Maine

Mike Heath Files To Run for Governor

It was just a few weeks ago that we were noting that Mike Heath, formerly of the Maine Family Policy Council, had suddenly reappeared on the scene as the head of the American Family Association's affiliate in Maine.

During the fight over marriage in Maine, Heath had repeatedly embarrassed the right-wing effort by claiming that gay marriage leads to things like graffiti, vandalism, and crop failure and eventually found himself cast aside by the movement entirely.  As a result, he resigned his position as the head of the Maine Family Policy Council, announcing that it was time for him to do something else with his life and declaring that he was going to get involved in the manufacture and distribution of solar cookers in Africa.

Then he disappeared for several month, only to reemerge in March, leading the state's AFA affiliate.

And now, via Pam's House Blend, we see that Heath has even bigger plans

Michael Heath, former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, has registered with the state ethics commission as a gubernatorial candidate.

Heath, a resident of China, is listed as an unenrolled candidate, which means he has until June 1 to get at least 4,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Heath recently announced the formation of a group called the American Family Association of Maine. At the time, he said he was "re-entering public life to continue the fight against the gay-rights lobby."

Heath spent 15 years working for the Christian Civic League, and became its executive director in 1994. He twice led people's veto efforts to overturn gay-rights laws.

Heath was not a visible part of last year's fight over same-sex marriage, which ended with voters repealing a state law legalizing it. He announced his resignation in September from the civic league, which is now called the Maine Family Policy Council.

There are now 24 people running for governor. Of those, 12 are Democrats or Republicans who will compete in the June 8 primary for the right to represent their parties on the November ballot. For the other 12, June 1 is the deadline to determine who among them will qualify to compete in November.

Maine's Mike Heath Returns As Head of a New AFA Affiliate

Last year, during the battle over marriage equality in Maine, Mike Heath of the Maine Family Policy Council was busy embarrassing the right-wing effort by claiming that gay marriage leads to things like graffiti, vandalism, and crop failure.

Heath soon found himself cast aside by the movement and, seeing the writing on the wall, resigned his position as the head of the Maine Family Policy Council, announcing that it was time for him to do something else with his life and that he was going to get involved in the manufacture and distribution of solar cookers in Africa.

When, just two months later, Heath showed up on Peter LaBarbera's "Americans for Truth" website to declare that "Homosexuality is a sickness. It’s a sin. We need to stop putting up with it," it was pretty clear that Heath had no real intention of moving on from his professional anti-gay activism ... which is why Jeremy Hooper's discovery that Heath has now launched an American Family Association affiliate in Maine comes as no surprise:

In February of 2010, Mike Heath received approval from the American Family Association in Tupelo, Mississippi to create their affiliate here in Maine. Heath is no stranger to the people of Maine. As Maine's most well-known advocate for family values, Heath unapologetically defends Christianity and Western Civilization. He is deeply concerned with the corrosive effects of the sexual revolution on Maine culture. His signature issue is, and will be for some time, so-called "gay rights." The people of Maine are renowned for choosing common sense over political correctness. They can easily understand why AFA of Maine advocates removing the phrase "sexual orientation" from Maine's laws and regulations. "Sexual orientation" is a term which may have limited value in personal therapy, but the phrase only causes confusion when applied to law and politics. Heath is adamant that sex outside of marriage is immoral and shameful. Society upholds the institution of marriage to protect men, women, and children. Sexual activity is only one small part of marriage; and homosexuality does violence to that institution. AFA of Maine welcomes support from everyone who wants to take a stand for decency, morality, marriage, and the family. Individuals and organizations interested in working with us should email msheath04358@gmail.com. 

Since it is impossible for anyone to ever be too extreme for the AFA, adding Heath to their roster seems like a perfect match.

Worst. Boycott. Ever.

Shortly after voters in Maine repealed a law that granting marriage equality rights to gays and lesbians, Larry Grard, a reporter from The Morning Sentinel in Waterville, Maine fired off an email to the Human Rights Campaign declaring "you hateful people have been spreading nothing but vitriol since this campaign began. Good riddance!"

Shortly thereafter Grard lost his job with the paper and he became, for a short while, a right-wing cause célèbre, at least until everyone moved on to other issues.  Everyone, that is, except Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission who has continued to flog the issue for months, recently culminating in a demand that Grard be reinstated in his job and that local businesses stop advertising in any outlet owned by the paper's parent company, MaineToday Media, until some sort of acceptable settlement was reached.

