Texas

The Most Terrifying Thing You Will Read All Day

The Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land explains the key differences between George W. Bush and Rick Perry - basically, Perry is Bush without the education, compassion, intellect, or fancy East Coast-upbringing:

[The] "Don't Mess with Texas" mindset is embraced by both men, but Perry, the Aggie, had neither Bush's parents nor Yale or Harvard to tone it down.

It is clear to those who know former President George W. Bush that he has great respect and affection for the average man and tremendous appreciation for those who have risen through the meritocracy from humble beginnings. However, as one of those "up from the ranks" individuals, I don't believe George W. Bush or any such son of privilege can as fully identify with the average family that lives from paycheck to paycheck as Perry can. Bush loves and appreciates them, Perry is them.

Their different backgrounds make them different men. Perry is less subtle. While both are men of genuine faith, Perry (life-long evangelical) is going to be more overtly Christian in his faith statements than the former president, who became a Methodist but was raised by New England Episcopalians. Perry is more conservative than Bush. He would be the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge both fiscally and in foreign policy. He would be less interventionist in the latter and far more frugal than "compassionate" in the former. Perry also has a well-deserved reputation in Texas as being a less-forgiving political opponent than Bush. If you cross Perry, he will get even.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the appeal of this candidate's conservative populism. Perry has never lost an election and while he would be offended if you called him an intellectual, Perry is far more shrewd than people assume.

So if your problem with George W. Bush was that he just wasn't "overtly Christian" enough and was too well-educated, well-bred, and compassionate ... then Rick Perry is your man.

Rick Perry, Supernatural Events, and Freedom in Texas

Yesterday, Rick Perry addressed Liberty University as part of his push to garner the support of the Religious Right. After The Response prayer rally, it was clear that Perry’s overt religiosity would be a central theme while promoting his candidacy to the GOP’s conservative base. We thought it would be timely to revisit Perry’s appearance on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s flagship show Praise The Lord in February of last year.

Perry described how “all through life there have been these supernatural events” of God sending him signals, providing one example where God sent a “real clear message” to him by using rain to stop him from leaving Texas. “You go through my life and there have been so many of those events that occurred and I don’t get confused, it wasn’t coincidence,” Perry explained, “it was God’s hands on my life, guiding me in the ways He wanted me to be, and I truly believe He has me here at a time such as this”:

Later in the program, Perry discussed his steadfast opposition to abortion rights. Perry, who while governor of Texas oversaw the execution of 234 men and women, said he was befuddled about how anyone cannot be pro-life: “How do you get up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror if you can't be for life?” He even claimed that people are moving to Texas because of his state’s restrictions on abortion-rights, leaving “neighborhoods and communities where they don’t recognize and respect life.”

You gotta be for life, I mean how do you get up every morning and look yourself in the mirror if you can’t be for life? I mean to me that’s the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. That’s what this country was based on. And when that conception occurs, that’s life. And defending it, and protecting it, and standing up for it, is what we all ought to be about. And I’m glad I live in a state where we do that. Parental consent, parental notification, we’ve probably made Texas the most pro-life state in the nation. A lot of people are moving to Texas today, I think somebody says somebody said well over a thousand, our rolls if you will grow by more than a thousand a day in the state, and I gotta think there’s some people coming here because they’re looking around and they’re seeing some neighborhoods and communities where they don’t recognize and respect life. And they go, you know what? That’s about freedom. When you think about it, life is really about freedom. And I want to come to a place where I can be as free as I can be, and in America today, that’s Texas.

Barton's Show Dropped By Christian Radio Station Over Ties To Glenn Beck

Wow, things do not seem to be going very well for David Barton at the moment.  First he's reduced to filing lawsuits against Texas Board of Education candidates and a blogger and now comes news, via Warren Throckmorton, that Barton's radio show has been dropped due to his on-going defense of Glenn Beck:

The Moody Broadcast Network station in East Texas, KBJS-FM canceled David Barton’s Wallbuilders Live radio program during the show yesterday while Barton was discussing Glenn Beck’s religious beliefs. Randy Featherstone, KBJS manager, said the show was dropped due to Barton’s failure to distinguish between Mormon theology and Christianity.

