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David Barton Is Just As Good At Math As He Is At History

A few weeks ago, David Barton was featured on a conference call promoting United In Purpose's upcoming "One Nation Under God" event and, during the discussion, asserted that his work is "documented so well" that all his critics can do is attack him personally.

The idea that critics cannot challenge Barton's "facts" is absurd. In fact, it was just last week that Barton was forced to admit that he misleadingly characterized the American College of Pediatricians, a small, right-wing splinter group,  as "the leading pediatric association in America" ... though, in typical Barton fashion, he did so by refusing to admit that he was wrong.

On yesterday's program, where he and Sally Kern stoked fears of gay violence, Barton picked up on the idea that Kern was some sort of modern day Anita Bryant and, in recounting Bryant's story, perfectly demonstrated his own lack of concern for getting his facts right:

Now most people don't know Anita Bryant, especially in this generation. Anita Bryant goes back to 1977. She was Miss America runner-up ... at that time, she was a spokeswoman for Florida orange juice and Florida oranges and what they did and she was, in '77, getting a hundred thousand dollars a year on contact to be a spokesman and that's a lot of money, that's in the millions today.

Now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, $100,000 in 1977 equals $373,836.63 today - not quite the "millions" that Barton claims.

You'd think that Barton, who attended Oral Roberts University on a math and science scholarship and actually taught math at a Christian school would be ... well, a little bit better at math.

Now this instance is not a particularly egregious example of Barton's misleading work, but it is another good example of just how fundamentally uninterested he is in making sure that anything he says is based in reality

Bryan Fischer's Speech To The Values Voter Summit

During his address to the Values Voter Summit, Bryan Fischer made the same claims he always made: Islam is evil and Muslims are traitors, LGBT equality threatens freedom, and the Constitution protects only Christians (not Mormons). After posting clips from the speech of Fischer attacking gay rights and the theory of evolution, we decided to post his speech in full.

Remember that presidential candidates Herman CainMichele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have all appeared on his show, along with past candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee. In addition, Fischer is the spokesman for the organization, the American Family Association, that co-hosted The Response prayer rally with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Part I:

Part II:

WallBuilders Enlists Christopher Columbus & Reconstructionist Eidsmoe in Christian Nation Crusade

David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.  

Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had installed in the state courthouse.

As we have reported, Eidsmoe believes that feminists “violate the normal order” that God put in place for husbands to head households, that “homosexuality invites the judgment of God upon all of society,” that gays will turn the military into a “cesspool of immorality,” and that public education is brainwashing students to believe in secularism and evolution.  Ryan Lizza recently reported that Eidsmoe was uninvited from a Tea Party event last year after addressing an event in Alabama commemorating Secession Day and telling an interviewer that it was the state’s “constitutional right to secede,” and that “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”

Eidsmoe’s book on Columbus has an introduction by Peter Marshall, another “Christian Nation” advocate who served with Wallbuilders’ founder David Barton as an “expert” to Religious Right members of the Texas Board of Education pushing massive revisions to social science textbooks.  Marshall writes:

In his customary careful and thorough manner, John Eidsmoe has pierced through the obfuscating fog of twentieth-century humanist bias and judgments that have obscured the truth about two of the most controversial figures in American history, Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez. Using earlier sources, he has presented us with a well-researched, even-handed, and fair treatment of both their Christian motives for their incredible exploits, and the very real mistakes they made .This is a valuable contribution toward restoring a true Christian perspective on our American past.

WallBuilders’ Columbus Day email celebrates Columbus’ belief that he was being led by the Holy Spirit and complains that modern scholarship has denigrated Columbus specifically because of his religious motivation:

It is especially because of Columbus’ religious motivations and convictions that today he has become a villain for most modern educators and writers, who regularly attack and condemn him.

That echoes Eidsmoe’s book, which claims, “A scholarly desire to correct the historical record is not the primary reason [for modern criticism of Columbus]…No, the attack is directed toward values – biblical values and the Christian civilization that is based on biblical values.”

Eidsmoe writes:

The reason may of us find history boring is that we fail to see the sovereign hand of God at work as history unfolds. The way you look at history depends in large part upon your world view….For the Christian, history is, or should be, the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race. For the Christian, the discovery, exploration and settlement of the Western Hemisphere takes on a whole new dimension of meaning as God works through imperfect vessels like Columbus, Cortez….and others who bring salvation to the inhabitants of the Western world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

He decries the effort to “move this nation away from its Christian foundations” in order to “remake America into a secular or pagan society….If the Christian professions of Christopher Columbus and others can be proven insincere, if their deeds can be downplayed and their sins and shortcomings magnified, then this element of America’s Christian past can be discredited and set aside.”

David Barton Likens Himself To Jesus

The ever so humble David Barton told listeners on a conference call for United In Purpose’s “ One Nation Under God” event today that the criticisms he faces for his erroneous, reliably wrong and consistently debunked portrayal of history are just like what Jesus endured. Bill Dallas of United In Purpose and Champion the Vote asked why the “secular press” always questions Barton’s faulty interpretations of history. In fact, Barton’s critics include historians from both Christian and secular institutions. Barton answered that his critics, like the persecutors of Jesus, don’t attack the content of his message but only lie about who he is.

