choice

Newman: "Demonic" Abortion Providers Make Money To Fuel Drug, Sex, Gambling Addictions

Troy Newman of the militantly anti-choice group Operation Rescue appeared yesterday on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss an upcoming HBO series based on the life and death of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was murdered by a “pro-life” activist at his church. Newman claimed that women’s health centers that offer family planning are filthy, “demonic” places where “the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get” to feed his many addictions, including drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling. He argued that the late Dr. Tiller was himself a raging alcoholic, drug addict and a sexist, who only performed abortions to satisfy his addictions:

Mefferd: When you talk about these clinics, and we’ve seen this so many times before, that these abortion clinics are just gross, they’re dirty, they’re poorly maintained, why do you think that is? I mean, they seem to have enough money coming in from abortions to be able to get some Clorox, why are they so gross?

Newman: Well, there’s a number of reasons. First of all, there’s really no pride of ownership there. It’s an abortion facility and often times the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get out of that to feed sometimes his drug addiction habit, his sexual abuse habit, or any other number of worldly habits that they got themselves into, often times gambling, and it just takes every dollar out of it. But again, you can’t practice vice, with virtue. We look at it through the prism of a Christian worldview and we think, why not take care of your facility? But this is truly a demonic enterprise.



Newman: The people that I know and have a lot of informants and spies inside the abortion industry that call me on a regular basis and I know who George Tiller was behind the scenes. He was a rabid alcoholic, a drug addict, a man who verbally abused not only his staff but his clients. He really did not like women and he profited to the tune of $2-3 million a year off doing late term abortions.

Blackwell Ditches Bachmann For Perry

Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race.

How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry:

Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and one time candidate for Governor who lost against Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

“I am proud to endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president,” said Blackwell in a release from the Perry campaign. “Gov. Perry’s successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again. His proven conservative values, and his proven executive experience are exactly what this country needs to reverse the failed policies of the Obama Administration.”

Blackwell’s endorsement comes just as Perry’s campaign is having a second roll-out following a major slip in the polls as a result of dreadful debate performances and other missteps. Bachmann’s poll numbers have also dropped significantly as Herman Cain, for now, has emerged as Mitt Romney’s closest rival. But with Cain flubbing and flip-flopping even straight-forward questions on abortion rights and gay rights and Bachmann’s campaign running low on support, staffers and funding, it may be time that establishment figures in the Religious Right rally behind Perry as their choice.

Perkins Ignores Palin To Spin The 2008 Election Loss

Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee.

During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population.

Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate can hope to win the general elections and pointed to John McCain as proof:

This idea that a candidate that would be supported by social conservatives that would win the Republican nomination would be unacceptable to the general populace is just not true. I think the opposite it true; we saw that in the last election cycle. There was a Republican nomination that was not acceptable to social conservatives. He did not have the enthusiastic support of social conservatives and, as a result, the Republicans lost the general election.

Now, obviously McCain and the Religious Right had a rather contentious history, but to say that the McCain campaign did not receive the "enthusiastic support of social conservatives" requires one to completely ignore the rapturous lovefest that exploded when McCain announced the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, which we chronicled at the time:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”

Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”

Janet Folger, Faith2Action: “[T]he selection of Sarah Palin is more than ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Electrifying!’ and ‘Energizing!’ The selection of Sarah Palin will lead to words like: ‘Rejuvenating!’ ‘Victory!’ and ‘Landslide!’"

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”

Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments’"

David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

If social conservatives were unenthusiastic about the McCain ticket last time around, some apparently forgot to tell all of these social conservatives who were gushing about just how thrilled they were. 

Religious Right Erupts Following Herman Cain's Incoherent Position On Abortion

Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.

Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:

Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association argued that Cain’s remarks “could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook” and wrote a column taking Cain to task:

Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.

Ouch.

In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.

Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.

Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:

Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:

I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.



He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.

Why Is Everyone Always Misunderstanding Herman Cain?

You really have to feel for Herman Cain because it seems that people are always misunderstanding his perfectly consistent and reasonable statements. 

