discrimination

Random Book Blogging: Old Arguments Never Die

Over the holiday break, I started reading "What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America" by Peggy Pascoe and it is absolutely fascinating - I highly encourage you to pick up a copy and read it, but for now I want to highlight a few passages from the introduction:

When societies decide who can and who can't legally marry, they determine who is and isn't really a part of the family. These inclusions and exclusions take place at such an intimate level that they shape what seems natural and, in turn, what is stigmatized as unnatural.

...

From the 1860s through the 1960s, the American legal system elevated the notion that interracial marriage was unnatural to commonsense status and made it the law of the land. During this period, miscegenation law channeled property, propriety, personal choice, and legitimate procreation into one very particular kind of monogamous marital pair: couples that were made of up one White man and one White woman, whose sameness of race was required by law and whose difference in sex was taken entirely for granted. The more Whites believe that interracial marriage was unnatural, the more they assumed that the marriage of one White man to one White woman was the only kind of marriage worthy of the name - and the more they saw their own marriages as the fortunate result of individual romantic preference rather than the obligatory outcome of a legal system steeped in gendered assumptions about race and heterosexuality.

...

The constitutional fiction of miscegenation law held that laws punishing both partners in an interracial relationship were racially equal rather than racially discriminatory. This, for example, was the position the Alabama Supreme Court put forth in 1881 in Pace v. State, a case involving a White woman and a Black man, when it ruled:

The fact that a different punishment is affixed to the offense of adultery when committed between a negro and a white person, and when committed between two white people or two negroes, does not constitute a discrimination against or in favor of either race. The discrimination is not directed against the person of any particular color or race, but against the offense, the nature of which is determined by the opposite color of the cohabiting parties. The punishment of each offending party, white or black, is precisely the same. There is obviously no difference or discrimination in the punishment. The evil tendency of the crime of living in adultery or fornication is greater when it is committed between persons of the two races than between persons of the same race.

The was also the position the Oregon Supreme Court maintained a half century later when it ruled that its miscegenation law did not discriminate against Indians because it "applies alike to all persons, either white, negroes, Chinese, Kanaka, or Indians."

And let's just compare that to Bryan Fischer's response to the Prop 8 ruling:

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing about Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling in the Prop. 8 case is that he claimed to give homosexuals something they in fact already have: full marriage equality.

Homosexuals right now, as you are reading these words, have full marriage equality in America. There is no place in the United States where they don't.

They have exactly, precisely the same right to get married that every other American has: to a non-relative adult of the opposite sex.

Don't let homosexual apologists fool you here. They already have full marriage equality. Nobody anywhere has deprived of them of their right to marry. Period. They have exactly the same right to marry that you and I do, no more, no less.

What they want is not equal rights, but special rights. They want a special exemption carved out for them so that their sexually aberrant relationships can be recognized as marriages, an exemption we don't grant to folks who want to marry a son or a daughter, or a mother or a father, an uncle or an aunt, or a child.

All of those represent sexually aberrant relationships, with all their attendant physical and psychological dangers, and for that reason public policy does not permit such marriages.

So when we say two homosexuals cannot marry, we're not depriving them of marital rights any more than when we say the same thing to a pedophile. A pedophile has the same right to marry that every homosexual does — the right to marry a non-relative adult member of the opposite sex.

So let's end this nonsense that somehow we aren't being fair to homosexuals. You can't get any more fair than seeing to it that the same rules apply to everybody.

Barber: SPLC Attacking "Very Christian Leadership That Led The Civil Rights Movement"

When the Southern Poverty Law Center released its updated list of anti-gay hate groups, Liberty Counsel didn't achieve the designation, but that hasn't stopped Matt Barber from repeatedly attacking the SPLC in his columns and on his radio program ... and it was once again the topic of discussion this week as Barber and Shawn Akers accused the SPLC of attacking the Religious Right as a way to raise money and claimed that the group was now attacking the "very Christian leadership that led the Civil Rights movement":

Barber: The SPLC has grabbed the tiger by the tail and now they get the teeth. They are really marginalizing themselves outside of a very liberal echo chamber; the SPLC has really embarrassed itself and really marginalized itself in the mainstream.

Akers: You know, it's kind of funny Matt, this is one of those groups that has in recent times prided itself on being among the most open-minded in the nation, they would be leaders in being open-minded and they've sacrificed any shred of legitimacy that they could have held claim to in recent times by basically adopting this definition of a hate group - it's if you disagree with the Southern Poverty Law Center, you are a hate group. If you disagree with them on social matters - and chief among those would be sexuality and marriage - if you disagree with them on that, you are going to be listed, especially if you have voice in public circles, you're going to be listed as a hate-monger, and as a hate villain, and in their great hope a hate criminal at some time in the future if they can get legislation through that they would like. Now the problem with that for them is one that you pointed out: it smacks of desperation.