Barton, who is currently suing three of his critics for libel and defamation, recommends that since “Jesus ignored those comments,” you “don’t worry about when they attack you, you don’t worry about what they say.”

Dallas: Well when the secular press tries to pigeonhole you as a historical revisionist, how does that make you feel? How do you combat that? How do we combat that? Because we use a lot of your materials, David, what do you say to that?

Barton: One of the things that I’ve found is that they like to go after me but they won’t go after the content because it’s documented so well, in our case we have 100,000 documents from before 1812. I have four law schools out there, secular law schools, who have entire websites smashing me, trashing me, but they’ve never been able to go after the content, they just don’t like what’s there. So what they’ll do is, and I don’t want to compare myself in anyway, but it’s the same tactic they used with Jesus. When Jesus had content that would change people’s lives they’d say ‘oh he’s a wine-drinker, he’s a glutton,’ and they would make things up about him and that’s designed to sever people from listening to him, ‘who wants to listen to a drunkard, who wants to listen to a glutton?’ So what you have to do is, you get by there, Jesus ignored those comment, you keep putting out the information so you don’t worry about when they attack you, you don’t worry about what they say, you get a whole bunch of people who will listen and you just overwhelm them with numbers.

Dallas also told listeners that Barton will give a two hour lecture during the “One Nation Under God” event, which will also feature Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, but which Dallas stressed is completely “nonpartisan.” Of course, having Gingrich, Perry, and Barton, the former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party and a paid consultant of the Republican National Committee, shows that event organizers aren’t trying very hard to hide their pro-GOP message.

Are VVS Organizers Trying To Hide Fischer's Involvement?

Last month, we asked why Bryan Fischer was not being pictured among the confirmed and invited leaders to the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

Fischer has been a featured speaker for each of the last two years at the event and has always been prominently featured on the speaker's list in years past.  And considering that his employer, The American Family Association, is a co-sponsor of the event, it seemed rather unlikely that Fischer had been dropped, despite his long record of unmitigated bigotry.

The Values Voter Summit is being held next week and Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum are all pictured on the confirmed speaker list, as are dozens of other GOP and Religious Right leaders ... but Fischer is nowhere to be found:

But just because he is not listed on the speakers page, that doesn't mean that Fischer won't be speaking, because the event schedule has him listed as speaking directly after Mitt Romney on Saturday:

9:00 a.m. - Noon

MORNING PLENARY SESSION - Regency Ballroom

- Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Dr. Bill Bennett, Host, Morning in America*

- Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association*

Straight Talk on Gay "Marriage"

- Moderator: Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
- Daniel Avila, J.D., Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family , U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
- Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage
- Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance*
- David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants

- General William Boykin (Ret.), Former Commander, Delta Force*

The asterisk by Fischer's name indicates that he is a confirmed speaker, so why are event organizers seemingly trying to conceal his participation?

Alliance Defense Fund To Launch Law School Aimed At Creating "Liberal Chaser" Attorneys

Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers.

Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent University School of Law’s (originally Oral Roberts University’s Coburn School of Law) alliance with the American Center for Law and Justice. As Sarah Posner notes, such law schools intend to “teach the ‘biblical’ foundations of the law” and create “lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.”

According to the National Law Journal, the new law school “is named for Paul Pressler III, a former Texas Court of Appeals judge who helped lead the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1970s.”

The founding dean of the Pressler law school, J. Michael Johnson, was previously senior counsel of the ADF and, according to his Townhall.com bio, has “provided legal representation to organizations such as Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Toward Tradition, the American Family Association, and Coral Ridge Ministries, and numerous family policy councils and crisis pregnancy centers.” In 2005, Johnson won the “Faith, Family and Freedom” award from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for his work defending the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.

Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Perkins, who is a member of Pressler’s board of reference, spoke to Johnson about the new law school. Johnson said the law school would be “not unlike what our colleagues are doing at the Liberty University School of Law and the Regent University School of Law.” Perkins said, “This law school’s not going to be pumping out ambulance chasers, this is going to be pumping out liberal chasers, I mean we’re gonna track them down, wherever they are and we’re gonna defeat them, and if we can’t defeat them in the policy realm we’re gonna defeat them in the courts.” He added, “This law school is gonna be pumping out God-fearing, American-loving, family-defending attorneys”:

The choice of Louisiana College is no surprise. The school claims it “seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline” and believes “academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.”

In 2008 the school barred members of the Christian LGBT group Soul Force from appearing on campus. In his decision to bar the group, the college’s president cited a fake James Madison quote propagated by David Barton, which states that the U.S. government was based on “the Ten Commandments.”

Now David Barton is serving on the board of the law school.

Along with Perkins and Barton, Religious Right leaders on the board include Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, Alveda King of Priests for Life, Religious Right luminary Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Kelly Shackleford of the Liberty Institute and Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese. Republican politicians including Reps. Rodney Alexander and John Fleming, former congressman Bob McEwen, and senatorial candidate and Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are also on the board.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Pressure Begins to Yield Results as Senate Takes Steps to Confirm 10 Judicial Nominees.
  • Towleroad: Anti-Gay Activists Using Child Molestation to Fool People Into Signing Petition Against California LGBT History Bill.
  • Dallas Voice: Group says FW teacher was harassed by student he punished for saying homosexuality is wrong.

