Environment

Cal Beisner Warns the 'Depraved' Environmental Movement Models itself after Satan

The Religious Right’s favorite anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show In The Market on Monday where he maintained that environmentalists are following the same path as Satan. Ironically, the corporate-allied Beisner lamented the presence of “theft,” “covetousness” and “greed” in society, which he said that along with “sexual perversion” and disobedience were part of “the growing depravity in the United States,” which he of course linked back to the environmental movement. Beisner later used the refrain, used by conservatives from Rick Santorum to David Barton, that efforts toward environmental protection are dislodging God and humanity from their rightful place and is turning the natural order “upside down just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden.”

As I look at the growing depravity in the United States, whether it’s in those things that most of us think about in terms of depravity, sexual perversion and so on, or in those things that people don’t usually think of in those terms but Paul certainly does: theft, disobedience to parents, dishonoring of authorities, covetousness, greed, idolatry. All of these things are signs of the depraved mind to which God gives people over when they choose not to recognize Him. The Cornwall Alliance is trying to call attention to these things to show particularly how they are dominant in the environmentalist movement.



It turns upside down the whole understanding that Scriptures gives us of God, man and the earth. In Scripture, in Genesis 1-3, we see that God is supposed to be in supreme authority, He rules over man, man then rules earth as God’s representative, so hierarchically it’s God, then humanity, then the earth. The environmental movement turns that upside down just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden as he tempted Eve, he wanted Eve to submit her will to a serpent, one of the creatures, and put that serpent over her and God under her, so it becomes earth, then humanity, then God. That happens in the secular movement but frankly, Janet, it increasingly begins to happen among some evangelicals.

David Barton on the Environment, Abortion, and Michael Vick

As we mentioned yesterday, a few episodes of David Barton's "Building on the American Heritage Series" program are available in the TBN archives, including one in which Barton explains how "social justice" is really just another term of "socialism."

At one point, the discussion turned to the subject of climate change, a topic on which Barton fancies himself an expert, in which he explained that the Biblical account of creation in the book of Genesis reveals that God placed man above all animals and the Earth. 

But, Barton explained, today environmentalists have reversed God's order and now place the Earth and animals above man, as proven by the fact that Michael Vick went to prison for dog-fighting but "we don't send abortionists to jail for killing babies": 

Wildmon: Efforts to Prevent Human-Influenced Climate Change are 'Anti-Christian'

Prior to their interview with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who is promoting his new book on how science—and the Bible—expose the “Global Warming Hoax,” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon said efforts to combat human influence on climate change are led by “anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-Christian” activists from “the Occupy wall Street crowd.” Cohost Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, also dubbed them “anti-child.”

Perkins: We are abdicating our national sovereignty to the UN under some of these treaties on climate change, and it’s very troubling when you begin to see the entire agenda, Tim, that’s behind this global warming.

Wildmon: Yeah, I think what’s behind it is, and Senator Inhofe writes about this, it’s the people like the Occupy Wall Street crowd, it’s that kind of mentality. It’s anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-Christian.

Perkins: It’s anti-child too.

Wildmon: Anti-child. I think quite frankly they are wanting to use the global warming scare, which has basically petered out with the American people, they’re not buying it anymore, people really aren’t talking about it that much anymore. Now those who are committed to their cause are and they are continuing to fight on Capitol Hill but most of the American people I think today don’t buy it anymore. But they are using this scare, globally, to try to control, as you say Tony and as Senator Inhofe says, to control America.

Such claims are nothing new from the Religious Right, and they even made an entire “documentary” explaining how environmental protection is “anti-Christian”:

Tennessee Republicans Copy John Birch Society Model Legislation on Agenda 21

The latest conspiracy theory sweeping the tea party movement is the fear that Agenda 21, a United Nations program focusing on sustainable development, is surreptitiously destroying the American way of life. Tennessee House Republicans recently passed a resolution, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brooks, condemning the plan, using almost identical language from a John Birch Society model bill. The Tennessean reports:

Tennessee lawmakers passed a resolution Thursday condemning a United Nations environmental plan as a “destructive and insidious” effort to advance a communist agenda through the guise of community planning.

The state House of Representatives voted 72-23 in favor of House Joint Resolution 587, which denounces the nonbinding Agenda 21 plan adopted by a United Nations environmental conference two decades ago.

