Education

Santorum Campaign Hails Support from 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Sponsor

Earlier today we reported that Rick Santorum’s campaign is promoting endorsements from anti-gay radicals like Sally Kern and Bobbi Radeck of Oklahoma and Ohio, respectively, and now the former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign is trumpeting the endorsement of Tennessee state legislator Joey Hensley, the chief House sponsor of the state’s “don’t say gay” bill. “We don’t want students to be exposed to alternate lifestyles,” Hensley said in defense of the legislation, which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in K-8th grades classes. Hensley also criticized Modern Family because two of the show’s main characters are gay, calling it “inappropriate for children.”

Family Research Council Demands Elevation of 'Ex-Gay' Message in Schools

After a Maryland school district decided to reconsider its flyer policy after the “ex-gay” group PFOX distributed material promoting the discredited and dangerous reparative therapy, Family Research Council senior fellow and PFOX board member Peter Sprigg responded with a furious op-ed in the Washington Times and an appearance on Today’s Issues with FRC president Tony Perkins. During the interview, Perkins said that “the homosexual community” is trying to stop children from getting “the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with [sexuality] issues” by opposing the distribution of ex-gay material, and lamented that “government officials [are] increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.” Sprigg said that unless the ex-gay “message gets out in the schools,” then more and more confused kids who “would end up being perfectly heterosexual” would be “told by their teachers and guidance counselors, ‘well you are probably gay.’”

Perkins: When you look across the board in different incidences where the homosexual community is involved, they simply want to shut down any discussion, they don’t want children to be aware of the options or the help that’s available for them if they’re struggling with these issues, and now you see government officials increasingly becoming really patsies for the homosexual activists.

Sprigg: Right. It’s especially important that this message gets out in the schools because it’s normal for young people, adolescents to experience some confusion about their sexual identity. An important statistic that I read once was that there’s a survey done of 12 year olds that found at age 12, 25 percent of the students were unsure of their sexual orientation. But we know from surveys of the adult population that only maybe 2 to 3 percent of the adult population will actually identify as homosexual or bisexual. So you have this population of young people that left to themselves, 9 out of 10 would end up being perfectly heterosexual, but now with the politically correct environment in the schools, those kids are being told by their teachers and guidance counselors, “well you are probably gay, you were born that way, you just have to accept it and embrace it.”

Linda Harvey Tells Parents Not to Send Children to Colleges with Gay Straight Alliances

Mission America president Linda Harvey has a stern warning for parents with college-bound children: don’t send your kid to a school with “a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group” because “a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth.” Harvey lamented that even evangelical and Catholic institutions are recognizing their gay and lesbian students that would make them stray from “God’s word” in order to “cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences” and “aggressive homosexual activism.” She also railed against gender neutral campus policies and “deteriorating” standing of “moral judgment” in higher education:

Are you looking for guidance about where to send your son or daughter to college, well perhaps some recent news items about colleges will help. First, check out any trend toward gender neutrality on campus. More and more colleges are instituting bathrooms, showers and locker rooms for both males and females and whatever might me in-between, and you might be interested to know that there are now at least fifty-four colleges and universities in the U.S. with gender neutral housing. Yes, that means just what you’re thinking, students can be roommates regardless of their God-given genders. Another trend is toward bolder support for homosexuality, even at religious schools. We’ve been talking about the push to officially recognize homosexuals on the campuses of some evangelical colleges, which ones will remain faithful to God’s word and which will cave in to transient, trendy sexual preferences? It remains to be seen but if I were a parent I would check any potential college to see if a Gay Straight Alliance or any similar group comes up on a Google search.



Forty-three percent of Catholic colleges have some sort of homosexual group recognized on campus. This is recent news and another sign that moral judgment is deteriorating in the face of aggressive homosexual activism. So a faith-based school with a homosexual group has probably lost its first love for Jesus and His truth. Perhaps, parents, it’s a good idea to seek other alternatives.

Cindy Jacobs Claims American Schools Had No Problems Before 1962

Cindy Jacobs and her husband Mike on God Knows discussed a recent meeting they had with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton where they agreed that problems such as “teen suicide, rape, murder [and] assault” are a result of a 1962 Supreme Court decision barring school-organized prayer. Claims that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Engel v. Vitale is responsible for America’s cultural and moral decline are commonplace in the Religious Right, and Barton even started his career by blaming the decision for a decline in SAT scores.

According to Cindy Jacobs, public schools in the U.S. had no problems besides “cutting in line” and “throwing spit wads” before 1962. Of course, Jacobs seems to ignore the egregious discrimination that African American students faced in the era of legalized segregation followed by the de facto segregation of schools, and even in integrated schools students like the Little Rock Nine in 1957 faced far more problems that spit wads. 

