ethics

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv); Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Meet Congressman-Elect Tom Marino: Plagued by Corruption Charges

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our ninth candidate profile is on Tom Marino of Pennsylvania:

In 2007, Tom Marino resigned from his position as US Attorney in Pennsylvania after a corruption scandal clouded his career and raised questions about his honesty. Marino had used his official title as US Attorney to provide a reference in 2005 to his “close friend,” convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was trying to win the state gaming commission’s approval to open slot machines at a resort he owned. When his office began an investigation into DeNaples for lying about his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants uncovered his reference and notified the Justice Department, which transferred the investigation out of Marino’s office. But questions about Marino’s ties to DeNaples remained.

Defending his actions, Marino said on a local radio show that the Department of Justice gave him permission to be a reference for DeNaples. But the Justice Department says there is “no record of Marino having received the permission” to serve as a reference for DeNaples and that Marino never informed the General Counsel office. Although Marino stands by his claim that he received written permission, he failed to produce any letter from the Department.

When the Justice Department launched an investigation into Marino’s actions, he resigned and promptly took a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” Marino later under-reported his income on his financial disclosure forms, reporting that he only received $25,000 from DeNaples. Even Zack Oldham of the conservative blog RedState said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

The DeNaples affair wasn’t even the first time Marino had run into corruption accusations. When Marino was District Attorney in Lycoming County, he tried to get a friend out of a drug charge by going behind the back of the county judge who had refused to toss out his friend’s conviction. According to the Luzeme County Citizens Voice, Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Marino continued to struggle with the truth in his campaign for Congress. He criticized his opponent, Rep. Chris Carney, for leaving Washington as an anti-abortion rights bill was being circulated during the health care reform debate. Carney was not in Washington at the time because his wife was undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

He later alleged that Carney “has no problem spending taxpayers’ money for abortions” and that Pennsylvania women were receiving taxpayer-subsidized abortions under the new health care law, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have confirmed, repeatedly, that the law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Marino also berated his opponent for refusing to take questions from the press on political matters after Carney, a Navy Reservist, was called for active duty and was barred by law from making “statements to or answer questions from the news media regarding political issues or regarding government policies.”

But his ethical challenges have not kept the far-right from embracing him. In fact, his rightwing politics have earned him the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Rick Santorum’s America’s Foundation, Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC, the Family Research Council, and the Government Is Not God PAC.

On the issue of immigration, Marino opposes a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and touts his endorsement from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been called a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his Americans for Legal Immigration PAC survey, Marino says he strongly favors Arizona’s severe SB 1070 law, would refuse to support comprehensive immigration reform, and that he would consider impeaching the President over immigration policy.

Marino said he would vote against extending unemployment benefits, maintaining that some of the people on unemployment simply don’t “want to go get work because they are being paid to stay home.” He said that non-senior citizens should face cuts in Social Security benefits if not the elimination of the program altogether, saying: “my generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are not going to get Social Security.’” The 60 Plus Association, a front group for the health care and pharmaceutical industries which supports privatizing Social Security, aired TV ads on Marino’s behalf.

In a radio interview in August, Marino reportedly suggested eliminating the IRS and the Departments of Education and Energy and replacing them with new agencies, saying, “There’s got to be a total revolution there.”

Despite the ethical cloud surrounding Marino, his hard-line conservative views and support from the Radical Right helped him win election to Congress. Watch this segment from an NBC affiliate revealing Marino’s ethical troubles:

 

 

 

Meet Tim Griffin: Karl Rove’s Man in Congress

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our fifth candidate profile is on Tim Griffin of Arkansas:

Running in an open Democratic district, Tim Griffin defeated progressive champion Joyce Elliott to win the election to represent Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District.

Tim Griffin worked in the two Bush presidential campaigns and McCain’s 2008 campaign as the Republicans’ chief opposition researcher. In 2000, he said with regards to his opposition research department: “We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war…. We make the bullets.” Conservative columnist Robert Novak called Griffin “a protégé of Karl Rove, who is a leading practitioner of opposition research — the digging up of derogatory information about political opponents.”

He received notoriety in 2004 for his work to advance the false smears propagated by the discredited group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Griffin next came to light when President Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney as part of his ongoing efforts to politicize the Department of Justice. “In December 2006, US Attorney Bud Cummings was fired from his district in Northeast Arkansas and replaced with Tim Griffin,” writes investigative journalist Shannyn Moore, as the Bush Administration used a little known provision of the USA Patriot Act to avoid confirmation hearings and votes by the US Senate. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNaulty later testified that “Cummings was fired to make a place for Griffin at the urging of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers,” the former White House Counsel. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Chief of Staff, wrote in an email that “getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.”

Paul Charlton, who was also ousted in the Bush Administration’s Purge of US Attorneys, said that Griffin “spread the rumors around the White House that Bud Cummins was not a good U.S. attorney” in order to get him fired. Another U.S. Attorney who was pushed out during the purge, David Iglesias, maintains that Tim Griffin “never should have been U.S. Attorney, he was fundamentally unqualified.”

When defending Griffin’s nomination, the Bush Administration used “misleading talking points” which significantly exaggerated his experience as a prosecutor.

Griffin continued his deeply political work while serving as a U.S. Attorney, but was forced to resign in 2007 when he was caught in a “vote caging” operation to prevent minorities from voting. The BBC uncovered emails sent by Griffin during the 2004 campaign which included ‘caging lists’ to bar typically marginalized groups voting, and Griffin’s “caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.”

