issued one warning, saying that after three warnings—or the first bolt of lightning—they were going to pull the plug and the event would not happen. Realizing it was beyond their control, with less than an hour until the event was to start, ReignDown USA's leaders and intercessors knelt behind the stage and cried out for God to divert the storm to the North and the South. They called upon the power of the Holy Spirit for the winds to shift from the West to the East and blow the storm away. As they cried out on their knees and begged God to move…He did! The wind shifted! The Park Service, watching the weather radar, said that somehow the storm cell was shifting its course and heading to the North.

And this weekend, Reign Down - which has partnerships with groups and leaders like Lou Engle, The Call, Cindy Jacobs, GodTV, the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Trent Franks - will host a prayer rally in Kansas that will be simulcast across the country, and Gov. Brownback has not only filmed a video announcing his participation and support but issued a proclamation calling on citizens to "collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us" and declaring Saturday to be a "day of restoration":

TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:

WHEREAS, the State of Kansas will host the national simulcast of REIGNDOWN USA in Topeka on December 8, 2012, bringing thousands here from across the country; and

WHEREAS, people from across America will join the millions from around the world on TV simulcast live from MacLennan Park, in the heart of America; and

WHEREAS, the first REIGNDOWN celebration was held 2008 in Washington DC, on the Capitol Grounds, introduced by proclamation of the President of the United States of America, with millions participating on site, on TV, and by computer; and

WHEREAS, regional REIGNDOWN events continued until the need was seen for the gathering to be held in the heart of our Nation; and

WHEREAS, many of our families have slid into poverty, endangering out next generation of citizens, our lands are parched by drought, our quality jobs are scarce, business and industry are struggling to expand, and many of our people have fallen into despair; and

WHEREAS, our Nation’s greatest leaders have called on a merciful God for favor during troubled times, such as:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.” - Abraham Lincoln, 1863.

“The propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” - George Washington, 1789.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1787; and

WHEREAS, we collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim December 8th 2012, as a

Day of Restoration

in Kansas and ask every citizen of our state to join in asking a Holy God to bring healing and restoration – help in mending broken lives, bringing peace to our families, our communities, and this land.

DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka
under the Great Seal of the
State this 23rd day of
November, A.D. 2012

BY THE GOVERNOR: Samuel Brownback

Kansas AFA Chapter Seeks to Have City Leaders Indicted over Nude Statue

In November of last year, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Overland Park, Kansas installed "11 life-size bronze sculptures that were created and donated to the arboretum by Chinese sculptors," among which was one of a "disjointed body of a young, bare-breasted woman, one thin arm extended to snap a photo of herself":

Some local residents were so outraged by the statue that they sought, without success, to have it removed.  So eventually the local chapter of the American Family Association stepped in, claiming that the statue encourages “sexting” and violates obscenity standards, and gathered some 4,700 signatures which have now been delivered to the county clerk in order to have city officials indicted by a grand jury:

Phillip Cosby regional head of the American Family Association delivered 4700 signatures to the county clerks office. He wants the artwork gone, and thinks Overland Park City officials could be indicted on obscenity charges.

"There's more in the message here with the presence of the camera, the obvious come hither posture and the aroused breasts and all the sexual components. The statue is sending a message to children," says Cosby.

Santorum Appears on Extremist Talk Show – Love Fest Ensues

Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.

Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeated attacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
 
But Fischer isn’t only out to get Mormons. He has an extensive history of bigotry against groups like Muslims (who are stupid because of inbreeding), gays and lesbians (who are responsible for Holocaust), Native Americans (who are “morally disqualified” from controlling land) , low-income African Americans (who “rut like rabbits”), and basically anyone who isn’t a “real” Christian. Fischer has also likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler and called him a tyrant who has a “hatred for the United States” and a “hatred for the white man.”
 
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
 
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
 
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
 
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
 
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
 
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
 
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here:
 

Newman: "Demonic" Abortion Providers Make Money To Fuel Drug, Sex, Gambling Addictions

Troy Newman of the militantly anti-choice group Operation Rescue appeared yesterday on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss an upcoming HBO series based on the life and death of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was murdered by a “pro-life” activist at his church. Newman claimed that women’s health centers that offer family planning are filthy, “demonic” places where “the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get” to feed his many addictions, including drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling. He argued that the late Dr. Tiller was himself a raging alcoholic, drug addict and a sexist, who only performed abortions to satisfy his addictions:

Mefferd: When you talk about these clinics, and we’ve seen this so many times before, that these abortion clinics are just gross, they’re dirty, they’re poorly maintained, why do you think that is? I mean, they seem to have enough money coming in from abortions to be able to get some Clorox, why are they so gross?

