First Amendment

Cain: No Religion In Politics Except For "Biblical Principles"

After telling a reporter from Think Progress that he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims to his administration, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has doubled-down on his religious test for public office. Cain told the conservative site NewsMax that his opposition to Muslims serving in government comes fro his belief that “they are not free to infuse their religious beliefs into our laws”:

“They can accuse me of bigoted speech all they want,” Cain counters.

“I want people committed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States in my administration. I don’t have the time or the desire to worry about somebody or some faction that wants to impose shariah law on this nation. I believe in American laws in American courts.

“The First Amendment says everybody can practice whatever religion they choose. [Muslims] are free to practice their religion in the United States, just like all other legitimate religions. But they are not free to infuse their religious beliefs into our laws. We don’t do that in the United States, and if I’m president I’m going to work to keep it that way.”

But in an interview with Bryan Fischer, Cain claimed that the US and the constitution is “based on biblical principles, [and] I want to get back to those principles as president.” He also said that he was called by God (via text message) to run for the office.

Another likely Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, similarly criticized Muslims for purportedly trying to bring their religious beliefs into politics while at the same time urging Christians to “try and change” laws since “civil laws are supposed to comport with God’s laws.”

Bryan Fischer Dedicates Yet Another Program to Attacking Islam

Last week, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer declared that the First Amendment does not apply to Islam and therefore, Muslims have no right to freely practice their religion in this country.

A few days later, Fischer was in Iowa to broadcast his radio program from the Rediscover God in America conference where he lined up an all-star list of guests, including Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Haley Barbour. 

As such, People For the American Way released open letters to Gingrich, Huckabee, and Barbour, asking them not to give Fischer credibility by appearing on his program or, at the least,to denounce Fischer's bigoted views.

Not surprisingly, our request was roundly ignored.

Yesterday, Fischer dedicated nearly the entirety of his two-hour radio program to railing against Islam and demanding an end to immigration from Muslim nations and a ban on the construction of mosques in America.  So I edited down the audio of his rant and decided to merge it was photos of these GOP leaders sitting side-by-side with Fischer just last week in order to produce this short video:

This is where George Bush was simply plain wrong: he believed that there's a hunger in every human heart for freedom. Not true. That hunger for freedom does not exist in the Islamic heart. It's not in their DNA. Why? Because the spirit of God is absent in Islam. There is no spirit of God in Islam. It is the spirit of Satan. It is the spirit of darkness. It is the spirit of tyranny. It is the spirit of bondage.

The Quran is based on hallucinations. These hallucinations, I think Mohammad really experienced something, but what he experienced was what Paul refers to as the Angel of Light. This was a messenger of Satan masquerading as a messenger from God. You want to see what a religion looks like when it has been revealed by the Prince of Darkness, you look at Islam and the Quran.

From now on, no more immigrants from Islamic countries. Can't have it. It's going to corrode western culture. No more mosques because these are places of subversion, places where Sharia law, places where jihad is inculcated, where it is taught and where they are recruits made for jihad.

The First Amendment of the Constitution provides no specific protection for the free exercise of the Islamic faith. So that's a matter of courtesy. They behave themselves, we're glad to give them the opportunity to exercise their religious faith. but they've got to behave themselves. They start becoming subversive, they start releasing a toxic ideology into our culture, then we have the right to do something about that.

Congress can say 'no more Muslim immigrants to the United States.' They have the constitutional authority to do that. So that's one part of a solution. Congress exercising its constitutional authority to control immigration by restricting immigration from Muslim countries. Then, they could - a state could pass a law prohibiting the building of any more mosques in their state. They could do that, would not be in violation of the federal Constitution. And then state and local governments have the authority to refuse permits to the building of mosques. They can do that. So those are the things that we need to do to stop the spread of Islamization in America.

Fischer Again Calls For Ban on Muslim Immigration and Mosques

Bryan Fischer's anti-Muslim bigotry has become such a standard part of his rhetoric that it is getting to the point where it is difficult to determine whether his latest outburst warrant mention any more ... even when he is calling for a ban on immigration by Muslims and for local communities to ban the construction of mosques since he has made both of these demands before.

