Congress

Right Wing Round-Up

Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian

David Barton has been in the spotlight lately.  In recent weeks, he was featured in a New York Times profile, interviewed on "The Daily Show," and was even the focus on a long report we released chronicling his career of peddling right-wing pseudohistory for political gain.

The upside of Barton's recent high profile is that bona fide historians who, unlike Barton, actually have training and credentials, are starting to stand up to Barton's flagrant and intentional misuse of history.

For instance, yesterday Paul Harvey, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches explaining that Barton is not in any sense a historian, but rather a propaganda artist who seeks to create the impression that there is some sort of "debate" over the issue of America's identity as a Christian nation that he can use to promote his right-wing political agenda:

Barton’s intent is not to produce “scholarship,” but to influence public policy. He simply is playing a different game than worrying about scholarly credibility, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His game is to inundate public policy makers (including local and state education boards as well as Congress) with ideas packaged as products that will move policy.

Historical scholarship moves slowly and carefully, usually shunning the public arena; Barton’s proof-texting, by contrast, supplies ready-made (if sometimes made-up) quotations ready for use in the latest public policy debate, whether they involve school prayer, abortion, the wonders of supply-side economics, the Defense of Marriage Act, or the capital gains tax. ...

In short, perhaps the best way to understand Barton is as a historical product of Christian providentialist thinking, one with significant historical roots and usually with a publicly convincing spokesman. He is the latest in a long line of ideologically persuasive spokesmen for preserving American’s Protestant character ... The Christian Nation “debate” is not really an intellectual contest between legitimate contending viewpoints. Instead, it is a manufactured “controversy” akin to the global warming “debate.” On the one side are purveyors of a rich and complex view of the past, including most historians who have written and debated fiercely about the founding era. On the “other side” is a group of ideological entrepreneurs who have created an alternate intellectual universe based on a historical fundamentalism. In their drive to create a usable past, they show little respect for the past as a foreign country.

That point was echoed by Randall Stephens, an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College, who has no time for Barton's "kindergarten" understanding of history or his "hyper-politicized work":

Barton does not recognized the idea that the past is like a foreign country. Instead Barton tends to flatten out time and space and make it almost seem as if the Founders are our contemporaries, motivated by the same concerns that motivate us now. Yet people in the past--whether we're talking about leaders of Bronze Age tribes or bewigged 18th century nabobs who tinkered on their mansions, read Montaigne in their spare time, or enjoyed arm-chair speculation about nature and providence--are not the same as us. This seems like a kindergarten point, but it's apparently lost on David Barton.

...

Nearly any trained historian worth his or her salt who takes a close look at Barton and his hyper-politicized work will see glaring gaps in what he writes and talks about. He dresses his founders in 21st-century garb. He's not interested in knowing much about the history of colonial America or the US in the early republic. Why? Because he's using history to craft a very specific, anti-statist, Christian nationalist, evangelical-victimization argument in the present. (Remember the many unconfirmed quotations Barton used in the 1990s? He did so because, first and foremost, he was trying to make a political point.)

In history circles this is what we call "bad history."

Finally, John Fea, author of "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction," and Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College, has been writing an ongoing series debunking Barton's appearance on "The Daily Show," along with a piece warning Christians not to fall for his propaganda:

Wallbuilders is a political organization that selectively uses history to promote a religious and ideological agenda. Barton believes that America's last, best hope is a return to its so-called Christian roots. In his most famous book, Original Intent, Barton argues that the removal of Christianity from the public square has resulted in a rise in birth rates for unwed girls, a spike in violent crime, more sexually transmitted diseases, lower SAT scores, and an increase in single parent households. And he has convinced thousands and thousands of Christians that he is right.

Barton claims to be a historian. He is not. He has just enough historical knowledge, and just enough charisma, to be very dangerous. During his appearance on The Daily Show, Barton impressed the faithful with his grasp of American history and his belief that Christians are being subtly persecuted in this country. But if you watch the show carefully, you will notice that Barton is a master at dodging controversial questions. He refuses to admit that sometimes history does not conform to our present-day political agendas.

...

Here is the bottom line: Christians should think twice before they rely on David Barton for their understanding of the American founding. Let's not confuse history with propaganda.

As Fea says, "the more popular Barton becomes, the more his views will be debunked by what I am imagining will be an ever-growing chorus of critics" ... but that task sure would be made easier if  Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee would stop actively embracing and promoting Barton's pseudohistorical propaganda.

Heck: DC Mayor Vince Gray Wants To Punish Kids Who "Survive The Abortion Holocaust"

During the heated fight over the federal budget, Republicans won a compromise that stopped the city of Washington D.C. from using its own tax dollars to help low-income women access reproductive health services and added more funding to a DC private school voucher program opposed by local officials. Strongly objecting to the House GOP’s blatant encroachment on home rule, which included financing an ineffective voucher program while taking away crucial funding for women’s family planning, DC Mayor Vince Gray and a number of Council members were arrested during a protest. Anti-choice leaders harshly criticized Gray, deriding him a proponent of black genocide who wants to destroy the city’s African American population.