“When David Barton said it doesn’t matter whether you are a Mormon or a Baptist or a Methodist, we felt we had to do something,” Featherstone explained.

On the Tuesday program, Barton played audio of Glenn Beck saying that “the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer.” Then Barton said he believed that Beck was a Christian based on his statement of belief and “his fruits,” meaning his good deeds. Based on Beck’s statements, Barton then asked co-host Rick Green, “Glenn says he’s Mormon. Ok, that’s fine. Based on what you heard, if you heard a Baptist say that or if you heard a Methodist say that…what would you say?” After Green answered that Beck’s testimony indicated a real conversion, Barton responded, “Why is it not a real conversion because of the label he wears?”

Throughout the program, Barton dismissed Beck’s Mormonism, saying at one point, “I don’t care what label Beck wears. I don’t care what Glenn thinks Mormon means.” Barton also asserted that Beck uses the same Bible, but added, “Now he may use the Book of Mormon, we never talked about the Book of Mormon.”

Featherstone added that the station received many calls during the broadcast with callers who objected to Barton’s views. All but two callers supported the decision of the station to drop the show.

Some callers also complained that Barton misuses history and “takes facts out of context” to create a false impression about the Constitution and founding of the nation, according to Featherstone.

Featherstone said the station did not take the action lightly, saying “I like a lot of what Barton has to say, but we don’t want to confuse listeners into thinking that Mormon doctrine and Christianity are the same.”

As Throckmorton notes, Barton dedicated most of yesterday's program to pushing back against criticism from people like Brannon Howse that Barton has been working with Beck to promote the latter's spiritual endeavors despite the fact that Beck is a Mormon. 

Barton has long insisted that even though Beck calls himself a Mormon, he is really a Christian and he even posted a long defense of this on his Facebook page yesterday asserting that regardless of what label Beck wears, he is a Christian in his heart.

But apparently the folks running KBJS aren't buying that defense and decided to stop carrying Barton's daily radio program.

Financial Scandal Rocks Priests For Life

Frank Pavone, the head of the prominent anti-choice group Priests for Life, has been suspended from his position because of concerns over financial improprieties. Pavone is a priest in the Roman Catholic diocese of Amarillo, Texas, but has used his position in Priests for Life to be a full-time political activist. He garnered national attention during the Terri Schiavo case when he called her husband Michael “a murderer.” He gained more notoriety after bringing in Alveda King to Priests for Life, when he launched “Freedom Rides” in the South in an attempt to connect abortion rights opponents to the Civil Rights Movement. Pavone increased his standing by working with Republican leaders including John McCain and Sam Brownback. Catholics for Choice has consistently warned about financial inefficiencies in Pavone’s organization and “PFL’s electoral campaign-style selling of Pavone as antichoice personality.”

The Amarillo Globe-News reports:

Amarillo’s Roman Catholic bishop ordered a nationally known anti-abortion leader back to his diocese starting Tuesday, citing concerns about a “potential financial scandal” over the priest’s management of millions of dollars in donations.

The move against the Rev. Frank Pavone, announced in a fiery letter from Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to his fellow bishops across the country, ignited a clash reaching all the way to Rome. Pavone said he’d comply with the suspension of his public ministry outside Amarillo, but he’d already appealed to the Vatican.

Priests for Life, Pavone’s Staten Island, N.Y.-based charity, “has become a business that is quite lucrative, which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight,” Zurek wrote in his Sept. 9 letter. Pavone’s fame, Zurek added, “has inflated his ego.”



The steady flow of donations has been accompanied by growing worries over how the money is used, according to Zurek’s letter.

“The financial questions and concerns have persisted with no clear and adequate answers since the time when Father Pavone was under two previous bishop ordinaries,” Zurek wrote.

Pavone called Zurek’s assertions that he has refused to provide financial documentation “completely false.”

Pavone said in a statement:

This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there.

I am very perplexed by this demand. Despite that, because I am a priest of the diocese of Amarillo, I will be obedient and report there on the appointed date, putting the other commitments that are on my calendar on hold until I get more clarity as to what the bishop wants and for how long. Meanwhile, I continue to retain all my priestly faculties and continue to be a priest in “good standing” in the Church. The bishop does not dispute this fact. Rather, he has said that he thinks I am giving too much priority to my pro-life work, and that this makes me disobedient to him. He also has claimed that I haven’t given him enough financial information.



Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.

David Barton Files Defamation Suits Against Three

Yesterday David Barton dedicated his "Wallbuilders Live" rado program yesterday to addressing various criticisms he has been received, among them allegations that he has spoken at events hosted by racist and anti-Semitic groups.

As we noted in our post, Barton stated that he had been forced to file defamation lawsuits to protect his reputation. And, according to The Weatherford Democrat, that is exactly what he has done:

David Barton of Aledo-based WallBuilders has filed a libel and defamation law suit against an Internet writer and two former Texas State Board of Education candidates.

Barton is alleging public policy opponents have falsely painted him as a white supremacist sympathizer and liar.

The suit unspecified damages from the three defendants for allegedly exposing Barton and WallBuilders to “public hatred, contempt, ridicule, financial injury and impeaching [Barton’s] honesty, integrity and virtue.”

The suit alleges Barton has been subjected to a loss of business because of the false statements.

The article reports that Barton has filed suit against two Democratic Texas State Board of Education candidates over YouTube video that asserted that Barton was "known for speaking at white supremacist rallies" and an Examiner.com writer who asserted that Barton is "an admitted liar."

Ahn Equates Marriage Equality With Racist Laws

During today’s show Holy Spirit Today, Che Ahn said that even if same-sex marriage became legal in the United States it will never be justifiable in the same way laws that didn’t consider African Americans citizens were illegitimate. Ahn is a prominent Religious Right activist who worked on the campaign to pass Proposition 8, co-founded The Call with Lou Engle, and was an official endorser of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. He is also a vocal proponent of Seven Mountains Dominionism who claims that the president of South Korea is an ‘Apostle.’

According to Ahn, LGBT equality “is not a civil rights issue” because they never had “rights taken from them.” He went on to say that same-sex couples have no right to get married just as the country banned incest and polygamy. Ahn concluded that “just because it’s legal does not mean that it’s right, at one time we had a law saying blacks were not citizens, that didn’t make that right.”

Watch:

Robertson: Jews Must Convert To Christianity To Usher In End Times

Back in July, Pat Robertson proudly claimed that he was a bigger advocate for Israel than most American Jews. “You know I’ve been a strong supporter of Israel, it looks like liberal Jews in America have been kind of down on Israel,” Robertson said, suggesting that “self-hatred” was to blame for Jewish apathy. But Robertson’s support for Israel apparently does not include allowing Jewish people to maintain their faith.

Today on The 700 Club, Robertson made clear that his “support” for Israel does not mean he believes the Jewish people should continue to uphold and practice their faith. Robertson claimed that Jews must convert to Christianity for salvation and said that in the Last Days “there will be a returning of the Jewish people to their Messiah.”

Robertson’s view on Jewish conversion is at the center of Christian Zionist movement, where support for Israel is framed with End Times eschatology. As Rachel Tabachnick explained in the Jewish Standard, Christian Zionists like Robertson believe that Christ’s Second Coming “cannot take place until Israelis call for Yeshua (Jesus) to return as their messiah.” A similar prayer for Jewish conversions was made at Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Repsonse prayer rally where ‘Apostle’ Doug Finto prayed “for Israel to come to their own Messiah.”

Watch:

Jacobs: 'The Response' Broke The Curse Of Native American Cannibals

As we’ve been reporting, self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs has dedicated her show God Knows to discussing how lands are cursed by sins like abortion, adultery and homosexuality, calling on Christians to literally take control over the weather and reverse the curse. In the fourth part of the series, Jacobs claims that lands are cursed with violence because they were previously inhabited by Native Americans who “did blood sacrifice” and “were cannibals and they ate people.”

Fortunately, Jacobs maintains, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston broke the curse and “the land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer.”

This concept of curses left by Native Americans has a large foothold in the New Apostolic Reformation, and today Bruce Wilson reported that NAR figures Chuck Pierce, John Benefiel, Tom Schlueter and Jay Swallow recently participated in an event in Teas that involved “smashing of Native American art objects” in order to “divorce and tear down the principalities of Baal, Asherah and Leviathan.” Like Benefiel and Swallow, Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response.