Like how his 9-9-9 plan will not raise taxes on the poor because he has a super-secret solution that he just hasn't told anyone about or how just because he said he wouldn't allow any Muslims to serve in his administration, that doesn't mean he wouldn't allow Muslims to serve in his administration.

Yesterday Cain made news again after saying that it is not the "government’s role, or anybody else’s role" to make the decision about whether to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest.

That statement made Religious Right activists question Cain's anti-choice bona fides, to which he responded with a tweet declaring that he was "100% pro-life.  End of story."

That, of course, was not the end of the story because it directly contradicted what Cain had just said.  So now Cain is out there trying to set the record straight by explaining that he believes that abortion ought to be illegal in all circumstances ... but that the decision to break the law and get an abortion is none of the government's business: 

FOX HOST MARTHA MACCALLUM: Do you believe that abortion should be legal in this country for families who want to make that decision [to abort]?

CAIN: No. I do not believe abortion should be legal in this country, if that's the question.

MACCALLUM: So then you're saying that if those circumstances come up and the family does make that decision, that they decide that that is the best thing for this young person or she decides that on her own, then if that's what they decided, then it would be an illegal abortion that they would seek.

CAIN: It would be an illegal abortion! Look, abortion should not be legal -- that is clear -- but if that family made a decision to break the law, that's their decision. 

In attempting to clarify his position, Cain has done the opposite and is only generating more confusion.

If the government outlaws abortion, then obviously a decision about whether to break the law and get an abortion anyway is not a situation where the government "shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision" ... mainly because the government has already made that decision for them by outlawing abortion.

Is this really Cain's position: that in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government's business to tell them what to do?

Here is helpful tip for Cain to consider: if people are repeatedly asking you to clarify your incoherent positions and your clarifications only induce further confusion, then just maybe it is not everyone else that is woefully misinformed.

Herman Cain Lies Again About Muslim Ban Comments

During an interview with Piers Morgan on Wednesday, Herman Cain ignited controversy by stating that homosexuality is a choice and presenting an incoherent view on abortion: that he is against abortion rights but that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” In the same interview, Cain also repeated his claim that he never said he’d ban Muslims in his administration if elected president:

Morgan: You got into hot water about the whole issue of Muslims in a potential cabinet.
Cain: Yes.
Morgan: And you have kind of flip-flopped a bit. I think you would concede, you've backtracked, haven't you?
Cain: Well, you media people call it flip flopping.
Morgan: What would you call it?
Cain: I call it explaining the intent of my comment.
Morgan: Back tracking.
Cain: You either flip-flop or backtrack. It's either all or nothing.
Morgan: Initially, it appeared to be that you were saying you wouldn't feel comfortable, your words, with having a Muslim in a cabinet.
Cain: Exactly. And this is an example of where I spoke to quick because I'm thinking about extremists, not all Muslims. I do recognize there are peaceful Muslims and there are extremists. At the moment that I was asked that question, I wasn't thinking about peaceful Muslims.

Cain was referring to an interview with Think Progress in which he first said that he “would not” be comfortable with appointing a Muslim to his Cabinet. But it wasn’t a one-time comment. Almost a month after the Think Progress interview, Cain doubled down, telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, “I wouldn't have Muslims in my administration.” While Cain told Morgan that he regretted that he “spoke too quick” about Muslims, he took the exact opposite approach in his interview with Fischer, complimenting himself for not caring what the media and even his own campaign staff thought about his ban on Muslims:

Cain: I have been upfront, which ruffles some feathers, but remember Bryan, being politically correct is not one of my strong points; I come at it straight from the heart and straight from the way I see it. And the comment that I made the become controversial, and that my staff keeps hoping will die, is that I wouldn't have Muslims in my administration. And it's real simple: the Constitution does not have room for sharia law. I want people who are going to believe and enforce the Constitution of the United States of America. And so I don't have time, as President of the United States, to try and screen people based upon their religious beliefs - I really don't care what your religious beliefs are, but I do know that most of the people of the Muslim faith, they believe in sharia law. And to introduce that element as part of an administration when we have all of these other issues, I think I have a right to say that I won't.