Indiana right-wing commentator Peter Heck, who called President Obama a disgrace to his ancestors over his pro-choice views, is out with a new column charging Gray with supporting the “slaughter [of] innocent children” while punishing those “who survive the abortion holocaust”:

But beyond the blatantly obvious flip-flops which the Obama-loving mainstream press find a way to excuse as just part of the president's remarkably nuanced mind, this behavior fits a much larger pattern of inconsistency that has come to define the liberal mind in America. Inconsistencies that should bring great embarrassment when exposed, and that rationality would demand be confronted and resolved, are systematically embraced and welcomed in the land of left-believe.

How else can one explain the recent protest that took place in Washington, DC? There, over 40 liberals (including the city's mayor and several councilmen) took to the streets to complain that the budget deal recently passed by Congress would deprive the nation's capital city of federal tax dollars to fund abortions. In the name of choice, these left-wing activists blocked the streets until being detained by police. On its own, seeing a group of liberals championing the right to choose to kill children in the womb is nothing new.

But that wasn't all they were protesting. Another part of the budget deal that had raised their ire was the reinstatement of the Opportunities Scholarship Program. This school-choice program provides poor families the chance to move their children from failing inner-city schools to higher performing ones, allowing future generations of predominantly minority students the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty that engulfs them. This protest, then, is the perfect embodiment of modern liberal thought: rally in the streets to continue facilitating the choice to slaughter innocent children in the womb while simultaneously demanding that those children who survive the abortion holocaust be given no choice to break free from their deplorable surroundings.

Will Money Help Gingrich Win Over The Religious Right?

The Wall Street Journal today features an extensive profile on Newt Gingrich’s vast network of political organizations, including American Solutions, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), and Gingrich Productions. The paper reports that Gingrich’s “network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.” Gingrich also helped steer $150,000 to American Family Association Action to help defeat three Iowa State Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of marriage equality. Along with ReAL, which is led by anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and his support for the AFA, Gingrich has made overtures to other Religious Right groups and leaders including John Hagee, Bryan Fischer, Janet Porter, Liberty University, Liberty Counsel, The Family Leader and the Minnesota Family Council.

But will Gingrich’s financial influence, religious documentaries and appeals to prominent Religious Right figures translate to real support from activists who might be wary of backing a thrice-married adulterer? Fischer remains a skeptic, but Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats, who coordinated the anti-judge campaign, is still grateful for Gingrich’s significant monetary aid:

Mr. Gingrich hasn't run a truly competitive campaign in 21 years. He is given to public gaffes, most recently criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to back the rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi, only to reverse himself after Mr. Obama ordered U.S. planes into Libya. He resigned from Congress in 1998 under an ethics cloud, after his party suffered a historic midterm loss. It was later revealed that he was having an affair with a congressional aide.

Even groups that have allied with him, such as the conservative American Family Association, aren't poised to back him, citing his two messy divorces and three marriages. "He is brilliant, and has much to offer. But he isn't what we need in the Oval Office," said the AFA's director of issue analysis, Bryan Fischer.



Wearing an array of organizational hats, he has met repeatedly with pastors, trained local candidates, consulted with doctors on his proposed health-care innovations and met with local refiners to tout ethanol. After raising money through one of his groups, Mr. Gingrich funneled $150,000 in seed money to a successful campaign last fall to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who supported gay marriage.

"Newt's role was quiet and very low key, but it was pivotal," said Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known Iowa conservative who led the anti-judges campaign.



The heavy emphasis on religion is part of his long push to atone for his multiple divorces, according to people who know him. "He was very direct about this," said Rev. Brad Sherman, a prominent Iowa evangelical leader, recounting a session Mr. Gingrich had last year with a small group of Iowa religious leaders. "He said he had deep regrets, and asked our forgiveness."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bill Donohue isn’t a fan of the just-released music video of Lady Gaga’s “Judas.”

Fact Checking Barton Part V: Treaty of Tripoli

When David Barton and Jon Stewart begin discussing the Treaty of Tripoli (11:30 into the interview), Barton maintains that it simply demonstrates that the US isn’t an anti-Muslim nation like Tripoli’s European enemies. But Article 11 of the treaty clearly states that the US isn’t an anti-Muslim nation because “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Here is the full text of Article 11:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Barton goes on to allege that Article 11 wasn’t in the original document. While there is confusion with how Article 11 materialized, there is no doubt that it was included in the treaty that was ratified unanimously by the Senate and approved by John Adams.

