Education

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, MoveOn.org, 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 Adherents.com 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 ABCNews.com 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 www.truthtellers.org). 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 LifeNews.com 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 LifeNews.com 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?

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.

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Education Posts Archive

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
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/05/2011, 3:04pm
Republican leaders including Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry like to trumpet the work of pseudo-historian David Barton despite his long record of blatant dishonesty and anti-gay bigotry. Back in January, Barton and WallBuilders Live co-host Rick Green denied the existence of bullying against LGBT youth and said that anti-bullying laws represented “homosexual indoctrination.” On today’s program, Barton continued to press his extreme views that students are becoming gay because of “indoctrination,” citing a discredited far-right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/03/2011, 4:14pm
Harry Jackson, the anti-gay preacher and face of the Religious Right’s efforts to stop marriage equality in Washington D.C. and Maryland, appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s flagship show Praise The Lord where host Phil Munsey lauded the right-wing preacher as a “Prophet of God.” During the interview, Jackson predicted that a “great awakening” and “reformation” is coming to America “when those who are saved begin to prophesy in the halls of Congress and the legislatures.” Jackson discussed his belief in the radical “... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/01/2011, 10:22am
With the emergence of the Stop SB 48 Coalition, which seeks to overturn the California law that makes sure textbooks include prominent LGBT historical figures by referendum, Religious Right activists have been stepping up their rhetoric against the new law. Larry Jacobs, the Vice President and Managing Director of the right-wing World Congress of Families, told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that the LGBT-inclusive law represents “a Nazi state or a communist type of way of dealing with an issue”: Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families expects... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/27/2011, 3:23pm
Linda Harvey of Mission America is speaking out against a grant to the anti-bullying group to help schools create “safe spaces” for LGBT students that are targeted for harassment. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) said it has worked with both the Clinton and Bush administrations in prior years to combat school bullying, but in a World Net Daily article entitled “Hope and change 2011: Now homo and change,” Harvey specifically attacks the Obama administration for pushing “its destructive priorities.” Harvey, a fierce critic of GLSEN... MORE