Education

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?

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Jim Burroway is not impressed with National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality new "peer-reviewed journal" or the Religious Right's reliance on its "findings."
  • Michelle Goldberg explains that, to those who inhabit "the looking-glass world of the conservative base, [Sarah Palin's] resigning as governor seems like the best move she could have made."
  • Dan Froomkin has been hired by the Huffington Post.
  • David Weigel points out that the GOP continues to distort Al Franken’s tribute to Paul Wellstone.
  • Ian Millhiser reports that Sen. Jeff Session's has hopped on board the right-wing effort to make hay out of Sonia Sotomayor's work with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, while CQ reports that GOP senators are trying to slow down the confirmation process by demanding thousands of pages of documents from PRLDEF.
  • Finally, Wendy Norris has a good piece on the so-called "personhood" movement and its efforts to pass laws in at least seventeen states.

From Bad to Worse In Texas

The Texas Freedom Network was tireless in exposing Don McLeroy, Gov. Rick Perry's choice to serve as chair of the Texas State Board of Education, and chronicling his hearings and ultimate rejection by the state Senate.

But now TFN reports that Perry's choice of replacement is even worse, pointing to this San Antonio Express-News article:

Critics who engineered the recent ouster of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, in part because of his strong religious beliefs, could end up with someone even more outspoken in her faith.

Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, who advocated more Christianity in the public square last year with the publication of her book, One Nation Under God, is among those that Gov. Rick Perry is considering to lead the State Board of Education, some of her colleagues say.

...

In a book published last year, Dunbar argued the country’s founding fathers created “an emphatically Christian government” and that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test.” She endorses a belief system that requires “any person desiring to govern have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”

Also in the book, she calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.”

The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even “tyrannical,” she wrote, because it threatens the authority of families, granted by God through Scripture, to direct the instruction of their children.

Dunbar home-schooled her own children.

TFN provides more background:

Dunbar has clearly expressed her loathing for public education in her book One Nation Under God, calling public schools a “tool of perversion,” “unconstitutional” and “tryannical.” She has also personally rejected the public school system, home-schooling her children. In fact, she wrote in her book that sending our children to public schools is “throwing them into the enemy’s flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.”

Just before the November election, Dunbar also authored a vicious Internet rant in which she called Barack Obama a terrorist sympathizer who wants to seize total power by declaring martial law. In another Internet screed, she charged that Obama is promoting Marxism by calling for “shared sacrifice and social responsibility.”

Perry apparently thinks that someone who homeschooled her own children because public schools are  "tool of perversion" is perfectly suited to being placed in charge of the Texas school system.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress fact checks the Right's smear campaign against Kevin Jennings and GLSEN is seeking signatures on its letter to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in support of his appointment.
  • Jim Burroway reports that Paul Cameron makes an appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming "Bruno" movie.
  • Pam Spaulding highlights Ken Hutcherson claiming that Barack Obama has no "black experience."
  • Good As You catches Maggie Gallagher twittering that her National Organization for Marriage will be opening a DC office.
  • Karen Tumulty notes that Sarah Palin seems to have a history of quitting things (and does so with a cleverly titled post.)
  • Finally, the new issue of AU's Church and State contains a good cover story on David Barton written by Rob Boston.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Right Starts A New Group

Despite all of the predictions that the Religious Right was on its deathbed, they sure do seem to be extremely active of late.

Of course, they don't seem to have any new ideas or desire to change their agenda in any way, but in last few months have seen a flurry of new groups popping up designed to fill some unseen void that has been apparently responsible for their current predicament.

In the last few months we seen the arrival of the Faith and Freedom Institute, which was followed by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, while Newt Gingrich was unveiling his Renewing American Leadership effort, and Lou Engle was announcing his Call to Action.

And now we come to find out via Pam that pretty much every Religious Right group has joined together under the umbrella of something called The Freedom Federation, incuding Renewing American Leadership and Call to Action, which were just recently created - so now you have two new groups created specifically to fill this void joining a new coalition effort ... designed to fill this very same void:

Press Conference to discuss the formation of the Freedom Federation and its purpose.

The Freedom Federation is a new and unique federation of some of the largest multi-ethnic and transgenerational faith-based organizations in the country committed to plan, strategize, and work together on common interests within the Judeo-Christian tradition to mobilize their grassroots constituencies and to communicate faith and values to the religious, social, cultural, and policymaking institutions.

-- American Association of Christian Counselors
-- American Family Association
-- Americans for Prosperity
-- Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND)
-- Campaign for Working Families
-- Catholic Online
-- Concerned Women for America
-- Conservative Action Project
-- Eagle Forum
-- Exodus International
-- Faith and Action
-- Family Research Council
-- High Impact Leadership
-- Liberty Alliance Action
-- Liberty Counsel
-- Liberty University
-- Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN)
-- Marc Nuttle
-- Morning Star Ministries
-- National Clergy Council
-- National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
-- Renewing American Leadership
-- Strang Communications
-- Teen Mania
-- The Call to Action
-- Traditional Values Coalition
-- Vision America

Wow - did they put this coalition together by going through our list of right-wing organizations and simply inviting all the groups and individuals we write about most frequently to join?  Sorry,  Christian Anti-Defamation Commission  - if only we had written about you a few more times, maybe you would have been deemed worthy of inclusion in this ground-breaking new effort by the Religious Right ... to do whatever it is this new organization is going to do.

Honestly, what purpose can this possibly serve?  Are the Council for National Policy and the Arlington Group somehow lacking and so these groups decided that what they really needed was yet another coalition to carry out the same work?

Anyway, this effort seems to be organized by Rick Scarborough ... or at least he is the first to send out a press release trying to take credit for it:

Today, representatives of some of America's largest faith-based groups gathered in the nation's capital to announce that they will organize and mobilize their grassroots constituencies in a common cause.

