Free Speech

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."

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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.

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."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • In an entirely predictable move, Sen. Jim DeMint announced plans to introduce legislation stripping federal funding from National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service because Juan William was fired.
  • Speaking of which, since when did getting fired for saying something inappropriate count as censorship and a violation free speech?
  • I am guessing that Gini Thomas wishes she had just left this issue alone.
  • David Brody will interview Christine O'Donnell next week, so we have that to look forward to.
  • Finally, Elaine Donnelly says that if DADT is not stopped, judges will start telling the military "whether or not we should fight a certain war, whether or not certain equipment should be used, [or] whether or not people are so inconvenienced as to have to wear uniforms."

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.

SBA: It Is Unconstitutional To Not Let Us Lie About Democratic Candidates

The Susan B. Anthony List has been spending millions of dollars targeting Democratic members of Congress who voted for Health Care Reform with claims that they voted to expand taxpayer-funded abortions.

It's not true and Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) got fed up with SBA lying about it so he filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission that the group was violating Ohio election law which makes it illegal to "post, publish, circulate, distribute, or otherwise disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."

The Elections Commission agreed with Driehaus and so now, of course, SBA is suing ... on the grounds that the Ohio laws preventing them from lying about candidates violate their free speech:

A national anti-abortion group blocked from putting up a billboard against a Democratic anti-abortion congressman from Ohio has asked a federal judge to overturn a state election law standing in its way.

The Susan B. Anthony List, based in Washington, D.C., filed the suit after the Ohio Election Commission ruled in favor of GOP-targeted, first-term Rep. Steve Driehaus. The commission said there was probable cause that the planned billboard includes false statements.

Driehaus was one of several anti-abortion Democrats in Congress whose votes sealed the passage of President Barack Obama's health care law, which abortion opponents argue promotes taxpayer funded abortions. He has been the target of abortion opponents since the vote.

In its lawsuit, filed Monday, the anti-abortion group argues that the Ohio law barring false statements about a candidate's voting record is vague and violates free speech. It also says the law is unconstitutional because it does not require the offended candidates to prove actual malice.

First Amendment Rights Are For Christians Only!

Earlier this week we noted that Flip Benham and members of Operation Save America had been targeting mosques for protests, screaming that "Jesus hates Muslims" and declaring "this is a war in America and we are taking it to the mosques around the country."

Even though the group is based in Texas, it has chosen to target mosques in Connecticut and Muslim leaders in the state are holding a press conference today to discuss the attacks: 

The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and other organizations are hosting a press conference and rally at 3 p.m. today (Friday) on the north side (Bushnell Park side) of the State Capitol.

The gathered hope to address recent outbreaks of Islamophobia in Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. During Islam's holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have asked for police protection so that they can go to their mosques to pray in this state.

And so, of course, Operation Save America is responding by accusing Muslims of violating their First Amendment rights

In an unprecedented move, Muslim leaders in Connecticut are staging a press conference in Hartford this afternoon, to plead with legislators to censor the Gospel of Christ from the public forum around mosques.

That's right! They are using their own potential for violence to silence the Gospel of Christ. Gentle Christian saints will be conducting a press conference on the public sidewalk in front of the Bridgeport Islamic Center, aka Mafjid An-Noor Mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

Islam is not a religion, nor a cult, but a total and complete 100 % system of life. It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. In all of the 27 countries ruled by Islam, the church is the state! No other religion will be tolerated.

"Islam presents a monstrous worldview, birthed in the pit of hell, which brings untold misery and murder upon precious people created in the image of God. Religion is its cover (its beard) by which it gains entrance into nations where the 'freedom of religion' is sacrosanct. It then takes this freedom afforded to it, and begins its insidious takeover." Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America.

In essence, Benham is upset that Muslim leaders are exercising their First Amendment free speech rights in defense of their First Amendment religious freedoms because doing so represents a threat to his First Amendment right to scream that Jesus hates them.

ACLJ Battles Itself Over Its Understanding of The First Amendment

Last week I wondered how Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice was managing to rationalize its role in leading the opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque" while still claiming to be a leading defender of religious freedom in America. 

As it turned it, the ACLJ did it by simply claiming that the debate wasn't about religious freedom at all.

But that excuse was laughably pathetic, and so Jay Sekulow and Brett Joshpe are back with an op-ed in the Washington Times, taking another stab at justifying themselves, claiming now that their "opposition to the ground-zero mosque reflects America's sacrosanct First Amendment ideals."

That's right - the ACLJ is simply exercising its own First Amendment right to freedom of speech:

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to do and say many things that are offensive - indeed, that is the bedrock of our constitutional system - but well-intentioned people, nonetheless, often choose not to do or say such things out of a moral concern for others. As the Anti-Defamation League eloquently wrote in its statement opposing the project, "ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right."