Right Wing Round-Up

Priest Says Catholics Must Oppose Politicians Who Don't Oppose "Intrinsically Evil" Homosexuality

The mayor of El Paso, Texas and two city councilmembers are facing recall elections after their support of domestic partner benefits for city employees raised the ire of Religious Right activists. One of the proponents of the recall, Rev. Michael Rodriguez, was reassigned out of the El Paso Roman Catholic diocese after paying for advertisements saying that the choice for Catholic voters in the election was “clear” and they must support the recall.

In an interview last week with Michael J. Matt of The Remnant, Rodriguez said, “Every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions” and “oppose this homosexual agenda.” Rodriguez told the newspaper that “even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.”

MJM: Up until last year, I believe, things were pretty quiet in your priestly life. What happened to change all that?

FR: The local, and even national, "controversy" that has engulfed me is due to the fact that I have been vocal in promoting what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in regard to the whole issue of homosexuality. It's a disgrace, but the City Council of El Paso has been adamant in trying to legitimize same-sex unions. This goes completely contrary to Catholic Church teaching. I've made it clear to the Catholics of El Paso (and beyond) that every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions. A Catholic who fails to oppose this homosexual agenda, is committing a grave sin by omission. Furthermore, if a Catholic doesn't assent to the infallible moral teaching of the Church that homosexual acts are mortally sinful, then such a Catholic is placing himself / herself outside of communion with the Church. These are the Catholics who are actually excommunicating themselves, not the Society of St. Pius X!

MJM: I can understand why the civil authorities and media might find this “controversial”; but why would your ecclesial superiors find it so?

FR: The dismal response of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to homosexuality demonstrates how extreme the current crisis of faith actually is. It really can't get much worse. There's hardly any faith left to lose! Even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Reason, natural law, and consideration of the male and female anatomy more than suffice to confirm this moral truth.

Keller Blames Gay Community For Jamie Hubley's Suicide

On Saturday, openly gay teenager Jamie Hubley, who chronicled his experiences with depression and anti-gay bullying on his blog, committed suicide at the age of fifteen. Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com knows just who to blame for Hubley’s suicide: “the homosexual community and media who promote this lifestyle to society,” including “Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres” and pastors who don’t condemn homosexuality. “Homosexuality is a bondage like alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else people get addicted to,” Keller writes in his chilling statement on Hubley’s death. “The fact is, suicide is exponentially higher amongst those who choose the homosexual lifestyle, and while those in the media want to blame people like myself who take a Biblical stand on this issue, the fact is, they are the ones most responsible.”

Keller writes that Hubley’s sexual orientation was “destructive,” calls openly gay people “brainwashed,” and claims that it is those who “glorify this deviant, unnatural, and unhealthy choice of sexual activity, who are most responsible for Hubley's death”:

Bill Keller, the world's leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the daily devotional he has written every morning for 12 years on the issues of the day from a Biblcial [sic] worldview, is calling out Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres, the media, and gutless pastors for the suicide of a Canadian teen who claimed to be "gay."

Last Friday, a 15-year-old Ottawa boy Jamie Hubley, committed suicide after documenting his hardships of being "gay." Liveprayer's Bill Keller said that while the media wants to demonize anyone who dares call this CHOICE of sexual activity what God calls it in the Bible, a sin, it is those in the media who glamorize and promote this choice as normal and acceptable, along with gutless pastors too afraid to speak out against this sin, along with faux churches that glorify this deviant, unnatural, and unhealthy choice of sexual activity, who are most responsible for Hubley's death.

Keller stated, "Sadly we deal with the loved ones of those who commit suicide every day. Suicide is a desperate and selfish act that is ultimately the sole responsibility of the person who made the choice to end their life. Everyone who commits suicide has reasons that led them to make such a horrible decision. The fact is, suicide is exponentially higher amongst those who choose the homosexual lifestyle, and while those in the media want to blame people like myself who take a Biblical stand on this issue, the fact is, they are the ones most responsible!"

