First Amendment

AFA Again Tries To Distance Itself From Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer has made it quite clear that he does not believe that the First Amendment applies to Muslims or any "non-Christian religions."  And that is why he can feels he can advocate for bans on immigration and service in the armed forces by Muslims as well as prohibitions on the construction of mosques in the United States.

Now obviously, the idea that the First Amendment doesn't apply to non-Christians is a pretty radical one ... so much so, in fact, that Fischer's employer, the American Family Association, decided to release an official statement distancing the organization from Fischer's views:

America’s Founders disagreed how broadly the First Amendment extended Freedom of Religion. Since James Madison, known as the Father of the Bill of Rights, insured that the Congressional debates over the Bill of Rights were conducted in secret, Americans must look to later sources to understand the positions taken by their Founders. Thomas Jefferson and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, whom Madison appointed to the Supreme Court and who later founded Harvard Law School, openly debated over the place of Christianity in American law. Jefferson advocated a broad view that that all religions, not merely variations of Christianity, were to be protected. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote:

[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom... was finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus Christ,' so that it should read 'a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.' The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.

Joseph Story stated a contradictory view in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States:

The real object of the [First] amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”

Jefferson’s position has ultimately prevailed; under American law all religions enjoy freedom from government interference. However Joseph Story’s view continues to have proponents, including Bryan Fischer, one of American Family Radio’s talk show hosts. However, the American Family Association (“AFA”) officially sides with Jefferson on this question. AFA is confident that the truth of Christianity will prevail whenever it is allowed to freely compete in the marketplace of ideas.

As we have said time and again, it is amazing how the AFA can pay Fischer, publish his writings and give him two-hour daily radio platform from which to spout his relentless stream of bigotry yet continue to claim that Fischer's views ought to in no way reflect upon the organization.

Name one other organization that regularly has to declare that the things said by its own spokesman should not be construed as reflecting the views of the organization itself.

Fischer's New Definition of "States' Rights"

I always thought that when conservatives used the phrase "states' rights," it meant that the federal government was to have limited powers and the individual states were to have the right to decide how to legislate issues for themselves.

Once upon a time, Gov. Rick Perry was a supporter of that idea ... until he decided he wanted to run for president and realized that "states' rights" meant that states could recognize marriage equality and a woman's right to choose. 

Seeing as such things are diametrically opposed to the agenda of the Religious Right base he needs to court to win the GOP nomination, Perry quickly flip-flopped on that position, announcing his support for constitutional amendments to outlaw both abortion and gay marriage.

But make no mistake, Perry's cowardly pandering has not gone unnoticed by those he seeks to court ... but don't imagine that they are holding it against him becuse they are not.  In fact, Bryan Fischer is praising and defending Perry for taking this stand by unveiling a rather novel new definition of what the term "states' rights" really means:

Gov. Rick Perry has been castigated by some conservatives and 10th Amendment aficionados for his public support of federal amendments to protect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.

They accuse him of abandoning his commitment to federalism, states’ rights, and the 10th Amendment and committing unpardonable Tea Party heresy in the process

But to consider amending the federal Constitution as an abandonment of the 10th Amendment and states’ rights absurd.

You can’t get any more “states’ rights” than amending the Constitution, for one simple reason: only the states can amend the Constitution in the first place.

Unless proponents can get voters in 38 states to agree with them, our supreme legal document remains unchanged.

When the Constitution is amended, this is the exact opposite of the federal government imposing something on the states, but is rather a manifestation of the states expressing their political will. If anything, it’s the states imposing something on the federal government. Everybody ought to get pumped up about doing something like that.

So it turns out that "states' rights" doesn't mean that the states have the right to decide the issues as they see fit, but rather that the majority of the states have the right to decide what the minority must do.

Is this any surprise, coming from a man who doesn't believe the First Amendment covers non-Christians?

Perry, Prayer, Politics and the Presidency

Casual viewers of “The Response,” including some political reporters who don’t pay a lot of attention to the Religious Right, may have watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally on Saturday and wondered what all the fuss was about.  Most of the time was taken up with prayer and praise music.  Few of the speakers seemed overtly political.  Nobody used the occasion to endorse Perry’s pending presidential bid.

But context is everything, and the context for this event was remarkable: a governor launching a presidential bid by teaming up with some of the nation’s most divisive extremists to hold a Christians-only prayer rally that suggested Americans are helpless to solve the country’s problems without divine intervention. Some media coverage is missing the boat: the issue wasn’t whether it was ok for a politician to pray, or the size of the audience, but the purposes of the event’s planners and their disturbing vision for America.