We had great success in remedying the evil of discrimination and you can see that that success probably caused a dip in the funds of somebody like the Southern Poverty Law Center and they have sold out and begun acting like a Washington bureaucracy that says we have to have a new windmill to tilt at and it's going to be everybody that disagrees with us.

Barber: And now they find themselves fighting against the very Christian leadership that led the Civil Rights movement, the very Christians that fought for abolition under the Republican Party, under Abraham Lincoln, now they have those very Christians in the cross-hairs.

Right Wing Round-Up

IRD Slams State Department for Backing Gay Rights Abroad

Writing for the American Spectator, Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion and Democracy condemned the State Department for advancing the rights of gays and lesbians abroad. The IRD is a far-right group with a two-pronged strategy to advance its opposition to gay rights: dividing and decrying churches, particularly Mainline Protestant denominations, which favor LGBT equality, while at the same time aiding and promoting groups in Africa and the U.S. that attack gays and even support the criminalization of homosexuality. Most recently, the IRD vilified a North Carolina church group for electing an openly gay layman as the President. In addition to the group’s militant stance on gay rights, the IRD also works against the rights of women and immigrants, and criticizes the environmental movement, and the IRD has ties to major right wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women For America, Numbers USA, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Walton, the Communications Manager for the IRD who previously alleged that the Episcopal Church could be held responsible for the deaths of Christians abroad because it allows gays and lesbians to serve as Bishops, now is taking to the ultraconservative Spectator to reproach the State Department for “promoting homosexuality overseas.” He blasts Secretary Hillary Clinton for allegedly wanting to “legitimize homosexual practices in those socially traditional countries,” like those in Africa, and maintains that efforts to protect gays from discrimination are affronts to “religious freedom.” Walton denounces the State Department’s work to document anti-gay laws and violence, and the pressure it puts on countries like Uganda to improve the rights of gays:

Although the language of some U.S. officials begins with the legitimate concern for personal safety and freedom from the threat of violence, it often ends by demanding acceptance of homosexual acts as a human right.

"We've come such a far distance in our own country, but there are still so many who need the outreach, need the mentoring, need the support, to stand up and be who they are, and then think about people in so many countries where it just seems impossible," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a speech in June as part of "Pride Month" celebrations at the U.S. State Department.

At the event, which was organized by the group "Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies," Clinton said the State Department is supporting efforts to advance homosexual rights around the world. "We celebrate the progress of advancing the rights of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] in our country, as we continue to advance the rights of all people around the world," Clinton gushed before the receptive audience, adding that the "struggle for equality is never, ever finished."



During her June address, Clinton stated that her department has formalized reporting on homosexual rights for the first time in the 2009 annual human rights report that was issued in February on every country in the world. But the top U.S. diplomat quickly honed in on Africa, saying that U.S. embassies there had been directed to ask their host government about the status of LGBT rights. A special panel discussion on LGBT rights in Africa was also held later in the day.

He goes on to rebuke Assistant Secretary of State Michael H. Posner, openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, an Anglican Bishop who worked in Ugana to improve the livelihoods of marginalized gay Ugandans and diligently opposed a bill in Uganda’s Parliament that “would make homosexuality illegal, in some cases punishable by death.” Walton says:

In March, Posner introduced the State Department human rights report to Congress, emphasizing what was termed a growing crisis in abuse directed against LGBT people worldwide, and urging the use of diplomacy to counter the alleged trend.

In introducing the report, Posner singled out the case of Uganda, where he alleged that introduction of anti-homosexuality legislation has resulted in abuse. The report further documents LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world.

Posner's report met agreement with Robinson and Senyonjo during their conversation at CAP.

“[The] time is coming when we should not work on just one bill, but towards decriminalization," Senyonjo said, adding that he was "very grateful for voices all over the world that work against oppression."

"It is wrong to say, 'Don't interfere, it's a domestic thing,'" the former Anglican bishop said. He compared foreigners working for decriminalization of homosexuality in Africa to aid workers providing earthquake relief in Haiti.



In that commissioning, Senyonjo seems to have found a partner in the U.S. State Department. For them, seemingly sexual freedom is more important than religious freedom. Look for more developments in 2011.