But so long as Fischer is going to continue to voice his bigotry and assert that First Amendment protections do not apply to Muslims, we are going to keep making note of it:

Immigration is obviously a matter for Congress, since authority to control immigration is vested by the Constitution in Congress. But we must never forget that immigration to the United States is a privilege, not a right, and that we should follow the wisdom of the Founders who urged that we only admit to our shores those who will strengthen our nation and assimilate themselves into it, adopting our flag, our history, our heroes, and our values. This is something that devout Muslims simply cannot do. The privilege of immigration should be reserved for those willing to integrate into our culture, become unhyphenated Americans, and adopt American values.

So immigration is a congressional issue. But as I explained above, states have considerable latitude in religious liberty matters, and states are thus free to ban the building of any more mosques within their borders. If states won’t do it, then local planning and zoning commissions can and must do it. And if we understand the Constitution as given to us by the Founders, there is no constitutional impediment in their doing so.

There is clearly no reason for Fischer to be concerned that he will ever be held accountable for his rhetoric in any way, as he has been spewing his bigotry on behalf of the AFA for years now and still Republican leaders continue to flock to appear on his radio program.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • PFAW asks Gingrich, Huckabee & Barbour to tell Bryan Fischer what the First Amendment really says.
  • Bill Donohue of the Catholic League reacts to the new play “The Book of Mormon.”
  • Peter LaBarbera uses Apple controversy to rant against “homo-fascism.”

Fischer: No First Amendment Rights for Muslims

While the American Family Association claims that one of its founding objectives is to defend “the rights of conscience and religious liberty from infringement by government,” its chief spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to show his contempt for religious freedom. Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis, repeatedly demanded that the US deport all Muslims and prohibit and purge Muslims from the military, and also called for the banning and destruction of mosques. Fischer today attempted to reconcile his ardent opposition to Muslim religious liberty with the Constitution’s First Amendment by claiming that the Constitution actually doesn’t apply to or protect Muslims at all:

Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.

Our government has no obligation to allow a treasonous ideology to receive special protections in America, but this is exactly what the Democrats are trying to do right now with Islam.

From a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America. They have that privilege at the moment, but it is a privilege that can be revoked if, as is in fact the case, Islam is a totalitarian ideology dedicated to the destruction of the United States. The Constitution, it bears repeating, is not a suicide pact. For Muslims, patriotism is not the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the First Amendment is.

Of course, the founding fathers certainly did construct the First Amendment to protect all people, including non-Christian groups like Muslims. George Washington’s letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island clearly demonstrates that non-Christians were intended to be protected by the Constitution, and the Treaty of Tripoli crafted under Washington and ratified by John Adams makes clear that the “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,” [Muslims].

But evidently, plain historical facts aren’t enough for Bryan Fischer.

Joe Miller Gets New Job Running Conservative PAC

Failed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, who lost to incumbent Lisa Murkowsi even though she wasn’t even on the ballot, has been named the chair of a right-wing political action committee. Western Representation PAC announced today that Miller is coming on as the group’s new chairman, and Miller is also set to appear at a fundraiser for the Committee to Defeat Barack Obama. The Western Representation PAC backed far-right candidates like Miller and Sharron Angle, along with other unsuccessful candidates for Congress.

Currently, Miller’s group is leading a campaign called “Break the Unions” and is running radio advertisements in Wisconsin slamming a “vicious minority…organized by corrupt labor unions and by President Obama’s Organizing for America.” According to Miller’s PAC, the unions are “nothing more than a political arm of a dangerous liberal agenda.”

Miller’s PAC says that its endorsed “candidates must support civil liberty and uphold the Constitution,” which in Miller’s case does not apply to the First Amendment’s protection for the freedom of the press or the or the Fourth Amendment’s ban on arrests without warrants.

