Anti-Choice

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Fortunately for CAIR, Newt Gingrich will never be president.
  • Looks like John Boehner is getting his own Tea Party/Randall Terry acolyte primary challenger.
  • It is always amusing to watch people try to explain and/or defend the things Pat Robertson says.
  • Richard Viguerie has produced a pamphlet explaining that "government is the oldest, largest and most pervasive lawbreaker in America." Sounds fascinating.
  • Finally, Frank Pavone says that if he diocese won't let him pursue his anti-choice activism full time, he may have to transfer to a different one or found "a new religious order for priests seeking to be involved in full-time pro-life work."

Porter's Israel Coalition Promotes Claim That September 11 Attacks Represented God's Judgment

While right now Janet Porter is focused on using spiritual warfare to persuade the Ohio State Senate to pass her anti-choice ‘Heartbeat bill,’ she continues to lead the Christian Zionist group ‘Israel: You’re Not Alone.’ Porter was able to bring together an impressive list of supporters including well known conservative leaders Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, Mat Staver, and Tim Wildmon, and during the group’s introductory press conference accused President Obama of carrying out “ethnic cleansing.”

On September 11th the organization released a statement calling for “repentance of the sin pervading the Earth and its inhabitants” and a plea for “media outlets to consider the material presented in a 10-minute video and to present this to their viewers, listeners, or readers in some format.”

The graphic video Porter’s group advertises was made by preacher Carl Gallups and depicts the September 11th attacks as a “biblical sign of judgment” and calls out politicians for the “arrogance of defiance” which is “the highest insult against the Most High God”:

“The eight harbingers of judgment pronounced on Israel,” Gallups claims, “are identically pronounced on the United States of America and have been acted out by our own nation’s leaders.” Gallups concludes:

It was in New York City where America began as a nation, it was where this nation was started, and it was there that the warning of the judgment of God was given on September 11, 2001. America on its day of birth of a nation was dedicated to God at the corner of a plot of land now known by a more ominous name, now known as Ground Zero. Ground Zero is the mystery place of American history; it was right there at the corner of Ground Zero that our nation’s first government knelt and prayed and it was there on September 11th where God spoke again. What happens to America, and probably soon, will depend upon whether America is willing to repent and turn back to God, or not.

Along with Huckabee, other Religious Right activists that signed onto her coalition include James Robison, Lou Sheldon, Jerry Boykin, Rick Scarborough, Rob Schenck, Paul Blair, Don Feder, Bill Federer, Gordon Klingenschmitt, and E.W. Jackson, and New Apostolic Reformation figures Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Che Ahn, Don Finto, Robert Stearns and Chuck Pierce. The signatories also included the Messianic Jewish Alliance and Toward Jerusalem Council II, which both work to convert Jews to Christianity.

While partnering with an extremist like Porter should’ve been alarming enough, do Mike Huckabee and the countless other conservative leaders want to continue their partnership with a group that endorses the claim that the September 11th attacks were a “biblical sign of judgment”?

Personhood USA Sets Sights On Ohio

Mississippi is set to vote this November on a patently unconstitutional personhood amendment that would criminalize abortion in their state, and ‘personhood’ advocates now strive to put a similar amendment on the ballot in Ohio in 2012. Personhood laws would not only prohibit abortion in all cases but also ban certain forms of birth control and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies by giving legal rights to zygotes. The anti-choice activists hope that Ohio will vote on it at the same time as the swing state’s closely contested presidential election. Right now Ohio is on the brink of passing Janet Porter’s ‘Heartbeat bill’ that would ban abortion in the vast majority of cases, but Porter has taken heat that her prized legislation doesn’t go as far as personhood laws.

The American Family Association, which is financing the personhood campaign in Mississippi, reports that Personhood Ohio, the state affiliate of Personhood USA, wants the amendment, if passed, enforced even if it is struck down by the courts. “There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives,” said Patrick Johnston of Personhood Ohio, “We don't have to obey them:

A campaign is under way in Ohio to place a Personhood Amendment on the 2012 ballot.