The plan called on members of the United Nations to adopt sustainable development principles to alleviate poverty and combat global warming. But the resolution approved by Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday depicts it as a plan for the “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth” through energy conservation policies, zoning restrictions and forced abortions.

“It reads well. It has nice words like sustainability and helping the poor,” said state Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin. “But what these people want to do is they want to cap the number of people this planet can have. … So ladies and gentlemen, if that doesn’t bother you, if those words don’t scare you, we’ve got to talk.”



Two other states, Georgia and New Hampshire, have considered anti-Agenda 21 measures this year. Brooks said the resolution had been promoted by the RNC.

But the measure matches up nearly word for word with a model posted on the website of the John Birch Society, a conservative group that Republicans have largely shunned since the 1960s, Turner said.

Indeed, the text of the Tennessee resolution and the John Birch Society model bill is practically identical, with slight differences not in content but in the structure:

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 587

By Brooks K

A RESOLUTION relative to United Nations Agenda 21.

WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects; and

WHEREAS, this United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called “sustainable development” views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, that the General Assembly recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21 and hereby exposes to the public and public policymakers the dangerous intent of the plan.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that neither the U.S. government nor any state or local government is legally bound by the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty in that it has never been endorsed by the U.S. Senate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the federal government and state and local governments across the country be well informed of the underlying harmful implications of implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 destructive strategies for “sustainable development,” and we hereby endorse rejection of its radical policies and rejection of any grant monies attached to it.

From the John Birch Society:

A MODEL STOP AGENDA 21 BILL FOR STATE LEGISLATURES

AN ACT relative to the United Nations Agenda 21 and the non-governmental organization International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, also known as ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability.

WHEREAS, for the purposes of this act, a “political subdivision” means all state, county, incorporated city, unincorporated city, public local entity, public-private partnership, or any other public entity thereof; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992; and

WHEREAS, neither the U.S. government nor any state or local government is legally bound by the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty in that it has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), now calling itself “Local Governments for Sustainability,” through local "sustainable development" policies, such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other "Green" or "Alternative" projects; and

WHEREAS, this plan of radical so-called "sustainable development" views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded by society and the environment which would be accomplished by a socialist/communist-style redistribution of wealth; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice; and


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the state of ___________ and all political subdivisions are prohibited from implementing programs of, expending any sum of money for, being a member of, receiving funding from, contracting services from, or giving financial or other forms of aid to ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability, or any other organization promoting the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21, sustainable development, or smart growth.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of this body recognize the destructive and insidious nature of the United Nations Agenda 21, endorse rejection of its radical policies and of any grant monies attached to it, and recommend exposing to the public and public policymakers across the country the dangerous intent of the plan.

Conservative Media Critic Blames 'Evil Forces' for Films like 'The Lorax'

As expected, conservatives have not taken kindly to the new movie The Lorax, based on the Dr. Seuss book on how avarice can harm the environment. The Media Research Center warned it will turn children into “little eco-warriors” and Lou Dobbs of Fox News blasted the film for “trying to indoctrinate our children” by “demonizing the so-called 1% and espousing the virtue of green energy policies.” The conservative group Movieguide said that while there is no obscene language, violence, sex or nudity in The Lorax, it still “warrants strong caution” because of its “strong politically correct environmentalist content that’s also anti-capitalist.” Cal Beisner even said that the Environmental Protection Agency’s promotion of the film represents an unconstitutional “violation of the separation of church and state.”

Yesterday on The Steve Deace Show, Deace hosted WorldNetDaily’s Drew Zahn to discuss his review of The Lorax.

The two agreed that The Lorax is indeed left-wing “propaganda” and believe conservatives should have not only a political but also a spiritual response. Zahn claimed that the entertainment industry has been “co-opted” by “truly evil forces” and “forces of darkness,” which leads to the production of films like The Lorax. He said that people need to reclaim the field of the arts from the evil forces and return it to its godly foundations.

Deace: Now you’ve seen the movie Lorax?

Zahn: Yes.

Deace: I haven’t seen it yet, it looks to me however like pure, liberal, environmental propaganda, is it?

Zahn: If you read the book you’ll recognize that right off the bat and the movie follows that theme word for word. Yes, it is anti-capitalist, it is ‘big business is bad, the hunt for money is bad, it destroys the trees and by all means someone must stand up for speak for the trees, will you too please’?