At the National Press Club, Vision America President Pastor Rick Scarborough joined other conservative leaders, including Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University Law School and the Federation's convener, to formally announce the formation of the Freedom Federation.

The Federation encompasses individuals of different races, faiths and backgrounds who are committed to the preservation of freedom and American values, founded on the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Freedom Federation is not a separate organization, but an association of like-minded national organizations with large and unique religious and political constituencies.

...

Scarborough commented: "These organizations represent some of the nation's largest constituencies of youth, Hispanics, African-Americans, women, pastors and churches, who are uniting to defend a tradition increasingly under attack."

The Freedom Federation is committed to defending and extending core values expressed in the Declaration of American Values, the organization's founding document. These include the right to life, the institution of marriage, parental rights, religious liberty, an environment free of pornography and indecency, the right to property, freedom from excessive taxation, and national sovereignty. The statement is posted on the Vision America website at www.visionamerica.us.

And here is their Declaration of American Values, which they vow to protect with their lives:

We the people of the United States of America, at this crucial time in history, do hereby affirm the core consensus values which form the basis of America’s greatness, that all men and women from every race and ethnicity are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We adhere to the rule of law embodied in the Constitution of the United States and to the principles of liberty on which America was founded. In order to maintain the blessings of liberty and justice for ourselves and our posterity, and recognizing that personal responsibility is the basis of our self-governing Nation, we declare our allegiance –

1. To secure the sanctity of human life by affirming the dignity of and right to life for the disabled, the ill, the aged, the poor, the disadvantaged, and for the unborn from the moment of conception. Every person is made in the image of God, and it is the responsibility and duty of all individuals and communities of faith to extend the hand of loving compassion to care for those in poverty and distress.

2. To secure our national interest in the institution of marriage and family by embracing the union of one man and one woman as the sole form of legitimate marriage and the proper basis of family.

3. To secure the fundamental rights of parents to the care, custody, and control of their children regarding their upbringing and education.

4. To secure the free exercise of religion for all people, including the freedom to acknowledge God through our public institutions and other modes of public expression and the freedom of religious conscience without coercion by penalty or force of law.

5. To secure the moral dignity of each person, acknowledging that obscenity, pornography, and indecency debase our communities, harm our families, and undermine morality and respect. Therefore, we promote enactment and enforcement of laws to protect decency and morality.

6. To secure the right to own, possess and manage private property without arbitrary interference from government, while acknowledging the necessity of maintaining a proper and balanced care and stewardship of the environment and natural resources for the health and safety of our families.

7. To secure the individual right to own, possess, and use firearms as central to the preservation of peace and liberty.

8. To secure a system of checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches within both state and federal governments, so that no one branch – particularly the judiciary – usurps the authority of the other two, and to maintain the constitutional principles of federalism which divide power between the state and federal governments.

9. To secure our national sovereignty and domestic tranquility by maintaining a strong military; establishing and maintaining secure national borders; participating in international and diplomatic affairs without ceding authority to foreign powers that diminish or interfere with our unalienable rights; and being mindful of our history as a nation of immigrants, promoting immigration policies that observe the rule of law and are just, fair, swift, and foster national unity.

10. To secure a system of fair taxes that are not punitive against the institution of marriage or family and are not progressive in nature, and within a limited government framework, to encourage economic opportunity, free enterprise, and free market competition.

We hereby pledge our Names, our Lives and our Sacred Honor to this Declaration of American Values.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam Spaulding reports that Family Research Council has launched a campaign against Kevin Jennings' nomination to serve in the Department of Education.
  • TPM notes that, in it's rush to get out a statement using the Ricci decision against Sonia Sotomayor, the Judicial Confirmation Network couldn't even bother to spell her name correctly.
  • Steve Benen reports that we just might be approaching the end of the on-going saga regarding Minnesota's senate race.
  • Timothy Kincaid points out that John Hagee, of all people, met with Soulforce and Atticus Circle over the weekend.
  • According to Dump Bachmann, Rep. Michelle Bachmann is scheduled to appear on Alex Jones' program later this week.
  • As David Weigel says, there is a difference between being humored by Secret Service agent and being taken seriously, but the Birthers don’t seem to know the difference.
  • And speaking of the Birthers, Think Progress reports that WorldNetDaily's latest efforts are being stymied by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

More Right Wing Rallies Cropping Up

Earlier this week, I wrote about a series of upcoming "Winning Matters" conferences, a project of the Family Foundation of Virginia and its affiliated Pastors For Family Values, featuring Harry Jackson, Jonathan Falwell, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough designed to activate "values voters" in Virginia ahead of the state's off-year elections.

Today we learned that there is another, apparently somewhat affiliated, series of similar rallies taking place featuring many of these same people, but operating under the name Hope for America, which is a project of Jody Hice's Let Freedom Ring Ministries. Several rallies are scheduled for the coming weeks, mostly in Virginia, and likewise featuring Staver, Scarborough, Falwell, and even Zell Miller.

Last night one was held in Roanoke and, judging by the press coverage, it was pretty much what you'd expect for a rally organized by right-wing groups and featuring right-wing speakers like Staver and Scarborough:

The war for the soul and the government of America needs more Christian soldiers.

That was the message delivered Thursday night to about 100 attendees of the "Hope for America Rally" at Penn Forest Worship Center in Southwest Roanoke County.

"America is on the verge of destruction," the Rev. Rick Scarborough told the crowd in a booming Baptist sermon.

"You, beloved, are the hope," he said.

Scarborough is a well-known Texas minister and conservative political activist with ties to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and several key Republican lawmakers.