Rob Boston found in his research on diplomat Joel Barlow and the Treaty of Tripoli [PDF] that Article 11 was in fact part of the original treaty, negotiated under George Washington and ratified under Adams, and the only version without it is in an Arabic version, not the one ratified by the US:

In recent years, some “Christian nation” advocates have argued that Article 11 never appeared in the treaty. They base the claim on research conducted by a Dutch scholar, Dr. C. Snouk Hurgronje, published in The Christian Statesman in 1930. Hurgronje located the only surviving Arabic copy of the treaty and found that when translated, Article 11 was actually a letter, mostly gibberish, from the dey of Algiers to the ruler of Tripoli.

But Hurgronje’s discovery is irrelevant. There is no longer any doubt that the English version of the treaty transmitted to the United States did contain the “no Christian nation” language. Article 11 appeared intact in newspapers of the day as well as in volumes of treaties and proceedings of Congress published later, including the Session Laws of the Fifth Congress, published in 1797, and in a 1799 volume titled The Laws of the United States. In 1832 Article 11 appeared in the treaty when it was reprinted in Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States 1789-1815, Volume II – a tome that can still be examined today in the Library of Congress’ main reading room.

Furthermore, in Hunter Miller’s definitive 1931 work on treaties from this period, Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, he notes that “the Barlow translation is that which was submitted to the Senate....it is the English text which in the United States has always been deemed the text of the treaty.” It’s clear that the English version of the treaty, which Congress approved, contained the famous Article 11. Why the article was removed from the Arabic version of the treaty, who did it and when remains another mystery.

David Barton OKs Sharia Law in the U.S.

Here’s a clip to file away for future reference: in his fast-talking, low-fact interview with Jon Stewart last night, David Barton was cornered into giving his blessing to majority-Muslim communities in the United States implementing Sharia law:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - David Barton Extended Interview Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Stewart: Do you feel like the majority in a locality should be able to determine…
Barton: Yes, yes, and here in New York City, there’s schools that are 100 percent Hasidic Jewish, and I think they should be allowed to have Hasidic Jewish practices there because all 100 percent kids are…
Stewart: So you would allow, like, let’s say Dearborn, Michigan was majority Muslim…
Barton: And it is.
Stewart: Are you all right with Sharia law and the whole business…
Barton: Sure, sure.
Stewart: Well, that’s consistent.
Barton: But for somebody from the outside to come in and say “I don’t like this, you can’t do it” that’s what I have trouble with.

This might come as a surprise to the right-wingers who are on high Sharia-alert. Barton in the past has been less than sympathetic to Muslim Americans even practicing their religion in the United States, much less imposing Muslim theocracies. For instance, when Rep. Keith Ellison became the first Muslim member of Congress, Barton objected to Ellison being sworn into office using Thomas Jefferson’s Koran, implying that Ellison’s expression of faith was somehow un-American:

Keith Ellison may be the one to break this pattern and start something new with Islam, but in the meantime, he should not be surprised that there is widespread concern over his decision to publicly flaunt American tradition and values and replace them with Islamic ones.

Barton, in his work rewriting American history for Texas’s school board, also made sure to cast as bad a light as possible on Muslims. Washington Monthly reported:

On the global front, Barton and company want textbooks to play up clashes with Islamic cultures, particularly where Muslims were the aggressors, and to paint them as part of an ongoing battle between the West and Muslim extremists. Barton argues, for instance, that the Barbary wars, a string of skirmishes over piracy that pitted America against Ottoman vassal states in the 1800s, were the “original war against Islamic Terrorism.”

Barton unsurprisingly objected to the planned Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan last summer, saying, ”When they’re claiming it’s a freedom of religion issue, and that’s all they’re talking about, that’s great proof that’s not the issue.”

Then there was the time he claimed that an appeals court decision allowing California schools to teach children about different religions, was in fact authorizing a “three-week indoctrination to the Islamic faith.”

Which all makes it seem somewhat suspect that Barton would suddenly embrace the idea of Sharia law being implemented in any American communities.

But even if he’s serious, there’s no need to worry about Barton’s new embrace of Sharia taking hold. Dearborn, Michigan, for one, has already made it very clear that it has absolutely no inclination to run its government with anything but the United States’ secular legal code.

Fact Checking Barton Part III: First Amendment

Towards the very end of the televised portion of David Barton’s interview on The Daily Show, Barton said that one of the cases he “did at the US Supreme Court was rabbi Leslie Gutterman was asked in Providence Rhode Island to give a prayer at a graduation, and he wasn’t allowed to, now tell me how “Congress should make no law’ means that a rabbi cant say the word ‘God’ at a prayer.” He claims that this poses that the first Amendment is misused by putting a restriction on individuals, rather than government.

He referred to the case of a Rhode Island rabbi who was invited to deliver a prayer at a public school graduation to demonstrate that the Constitution is being misapplied to stifle religious expression. But it was the public school, not the rabbi (Gutterman), that was the defendant in the Supreme Court case Lee v. Weisman. Robert Lee was the principal of the school who invited the rabbi and Daniel Weisman’s daughter was the graduating student at the school who objected to the prayer service.