Newman: Well, there’s a number of reasons. First of all, there’s really no pride of ownership there. It’s an abortion facility and often times the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get out of that to feed sometimes his drug addiction habit, his sexual abuse habit, or any other number of worldly habits that they got themselves into, often times gambling, and it just takes every dollar out of it. But again, you can’t practice vice, with virtue. We look at it through the prism of a Christian worldview and we think, why not take care of your facility? But this is truly a demonic enterprise.



Newman: The people that I know and have a lot of informants and spies inside the abortion industry that call me on a regular basis and I know who George Tiller was behind the scenes. He was a rabid alcoholic, a drug addict, a man who verbally abused not only his staff but his clients. He really did not like women and he profited to the tune of $2-3 million a year off doing late term abortions.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Perry says the Ten Commandments are "good policy and at the end of the day ... probably good politics."
  • It looks like Janet Porter's Heartbeat Bill is heading to Kansas.
  • The folks at Personhood Mississippi who are seeking out outlaw abortion insist that "obviously ... we're not taking away any rights."
  • Bryan Fischer has re-worked his "Muslims are using 9/11 to celebrate" column in light of the fact that he completely got the day wrong.
  • Finally, the Liberty Counsel's lawsuit against healthcare reform lost in court, but LC vows to appeal because the "ruling goes against every court in America that considered this case."

Perkins Will Lead The Response In Prayer

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson already told listeners of his radio program that he will be giving the opening prayer at The Response, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s upcoming prayer rally in Houston. Now, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has announced that he will also be speaking at the event, reports Kate Shellnutt of the Houston Chronicle:

Instead, Perkins sees The Response as an extension of the Family Research Council’s efforts to encourage Christians to pray on behalf of the country and its leaders. He will be on the podium at Reliant leading the crowd — now an estimated 8,000 people — in prayer.

A former Republican state legislator in Louisiana, he’s disappointed that more governors and public officials won’t be joining Perry at the event. The only yes RSVP, Kansas’ Gov. Sam Brownback, may be unable to attend, Texas on the Potomac reported today.

Response organizers have yet to publicly release the names of event speakers, and Perry himself isn’t even sure if he will address the prayer rally. However, as we have already noted many of The Response’s organizers and endorsers are extremely troubling (and frequently entertaining) figures.

Perkins is one of the most influential activists in the Religious Right and a vocal opponent of President Obama, reproductive freedom, anti-bullying measures and equal rights for gays and lesbians.

While addressing the dominionist Oak Initiative Summit, Perkins said of gays and lesbians, “they’re intolerant, they’re hateful, they’re vile, they’re spiteful.”

“We know there are individuals who are engaged in activity and behavior and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation,” Perkins added, “the Enemy is simply using them as pawns; they are held captive by the Enemy”:

Maybe Rick Perry Should Have Just Rented Out One-Tenth Of Reliant Stadium

Back in June when Gov. Rick Perry announced that he was hosting his massive "The Response" prayer rally and inviting all of the nation's governors to join him, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback immediately announced that he would attend.  But now, with the event only three days away, it appears as if Brownback might be having second thoughts and will no longer confirm him attendance.

The event is being held at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, which can seat 86,000 people, so obviously organizers had pretty grand plans for this event.  A spokesperson for the stadium said they were expecting 30,000-35,0000 to attend ... but with only a few days to go, the number of confirmed attendees stands at about one-tenth of the stadium's capacity

Openly and deeply religious, Texas Gov. Rick Perry organized what seemed like a slam-dunk event for a politician in a state where religion and politics walk hand in hand: He would fill Houston's Reliant Stadium with fellow believers in a seven-hour session of Christian atonement by some of the nation's most conservative preachers, exhorting believers to pray about the nation's moral decline.

Since he set up the event scheduled for Saturday, however, Perry has become the most talked-about almost-candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field. But with only 8,000 RSVPs for a stadium that seats 71,500 people, virtually no politicians planning to attend, and a slate of organizers who hold out-of-mainstream views on religious freedom, gay rights and even Adolf Hitler, the event has become a potentially risky gamble if Perry is serious about running for the White House.