In 1992, the firebrand evangelist waged a high-profile battle over sex education in Texas schools and has written several books arguing against the separation of church and state.

Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, also spoke.

Sponsored by Atlanta, Ga.-based Let Freedom Ring, Thursday's rally was the first of several that are planned across Virginia. Others have been held in or are scheduled to be held in North Carolina and Georgia. Scarborough is expected to speak at many of them.

Let Freedom Ring is affiliated with Jody Hice, a pastor and conservative Christian radio personality in Atlanta and an adherent to the "Christian worldview."

Let Freedom Ring preaches that America was founded by Christian leaders and that the country's freedoms are based on biblical precepts. In its view secular values, such as the separation of church and state, abortion rights, radical feminism and gay rights, have spurred a moral and political decline that Christians must battle, not just in the pews, but in the political sphere.

...

Aaron Evans, a former Fox News radio producer from Martinsville, organized the Roanoke rally with help from The Family Foundation and other conservative Christian groups.

Scarborough preached to the crowd about the dangers of loosening sexual mores. He warned that gay rights legislation could be used to silence pastors who preach that homosexuality is a sin.

"In my lifetime, we have gone from 'Ozzie and Harriet' and 'Leave it to Beaver' ... to 'Sex in the City' and 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'

"We've gone from spin the bottle to hooking up in the eighth grade," he said.

But, Scarborugh preached, "this nation can be saved if pastors would just understand how much God wants to save it."

This reminds me a lot of the "70 Weeks to Save America" crusade Scarborugh tried to launch a few years back that never amounted to much after his key partner, Alan Keyes, decided to run for president and Vision America ran into financial trouble. 

Apparently, this time around, Scarborough has realized that if he wants this done right, he should let somebody else organize it.

AU has more on this rally.

The Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS) Pick-Up Right-Wing Support for NEA "Prayer and Picket"

Bob Pawson, national coordinator for Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS), has announced that he's added a few familiar faces to his "prayer and picket" planned for the National Education Association's annual conference in San Diego on July 2nd.

Earlier this month, I wrote about Pawson's personal vendetta against the NEA, a group who is hardly an outspoken abortion advocacy group (they dedicate three sentences of their 462-page charter to reproductive rights).

Now, he's gained some support from, among others, the recently jailed Rev. Walter B. Hoye, president of Issues4Life Foundation. Along with Hoye, Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, and Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition have pledged their support:

Bob Pawson of Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS), announces, "Our growing team of pro-life coordinators now includes Jeff White from Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition, and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, for the July 2 prayer-and-picket demonstration during the NEA teacher union convention at the San Diego Convention Center and NEA-State-Affiliate offices across America.

"These esteemed pro-life leaders are promoting and recruiting for our peaceful, prayerful demonstrations regarding the NEA leadership's pro-abortion track record. They are speaking at the Rally for Life at New Beginnings Church in Norco, CA, this Tuesday evening alongside Rev. Walter B. Hoye II, president of Issues4Life Foundation."

While Pawson didn't re-affirm his belief that abortion caused the current economic crisis, he did downplay the size of the protests at state-level NEA offices. He also advised parents to bring their children, because hey, they make for good marketing:

"Gather together your family members and a few pro-life friends and just go to your state's NEA-affiliate offices with pro-life posters. Pray and picket for an hour. Children are especially effective messengers highlighting the hypocrisy of teacher-union leaders supporting abortion," said Pawson.

"The number of locations nationwide is more important than the number of picketers at any location. We don't necessarily need hundreds of picketers at each state's NEA-HQ. A dozen or two would be sufficient -- multiplied by many sites across 50 states. Pro-Lifers far from state capitals can picket their county or town's local NEA-affiliate listed in telephone book white pages."


More Good News for Sotomayor

Politico has an article today reporting that Republicans are disappointed that Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court hasn't turned out to be "the political lightning rod some in their party had hoped she would be."

Of course, that just means that right-wing groups will just have to try that much harder:

Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative group Committee for Justice, said senators are often slow to get into politically thorny fights — and do so only after a passionate showing by their base. Levey said he expects GOP senators to gear up for the fight, particularly during the confirmation proceedings. And he said that he is pushing the Republicans hard to delay a final Senate confirmation vote until after the monthlong August recess, to give opposition groups enough time to spotlight any controversial statements Sotomayor makes during the hearings.

“She is sort of like a Robert Bork: She’s very opinionated, and when she should be silent, she isn’t,” Levey said.

Speaking of Bork, the Wonk Room points us to this new interview with him and, shockingly, he doesn't like Sotomayor ... or pretty much anyone else for that matter:

What are your thoughts about Judge Sotomayor's nomination?

I think it was a bad mistake. Her comments about the wise Latina suggest identity-group jurisprudence. She also has a reputation for bullying counsel. And her record is not particularly distinguished. Far from it. And it is unusual to nominate somebody who states flatly that she was the beneficiary of affirmative action. But I can't believe she will be any worse than some recent white male appointees.

Anyone you'd care to name?

I could, but you don't want the estate of these people suing me, do you?

As it's currently composed, this is sometimes called a conservative court.

I don't see it at all. It's a very left-leaning, liberal court.

Could you elaborate? Compared to what?

Well, compared to what the Constitution actually says. They tend to enact the agenda or the preferences of a group that thinks of itself as the intellectual elite.

Frankly, the fact that Bork sees nothing he likes in Sotomayor is a huge positive in her favor considering that, since his own defeat to the Supreme Court in 1987, he's become a certified crank:

Robert Bork has carved out a niche for himself as an acerbic commentator on the Supreme Court, as well as various cultural issues. In fact, to Bork the two topics are closely related and the Supreme Court’s “illegitimacy” and its departure from the Constitution are in many ways responsible for our growing “cultural depravity.”