We are witnessing a tidal wave of opposition from all across the nation. Americans are exercising their private First Amendment rights and expressing opposition to the ground-zero mosque. Their voices are what create that famed marketplace of ideas, and attempts to silence them through cries of bigotry and racism in the name of the First Amendment are especially ironic.

This debate, in fact, reflects the ideals of freedom, and despite the intensity and controversy of the issue, the relative civility of the discussion is a testament to American values and tolerance. No serious person has suggested banning Islam or mosques or even the freedom to practice Islam near ground zero. Instead, citizens are expressing their personal views that the location of the mosque is unnecessarily inflammatory and hurtful, given the circumstances, and that if the project's developers seek to promote mutual respect and harmony, as they claim, they should reconsider.

Our client is one of those private citizens who believes this project is an insult to the Sept. 11 victims' memory and their families. His right to express that view - to fight this development politically and by ensuring that administrative agencies follow their own precedents and the rule of law, and to speak with the chorus of others who find the Cordoba House mosque at ground zero inappropriate - represents the essence of a free democracy. That right is not in tension with the First Amendment; it is the First Amendment.

Wasn't it just a few months ago when the ACLJ was fuming that Franklin Graham has been disinvited to a Pentagon National Day of Prayer event because of some past anti-Islam statements, a move which Sekulow and the ACLJ decried an act of outrageous anti-Christian bigotry?

The ACLJ claims that they are simply exercising their First Amendment right to free speech in opposing others' First Amendment right of religious freedom ... while also complaining that those who accuses them of hypocrisy or anti-Muslim bigotry are trying to prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights ... so really, they are the real victims here.

Given a convoluted justification like this, good luck trying to figure out exactly where the ACLJ stands on the question of religious freedom vs free speech.

FRC Ominously Warns of "The Pinking of America"

Yesterday it was reported that "17 of the Victory Fund’s 21 endorsed candidates on the ballot yesterday either won their races outright or advanced to general elections."

The Victory Fund endorses and supports openly LGBT candidates and works to help them win election to local, state and federal offices ... and so I guess it should come as no surprise that people like Cynthia Hill of the Family Research Council would start raising alarms about the success of LGBT candidates and "The Pinking of America":

Americans should take a cold, hard look at the consequences of significant wins by openly lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) candidates in last night’s races. This is the fruition of that community’s methodical efforts to further homosexualize America. Their efforts, combined with this administration’s appointments of key federal positions of at least 101 LGBT aficionados, have largely been under the radar, but could predict critical damage to our rule of law. Think of it – we are electing people who ultimately see the Christian world view as the single, final barrier to their ultimate goal of acceptance and implementation of the homosexual agenda. If and when they dominate the legislatures, those who espouse Biblical principles then become the enemy and will surely be on the wrong end of law-making. We, in fact, saw this played out last night in the Rhode Island legislature where two concurrent measures, H 7044 and S 2055, passed which can criminalize dissent and infringe upon free speech and religious liberty. We need to rethink the skills needed to run a country, and to even consider that someone’s sexual predilections somehow qualifies them for the job is a joke that should have none of us laughing.

Did it ever occur to Hill that gay candidates and appointees might actually possess the necessary qualifications for these positions?  Apparently not. 

And what exactly does she mean when she says "we need to rethink the skills needed to run a country"?  That gays do not have the skills needed to run the country? Or that, by virture of being gay, they ought to be disqualified from serving in public office? 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A new political organization is being launched in Louisiana called the Christian Party which will focus on applying the teachings of Jesus Christ to the political process.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann loves the media ... just not the "mainstream media" where they ask her questions and stuff.
  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer continues to blame everyone else for mistakenly thinking that her claim that her father “died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany” meant that her father had died fighting the Nazis in Germany.
  • Al Mohler warns that if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, it will destroy religious freedom and fundamentally remake American society.
  • The AFA's Bryan Fischer succinctly explains the situation in Israel: "The real tragedy here is Islam. Islam inspired the deadly confrontation which led to the deaths of 10 hate-boat workers. Islam with its implacable, mindless and demonic hatred of Jews and Israel is to blame."
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council on President Obama declaring June to be Gay Pride Month (aka "sexual deviance month"): "President Obama took it a step further and added 'bisexuals' and 'transgenders' to the list. In fact, he called on 'every America' to spend the month celebrating their movement--a movement dedicated to destroying marriage, free speech, public health, religious liberty, and (after the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal) national security."

Religious Right's Latest Scare Tactic Falls Apart

Last week we noted how the Religious Right, and more specifically Matt Barber, were using the arrest of a Christian street preacher in Britain as a scare-tactic, warning Christians in the US that the same thing was going to happen to them if they don't stand up to things like hate crimes laws and ENDA and defend their religious liberties.  

