Star Parker Sues The White House

Remember that White House effort last month that asked people to send in misinformation about healthcare reform so that the administration would set the record straight that right-wing groups jumped all over as proof that the Obama administration was creating an enemies list in order "to intimidate and if possible silence their opponents"?

Well, the White House eventually shut it down, but that doesn't mean that the story is over:

The Office of the President and other White House officials are defendants in a free speech lawsuit filed by a prominent physician group, and a non-profit advocate for inner-city poor.

The White House has “unlawfully collected information on political speech,” thereby illegally using the power of the White House to chill opposition to its plans for health care reform, according to the complaint filed in District Court for the District of Columbia, by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) .

The lawsuit was prompted by the White House solicitation for the public to report any “fishy” comments to ‘’ Although the White House slightly revised its data collection procedure last week, the email address still exists, the illegal activity continues, and is part of an “unlawful pattern and practice to collect and maintain information” on the exercise of free speech, which “continues in violation of the Privacy Act and First Amendment even if the Defendants terminate a particular information-collection component due to negative publicity.”

The AAPS is a conservative group that seems to have a history of filing healthcare-related lawsuits, but I am especially confused as to why CURE has gotten involved, given its mission statement:


Address issues of race and poverty through principles of faith, freedom and personal responsibility.


Build awareness that conservative agenda of traditional values, limited government, and private ownership is of greatest marginal benefit to low income peoples.


We explore and promote market based public policy to fight poverty.

So how does suing the White House over this effort advance CURE's goal of fighting poverty and helping "low income peoples"?  It doesn't, but Star Parker, CURE's founder and president, thinks that she is particularly well-suited to fight back against this sort of "intimidation":

Star Parker, the CURE president, also chimed in on the lawsuit and the actions that preceded it.

"As a black conservative spokesperson and columnist, intimidation tactics aren't new to me,” she said. “But it is of great concern to see the current Administration build an enemies list of those who disagree with them on this important issue.”

A Sign of Changing Times?

When I saw an article covering a forum hosted by the Alabama Christian Coalition with candidates running for governor, I have to admit that I did not expect this:

Five Republicans and one Democrat running for governor showed up tonight at Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery for a forum sponsored by the Alabama Christian Coalition.

But this was not your typical Christian Coalition forum, at least not compared to what has typically been the focus of political get-togethers sponsored by the group before it underwent a split several years ago and then came back under new leadership, leadership that many Republicans in the state now believe is nowhere near as conservative as the group once was.

Evidence of that was everywhere Monday. For starters, the panel asking questions featured some moderate Democrats along with some Republicans.

The real indication that maybe the focus of the group is not what it once was came when the questions were asked of the candidates. In a two-hour event, not one question was asked about their views on same-sex marriage, abortion, school prayer or even their views on taxes.

Some candidates, such as Republican Bill Johnson, had to seemingly go out of their way to say they were for traditional marriage and against abortion.

Other candidates, such as Republican Bradley Byrne and Democrat Artur Davis, occasionally referred to the Bible when making points. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was the darling of the group as it existed in 2006 when he ran for the GOP nomination for governor, received at best polite applause but not the kind of thunderous ovations he saw three years ago.

Instead of plenty of questions about abortion, prayer and sin, Monday night's forum was filled with questions about health care, the economy, education and yes, some moral issues. But those took the form of what to do about crowded prisons, the candidates pledging not to play the race card -- Davis is black -- and whether gambling should be made legal and taxed.

The Christian Coalition of Alabama has undergone some confusing changes in recent years.  Back in 2006, then-president John Giles announced that they were breaking from the national Christian Coalition and reforming under the name Christian Action Alabama.  The Christian Coalition of Alabama subsequently tapped Randy Brinson as president and the two organizations then got into a legal battle over assets.

Brinson, who was a key backer of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, and his organization also made news last year when they attacked Freedom's Watch over ads it ran in the state because Sheldon Adelson, the man behind the organization, had made his fortune in the gambling industry and the even blasted the National Republican Congressional Committee for ads it ran attacking Democratic Congressional Candidate Parker Griffith, claiming the NRCC ad intentionally misrepresented some of Griffith's statements "to cast aspersions on his character, patriotism and even Christian commitment."

Interestingly, Giles left his new organization shortly after it broke with the Christian Coalition and now the organization appears defunct.  Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition of Alabama has been branching out and taking stances one would never have expected from this sort of group:

The Christian Coalition of Alabama teamed up with a Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday to call for better health care for the state's uninsured.

The event may defy con ventional wisdom about Christian Coalition priorities and partnerships, but it is only the latest example of what the group's leader says is an effort to expand its focus.

"Yes, we're ardently pro-life. Yes, we're ardently for marriage," said Dr. Randy Brinson, chairman of the state Christian Coalition. "But beyond just that, there's other moral failings that are having (an) impact. ... Not enough emphasis is put on that."

One such problem is the number of people who lack medical care because they are uninsured or underinsured, said Brinson, a Montgomery physician and lifelong Republican, during a news conference with state Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham.

Brinson and Coleman said the rising cost of gas and food exacerbate the plight of the uninsured, forcing them to choose between transportation, sustenance and basic medical care.

FRC: Fight Healthcare Reform ... In Church ... Just Like the Founding Fathers Did

The Family Research Council wants its members to organize town hall meetings opposing health care reform in their local churches ... just like the Founding Fathers did [PDF]:

In 1787, when the Constitutional Convention decided not to reform the weak Articles of Confederation but rather assemble a new constitution, they faced a tremendous challenge in gaining the support of the citizens of this young nation. The process lasted for months and included numerous public "townhall" type meetings. Many of these meetings were held in churches, moderated by prominent pastors.

No one thought the church an odd setting for discussing the fundamental issues of government. The church had been, from days of the earliest settlements in the New World, the focal point of education, debate and action about the most pressing moral and political matters of the day.

Today must be no different. The leaders God has raised up for His people have to be ready to proclaim “the whole counsel of God” concerning the Bible’s clear instructions about the sacredness of human life, from conception (“You knit me in my mother’s womb” – Ps. 139:13) to natural death (“precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” – Ps. 116:15).

This is more urgent than perhaps ever before, because under the proposed health insurance scheme being advanced by President Obama and his allies in Congress, Americans would be compelled to:

  • Pay for abortion on demand by financing insurance companies that pay for abortion services.

  • Fund the leading provider of abortion in the nation, Planned Parenthood.

  • Foot the bill for government panels that would foster the notion that self-termination (i.e., suicide) is a sound moral and financial option for the elderly.

  • Pay for abortifacient contraceptives. 


We are calling on pastors and Christian leaders nationwide to hold forums in your churches where these matters can be discussed and exposed. And it’s to that end that we are sending you the material in this package - so that you can create your own townhall meeting, just as our founding pastors did more than two centuries ago, to inform and activate the people in your pews and communities.

