Education

Vanderbilt Maintains Policy, But Religious Right Declares Victory

The other day, we noted that the Alliance Defense Fund had filed a complaint against Vanderbilt University, falsely claiming that the university was "requiring nursing residents to participate in abortion procedures" when, in fact, it was merely requiring residents to agree to "provide compassionate care" to women who had or would be undergoing such procedures, not to participate in the actual procedure.

University spokespeople made that distinction quite clear, but the ADF didn't care and kept asserting that university was forcing students to perform abortions ... so Vanderbilt issued a clarification [PDF] in an attempt to clear up the ADF's intentional misrepresentation:

There has been some publicity in the media and on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy. While Vanderbilt expects all health care providers, including nurses who participate in the Nurse Residency Program’s Women’s Health Track, to provide compassionate care to all patients, no health care provider is required to participate in a procedure terminating a pregnancy if such participation would be contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.

So the policy is the same as it has always been, but you wouldn't know that from reading right-wing coverage of the clarification ... mainly because ADF continues to lie about it:

Vanderbilt University abandons illegal policy that forced nursing residents to sign abortion pledge

Vanderbilt University Wednesday modified its nurse residency application so that it no longer requires applicants to pledge that they will participate in abortion procedures. The university made the announcement in an e-mail to applicants one day after the Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “We will be monitoring the situation to make sure the university continues to comply with the law. It’s ironic that Vanderbilt changed its policy one day after denying that it required the pledge.”

And, of course, the rest of the Right is blindly repeating ADF's spin, claiming Vanderbilt has dumpeddropped, backtracked, and backed down from the policy and "will no longer force its nursing students to assist with abortions."

Vanderbilt never did and nothing has changed, but the Religious Right is treating this entire charade as some sort of massive victory.

Vanderbilt Maintains Policy, But Religious Right Declares Victory

The other day, we noted that the Alliance Defense Fund had filed a complaint against Vanderbilt University, falsely claiming that the university was "requiring nursing residents to participate in abortion procedures" when, in fact, it was merely requiring residents to agree to "provide compassionate care" to women who had or would be undergoing such procedures, not to participate in the actual procedure.

University spokespeople made that distinction quite clear, but the ADF didn't care and kept asserting that university was forcing students to perform abortions ... so Vanderbilt issued a clarification [PDF] in an attempt to clear up the ADF's intentional misrepresentation:

There has been some publicity in the media and on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy. While Vanderbilt expects all health care providers, including nurses who participate in the Nurse Residency Program’s Women’s Health Track, to provide compassionate care to all patients, no health care provider is required to participate in a procedure terminating a pregnancy if such participation would be contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.

So the policy is the same as it has always been, but you wouldn't know that from reading right-wing coverage of the clarification ... mainly because ADF continues to lie about it:

Vanderbilt University abandons illegal policy that forced nursing residents to sign abortion pledge

Vanderbilt University Wednesday modified its nurse residency application so that it no longer requires applicants to pledge that they will participate in abortion procedures. The university made the announcement in an e-mail to applicants one day after the Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “We will be monitoring the situation to make sure the university continues to comply with the law. It’s ironic that Vanderbilt changed its policy one day after denying that it required the pledge.”

And, of course, the rest of the Right is blindly repeating ADF's spin, claiming Vanderbilt has dumpeddropped, backtracked, and backed down from the policy and "will no longer force its nursing students to assist with abortions."

Vanderbilt never did and nothing has changed, but the Religious Right is treating this entire charade as some sort of massive victory.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

WND: AZ Shooter Attended School "Founded by Bill Ayers and Funded by President Obama"

As the nation attempts to deal with the tragic events of this weekend in Arizona in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot and several people lost their lives, everyone is trying to figure out what drove Jared Lee Loughner to carry out such an attack.

While Loughner apparently had serious mental problems, you can always leave it up to WorldNetDaily to discover the true cause - Bill Ayers and President Obama

Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in Saturday's Arizona shooting, attended a high school that is part of a network in which teachers are trained and provided resources by a liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama, WND has learned.

The group, Small Schools Workshop, has been led by a former top communist activist who is an associate of Ayers.

Obama provided the group with funds in the 1990s when he worked at an education reform group alongside Ayers.

Matt Barber Instructs LU Students In His Anti-Gay Ways

There are few "mainstream" Religious Right activists operating today who are as militantly anti-gay as Matt Barber - in fact, he owes his entire current career to the fact that he got fired for being anti-gay.

And so now, in addition to using his position as Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel from which to launch his incessant anti-gay attacks, Barber is also an Associate Dean at the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty Law School.

And if you were thinking that this might just be some sort of administrative position, rest assured that it is not and that Barber is actually imparting his anti-gays views to LU students as an instructor, as he explained to Peter LaBarbera:

LaBarbera: So you're teaching a class there. What's the class about, real quickly ...

Barber: Yeah, I designed the curriculum and it's really an answer to the homosexual activist courses that we see at Harvard and Yale and Georgetown and other places. They call their class "Sexual Orientation and The Law"[and] they're basically just classes in which they indoctrinate kids; it's pure homosexual propaganda.

