California

Religious Right Now Attacks Episcopal Church for Protecting the Environment

Yesterday, a leader of the Religious Right declared that Episcopal Church should no longer be considered Christian because the church backs equality for gays and lesbians. Now, the Episcopal Church is under attack from the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a far-right organization with a history of vilifying mainline denominations, as a result of the church’s support for environmentalism and action to combat climate change. Writing for David Horowitz’s far-right Front Page Magazine, IRD president Mark Tooley assails Episcopalians for working to promote environmental protection and assistance for developing countries, stating that for Episcopalians, “‘the Earth’ displaces a higher authority whom believers better merits a ‘relationship.’”

Tooley’s criticism of the Episcopal Church reflects the growth of climate change denialism among Religious Right leaders. The Cornwall Alliance, joined by representatives of groups including Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association, recently announced a campaign against “The Green Dragon.” Members of the campaign attacked environmentalists’ “lust for political power” and accused them of “pointing people away from God,” “believing and promoting exaggerations and myths,” and “scaring little children to achieve [their] political ends,” among other charges.

Similarly, Tooley recycles bogus “Climategate” accusations and claims that the Episcopal Church’s efforts to protect the environment and work against climate change actually show that Episcopalians are “fear-mongers” who are replacing “the concept of divine judgment with apocalyptic environmental scare scenarios.” Tooley writes:

These particular Episcopal global warming fear-mongers came from the north and the south and the east and the west, as though in fulfillment of the biblical end times. Or more specifically, they came from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., including the bishops of California, who no doubt would be piously loath to miss any global warming guilt-fest.

“We have lost a sense of connection with the world, and have become dominators rather than ‘good gardeners;’ over-developed countries have given themselves over to the sin of consumerism,” a fretful statement by the group intoned. “This sin, as sin always does, has clouded and distorted all our relationships: between people, with the Earth, and with our creator God.” The Religious Left sometimes, a little pantheistically, likes to speak of “relationships” with inanimate objects, like “the Earth.” For them, sometimes “the Earth” displaces a higher authority whom believers better merits a “relationship.”

The Episcopal group met around the theme of “climate justice” December 7 – 10, 2010 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic at the Bishop Kellogg Retreat Center, intentionally overlapping with the United Nations’ climate change meeting in Mexico. For the Religious Left, the UN carries almost transcendent authority, though perhaps not so much as “the Earth.”



The Anglican global warming group also committed to “recruit and empower a core of missionaries from the global south” to come to the United States, “in a ministry of accompaniment and consciousness-raising about the effects of climate change.” Traditional Christians understand missionaries as proclaimers of the Gospel. But the Religious Left has mostly reinterpreted redemption to mean conformity to its own political agenda. Its “missionaries” declare the Good News of reduced political and economic liberty in service to statism and international regulation.



According to the Episcopal News Service, about 30 attended the Anglican global warming jamboree, including seminarians from Berkeley Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and several Latin American institutions. No doubt all were suitably enraged when told about repeated instances of “climate injustice” such as the consumption of resources “at such a frantic rate that we are stealing from the future generations of the Earth.” Participants complained about rising water levels “displacing entire island populations,” deforestation, the “decimation” of indigenous peoples, and degraded rivers affected by toxic runoff and human waste. All are the sinister products of global warming, the organizers insisted, having largely replaced the concept of divine judgment with apocalyptic environmental scare scenarios.

“Our hope is in God … who does not forget the covenants made with the Earth, and our hope is in our capacity to love,” the Anglican/Episcopal statement decreed, without citing a Scriptural reference for where the Almighty ever made agreements with “the Earth.” But as devoted servants of “the Earth,” the Episcopal Church segment of the Religious Left no doubt will persevere in its increasingly dubious global warming crusade, perhaps relating to a lonely Noah when he built the ark, and no doubt hoping for eventual vindication.

Religious Right Now Attacks Episcopal Church for Protecting the Environment

Yesterday, a leader of the Religious Right declared that Episcopal Church should no longer be considered Christian because the church backs equality for gays and lesbians. Now, the Episcopal Church is under attack from the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a far-right organization with a history of vilifying mainline denominations, as a result of the church’s support for environmentalism and action to combat climate change. Writing for David Horowitz’s far-right Front Page Magazine, IRD president Mark Tooley assails Episcopalians for working to promote environmental protection and assistance for developing countries, stating that for Episcopalians, “‘the Earth’ displaces a higher authority whom believers better merits a ‘relationship.’”

Tooley’s criticism of the Episcopal Church reflects the growth of climate change denialism among Religious Right leaders. The Cornwall Alliance, joined by representatives of groups including Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association, recently announced a campaign against “The Green Dragon.” Members of the campaign attacked environmentalists’ “lust for political power” and accused them of “pointing people away from God,” “believing and promoting exaggerations and myths,” and “scaring little children to achieve [their] political ends,” among other charges.

Similarly, Tooley recycles bogus “Climategate” accusations and claims that the Episcopal Church’s efforts to protect the environment and work against climate change actually show that Episcopalians are “fear-mongers” who are replacing “the concept of divine judgment with apocalyptic environmental scare scenarios.” Tooley writes:

These particular Episcopal global warming fear-mongers came from the north and the south and the east and the west, as though in fulfillment of the biblical end times. Or more specifically, they came from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., including the bishops of California, who no doubt would be piously loath to miss any global warming guilt-fest.

“We have lost a sense of connection with the world, and have become dominators rather than ‘good gardeners;’ over-developed countries have given themselves over to the sin of consumerism,” a fretful statement by the group intoned. “This sin, as sin always does, has clouded and distorted all our relationships: between people, with the Earth, and with our creator God.” The Religious Left sometimes, a little pantheistically, likes to speak of “relationships” with inanimate objects, like “the Earth.” For them, sometimes “the Earth” displaces a higher authority whom believers better merits a “relationship.”

The Episcopal group met around the theme of “climate justice” December 7 – 10, 2010 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic at the Bishop Kellogg Retreat Center, intentionally overlapping with the United Nations’ climate change meeting in Mexico. For the Religious Left, the UN carries almost transcendent authority, though perhaps not so much as “the Earth.”



The Anglican global warming group also committed to “recruit and empower a core of missionaries from the global south” to come to the United States, “in a ministry of accompaniment and consciousness-raising about the effects of climate change.” Traditional Christians understand missionaries as proclaimers of the Gospel. But the Religious Left has mostly reinterpreted redemption to mean conformity to its own political agenda. Its “missionaries” declare the Good News of reduced political and economic liberty in service to statism and international regulation.



According to the Episcopal News Service, about 30 attended the Anglican global warming jamboree, including seminarians from Berkeley Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and several Latin American institutions. No doubt all were suitably enraged when told about repeated instances of “climate injustice” such as the consumption of resources “at such a frantic rate that we are stealing from the future generations of the Earth.” Participants complained about rising water levels “displacing entire island populations,” deforestation, the “decimation” of indigenous peoples, and degraded rivers affected by toxic runoff and human waste. All are the sinister products of global warming, the organizers insisted, having largely replaced the concept of divine judgment with apocalyptic environmental scare scenarios.

“Our hope is in God … who does not forget the covenants made with the Earth, and our hope is in our capacity to love,” the Anglican/Episcopal statement decreed, without citing a Scriptural reference for where the Almighty ever made agreements with “the Earth.” But as devoted servants of “the Earth,” the Episcopal Church segment of the Religious Left no doubt will persevere in its increasingly dubious global warming crusade, perhaps relating to a lonely Noah when he built the ark, and no doubt hoping for eventual vindication.

FRC Pressuring House Republicans To Eliminate Marriage Equality in DC

Yesterday we noted that the National Organization for Marriage was undaunted by the fact that the Supreme Court had rejected the Religious Right's challenge to Washington DC's marriage equality law and was vowing to continue the fight and expecting the new Republican majority in the House to help them.

It turns out that the Family Research Council had exactly the same idea and is calling upon its activists to contact Rep. Darrell Issa and urge Congress to "override the D.C. government's decision" and either "reject the marriage law outright or order the District to adopt a new statute that would put this issue on the ballot":

Tuesday's decision was not an endorsement of gay "marriage" in this city or anywhere else. It was simply the court recognizing its own limitations. On matters affecting the District, Congress is the absolute authority. The justices are leaving it to them to clean up this mess, or not.