By contrast, when Lou Engle organized his "The Call" prayer rally on the National Mall in 2000, it drew an estimated 400,000 people.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp: 85% Of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that the public is behind the GOP’s effort to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because “85 percent of Americans” oppose marriage equality. Discussing a Senate bill that would repeal DOMA, Huelskamp said: “Eight-five [sic] percent of Americans say, ‘We support traditional marriage,’ and the Senate does the opposite.” Polls show that the majority of Americans support equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians and believe that DOMA should be repealed. Huelskamp did not cite which survey he was referring to. The congressman also claimed that the Obama administration was promoting a “really radical agenda,” pointing to a proposal that would have allowed Navy chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in states with marriage equality.:

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved two amendments to the Defense Appropriations Bill that affirm congressional support for traditional marriage and religious liberty. Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) offered one measure Thursday night that would prohibit the reemergence of a recently rescinded Navy directive that would allow Navy chaplains to perform same-sex "wedding" ceremonies. "We need to protect the rights of our pastors from this really radical agenda that's coming out of this White House," he contends.

The Navy chief of chaplains announced earlier this year that military chaplains who desire to perform weddings for same-sex couples would be allowed to do so following the repeal of the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." The directive says chaplains could perform such ceremonies in states where homosexual "marriage" is legal.

Huelskamp believes President Obama continues to stand in the way of traditional marriage initiatives.

"Democrat leadership has decided to take on the Defense of Marriage Act again," he notes. "Seventy-five to 80 percent of Americans say, 'Hey, balance your budget.' The Democrats will not do that. Eight-five percent of Americans say, 'We support traditional marriage,' and the Senate does the opposite as well," the Kansas congressman laments. "So that's the latest there. The president continues to...refuse to defend DOMA, [as does] the attorney general.... We've been fighting them on that, and Congress is standing up for traditional marriage."

Perry Won't Take Responsibility For Radical Attendees At His Prayer Event

Sometimes you have to wonder if Rick Perry had any idea what he was getting into when he decided to organizer a massive public prayer rally with the bigoted American Family Association and then fill it with a bunch of Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed "prophets" and "apostles" who believe that Oprah is a forerunner to the Antichrist and the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol."

Because it sure seems like he doesn't have a clue at all:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that he doesn't necessarily subscribe to the beliefs of some of the ministers coming to his prayer summit next month.

"I'm sure that through my elections in the past that there have been some groups that have endorsed me publicly, that I appreciate their endorsements, but their endorsements of me doesn't mean I endorse what they believe in or what they say," Perry said.

...

In his first discussion with reporters about some of the ministers associated with his call to pray for the nation, Perry indicated he is willing to associate with all of them even if he disagrees with some of their beliefs. He likened it to political endorsements.

"I appreciate anyone who's going to endorse me, whether it's on The Response, or whether it's on a potential run for the presidency of the United States," he said. "Just because you endorse me doesn't mean I endorse everything that you say or do."

Does he not recall what happened when John McCain accepted the endorsements of John Hagee and Rod Parsely?  He had to publicly reject them because of the radical things they had said and, in doing so, made clear that their views were "crazy and unacceptable" as well as "deeply offensive and indefensible" and stated that "there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement."

Perry, by contrast, is including Hagee in his prayer rally, along with a variety of other fringe figures who have said equally outrageous things. And Perry is more than willing to publicly stand with every one of them while claiming that he is not responsible in any way.

This is not some prayer rally being organized by some other group at which he is simply going to be an attendee; this is Rick Perry's prayer event - he conceived it, he set it in motion, and he is its public face. 

And he is therefore responsible for the types of people he chooses to associate with at his event.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Engle: Joplin Tornado Was God's Judgment For Abortion

Preaching last month at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri Lou Engle declared that the massive tornado that had devestated Joplin, MO in May and killed more than one hundred people was "a sign that God's redemptive judgment" was falling upon America for the sin of abortion:

You should actually watch this whole thing because Engle goes on to relate a series of dreams about how President Obama is being called to bring an end to abortion as he praises Gov. Sam Brownback for taking steps to make it impossible to ever obtain on in Kansas:

 

Will Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Feature Spiritual Warfare?

When Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry decided to host a prayer rally, The Response, with the bigoted American Family Association and the radical International House of Prayer, Right Wing Watch noted the two groups’ bigoted and extreme beliefs along with the rally’s goal of proselytizing to non-Christians.

