Texas

Anti-Immigrant Activists Blast Perry Over DREAM Act Defense

At last night’s Republican presidential debate Gov. Rick Perry defended a state law he signed that allows the children of undocumented immigrants living in Texas to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. Although Perry has attacked the federal DREAM Act as “amnesty,” anti-immigrant activists are furious over his defense of the Texas law.

In a statement, Americans for Legal Immigration-PAC president William Gheen speculated that Perry has “assured his own defeat”:

Texas Governor Perry destroyed his chances of winning the GOP Presidential primary during last night's debate when he defended his support for in-state tuition for illegal aliens which is opposed by 81% of all Americans.

"Rick Perry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not the right choice for America by supporting these radical illegal immigration attracting measures," said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "Perry's support for in-state tuition for illegals forces taxpayers to pay to replace their own children in the limited seats in our colleges!"



"GOP voters cannot vote for Rick Perry now without legitimizing and supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," said William Gheen. "Perry has assured his own defeat despite the fact that he is receiving so much support and favoritism from globalist groups in the media. It is clear to me that the globalists who are responsible for illegal immigration in America are using their power to promote Rick Perry at this time."

Chris Chmielenski of Numbers USA also criticized Perry:

Legal immigration aside, the storyline of tonight's debate was Gov. Perry's insistence to stand behind his decision to sign the Texas Dream Act, granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. Perry's response continues to be that these individuals will become a drag on society, but what he fails to understand is that with or without an education, these young people can't legally work in the United States. Plus, as Rick Santorum pointed out, no one is denying illegal aliens an education. Illegal aliens can still go to the University of Texas, but they should have to pay the same tuition rate that Arizona residents who attend the University of Texas pay.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote in an email to members that his stance will haunt him throughout the primary:

Perry blew it.

How?

By pandering to the illegal alien vote.

Perry has gained a lot of traction from the Tea Party movement. By doubling down on the illegal alien issue, he has gained no friend and alienated many in the conservative movement.



His support of illegal aliens is hurting him.

Even American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer got into the mix, taking particular issue with Perry’s claim that those who oppose in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants don’t “have a heart”:

It’s fine to say we should not punish children for the sins of their fathers. But neither should we reward them. And we are not just rewarding the children, we are rewarding the parents, since many of them stole into the U.S. because they wanted to give their children a shot at a decent education. (The solution: help Mexico improve its educational system.) So Gov. Perry simply cannot get around the fact that he is rewarding the illegal behavior of aliens who have no right to be here. That is an exceedingly troublesome position for someone who wants to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.



Public schools at every level should be reserved for students who have a legal right to be in this country. The immigration status of every applicant should be checked and enrollment reserved for legal residents of the United States. If illegal aliens wants [sic] to pursue higher education, let’s repatriate them to their native land where they can pursue education to their heart’s content.

Olbermann Names Pam Olsen "Worst Person In The World"

On Countdown last night, Keith Olbermann named Pam Olsen, the co-chair of Rick Perry’s Presidency 5 leadership team, the “Worst Person in the World” for her claim that gay rights are responsible for natural disasters like fires, tornadoes and floods. Two minutes into the segment, Olbermann attempts to “review Ms. Olsen’s belief system and combine it on facts back here on Earth,” wondering why recent natural disasters have occurred in Texas and Olsen’s home state of Florida where gays and lesbians don’t have the right to marry. He also mentions Olsen’s claim, reported by Right Wing Watch, that during the End Times she will be able to raise the dead.

Watch:

 

H/T Good As You

Maddow Examines Cindy Jacobs's Claim That "The Land Is Starting To Rejoice" In Texas

Last night Rachel Maddow discussed Cindy Jacobs’s prophetic word that while the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell triggered mass bird deaths, Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally literally healed the land of Texas from the curse of Native American cannibals. Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response and her protégé Pam Olsen now co-chairs Perry’s Presidency 5 leadership team in Florida. As Maddow points out, the severe drought in Texas has only intensified since Rick Perry called for statewide prayer for rain and organized The Response.

“With all due respect, since Rick Perry’s stadium prayer event in Houston, Texas has been quite literally on fire,” Maddow said, noting that “Texas has not only been burning but it’s still locked in it’s terrible, historic drought.” After playing the two videos of Jacobs from Right Wing Watch, Maddow said, “But if Cindy Jacobs really thinks that Governor Perry’s prayer event has led to the land in Texas rejoicing along with the cannibal spirits, I protest, along with the puppy in the drought crack.”