Here is a sample "Town Hall Meeting Agenda" that FRC provides [PDF]:

7:00 PM Welcome from meeting moderator - Church Pastor

7:02 PM Opening Prayer - Local Pastor

7:04 PM Pledge - Local Veteran

7:05 PM Overview of meeting - Church Pastor

7:10 PM Health care presentation - Congressman/Senator

7:25 PM Physician’s perspective - Local physician

7:30 PM Family Policy Council Representative or Other pro-family organization

7:35 PM A Biblical perspective - Church Pastor

7:45 PM Public Q&A of Program participants

8:25 PM Action Steps - Moderator

8:30 PM Closing Prayer - Local Pastor


Huckabee's Busy September

I willingly admit that I have no idea what an Electro-Magnetic Pulse is or how big of a threat it poses to the United States. But it apparently is a big enough threat to warrant the existence of a group called EMPACT America Inc that has people like Rep. Trent Franks and former Congressman Curt Weldon on its Board of Advisors, which ought to at least give you some sense of what they are all about:

EMPACT America works with local citizenry, civic-minded companies, and grassroots activists to help prepare communities in New York and across America to prepare for an EMP attack. Working with local city governments and first responders, EMPACT America provides for coordination, education, and consulting services, helping to create a growing grassroots movement focused on EMP preparedness and recovery.

Next month, EMPACT America is hosting a conference entitled "Protecting America Against Permanent Continental Shutdown From Electromagnetic Pulse" at which both Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich will be speaking [PDF]:

Mike Huckabee will be joining our conference as a keynote speaker on Thursday, September 10 ... EMPACT America is conducting a national conference bringing in the most knowledgeable minds in the world about EMP. Scheduled speakers include U.S. Congressional leaders, Department of Defense experts, and many other experts on EMP. In addition, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will deliver an exclusive video address on EMP prepared specifically for this conference.

It looks like Huckabee's schedule for September is rapidly filling up with speaking engagements at right-wing conferences - first its this EMPACT, then he's off to the Values Voter Summit, before winding up at the How To Take Back America Conference.

Texas Curriculum: Thurgood Marshall Out, Newt Gingrich In?

Back in April, the Texas Freedom Network reported that the Texas State Board of Education had named both David Barton of WallBuilders and the Rev. Peter Marshall, who suggests that California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina were divine punishments for tolerance of homosexuality, to its social studies curriculum “experts” panel.

When Barton and Marshall released their recommendations for changing the curriculum, they suggested, among other things, dropping mentions of both César Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

"Review committees" are now putting together a draft of a new curriculum based on recommendations from the "expert" panel and it looks they are set to fill their history books with figures like Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, and Phyllis Schlafly:

Texas high school students would learn about such significant individuals and milestones of conservative politics as Newt Gingrich and the rise of the Moral Majority under the first draft of new standards for public school history textbooks, but nothing about people or groups considered more liberal.


The first draft for proposed standards in "United States History Studies Since Reconstruction" says students should be expected "to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority."


Conservatives form the largest bloc on the 15-member State Board of Education, whose partisan makeup is 10 Republicans and five Democrats.

David Bradley, R-Beaumont, one of the conservative leaders, figures that the current draft will pass a preliminary vote along party lines "once the napalm and smoke clear the room."

But not all conservative board members share that view.

"It is hard to believe that a majority of the writing team would approve of such wording," said Terri Leo, R-Spring. "It’s not even a representative selection of the conservative movement, and it is inappropriate."

Another board conservative, Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, said he thinks that students should study both sides to "see what the differences are and be able to define those differences."

He would add James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to the list of conservatives. Others have proposed adding talk show host Rush Limbaugh and the National Rifle Association.

Mercer says he would also mention groups like the National Education Association,, Planned Parenthood and the Texas Freedom Network so that students will be "able to identify what’s conservative ... [a]nd what is liberal in contrast."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center has released a new report: "They're back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country."
  • Be sure to take a look at some of the other crazy things that Orly Taitz believes.
  • Sen. Johnny Isakson has now boldly recanted his statement that people who think healthcare reform will lead to death panels are "nuts."
  • Rep. Paul Broun declares that Democrats are just waiting to use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann's son has fallen victim to one of President Obama's "re-education camps."
  • What is the deal with conservative politicians in Oklahoma?
  • Finally, I was not aware that gay sex spread swine flu while straight sex did not, but apparently that is the case in Malaysia.

The Phyllis Schlafly School of Politics

USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman takes a look at Sarah Palin's "death panel" nonsense to make an astute point:

What interests me here is the tactical gimmick of arguing-by-extremes. Palin reflects the teachings of the master -- Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and a conservative-right tactician extraordinaire.

Grossman is absolutely right about Schlafly's practice of making every political argument a fight between traditional conservative values and some insane nightmare scenario that she just dreamed up and it reinforces a point I made about her not very long ago.

To prove her case, Grossman dusted off and reposted a profile she wrote about Schlafly back in 1987 which, though dated, excellently explains Schlafly's tactics and offers a good insight into the standard right-wing practice of sowing confusion about already complex topics by spreading falsehoods designed solely to generate opposition by scaring the bejesus out of people:

U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has called for a public education campaign throughout society -- including the public schools at the earliest grades -- to prevent the spread of AIDS. In a 36-page report, Koop recommends information and behavioral change because there are not yet any medical or legal measures that will halt AIDS.

Schlafly scorns this. She claims Koop is advocating "safe sodomy" for elementary schoolers and she's circulating that message among conservatives.

"There's a lot of accurate information in his report, but when you get down to the bottom line, he does not call for any public health measures to protect the uninfected from the infected. He seems to lay the burden on the public schools to teach children how to engage in sex with condoms," she says in a recent interview at the Washington office of Eagle Forum, the umbrella group for her various activities.

"This must be what he means when he says he wants to teach them the risk behavior by which you get AIDS. Sodomy is a risk behavior by which you get AIDS. And we just simply don't think that grade school children need to be taught what homosexuals do."

In Schlafly's terms, "Teaching children to use condoms is about like teaching children who take drugs to use needles."

She can't actually point out a passage in Koop's report, however, that says anything exciting or explicit. She finally says the condoms-and-kids association is one she has made based on Koop's support for school-based health clinics which, among numerous other medical services, might offer family planning information.

Schlafly takes associations very seriously. In an anti-Koop letter she circulates, she and Paul Weyrich, another conservative spokesman, make a particular point of noting that the U.S. surgeon general once traveled to California at the invitation of "liberal Democratic officials who have strong connections to the homosexual community."

That all citizens might feel free to invite the surgeon general to speak on national issues is clearly not what Schlafly means. She means to warn: This man is tainted by his associations.


Convictions give a body energy. At 63, the only gray in her life is in her hair. Schlafly adores absolutes. It's an efficient way to reason in debates.

A serious debate requires an opponent of equal intellectual weight and moral force. Schlafly says she can't think of any honorable spokesman for the opposition -- someone of knowledge and integrity with whom she can respectfully disagree -- on any issue.

People who think differently than she does are either lying, laughing or not truly confronting the issues, she says.

In the ERA heyday of the late 1970s, "I got to where I preferred the debates because there wasn't any argument on the other side."

She vilified those who disagreed with her as emotional, anti-family slobs, if not pro-lesbian radicals. Her biographer recounts how Schlafly described the 90,000 pro-ERA marchers who converged for a 1978 demonstration in Washington as "a combination of federal employees and radicals and lesbians."