The Founding Fathers Had a National Motto: E Pluribus Unum

Rep. Randy Forbes is on a mission to pass a resolution affirming that the national motto "In God We Trust" and House Republicans are playing right along, so it is no surprise that Religious Right activists like the Family Research Council's Ken Klukowski are stepping up to make their contribution to this important effort as well:

Odds are good the Founding Fathers would be astounded by the religious controversies of this past week.

First, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-VA, introduced a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto. He did so in part after President Obama wrongly claimed the national motto is “E Pluribus Unum.”

Forbes’s resolution failed last year when he introduced it under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic majority. Now under Republicans, the resolution is headed to a floor vote after being approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Even so, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, claimed the words “In God We Trust” are unconstitutional, an assertion that would likely stun James Madison and members of the first Congress who approved the First Amendment.

Can I just point out that "In God We Trust" did not become our national motto until the 1950s, as John Fea explained in "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction":

In 1954 Congress approved an act to add the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance ... In 1955 this connection between God and the United States was further strengthened when Congress opted to put the words "In God We Trust" on all United States coins and currency. The following years it changed the national motto from "E Pluribus Unum" to "In God We Trust."

Allow me also to point out that in 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were tasked with designing Great Seal of the United States, which they did - and it carried the phrase "E Pluribus Unum."

In fact, "E Pluribus Unum" was considered the de facto motto of the United States for nearly two hundred years ... until it was changed to "In God We Trust" in 1955.

So I am pretty sure that the Founding Fathers would be stunned to learn that the national motto is "In God We Trust," given that Congress adopted the Great Seal with its motto of "E Pluribus Unum" in  1782.

Gaffney Wants Muslims Practicing Sharia Prosecuted for Sedition

Appearing on the television program of ACT! for America, Frank Gaffney called on the US to arrest and prosecute anyone for practicing Sharia law, the legal code of Islam. Gaffney of the far-right Center for Security Policy previously suggested that President Obama is a secret Muslim and that radical Muslims are engineering a takeover of the conservative movement. The Conservative Political Action Conference refused to give Gaffney a platform “because they didn’t want to be associated with a crazy bigot,” according to a CPAC organizer.

Speaking to ACT! for America’s leader Brigitte Gabriel, who believes Obama is a Muslim backed by terrorist groups and demanded that colleges ban the Muslim Students Association, Gaffney said that anyone who practices Sharia should be prosecuted for Sedition:

Gabriel: But a lot of people say that Sharia law is a religious practice, and maybe it should be protected by the First Amendment. Can you please tell us, is it compatible with the Constitution? Should it be protected by the First Amendment as a religious practice?

Gaffney: It is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and anyone who thinks that life is like in either of those two countries is the same as life in America obviously doesn’t nothing about Saudi Arabia or Iran. In fact, it is absolutely antithetical, Sharia is, to our Constitution, and the pursuit of it you said in your comment is incompatible with the Constitution’s Article VI, and therefore being a protected religious practice, it is an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted under our Constitution.

Gaffney isn’t the first right-wing leader to say that Muslims shouldn’t be given constitutional protections, and his comments echo a push in state legislatures to ban the non-existent use of Sharia law in courts and an effort in Tennessee to criminalize the practice of Sharia. As Intisar Rabb of Boston College Law School notes, the Tennessee bill could make it “a felony for Muslims to perform everyday religious practices like praying, giving to charity, or fasting because they would be defined as banned Sharia practices.”

Barber: Dan Savage Is The "Pro-Homosexual Version of Fred Phelps"

It is certainly ironic that Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber would dare to attack anyone else as a bigot, but that is exactly what he did on LC's "Faith and Freedom Radio" program today while discussing the recent Supreme Court ruling in Snyder v. Phelps.