Walton never explains how defending gays from violence and discrimination undermines “religious freedom,” and dismisses Bishop Senyonjo’s religiously-grounded defense of LGBT equality. Just as the IRD demonized many US churches who worked in social justice and anti-apartheid activism in South Africa because they also supported rights for gays and lesbians, Walton and the IRD are criticizing the State Department for working to document and prevent the persecution and oppression of gays outside of the U.S.

GOP Readies Investigations into Muslim Americans

Republican leaders in Congress are preparing new investigations into everything from climate change scientists to Elizabeth Warren, and now Rep. Peter King (R-NY) , the incoming Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, has announced the latest target: Muslim Americans. While Republican attempts to vilify and demonize Muslim Americans are nothing new, King’s plans for congressional hearings takes the GOP’s anti-Muslim zeal to a new, and dangerous, level.

King previously wanted to investigate the planners of the Park51 Islamic Community Center, saying, “It’s a house of worship, but we are at war with al-Qaida,” and his proposed hearings could endanger collaboration between law enforcement offices and Muslim communities, inflame religious tensions, and usher in the return of classic McCarthy tactics to the House.

The move by Mr. King, who said he was planning to open a hearing on the matter beginning early next year, is the latest example of the new direction that the House will take under the incoming Republican majority.



Told of Mr. King’s plan, Muslim leaders expressed strong opposition, describing the move as a prejudiced act that was akin to racial profiling and that would unfairly cast suspicion on an entire group.

Abed A. Ayoub, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Mr. King’s effort ignored that Muslim leaders around the country had been working closely with law enforcement officials since the 2001 terror attacks.

“We are disturbed that this representative who is in a leadership position does not have the understanding and knowledge of what the realities are on the ground,” Mr. Ayoub said, adding that Mr. King’s proposal “has bigoted intentions.”

This won’t be the only effort by the newly-empowered Republicans to put Muslims in their crosshairs. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) previously tried to investigate the Council on American Islamic Relations which she accused of trying to turn Capitol Hill interns into “spies.” Myrick, who wrote the foreword of a WorldNetDaily book on the matter, recently told Fox News that terrorist groups are sending members to Venezuela to learn Spanish and then to Mexico to illegally cross the boarder into the US.

Will Atheists and Muslims Be Staffing The "Ark Encounter"?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the proposed "Ark Encounter" theme park in Kentucky being built by the Creationist group Answers in Genesis with the help of millions of dollars tax breaks.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has received a lot of criticism for using government money to help construct a religiously-themed theme park, but Beshear's response has consistently been that he views it as an economic investment that will create an estimated 900 jobs and bring in millions in future tax revenue.

And as an economic project being funded with public money, Beshear is insisting that the Ark Encounter's operators will not be able to discriminate in the hiring process ... a prospect which does not seem to be sitting too well with developers, who admit that they are "wrestling" with the prospect of not being allowed to require employees to sign a statement of faith:

Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday that he will require the state’s contract with developers of a Noah’s Ark-based theme park in Northern Kentucky to prohibit the project from receiving state tax incentives if there is discrimination in hiring based on religion or other attributes.

In a meeting with The Courier-Journal’s editorial board, Beshear said that he views the theme park as a job creation venture rather than a religious one and that he expects the group building it to comply with federal and state laws that bar discrimination.

The group proposing the theme park includes for-profit investors and the nonprofit Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum in Boone County. After the project is completed the plan is to turn over control of the theme park to Answers in Genesis, which will operate it.

“We’re going to require that anybody that we deal with is going to obey all of the laws on hiring and not discriminate on hiring,” Beshear said. “As a matter of fact, part of the language that will be in agreements … is that they are going to abide by the law in terms of hiring and that they agree not to discriminate, so we will certainly have the ability to deal with it if we find that it happens.”

When the project was announced two weeks ago, Cary Summers, who heads the for-profit portion of the development team, was asked if the theme park would require a “statement of faith” like the one required for employment by Answers in Genesis.

“We’re wrestling with that right now,” he said.

Summers said in an interview Thursday that the group has no intention of trying to discriminate, especially in view of the large number of people who will have to be hired. Mike Zovath, the vice president of Answers in Genesis, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Under state law, religious organizations are allowed to discriminate based on beliefs in hiring for work associated with their religious activities.

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.

DADT: Religious Right Wants Investigation Into Climate of Intimidation at Pentagon

Dozens of Religious Right leaders have come together to sign on to a letter [PDF] released under the Freedom Federation banner calling on the Senate to put off any vote on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell until the next session of Congress so that there can be investigations into whether the findings of the recent report showing DADT could be repealed with little to no risk was, in fact, the result of a "climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon" that lead to the

It is a serious risk to national security to repeal DADT without first investigating thoroughly – in public hearings – the effect of the proposed repeal. We are engaged in a war on many fronts. Our troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. This is no time to experiment with social engineering of the military.