According to Bork, we are rapidly becoming a fragmented society that has totally lost its nerve and is now either unwilling or unable “to suppress public obscenity, punish crime, reform welfare, attach stigma to the bearing of illegitimate children, resist the demands of self-proclaimed victim groups for preferential treatment, or maintain standards of reason and scholarship.” Abortion, technology, affluence, hedonism, and modern liberalism are gradually ruining our culture and everywhere you look “the rot is spreading.”

Bork has denounced the public education system that “all too often teaches moral relativism and depravity.” He considers sensitivity training to be little more than “America’s version of Maoist re-education camps.” He has shared his fear that recognition of gay marriage would lead to accommodation of “man-boy associations, polygamists and so forth.” And he has criticized the feminist movement for “intimidat[ing] officials in ways that are destructive of family, hostile to masculinity, damaging to the military and disastrous for much education.”

It appears as if almost everything within contemporary culture possesses the capacity to offend Bork. He attacks movies for featuring “sex, violence and vile language.” He faults television for taking “a neutral attitude toward adultery, prostitution, and pornography” and for portraying homosexuals as “social victims.” As for the art world, most of what is produced is “meaningless, uninspired, untalented or perverse.” He frets that the “pornographic video industry is now doing billions of dollars worth of business” and the invention of the Internet will merely result in the further indulgence of “salacious and perverted tastes.” When it comes to music, “rock and rap are utterly impoverished … emotionally, aesthetically, and intellectually.”

More to the point, Bork is not content merely to criticize; he wants the government to do something about it. “Sooner or later,” he claims “censorship is going to have to be considered as popular culture continues plunging to ever more sickening lows.” So committed is he to this cause that he dedicated an entire chapter in his 1996 book Slouching Toward Gomorrah to making “The Case for Censorship.” In it, he advocates censoring “the most violent and sexually explicit material now on offer, starting with obscene prose and pictures available on the Internet, motion pictures that are mere rhapsodies to violence, and the more degenerate lyrics of rap music.”

When asked by Christianity Today about how he would decide what should and should not be censored, Bork announced: “I don’t make any fine distinctions; I’m just advocating censorship.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Judicial Watch has released a "Special Report on Judge Sotomayor's Connection to the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund."
  • Rick Warren will reportedly be attending Islamic Society of North America's annual convention in Washington, D.C. over the Fourth of July weekend.
  • Carrie Prejean is seeking a book deal.
  • Gary Bauer says that Sarah Palin's feud with David Letterman "proves conservatives can fight pop culture and win."
  • Operation Rescue and other Wichita-based anti-abortion groups say they have received death threats in response to last month's killing of George Tiller.
  • The Family Research Council defends Bill O'Reilly's attacks on Tiller, saying "Something has been lost in the canonization of George Tiller--and that 'something' is the truth ... If Bill O'Reilly was fanning anything, it was the facts. We applaud him for drawing attention to a grisly procedure that even the most hardened pro-choice Democrats in Congress oppose.
  • Finally, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission explains that Tiller's murder was wrong because, even though "Tiller certainly was guilty of murder before God ... lawfully established civil authorities are the rightful ministers of God’s wrath. They have been granted a monopoly by God on the use of the sword, namely capital punishment and physical coercion. "

Crazy By Association

When I saw a press release announcing that Alan Keyes was going to be in South Carolina campaigning for a woman named Christina Jeffrey who is running Congress, my first thought was "wow, she must be crazy."

After all, no sane candidate would ever seek the assistance of someone like Keyes and expect to win, so I did a little research to try and found out a little about her on her website:

In these difficult economic times, the citizens in the Up-state of South Carolina deserve better representation in Congress. Christina Jeffrey, with a PhD. in Political Science and a college professor, is a person who has built her life based upon Conservative Principles.

Christina has worked in Germany and Turkey, and understands the international problems we are confronted with today. Christina has been a college professor for many years. She has been a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States. She currently teaches Foundations of American Government at Wofford College.

What I also found out was that her claim to have been the "Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States" leaves out a few key pieces of information ... like the fact that she held the job for less than two weeks before she was fired by Newt Gingrich:

Fired by Speaker Newt Gingrich as House historian because she complained Nazi views weren't represented in a Holocaust course, Christina Jeffrey said Tuesday that allegations against her ``are slanderous and outrageous.''

In a statement the morning after her firing, Jeffrey, who was hired less than a week ago, also said she was ``fired in the press.''

Reporters, who received materials from Democratic sources, began making inquiries to Gingrich's office after learning of Jeffrey's review of the Holocaust course in 1986.

House Democrats quickly pounced on her eight-year-old review, one saying it bordered on Holocaust revision.

...

Jeffrey, hired at $85,000 a year, headed a panel that reviewed the Holocaust course for the Republican-run U.S. Department of Education. The panel recommended against a federal grant for the course and the department -- insisting the decision was its own -- declined funding in 1986 and again the next two years.

Concluding her remarks on ``Facing History and Ourselves'' a course designed for eighth and ninth graders, Jeffrey wrote: ``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''

While Jeffrey insisted at the time and continues to insist that her remarks were taken wildly out of context, this does at least shed some light on just what sort of political candidate openly welcome the support of someone like Keyes.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tony Perkins says Sen. John Ensign's affair is "why the Republicans are having trouble and have had trouble over the last three years with many voters ... because there is a sense of hypocrisy."
  • Cindy Jacobs has become the chairman of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.
  • Roy Moore says that he sees "a nation that is turning away from God" and complains that "every politician talks about God before they get in office ... then the rest of the time they ignore it."
  • Utah lawmakers are considering a proposal that would give parents the choice between two sex education classes for their children. One class would be abstinence-based while the other would also emphasize abstinence but provide information about contraceptive options. The Utah Eagle Forum supports the idea ... except for the part about offering a second class that would provide information about contraceptive options.
  • Finally, guess who Janet Porter had as guest on her radio program yesterday? Bill Keller, the militantly anti-Mormon activist who declared that a vote for Mitt Romney was a vote for Satan.