Keller goes on, "A 15-year-old has no real understanding of sexuality, and most are still trying to figure out life and how they fit in. It is the homosexual community and media who promote this lifestyle to society, forcing it to validate legally and ethically this choice of sexual behavior and relationships to our children as normal, even desirable behavior!" He adds, "The Bible says in the last days the truth will become a lie, and the lie the truth."

Over the past 20 years, Liveprayer has helped thousands of men and women make the choice to turn from the sin of homosexuality. Keller says, "Homosexuality is a bondage like alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else people get addicted to. The great lie the homosexual community has successfully sold is that people are 'born gay.' There is absolutely ZERO legitimate studies to support this claim. People are born with black skin or white skin, with blue eyes or green eyes, taking off your pants to have sex is a CHOICE!"

Keller concluded, "It is the God in the Bible, not Bill Keller, that calls homosexuality a sin. It is sad to see children, those who don't even know what sex is, being brainwashed by our modern society that engaging in sex with a person of the same sex is a wonderful thing. God created sex between a man and a woman in the bonds of marriage. All sex outside of God's plan is not only a sin, but destructive. We are fortunate to see God's grace daily working in the lives of men and women who have been in bondage to the lie of homosexuality, as they find freedom, true joy, and true peace, living as God created us."

Herman Cain, KKK Crackers, and Snuffing The Seed of One Of Your Hoes

Given that some polls are now showing Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field, do you think that maybe someone in the media might be able to get around to asking him about his role in the 2006 radio ad campaign that the Bush administration called "inappropriate" and the RNC called "racist"? 

Here is a refresher:  Back in 2006, an organization called America's PAC was formed for the purpose of spending $1 million to get Black and Hispanic voters to support Republican candidates with absurdly over-the-top and offensive radio ads:

The group, America's Pac, began running ads last month in more than two dozen congressional districts.The campaign discusses issues ranging from warrantless wiretapping to school choice, but the most inflammatory spots pertain to abortion.

"Black babies are terminated at triple the rate of white babies," a female announcer in one of the ads says, as rain, thunder, and a crying infant are heard in the background. "The Democratic Party supports these abortion laws that are decimating our people, but the individual's right to life is protected in the Republican platform. Democrats say they want our vote.Why don't they want our lives?"

...

Another spot attempts to link Democrats to a white supremacist who served as a Republican in the Louisiana Legislature, David Duke.The ad makes reference to Duke's trip to Syria last year, where he spoke at an anti-war rally.

"I can understand why a Ku Klux Klan cracker like David Duke makes nice with the terrorists,"a male voice in the ad says. "What I want to know is why so many of the Democrat politicians I helped elect are on the same side of the Iraq war as David Duke."

According to the New York Sun, Herman Cain was the spokesperson for the group and personally voiced some of the radio ads:

The group referred calls from The New York Sun to a conservative, African-American talk show host who voiced some of the ads, Herman Cain.

"The main thing that America's Pac is up to is it basically is challenging the thesis or the belief on the part of the Republican Party that they cannot attract the black vote," Mr. Cain said. He said similar advertisements run in 2004 helped boost President Bush's share of the black vote in Ohio to 16%, from 9% in 2000.

"We don't believe that was an accident," Mr. Cain said. The IRS filing indicates that the ads are running this year in 10 battleground states, including Ohio, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Mr. Cain, who once managed the Godfather's Pizza chain and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Georgia in 2004, said he was not troubled that Mr. Rooney, who is white, is funding ads using black voices who claim to speak on behalf of the black community."You don't have a lot of black billionaires who would want to fund something like this," he said.

We managed to track down the audio of one of America's PAC's most infamous ads a while back and uploaded it to YouTube:

Is that Cain featured in the ad?  We don't know for sure - it kind of sounds like him, but it is entirely possible that it is not him ... but since nobody seems willing to ask Cain about the ads and his role with the organization, it is impossible to know.

It is known that Cain was a voice and spokesman for the America's PAC ad series, so even if he didn't voice this particular ad, it seems worth asking him which ads he did voice and whether he feels ads about a "Ku Klux Klan cracker" or snuffing the seed of "one of your hoes" are appropriate, especially since even the RNC denounced the ad's "racist or race-baiting in intent."

