Civil Rights

Right Wing Round-Up

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.

Censorship Spiral: Right Now Wants to Shut Down Entire Smithsonian Exhibit

After Republican and Religious Right leaders clamored over who was more outraged about 11 seconds of video in the Smithsonian’s new “Hide/Seek” exhibit, censorship advocates now not only want the Smithsonian to remove the video in question (which they have) but to close the whole exhibit.

Georgia Republican Congressman Jack Kingston, who earlier called for congressional investigations into the Smithsonian, told the rightwing website CNSNews that while the museum’s removal of artist David Wojnarowicz video was a “positive” step, he does not think the Smithsonian went far enough: “No, I think it should be closed.”

Rep. Kingston implied that the people behind the exhibit on depictions of homosexuality in art, which was completely privately-funded, wanted to draw the attention of children:

“So you move from Elvis to the presidents of America and the civil rights display and tucked in between we have ‘Hide/Seek,’” Kingston said. “And so now you’re explaining to your 10-year-old what homoerotic art is.”



“I think they let the kinky push logic out of the way and they know that,” Kingston said. “I don’t think these are stupid people. I think this is an ‘in your face’ exhibit and ‘aren’t we cool,’ and ‘we’re doing this and not only are we doing something edgy, but you’re paying us for it -- ha, ha.’”

Brent Bozell of the rightwing Media Research Center said on CNN that since in his opinion the majority of Americans would disapprove of the exhibit, it should not be featured in the Smithsonian at all. “It’s not about one piece,” Bozell claims, “it’s about an entire exhibit full of all sorts of pieces.”

Watch:

NOM Compares SPLC To Joseph McCarthy

If you think the Religious Right is over the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has added several new organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups, think again.

Even though pretty much every group mentioned in the report has already weighed in to voice their outrage, activists continue to blast the SPLC, with the AFA of Pennsylvania accusing them of "attempting to silence" Christians and WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah calling them a "marginal, fringe, extremist organization."

But the latest response from National Organization for Marriage really takes the cake, as Robert George compares the SPLC to Joe McCarthy while Maggie Gallagher complains that they are being treated like racists:

In a Nov. 29 e-mail to CNA, Princeton University law professor and National Organization for Marriage chairman emeritus Robert P. George compared the action to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s smearing of opponents by accusing them of being communist sympathizers.

While the Law Center continues to do some good work in the area of civil rights, its “tarring” of those it opposes “reveals itself to have become an ideologically partisan organization bent on shutting down dissent by intimidating into silence those with whom it should be engaged in honest debate.”

...

Gallagher saw the Law Center’s action as a vindication of her past statements.

“I wish they would stop proving that we’re right so consistently. I’m not surprised. This is what I predicted would happen. I’m a little surprised it’s happening so fast.

“They believe you should be treated like a racist if you think marriage is a union of a man and a wife,” she said.

Asked to explain the difference between having racist views and having views opposed to homosexual acts, Prof. George said that debates about sexual ethics are about whether certain acts are “consistent with the dignity of human beings.”

However, this debate assumes “the equal and inestimable worth and dignity of all human beings” because it asks whether certain acts are worthy of them. Racist ideology rejects this, basing itself on “skin pigmentation” or other “morally irrelevant factors.”

“We need to face squarely the goals of this movement, the rhetoric of this movement, and the fact that this is an issue,” Gallagher remarked.

She added that Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic bishops have made clear that “it doesn’t get better” if opponents of same-sex “marriage” stand down.

“The next fight is going to be whether or not our religious institutions and parents and schools are going to be stigmatized in the public square as racists, and face legal disabilities that racists face.”

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."

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Vicky Hartzler: Missouri’s Anti-Gay Zealot

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our seventh candidate profile is on Missouri's Vicky Hartzler:

Although Ike Skelton, the long-time representative in Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was far from a supporter of LGBT equality, Vicky Hartzler, who defeated him in this year’s election, has based her political career on supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians.

A former state legislator, she was the spokeswoman and public face of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, which successfully amended the state constitution to include a ban same-sex marriage (which was already banned by statute) in 2004. The New York Times writes that her group used “church functions, yard signs and a ‘marriage chain’ of rallies across the state,” and Hartzler “said she hoped that the outcome would send a loud message to the rest of the country: ‘Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage.’”

Her work helped her receive praise from Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Penny Nance of Concerned Women PAC.

Mother Jones asked if Hartzler was the “most anti-gay candidate in America” since she believes that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will “put us at risk,” maintains that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore gay people aren’t entitled to civil rights, and dubbed hate crimes legislation one of the “the extreme agenda items of the gay movement.”

Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign told Mother Jones that while “Ike Skelton has not been a friend of the LGBT community,” unlike Hartzler, “he does not wake up in the morning thinking about what he can do to harm the LGBT community.”

A staunch anti-choice activist, Hartzler supported legislation which “would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder” and “also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against doctors who performed such procedures.” She was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would pressure women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms. Throughout her career in the State House, she consistently received perfect ratings from the right-wing Missouri Family Network.

Hartzler wrote a book for Christian activists running for office called “Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign,” which “discusses how to run a political campaign by using events and stories in the bible as a guide.” Phyllis Schlafly gave her a laudatory introduction at an Eagle Forum event, calling her book “a manual for action.”

In a profile by the American Family Association, Hartzler said that she found inspiration from God to run for public office at the age of nine, and her book maintains that “Christians must become more active in politics if they are to have the impact God calls them to have.” Hartzler said that her book provides Christian candidates with “the tools and inspiration they need to bring God’s light in a darkening world.”

According to one sympathetic review in a local newspaper, Hartzler’s book “praises Absalom — a rebellious son of King David, God’s anointed leader for Israel and according to Christian theology an early example of divinely ordained rule prefiguring that of Jesus Christ — as being the “first politician” and an example for modern political leaders. In Hartzler’s words, ‘Absalom won over the hearts of the people of Israel using time-tested campaign strategies. We, too, can campaign successfully following these same guidelines.’”

A climate change denier, Hartzler asserted that she does not believe in climate change since she read “some articles that [said] it’s actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder…and certainly, I don’t believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that.”