According to Iglesias, his management of the vote caging maneuvers represents “reprehensible conduct and it may be illegal.” As a result of his disreputable background, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) rated him one of the “most corrupt” candidates for Congress.

When he was not working in the Bush Administration or for GOP campaigns, Griffin was a high-paid consultant and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars while working for “lobbying and consulting firms on shadowy causes,” including the corporate astro-turf campaign that was fighting Alaska’s Clean Water Initiative.

Throughout his congressional campaign, Griffin has closely followed the Karl Rove-playbook of appealing to both corporate interests and the Religious Right. Griffin wants to repeal health care reform and once supported the elimination of corporate taxes in favor of a national sales tax. At a candidate forum, he even went out of his way to laud the state’s relatively low wages for workers and anti-union laws.

An opponent of equal rights and a woman’s right to choose, Griffin supports a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, believes that employers should be allowed to fire their employees due to their sexual orientation, and has pledged to protect the discriminatory Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The fervently anti-choice group Americans United for Life Action ran ads boosting Griffin and criticizing his opponent, saying that she does not care about “the life of an innocent child.”

After a long career of dirty tricks, corporate astro-turfing, and Rovian politics, Griffin is a darling of the Republican leadership and set to become a star member of the GOP’s freshman class.

Watch this segment from the Bill Moyers Journal on Tim Griffin:

 

 

 

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/20

Sharron Angle

Terrorism: Angle refuses to apologize to Canadian Ambassador who condemned Angle for saying that terrorists are crossing into the US from Canada (AP, 10/19).

Latinos: Says that Latino students, and herself, look Asian (NYDN, 10/19).

Ad: Claims that Harry Reid is in “the conga line” with Michelle Obama (Slate, 10/19).

Fundraising: Spent over $5 million on fundraising (Salon, 10/18).

Palin: MissesTea Party Express kickoff with Palin, who praises Angle and slams Reid (Nevada News Bureau, 10/18).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Claims that homosexuality, “like alcoholism,” is a choice (KDVR, 10/19).

Poll: New data shows Buck losing lead, in dead heat with Bennet (HuffPo, 10/19).

Women: Stands by comparison of rape allegation to “buyers remorse (Daily Kos, 10/18).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: Courage Campaign asks Fiorina to refuse support from National Organization for Marriage in internet ad (YubaNet, 10/19).

Government: Can’t name spending programs she would cut (LA Times, 10/18).

Palin: Skips rally with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele (NYT, 10/17).

Experience: Fortune magazine exposes Fiorina’s failed record running Lucent Technology (Fortune, 10/15).

Ad: Boxer hits Fiorina for backing Palin, offshore drilling, and repeal of assault weapon ban (Boxer, 10/15).

Joe Miller

GOP: NRSC spends $162,000 on ads to help Miller (WaPo, 10/19).

Ethics: Admits he broke ethics rules while working for Fairbanks; judge set to rule on disclosing more information (ADN, 10/19).

Security: Miller’s security firm under investigation for arresting reporter (Alaska Dispatch, 10/19).

Immigration: Cites East Germany as a success in wall-building (Mediaite, 10/19).

Debate: Skips debate with McAdams and Murkowski (ADN, 10/18).

Christine O’Donnell

Constitution: Questions Separation of Church and State, stumped on the content of 14th and 16th Amendments (ThinkProgress, 10/19).

Taxes: Chris Coons claims that O’Donnell can’t prove assertion that the Democrat wants a $10,000 tax increase (News Journal, 10/19).

Media: Jeffrey Shaffer looks into “Christine O'Donnell and the rise of cable TV politics” (Christian Science Monitor, 10/19).

Rand Paul

Poll: Democratic poll shows Paul trailing Conway by 2% (WaPo, 10/19).

Debate: Heated debate with Jack Conway, might back out of next one (McClatchy, 10/18).

Religion: Conway ad on “Aqua Buddha” spurs debate on religion (NYT, 10/18).

Marco Rubio

Debate: Crist dubs Rubio an “extreme right-wing candidate” in debate (Miami Herald, 10/19).

Outside groups: American Crossroads spends big to back Rubio (The Ledger, 10/18).

Palin: Campaigns with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele on Saturday (Politico, 10/18).

Pat Toomey

Outside groups: Club for Growth, formerly led by Toomey, set to expand pro-Toomey ad campaign (Washington Independent, 10/19).

Tea Party: AP looks into how Toomey won backing from both the tea party and GOP establishment (AP, 10/19).

Poll: Loses lead, now in dead heat with Joe Sestak (LA Times, 10/19).

Disgraced Ten Commandments Judge Heads To Iowa to Seek Removal of Iowa Judges

Earlier today we noted that Cornerstone World Outreach Church in Sioux City, Iowa was playing a leading role in right-wing effort to remove three Supreme Court Justices over the ruling in favor of marriage equality.

And nothing quite demonstrates the extremism of Cornerstone's so-called "Project Jeremiah" effort to overturn the "ungodly decisions of the Iowa Supreme Court" like bringing in disgraced "Ten Commandments" judge Roy Moore on behalf of the effort:

On October 16-18, 2010, Judge Roy Moore, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, will speak to pastors and others across the State of Iowa about the need for Christians to become involved in upcoming elections. Specifically, three Appellate Court Justices on the Iowa Supreme Court are on the Nov. 2 ballot and are being opposed for their recent vote to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Judge Moore will speak at rallies and meetings in Oskaloosa, Sioux City, and Perry, Iowa and will be a guest on WHO Radio in Des Moines with Steve Deace. WHO Radio, where President Ronald Reagan once served as host, is a strong conservative voice in Iowa.