I teach a class, I designed the curriculum, and I taught it for the first time in the fall semester of this year title "Sexual Behavior and The Law" because that's what it really is is behavior. And I actually delve into the truth about how we have arrived where we are in the law today, we address public policy issues, legal issues and so forth from a Judeo-Christian perspective and looking at our true legal history and the true history of public policy in this country.

And indeed, the LU course catalog [PDF] reveals that that is indeed the case:

LAW 765 Sexual Behavior and the Law

A survey of the relationship between various types of human sexual behavior and law, including employment law, education law, criminal law, family law, civil rights legislation, and the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and freedom of religion, speech, and association. The course will explore sexual behavior and notions of sexual morality through a biblical, historical, and anthropological prism and consider how the law, public policy, and culture approaches the sexual choice people make.

Blast From the Past: Remembering The May Day Prayer Rally

Yesterday, Alvin McEwen discovered that Theresa Cao, the Birther arrested for screaming "Help Us Jesus" during the reading of the Constitution in House of Representative, had also participated in the "May Day 2010 - A Cry To God" rally that Janet Porter organized last year (the one that ended up costing her her radio program):

This reminded me that we lost a lot of videos when our YouTube account was shut down last year and that might be a good idea to start reposting some of them - so why not start with videos from this rally like this compilation from the hour spent seeking "Repentance for the Mountain of Arts & Entertainment" during which Ted Baehr repented for the movie "The Runaways" with its sex, and drugs, and rock and roll, while others repented for Los Angeles and its role as the home of the pornography industry and eventually, Janet Porter repented for all the time and money Christians have given to an industry that hates God and prayed that Christians will gain control over the industry and take dominion until Christ return, which was followed by a woman from Minnesota who repented for her state having elected the first Muslim to Congress ... and then eventually God showed up:

And while I am at it, why not repost Peter LaBarbera's prayer of repentance for allowing "homosexual activists ... to fulfill their wicked plan of turning America's schools, public and sometimes private, into homosexuality promotion zones":

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Salon: Mosque foes launch Bieber boycott.
  • McEwen: The 2010 Five Most Embarrassing Moments of the Anti-Gay Right Caught on Video.
  • Truth Wins Out: Peter LaBarbera Spreads Gordon Klingenschmitt’s Lie Further.
  • Think Progress: MS Rep Tried To Kill Historic Civil Rights Education Law Because It’s ‘Accusatory Of One Group.’
  • Alan Colmes: Mecklenburg, NC County Commissioner: “Homosexuals Are Sexual Predators.”

Happy New Year everybody! RWW will return Monday, January 3rd.

Minnesota Religious Right Activist Blames LGBT-Rights Advocates for Anti-Gay Bullying

As organizations such as Focus on the Family vigorously work to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect gay students, the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is leading the charge against anti-bullying programs in Minnesota schools. MFC head Tom Prichard previously condemned schools for permitting Gay Straight Alliances, which he says have “kids indoctrinated in homosexuality,” adding that “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle.” Barb Anderson of the MFC and the Parents Action League recently talked to rabidly anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality about why she thinks LGBT-rights groups like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are actually to blame for the bullying of gay students by promoting “homosexual propaganda” and targeting certain students for indoctrination.

Anderson singled out the Anoka-Hennepin School District for her group’s campaign. In July, a student committed suicide after he was relentlessly bullied for being gay, and his family and other advocates have asked the school district to strengthen their anti-bullying policies to protect LGBT students from pervasive bullying. Anderson accused safe-schools groups such as GLSEN of using the student’s suicide “as a Trojan horse” to instill “pro-gay training” in schools.

Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports:

[Anderson] said that it was LGBT groups that caused the bullying because more students were coming out of the closet.

“That is one of the tactics that they are using now, to say that by not legitimizing and normalizing homosexuality, we are creating an atmosphere in the schools that is hostile to quote-end-quote gay kids,” she said. “What they are doing is just the opposite themselves. They are creating an environment where these children that are sexually confused suddenly become affirmed as a homosexual or that they are born that way, and then these kids are locked into a lifestyle with their choices limited, and many times this can be disastrous to them as they get into the behavior which leads to disease and death in some cases.”

She added, “So, it’s really… They are the ones that are contributing to an atmosphere that can even increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle.”

Specifically, she said that it was the fault of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

“They are the driving force, really the clearing house for all of the homosexual propaganda that is coming into the schools,” she said. “GLSEN also promotes getting gay themed literature for children to read which in most cases is extremely obscene and pornographic. They are also behind getting the Gay-Straight Alliances into the elementary schools as well.”

She added, “This is a real dangerous organization. They are what I would call a child corruption organization basically.”

She said the group is targeting “creative” and “unique” students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s Fred Moore Middle School where a GSA was created this year.

“It’s interesting that they targeted an arts school to begin with because a lot of times your have homosexual teachers in that type of environment working with students,” she said. “So these are students that tend to be sometimes very creative and unique in their personalities so it seems to be an area where they try to get in and get the students involved in gay themed productions as well.”