Watch:

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Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Perry Names Stemberger Co-Chair Of Leadership Team For FL GOP Event

Last week we noted that John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council was hinting that he was going to be endorsing Rick Perry for President, despite the fact that Michele Bachmann had recently headlined a fundraising event for his organization.

Today, the Perry campaign issued a press release announcing that Stemberger would be serving as co-chair of his leadership team for the upcoming Florida Presidency 5 event:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced his leadership team for Presidency 5 (P5), with Speaker Dean Cannon serving as chairman. Gov. Perry will participate in Florida P5 this week, including the P5 debate, CPAC and straw poll in Orlando, Fla.

...

In addition to Speaker Cannon, conservative activists John Stemberger and Pam Olsen will serve as co-chairs.

Stemberger was Chairman of the Florida4Marriage.org campaign which outlawed marriage equality in Florida in 2008 and was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga in 2009.  In fact, his actions during the Bary case resulted in Stemberger eventually facing misconducted charges and a ten million dollar lawsuit, though the complaint was eventually dismissed and the lawsuit was dropped.

In addition to being a Religious Right activist, Stemberger is also a personal injury attorney who has, in this capacity, put forth some rather novel legal arguments:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

Update:  Sarah Posner reports that the other co-chair, Pam Olsen, is a Cindy Jacobs associate and the founder of the Tallahassee International House of Prayer:

Olsen founded the Tallahassee International House of Prayer after she "received a prophetic word through Cindy Jacobs that God was going to use her as a mighty weapon against the enemy through the prayer movement and that He was going to raise up a physical location that would be a place of refuge for people, pastors and missionaries to come and pray."

Pavone Says Support For Abortion Rights Is Akin To Supporting Terrorism

While in Amarillo, Texas, after his archdiocese recalled him from New York over allegations of financial mismanagement, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is still making his voice heard. Pavone writes in his blog today that in the same way voters cannot find common ground with politicians that support terrorism, they can’t find common ground with pro-choice candidates:

“When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their favorite candidate or party. My response? ‘Go tell your favorite candidate or party to get the babies’ blood off their hands and clean up their act regarding defending life. Then my words won’t hurt them anymore.’ ”

… “What if a candidate supported terrorism,” Father Pavone asked. “Would citizens say, ‘Well, I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.

Susan Tyrrell at Lou Engle’s group Bound4Life made a similar claim today, saying that Christians who voted for pro-choice candidates are succumbing to the “spirit of the antichrist”:

Cut to the 2008 election season. As polls burgeoned nationwide on who was voting for whom and why, a recurring theme emerged: the economy. Voters said over and over that was their primary concern. Unfortunately, many Christian voters said this as well. It caused many to utter rationalizations such as “who I vote for won’t change abortion, but we need to help the poor. That’s what Jesus would do.” Actually so would the devil.

The devil actually feeds his business on helping the poor. This is the spirit driving the modern social justice movement that says we should help those less fortunate at all costs. The truth is, we should help those less fortunate—but only at the cost of the blood of Jesus. Not the blood of 54 million babies.

We have become worshipers of the god of riches. That’s the reason we have so much federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and why the latest recommendation for national health care includes a mandate for birth control coverage, including abortive birth control. If every person who called him or herself a Christian were standing against these issues vocally and publicly, there would be no debate. We are more in number than Planned Parenthood, NOW, Congress, the National Institutes of Health—all of them put together. The fact is, money is behind it all and since more pro-abortion policies have been in place since January 2009, we have watched our nation pursue the American dream of wealth in the name of practicality and security. We care more about our personal comfort than we do righteousness when we live this way. And that is the very spirit of the antichrist who uses this very method to find his worshipers.

For David Barton, Right-Wing Political Advocacy Counts As Charity

On today’s WallBuilders Live, David Barton responded to a Houston Chronicle report that from 2000 to 2009, Rick Perry gave just $14,243 of his of $2.68 million fortune to churches and religious organizations. Barton, who claimed throughout the show that people who support social justice efforts are less likely to support charities, tried to defend Perry by pointing to the fact that the Texas governor has given away all the proceeds from his books:

Governor Perry’s getting his brains beat in because look how little he gave to charity. Time out! There’s another story there. Number one he does not itemize his deductions so you don’t know how much he gave to charity. Number two is he writes entire books and gives 100% of the proceeds to charity which doesn’t show up on his income sheet. He gives millions to charity but because he does not itemize and because he does entire books and signs the rights over there’s a lot going out that doesn’t show.