In the following section, that was posted only online, Barton dismisses fears that people could be coerced into prayer in schools, saying, “there’s coercion, you have to pull on your big boy pants and do something” and “look at all the pressure that goes to school anyway, there’s drugs and everything else and we don’t rule that unconstitutional.”

Barton misconstrues the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which is incorporated to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment (see Everson and Cantwell), and calls the ruling a “pretty strange parsing of the Constitution” and places a “restriction on the rights of people to say the word God in public.”

As Justice Kennedy writes in the majority opinion, which decided that the school is barred from holding a prayer service during the graduation ceremony, the First Amendment has been interpreted to prevent the government from sanctioning or endorsing religion:

The First Amendment’s Religion Clauses mean that religious beliefs and religious expression are too precious to be either proscribed or prescribed by the State. The design of the Constitution is that preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere, which itself is promised freedom to pursue that mission. It must not be forgotten, then, that, while concern must be given to define the protection granted to an objector or a dissenting nonbeliever, these same Clauses exist to protect religion from government interference.

As Stewart notes, Barton completely neglects the rights of the students whose beliefs are compromised by the school-sanctioned prayer by putting the burden on the student to just put up with it. Kennedy writes that such thinking “turns conventional First Amendment analysis on its head. It is a tenet of the First Amendment that the State cannot require one of its citizens to forfeit his or her rights and benefits as the price of resisting conformance to state-sponsored religious practice.”

Barton grounds his beliefs that the majority should trump the rights of the minority in his view that the First Amendment actually doesn’t prevent the state from endorsing religion. Lauri Lebo writes in The Devil in Dover that in Barton’s book The Myth of Separation,

Barton argues in his book that the First Amendment only refers to the establishment of a specific Protestant denomination. In other words, Barton claims that Christian founders were saying they couldn’t endorse Lutheranism, for instance, over Presbyterianism. But in Barton’s view, forcing Christian beliefs on the nation’s citizens has always been fair game.

But the drafters actually rejected proposed amendments that only stopped governmental recognition of denominations or sects. Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College, a Christian school, pointed to James Madison’s speech during the debate over the First Amendment where he makes clear that “Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law” for otherwise they could pass laws that “might infringe the rights of conscience and establish a national religion.”

By ignoring the meaning behind the First Amendment and opposing the First Amendment’s incorporation to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment, Barton pushes a radical version of the Constitution. If “taken to logical conclusion,” Throckmorton notes, “this argument would establish Christianity as the religion of the nation, something the Founders specifically did not do.”

Bozell: Bush Deserved To Kill Bin Laden More Than Obama, Therefore Deserves More Credit

Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center is complaining that former President George W. Bush should have more credit than Obama for killing Osama bin Laden because Bush wanted it more. In a column for MRC, Bozell lambasts Obama because he described his administration’s fruitful efforts to locate and kill bin Laden and for being “rude” by not hailing Bush. In a show of incredible partisanship, Bozell says that the news of bin Laden’s death would’ve been better if it occurred during Bush’s presidency rather than as a result of the Obama administration’s successful operation: “My one regret is that Bush 43 didn't get this scalp,” Bozell writes, “he deserved it more than anyone”:

Unfortunately, while the president spoke for the whole country in remembering the pain of 9/11, his remarks left a gaping hole. He made no generous bow to all the efforts of his predecessor George W. Bush as well as his team. My one regret is that Bush 43 didn't get this scalp. He deserved it more than anyone.

Instead, Obama played subtle and wholly undignified games. He underlined that Osama had “avoided capture” under Bush and “continued to operate” during his tenure. But “I directed” CIA director Leon Panetta to make getting Osama the “top priority” (as opposed to?), and “I” gave the go-ahead to the final mission. Obama also avoided Bush in a Medal of Honor ceremony on Monday afternoon. Even in a Monday night “bipartisan” event at the White House, Obama honored the “military and counter-terrorism professionals” and “the members of Congress from both parties” who offered support to the mission....but no credit for Bush.

If the roles had been reversed, you know Bush would have been more generous. It’s what Bushes do.

What about our media? No one in the media wondered if Obama was being rude. No one seemed in any hurry to give Bush credit, either. In the media’s mind’s eye, Bush just doesn’t deserve it. They didn’t like him then, they don’t like him now.

Tea Party Nation Says Bin Laden Death Was "Part Of Obama's Re-Election Plan"

Along with Andrew Breitbart’s websites, perhaps no organization has been floating more conspiracy theories about Osama bin Laden’s death than Tea Party Nation. Judson Phillips, the president of Tea Party Nation, claimed President Obama “managed to totally FUBAR the situation.” He accused Obama of only going after bin Laden to help his reelection bid, attacked him for announcing bin Laden's death during Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, and slammed the administration for not having bin Laden’s body “wrapped in pig fat before burial.”

