First Amendment

Land Resigns From "Mosque Discrimination" Coalition After Being Accused of Promoting Islam

Richard Land has been among the most vocal Religious Right opponents of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." Apparently concerned that his opposition was blatantly hypocritical, Land eventually signed on to the Anti-Defamation League's "Interfaith Coalition on Mosques" stating that while he opposed the location of the "Ground Zero Mosque" he believed it was important to "help preserve the First Amendment for all Americans" by ensuring that all people "have the right to the free exercise of our faith without the interference of the government."

If Land's stance of vociferously opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero while supporting the construction of mosques places like California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee seemed rather confusing to you, you were not alone - it was apparently confusing to Southern Baptists as well, and their opposition to Land's "promotion" of Islam has caused him to resign from the ADL's coalition:

Richard Land announced January 21 he had listened to Southern Baptists and as a result was withdrawing his name from a diverse coalition established to monitor “mosque discrimination” in the U.S.

"While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is 'a bridge too far,'" wrote Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, which established the coalition

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Admitting he was surprised at some of the reaction from fellow Southern Baptists, he explained most of the negative responses at a minimum affirmed "everyone’s right to worship," but drew the line at "denominational leaders filing suit in court to protect those rights when Muslims are the aggrieved party."

Land said his involvement with the interfaith coalition was perceived by many as "crossing the line from defense of religious freedom to advocacy of, or promotion of, Islam itself."

Land Resigns From "Mosque Discrimination" Coalition After Being Accused of Promoting Islam

Richard Land has been among the most vocal Religious Right opponents of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." Apparently concerned that his opposition was blatantly hypocritical, Land eventually signed on to the Anti-Defamation League's "Interfaith Coalition on Mosques" stating that while he opposed the location of the "Ground Zero Mosque" he believed it was important to "help preserve the First Amendment for all Americans" by ensuring that all people "have the right to the free exercise of our faith without the interference of the government."

If Land's stance of vociferously opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero while supporting the construction of mosques places like California, Wisconsin, and Tennessee seemed rather confusing to you, you were not alone - it was apparently confusing to Southern Baptists as well, and their opposition to Land's "promotion" of Islam has caused him to resign from the ADL's coalition:

Richard Land announced January 21 he had listened to Southern Baptists and as a result was withdrawing his name from a diverse coalition established to monitor “mosque discrimination” in the U.S.

"While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is 'a bridge too far,'" wrote Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, which established the coalition

...

Admitting he was surprised at some of the reaction from fellow Southern Baptists, he explained most of the negative responses at a minimum affirmed "everyone’s right to worship," but drew the line at "denominational leaders filing suit in court to protect those rights when Muslims are the aggrieved party."

Land said his involvement with the interfaith coalition was perceived by many as "crossing the line from defense of religious freedom to advocacy of, or promotion of, Islam itself."

The War on Christmas Lives On: Resolution to Ban References to “Holiday Tree”

It’s never too late (or too early?) to fight the “War on Christmas,” even in January. Five Republican members of the Rhode Island State House have introduced a resolution to protect the name of the Christmas tree by preventing the state from using terms such as “‘holiday tree’ or other non-traditional terms.” The First Amendment Center first reported on the efforts of the five legislators to make sure that Rhode Island’s state employees don’t refer to Christmas trees by any other name. The resolution declares:

RESOLVED, That it is the policy of the state that state officials and departments refer to the tree customarily erected or displayed in celebration of the period from Thanksgiving of each year to January of the following year as a ‘Christmas tree’ and not as a ‘holiday tree’ or other non-traditional terms; and

RESOLVED, Further that the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to send a duly certified copy of this resolution to each state agency and department.

The Right’s anger over the so-called “War on Chrismtas” has died down since December, when Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe boycotted his hometown of Tulsa’s annual parade because it used the word “holiday” instead of “Christmas,” Liberty Counsel introduced a “Christmas Action Pack,” and the American Family Association went after “Companies Against Christmas” such as NASCAR, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble. But as the case in Rhode Island suggests, the fight against the “War on Christmas” abides.

The War on Christmas Lives On: Resolution to Ban References to “Holiday Tree”

It’s never too late (or too early?) to fight the “War on Christmas,” even in January. Five Republican members of the Rhode Island State House have introduced a resolution to protect the name of the Christmas tree by preventing the state from using terms such as “‘holiday tree’ or other non-traditional terms.” The First Amendment Center first reported on the efforts of the five legislators to make sure that Rhode Island’s state employees don’t refer to Christmas trees by any other name. The resolution declares:

RESOLVED, That it is the policy of the state that state officials and departments refer to the tree customarily erected or displayed in celebration of the period from Thanksgiving of each year to January of the following year as a ‘Christmas tree’ and not as a ‘holiday tree’ or other non-traditional terms; and

RESOLVED, Further that the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to send a duly certified copy of this resolution to each state agency and department.

The Right’s anger over the so-called “War on Chrismtas” has died down since December, when Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe boycotted his hometown of Tulsa’s annual parade because it used the word “holiday” instead of “Christmas,” Liberty Counsel introduced a “Christmas Action Pack,” and the American Family Association went after “Companies Against Christmas” such as NASCAR, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble. But as the case in Rhode Island suggests, the fight against the “War on Christmas” abides.