Not surprisingly, everyone in Maine pretty much ignore Cass's threat and so now he has kicked it up a notch and announced a wholesale boycott against a long list of local companies which continue to advertise with the "anti-marriage and anti-Christian" MaineToday Media: 

In our letter to their advertisers we specifically asked that they stop advertising in any MaineToday Media publication until this matter with Larry is equitably resolved. We informed them that our plan was to communicate with people across the state of Maine who supported the “Yes on 1” campaign and urge them not to patronize businesses that advertise in MaineToday Media publications.

In addition, we followed up the letter with a phone call to the advertisers to give them another opportunity to be taken off of the boycott list by pledging not to advertise. As of now, CADC is calling for a boycott of thirty-three businesses who have decided to continue to advertise with MaineToday. More may be added.

With your active support of this boycott we are hoping that soon MaineToday Media would feel the error of their way and immediately make it right with Larry. We are determined to get justice for Larry who stood with the majority of the citizens of Maine to defend marriage. We can’t sit back and allow a Christian to be fired simply for standing up for biblical values.

Please, help us fight for justice for Larry. It might be your job next!

The CADC is a tiny, fringe right-wing group headquartered in Vista, CA which has almost no money and even less influence or reach. 

But apparently Cass thinks that he's got enough clout to get residents on the other side of the country in Maine to boycott dozens of local establishments like Rebecca's Place in Augusta and Fred's Coffee in Oakland and Damon's Quick Stop in Skowhegan and Andre’s Barrels & Buckets in Starks.

Best of luck with that.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Sen. Scott Brown tries to raise money by claiming that Rachel Maddow is going to run against him.
  • Maine's Catholic Diocese has de-funded a local anti-poverty group for opposing efforts to overturn the state's marriage equality law.
  • Of course Orly Taitz has filed suit against health care reform.
  • You know, if you are going to express "deep regret" for your actions, it usually means more if you don't then turn around and try to raise money off of it.
  • Also, if you are going to accuse someone of more or less accepting a bribe, get your facts straight first.
  • Finally, Rep. Bart Stupak feels the love.

FRC's Faith & Family Summit Free to All Comers

Back in December, the Family Research Council announced that it would be holding a Faith & Family Summit in Washington, DC on April 29 - May 1, 2010. 

And then that was all we heard about it, until today when FRC announced a list of participants ... and that fact that the organization is putting everyone up for free

I hope you are considering joining FRC for our Faith & Family Summit this April 29-May 1, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Now more than ever, we need to join together and uplift each other to stay engaged and continue to stand for faith, family and freedom. Fellowshipping with fellow Christians at our Faith & Family Summit, you will be encouraged, even in this challenging season for our nation.

Event Update: Dr. Ergun Caner has been confirmed as a speaker. The son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Dr. Caner is President of Liberty Theological Seminary and his energized remarks will give you a unique perspective on the threat of radical Islam.

FRC Board Member and Princeton University Professor Robbie George will also join us to discuss the Manhattan Declaration, a call to Christians to adhere firmly to the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty.

Other confirmed speakers include:

* Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
* Gary Bauer, President, American Values
* Pastor Bob Emrich, Leader in Maine marriage victory
* Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
* Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman, House Republican Conference
* John H. Sununu, Former NH Governor and White House Chief of Staff
* Rick Santorum, Former US Senator and FRC Action Board Member

Time is running short. We need to know by Friday, April 1 if you plan to attend, due to a hotel deadline for room reservations.

I encourage you to contact Sara Kontz at 800-225-4008 or sek@frc.org now to reserve your place. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited.

FRC will provide complimentary accommodations at the Hyatt on April 29 and 30 and meals during the Summit; you need only to cover transportation costs to and from Washington, D.C. This invitation is non-transferable.

Religious Right Now Exporting Its Anti-Marriage Equality Abroad

By now, we are all used to out-of-state Religious Right groups descending on places like Maine, Washington, DC, and elsewhere in order to set up shop in their nonstop effort to fight marriage equality ... but I have to admit that I never expected them to start exporting their efforts abroad.

But here they are, setting their sights on now fighting marriage equality in Mexico:

In response to a move to institute same-sex marriage in the Federal District which includes Mexico City (on March 4), more than 120 pro-family/pro-life leaders from 35 countries have signed the "World Congress of Families Leadership Petition To Save Marriage In Mexico City."