Which charities have the proceeds of Perry’s books gone to? He donated the proceeds of his first book, about the Boy Scouts, to the Boy Scouts of America. And he declares in his most recent book, the policy blueprint Fed Up!, that “all of the author’s net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Foundation to support the work of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies.” The Center for Tenth Amendment Studies is a division of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a right-wing think tank allied with Perry that was founded by James Leininger, who is now the group’s Chairman Emeritus.

Leininger is one of Perry’s biggest political bankrollers – he has donated and loaned millions of dollars to Perry’s political campaigns for over a decade and just so happens to be a close business partner of the governor. Columnist Molly Ivins dubbed Leininger “God’s sugar daddy” because of his prolific financial support for Religious Right activists and the Texas Restoration Project, including an Austin “Pastors’ Policy Briefing” to celebrate Perry’s reinauguration in January of 2007. The Texas Restoration Project was a pet project of Perry’s – Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News notes that “the governor helped create a network of ‘patriot pastors’ in Texas called the Texas Restoration Project, which worked for passage of the gay-marriage ban in 2005 and Perry's reelection a year later.”

Most recently, Leininger hosted a summit to introduce Religious Right leaders to Perry shortly after he announced his candidacy for president. Notable guests at Leininger’s ranch included James Dobson, Richard Land, Harry Jackson, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough… and, of course, David Barton.

Perkins Blasts California HPV Vaccination Plan, Fails To Mention Perry

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins dedicated his radio alert today to blasting a plan to help girls receive the HPV vaccine…in California. The issue of HPV vaccination has been dominating the Republican primary since Michele Bachmann attacked Rick Perry for his executive order mandating the vaccine for Texas schoolgirls and for his close ties to the vaccine manufacturer Merck. While the executive order was ultimately overturned by the state legislature, Perry’s decision is facing more scrutiny on the national level.

Curiously, Perkins doesn’t mention Perry’s decision as he attacks legislation in California that, unlike Perry’s plan, isn’t a mandate. According to Capital Public Radio, the bill would ensure that “adolescents 12 and older would be able to receive the HPV vaccine and an HIV exposure medication without parental consent.” Perkins decries the bill as “a shot at parents’ rights,” but is strangely silent the Perry plan, which would have gone even farther:

In California, leaders are using a vaccine to take a shot at parents' rights. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Out in California, the state legislature just passed a bill that would let kids get vaccinated without their parents' knowledge or consent. Leaders argue that children should be protected from sexually transmitted diseases like HPV. But parents don't think that's the government's decision to make. Now, don't get me wrong. We're thrilled that scientists might have found a drug to stop cervical cancer. But this debate isn't about whether we want to protect our children from disease, but whether we want the government making decisions for our kids. The bill's been squeaking by without much media attention, but now that it's just a signature away from becoming law, families are outraged. Parents--not arbitrary politicians--should be the ultimate authority on their child's health. Check our pamphlet, "Gardasil: What Every Parent Should Know" at frc.org. The last thing we need in the vaccine debate is to inject more government interference!

Rick Perry Finds A Welcoming Audience At Liberty University

Yesterday we took the opportunity of Rick Perry’s recent speech at Liberty University to revisit his appearance on last year on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, in which he went into depth about the “supernatural events” (mainly rain or lack thereof) that have driven his life.

If the governor’s visit to Liberty is any indication, the affinity that he displayed with the Religious Right in his TBN appearance is still going strong. Before Wednesday’s speech, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. gave Perry a rousing welcome, defending the governor for his controversial effort to require that girls in Texas recieve HPV vaccinations and calling Perry’s secession talk “gutsy.” Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily, a publication of the Baptist Center for Ethics, reports that the ties between Perry and Falwell are even closer than what is being reported. Falwell was scheduled to take part in one of televangelist James Robison’s leadership summits, at which Religious Right leaders urged Perry to enter the race. While Falwell “could not make it,” Liberty University’s Vice President Johnnie Moore participated. Kaylor reports that Moore and David Lane, who organizes state-based “restoration” projects, were behind Perry’s appearance at Liberty:

Organized by Texas evangelist James Robison, the June meeting was a follow-up to a September 2010 meeting as Robison and other conservative Christians plotted to bring political revival and change to the 2012 elections.