MassResistance Loses It Over Profile of Lively

Last week, the Boston Globe ran a lengthy profile on Scott Lively and his new mission focusing on helping the downtrodden.  Given Lively's notorious reputation as anti-gay activist, some felt that the Globe article was more or less a puff piece that didn't adequately expose Lively's history .. but Lively's anti-gay allies at MassResistance had a different reaction, sending out a long email blasting the piece as "possibly the worst Globe attack article against a pro-family figure in memory" and calling for right-wing activists to refuse to talk to the Globe ever again: 

The mainstream media's anti-family, anti-Christian propaganda campaign has taken a disturbing turn. Last week the Boston Globe published a particularly vicious front-page article attacking Scott Lively, a well-known pro-family activist, pastor, writer, and lecturer. It was done in a cowardly, dishonest manner where the reporter misrepresented himself and went against Dr. Lively's wishes regarding the interview.

Scott Lively is known and respected in pro-family circles around the world. He is also an attorney and has a doctorate in theology. But his principled stand on homosexuality and biblical morality, which includes several books exposing the homosexual agenda, has earned him the vitriol of homosexual activists.

Dr. Lively, a Massachusetts native, moved back to Springfield a few years ago to start an inner-city Christian ministry. This apparently angers the Globe and prompted them to publish the article.

Going far beyond mere "bias", it's possibly the worst Globe attack article against a pro-family figure in memory.

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The mainstream media is now starting to take the gloves off. It's possible that the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repeal was a watershed of sorts. Traditional religious belief (particularly regarding homosexuality) has been attacked for a while, but we were still somewhat tolerated. Many in the mainstream media now believe that traditional religious belief must be purged from society. To do that, it needs to be considered a hateful aberration, even a a mental illness.

For example, notice that in both the articles (including #2 below) the label "anti-gay pastor" is used to describe Scott Lively, even though his opinions would be considered mainstream among most Americans. It's a conscious effort to demonize criticism of homosexuality, to make it a label that marginalizes him. (Of course, they would never label anyone "pro-gay" because that is now considered normal.)

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What the Boston Globe (and Springfield Republican) did to Scott Lively is in our opinion only the beginning. They are clearly out to demonize and attack us, and twist our words into propaganda against us. They may have a broad First Amendment right to do these things, but we don't have to help them. Thus, MassResistance is calling on the entire pro-family and conservative movement not to grant any interviews whatsoever with them or talk to their reporters.

Gingrich Group Calls For Elimination of Ninth Circuit Over Cross Ruling

Yesterday, it was announced that Jim Garlow, chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, would be participating in a protest against the Ninth Circuit's ruling that the Mt. Soledad Cross was unconstitutional:

Said Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, and Chairman of Renewing American Leadership located in Washington DC, "These revisionist judges consistently confuse the historic recognition of the role that the Christian faith -- embraced by 90% of our citizens -- and Christian symbols have played and continue to play in our national life with the 'establishment' of religion. Not one truly informed person driving by the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has ever assumed that they are required to embrace Christianity as an 'established,' government sponsored religion."

I am not sure exactly what steps Garlow is going to advocate for remedying this outrage at the protest, but Rick Tyler, his colleague at ReAL, is already claiming the ruling is an attempt to impose a "a secular-socialist agenda on the United States" and therefore the Ninth Circuit Court needs to be, quite literally, eliminated: 

[T]hose whose policies are unable to win at the ballot box are seeking to build a stronghold of government power in the courts, without needing to garner a single vote. Just as it did in 1803, the Executive and Legislative branches could take action today and ”reorganize” the Ninth Circuit Court right out of existence! Not only is there precedent for such an action, we wouldn’t need to be nearly as radical as Jefferson – we wouldn’t have to eliminate half of the federal bench, just the Ninth Circuit! It’s time for this country to ask: “If they’re so out of touch with the First Amendment, why are we continuing to employ them as judges?”

It’s time to think out of the box, and we can succeed. Just this past year, we notched a huge victory in Iowa against the three judges that superseded the will of the people by imposing their own agenda upon the Constitution. Christians have a warrior in Bob Vander Plaats, who led the fight that resulted in sending three judges home after they grossly overreached their constitutional role in redefining marriage. We must show other judges who have forgotten the constitutional constraints that there are consequences for their actions.

Make your voice heard. Watch your email for our ReAL Action Alert. We’re going to tell the Ninth Circuit that their services are no longer required.

Fischer Wishes US Was More Like China

The AFA's Bryan Fischer positively gushes over the news that the Chinese government shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites last year, saying that the only reason the US government isn't doing the same thing is because of a "distorted, bizarre, grotesque understanding of the First Amendment" as a result of courts wrongly rulings that things like pornography, obscenity, and profanity are forms of free speech.  Fishcer asserts that the First Amendment was intended to protect only political discourse:

Reaction to DADT Vote: "The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted"

Today, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture and bring the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to a final vote later today.  With repeal of DADT all but a foregone conclusion, the Religious Right has begun releasing statements which we are going to chronicle here as they come it.

And judging by the early statements from the likes of Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, this vote is literally going to mean the end of America:

We are now stuck with sexual deviants serving openly in the U.S. military because of turncoat Republican senators ... Had the cloture vote failed, we would still have sane moral and sexual standards governing military personnel policy. But sadly those days are gone, perhaps forever.

...

The armies of other nations have allowed gays to serve openly in the military. The reason they could afford to do this is simple: they could allow homosexuals to serve in their military because we didn’t allow them to serve in ours.