Article 1, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution currently reads: "All persons are, by nature, free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life..." The Personhood Amendment would add that "the word 'person' or 'persons' applies to every human being at every stage of biological development of that human being or human organism, including fertilization."

The idea is to amend the state constitution to define that a person is a person when human life begins at conception or fertilization. Dr. Patrick Johnston of Zanesville, a family physician who heads the campaign, says the constitutional addition would protect all unborn babies in Ohio, without exception. Personhood Ohio volunteers must now obtain 380,000 signatures to call for the election.

"It's a good state to go directly to the voters to gather enough signatures, and then go to the voters and the ballot box and bypass the committees that end up corrupting good pro-life legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate," Johnston explains.

That corruption, he sayts [sic], reaches the point where exceptions are made that result in abortions. But he believes Ohio's pro-life leaning is strong, so even if a court rules against it, it does not necessarily mean anything.

"There [are] several constitutional measures we can take," the physician asserts. "One is we can ignore it. There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives. We don't have to obey them."

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.

Porter Bringing In The Prophets To Pray For Passage Of Heartbeat Bill

Janet Porter has, in many ways, been at the center of the merger between the "mainstream" Religious Right and the Dominionist prophets and apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation.  In fact, it was through Porter's participation in the "Convergence 2010" event, where she prayed that Christians would take control of the media, that we first became aware of the likes of Cindy Jacobs. 

Since then, Porter has gotten progressively more involved with the movement - so much so that she lost her radio program due to her embrace of Seven Mountains Dominionism.

But now Porter is back, pushing her radically anti-choice "Heartbeat Bill" in Ohio and her effort has won the support of everyone from Rick Perry to Michele Bachmann.  And next week Porter will once again be bringing self-proclaimed "prophets" like Lou Engle and Rick Joyner together with Religious Right activists like Wendy Wright and Rick Scarborough, this time to press for passage of her bill

Come to the event that will signal the beginning of the end of abortion in America! We've reserved the Ohio Statehouse Atrium (downtown Columbus, Ohio) on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to greet the Ohio senators as they come back from their summer recess. This is an event you will tell your children and grandchildren about! We will begin the day with prayer from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with Pastor Dutch Sheets, author of "Intercessory Prayer," and Lou Engle of the Call. The rally begins at 11 a.m.



Several of the senators will be speaking, along with the who's who of the pro-life movement, beginning with the founder of both Ohio and National Right to Life, Dr. Jack Willke. Also speaking will be Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Troy Newman from Operation Rescue, Dr. Rick Scarborough of Vision America, Dr. Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leadership, Rick Joyner of the Oak Initiative, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values and Timothy Johnson of the Frederick Douglass Foundation.


Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney while Bobby Jindal is set to endorse Rick Perry.
  • Hey, what do you know?  The Religious Right is mobilizing pastors to get active in the 2012 elections.
  • On a related note, a coalition of anti-choice groups are mobilizing to register voters.
  • James Dobson suffered several broken bones in a horse-riding accident.
  • The man charged with helping Lisa Miller to flee the country wants his statements quashed and his trial moved out of Vermont.

Huckabee To Keynote Fundraiser For Personhood Mississippi

Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi, the group running the campaign to pass Amendment 26, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions by giving rights to zygotes. In addition to banning abortion, the personhood amendment would also make certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies a crime. The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, committed $100,000 to fund the effort to pass Amendment 26 in November.

By supporting Amendment 26, Huckabee places himself even to the right of the National Right to Life Committee, which refused to back Colorado’s failed personhood amendment because they thought it was counter-productive and likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.

Moreover, the founder and director of Personhood Mississippi is far-right extremist Les Riley. Riley used to be a featured blogger for the Christian separatist group Christian Exodus, until his posts were conspicuously removed from the group’s site. But luckily, he left a paper trail:

According to Christian Exodus’s mission statement, “The initial goal was to move thousands of Christian constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return to self-government based upon Christian principles at the local and State level. This project continues to this day, with the ultimate goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

The group, which is closely tied to the neo-confederate League of the South, attempted to set up an independent, theocratic state in South Carolina by 2016 but has since moved on to creating theocratic settlements in Panama and Idaho.