Last year, when the city council exploited the process and forced same-sex "marriage" on the District, House leaders could have--and should have--gotten involved. Instead, members chickened out and did nothing. Fortunately for D.C. voters, times--and the party majorities--have changed. I've been discussing possible steps GOP leaders could take to do what the city didn't do: give the people a voice. Believe it or not, Congress has the power to override the D.C. government's decisions any time it wants. It could reject the marriage law outright or order the District to adopt a new statute that would put this issue on the ballot. What the Left doesn't want you to know is that D.C. doesn't have the authority to block referendums on marriage. Only Congress does.

"The answer for us," Bishop Jackson said yesterday, "is to return to the political process." And you can help! With a strong new Speaker at the helm, Americans can demand that our nation's capital follow our nation's law--which is that marriage is the union of a man and woman. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is the Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee. As a representative from California, where Proposition 8 is under attack, he knows firsthand the importance of leaving these issues in voters' hands. Email or call him (202-225-3906) today and encourage him to give the people of Washington, D.C. the same opportunity.

FRC Pressuring House Republicans To Eliminate Marriage Equality in DC

Yesterday we noted that the National Organization for Marriage was undaunted by the fact that the Supreme Court had rejected the Religious Right's challenge to Washington DC's marriage equality law and was vowing to continue the fight and expecting the new Republican majority in the House to help them.

It turns out that the Family Research Council had exactly the same idea and is calling upon its activists to contact Rep. Darrell Issa and urge Congress to "override the D.C. government's decision" and either "reject the marriage law outright or order the District to adopt a new statute that would put this issue on the ballot":

Tuesday's decision was not an endorsement of gay "marriage" in this city or anywhere else. It was simply the court recognizing its own limitations. On matters affecting the District, Congress is the absolute authority. The justices are leaving it to them to clean up this mess, or not.

Last year, when the city council exploited the process and forced same-sex "marriage" on the District, House leaders could have--and should have--gotten involved. Instead, members chickened out and did nothing. Fortunately for D.C. voters, times--and the party majorities--have changed. I've been discussing possible steps GOP leaders could take to do what the city didn't do: give the people a voice. Believe it or not, Congress has the power to override the D.C. government's decisions any time it wants. It could reject the marriage law outright or order the District to adopt a new statute that would put this issue on the ballot. What the Left doesn't want you to know is that D.C. doesn't have the authority to block referendums on marriage. Only Congress does.

"The answer for us," Bishop Jackson said yesterday, "is to return to the political process." And you can help! With a strong new Speaker at the helm, Americans can demand that our nation's capital follow our nation's law--which is that marriage is the union of a man and woman. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is the Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee. As a representative from California, where Proposition 8 is under attack, he knows firsthand the importance of leaving these issues in voters' hands. Email or call him (202-225-3906) today and encourage him to give the people of Washington, D.C. the same opportunity.

Fischer Longs for a "Simple" System of Biblical Justice

Bryan Fischer is outraged by the news that the trial of Jared Loughner is going to be moved from Tucson, Arizona, to San Diego, California because moving the trial is "contrary to biblical concepts of justice":

Innocent blood was shed in Tucson, and the public servants of Tucson should be entrusted with the responsibility and authority to execute justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

It is a perversion of justice to deprive this community of the ability to deal with the monstrous act of evil. The murders of six innocent people by the Marxist-loving, Hitler-loving, Bible-hating, atheistic pothead radical leftwinger Loughner is traumatic enough on a city. Now to be deprived of the authority to see for themselves that justice is done is a second injustice.

In the ancient civil code of Israel, the community in which the murder had been committed had the responsibility to carry out justice. The standards of evidence were very high - no one could be sentenced to death without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses - but when the standard had been met, execution followed.

It’s worth nothing, by the way, that if biblical standards of evidence were still followed in America’s judicial system, as they once were, you would have only an infinitesimal chance of sending an innocent man to death row. Too many are sentenced to die or to long prison terms today based on the testimony of a single witness. That’s exactly how you get innocent people sent away for life. Once again, the Bible is the solution, not the problem.

The only exception was that when a man killed another man unintentionally - the death was accidental - he could flee for safety to a city of refuge until his trial was held. (It’s worthy of note that there was no system of incarceration in ancient Israel. A crime against property was taken care of through restitution plus a substantial penalty. A crime against life was taken care of through execution. Think of the money we could save if we returned to something approximating this simple but elegant system of justice.)

Is anyone surprised that Fischer wants to see our justice system modeled on these "simple" Biblical principles which demand that adulterers, gays, those who curse their parents and those who worship other gods be put to death?

We can just add this to Fischer's long history of demanding that America's legal system needs to operate according to Old Testament principles and practices.

Fischer Longs for a "Simple" System of Biblical Justice

Bryan Fischer is outraged by the news that the trial of Jared Loughner is going to be moved from Tucson, Arizona, to San Diego, California because moving the trial is "contrary to biblical concepts of justice":

Innocent blood was shed in Tucson, and the public servants of Tucson should be entrusted with the responsibility and authority to execute justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

It is a perversion of justice to deprive this community of the ability to deal with the monstrous act of evil. The murders of six innocent people by the Marxist-loving, Hitler-loving, Bible-hating, atheistic pothead radical leftwinger Loughner is traumatic enough on a city. Now to be deprived of the authority to see for themselves that justice is done is a second injustice.

In the ancient civil code of Israel, the community in which the murder had been committed had the responsibility to carry out justice. The standards of evidence were very high - no one could be sentenced to death without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses - but when the standard had been met, execution followed.

It’s worth nothing, by the way, that if biblical standards of evidence were still followed in America’s judicial system, as they once were, you would have only an infinitesimal chance of sending an innocent man to death row. Too many are sentenced to die or to long prison terms today based on the testimony of a single witness. That’s exactly how you get innocent people sent away for life. Once again, the Bible is the solution, not the problem.

The only exception was that when a man killed another man unintentionally - the death was accidental - he could flee for safety to a city of refuge until his trial was held. (It’s worthy of note that there was no system of incarceration in ancient Israel. A crime against property was taken care of through restitution plus a substantial penalty. A crime against life was taken care of through execution. Think of the money we could save if we returned to something approximating this simple but elegant system of justice.)

Is anyone surprised that Fischer wants to see our justice system modeled on these "simple" Biblical principles which demand that adulterers, gays, those who curse their parents and those who worship other gods be put to death?

We can just add this to Fischer's long history of demanding that America's legal system needs to operate according to Old Testament principles and practices.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Supreme Court will rule soon on Bishop Harry Jackson’s petition to hear a case on the status of DC’s marriage equality law.
  • Jim Garlow and California Republicans plan to rally against the ruling that the cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is unconstitutional.
  • Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and “historian” David Barton are teaming up for “South Carolina Awake!”
  • Anti-Islam activist Debbie Schlussel can’t call herself “Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations” anymore.
  • Speaking of anti-Islam activists, Pamela Geller wants New Yorkers to “Say Yes to Wal-Mart, No to the Mega Mosque.”

Jacobs and Pierce Issue Warning that CA Will Be Destroyed By Earthquake If Prop 8 Is Struck Down

I don't know about you, but when Cindy Jacobs tells me that she has received an "urgent prayer alert from our good friend Chuck Pierce concerning California," my ears perk up ... especially when that prayer alert entails God warning that failure by the courts to uphold Proposition 8 will result in California being destroyed by a massive earthquake: 

Yesterday, January 4th, I was called by a key intercessor in Santa Ynez. (Please note as you proceed, yesterday was the same day prop 8 was sent to the California Supreme Court) She reported two visions from separate individuals in the area:

A pastor of a large Nazarene Church had a dream of a very large earthquake on the central coast. He shared this at the Christmas gathering for all the Santa Maria Pastors and 5 cities area. Because of the destruction and intensity of the quake he thought he should tell the Pastors so they could pray into it.

Another intercessor in the area had a dream and saw a map of California. She noticed on the map how Pt. Conception juts out into the water. As she looked she saw an 8 with a circle beside it in the waters off Pt Conception.