Now, the group, which had Sarah Palin as its marquee speaker in 2010, sent an email message to its members by Amy Jo Rice of the tea party group Maine ReFounders, who writes that bin Laden’s death was simply a plot by Obama to distract America from it’s economic problems as he needed to find a way “to improve his record of leadership and running this country.” She goes on to say that the successful mission causes more problems than it solves because “we entered another country without their knowledge and carried out a military operation” and was a foreign policy failure:

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely glad that OBL is no longer walking the soil of this earth as the next person. I have to wonder, why now? Is this part of Obama's re-election plan? That he needs to improve his record of leadership and running this country. And what better way to do that then to take out enemy number one.

As Congress returned to Washington, DC yesterday after their two week vacation, there was not one mention on the news about the economy, unemployment, debt-ceiling or the budget.

America's problems still exist Mr. President, and you have probably added some more. We can all cheer that the mastermind of September 11, 2001 has been brought to justice, but this doesn't come without a price. We entered another country without their knowledge and carried out a military operation. Does our Commander-in-Chief not think there will be serious repercussions from this action? So much for foreign policy. I just hope that the hype from the outcome from this military action outweighs the possible fallout.

Bringing one terrorist to justice is not the makings of a great President, nor does it make him a hero. I am sure our Campaigner-in-Chief will ride out the glory in his attempt to be re-elected. Nothing has really changed in his lack of leadership to turn our nation around and be on a road to prosperity, instead of the road that we are on that very soon ends at the edge of a cliff.

Return of the "Death Panels": The Latest GOP Invective Against Health Care Reform

Republicans are back with more smear-ridden criticism of the new health care reform law’s attempt to streamline burgeoning Medicare costs, regenerating the discredited “death panel” smear. The law established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to replace the ineffectual Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and to “recommend policies to Congress to help Medicare provide better care at lower costs.” Even though the board is “specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care” and its members and decisions are subject to congressional approval, the GOP has targeted the board as the latest “death panel.”

WorldNetDaily dubs IPAB the “ultimate ‘death panel’” and interviews Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who alleges that the board “is going to be able to tell you what kind of care you can get, where and when you can get it and worst of all, when you've had enough”:

However, there's a new round of alarms developing over what critics have described as the ultimate "death panel," concerns that have been raised because Barack Obama himself suggested giving an already-unaccountable board more authority.



U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who has authored "Doctor in the House" on the issue of the nationalization of health care, said the IPAB was a bad idea when ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., proposed it before voters removed him from office, and it hasn't gotten better.

"Now for the first time ever the primary party for health care for seniors, Medicare, is going to be able to tell you what kind of care you can get, where and when you can get it and worst of all, when you've had enough," he told WND today.

"If all you're looking to do is be able to figure how to take care of old people cheaply, this is the way to go," he said. "If what you want to provide is meaningful medical care, why would you set up or embellish a system that leads to waiting lists and rationing?"

He cited Obama's recent comments, and said the board will become "the central command and control system" and the "primary tool" to limit, ration, reduce or restrict treatments.

Among other reactions was Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online, who followed Obama's vague references with an explanation.

"They're back. Rationing, death panels, socialism, all those nasty old words that helped bring Republicans victory in 2010 … They're back because of IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is the real death panel, the true seat of rationing, and the royal road to health-care socialism.

ALIPAC: Democrats Want To Recruit Gay Immigrants To "Bring Down" America

Earlier this month House Democrats reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act, which “would grant same-sex couples the same residency rights currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples under U.S. immigration law.” Such legislation is unsurprisingly despised by the Religious Right, with Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council calling it an “an assault on the definition of family,” adding, “I 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.”

Religious Right groups appear to be allying with hard-line anti-immigrant leaders like William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), who tells OneNewsNow that since American culture “has been predominantly European Christian” and “Christianity preaches against sodomy,” Democrats in Congress are “targeting” gay and lesbian immigrants for “importation” in order to realize their plan of destroying American culture:

"Targeting anybody for importation into the country based on their sexuality doesn't sound like something that Congress should be messing with at all," contends William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC).

But he says this legislation fits right into the left's agenda of changing the traditional values that made America great.

"They're looking to bring in anybody challenging the established culture inside the United States that they want to bring down," Gheen suggests. "And though the majority culture of the United States for the last 200 years has been predominately European Christian...they are looking for anybody that would take issue with that. And, of course, Christianity preaches against sodomy."

The ALIPAC president concludes that the traditions that made America great have clearly fallen uner [sic] siege by the "do as thou will" crowd.

Religious Right Reacts To Law Firm’s Decision To Withdraw From DOMA Defense

Today, the law firm King & Spalding decided against defending the Defense Of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, leading Paul Clement, the partner who was going to take charge of DOMA’s defense, to resign . Groups and leaders opposed to marriage equality are unsurprisingly irate at King & Spalding, and have found a new hero in Clement:

Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage:

Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by Paul Clement, King & Spalding, through their Chairman Robert Hays, has demonstrated a shocking lack of professional ethics and shown cowardice under fire. This law firm has shown itself to be without principle,” Brown said. “Representing clients who may be unpopular in some quarters is what lawyers do. The actions of King & Spalding would suggest that they believe an accused murderer is entitled to a vigorous defense, but the thousands-year old understanding of marriage is not, even though our marriage law was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan majorities and signed into law by President Clinton.”