Watch:

You study the area and you find out what happened? What did the indigenous people worship? If they did blood sacrifice, like we found some areas that were very, very violent because the former culture was a murderous, violent area, like in Texas here and all of the coast around Houston and Galveston and some of that area, the Native American people were cannibals and they ate people. And so you can see a manifestation of that in the churches where people turned against people and kind of cannibalized other people’s ministries. So there’s been a lot of prayer over that in Houston, Texas, they’ve done a lot of intercession over that and broke the curses on the land. We just had a prayer meeting in Houston a little a week ago, the governor of Texas, really as an individual instigated this, and 35,000 people showed up to pray and it was only a prayer meeting called within three months, three month period of time. So what happened? The land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer.

Stemberger To Endorse Perry Because Bachmann Not A Realistic, Viable Candidate

Last month we noted that Michele Bachmann was headlining a fundraising event for the Florida Family Policy Council where she received the organization's William Wilberforce Award.

But just because the FFPC thinks Bachmann is a hero for her willingness to stand "firm for principles of life, marriage or family in the face of opposition," that apparently doesn't translate into support for her presidential campaign as FFPC president John Stemberger is announcing his pending support for Rick Perry because Bachmann is just not a realistic or viable candidate ... and Mitt Romney "wasn’t Mormon enough":

Florida evangelical leader John Stemberger is a step away from endorsing Rick Perry for president, a big coup for the Texas governor and a loss for fellow Republican Michele Bachmann. Stemberger's likely endorsement follows some top-level Perry staff hires.

"We really like Michele Bachmann She has stellar credentials when it comes to our issues. She is an amazing woman. Our primary drive is principle and the issues," Stemberger said. "But we also have to be realistic, pragmatically, and determine who’s viable."

Stemberger said that meant he and the Florida Family Policy Council, which has an email list of about 65,000 Florida evangelical voters, had two choices.

"This is a two man race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And there’s a growing consensus among evangelical leaders and, to some degree, among those in the tea party and pro-life Catholics that Rick Perry is the most trustworthy candidate on our issues," Stemberger said.

"There are too many trust issues with Mitt Romney," he continued. "The issue not that he is a Mormon. The issue is that he wasn’t Mormon enough. If he had been consistent with traditional Mormon values his whole career, that would make me feel a lot more comfortable about where he’s coming from. Perry is a lot more solid on our issues."

Conservatives Worried That The Rise of Dominionism Is "A Strange Turn Of Events" For The Religious Right

Janet Mefferd, one of the leading Christian conservative radio talk show hosts in the country, dedicated part of her show yesterday to discussing the rise of dominionism in conservative politics. Along with her guest, “Christian apologist” Robert Bowman of the Institute for Religious Research, Mefferd expressed her grave concerns about the growing influence of dominionists and their participation in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. They defined dominionism as the belief that fundamentalist Christians should have control over positions of political power and administer law according to Biblical precepts.

The whole program is worth listening to, as Bowman and Mefferd discuss the New Apostolic Reformation, the Seven Mountains mandate, and Christian Reconstructionism from a conservative point of view.

As we’ve previously noted, many of the leading critics of dominionism are in fact social conservative Christians. But according to Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, dominionism is a liberal conspiracy theory akin to Holocaust denial, and even mainstream journalists have dismissed dominionism as nothing but a left-wing scare tactic used against religious politicians.

Throughout the program, Bowman notes that many in the Religious Right have embraced dominion theology even if they don’t refer to themselves as dominionists and Mefferd was concerned about how “longtime, reputable evangelical leaders” have joined forces with avowed dominionists because of their shared panic that they are losing the fight on social issues like marriage and abortion.

Mefferd specifically pointed to The Response as a prayer rally where dominionists were “mainstreamed,” as traditional Religious Right leaders like James Dobson, Don Wildmon and Tony Perkins shared the stage with New Apostolic Reformation leaders like Mike Bickle and Alice Patterson, and the rally’s official endorses included NAR figures C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Che Ahn and John Benefiel.