They knew they could count on the strength, might, power, and cohesion of the U.S. military to intervene whenever and wherever necessary to pull their fannies out of the fire and squash the forces of tyranny wherever they raised their ugly heads around the world.

Those days are now gone. We will no longer be able to bail out these other emasculated armies because ours will now be feminized and neutered beyond repair, and there is no one left to bail us out. We have been permanently weakened as a military and as a nation by these misguided and treasonous Republican senators, and the world is now a more dangerous place for us all.

It’s past time for a litmus test for Republican candidates. This debacle shows what happens when party leaders are careless about the allegiance of candidates to the fundamental conservative principles expressed in the party’s own platform.

Character-driven officers and chaplains will eventually be forced out of the military en masse, potential recruits will stay away in droves, and re-enlistments will eventually drop like a rock.

The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?

This isn’t a game, and the military should never be used, as is now being done, for massive social re-engineering. The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?

If the president and the Democrats wanted to purposely weaken and eventually destroy the United States of America, they could not have picked a more efficient strategy to make it happen.

Rarely can you point to a moment in time when a nation consigned itself to the scrap heap of history. Today, when the Senate normalized sexual perversion in the military, was that moment for the United States. If historians want a fixed marker pointing to the instant the United States sealed its own demise, they just found it.

Family Research Council:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement following the vote:

"Today is a tragic day for our armed forces. The American military exists for only one purpose - to fight and win wars. Yet it has now been hijacked and turned into a tool for imposing on the country a radical social agenda. This may advance the cause of reshaping social attitudes regarding human sexuality, but it will only do harm to the military's ability to fulfill its mission.

"It is shameful that the Democratic leadership, aided by Republican Senators, has forced through such a radical change in a lame-duck session of Congress. The 1993 law which is to be repealed was adopted only after months of debate and at least a dozen Congressional hearings. The repeal has been forced through only eighteen days after the Pentagon released a massive report, which raised more questions than it answered on the impact the overturning of this policy will have on our nation's military.

"It is clear why this was done: not to enhance the military's ability to accomplish its mission or to enhance national security. Rather, it is a political payoff to a tiny, but loud and wealthy, part of the Democratic base. They knew that the Congress elected last month would never adopt such legislation - certainly not without a more thoughtful and deliberative process.

"We thank Senators John McCain, James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint, as well as all of those who voted to support our troops over advancing a liberal social agenda. These senators fought hard for our men and women in uniform, and their efforts will not be forgotten."

Peter LaBarbera:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, which opposes the “gay” activist agenda, said today’s vote, potentially clearing the way for repealing the military ban, is the most important homosexuality-related congressional vote ever held: “If the lame-duck Congress succeeds in ‘gaying down’ our military this weekend, it will take a disastrous leap toward “mainstreaming” deviant, sinful homosexual conduct – not just in the military but in larger society — thus further propelling America’s moral downward spiral.

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Americans are tired of religious phoneys like [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman – politicians who use their religion as a PR prop while actively undermining its moral dictates. Claiming to be an “observant” Jew, Lieberman wears his religion on his sleeve (perhaps he will walk, not drive, on the Jewish Sabbath Day today to cast his pro-homosexuality vote!). Stealing the moral authority of “civil rights” is the only way Lieberman can rationalize his role as a crusader for the ‘Gay’ Lobby on Capitol Hill — when His religion, a form of Orthodox Judaism, condemns homosexual acts as an “abomination”

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Said Brian Camenker, founder of the pro-family group Mass Resistance, who attends an Orthodox synagogue in the Boston area:

“Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who has the incredible chutzpah to call himself an Orthodox Jew, will desecrate the holy Sabbath to go to work – the U.S. Senate – and vote to force the integration of homosexuality into the U.S. military. He is a shameful disgrace and an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews everywhere.”

Freedom Federation:

Mathew Staver, on behalf the Freedom Federation, made the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C. (1993), which is usually mislabeled by the subsequent Executive policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT): "Our armed forces should take heart, because the American people will not turn its back on you. This vote happened because opportunistic Senators – only days before Christmas – put political interest groups above supporting our men and women in uniform."

Staver continued, "This action will be overturned in the next Congress because it breaks the bond of trust that must exist between the military and those who command in the Pentagon and Congress. Today’s vote will prove as costly to its proponents as ObamaCare was to its advocates. We promise a full mobilization of faith-based and policy organizations, veterans, and military families in the states of every Senator who voted for repeal of DADT against the advice of our service chiefs and during a time of war. Those Senators – and the Pentagon leaders responsible for this breach of trust – should understand that they will be the object of concerted political action against them."

MassResistance:

The U.S. military took its first step on the sexual slippery slope when it admitted women to the military academies in the mid-1970s. Later, women began serving on the frontlines (just one way Bill Clinton ensured the decline of our once proud military and kowtowed to the radical feminists). The denial of reality—that there was no new element of sexual tension acting as a distraction from discipline—began then.

The incorporation of women at least involved normal sexuality. And if a woman became pregnant, she would be discharged. Still, enormous damage has been done.

Now, with the repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving openly, we will see increased tensions, this time with an unnatural and perverted sexuality endangering discipline—and it will be more pervasive in the daily life of a soldier. Where men and women are at least segregated in their housing, bathrooms, etc., this will not be the case with homosexuals.

What a betrayal by our new Senator Brown to vote for the repeal of this important element of discipline. But then, he probably doesn’t have a problem showering no matter who is ogling him:

 Gordon Klingenschmitt:

"A chaplain friend of mine asked God this week, 'why do you allow evil to grow in America, and open homosexuality to be forced upon our military?' To which God answered him from Psalm 92:7: 'When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is so that they shall be destroyed forever.'

"Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction. Even if the Senate had voted 100 to 0 to legalize sin, they could not remove God from His throne of Judgment, before which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

"I hereby call upon the new Congress to never certify that the military is ready to implement repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and instead pass strong laws protecting the rights of Christian troops (especially chaplains) to openly speak their opinions about what the Bible calls sin, to refuse common showers, sleeping quarters and 'social re-education' without repercussion, guaranteeing religious freedom even outside of chapel services. If free speech and free religion rights of Christian chaplains and troops are not protected, then the military is not ready to certify or implement repeal, and will quickly begin to persecute good people of Christian conscience.

"I also hereby invite my own network of up to 125,000 patriot pastors across America, to whom I have, and shall again fax free voter guides before the November 2012 election, to mobilize Church voters to throw out these 25 pro-homosexual Senators up for re-election in 2 years: Snowe (R-ME), Scott Brown (R-MA), Ensign (R-NV), James Webb (D-VA), Nelson (D-NE), Nelson (D-FL), McCaskill (D-MO), Tester (D-MT), Conrad (D-ND), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), Carper (D-DE), Akaka (D-HI), Cardin (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Klobuchar (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Bingaman (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Whitehouse (D-RI), Cantwell (D-WA), Kohl (D-WI), Lieberman (I-CT), Sanders (I-VT)."

Alliance Defense Fund:

The conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund, issued a statement after the vote saying "The Senate's cave-in to pressure from activists to impose homosexual behavior on our military will place our troops' religious liberties in unprecedented jeopardy. Indeed, the first official casualty of this hurried vote may well be the religious freedom of chaplains and Service members." ADF Litigation Counsel, Daniel Blomberg, went on to say " no Americans, and especially not our troops, should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs."

The ADF says it stands ready to defend Service members if they are ever unconstitutionally required to choose between "serving their country or obeying their God as a result of this damaging policy decision."

E.W. Jackson:

The unintended consequences on the military are staggering. Does this include transgender and transvestite individuals? What happens if homosexuals are married in one of the states which allow same sex marriage? Will the military recognize those marriages? There are too many unanswered questions.

"What of Christians who believe that homosexuality is sin? Are they to be silenced? Subjected to discipline or discharge? Will they live in close quarters with men or women attracted to the same sex? When homosexuality is given protected status, Christians are muzzled or persecuted for their beliefs, and their First Amendment Rights are trampled. This has happened in corporations all over America. The message is 'be silent or lose your job.' In the military, you cannot merely find another job. If keeping qualified people is the priority, what about the Christians who may be forced to leave the military because the environment is hostile to their faith? The message from Gates and Mullen is, 'Get out.' The repeal of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' law is a disaster of historic proportions and it must be reinstated. My organization and others will to fight to make sure that happens."

Traditional Values Coalition:

The attack against our military through the repeal of the 1993 law is an organized campaign against religion, biblical morality, and military culture.

A vote to repeal is an assault against the moral foundations of our society, which is based on Judeo-Christian values. This is only part of the total war that LGBT activists are waging against our culture.

LGBT activists are doing a victory dance over conquering our U.S. military – but this is only a skirmish in a long battle to homosexualize our entire culture. I expect to see an effort down the road to include "transgenders" in the military. That should be an interesting debate.

In addition, LGBT activists are now turning their guns on passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which will be a disaster for businesses, charitable groups and Christian organizations. Schools will be forced to hire transgender teachers. They'll also be pushing for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

One of the new big guns in the LGBT artillery is called Equality Matters, which is a spin-off of the disreputable group known as Media Matters, run by gay activist David Brock. Guess who will be running Equality Matters? Why none other than Richard Socarides, a Fox News contributor and former gay senior advisor on domestic policy for President Clinton.

Equality Matters just launched its web page today and will be a major force in attacking traditional values in the years ahead.

Media Matters is a George Soros front organization designed to smear conservative journalists and to funnel misinformation into the so-called mainstream media. This Soros front currently has a $13 million yearly budget to assault Fox News and other credible news outlets.

All is not lost, however. With Republicans controlling the House in January, it is likely that conservatives will be successful in holding back at least some of the LGBT objectives until we can change Presidents in 2012. If we can elect a strong conservative, we might be able to reverse many of the current victories achieved by Obama and his LGBT friends.

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

After a long and difficult fight, the struggle for maintaining the military policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was lost for now. There are some hard truths for those who uphold traditional biblical morality to face. Being able to admit we have a problem is the first step towards making the changes we need to reverse this and other gains made by sexual anarchists and secularists.

The last thing we need to do is surrender biblical moral standards to sexual libertines, as if God’s holy nature has somehow changed with public opinion polls.

Homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful and we cannot renegotiate God’s moral law. No apologies are necessary for agreeing with Jesus, the Apostles, the Law and the Prophets. History, science, scripture and eternity concur.

Homosexual sin, like every other kind of sin, always results in some kind of death. But sexual sin in general, and homosexual sin in particular, is singled out in the Old and New Testament as particularly deadly. Because of this, the unrepentant person trapped in homosexuality, just like all other sinners, is to be pitied and the object of our compassion.