Riley is also chairman of the Constitution Party of Mississippi and stated that its goal is to “restore American government to its Constiutional [sic] limits and American jurisprudence to its Biblical presuppositions.” According to their platform, “The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law.”

But for Huckabee, it seems no activist is too radical to work with.

'Abortion In The Hood' Campaign Revives 'Black Genocide' Smear

No matter how many times the deceitful claim that abortion providers are systematically targeting the black community for genocide is repudiated, new anti-choice groups can’t seem to stop running more ‘black genocide’ billboard campaigns. In March, a group called Life Always notoriously used images of President Barack Obama and a young black girl in their billboard campaign that abortion is black genocide. Earlier this summer the National Black Pro-Life Coalition put up billboards in Atlanta likening legal abortion to slavery and the Radiance Foundation and Issues4Life placed billboards in Oakland as part of their campaign comparing abortion rights to the genocide in Darfur.

Now, a new group called the Restoration Project is placing billboards in Atlanta with a similar message in their ‘Abortion In The Hood’ campaign.

The Restoration Project was founded and is led by Catherine Davis, who previously was “director of minority outreach” for Georgia Right to Life with a role of “educating Georgians about the holocaustic impact this practice has had on the Black community.” Davis says that the ‘Abortion in the Hood’ billboards are supposed to both spread the ‘black genocide’ message while also shaming pro-choice female and black leaders. Davis told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow: “If this were alcohol or tobacco, we would have African-Americans marching in the street. But because it's abortion, they are not willing to examine this question, and they're turning a blind eye, and we are asking why that is.”

Her group calls out the Congressional Black Caucus in particular for supporting “abortionists as they prey on Georgia’s black women and target our children”:

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has long told the black community they are “leading our communities and country with passion and commitment” assuring us that they “… continuously strive to be a voice for the voiceless, earning the moniker “the conscience of the Congress” (Emmanuel Cleaver, III, Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus).

Yet, neither the CBC, nor its members from Georgia has examined abortion’s impact on the people they serve. Instead they have turned a blind eye to abortion’s impact by voting for legislation that promotes and supports abortion. They have betrayed their constituents instead giving “voice” to the abortionists as they prey on Georgia’s black women and target our children. They refuse to examine the disproportionate number of abortions on black women. They do not seek explanation for abortion’s depopulation effect on us.

Each is rated 100% by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), indicating a pro-abortion voting record. Georgia is among the states leading in abortions on black women and our members of the CBC will not question why. They will not discuss the fact that one hundred percent of Georgia’s abortion clinics are in urban areas where blacks reside. We demand they begin to ask why!

If Dominionism Is A Liberal Conspiracy, Why Does It Have Conservative Critics?

Over the last week Kyle has been rebutting claims by some journalists and Religious Right activists that Dominionism, which contends that fundamentalist Christians must take ‘dominion’ over society and government, is nothing more than a liberal conspiracy. Dominionism has been gaining attention as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s close ties with outspoken propagators of the radical dominionist ideology come to light.

In a post today, Rachel Tabachnik takes on the Washington Post’s Lisa Miller’s much-discussed article dismissing dominionism. Tabachnik notes that Miller’s article quoted Mark DeMoss downplaying the prevalence of dominionism in the Religious Right - without noting that the DeMoss Group has ties to Bill Bright, the founder of the dominionist Seven Mountains ideology, and Gary DeMar, who is a chief proponent of the Christian Reconstructionism, a hardline dominionist ideology.

As Kyle noted last week, Pat Robertson denied knowing anything about Dominionism, even though he delivered a speech where he urged his audience to “get ready to take dominion!” and Matt Barber of Liberty University School of Law called it a “scary Christian monster that lives under liberals’ beds,” despite the fact the Liberty University School of Law sponsored DeMar’s conference last year, called "2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference — Biblical Blueprints for Victory!" In fact, the Communications Director of Truth In Action Ministries, which until recently was called Coral Ridge Ministries, claimed that “dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right,” even though prominent dominionist Janet Porter was once the head of a Coral Ridge Ministries affiliate. So if domininionism doesn’t exist and is merely a construct of the left, then why was Porter fired by two conservative Christian radio stations for promoting…“dominionism”?