Judge Moore's speaking events:

Saturday, October 16th

7:00 p.m. Public Rally at William Penn University in Oskaloosa , IA

Sunday, October 17th

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Cornerstone World Outreach morning church services in Sioux City , IA

6:00 p.m. Evening Church Service at Abundant Life Fellowship in Jefferson , IA

Monday, October 18th

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the air across Iowa with Steve Deace, WHO Radio, Des Moines , IA

Apparently, right-wingers in Iowa think the best person to make the case for removing three sitting Supreme Court Justices is a former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice who was himself removed from office for "willfully and publicly" defying federal court orders.

Vander Plaats Tries to Downplay AFA Backing of Iowa For Freedom

Yesterday, religious leaders in Iowa held a press conference to decry the role that the American Family Association in playing in running the Iowa For Freedom effort to remove three Supreme Court justices over their ruling in favor of marriage equality: 

“I believe that as a person of faith I am called on to aide those who are oppressed, abused and bullied — just as Jesus did,” said the Rev. Tom Capo of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist. “And when I hear any faith-based organization — whether it is called the American Family Association, Iowa for Freedom or IowaPastors.com — that calls basically for revenge against our Iowa Supreme Court justices because these justices made one decision that these groups don’t agree with, a decision to allow one group of people to have the civil rights that they deserve, I wonder if they are considering if they are living loving messages of faith that all the world religious speak of: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Help those in need or in pain. Help those who society shuns. These are the messages of my faith.”

The groups aren’t preaching that message, according to Capo, but are attempting to “manipulate us using fear.”

Rabbi Todd Thalblum, leader of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, agrees that “the voices of hate are out in force” and encouraged all Americans to return to the country’s “founding principles of equality and respect.”

“We are, each of us, a representation of God on this earth, and this makes us equal,” Thalblum said.

“History has shown us that where ever hate speech has been allowed to fester, violence and aggression are not far behind,” Thalbulum said. “The Jewish people know this all too well as do many, many other minorities both in this country and across the globe. We should never make our decisions based on a rhetoric of hate, rather we should let that what is just and right be our guide.”

Bob Vander Plaats, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, responded by claiming that the AFA was merely one supporter of many:

“The only thing I’m going to denounce is activists judges on the supreme court that’s used to make law, govern law and amend the constitution, and usurp the will of the people, and the will be the message today all the way until November two,” Vander Plaats says.

He says he believes the people of Iowa will have their voice be heard and will vote “No” on the three justices. The Interfaith Alliance says the A-F-A is an “extremist group, with a radical agenda, and a record of hate.” Vander Plaats says the group is one of many supporters of Iowa for Freedom.

He says Newt Gingrich supports the effort, Iowa Congressman Steve King supports the group and Vander Plaats says he’s not going to take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of their comments, nor should they take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of his comments.

But as the Iowa Independent reports, Vander Plaats' claim is complete nonsense: 

But in fact, according to documents filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Iowa for Freedom is not a separate entity, but simply the name given to AFA’s Iowa campaign. The group’s attorney told the state, “It is anticipated that all source funds for the Iowa for Freedom will come from AFA directly and that no other individuals or organizations will contribute specifically or directly for the campaign.”

As The Iowa Independent reported Wednesday, AFA has spent about $85,000 in Iowa in hopes of swaying Iowa voters not to retain three state Supreme Court justices that appear on the November ballot. According to Bryan Fischer, AFA’s director of issue analysis for government and public policy, the group will spend $200,000 on the effort.

...

While Vander Plaats downplays AFA’s contribution, AFA has done little, if anything, to hide its involvement with the retention campaign. Each page of the Iowa for Freedom website is marked as being “paid for by AFA Action Inc.,” the political arm of AFA. Advertisements generated by Iowa for Freedom are clearly marked as being “paid for by IowaforFreedom.com, a project of AFA Action Inc.” The West Des Moines address provided below the disclaimer is to a mail box at a UPS Store. In addition, e-mails sent by Vander Plaats on behalf of Iowa for Freedom dating back to August bear a similar disclaimer that the group is a project of the AFA. The website does note that AFA Action is a 501(c)4 organization, and that no contributions are tax-deductible.

Richard Land: Political Prognosticator Extraordinaire

Back during the last Republican presidential primary, Richard Land could not stop talking about how Fred Thompson was a "Southern-fried Reagan" who possessed "a tantalizing combination of charisma, conviction and electability," while gushing that to "see Fred work a crowd must be what it was like to watch Rembrandt paint.”

Of course, Thompson's presidential campaign ended up being monumental bust ... but that hasn't stopped Land from fancying himself a political prognosticator and offering up inane "predictions" about how Hillary Clinton is going to resign as Secretary of State in order to launch a primary challenge against President Obama:

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, believes the American people are unhappy with the Obama agenda, and he predicts that a GOP tsunami is coming.

"I think what you're going to see in November is a massive backlash saying, 'No -- we want to restore this country to a country where we understand obligations and responsibilities, and we're not going to focus so much on rights and privileges,'" Land suggests. "I think that there is a tsunami coming."

But even if the Democratic Party gets thrashed, he does not think Obama will moderate his left-wing ideology.

"If this is as bad as I think it's going to be, I'll make a prediction for you: Within 30 days, Hillary Clinton will resign as secretary of state, and she will shortly after that announce that she's running for president. She will say that Barack Obama abandoned the Israelis, [but] she will not; she will support Israel, and...the only thing that stands between the Democratic Party and a political debacle is Hillary Clinton," the ERLC president suggests.