Spiritually, they are dead to God’s mercy and transforming grace in Christ. Sadly, it was unrepentant homosexual Ellen DeGeneres who emceed the Christmas in Washington TV Show this year with President Obama and family smiling as they blindly celebrated the birth of the Savior. They never saw the incongruence of it all.

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Ultimately, we must resolve that Providence has ordained the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” for now. It could not have happened if God had willed otherwise. But why?

In times like these when our nation defies the moral law of the living God, we must ask, “Is God hardening our heart like he did the defiant Pharaoh?” God did it to show His mighty power in the outpouring of ten plagues on the gods of Egypt and by destroying Pharaoh and his army.

Is God letting America ripen in her rebellion before He wields the mighty sickle of His wrath? It’s worth considering as our nation’s military now serves under a shameful, pink flag.

In the meantime Christian, humbly pray, boldly preach and persevere by the power of the Holy Spirit knowing that God is not mocked and one day His righteousness will prevail.

Richard Land:

"This is a very, very sad day for America," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "It is an honor and a privilege, not a right, to serve in our nation's military. There are multitudes of reasons why the military is the most respected national institution in American life. I have heard from privates and seamen all the way through generals and admirals that this will cause significant numbers of people to resign from the military -- in the middle of two wars."

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"The reality is that in America today, an all-volunteer military is significantly disproportionately from red-state America," Land said. "And the resignations from the military will be disproportionately from red-state America. So, quite rapidly the military will go from an organization in which homosexuals are underrepresented in ratio to a percentage of the population to an institution where they are overrepresented, which will only accelerate the rate of resignation. Legislators who voted for this disproportionately never served in the military. The opposition was led by legislators who have served."

Concerned Women for America:

"Instead of answering questions about the rights of homosexuals in this country, rescinding DADT only serves to further muddy the waters. Will Christian chaplains be forced out of the military if they don't accept the repeal? Will homosexual partners receive preference over heterosexual families for military family housing? These are just the first of many questions surrounding implementation of this impending law, not to mention how it could severely affect our military personnel. We hoped our Congress would focus on the needs of the military and the protection of the country rather than force through this social engineering experiment during the lame duck Congress on the weekend before Christmas.

"For the social conservatives of this country, a good majority of whom voted in this new Congress, the fight over homosexual rights does not end at DADT. In no way does this repeal usher in an acceptance of same-sex marriage. Voters in 31 out of 31 states have voted to protect marriage as between one man and one woman, including supposedly liberal states such as Maine, Michigan, Oregon and California (twice). In Iowa this past election, three Supreme Court justices were voted out of office for legalizing same-sex marriage over the heads of the voters. When voters are fully informed, they reject the extreme homosexual rights agenda."

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Take a Stand With FRC and Those Who Want Homosexuality Criminalized

The Religious Right has been uniformly outraged ever since the Southern Poverty Law Center updated its list of anti-gay hate groups to include the likes of the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

And today Jeremy Hooper discovered that they intend to do something more than just incessantly complain about it, as FRC is poised to launch a "Start Debating, Stop Hating" campaign designed to rally support for those groups who found themselves "slandered" by the SPLC: 

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents “hate groups.” No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate

These type of slanderous tactics have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them, as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement. Some on the Left have even impugned the Manhattan Declaration-which upholds the sanctity of life, the value of traditional marriage and the fundamental right of religious freedom-as an anti-gay document and have forced its removal from general communications networks.

This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts. Tell the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hateful rhetoric attacking individuals and organizations merely for expressing ideas with which they disagree. Our debates can and must remain civil - but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponents character.

You can take action by adding your name to the following statement:

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family. We support the vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans.

Just let me point out to those thinking of adding their names to this statement that you are declaring your solidarity with people who proclaim that:

ACLJ Demands Anti-Islam Activist Be Allowed To Teach Class On Islam

Barry Sommer was supposed to teach a non-credited class at Lane Community College in Oregon entitled "What is Islam?"

But that was before the Council on American-Islamic Relations alerted them to the fact that Sommer was the president of an Oregon chapter of the anti-Islam group "ACT! for America," started by Brigitte Gabriel to save Western Civilization from the "authoritarian values of radical Islam, such as the celebration of death, terror and tyranny" and that he had a history of making anti-Islam statements.

So Lane College dropped the class, for which not even one student had signed up, and Sommer was out the $160 he would have been paid for teaching it ... and so, of course, Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice has taken up the case is the threatening to sue Lane College if it doesn't let Sommer teach this course: 

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said today it is demanding that an Oregon community college rehire a teacher fired after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained about a class he was scheduled to teach about the religion of Islam. The ACLJ, which represents the instructor, contends that Lane Community College (LCC) in Eugene, Oregon violated the contractual and constitutional rights of the teacher by firing him and canceling the class because of pressure from CAIR.

"This is a textbook case of a public college improperly firing an instructor in response to public pressure," said CeCe Heil, ACLJ Senior Counsel, who is handling the case. "The school had approved the course and our client's request to teach it. Only after CAIR got involved did the school react - caving to political pressure and intimidation - firing our client and canceling the course. The school clearly violated the First Amendment free speech rights of our client. It's disappointing that a community college that should uphold an environment of academic freedom along with diversity and acceptance has failed to do so in this case. We're demanding that the school rehire our client and reinstate the class he had been scheduled to teach. If corrective action is not taken, we're prepared to take legal action to protect the rights of our client."

...

The ACLJ has given the school until next Wednesday, December 15th, to respond and take corrective action or face possible legal action in federal court.