Hartzler ran an ugly anti-immigrant ad against Ike Skelton, where she claimed that by voting to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program he supports “welfare benefits” for “illegal immigrants”, and criticized him for opposing a measure that would prohibit illegal immigrants from attending public schools as “giving illegal immigrants free education.”

She appealed to Tea Partiers by slamming government spending, as she blasted Congress’s spending plans and said that “we just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.” However, according to the Kansas City Star, Hartzler’s “farm has received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009.” She defended the government farm subsidies as a “national defense issue,” and claimed that she would not support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or defense.

In an editorial board interview she couldn’t name any programs she would cut funding to other than “the Lady Bird Highway Beautification projects. She indicated that garden clubs could do some of this work along the highways, saving public funds.”

However, Hartzler does appear to support spending money to expand the role of the Navy in Missouri, as she argued that under Skelton’s watch the landlocked state has “the smallest Navy here that we have had since the early 1960s.”

Hartzler blended her Tea Party lip service and Religious Right advocacy to topple one of the most powerful members of the House, and will now bring her years of anti-equality and anti-choice activism to become a prominent voice of the Far-Right in the GOP-led House.

 

 

 

 

 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • George Zornick @ Think Progress: Allen West’s Hiring Of Hate Radio Host As Chief Of Staff Is ‘Potentially Problematic,’ House Official Warns.
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Pastor Found Guilty Of Stalking North Carolina Abortion Doctors.
  • Alvin McEwen: Religious right blames 'civil rights' for situation involving kidnapped child.
  • Steve Benen: Lifestyles of the Rich, the Famous, and the New Jersey governors.
  • Good As You: If God Inc. made an 'ex-gay' infomercial, it'd look exactly like this.

Ken Blackwell & Mike Lee Team Up to Pass Balanced Budget Amendment

Ken Blackwell wears many hats:

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, and the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow for Public Policy at the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He is a visiting fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the American Civil Rights Union. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union and Pastors Retreat Network. Mr. Blackwell is also the Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and a member of the National Rifle Association’s Public Affairs Committee. He is a columnist for the New York Sun, a contributing editor and columnist for the conservative news and opinion site Townhall.com, and a public affairs commentator for the Salem Radio Network.

To this list we can now add Chairman of a new group named "Balanced Budget Amendment Now" which, as its name suggests, is going to be focused solely on passing a Balanced Budget Amendment and has already received the support of Senator-Elect Mike Lee (R-UT): 

A new organization has launched to campaign for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, Balanced Budget Amendment Now. Focused solely on passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA), the group seeks to enlist 5,000 – 10,000 voters in each congressional district who will urge their members of Congress to vote for a BBA. This organization will be chaired by the Honorable Kenneth Blackwell, a longtime taxpayer advocate and fiscal conservative.

"We're glad to see the historic change in Congress and in state houses across America. The people have spoken forcefully, and they reject the profligate spending and massive expansion of government that they see in Washington, DC. The new Congress will face tremendous pressure as they seek to cut spending, and Balanced Budget Amendment Now will be there to remind them that they weren't elected to trim spending or slow down the rate of growth, but to cut, de-authorize and balance the budget.

"To that end, we want to give the 112th Congress and future Congresses a valuable tool to keep spending in check, a BBA to the Constitution. Our first step towards this goal is a vote on the BBA by October 1, 2011, the first day of the next fiscal year. Only by the active participation of 'We the People' can we force Congress and the President to act, before it's too late to avoid an economic collapse," concluded Blackwell.

Balanced Budget Amendment Now has asked Senator-Elect Mike Lee (R-UT) to draft BBA language and to enlist the support of his colleagues. Senator-Elect Lee stated, "The time has come for Congress to do the right thing and pass a balanced budget amendment. The majority of states in this country balance their budgets every year. Requiring Congress to do the same simply requires self-restraint, fiscal discipline, forethought and a commitment to follow both the roles and restraints outlined in the Constitution."

Lee concluded, "I applaud the efforts of groups like Balanced Budget Amendment Now for moving this issue forward. This is the type of dialogue and discussion Congress and our citizens need to engage in at this critical time in our nation's history. A balanced budget amendment is an important first step to reclaiming our future."

Right Wing Round-Up

Huckabee Announces Boycott of NPR, Calls on Congress to Cut Funding

Yesterday, National Public Radio fired Juan Williams for comments he made Muslims on The O'Reilly Factor:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mike Huckabee has responded by defending Williams as "refreshingly honest and candid" and announced that he is heretofore boycotting NPR until it stops engaging in this sort of "censorship" and urges Congress to cut its funding:

NPR has fired Juan Williams as a result of comments he recently made on The Bill O'Reilly show. The comments were his personal admission that while he is certainly not a bigot, he said he was nervous when someone in Muslim garb and spouting Muslim doctrine got on an airplane on which he was a passenger. I know Juan and am proud to be a colleague of his as a fellow Fox News contributor. There isn't a more honest and fair-minded person in journalism. He is refreshingly honest and candid and unusually objective when it comes to analyzing the events in the news.

NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left.

While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.

Bob Vander Plaats Makes His Nonsensical Case for Removing Iowa's Justices

Last night, the Iowa Independent and Simpson College hosted a forum to discuss the right-wing effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices because of the court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year.

Iowa for Freedom chairman Bob Vander Plaats was among the participants and dominated much of the conversation until, as the Iowa Independent reports, issues came up that he didn't want to address:

At two times during the debate, Vander Plaats seemed to be at a loss of words and side-stepped questions from his fellow panelists. When the issue of Iowa for Freedom’s funding came up, he refused to answer McCormick’s question of where his organization’s funds come from. The Mississippi-based American Family Association contributes the overwhelming majority of funding for Iowa for Freedom, and New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for TV ads attacking the judges.

The second moment was when the panelists discussed the equal protection clause in both the Iowa and U.S. constitutions. For much of the debate, Vander Plaats dismissed the clause, using examples of property or gun rights to object to the theory. However, McCormick brought up Brown v. Board of Education as a paramount case that the clause was used. Contrary to Vander Plaats position that courts should not use the clause, he said the use of the equal protection clause is appropriate for civil rights cases including Varnum. Allbee added the social criticism of the Brown case sounds eerily similar to that which is used against the Varnum ruling.