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that “The Response” was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast, and organizations like the Family Research Council, whose president was among the speakers, are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building.  They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

By calling for this rally, and partnering with the far right of the evangelical world, Perry aligned himself with all these troubling strategies.  When he drew criticism for the event and the extremism of its sponsors, Perry suggested his critics were intolerant of Christians.  Speakers returned to the theme, with one of them declaring that “there is an attack on the name of Jesus.” Such claims of anti-Christian persecution are a tried-and-true strategy of the Religious Right for rousing conservative Christians to political activism.  And for those who actually believe that Christianity is on the verge of being criminalized in America, Perry’s event defined him as a defiant and courageous defender of the faith. 

As journalist Dave Weigel writes, “That's the brilliance of what Perry has done here…He doesn't need to talk about politics, or do anything besides be here and understand this event. The religion is the politics. These worshippers understand that if they can bring ‘the kingdom of God’ to Earth, economic problems, even macroeconomic problems, will sort themselves out.”

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.”  Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.  But in spite of their well-documented extremism, they are embraced by Republican leaders.  Engle, for example, took part in a Family Research Council prayer-a-thon against health care reform, at which he introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Christian-nation crowd, like Response speaker David Barton and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who says the First Amendment protects only Christians’ religious liberty, shares a certain vision for America’s future.  Some of the political goals of “The Response” sponsors were brutally clear at the rally; a series of speakers prayed for an end to legal abortion.  While rhetorical gay-bashing was surprisingly absent at an event whose sponsors include the most vehemently anti-gay groups in America (including the AFA, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), it is clear that in the America envisioned by “The Response” planners, same-sex couples would have no chance at legal recognition or protection for their families.  Shortly before the event, Perry himself was forced to walk back from his very brief flirtation with a states’ rights defense of New Yorkers’ decision to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples -- and to vow his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would strip married same-sex couples of their rights and make sure that in the future gay couples could not get married anywhere in the U.S.
And lest anyone think that Perry’s religious agenda is limited to social issues, he made clear that a rigid conservative economic agenda was central to his spiritual mission. Just days before the rally, on “The 700 Club,” Perry said he’d be praying for “our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.” Those words echo the theology of activists like Barton, who have preached that the Bible condemns progressive taxation, the minimum wage and collective bargaining.
 
Perry is clearly positioning himself to enter the Republican presidential primary as a political savior to right-wing activists who are underwhelmed with their choices so far.  Yet, oddly for someone who wants to be president, he insists that America’s problems are beyond human ability to fix. (Sadly, that may only be true to the extent that enough legislators believe that God, like Grover Norquist, is opposed to any tax increases.)

Perry’s worldview and that of “The Response” organizers seems to see no useful role for non-Christian Americans, whose religious beliefs were denigrated at “The Response.”  When Perry told Americans on Saturday that we, “as a nation,” must return to God, it’s clear he meant God as understood by the event’s organizers.  Jim Garlow, who organized anti-marriage equality pastors in California before being hired by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, told journalist Sarah Posner on Saturday that “The Response” was “not about whether Perry becomes president, it’s about making Jesus king.” Perry used the event to let right-wing religious voters and churches nationwide know that for those who see politics as spiritual warfare, he is the warrior they have been waiting for.

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

The Response: Non-Christians Are "Excluding Themselves" From Our Christians-Only Prayer Rally

Eric Bearse, the former Rick Perry spokesman who is now the official spokesperson for The Response prayer rally, wants to make clear that people of all faiths are welcome to tomorrow’s event. But Perry’s rally is organized by hard-line fundamentalists, and one rally organizer said the participation of non-Christians would be “idolatry of the worst sort.” Many people may not feel welcome based on the fact that the host organization, the American Family Association, wants all immigrants to convert to Christianity and believes non-Christians don’t have First Amendment rights, or because Response endorser C. Peter Wagner promotes the destruction of Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects and endorser John Hagee has a record of anti-Catholic remarks and once claimed that God sent Hitler to be a Hunter of Jews.

Despite all of this, Bearse told the AFA’s OneNewsNow that if Christians or non-Christian people feel uncomfortable about attending The Response, it’s their own fault:

But Eric Bearse, spokesman for "The Response," assures that non-Christians are welcome to attend the prayer event on Saturday -- and if critics choose not to come, "they're excluding themselves," he says.