Yesterday we noted that one of the leaders of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s The Response, ‘Apostle’ Doug Stringer, blamed America for the September 11th attacks because of what he saw as the country’s increasing secularism and acceptance of homosexuality, and that the AFA began using other ‘apostles’ to defend Perry as the answer to their prayers. Already, Kansas governor and former senator Sam Brownback has signed up to participate.

One of The Response’s endorsers, Cindy Jacobs, is a self-declared ‘Prophet’ and a well-known advocate of the “spiritual warfare,” writing books such as Deliver Us From Evil and Possessing the Gates of the Enemy: A Training Manual for Militant Intercession. For example, Jacobs used spiritual warfare against Craigslist, non-Christian religions, and gays and lesbians.

Another The Response endorser is “spiritual warfare” leader James ‘Jay’ Swallow, a Native American “apostle” who founded the Two Rivers Native American Training Center. Like Jacobs, Swallow has spoken at The Call rallies including one in which he accepted on behalf of all Native Americans Brownback’s apology for the federal government’s mistreatment of indigenous people. According to his biography, “God has given Dr. Swallow extraordinary insight into ‘healing the land’ through prayer and spiritual warfare.” The Center is built around the “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.” Seminars include “Demonic Spirits,” “Spiritual Warfare,” “Identifying the Strongman,” and “Freemasonry.” The training is apparently so intense that Swallow asks participants sign a “release of liability” form to waive their right to sue.

According to the Swallow, the theme of the training is “We have declared war”:

In the last decade great leaders have been given the revelation of ingredients that have instituted the desire of God to recover from the enemy the promises of our nation, America, and to compact the many divisions into an expression of Biblical Christianity.

The enemy has fortified his temporary property by placing strongholds of resistance to the coming invasion. He knows he is to be removed from authority over areas that we, the divided church, have given him permission to rule.



The next two weeks will make warriors out of you. I don’t mean armchair warriors, but a SPECIALIZED COMMANDO group that will engage and set the order of discipline and order to tear down the first line of defense against the enemy.

Our job will be to establish a beachhead and occupy until the main forces can mobilize to secure the territory in Jesus’ Name.

Again, these are just a few of the people who Rick Perry is working with to put on his prayer rally.

Rick Perry Proud To Stand With the Bigots At The AFA

As we noted earlier this week, Texas Governor Rick Perry was partnering with the American Family Association and a handful of other Religious Right activists to organize an all-day prayer rally in Houston in August called "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis."

Now, obviously the fact that Perry was willing to partner with the AFA was rather eye-raising, given the long history of offensive and bigoted things both the organization and its primary spokesperson, Bryan Fischer, have said.

But, as the Texas Tribune reports, Perry has no problem with any of that and is quite proud to stand with the AFA while Tim Wildmon asserted that anyone who doesn't share the AFA's views is going to hell:

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor had been planning the event since December and was comfortable with the Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA as a host of the social conservative extravaganza. AFA is picking up the tab for the event, including the rental of Reliant Stadium in Houston, home to the NFL's Houston Texans.

"This is an organization that promotes safe and strong families," Miner said. "The governor looks forward to participating in this prayer service." Perry invited all of the nation's governors and various religious leaders to attend the Aug. 6 event. So far, Sam Brownback of Kansas, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, is the only governor who has confirmed he will attend. Miner said there would be more announcements about attendees forthcoming.

...

Former Perry speechwriter Eric Bearse is the chief spokesman for the event ... [and] said neither Fischer's writings nor any controversy surrounding the group were relevant to the event, whose mission is to get Americans to pray for God's help at a time of overwhelming economic and social challenges. Bearse said people of all faiths are invited to attend.

But Wildmon, AFA's president, stressed the Christian nature of the event and said people of other religions were "free to have their own events." He insisted his group did not hate anyone, but he said that people who do not embrace Christianity were headed for eternal damnation.

"It's not just Jews or Muslims," Wildmon said. "It's anybody that rejects the free gift of salvation through Christ. The Bible teaches there's heaven and hell. Those who believe go to heaven. Those who don't go to hell."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum has announced he is running for president and hopes to pick up Huckabee supporters.
  • Speaking of Huckabee, Michele Bachmann has tapped his former campaign director to be a part of her campaign.
  • Donald Trump just won't go away.
  • Liberty Counsel is defending "personhood" efforts in court.
  • Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is in for Rick Perry's prayer rally, but Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is not.
  • Finally, David Keene's ex-wife has pled guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the American Conservative Union.
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