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

Bryan Fischer Pleads Ignorance About His "Poisonous Language"

On AFA Today with Buster Wilson this morning, Bryan Fischer said he was stunned that Mitt Romney rebuked him, albeit not by name, for having crossed a line in civil debate and using “poisonous language.” As Kyle points out, Fischer has been playing the victim and defended himself during the same interview, saying, “Jesus used far more incendiary and inflammatory language than I have ever used.”

Fischer told Wilson that he was on Romney’s “hit list” since the 2008 campaign and “didn’t anticipate that he would go after me” at the Religious Right gathering. He also expressed bewilderment that Romney would characterize his language as “poisonous,” saying he has “no idea” what Romney was talking about. Fischer and Wilson went on to name People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch for pressuring Romney to call out Fischer and his unremitting bigotry:

Fischer has a point, as RWW has documented and exposed Fischer’s ultraconservative, intolerant, and discriminatory bombast for years, or as Fischer puts it, waged a “jihad” and “holy war” against him. We have repeatedly asked Republican presidential candidates, congressmen and senators who appear on his radio show and the presidential candidates, Romney in particular, who were sharing a stage with him at the Values Voter Summit to denounce him.

Since Fischer seems to have “no idea” what in his rhetoric could have forced Romney to condemn him, we put together this video to remind Fischer that the word “poisonous” may actually be an understatement:

Jeffress: God Will Judge America For Electing A Mormon President

During a 2008 debate with Jay Sekulow of the American Center of Law and Justice, who endorsed Mitt Romney’s last presidential bid, Robert Jeffress said that not only are Mormons like Romney not Christians but that America would suffer God’s judgment if a Mormon were elected President.

Jeffress, an influential pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention, stepped into the political spotlight when he introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in a speech that appeared to contrast the fight between Perry and Romney as a choice between a Christian conservative and a conservative who is simply a “moral person.” Jeffress believes that Romney is not “indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God” but actually is a member of a “cult” that is “from the pit of Hell.” He also contends that “counterfeit religions,” including Roman Catholicism, represent “the genius of Satan.”

At the 2008 debate, arguing that Christians are “indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God” and “uniquely favored by God,” and therefore favored in public office, Jeffress said that Mormons, along with Hindus and Muslims, “are following after false gods.” Jeffress warned that “God always judges a nation that has a ruler who introduces false gods into that national life.”

Watch:

The value of electing a Christian goes beyond the public policies that he or she may enact. We believe that a genuine Christian has a relationship with God, is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, is led by the spirit of God, and is uniquely favored by God. Even if that genuine believer does not embrace every position we hold important we still believe that we make a grave mistake in underestimating the value of having a Christian in office.



Followers of Mormonism, Hinduism, Islam, they’re not worshiping the same God in a different way. We believe they are following after false gods. And as Christians, we can look at the Bible and see very clearly that God always judges a nation that has a ruler who introduces false gods into that national life.

Robert Jeffress Endorses Perry, Thinks America’s Doomed Anyway

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a leading figure on the Religious Right, has announced that he will endorse Rick Perry for president later today at the Values Voter Summit.

Jeffress’s choice of Perry is not hugely surprising – in the past, he has attacked Mitt Romney for his Mormonism, saying, “Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult” and saying that Mormons “worship a false god.”

In 2010, Jeffress urged Christians to vote solely based on religion, saying “I believe we should always support a Christian over a non-Christian."

Mormonism isn’t the only religion Jeffress condemns – he has called Islam an “evil, evil religion” and said, “What we label today as ‘pluralism,’ God called ‘idolatry.’” This “idolatry,” Jeffress warned, has opened up the nation to “God’s wrath.”

Jeffress may have found a presidential candidate he likes, but he’s not too optimistic about the future of the United States. In September, he launched a series of sermons called “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” in which he posits that America is doomed and Christians need to see the nation’s collapse as an opportunity to spread the Gospel.