Boykin: Islam "Should Not Be Protected Under the First Amendment"

A few weeks back we posted a video that Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin had recorded for Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative in which he explained how President Obama was going to use the health care reform law to create his own army of Brownshirt soldiers loyal only to him.

It turns out that Boykin has recorded several videos on varying topics for Joyner's group, including this one in which he explains that Islam "should not be protected under the First Amendment":

We need to realize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.

Censorship-Advocate Bill Donohue’s History of Right Wing Demagoguery

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, with allies such as House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, succeeded in their multi-pronged attack to censor the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek” exhibit. They called on the Smithsonian to censor the work of artist David Wojnarowicz, whose work was meant “to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim” (side note: today is World AIDS Day). Even though the exhibit is completely supported by private funding, right wing leaders misleadingly portrayed “Hide/Seek” as a taxpayer funded exhibit. Donohue blasted the exhibit as “anti-Christian,” and ultimately the Smithsonian agreed to remove Wojnarowicz’s video.

Wojnarowicz is not the first target of Donohue’s fear-mongering, and he certainly won’t be Donohue’s last.

Right Wing Watch monitors Donohue’s extremism, and compiled some of his most extreme views on politics, religion, and the separation of church and state, in Bill Donohue: In His Own Words:

On Child Molestation

  • In response to then-Congressman Mark Foley’s efforts to defend his abusive conduct as having been molested by his priest as a child, he said “Most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested” and asked then-Congressman Mark Foley, “So why did you?
  • “Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the ‘abuse’ to continue until he was 18? The use of the quotes is deliberate: the charge against the former priest is not rape, but rubbing. While still objectionable, there is a glacial difference between being rubbed and raped.”
  • “No institution, religious or secular, has less of a problem with the issue of sexual abuse today than the Catholic Church.”

On Holidays

  • “There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crèches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of “Silent Night” at municipal concerts, etc…. By celebrating Christmas we are celebrating diversity. Don’t let the cultural fascists get their way this year.”
  • Cultural fascists invoke ‘diversity’ every December as cover for neutering Christmas—they never choose some other month to practice their multicultural religion. And by the way, who are these people from other religions who hate Christmas? I never met one. It would be more accurate to say that it’s precisely the persons who make this charge who hate Christmas.”

On Jews

  • “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it.
  • “None of the media distortions of this issue excuses those in the Jewish community who have lashed out at the pope. They should know better. Is their commitment to good relations with Catholics so thin that it can wither because of something like this? We certainly hope not.”

On “Jokes”

  • “I dealt with him earlier today on an MSNBC show, and I said we could hypothesize that there’d be a Columbia University pingpong team made of Asians, and somebody goes out there and says, ‘All gooks go home’….What about the gook jokes? I want to know, why don't you have a sense of humor about gook jokes?”

On Censorship

  • Led a campaign against Phillip Pullman’s books and the Golden Compass movie: "It's selling the virtues of atheism. The real person we want to get on this is Pullman. I don't want to see these books flying off the shelves at Christmas. I want them to be collecting dust."
  • Opposed Obama speaking at Notre Dame, saying the university’s president was “bestowing an honor on someone who supports selective infanticide”

On Progressives and Progressive Christians

  • “We need more, not fewer, Catholics on the Supreme Court. But not of the Ted Kennedy kind. We need more loyal sons and daughters.”
  • Called the director of Catholics for Choice “the biggest anti-Catholic bigot in the nation”
  • On Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council, he said “If these are the best ‘committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates’ Obama can find, then it is evident that he has a ‘Wright’ problem when it comes to picking Catholic advisors.”
  • Regarding progressive Catholics, he said “it’s unfortunate that we have these people, I regard them as termites.”
  • Maintained that progressive Christians and “pro-abortion Nuns” are “no more Christian than the man in the moon.”
  • Referring to progressives, believes “today we are stuck with people who are cultural nihilists, they want to annihilate our society. They are intellectually and spiritually and morally bankrupt.”
  • “Indeed, the signature appetite of the left has always been power. Now, they are running up against the American people.”

On Obama

  • Compared Obama to leaders of the Soviet Union.

On Gays and Lesbians

  • “The idea of two men marrying is so bizarre and so anti-marriage that it is a great tribute to the American people that they continue to respect the right of gays to participate in American life without harassment while simultaneously rejecting the extremist gay agenda.”
  • “Their goal is not to contest the First Amendment rights of Catholics and others—their goal is to put religion on trial. What they are saying is that religious-based reasons for rejecting gay marriage are irrational, and thus do not meet the test of promoting a legitimate state interest.”
  • “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s god”
  • “They say we had a pedophilia problem, it’s been a homosexual problem all along.”
  • “The Times continues to editorialize about the ‘pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.
  • “Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style.”
  • “Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism.”

AFA's Professional Name-Caller Accuses SPLC of Name-Calling

As we noted earlier, the Religious Right is uniformly livid with the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and seems to be struggling to come up with coherent response as demonstrated by this Concerned Women for America statement which basically accuses the SPLC of calling African Americans bigots:

Concerned Women for America, among several other pro-family, pro-life national groups, has been named a “hate group” by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) because of our opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The SPLC began as a civil rights organization in the 1960s, but has been marginalized by “gay rights” organizations. They no longer simply focus on the noble cause of fighting racism and have, instead, become another tool for the left. This time, the SPLC has taken their liberal propaganda too far. By demonizing traditional family groups that support traditional marriage, they just put a huge portion of the African-American community in California in the same category with the rest us so-called bigots.