But one issue that Vander Plaats was more than willing to address was the "slippery slope" that the court's ruling would lead to incest and the end of private property:

In their own opinion they discriminated against people who want to be polygamous. They discriminate against people who want to be bisexual - one man, one woman. They discriminate, in their own opinion, against someone who wants to marry their own child.

Now we'd say there's laws on the books that say you can't do that - well, there's laws on the books that said you can't marry same-sex couples; they didn't care about that either. So why stop there? You're putting discrimination in your own opinion.

Where I sense a slippery slope is this, and my father in law would agree with me. My father in law owns way more land than I do and I believe in the right to private property. But under the equal protection provision, why can't I have some of his land?

I have friends who home-school their children, who send their kids to private school - I send my kids to public school. Why wouldn't I argue that's a violation of equal protection - they all should send them to public school.

If a court can make that ruling for you, it'll determine your private property. I mean if they'll do this for marriage, they won't even blink an eye for private property, or Second Amendment, or any other issue at stake. This is why this is such a critical, critical election and why we have people all over the state agreeing with us, not because of the marriage issue, but because if you allow a court to be activist in nature, your freedoms are gone.

Vander Plaats Tries to Downplay AFA Backing of Iowa For Freedom

Yesterday, religious leaders in Iowa held a press conference to decry the role that the American Family Association in playing in running the Iowa For Freedom effort to remove three Supreme Court justices over their ruling in favor of marriage equality: 

“I believe that as a person of faith I am called on to aide those who are oppressed, abused and bullied — just as Jesus did,” said the Rev. Tom Capo of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist. “And when I hear any faith-based organization — whether it is called the American Family Association, Iowa for Freedom or IowaPastors.com — that calls basically for revenge against our Iowa Supreme Court justices because these justices made one decision that these groups don’t agree with, a decision to allow one group of people to have the civil rights that they deserve, I wonder if they are considering if they are living loving messages of faith that all the world religious speak of: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Help those in need or in pain. Help those who society shuns. These are the messages of my faith.”

The groups aren’t preaching that message, according to Capo, but are attempting to “manipulate us using fear.”

Rabbi Todd Thalblum, leader of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, agrees that “the voices of hate are out in force” and encouraged all Americans to return to the country’s “founding principles of equality and respect.”

“We are, each of us, a representation of God on this earth, and this makes us equal,” Thalblum said.

“History has shown us that where ever hate speech has been allowed to fester, violence and aggression are not far behind,” Thalbulum said. “The Jewish people know this all too well as do many, many other minorities both in this country and across the globe. We should never make our decisions based on a rhetoric of hate, rather we should let that what is just and right be our guide.”

Bob Vander Plaats, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, responded by claiming that the AFA was merely one supporter of many:

“The only thing I’m going to denounce is activists judges on the supreme court that’s used to make law, govern law and amend the constitution, and usurp the will of the people, and the will be the message today all the way until November two,” Vander Plaats says.

He says he believes the people of Iowa will have their voice be heard and will vote “No” on the three justices. The Interfaith Alliance says the A-F-A is an “extremist group, with a radical agenda, and a record of hate.” Vander Plaats says the group is one of many supporters of Iowa for Freedom.

He says Newt Gingrich supports the effort, Iowa Congressman Steve King supports the group and Vander Plaats says he’s not going to take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of their comments, nor should they take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of his comments.

But as the Iowa Independent reports, Vander Plaats' claim is complete nonsense: 

But in fact, according to documents filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Iowa for Freedom is not a separate entity, but simply the name given to AFA’s Iowa campaign. The group’s attorney told the state, “It is anticipated that all source funds for the Iowa for Freedom will come from AFA directly and that no other individuals or organizations will contribute specifically or directly for the campaign.”

As The Iowa Independent reported Wednesday, AFA has spent about $85,000 in Iowa in hopes of swaying Iowa voters not to retain three state Supreme Court justices that appear on the November ballot. According to Bryan Fischer, AFA’s director of issue analysis for government and public policy, the group will spend $200,000 on the effort.

...

While Vander Plaats downplays AFA’s contribution, AFA has done little, if anything, to hide its involvement with the retention campaign. Each page of the Iowa for Freedom website is marked as being “paid for by AFA Action Inc.,” the political arm of AFA. Advertisements generated by Iowa for Freedom are clearly marked as being “paid for by IowaforFreedom.com, a project of AFA Action Inc.” The West Des Moines address provided below the disclaimer is to a mail box at a UPS Store. In addition, e-mails sent by Vander Plaats on behalf of Iowa for Freedom dating back to August bear a similar disclaimer that the group is a project of the AFA. The website does note that AFA Action is a 501(c)4 organization, and that no contributions are tax-deductible.

Bachmann: Obama Using Discrimination Compensation to Buy Votes

Michele Bachmann is no stranger to pushing conspiracy theories: treasonous members of Congress, death panels in Health Care Reform, the looming elimination of the US Dollar, the establishment of re-education camps through AmeriCorps, and the nefarious use of Census information. Now, Andy Bikney of the Minnesota Independent reports that the Minnesota congresswoman is pushing the claim that the well-documented discrimination of minority farmers is actually an Obama vote-buying scheme:

There’s calls to give out more, quote, discrimination money to Native Americans who claim they were discriminated against by the USDA, but it doesn’t end there. They want to also have a class of, quote, women farmers who were discriminated against and another class of, quote, Hispanic farmers who were discriminated against.

There a real question, a sincere question that: Was this really about vote buying? Because before election cycles, that’s when the demand comes to pay out these claims in order to get support.

...

I would really like the President to explain what he said on September 10 at his White House Press Conference that Pigford is “a fair and just settlement.” How? No way?

She also claimed that Obama’s push to fund the Pigford settlement to compensate the victims of discrimination by the US Department of Agriculture, which was approved in 1999, was responsible for the movement of Black voters to Obama’s column in the 2008 primary campaign. She alleged that since the number of claimants surpassed the number of Black farmers, the Pigford settlement represents “massive fraud.” However, claimants all must be verified by the court and can include people who unsuccessfully tried to become farmers. Bachmann also dismissed the claims of Native Americans who are attempting to win Senate approval to settle the Cobell case which “accuses the federal government of mismanaging billions of dollars held in trust for Indian landowners.”