Regarding these dreams the issue of 8 is significant: Yesterday, January 4th, Prop 8 went to the California Supreme Court ... Prop 8 is a foundational covenant issue, i.e. issue of marriage, in the state. If the state supreme court does not uphold it, a covenant issue is broken with God. Judgment is looming. Also, of note yesterday it was announced on the radio and sent to me by another intercessor that in San Diego, there is a Korean war memorial. A judge has ruled that a cross that was dedicated in the 1950's, cannot be there, as it is, because it stands for the the government embracing "a religion". The implication was that it had to be "modified". She stated in her note to me, "the MOMENT I heard this I had a "sinking feeling" in my heart and said out loud in my car. God will not contend this any longer, judgment is coming."

Many are feeling the weight of this hour and time. There has been a very real assignment of death and destruction as many have faced health issues, even serious ones. We are at a critical "hinge point" and much will depend on our prayers and actions now. An earthquake from Point Conception would divide impact the state in three major fault lines and could potentially divide the state in half. We pray this stirs your hearts towards God's purposes. Our hope and trust is in Him.

The alert goes on to explain that "8 with a circle" is significant because it not only refers to Prop 8, but also the Eighth Circle of Hell as detailed in Dante's "The Divine Comedy"

Wendy Wright: There’s No Discrimination in America, Except for that Committed by “Homosexual Activists”

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women For America, in the conservative publication The American Thinker ridicules the Obama Administration’s claims that bigotry and inequality still exist in the U.S., but goes on to claim that the Religious Right represents the actual victim of discrimination at the hands of “homosexual activists.” Such fatuous allegations are nothing new from Wright, who participated in the “Green Dragon” series that believes the environmental movement is surreptitiously trying to destroy Christianity and dismissed a study which showed that the children of same-sex parents are as “well adjusted” as their peers because it didn’t conform to her anti-gay prejudice.

In her article, “What Obama Thinks of America,” Wright is incensed that the Obama Administration still believes that discrimination survives in the U.S. and facetiously asks “Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination?” However, she then blasts the Obama Administration for not confronting the “homosexual activists” who are leading “a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage, with particular venom toward religious people.” Essentially, Wright and the CWA strongly endorse discriminatory laws and bigoted views that target gay and lesbian Americans, but in her opinion proponents of anti-gay bigotry like herself are the real victims of intolerance:

Sometimes the best way to find out what a person thinks about you is to find out what he tells others.

That's why the report on America's human rights record filed by the Obama administration with the U.N. is particularly interesting.



What comes through is that President Obama's crew thinks America is congenitally discriminatory, and his administration is bravely soldiering into this morass against the unwashed masses to create an equal society.

As the report states, "[w]ork remains to meet our goal of ensuring equality before the law for all." Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination? Not mentioned. No matter -- when you're convinced that Americans are bigots, there is no need to provide proof.

The administration crows in the report about passing the incredibly divisive and unconstitutional health care act. It devotes a section to the bill, with glowing aspirations of how it will end the discrimination of a racist medical system. (Remember, these people see everything through the filter of race or identity politics -- even health care.)

Yet religious freedom (in which the U.S. excels in contrast to other countries) gets a few measly paragraphs with boilerplate generalities. Whereas the health care bill earned details like how many Asian-American men suffer from stomach cancer, the examples of a defense of religious freedom were a Native American primary school student's right to wear his hair in a braid and a Muslim girl's right to wear a hijab.

Maybe this administration is not keen on religious freedom. The issue is so old-school...yesterday's news...Christian. And it inconveniently conflicts with one of President Obama's priorities highlighted in the report, a priority that threatens religious freedom -- privileges for those who engage in homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender behavior.

Homosexual activists conducted a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage -- with particular venom toward religious people. The vile assaults on Carrie Prejean for merely expressing her views pulled away the curtain that had been hiding how homosexual activists routinely treat decent people who dissent. It raised the question: Who is the aggressor, and who is victim?

Did you get that? "In each era of our history" -- that is, America is historically and inherently bigoted. Makes you wonder why they'd want to live here.

LGBT advocates (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) claim that sexual orientation is an inborn identity, like skin color or ethnicity, and they excoriate people who use the term "gay lifestyle" because it implies choices and actions. Yet the report's first boast of tackling discrimination against this group was the striking down of a law criminalizing sodomy. Apparently, particular actions do define homosexuality.

Wright goes on to argue that the Justice Department intentionally lost the Massachusetts cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act, a charge which Focus on the Family thinks deserves a congressional investigation by Darrell Issa, and that any move towards equality for gays and lesbians actually represents prejudice:

Remember, since he ran for president, Obama has claimed that he does not upport same-sex "marriage." Yet he opposes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the clearest federal statute that protects marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Obama's Justice Department sabotaged its defense of DOMA in a legal challenge, making such weak arguments that it guaranteed a loss. And he opposed California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. So Obama opposes federal and state measures that define and enforce traditional marriage.

That's where the report to the U.N. really gets interesting. It states, "Debate continues over equal rights to marriage for LGBT Americans at the federal and state levels, and several states have reformed their laws to provide for same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships."



President Obama is, as he said in his inaugural address, remaking America. Too bad his image of America -- and what he wants to turn us into -- is so prejudiced.

Right Wing Round-Up

Religious Right Preparing to Fight For Repeal of Gay Marriage in New Hampshire

While New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor John Lynch survived his reelection race despite a barrage of attack ads from anti-equality groups like the National Organization for Marriage, Republicans won veto-proof majorities in both the State House and Senate. As a result, Religious Right groups such as the Family Research Council have committed to do “whatever it takes” to repeal New Hampshire’s law legalizing gay marriage, which passed in 2009 and went into effect last year. In 2009, Religious Right groups succeeded in overturning a Maine law legalizing gay marriage that was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor by flooding the state with anti-gay activists and misleading ads, and now they have set their sights on New Hampshire. While the Republican majorities in both chambers have the votes to pass a repeal bill, it will require 2/3 majorities to override the governor’s veto. The Concord Monitor reports on how organizations are gearing-up for a major battle over the future of marriage equality in the Granite State:

The lead organizations in the fight are likely to be Cornerstone Action and New Hampshire Freedom to Marry. Cornerstone is affiliated with a national organization - CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family) - which could support state efforts. But both sides are also attracting attention from other groups.

On the side of repealing gay marriage, the National Organization for Marriage spent nearly $1.5 million on campaign ads against Lynch. The day after the November election, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said in a press release that the organization is "poised to start taking back territory where (gay marriage) was wrongly enacted in places like New Hampshire and Iowa. That will be the next battleground, and we are confident of victory."

Brown said last week that the organization will continue to work closely with Cornerstone "to make sure that the wrong of forcing same-sex marriage on New Hampshire is corrected."

The Family Research Council also has a presence in New Hampshire, which it plans to continue. It contributed the legal maximum donation of $5,000 to Cornerstone's PAC during the elections. Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the group's policy wing, said the group has invested in making New Hampshire's Legislature more friendly to traditional marriage. "We don't want to see that go to waste," McClusky said.



How much money and effort will be poured into the New Hampshire campaign depends on what type of bill is ultimately proposed. In Maine, which held a statewide referendum that ultimately vetoed the state's gay marriage bill, local and national activists spent more than $6 million to sway public opinion.

The anti gay marriage group there, Stand for Marriage Maine, was led by a local pastor, Bob Emrich, and representatives from the Catholic Diocese in Maine and the National Organization for Marriage. It spent between $2 million and $3 million. The group hired the same public relations firm that worked on a California referendum and got help from the Family Research Council and Family Watch International. Emrich said the National Organization for Marriage was the largest financial contributor, donating around $1.5 million that helped with TV and radio ads, staff, mailings and public relations. The Family Research Council organized rallies and helped with communications and training activists.



For now, there are at least two proposed repeal bills in the Legislature and one constitutional amendment. Only the constitutional amendment has the potential to go on a statewide ballot, but not until 2012. Rep. David Bates, a Windham Republican who proposed two of the bills, said he anticipates moving forward with a repeal bill this session but perhaps not pursuing the constitutional amendment until 2012. A constitutional amendment would require a majority vote of 60 percent in the House and Senate, and a two-thirds' majority of the state's voters. The governor would not have a role.