Last year, Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) fired Porter because of what they called the “drift of [Porter’s] program toward ‘dominion theology.’” VCY America says it is dedicated to “featuring solid Bible teaching programs” and features conservative programming like ‘The Phyllis Schlafly Report’ and ‘Freedom’s Call,’ Liberty Counsel’s radio bulletin.

Listen to VCY’s decision on Porter’s firing, which states that “VCY America does not believe in Dominion theology or waging spiritual war for the establishment of an earthly kingdom of power, that is dominion theology and it is being promoted by many who are guided by their own dreams and visions and not necessarily the Word of God”:

VCY America also hosted Sarah Leslie of the Discernment Research Group and the Herescope blog, who has worked to expose dominionism. Leslie is the former head of Iowa Right to Life, hardly a liberal activist, who talked to VCY America about the rise of Seven Mountains Dominionism:

VCY America wasn’t the only Christian radio station to fire Porter for promoting dominionism. Worldview Radio also dropped Porter for promoting “Dominion theology” and working “with the Dominion theory theology people” during her May Day prayer rally.

Surely, Barber can ask Porter herself why she was fired, since she was a featured speaker at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 and Liberty Counsel sponsored Porter’s How To Take Back America conference. Or ask Dominionism’s many conservative critics.

If you want a taste of what dominionism sounds like, watch Janet Porter preach with Cindy Jacobs about taking control of the mountain of government:

Engle, Joyner Come Together To Promote The Call

Lou Engle and Rick Joyner will be working together in September to promote The Call: Detroit, Engle’s prayer rally on November 11. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since both are closely involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, or the movement which believes that God is ordaining a new generation of prophets and apostles. Both have prophesied that America is turning into Nazi Germany and have claimed to know the reasons behind natural disasters, with Joyner calling Hurricane Katrina God’s judgment for homosexuality and Engle asserting that the Joplin, Missouri tornado was God’s punishment for legal abortion. Engle and Joyner, who leads MorningStar Ministries and The Oak Initiative, are also strong proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, which posits that fundamentalist Christians should take control over the seven most influential sectors of society: government, family, media, business, education, arts and entertainment, and the church.

Engle and Joyner are hosting the 'Mobilization Conference for The Call Detroit' on September 9-10, where the two “will be sharing a message that evening on the seasons of time we are in and the importance of the upcoming gathering at Ford Field in Detroit.”

The Call has previously won endorsements from Republican and Religious Right leaders including Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Tim Wildmon, Harry Jackson and Mat Staver. The rally is intended to use “spiritual warfare” to make abortion illegal and ban same-sex marriage. Engle has said that The Call: Detroit will also focus on converting Muslims to Christianity along with the usual anti-choice and anti-gay efforts. Engle also released a new video publicizing the prayer rally:

Another figure running the ‘Mobilizaiton Conference for The Call’ with Engle and Joyner is self-proclaimed apostle Barbara Yoder. Yoder says she is a follower of Peter Wagner, who is seen as the architect of the New Apostolic Reformation, and her biography lists her as a: “Member of Eagles’ Vision Apostolic Team led by Drs. Peter and Doris Wagner; Michigan State Coordinator Global Apostolic Prayer Network under Dr. Peter Wagner and Dr. Chuck Pierce; Member of the core faculty for Wagner Leadership Institute; Member of the International Coalition of Apostles under the direction of Dr. Peter Wagner.”

In her book Taking on Goliath: How to Stand Against The Spiritual Enemies in Your Life and Win, Yoder warns of the loss of America’s white majority and the rampant bisexuality unleashed after Britney Spears and Madonna kissed at the MTV Video Music Awards:

In terms of spiritual beliefs, pluralism means that there is no single path to God. Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, or whatever someone thinks is ‘the way’ will work as long as we end up with ‘god’—and ill-defined god at that. Pluralism rejects the Bible as the source of absolute truth. Many Americans prefer pluralism as the most plausible belief system.