Election Day is November 2, which means that, according to Land, Clinton will resign by December 2 ... so let's check back in then and see how Land's prediction is faring, shall we? 

Pray and ACT Prayer Targets: Raise Up Christians, Hold Back Satan, And Keep The Ungodly Out of Office

I have been covering the various election-oriented prayer efforts that are currently being carried out by Religious Right groups, including Pray and ACT which consists of not only 40 days of prayer, but also 40 days of fasting.

And to make this grueling process somewhat easier, Pray and ACT and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have produced a day-by-day prayer guide [PDF] for participants.  For instance, on October 17 they are to pray for the "Sanctity of Human Life":

Ask God to...

• Convict public officials to protect and serve every member of our society including the most marginalized, voiceless, and vulnerable

• Raise up leaders to end our nation’s culture of death and recognize the equal value of all people

• Give our nation the compassion it needs to assist women struggling with problem pregnancies

• Raise up leaders to protect the weak and the vulnerable from violent attack with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination

• Help our world leaders develop a consistent ethic of love and life for all people and all circumstances

• Convict the scientific community to end the barbaric practice of embryo destructive stem-cell research

• Help you put an end to our nation’s abortion-on-demand policies

And the next day they are to pray for "God's Design for Marriage":

Ask God to…

• Raise up leaders who will protect God’s design for marriage as the union of one man and one woman

• Convict Christians to uphold the institution of marriage and model its true meaning

• Help the church instill in young people a sound understanding of the importance of marriage

• Cause our nation to understand the destructive effects of redefining marriage

• Help the church engage in compassionate redemptive ministry to those struggling with same-sex attraction

• Help the church minister to those struggling in their marriages

• Cause our nation’s leaders to enact laws and policies that encourage and strengthen marriage

And then, as we get closer and closer to Election Day, the prayer targets become more focused on getting Christians elected to office, with prayers to "prevent Satan from blinding the judgment of our public officials," and "give Christians who run for public office favor in the eyes of the electorate," and "confound the counsel of candidates who don’t support biblical values," and "discourage ungodly people from running for public office."

And finally, just before Election Day, activists are enouraged to pray for the "wisdom to elect the
best officials" and realize that "God’s judgment or blessing on a nation is related directly to the morality of its citizens": 

Ask God to...

• Send the strong convicting presence of His Spirit throughout the nation

• Raise up leaders who will advance and support God-honoring policies, especially policies protecting life

• Help you know who He wants you to vote for in the upcoming election

• Expose to public scrutiny people who are working to undermine God-honoring laws and morality, like efforts to undermine God’s design for marriage

• Convince Christians that they need to be involved in the life of the nation both politically and socially

• Confound the plans of the enemies of the United States.

• Help the United States continue to be the world’s leader in promoting freedom for all people, especially religious freedom.

ADF, Keeton Reject KKK Support

This summer, Jennifer Keeton made news when she sued Augusta State University after the school threatened to expel her from its Counselor Education Program if she could not comply with the American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics, which prohibits counselors from discriminating based on a number of factors, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Keeton claimed that this was a violation of her religious freedom to oppose gays and so, with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, she sued the university.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Ku Klux Klan was going to hold a rally supporting Keeton and today the ADF released a statement making it clear that they do not want the KKK's support:

The Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing Keeton in a federal lawsuit against ASU, issued a news release today saying that both the organization and Keeton are "unequivocally condemning" the KKK's rally.

"Jennifer and ADF are disgusted by the KKK and all it stands for," said ADF senior counsel David French. "To say more than that or to discuss their activities at length risks bringing more attention to a failed organization that is seeking to exploit news stories for its own purposes. As the KKK admits in news reports, Jennifer has had no contact with them, and neither have we. Neither Jennifer nor ADF wish to give the KKK the attention it craves."

NOM Loses Big in DC

We noted a few days ago that the National Organization for Marriage was desperately trying to get something of value from the money it was pouring into DC elections. Now we know what they got: not much.

NOM-supported mayoral candidate Leo Alexander got less than one percent of the vote. And Ward 5 candidate Delano Hunter, the primary beneficiary of NOM’s spending, ended up with only 20 percent in his bid to unseat Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas. That translates into 3,091 votes with 16 of 18 Ward 5 precincts reporting.
 
During the campaign, Hunter bristled when it was suggested that NOM was bankrolling him, saying he’d received only $450 from the group. That may have been true in terms of direct contributions, but NOM’s Eight-day Pre-primary report filed with the DC Board of Elections and Ethics shows that even before the final week of the campaign NOM had spent nearly $1000 for robo-calls on Hunter’s behalf, nearly $15,000 for production and distribution of flyers, nearly $15,000 for direct mail, and more than $1500 for pro-Hunter palm cards.  
 
The same pre-primary report shows that NOM gave $36,950 to Bob King in August for production and distribution of flyers targeting every elected DC official running for office who had supported marriage equality. That comes on top of almost $80,000 NOM reported paying King in July and more than $60,000 reported on a June finance report.

 

Santorum: I'm no JFK

Rick Santorum, ousted from the U.S. Senate by Pennsylvania voters in 2006, has been busy denouncing “islamofascism” from his perch at the right-wing Ethics and Public Policy Center. Now he seems to be plotting a run for the presidency. Santorum, a Catholic, is pushing himself into the public eye with an attack on John F. Kennedy and one of that president’s most famous speeches, in which the nation’s only Catholic president told a gathering of Protestant ministers in Houston that he believed in the separation of church and state.