The two both warned Religious Right against partnering with figures associated with the “off-kilter” dominionist movement, which Mefferd called “a strange turn of events” for the movement:

Mefferd: It seems to me from what I’ve read about the New Apostolic Reformation and dominion theology this is a little bit off-kilter to me. What’s interesting to a lot of evangelicals is seeing this sort of thought being mainstreamed, now you’re seeing gathering with longtime, reputable evangelical leaders, who are not necessarily Pentecostal or subscribe to dominion theology, but they’re joining hands with some of these people to achieve political ends which seems like a strange turn of events.



Mefferd: So if Christians go for instance to a prayer rally and there are a lot of dominionist people there, people who are interested in this theology and ascribe to this theology, is there any particular problem with those who don’t subscribe to dominionist theology joining hands, and having a big get together, theologically, if they have a prayer rally together, is there any sort of problem with that?

Bowman: Boy you’re gonna get me in trouble here. First of all, I gotta say that mature and well-meaning Christians can have different point of view on this thing. But my own personal opinion is that I do think it’s a problem. If you’re a Christian who does not subscribe to these neo-Pentecostal, fringe ideas about apostles and prophets being restored to the Church in the Last Days to establish a Kingdom of God movement before the Second Coming of Christ, mixed in with all the Word of Faith, health-and-wealth gospel stuff.

If you don’t agree with that, and of course I don’t, then participating in rallies and conferences and conventions where these teachers and leaders of that movement play a prominent role, I’m not just saying they happen to be there along with other people, but if they are playing a prominent role in one of these activities, then I think participating in that lends credence and support to that particular movement. And I find that personally troubling, I wouldn’t want to do that.

Mefferd: I think that’s very well stated and I think it’s very fair. You ought to know what you’re getting into. I think no matter what you’re joining in, if you’re going to a conference, going to a revival meeting, going to a prayer rally, I think it always benefits you to know exactly who the organizer is, what they believe, and then you can discern whether or not it’s something you really want to participate in.

Perry to Address Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit

Family Research Council Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council, just announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will address the upcoming Values Voter Summit in Washington. As Religious Right leaders continue to coalesce behind Perry — FRC president Tony Perkins was among those attending a pro-Perry gathering of conservative leaders at James Leninger’s ranch earlier this month — addressing the Values Voter Summit should only help his standing among social conservatives. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are the only other presidential candidates who have so far committed to the event. Other Religious Right leaders scheduled to speak include Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell, Mathew Staver, Phyllis Schlafly and Bill Bennett, along with lesser known but radical activists like Lila Rose, Jerry Boykin and Star Parker:

Family Research Council Action (FRC Action) has confirmed that GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) will speak at the Values Voter Summit this October 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Perry joins other Republican presidential candidates, including U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), at the largest annual gathering of pro-family activists in the nation's capital.

The annual event, which is expected to draw 2,000 grassroots activists from across the country, will have a speaker line-up that includes House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve King (R-IA), Dr. Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Lt. Gen. William Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey, Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese III, Lila Rose and Phyllis Schlafly. The 2011 Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by AFA Action, American Values, The Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, and Liberty Counsel. A presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings, breakout sessions and much more will be packed into this three-day conference. On Saturday evening Family Research Council will award Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, III with its 2011 Vision and Leadership Award.

Right Wing Round-Up

Wagner Admits NAR Presence At Perry Prayer Rally A Sign Of Its Growing Influence

During our coverage of the massive prayer rally organized by Gov. Rick Perry last month, one of the things we noticed was the large number of people associated with the New Apostolic Reformation who were involved in organizing, endorsing, or speaking at the event, including prominent NAR leader C. Peter Wagner.

Today, Voice of America posted a wide-ranging twenty minute interview with Wagner in which he discussed everything from Seven Mountains theology to spiritual warfare to the role of NAR in Perry's prayer rally.