In terms of human cultural mix, American culture is increasingly formed from multiple cultures. Hispanics or Latinos have emerged as the leading minority group, Latinizing the national culture. The Caucasian majority, who came from European roots, is aging and cannot compete with the fertility rates of the minorities. Asian and Middle Eastern nations are sending a flood of immigrants to American shores. This has a noticeable effect on the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our national character.



It seems as if there are no boundaries anymore. Adultery and fornication are rampant, not only in the society at large but in the church as well. Television and Internet ads are sexualized. Previous taboos have been eliminated, and television programs include sex acts.

It is now ‘normal’ to be homosexual or bisexual. When Madonna and Britney Spears were photographed kissing each other, a forbidden boundary was removed. Now it is the rage among junior high and high school girls to take pictures of themselves kissing each other and post them on their Myspace.com pages. Anything goes.

Yoder’s warning of the deleterious consequences of Madonna and Britney Spears kissing has already been addressed at The Call, when self-proclaimed Prophet Cindy Jacobs preached against it at The Call: Sacramento last year:

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

The Catholic League has rallied to the defense of their anti-gay allies the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family as a reaction to a campaign by LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates to have corporations drop out of the Charity Give Back Group, which sponsors the FRC and Focus. The Charity Give Back Group (formerly known as the Christian Values Network) allows customers to shop in a virtual mall and direct proceeds to CGBG affiliated groups, which led to complaints as a number of the CGBG’s charities are actually anti-choice and anti-gay political groups.

Yesterday, Bill Donohue joined Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, on his radio program Washington Watch. “Radical proponents of gay marriage have taken the culture war to the marketplace,” Donohue said in a statement on the CGBG controversy, charging them with declaring “economic war against any organization that embraces the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage.” He told activists: “If these extremists get their way, they will silence the Christian voice. Which is why the bullies must be defeated.”

Of course, it is ironic for the Catholic League to accuse “extremists” of trying to “silence” the voices of their opponents, seeing as that Donohue led the successful push for the Smithsonian to censor their exhibit on LGBT-themed art.

But the irony doesn’t end there.

During his interview with Perkins, Donohue denied that Religious Right organizations like the Catholic League or the Family Research Council lead similar pressure campaigns, saying “our side doesn’t do likewise,” continuing, “I don’t want people to say, ‘oh well you know Catholics and Protestants and Christians in general when we don’t get our way we try to do the same thing through retaliation,’ we do not.” He asserted, “we’re not asking companies, corporations to take sides in the culture war…we’re not asking for reprisal against those people with whom we disagree, we just leave the marketplace to itself.”

Donohue also warned Perkins that just as South Africa’s white minority held power for decades under the racist Apartheid system, supporters of gay rights can do the same in America:

If people don’t realize what we’re up against here, they may be a minority but you know it was a minority of people in South Africa who took away the rights of Black people. You can be a well-organized minority in this country here such as those on the left, gay and straight alike, and have a tremendous amount of influence if you have this lust and appetite for power.

While we already know that the Family Research Council backed pressure campaigns against companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, the Catholic League under Donohue has led countless boycotts and pressure campaigns.

Here are some of the companies and programs that Donohue launched what he would call “retaliation” and “reprisal” campaigns against: Disney; 20th Century Fox; Wal-Mart; ‘The Golden Compass;’ Miller; Showtime, and CBS, which it promised to face the “biggest boycott in history” if CBS hired Howard Stern.

So remember, when LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates ask companies to drop out of a service that directs money to right-wing political organizations, it’s “economic war,” but when Religious Right groups lead boycotts and pressure campaigns against companies, they are simply standing up for their values.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida school teacher Jerry Buell has been reinstated after posting anti-gay marriage remarks on his Facebook page. But that probably won't be the end of the Religious Right's crusade about it.
  • Tony Perkins says the Religious Right would be pretty happy with any of the GOP frontrunners. I highly doubt that is true regarding Mitt Romney.
  • Rick Perry has signed the Susan B. Anthony's anti-choice pledge.
  • Another day, another piece dismissing dominionism devoid of any research whatsoever.
  • The defamation claim against John Stemberger over statements he made while representing Rifqa Bary has been dropped.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera thinks that Fox News is pro-gay because it is "based in New York City, which is a gay Mecca."