Last week, Santorum traveled to Houston to make his own speech, which repeated standard Religious Right straw-man arguments about supporters of church-state separation trying to ban religious people from public life.  Those are old and oft-told lies. What’s new is the Catholic Santorum pinning the blame for America’s supposed descent into secularism squarely on JFK.
 
Santorum reprised those remarks on Saturday night at Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, with some additional Tea-infused red meat: Government entitlement programs are the equivalent of a schoolyard pusher getting kids hooked on drugs.  If “Obamacare” is not repealed, America will cease to be America. It will be <shudder> France.
 
Denouncing Kennedy was not Santorum’s only noteworthy line of attack. He also took on Americans of the World War II generation, describing how the “greatest generation” stayed out of the war while Europe fell and Britain was bombed, while the Pacific Rim fell to Japan, and turned back a boatload of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. That generation was only great once it was awakened by Pearl Harbor, said Santorum. This generation, he said, has an even tougher job (!).   Waking up Americans is this generation’s Pearl Harbor moment, he told his audience, and you are Paul Revere. It’s a seriously mixed metaphor, but everyone knew what he meant. They have to drop everything to save America between now and 2012.
 
Santorum, whose presidential ambitions face what some political commentators have delicately called a “Google problem,” is still full of righteous self-pity about how he has been beaten up for standing for his faith. I guess that’s the most comforting explanation he can give for his 18-point defeat at the hands of the voters.

Bary's Attorney Sues Pamela Geller and John Stemberger for $10 Million

It was one year ago when I wrote my first post about Rifqa Bary, the teenage girl who fled from Ohio to Florida claiming that her Muslim parents were going to kill her for converting to Christianity.

Ove the past year, the person who most eagerly and relentlessly sought to expolit the Rifqa Bary saga for her own political ends was anti-Muslim zealot Pamela Geller of Atlas Shurgs  ... and for her efforts, she is now being sued for $10 million by the attorney who represented Rifqa's parents:

An Ohio lawyer says a blogger and a former attorney for a runaway Christian convert defamed him by alleging he has contacts with terrorists and criminals.

Omar Tarazi (tuh-RAH'-zee) is seeking $10 million in damages in a federal lawsuit filed Friday to compensate for damage he claims to his reputation.

Tarazi represented the parents of Rifqa Bary, a teenage convert who ran away to Florida saying she feared harm from her Muslim mother and father.

He says blogger Pamela Oshry wrongly linked him to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government.

"Pamela Oshry" was the name Geller went by before her divorce.

UPDATE: Tarazi is also suing John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council:

A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.

The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

...

Stemberger represented Rifqa for several weeks in Florida. That was in the days just after she ran away but before a state circuit judge in Orlando ordered her returned to Ohio.

In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa's parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit.

Stemberger on Tuesday called the suit "ridiculous and frivilous."

"This is just an attempt at grandstanding after a loss," he said.

Stemberger acknowledged but would not discuss an investigation by the Florida Bar into possible ethics violations by him for statements he made about the case.

Land Calls Mormonism "The Fourth Abrahamic Faith" While The SBC Calls It a "Cult"

Yesterday I wrote a post highlighting a recent column by Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he blasted the idea that Evangelical Christians would support a Mormon like Glenn Beck as he called the nation to revival. 

Moore called it a "scandal" and shortly after it appeared online Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tweeted his support for Moore's article, which got me wondering about Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, because I know that Land has been among those working closely with Beck in recent weeks:

A few weeks before organizing a massive rally on the Mall that had the feel of a religious revival, Glenn Beck sought the blessing of some of the country's most prominent conservative Christian leaders.

The Fox talk show host wanted their support as he shifted from political commentary to a more spiritual message, he told the group of about 20.

This is where God is leading me, Beck declared, according to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who was there, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

Land said most in the group found Beck's faith genuine and heartfelt, although not everyone agreed to embrace him publicly.

"We walked back to the hotel after and said: 'That was extraordinary,' " Land said of his conversation with Dobson after the dinner in Manhattan. "I've never heard a cultural figure of that popularity talking that overtly about his faith. He sounded like Billy Graham."

Today, Land sat down with NPR's Robert Siegel and disputed Beck's claims that President Obama's Christian faith is unrecognizable while also claiming that though Mormonism is not a Christian religion, it is an "Abrahamic faith": 

SIEGEL: Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Is that brand of Christianity as distant or more so from yours than the National Council of Churches mainline Protestantism you...

Dr. LAND: Probably more so.

SIEGEL: More so.

Dr. LAND: And look, Glenn knows this. He said, look, I'm a Mormon. Most Christians don't think that I'm a Christian. And so, you know, I'll quote the pope, when he's talking about liberation theology.

I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.

SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.

Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith.

Really? That is pretty amazing that Land would place Mormonism on par with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially considering that the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board labels Mormonism a "cult" [PDF]:

Reed Unveils More Speakers at Faith And Freedom Conference

Earlier this month I wrote about Ralph Reed's upcoming Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing to be held in Washington, D.C., September 9-11 which Reed is calling the "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp."