Bachmann was speaking to notorious right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart, who accused lawyers of “fish[ing] for claimants” to get “a $50,000 check” from the government. Breitbart was last seen deceptively editing the Shirley Sherrod video. Sherrod and her husband were unrightfully refused loans from the USDA because they were black, and later as an employee of the USDA she was tackled cases where the USDA discriminated against minority farmers:

There have been problems with discrimination at the department for decades. In 1965, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found civil rights abuses in how farmers and employees were treated. Reports in the 1980s and '90s found that such abuses were forcing minority farmers out of business.

In 1999, the department agreed to pay black farmers for past discrimination. The suit was led by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and settled for more than $1 billion. Sherrod and her husband, who ran a 6,000-acre farming cooperative called New Communities in the 1970s, were awarded $13 million to be shared among their cooperative in a settlement with the USDA last year, including $330,000 for their pain and suffering, according to Sherrod's lawyer Rose Sanders

The case was later reopened to allow additional black farmers to apply for compensation, and Vilsack announced in February that the USDA had settled with them for $1.25 billion -- which must be appropriated by Congress. The USDA and the Department of Justice are also working with Hispanic and women farmers to close their case for $1.33 billion, a USDA official said.

Despite all of the facts surrounding the Pigford and Cobell cases, Bachmann and Breitbart use justice for Black and Native American farmers as fodder for their illusory attacks against the Obama Administration, claiming that Pigford is simply a scheme to expand government, show bias towards people of color, and buy minority votes.

 

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/22

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/15-9/22.

Sharron Angle

Radical Right: Speaks at John Birch Society and Oath Keepers-sponsored event in Utah, describes crowd as “mainstream America” (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/20).

Tea Party: Planned Las Vegas convention featuring Angle quietly cancelled (TPM, 9/20).

Health Care: Claims that pre-existing conditions coverage can be “addressed very well by the free market” (Huffington Post, 9/21).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Angle and Reid running neck-and-neck (Washington Times, 9/21).

Ken Buck

Ads: New Democratic ads hit Buck over the 17th Amendment and reproductive health (CNN, 9/21).

Civil Rights: Left-leaning group holds rally protesting Buck’s views on contraception and choice (Denver Westward, 9/21).

Economy: Favors extending all of the Bush tax cuts (Colorado Independent, 9/17).

Carly Fiorina

Poll: New poll shows Fiorina trailing Boxer by 8% (Public Policy Polling, 9/21).

Ad: Boxer blasts Fiorina’s performance as CEO of HP (Daily Kos, 9/18).

Tea Party: Wins endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (WaPo, 9/21).

Economy: Supports extending tax cuts for the wealthy (AP, 9/20).

Campaign: WSJ profiles Fiorina’s focus on the San Joaquin Valley (WSJ, 9/21).

Joe Miller

Government: Big-Government critic received farm subsidies (AP, 9/21).

GOP: Knocks Murkowski for running as a write-in candidate (CNN, 9/21).

Poll: Rasmussen poll shows Miller leading with 42% (Rasmussen, 9/21).

Economy: Changes position on unemployment benefits after criticism (ThinkProgress, 9/21).

Tea Party: Receives endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (Business Wire, 9/20).

Christine O’Donnell

Campaign: Used $20,000 of campaign money to pay rent for house and served as her own campaign’s treasurer (Christian Science Monitor, 9/21).

Religious Right: Journalist unearths 2008 comment where she called homosexuality an “identity disorder” (ABC News, 9/20).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Chris Coons leader 54-39% (Fox News, 9/21).

Bewitched: Reactions to “dabbled into witchcraft” comment vary (Yahoo News, 9/20).

Ad: DSCC slams O’Donnell in new ad on finances (DSCC, 9/17).

Rand Paul

Government: AFL-CIO mailer condemns Paul’s views on Social Security, workplace safety (Politico, 9/20).

Media: Criticized by journalists for not speaking to press about views (WHAS, 9/20).

Palin: Sarah Palin fundraises with Paul and joins him for Fox Business interview (Mediaite, 9/18).

Education: Knocked for supporting Dept. of Education’s elimination (McClatchy, 9/21).

Dino Rossi

Economy: Stimulus-critic Rossi visits shipyard that benefited from Stimulus funding (Seattle Times, 9/17).

Government: Rossi hammered for views on government subsidies for refueling tanker competition (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/21).

Poll: Patty Murray leads Rossi by 5% in new poll (Rasmussen Reprots, 9/16).

Immigration: Opposes both a path for citizenship and deportation of illegal immigrants in the US, offers no alternatives (Seattle Times, 9/20).

Marco Rubio

Tea Party: Speaks to “Forward with the Constitution Rally” in St. Augustine (St. Petersburg Times, 9/19).

Ad: Crist disparages Rubio for earmarks in new ad (TPM, 9/20).

Pat Toomey

Fundraiser: Scott Brown (R-MA) to fundraise in Philadelphia for Toomey (Boston Globe, 9/21).

Poll: Leads Joe Sestak 48-40% in Fox News poll, 50-43% according to Quinnipiac (PA2010, 9/21).

Economy: Signs pledge to back Estate Tax repeal (CBS21, 9/20).

Wall Street: Ties to Wall Street banks come under scrutiny (LA Times, 9/17).

Sheriff Joe To The Rescue!

“Every state needs a least one sheriff like Joe Arpaio,” Sharron Angle told a convention of right-wing bloggers in Las Vegas. And now “Sheriff Joe” of Maricopa County, Arizona, intends to push his hardcore anti-immigrant agenda and promote SB 1070 around the country. After his stint on reality TV with Fox’s “Smile…You’re Under Arrest!” Sheriff Joe is looking to eclipse Tom Tancredo in anti-immigrant politics and demagoguery.

Sheriff Joe will soon address a New Hampshire Republican Party conference and is also slated to speak at the “National Tea Party Unity Convention” in Las Vegas this October. At the Tea Party Convention he will join other right-wing extremists such as Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, radio talk show host Neal Boortz, and a whole slew of Tea Party fanatics like William Temple, Victoria Jackson and the rapper “Polatik.”