Engle: The Call Needed To Convert Gays and Lesbians, Muslims

After many of the organizers for Lou Engle’s The Call put on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston, Engle is gearing up for The Call: Detroit on November, 11th. The Call is a youth-focused prayer rally centered on militantly anti-choice and anti-gay messages and has received the endorsements of leading Republican and Religious Right figures like Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Tim Wildmon, Mat Staver and Pat Robertson. Engle recently promoted The Call at Awakening: 2011 in Chicago, and echoed his earlier sentiment about The Call’s goal of converting “millions of Muslims” to Christianity and transforming “urban communities”:

Later, Engle discussed the 2008 The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium which he led with Dobson, Perkins, Jim Garlow, Dutch Sheets, and Che Ahn where they supposedly secured the passage of Proposition 8 through their prayers. He said that during the rally he prayed for gays and lesbians to become heterosexual ‘ex-gays,’ saying, “We held a big gathering of The Call in San Diego praying that God would save and can transform a hundred thousand gay and lesbian men and women by the power of God.” Engle even claimed that he later met a woman who said she became an ‘ex-gay’ as a result of their prayers:

The Response: Praying To End Abortion In America

The second portion of Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally was dedicated to "repentance for the shedding of innocent blood" by which they meant abortion.  Which was why they brought anti-choice activists Alveda King, Lila Rose, Harry Jackson and Susan Tyrrell on stage to publicly pray to see the end of abortion in America:

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

Porter Keeps Up Pressure For Passage Of "Heartbeat Bill"

In June, Janet Porter's radical anti-choice "Heartbeat Bill" passed the Ohio State House but then stalled when the state legislature recessed without the bill being taken up by the Senate.

But the Legislature will return in September and Porter is already planning a rally to welcome them back that will continue her efforts to join together Religious Right leaders with prophetic dominionists by mixing the likes of Wendy Wright [formerly] of Concerned Women for America and Rick Scarborough from Vision America in with Porter's prophetic pal Rick Joyner of The Oak Initiative:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Just 6,000 people have RSVP’d so far for Perry’s The Response.
  • A Houston judge dismissed the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit against Perry.

Rick Perry Partners With Anti-Choice Extremist For Prayer Rally

Yet another radical endorser has been added to the website of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally: Rob Schenck of Faith And Action. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Schenck was arrested along with Randall Terry “after thrusting a container with a 19-week-old fetus at presidential candidate Bill Clinton,” and four years later told President Clinton “God will hold you to account, Mr. President” for his pro-choice views. Schenk helped Terry found Operation Rescue, one of the most extreme and controversial anti-choice groups in America.

Schenk continues to work closely with other anti-choice zealots, including his brother Paul, who leads that National Pro-Life Action Center. In the 1990s, Schenck and his brother spearheaded a harassment campaign against an abortion provider in upstate New York who was later murdered by an anti-choice activist who is alleged to have had ties with the Schenck brothers.

Along with his militant anti-choice activism, Schenck has repeatedly questioned President Obama’s Christian faith and in 2006 described a deadly mining disaster in West Virginia as a punishment from God. Schenck is also a staunch opponent of gay rights. He called the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell an “attack on personal, moral, social and religious sensibilities” and criticized “militant homosexual activists” for holding an LGBT pride parade in Jerusalem, calling it an “abomination.”

Judging from Perry’s other prayer rally organizers, Schenck will fit right in.

Author of ‘Anti-Christian’ DHS Report on Right-Wing Extremism is a Conservative, Anti-Choice Gun Owner

The Religious Right loves manufacturing controversies that “prove” the victimization of Christians in the United States. When NBC left the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance in the broadcast of a golf tournament, Religious Right groups jumped to proclaim that the network was in the pocket of God-hating liberalism. When an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery included an image of Christ’s suffering made by a gay artist, the Religious Right called it “hate speech” and got the work of art pulled.