Bates said it may not make sense to go ahead with a constitutional amendment this year, when it would not appear until 2012, and the goal of repealing gay marriage could be accomplished sooner by a law change. "This legislation is intended to restore the marriage law, to put it back where we were four years ago," Bates said.

Leading Republicans Embrace Personhood Amendment and “Christian Exodus,” Separatist Advocate

Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos.

Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments” due to the extreme nature of the measure and the fringe Personhood USA. Colorado voters rejected three different Amendments from Personhood Colorado by wide margins, with the 2010 measure failing with less than 30% of the vote.

Activists in Mississippi, however, have made great headway in receiving support from the Religious Right and the GOP. Leading Religious Right groups and Republican politicians, including the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, and Congressman-Elect Alan Nunnelee, have backed Personhood Mississippi’s efforts. Mississippi’s Republican Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant has embraced the Personhood Initiative as well. Bryant, when announcing his bid for governor on the AFA’s radio program, claimed that “one of my goals in public life is to end abortion in Mississippi, so we’re going to work really hard on that.” A vocal and ardent supporter of the “Personhood Amendment,” Bryant called the initiative “another way of trying to stop abortion in Mississippi and simply allow once and for all the opportunity for the people to say we want to do that and we feel so strongly about it that we want to add it to our Constitution.”

Today, Personhood Mississippi (the state affiliate of Personhood USA) will be hosting a rally in Jackson to celebrate the measure’s inclusion on the 2011 ballot, and Bryant is scheduled to speak at the event.

But who is behind Personhood Mississippi and the Personhood Amendment’s sponsor?

The head of Personhood Mississippi is right wing activist Les Riley, a featured blogger of the group Christian Exodus, which has “goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

Christian Exodus had attempted to move thousands of supporters to South Carolina in order to “form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States,” and also has close ties to the separatist and Neo-Confederate League of the South. Christian Exodus also is encouraging adherents to move to Panama and Idaho in order to build theocratic settlements.

Lt. Governor Bryant said he wanted to “personally thank Les Riley” for his work, and Les Riley told AFA Radio that Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is “the biggest news in the pro-life movement in twenty years” because it will not only eradicate reproductive rights in Mississippi but also set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

As the “Personhood Amendment” movement finds more allies and greater support in the Religious Right and Republican Party, its extremist leaders and radical beliefs have not changed.

IHOP Drops Suits Against IHOP

In September, the International House of Pancakes sued Kansas City's International House of Prayer for trademark dilution and infringement.

But last week, the pancake chain decided to drop its suit and attempt to resolve the conflict out of court:

The International House of Pancakes has dropped its trademark infringement lawsuit against a church, agreeing to resolve its dispute with the International House of Prayer out of court.

On Dec. 21, the restaurant chain dismissed its case against the church, with its lawyers citing "ongoing mediation with the defendants," according to documents filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The restaurant chain sued the church in September, alleging it misappropriated IHOP trademarks with its website, ihop.org, and in signs and events at its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and California ministries. The church also has affiliates in San Jose, Santa Maria, Calif., and Dublin, Calif.

When the lawsuit was filed, restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow said the church's use of IHOP and related phrases confused customers, undermined trademarked uses and risked publicly linking the chain of 1,500 restaurants with a particular faith or church.

...

Lenow, a spokesman with IHOP parent company DineEquity Inc., declined to discuss the company's expected remedies for the six claims of trademark infringement, or a timeline, for the matter to be resolved.

"We have agreed with House of Prayer not to publicly discuss the case," Lenow said in an e-mail.

David Barton's Utter Disregard for Fact and Accuracy

I've already pointed out how ridiculous David Barton's election analysis has been, but since he keeps spewing his nonsense, I guess I'll just have to keep point it out.

Here is Barton's latest:

New findings show that the 2010 midterm elections saw the highest Christian voter turnout ever.

"We had a very high Christian voter turnout two years ago, but they did not bring their values with them," explains David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, which is an organization that supports the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built.

He says only one percent of voters considered marriage to be an issue in 2008, but that statistic reached 53 percent this year. Moreover, only six percent of voters thought abortion was an issue in 2009, but that margin jumped to 30 percent by last month's elections.

"You [clearly] have Christians showing up. Not only did they show up this time, they actually brought their values with them," Barton notes. "And not only did they bring their values, they voted their values." 

Really?  In 2008, anti-gay marriage amendments passed in California, Arizona, and Florida ... but Barton wants us to believe that only "one percent of voters considered marriage to be an issue"?

Please. 

What post-election surveys show is that only one percent thought marriage was the most important issue, which is obviously a completely different finding.

But then Barton goes on to comapre that one percent figure to exit polls from 2010 showing that 53% of respondents answered "No" to the question "Should Same-Sex Marriages Be Legally Recognized?" as if that was an accurate comparison.

Similarly, only nine percent considered abortion to be the most important issue in 2008 but Barton compares that to a poll showing that "thirty percent of voters said that abortion 'affected' their vote," despite the fact that considering something "the most important issue" and stating that it to "affected" one's vote are completely different things.

One percent thought marriage was the most important issue in 2008 while nine percent thought abortion was the most important issue - but Barton baselessly compares those figures to completely unrelated figures from 2010 in an effort to make it look like the electorate suddenly cares primarily about his Religious Right agend.

Reaction to DADT Vote: "The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted"

Today, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture and bring the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to a final vote later today.  With repeal of DADT all but a foregone conclusion, the Religious Right has begun releasing statements which we are going to chronicle here as they come it.

And judging by the early statements from the likes of Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, this vote is literally going to mean the end of America:

We are now stuck with sexual deviants serving openly in the U.S. military because of turncoat Republican senators ... Had the cloture vote failed, we would still have sane moral and sexual standards governing military personnel policy. But sadly those days are gone, perhaps forever.

...

The armies of other nations have allowed gays to serve openly in the military. The reason they could afford to do this is simple: they could allow homosexuals to serve in their military because we didn’t allow them to serve in ours.

They knew they could count on the strength, might, power, and cohesion of the U.S. military to intervene whenever and wherever necessary to pull their fannies out of the fire and squash the forces of tyranny wherever they raised their ugly heads around the world.

Those days are now gone. We will no longer be able to bail out these other emasculated armies because ours will now be feminized and neutered beyond repair, and there is no one left to bail us out. We have been permanently weakened as a military and as a nation by these misguided and treasonous Republican senators, and the world is now a more dangerous place for us all.

It’s past time for a litmus test for Republican candidates. This debacle shows what happens when party leaders are careless about the allegiance of candidates to the fundamental conservative principles expressed in the party’s own platform.

Character-driven officers and chaplains will eventually be forced out of the military en masse, potential recruits will stay away in droves, and re-enlistments will eventually drop like a rock.

The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?

This isn’t a game, and the military should never be used, as is now being done, for massive social re-engineering. The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?

If the president and the Democrats wanted to purposely weaken and eventually destroy the United States of America, they could not have picked a more efficient strategy to make it happen.

Rarely can you point to a moment in time when a nation consigned itself to the scrap heap of history. Today, when the Senate normalized sexual perversion in the military, was that moment for the United States. If historians want a fixed marker pointing to the instant the United States sealed its own demise, they just found it.

Family Research Council:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement following the vote:

"Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose - to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military's ability to fulfill its mission.

"It is shameful that the Democratic leadership, aided by Republican Senators, has forced through such a radical change in a lame-duck session of Congress. The 1993 law which is to be repealed was adopted only after months of debate and at least a dozen Congressional hearings. The repeal has been forced through only eighteen days after the Pentagon released a massive report, which raised more questions than it answered on the impact the overturning of this policy will have on our nation's military.

"It is clear why this was done: not to enhance the military's ability to accomplish its mission or to enhance national security. Rather, it is a political payoff to a tiny, but loud and wealthy, part of the Democratic base. They knew that the Congress elected last month would never adopt such legislation - certainly not without a more thoughtful and deliberative process.

"We thank Senators John McCain, James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint, as well as all of those who voted to support our troops over advancing a liberal social agenda. These senators fought hard for our men and women in uniform, and their efforts will not be forgotten."