According to an Associated Press exit poll, 70 percent of African-Americans in California who voted for Barack Obama also voted for Prop 8 and in support of traditional marriage in 2008. The very people the SPLC supposedly seeks to protect from bigotry and “hate crimes” are heavily in favor of the very institution that the SPLC is fighting against.

And the AFA's Bryan Fischer has also decided to weigh in, trotting out his now standard "truth has become hate speech" line as he unveils his own convoluted response:

The Southern Poverty Law Center last week added five members to its list of “hate” groups, one of which is the American Family Association.

This illustrates one point and proves another. The point it illustrates is that the first and last refuge of a man without an argument is name-calling. If you can’t win on the merits of the case, call your opponent a racist or a bigot or a hater and the debate is supposed to be over at that point. So you know as a matter of fact that the moment someone stops debating and starts name-calling, they’ve lost the argument. It’s an admission of defeat.

...

Thus, in a strange way, it is a badge of honor for these groups to be tagged now by the SPLC as hate groups. It’s a sign of desperation on the part of the SPLC, and a sign that they are so threatened by the truths that these groups speak that they are now flailing about trying to silence them rather than to debate them. They’ve given up winning on points, and so have taken to trying to run them off the field. Their strategy now is not to persuade the public but to demonize their cultural adversaries.

I’ve often maintained that liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists, Marxists, etc. - they’re all the same under the covers - hate free speech. They hate freedom of religion, and they hate freedom of the press, because such freedoms threaten their stranglehold on public discourse and their goal of indoctrinating the American people with their non-traditional moral values. They hate the First Amendment, for the very reason that it was designed by the Founders to protect robust public discourse on political and social matters.

So, Fischer says name-calling an admission of defeat ... and then proceeds to simply assert that all the Marxists and Socialists on the left just hate free speech and religion and the First Amendment and America in general.

Of course it should also be noted that Fischer's entire professional career is based on calling gays names like nancy-boys and sexual perverts and sexual deviants and pedophiles and domestic terrorists who are part of a "deviancy cabal" who "want to use the anal cavity for sex."

Huckabee Announces Boycott of NPR, Calls on Congress to Cut Funding

Yesterday, National Public Radio fired Juan Williams for comments he made Muslims on The O'Reilly Factor:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mike Huckabee has responded by defending Williams as "refreshingly honest and candid" and announced that he is heretofore boycotting NPR until it stops engaging in this sort of "censorship" and urges Congress to cut its funding:

NPR has fired Juan Williams as a result of comments he recently made on The Bill O'Reilly show. The comments were his personal admission that while he is certainly not a bigot, he said he was nervous when someone in Muslim garb and spouting Muslim doctrine got on an airplane on which he was a passenger. I know Juan and am proud to be a colleague of his as a fellow Fox News contributor. There isn't a more honest and fair-minded person in journalism. He is refreshingly honest and candid and unusually objective when it comes to analyzing the events in the news.

NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left.

While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.

Joe Miller’s Security

From what we learned on Sunday when Alaska Republican Joe Miller's campaign arrested a reporter, Joe Miller has little respect for the First Amendment right of journalists to ask questions, or the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against arrests without warrants. Of course Joe Miller has already said that he will no longer answer questions from journalists, but arresting them is a new low.

Unfortunately, Joe Miller’s continued disrespect for the Constitution doesn’t seem all that surprising: Writing for the Alaska blog The Mudflats, Shannyn Moore reports that Miller pointed to communist East Germany as his inspiration on immigration policy: “When asked about illegal immigration, Miller offered up: Build a wall! ‘If the East Germans could do it, so can we!’” Moore also gives us a glimpse into Miller’s security guards, the DropZone, which prominently displays the notorious Obama-Joker poster and links to the bizarre conspiracy-theory radio host Alex Jones’s website infowars.com, best known for promoting the claim that FEMA is building concentration camps inside the US.

The only thing more extreme than the weather and wildlife in Alaska is the politics. The Drop Zone was a sponsor of Palin apologist and former radio host, Eddie Burke. The DZ bragged to patrons about their security squad being littered with former Blackwater operatives. Not disclosing full names and a preference for cash transactions were commonplace. A poster of President Obama as the Joker hangs in their front window.



Part of being a 2nd Amendment Progressive in Alaska is having friends who are gun nuts. Several have recalled “Bill” at the Drop Zone boasting about his partners’ participation in rendition and black ops overseas. He would show off the 50 caliber sniper rifle worth at least $80,000. No one I know would ask what it was worth. It doesn’t take a sniper rifle to put a moose in your freezer.

“Bill”, identified in news accounts of this story, is William Fulton. He is the owner of the Drop Zone. Bill was photographed in front of the Alaska 9/11 Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin rally after accosting and pointing a finger at a protester while shouting in her face, “Socialist!” The woman’s sign said, “Don’t be stupid Alaskans, Don’t Vote Joe Miller, We Deserve Better…”, and she held her own against the verbal onslaught.

Bill loves Glenn Beck and was heard saying, “Glenn talks to the crazies,” who are his best customers.

ADF: WI Technical College Showing Pro-Gay Documentary Violates Establishment Clause

I have got to admit that I have no idea what, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, differentiates an acceptable establishment of religion from one that is unacceptable, other than whether it corresponds to ADF 's right-wing agenda.

For instance, ADF says that if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, it means the government will "effectively establish preferred religions or religious beliefs."