Deace: So Drew, why don’t we just take these tactics of the left that they use in pop culture, why don’t we just do the exact same thing to create good entertainment that does the same thing with our message that they do with there’s, why not just do that?

Zahn: You know what, I’m glad you gave me the chance to think about that over the commercial break because I’m going to reject the premise of your question altogether. Your question assumes that the left—or I’m going to say that truly evil forces in the world have created this and shouldn’t we co-opt it? I’m going to say no it’s the other way around. God created the arts, the creative spirit, and it is the forces of darkness that have co-opted it and what we need to do is take it back.

Deace: We got to reclaim it, not co-opt it, we got to reclaim it.

Zahn: Exactly.

Pat Robertson Flip Flops and Denies Climate Change

Religious Right commentators from Calvin Beisner to David Barton and Bryan Fischer like to think of themselves as experts on the topic of global climate change despite their complete lack of scientific credentials. On the 700 Club today, televangelist Pat Robertson joined the debate, arguing that human-induced climate change is a myth and “hasn’t been scientifically proven”:

But like Newt Gingrich, who costarred in an ad with Nancy Pelosi for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, Robertson shared a couch with Al Sharpton for ACP’s “We Can Solve It” campaign to raise awareness about climate change in 2008:

James Inhofe Says the Bible Refutes Climate Change

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason yesterday to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.” Inhofe cited Genesis 8:22 to claim that it is “outrageous” and arrogant for people to believe human beings are “able to change what He is doing in the climate.”

Eliason: Senator, we’re going to talk about your book for a minute, you state in your book which by the way is called The Greatest Hoax, you state in your book that one of your favorite Bible verses, Genesis 8:22, ‘while the earth remaineth seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,’ what is the significance of these verses to this issue?

Inhofe: Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

Inhofe also says that Richard Cizik, the former Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, was bought off by environmentalists and “has been exposed since then to be the liberal that he is”…because apparently liberals can’t be Christians?

He went on to cite Romans 1:25 to criticize people, particularly evangelicals like Cizik, who believe in climate change. Inhofe said that just as Scripture forecasted, people have now “worship the creation” when they support environmental protection, which seems to assume that humans won’t be negatively impacted by climate change.

Caller: Senator, do you quote any Scripture in your book?

Inhofe: Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. My favorite is Genesis 8:22 which is ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ you know, God’s still up there. There’s another piece of Scripture I’ll mention which I should’ve mentioned, no one seems to remember this, the smartest thing the activists did in trying to put their program through is try to get the evangelicals on their side, so they hired a guy named Cizik, and he had his picture in front of Vanity magazine dressed like Jesus walking on water. He has been exposed since then to be the liberal that he is. I would say that the other Scripture that I use quite frequently on this subject is Romans 1:25, ‘They give up the truth about God for a lie and they worship God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever.’ In other words, they are trying to say we should worship the creation. We were reminded back in Romans that this was going to happen and sure enough it’s happening.

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:

Beisner: EPA Promoting 'The Lorax' Violates the Separation of Church and State

Back in 2010, the Cornwall Alliance released a 12-part DVD series entitled "Resisting the Green Dragon" featuring a who's who of Religious Right leaders attacking environmentalism and warning that it represents a dire threat to Christianity:

Calvin Beisner, the founder of the Cornwall Alliance, has become the Religious Right's favorite "expert" in fighting any environmental effort and a regular guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program, despite the fact that his scientific credentials appear to be limited to possessing a Ph.D. in Scottish History.

Beisner is now complaining that the Environmental Protection Agency is one of many partners involved in promoting the upcoming film "The Lorax" and that, by doing so, the agency is in "violation of the separation of church and state" because Beisner believes that environmentalism is a religion:

The film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax features a tiny, but tenacious creature who "speaks for the trees" and fights industrialism. Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, says this is just one of many films geared toward children to spread such a message.

...

[W]hat really concerns Beisner is the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency is among nearly 70 partners with Universal in promoting the film.

"What you've got there is the mixing of taxpayer dollars into the promotion of a clear ideology that has a particular religious flavor to it," the Cornwall Alliance spokesman concludes. "And frankly, I think that this is a violation of the separation of church and state."