While she argued that the end of school-organized prayer led to “every evil thing” in America today, her husband claimed that a recent meeting of prophets decided that the European Union’s current “fiscal hardships” are a result of the fact that “they refused to acknowledge God.” What they fail to mention is that Greece, the EU country facing the most severe financial problems, like other European nations actually has an official state church.

Watch:

Cindy Jacobs: 1962, when prayer was taken out of our schools by the Supreme Court, and in 1967 when Bible reading was taken out of our public schools, what happened? I mean in ’62 our biggest problem that we had in the United States was cutting in line, throwing spit wads.



Cindy Jacobs: Yeah, these were our problems, after we took the law of God out of our school, what happened? Teen suicide, rape, murder, assault, kids bringing guns to school, does it matter whether we pray? Absolutely it matters. Does it matter whether we read the Bible? Absolutely it matters. You know Mike when we were kids here in the state of Texas, we began our school with prayer and we prayed in the name of Jesus, I mean nobody was forced to do it, they didn’t have to do it, and then we read the Bible and nobody complained. It was amazing what happened in the nation, but when you take out God out of the house, God out of the schools, what happens is every evil thing comes in, there’s a void place.

Mike Jacobs: Remember the prophets were talking specifically about the European Union and that one of the curses that’s on them right now, one of the reasons they are enduring some of the financial, fiscal hardships right now, is they said when they were doing the founding documents, they refused to acknowledge God.

Cindy Jacobs: That’s right, it’s not in there.

Religious Right Activists Warn Parents Against Sending Students to Communist, Atheist, Gay Public Schools

Public schools have long faced attacks from Religious Right activists who deem them ungodly institutions and conservative politicians who seek to defund and privatize them, and this week Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, released the film The Dumbing Down of America on the “sinister” agenda of the public education system. We’ve selected highlights from the film which includes Religious Right figures such as radio talk show host Janet Parshall, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver, The Myth of Separation Between Church and State author Dee Wampler, Philomath Foundation president Katherine Dang and Center for Academic Freedom (a division of the Alliance Defense Fund) legal counsel Greg Baylor.

The film warns that public schools are based on what Parshall called a “Hitlerian idea” and are led by atheist, communist teachers who Wampler says seek “the eradication of Christianity.” Staver warned that public schools have created a “society that is ripe for chaos and disorder” and Wampler went as so far to blame public education for “everything bad that is happening in our country today.” Of course, no Religious Right film can go long without criticizing gays and lesbians, as Parshall and Baylor criticized positive representations of LGBT community in education.

Watch:

Spiritual Warfare for Public Schools

Many of the charismatic preachers, particularly those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, claim that they are in the midst of taking control of the Seven Mountains of society: arts and entertainment, business, the church, education, the family, government and the media, through a mix of political advocacy and spiritual warfare. As Kyle has noted, we have already seen large prayer rallies with “the purpose of swinging elections, ending abortion, fighting marriage equality, converting Muslims, and even launching a presidential campaign,” and there is even a brand new effort to take dominion over Hollywood.

Now, there is a new spiritual warfare effort targeting public schools to bring about the return of government-organized school prayer.

Many Republican politicians and right-wing activists regularly and quite falsely assert that prayer has been outlawed in schools. As K. Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee writes: “Students, too, are free to pray voluntarily at various times of the school day, absent school involvement or disruption to others. There is simply nothing constructive to be gained from official prayer that advances or harms a particular religion. On the contrary, such prayers threaten individual freedom of conscience and violate the First Amendment’s promise of religious liberty for all.”

With the help of Lou Engle of The Call, one Religious Right activist is set to lead a prayer rally in Sacramento, California, on March 31 to bring government organized prayer back to public schools.

Brian Barcelona said he started a group called “the Christian Club” in a California public school that grew to hundreds of members and that thanks to his club “teachers have been healed of incurable diseases” and “students no longer have to turn to the counselors for advice.” He calls for students of all faiths to come together under Christianity:

This is a movement that is not about a denomination or a church, but a DEMONSTRATION of the Kingdom of God. Signs, wonders, and miracles have broken out amongst students and teachers alike. Teachers have been healed of incurable diseases, and students no longer turn to the counselors for advice, but the Christian Club for prayer and support.

A movement that doesn’t care if a student is a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, or anything in between, all are invited to encounter the Love of Jesus and what He has to offer.

He goes on to say that a series of Supreme Court decisions have resulted “in the effective banning of prayer and Bible verse recitation in public schools” and dramatic increases in teen pregnancy, STDs, divorce, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, violent crimes, abortion rate and a decline in SAT scores.