We are also gravely concerned about the effect that repealing DADT will have on religious freedom. One senior army general, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, said that those who oppose repeal are guilty of unacceptable attitudes that he reportedly described as “bigotry.” Additionally, expert analysts have warned that a “non-discrimination” policy for sexual minorities will have broad-reaching effects on religious freedom. It is conceivable that chaplains will be forbidden to preach or speak about their denomination’s position on homosexuality.

The Defense Department report on the likely effects of repealing DADT was not released until November 30, 2010. There is simply not enough time between then and adjournment to investigate and deliberate about this very important issue. For that reason, any consideration of repeal should be put off until next year.

Moreover, we are deeply concerned about the methodology of the DOD report and survey. In view of General Bostick’s disturbing comments and Admiral Mullen’s and Secretary of Defense Gates’ unseemly cheerleading on this issue, we believe it behooves the next Congress to investigate whether proponents of repeal tried to create a climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon.

The rush to repeal DADT by January of 2011 is a slap in the face of the American people who are tired of bully politics. Moreover, the consequences of repealing DADT will no doubt result in service members leaving the military or refusing to join. We cannot afford attrition or demoralization of our military in light of the wars we are facing in the Middle East, not to mention the looming threat of North Korea.

Among the names listed on this are:

Sarah Palin
Mat and Anita Staver
Ken Blackwell
Tony Perkins
Penny Nance
Lou Sheldon
Elaine Donnelly
Andrea Lafferty
Samuel Rodriguez
Robert Knight
Harry Jackson
Janet Porter
Cindy Jacobs
Tim Wildmon
Cliff Kincaid
Jim Garlow
Tom Minnery
Gary Bauer
Richard Viguerie
Gary Kreep
Linda Harvey
Joseph Farah
Gary Cass
Rick Joyner
Paul Blair
Don Feder
Kelly Shackelford
James Klingenschmitt
E.W. Jackson
Star Parker
Matt Barber
Dave Welch

UPDATE: Apparently the Sarah Palin signature on this letter was a mistake, as that signature now reads:

Rita Grace
Organizer
Constitutional TEA Party
President
Sarah Palin Republican Women

Right Wing Round-Up

Believers in American Exceptionalism More Likely to Support Torture

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

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

LaBarbera Worries Gay TSA Agents Are "Secretly Getting Turned On" At Airports

I don't even know what to say about Peter LaBarbera's latest bout of anti-gay lunacy in which he frets about the possibility that gay TSA agents might be "secretly getting turned on" by delivering security pat-downs at the airport: 

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) today questioned the propriety of “same-gender” TSA (Transportation Security Administration) “pat-downs” – if the TSA agents doing the “patting down” are homosexual, lesbian or bisexual. 

Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano went out of her way yesterday to stress that the TSA pat-downs are “same-gender” – mostly to reassure women that men will not be groping them at airports in the name of safety.

“But what about homosexual TSA agents?” AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera responded. “Isn’t it just as inappropriate for a ‘gay’ male TSA agent to pat down male travelers as it is for a normal, heterosexual male TSA agent to pat down female travelers?

“The reality is, most traveling men would not want Barney Frank to pat them down at the airport security checkpoint,” LaBarbera said. “Neither would it be fair to assign Ellen DeGeneres to pat down female travelers. (In the same vein, the Army should no more force normal male soldiers to shower and bunk with homosexual male soldiers than it would force females soldiers to bunk and shower with their male counterparts.)”

The TSA, as a federal agency, is barred from discriminating on the basis of “sexual orientation,” thanks to a pro-homosexual Executive Order signed by President Clinton in 1998.

Said LaBarbera: “Obviously Napolitano wants to assure the public that sexual tension will be taken out of the equation. Hence, we must take seriously the self-identified desires of homosexuals. ‘Gay’ men define themselves as being sexually attracted to other men. Lesbians are sexually attracted to women. And bisexuals are attracted to both. Some observations:

  • Perhaps some common-sense, healthy “discrimination” is in order: the TSA should put conditions on employment for self-acknowledged homosexuals – that they not be assigned to pat down travelers so as to avoid being put in sexually compromising situations;
  • It would not be workable to assign, say, gay male TSA agents to pat down female travelers – as the latter – thinking the agents to be normal men – would protest that they are being patted down by males. Chaos would ensue;
  • Does the TSA know which of its employees are homosexual, anyway, and how? If not, is it fair to travelers who may end up getting ‘groped’ by homosexual TSA agents who are secretly getting turned on through the process?
  • Could the TSA be subjected to a sexual harassment lawsuit if the agent who engages in an overly aggressive “same-gender pat-down” – and gets sued – turns out to be homosexual?