Well, via Joe.My.God, we see that the charges against the preacher have now been dropped:

Charges have been dropped against a Christian preacher who told a police officer homosexuality was "a sin".

Dale Mcalpine, 42, was accused of a public order offence after speaking to a community support officer (PCSO) in Workington, Cumbria, in April.

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Mr Mcalpine was charged with breaching section 5 of the Public Order Act by allegedly using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was due to stand trial later this year, but the CPS have now confirmed they will not be prosecuting.

A spokeswoman said: "We keep cases under constant review and following a further review of all the evidence in this case we were no longer satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and we have therefore discontinued the proceedings against Mr Mcalpine."

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Chf Supt Steve Johnson, police commander for West Cumbria, said: "We would like to reassure the public that we respect, and are committed to upholding, the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

"We are just as committed to maintaining the peace and preventing people feeling alarmed or distressed by the actions of others in public places.

"Our officers and staff often have to make difficult decisions whilst balancing the law and people's human rights, this is not easy especially when on occasions opinions and interpretations differ."

This is now the second time in recent months that efforts by the Religious Right to use this sort of foreign case as a scare tactic has been undermined by the fact that the charges have been dropped and free speech rights upheld.

Rove, Dobson Headline Pacific Justice Institute Banquet

The Pacific Justice Institute is not a particularly well-known group.  In fact, it is quite likely that most people who read this blog don't even recognize the name ... but they probably recognize this video:

That is Brad Dacus, PJI 's President, explaining before the 2008 election how failure to pass Prop 8 in California would be akin to failing to stop Hitler.

But just because PJI is less well-known than many of the other right-wing legal groups, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have some rather high-profile supporters, like Karl Rove and James Dobson:

Addressing a group of roughly 600 people, a senior advisor to former president George W. Bush recently spoke on the importance of faith, family and freedom -- the "timeless values of America."

At the Pacific Justice Institute's 2010 Celebration of Justice Banquet in Anaheim, California, Karl Rove exhorted listeners to defend these values and to make an "argument" for them in all communities. He praised the family as the source that defines America and molds its individuals, saying, "It's in the family where hearts and minds of children are shaped. If society loves and cherishes life, it is because families love and cherish life."

...

He exhorted the audience to continue taking a stand for the values in which they believe, concluding that "if we stay in the fight, we will win the fight. If we love our country, we need to defend our country."

Other gala speakers included PJI attorney Brad Dacus, Dr. James Dobson, and Father Frank Pastore of Priests for Life.

For those that are interested, the East Bay Express ran a good profile of Dacus and PJI last year:

Religious convictions have compelled Dacus to take on such cases as a fight to allow Bakersfield students to opt out of a homosexual teacher's class, a tussle with a Utah public school that he claims was peddling a book "promoting witchcraft" via the Scholastic Book Club catalog, and — while employed by the conservative Rutherford Institute — the defense of the family of a teenage Nebraska boy who, with his parents' help, had his girlfriend arrested for seeking an abortion. For the courts to find in favor of the girl, Dacus told Time in 1994, would have had "a chilling effect" on free speech.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A federal judge has ruled the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional. The American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund react negatively.
  • Richard Viguerie really is quite smitten with the Tea Party movement.
  • Rick Green says his Texas Supreme Court loss is really a win for "liberty-loving patriots."
  • Matt Barber attacks ENDA in the Washington Times.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund is launching its "Church Project, a new legal effort to protect churches from excessive and unconstitutional government intrusion prohibited by the First Amendment" designed to bloster its "Pulpit Initiative."
  • Troy Titus is a graduate of both Regent University and Liberty University ... and he'll now be serving 30 years in prison for defrauding clients out of $8 million through a Ponzi scheme.
  • Finally, Eric Buehrer complains that the American Library Association's list of most frequently "challenged" books is really an attempt to "put a chilling effect on the free speech of parents." Buehrer is apparently utterly unaware of the irony of that complaint.

If Anything They Said Was True, They'd Both Be In Jail

Back in February, the Thomas More Law Center announced that it was filing suit to challenge the constitutionality of the recently enacted hate crimes legislation on the grounds that "the sole purpose of this law is to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin."

Of course, the fact that this is patently false as the legislation contains explicit free speech and religious liberty protections isn't going to stop them from claiming that the law is an attempt to outlaw Christianity and protect pedophiles ... which is exactly what Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center and Rick Green of Wallbuilders did yesterday while discussing the issue on Wallbuilders Live:

 

Muise: We're in this [legal fight] for the long haul, and we need to be because those opponents of Christianity and the Christian view, they don't give up so quickly. They're continuing to press and fight as long and hard as they can to ensure that, you know, their really deviant sexual behavior is elevated to a special protected class as a matter of federal law and federal policy and they want to normalize it and want to silence Christians who oppose it.  In fact, when you look at this, to even call it hate crimes legislation, they really want to equate the biblical teaching of homosexuality with racist speech, they want to really vilify it, demonize it, so it's no longer a participant in the marketplace of ideas. I mean this is all part and parcle of really a grand plan.