Indeed, Bearse thinks that “non-Christians are welcome to attend”…but only if they intend to convert to Christianity. Bearse told the AFA’s American Family Radio back in June that “the message” of The Response is to encourage non-Christians to “seek out the living Christ.”

Bearse: A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths. But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ. And that’s the message we want to spread on August 6th.

LaBarbera: Gays Must Be Kept Off The Bench Because They Will Undermine Religious Liberty

Last month, J. Paul Oetken won Senate confirmation by a vote of 80-13, making him the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge.

Peter LaBarbera has long demanded a sexual orientation test for judges, asserting that all nominees must declare if they have a history of "practicing immoral homosexual behavior" or "consider yourself homosexual."

So needless to say, the milestone of Oetken's confirmation is not sitting well with him:

"Homosexual activists are quite clear that their so-called 'rights' trump our religious liberty, our freedom to act on our beliefs to oppose sexual immorality," he explains. "So we certainly can't trust open homosexual activists to give us fairness and to defend religious liberty and our First Amendment freedom to live by our faith."

LaBarbera adds that it is because homosexual activists strive to convince people, and force them by judicial fiat, to accept the homosexual lifestyle as somehow equal to heterosexuality.

"This is dangerous territory where we are seeing homosexual activists trying to get on the bench," says the spokesman. "The Democratic Party is advancing their cause and it's not going to help justice. In fact, I predict this will undermine religious liberty in this country."

Says LaBarbera: "We have a big fight ahead of us."

I wonder what LaBarbera's response would be if people were to demand that an openly Christian judicial nominee be kept off the bench because everyone knows that the Religious Right cannot be trusted to "give us fairness" on equality issues? 

Following Fischer's Logic, First Amendment Doesn't Apply To Mormons Either

Bryan Fischer has been demanding a ban on the construction of mosques in the United States for a year now and argues that such a prohibition is entirely constitutional because the First Amendment does not apply to Islam.

In fact, as Fischer is fond of saying, the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions":

[T]he First Amendment was written neither to guarantee freedom of religion to Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus nor to prohibit their free exercise of religion. It wasn’t written about them one way or another.

It was written for one specific purpose: to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion ... We must be clear: the First Amendment does not prohibit the free exercise of alternative religions, but neither does it guarantee it. It simply does not address the issue at all.

In defense of this view, Fischer has lately started arguing that prohibitions on polygamy prove that "non-Christian religions" (i.e., Mormonism) do not have First Amendment protections:

That the free exercise clause provides no guarantee for non-Christian religions is made clear in the case of Mormonism. It was part and parcel of the “free exercise” of the Mormon faith to have as many wives as you wanted. Congress said nope. In fact, the Mormon church was required to prohibit plural marriages as a condition of Utah’s statehood.

(It’s worth noting in passing that the Mormon church has never renounced plural marriage. It has simply instructed its followers to obey federal law in the matter.)

Idaho came into the union in 1890, at virtually the same time as Utah, and the first page of Idaho’s state constitution makes it explicitly clear that the free exercise of religion shall in no sense be construed to justify plural marriages.

...

In fact, the Republican Party came into existence in 1854 to combat two evils: slavery and the pernicious Mormon practice of plural marriage, what the original GOP called "those twin relics of barbarism." (Let me point out that I’m talking about the LDS faith as it existed then, not as it exists today.)

Clearly, then, as our political experiment with the Mormon faith makes clear, there is no guarantee of the free exercise of religion for religions which are outside the stream of historic Christianity, as Mormonism is. (It denies the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, the unique deity of Christ, his all-sufficient atoning sacrifice on the cross, and the completeness of God’s revelation in the Old and New Testaments.)

Following Fischer's logic, it only stands to reason that local communities likewise have the power to deny Mormons permission to build temples in their communities as well.

Fischer claims that the Mormon church "never renounced plural marriage" and therefore it must be entirely acceptable for local officials who do not want Mormons or their "pernicious" teachings polluting their communities to deny them permission to build houses of worship, precisely because the First Amendment does not apply to "non-Christian religions" like Mormonism. 

Richard Land Calls Out Herman Cain's Anti-Islam Stance

As we noted earlier today, Herman Cain had gone full-on Bryan Fischer in declaring that local officials ought to be able to ban the construction of mosques in their communities.

Now Richard Land, of all people, is taking Cain to task for that position:

"I think the First Amendment is one of those amendments that is too important and protects rights that are too central to our guaranteed rights in this country to be left with a local option," he asserted.