According to Focus on the Family, it's not 'Pro-Life' to Protect Newborns from Mercury Poisoning

Like David Barton, who has no academic training as a historian but is the Religious Right’s point person on American history, Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”

Beisner is especially concerned about growing calls for environmental protection made by evangelical Christians, and has went out of his way to attack groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network for calling on public officials to clamp down on mercury poisoning. Beisner’s outburst against his fellow evangelicals should come as no surprise, as he has even gone after a Koch-financed study which actually confirmed the science behind climate change. He joined Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, whose head Tom Minnery appeared in Beisner’s Green Dragon video series, to disparage the EEN for thanking both Republican and Democratic politicians who supported efforts to reduce mercury emissions:

According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.” Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.”

In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.

“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”

But the Center for Disease control did in fact find that one in six newborns, or 630,000 of the 4 million babies born annually, are “at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother's womb,” which PBS described as mercury levels “so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities and motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.”

This attack on evangelical environmentalists comes at a time when Focus on the Family head Jim Daly pledged to take the organization in a different direction than his predecessor James Dobson, and Christianity Today reported that CitizenLink recently launched “an effort to reach young adults on issues related to sex trafficking, poverty, and the environment.” It also puts the group at odds with the long list of evangelical leaders who signed the “Evangelical Call to Stop The Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn.”

But apparently for Focus on the Family, being “pro-life” does not entail protecting newborns from mercury poisoning.

Beisner Rejects Koch-Funded Study Confirming Climate Change Science

Calvin Beisner is running low on allies in his effort to deny climate change. Beisner, the head of the Cornwall Alliance, is trying to stop other evangelical Christians from supporting efforts to curtail climate change with warnings that scientists are liars and environmental protection will destroy Christianity, promote mass genocide and hurt the poor.

But a recent study sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation that was meant to prove that scientists were twisting data on climate change actually confirmed the science behind climate change. The physicist behind the study, climate skeptic Richard Muller of UC Berkeley, now declares, “Global warming is real.”

Naturally, Beisner is now attacking Muller for practicing bad science. As we reported in our report The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection, Beisner has close ties to oil and gas organizations and climate change denying organizations. Moreover, “Beisner is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials. Despite claiming to be an authority on energy and environmental issues, he received his Ph.D. in Scottish History.”

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics writes in EthicsDaily that Beisner is losing allies fast because “[s]cience and experience are working against them.” Parham writes:

Muller's work debunks the agenda of the Koch Foundation, which helped to underwrite the study. The Koch brothers are climate polluters.

Now, the ice under the global warming deniers and skeptics is thinning as fast as the ice is thinning from climate change in the Arctic.

Disregarding their increasingly precarious position, deniers and skeptics moved quickly to discredit Muller.

Fundamentalist theologian Calvin Beisner announced that physicist Muller's study was irrelevant.

He called Muller's position a "rhetorical sleight of hand." He said the study had inherent flaws and criticized his papers for not being peer reviewed.

Beisner heads the Cornwall Alliance, a global warming denial group of right-wing Christians more committed to the free market than environmental stewardship.

Beisner, other fundamentalist Christians and profiteers from global warming pollution (big oil and dirty coal) will likely be the last outpost of climate change deniers.

Science and experience are working against them.

Jacobs: If You Care About The Environment, You're A Dominionist

Shortly after C. Peter Wagner explained the benefits of Dominionism for society during the Generals International "Reformation Day" webcast, Cindy Jacobs took her own stab at re-framing the term, claiming that Dominionism only means that Christians are to take care of the Earth and thus even environmentalists would be considered Dominionists:

Rep. Trent Franks Calls Marriage Equality A "Threat To The Nation's Survival"

Today on Washington Watch Weekly with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) claimed that marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is “a threat to the nation’s survival.” Franks appeared on Perkins’ radio show to discuss his recent House hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” in which his fellow Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa attacked marriage equality as “an active effort to desecrate a sacrament of the church” that is like the desecration of the Eucharist.

Franks, a zealously anti-gay congressman who even threatened to impeach President Obama over his refusal to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, told Perkins that marriage should remain a “special right” reserved for opposite-sex couples and that marriage equality “not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations but it completely begins to see our society break down.”

Listen:

Franks: We understand that when we’re granting the rights of marriage, that that’s a special right Tony, that’s something we have suggested is clearly the best possible way to see children raised through the best possible environment to launch the next generation, we believe that with all of our hearts as a society, I think most people understand that. So we’ve set aside this special area of the law that says we’re going to respect traditional marriage of a man and a woman because that is the launching pad of the next generation. Let’s face it; we have made a special exception in the law that gives special consideration and recognition to that.