Wagner insisted that they have no interest in gaining "control" over the Seven Mountains, nor in establishing any sort of theocracy.  As he explained it, they are simply seeking to see God's prophets and apostles "rise in terms of influence in all of the Seven Mountains and in society as a whole" in order to bring around the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Wagner was also asked about the prevalence of NAR associates on stage and in organizing Gov. Perry's prayer rally and admitted that it was a sign of the NAR's growing influence and asserted that  there is nothing wrong with being a part of the NAR or associating with it: 

VOA: You've had a lot of attention since The Response prayer rally that was headlined by Rick Perry last month. Do you think the attention you've gotten is warranted? There are a lot of people, especially on the left, who are very worried about this movement. Do you think that they're right that your influence is growing?

Wagner: I think they're right that the influence is growing and the influence was very strong in The Response meeting. But what I see in the media is that critics of conservative candidates like Rick Perry are accusing him of doing something bad by his friendship with people in the NAR. I don't know if Rick Perry would consider himself as a part of the NAR but he had some people on the platform and in the audience who were part of the NAR. But I don't think there is anything worse about being part of the NAR then being part of the Southern Baptists or being part of the Catholic Church or being part of any other segment of Christianity.

The entire interview is interesting and informative and well worth a listen.

Barton: Demonic Powers Control Parts of the U.S. Government

Prior to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, we posted video of one of the rally’s official endorsers, John Benefiel, claiming that demonic spirits ruling Washington, D.C. were literally warping the minds of politicians and elected officials. Benefiel, who leads the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, is not alone in this view.

David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who has counseled leading Republicans like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, similarly believes that demonic principalities are literally controlling parts of government and that Christians must engaged in spiritual warfare to combat them. Barton is an advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, which as Lance Wallnau explains, requires spiritual warfare against the demons that control the seven mountains of society.

In last year’s “In God We Trust” series, televangelist Kenneth Copeland asked Barton why politicians “change when they moved to Washington.” Citing Ephesians 6:12, Barton claimed that politics is a “spiritual battle” because demonic principalities literally “sit over” and control areas in the Capitol. These principalities, Barton says, prevent prayers from working because they are “fighting in the Heavenlies” and make politicians “think really goofy.”

Watch:

I’ll tell you one of the things too we’ll never get right until we understand this, it is a spiritual battle. We’re told in Ephesians, it’s not flesh in blood, we’re dealing with spirits. And I’ll tell you out of Daniel, praying, why did that answer get delayed for twenty-one days? Because the Prince of Persia fought against it. There are principalities that sit over certain areas.

And I can tell this in the U.S. Capitol. When I walk from the House side to the Senate side, I cross the middle line of the Capitol, I can feel a different principality because they have jurisdictions over different things. And there are principalities that sit over different government entities that cause them to think really goofy and you can’t get prayers through, they get delayed twenty-one days because the principalities are up there fighting in the Heavenlies.

Because we’re not fighting flesh and blood. And if you don’t understand this is a spiritual battle, and if you don’t understand there are really big principalities and powers sitting over places of power, whether it be banking, or education. There’s principalities that sit over schools to keep those kids from getting knowledge, there’s principalities that sit over financial institutions. They sit over households. That’s why you have principalities in powers, that gradation, you have the corporals, and you have the sergeants, and you have the lieutenants, the captains and the generals, and the generals have a bigger principality and those little corporals may have control over the house but it’s a spiritual battle.

It’s a spiritual battle and we’ll never win until we understand that.

Fischer Gets Date Wrong As He Accuses Muslims For Celebrating 9/11

On Monday, Bryan Fischer announced his outrage that Muslims would be gathering for a "Family Day" to celebrate the end of Ramadan at a Six Flags amusement park in Texas that would take place on the anniversary of 9/11.  Fischer declared that the fact that Muslims would "hold a giant party [on 9/11] tells you everything you need to know about the religion of Islam" and called on Gov. Rick Perry to issue a condemnation of the event.

He also talked about it on his radio program on Tuesday where he said Muslims ought to at least have the decency to hang their heads in shame on 9/11 instead of organizing a big party in order to "rub our noses" in it:

Up to 3000 Muslims in Texas are expected to swarm a Six Flags amusement park in San Antonio on 9/11 for “Muslim Family Day.”

Yes, you heard that right. Muslims are going to hold a big party on the 10th anniversary of the Muslim attacks that resulted in the deaths of 3000 infidel American dogs.