The Petition notes that "Mexico's Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman." Further, that all social ills begin with the decline of the family. Also "marriage substitutes ... undermine marriage and the family." The Petition observes that "children need both a mother and a father" and that those raised by two men or two women are "psychologically and socially disadvantaged."

The Petition calls on the government of Mexico City to refrain from implementing same-sex marriage and demands that the issue be decided at the national level, "with due regard to the nation's religious traditions, the wishes of the Mexican people and the needs of children and families, and consistent with Mexico's Constitution." Click here (www.worldcongress.org/special/wcf.mexpetsig.1002.pdf) to access the full Petition along with a list of signers.

U.S. signers (signing as individuals) include: Gary Bauer (American Values), Allan Carlson (World Congress of Families), Tom DeLay (former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives), Joseph Meaney (Human Life International), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Michele Velasco (Priests for Life), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage), Dr. Paige Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary),Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family) and Dr. Jerry Newcombe (Coral Ridge Ministries).

Right Wing Groups Heading to Rhode Island

The Family Research Council announces a day long summit is being held in Rhode Island at the end of the month featuring a variety of right-wing groups:

Don't miss this valuable opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge family, life and marriage issues affecting Rhode Island and all New England! Experts from the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island, Alliance Defense Fund, and Family Policy Councils from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut will discuss the latest state legislative trends affecting you and your family. Don't miss this opportunity to get informed as to how you can make a critical difference in your community!

Does Matt Barber Speak For Liberty Counsel?

I have to say that it comes as absolutely no surprise that the very first Religious Right activist to call for Judge Vaughan Walker's removal from the Proposition 8 trial is the militantly anti-gay Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel:

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, released the following statement today on news that the San Francisco Chronicle has “outed” 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Vaughn Walker as an active practitioner of the homosexual lifestyle.

Judge Walker has presided over California’s Proposition 8 case filed by homosexual extremists who seek to manufacture a constitutional “right” to so-called “same-sex marriage:”

“The revelation that Judge Walker apparently chooses to engage in homosexual conduct, if true, would explain much of his bizarre behavior throughout this trial,” said Barber.

...

“Any decision favoring plaintiffs in this case will be permanently marred and universally viewed as stemming from Judge Walker’s personal biases and alleged lifestyle choices.

"For these reasons, and in the interest of justice, Judge Walker should do the honorable thing and immediately recuse himself.”

I'd actually be interested to know if this is an official Liberty Counsel position or if this is just Barber's position, since the press release doesn't appear anywhere on the Liberty Counsel website and instead was posted on Catholic Online.

In fact, Barber regularly issues press releases which he attributes to Liberty Counsel via Catholic Online, like this one:

“While citing the specter of ‘equal protection,’ the Iowa Supreme Court today has unanimously joined a leftist gaggle of ideologically driven judges in California, Massachusetts and Connecticut, creating, from thin air, a phantom ‘right’ to the ridiculous, oxymoronic and postmodern ‘gay’ marriage counterfeit.

And this one:

“The good news is that even in one of the most liberal States in the Union, Maine, the people have once again rejected the ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of ‘same sex marriage.’ The momentum has again shifted – hopefully for good this time – in favor of protecting legitimate marriage.

"A counterfeit is a counterfeit. An orange is an orange no matter how much you want it to be a turnip. This isn’t about ‘marriage.’ It’s about hurting and broken people desperately seeking affirmation of an objectively deviant lifestyle. One that, even in their heart of hearts, they know to be a dead end. As for the militant ‘No on 1’ homosexual activists? I’m reminded of spoiled children dressing up and playing house, refusing to come in when mom calls for dinner".

And various others.

Are these Matt Barber's personal opinions or are they official Liberty Counsel positions?  If they are the former, then why are they always attributed to Liberty Counsel?  And if they are the latter, why are they never posted on the Liberty Counsel website? 

It's almost as if Liberty Counsel and Barber are trying to have it both ways in allowing Barber to regularly issue offensively anti-gay statements on the organization's behalf while allowing the organization to avoid taking any responsibility for his vehemently anti-gay bigotry. 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • TPM: Alleged Phone Tamperer O'Keefe To Go On Hannity Monday Night.
  • Joe.My.God: Maine Moving Forward With NOM Campaign Ethics Investigation.
  • RH Reality Check: 'Personhood' Sputtering in Colorado, Says Denver March for Life.
  • Washington Monthly: Hatch Threatens "War."
  • Finally, Pam's House Blend: Republican U.S. Rep Mike Pence: marriage equality will result in societal collapse.