In 40 years of devotion to American social politics, her ideas have changed no more than her techniques. Be it an admirable steadfastness or a commitment to ignorance, she seems impervious to experience and new information. A lifetime of activism, marriage and motherhood all confirm what she expected in life as if she had been born to her philosophy.

The article goes on to chronicle how Schlafly led a fight against the effort by Congress to require companies to provide up to 18 weeks of parental leave after a couple has a baby, claiming it would be a "windfall for yuppies" who would exploit it to take vacation and how she persuaded several members of a pro-life committee planning a dinner honoring C. Everett Koop to withdraw their sponsorship because Koop had said in a television interview that pregnant women with AIDS "could" have an abortion.

It also covers her claims that "many [of Koop's] statements about AIDS are a cover-up for the homosexual community" which was coupled with her demand for AIDS testing of those holding public service or health care jobs and the banning of teachers with the virus.

The article is a case study in not only how Schlafly operates, but how the entire right-wing movement operates from that very same playbook ... even today. 

The Logical Result of Abstinence Education: Marry Younger!

About a week or so ago, I saw an article in Christianity Today called "The Case for Early Marriage" that argued, among other thing, that abstinence was the only acceptable option for young people, it was creating a dilemma when coupled with the fact that young people are simultaneously waiting longer before they get married.

Written by Mark Regnerus, author of "Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenager," the article's solution is for young people to just get married at an earlier age:

[O]ver 90 percent of American adults experience sexual intercourse before marrying. The percentage of evangelicals who do so is not much lower. In a nationally representative study of young adults, just under 80 percent of unmarried, church- going, conservative Protestants who are currently dating someone are having sex of some sort. I'm certainly not suggesting that they cannot abstain. I'm suggesting that in the domain of sex, most of them don't and won't.

What to do? Intensify the abstinence message even more? No. It won't work. The message must change, because our preoccupation with sex has unwittingly turned our attention away from the damage that Americans—including evangelicals—are doing to the institution of marriage by discouraging it and delaying it.

Without getting into the various arguments Regnerus makes in favor of his position, I just wanted to highlight this one section in which he claims that younger marriage is good for everyone, as it prevents young women from turning into a barren spinsters and makes young men "grow-up" faster:

The ratio of devoutly Christian young women to men is far from even. Among evangelical churchgoers, there are about three single women for every two single men. This is the elephant in the corner of almost every congregation—a shortage of young Christian men.

Try counting singles in your congregation next Sunday. Evangelicals make much of avoiding being unequally yoked, but the fact that there are far more spiritually mature young women out there than men makes this bit of advice difficult to follow. No congregational program or men's retreat in the Rocky Mountains will solve this. If she decides to marry, one in three women has no choice but to marry down in terms of Christian maturity. Many of the hopeful ones wait, watching their late 20s and early 30s arrive with no husband. When the persistent longing turns to deep disappointment, some decide that they didn't really want to marry after all.

Given this unfavorable ratio, and the plain fact that men are, on average, ready for sex earlier in relationships than women are, many young Christian women are being left with a dilemma: either commence a sexual relationship with a decent, marriage-minded man before she would prefer to—almost certainly before marriage—or risk the real possibility that, in holding out for a godly, chaste, uncommon man, she will wait a lot longer than she would like. Plenty will wait so long as to put their fertility in jeopardy. By that time, the pool of available men is hardly the cream of the crop—and rarely chaste. I know, I know: God has someone in mind for them, and it's just a matter of time before they meet. God does work miracles. But the fact remains that there just aren't as many serious Christian young men as there are women, and the men know it.

Men get the idea that they can indeed find the ideal woman if they are patient enough. Life expectancies nearing 80 years prompt many to dabble with relationships in their 20s rather than commit to a life of "the same thing" for such a long time. Men have few compelling reasons to mature quickly. Marriage seems an unnecessary risk to many of them, even Christians. Sex seldom requires such a steep commitment.

As a result, many men postpone growing up. Even their workplace performance is suffering: earnings for 25- to 34-year-old men have fallen by 20 percent since 1971, even after accounting for inflation. No wonder young women marry men who are on average at least two years older than they. Unfortunately, a key developmental institution for men—marriage—is the very thing being postponed, thus perpetuating their adolescence.

Apparently, the logic at work here is that young Christian men want to have sex and chaste Christian women don't, forcing the men into sexual relationships with not-chaste Christian women, thus postponing the development of their emotional maturity and ultimately narrowing the pool of eligible and acceptable marriage partners for women, leaving them to become childless, husband-less ascetics.

Thus, the obvious solution is just for people to get married at a younger age.

And that idea seems to be gaining traction among the Religious Right, judging by this recent Associated Press article:

Among evangelicals, there's a tendency to wait because many believe God "is going to deliver me a spouse right to my door," so they don't actively seek one, said Glenn Stanton, director of family formation studies for the evangelical ministry Focus on the Family, a young marriage promoter.

Then there's what Stanton calls the "eHarmony philosophy" — the belief God will deliver someone perfect.

Stanton doesn't blame the abstinence movement. "I don't think that it's so much to much focus on abstinence, but the silence on marriage makes the abstinence message sound so much louder," he said.

At Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., associate pastor Michael Lawrence emphasizes that marriage is a covenant, not a convenient arrangement, and offers advice to young couples on overcoming arguments over money, sex and family.

"We probably haven't served our young people well by on the one hand emphasizing abstinence, but on the other hand telling them to wait to get married," Lawrence said. "It seems to be setting them up to fail."

Like most proponents of young marriage, Lawrence does not set an arbitrary "right" age for marriage. Waiting until after college might be advisable if the alternative is crushing debt or dropping out, he said.

Supporters of abstinence programs promote them as both marriage-preparation tools and longer-term support systems for those who don't marry.

Jimmy Hester, co-founder of True Love Waits, part of the Southern Baptist Convention's LifeWay Christian Resources, disagreed with the argument that abstinence past a certain age is too much to ask.

"There are too many examples of people who have done it," he said. "And not out of their own strength, even, but out of a relationship with God who gives them strength."


Right Wing Leftovers

  • There is just something hilarious about the AFA complaining that others are "consumed" with the issue of allowing gays in military.
  • Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has nominated Peter Sprigg [of the Family Research Council] for recognition of his service to public school education in Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt prepares for his prayer showdown in Lodi, California.
  • Here's an interesting thing that I didn't know: Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation, helped found Century Strategies, Ralph Reed's consulting firm.
  • The Family Research Council "has posted a schedule of townhall meetings across the country and sample questions you can ask. Please make a point of going to the forums near you and share--in a respectable manner--your thoughts with your congressman. While you're at it, why not bring your video camera?"
  • Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and former Nevada Republican Executive Director Chuck Muth have launched a "Dump Reid" political action committee seeking to take out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

FRC's Morrison Explains How Condoms Ruined Our Nation

In recent week, Religious Right groups were nearly unanimous in their opposition to the legislation introduced by Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn seeking "common ground" in the debate over reproductive choice.

Though "aimed at preventing unintended pregnancies and supporting pregnant women," the Religious Right immediately dismissed the effort as a "red herring,"a "travesty," and an effort to increase abortions.