Norquist To The Religious Right: Stop Whining

There has been some discussion lately of the bubbling tension within the Republican Party's base between the fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives.  Frankly, this tension has always existed but only tends to surface when the GOP is out of power and the two sides are wrangling for influence, with the fiscal conservatives claiming that the social conservatives' focus on culture war issues is driving away potential Republican voters while the social conservatives claim the the only reason the GOP is even a viable party is because of the loyalty of the Religious Right base.  

Grover Norquist undoubtedly comes down on the fiscal conservative side and so it's no surprise to see him sit down with Dan Gilgoff to offer the social conservatives a little "tough love":

[Religious Right] leaders sometimes who announce that they want to make everybody be one religion or make everybody think one way ... Some religious right leaders do that, acting as if everybody of their faith persuasion votes on their command, which is insulting, not true, and ridiculous. They shouldn't talk like that.

...

James Dobson made some comment that 40 percent of the votes for George W. Bush in 2004 came from evangelical Protestants, therefore you owe the presidency to us and you need to do what we want. It's missing why they voted for Bush. They didn't vote for him because they're evangelical Protestants. They voted for Bush because they wanted to be left alone in their faith and family commitments, which are evangelical Protestant. But the orthodox Jews and the Muslims who voted for Bush voted for the same reason, so you can't go to Bush and say, "Govern as a Baptist."

...

Why is a guy who wants to go to church all day in a room with a guy who wants to make money all day and the guy who wants to fire guns all day? What is it we have in common? We all want to be left alone in the zone that is most important in our lives. And if you don't understand why people are in the room, you don't understand how you can piss off people who should be your friend.

...

Traditional-values conservatives who thought the Republicans weren't doing anything the last eight years remind me of that old joke where the guy is leaning up against the building and a policeman comes over and says, "Move along." And the guy says, "I'm holding the building up." And the cop goes, "Don't be an idiot, get out of here." And the guy walks away, and the building falls down. The Republicans in the House and Senate were stopping a whole flood of left-of-center social issues on abortion, gay issues, everything. They weren't winning those issues because the votes weren't there to pass stuff. But they were stopping bad stuff.

You do have some leaders, not just social conservatives, who want other people to do their work for them. I never insist that a congressman and or a senator go out and lead on the tax issue. I lead on the tax issue. I make it easy for congressmen and senators to do the right thing. There are some social conservatives, like some other guys, who want the president to be point man on their issue. And presidents don't do that. They want congressmen and senators to jump on the hand grenade for them. No. Make it necessary for candidates to vote X, and they will.

Whining is not a way to change policy or make you beloved by elected officials. Some social conservatives think, "How come the Republican leadership hasn't done X?" The real question is: Why haven't you made it the easy and smart thing for any elected official to do?

As for the issue of marriage equality, Norquist refused to say whether he supports it, saying simply that he hasn't focused on it and saying that the government shouldn't even be involved in the marriage business anyway:

Churches, synagogues, and mosques should write marriage contracts, and the state should enforce contracts. You shouldn't have sacraments organized, managed, and defined by the states.

Communities of faith ought to be into denationalizing marriage, just as I want to denationalize healthcare and education, rather than trying to get the federal government to run the post office correctly or manage marriage correctly.

Of course, "denationalizing marriage" is exactly what the Religious Right doesn't want because it could lead to states granting marriage rights to same-sex couples, which is why they are insisting on the need for a federal marriage amendment.

Needless to say, efforts to repair the rift between the social and fiscal conservatives are probably not going to be helped much by the fact that one of the leading fiscal conservatives more or less accused the Religious Right of being a bunch of whiners who have no idea how politics actually works.

Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS) Announces Protest of the National Education Association, Blames Recession on Abortion

The Pro-Life Educators and Students (PLEAS) have announced the first major anti-abortion demonstration since the killing of Dr. George Tiller. While the demonstration is nothing out of the ordinary, PLEAS isn't focusing its effort on a traditional target of anti-choice groups. Instead, they'll be protesting... the National Education Association. In a press release, Bob Pawson, a coordinator for PLEAS, announced that the group is organizing a July 2nd "prayer & picket" that will involve many different pro-life groups.

The NEA is hardly an outspoken reproductive rights group, rather an organization dedicated to advancing and improving the public school system. They devoted a mere three sentences of their 462-page handbook to "Family Planning":

The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association urges the government to give high priority to making available all methods of family planning to women and men unable to take advantage of private facilities. The Association also urges the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.

Even stranger than PLEAS' choice to target the NEA are remarks made by Pawson in the press release. Pawson unveils the catalyst behind the economic recession: federal abortion policy. Oh, it's also why we don't have a cure for AIDS:

Abortion is the primary factor causing America's economic recession, said Pawson. America is suffering the consequences for killing fifty-million people who are supposed to be among us today as teachers, producers, consumers, taxpayers, leaders, inventors, and problem-solvers. It's no surprise that a nation which slaughters nearly twenty percent of its future customers, investors, and entrepreneurs also kills its own economy. Wrong moral choices have negative consequences. Evil acts generate their own punishment.
Abortion has led to the destruction of fifty-million students and simultaneously eliminated hundreds of thousands of teaching careers and education-related jobs. Surely, some of those dead students were the ones God sent to cure AIDS, end world-hunger, and create clean-energy technologies, said Pawson

Putting aside his "economic argument", Pawson should strongly consider protesting a group that devotes more than three sentences of their 462-page charter to reproductive rights.