 

Fischer: I Am Persecuted For Telling The Truth

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association broadcast his radio show today from Washington, where he is attending this weekend’s Values Voter Summit. Fischer spoke with Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg about how gays and lesbians should simply suppress their sexual orientations, with Fischer saying that his anti-gay outlook represents a “more noble view of humanity” than the worldview of gay rights advocates. Sprigg went on to say that “in terms of their identity, we as Christians believe that every human being is born in the image of God, and to be born in the image of God is a far higher and better thing than for anyone to be born gay”:

Fischer also addressed People For the American Way’s letter to Mitt Romney and the New York Times story on the issue that asked why Romney is appearing directly before Fischer, despite his virulent anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Native American and anti-Mormon rhetoric. Fischer said that he has “done nothing but tell the truth about homosexuality, about gay rights, about Muslims and Mormons,” and that when you “tell the truth, as far as the left concerns, [it is] unmitigated bigotry.”

Watch:

The New York Times piece goes on to say “The conference, from Friday to Sunday in Washington, is sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association” that would be us, “and other evangelical Christian groups. It aims to energize social conservatives and test the fidelity of the candidates.” All true. “The conference planners have obliged Mr. Romney, scheduling him to speak right before Bryan Fischer, who is chief spokesman for the family association and is known for his strident remarks on homosexuality, gay rights, Muslims and Mormons.” Now again, when you just tell the truth, that’s all I’ve done, I’ve done nothing but tell the truth about homosexuality, about gay rights, about Muslims and Mormons. That’s all I’ve done. I didn’t make anything up; I have just told the truth. You tell the truth as far as the left is concerned, that makes you strident. In fact my comments, my speech, is gonna be followed by a panel of same-sex marriage opponents. And then the New York Times guy talks about People For the American Way calling on especially Mr. Romney to publicly disassociate themselves from Mr. Fischer and his quote “unmitigated bigotry.” So once again, tell the truth, as far as the left concerns, “unmitigated bigotry.”

The Values Behind The Values Voter Summit

Earlier today we posted a memo examining the views and statements of some of the key speakers and sponsors with whom several Republican presidential candidates will be associating with the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

To accompany that document, we decided to go through our video archives and put together a compilation of past statements made by leaders associated with three of the Values Voter Summit's main sponsors - Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association:

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Parshall Says You Cannot Be Gay And Christian

Last week Kyle noted that Denny Burk of the Southern Baptist Convention is urging Christians to “drop the phrase” “gay Christian” because “Christians never speak of ‘lying Christians, ’ ‘adulterer Christians, ’ ‘fornicating Christians, ’ ‘murderer Christians, ’or ‘thieving Christians.’” On Friday, Religious Right radio talk show host Janet Parshall made a similar claim on her show In The Market, where she criticized a self-described “gay Christian” who wrote to her:

I got an interesting comment from a person who identified themselves as a gay Christian. Now, that is something I want to linger here for two seconds, because either you are a bible-believing born again Christian who’ve confessed your sins and you’ve asked the Lord of your life as Savior and you’ve slid into sin and you’re now currently practicing homosexuality, or, you’re using the word Christian without understanding what the word Christian means. But I will tell you in love, if you are listening to me right now, that if you are a practicing gay Christian you dear friend are in sin. Not because Janet Parshall said so, you’re in sin because the bible says any sex outside of marriage is sin. God in His sovereignty designed sex, now that’s just some people keep forgetting that but it was God who came up with this idea of a man and a woman expressing themselves sexually, but then in His sovereignty and His perfect wisdom he said ‘and, here’s where it’s done: within the parameters of marriage.’ And then, so you wouldn’t have to fumble in the dark, ‘and by the way marriage is defined as one man and one woman.’ But when someone comes along with a sin, and wants the government to put it into statutory law, the men and women of God have no choice but to stand up and say: that’s wrong.

AFA Threatens To Fire Any Host Who Partners With NAR Critic

Back when Gov. Rick Perry was organizing his massive "The Response" prayer rally, we were hard at work chronicling the ties between organizers of the event and the self-proclaimed prophets and apostles affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation.