Anderson said that her group, the Parents Action League, has been pressing the school district to do away with GSAs.

“Because of the Equal Access act they feel that they have to allow this in the schools and they they have not been able to put a stop to it, but there are parents getting organized and trying to plead the case that this really is harmful to students,” she said. “It is not providing them with healthy information. None of this is based on truth or scientific fact, especially if they are telling kids they are born this way.”



She added, “Really homosexual behavior is one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into and start practicing.”



“In the wake of that tragedy,” said Anderson, “we have had more of the pro-gay materials flooding into our school district, because they are using that as a Trojan horse, playing on the emotions of the people involved and, of course, this is just a horrendous tragedy for this family.”

Anderson continued, “But they are playing on the fact that we have got to get more of this in the schools so this doesn’t happen to other kids and so that’s where all this pro-gay training is coming in, and it’s making it harder for parents to stop it. It’s really coming in like a tsunami.”

She then praised the school board, “But we do have an outstanding policy. Our sexual orientation policy, which parents can look at on the Parents Action League website, that was written by our school board members and is in place and is the one piece that is keeping these types of pro-gay materials out of the school day.”

Buchanan Cites Racist Group in Education Column

Writing about education for Townhall, Human Events, and WorldNetDaily, Pat Buchanan refers to the group VDARE to show the disparity between white students and students of color. Buchanan uses statistics from VDARE to show that “U.S. reading scores [broken down] by race,” and then cites VDARE writer Robert Weissberg to explain how “cognitive ability” explains the race gap in U.S. education.

VDARE.com is a White Nationalist group that warns of “America’s Darkening Future” where white Americans are the minority and embraces the “Sailer Strategy,” in which the Republican Party doesn’t reach out to minority voters and instead becomes the party of white America. VDARE writer Weissberg calls affirmative action a “racial spoils system” and blames problems in the education system on the “insufficient IQ of much of the population,” particularly blacks and Hispanics.

According to the review in the conservative magazine The New Criterion, Weissberg’s “book will gain most notice because of its claim that certain sections of the American population, namely the blacks and the Hispanics, have lower IQs than whites and Asians; that this difference is genetically determined; and that, since the Hispanics are becoming a larger proportion of the population, the average IQ in America is bound to fall.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center labels VDARE as a “White Nationalist” organization and says that VDARE “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.” SPLC reports that VDARE decries “the demise of white America, blaming immigrants, multiculturalists, and members of the ‘Treason Lobby’ — essentially groups concerned with protecting immigrants’ human and civil rights — for undermining the racial cohesion of the nation. Reflecting this position, VDARE.com’s archives contain articles like ‘Freedom vs. Diversity,’ ‘Abolishing America,’ ‘Anarcho-Tyranny — Where Multiculturalism Leads’ and ‘Why Immigrants Kill.’”

Buchanan’s use of his column to echo the overtly racist theories of an overtly racist group doesn’t seem to have bothered Townhall, Human Events, or WND. Will it bother MSNBC, which also gives Buchanan a platform as a pundit?

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/28/10

Haley Barbour

Mississippi: Uses private jet for political and entertainment outings, state spent over $500,000 for his air travel (Politico, 12/27).

Race: Controversy over Barbour’s Citizens Council “whitewash” continues (Christian Science Monitor, 12/22).

John Bolton

Government: Says government should not cut defense spending to shrink the deficit (TPM, 12/27).

Social issues: Denounces non-binding treaty on the rights of indigenous people (Fox News, 12/25).

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Stands by his support for a “truce” on social issues (Politico, 12/27).

Education: Details private school voucher plan (Courier Journal, 12/24).

Mike Huckabee

GOP: Think Progress investigation ties Huckabee to “a firm notorious for defrauding families facing foreclosure with false promises and predatory fees” (Think Progress, 12/27).

Health Care: Huckabee and Palin’s own 2009 speech challenge Palin’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts (The Hill, 12/27).

Sarah Palin

Language: Claims “Refudiate” was a typo, but she used the term in an earlier interview on Fox News (NY Daily News, 12/27).

Environment: Says conservationists are hypocrites for using pencils and paper (HuffPo, 12/27).

Foreign policy: Former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino says Palin’s reality show and policy role give her an “authenticity” problem (The Right Scoop, 12/26).

2012: Peggy Noonan predicts that Palin won’t run for President but will have immense clout in the primary (GOP12, 12/26).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Upcoming book tour could serve as “a test of his appeal” to Republican voters nationwide (Gannett, 12/24).

Religious Right: Sidesteps judicial nomination process and appoints Religious Right activist and deputy chief of staff’s wife to district court (RWW, 12/23).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Leaders of Religious Right groups believe Pence can unite social conservatives with fiscal hawks (WSJ, 12/27).

GOP: Columnist believes Pence can successfully run for the nomination by “reuniting the Reagan Coalition” (Forbes, 12/23).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Struggles to balance his criticism of coverage mandate with his support for a mandate in Massachusetts (HuffPo, 12/27).

2012: Holiday card asks, “Guess which grandchild heard that Papa might run again?” (Politico, 12/22).