Cass: "Radical Homosexual ... Will Destroy Anyone That Comes Between Them and Their Agenda"

The newly mustache-less Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has taken up the case of Larry Grard, who claims he lost his job due to anti-Christian bigotry (though that is disputed by his former employer,) and immediately needs $5,000 to launch a campaign to get Grard his job back, according to a recent CADC email alert:

Radical homosexual activists are not playing games. They will destroy anyone that comes between them and their agenda. But the time has come for Christians to fight back and support those who courageously take a stand for righteousness.

Help us defend Christians like Larry from the attacks of radical homosexual activists. Click below to donate!

Please help me fight and win this battle. Maine Today must reinstate Larry and Lisa. We must defend Larry's right to free speech and his right to express his religious point of view. It is vital that we not neglect our wounded in the battle for the soul of America.

Help CADC stand up for Larry. I need at least $5,000.00 by February 15th to cover all the expenses of this campaign. Can you please help?

Imagine what it would be like to have your career unjustly destroyed at age 59 after 19 years of hard work for simply defending God's institution of marriage. Wouldn't you want someone to help fight to get your job back?

Let's be there for Larry and his family! Please send you best gift today!

We must expose the unfruitful deeds of wickedness! (Eph. 5:11)

Here's how:

First, we need to let Maine Today know that Christians will not stand by while our brother and sister are unjustly defamed, discriminated against, and persecuted for merely expressing their support of biblical family values.

We will demand that the newspaper re-instate Larry and his wife and reimburse them for all their unpaid wages. If they will not, I will encourage other pro-family leaders to join me in this stand for Larry. It's the least we can do for someone who stood up for what's right.

In addition, if Maine Today refuses to do the right thing, we will contact their advertisers. We will let them know that we intend to work with local churches to organize a boycott against any business that continues to support Maine Today with their advertising dollars (a strategy we have used successfully in other communities).

Maine Today caved into pressure from homosexual activists and fired Larry and Lisa. Now it's time for them to correct their persecution of this couple. If they refuse, we will make sure they don't get rewarded with adverting from local businesses. I assure you ... that will get their attention.

It's time to draw a line in the sand. We cannot allow radical homosexual activists to continue to destroy people who stand against their ungodly agenda. If we don't stop them now, it won't be long before no one will be able to resist them.

ERLC Files Bible-Heavy Prop. 8 Brief

Not surprisingly, several Religious Right groups have filed briefs in the Proposition 8 lawsuit making the same basic arguments against marriage equality that they always make:  marriage is for procreation; bans on gay marriage are not discriminatory because men and women are still free to marry those of the opposite sex, etc...

The Family Research Council and the Thomas Moore Law Society filed a brief (PDF) that makes all of these claims and more, and also released a statement likening this case to Roe v. Wade, warning that a court decision will "only make the issue more volitile": 

"After major setbacks in Maine, New York, and New Jersey, advocates for same-sex 'marriage' are turning to their old standby: the courts. Homosexuals have failed at the ballot box, where the people have made their commitment to traditional marriage clear time after time. So now, proponents of same sex 'marriage' are attempting to sue their way to legitimacy in the courts of America.

"The marriage laws of all fifty states would be endangered should this lawsuit succeed. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. As such, it's time for the far Left to stop asking judges to redefine our most fundamental social institution.

"The plaintiffs are really asking for a wholesale recasting and redefinition of this vital human institution that has been the foundation of civilization's progress for millennia.

Whereas the FRC brief focused primarily on legal issues and filled with legal citations, the same cannot be said for the brief [PDF] filed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which consists primarily of Biblical citations as it attempts to make the case that one-man, one-woman marriage is the only arrangement acceptable to God: 

Our love for God and our love for all people, not atavistic hatred of difference, motivates our opposition to all forms of non-marital sexual union, including between persons of the same sex. We believe that any sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is contrary to the will of God because God has designed marriage as the only appropriate context in which sexual relations should occur. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25.