Today, Reed sent out an email urging activists to register and provided the first look at the line-up of scheduled speakers he has landed:   

  • Gary Bauer, President, American Values
  • Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow of Family Empowerment, Family Research Council
  • Glen Bolger, Political strategist and pollster
  • Jim Bopp, Legal Counsel, Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center
  • Herman Cain, Conservative radio talk show host
  • Tucker Carlson, Political correspondent
  • Teresa Collett, Congressional candidate (R-MN 4th district)
  • Kellyanne Conway, President and CEO, Women Trend
  • S.E. Cupp, Author, “Losing Our Religion”
  • Majorie Dannenfelser, President , Susan B. Anthony List
  • Brian Donahue, Founder, CRAFT Media/Digital
  • Erick Erickson, Founder, RedState.com
  • Mindy Finn, E- Media strategist
  • J. Randy Forbes, Congressmen (R-VA-4th district)
  • John Fund, Political journalist and conservative columnist
  • Dr. Jim Garlow, Coauthor, “Cracking Da Vinci's Code”
  • Tim Goeglein, Vice President, Focus on the Family
  • Ed Goeas, Political strategist and pollster
  • Deal Hudson, Director, Morley Institute for Church and Culture
  • Richard Land, President, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Anna Little, Congressional candidate (R-NJ-6th district)
  • Dana Loesch, Conservative radio talk show host
  • Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Leader
  • Jack St. Martin, Partner, Orange Hat Group
  • Jason Mattera, Political Blogger and Author of “Obama  Zombies”
  • Thaddeus McCotter, Congressman  (R-MI-11th district)
  • Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia
  • Mark Meckler, Tea Party Leader
  • Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
  • Star Parker, Congressional candidate (R-CA-37th district)
  • Tony Perkins, President, the Family Research Council
  • Tom Price, Congressmen (R-GA-6th district)
  • Karl Rove, Sr. Advisor, White House
  • Patrick Ruffini, E-Media Strategist
  • Chip Saltsman, Former Campaign Manager, Mike Huckabee for President
  • Rick Santorum, Former U.S. Senator
  • Tim Scott, Congressional candidate (R-SC-1st district)
  • Orit Sklar, Executive Director, Fulton County Republican Party
  • Mark Smith, President, Ohio Christian University
  • Matt Smith, Priest
  • Bill Stephens, President, Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Jim Talent, Former U.S. Senators
  • Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow , Heritage Foundation
  • Jackie Walorski, Congressional candidate (R-IN-2nd district)
  • Lynn Westmoreland, United States Congressman (R-GA-3rd district)

Interestingly, the names Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabe are not on this list despite the fact that Reed has been using them in his promos for weeks now: 

Perfectly Exposing The Utter Hypocrisy At the Heart of The Right's Anti-Mosque Crusade

You have to give Bob Allen and Associated Baptist Press credit for this tremendous article which so perfect exposes the hypocrisy that Religious Right leaders keep offering up as they seek to justify their fight against the "Ground Zero Mosque" - leaders like Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: 

"I take a back seat to no one when it comes to religious freedom and religious belief and the right to express that belief, even beliefs that I find abhorrent," said Land, the denomination's top representative on moral, ethical and religious-liberty concerns. "But what I don't do is I don't say that religious freedom means that you have the right to build a place of worship anywhere that you want to build them."

Land cited a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the right of officials in Boerne, Texas, to refuse permission for a Catholic parish to expand its building in a district designated for historic preservation.

But Land's group actually opposed much of the Supreme Courts majority's reasoning in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision at the time as too restrictive of religious liberty -- and Land heavily criticized the decision. The ERLC -- then known as the SBC Christian Life Commission -- joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed by a broad coalition of religious and civil-liberties organizations that urged the court to decide the case very differently than it ended up doing.

In 1998, Land testified before Congress in favor of a bill -- the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act -- that restored much of what the Supreme Court gutted in the ruling. In his testimony, he said, "I believe that the Boerne decision is one of the worst decisions rendered by the Supreme Court in its long history."

He added, "You cannot treat a church or a mosque or a synagogue the same way you treat a bowling alley or a used-car dealership. This Supreme Court said, 'Yes you can.' That is outrageous and dangerous."

So, let me get this straight: Land railed against the Supreme Court's decision and strongly supported the passage of RLUIPA, which was designed to remedy that very SCOTUS decision, and even testified before Congress in support of the legislation ... yet he is now citing the original SCOTUS decision, which he called "one of the worst decisions rendered by the Supreme Court in its long history," to justify his opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque"?  

Is that doesn't perfectly encapsulate the hypocrisy at the heart of the Religious Right's crusade against his building, I don't know what does. 

Gingrich Knows The Right Will Never Hold Him Accountable For His Hypocrisy

Esquire has a long profile of Newt Gingrich in which his ex-wife Marianne says he won't run for President because he is more interested in making money, as Justin Elliott explains:

Despite the recent hype, Marianne does not believe Newt is really serious about running for president. Why not? He's too busy making lots and lots of money ... So how is Newt making all this money? With a network of non-profit and for-profit groups that are financed by industry and are devoted above all to promoting Gingrich himself. It turns out this very much resembles the setup that got Gingrich fined $300,000 by the House ethics committee in the 1990s.

The article is long and quite interesting and you really should read the whole thing, but I am just going to highlight this section in which Marianne discusses their divorce, which she says did not come as a particular surprise since Gingrich had also carried on an affair with her while still married to his first wife and even "went to the hospital to present her with divorce terms while she was recovering from uterine cancer."

Then he did the same thing to her:

But Marianne was having problems of her own. After going to the doctor for a mysterious tingling in her hand, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Early in May, she went out to Ohio for her mother's birthday. A day and a half went by and Newt didn't return her calls, which was strange. They always talked every day, often ten times a day, so she was frantic by the time he called to say he needed to talk to her.

"About what?"

He wanted to talk in person, he said.

"I said, 'No, we need to talk now.' "

He went quiet.

"There's somebody else, isn't there?"