John Thune

Government: Flounders in attempt to oppose earmarks while requesting more than $100 million (AP, 12/28).

Minnesota: Headlining MN GOP’s Lincoln/Reagan Dinner (Star Tribune, 12/22).

Tea Party Leaders Preparing for Primary Fights to Bolster GOP's Ideological Purity

Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him toxic to many Tea Party members and other movement conservatives. The Family Research Council has pledged to back a primary challenger to any Senator who voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the National Republican Trust PAC promised to do the same to any Republican who supported START.

More surprisingly, movement conservatives in Virginia are hoping to block George Allen from running again for the seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006. Allen, a former Senator and Governor best known for using a racial slur against his opponent’s campaign worker, is already finding himself in trouble with Tea Party groups even though he hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet. The Washington Post reports that Allen’s voting record in the Senate may sink his chances among Virginia Tea Partiers:

For months, it appeared that former U.S. senator George Allen would have a clear path to the Republican nomination if he chose to try to reclaim his old job.

But in the summer, grumbling about his past began, culminating in a Web site outlining the reasons some fellow Republicans oppose him: He's too moderate. He's part of the establishment. He's partly to blame for the record spending and ballooning deficit in Washington.

By this month, no fewer than four Republicans billing themselves as more conservative than Allen were considering challenging him for the right to run against Sen. James Webb, if the Virginia Democrat seeks reelection.

"There are some concerns based on his record and his rhetoric," said Mark Kevin Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg Tea Party and vice chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, a statewide umbrella group. "People are looking at things in a new light," he said.

Allen, who received a 92.3% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, was hardly considered a moderate in the Senate. But apparently 92% isn’t enough:

But during his one term in the U.S. Senate, some Republicans complain, he backed President George W. Bush's proposals to increase spending; supported No Child Left Behind, a costly program to create a national education report card; favored a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries; and voted to expand the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include crimes based on sexual orientation.

Jamie Ratdke, who recently stepped down as chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation in order to explore a Senate bid, said she began to consider a run for the Senate after attending a Tea Party convention that featured Rick Santorum, Lou Dobbs, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli as speakers:

Radtke said that she had considered running for the state Senate next year but that she began thinking about the U.S. Senate instead after Virginia's first tea party convention, which drew an estimated 2,800 people to Richmond in October.

Radtke, who worked for Allen for a year when he was governor and she was right out of college, said it's time for a new candidate. She said that Allen was part of "George Bush's expansion of government" when he was senator and that she was concerned about some of his stances on abortion.

Allen has said that abortions should be legal in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered, and he owned stock in the manufacturer of the morning-after pill.

If George Allen is deemed not conservative enough for the Republican Party, then expect many more extremist candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to win contested GOP primaries. Allen hurt his chances by supporting healthcare and education initiatives that were backed by President Bush and the Republican leadership, and is also deemed too moderate because he voted to include sexual orientation under hate crimes protections and believes in exceptions under a ban on abortion.

While running for reelection in 2006, Allen received wide praise at FRC’s Values Voter Summit for his staunch conservative beliefs, but now he is under attack from the Right for being “too moderate” even though he hasn’t served in public office since he lost the 2006 race. As Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors and a likely primary opponent, says, Allen’s “base has moved on.”

Concerned Women For America’s Twisted Attack on Goodwin Liu and Obama’s “Poisoned Apples”

The Senate battle over the confirmation of judicial nominees reflected the epitome of Republican obstructionism, with nominees who won significant if not unanimous support from the Judiciary Committee failing to receive up-or-down votes on their confirmation. Of the 38 pending judicial nominees the Senate was only able to confirm 19 of them before adjourning for the year, exacerbating the country’s judicial vacancy crisis that is growing so badly that even GOP-appointed judges have called on Senate Republicans to end the blockade.

Mario Diaz, the Policy Director for Legal Issues at Concerned Women for America, believes though that Republicans should oppose Obama’s judicial nominees just like starving children should avoid eating “poisoned apples.” He resurrects the same tired arguments used to oppose the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan when he takes direct aim at Goodwin Liu, suggesting that he should not be appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court because he views the Constitution as a living document and “has no judicial experience and almost no legal experience.” Diaz writes:

The liberal cry for more judges has reached an all-time high. Their media cohorts have been banging the drums with the numbers game and the judicial emergency cry in perfect sync. They have become masters of smokescreens and shadows while ignoring the essence.

The nomination of judges is about substance.

If children are starving and you give them poisoned apples, have you really helped them? Hardly! Oh sure, you can say they have more than they had before, but they can’t eat it. It would kill them.

In the same way, assuming you can successfully argue that the country is “starving” for judges (others might argue that what we need are fewer lawsuits, not more judges), President Obama seems to think that by nominating extreme liberal political operatives like Goodwin Liu he is somehow meeting that need. But like the poisoned apples, such nominees would pervert justice, not promote it. And we must be willing to go to great lengths to oppose them.

Aside from the fact that Liu has no judicial experience and almost no legal experience, his view of the role of a judge and the Constitution cannot be more warped. He has made clear he sees the Constitution as a living, breathing document that changes with the times and that judges get to decide what those changes are.