Among the various reasons they gave for opposing the bill was that, in the words of Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, "contains no funding for abstinence programs nor anything to encourage teens and young adults to refrain from risky sexual behavior."

Today, Robert Morrison, a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at FRC, took to the organization's blog to provide an explanation of what is wrong with the bill's lack of funding for abstinence programs, offering some rather bizarre "proof" of why "condom programs don't work."

The "proof" he provides?  Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky:

Our children are, in fact, still paying for most deplorable episode in our history. One of my brilliant foreign students, a young Austrian, told me during a White House tour last summer that the first time he ever heard of the Oval Office was when Bill Clinton disgraced it. How terrible for America.

The latest effort at condom-pushing in Congress—the so-called Ryan-DeLauro bill—is being touted by TIME and other media outlets as the historic compromise that will solve the problem of abortion in America. It will bring “peace in our time” in the culture wars, TIME and the bill’s pushers believe.

Well, it won’t. With the passage of a dozen years, however, we might use the tawdry Clinton-Lewinsky story to teach an important lesson: condom programs don’t work.

The idea behind condom-pushing is that if enough young people are educated enough, informed enough, and have enough “access” to condoms, they will faithfully and effectively use them to prevent unwanted pregnancy, AIDS, and all other STDs.

Advocates of condom-pushing are forever treating us like the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. “Get real,” they yell at us. They tell us over and over again that it is only America’s “puritanical” sexual mores that prevent our young people from getting the “information” and equipment they need. We are the ones who are woefully impractical and need to “get with it,” they try to convince the American people.

So let’s do a reality test of our own. Suppose we have a President who is not only an Ivy League graduate but also a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford. Is that smart enough? And suppose he has “access” to all the condoms in the world. In fact, he has appointed Tim Wirth to be his Under Secretary of State. Tim keeps a supply of condoms in a silver bowl on his desk. Our leader has only to snap his fingers or press a button to have Tim come running with his silver bowl. Talk about access. As for information about condom use and effectiveness? Suppose our Chief Executive actually sends messages to Congress every year for a nearly decade touting condoms and appropriating billions of tax dollars for their distribution and use? Is that enough information?

Yet suppose further that a 21-year old intern comes into the office of our Commander-in-Chief, bearing pizza and snapping the thong of her underwear. What then becomes of all that education, access and information? Poof! Bill Clinton never even thought about using them.

Poof and proof. Condom programs don’t work. Q.E.D.

Apparently, if Clinton and Lewinsky had only been properly indoctrinated with abstinence education teachings, this nation would have been spared "the most deplorable episode in our history."

Barton Says Thomas Jefferson Would Make The Religious Right Look Moderate

Last week we noticed that David Barton was scheduled for a segment on Mike Huckabee's weekend program on Fox News.  We assumed that Barton would use the opportunity to spread his bogus, one-sided views that America was founded as a distinctly Christian nation and that is exactly what he did, giving his standard presentation about how essentially every one of the Founding Fathers was a dyed-in-the-wool Christian believer, including Thomas Jefferson who, Barton claims, was, even as "the least religious founder [was] way out there even further than most Religious Right today would be."

One of Barton's central claims is that the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution held seminary degrees, thus making them extremely religious.  This was a claim that Huckabee himself made during his presidential election and one that was quickly shot down:

During the Republican debate, Mike Huckabee said he believes one of the defining issues facing the country is the sanctity of human life. Arguing that the issue is of historical importance, he invoked the Declaration of Independence's rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and said that most of the signers of the declaration were clergymen.

Not even close.

Only one of the 56 was an active clergyman, and that was John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).

A few more of the signers were former clergymen, though it's a little unclear just how many. The conservative Heritage Foundation said two other signers were former clergymen. The religion web site said four signers of the declaration were current or former full-time preachers. But everyone agrees only Witherspoon was an active minister when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

One issue that may contribute to the confusion about which signers had a history in the clergy is that during the time the Declaration was written, people who studied at universities often received doctorates of divinity, a common degree designation, even if they were not working clergy, said Mary Jenkins of the Independence National Historical Park. As for religious affiliations, all of the signers were Protestant Christians with one exception, Charles Carroll of Maryland, who was Roman Catholic.

We'd like to give Huckabee every benefit of the doubt, but even if you consider former clergymen among the signers the best you could come up with is four. Out of 56. That's not "most," that's Pants-on-Fire wrong.

It's pretty obvious that Huckabee got this "fact" directly from Barton and that the two have a close personal relationship, as demonstrated by the fact that Huckabee introduced Barton by proclaiming that he is " a big fan and, for the past several years, a friend" of his. This reinforced Huckabee's past statements that Barton is "the greatest living historian on the spiritual nature of America's early days" and maybe even the single best historian in America today.

We've written a great deal about Barton's "history" in the past and how he uses it to further the Religious Right's political agenda, including this report on his work from a few years ago entitled "Propaganda Masquerading as History."

But Barton's mission can basically be summed up with this explanation he gave of his work last year, which is to try and ensure that every aspect of this nation's life operates in accordance with Biblical principles:

The Bible clearly teaches that the way people view their own history affects the way they behave. God wants us to know our history and learn its lessons. At WallBuilders, we present American history, and we do so with a Providential perspective. In short, history not only shows God’s workings and plans but it also demonstrates the effectiveness of biblical principles when applied to church, education, government, economics, family, entertainment, military or any other aspect of life.

Michelle Malkin Mocks the Idea of Broadening the GOP for Diversity's Sake

Human Events may want to take an adult education class in headline writing. This morning, Michelle Malkin, a right-wing blogger and "journalist", was on the Today show with Matt Lauer to discuss her new book, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies."

The conservative website, Human Events, posted the video on their website with the headline "Lauer Loses Cool During Malkin Interview." It seemed rather odd that Lauer, a guy who usually seems pretty level-headed, would "lose his cool", on national television nonetheless. After reviewing the video, however, there isn't even a fleeting moment in which Lauer does anything that resembles a loss of temper.

Even when Malkin calls President Obama a "racial opportunist" and Michelle Obama "the first crony", Lauer simply restates what Malkin said and asks how she can justify such sweeping, broad based claims. Malkin goes even further by attacking Lindsey Graham's desire for more diversity in the Republican Party:

"I think Lindsay Graham has a history of pandering to this idea that somehow the party should broaden itself for the sake of pandering to diversity."

Here's the video, get ready for Lauer's "insane" outbursts:

Rather than misrepresenting the content of an article for the sake of your own columnist, maybe Human Events should work on writing some more accurate headlines.

For Barton, History and Religion Are One And The Same

Back in April, it was reported that David Barton had been appointed to serve on the Texas State Board of Education's "panel of experts" tasked with examining the state's social studies curriculum.

At the time, Barton made is clear that his goal was to ensure that the standards better reflected his right-wing views regarding our nation's history, especially as it pertained to the issue of religion, but vowed to be so thoroughly accurate that nobody would be able to question his biased recommendations:

Barton expects outside groups to "holler and scream" about his recommendations to fix those errors due to the fact that he is a Christian and a conservative. But he adds that he and other members of the panel will give recommendations that are so historically accurate that board members will have a hard time refuting them.