Barber insisted that while Liberty Counsel opposed the vicious bigotry espoused by Westboro Baptist and the Phelps clan, they have a First Amendment right to spew it ... as does Dan Savage, whom Barber calls the "pro-homosexual version of Fred Phelps":

Right Wing Round-Up

Dobson and Boykin Expose The Muslim Conspiracy To Take Over The World

The other day we noted how Lt. General Jerry Boykin has become the right-wing's expert of choice on all things Islam despite the fact that he believes that there is a plot underway by President Obama to take over America by creating an army of Brownshirts loyal only to him via passage of Health Care Reform:

So I guess it is no surprise that Boykin would show up on James Dobson's radio program today to give his expert opinion on "The Threat of Islamic Terrorism" where he asserted that Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections and that the Muslim Brotherhood is currently entering "phase four" of a five-phase plan to take over America:

Boykin: Islam is not a religion. Islam is a totalitarian way of life and it starts with a legal system call sharia law. It is then a financial system, it is a military system, it is a government system, I mean it's a geo-political system and that is hard for us to deal with, the fact that Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections.

In 2004, in Annandale, Virginia we discovered a false basement in a man's home there. It turns out he was the operations officer for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. They went through all of the things in this false basement and they discovered a five-phase plan to take over America. And as you look at the plan, and it's on the web, you'll see that they are in the latter stages of phase three and moving into phase four very quickly. And they've done this just since the early Sixties when they came to this country and it is difficult for Americans, for Westerners as a whole, to understand that Islam is not a religion.

The Muslim Brotherhood was started in 1928 in Cairo. They didn't do very well in the first decade, they only had about 800 members but then along came a guy named Adolf Hitler and Adolf Hitler began to fund the Muslim Brotherhood. That's when he made the arrangements with the Mufti in Jerusalem and that's why, during World War II, the Jews couldn't return to that area because Hitler was funding the Muslim Brotherhood to keep the Jews from coming back.

Dobson: So it's rooted in hatred for the Jews and for Israel and we have now our president and his administration dealing with, in some ways, surreptitiously with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and that works counter too our interests in Israel.

Boykin: That's right. And when you say you are going to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, you're saying I'm going to deal with al Qaeda, I'm going to deal with Hamas - these are spin-off terrorist organizations that are part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now I think as we look at the situation in Egypt today we need to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood is very much at the root of this thing.

Dobson and Boykin Expose The Muslim Conspiracy To Take Over The World

The other day we noted how Lt. General Jerry Boykin has become the right-wing's expert of choice on all things Islam despite the fact that he believes that there is a plot underway by President Obama to take over America by creating an army of Brownshirts loyal only to him via passage of Health Care Reform:

So I guess it is no surprise that Boykin would show up on James Dobson's radio program today to give his expert opinion on "The Threat of Islamic Terrorism" where he asserted that Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections and that the Muslim Brotherhood is currently entering "phase four" of a five-phase plan to take over America:

Boykin: Islam is not a religion. Islam is a totalitarian way of life and it starts with a legal system call sharia law. It is then a financial system, it is a military system, it is a government system, I mean it's a geo-political system and that is hard for us to deal with, the fact that Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections.

In 2004, in Annandale, Virginia we discovered a false basement in a man's home there. It turns out he was the operations officer for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. They went through all of the things in this false basement and they discovered a five-phase plan to take over America. And as you look at the plan, and it's on the web, you'll see that they are in the latter stages of phase three and moving into phase four very quickly. And they've done this just since the early Sixties when they came to this country and it is difficult for Americans, for Westerners as a whole, to understand that Islam is not a religion.

The Muslim Brotherhood was started in 1928 in Cairo. They didn't do very well in the first decade, they only had about 800 members but then along came a guy named Adolf Hitler and Adolf Hitler began to fund the Muslim Brotherhood. That's when he made the arrangements with the Mufti in Jerusalem and that's why, during World War II, the Jews couldn't return to that area because Hitler was funding the Muslim Brotherhood to keep the Jews from coming back.

Dobson: So it's rooted in hatred for the Jews and for Israel and we have now our president and his administration dealing with, in some ways, surreptitiously with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and that works counter too our interests in Israel.