Now I think this is just about as bad as it can possibly get. Imagine if you had Japanese who lived in Texas ... now imagine that they have a big giant hoedown and barbecue every year on December 7. Now the Japanese at least have had the decency to hang their heads in shame over a day that rightfully will live forever in infamy. But the Muslim community in Texas apparently is so brazen, they show absolutely no shame, and their intending instead to rub our noses in the whole mess.

Last night, Fischer issued this tweet admitting that he got the date wrong and that the event actually took place on September 4:

Rick Perry Endorses Janet Porter's Radical 'Heartbeat Bill'

After passing the Ohio State House, Janet Porter’s ‘heartbeat bill’ is now poised to have a vote in the Republican-controlled State Senate. Porter, an avowed dominionist who thinks supporters of President Obama are destined to Hell and that legal abortion is responsible for tornadoes, has been leading the fight to pass the ‘heartbeat bill,’ a patently unconstitutional measure that would “ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception.” She told James Dobson yesterday on his program Family Talk that she thinks her bill will eventually lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. “We are so close that I can see the end of abortion from here, that’s how close we are,” Porter said, “everything we have prayed is happening…God has been in this from the beginning.”

Porter has lost some allies along the way, as the Ohio Right to Life Society opposes her extreme bill and one of its chief proponents, State Rep. Jarrod Martin, who called for the bill’s passage to help the U.S. compete with Chinese children, currently faces charges of drunk driving and child endangerment.

But she has picked up one major endorsement: Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He joins other presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Roy Moore in backing Porter’s extreme legislation. According to the statement from Porter’s group Faith 2 Action, Perry announced his support at his meeting with Religious Right leaders at James Leininger’s ranch in Texas where he spoke “before a group of 250 pro-life and pro-family leaders”:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who recently announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for President, has announced his support for the Heartbeat Bill. He joins three other Presidential candidates in support of the bill: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

“We’re grateful to Governor Perry for his strong support of the Heartbeat Bill. I don’t think there’s a bill in America with more support,” declares Faith2Action President Janet (Folger) Porter. She adds, “Come to the Statehouse Atrium on September 20 and get a glimpse of the statewide support for the Heartbeat Bill!”

At a meeting in Texas, Governor Perry announced his support before a group of 250 pro-life and pro-family leaders. His response of support to a question about the Heartbeat Bill received an extended standing ovation.

Engle: Perry's Presidential Announcement May Have Alleviated Texas' Drought

Leading up to The Call: Detroit on November 11, Lou Engle has detailed his plan to use the rally to convert gays and Muslims and is promoting his work with various prophets, apostles, and even the Second Coming of Moses. During a conference call with Ministry Today, Engle described the beginnings of The Call by recounting a dream that convinced him to “target false ideologies.” He later received a dream “of two tornadoes coming to destroy America, they had the letters ‘HA’ ‘HA’ on them,” that represented the “homosexual agenda and the abortion issue.” He called them two “spiritual powers that were coming to sweep this nation” rooted in the “spiritual powers of death, the gates of hell”:

Engle also discussed The Response, as The Call was the model for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, and many of Engle’s close associates at the International House of Prayer like Mike Bickle were Response speakers and organizers. He said that The Response was a “historic prayer gathering” and that he briefly spoke to Perry and “felt the genuineness of his own heart and life.” Engle even suggested that Perry’s announcement for president may have led to rain in Texas to alleviate the state’s severe drought which Perry tried to end with prayer.

I heard that actually the day that Governor Perry announced that he’s running for president, and this is not an endorsement I’m giving here, it simply it rained I believe he said for five hours, it poured. And people think that that could’ve been a sign, I don’t know. I think that was a historic prayer gathering for a governor to call a true Joel:2 solemn assembly. You don’t always see an immediate answer to these kinds of prayers but God does, God sees and responds and I believe we’ll look back at that gathering as a historic moment in American history and that’s what I’ve got to believe.

...