NOM pledged an investigation into the actions of King & Spalding and urged its supporters to contact Hays to express their outrage over the firm’s decision. “We will convene a panel of legal experts and ethicists to determine if any rules of professional conduct have been violated, or if the firm has acted illegally in reaching their decision. We already know they have violated the moral imperative of acting in good faith and fair dealing. If our review concludes that the firm has violated any statutes or rules of professional conduct, we will initiate the appropriate disciplinary complaints,” Brown said.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council:

"We commend Paul Clement for standing firm in the face of homosexual activists who seek to censor any opposition - even in the courtroom - to their campaign to overturn the marriage laws of 45 states.

"It is a shocking revelation that King & Spalding would rather lose their most brilliant and talented Supreme Court lawyer than confront a smear campaign by homosexual activists.



"The truth is not afraid of a good debate. What are homosexual activists afraid of? If they are right, then they should welcome a robust legal argument. We are convinced that the truth will win out in the end and DOMA will be upheld as constitutional. A person who doesn't want his opponent to have a good lawyer is an opponent who knows that the law isn't on his side.

"We call on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to denounce these unacceptable smear and silence tactics. The American people and our system of justice deserve better."

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel:

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, says Clement is demonstrating legel "class and integrity" -- and that the decision by King & Spaulding was an incorrect move. "Where we see this clash coming between homosexuality and religious rights or other rights or just simply common sense and civility, I think we're seeing it played out right there in the King & Spalding law firm," he tells OneNewsNow.

Staver says because of certain political complaints from branches within the law firm, King & Spaulding decided to drop the case. "That, I think, illustrates the clash of the homosexual agenda, and the frank intolerance that we see manifested in some of the individuals pushing that agenda."

Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice:

Paul Clement is an honorable advocate. He understands that when an attorney engages a client, and agrees to defend a position in court, that is what he must do. We applaud his efforts to move forward in defending DOMA - now with another law firm.

We know that Paul will provide a sound and thorough defense to DOMA, which we expect to be upheld by the courts. We will file an amicus brief defending DOMA as the case unfolds.

We applaud Paul's commitment to the legal profession, his integrity, and his desire and dedication to carry out his professional responsibilities in this case.

Right Wing Round-Up

Barber: Obama And Democrats Are "Anti-God"

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber is aghast that Harry Reid said the phrase “one nation, indivisible,” to mark the anniversary of the Civil War. The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1955 and were not part of the original pledge. Reid did not recite the entire Pledge, just the one phrase. Speaking to Shawn Akers on Faith and Freedom, Barber said that President Obama and Reid are both “secular socialist[s]” who are “anti-God” and seek to eliminate “any reference to God, to religion, to a Creator.” As Kyle previously noted, Religious Right figures are consistently and falsely accusing Obama of deliberately removing mentions of God in his speeches, and Newt Gingrich even wrote a book about “Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine.”

Watch:

Shawn, President Obama is a secular-socialist. Harry Reid is a secular-socialist. They have a secular-socialist agenda. Socialism encompasses Marxism. What is part and parcel of Marxism? Anti-religion. The removal of Christianity, particularly any reference to Christianity, but the removal of the state to any reference to God, to religion, to a Creator. It is inherently atheist, that socialism is inherently atheist, or secular. The policies that these men are pushing, and other liberals in Congress and around the country, are secular-socialist policies. We shouldn’t be surprised that when the very policies they push are anti-God, are hostile toward our Judeo-Christian founding and seek to recreate, to fundamentally transform America as President Obama has said, to a secular-socialist nation in their own self-image. We shouldn’t be surprised that they are brazenly, overtly removing reference to God from our founding documents and from our pledge of allegiance.

Exposing David Barton's Bunk

Today, People For the American Way released a new report entitled "Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America" written by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery that exposes David Barton's shoddy pseudo-history and why it matters: 

Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities; and he feeds a toxic political climate in which one’s political opponents are not just wrong, but evil and anti-God.

Scholars have criticized Barton for presenting facts out of context or in misleading ways, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting his theories through books, television, and, yes, the textbooks that will teach the next generation of Americans. He promotes conspiracy theories about elites hiding the truth from average Americans in order to undermine the nation from within. Last summer, he declared that liberal and media attacks on the Tea Party were just like attacks on Jesus. In February, Barton spoke at the Connect 2011 Pastors Conference, where he said that Christians needed to control the culture and media so that “guys that have a secular viewpoint cannot survive.” Said Barton, “If the press lacks moral discrimination, it’s because we haven’t been pushing our people to chop that kind of news off.”