Boykin: That's right. And when you say you are going to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, you're saying I'm going to deal with al Qaeda, I'm going to deal with Hamas - these are spin-off terrorist organizations that are part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now I think as we look at the situation in Egypt today we need to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood is very much at the root of this thing.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Rep. Steve King Hates Illegal Immigrants, Loves Steve King

Rep. Steve King has staked out turf on the far right of the House Republican caucus. But he’s got more competition there, which may explain the relatively paltry audience that came to hear him in a cavernous CPAC ballroom.

King chastised his GOP colleagues, saying that if they had pulled out all the stops they could have killed “Obamacare” in the last Congress in spite of Nancy Pelosi’s “iron fist.” King called the 87 Republican freshman “God’s gift to America.”
 
But his speech was mostly a loving message about King himself, with him bragging about his work as a state legislator and congressman, and noting with emotion-laden pride that his granddaughter was named “Reagan” and had no chance of growing up to be a Democrat.
 
He took credit for stopping immigration reform (“amnesty”) in the last Congress and said that if anyone brings it up in the new Congress they should have a scarlet letter A pinned to them. King, who has infamously compared illegal immigrants to cattle, said today that most of them are criminals. He called for a wall within two fences to be built along the entire border with Mexico.
 
King bragged that he was the first to ask for legislation to repeal health care reform and demanded that his GOP colleagues insert language into the continuing resolution to prevent the federal government from spending any money to start implementing reform. Otherwise, he said President Obama will send the roots of that “malignant tumor” as deep as he can.
 
King’s speech touted the seemingly mandatory evocation of “American exceptionalism,” though he had one small critique of the Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms, he said, should have been the First Amendment.

Rep. Steve King Hates Illegal Immigrants, Loves Steve King

Rep. Steve King has staked out turf on the far right of the House Republican caucus. But he’s got more competition there, which may explain the relatively paltry audience that came to hear him in a cavernous CPAC ballroom.

King chastised his GOP colleagues, saying that if they had pulled out all the stops they could have killed “Obamacare” in the last Congress in spite of Nancy Pelosi’s “iron fist.” King called the 87 Republican freshman “God’s gift to America.”
 
But his speech was mostly a loving message about King himself, with him bragging about his work as a state legislator and congressman, and noting with emotion-laden pride that his granddaughter was named “Reagan” and had no chance of growing up to be a Democrat.
 
He took credit for stopping immigration reform (“amnesty”) in the last Congress and said that if anyone brings it up in the new Congress they should have a scarlet letter A pinned to them. King, who has infamously compared illegal immigrants to cattle, said today that most of them are criminals. He called for a wall within two fences to be built along the entire border with Mexico.
 
King bragged that he was the first to ask for legislation to repeal health care reform and demanded that his GOP colleagues insert language into the continuing resolution to prevent the federal government from spending any money to start implementing reform. Otherwise, he said President Obama will send the roots of that “malignant tumor” as deep as he can.
 
King’s speech touted the seemingly mandatory evocation of “American exceptionalism,” though he had one small critique of the Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms, he said, should have been the First Amendment.

Santorum Hires Founder of Corporate Astroturf Group that Ran Ads Attacking the “Victory Mosque”

In another sign that Rick Santorum is gearing up for a presidential bid, the former Pennsylvania Senator hired two top Republican strategists from Iowa. CNN reports that Nick Ryan and Jill Latham “will serve as advisers to his political action committee, America's Foundation.” Ryan and Latham both originally worked at the Concordia Group, a lobbyist firm that primarily worked to help the ethanol industry. Ryan is also a founder of the American Future Fund (AFF), a shadowy political group that was accused of violating campaign finance law.

The New York Times found the AFF targeted Democrats that were involved in setting federal agriculture policy, a key concern of Ryan’s Concordia Groups clients. The AFF’s political director also worked in the Concordia Group, and the AFF paid Ryan’s firm $300,000 for consulting fees.

But the AFF’s ads were not focused on agriculture, and instead chastised Democrats for their votes for health care reform, clean energy legislation, or for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House.

In one of the most shameless ads of the election, the AFF attacked Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) for saying that New York’s zoning officials should decide the fate of the planned Park51 Islamic community center as part of its smear against the First Amendment rights of Muslims.