She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. " 'I can't handle a Jaguar right now.' He said that many times. 'All I want is a Chevrolet.' "

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He'd just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he'd given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, "How do you give that speech and do what you're doing?"

"It doesn't matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

Gary Cass on Prop 8 Ruling: What Do You Expect From the Debased Mind of a Pervert?

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission responds to the Prop 8 ruling by asserting that Judge Vaughn Walker is gay, therefore his mind is utterly warped and he is unable to reason clearly, so of course he ruled against traditional marriage ... oh, and now sodomites are going to surround your house and demand to rape your children:

Let’s not be shocked that Judge Walker cannot comprehend the self-evident rational basis for prohibiting homosexual marriage, after all, he is a practicing homosexual. The Bible plainly tells us that once a person has seared his conscience to such an extent that he can exchange his natural sexual relationship with the opposite sex for homosexuality, his ability to reason becomes utterly compromised.

Homosexuals have turned away from humbly worshipping the true and living God and his transcendent moral order in order to make an idol out of their sexual perversion and moral chaos.

...

Since rebellious men refuse to acknowledge God as the true source of justice, their sense of justice is “debased” (adokimos) or unreliable and inauthentic compared to God’s justice which is tested, true and reliable (dokimos). So while we should not be shocked that unbelieving rebels can’t see the obvious rationality for prohibiting homosexual marriage, it’s a lamentable reminder of how far we have reverted to pre-Christian pagan ethics.

Openly rebellious sinners who live in hostility to the laws of nature and nature’s God will attempt to impose their tyrannical, arbitrary standards on us. If homosexual marriage is forced on us by a despotic judiciary, don’t be so naive as to think this is the end of the neo-pagan sexual agenda. We are, to quote Judge Bork, “slouching towards Gomorrah.”

Scripture and history tells what’s next. Sexual anarchists have already announced what’s next; polygamy, group marriage, incest and intergenerational sex (or statutory rape as we now define it). They won’t rest until, like in Sodom, they can surround your house and demand you offer up your children to be abused.

Land: Christians Burning the Koran is an Act of Blasphemy

On September 11, the folks at Dove World Church in Gainesville, Florida (perhaps best known for their "No Homo Mayor" signs a few months back) will be hosting "International Burn A Quran Day."

And this move it apparently so extreme that even some Religious Right leaders are denouncing it:

"Dove World Outreach Center, shame on you," responded Angel Nuñez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

"If I want to win a Muslim to Christ, I surely won't do it by burning the Qur'an in public and provoking them to hate us more," said Nuñez. "The greatest weapon a Christian has is godly love."

The National Association for Evangelicals released a statement Thursday urging the church, which averages 50 attendees each Sunday, to call off the event.

"It sounds like the proposed Qu'ran burning is rooted in revenge," said NAE president Leith Anderson. "The most powerful statement by the organizers of the planned September 11th bonfire would be to call it off in the name and love of Jesus Christ."

"I think it is appalling, disgusting, and brainless," said Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "I think that those of us who find what they are doing abhorrent should say so, and say so publicly and often."

Land added that the church's actions "besmirch the reputation of our Savior, and that makes it blasphemy."

Of course, it should also be noted that while Land thinks burning the Koran is blasphemous, he's not exactly defender of Muslims or their rights, as he's also vehemently opposed to the proposed "Ground Zero Mosque"

As a Baptist who believes in religious freedom and separation of church and state, I strongly support religious communities' right to have places of worship within reasonable distance of where they live. However, no religious community has an absolute right to have a place of worship wherever they choose, regardless of the community's objections.

I believe that putting a mosque at Ground Zero, or very close to Ground Zero, is unacceptable ... Having a mosque at Ground Zero would be the equivalent of having a Japanese Shinto shrine built next to the USS Arizona.

Engle: Universities Are Teaching Students to Accept the Mark of the Beast

On Monday, a federal judge ruled in favor of Eastern Michigan University in a case brought by the Alliance Defense Fund of behalf of a former student in the university's counseling program who was dismissed from the program after she refused to counsel a gay client. 

The student contended that her religious views prohibited her from counseling such a patient and sued the university for discrimination while the university contended that it adheres to the American Counseling Association's code of ethics which requires counselors to provide nonjudgmental assistance to patients.

The court ruled in the school's favor ... and Lou Engle see it as a dangerous precedent:

So says prayer leader Lou Engle, who worries the decision this week could set "the precedent for Christian students being expelled in universities across America who refuse to compromise biblical views on morality" ..."The federal judge is declaring that Christian kids do not have a voice to stand for a moral truth [and their] biblical convictions on the issue of homosexuality and immorality in the nation," said Engle, founder of TheCall, a prayer movement that has drawn thousands of college-age youth. "This is a profound moment."

But Engle also sees a bright side, in that this coming persecution will provide good practice for Christians in refusing to accept the Mark of the Beast:

Engle said Christian students will be forced to take a stand. "We're in the days of Daniel. ... You've got to trust that God will bring you divine promotion when you refuse to bow down to the image," he said. "To compromise for the sake of getting a grade, you're practicing to receive the mark of the beast."

"In other words, if you can't stand in this day, how are you going to stand when the real pressure heats up?" Engle continued. "We're going to find out who the real Christians are."

Gingrich Warns of Sharia While Seeking Dominion

Last week, when Newt Gingrich came out in opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque," I noted that his position seemed rather hypocritical considering that he had recently founded an organization called Renewing American Leadership that has, as its mission, the protection and encouragement of the free exercise of religion in America.