Recently, we’ve been reminded of one of these made-up controversies that may have more sinister consequences. In 2009, a Department of Homeland Security report on the threat of violent right-wing extremists was leaked. The report dealt exclusively with violent racist and anti-government groups – your Timothy McVeighs and Hutaree militias – but the Religious Right saw an opportunity to play the victim and do some fundraising. Groups including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the American Center for Law and Justice labeled the report an attack on American Christians, ginned themselves up some allies in Congress, and ultimately got the report pulled. (But not before Liberty Counsel had a chance to print up some “I’m Proud to be a Right Wing Extremist” membership cards).

Now, the main author of the DHS report, who left his job after the fallout from the controversy made it “difficult to get any work accomplished,” is speaking out. Daryl Johnson tells California State University’s Brian Levin that he is a gun-owning, anti-choice Republican Mormon who started work on the report under the Bush Administration. And he’s worried that the manufactured controversy over the report continues to hinder DHS’s ability to combat violent right-wing extremism:

Do you have any political antagonism towards conservatives, military veterans or religious people?
Absolutely not. I am a conservative. I'm married, have children and am a lifetime third generation registered Republican. I have military veterans in my extended family. I'm also a Mormon. I respect people of all faiths. I feel so strongly about our religious freedoms, that I served two years as a missionary for my church.

Would you consider yourself prolife?
Yes. I believe in the sanctity of life including the preborn.

Do you support a broad right to individual gun ownership by competent non-felons?
Yes, I am a gun owner myself and enjoy target shooting and experienced game hunting in my youth.

Why interview now?
Obviously, I couldn't discuss this with the media while employed at DHS. It took me a year after leaving to finally decide that this was truly the right thing to do. I also wanted to give DHS adequate time to determine whether or not it wanted to reconstitute the domestic non-Islamic terrorism effort. It never did.
Since Obama took office, there have been nearly twenty extremist rightwing attacks and plots, including the killing of almost a dozen police officers in six separate attacks. There have also been militia plots in places like Alaska and Michigan that targeted government officials such as a judge and police. Package bombs were mailed in the DC area. In recent months we had three sovereign citizen related shootings in Florida, Arizona and Texas.

How many people worked on your team?
Six worked directly for me with two others in support roles.

How many analysts at DHS worked Muslim extremism issues?
A: In 2008, there were close to 40. A year later that number had decreased to around 25. There were additional analysts working other topics such as critical infrastructure, border security and weapons of mass destruction.

How does the threat from radical Muslim extremists in the U.S. compare with that of right wing domestic extremists?
During the past 10 years there have been five successful attacks in the U.S. by Muslim extremists, but in the last three years there have been 20 attacks attributed to domestic right wing extremists and the number of fatalities is about equal between the two. There were more firearms possessed by the Hutaree [an alleged extremist] militia than by all 200 of the Muslim extremists arrested in the U.S. since 9/11.

What happened at DHS as a result of the criticism?
My team was dissolved. All training courses and briefings presentations were stopped. DHS leaders made it increasingly difficult to release another report on this topic.
Why would DHS leaders dissolve your team and stop these analytic activities?
The subject had become too politically charged. As a result, DHS leaders adopted a risk adverse approach toward this issue. Perhaps they thought it was a matter of organizational preservation.

Do you think the dissolution of your unit that you discuss has negatively affected State and local law enforcement?
Certainly. There is one less agency to assist state and local law enforcement with this growing and dangerous problem at a time of heightened activity.

Why did you leave DHS?
I could no longer effectively do my job. New processes made it increasingly difficult to get any work accomplished.

Have the conditions which affected your conclusions changed since the report was issued?
No. The factors have remained the same - the economy remains sluggish and uncertain; unemployment hovers around 10 percent nationally; Obama is still President; and the 2010 Census results show a changing demographic in America shifting away from a predominantly Caucasian nation.