Needless to say, it came as no surprise that when Barton unveiled his recommended changes [PDF], it contained a heavy focus on the need to teach students about the religious aspects of the nation's history:

Understanding American Government. Students [Grade 5 (a)(1), (b)(16)] are told to “identify the roots of representative government in this nation as well as the important ideas in the Declaration of Independence,” but nowhere are those ideas specifically identified. Students should be familiar with the fundamental principles of America government set forth in the 126 words in the first three sentences at the beginning of the Declaration and those principles should be regularly reviewed throughout their tenure as a student:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

(It is from this section that students are to recite by memory under state law.)

The principles set forth here and subsequently secured in the Constitution and Bill of Rights include:

1. There is a fixed moral law derived from God and nature
2. There is a Creator
3. The Creator gives to man certain unalienable rights
4. Government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual
5. Below God-given rights and moral law, government is directed by the consent of the governed

Students must also understand the Framers’ very explicit (and very frequent) definition of inalienable rights as being those rights given by God to every individual, independent of any government anywhere (as John Adams explained, inalienable rights are those rights that are “antecedent to all earthly government; rights [that] cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights [that are] derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe”). The inalienable rights specifically listed in the Declaration include those of life, liberty, and property, and the Bill of Rights subsequently identified other inalienable rights, including freedoms of religion, press, speech, assembly, and petition; the right of self-defense; the sanctity of the home; and due process. Each of these rights is to remain beyond the scope of government and is to be protected inviolable by government. These fundamental five precepts of American government must be thoroughly understood by students, but they are not currently addressed in the TEKS.

This is standard procedure for Barton: claiming that he is merely explaining history while focusing entirely on promoting his claims that American was fundamentally designed to be a Christian nation. 

In fact, he has more or less admitted that to ABC News

David Barton, president of the Texas-based Christian heritage advocacy group WallBuilders, is another expert on the panel who would like to see changes made to the school curriculum.

"I think there should be more of an emphasis on history in the social studies curriculum," Barton said. "If there is an emphasis on history, there will be a demonstration of religion."


Barton told that he believes Texas' public school curriculum should "reflect the fact that the U.S. Constitution was written with God in mind."

And this is exactly the sort of result one would expect when a biased pseudo-historian like Barton is appointed to a "panel of experts" tasked with evaluating public school curriculum.

Hate Crimes Legislation is a Jewish Plot for World Domination

Last week I wrote a post based on a revelation from Ted Pike that he apparently has regular contact with Janet Porter, but that Porter had been "reamed out" by Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition for associating with Pike and that, in response, Porter told Pike that if he ever publicly revealed that they spoke to one another, she would stop talking to him entirely.

Porter has had Pike on her radio program at least twice in recent months to discuss hates crimes legislation and apparently they have been working together in fighting the legislation ever since, which Pike opposes because he sees it as part of the plot by Jews to destroy and enslave Christian, which is why the Anti-Defamation League lists Pike in its Extremism in America database:

To promote his virulent anti-Semitic ideology, Pike often works under the guise of opposing federal hate crimes legislation and upholding free speech and Christian values. He gives interviews to extremist cable TV and Internet radio shows to further disseminate his anti-Semitic views and also links from his organization's Website to various anti-Semitic sites. Similarly, a variety of extremists, including neo-Nazis, post Pike's columns to their own hate sites, where they praise Pike's anti-Semitic invective.

If you want to know what ADL means when it says that Pike uses hate crimes legislation to spread his virulent anti-Semitic ideology, you need look no further than this new piece he just published on his website in which he calls Israel "the Great Harlot" and claims that the legislation is key part of the effort by "organized world Jewry" to gain "world dominion," funnel Christians into concentration camps and bring about the Anti-Christ:

We need to help make the hate law unenforceable by resisting and disobeying inevitable government edicts (particularly as precedents from liberal courts) to limit free speech. This will require willingness to suffer for the cause of truth and freedom. To help empower such courage we must continue widespread education against hate laws (such as exists at We must publicize as widely as possible the fact that a cabal of liberal Jewish supremacists is behind all hate laws worldwide. These, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, says are in “relentless attack on evangelical Christians.” Only through encountering massive public resistance and exposure will ADL/B’nai B’rith (organized world Jewry) be slowed on their fast track to world dominion.

The epicenter of such liberal Jewish attack on Christian civilization is the state of Israel. Israel is a nation founded on theft, repression, and terror (See, Israel: Founded on Terror). Despite its claim to democracy, it is one of the most repressive speech crime regimes in the world. In 1920 Christians constituted 20% of the inhabitants of Palestine. Now, as a result of decades of official harassment and discrimination as well as “anti-missionary” laws criminalizing even casual conversations about Christ with Jews, only 2% of Israelis are Christians. The Israeli government continues to look the other way as Messianic Christian Jews in Israel suffer constant harassment, discrimination and even violence, especially from ultra-Orthodox zealots (See website of Lura Maimon Beckford). Knesset continues to propose even stricter speech crime laws against Christians.


[B]ecause Jewish supremacism wants to destroy and enslave Christian/conservatives, the present “turn to the left” to which Dobson referred is actually a left turn into the steel gates of an international concentration camp with the clink of its padlock fastened behind us. The direction to the left in which we are now hurtling is part of the same Talmudic/Kabbalistic conspiracy that incited Jewish takeover of Russia in 1917. (See, Jewish Activists Created Communism ) In all its forms, Jewish-inspired Communism has killed more than 100 million, including millions of Christians. If ADL/B’nai B’rith and organized world Jewry are successful in uniting the world under its control, such atrocities will be repeated and probably even exceeded across a blood-stained planet. (Watch, Ted Pike's Zionism and Christianity: Unholy Alliance) Revelation 18:2 tells us that the garments of the Great Harlot, Israel, are drenched with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (See, Israel: On the Way to Empire in the Mideast ) ADL/B’nai B’rith represents an unbroken chain of anti-Christian/Gentile hatred and desire for revenge going back to those who crucified Jesus, the Pharisees. As the Book of Acts relates, ADL’s forefathers did their best to destroy the infant church in the first century AD. ADL wants to finish the job tomorrow, under its false messiah, the one-world ruler, Anti-Christ.

So just let me reiterate that this man has been on Janet Porter's radio program twice so far this year and that Porter co-chaired Mike Hucakbee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign and will be co-hosting the How To Take Back America Conference at which Huckabee will speak in September.

Levey Tries to Defend His "Sotomayor=Terrorist" Ad

Alan Colmes interviewed Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice yesterday to discuss the organization's recent ad likening Sonia Sotomayor to William Ayers and claiming that she "led a group that supported violent Puerto Rican terrorists."

The New York Times explained the background of this yesterday:

Mr. Levey acknowledged that the ad presented a “caricature,” but it defended it as “factually true.” He said it was a reference to a 1990 controversy in New York City surrounding a visit by Nelson Mandela, shortly after the South African leader’s release from nearly three decades in prison under white Apartheid rule.

As he prepared for Mr. Mandela’s visit, then-New York City Mayor David Dinkins made headlines when he spoke critically of Puerto Rican separatists who, in 1954, had stormed the United States House of Representatives and opened fire, wounding five Congressmen.