Increasing his political reach, the Los Angeles Times reports that he is “supporting candidates for Michigan governor, California Assembly and congressional seats in Florida and Missouri, among others.” He recently gave his blessing to Tea Party darling Sharron Angle, who will join Sheriff Joe at the Tea Party Convention, although he later admitted: “I don't know too much about her.”

Famous for building “tent cities” for inmates, racial profiling, sweeps and raids of immigrant communities, and glaring civil rights abuses, Sheriff Joe is now an important endorsement for right-wing candidates outside of Arizona. Politics is not unfamiliar to Sheriff Joe, who launched investigations against critical journalists and political opponents, and was blasted for using the law as “a personal tool to target political enemies or avenge perceived wrongs.”

The New York Times in 2009 detailed the Republican Party’s new anti-immigrant hero and his failed record as Sheriff:

Maricopa County has many times more federal prison condition lawsuits than New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined. In September of last year, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care revoked its accreditation of the jails Sheriff Arpaio runs on the grounds of failure to provide adequate health care for inmates.

In October, a federal judge ruled that Sheriff Arpaio’s department had violated the Constitution by depriving inmates of medical care, fed them unhealthy food and housed them in unsanitary conditions.

The Goldwater report suggested that the picture beyond corrections was equally grim, citing the department’s tendency to “clear” cases without any resolution or arrest, and suggested that resources were being diverted to efforts to find illegal immigrants through sweeps that other departments characterized as dangerous.

As a result of the raids, Phoenix’s mayor, Phil Gordon, wrote a letter to the United States Department of Justice accusing Mr. Arpaio of “a pattern and practice of conduct that includes discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests.”


The Goldwater report suggests that the trade-off for the letting [sic] the sheriff do his thing may not benefit his constituents. Although his department was “adept at self-promotion and is an unquestionably ‘tough’ law-enforcement agency, under its watch violent crime rates recently have soared, both in absolute terms and relative to other jurisdictions.”

Homicides in the county were up 167 percent in the three-year period ending in 2007 and the report stated that the budget for the department, excluding corrections, had doubled since 2001.

“We have 40,000 unserved felony warrants — murderers and rapists — and instead of serving those warrants, we have this buffoon who spends his time popping out from behind curtains for a reality television show,” said Michael C. Manning, a Phoenix lawyer who has sued the department on behalf of clients repeatedly and successfully in wrongful death suits. “He continues to demean our community by chasing publicity and acting the buffoon.”

They're Losing and They Know It

Do you ever get the impression that, despite all their bluster, anti-marriage equality activists are not only losing their battle against gay marriage, but that they are fully aware that they are losing this battle?

Because this commentary piece by Kathleen Gilbert in LifeSiteNews.com certainly has a distinctly defeatist feel to it:

When the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) wrapped up its Summer for Marriage Tour in Washington, D.C. yesterday, the scene may not quite have been what true marriage supporters would hope to see.

The speakers – which included NOM executive director Brian Brown, civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy, and D.C. marriage leader Bishop Harry Jackson - eloquently and forcefully put forth the case for marriage. But as the rally began at 2 p.m., no more than 50 supporters were present; by the time the crowd waxed to its full size, there may have been 100.

Elsewhere in D.C. a larger crowd gathered with handmade, colorful signs and a playful attitude in support of same-sex “marriage.” Reports put the crowd at 250, which appears accurate from photos.

...

Speaking with LifeSiteNews.com after the rally, Brown expressed frustration at the timidity of marriage supporters, and the slow abandonment of even conservative media, which has begun shying away from tackling the difficult issue. Even conservative icons Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck have recently indicated that they are at least unwilling to question the homosexualist position.

"It's frightening. People need to get their news from some source where it's fair and the truth is coming out, and they're just accepting the lies being told," he said.

When Gay Marriage is a Civil Rights Issue vs. When Is It Not

If there is one thing we have learned from the Religious Right during the fight over gay marriage, it is that comparing this issue to the Civil Rights Movement is both utterly inaccurate and extremely offensive:

But, as it turns out, the fight over gay marriage is a civil rights battle - a battle to protect the civil rights of Christians, according to the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown:

Brown approached the crowd on Sunday with the same language that he believes gay rights advocates have been misusing.

"I believe that this fight is the beginning of a new civil rights movement, and I don't say that in any shallow way," he said.

He explained to The Christian Post in an interview ahead of the rally that “a lot of African-American leaders … are tired of their struggle being hijacked by those who are attempting to use the civil rights movement to redefine marriage.”

Pushing back against comparisons between laws banning interracial marriage with ones that prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying, Brown contended, “Marriage is not based upon race. It's based upon the fact that there are men and women and men and women are brought together in marriage. So trying to compare same-sex marriage to overturning laws against interracial marriage is comparing apples to oranges.”

Brown said they are not fighting the marriage battle with Scripture, but with reason and the Constitution.

“Unaided reason alone tells us that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. We can understand by reason that marriage is that institution that brings men and women together and connects them with any children they may bear. No other relationship can do what marriage does. Our stand is based on the Constitution and is based on defending civil rights – our civil rights.”

So Harry Jackson and other African American ministers believe it is offensive, and even borderline racist, to compare the struggle for marriage equality to the Civil Right Movement ... except for when they do it: 

"Same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to steal the right of the people to vote in the name of civil rights. [But] you're stealing others' civil rights," [Harry] Jackson commented.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Reactions to Prop 8 Decision

I'll be updating this post as more statements are released reacting to the decision to oveturn Prop 8, but Focus on the Family is out with the first statement blasting the ruling (if you don't count Harry Jackson, who Tweeted a statement hours ago):

“Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.

“During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008.

“Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word.

“We fully expect the judge’s decision to be overturned upon appeal. The redeeming feature of our judicial system is that one judge who ignores the law and the evidence must ultimately endure the review and reversal of his actions from the appellate courts.

“We do want Americans to understand the seriousness of this decision, however. If this judge’s decision is not overturned, it will most likely force all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage. This would be a profound and fundamental change to the social and legal fabric of this country.

“Our Founders intended such radical changes to come from the people, not from activist judges. Alexander Hamilton, in advocating for the ratification of our Constitution in 1788, argued that the judiciary would be ‘the least dangerous’ branch of government. Today’s decision shows how far we have come from that original understanding.”