Like Christians, Muslims have the right to have places of worship near where they live, Land said. 

...

The Southern Baptist also asserted that Cain, who boasts that he is the descendant of slaves, should defend Muslims' rights under the Constitution so that they are upheld in every community, city and state.

"Mr. Cain of all people, as an African American, should understand that our civil rights have to be guaranteed on a federal level," he said. "I don't think he would want to leave the civil rights of an African American to the local voters in Philadelphia and Mississippi where they buried three civil rights workers – one black, two white – under a dam after they had killed them."

Land, as you may recall, has been a vocal opponent of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" and even resigned from the Anti-Defamation League's "Interfaith Coalition on Mosques" amid criticism that he was promoting Islam.

FRC: Pray For Bachmann's Ex-Gay Clinic

The Family Research Council has been adamantly defending the clinic founded by Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband since an undercover investigation revealed that the clinic was practicing discredited ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy. The Religious Right group, which recently urged people to pray for countries that criminalize homosexuality, wants members to pray for anti-gay laws and clinics that offer “help for homosexuals to break free from addiction to homosexuality.” The FRC writes in its latest prayer alert:

Christian Counseling under Assault – This week a homosexual activist group reported findings from their undercover “sting” operation at Minnesota Christian counseling clinic owned by Republican Presidential candidate Michelle Bachman and her husband, Marcus. Sympathetic national media seemed shocked that the Christian counseling center offered help for homosexuals to break free from addiction to homosexuality through faith in Jesus Christ. Where will the homosexual assault on religious liberty stop?

May God open the eyes of all Americans to the truth regarding natural marriage and sexuality vs. homosexuality as well as homosexual rights vs. religious liberty. May officials at every level stand up for natural marriage and sexuality. May the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and state marriage amendments be upheld in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. May our military men be protected from the introduction of homosexuality into their ranks. May we all stand up for our First Amendment freedoms! (Ps 82: all; Is 42:6-7; Mt 19:4; Rom 1:24-28; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 2 Tim 2:24-25)

Tea Party Nation Condemns "Non-European" Immigration

Eliana Benador, the neoconservative PR agent who lost her outlet in the Washington Times after she speculated that former congressman Anthony Weiner may have converted to Islam, now has a new outlet: the Tea Party Nation. In her column for the tea party group that once lamented that America is facing white “extinction,” Benador blames immigrants from “non-European nations” for much of the country’s social ills. She claims that such non-European immigration was responsible for President Obama’s election and claims that the U.S. should consider revoking First Amendment protections for religions (most likely Islam) that she deems inherently violent:

Some may agree that we have forgotten the lessons taught by slavery -and may be prone to not identify it even if it knocks at our doors, when we see a silent invader roaming our streets and we don’t dare call it as it is:

The invasion of America is taking place as we speak, but if we remove those blinders, we can still stop it.

What has happened to our country? How did this situation begin? It all began when then Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy heavily supported the abolition of the National Origins Formula, in place since the Immigration Act of 1924, to replace it with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

In a flagrant display of nepotism in America, when the three Kennedy brothers took the reins of American politics, immigration reform was a critical issue for the family community of origin: the Irish.



Despite assurances by the Kennedys that the immigration reform they were pressing for, would not upset America’s ethnical balance: “It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs…,” it ended up altering the immigration pattern and opening doors to non-European nations, thus changing forever the intrinsic tissue of American society.

As we celebrate America’s Independence Day, it’s noteworthy that the percentage reduction of original American voters, might have been a defining factor in the election of someone like the current president, who among other goals, seems to be keen in opening further our borders to endlessly increasing numbers of immigrants who, regardless of their skin color, are bringing in a whole new texture of culture, 100% foreign to what America’s origins were as its wonderful adventure began back in 1776.

As America celebrates her 235th Independence Day, she finds herself under siege from all kinds of enemies: The known and the unknown; the external and the internal enemy.

The external enemy is that whose goal is to expand so much throughout the world with its most coveted prize: our land.



One Administration after the other has kept the immigration-invasion under the radar, hiding behind the First Amendment to the Constitution that stands for freedom of religion” in our country.

However, the First Amendment does not stipulate that “freedom of religion” must be upheld even if the followers of a religion have perpetrated an attack on, and massacred, our civilian population in times of peace, especially if that religion incites to the destruction of our country, our people, and our values.