Three of those men, who were later pardoned by President Jimmy Carter, were scheduled to appear alongside Mr. Mandela at a rally in Harlem. But Mr. Dinkins called them “assassins” and said they should not be conflated with Mr. Mandela’s cause.

In response, the then-president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Ruben Franco, said Mr. Dinkins’ comments lacked sensitivity and a sense of history, according to a June 16, 1990, New York Times article about the incident.

“He doesn’t recognize that to many people in Puerto Rico, these are fighters for freedom and justice, for liberation, just as is Nelson Mandela, who himself advocated bearing arms,” Mr. Franco was quoted as saying.

Mr. Levey argued that it was accurate to accuse Judge Sonia Sotomayor of “supporting violent terrorists” because she was a member of the board of the legal defense fund at the time that Mr. Franco made that remark.

The discussion between Colmes and Levey hinged largely on Levey's assertion that Sotomayor "led" this group when she was serving on the board, insisting that her position made her a "leader" and therefore she was personally responsible for every statement or position that the organization made or took. 

Levey insisted that the ad was merely an effort to stimulate "debate"and admitted that he doesn't actually believe that Sotomayor supports violent terrorists, claiming that "the point of this ad is not to say that her membership on the board of PRLDEF in and of itself disqualifies her" ... which is a rather remarkable claim to make considering that that is exactly the point of the ad:

Remember Barack Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who bombed American buildings in the 70’s? Turns out President Obama’s done it again – picked someone for the Supreme Court – Judge Sonia Sotomayor – who led a group supporting violent Puerto Rican terrorists. Is this radical judge the type of person America needs sitting on our highest court? What was he thinking? What was she thinking? Call your senators. Tell them to stop Sonia Sotomayor. Paid for by the Committee for Justice.

The ad says that people need to call their senators and "tell them to stop Sonia Sotomayor" and that the reason she needs to be stopped is because she "led a group supporting violent Puerto Rican terrorists." Her membership on PRLDEF's board is the sole reason given in the ad for saying she is disqualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

Nice try, Levey.

One final question I have to ask is: how do you suppose the Committee for Justice's board members would respond if we started claiming they were "leaders" of an organization that compared Sonia Sotomayor to terrorists?

I'm guessing that they would dispute the assertion that they personally had anything at all to do with Levey's statements or the organization's ad.

Swift Boater Behind New CFJ Ad

Interestingly, there had been next to no media coverage of the new Committee for Justice ad likening Sonia Sotomayor to William Ayres and claiming that she supports terrorists until Charlie Savage finally wrote about it on the NYT's "The Caucus".

Savage got CFJ's executive director Curt Levey on the record defending the ad and revealing that it "was written by Chris LaCivita, who also helped create the Swift Boat Vets for Truth ads against Senator John F. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee."

What am I not surprised? As Savage noted:

The Swift Boat ads were riddled with unsubstantiated charges and led to a new political term for smearing a political opponent with lies: “swift-boating.”

But Levey makes no apologies for the ad or for trying to swift-boat Sotomayor while Savage does a good job of explaining the incident on which CFJ hangs its allegation that she "supports" terrorists: 

Mr. Levey acknowledged that the ad presented a “caricature,” but it defended it as “factually true.” He said it was a reference to a 1990 controversy in New York City surrounding a visit by Nelson Mandela, shortly after the South African leader’s release from nearly three decades in prison under white Apartheid rule.

As he prepared for Mr. Mandela’s visit, then-New York City Mayor David Dinkins made headlines when he spoke critically of Puerto Rican separatists who, in 1954, had stormed the United States House of Representatives and opened fire, wounding five Congressmen.

Three of those men, who were later pardoned by President Jimmy Carter, were scheduled to appear alongside Mr. Mandela at a rally in Harlem. But Mr. Dinkins called them “assassins” and said they should not be conflated with Mr. Mandela’s cause.

In response, the then-president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Ruben Franco, said Mr. Dinkins’ comments lacked sensitivity and a sense of history, according to a June 16, 1990, New York Times article about the incident.

“He doesn’t recognize that to many people in Puerto Rico, these are fighters for freedom and justice, for liberation, just as is Nelson Mandela, who himself advocated bearing arms,” Mr. Franco was quoted as saying.

Mr. Levey argued that it was accurate to accuse Judge Sonia Sotomayor of “supporting violent terrorists” because she was a member of the board of the legal defense fund at the time that Mr. Franco made that remark.

Mr. Levey said he had toned down the Sotomayor ad from the original proposed version, which said “defended’ instead of “supported,” because he thought that the word “defended” would misleadingly suggested that the fund represented the terrorists in court.

Mr. Levey said the goal of the ad was to be provocative in order to draw more attention to Judge Sotomayor’s ties to the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she was a board member from 1980 until she resigned to become a federal judge in 1992. He said the group had taken “radical” positions on issues like affirmative action, the death penalty, and abortion.

You know, it takes an amazing level of cluelessness to try and take credit for having "toned down" an ad which accuses a sitting federal judge and Supreme Court nominee of supporting terrorists. 

CFJ: Obama Is Putting a Terrorist On The Bench!

Yesterday, we noticed that the Committee for Justice had just unveiled two ads calling for Sonia Sotomayor's defeat - one contrasting her to Martin Luther King and the other claiming she wants to "take away your guns."

Now they’re out with an over-the-top and nonsensical new TV ad that equates her with William Ayers and claims that she supported terrorism by serving on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF):

But as the Hispanic National Bar Association – which is mainstream by any standard – wrote last week on behalf of 26 prominent national Hispanic groups: “PRLDEF is a mainstream and respected civil rights organization that serves not only the Latino community, but the nation as a whole.” You can read more about the bar association’s letter and PRLDEF here.

The question here is not what are President Obama or Sotomayor thinking, but what is the Committee for Justice thinking?

Sotomayor Day II: Let The Antics Begin

After disrupting yesterday's hearing, anti-choice protesters affiliated with Randall Terry are vowing more action:

Next on the agenda:

"Desecrate Roe" Event Details---

Where: Corner of 1st and C St., near Dirksen Senate Building entrance, Washington D.C.

When: 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, July 14

Who: Norma McCorvey, Randall Terry and other DC area leaders and pro-lifers

Pro-life advocates will gather at the Dirksen building at the corner of 1st and C St., to publicly desecrate the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision. Joining her will be Randall Terry, Missy Smith, and other local pro-life leaders.

Randall Terry states, "Victory over child-killing requires courage and leadership from 'pro-life' Senators from both parties. It is long overdue for so called 'pro-life' Senators to fulfill their campaign promises. They claim they want to overturn Roe; well, now is the time to see if they will defend the babies, or submit like cowards to Obama.

"Republican 'Pro-life' Senators bear special responsibility in this; they shamelessly prostitute Roe vs. Wade and babies lives. Does 'GOP' stand for 'Good Ol' Pimps'? Or will GOP Senators actually fight in this life and death struggle? They need to filibuster Sotomayor."

Will there be more arrests? To be seen...