Barton’s work is not just an academic exercise. It is meant to have a political impact. For Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Barton promotes a false reality in which anyone who opposes any element of his political agenda stands in opposition to both the Founding Fathers and to God. He believes that everything in our society – government, the judiciary, the economy, the family – should be governed according to the Bible, and he promotes a view of the Bible and Jesus that many Christians would not recognize. Opponents, even Christians, who disagree with Barton about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.

President Obama is a particularly frequent target of Barton’s. In January, one of his WallBuilders Live radio shows was titled “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God from the United States?” In March, right-wing “news” service WND quoted Barton accusing Obama (falsely of course) of being “engaged in a pattern of ‘willfully, deliberately’ repudiating America's Christian heritage.”

Those are the kind of accusations long favored by the Religious Right, and they are destructive. Claims that political opponents are evil and are actively trying to destroy Americans’ freedoms poison the public arena, make constructive civic discourse nearly impossible, and have the potential to incite acts of violence.

Elected officials who endorse Barton give his claims credibility they do not deserve. He in turn gives cover and a veneer of legitimacy to right-wing politicians interested in putting their notions of a nation created by and for Christians into public policy. Both Barton and his backers are undermining understanding of, and respect for, vital American values and constitutional principles like separation of church and state and equal treatment under the law.

And last night, Peter appeared on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss Barton and his influence:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/19/11

Michele Bachmann

Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18).

South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18). 

Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18). 

Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13). 

Haley Barbour

South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18). 

New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). 

Iowa: Volunteers from 2008 bid work to build new campaign (The Ticket, 4/15). 

Jon Huntsman

South Carolina: Organizes campaign in the Palmetto State (CNN, 4/18).

Obama: Conservative website features laudatory letters from Huntsman to Obama (Daily Caller, 4/15).

Roy Moore

2012: Forms presidential exploratory committee (AP, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Travels around Iowa with staffer from the far-right The Family Leader (Des Moines Register, 4/18). 

Sarah Palin

PAC: Launches new website for leadership pac (The Caucus, 4/18). 

Tea Party: Addresses small rally for Koch front group in Wisconsin (TPM, 4/16). 

Ron Paul

South Carolina: Tops the field in the Lexington County straw poll (CNN, 4/16). 

2012: Opens fundraising account for potential presidential bid (Politico, 4/14). 

Tim Pawlenty

Tea Party: Keynotes tea party rally in Boston, slams health care reform (Boston Globe, 4/16). 

Budget: Criticizes compromise budget deal (The Fix, 4/13). 

Mitt Romney

Florida: Leads in early poll of Sunshine State Republicans (Taunton Daily Gazette, 4/17). 

Fundraising: Benefits from network of state leadership PACs (Boston Globe, 4/15). 

Donald Trump

GOP: Presidential campaign gains increasing interest among Republican activists (AP, 4/19). 

Tea Party: Addresses Tea Party rally with Florida Congressman Allen West (The State Column, 4/17). 

Poll: Leads other likely candidates in poll of Republicans nationwide (WSJ, 4/15). 

Rick Santorum

Campaign: Rejects pro-union line of Langston Hughes he used as a campaign motto (The Guardian, 4/18). 

Equality: Supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (Think Progress, 4/18). 

Religious Right: Plans to join The Family Leader's Iowa presidential lecture tour (RWW, 4/18).

New Hampshire: Plays in mini golf tournament in Granite State tour (Foster's Daily Democrat, 4/17).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Speaker John Boehner announced that Paul Clement will defend DOMA and NOM is very happy.
  • It was reported that Donald Trump talked to Ralph Reed about running his campaign, but Reed says that is not so.
  • Right-wingers don't care when Glenn Beck spews crazy nonsense all day ... but they do care when he steals their crazy nonsense and doesn't give them credit.
  • Yet another member of Congress - Tim Huelskamp - has no qualms about joining Bryan Fischer on his radio program.
  • Mat Staver thinks it is perfectly okay for Nevada to ban those who do not "have a religious affiliation" from performing marriages.
  • Finally, is anyone surprised that The Oak Initiative eventually took a turn toward Birtherism?

Keyes: Impeach Obama Before It's Too Late

Addressing the dominionist Oak Initiative summit this weekend, Alan Keyes used his opportunity on stage with Janet Porter, Jerry Boykin, and Rick Joyner to urge Congress to impeach President Obama on the grounds that Obama is supporting international interventions in Libya and the Ivory Coast so as to establish a "precedent" whereby were he were to lose his reelection bid and refuse to "give up power," the international community would intervene militarily in the US to keep him in office.