Peter LaBarbera:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, which opposes the “gay” activist agenda, said today’s vote, potentially clearing the way for repealing the military ban, is the most important homosexuality-related congressional vote ever held: “If the lame-duck Congress succeeds in ‘gaying down’ our military this weekend, it will take a disastrous leap toward “mainstreaming” deviant, sinful homosexual conduct – not just in the military but in larger society — thus further propelling America’s moral downward spiral.

...

Americans are tired of religious phoneys like [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman – politicians who use their religion as a PR prop while actively undermining its moral dictates. Claiming to be an “observant” Jew, Lieberman wears his religion on his sleeve (perhaps he will walk, not drive, on the Jewish Sabbath Day today to cast his pro-homosexuality vote!). Stealing the moral authority of “civil rights” is the only way Lieberman can rationalize his role as a crusader for the ‘Gay’ Lobby on Capitol Hill — when His religion, a form of Orthodox Judaism, condemns homosexual acts as an “abomination”

...

Said Brian Camenker, founder of the pro-family group Mass Resistance, who attends an Orthodox synagogue in the Boston area:

“Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who has the incredible chutzpah to call himself an Orthodox Jew, will desecrate the holy Sabbath to go to work – the U.S. Senate – and vote to force the integration of homosexuality into the U.S. military. He is a shameful disgrace and an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews everywhere.”

Freedom Federation:

Mathew Staver, on behalf the Freedom Federation, made the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C. (1993), which is usually mislabeled by the subsequent Executive policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT): "Our armed forces should take heart, because the American people will not turn its back on you. This vote happened because opportunistic Senators – only days before Christmas – put political interest groups above supporting our men and women in uniform."

Staver continued, "This action will be overturned in the next Congress because it breaks the bond of trust that must exist between the military and those who command in the Pentagon and Congress. Today’s vote will prove as costly to its proponents as ObamaCare was to its advocates. We promise a full mobilization of faith-based and policy organizations, veterans, and military families in the states of every Senator who voted for repeal of DADT against the advice of our service chiefs and during a time of war. Those Senators – and the Pentagon leaders responsible for this breach of trust – should understand that they will be the object of concerted political action against them."

MassResistance:

The U.S. military took its first step on the sexual slippery slope when it admitted women to the military academies in the mid-1970s. Later, women began serving on the frontlines (just one way Bill Clinton ensured the decline of our once proud military and kowtowed to the radical feminists). The denial of reality—that there was no new element of sexual tension acting as a distraction from discipline—began then.

The incorporation of women at least involved normal sexuality. And if a woman became pregnant, she would be discharged. Still, enormous damage has been done.

Now, with the repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving openly, we will see increased tensions, this time with an unnatural and perverted sexuality endangering discipline—and it will be more pervasive in the daily life of a soldier. Where men and women are at least segregated in their housing, bathrooms, etc., this will not be the case with homosexuals.

What a betrayal by our new Senator Brown to vote for the repeal of this important element of discipline. But then, he probably doesn’t have a problem showering no matter who is ogling him:

 Gordon Klingenschmitt:

"A chaplain friend of mine asked God this week, 'why do you allow evil to grow in America, and open homosexuality to be forced upon our military?' To which God answered him from Psalm 92:7: 'When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is so that they shall be destroyed forever.'

"Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction. Even if the Senate had voted 100 to 0 to legalize sin, they could not remove God from His throne of Judgment, before which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

"I hereby call upon the new Congress to never certify that the military is ready to implement repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and instead pass strong laws protecting the rights of Christian troops (especially chaplains) to openly speak their opinions about what the Bible calls sin, to refuse common showers, sleeping quarters and 'social re-education' without repercussion, guaranteeing religious freedom even outside of chapel services. If free speech and free religion rights of Christian chaplains and troops are not protected, then the military is not ready to certify or implement repeal, and will quickly begin to persecute good people of Christian conscience.

"I also hereby invite my own network of up to 125,000 patriot pastors across America, to whom I have, and shall again fax free voter guides before the November 2012 election, to mobilize Church voters to throw out these 25 pro-homosexual Senators up for re-election in 2 years: Snowe (R-ME), Scott Brown (R-MA), Ensign (R-NV), James Webb (D-VA), Nelson (D-NE), Nelson (D-FL), McCaskill (D-MO), Tester (D-MT), Conrad (D-ND), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), Carper (D-DE), Akaka (D-HI), Cardin (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Klobuchar (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Bingaman (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Whitehouse (D-RI), Cantwell (D-WA), Kohl (D-WI), Lieberman (I-CT), Sanders (I-VT)."

Alliance Defense Fund:

The conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund, issued a statement after the vote saying "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members." ADF Litigation Counsel, Daniel Blomberg, went on to say " no Americans, and especially not our troops, should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs."

The ADF says it stands ready to defend Service members if they are ever unconstitutionally required to choose between "serving their country or obeying their God as a result of this damaging policy decision."

E.W. Jackson:

The unintended consequences on the military are staggering. Does this include transgender and transvestite individuals? What happens if homosexuals are married in one of the states which allow same sex marriage? Will the military recognize those marriages? There are too many unanswered questions.

"What of Christians who believe that homosexuality is sin? Are they to be silenced? Subjected to discipline or discharge? Will they live in close quarters with men or women attracted to the same sex? When homosexuality is given protected status, Christians are muzzled or persecuted for their beliefs, and their First Amendment Rights are trampled. This has happened in corporations all over America. The message is 'be silent or lose your job.' In the military, you cannot merely find another job. If keeping qualified people is the priority, what about the Christians who may be forced to leave the military because the environment is hostile to their faith? The message from Gates and Mullen is, 'Get out.' The repeal of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' law is a disaster of historic proportions and it must be reinstated. My organization and others will to fight to make sure that happens."

Traditional Values Coalition:

The attack against our military through the repeal of the 1993 law is an organized campaign against religion, biblical morality, and military culture.

A vote to repeal is an assault against the moral foundations of our society, which is based on Judeo-Christian values. This is only part of the total war that LGBT activists are waging against our culture.

LGBT activists are doing a victory dance over conquering our U.S. military – but this is only a skirmish in a long battle to homosexualize our entire culture. I expect to see an effort down the road to include "transgenders" in the military. That should be an interesting debate.

In addition, LGBT activists are now turning their guns on passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which will be a disaster for businesses, charitable groups and Christian organizations. Schools will be forced to hire transgender teachers. They'll also be pushing for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

One of the new big guns in the LGBT artillery is called Equality Matters, which is a spin-off of the disreputable group known as Media Matters, run by gay activist David Brock. Guess who will be running Equality Matters? Why none other than Richard Socarides, a Fox News contributor and former gay senior advisor on domestic policy for President Clinton.

Equality Matters just launched its web page today and will be a major force in attacking traditional values in the years ahead.

Media Matters is a George Soros front organization designed to smear conservative journalists and to funnel misinformation into the so-called mainstream media. This Soros front currently has a $13 million yearly budget to assault Fox News and other credible news outlets.

All is not lost, however. With Republicans controlling the House in January, it is likely that conservatives will be successful in holding back at least some of the LGBT objectives until we can change Presidents in 2012. If we can elect a strong conservative, we might be able to reverse many of the current victories achieved by Obama and his LGBT friends.

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

After a long and difficult fight, the struggle for maintaining the military policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was lost for now. There are some hard truths for those who uphold traditional biblical morality to face. Being able to admit we have a problem is the first step towards making the changes we need to reverse this and other gains made by sexual anarchists and secularists.

The last thing we need to do is surrender biblical moral standards to sexual libertines, as if God’s holy nature has somehow changed with public opinion polls.

Homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful and we cannot renegotiate God’s moral law. No apologies are necessary for agreeing with Jesus, the Apostles, the Law and the Prophets. History, science, scripture and eternity concur.

Homosexual sin, like every other kind of sin, always results in some kind of death. But sexual sin in general, and homosexual sin in particular, is singled out in the Old and New Testament as particularly deadly. Because of this, the unrepentant person trapped in homosexuality, just like all other sinners, is to be pitied and the object of our compassion.