Randy Thomasson and Save California:

"Natural marriage, voter rights, the Constitution, and our republic called the United States of America have all been dealt a terrible blow. Judge Walker has ignored the written words of the Constitution, which he swore to support and defend and be impartially faithful to, and has instead imposed his own homosexual agenda upon the voters, the parents, and the children of California. This is a blatantly unconstitutional ruling because marriage isn't in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that state policies be by the people, not by the judges, and also supports states' rights, thus making marriage a state jurisdiction. It is high time for the oath of office to be updated to require judicial nominees to swear to judge only according to the written words of the Constitution and the original, documented intent of its framers. As a Californian and an American, I am angry that this biased homosexual judge, in step with other judicial activists, has trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority, and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow and which both the people of California and California state authorities should by no means respect."

Concerned Women for America:

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said:

“Judge Walker’s decision goes far beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ to strike at the heart of our representative democracy. Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and ‘We the People’ are no longer free to govern ourselves. The ruling should be appealed and overturned immediately.

“Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement.

“Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.

“CWA stands in prayer for our nation as we continue to defend marriage as the holy union God created between one man and one woman.”

CWA of California State Director Phyllis Nemeth said:

“Today Judge Vaughn Walker has chosen to side with political activism over the will of the people. His ruling is slap in the face to the more than seven million Californians who voted to uphold the definition of marriage as it has been understood for millennia.

“While Judge Walker’s decision is disappointing it is not the end of this battle. Far from it. The broad coalition of support for Proposition 8 remains strong, and we will support the appeal by ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of Proposition 8.

“We are confident that Judge Walker’s decision will ultimately be reversed. No combination of judicial gymnastics can negate the basic truth that marriage unites the complementary physical and emotional characteristics of a man and a woman to create a oneness that forms the basis for the family unit allowing a child to be raised by his or her father and mother. Any other combination is a counterfeit that fails to provide the best environment for healthy child rearing and a secure foundation for the family. It is this foundation upon which society is – and must be – built for a healthy and sustained existence.”

Family Research Council:

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

"This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' overturning the marriage laws of 45 states. As with abortion, the Supreme Court's involvement would only make the issue more volatile. It's time for the far Left to stop insisting that judges redefine our most fundamental social institution and using liberal courts to obtain a political goal they cannot obtain at the ballot box.

"Marriage is recognized as a public institution, rather than a purely private one, because of its role in bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race and keeping them together to raise the children produced by their union. The fact that homosexuals prefer not to enter into marriages as historically defined does not give them a right to change the definition of what a 'marriage' is.

"Marriage as the union between one man and one woman has been the universally-recognized understanding of marriage not only since America's founding but for millennia. To hold that the Founders created a constitutional right that none of them could even have conceived of is, quite simply, wrong.

"FRC has always fought to protect marriage in America and will continue to do so by working with our allies to appeal this dangerous decision. Even if this decision is upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals-the most liberal appeals court in America-Family Research Council is confident that we can help win this case before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Liberty Counsel:

Although Liberty Counsel has defended the marriage laws in California since the battle began in 2004, the Alliance Defense Fund, representing the Prop 8 initiative, opposed Liberty Counsel’s attempt to intervene on behalf of Campaign for California Families. The California Attorney General did not oppose Liberty Counsel’s intervention, but ADF did. Liberty Counsel sought to provide additional defense to Prop 8 because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended. After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8. Liberty Counsel will file an amicus brief at the court of appeals in defense of Prop 8.

The California Supreme Court previously stated, “The right of initiative is precious to the people and is one which the courts are zealous to preserve to the fullest tenable measure of spirit as well as letter.” Moreover, the U.S. Constitution cannot be stretched to include a right to same-sex marriage.

Except for this case, since Liberty Counsel was excluded by ADF, Liberty Counsel has represented the Campaign for California Families to defend the state’s marriage laws since 2004 and has argued at the trial, appellate and state Supreme Court levels.

Mary McAlister, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, commented: “This is a classic case of judicial activism. The Constitution is unrecognizable in this opinion. This is simply the whim of one judge. It does not reflect the Constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. I am confident this decision will be overturned.”

Alliance Defense Fund:

“In America, we should respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process--especially ones that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the foundation of the country and beyond,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.

“We will certainly appeal this disappointing decision. Its impact could be devastating to marriage and the democratic process,” Raum said. “It’s not radical for more than 7 million Californians to protect marriage as they’ve always known it. What would be radical would be to allow a handful of activists to gut the core of the American democratic system and, in addition, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve.”

...

“The majority of California voters simply wished to preserve the historic definition of marriage. The other side’s attack upon their good will and motives is lamentable and preposterous,” Raum said. “Imagine what would happen if every state constitutional amendment could be eliminated by small groups of wealthy activists who malign the intent of the people. It would no longer be America, but a tyranny of elitists.”

“What’s at stake here is bigger than California,” Pugno added. “Americans in numerous states have affirmed--and should be allowed to continue to affirm--a natural and historic public policy position like this. We are prepared to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Capitol Resource Institute:

"Today's ruling is indicative of an out-of-control judiciary willing to circumvent California's direct democracy by imposing their point of view," said Karen England Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI). "Family values are under constant assault now more then ever. CRI was instrumental in passing proposition 22 in 2000 and we fought to get proposition 8 on the ballot and subsequently in California's Constitution. We will continue to battle interest groups who wish to redefine one of our oldest institutions; the institution of marriage. We will continue to represent the 7 million Californians who took to the polls in favor of marriage."

American Family Association:

“This is a tyrannical, abusive and utterly unconstitutional display of judicial arrogance. Judge Walker has turned ‘We the People’ into ‘I the Judge.’

“It’s inexcusable for him to deprive the citizens of California of their right to govern themselves, and cavalierly trash the will of over seven million voters. This case never should even have entered his courtroom. The federal constitution nowhere establishes marriage policy, which means under the 10th Amendment that issue is reserved for the states.

“It’s also extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a practicing homosexual himself. He should have recused himself from this case, because his judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual proclivity. The fundamental issue here is whether homosexual conduct, with all its physical and psychological risks, should be promoted and endorsed by society. That’s why the people and elected officials accountable to the people should be setting marriage policy, not a black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to believe he could be impartial.