LaBarbera said that even if it could be assumed that most TSA agents – regardless of their sexual proclivities – would act professionally, that is not the issue. Male TSA agents – no matter how “professional” their conduct – cannot frisk female travelers.

“To allow homosexual agents to conduct same-gender pat-downs is tantamount to a new form of discrimination that must be recognized and prevented,” he said.

Meet Tim Walberg: The Birthers’ Man in Washington

Following the midterm elections, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Today, meet Tim Walberg, who “was a tea partier before there was a tea party”:

Tim Walberg, who is returning to the House next year after representing Michigan's 7th district for one term from 2007-2009, brags that he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Indeed, Walberg enthusiastically embraces the most extreme aspects of the Tea Party—from corporate pandering and vowing to cut social safety-net programs to far-right views on social issues and a predilection for conspiracy theories.

Walberg is perhaps most famous for his unabashed embrace of birtherism. Asked by a radio show caller if he thinks President Obama is an American citizen or a Muslim, Walberg responded:

"You know, I don't know, I really don't know," Walberg responded. "We don't have enough information about this President. He was never given a job interview that was complete."

"But that's not the issue now," Walberg went on. "He is President. Right now, we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as President. Whether he's American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it."

While other candidates have tried to tiptoe away from their own birther claims, Walberg later doubled down, saying that he would “take [Obama] at his word that he’s an American citizen”…and then suggested that Congress impeach Obama in order to obtain a copy of his birth certificate.

But birtherism isn’t the only right-wing conspiracy theory that Walberg backs. He has repeated the bizarre—and completely debunked—theory that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. And he continues to repeat discredited ideas about the origins of the Iraq war. He said that Saddam Hussein funded the Al Qaeda terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks, and insisted in a debate last month that Iraq “absolutely” had weapons of mass destruction before the American invasion—something that even George W. Bush now admits is not true.

Walberg backs an extreme pro-corporate economic agenda. When Walberg first won election in 2006, the ultra-conservative Club For Growth counted his victory as its own, bragging that its PAC “scored its first-ever knock-out of an incumbent” when Walberg defeat a moderate incumbent in the Republican primary. The Club for Grouth had poured millions of dollars into Walberg’s 2006 campaign, spending $1 million in the primary, and then producing vicious attack adds against his Democratic opponent in the general election. This year, American Future Fund, an especially shadowy group with ties to Big Agriculture, spent over $500,000 to run an ad attacking Walberg’s opponent with false claims about health care reform and clean energy legislation.

And, it seems, Walberg’s big business backers will get what they paid for. The League of Conservation Voters named him to their 2010 Dirty Dozen, the second time he had made that list. During his one previous term in Congress, LCV said, “Walberg opposed every major clean energy reform…earning a 0% LCV score.” LCV continued, “During his two years in office, he was on the wrong side of conservation and clean energy on 32 out of 33 votes. He even voted against the No Child Left Inside Act, designed to help educate children about the natural environment.” Indeed, no clean energy effort is too small to earn Walberg’s disdain: on the campaign trail, he slammed Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for riding her bicycle to work.

Walberg wants to dramatically cut social safety net programs, and directs much of his scorn on Social Security. He’s advocated for privatizing the program, and agreed with a supporter at a Tea Party event who said Social Security is unconstitutional and “a Ponzi scheme.” In 2006, he called Social Security “socialism at its finest,” adding, “That’s defined as socialism when the government is required to take care of us all.”

Walberg’s Religious Right credentials are also stellar. He opposes abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest. As a member of the House, he cosponsored two bills that, according to NARAL, “would end all legal abortion, most common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization". He voted against a bill that would have provided for stem cell research.

In 2008, Walberg was the only member of the House education committee to vote “no” on extending funding for the Head Start program. He objected to a provision in the bill that prohibited Head Start preschools from discriminating based on religion, warning that a Christian parochial school might have to hire a Muslim or “a Wiccan from a coven in Ann Arbor.”

In the House, Walberg voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and against expanding hate crimes legislation to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also opposed equal pay legislation and the 2008 Paycheck Fairness Act.
 