In a 2008 Stanford Law Review article, he argued that judges should use “socially situated modes of reasoning that appeal ... to the culturally and historically contingent meanings of particular social goods in our own society” and that they should “determine, at the moment of decision, whether our collective values on a given issue have converged to a degree that they can be persuasively crystallized and credibly absorbed into legal doctrine.” He was apparently arguing for a new constitutional right to welfare.

Liu is such a political operative that he actually testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, attacking him viciously. He was also an outspoken opponent of Chief Justice Roberts’ nomination. They were, of course, too far to the right for him. Can you imagine, they actually said they will take the Constitution only for what it says?



And he is not alone. President Obama has been consistent in nominating radicals (see David Hamilton, Louis Butler, Edward Chen, and Robert Chatigny).

So the liberal elite and their media can keep playing their sad tune about judges. It doesn’t really matter how hungry you are if a person keeps giving you poisoned apples. In fact, can you even trust when they offer one that looks okay?

According to Diaz, Justices Roberts and Alito are model justices who “take the Constitution only for what it says.” Of course, Roberts and Alito have been exposed for their pro-corporate agenda, as Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker writes, “the rule in the current Supreme Court” is that if “there is a human being on one side of the ‘v.’ and a corporation on the other, the corporation wins.” A New York Times analysis found that the Roberts Court is far more sympathetic to corporations than even the conservative Rehnquist Court. As Arlen Specter recently claimed, “Chief Roberts promised to just ‘call balls and strikes,’ and then he moved the bases.”

Diaz’s misguided praise for Roberts and Alito is only matched in its absurdity to his opposing Liu, the Associate Dean of the Berkeley School of Law, on the grounds that he “has no judicial experience.” If Diaz believes that Republicans should block Liu’s confirmation to the Ninth Circuit because Liu is not a judge, then by the same logic he should have opposed confirming Roberts to the DC Circuit since he never served as a judge prior to his nomination.

He also badly misconstrues Goodwin Liu’s legal experience. Liu served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and a DC Circuit court judge, in addition to working as an appellate litigator. As Associate Dean of the Berkeley School of Law, Liu has received wide praise from both progressive and conservative legal scholars, and conservatives John Yoo and Ken Starr said “Goodwin is an outstanding nominee.” While Diaz believes that Liu’s criticism of Roberts and Alito disqualifies him from serving, The New York Times notes that “Liu’s warnings that the two men would be extremely conservative justices have turned out to be completely on target,” while Liu’s “views fall within the mainstream of legal scholarship and American politics.”

Diaz goes on to distort Liu’s legal writings, maintaining that he argued “for a new constitutional right to welfare.” The Alliance for Justice makes clear that Liu has ardently opposed an expansive role for the judicial branch:

[Liu] has argued for a model of judicial restraint, concluding that courts should not interpret the Constitution to create affirmative welfare rights, whether to education, health care, or minimal levels of subsistence. Liu has explained that “such rights cannot be reasoned into existence by courts on their own” and has explained that his understanding of the judicial role “does not license courts to declare rights to entirely new benefits or programs not yet in existence.”

Only a right wing hypocrite like Diaz could falsely represent Justices Roberts and Alito as archetypes of judicial restraint and claim that Obama’s urgently-needed judicial nominees as “radicals.” Diaz is forced to levy ridiculous and bogus arguments against Liu in order to backup his wildly inaccurate case opposing Obama’s nominees, however, Senate Republicans have largely followed his lead in their willingness “to go to great lengths to oppose them.”

Abstinence-Only Advocates Misfire on New Teen Pregnancy Data

A new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the birthrate among teenagers in 2009 has fallen to a historic new low. Even though the teen birthrate experienced a dramatic decline during the 1990s, it began increasing again in 2000. Experts mainly pointed to the economic recession and changes in the job market that have disproportionably impacted young people. Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy explained that teens may have been impacted by the recession hitting close to home: “Their parents might be struggling to make house payments. They might know neighbors who have lost jobs and can't find jobs.” In addition, lower immigration rates may have also contributed to the reduction.

But now organizations that back abstinence-only-until-marriage school programs, including the National Abstinence Education Association and the Family Research Council, are trying to twist the data to show that their opposition to comprehensive sexual education has paid off:

"These trends show that the risk-avoidance message of abstinence has 'sticking power' for young people," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association. "This latest evidence shows that teen behaviors increasingly mirror the skills they are taught in a successful abstinence education program."

Huber and others noted that the Obama administration has significantly reduced funding for abstinence-focused programs.

"With a change in policy away from abstinence education, we may expect to see a reversal of the teen pregnancy birthrate in the years to come," said Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council.

However, the CDC study does not credit abstinence-only programs, and doesn’t even mention “abstinence.”

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), while “abstinence-only-until-marriage [programs] have been around for well over 25 years” there “are still no published studies in peer-reviewed journals that shows that these programs are effective.” In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that “adolescents who received comprehensive sex education had a lower risk of pregnancy than adolescents who received abstinence-only or no sex education.” In addition, a study conducted by Mathematic Policy Research on behalf of Congress found that abstinence-only programs “show no significant impact on teen sexual activity” and “no differences in rates of unprotected sex.”