Spiritually, they are dead to God’s mercy and transforming grace in Christ. Sadly, it was unrepentant homosexual Ellen DeGeneres who emceed the Christmas in Washington TV Show this year with President Obama and family smiling as they blindly celebrated the birth of the Savior. They never saw the incongruence of it all.

...

Ultimately, we must resolve that Providence has ordained the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” for now. It could not have happened if God had willed otherwise. But why?

In times like these when our nation defies the moral law of the living God, we must ask, “Is God hardening our heart like he did the defiant Pharaoh?” God did it to show His mighty power in the outpouring of ten plagues on the gods of Egypt and by destroying Pharaoh and his army.

Is God letting America ripen in her rebellion before He wields the mighty sickle of His wrath? It’s worth considering as our nation’s military now serves under a shameful, pink flag.

In the meantime Christian, humbly pray, boldly preach and persevere by the power of the Holy Spirit knowing that God is not mocked and one day His righteousness will prevail.

Richard Land:

"This is a very, very sad day for America," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "It is an honor and a privilege, not a right, to serve in our nation's military. There are multitudes of reasons why the military is the most respected national institution in American life. I have heard from privates and seamen all the way through generals and admirals that this will cause significant numbers of people to resign from the military -- in the middle of two wars."

...

"The reality is that in America today, an all-volunteer military is significantly disproportionately from red-state America," Land said. "And the resignations from the military will be disproportionately from red-state America. So, quite rapidly the military will go from an organization in which homosexuals are underrepresented in ratio to a percentage of the population to an institution where they are overrepresented, which will only accelerate the rate of resignation. Legislators who voted for this disproportionately never served in the military. The opposition was led by legislators who have served."

Concerned Women for America:

"Instead of answering questions about the rights of homosexuals in this country, rescinding DADT only serves to further muddy the waters. Will Christian chaplains be forced out of the military if they don't accept the repeal? Will homosexual partners receive preference over heterosexual families for military family housing? These are just the first of many questions surrounding implementation of this impending law, not to mention how it could severely affect our military personnel. We hoped our Congress would focus on the needs of the military and the protection of the country rather than force through this social engineering experiment during the lame duck Congress on the weekend before Christmas.

"For the social conservatives of this country, a good majority of whom voted in this new Congress, the fight over homosexual rights does not end at DADT. In no way does this repeal usher in an acceptance of same-sex marriage. Voters in 31 out of 31 states have voted to protect marriage as between one man and one woman, including supposedly liberal states such as Maine, Michigan, Oregon and California (twice). In Iowa this past election, three Supreme Court justices were voted out of office for legalizing same-sex marriage over the heads of the voters. When voters are fully informed, they reject the extreme homosexual rights agenda."

The Utter Pointlessness of Debating Bryan Fischer

As I stated yesterday, "there is nothing more pointless than trying to have a debate about anything with the AFA's Bryan Fischer" because there is quite literally no amount of refutation and debunking that will stop him from spreading his lies.

Case in point: when the Southern Poverty Law Center released its updated list of anti-gay hate groups, they also released a companion piece entitled "10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked." 

Fischer then responded with a post of this own claiming that the SPLC's "myths" were actually "truths":

TRUTH # 1 - Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.

Absolutely true. Homosexuals comprise perhaps two percent of the population, yet according to the Journal of Sex Research, homosexual pedophiles are responsible for 33% of all child sex offenses. Homosexuals molest children at at least 10 times the rate of heterosexuals.

TRUTH # 2 - Same-sex parents harm children.

Research indicates that children raised by homosexuals experiment with sexually aberrant behaviors at a higher rate than children raised by heterosexuals and at earlier ages, and do worse, according to a 1996 study by an Austrian sociologist, in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples.

A 2001 article in American Sociological Review reported that children raised by lesbians are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior and are "more sexually adventurous."

...

TRUTH # 4 - Homosexuals don't live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

According to an extensive study of the homosexual community in Vancouver, B.C., active participation in the homosexual lifestyle will rob an individual of a significant portion of his life span. Say the researchers, "[L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men." In fact, they observe that participation in the homosexual lifestyle knocks life expectancy for a Canadian male back to what it was in 1871.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that homosexuals are 50 to 60 times more likely to become infected with AIDS than other groups. AIDS, of course, is often a fatal disease and thus has a dramatic impact on life expectancy. We spend billions and billions of dollars trying to keep children from taking up cigarette smoking because it will shorten lifespans by six or seven years. If we're going to spend that kind of money, it's time we spend some of it to stop children from taking up homosexual behavior as a habit, and for the same reason: it will kill you.

This piece prompted the SPLC to respond at length to, once again, point out that Fischer was completely full of it:

Fischer displays the sly predilection of anti-gay activists to cite legitimate research as supporting their claims when the researchers themselves explicitly reject them. Fischer is referring to a 1989 Journal of Sex Research article by the late researcher Kurt Freund, who concluded that homosexuals were not any more disposed to pedophilia than heterosexuals — a finding exactly opposite to what Fischer suggests.

Fischer constructs the 33% figure from Freund’s research by assuming that every case of men molesting boys is committed by a “homosexual” man — a conclusion rejected by virtually all legitimate sex researchers. As Freund said, since most pedophiles have no sexual interest in adults of either gender, terms like “homosexual” and “heterosexual” don’t apply at all. It is the child’s prepubescent nature, not his or her gender, that attracts this type of “fixated” pedophile, most of whom will prey on children of either gender. Freund and other researchers have found that those pedophiles who are capable of forming sexual relationships with other adults — so-called “regressive” pedophiles who only resort to pedophilia when under stress — overwhelmingly identify themselves as heterosexual.

Or consider SPLC’s myth No. 2, “Same-sex parents harm children.” Fischer wrote: “Research indicates that children raised by homosexuals experiment with sexually aberrant behaviors at a higher rate than children raised by heterosexuals and at earlier ages, and do worse, according to a 1996 study by an Austrian sociologist, in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples. A 2001 article in American Sociological Review reported that children raised by lesbians are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior and are ‘more sexually adventurous.’”

Fischer identifies neither report by name — and for good reason.

In the first instance, he is referring to an obscure 1996 study by Sotirios Sarantakos, an Australian, not Austrian, researcher. Anti-gay groups frequently cite this article — yet the article, the journal that published it, and Sarantakos himself, are all but impossible to locate online.

Other social scientists have reviewed Sarantakos’ study. Richard Redding, associate dean for academic affairs at Chapman University School of Law, writing in the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, warned that its conclusions “must be viewed with caution, however, as they are based on a qualitative study involving the reports of teachers who were not blind as to whether children came from heterosexual or homosexual households.” In other words, accounts were gathered from the observations of teachers who knew in advance which students came from which households — and thus could have been influenced by that knowledge. Jenni Millbank, a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, was more blunt. Testifying before an Australian parliamentary committee, Millbank described Sarantakos’ work as “a perfect example of almost everything that you can do wrong with methodology.”

The other study Fischer cites was conducted in 2001 by professors Timothy J. Biblarz of the University of Southern California and Judith Stacey of New York University (pdf). Fischer neglects to mention that Stacey became so annoyed by how anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, then headed by James Dobson, were misrepresenting her research, that she publicly denounced them in a video posted online in 2007. Fischer also ignores that the authors updated their research in 2010 (pdf), concluding that “At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being.”

In an E-mail to Hatewatch this week, Stacey blasted Fischer’s misuse of her research. “They are misrepresenting our 2001 article … by cherry-picking out of context one finding we mentioned that came from one very small British study,” she wrote. “Even so, their claim that children raised by lesbians are more sexually adventurous is also inaccurate. In the small study we mentioned … it was only the daughters who were sexually active a bit earlier than daughters of straight moms. Boys raised by lesbians were less sexually active than sons of straight moms! Our interpretation was that IF this tentative finding were to be replicated, it suggested that lesbians were transmitting a more egalitarian, single standard of sexual behavior to daughters and sons compared with the conventional double standard of sex being more permissible for boys. Moreover, it turns out that the … finding has NOT been replicated. In fact, a new study finds kids raised by lesbians from birth to be less sexually active!”