Has the leak had a chilling effect on the analyst community?
Within the intelligence community at-large, I don't think so. Inside the Department of Homeland Security, I believe it did. Other DHS analysts saw what happened to us - saw leadership backing away from supporting the report and those responsible for writing it. Many left the agency as a result.

 

Who's Who in Today's DOMA Hearing

Cross-posted on PFAW blog

Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights:

CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena:

• Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, demanding the discriminatory policy’s reinstatement.

• The group claims anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth in schools amount to “homosexual indoctrination” and “promote homosexuality in kids.”

• The group insists that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over its refusal to defend the unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is backed by the far-right Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch- backed Castle Rock Foundation, all well-known right-wing funders.

• George Weigel of EPPC wrote in June that “legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause.”

• Ed Whelan spearheaded the unsuccessful and widely panned effort to throw out Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision finding California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Walker was in a committed same-sex relationship at the time of the decision.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dedicated to pushing a far-right legal agenda:

• The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."

• The ADF claims 38 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections in the name of “free speech” and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which allowed the Boy Scouts to fire a Scout Leader because he was gay.


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Anti-Choice Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 11/06/2014, 12:01pm
In a blog post today, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute (state affiliate of the American Family Association) turns to a colorful analogy to describe the Republican Party’s internal conflicts. Higgins contends that the establishment GOP, which worked this year to stamp out some of the more vocally extreme candidates in its ranks this year, is like Tolkein’s Gollum, so captivated by a shiny object that it ends up destroying itself and those it loves. (In The Lord of the Rings, the shiny object is the One Ring. In contemporary politics, it’s presumably voters... MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 11/05/2014, 12:34pm
Yesterday, voters in Tennessee approved a ballot measure amending the state constitution to remove all legal protections for abortion rights, paving the way for state lawmakers to pass broad abortion restrictions. At the same time, voters in Colorado and North Dakota overwhelmingly rejected “personhood” measures that would have given the full rights of citizenship to zygotes, thereby criminalizing all abortion along with some forms of birth control. In Colorado, where the nation’s foremost personhood advocacy group is based, it was the third time such a measure had been... MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 10/08/2014, 12:39pm
In an interview with Steve Deace yesterday, Institute on the Constitution head and Maryland GOP politician Michael Peroutka claimed that the aim of LGBT rights advocates is to “recruit your children” into their “deathstyle.” “Is this about sinful people want to engage in their sin, or is this about making a statement that you will go along with the sin?” Peroutka asked about the LGBT rights movement. Deace responded by repeating his theory that LGBT people are simply seeking “validation” from the government because they can’t get it... MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 10/08/2014, 9:49am
In an interview with Iowa-based conservative talk show host Steve Deace on Monday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee repeated his recommendation that governors simply ignore the Supreme Court’s decision to let stand lower court rulings legalizing marriage equality in several new states, adding that state governments should have also ignored Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court rulings banning school-sponsored prayer. When Deace pressed him on the “maelstrom” that would be set off if state governments simply ignored court rulings on marriage, Huckabee responded that it was in... MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 09/26/2014, 11:59am
In an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios at the Values Voter Summit this morning, Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin predicted that God will soon humble America with a Civil-War-like reckoning for legal abortion and pornography, which he equated with “the evil, the sin of slavery.” “If we ask God to humble us, if we ask God to bring us to a point where we do turn back to him… we’ve got to be prepared for greater persecution, we’ve got to be prepared to be knocked to our knees, not just invited to... MORE
Drew Courtney, Monday 09/22/2014, 11:37am
This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.... MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 09/19/2014, 1:33pm
Late last month, Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life and the National Personhood Alliancehosted Brian Clowes, the director of education and research at the Catholic group Human Life International, to discuss not their mutual opposition to abortion rights but the topic of LGBT rights, which Smith believes is inseparable from the anti-choice fight. Over the course of 45 minutes, the two activists ran through an encyclopedia of anti-gay myths, including that gay men are prone to molest children, that people become gay because of abuse or neglect in their childhood, and that gay people have... MORE