“His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute. He’d have to recuse himself on conflict of interest grounds, and Judge Walker should have done that.

“The Constitution says judges hold office ‘during good Behavior.’ Well, this ruling is bad behavior - in fact, it’s very, very bad behavior - and we call on all members of the House of Representatives who respect the Constitution to launch impeachment proceedings against this judge.”

Traditional Values Coalition:

"It is an outrage that one arrogant and rogue federal judge can take it upon himself to overturn a centuries old definition of marriage and family," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). "On November 4, 2008, 7 million voters of California cemented into the state constitution a definition of marriage for one man and one woman only. Now with US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling today he has completely undermined the expressed will of voters at the ballot box. Direct Democracy has been blatantly attacked today."

"First it was the California Supreme Court's decision in 2008 to overturn Prop 22 and force the people of California to accept homosexual marriages. Well, the people adamantly rejected their ruling and homosexual marriages and they passed Prop 8, which was designed to forever tie the hands of judges from redefining marriage. Now one judge has yet again slapped the people in the face, even though the state constitution now clearly tells them what marriage means; we spelled it out for them in black and white," Sheldon added. "This is a blatant sign of judicial activism and lack of judicial restraint."

Sheldon added: "There is more at stake than just traditional marriage and the centuries long definition of the family. This ruling seriously undermines the expressed vote and will of the people on initiatives and proposed amendments they approve at the ballot box. This judge's ruling says that any vote of the people will have no weight, credence, sovereignty, value or worth at all. On appeal, the courts will either realize their limits and not undermine the constitutional power of the vote, or they will continue to demonstrate the most blatant arrogance and impose judicial tyranny by declaring that they alone, and not the people, have the ultimate final say on all matters of the state. Democracy, the constitution and the people would be beneath them."

TVC state lobbyist Benjamin Lopez, who was publicly credited by homosexual State Senator Mark Leno for the defeat of his proposed homosexual marriage bill in 2005, echoed Sheldon's statements:

"The issue at hand now is whether the will of 7 million voters outweighs that of either 7 Supreme Court justices or any one judge anywhere in the state. Homosexual marriage advocates may kick and scream the loudest demanding that Prop 8 be struck down, but they should be drowned out by the deafening voice of 7 million Californians who settled this issue not once, but twice already. We are hear because homosexual radicals continue to act like immature children who throw tantrums when they do not get their way."

"Same-sex marriage supporters repeatedly beat the drum of civil rights to equate their cause to the legitimate struggles of minority groups and say the public is on their side. Yet not even in 'liberal' California have they won over the people so they must resort to sympathetic, liberal black-robed activists who sit on the bench to force same-sex marriage on the people.

"If folks think that the Tea Party movement is a force to be reckoned with now, wait until the silent majority of pro-family voters flex their political muscle once again. Judges beware, you will go the way of Rose Bird, stripped of their robes and kicked off the bench," Lopez added.

The battle of same-sex marriage began in March 2000 when California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22. It stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Homosexual marriage advocates challenged Prop 22 in court and in March 2005, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer struck it down ruling it in violation of the equal protection clause. Kramer's ruling was then challenged all the way to the California Supreme Court. In early 2008 the high court upheld Kramer's ruling allowing homosexual marriages to take place. Voters passed Prop 8 in November 2008 cementing Prop 22's language into the state constitution. After challenges to Prop 8 reached the state supreme court, the justices upheld Prop 8 and allowed for some 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand. The current ruling by Judge Walker was the result of a challenge to the California Supreme Court's ruling.

Richard Land:

 “This is a grievously serious crisis in how the American people will choose to be governed. The people of our most populous state—a state broadly indicative of the nation at large demographically—voted to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, thus excluding same-sex and polygamous relationships from being defined as marriage. 

“Now, an unelected federal judge has chosen to override the will of the people of California and to redefine an institution the federal government did not create and that predates the founding of America. Indeed, ‘marriage’ goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God defined His institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“This case will clearly make its way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of the United States, where unfortunately, the outcome is far from certain. There are clearly four votes who will disagree with this judge—Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. The supreme question is: Will there be a fifth? Having surveyed Justice Kennedy’s record on this issue, I have no confidence that he will uphold the will of the people of California.

“If and when the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court, then the American people will have to decide whether they will insist on continuing to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, or whether they’re going to live under the serfdom of government by the judges, of the judges and for the judges. Our forefathers have given us a method to express our ultimate will. It’s called an amendment to the Constitution. If the Supreme Court fails to uphold the will of the people of California—if we are going to have our form of government altered by judicial fiat—then the only alternative left to us is to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Many senators who voted against the federal marriage amendment the last time it came up said publicly if a federal court interfered with a state’s right to determine this issue, they would then be willing to vote for a federal marriage amendment. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to vote.

“Despite egregious court rulings like this one, there is nonetheless an unprecedented effort going on across the nation of Christians uniting for sustained prayer, for revival, awakening and deliverance. I encourage everyone to join me in this effort and go to 4040prayer.com for more information.” 

National Organization for Marriage:

"Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman."

"Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple - there isn't!" added Brown.

"The 'trial' in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people's right to vote for marriage," stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.

"Gay marriage groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and Equality California will, no doubt, be congratulating themselves over this "victory" today in San Francisco. However, even they know that Judge Walker's decision is only temporary. For the past 20 years, gay marriage groups have fought to avoid cases filed in federal court for one good reason - they will eventually lose. But these groups do not have control of the Schwarzenegger v. Perry case, which is being litigated by two egomaniacal lawyers (Ted Olson and David Boies). So while they congratulate themselves over their victory before their home-town judge today, let's not lose sight of the fact that this case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, where the right of states to define marriage as being between one man and one woman will be affirmed--and if the Supreme Court fails, Congress has the final say. The rights of millions of voters in states from Wisconsin to Florida, from Maine to California, are at stake in this ruling; NOM is confident that the Supreme Court will affirm the basic civil rights of millions of American voters to define marriage as one man and one woman," noted Gallagher.