Conservative Columnist Likens Obama To The Beast Of Revelation, Alludes To "Violent Civil Unrest"

A conservative columnist and a news analyst for Renew America suggested in her latest column that President Obama is like the Beast found in the Book of Revelation who wages “war against God’s holy people and to conquer them.” Sher Zieve quoted from Revelation 13 when discussing how Americans should rise up against Obama for his alleged acts of treason and if they can’t defeat him peacefully, she says “there seems to be no other solution except violent civil unrest.” Zieve writes:

Treason is generally defined as "betrayal of country: a violation of the allegiance owed by somebody to his or her own country, e.g. by aiding an enemy."

High treason is defined as "treason perpetrated by somebody against his or her own country."

Another apt definition of treason is "any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government."

It is my contention that Barack Hussein Obama has perpetrated all of these. It is also my assertion that our current Congress and our increasingly leftist court system have allowed — and continue to allow — Obama to perpetrate such treachery upon the United States of America and its citizens with impunity.



Once he gained (many say "usurped") the office of the presidency, Obama has undertaken repeated attempts to unravel the First Amendment. These attempts have ranged from banning and refusing to speak with reporters who asked him tough questions to actually locking them in closets!



Virtually every day, Barack Hussein Obama is committing multiple treasons and high treasons against the United States of America. And STILL he is allowed to do so with nary a scolding...or a whimper. Nothing is ever done to stop him. Isn't it time for us to do so? Isn't it?

Who or what group might be willing to organize a few massive marches on D.C., and especially Congress, to stop this insanity and destruction of our country, our lives, and everything that — by the grace of God — we Americans have built or hold dear? Otherwise, there seems to be no other solution except violent civil unrest.

Even dyed-in-the-wool Democrat James Carville has said: "You know, look...you're smart enough to see this. People, you know, if it continues, we're going to start to see civil unrest in this country. I hate to say that, but I think it's imminently possible."

"And all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:3-5).

Right Wing Mobilizes Against Adoption And Foster Care By Gay Couples

In May Rep. Pete Stark (R-CA) introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which prohibits “discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.” While it is unlikely that the GOP-controlled House would approve the legislation, it is an important step in the fight to ensure that children awaiting adoption or foster care can find homes.

But the “pro-family” Religious Right wants to stop the bill in its tracks.

Focus on the Family along with the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg attacked the bill, claiming that “children will suffer” if it passes:

“We need to do all we can to encourage successful and innovative partnerships, rather than try to shut agencies out of the process,” said Kelly Rosati, vice president of community outreach at Focus on the Family. “It’s the children who will suffer.”

Sprigg agreed.

“This represents one more case,” he said, “in which we are seeing the rights of adults placed ahead of the best interests of the children.”

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel even alleged that the legislation is unconstitutional and demonstrates how the “homosexual activist political tsunami destroys everything in its path that is righteous, good and beneficial to society”:

At least one pro-family attorney disagrees with the liberal Democrat from California. "This bill has nothing to do with providing adoptive homes for children in need and has everything to do with shutting down all biblically-sound Christian adoption agencies around the country," contends Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.

And he argues that the proposal is unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of religion, which is protected by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

"This bill puts the [political] demands of selfish, adult homosexual activists...ahead of the welfare of children and religious liberty, and it must be stopped," Barber adds.

So he decides this is the latest example of how the "homosexual activist political tsunami destroys everything in its path that is righteous, good and beneficial to society." He cites a preponderance of studies that conclusively show children are best served in a home with a mother and a father.

Life In Bryan Fischer's America

Last week Bryan Fischer announced his support for laws banning profanity and blasphemy and followed that up over the weekend with a Tweet calling for laws banning fornication and adultery:

And this got me thinking about what life in America would look like if Bryan Fischer got his way:

Constitutional Historian Rebuts David Barton On The Daily Show

University of Pennsylvania historian Richard Beeman was yesterday’s guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart following an appearance by pseudo-historian David Barton. Beeman, like other real historians, notes that Barton greatly embellishes the religious views of the Founding Fathers and misrepresented the Constitution.

“The Constitution is federally devoid of any mention of religion except for one provision which says there shall be no test for public office or any position of public trust, so the only mention of religion is keep religion out of our government,” Beeman says, and “the debate in the [constitutional] Convention is virtually devoid” of religious references. Barton, on the other hand, made this pathetic case that the Constitution incorporates the Bible.

Right Wing Watch looked into Barton’s many fabrications, falsehoods, obfuscations, revisionist history, as well as his total neglect of the Fourteenth Amendment’s incorporation of the First Amendment to the states and his warped view of constitutional jurisprudence while he was on The Daily Show.