Dobson and Goeglein Recount Their Love For George W. Bush

So, who wants to listen to an hour and a half of James Dobson and former special assistant to President George W. Bush and current Focus on the Family Vice President Tim Goeglein count the ways in which they love President Bush and detail what a great president he was?

Nobody?

Well, I don't blame you, which is why I've edited it down to this nine minute audio clip in which Goeglein declares that "George W. Bush was the instrument in God's hand" that kept America safe; that Bush was just like George Washington; that Bush was the "most pro-life and pro-family president in the history of the United States" as demonstrated by his judicial nominations, including John Roberts and Samuel Alito; that his heart is breaking that all of Bush's work in this regard is being unraveled by President Obama; that it is not possible to be President of the United States and be pro-choice; that "there can be no compromise on the question of the defense of the innocent pre-born" and that their anti-choice efforts will be "vindicated ... by divine providence" when Roe v. Wade is finally overturned; that Bush is a "great thinker" who is "powered by integrity" which is rooted in his faith in Christ and that, in the years ahead, historians will look back and recognize Bush as the great president that he really was:

One section I didn't include was the ten minute explanation Goeglein gave about the circumstances under which he resigned from his position in the White House which, not surprisingly, he used to further demonstrate just what a loving, forgiving, and all-around remarkable human being George W. Bush truly is. 

If, down the line, you start hearing people claim that President Bush was never really committed to the  Religious Right agenda or that the Religious Right never really loved him, you can just play them this clip of Dobson and Goeglein's love note to George W. Bush, the greatest human being who ever lived.

UPDATE: The following transcript of the broadcast was prepared by The Colorado Independent:

James Dobson: There are undoubtedly some people listening to us today who are going to sneer at what you just said because George W. Bush was certainly one of the most hated presidents that we’ve had — certainly in recent memory.

He was maligned at every turn but I know you admire him greatly, don’t you?

Tim Goeglein: I do, indeed. In fact, I see George W. Bush as a great president. And I believe that George Walker Bush was right about the most important things that came across his presidency in those eight years, Dr. Dobson.

First, without peer, is that he saw the greatest external threat to our national security. And he saw it immediately. And he prosecuted the war in such a way that from 9/11 and the terror and terribleness of the day — and I was in the White House that day — until the last minute of the last hour of his presidency, George W. Bush kept us safe.

Providence kept us safe.

But George W. Bush was the instrument in God’s hand as the leader of the free world.

And every problem imaginable that comes across your desk when you’re the President of the United States. But history will be kind to George Bush because they will see that through a series of very important decisions his leadership, his personal character and integrity added up to the forbearance of another direct attack on the United States of America.

The primary role of the Commander in Chief is our national security. And, yes, I believe that part of the greatness of George W. Bush was not to see this as an intelligence problem primarily. To not see it as a police action.

Dobson: Yeah, yeah.

Goeglein: But to actually see it for what it was. Of course, this was the great blessing of our first president George Washington — the original George W. — who, you know, the thing that made him in Thomas Flexner’s landmark biography “The Indispensable Man,” the greatest trait of Washington was to see things as they were and not as he wanted to see them.

That was George W. Bush’s gift.

When he came to this war, he immediately — upon being told of the attacks — knew that this was war and that we were being attacked existentially by radical Islam.

But the one thing that we did not talk about, I think is the greatest achievement of the former president, beyond the security question, is the fact that George W. Bush is the most pro-life and pro-family president in the history of the United States.

Dobson: Now, I’ve said that on many, many occasions here at Focus on the Family and I want you to address it. George Bush is the most pro-life and pro-family president in history. Validate that statement for us.

Goeglein: I was getting ready to come to the broadcast and I literally jotted these down. These are quick snapshots of the Bush Administration on life.

• Signed and reinstituted the Mexico City Agreement
• Signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act
• Signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act
• Vetoed the partial birth abortion bill

And, very importantly, fought it in several appellate courts.

He had the most pro-life, anti-cloning provision, ever. He instituted the most important pro-life provision in his presidency which was a pro-human dignity, pro-life stem cell research policy.

He created the conscience clause laws provisions.

I may say, as well, that George W. Bush funded pro-marriage programs. Was the greatest funder of abstinence education in the history of the United States.

He gave Henry Hyde the Medal of Freedom, the most pro-life member of the United States Senate or House, ever.

And I think very importantly, Dr. Dobson, and this is something that I think that is at the pinnacle of pro-life, pro-family achievement in this administration, the Bush administration, he elevated John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the United State of America. He appointed Samuel Alito to be an Associate Justice …

Dobson: A great justice too.

Goeglein: … two great justices. And, this is something people do not know, that George W. Bush nominated and confirmed over 35 percent of sitting federal judges.

Dobson: So his impact on the judiciary is going to continue for a long time.

Goeglein: It is huge. It is huge and it’s lasting.

Dobson: Does it break your heart what is about to happen to the judiciary?

Goeglein: It more than breaks my heart. To watch it unravel in a few short months by a new president is a heartbreaking, disappointing and difficult thing to watch. It is systematic and it is categorical. And we have gone in America from the most pro-life president in the history of our country to, unfortunately, the most pro-abortion president that we’ve ever had.

It is not possible to president of the United States of America, in the early part of the 21st century, and to know what we know morally and technologically and to find any reason other than a full-throated advocate for the pro-life position.

Dobson: Yeah, when President Obama spoke recently at Notre Dame about abortion he talked about our need to come together, to find areas of agreement. He said that we needed to work together. We needed to accommodate each other.

But you can’t compromise with evil. I mean, in what way are you going to compromise with the killing of babies?

Goeglein: There is no compromise. There can be no compromise on the question of the defense of the innocent pre-born.