 

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 Leftovers

  • Just a reminder to GOProud: just because the Left doesn't like you, it doesn't mean that the right-wing does.
  • When even George W. Bish thinks Sarah Palin is a joke, that is saying something.
  • Will the Religious Right please stop screaming about this nonsense now?
  • Randall Terry is already going after John Boehner.
  • Jim Garlow frets that Democrats are going to destroy California.
  • It really is amazing how the Religious Right is fundamentally unwilling to condemn Lisa Miller for kidnapping her daughter and disappearing.
  • I find it quite remarkable how David Barton's election "analysis" so closely mirrors Fox's "news."
  • Finally, quote of the day from David Lane, executive director of AFA Action, responding to the win in Iowa: "For those who impose what we perceive as an immoral agenda, we're going to take them out" ... He said the group would do so again wherever judges "impose their will on free people."

Texas Eagle Forum Calls for Banning Muslims From Military, Government Jobs, and Running for Office

Via the Texas Freedom Network, we see that the Texas Eagle Forum has endorsed a position staked out by Elijah Abraham, an evangelical Christian convert from Islam, calling for the banning of Muslims from serving in the military , running for public office, or serving as government employees:

In the U.S., there are Muslim training camps across the country actively planning attacks on American soil. Young Americans are being converted to Islam in our jails, our military, public schools and universities, and in churches that preach Liberation Theology. Muslims have gained two seats in the U.S, Congress and have won seats in state and local races. Public school textbooks are becoming pro-Islam and anti-Christian. Muslims are buying Fortune 500 companies and high tech companies. There is a Dow Jones Islamic Index. Islamic banks, insurance companies and mortgage companies are springing up across the country. Our open borders welcome Muslims.

The challenge to America is to stop the spread of Islam in the U.S. before it is too late.

SOLUTIONS:

1. Congress MUST outlaw Shariah and international law
2. Eliminate Muslim government employees
3. Outlaw Muslim terrorist organizations, such as The Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, etc.
4. Muslims should be ineligible to run for political office
5. All Muslim military personnel should be removed from the U.S. armed forces
6. Monitor mosques
7. Shut down terrorist training camps in the U.S.

Texas Eagle Forum also announces that it "will push for a bill against Shariah law during the 2011 legislative session, which opens in January in Austin."

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.

Brownback Refuses to Comment On His Association With Engle

As we have noted before, Democrats in Kansas have rightly been making an issue of Sam Brownback's ties to Lou Engle given that the two lived together for several months after Brownback's condo burned down. 

Recently, Brownback tried to distance himself a bit from Engle, saying that he had some concerns about some of Engle's views but for the most part Brownback has been trying to ignore the issue ... which is getting harder as Democrats continue to make it an issue:

Kansas Democrats are highlighting Republican gubernatorial nominee Sam Brownback's ties to a controversial evangelist, saying the association raises questions about his judgment.

The Kansas Democratic Party cites Brownback's appearance at a 2007 rally for evangelist Lou Engle, who has urged Christians to fast and pray that "God, the avenger of blood" will heal the nation's sins of abortion and homosexuality.

"Does Sam Brownback know where to draw the line?" said Kenny Johnston, the Kansas Democratic Party's executive director. "It's an important question to ask about Sam Brownback's judgment."

Brownback's opponent, Tom Holland, even released a statement questioning Brownback's ties to Engle:

"I have read the stories in the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Lawrence Journal World and by the Associated Press detailing Senator Brownback's relationship with Lou Engle, and my staff has shared with me additional information1 on Mr. Engle's views and statements. I found all of this to be very troubling.

"The next Governor of Kansas will need to bring people together, not divide them along lines of fear and bigotry.

"Whether it's upholding the executive ban on workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians, or preventing our state from being defined by the messages of Fred Phelps and Lou Engle – the next Governor has a responsibility to protect the rights of every Kansan.

"We've seen what happens when right-wing extremists get the spotlight; our state becomes a punch line on late night talk shows and companies think twice before bringing new jobs to our state. We can't go down that path again.

"I'm running to be a leader for all Kansans, so that we can continue our legacy as a Free State, where discrimination and bigotry – against anyone – is not tolerated."

Brownback's campaign refuses to comment, but as Bruce Wilson notes, it is not only Engle with whom he has ties, but other leaders like Dutch Sheets as well (you may recall how Sheets' prayers led to the capture of Saddam Hussein):

Former US Senator Brownback told the Topeka, Kansas Lawrence Journal-World, "He [Engle] said a number of things that I'm troubled by," and Brownback added, "I haven't had much association with him for some period of time." In Sam Brownback's lexicon, 'some period of time' would have to mean 'at least ten months' because back in December 2009 Brownback could be found up onstage with Lou Engle, who led the Family Research Council's nationally broadcast "Prayercast" against health care reform.