And when people would come along and blur that distinction and say ‘well that should apply in every way’ it not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations but it completely begins to see our society break down to the extent that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nation’s survival in the long run.

Beisner Attacks Evangelicals Who Want To Reduce Mercury Poisoning

Energy industry apologist Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show yesterday to once again do the bidding of polluters. As we’ve reported in The Green Dragon Slayers, Beisner has no scientific credentials but is closely tied to energy companies. During the interview, Beisner directed his animus as the Evangelical Environmental Network, which launched a pledge to combat mercury poisoning:

One in six babies, over 700,000 each year, are born with harmful levels of mercury in their blood, and coal-burning power plants are the largest source of domestic mercury pollution.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

We believe this is an urgent and escalating moral crisis which calls for immediate action!

According to the National Institutes of Health, “For fetuses, infants and children, the primary health effects of mercury are on neurological development. Even low levels of mercury exposure such as result from mother’s consumption methylmercury in dietary sources can adversely affect the brain and nervous system.”

But Beisner said that it was more important to leave polluters unregulated. He insisted that regulations against pollution were actually going to kill people and that his pro-corporate view is the real “pro-life” position. He went on to say that advocates of environmental protection want to deliberately weaken the economy because “the environmental movement hates human prosperity”:

These were people who frankly didn’t know the science behind it, all they saw was that babies were endangered and they wanted to protect these babies. Well of course we would want to protect the babies but the science isn’t good and so consequently the EEN has succeeded, at least temporarily anyway, in fostering the notion that this is a pro-life cause. It's not a pro-life cause if anything the opposite is a pro-life cause because whereas the current levels of mercury admissions are not causing any deaths to anyone, the reduced economic output for this country will indeed increase premature deaths among the American population.



The real aim is to try to get us to use less energy overall because energy fuels a prosperous economy and the environmental movement hates human prosperity because it sees it as a threat to the environment.

Perkins Warns Of Government "Promotion Of Same-Sex Relations" For Population Control

Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show In The Market on Tuesday to discuss the “Green Dragon” film series which was made by Beisner’s group and hosted by Parshall. As we discussed in our report The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection, the “Green Dragon” series represents efforts by the Religious Right and the Corporate Right to paint environmentalism as anti-Christian and ungodly:

During the radio show, Parshall played clips from the “documentary,” including one from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who argues that in the name of “population control” the government will eventually push “infanticide” and promote “same-sex relations”:

Perkins: Population control is a very loaded term. It includes not only abortion, contraception and sterilization, all at government expense of course, but it also includes infanticide and the promotion of same-sex relations. At the heart of this push for population control is an unbiblical view of children and of life.

Another clip featured right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton. Barton, who has made a career of infusing Religious Right beliefs into politics and American history, accused environmentalism of being “a religion” with its own rules and “high priests,” and went on to tell people to contest environmental beliefs because “that’s not science, that is the faith position that you’re taking”:

Barton: People say that environmentalism is a religion. Others say, ‘Oh no, that’s not true,’ but it really is. Now how do we know? I’ve been involved in seven cases at the US Supreme Court and I can point to a number of court decisions where the court has said religion is whatever you believe so strongly that it affects the way you live your life. That’s why the court recognizes even atheism as a religion. Environmentalism definitely is a religion, it has its own high priests, it has folks that tell us what we can and can’t do with the environment and how we can treat it and they’re the guardians of it as if it’s a great temple. It’s a religion. And as soon as we recognize that environmentalism is a religion then it helps us to understand better how to respond to what’s being said, how to filter what’s being said, and say, now wait a minute, that’s not science, that is the faith position that you’re taking.

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.
 

Brown: Gay Activism Responsible For Murder Of Lawrence King

Michael Brown has been hard at work establishing himself among the Religious Right's cadre of militant anti-gay activists with the publication of his book "A Queer Thing Happened to America" and by writing pieces, published by the American Family Association's OneNewsNow, in which he asserts that "gay activism" was responsible for the brutal murder of 15 year-old openly gay eight grader Lawrence King in 2008:

After all, it is gay activists who constantly remind us that LGBT kids are bullied and even beaten up at school. They tell us how dangerous the school environment is for kids who identify as LGBT, and yet at the same time, they praise kids like Larry for coming out at 10. They even want more Gay Straight Alliances in our middle schools, where pre-teens can declare their gay identity to their peers and faculty advisors without their parents' knowledge. Why? So they can become targets of hatred and potential violence? If our schools really are so "homophobic" and dangerous, why not encourage these kids to keep their sexual orientation to themselves until they're in a safer environment?