All of the millions of people who have worked in both in the leadership and the vanguard of the pro-life movement, they will be vindicated. If by divine providence Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. And we were to start again in the United State on the question of life.

It is simply unacceptable that from 1973 until 15 seconds ago, that something like 45 million innocent pre-born lives have been snuffed out in defense of words like “choice.”

George W. Bush’s greatness as a human being, apart from the presidency, is that he has an inner moral compass that is self-confident. That is loyal. That is powered by integrity.

But Dr. Dobson it wells up from his faith in Christ. This is who the man is.

He is a great thinker. He is a person who prays and works to make the right decision. He has an inner confidence and peace in his soul that that was the right thing.

Dobson: And nothing is going to shake his confidence.

Goeglein: I think that is absolutely right. And that’s why I’m actually very confident and hopeful that in the years ahead — with the benefit of time and space — that historians will look back at those remarkable, incredibly eventful eight years, and say, you know, he made the right decisions about the biggest things during those eight years.

And, yes, maybe he will not be remembered, you know, of Churchillian, you know, eloquence. Maybe he will not be remembered for X, Y and Z. But when it comes to the questions of national security and war, when it comes to the questions of the right to life and when it comes to the questions of our constitutional Republic, national sovereignty and constitutional formulation of the Supreme Court — above all when it comes to the innocent pre-born people will say he got those big ones right.

Has Chuck Colson Finally Gone Off The Deep End?

That is the question asked by Joseph L. Conn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wanting to know why Colson is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the Association of Classical and Christian Schools annual conference where he'll be sharing the stage with Douglas Wilson, who believes in exiling gays and executing adulterers:

Now, Colson has taken an even bigger step toward the lunatic fringe. He’s the featured speaker at the June 25-27 “Building on a Firm Foundation” conference of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS).

ACCS is the brainchild of the Rev. Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. The ACCS approach to private education and homeschooling has spread across the nation in recent years. You may have heard Wilson’s name because of some debates he did with atheist author Christopher Hitchens.

But Wilson is better known in Idaho for his advocacy of outlandish religious and political viewpoints. His “firm foundation” seems to be Christian Reconstructionism, the extreme Religious Right theo-political movement that seeks to take “dominion” over America, scrap democracy and impose biblical law.

Reconstructionists read the Bible literally and think the legal mandates of the Old Testament should apply today, including application of the death penalty for a range of “crimes” running from adultery and homosexuality to witchcraft and worshiping false gods.

In an interview with Christianity Today, Wilson distanced himself from the Reconstructionist label, but not the movement’s harsh views.

Asked if he would execute gays, he replied, “You can’t apply Scripture woodenly. You might exile some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim. There are circumstances where I’d be in favor of execution for adultery…. I’m not proposing legislation. All I’m doing is refusing to apologize for certain parts of the Bible.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has more on Wilson:

Still, Colson’s flirtation with dominionism is one thing. The antebellum slavery-defending “paleo-confederacy” advocated by Wilson, his conference host, is quite another. Wilson’s booklet Southern Slavery, As It Was, is an outrageous apologia for the enslavement of black Americans in the Old South. “Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence,” wrote Wilson and his co-author Wilkins. “There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.” Wilson is also a promoter of some of the more draconian tenets of Christian Reconstructionism, a theocratic movement that seeks to demolish American democracy and replace it with the legal code of the Old Testament, which calls for stoning to death adulterers, homosexuals and in some cases, wayward children. In an April 2009 interview with Christianity Today, Wilson distanced himself only ever so slightly from the most hardline reconstructionists. “You can’t apply Scripture woodenly,” said Wilson. “I’m not proposing legislation. All I’m doing is refusing to apologize for certain parts of the Bible.”

Susan B. Anthony List: What's In a Name?

After losing her re-election bid last November, right-wing former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave quickly teamed up with the Susan B. Anthony List to launch a new anti-choice project called "Votes Have Consequences" that vowed to target pro-choice politicians for defeat:

Former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave will lead a new antiabortion initiative dubbed “Votes Have Consequences” that will target members of Congress in the 2010 election cycle who support abortion rights.

In a case of supreme irony, Musgrave intends to rip a page from the hardball playbook used by the Defenders of Wildlife. The environmental group was credited with helping to defeat the three-term Republican congresswoman with intense local organizing and a $1.6 million barrage of TV attack ads — a strategy that was roundly criticized by Republicans.

Musgrave and her new boss, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Coloradoan they would mimic the same scorched-earth tactics:

“We need to know that the person that we defeat has a scalp that we can hold up high and say their pro-abortion leadership is why they lost,” Dannenfelser said.

But Musgrave's ties to the Susan B. Anthony List continues to deepen, as she has now donated $50,000 to a new effort to get young-people involved in the anti-choice movement called the Young Leaders Board ... or maybe its the Youth Leaders Board, they don't seem to be sure:

Today the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund (501(c)(3)) launched its first project, the Young Leaders Board, a new outreach effort to engage young people in the pro-life movement. Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) donated $50,000 from her congressional campaign committee, Musgrave for Congress, to launch the board. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will serve as the Board's Honorary Chairwoman.

I am so pleased to support the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund's youth outreach efforts by supporting the new Youth Leaders Board," said Marilyn Musgrave, Director of Regional Outreach for the Susan B. Anthony List. "As technology advances and sonograms continue to offer compelling visual evidence of the humanity of unborn children, we're finding that the younger generation is more pro-life. I'm confident the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund will effectively marshal the energy and enthusiasm found among young pro-lifers to be a voice for women and the unborn for years to come."