Of course, if this were true his “Christian Club” and thousands of other clubs in the U.S. would have been shut down. But it’s not and that’s why students are allowed to pray as they choose to, rather than have the government dictate and lead students in organized prayer.

As. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams of the Baptist Joint Committee points out, government-compelled prayer “violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and offends the consciences of those would not choose to participate in the prayers” due to their faith or lack of faith” and “many believers consider watered-downed, generic prayers to be deeply offensive.”

Most of all, Barcelona’s own example proves that students are not prevented from engaging in voluntary prayer, and surely he or others involved in his version of charismatic prayer may find vapid, government-written prayers offensive just as many students may not want to participate in a government-sponsored charismatic prayer.

Cindy Jacobs Warns of Satan's Grip in 'Ungodly' Education System

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs told participants of the Prophetic Marketplace Conference that the public education system has Satanic origins because John Dewey, who led the development of progressive education, was a signatory of the Humanist Manifesto. Jacobs said that God told her to “go look up the Humanist Manifesto” to learn about who is instructing the people of America and the entire world. “I began to study this and I began to see that there was something desperately wrong because since 1933 the educational systems of the world had been totally diluted, deceived, coopted and taken over by this ungodly system,” Jacobs explained. She concluded that Satan “founded humanism” in the Garden of Eden, which now, because of John Dewey, has taken over public education.

Watch:

Gates Foundation Raises Eyebrows with Grant to Right-Wing Lobbying Group

“We don’t want to be part of the controversy.” That’s what Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, told NPR when asked why the foundation’s work on reproductive health avoided support for abortion care. While this was a grave disappointment to global women’s health advocates, it wasn’t altogether surprising. Despite the Gates Foundation’s staggering wealth and influence and willingness to try new – sometimes controversial – approaches, it steadfastly steers clear of political fights.

That’s why a recent award of $376,635 to a right-wing lobbying group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is raising eyebrows, and more, in progressive and philanthropy circles. Knowingly or not, the Gates Foundation has just stepped on a political landmine.
ALEC is engaged in all of the fiercest political fights of our day – working hand-in-hand with companies seeking to roll back healthcare reform, environmental protections, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, and taxes on the wealthy. The Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” should know that those aims are incompatible with ALEC’s efforts to undermine Americans’ health, safety, and economic security to benefit the bottom line of its corporate backers.
 
The stated purpose of the Gates Foundation grant to ALEC is “to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.” On the face of it, this pales in comparison to ALEC’s other education work, which promotes large-scale voucher and privatization schemes that would destroy, not improve, the public education system.
 
Interestingly, Lee Fang recently reported in The Nation on the various ways that the Gates Foundation and ALEC are working – independently – to promote for-profit distance learning. These programs typically undermine public schools while benefiting technology and software companies, including Microsoft. The educational value of such programs is also highly contested.
 
But the bigger issue here is that the Gates Foundation – a grant-making behemoth – is legitimizing ALEC and all of its egregious lobbying by directly supporting a portion of the group’s work. One can only hope that the Gates Foundation staff responsible for the grant were narrowly focused on education policy and unaware of ALEC’s broader agenda. Either way, the foundation seems headed into the middle of a controversy, which is remarkable for an organization that took pains to avoid “the controversy” in the reproductive health arena.
 
For a primer on ALEC, see People For the American Way’s recent report:
When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting by minorities, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.  ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

 

Loyola University Under Fire For Holding Drag Show During LGBTQ History Month

Loyola University of Chicago is taking heat from an ultraconservative Catholic group for allowing a club of LGBTQ students and allies to host a drag show. The club, The Advocate, holds an annual drag show during LGBTQ History Month to raise money for their scholarship fund. The event is coupled with discussions on gender identity and “serves to bring together the larger Loyola community for a discussion about acceptance of all members of the LGBTQ community.” The group also hosted a panel on “religion and sexuality” and a “safe space ally training.”

But the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), which made news in 2009 for fervently protesting President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame, is now attacking Loyola University for allowing the event to take place. Mary Hunt of Religion Dispatches notes that the CNS “monitors speakers, professors, students, and organizations on all the campuses and squeals every time its version of Catholic orthodoxy is transgressed” and particularly focuses on trying to prevent The Vagina Monologues from being performed on campuses.