Since peer-reviewed examinations into the effectiveness of abstinence-only programs continue to show that abstinence-only curriculums have completely failed to meet their goals of reducing sexual activity and teen pregnancy, abstinence-only advocates now are trying to distort a study that doesn’t even mention abstinence to prove the efficacy of their programs.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/21/10

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: In Weekly Standard profile, Barbour lauds racist, pro-segregation Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn’t remember Jim Crow era as “that bad” (TPM, The Hill; 12/20).

Mississippi: Tries to shape his legacy as governor (Clarion Ledger, 12/19).

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee conference in February (ACU, 12/16).

Mike Huckabee

Fox News: As a guest, Rep. Anthony Weiner asks Huckabee, “How Much Do You Make Over There At Fox?” (Mediaite, 12/18).

Health Care: Backs 9/11 First Responders care bill blocked by GOP (HuffPo, 12/17).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Sarah Palin

Obama: Palin continues to knock Michelle Obama in her Reality TV show (LA Times, 12/20).

Poll: New ABC-WaPo poll shows that a majority of Americans would refuse to back Palin for President (The Fix, 12/17).

Foreign Policy: Pens National Review column against START Treaty (NRO, 12/17).

Tim Pawlenty

Labor: Claims about public sector workers receives “pants on fire” rating by PolitiFact (PolitiFact, 12/16).

Health Care: Compares health care reform law to “drug dealing” (Minnesota Independent, 12/15).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Mike Pence

2012: Will decide in January whether to run for President or Governor of Indiana (Politico, 12/20).

Religious Right: Uses unemployment as a reason to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood; signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/20; 12/15).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Romney “trying to have it both ways” on health insurance mandate (Boston Globe, 12/19).

GOP: Conservatives debate whether Romney has firm ideas or just panders to base (The Atlantic, 12/17).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Meets with far-right American Principles Project, touts his socially conservative views (Caffeinated Thoughts, 12/18).

Taxes: Opposes tax compromise, says Republicans didn’t “keep their pledge” (CNN, 12/16).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

John Thune

Congress: Accuses Democrats of “flouting” midterm election by passing major bills during lame duck session (AP, 12/20).

New Hampshire: Says he is considering presidential run during interview on NH radio station (WMUR, 12/17).

Taxes: Criticizes Republican opponents of the tax compromise as “politically expedient” (HuffPo, 12/15).

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Family Research Council:

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

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

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

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

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

Peter LaBarbera:

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

...

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

...

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

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

Freedom Federation:

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

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

MassResistance:

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

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

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

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

 Gordon Klingenschmitt:

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

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

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

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

Alliance Defense Fund:

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

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

E.W. Jackson:

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

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

Traditional Values Coalition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

Richard Land:

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

...

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

Concerned Women for America:

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

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

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

NH High School Student Traumatized By Book On Income Inequality

Focus on the Family reports on an outrage in New Hampshire after a high school student was assigned to read a book that insulted Jesus:

Focus: The parents of a New Hampshire high school student are speaking out after learning that an assigned book included derogatory statements about Jesus. The author called him "a wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist." Roger Greer has more

Greer: Dennis and Aimee Taylor objected to the book, which is part of their son's personal finance class. Conrnerstone Action's Ann Marie Banfield.

Banfield: This has nothing to do with personal finance.

Greer: She says the parents are going through the proper course of action.

Banfield: They should have some sort of say over what reading material goes into that school and what a child is required to read.

Greer: Banfield says this is the result of outcome-based education.

Banfield: It focuses on changing values, attitudes and beliefs in the students.

Greer: She says this book very likely would already have been removed if it insulted any other group.

The book in question is "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich which examined the impact of welfare reform on the working poor.

And reading it was apparently so traumatic that the Taylors' son now has to be homeschooled:

Some New Hampshire parents are upset after finding out a schoolbook refers to Jesus as a "Wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist."

The book in question is Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, written by Barbara Ehrenreich. The account of working minimum-wage jobs was assigned to students at Bedford High School's personal finance class.

Ehrenreich makes this reference to Jesus Christ after attending a tent revival meeting:

"But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse. The living man, the wine guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist is never once mentioned."

Aimee and Dennis Taylor’s son was so upset at the passage in the book about Jesus that the 16-year-old wanted to be taken out of the school. His parents tried to convince him to stay, but he is now being home schooled.

"He told us the language in the book was horrible," Aimee argued in front of the School Board. "If there was a movie about this book and they stayed faithful to the book and used the same quotes, he would be too young to see the movie," her husband added.

Taylor believes the book is Anti-Christian, delivers a drug promoting message and uses obscene language.

The relevant passage reads:

It would be nice if someone would read this sad-eyed crowd the Sermon on the Mount, accompanied by a rousing commentary on income inequality and the need for a hike in the minimum wage. But Jesus makes his appearance here only as a corpse; the living man, the wine guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist, is never once mentioned, nor anything he ever had to say. Christ crucified rules, and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth.