The Youth Leaders Board will be comprised of young pro-life women leaders from across the country. The Board's early focus will be youth leadership training, with a special emphasis on communications, in order to train effective pro-life spokeswomen. The Board will also permanently integrate a youth perspective into existing Susan B. Anthony new media outreach efforts, like Lia's Challenge, the organization's recent YouTube youth video contest.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will serve as Honorary Chairwoman of the Youth Leaders Board.

"One of my priorities in Congress is to encourage women to get involved," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). "Through the use of new media and other communications tools, I look forward to helping the SBA List's Young Leaders Board reach out to young, pro-life women."

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers is a member of the House Pro-Life Women's Caucus. She serves as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the fourth-highest ranking Republican and the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives. She also works to recruit women candidates for Congress through the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave joined the Susan B. Anthony List (501(c)(4)) in March as Director of Regional Outreach to run the organization's new pro-life voter education effort, Votes Have Consequences.

Once they get this figured out, we hope they let us know because it'll be a lot easier for us to track this effort if we know which of these two names they actually plan on using.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Steve Benen is not overly impressed with Newt Gingrich's "apology" for calling Sonia Sotomayor "racist."
  • On a related note, Greg Sargent reports that Rush Limbaugh says he's not retracting any of the things that he has said about her.
  • Media Matters says the media is ignoring Sen. Jeff Sessions' double standard on timing of Sotomayor's confirmation hearing.
  • I'm late in linking to this post by Autumn Sandeen over at Pam's House Blend regarding Mission America's founder Linda Harvey's over-the-top response to news that Kevin Jennings has been tapped as the Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools' deputy secretary.
  • As Good As You notes, I doubt this was the result that OneNewsNow had in mind when it put up its latest on-line poll.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Judicial Confirmation Network has sent its own Sotomayor letter to Senate Republicans.
  • Speaking of Sotomayor, Rick Santorum says that if he were still in the Senate, he'd vote against her.  Of course, if people wanted him to be casting votes on their behalf, he'd still be in the Senate.
  • What do you know? Dick Cheney supports gay marriage.
  • Tony Perkins is not happy with the coverage of George Tiller's murder because "what he [Tiller] did is being glossed over." 
  • Peter LaBarbera freaks out over the nomination of Kevin Jennings to become Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Department of Education's Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools.
  • Finally, let me clarify something for Matthew Vadum, "Kyle" is not my "pen name" ... it's my name.
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Education Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 06/27/2011, 10:17am
On Friday we reported on the anti-gay diatribe by Tea Party Nation’s Alan Caruba, who asserted that “the queering of America” is “one more factor in the destruction of America.” The tea party group is now pushing another attack on gays and lesbians, this time from Rich Swier, an activist with TPN and the anti-Muslim group ACT! For America, who previously warned that the U.S. is facing white “extinction.” In a post sent to TPN members, Swier rails against a Florida group that introduced an anti-bullying initiative, arguing that being gay is just like... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/24/2011, 11:04am
I don't know about you, but if I was hoping to be taken seriously as a Republican presidential candidate and Randall Terry approached me at a conference for an interview, I would run away as fast as I could. But, then again, I am not Rick Santorum: Turns out that both Terry and Santorum attended a homeschool convention in Iowa and Terry managed to land an interview with the GOP presidential hopeful.  Terry is breaking the interview up into three parts which he is showing on his television program.  Part one aired last night (starting around the 11:00 mark)... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/24/2011, 10:37am
Despite the common refrain that the Tea Party doesn’t care about social issues like gay rights, today the Tea Party Nation emailed its members a post by right-wing activist Alan Caruba on the dangers of marriage equality and anti-bullying programs. Caruba, who once called marriage equality “an act of societal suicide,” discussed how Tea Party activists need to stop “the queering of America.” According to Caruba, measures that promote tolerance and gay rights are “a distinct threat to the fabric of a society based on the undisputed normality of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/21/2011, 6:03pm
Steve Benen: How To End A Culture-War Fight. Judd Legum @ Think Progress: Santorum: Poor History Scores A Result Of ‘Conscious Effort’ By ‘The Left’ To Keep Students Uninformed. Minnesota Independent: Bradlee Dean: A Week Before House Prayer, Zellers Asked To Be On My Radio Show. Dahlia Lithwick @ Slate: Class Dismissed: The Supreme Court Decides That The Women Of Wal-Mart Can’t Have Their Day In Court. TNR: Rick Perry: Why His Texas Record Is Much Worse Than You Think. MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/21/2011, 1:58pm
After Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter declaring that Gay-Straight Alliances and similar groups are protected under the 1984 Equal Access Law, which was passed with the help of Religious Right activists, the Religious Right was unsurprisingly enraged. Many anti-gay organizations forcefully oppose the creation of such clubs, and the Family Research Council even urged schools to encourage clubs that support ex-gay therapy. Now, American Principles In Action (APIA) is denouncing Duncan’s letter as a threat to “the innocence” of children. APIA is the political... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/20/2011, 1:34pm
Taking a page from right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, Rick Joyner is out with a new series about how the country’s schools are trying to root out Christianity from America. Joyner, the leader of the Oak Initiative and Morning Star Ministries, warned during the program that religious freedom in America is on the decline and that the education system is part of a “massive assault on the Untied States.” Joyner even alleged that history textbooks have eliminated the role of the Founders in American history and replaced them with a discussion of Muslims in America. Watch: MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/15/2011, 3:08pm
When the Gay-Straight Alliance Network was awarded federal funds to help LGBT youth facing health and academic challenges, naturally the Family Research Council had something to say. Peter Sprigg, the FRC's senior fellow who wants to see homosexuality criminalized and gays "exported," thinks that helping youth on issues of mental, physical and sexual health will actually make kids less healthy. In an interview with the American Family Association's OneNewsNow, Sprigg explains that instead the government should encourage LGBT youth to become ex-gays: The Gay-Straight Alliance... MORE