During part II of the interview with Beeman, Stewart noted that while Barton told him that he was OK with Sharia law in the US, he would likely make the opposite case to his conservative supporters.

In fact, that is exactly what happened, as Barton dedicated an entire radio program to denying what he plainly told Stewart about Sharia.

Such dishonest actions reflect the fact that Barton is a political activist, not a historian -- he even was paid by the Republican National Committee to mobilize church groups to support President Bush’s reelection and Republican candidates. As Kyle notes, even his documentary on African American history is brazenly partisan.

As Beeman and other credentialed historians make clear, Barton is simply distorting history for his own political purposes.

Fact Checking Barton Part III: First Amendment

Towards the very end of the televised portion of David Barton’s interview on The Daily Show, Barton said that one of the cases he “did at the US Supreme Court was rabbi Leslie Gutterman was asked in Providence Rhode Island to give a prayer at a graduation, and he wasn’t allowed to, now tell me how “Congress should make no law’ means that a rabbi cant say the word ‘God’ at a prayer.” He claims that this poses that the first Amendment is misused by putting a restriction on individuals, rather than government.

He referred to the case of a Rhode Island rabbi who was invited to deliver a prayer at a public school graduation to demonstrate that the Constitution is being misapplied to stifle religious expression. But it was the public school, not the rabbi (Gutterman), that was the defendant in the Supreme Court case Lee v. Weisman. Robert Lee was the principal of the school who invited the rabbi and Daniel Weisman’s daughter was the graduating student at the school who objected to the prayer service.

In the following section, that was posted only online, Barton dismisses fears that people could be coerced into prayer in schools, saying, “there’s coercion, you have to pull on your big boy pants and do something” and “look at all the pressure that goes to school anyway, there’s drugs and everything else and we don’t rule that unconstitutional.”

Barton misconstrues the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which is incorporated to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment (see Everson and Cantwell), and calls the ruling a “pretty strange parsing of the Constitution” and places a “restriction on the rights of people to say the word God in public.”

As Justice Kennedy writes in the majority opinion, which decided that the school is barred from holding a prayer service during the graduation ceremony, the First Amendment has been interpreted to prevent the government from sanctioning or endorsing religion:

The First Amendment’s Religion Clauses mean that religious beliefs and religious expression are too precious to be either proscribed or prescribed by the State. The design of the Constitution is that preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere, which itself is promised freedom to pursue that mission. It must not be forgotten, then, that, while concern must be given to define the protection granted to an objector or a dissenting nonbeliever, these same Clauses exist to protect religion from government interference.

As Stewart notes, Barton completely neglects the rights of the students whose beliefs are compromised by the school-sanctioned prayer by putting the burden on the student to just put up with it. Kennedy writes that such thinking “turns conventional First Amendment analysis on its head. It is a tenet of the First Amendment that the State cannot require one of its citizens to forfeit his or her rights and benefits as the price of resisting conformance to state-sponsored religious practice.”

Barton grounds his beliefs that the majority should trump the rights of the minority in his view that the First Amendment actually doesn’t prevent the state from endorsing religion. Lauri Lebo writes in The Devil in Dover that in Barton’s book The Myth of Separation,

Barton argues in his book that the First Amendment only refers to the establishment of a specific Protestant denomination. In other words, Barton claims that Christian founders were saying they couldn’t endorse Lutheranism, for instance, over Presbyterianism. But in Barton’s view, forcing Christian beliefs on the nation’s citizens has always been fair game.

But the drafters actually rejected proposed amendments that only stopped governmental recognition of denominations or sects. Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College, a Christian school, pointed to James Madison’s speech during the debate over the First Amendment where he makes clear that “Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law” for otherwise they could pass laws that “might infringe the rights of conscience and establish a national religion.”

By ignoring the meaning behind the First Amendment and opposing the First Amendment’s incorporation to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment, Barton pushes a radical version of the Constitution. If “taken to logical conclusion,” Throckmorton notes, “this argument would establish Christianity as the religion of the nation, something the Founders specifically did not do.”

Barton’s Chutzpah: ‘Historian’ Lies to Jon Stewart

People For the American Way’s recent report on David Barton was subtitled, “Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America.”   Barton has really hit the big time this week, with a profile in the New York Times and an appearance on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart’s popular Comedy Central program. Anyone who questions Barton’s facility at manipulating and distorting history should watch him in action, denying reality with a straight face.