Not to be outdone, Eugene Delgaudio and Public Advocate plan to be descend on Capitol Hill to create their own scene:

"Public Advocate's Sotomayor's UnReality Tour" arrives in Washington Tuesday to show what a world according to Judge Sonia Sotomayer would look like if she were a Supreme Court judge.

Lifeguards who can't swim. A doctor who flunked med school. A 3rd grade university president. Blind train conductors. Cooks who can't boil water. Lawyers who did not pass the bar exam but who are now judges.

Demonstrators will hold a sign "Sonia Sotomayor, Wrong on the firemen, wrong for America." Another member of Public Advocate will hold a sign with the words "Thanks to Sonia Sotomayor, I flunked med school and am now a doctor."

In related news, Randall Terry continues his broadsides against Republican senators:

"Does the 'GOP' stand for 'Good Ol' Pimps'? Republican Senators like Graham, Brownback, McCain, etc., have seduced the pro-life movement, made her their mistress, and then a prostitute. She gives them her 'favors' in exchange for empty promises.

"They pimp the pro-life cause, raising millions of dollars with promises to 'overturn Roe' and protect the unborn. The party platform - their false vows - calls for the overturn of Roe, and legal protection of unborn babies.

"But alas, we again see that these are seductive lies; and like any good pimp, they tell us that they love us, while they sell us out; they feign pain as we are abused and babies are murdered, while they prepare to get in bed with those who despise us, and slay the innocent.

"Our protests and rallies over the coming weeks will focus on GOP Senators who claim to be pro-life. We will call on them to stop pimping the babies, but rather to fight for them by filibustering Sotomayor."

Richard Viguerie claims that "Sotomayor's opening statement reflects she is already being defensive about the judicial philosophy she shares with President Obama."

Richard Land and the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission come out against Sotomayor:

Sonia Sotomayor’s record reveals that she is perfectly willing to lift the blindfold of justice to achieve her desired result. She is a judge with a terribly flawed view of the judicial system at best or a judge who simply doesn’t care what the law says at worst. She has constantly shown her lack of deference to the Constitution. She is the type of justice who instead of applying the law neutrally will redefine the law to conform to her policy preferences.

The bottom line is that Sonia Sotomayor is an unpredictable wildcard. Across the issues her record is either far too thin or hidden behind non-published orders and per curium opinions. Simply put, placing Sonia Sotomayor on the highest court in the land jeopardizes our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law.

The Family Research Council posts the Senate Policy Committee talking points in opposing Sotomayor while releasing its own list of questions it wants asked during the hearing:

Abortion and the Supreme Court

* Judge Sotomayor, while you were associated with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, it filed six briefs in five abortion-related cases before the United States Supreme Court. In every case, those briefs asserted that the Court should adopt an uncompromising, pro-abortion position. Do you now wish to express any disagreement with the content of the briefs that were filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund?

The Abortion Industry as Litigants

* Judge Sotomayor, do you believe abortion providers should be required to prove factual assertions they make in court when challenging abortion regulations?

* Judge Sotomayor, should redacted medical records be admissible, if needed by the court, to examine general medical claims about abortion?When should such records not be made available to the court?

* Judge Sotomayor, should prosecutors be permitted to subpoena and examine abortion facility records to determine whether state statutory rape laws have been violated or whether the facility is reporting potential crimes to the appropriate legal authorities?

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life tells Lifenews that she is looking forward to testifying in opposition to Sotomayor:

“We are honored to have the opportunity to testify before the Judiciary Committee about the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the highest court in the land," Yoest told about her invitation.

"I am looking forward to sharing AUL’s extensive legal research about Judge Sotomayor’s record. In particular, her radical associations and judicial philosophy raises serious concerns in the pro-life community," she said.

Yoest is referring to Sotomayor's tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, a group that has submitted numerous Supreme Court briefs arguing for an unrestricted right to abortion and claiming any pro-life limits are racist.

Although leaders with the group argue Sotomayor had no involvement in writing or approving the briefs, her longtime position as a member of its board of directors points to her support for the pro-abortion position the group took, Yoest maintains.

Yoest told she plans to focus her testimony on making the connection for the senators and the American public between the positions taken by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund during her tenure on the Board and her judicial interventionist approach to the bench.

“Her PRLDEF record proves that she is an abortion advocate," Yoest says.

"That record includes opposition to parental notification, opposition to informed consent, opposition to bans on partial-birth abortion and support for taxpayer-funded abortions. These positions are far outside the mainstream of American public opinion," she explained.

And finally, Pat Buchanan continues to be ... well, Pat Buchanan:

The chutzpah of this Beltway crowd does not cease to amaze.

They archly demand that conservatives accord a self-described “affirmative action baby” from Princeton a respect they never for a moment accorded a pro-life conservative mother of five from Idaho State, Sarah Palin.


Sonia is, first and foremost, a Latina. She has not hesitated to demand, even in college and law school, ethnic and gender preferences for her own. Her concept of justice is race-based.


Even if Sotomayor is confirmed, making the nation aware she is a militant supporter since college days of ethnic and gender preferences is an assignment worth pursuing. For America does not believe in preferences. Even in the blue states of California, Washington and Michigan, voters have tossed them out as naked discrimination against white males.

Hate Crimes Deja Vu

With hate crimes legislation scheduled to be voted on in the Senate next week, the Religious Right seems somewhat resigned to the fact that they do not have to votes to stop it or even slow it down, but that doesn't mean that they aren't trying.

Yesterday was apparently "National 'Stop S. 909' Day" during which "the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and other conservative activist groups [urged] their supporters to call, e-mail, fax, or visit their senators today to express their disapproval of S. 909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Senate Bill 909)."

James Dobson and Tony Perkins discussed it on Dobson's radio program yesterday, with Dobson proclaiming that its passage would be used to silence pastors and Focus on the Family is calling on its activists to contact their senators and ""ask them to oppose S.909 or 'hate-crimes' legislation in any form."

Of course, as we've pointed out before, the Religious Right doesn't really oppose "hate crimes legislation in any form," they just oppose protection for gays.

But since it looks like they'll be unable to stop the legislation's passage, they appear to be turning their attention toward stopping efforts to amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying and harassment prevention program because it also provides protection based on sexual orientation ... and so they are trotting out the exact same bogus claims they used in opposing hate crimes legislation:

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a so-called bullying bill that would require public schools to spell out special categories in their discipline policies, including "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

Family advocates say it will pave the way for a pro-homosexual, adult-driven agenda in public schools.

The name of the bill is Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Focus on the Family's Education Analyst Candi Cushman explained that there is a way to deal with the issue in a fair and objective way, without sexualizing and politicizing the school environment.

"We recognize that bullying and the harm it causes in the lives of kids is tragic and shouldn't be allowed to happen," Cushman said. "We agree schools should be encouraged to have strong policies prohibiting bullying—applied equally and across the board, against any child for any reason."

She said parents need to keep a close watch on the progress of the bill, because if it passes, it could be used to undermine parental rights and local control.

"People need to realize that gay activists will use this federal mandate as the leverage they need to get promotion of homosexuality into public schools," Cushman cautioned.

Jeremiah Dys, president of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the bill's language is taking the focus off of the real problem.