Right Wing Groups Play Games with the Courts, Try to Block Judicial Nominees

As GOP delay-tactics in the US Senate continue to cause and aggravate judicial emergencies in the nation’s courtrooms, right wing activists demand that Senate Republicans persist in preventing members from voting to confirm Obama’s judicial nominees, even those who won significant bipartisan support. Even former Republican judges have condemned Republican games in the Senate as the number of judicial vacancies and emergencies rapidly grow.

But right wing activists are calling on the Senate GOP to stand firm and further weaken the judicial system. In the effort to paint President Obama as the second coming of who else but Jimmy Carter, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly blasted Obama’s purportedly “radical” nominees:

One of the greatest risks of the current lame-duck Congress is the possibility of Senate confirmation of President Obama's radical appointments to federal courts, boards and agencies.

Nominees hoping for confirmation include the radical redistributionist Goodwin Liu, who is seeking a spot on the Ninth Circuit; Louis Butler Jr., who was removed from the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the voters in 2008, and Chai Feldblum, an advocate of same-sex marriage and polygamy who is now enjoying a recess appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Appointees to federal circuit and district courts can be almost as important as Supreme Court justices because the Supreme Court takes only about 1% of the cases that seek to reach the high court. Lower federal court judges have been making final rulings on dozens of controversial issues that should be legislative decisions, including marriage, parents' rights in public schools and immigration.

Some have lamented that Jimmy Carter, who served only one term as president, didn't get a chance to make any Supreme Court appointments. But don't cry for Carter — he had plenty of influence on the judiciary.



The historic election of 2010 delivered a clear "shellacking" to President Obama's policies, one of which was his choice of federal judges, including the extremely left-wing Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court. The Senate should refuse to confirm any of Obama's judicial or agency nominees in the lame-duck session.

Of course, Goodwin Liu is seen as one of the country’s top legal and constitutional scholars; Louis Butler did lose his 2008 race, but only after a vicious smear-campaign by corporate interest groups, and Chai Feldblum is a prominent law professor and disability-rights activist.

Rick Manning of the pro-corporate Astroturf group Americans for Limited Government is also calling on the Senate to reject Liu, by propagating the false charge that Liu believes health care is a constitutional right.

His views that health and welfare issues are constitutional rights are outside-the-mainstream, pitting those who believe in limited government power against those who would give unfettered power to the federal government.

Liu’s extremism is particularly disturbing because the court system is likely to be confronted by a variety of cases related to health care. Liu’s belief that health care is a right would put him firmly in the position of supporting an even broader expansion of the ObamaCare legislation to eliminate the private provision of health care services.

But as the Alliance for Justice points out, Liu in his legal writings made almost the opposite case about welfare rights such as health care:

[Liu] has argued for a model of judicial restraint, concluding that courts should not interpret the Constitution to create affirmative welfare rights, whether to education, health care, or minimal levels of subsistence. Liu has explained that “such rights cannot be reasoned into existence by courts on their own” and has explained that his understanding of the judicial role “does not license courts to declare rights to entirely new benefits or programs not yet in existence.”

Richard Painter, a former lawyer for the Bush White House, made clear in the Los Angeles times what activists like Phyllis Schlafly and Rick Manning are really up to. He argued that right wing groups are playing political games with the judiciary in their opposition to a renowned scholar like Liu:

A noisy argument has persisted for weeks in the Senate, on blog sites and in newspaper columns over President Obama's nomination of Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This political spat over a single appellate judge makes no sense if one looks at Liu's academic writings and speeches, which reflect a moderate outlook. Indeed, much of this may have nothing to do with Liu but rather with politicians and interest groups jostling for position in the impending battle over the president's next nominee to the Supreme Court.

Hispanics Support Republicans Says Republican Opposed By Hispanics

Rep. Lamar Smith says that the GOP should go ahead and press it's anti-immigration agenda because Hispanics support the Republican agenda and don't really care about the issue of immigration:

"The idea that we need to listen to our liberal Democratic friends who say you have to be for amnesty if you want to get Hispanic votes, we've disproved that this year -- and I hope we've laid that to rest," he adds.

With the understanding that "Hispanics have the same values that almost every other American has," he thinks the GOP can attract Hispanic voters by treating everybody as Americans.

"They care about education for their children, they care about jobs for their family members [and] they care about good healthcare, of course," Smith reports. "According to the various polls they've been taking of Hispanic voters, immigration is number five. I think it's in the single digits, it's so far down the list of their priorities."

The Texas representative goes on to point out that the Republican Party ran more new Hispanic candidates this year than Democrats, many of whom are identified "as having a pro-enforcement or anti-amnesty stance."

He finds it interesting that "Republican Hispanics are not going with the stereotype that they have to be for amnesty, but actually that they want to enforce immigration laws." He thinks that should also send a powerful message that "you can be respectful, you can be for law and order, you can be for the rule of law, and you can be for secure borders and opposed to amnesty and be elected, either as Hispanics or Anglos."