In a statement, CNS president Patrick J. Reilly claimed that cross dressing undermines “basic standards of decency and morality” and that “drag shows debase the human person”:

“When Catholic parents send their children to a Catholic university they should be able to expect at least basic standards of decency and morality,” wrote Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly in a letter to Loyola’s President last year. “Events like this not only undermine the sacred trust parents have in Loyola University, but may lead to serious personal and social problems caused by confusion about sexuality. Drag shows debase the human person and are an affront to Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person.”

How David Barton Is Secretly Shaping Curricula Across The Nation

In our previous post we noted that the American Family Association spent two hours promoting the new WallBuilders "Building On The American Heritage Series" DVD program and that, during the program, David Barton took calls from listeners in the AFA audience.

During the Q&A, one of the listeners expressed hope that the next president would give Barton a Cabinet-level appointment, maybe as Attorney General, but that was a notion that Barton quickly shot down by admitting it would never happen because he is "radioactive."  

But Barton then went on to reveal that because he is so radioactive, he has been forced to help school boards draft state history and/or government curricula in secret so that people on the Left don't find out about it:

For me, I am radioactive in so many areas. I got a call from US News and World Report and they said "did you know the ACLU just spent a million dollars to discredit you?" There are four law schools I know that have entire websites dedicated just to me. Soros-type people get paid to find my name every time it pops up and they will start blogging about how stupid I am, how I don't know anything, how I make up my history. And so if you Google me, you're going to find a lot of negative stuff about me.

Now, having said that, I get appointed by a lot of states, by state boards of education to do the history and government standards in those states, public schools, etc ... Now, when these guys find out that I'm there, I become the target of their attempts. So in Texas, I was one of six guys appointed by the state Board of Education to do history and government there and suddenly I'm up on Wall Street Journal, MSNBC is doing specials on how terrible I am, all these things are going after me. And that's fine; I understand that I'm radioactive.

So, this is a lot of fun: I had a national textbook publisher come to me and said "hey, you helped write these standards, why don't you help us do textbooks to reflect those standards?" I said "sure, but just keep my name out of the textbook, don't put me down as one of the editors because if you put me down, they'll go all over the nation talking about how terrible this is." So they kept my name out. Guess what? That public school textbook is now the best-selling public school history textbook in America.

So this history is good. People want this history, they want to get this stuff but what happens is there's a political movement that will try to marginalize us by making us radioactive. I currently now am working with multiple states in doing their history and government standards - I'm not going to say what those states are because they've kept it silent, I'm going to keep it silent.

Barton: America Must Instruct Children In "The Fear Of The Lord"

Today on Believers Voice of Victory, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that the only way to rejuvenate America’s education system is to instill in kids the “fear of the Lord.” Barton launched his career as a Religious Right activist with the 1989 booklet What Happened in Education?, in which he concluded that a decline in SAT scores was a result of the end of school prayer, and that only Christian teachings in schools could bring SAT scores back up. Barton explained to Copeland, a Prosperity Gospel preacher, what that instilling the “fear of the Lord” in children would require establishing the Bible as the basis of all school curricula:

Barton: This shows you what public education is supposed to look like, the educational system was supposed to come—and it did, these guys started the first public schools in 1642 and cited Bible verses on why they were doing it, they also cited Bible verses on the courses they taught and the way they taught the courses. Now most Christians today, ‘Well we got government schools that’s the way it was supposed to be.’ Really? Show me in the Bible where government’s supposed to do the education, show me how that works, show me what courses government’s supposed to be teaching. See we can’t do that anymore, we don’t use the—we’ve been conformed to the culture, we’ve had public schools for so long that we think that’s the way it is.

Copeland: So now we’ve done then, we’ve gone, into our own—

Barton: Dark ages.



Barton: This book right here, every Bible says, in Proverbs 1:7, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ Now I don’t know why today we think, ‘oh I’m going to know more about the Lord if I fear God,’ we’ve made the fear of the Lord the beginning of spiritual knowledge. He didn’t say that, He said the fear of the Lord’s the beginning of knowledge. If you want education you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good scientist you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good musician—1962, ’63, the U.S. Supreme Court in three decisions said no more fear of God in education, we want education to be secular. All right, that’s a theological issue. How’s that working out? In 1962, ’63, America was number one in the world in literacy, we are now number sixty-five in the world in literacy. We don’t have the fear of the Lord, because guess what, we don’t have knowledge, it goes down.

Sowell: LGBT Anti-Bullying Efforts Are "Propaganda"

Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell writes today in his weekly column that efforts to combat the bullying of LGBT youth are meant to “advance the agenda of homosexual organizations and can turn homosexuality into yet another of the subjects on which words on only one side are permitted.” According to Sowell, anti-bullying efforts are merely a ruse to promulgate “propaganda for politically correct causes that are in vogue”:

Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.