But it was not just people like us who were taking note of the fact that Republicans and Religious Right leaders were embracing this new breed of spiritual warriors, as some conservatives leaders began to raise alarms of their own.

One of the leading conservative critics of this development has been Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend, who has been using his radio program to voice his opposition. 

And his criticism is apparently causing such massive headaches for the folks over at the American Family Association that, as Warren Throckmorton reports, hosts of programs that air on the AFA's American Family Radio network are now being told that their shows will be dropped if they in any way partner with Howse:

The American Family Association has taken aim at fellow religious conservative Brannon Howse over his criticism of the AFA’s recent sponsorship of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s The Response prayer meeting. Earlier this week, Jim Stanley, program director of AFA’s radio network, American Family Radio, sent notices to two talk show hosts who are associated with Howse, informing them that continued presence on the AFA’s radio network was conditioned on severing ties with Howse.

The talk show hosts, John Loeffler and Todd Friel, have shows aired by American Family Radio and also speak at Howse sponsored events. According to Tim Wildmon, president of the AFA, “we identified two people with programs on our networks and told them, ’you have to make a choice.’” In defense of the move, Wildmon said “AFR is under no obligation to run programs of individuals who are going to help Brannon when he is attacking our friends. We make programming decisions all the time.”

Howse heads Worldview Weekend, a socially conservative ministry which espouses similar conservative views as the AFA on culture war issues as abortion and homosexuality. However, Howse charges that religious right leaders have formed improper religious alliances with leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation such as Cindy Jacobs in order to promote a conservative political agenda. About his stance, Howse said, “Christians must defend the gospel when we believe Christian leaders are giving credibility to what the Bible describes as false teaching ... In an email, Wildmon told me that Howse had tried to “sabotage The Response that we were sponsors of and has gone after our friends and associates like Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins, James and Shirley Dobson, etc., by name.” He explained that the network had received calls from listeners and that the situation had been “a headache.”

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choice Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/27/2011, 3:10pm
Troy Newman of the militantly anti-choice group Operation Rescue appeared yesterday on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss an upcoming HBO series based on the life and death of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was murdered by a “pro-life” activist at his church. Newman claimed that women’s health centers that offer family planning are filthy, “demonic” places where “the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get” to feed his many addictions, including drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling. He argued that the late Dr. Tiller was... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 12:41pm
Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race. How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry: Ken Blackwell, the former... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:01pm
Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee. During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population. Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/21/2011, 3:40pm
Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least. Rick Perry... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/21/2011, 2:43pm
You really have to feel for Herman Cain because it seems that people are always misunderstanding his perfectly consistent and reasonable statements.  Like how his 9-9-9 plan will not raise taxes on the poor because he has a super-secret solution that he just hasn't told anyone about or how just because he said he wouldn't allow any Muslims to serve in his administration, that doesn't mean he wouldn't allow Muslims to serve in his administration. Yesterday Cain made news again after saying that it is not the "government’s role, or anybody else’s role" to make the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/21/2011, 10:16am
During an interview with Piers Morgan on Wednesday, Herman Cain ignited controversy by stating that homosexuality is a choice and presenting an incoherent view on abortion: that he is against abortion rights but that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” In the same interview, Cain also repeated his claim that he never said he’d ban Muslims in his administration if elected president: Morgan: You got into hot water about the whole issue of Muslims in a potential cabinet. Cain: Yes. Morgan: And you have kind of flip-... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/20/2011, 4:48pm
Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Jeffress is Both Right and Wrong on Religion & Politics.   Rachel Tabachnick @ Dome: Spiritual Warfare.   Ashley Lopez @ Florida Independent: Hasner ally says Muslim Brotherhood is behind Occupy Orlando.   Towleroad: Right-Wing Group Airs Gay Marriage Attack Ad in Iowa.   Zack Ford @ Think Progress LGBT: Herman Cain Doubles Down That Being Gay Is A Choice, ‘Washes Off.’   Michael E. Miller @ Miami New Times: Ave Maria University: A Catholic project gone wrong... MORE