Liberty's chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., son of Liberty's late founder, was scheduled to attend but could not make it.

Robison led a similar effort prior to the 1980 presidential election as he sought to defeat then-President Jimmy Carter. That effort culminated in an August 1980 rally in Dallas with then-Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan as the key speaker.

On Wednesday, Falwell introduced Perry at Liberty by talking about how much he "admired" Perry for "having the guts to say things that weren't exactly politically correct, like when Governor Perry hinted that Texas might secede one day from the Union."

Falwell also recounted saying several months ago – before Perry joined the presidential race – that "it was too bad" Perry was not running for president.



Falwell also said that Perry's trip to Liberty was organized and made possible due to the work of religious-political organizer David Lane and Liberty's vice president for executive projects, Johnnie Moore. Both Lane and Moore have been part of Robison's group.

According to Perry, Lane and Robison inspired him to lead "The Response," a prayer rally held last month at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Numerous other individuals in Robison's group were key leaders in planning the event, which thrust Perry into the national headlines just days before he officially announced he was running for president.

Perry's support among conservative evangelicals is one of the key factors to his rapid rise to the front of the Republican presidential primary polls.

His speech at Liberty University on Wednesday, his private meetings with Christian leaders in June and August, and his prayer rally in August demonstrate Perry's efforts to mobilize conservative Christians and receive their support as he seeks to be what Robison and his group say they are hoping for – a new Ronald Reagan.

Perry's Prayer Rally, The AFA, And Champion The Vote

Not long after Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally ended, the American Family Association sent out an email to everyone who had registered to attend the event or watch it on line, urging them to support an effort called "Champion the Vote" which seeks to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012."

We didn't know much about the Champion The Vote effort; only that it was an initiative of United in Purpose, which was the group responsible for the Rediscover God In America conference in Iowa earlier this year.

Today, the LA Times provides a bit more information about the organization and reports that United in Purpose is funded by Silicon Valley venture capitalists and Rick Perry supporters seeking to mobilize Christian voters:

The group operated largely out of public sight until last month, when Don Wildmon, founder of American Family Assn., sent an email promoting Champion the Vote to people who had registered to attend Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent prayer rally.

The Rev. Buddy Smith, American Family Assn.'s executive vice president, said that Wildmon was a friend of [donor Ken] Eldred's, one of the group's financiers, but that the association was not providing it with monetary support.

Eldred, who founded companies such as Ariba Technologies and Inmac, has donated $1.1 million to Republican candidates since 2005, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and is now raising money for Perry's presidential bid.

But he said in an interview that Champion the Vote did not have a partisan agenda.

"I have the audacity to believe that we can be an influence on both parties," Eldred said. "I personally believe that someday we're going to stand before God, and he's going to pull out a ballot and say, 'How did you vote in this election?' And there are going to be people who say, 'Why do you care about that, God?' And he's going to say, 'Because I created that country and I put you in charge.'"

He declined to say how much money he was putting into the project, except to note: "It's not cheap, I can tell you that."

[Bill Dallas, chief executive of United in Purpose,] a former real estate developer who said his Christian beliefs deepened while he was serving time at San Quentin State Prison for embezzlement, declined to identify the other venture capitalists financing the project, but described them as "men of deep faith." He said the group had an annual budget in the millions of dollars.

Over the next 10 years, United in Purpose aims to mobilize 40 million out of the estimated 60 million evangelicals in the United States to vote. To locate them, the organization has assembled a detailed database that pairs voter registration records with consumer information that identifies, among other things, subscribers to faith-based magazines, members of NASCAR fan clubs and people on antiabortion email lists ... The organization has already seen some early success, registering 268,000 new voters in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado in 2010 by working with churches affiliated with the Sacramento-based National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, that group's president.

So the AFA paid for Rick Perry's massive public prayer rally and then used the mailing list generated by the event to generate support for Champion the Vote,  which is an effort that is being bankrolled by a donor who is currently fundraising for Rick Perry's presidential campaign ... but the prayer rally was "non-political," just as this entire enterprise is "nonpartisan"?

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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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."

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