Engaging in sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage demeans the dignity of the individual, ignores God's full plan for marriage, and interferes with a person's relationship with God. Sexual activity within God's design is good. Hebrews 13:4. When one engages in sexual activity outside of God's design, that person demeans his or her dignity as God's creation in His image. Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:18.

The Baptist Faith and Message affirms that marriage provides for a man and a woman "the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race." Article XVIII, "The Family." Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverb 22:6; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21. Any sexual activity in which all of these fundamental purposes are not represented ignores God's design for marriage.

Our beliefs about marriage and human sexuality must also be understood in the context of our love for all people. Matthew 22:39. There is no authority in Biblical teachings for hatred of any people including those who identify as gay or lesbian. Of course, sinful behavior cannot be approved or promoted, but we believe that all people are sinners. Romans 3:23. There are many forms of sin, including dishonesty, gossip, lust, envy, jealousy, love of money, and all sexual impurity (sexual relations outside the marital union of a husband and wife). We invite all sinners (or in other words all people) to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Southern Baptists must, and do, pray that all people, including those who experience same-sex attraction, come to know and love Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. We aspire to follow the example of Jesus Christ who loves all people and who extends the possibility of forgiveness and freedom from sin to all who seek Him.

Right Wing Leftovers

Ropert P. George: The Religious Right's Resident Intellectual

The New York Times profiles Princeton professor, National Organization for Marriage Chairman, and American Principles Project founder Robert P. George and his role as the intellect behind the Manhattan Declaration and much of the Religious Right's agenda:

FOR 20 YEARS, George has operated largely out of public view at the intersection of academia, religion and politics. In the past 12 months, however, he has stepped into a more prominent role. With the death of the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Lutheran minister turned Roman Catholic priest who helped bring evangelicals and Catholics together into a political movement, George has assumed his mantle as the reigning brain of the Christian right. And he is in many ways the public face of the conservative side in the most urgent culture-war battle of the day. The National Organization for Marriage, the advocacy group fighting same-sex marriage in Albany and Trenton, Maine and California, has made him its chairman. Before the 2004 election, he helped a coalition of Christian conservative groups write their proposed amendment to the federal Constitution defining marriage as heterosexual. More than any other scholar, George has staked his reputation on the claim that same-sex marriage violates not only tradition but also human reason.

...

Last spring, George was invited to address an audience that included many bishops at a conference in Washington. He told them with typical bluntness that they should stop talking so much about the many policy issues they have taken up in the name of social justice. They should concentrate their authority on “the moral social” issues like abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and same-sex marriage, where, he argued, the natural law and Gospel principles were clear. To be sure, he said, he had no objections to bishops' “making utter nuisances of themselves” about poverty and injustice, like the Old Testament prophets, as long as they did not advocate specific remedies. They should stop lobbying for detailed economic policies like progressive tax rates, higher minimum wage and, presumably, the expansion of health care — “matters of public policy upon which Gospel principles by themselves do not resolve differences of opinion among reasonable and well-informed people of good will,” as George put it.

...

George argues that reason alone shows that heterosexual sodomy and homosexual sex are morally wrong, just as the Catholic Church, classical philosophers and other religious traditions have historically taught. Unlike marital union in his special sense, he contends, such acts treat the body as an instrument of the mind’s pleasure. As both a practical and a philosophical matter, he argues, the law should not necessarily police such things. But the need for the state to establish a proper definition of marriage is a different matter, he says, because the law has always regulated it in the interest of parenthood and community. “Marriage in principle is a public institution,” he said. “I don’t think it can be like bar mitzvahs or baptisms or the Elks Club.”

For some reason, the profile doesn't bother to mention Thomas Peters, Communications Director of Robert P. George's "American Principles Project," recently traveled to Poland to participate in a conference hosted by an organization that was founded by a vicious anti-Semite.

Lafferty: Islam Is Not a Religion and Nonbelievers Hate Poor Children

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about Religious Right groups getting all worked up about an ad campaign being run by the American Humanist Association proclaiming "No God? No problem.  Be good for goodness' sake."

Last night Alan Colmes had the AHA's David Niose on the program to debate Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition and it went pretty much as you would expect.

Lafferty's primary point was that if the AHA, and nonbelievers in general, want others to think they are good people, they shouldn't be running ad campaigns but instead take that money and give it to the poor, or military families, or people who are out of work.  In this economy, Lafferty asserted, it was just wasteful for groups like AHA to spend money on an ad campaign.  Of course, over the last few months, right-wing groups have spent millions of dollars fighting marriage equality in Maine, New Jersey, and New York instead of donating it to poor children ... but apparently that is different.