Brownback's disavowal elides his long association with Lou Engle. As I broke here at Talk To Action in late December 2009, Lou Engle says he and Sam Brownback lived together for 7 months in a rented Washington DC condominium. And, in footage from Brownback's 2007 appearance at Lou Engle's Nashville TheCall rally, evangelist Dutch Sheets stated that Brownback, whom Sheets called a personal friend to both Sheets, Lou Engle, and other mutual associates, had already attended four of Lou Engle's TheCall events.

If Brownback has "concerns" about Engle, it sure didn't stop him attending at least four of his The Call events.

Pray and ACT Prayer Targets: Raise Up Christians, Hold Back Satan, And Keep The Ungodly Out of Office

I have been covering the various election-oriented prayer efforts that are currently being carried out by Religious Right groups, including Pray and ACT which consists of not only 40 days of prayer, but also 40 days of fasting.

And to make this grueling process somewhat easier, Pray and ACT and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have produced a day-by-day prayer guide [PDF] for participants.  For instance, on October 17 they are to pray for the "Sanctity of Human Life":

Ask God to...

• Convict public officials to protect and serve every member of our society including the most marginalized, voiceless, and vulnerable

• Raise up leaders to end our nation’s culture of death and recognize the equal value of all people

• Give our nation the compassion it needs to assist women struggling with problem pregnancies

• Raise up leaders to protect the weak and the vulnerable from violent attack with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination

• Help our world leaders develop a consistent ethic of love and life for all people and all circumstances

• Convict the scientific community to end the barbaric practice of embryo destructive stem-cell research

• Help you put an end to our nation’s abortion-on-demand policies

And the next day they are to pray for "God's Design for Marriage":

Ask God to…

• Raise up leaders who will protect God’s design for marriage as the union of one man and one woman

• Convict Christians to uphold the institution of marriage and model its true meaning

• Help the church instill in young people a sound understanding of the importance of marriage

• Cause our nation to understand the destructive effects of redefining marriage

• Help the church engage in compassionate redemptive ministry to those struggling with same-sex attraction

• Help the church minister to those struggling in their marriages

• Cause our nation’s leaders to enact laws and policies that encourage and strengthen marriage

And then, as we get closer and closer to Election Day, the prayer targets become more focused on getting Christians elected to office, with prayers to "prevent Satan from blinding the judgment of our public officials," and "give Christians who run for public office favor in the eyes of the electorate," and "confound the counsel of candidates who don’t support biblical values," and "discourage ungodly people from running for public office."

And finally, just before Election Day, activists are enouraged to pray for the "wisdom to elect the
best officials" and realize that "God’s judgment or blessing on a nation is related directly to the morality of its citizens": 

Ask God to...

• Send the strong convicting presence of His Spirit throughout the nation

• Raise up leaders who will advance and support God-honoring policies, especially policies protecting life

• Help you know who He wants you to vote for in the upcoming election

• Expose to public scrutiny people who are working to undermine God-honoring laws and morality, like efforts to undermine God’s design for marriage

• Convince Christians that they need to be involved in the life of the nation both politically and socially

• Confound the plans of the enemies of the United States.

• Help the United States continue to be the world’s leader in promoting freedom for all people, especially religious freedom.

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.

 

Barton's Anti-Gay Discussion Gets Copeland Program Dropped In Australia

Speaking of David Barton and his anti-gay views, it looks like a few months ago he appeared on Kenneth Copeland's "Believers Voice of Victory" television program where the two had this exchange:

Barton: … those things that are in the moral Law I don’t have to pray about …. I don’t have to pray about homosexuality, He’s condemned that …

Copeland: … [Oral Roberts] he said God has never ever created anybody to be something He has already condemned … He didn’t create anybody a homosexual, because He condemned homosexuals …

Barton: … I gotta jump on this, because I want everybody to know this cause it doesn’t get publizised. This thing about that he didn’t create someone to be a homosexual, what about that homosexual gene … we now have a study out just in the last few months called Ex-Gays … it documents authoritatively 50,000 cases of people who were homosexuals who no longer were. Now on the secular side they’ve been saying there is nothing you can do about it you were born that way that’s your nature … well if that’s true you can’t have 50,000 ex-gays. I mean that’s like being an ex-black or an ex-white or an ex-whatever. So what’s it has done is science has figured out that God was right. This is not who you are, it’s what you do and you can control what you do. You may not control who you are, you can control what you do … science just got changed this year to match what the Bible’s been telling us all along. And that’s why you always stick with the Bible. Science will catch up with the Bible …