In the extended interview available online, Stewart did a good job getting Barton to admit that he doesn’t believe the First Amendment applies to the states, and that he thinks states and localities ought to be able to establish religion. (If you’re a Jewish kid forced to start the day with Christian prayers in your local public school, tough luck. If you don’t like it, move someplace with a Jewish majority.) The good-natured Stewart did not call Barton a liar even when Barton contradicted the facts that Stewart put before him.  
 
RWW will be providing some detailed fact-checking on Barton’s interview, but here’s the big picture:
Barton dramatically downplayed his promotion of his “Christian nation” historical revisionism; he misrepresented his use of Jesus and the Bible to promote right-wing economic policies; and he asserted that he had never had to retract a single thing, which is demonstrably false. Barton also said his critics have never provided documentation of his manipulations, which is laughably untrue. Our recent report cited a number of historians critiquing his claims and linked to very detailed refutations, some of which Stewart asked him about directly. Barton has admitted that a number of alleged quotations from the founders that he used to promote are inaccurate or non-confirmable from original documents.
 
Barton also distorted his use of the Bible to support right-wing economics. When Stewart questioned him about using the Bible that way, Barton suggested that in a particular speech he was simply citing historical documents referencing a 1765 sermon. In fact, Barton has repeatedly claimed a biblical basis for right-wing views on progressive taxation in speeches and broadcasts and on his own website. Among his targets: the capital gains tax, the inheritance tax, minimum wages, and “socialist union kind of stuff.”   His use of the Bible to promote his take on taxes and labor relations is no more trustworthy than his use of historical documents. 
 
Perhaps the scariest claim Barton made, if it were true, is that he secretly edited the nation’s best selling public school textbook but kept his name off of it to avoid controversy. Let’s hope that claim is about as accurate as many others he made on Stewart’s show.

UPDATE: Chris Rodda, who challenges Barton's scholarship by examining the historical documents he says support his claims, has responded to Barton's latest distortions by offering her book, Liars for Jesus, for free as a download.

 

Right Wing Round-Up

Staver: Stop "The Intolerance Promoted By The Day Of Silence"

We already know that Liberty Counsel, like other Religious Right groups, zealously opposes programs designed to stop bullying if they include bullying based on sexual orientation. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, decried such anti-bullying programs as a “homo-fascist tactic” and a “‘Trojan Horse’ strategy,” saying that high suicide rates among gay and lesbian youth is because “kids who are engaging in homosexual behavior often look inward and know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral, and so they become depressed and the instances of suicide can rise there as well.” Liberty Counsel’s Public Policy Analyst Shawn Akers dubbed bullying-prevention initiatives as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries.”

Now, the group’s founder Mat Staver is deriding tomorrow’s Day of Silence for allegedly propagating a “radical sexualized agenda.” Like the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel is urging a boycott. The Day of Silence is an event where students take a vow of silence to show their solidarity with children who are bullied, harassed or attacked due to their sexual orientation, but Liberty Counsel claims that it is “not protected under the First Amendment” and part of the “homosexual and transsexual promotion agenda.” In another attempt by far-right groups to play the victim, Liberty Counsel claims that the Day of Silence makes students “feel like outsiders” and pushes “intolerance” by protesting the marginalization and bullying of gay students.

Parents and students will protest the so-called “Day of Silence” agenda tomorrow. Last year, some parents chose to withdraw their children from any school that promotes the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a project of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which promotes a radical sexualized agenda, including the promotion of books that encourage sex between adults and minors.

Parents are encouraged to call the schools their children attend and tell them the reason their children will not be attending. School administrators usually listen, because the school loses money for each absence.

The Day of Silence has been turned into a homosexual and transsexual promotion agenda. Neither students nor public school teachers or staff should be forced to promote homosexual behavior.

School teachers should be aware that students do not have the right to remain silent when they are called upon by teachers. Conduct on the part of a student that causes a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities is not protected under the First Amendment. Students cannot learn if they refuse to participate in class, and they harm other students’ experience by not contributing to a dialogue of learning.

School administrators do not have to promote the Day of Silence. In those states that require abstinence instruction, schools do not have to recognize clubs that promote sexual activities.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The Day of Silence is not about tolerance or bullying. It is about pushing a sexual agenda. Students and staff who disagree with a radical sexualized agenda are demonized and made to feel like outsiders. Children should be afforded a rigorous education opportunity and not be forced to accept a radical sexualized agenda subsidized with tax dollars. Parents and lawmakers should take the time to learn about the extreme views of GLSEN and the intolerance promoted by the Day of Silence.”