Where youngsters are victims of violence, whether for being gay or whatever, that is where the authorities need to step in. No decent person wants to see kids hounded, whether by words or deeds, and whether the kids are gay, Asian or whatever.

But there is still a difference between words and deeds -- and it is a difference we do not need to let ourselves be stampeded into ignoring. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech -- and, like any other freedom, it can be abused.

If we are going to take away every Constitutional right that has been abused by somebody, we are going to end up with no Constitutional rights.



Meanwhile, a law has been passed in California that mandates teaching about the achievements of gays in the public schools. Whether this will do anything to stop either verbal or physical abuse of gay kids is very doubtful.

But it will advance the agenda of homosexual organizations and can turn homosexuality into yet another of the subjects on which words on only one side are permitted. Our schools are already too lacking in the basics of education to squander even more time on propaganda for politically correct causes that are in vogue. We do not need to create special privileges in the name of equal rights.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Meanwhile, Jeffress falsely claims “that there has never been a church in American history that has ever lost its tax-exempt status,” while the not self-aware pastor attacks Barry Lynn for seeking “publicity.”
  • WorldNetDaily’s Jane Chastain can only dream that President Obama will tell the Occupy Wall Street protest, “You have disgraced yourself by your public displays of indecency.”
  • The New York Times looks into Michele Bachmann’s education in biblical law at Oral Roberts University.

Discussing Lawrence King's Murder, Truth In Action Ministries Blames The Victim

After the tragic shooting of Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay California student who was shot dead by a classmate in school three years ago, Religious Right activists pounced to defame King and gay rights advocates. Randy Thomasson of Save California blamed “social engineering” and said that King’s sexual orientation and gender expression and the shooting represented the “two wrongs” in the case. Anti-gay author Michael Brown said “gay activism” was responsible for the murder. The trial of King’s shooter ended in a hung jury and will be retried.

Now, in a recently-posted interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Karen Gushta of Truth in Action Ministries argues that King’s murder demonstrates that “affirming students” is “not a healthy trend.” OneNewsNow writes that attempts to “encourage children to ‘come out’ and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks,” and claims that Brandon McInerney, the defendant, “allegedly shot King,” even though neither party is contesting the facts of the murder.

Gushta told the conservative news site that hate crimes laws and education policy were to blame for King’s brutal death:

A research coordinator says the murder of a "gay" teenage student should serve as an example for why hate crime laws "do nothing to aid in administering justice."



Dr. Karen Gushta, research coordinator for Truth in Action Ministries, points out that hate crime laws did not protect King in this case.

"Hate crime laws do nothing to aid in administering justice," she explains. "They are a solution in the search for problems because what they in actuality do is criminalize thought."

Prosecutors dropped the hate crimes count, stating that they want to "slim the case down" and "narrow the focus." If convicted under the new charges, McInerney could face 50 years to life in prison. Had he been convicted in the first trial, he would have faced 53 years to life.

Gushta warns that policies that encourage children to "come out" and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks.

"The trend toward teaching gender identity and affirming students at a young age in transgender identity that's taking place in education, and specifically in California schools, that is not a healthy trend," she contends.

McInerney allegedly shot King once, and shot him again after he fell to the floor. A pretrial hearing is set for November 21.

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

WallBuilders Enlists Christopher Columbus & Reconstructionist Eidsmoe in Christian Nation Crusade

David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.  

Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had installed in the state courthouse.

As we have reported, Eidsmoe believes that feminists “violate the normal order” that God put in place for husbands to head households, that “homosexuality invites the judgment of God upon all of society,” that gays will turn the military into a “cesspool of immorality,” and that public education is brainwashing students to believe in secularism and evolution.  Ryan Lizza recently reported that Eidsmoe was uninvited from a Tea Party event last year after addressing an event in Alabama commemorating Secession Day and telling an interviewer that it was the state’s “constitutional right to secede,” and that “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”

Eidsmoe’s book on Columbus has an introduction by Peter Marshall, another “Christian Nation” advocate who served with Wallbuilders’ founder David Barton as an “expert” to Religious Right members of the Texas Board of Education pushing massive revisions to social science textbooks.  Marshall writes:

In his customary careful and thorough manner, John Eidsmoe has pierced through the obfuscating fog of twentieth-century humanist bias and judgments that have obscured the truth about two of the most controversial figures in American history, Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez. Using earlier sources, he has presented us with a well-researched, even-handed, and fair treatment of both their Christian motives for their incredible exploits, and the very real mistakes they made .This is a valuable contribution toward restoring a true Christian perspective on our American past.