He read Joel chapter 2 and said this is his prescription in times of trouble, it was phenomenal and then he prayed, and in reality really prayed to Jesus, using the name of Jesus. Now people could say it’s a political ploy, listen, I think the church should actually rejoice that someone had the courage, he is in one sense risking political suicide but basically his purpose is, ‘hey I just know I’m not going to succumb to political pressure on this thing, I know we need God.’ Of course Texas is in such a bad state with the drought, the fire, the difficulties. Well the whole nation is and I believe that what he called was very significant for the nation, I was privileged to speak to him just for a few moments and felt the genuineness of his own heart.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Anti-Islam activist Robert Spencer wants to see Rick Perry "make some kind of public statement that he understands the jihad threat."
  • FRC says it delivered fifty-five thousand petitions to NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg to include clergy in the 9/11 memorial service.
  • Jim Garlow says he'll probably support Rick Perry once Newt Gingrich drops out.
  • I just find it funny to see anyone affiliated with the AFA complaining about "incendiary words."
  • Finally, quote of the day from James Robison: "I will expose evil, damaging practices, and bad policy. Since most media and many academics do not seem to believe in evil and obviously some lawmakers and even ministry leaders don’t seem to either. In other words, 'the three little pigs' and Red Riding Hood need to learn there is no big, bad wolf, and while at it chunk the Bible along with the children’s stories out the window and continue living in a failing, fantasyland dream world – nightmare!"

Gingrich's Lone Religious Right Supporter Being Wooed By Perry

As we noted last week, Rick Perry gathered with a whole range of Religious Right leaders at the ranch of right-wing megadonor James Leininger over the weekend and details continue to emerge about what took place during the event, like Perry vowing to them that there would be no revelations about his past that would ever embarrass them.

We are also seeing more reports about which leaders were in attendance:

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

It is especially interesting to see that Garlow was present at the gathering, given that he had pretty much been the only Religious Right leader supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential bid.

The fact that Garlow traveled to Texas to participate in this meeting with Perry seems to suggest that even Gingrich's most ardent supporters know that his campaign is dead in the water.

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

For the last several weeks, the Religious Right has been hyping allegations from Kelly Shackleford and his Liberty Institute claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a ban on "the use of Christian words or phrases at veterans’ funerals."

Liberty Institute has even launched a website called "Don't Tear Us Down" which claims that "Jesus is not welcome at gravesides" and the campaign is receiving support from other Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Today the New York Times took a look at the controversy and discovered - shockingly - that the claims being made by the Religious Right are totally misleading.  As the NYT explains, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." 

In essence, the policy states that volunteer groups are not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family.  Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have that right as well.

But to the Religious Right, preventing outside groups from attending funerals and offering prayers at services where they are not wanted or requested is a violation of the religious freedom of the volunteers:

The plaintiffs, aided by a conservative legal group, the Liberty Institute, contend they should be allowed to use a Veterans of Foreign Wars script dating from World War I that refers to the deceased as “a brave man” with an “abiding faith in God” and that seeks comfort from an “almighty and merciful God.” The institute has broadcast the dispute nationwide with slick videos and a Web site declaring that “Jesus is not welcome at gravesides.”

...

The lawsuit, which alleges religious discrimination by the government, and videos have generated angry letters and Internet commentary against the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as demands from members of the Texas Congressional delegation, mostly Republicans, that the Obama administration fire the Houston cemetery director, Arleen Ocasio.

Department of Veterans Affairs officials say that the original policy, enacted under President George W. Bush, resulted from complaints about religious words or icons being inserted unrequested into veterans’ funerals. They noted that active duty military honor guards, including the teams that do funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, say almost nothing during their ceremonies.

“We do what the families wish,” said Steve L. Muro, the under secretary for memorial affairs. “I always tell my employees we have just one chance to get it right.”

Though two of the largest veterans organizations, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have criticized the Houston National Cemetery, some veterans’ advocates have risen to the department’s support. Those advocates say that families who want prayers can have them and assert that the Liberty Institute has blown the dispute out of proportion to embarrass the Obama administration.

Lawyers with the Liberty Institute deny that ... The Department of Veterans Affairs said that funeral directors, rather than the veterans themselves, should tell families the details of the V.F.W. or other rituals, to give those families room to make their own decisions on what is recited.

“If the family wants prayers, the family will get them,” said John R. Gingrich, the department’s chief of staff.

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