Some of the teachers in Larry's school, along with his adoptive father, specifically accused former assistant principal Joy Epstein, an open lesbian, of encouraging Larry's flamboyant behavior in order to promote her "agenda." If there is any truth to this, it is not just irresponsible, it is reprehensible. (At the least, there is no indication that she discouraged his pushy, sexual behavior.) How could an experienced educator act in such a way, especially with a boy who had such a troubled history? And is it possible that Larry could have benefited from ongoing counseling about his sexuality? Yet gay activists adamantly oppose any form of counseling that does not affirm homosexuality.

What about the other administrators? Why didn't they prevent Larry from dressing up like a girl when teachers reported to them that it was causing disruption among the students? The official school answer is that California law, passed at the urging of gay activists, prevents discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and so Larry was able to come to school wearing women's accessories and makeup. Was it fair to push this on Larry's classmates, themselves young teenagers sorting through their own issues of sexual identity? Was it fair to Larry?

And what is to be said of this memo sent out to the entire eighth grade? "We have a student on campus who has chosen to express his sexuality by wearing make-up. It is his right to do so." In eighth grade? His "right?" What a travesty! Yet this is a "right" gay activists aggressively fight for, as if this somehow makes our schools "safer" and provides a better learning environment for all the kids. Nonsense.

It is true that Brandon McInerney murdered Larry King in cold blood, but gay activism is complicit in his death.

Schlafly Mocks NEA for Opposing Discrimination in Schools

Phyllis Schlafly is a longtime critic of the National Education Association and LGBT rights, and today in The Phyllis Schlafly Report she ridicules the teachers’ union’s endorsement of resolutions calling for a safe and diverse work environment and opposing discrimination against LGBT school employees, families and students. While Schlafly mainly lists excerpts from the NEA, she dubs their anti-discrimination policies as “radical” and leaves no confusion over where she stands:

Eagle Forum always sends an observer to the annual convention of the National Education Association to report on its radical resolutions. The NEA usually has about 20 resolutions endorsing the gay rights agenda, often using the code word "diversity." Here are some excerpts from pro-gay resolutions adopted this year by the National Education Association.

Resolution B-14, for example, states that "discrimination and stereotyping based on ... sexual orientation, [and] gender identification ... must be eliminated" and that these factors must not affect the legal rights of "partners in ... civil unions ... in regard to ... medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration." School "activities, and programs must increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of ... gays, lesbians, bisexuals, [and] transgender persons." The NEA believes that "students who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identification" must be provided by the school with "counseling services." Another NEA resolution declared that hiring policies and practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff so that public schools "Offer ... diverse role models" among teachers, ... and education employees."

NEA Resolutions for the classroom demand that the schools "Eliminate ... stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, [and activities" and "Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups that have been under-represented historically." Another resolution urges the use of Multicultural education because it "should ... reduce ... homophobia ... and all other forms of prejudice, and discrimination."

Just so you will know -- these are the stated beliefs of the biggest teachers union.

Perkins: "At Elmhurst College, It Pays To Be Sexually Deviant"

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is arguing that a Christian college’s effort to boost its LGBT student community is “incentivizing sin.” Elmhurst College, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, added an optional question to its application: “Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?” Other optional questions include the applicant’s religious affiliation and the language spoken at home. In today’s Washington Watch radio alert, Perkins mocks the college’s religious affiliation, using scare quotes to describe it as Christian. Perkins goes on to imply that students will lie on their applications, claiming that they identify as LGBT in order to compete for enrichment scholarships for underrepresented groups. The school found no evidence that would occur.

Elmhurst president S. Alan Ray responded to criticisms last week, saying “Creating a positive, welcoming environment for all of our students is part of our mission. The UCC describes itself as ‘extravagantly welcoming.’ We are, too.”