Copeland: … the reason God condemned homosexuality is because of the severe attack it has on the fabric of the blessing, life, all that God created. He created things, certain things to work certain ways to our advantage, and you break that fabric now it opens you up to all kinds of problems … so He’s not condemning people …

Barton: … in Romans 1:27-32 … not only does God not approve homosexuality, it says He does not approve those who approve homosexuality …

This exchange apparently violated standards in Australia and now Copeland's program has been dropped by the network that had been broadcasting it there:

Pentecostal powerhouse Kenneth Copeland has been a regular God-bothering feature of Network Ten’s overnight infomercial line-up for several years – but the network says it has had to pull the plug on his show Believer’s Voice of Victory after a viewer complained about the host’s homophobia.

...

An Australian viewer pointed out that the discussion, which was broadcast around three o’clock in the morning, was offensive and went against the TV Industry Code of Practice.

Ten agreed, as the Code of Practice points out that a broadcast show “should not provoke or perpetuate intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group of persons on the grounds of age, colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, disability, race, religion or sexual preference.”

Ten pulled the show, which apparently is still on-air in some Australian regional channels and on PayTV’s Australian Christian Channel.

Kenneth Copeland’s Ministries have labeled Ten’s decision “religious discrimination” and is urging faithful followers to lobby the TV network.

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discrimination Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/14/2011, 2:03pm
Mission America’s Linda Harvey continued her attack on the National Education Association and the group’s support for anti-discrimination policies during her July 9 radio show. Harvey argues that “whining” led to the NEA to endorse “safe work environments” and initiatives against bullying and harassment that she says will ultimately lead to the promulgation of “left-wing, pro-abortion and pro-homosexual viewpoints.” She goes on to warn that no contract will protect gay and lesbian school employees, telling them “you’re not safe!... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 07/14/2011, 12:46pm
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is working with yet another extreme organization ardently opposed to gay rights. The virulently anti-gay American Family Association is the host of Perry’s prayer rally, and another endorser of The Response is David Kubal of Intercessors for America, an organization which claims to helps Christians who recognize “the need for God to intervene in U.S. governmental and cultural issues” about current political and cultural issues. Among the issues Intercessors For America focuses on include the threat of microchips implanted into humans, the so-called... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/12/2011, 12:03pm
Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly wants Congress to hold up the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act until it is altered so that it doesn’t benefit women. Schlafly, a long-time critic of the landmark law who believes that married women cannot be raped by their husbands, contends that the Violence Against Women Act goes too far in protecting women from abusive spouses and that the law is merely a feminist plot to tear down men: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), now up for reauthorization, is in major need of revision. Its billion-dollar-a-year price tag spent by the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/11/2011, 12:28pm
Willie Wooten of is one of the latest official endorsers of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. Wooten, of the New Orleans-based Gideon International Christian Fellowship, is a self-proclaimed Apostle who claims to have “had a positive influence in the governmental arena and has been instrumental in preventing ungodly laws from being enacted within the state of Louisiana and also throughout our nation.” A critic of gay rights, Wooten has compared being gay to polygamy and incest and argued that “homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue; it... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/08/2011, 12:07pm
Mission America’s Linda Harvey is back with new anti-gay rants, hitting both the Republican National Committee and the National Education Association for allegedly supporting “the promotion of homosexuality.” The RNC came under fire from Religious Right activists when a member of the Log Cabin Republicans joined their finance committee, and Harvey is now calling on listeners to withhold donations to the RNC “until the sodomy lobby is shown the door”: Harvey: Here’s my suggestion: True conservatives who are sickened and rightfully concerned about the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 3:45pm
Yesterday, the California State Assembly followed the State Senate in passing a bill that would make sure textbooks recognize the contributions of prominent LGBT figures in California history. Randy Thomasson, the head of Save California, has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the legislation, even going so far as to liken homosexuality to drug and alcohol abuse, and is making one final plea to Governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill. If the bill is signed into law, Thomasson in a statement called on parents to “removed their children from the government school system” to... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/28/2011, 4:31pm
After warning that rights for gays and lesbians will destroy democracy, Chuck Colson now says that “the tyranny of tolerance” can drive America into a totalitarian state. Colson employs the worn out Religious Right argument that Christians face the most persecution and discrimination in America, arguing that tolerance in American society will be the end of freedom: Is it possible that America could lapse into totalitarianism? Well, it’s not impossible, and I’ll tell you why not. … The Western experiment in liberal democracy, best embodied in the United... MORE