Yet, at the same time, ADF is defending the National Day of Prayer as entirely constitutional:

ADF attorneys sent letters to mayors across the country two weeks before Crabb’s decision, urging them to observe and participate in last May’s National Day of Prayer event, and resist unfounded demands from activist groups to discontinue honoring the day ... However, atheists and activist groups have challenged the constitutionality of local government recognition of the event by claiming Establishment Clause violations. ADF attorneys argue that such contentions are without merit.

So, according to the ADF, a government-ordained day of prayer is in no way a violation of the Establishment Clause ... but a community college showing the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So" is an outrageous violation?

In September 2009, the president of Lakeshore Technical College announced that a faculty in-service session would include the film For the Bible Tells Me So, which includes political and religious figures promoting the view that homosexual conduct is consistent with biblical standards of morality.

The film asserts that those believing homosexual behavior to be wrong have “a fifth grade understanding of God.” In one of the film’s leaders’ guides, some religious leaders and scholars contend that the Bible has been “misused” to condemn homosexual behavior, thus allegedly harming individuals and families. Another of the film’s guides includes extensive materials that re-interpret Scripture in a way that justifies such conduct.

Some faculty and staff formally complained to Lakeshore officials about the program. In November 2009, they requested that an upcoming in-service include a presentation defending the biblical perspective on homosexual conduct. The college refused this and a similar request made in August 2010. Meanwhile, the college also used For the Bible Tells Me So as an assignment in some of its psychology and sociology classes.

ADF sent Lakeshore a letter [PDF] demanding that they cease and desist: 

[W]hen the Founding Fathers wrote that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," they ensured that the state would not declare some religious beliefs superior to others. The fundamental principle they embedded in the Bill of Rights is one of denominational neutrality.

By showing For the Bible Tells Me So, LTC flaunted his fundamental First Amendment principle. This film overly favors denominations and religious sects that favor homosexual conduct, makes Biblical arguments about the morality of such conduct, and denigrates the theological views of those who do not favor it. And two federal courts have already recognized that such programs are unconstitutional.

And ADF has apparently succeeded, with Lakeshore agreeing to stop showing the film and even allowing concerned staff "to hold a campus-wide event to present the Bible's actual teachings on homosexual conduct."

Judge Dismisses Religious Right Lawsuit Challenging Hate Crimes Legislation

In February, four Religious Right activists in Michigan - Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette, James Combs, and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan - represented by the Thomas More Law Center filed suit against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, claiming that protection for gays "creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior."

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington dismissed the suit:

In a 43-page motion to dismiss, Holder called Glenn’s arguments hypothetical.

Citing 68 cases, he said Glenn and the ministers had no right to file a civil suit based on “conjectural” or hypothetical injuries or infringements.

“Plaintiffs do not allege that they have been prosecuted under the Act, that they have been threatened with such prosecution or that they intend to engage in any conduct prohibited by the Act,” Holder argued.

“The Act does not proscribe speech. It prohibits only violent conduct and includes specific provisions ensuring that it may not be applied to infringe any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Ludington agreed.

“... it is entirely speculative that Plaintiff’s conduct would be prosecuted under the Act,” Ludington wrote.

Case law requires that a plaintiff’s claim must be more than a “generalized grievance,” the judge noted.

Gary Bauer Officially Declares "Mosque Exclusion Zone" to Be 1.7 Miles

Those who have been busy pointing out the hypocrisy of those right-wing activists who hail the fundamental importance of defending the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom while simultaneously leading a crusade against the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" have been fond of asking just how large the "mosque exclusion zone" is supposed to be.

Well, Gary Bauer has an answer - 3000 yards

Liberal talking heads often suggest that opposition to the mosque at Ground Zero is just thinly veiled bigotry. They contend that the opponents of the mosque would oppose the construction of a mosque anywhere, and ask rhetorically, “How large should the mosque-free buffer zone around Ground Zero be?”

I’ve thought about that question, and here’s my suggested compromise: Back up the mosque one yard for every life that was lost at Ground Zero on 9/11. Three thousand lives lost equals three thousand yards away. If the organizers of the Ground Zero mosque would accept that compromise, the controversy would be over.

Let's see, 3,000 yards is 9,000 feet, which is 1.7 miles ...  so there you go: the Mosque Exclusion Zone is officially set at at just under two miles. 

Does that mean that all the mosques that already exist within this radius now have to be shut down and moved?

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters: Schlessinger ending her radio show because "my First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups".
  • Christina Bellantoni @ TPM: George Bush Stays Out Of 'Ground Zero Mosque' Fray.
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: GOP candidate apologizes for anti-gay statements.
  • Joe.My.God: GOP Candidate For Gov Rips AG Bill McCollum Over Rekers Scandal.
  • Mike Tidmus: When did cheating become a ‘Christian’ value?
  • Towleroad: Watchdog Pushes IRS to Investigate Anti-Gay Pastor for His Support of Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern.
  • Steve Benen: When even Pat Buchanan thinks you've gone too far...
  • Amanda Marcotte @ Slate: Is Sharron Angle a Christian Reconstructionist?
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First Amendment Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/10/2011, 12:50pm
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... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 08/09/2011, 12:13pm
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... MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 08/05/2011, 7:14pm
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... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/05/2011, 11:42am
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... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/01/2011, 10:36am
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... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/19/2011, 4:22pm
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... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/18/2011, 3:46pm
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... MORE