Of course, this argument might be more convincing if Somos Republicans, "the largest and fastest growing Hispanic Republican Organization in the Southwest," hadn't recently written a letter to Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor begging them not to let Smith and Rep. Steve King become assume key leadership positions because of their radical anti-immigrant views and rhetoric:

As we are already looking toward the 2012 Presidential Elections, we respectfully ask you to take heed to our request out of concern for our nation. Congressmen Smith and King have repeatedly engaged in rhetoric that is aimed negatively toward Hispanics. Steve King has used defamatory language that is extremely offensive to Hispanics, which is found in numerous congressional records. We believe Steve King’s behavior is not appropriate for a high-level elected Republican who might be in charge of a committee that handles immigration rules. Steve King and Lamar Smith have adopted extreme positions on birthright citizenship, and promise legislation that would undermine the 14th amendment of the constitution, which both swore an oath to uphold.

While it is indeed the duty of the Judiciary and Immigration committees to oversee and enforce existing immigration laws, Representatives Smith and King have engaged in an ill-advised platform and rhetoric that has been perceived as insensitive with their inflammatory “immigration statements,” and this has caused an exodus of Hispanic voters to the Democratic party. We ask that you review Mr. King’s and Mr. Smith’s congressional statements desiring to “pass a bill out of the House to end the Constitution’s birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants,” or what Steve King has made reference to “anchor babies.” We find both this rhetoric and this un-constitutional conduct reprehensible, insulting and a poor reflection upon Republicans because we don’t want our Party to be viewed as the Party of changing the United States Constitution.

...

It is our sincere belief that if representatives Smith and King were to become the Chairs of the House Judiciary and Subcommittee on Immigration, and if they indeed continue such insensitive rhetoric towards Hispanics, the conditions for a Republican presidential candidate to garner the necessary Electoral College Delegates to win the 2012 presidency will not be possible.

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Education Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 04/27/2012, 11:50am
Yesterday on the American Family Association’s radio show Today’s Issues, Mission America president Linda Harvey told listeners that public schools promote “pagan ideas” and “occult spirituality” to children. Harvey, who last month in an interview with Truth in Action Ministries said that the Harry Potter series was leading children into the occult, now blames schools’ “multiculturalism and diversity” curriculum, particularly lessons that include making dreamcatchers, for pushing children into “occult spirituality.” Watch:... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/05/2012, 1:05pm
Televangelist James Robison this week appeared on Daystar’s Celebration to promote his new book, ‘Indivisible,’ which he authored with Jay Richards, a leading figure in the anti-evolution Intelligent Design movement. Robison made the case against legalizing same-sex marriage to host Marcus Lamb — who in December, 2010, admitted to having an extramarital affair and was accused of using the network’s money to pay for his trysts — by arguing that same-sex relationships are “defiling the truth” and warning that “when you defile the truth you... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/05/2012, 12:10pm
Based on the derogatory myth that gays and lesbians use schools to “recruit” children into becoming gay, cries of “homosexual indoctrination” have become a favorite tactic of the Religious Right to stoke fears among gay rights opponents and boost fundraising. For example, Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, the daughter of the late D. James Kennedy, yesterday in a fundraising email for Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, warned members that the “radical homosexual agenda” will make the “celebration of homosexuality” become “... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/02/2012, 3:15pm
Today Phyllis Schlafly hosted Guy Rodgers of ACT! for America on Eagle Forum Live where Rodgers discussed his anti-Muslim group’s new report arguing that children have been “indoctrinated in Islam” by textbooks. Rodgers called on parents to follow the example of famed right-wing activists Mel and Norma Gabler to pressure schools into rejecting textbooks the group claims have a “pro-Islam” bias. “We need another Norma Gabler,” Schlafly said. Of course, the Gablers were notorious textbook censors who attacked the inclusion of evolution and anything... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/16/2012, 10:51am
Back in 2009 and 2010, when David Barton was tapped as an "expert" to help the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the state's social studies standards, he claimed that he was not promoting any sort of agenda, but was simply dedicated to reintroducing into the curriculum ignored parts "of history that certainly should be presented." Around the time this was all taking place, Barton appeared on some Rhode Island public access program where he said that his work on rewriting the Texas curriculum gave him tremendous optimism about the future of America because the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/08/2012, 12:30pm
Mission America president Linda Harvey today addressed a potential constitutional amendment in her native state of Ohio that would legalize same-sex marriage and overturn a 2004 constitutional ban, warning that if it passes it would represent a “rebellion against nature, against civil order and against the beautiful design of God” and that it is a “pro-life issue” because it would turn children into “a problem.” Harvey also argued that marriage equality will lead to “pro-homosexual” education in schools, which she says makes children feel... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/05/2012, 3:30pm
Earlier today we reported that Rick Santorum’s campaign is promoting endorsements from anti-gay radicals like Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck of Oklahoma and Ohio, respectively, and now the former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign is trumpeting the endorsement of Tennessee state legislator Joey Hensley, the chief House sponsor of the state’s “don’t say gay” bill. “We don’t want students to be exposed to alternate lifestyles,” Hensley said in defense of the legislation, which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in K-8th grades classes.... MORE