Lafferty also accused the AHA of targeting Christians by running the ads during the Holiday season and wanted to know why they weren't targeting Islam, which she asserted "was not a religion" but actually a "geo-political movement":

Washington Post Publishes Puff Piece On Harry Jackson

As everyone knows, Bishop Harry Jackson has been leading the fight against marriage equality in Washington DC and regularly writing about it in his columns, like this one from earlier in the week saying that Jesus would have been giving money to his efforts:

Two weeks ago, just after the Maine’s successful reversal of the state legislature’s decision to sanction same-sex marriage, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer asked me a profound question: “Would Jesus have spent $550,000 to oppose same-sex marriage?”

The question was exactly what many secular parties had been asking in Portland, Maine, where she was speaking to me by satellite. My answer was that Jesus would have given the money to oppose same-sex marriage. My reasoning was simple: Jesus would have upheld his own teaching; refusing to be a loving, permanent enabler of a misguided local government ... [T]he biblical Jesus, who confronted both the political and religious hypocrites of his day, would never let himself be blackmailed into becoming a permanent agent of any corrupt government.”

So imagine our surprise when we saw today's Washington Post and found this puff piece on Jackson and his fight against equality:

"I just feel like I'm on a mission," he says. "It's not a mission of hate. It's a mission to protect godly boundaries."

Using his Pentecostal congregation, Hope Christian Church, as a springboard, he has founded the High Impact Leadership Coalition, which comprises ministers who plow into national moral dilemmas. In addition to same-sex marriage, the coalition focuses on abortion, two hot-button issues that cause liberals and conservatives to cross swords.

His admirers have multiplied, and so have his critics. More than once, police have stopped by his Southeast Washington apartment to check on his safety.

His mother, Essie, calls her son's crusade one of "holy boldness."

Jackson calls it stopping the erosion of the black family.

He's not a televangelist, but he has a televangelist's following.

The article contains a few "critics say" passages, but doesn't bother to quote any of his actual critics, nor does it even mention his deep ties to the Religious Right or the fact that Jackson is a carpetbagger who moved into the District simply in order to lend credibility to his efforts to prevent marriage equality. 

If the Post was interested in finding critics of Jackson's efforts, there are plenty available, including this organization. Heck, we even wrote an entire report about him entitled "Point Man for the Wedge Strategy: Harry Jackson is the face of the Religious Right’s outreach to African American Christians."

The Washington Post seems to have a real soft spot for those who are leading the right-wing effort to fight marriage equality considering that in the last few month the paper has produced its second puff piece on these leaders, following on the heels of the piece the paper ran on Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage back in August.

DeMint: Gov't Can't Redefine Marriage Because it's a Religious Institution

Sen. Jim DeMint appeared on Janet Porter's radio program yesterday where, in response to a caller's request for a comment from him on the issue of marriage equality in Wisconsin, he stated that the government has no power to change the definition of marriage because it is strictly a religious institution:

Anytime the people get a chance to vote on it, even if it is in California or Maine, they want to maintain traditional marriage because people realize how foundational it is to our country, our freedoms, our prosperity and the government has no business redefining marriage.  It's a religious institution.  I think we need to make a constitutional case of it. The federal government and our courts have no business redefining marriage and even at the state level, the courts have no business  telling us what marriage means. So we need to fight this, because this is not about equal rights. This is about the government legitimizing and promoting behavior that culturally we have always considered wrong.  And this is not something that we should give up on.

If marriage is strictly a "religious institution," then what business do governments have in creating policies designed to encourage marriage or in passing constitutional amendments denying marriage equality or in refusing to recognize those marriages conducted by religious groups that do recognize marriage equality?

In fact, what business does the government have at all in protecting "traditional marriage" if that concept is purely a "religious institution"?  Should the government get involved in protecting "traditional baptism" or "traditional communion" as well? 

And where exactly does DeMint plan on fighting this by making a "constitutional case of it"?  In the courts?  Via a constitutional amendment? Wouldn't that require involving the "government," which DeMint says has no business interfering with this religious institution in the first place?