Watch:

Santorum Hires Founder of Corporate Astroturf Group that Ran Ads Attacking the “Victory Mosque”

In another sign that Rick Santorum is gearing up for a presidential bid, the former Pennsylvania Senator hired two top Republican strategists from Iowa. CNN reports that Nick Ryan and Jill Latham “will serve as advisers to his political action committee, America's Foundation.” Ryan and Latham both originally worked at the Concordia Group, a lobbyist firm that primarily worked to help the ethanol industry. Ryan is also a founder of the American Future Fund (AFF), a shadowy political group that was accused of violating campaign finance law.

The New York Times found the AFF targeted Democrats that were involved in setting federal agriculture policy, a key concern of Ryan’s Concordia Groups clients. The AFF’s political director also worked in the Concordia Group, and the AFF paid Ryan’s firm $300,000 for consulting fees.

But the AFF’s ads were not focused on agriculture, and instead chastised Democrats for their votes for health care reform, clean energy legislation, or for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House.

In one of the most shameless ads of the election, the AFF attacked Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) for saying that New York’s zoning officials should decide the fate of the planned Park51 Islamic community center as part of its smear against the First Amendment rights of Muslims.

Watch:

Stemberger Sets Up Legal Defense Fund Backed By Religious Right, Anti-Muslims Activists

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, is facing the possibility of being disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court for misconduct during the Rifqa Bary saga as well as a $10 million lawsuit from the lawyer who represented Bary's Muslim parents.

Stemberger insists that the wild allegations he threw around when he was representing Bary in Florida are protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit and misconduct complaint are merely an "attempt to squelch any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam and its tenets" and so he has now set up a legal defense fund with the support not only of Bary, but of several Religious Right leaders:

"Would you please help my friend and lawyer John Stemberger? He defended me at no cost and helped me gain my freedom and is now being attacked by the Muslim lawyer who opposed me in court. Thank you for supporting me.  Will you now also help and support John?" - Rifqa Bary

“America needs warriors who will stand on principle and fight for truth. John Stemberger is a true warrior who has defended American principles through his bold defense of Rifqa Bary. Now the Islamic elements in America want to destroy him. Keep fighting, John.” -General William G. Boykin (retired), United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

“John Stemberger was and is a true patriot for defending Rifqa Bary in court and so we should now all consider helping him defend against these attacks by the same lawyer who fought against Rifqa getting her freedom. The Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to protect exactly the type of political and religious speech involved in this case.”- Historian David Barton, Wallbuilders

“John Stemberger is a man of courage and principle. We need to stand by him now. I support John and would ask you to consider doing the same.” – Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich

“In today’s politically correct culture few people are willing to stand up to the threats against our faith, our families and our freedoms. That is why I am grateful for John Stemberger who has stood up for those who are vulnerable and defenseless, including Rifqa Bary. Now join me in standing with John.” - Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled to see John Stemberger’s courageous defense of Rifqa Bary, our precious sister. He took a courageous stand and is paying the price because of it. We need people like this who are willing to lay their lives down for the cause of truth and justice on behalf of those who have no strength. Let’s stand with our brother.” - Lou Engle, Founder, TheCall Inc.

Stemberger Sets Up Legal Defense Fund Backed By Religious Right, Anti-Muslims Activists

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, is facing the possibility of being disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court for misconduct during the Rifqa Bary saga as well as a $10 million lawsuit from the lawyer who represented Bary's Muslim parents.