In response to SPLC’s myth No. 4, “Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals,” Fischer wrote: “According to an extensive study of the homosexual community in Vancouver, B.C., [Canada] active participation in the homosexual lifestyle will rob an individual of a significant portion of his life span. Say the researchers, ‘[L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men.’ In fact, they observe that participation in the homosexual lifestyle knocks life expectancy for a Canadian male back to what it was in 1871.”

Again, Fischer ignores that the authors of that 1997 study updated it in 2001, pointing out that advances in treatment of HIV-AIDS even at that point had significantly improved the expected longevity of those infected, which would inevitably narrow any gap between gay and straight life spans caused by the disease. Moreover, the authors explicitly rejected the attempts of anti-gay organizations to construe the 1997 observations to justify denigration of gays.

“These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being,” the authors wrote in their 2001 update. “It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive measure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.”

“I am aghast that the misrepresentation of these data continues,” Steffanie Strathdee, associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and one of the authors of the two reports, told Hatewatch in an E-mail this week.

So how did Fischer respond?  By writing a new post accusing the SPLC of engaging in the "propagation of known falsehoods" about homosexuality ... and simply restating the very same points that the SPLC had already debunked:

I hate to be the one to break this to them, but if this is the criterion, the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center need to add their own name to the list.

Why? Because they peddle 10 myths about homosexuality right on their own website. They tell ten blatant lies about the nature of homosexual behavior right out there in front of God and everybody.

In other words, they promote the very "propaganda" that qualifies them for their own list. If anybody is guilty of the "propagation of known falsehoods," it's the SPLC itself.

I've gone to considerable lengths in another place to quantify that what the SPLC says are "myths" about homosexuality are in fact truths about the lifestyle, everyone of them.

Here in brief are the "known falsehoods" the SPLC propagates.

1. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals do not molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals. But according to the Journal of Sex Research they do. Roughly one-third of all sex offenses against children are carried out by homosexuals despite the fact they comprise just three percent of the population.

2. The SPLC falsely claims that same-sex parents don't harm children. But according to an Australian sociologist, children raised by homosexual parents did worse in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples ...

4. The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals live just as long as heterosexuals. But the International Journal of Epidemiology says homosexual behavior knocks "8-20 years" off normal life expectancy, and a gay activist group in Canada, the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition, declares that the "health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian."

The New York City Health Commission (note: not the research arm of FRC or AFA) has produced a PSA that is so hard-hitting and so devastating for the homosexual agenda that gay activist groups are trying to get the thing pulled down altogether. The text warns homosexuals of the "dozens of diseases" they can contract through homosexual behavior in addition to HIV, including osteoporosis and dementia. Chillingly, it warns gays that they are "over 28 times more likely to get anal cancer" than the general population. The reason for that particular elevated risk factor is obvious.

If this doesn't perfectly encapsulate the utter ridiculousness of trying to have a reasonable debate with Bryan Fischer, I don't know what does.

What the CADC Considers "Anti-Christian Defamation, Discrimination and Persecution"

I have to say that nothing better demonstrates the absurdity of the Religious Right's victimization complex better than Christian Anti-Defamation Commission poll asking readers to help them choose "top 10 most egregious acts of anti-Christian defamation, discrimination and persecution in America" in 2012.

Here are the nominees:

- 88 Pro-Lifers were arrested for protesting President Obama's participation at a leading Catholic university, Notre Dame, and await trial for standing up for true Christian values.

- Michigan Muslims attack AGAIN; Christians attacked, denied their civil rights and falsely arrested for disorderly conduct at a public festival for peacefully sharing the gospel. This happened the previous year, too. They were again acquitted of all charges.

- Pat Robertson; was unfairly criticized after remarks he made were taken out of context concerning the Haiti earthquakes and Haiti's difficult history, in an attempt to raise support to bring aid to its people.

- Southern Poverty Law Center; A liberal ACLU-like organization that has continued to label many Christian organizations that hold traditional values as "hate groups" in lists that include violent racists groups.

- Elena Kagan; President Obama's radical appointment to the Supreme Court bench. While serving under the Clinton Administration, Kagan successfully corrupted unfavorable evidence on partial birth abortion to deceive the Supreme Court.

- Rex Parris; Mayor of Lancaster, California was faced with "hate crime" charges after calling his city "a growing Christian community."

- Brit Hume; Fox News journalist who was met with great opposition when he commented on Tiger Wood's downfall and said that, unlike Buddhism, Christianity offers Tiger true hope.

- Chai Feldblum; a liberal law professor and open lesbian, appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Feldblum stated that in any conflict that might arise between religious liberty and homosexual “rights” she would have a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win; or "Gay's win; Christians lose."

- Employment Non-Discrimination Act; a proposed federal bill that would force ministries to hire people who oppose their beliefs or who live in open defiance of their values.

- Vaughn Walker; California judge who overturned Proposition 8, a State Constitutional Marriage Amendment, and the will of the people by making homosexual marriage legal.

- Stephen Ocean and Tite Sufra; two young men who were murdered in Boynton Beach, Florida while out sharing the gospel in their neighborhood.

- Virginia Phillips; activist judge out of Riverside, California who repealed the important "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military law. The law allowed homosexuals to serve in the military, just not openly.

- Larry Grard; Christian journalist fired from his job for sending an e-mail from his personal account on his own time in support of traditional marriage.

- Ken Howell; professor at the University of Illinois Champaign who was fired after teaching to his class on Catholicism that Catholics believe that natural law makes homosexual behavior immoral. Howell was later re-instated after Christians protested.

- Tony Perkins; Christian leader criticized after offering true hope to homosexuals struggling with depression and suicide, found through repentance and faith in Christ.

- Comedy Central; the cable TV was pushing to air a new show called "JC" based on Jesus Christ. With their past treatment of Jesus on their network this could only have turned out to be irreverent and blasphemous.

- Julea Ward and Jennifer Keeton; two women expelled from their respective Master's programs in counseling at two different universities because they wouldn't deny their faith and affirm the validity of the homosexual lifestyle.

Seriously? This is this the best the CADC can come up with? 

The Notre Dame arrests happened in 2009, as did the firing of Larry Grard.  The Comedy Central show "JC" was merely in development, there was no movement on ENDA in Congress, nor was there any evidence at all that the murders of Ocean and Sufra had anything to do with their Christian faith.  Tony Perkins said gay teens are suicidal because they know they are "abnormal" and Pat Robertson said Haiti was hit by an earthquake because the country had made a pact with the Devil. And how exactly are the appointments of Elena Kagan and Chai Feldblum or the Prop 8 and DADT rulings examples of "anti-Christian defamation, discrimination and persecution"?

I think the only conclusion that can be drawn from the fact that these are the "most egregious" examples of "anti-Christian bigotry and hostility in America" that the CADC was able to come up with is that "anti-Christian bigotry and hostility in America" is not very prevalent.

Drake Opposed CA Mosque Because He Doesn't Want Terrorist Pagans In His Back Yard (CORRECTION)

This summer we noted that Tea Partiers and anti-Islam activists were opposing the construction of a proposed Islam Center in Temecula, California and were even using dogs in order to intimidate worshipers because "Muslims hate dogs."

Well, the controversy over the center continues and last night the Temecula Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve construction of the center after a five-and-a-half hour public hearing during which supporters were told to "go back to Israel" ... and even Wiley Drake weighed in:

The mosque's backers included Yosef Khen, who said he was born in Israel and learned in school that America had a tradition of religious tolerance.

To the mosque's critics, he said: "You're doing damage not to the Islamic people. You're doing damage to yourself."

One person shouted: "Go back to Israel!"

...

Mosque critic Wiley Drake said Sept. 11 stemmed from the activity of mosques. And John Trautman said Muslims "are not only our enemy but pagans. Why would we want them in our backyard?"

Drake is, of course, the Alan Keyes VP/Birther who is actively praying for God to kill President Obama.

CORRECTION: I obviously misread this and mistakenly attributed the Trautman quote to Drake. My apologies for the error.