"A bully is a bully because he's a bully, not because of who he bullies," Dys said. "The rules ought to be enforced against the bullies regardless of who they're bullying or what actions he takes."

The Traditional Values Coalition has also come out against it by tying it into the Religious Right's crusade against Kevin Jennings, claiming it turn the nation's public schools into bastions of homosexuality:

If this legislation is passed, it will permit Jennings to spend millions of our tax dollars to push the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda in schools under the guise of fighting “bullying” and allegedly promoting “school safety.”


Jennings will use millions of our tax dollars to push the promotion of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender behaviors upon hundreds of thousands of school districts throughout our nation.

Make no mistake: The Safe Schools Improvement Act is an ATM machine for the LGBT agenda. Issues about school safety and bullying are simply smokescreens to hide the real agenda.

Note the definitions of bullying and harassment. Under this bill, any gay or cross-dressing teen who is “bullied” or “harassed,” can claim protection. It includes a teen’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity (code for cross-dressers or transsexuals).

If a straight teen criticizes the sexual behavior of a gay or cross-dressing teen, he is guilty of bullying or harassment. This is a direct attack upon free speech.

Let's take a look at the definitions of bullying and harrassment, as TVC suggests, shall we:

(12) BULLYING- The term `bullying' means conduct that--

`(A) adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities by placing the student (or students) in reasonable fear of physical harm; and

`(B) includes conduct that is based on--

`(i) a student's actual or perceived--

`(I) race;

`(II) color;

`(III) national origin;

`(IV) sex;

`(V) disability;

`(VI) sexual orientation;

`(VII) gender identity; or

`(VIII) religion;

`(ii) any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by a State or local educational agency; or

`(iii) association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics listed in clause (i) or (ii).

`(13) HARASSMENT- The term `harassment' means conduct that--

`(A) adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities because the conduct, as reasonably perceived by the student (or students), is so severe, persistent, or pervasive; and

`(B) includes conduct that is based on--

`(i) a student's actual or perceived--

`(I) race;

`(II) color;

`(III) national origin;

`(IV) sex;

`(V) disability;

`(VI) sexual orientation;

`(VII) gender identity; or

`(VIII) religion;

`(ii) any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by a State or local educational agency; or

`(iii) association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics listed in clause (i) or (ii).

Bullying entails "reasonable fear of physical harm" and harassment must be "severe, persistent, or pervasive" but, just as they did with hate crimes, the Right is completely misrepresenting this legislation.

And notice also that they are not complaining about the protections included for religion or race - they are simply opposed to protections for gays.

It's becoming pretty clear that even after the hate crimes legislation is passed by Congress and signed into law, we can look forward to having the same exact fight over anti-bullying legislation, complete with the same exact right-wing scare-tactics and false claims.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee will be kicking off the Values Voter Summit.
  • The GOP does not have a lot of celebrity supporters, so I really, really hope  that it makes good use of Victoria Jackson.
  • I'm pretty sure that most of the Young Cons' "success" - as measured by YouTube views - has come from people who are mocking them.
  • The Birther movement in Congress is picking up more supporters.
  • Apparently, today was National "Stop S. 909" Day whereby the Religious Right mobilized to oppose hate crimes legislation. Strangely, outside of this one article, I could find no evidence that these groups were actually doing any mobilizing.
  • Bishop Jackson says he'll soon be filing paperwork to launch a voter initiative, similar to California's Proposition 8, that would affirm marriage between a man and a woman in DC.
  • Pat Mahoney and Rob Schenck delivered their official prayer ahead of Sonia Sotomayor's hearing.
  • Charlie Crist has massively out-raised his primary rival, and darling of the social conservatives, Marco Rubio.
  • Gary Bauer continues to insist that Sarah Palin's decision to suddenly resign was a brilliant move.
  • The House of Representatives voted 399-1 for the Capitol Visitors Center to have a plaque acknowledging the role of slave labor in the construction of the Capitol. The one "no" vote came from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who insists he did so in order to protect America's Judeo-Christian heritage.
  • Finally, who ever could have ever predicted that putting David Barton and other religious-right ideologues on the panel of experts responsible for setting Texas schools' social studies curriculum would lead to them asserting that civil rights leaders like César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall are given too much attention?
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Education Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 5:54pm
Ben @ PFAW Blog: Koch Brothers Sink to a New Low to Undermine Public Education. Justin Elliot @ Salon: Shariah foes seize on Perry's ties to Muslims. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Bachmann dodges questions on anti-gay record. Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Disinformation and Misinformation - Becoming Educated About the New Apostolic Reformation. Michelle Goldberg @ The Daily Beast: A Christian Plot for Domination. Andy Kopsa @ Westword: Abstinence-only funding was refused, but that didn't stop a state school-board... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 10:09am
Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist. Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point:  There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/11/2011, 5:25pm
Michele Bachmann told an audience in 2006 that she followed her husband’s education path because, “The Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.” Her mentor John Eidsmoe makes a similar case throughout God & Caesar, his book on how Christians should engage in politics and government. For Eidsmoe, the role of a woman is chiefly second class to her husband: “God’s Word gives women respect and respectability which they had never enjoyed in any other culture, and we must do what we can to preserve biblical standards. But it... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/11/2011, 2:31pm
Michele Bachmann regularly speaks about her work in Minnesota to advance homeschooling and charter schools, and she even co-founded a Christian-themed charter school that helped launch her political career. According to the New York Times, “state and local school officials warned the school that it was at risk of losing its charter” for running afoul of code, and Bachmann ultimately had her “children enrolled in private Christian schools.” Her mentor John Eidsmoe in God & Caesar details the case against public schools that may have influenced Bachmann’s early... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/09/2011, 1:26pm
Like Michele Bachmann, David Barton also sat down for an interview with George Barna to discuss "Faith In Politics" a few months back.  During the discussion, Barna asked Barton how America would be different if people actually followed the teaching of Jesus, to which Barton explained that everything from our economic to our foreign policy would be drastically different and that public schools would start the day off with prayer because "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" and the government would stop helping the poor: Barna: How do you think the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/08/2011, 5:31pm
Mission America’s Linda Harvey launched into another anti-gay tirade on her radio show on Friday, criticizing the National Education Association for supporting the rights of gays and lesbians to become teachers. Harvey, who once claimed that the NEA was using scholarships to make kids gays, on the other hand contends that schools should ban gay and lesbian teachers until they “leave that behavior behind.” Her view is not uncommon in the Religious Right, and Harvey insists that “no homosexuality should be in our schools, period.” Harvey: Kids should not be put... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/05/2011, 5:37pm
AAMIA: African American Ministers in Action Urge Gov. Perry to Denounce Divisive Rhetoric of ‘The Response’ Sponsors. John K. Wilson @ Daily Kos: Limbaugh's Racism: "Obama the Burglar." Jason Cherkis @ Huffington Post: Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot Of Cs And Ds. Marcos Restrepo @ Florida Independent: Christian Family Coalition: ‘Anti-American extremists and racists’ forced cancellation of West event. Frances Martel @ Mediaite: Huckabee: Bashing 9/11 Cartoon Profits Is Like Attacking Spielberg For Schindler’s List... MORE