Pavone's Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall

Pavone’s Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall After Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Archdiocese of Amarillo, Texas, recalled Frank Pavone of Priests for Life over financial concerns, many of Pavone’s allies lashed out at Zurek. The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform said it would picket Roman Catholic churches in Amarillo for “hindering efforts to protect the safety of unborn children” and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said Pavone’s suspension was “outrageous,” slamming Zurek for “casting a shadow where none should be.”

Pavone and his friends defended his financial management, but it appears that the group hit a significant financial shortfall. It appears that much of the problem involves one of Pavone’s many spinoff groups, Gospel of Life Ministries. Other Pavone-affiliated groups besides Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries include the National Pro-Life Religious Council, Rachel’s Vineyard and Faith And Action.

According to Religion News Service, Priests for Life faces a serious budget shortfall, partly as a result of its decision to loan “some $879,000 to Gospel of Life Ministries,” which lost its “tax-exempt status because it failed to file any forms for three consecutive years”:

A leading Catholic anti-abortion group whose leader is under scrutiny for failing to disclose financial details reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations during recent years.

The budget shortfall at Priests For Life and a bishop’s recent decision to sharply curtail its national director’s activities raise serious questions about the group’s long-term viability.



Earlier this month, Bishop Patrick Zurek ordered Pavone to return to Amarillo, Texas, where the priest is officially based, saying Pavone had failed to answer questions about Priests For Life’s finances. The group’s financial troubles appear to partly result from the economic downturn that has hurt many nonprofits.

But an audit for 2010 released this week by PFL shows the problems also stem from debatable management decisions, such as spending nearly all of its reserve funds.



The audit shows that Priests for Life’s income, which is based largely on donations from individuals, went from $9.3 million in 2007 to $10.8 million in 2008 and $12 million in 2009.

In 2010, income dropped to $10.7 million while expenses stayed the same, resulting in a $1.4 million deficit.

Still, Pavone and PFL’s loaned some $879,000 to Gospel of Life Ministries, an offshoot of PFL that Pavone established in 2006 at the headquarters of Priests for Life in Staten Island, N.Y.

Gospel of Life Ministries was intended to unite evangelical and Catholic anti-abortion activists and to be financially self-sustaining. Instead, it relied on funds channeled from PFL to subsidize two cable television programs.

The IRS has revoked Gospel of Life’s tax-exempt status because it failed to file any forms for three consecutive years, according to GuideStar, an online database that tracks nonprofits.



Earlier this month, Zurek told the rest of the bishops in the United States that he was recalling Pavone to Amarillo and restricting his ministry until the priest complied with demands to disclose financial records and ended his “incorrigible defiance of my legitimate authority as his bishop.”

Zurek portrayed Pavone, who spends almost all his time traveling for PFL, as driven by personal ambition. Pavone has appealed Zurek’s ruling to the Vatican and said he will look for another diocese to call home.

Dakota Ary, Hate Crimes, And The Gay Nazis

Whenever I see articles like this one about Dakota Ary, a fourteen year-old Texas student who was suspended for reportedly saying in class that, as a Christian, he believes homosexuality is wrong, I am always reminded of the story of Raymond Raines or, more recently, the eight year-old Massachusetts student supposedly suspended for drawing a picture of Jesus.

These absurd stories are almost always generated by the Religious Right legal groups who have been hired to represent the families of the "victims" - does anyone remember Edwin Graning? - and the resulting stories inevitably present only their version, often because school systems have policies of not commenting on specific student-related cases.

And that is exactly what is happening with Ary as he is being represented by Liberty Counsel and every article written about the situation presents only that side of the story as Ary's school district is refusing to comment.

And so it just serves up a prime opportunity for Bryan Fischer to renew his "gays commit hate crimes" campaign and trot out his "The Nazis were all gay" claims:

One can be forgiven for asking what in the world a German teacher is doing talking about homosexuality in his classroom in the first place. Apparently the tenuous link was that the teacher brought up the topic of homosexuality in Germany.

Fine. Does this teacher tell his students that Adolf Hitler was a homosexual, and developed a police record as a homosexual prostitute on the streets of Vienna? Does he tell his students that the Nazi Party started in a homosexual bar in Munich? Does this teacher tell his students that virtually all of the Brownshirts, the Storm Troopers who served as Hitler’s thugs and enforcers, were themselves homosexuals?

Does he tell his students that students in German schools are taught these things because they never want a repeat of the Nazi horror?

Thanks to the intervention of Liberty Counsel and attorney Matt Krause, the school has backed this Gaystapo teacher down and rescinded this Nazi-esque suspension in time for this honors student to play in the school’s next football game.

As a culture, we must come to grips with the simple truth that we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and freedom because we cannot have both. There is no room in the homosexual lobby for freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press or even association.

Quite simply, we must choose between homosexuality and liberty. Let’s be sure we make the right choice.

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:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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"?

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