Fischer: All Immigrants Must "Convert To Christianity"

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is doubling-down on his view that the U.S. should ban Muslim immigration, and on Wednesday he called Muslim immigrants a “toxic cancer.” Fischer, who believes that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to Muslims, now claims that the U.S. should use the Book of Numbers when establishing its immigration policy and that Muslims should “be prepared to drop his Islam and his Qur’an at Ellis Island.” According to Fischer, all new immigrants must “convert to Christianity” or “stay home”:

Allowing Muslims to immigrate into the United States, a Christian nation by origin, history and tradition, without insisting that they drop their allegiance to Allah, Muhammad, the Qur’an, and sharia law, is to commit cultural suicide. We believe in freedom of religion for Muslims like we do for everybody else. But if they insist on clinging to their religion, they will need to exercise their freedom of religion in a Muslim country which shares their values: death for those who leave Islam, the beating of wives by their husbands, and the labeling of Jews as apes and pigs.

Immigration is a privilege, not a right, and our policy should be to admit to our shores only those with a commitment to a full assimilation to American culture, adopting our faith, our heroes, and our history. Someone with a Muslim background who wants to become an American had best be prepared to drop his Islam and his Qur’an at Ellis Island.



So ancient Israel offers a paradigm of what a sensible and sane immigration policy looks like. It’s simple: don’t break the law (that is, come in through the front door instead of breaking in through a window), convert to Christianity, fully assimilate (become an authentic American, not a hyphenated American), and support yourself. If you commit to those things, you are welcome here. If you don’t or won’t, perhaps it’s best for you to stay home.

Fischer: Muslims Represent A "Toxic Cancer" To American Society

Bryan Fischer is back on his almost-daily attack on Muslims. The American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis, Fischer believes that Muslims should not be protected by the First Amendment and that the government should deport all Muslims, ban Muslim immigration and prohibit the construction of mosques. Fischer, who has called Islam the “the spirit of Satan,” again demanded that the government forbid Muslim immigrants from becoming a “toxic cancer into our culture”:

We allow unrestricted Muslim immigration into the United States we are welcoming to our shores, welcoming to our borders, men who are determined to destroy us. They’ve said it themselves, it’s in their own writings, it’s in their own words; they’re out to eliminate and destroy western civilization. It’s just absolute folly to invite that kind of toxic cancer into our culture, but that’s what we’re doing every single day.

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First Amendment Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/12/2011, 1:40pm
This morning on the Today Show Mitt Romney and Chris Christie repeated their call for Rick Perry to disassociate himself from pastor Robert Jeffress because of the pastor’s denigration of Romney’s Mormon faith. Yesterday, Christie even compared Jeffress to “those folks in New Jersey who disparaged in both parties my decision to appoint a Muslim judge” and said that any “campaign that associates itself with that type of comment is beneath the office of President of the United States, in my view.” Ironically, one of the people who slammed Christie over his... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 10/12/2011, 11:04am
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... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/08/2011, 11:15am
Earlier today at the Values Voter Summit Bill Bennett called on speakers not to "give voice to bigotry," Bryan Fischer however did not get the memo. As part of a much longer speech against the supposed "threat" of "the homosexual agenda," Fischer said that "we must choose as a nation between homosexuality and liberty, because we cannot have both." Watch: Fischer: I believe we need a president who understands that just as Islam represents the greatest long term threat to our liberty so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/05/2011, 5:46pm
Earlier this week, we here at People For the American Way called on the Republican presidential hopefuls who are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce the unmitigated bigotry of the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer.   We singled out Mitt Romney because he is scheduled to speak directly before Fischer on Saturday and Fischer has recently begun asserting that the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions," including Mormonism. Given that Romney is going to be directly preceding Fischer on stage at the Values Voter... MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 10/05/2011, 11:20am
This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics. The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/03/2011, 10:38am
On Friday, Rachel Maddow reproached Republican presidential candidates for planning to appear alongside American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer at the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Maddow pointed out that Fischer, along with being “outlandishly all caps bigoted against every other group in America that you can think of” with his anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-Native American rhetoric, believes that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons, which makes it “particularly awkward” that Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is speaking immediately before Fischer at the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/29/2011, 12:28pm
As mentioned in our earlier post, we are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce Bryan Fischer's long history of unmitigated bigotry. This time we are focusing on Mitt Romney because, according to the conference schedule, he will be speaking immediately before Fischer on Saturday morning. Our efforts in the past to get someone, anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer's relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is... MORE