AFA's Professional Name-Caller Accuses SPLC of Name-Calling

As we noted earlier, the Religious Right is uniformly livid with the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and seems to be struggling to come up with coherent response as demonstrated by this Concerned Women for America statement which basically accuses the SPLC of calling African Americans bigots:

Concerned Women for America, among several other pro-family, pro-life national groups, has been named a “hate group” by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) because of our opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The SPLC began as a civil rights organization in the 1960s, but has been marginalized by “gay rights” organizations. They no longer simply focus on the noble cause of fighting racism and have, instead, become another tool for the left. This time, the SPLC has taken their liberal propaganda too far. By demonizing traditional family groups that support traditional marriage, they just put a huge portion of the African-American community in California in the same category with the rest us so-called bigots.

According to an Associated Press exit poll, 70 percent of African-Americans in California who voted for Barack Obama also voted for Prop 8 and in support of traditional marriage in 2008. The very people the SPLC supposedly seeks to protect from bigotry and “hate crimes” are heavily in favor of the very institution that the SPLC is fighting against.

And the AFA's Bryan Fischer has also decided to weigh in, trotting out his now standard "truth has become hate speech" line as he unveils his own convoluted response:

The Southern Poverty Law Center last week added five members to its list of “hate” groups, one of which is the American Family Association.

This illustrates one point and proves another. The point it illustrates is that the first and last refuge of a man without an argument is name-calling. If you can’t win on the merits of the case, call your opponent a racist or a bigot or a hater and the debate is supposed to be over at that point. So you know as a matter of fact that the moment someone stops debating and starts name-calling, they’ve lost the argument. It’s an admission of defeat.

...

Thus, in a strange way, it is a badge of honor for these groups to be tagged now by the SPLC as hate groups. It’s a sign of desperation on the part of the SPLC, and a sign that they are so threatened by the truths that these groups speak that they are now flailing about trying to silence them rather than to debate them. They’ve given up winning on points, and so have taken to trying to run them off the field. Their strategy now is not to persuade the public but to demonize their cultural adversaries.

I’ve often maintained that liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists, Marxists, etc. - they’re all the same under the covers - hate free speech. They hate freedom of religion, and they hate freedom of the press, because such freedoms threaten their stranglehold on public discourse and their goal of indoctrinating the American people with their non-traditional moral values. They hate the First Amendment, for the very reason that it was designed by the Founders to protect robust public discourse on political and social matters.

So, Fischer says name-calling an admission of defeat ... and then proceeds to simply assert that all the Marxists and Socialists on the left just hate free speech and religion and the First Amendment and America in general.

Of course it should also be noted that Fischer's entire professional career is based on calling gays names like nancy-boys and sexual perverts and sexual deviants and pedophiles and domestic terrorists who are part of a "deviancy cabal" who "want to use the anal cavity for sex."

Believers in American Exceptionalism More Likely to Support Torture

We have written about the ways that Tea Party candidates, Religious Right leaders like David Barton, and pundits like Glenn Beck have been promoting the idea of a divinely-inspired American Exceptionalism, and attacking President Obama for being an enemy of exceptionalism who is out to destroy it. 

A new survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute makes it clear that there’s fertile ground for politically exploiting this concept, especially among Republican voters. When voters were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that “God has granted America a special role in human history,” 58 percent of Americans agree. Not surprisingly, white evangelicals agreed overwhelmingly – 83 percent – along with 76 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party movement and 75 percent of Republicans. Among Democrats, about half – 49 percent – agree. More than two thirds of Americans with no religious affiliation reject the idea that God has given the US a special role in history.
 
Perhaps more interesting is the survey’s findings that white Americans who affirm this notion of divinely inspired American exceptionalism are much more likely to favor military strength over diplomacy as the best way to preserve peace than those who reject exceptionalism, and significantly more likely to believe that torture can be justified. Americans are about evenly split on the question of whether torture can ever be justified against suspected terrorists, but only about a third of Republicans and those identifying with the Tea Party agree that torture can never be justified. Fifty-five percent of those who believe in a divine role for the US believe torture can sometimes be justified; only 42 percent of those who reject that role are willing to accept torture under some circumstances.
 
It’s worth noting that half of white evangelicals believe that torture can never be justified, making this one among several issues in which Tea Party supporters are to the right of other Christian conservatives even though there is major overlap between the two groups. E.J. Dionne and William Galston of the Brookings Institution, in a paper commenting on the survey findings, note that “While white Christian conservatives and Tea Party supporters are in broad agreement on many issues, there is a harder edge to Tea Party views on immigration, multiculturalism, and Islam.”
 
Those differences could contribute to the ongoing public struggles to define what the 2010 election meant and what kinds of issues should be considered part of the Tea Party agenda. The crucial role played by Latino voters in Democratic Senate victories in Nevada, California, and Colorado also point to ways in which the Tea Party movement’s hard-edge positions on immigration and Islam, and its lack of concern about racial discrimination, could interfere with efforts by some GOP and Religious Right leaders to broaden the demographic base of the Republican Party. 
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California Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/13/2011, 1:39pm
Right-wing activist and former California legislator Steve Baldwin has organized an open letter to “Conservative, Catholic and Evangelical Leaders” asking them to refuse support for Mitt Romney’s campaign for president. Already a number of activists including failed US Senate candidate and Tea Party hero Joe Miller; Rick Scarborough of Vision America; Brian Camenker of MassResistance; Linda Harvey of Mission America; Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association; Ted Beahr of WND and Movieguide; Gary Glenn of American Family Association-Michigan, Kelly... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/11/2011, 10:55am
Last week, Time's Amy Sullivan reported that dozens of Religious Right leaders gathered for "a conference call to discuss their dissatisfaction with the current GOP presidential field, and agreed that Rick Perry would be their preferred candidate if he entered the race." Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily.com had reported on the same thing a few weeks back, noting that the effort was being organized by James Robison. Last Friday, Robison wrote a post on his blog in which explained that he had called these gatherings in September of 2010 and June of 2011 because "there is an insidious... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 4:39pm
As Brian mentioned in the last post, the Religious Right is none-too-pleased about the passage of a bill that would make sure textbooks recognize the contributions of prominent LGBT figures in California history. So it was no surprise that it was a topic of discussion on today's broadcast of the AFA Report where Ed Vitagliano said that gay men are "abusing the nature of the design of the human body" while Jeremy Wiggins was outraged that they would allow such things into school before comparing gay sex to using a screwdriver to open paint cans: Vitagliano: Our perspective... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 3:45pm
Yesterday, the California State Assembly followed the State Senate in passing a bill that would make sure textbooks recognize the contributions of prominent LGBT figures in California history. Randy Thomasson, the head of Save California, has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the legislation, even going so far as to liken homosexuality to drug and alcohol abuse, and is making one final plea to Governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill. If the bill is signed into law, Thomasson in a statement called on parents to “removed their children from the government school system” to... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 2:33pm
In a speech recently posted on GOD TV about how “strategic prayer, strategic intercession was absolutely crucial in shifting Prop 8” in California, megachurch pastor Che Ahn told a story about how prayer led the amendment to victory. Ahn joined Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets, and Jim Garlow in The Call rallies across California to promote Proposition 8, which repealed marriage equality through a constitutional amendment, including a final rally in Qualcomm Stadium with major Religious Right leaders like James Dobson and Tony Perkins. Ahn, who is an endorser of Rick Perry’s The... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 06/30/2011, 11:03am
Back in 2009, the Family Research Council launched a prayer effort timed to coincide with the 4th of July holiday called "Call 2 Fall" during which churches across the country would commit to dedicating several minutes to praying that God will save our nation. It has since turned into an annual event and, as FRC reports, the event is needed now more than ever because, thanks to the passage of marriage equality in New York, "our nation has already crossed thresholds of decline and decadence which, unless the spiritual leaders of our nation (pastors and churches) arise to... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/24/2011, 11:47am
One of the most prominent endorsers of Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally said in a recent interview that the United States needs to confront and stop legalizing same-sex marriage in the same way the country confronted slavery. Che Ahn is a self-proclaimed apostle and, along with his mentee Lou Engle, co-founder of The Call, a militantly anti-choice and anti-gay prayer rally. Many of the organizers of Gov. Perry’s rally are heavily involved in The Call and its affiliated IHOP ministry. In an interview with a British ministry, Ahn discussed his commitment to Seven Mountains... MORE