Perkins: What happens in the bedroom might decide if you have a seat in the classroom. At least in one Illinois college. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. At Elmhurst College, it pays to be sexually deviant. Literally. As part of the application process, the quote-unquote "Christian" school is asking prospective students if they're gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Anyone who answers "yes" will be eligible for the school's Enrichment Scholarship. "Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement," the Dean said. But this isn't increasing diversity--it's incentivizing sin! Considering the risks, no school--whether it's religiously affiliated or not--should be encouraging sexual activity of any kind! Nathan Harden, at NRO, asks if heterosexual students, who are facing big loan burdens, might be compelled to "broaden their sexual horizons." Or what's to keep a student from lying if they know admissions will knock 33% off sticker price? This is nothing more than higher education pandering. And if you ask me, Elmhurst should be the one making admissions...about their agenda.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC is seeking fifty thousand signatures on its petition to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to include members of the clergy in the 9/11 memorial service.
  • Michele Bachmann assures us that she has a great sense of humor.
  • Frank Gaffney and Rick Joyner, together again.  What could go wrong?
  • If you thought the offical end of the Fairness Doctrine was going to bring an end to right-wing fearmongering about efforts to shut down Christians ... well, you were wrong.
  • Calvin Beisner says that Christians who care about the environment and protest "are actually disobeying scripture by doing this."
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Environment Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/21/2013, 3:15pm
Televangelist Pat Robertson has, like so many on the Right, turned very quickly from advocating awareness of climate change to denying that it exists at all. On today’s 700 Club, Robertson laughs off a recent Princeton University study that found that climate change is increasing the rate of blizzards while leading to a drop in total snowfall. Without a hint of self-awareness, Robertson claims that climate scientists are simply elitist ideologues who will hold onto their beliefs in global warming no matter what. “Only in Princeton would people say nutty things like that,”... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/30/2012, 12:26pm
Earlier this month, the Religious Right's favorite climate change-denying "expert," Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, appeared on American Family Radio where he declared that believing in climate change "is an insult to God."  Yesterday, when he joined Bryan Fischer on "Focal Point" for yet another discussion about the "myth" of global warming, both he and Fischer declared that failure to use coal, oil, and natural gas is an insulting rejection of the gifts that God has given to us - gifts which, incidentally, He buried deep in the earth... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/19/2012, 4:44pm
Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance is the Religious Right's favorite anti-climate change "expert" despite the fact that his academic credentials are limited to a doctorate in Scottish History.  While appearing on AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program today, Beisner provided the most concise explanation of why Christians cannot believe in climate change when he declared that the entire theory rests on the assumption that the earth is an extremely fragile place, which conflicts with the Biblical view that the earth was built by God for man's use. Therefore, to... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 11/09/2012, 5:30pm
David Horowitz talked to Frank Gaffney today on Secure Freedom Radio about what to expect in President Obama’s second term, where Horowitz warned that while the government through health care reform can “control your health, now they’re going to control your environment.” He said that the movement for environmental protection is America’s “biggest threat” because it is working with Obama to impose government “control over everybody’s life” under the excuse of preventing climate change, “the chimera of the left.” He even... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/13/2012, 4:50pm
American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today was joined by pro-corporate, anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner on Focal Point to discuss Rep. Paul Ryan’s egregious record on environmental protection. The two celebrated his votes against the EPA and climate change legislation as signs that he has a “sane, objective and biblical or evangelical understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. “Paul Ryan seems to get it,” Fischer said, and Beisner applauded Ryan’s voting record “fits well with the biblical understanding” of... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/07/2012, 1:25pm
The Cornwall Alliance's Cal Beisner returned to Janet Parshall's radio program yesterday to continue their anti-environmentalism collaborations and promote his latest effort called In His Image 2012 which seeks to "completely reshape the way Americans, and then people around the world, think of human beings and our role on Earth – to reassert the sanctity of human life and sexuality, the beauty and centrality of marriage, the goodness of human multiplication, and the dignity of human work and godly dominion over the Earth." As Beisner explained, this new effort is necessary to... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/20/2012, 10:58am
Yesterday, Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance was a guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program where he revealed that God had given him an insight that Satan was engaged in a systematic attack against God's mandate for humanity as set out in Genesis 1: 27-28. As Beisner explained, God's created us in His image and made us male and female and commanded us to "be fruitful and multiply" and take dominion over the earth.  Since Satan cannot attack God directly, he instead attacks God's representatives (mankind) by undermining our beliefs in these very principles, which is... MORE