WallBuilders’ Columbus Day email celebrates Columbus’ belief that he was being led by the Holy Spirit and complains that modern scholarship has denigrated Columbus specifically because of his religious motivation:

It is especially because of Columbus’ religious motivations and convictions that today he has become a villain for most modern educators and writers, who regularly attack and condemn him.

That echoes Eidsmoe’s book, which claims, “A scholarly desire to correct the historical record is not the primary reason [for modern criticism of Columbus]…No, the attack is directed toward values – biblical values and the Christian civilization that is based on biblical values.”

Eidsmoe writes:

The reason may of us find history boring is that we fail to see the sovereign hand of God at work as history unfolds. The way you look at history depends in large part upon your world view….For the Christian, history is, or should be, the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race. For the Christian, the discovery, exploration and settlement of the Western Hemisphere takes on a whole new dimension of meaning as God works through imperfect vessels like Columbus, Cortez….and others who bring salvation to the inhabitants of the Western world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

He decries the effort to “move this nation away from its Christian foundations” in order to “remake America into a secular or pagan society….If the Christian professions of Christopher Columbus and others can be proven insincere, if their deeds can be downplayed and their sins and shortcomings magnified, then this element of America’s Christian past can be discredited and set aside.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Pressure Begins to Yield Results as Senate Takes Steps to Confirm 10 Judicial Nominees.
  • Towleroad: Anti-Gay Activists Using Child Molestation to Fool People Into Signing Petition Against California LGBT History Bill.
  • Dallas Voice: Group says FW teacher was harassed by student he punished for saying homosexuality is wrong.

Anti-Immigrant Activists Blast Perry Over DREAM Act Defense

At last night’s Republican presidential debate Gov. Rick Perry defended a state law he signed that allows the children of undocumented immigrants living in Texas to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. Although Perry has attacked the federal DREAM Act as “amnesty,” anti-immigrant activists are furious over his defense of the Texas law.

In a statement, Americans for Legal Immigration-PAC president William Gheen speculated that Perry has “assured his own defeat”:

Texas Governor Perry destroyed his chances of winning the GOP Presidential primary during last night's debate when he defended his support for in-state tuition for illegal aliens which is opposed by 81% of all Americans.

"Rick Perry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not the right choice for America by supporting these radical illegal immigration attracting measures," said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "Perry's support for in-state tuition for illegals forces taxpayers to pay to replace their own children in the limited seats in our colleges!"



"GOP voters cannot vote for Rick Perry now without legitimizing and supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," said William Gheen. "Perry has assured his own defeat despite the fact that he is receiving so much support and favoritism from globalist groups in the media. It is clear to me that the globalists who are responsible for illegal immigration in America are using their power to promote Rick Perry at this time."

Chris Chmielenski of Numbers USA also criticized Perry:

Legal immigration aside, the storyline of tonight's debate was Gov. Perry's insistence to stand behind his decision to sign the Texas Dream Act, granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. Perry's response continues to be that these individuals will become a drag on society, but what he fails to understand is that with or without an education, these young people can't legally work in the United States. Plus, as Rick Santorum pointed out, no one is denying illegal aliens an education. Illegal aliens can still go to the University of Texas, but they should have to pay the same tuition rate that Arizona residents who attend the University of Texas pay.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote in an email to members that his stance will haunt him throughout the primary:

Perry blew it.

How?

By pandering to the illegal alien vote.

Perry has gained a lot of traction from the Tea Party movement. By doubling down on the illegal alien issue, he has gained no friend and alienated many in the conservative movement.



His support of illegal aliens is hurting him.

Even American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer got into the mix, taking particular issue with Perry’s claim that those who oppose in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants don’t “have a heart”:

It’s fine to say we should not punish children for the sins of their fathers. But neither should we reward them. And we are not just rewarding the children, we are rewarding the parents, since many of them stole into the U.S. because they wanted to give their children a shot at a decent education. (The solution: help Mexico improve its educational system.) So Gov. Perry simply cannot get around the fact that he is rewarding the illegal behavior of aliens who have no right to be here. That is an exceedingly troublesome position for someone who wants to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.



Public schools at every level should be reserved for students who have a legal right to be in this country. The immigration status of every applicant should be checked and enrollment reserved for legal residents of the United States. If illegal aliens wants [sic] to pursue higher education, let’s repatriate them to their native land where they can pursue education to their heart’s content.

Meet Rick Perry's Radical Leadership Team Co-Chair

Before heading to this week’s Presidency 5 conference in Orlando, Rick Perry named two Religious Right leaders to his Florida Presidency 5 campaign leadership team: John Stemberger and Pam Olsen. While Stemberger’s anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism is well known, Olsen is a far more obscure figure, but no less extreme. Olsen has said that same-sex marriage will lead to God’s judgment, preached Seven Mountains dominionism, and even claims that she, as a prophet, will have the power to raise the dead in the End Times.