Stemberger insists that the wild allegations he threw around when he was representing Bary in Florida are protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit and misconduct complaint are merely an "attempt to squelch any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam and its tenets" and so he has now set up a legal defense fund with the support not only of Bary, but of several Religious Right leaders:

"Would you please help my friend and lawyer John Stemberger? He defended me at no cost and helped me gain my freedom and is now being attacked by the Muslim lawyer who opposed me in court. Thank you for supporting me.  Will you now also help and support John?" - Rifqa Bary

“America needs warriors who will stand on principle and fight for truth. John Stemberger is a true warrior who has defended American principles through his bold defense of Rifqa Bary. Now the Islamic elements in America want to destroy him. Keep fighting, John.” -General William G. Boykin (retired), United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

“John Stemberger was and is a true patriot for defending Rifqa Bary in court and so we should now all consider helping him defend against these attacks by the same lawyer who fought against Rifqa getting her freedom. The Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to protect exactly the type of political and religious speech involved in this case.”- Historian David Barton, Wallbuilders

“John Stemberger is a man of courage and principle. We need to stand by him now. I support John and would ask you to consider doing the same.” – Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich

“In today’s politically correct culture few people are willing to stand up to the threats against our faith, our families and our freedoms. That is why I am grateful for John Stemberger who has stood up for those who are vulnerable and defenseless, including Rifqa Bary. Now join me in standing with John.” - Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled to see John Stemberger’s courageous defense of Rifqa Bary, our precious sister. He took a courageous stand and is paying the price because of it. We need people like this who are willing to lay their lives down for the cause of truth and justice on behalf of those who have no strength. Let’s stand with our brother.” - Lou Engle, Founder, TheCall Inc.

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First Amendment Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/29/2011, 10:27am
We reported yesterday that American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer will not only be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit but will immediately follow Mitt Romney. Today, People For the American Way released a statement urging Romney and fellow Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to condemn Fischer’s unmitigated bigotry rather than lending it legitimacy by appearing with him: • Fischer, the chief spokesman for the AFA, has insisted that American Muslims have no First Amendment... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/26/2011, 11:14am
This November a coalition of anti-Muslim and Religious Right groups are hosting “The Constitution or Sharia—Preserving Freedom Conference” in Nashville, Tennessee, dubbed “the first national conference on Sharia and the Islamization of America.” The location does not seem to be coincidental: the Tennessee legislature recently weighed a bill that would make it a felony to follow Sharia law and the town of Murfreesboro, just south of Nashville, has witnessed vicious anti-Muslim attacks and arson against a planned mosque. A lawsuit against the mosque declared that... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/13/2011, 6:00pm
PFAW: PFAW Foundation Demands that NY Town Clerks End Marriage Discrimination. Steve Benen: The candidates weren’t the only ones on display. David Weigel: Bachmann Asks: Can Gardisil Make Your Kids Retarded? Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Pediatrician: "The Problem is People Like Michele Bachmann." Zaid Jilani @ Think Progress Security: Peter King Laments First Amendment, Wants ‘Better Controls’ On Facebook, Twitter, And The Internet. Warren Throckmorton: David Barton again defends Glenn Beck as a Christian. MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/07/2011, 3:40pm
Jerry Boykin appeared on Bryan Fischer’s show Focal Point yesterday where the two anti-Muslim activists found common ground in their belief that mosques should be banned in the United States. Boykin, who has appeared with Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee, has launched some of the most sordid attacks against Muslim-Americans since he left the military, following an investigation that he violated rules due to his partisan and anti-Muslim rhetoric. He has argued that “Islam itself is not just a religion” and “should not be protected under the First Amendment,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/31/2011, 3:17pm
In planning a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept a policy observed in previous years and declined to invite religious leaders to speak at the events, which a spokesman says is to make sure “the focus remains on the families.” Of course, the Religious Right is now apoplectic and using their outrage at Bloomberg as their latest fundraising tool. The Traditional Values Coalition emailed members today pleading for donations to stop Bloomberg’s attempts “to exterminate expressions of faith”... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/26/2011, 4:00pm
The American Family Association published a guide to Judaism by ‘Probe Ministries,’ which works “through balanced, biblically based scholarship, training people to love God by renewing their minds and equipping the Church to engage the world for Christ.” The post includes advice and encouragement for Christians looking to convert Jews to Christianity and claims that Jews and Christians “do not worship the same God.” While it comes as no surprise that the AFA would promote such a message, it might come as one to the "Judeo" part of the "Judeo-... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 3:31pm
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... MORE