But the hypocrisy at the root of that piece pales in comparison to the hypocrisy at the root of his latest piece:

Radical Islamism is more than simply a religious belief. It is a comprehensive political, economic, and religious movement that seeks to impose sharia—Islamic law—upon all aspects of global society.

Many Muslims see sharia as simply a reference point for their personal code of conduct. They recognize the distinction between their personal beliefs and the laws that govern all people of all faiths.

For the radical Islamist, however, this distinction does not exist. Radical Islamists see politics and religion as inseparable in a way it is difficult for Americans to understand. Radical Islamists assert sharia’s supremacy over the freely legislated laws and values of the countries they live in and see it as their sacred duty to achieve this totalitarian supremacy in practice.

Some radical Islamists use terrorism as a tactic to impose sharia but others use non-violent methods—a cultural, political, and legal jihad that seeks the same totalitarian goal even while claiming to repudiate violence.

Does Gingrich not realize that the man he hired to run Renewing American Leadership, Jim Garlow, is a full-bore advocate of the 7 Mountains Mandate, which is a Dominionist theology that seeks get Christians in control of the levers of power and influence the world over so as to create God's kingdom on Earth and bring about the return of Jesus Christ?

Taking control of the 7 Mountians is the foundational principal of Garlow's new Pray and ACT political organization, which is being prominently featured by Gingrinch's own ReAL website and has the support of a who's who of Religious Right leaders:

Jim Garlow, Skyline Church & Renewing American Leadership
Chuck Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship & BreakPoint
Che Ahn, Harvest International Ministry
Vonette Bright, Co-Founder, Campus Crusade for Christ, International
Bishop Keith Butler, Founding Pastor, Word of Faith International Christian Center
Jim Daly, President & CEO, Focus on the Family
Lou Engle, TheCall to Conscience, TheCall
Father Joseph Fessio, Editor in Chief, Ignatius Press, San Francisco
Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage
Professor Robert George, Princeton University
Professor Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School
Jack Hayford, Founder and Chancellor, The King's College and Seminary
Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas & Host, The Mike Huckabee Show
Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., High Impact Church Coalition
Alveda King, Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Richard Land, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Ron Luce, Founder, Teen Mania & Battle Cry
Bishop Richard Malone, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland (Maine)
Eva Muntean & Dolores Meehan, Co-Founders, West Coast Walk for Life, San Francisco
Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
James Robison, Life Outreach, International
Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Alan Sears, Alliance Defense Fund
Chuck Stetson, Let’s Strengthen Marriage Campaign

Obviously, these leaders and this Dominionist theology do not advocate the use of violence to achieve their goals, but you have to marvel at Gingrich's willingness to warn that "Islamists" are seeking to impose their religious views on all cultural, political, and legal matters while his very own organization is seeking to do the exact same thing.

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ethics Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 06/06/2011, 7:59pm
Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C. this past weekend was essentially a relentless repetition of the GOP’s 2012 attack themes on the Obama administration, mixed with Religious Right leaders’ demands that the Tea Party not abandon social conservatives’ priorities and conservative politicos’ appeals for unity behind whichever candidate emerges from the presidential crowd.  Just about everyone running, or thinking about running, for the presidency on the Republican side was in attendance with the exception of Newt Gingrich.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/09/2011, 10:00am
The Wall Street Journal today features an extensive profile on Newt Gingrich’s vast network of political organizations, including American Solutions, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), and Gingrich Productions. The paper reports that Gingrich’s “network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.” Gingrich also helped steer $150,000 to American Family Association Action to help defeat three Iowa State Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/06/2011, 2:58pm
Radio talk show host and Religious Right activist Penna Dexter was the keynote speaker at the National Day of Prayer event yesterday in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dexter, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, last year blamed a gay California youth who was murdered by another student for his own death. According to the Rapid City Journal, Dexter lamented that while Osama bin Laden is dead, the “the advancing homosexual agenda” continues to flourish: A smaller than expected crowd of about 350 people, including at least two out... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/04/2011, 4:55pm
PFAW: House Moves to Deny Women’s Constitutionally-Protected Rights. Bold Faith Type: Setting The Record Straight on The 'No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.' RH Reality Check: Texas Legislature: If Planned Parenthood Sues We’ll Take Everyone’s Family Planning Money. Salon: The Fox News-ification of Donald Trump. Colmes: Limbaugh: Obama Should Apologize For Taking So Long To Get Bin Laden. Wired: Blackwater’s New Ethics Chief: John Ashcroft. MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/25/2011, 4:29pm
Today, the law firm King & Spalding decided against defending the Defense Of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, leading Paul Clement, the partner who was going to take charge of DOMA’s defense, to resign . Groups and leaders opposed to marriage equality are unsurprisingly irate at King & Spalding, and have found a new hero in Clement: Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage: Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 04/12/2011, 10:12am
As we have previously noted, right-wing activists have waged a year-long smear campaign against legal scholar Goodwin Liu, who was nominated by President Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. Liu’s nomination was not acted on in the last Congress; he had his second confirmation hearing on March 2, 2011, and on April 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination. In the wake of that approval, Religious Right activists are ramping up their rhetoric and demanding that Republican senators block Liu’s confirmation. On Sunday, the Oak Initiative, a... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/09/2011, 1:40pm
In 2004, voters in Alabama were given an opportunity to remove racist language mandating separate schools for "white and colored children" and poll taxes from the state constitution ... and they refused. In 2012, it looks like they will get another chance ... and "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore is opposed to the effort because apparently trying to rid Alabama's Constitution of the vestiges of racism makes Alabama look racist:  Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur got a Senate committee to vote unanimously Tuesday for his proposed constitutional amendment that... MORE