Olsen heads the Tallahassee branch of the International House of Prayer, whose members helped organize and preached at Perry’s The Response prayer rally in August. The Response emcee Mike Bickle, who once claimed that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist and that gay marriage is “rooted in the depths of hell,” is the founder and director of IHOP. As reported by Sarah Posner, Olsen was inspired to found IHOP Tallahassee after extremist self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs prophesied over her.

In July, Olsen warned that God’s increasingly severe judgments will come on the church and America for legalizing same-sex marriage in the form of natural disasters:

We are under judgment. Do you know how many of the denominations now are suddenly saying, ‘Oh ok we think it’s ok now to have gay marriage, we think it’s ok to have gay preachers, we think it’s ok.’ Whole denominations! The Episcopalians fell off the planet, they think it’s ok to have gay priests. We’ve got other groups, one of the Presbyterians, they’re looking at voting, we’ve got other ones, they’re all of the sudden going, ‘Oh in the name of tolerance,’ and they’re forgetting God’s word completely in whole denominations. You know what, God is not one that’s gonna wink at sin, He will come and shake at everything that can be shaken. God is a God of judgment, He is. If we think we’re not gonna be judged…He judged Israel? Are we better than that? And sometimes I think we think we are, but we’re not. And God is shaking. If anybody looks at the news and has just seen what’s been happening recently with the floods, the fires, the tornadoes, God is shaking. Yeah I think you have God shaking, sure you have the Enemy shaking, you have both and I don’t want to say oh that’s the judgment of God or that’s the Enemy. But the reality is God is judging us, and I think it’s going to get worse.

In an April service, Olsen preached Seven Mountains dominionism, the radical theology that demands fundamentalist Christians take control over the seven critical spheres of society: government, business, media, arts and entertainment, family, media, education, and religion. Towards the end of the service, Olsen also states that in the End Times she will be capable of raising the dead:

We talk a lot about the seven centers of power or the seven mountains, asking God to come. If you are ever in any intercession set here at the house of prayer, you will find us often crying out God move on the hearts of the family; awaken the church in the West, in this city awaken the church; we cry out for the government, we’re in capital city and we better be crying out to the government; pray for the campuses and the youth to be moved; that God will move and change the media’s heart that He would begin to cause them to speak truth; that He would come and move in the marketplace and awaken and bring His people the finances to literally fund the Kingdom of God; that He come and move in every area in arts and entertainment. Those are the seven mountains of influence that God would begin to move, and we cry out for that because God wants to come, the Holy Spirit wants to come and it is like hot molten lava that He would literally sweep over every area.



Man I tell you what, we better know God’s word in this hour with what’s coming, we better know God’s word, and we better be saying, God I want to partner with your heart, whatever’s coming I want to be prepared as an End Time messenger who has walked in the fire and knows You and knows how to say, God that person needs to be raised from the dead and I’m gonna say, in Jesus’ name rise up and walk, and I’m gonna pray that in and see the dead raised!

Barber, Harvey Agree: GLSEN "Tacitly Advocated Adult-Child Sex"

Two of the most malicious anti-gay activists in the Religious Right came together on Saturday to smear gay rights advocates for supposedly promoting pedophilia. Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel joined Mission America’s Linda Harvey on her radio show to attack the anti-bullying group GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and its founder Kevin Jennings. Such claims are nothing new from Barber, who said that “GLSEN tacitly advocates sexual abuse,” and Harvey, who wants to ban gay teachers and once likened GLSEN to the Hitler Youth. Listen as Barber argues that GLSEN glorifies pedophilia and Harvey claim that GLSEN encourages minors to have sex with adults:

Barber: Now let me be very clear for those leftists and sexual anarchists who monitor your program, and you know they do, who are going to try to grossly misrepresent what we’re saying here.

Harvey: Of course they are.

Barber: Are we saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles, of course not.

Harvey: No.

Barber: Are we saying the GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network, is a pedophile, pro-pedophile movement? Well, yes and no. And here’s what I mean by that, look who the founder is, Kevin Jennings, look who his mentor was, Harry Hay, a pedophile activist. Now GLSEN, I have said the terminology that Harry Hay used was that parents and families and friends of gays should be running interference for pedophiles because the best thing for a kid, for young boys was to have sex with an adult man, this is according to Harry Hay.