Calling On God To Stop Healthcare Reform

Once again Religious Right leaders are linking up with Lou Engle and The Call for prayer and fasting, this time in an effort to stop healthcare reform. 

Tony Perkins, Mat Staver and others are scheduled to participate in another Engle-led prayer vigil/conference call tonight seeking God's intervention in order to stop this "unreighteous legislation":

This crisis demands divine intervention. We must pray and fast. Esther’s fast gave a king a sleepless night and the Persian death decree was changed in three days. People across America fasted in some measure for twenty-one (21) days for the vote in Maine. Was God involved in the victory in Maine? With all our hearts we believe the answer is yes. Some reporters in Maine were saying in the last moments that same-sex marriage was upheld, but a “sudden change” took place. If we pray, God could give wavering pro-life Democrats and Republicans a sleepless night or a dream and turn their hearts for LIFE.

The Bible shouts to us across the ages “we have not because we ask not”. Therefore, on November 6th, we are calling a Friday “Night of Petition” prior to the potential vote on Saturday November 7th. Join Mat Staver, Ron Luce, Tony Perkins, Lou Engle, and other key leaders at 8:00pm EST with thousands of concerned believing citizens for a national prayer conference call to cry out to God for mercy and ask for the restraining of this unrighteous legislation.

Conference Call Dial in number:

218-486-1400

Participant Pass code:
67107#

Yes on 1's Prodigal Son Returns

Back in September, Mike Heath of the Maine Family Policy Council suddenly announced that he was leaving the organization, right in the middle of the fight over marriage equality in the state.

Heath had been finding himself being pushed aside in the Religious Right's activism and mobilization efforts, presumably because of the rabidly anti-gay insanity he'd been spreading, as the Yes on 1 side worked to portray itself as tolerant and mainstream.

Heath then all but disappeared from the scene ... but now that Yes on 1 has been victorious in Maine, Tip-Q points out that he has popped up on Peter LaBarbera's Americans for Truth website declaring that gays are sick and calling for reinstatement of Maine's anti-sodomy laws:

Homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with marriage. Homosexuality is a sickness. It’s a sin.

We need to stop putting up with it. There is nothing civil about hiding the truth from those we love. And the truth about sex outside of marriage is that it hurts, it’s bad for us. We need to avoid it.

We need to choose life over sex. Sex is for life … it creates life. Sex and life must be connected in our thinking. We come together sexually in the context of marriage to celebrate creation, the creation of a unique individual human life. It is perilous to disconnect sex from creation. It is even more perilous to pretend that pleasurable sex should be associated with acts unspeakable.

In the interest of protecting and affirming all of Maine’s people, especially our children and grandchildren, we must repeal domestic partnership laws that provide benefits on the basis of homosexuality, we must de-fund the so-called “civil rights teams” [pro-homosexual student groups] and remove “sexual orientation and gender identity” from the Maine Human Rights Act and the Maine Civil Rights Act. It would also be prudent to reinstate Maine’s anti-sodomy law that was quietly removed from our criminal code in the late 1970s.

Right Wing Leftovers

Gallagher: The People Of Maine Know A Chicken Is Not a Duck

Maggie Gallagher says that those who fought for marriage equality in Maine wasted their time and money because the voters in the state were smart enough to know that it is gays who are the real bigots and haters:

The $4 million spent to pass gay marriage in Maine was wasted. Even Americans in liberal states do not believe that two guys pledged to a gay union are a marriage. Politicians can pass a bill saying a chicken is a duck and that doesn't make it true. Truth matters.

Americans have a great deal of goodwill toward gay people as friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. Most of us do not want to hurt them or hate them or interfere with anyone's legitimate rights to live as they choose. But we do not believe gay marriage is a civil right; we think it is a civil wrong. And we do not appreciate the increasingly intense efforts to punish people who disagree with gay marriage as if we were racists, bigots, discriminators or haters.

Case in point: Don Mendell, a school guidance counselor at Nokomis Regional High School in Maine, now faces ethics complaints for his decision to appear in a TV ad for the Yes on One campaign in the closing days of the contest. If substantiated, the ethics complaint could lead the government to yank his license as a social worker and, therefore, threaten his livelihood. What kind of movement spurs people to act like this? Meanwhile, a teacher of the year who campaigned for gay marriage faces no such threat to her livelihood. Is gay marriage really about love and tolerance for all?

The people of Maine are certainly entitled to wonder.

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