Robert George - American Principles Project:

“Another flagrant and inexcusable exercise of ‘raw judicial power’ threatens to enflame and prolong the culture war ignited by the courts in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Robert P. George, Founder of the American Principles Project. “In striking down California’s conjugal marriage law, Judge Walker has arrogated to himself a decision of profound social importance—the definition and meaning of marriage itself—that is left by the Constitution to the people and their elected representatives.”

“As a decision lacking any warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, it abuses and dishonors the very charter in whose name Judge Walker declares to be acting. This usurpation of democratic authority must not be permitted to stand.”

Judge Walker’s decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to invalidate California Proposition 8, which by vote of the people of California restored the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife after California courts had re-defined marriage to include same-sex partnerships.

“The claim that this case is about equal protection or discrimination is simply false,” George said. “It is about the nature of marriage as an institution that serves the interests of children—and society as a whole—by uniting men and women in a relationship whose meaning is shaped by its wonderful and, indeed, unique aptness for the begetting and rearing of children.

“We are talking about the right to define what marriage is, not about who can or cannot take part. Under our Constitution the definition and meaning of marriage is a decision left in the hands of the people, not given to that small fraction of the population who happen to be judges.”

“Judge Walker has abandoned his role as an impartial umpire and jumped into the competition between those who believe in marriage as the union of husband and wife and those who seek to advance still further the ideology of the sexual revolution. Were his decision to stand, it would ensure additional decades of social dissension and polarization. Pro-marriage Americans are not going to yield to sexual revolutionary ideology or to judges who abandon their impartiality to advance it. We will work as hard as we can for as long as it takes to defend the institution of marriage and to restore the principle of democratic self-government,” concluded Dr. George.

Newt Gingrich:

"Judge Walker's ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they've affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy. Today’s notorious decision also underscores the importance of the Senate vote tomorrow on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because judges who oppose the American people are a growing threat to our society.”

Harry Jackson: Fighting Against Gay Marriage is Just Like Fighting For Civil Rights

In his latest column, Bishop Harry Jackson explains why he has been so focused on fighting marriage equality in Washington DC.

First, it is because marriage equality "will create conflict between people who fervently believe in traditional marriage and the law" and people like Jackson will inevitably lose.

But Jackson's primary reason is because his father was once threatened by a racist, Southern cop who sought to prevent him from voting ... which is exactly what politicians and judges in Washington, DC are trying to do to Jackson and company today:

In the early ’50’s my father, a World War II veteran, got involved in the struggle for national voter rights. Blacks were being systematically excluded from the prize right of our constitution - the right to vote.

In 1954, he was threatened at gunpoint by a state trooper in a blood-drenched southern state, who shot a live round just over my father’s head as a threat. He was told that if he did not stop rabble rousing, the next time the trooper would not miss. I was told this story over and over again as the reason my family migrated north to Cincinnati, Ohio and later Washington. Once in Ohio, my father made a pledge that he would remain actively engaged in grassroots politics. Dad was one of tens of thousands of blacks abused, threatened, or treated worse under “the terrorism” of the Jim Crow days.

In many ways, I feel that I am reliving family history. The idea that heavy-handed politicians can still steal the people’s right to vote amazes me. Like my father, I say, “Not on my watch!”

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Civil Rights Posts Archive

Nichole, Friday 06/17/2011, 9:54am
Earlier this week, the National Black ProLife Coalition, in conjunction with TooManyAborted.com, announced the launch of another anti-choice billboard campaign in Atlanta and other major metropolitan areas. These billboards are designed to offend, featuring slogans such as “The 13th Amendment Freed-Abortion Enslaves” and “Abortion Makes Three-Fifths Human Seem Overly Generous.” According to the press release, these billboards are supposed to show “how Roe v. Wade has made a mockery of Civil Rights history by offering destruction and bondage instead of possibility... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 06/16/2011, 8:13pm
Our colleague Peter Montgomery is scheduled to appear on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell tonight to discuss the upcoming "The Response" prayer event that Texas Governor Rick Perry is organizing with the American Family Association and stocking with anti-gay activists. To coincide with this appearance, we are also releasing a comprehensive report we have written on the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer entitled "The GOP's Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer" which chronicles Fischer's long record... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/15/2011, 5:23pm
Rabid anti-choice activist Clenard Childress, who believes that gay rights are a sign of the End Times, is now comparing advocates of LGBT equality to the people in the Bible that called for Jesus' death. Wrongly suggesting that the American Psychological Association believes that homosexuality is a choice (the group says the opposite), Childress also claims that gays and lesbians can't claim to have civil rights "because your sexual orientation could be flawed." Childress writes: The Roman Empire had been occupying and subjugating Israel for multiple years along with the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 10:05am
On May 31st, RWW first reported that during The 700 Club Pat Robertson likened his fight against Muslim civil rights to the fight against Nazis and Adolf Hitler, which was followed by a spurious denial by Christian Broadcasting Network. Such egregious comments are no surprise coming from Robertson, who in the past argued that “Islam is not a religion” and Muslims should be treated like “some fascist group.” Robertson: I was thinking, you know, if you oppose Muslims, what is said? Well, you're a bigot, right? Terrible bigotry. I wonder what were people who opposed the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/07/2011, 10:31am
The right-wing group Save California is apoplectic over the recent enactment of a day to honor Harvey Milk, the openly gay San Francisco politician and civil rights activist who was assassinated in 1978. Led by Randy Thomasson, Save California has urged parents to pull their children out of public schools to protest efforts to recognize the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in California history. During an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Thomasson attacked the looming “tsunami of perversity” approaching schools and charged... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/19/2011, 11:02am
Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Posts reports that, according to tax records, David Barton considers himself an expert on Black history: David Barton, the Republican establishment’s favorite amateur historian, claims in tax records reviewed by HuffPost to be something of an expert on African-American history. In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/17/2011, 10:31am
In 2009, California declared Harvey Milk Day a state holiday on the slain civil rights leader’s birthday, May 22nd, despite vitriolic protests from the Religious Right. Now, Jerry Cox of the Arkansas Family Council and the Family Council Action Committee is warning that by honoring Milk, children will be forced to cross-dress and have mock gay weddings, telling the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that schools should instead spend more time honoring the Founding Fathers who “exemplified all the good in mankind in their life”: Jerry Cox, president of the Family... MORE