Now GLSEN is in keeping with that mentality, they have tacitly as you know all too well Linda, they have tacitly advocated adult-child sex through their recommended reading list for kids in the past that portray in very favorable terms and in a favorable light the idea of boys having sex with men, as you mentioned as part of the empowerment and coming to terms with their in-born sexuality. So again, the left, guys you’re without excuse here if you misrepresent what we’re saying here, but GLSEN cannot get away from the fact that they have recommended reading that portrays in a positive light pedophilia.

Harvey: Right, they could not be, like you said, if they weren’t working hand and glove with these folks, and I don’t know that they are.

Barber: Well they have in the past, not GLSEN necessarily but the homosexual activists have worked hand and glove with the pro-pedophile movement for decades before it became detrimental and it was no longer politically expedient to do so.

Harvey: Well I have called GLSEN a child corruption group and I stand by that because when you look at what they recommend, and the fact that they want to cut parents out of the equation, they want to bypass parents and schools and directly interact with even eleven and twelve year old kids and convince them to go for it, go into homosexuality. This is child corruption and if that child has joined the homosexual club, talked confidentially in a safe space to the homosexual teacher or counselor at school, and then is approached by the, ok let’s not make it the dark, trench coated forty-five year old, let’s say it’s a twenty-two year old, but that’s still an adult with a twelve year old. This is perfectly acceptable, it’s all over the homosexual community, and tell me it’s not, it is absolutely out there.
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Education Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/17/2013, 3:15pm
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality joined Mission America’s Linda Harvey over the weekend to discuss how groups like GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) are attempting to use schools to make kids gay and transgender, which they suggested would increase the rate of HIV. Responding to GLSEN’s Transgender Students Rights initiative, Harvey asked: “Why in the world are we doing this to kids? You know, a self-destructive society would do these kinds of things, wouldn’t they? And look at us.” “Yes. A healthy society... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/12/2013, 4:55pm
In a letter sent to the State Board of Education, Jimmy Gollihar of the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology describes the lengths to which creationists are going to undermine science and advance Creationism in Texas classrooms, as well as the help they are receiving from board chair Barbara Cargill. While the panels reviewing science textbooks are supposed to be independent of the school board, Cargill worked closely with creationism advocates on the panels, leading Gollihar to note that Cargill aided “those who might reasonably be regarded as... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/11/2013, 2:00pm
In last month’s edition of The Liberator [PDF], Liberty Counsel president Anita Staver blasted public school as “dangerous, anti-God indoctrination camps” that “threaten our nation’s very survival.” Pleading with parents to homeschool their children in a column titled “Stealth Creation of Government Indoctrination Camps Underway,” Staver lamented that “millions of helpless people are taken there on busses to be brainwashed and victimized” in “repressive” schools controlled by “secularists, humanists, and socialists... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/11/2013, 11:00am
Linda Harvey of Mission America is deeply troubled that Dr. Eliza Byard of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network addressed the ceremony marking the 50th Anniversary on the March on Washington. According to Harvey, “GLSEN’s idea of promoting homosexuality and gender confusion to kids is deeply harmful and these behaviors are certainly not anything close to civil rights.” She took it one step further by reiterating her belief that GLSEN and similar groups focusing on LGBT-inclusive education actually promote abuse. “These actions are pure evil and should be... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/10/2013, 12:20pm
Creationists advising the Texas Education Agency, the state’s board of education, are no longer even trying to hide the fact that they want to insert pseudo-scientific material grounded in religious beliefs into public school science textbooks. Terrence Stutz of the Dallas Morning News reports that evolution detractors appointed to the review boards are urging the textbook publishers to ignore the Supreme Court (along with science) and push Creationism, or be rejected. One of the panelists reviewing the biology textbooks, a nutritionist, said that “creation science based on... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/15/2013, 2:10pm
Jesse Lee Peterson is calling on California parents to withdraw their “normal children” from public schools to protest a new education law protecting the rights of transgender students. Peterson, a California-based Tea Party and anti-immigrant activist, says in a press release today that “decent parents” should “boycott and pull their kids out” of school so they do “not have to endure this type of confusion and psychological trauma” and “indoctrination.” “This is an outrage and an attack on the conscience of impressionable... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/14/2013, 1:10pm
Outraged by California’s new law protecting transgender students, the Pacific Justice Institute has launched a campaign called “Gender Insanity: The Next Attack On Your Family.” The California-based Religious Right group’s head Brad Dacus spoke to Jim Schneider of VCY America yesterday on Crosstalk, where he described their campaign against the “hideous, unbelievable [and] unthinkable” education law, which he says “turns the concept of decency, respect and privacy on its head.” Later in the program, Dacus said there will be “many... MORE