In the video, posted by a conference attendee, Keyes said that if we “actually follow the Constitution” the people will vote out Obama and that Congress will impeach him:

Inhofe Keeps Defending Gbagbo And Rips U.S. For Siding With "Muslim Rebels"

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has intensified his defense of the deposed president of the Ivory Coast. Laurent Gbagbo, the country’s Roman Catholic president, lost a December election to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who is Muslim. While the country’s electoral commission and the international community, including African nations, recognized Ouattara as the winner, Gbagbo’s appointed national council threw out the results (saying Ouattara won through voter fraud) and Gbagbo declared himself the winner. Gbagbo’s wife, an evangelical Christian, even declared that “God has given us this victory.” Earlier this week forces loyal to Ouattara removed Gbagbo from power, clearing the way for Outtara to become president.

But the Religious Right in the U.S. has become one of Gbagbo’s biggest cheerleaders, even though the International Criminal Court wants him charged with crimes against humanity for human rights abuses. Pat Robertson defended Gbagbo, saying he’s “a Christian, he’s a nice person, and he’s run a fairly clean operation in the Ivory Coast” and accused Outarra of “building up that ring of Shariah law around the Middle East.”

In Congress, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has been one of the leading apologists for Gbagbo, who he knows through The Family/C Street. After unsuccessfully trying to soften the Obama Administration’s approach to Gbagbo in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said that Gbagbo’s arrest “sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the worlds,” Inhofe is now ripping the administration’s handling of the crisis and utilizing Gbagbo’s talking points about the purported voter fraud and violence of Ouattara’s force in an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:

Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) publically supported Laurent Gbagbo from the floor of the Senate Tuesday afternoon. In a 30-minute speech, Inhofe claimed massive vote fraud took place during the monitored election of the West African nation. The congressman from Oklahoma says France, the United Nations, and the U.S. State Department were instrumental in toppling Gbagbo.

"They rigged the election, [they] stole the election, and then they sided with...the Muslim rebels from up north to come in and try to seize control, which they've now done, of the government in Ivory Coast in Abidjan," the lawmaker tells OneNewsNow.

Forces loyal to Ivory Coast U.N.-sanctioned president Alassane Ouattara on April 6 stormed the presidential palace of incumbent leader Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power.

"[The rebels] killed thousands of people; they tortured the Gbagbos," says Inhofe. "We're now trying our best to get some kind of an arrangement where they can get either an exile to a country or something -- [we're] trying to save their lives."
Syndicate content

Congress Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/18/2011, 10:37am
A secretive ‘Super PAC’ tied to an Ohio political operative is planning to aid congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign after working to defeat South Carolina congressman John Spratt in the last midterm election. Chris Cillizza writes that “Citizens for a Working America, as the group is known, will be chaired by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ed Brookover, a longtime political consultant and adviser to Bachmann, will be involved as will conservative lawyer and economist Marc Nuttle.” Ken Blackwell’s ties to the Religious Right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 9:37am
Pamela Geller has a second column out today attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his ties to the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and to one of Geller’s favorite targets, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Anti-Muslim activists have long viewed Norquist as one of the principal architects of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and American society at large because of his work to make the political Right more inclusive of Muslim-Americans. Geller writes today in her WorldNetDaily column that she doesn’t “want to see a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/16/2011, 3:57pm
Earlier this month Harry Jackson appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network to talk about his commitment to Seven Mountains dominionism, the ideology that calls on fundamentalist Christians to take control key sectors of society: business, media, education, arts and entertainment, family, religion and the church, and government. Jackson has emerged as a regular Religious Right spokesman and is a vociferous opponent of abortion rights and LGBT equality. He was even co-chair of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. Yesterday, Jackson was the guest on TBN’s Praise The... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/16/2011, 12:16pm
Perennial North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson is asking for money for his campaign to readers of the far-right website WorldNetDaily. Robinson is best known for his Twilight Zone ad, which he ran during his unsuccessful campaign against Democratic Rep. Brad Miller. While he failed in his bid for Congress, Robinson endeared himself to Republicans across the country. Now, Robinson is running in the 8th congressional district against Rep. Larry Kissell and in a fundraising email blasts President Barack Obama for “hanging out with terrorists” and “... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 9:09am
Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist. Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point:  There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Friday 08/12/2011, 1:48pm
People For the American Way is preparing to move its headquarters to another location in Washington, D.C. , after more than 20 years in the same space. That has meant a monumental effort to sort through decades of accumulated paper and figure out what to do with video recordings in more formats than you could imagine – and endless save-or-toss decisions. Fortunately, earlier this year PFAW’s huge library of primary source materials on the Religious Right political movement was transferred to the University of California Berkeley’s Center for the Comparative Study of... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/12/2011, 11:17am
When Gov. Rick Perry took to the stage at his prayer rally last weekend, he brought with him two close friends: C.L Jackson and Alice Patterson, whom he publicly praised and thanked: Patterson, as you may recall, is deeply involved in the New Apostloic Reformation where she focuses on "racial healing" in order to get African Americans to leave the Democratic Party, which she believes is literally controlled by demonic spirits. As it turns out, not only is the Democratic Party controlled by such spirits, but the Republican Party is as well.  But whereas the Democrats are... MORE