Green: I have never heard a Christian minister say "go out and do violence against a homosexual," so I don't even understand where they get ... if you get up and say "look, here's the deal, the Bible says this is a sin, no different than adultery is a sin, all these other things, the Bible speaks against this" and if you say this, that somehow that is inciting violence. I don't even get that connection.

Muise: You get the connection only because that's the rhetoric they use to silence those who oppose them. When you look at the Bible, and the Bible's words on homosexuality are quite harsh, as they are for other sinful conduct. Really, I don't know of any other situation where we've elevated deviant sexual behavior and those who engage in it to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and federal policy.

Green: And including pedophiles.

Of course, the great irony of this entire discussion is that if the right-wing claims about hate crimes legislation being designed to silence Christians who speak out against homosexuality were true, then both Green and Muise would immediately be arrested for the very things they just said. 

But that won't happen because their free speech and religious liberty rights have not been violated by the law, which undermines their central claim that hate crimes legislation is unconstitutional because it will silence Christians from speaking out.

In short, Green and Muise just spent a half-hour citing the Bible and railing against the "deviant sexual behavior" of gays, all while claiming that the existence of hate crimes legislation would result in anyone who cited the Bible or railed against gays being hauled off to jail .. and neither of them has been hauled off to jail.

Making a Federal Case Out of Perkins' Rescinded Invitation - Literally

Remember last week when I noted that Religious Right activists and a few members of Congress were trying to make a federal case out of the fact that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was uninvited to a private prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base?

I wasn't exaggerating:

One of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives wants answers from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The Brody File has obtained a letter sent from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and Congressman Roy Blunt) to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking him to explain why the Air Force rescinded a prayer luncheon invitation to conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

...

Click here to read the entire letter ... :

“This action troubles us a great deal, not only in this particular case, but because of the implications for anyone who might disagree with the Administration in the future.”

“What is clear from this letter (from the letter sent by Lt. Col. Gary Bertsch to Tony Perkins) is the establishment of a new litmus test: if one disagree with the President, that person is not welcome to participate in military activities.”

“The chilling impact such a standard could have on the free speech of private citizens and those who serve in our armed forces-guaranteeing precisely these types of freedoms-cannot be allowed to stand.”

“Specifically, is it the policy of the Air Force and/or other branches of the armed services to allow only those individuals who agree with the President on all matters of policy to participate in ministry events they host?”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin is writing another book, one that will "reflect on the key values—both national and spiritual—that have been such a profound part of her life and which continue to inform her vision of the future." I can hardly wait.
  • The Arizona Republic looks at the behind-the-scenes influence the right-wing Center for Arizona Policy has in shaping public policy in the state.
  • Do you ever get the impression that Mat Staver just doesn't like gay people?
  • Thanks to the AFA, the Chairman of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors has been inundated with more than 40,000 emails protesting the NCAA's decision to drop the Focus on the Family ad from its website.
  • The Traditional Values Coalition pretty much loses it over DADT.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Don Feder in a lengthy attack on CPAC: " Gay rights is about indoctrinating your children in behavior that would make a proctologist gag. It’s about criminalizing dissent via speech codes and hate crimes laws. It’s a frontal assault on First Amendment free speech and religious freedom. This is freedom only in the sense that killing unborn children is choice."

Southern Baptist Priorities For 2010: Fighting Gay Rights

Richard Land and Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission are claiming credit for having played in "instrumental" role in thwarting President Obama goals in 2009 and as they lay out the Southern Baptists' legislative agenda for 2010 which focuses heavily on fighting against reproductive choice and gay rights:

Whenever the voters have been given the opportunity to decide the question of same-sex marriage in their states, they have opted to support traditional marriage. Nevertheless, the battle to protect marriage is far from over. Right now, the U.S. District Court for Northern California is reviewing Perry v. Schwarzenegger, in which proponents of same-sex marriage are trying to undo the vote of the people by judicial fiat. The ERLC submitted an amicus brief in that case, supporting the will of the majority of the people in California. In all probability, this is the case that will end up before the U. S. Supreme Court, and decide whether or not the federal judiciary will leave the issue of same-sex marriage to the will of the people or seek to dictate to the people as they have on the sanctity of human life. The ERLC will join the battle for traditional marriage all the way to the Supreme Court.

We are also heavily engaged in trying to prevent the D.C. City Council from imposing same-sex marriage on the District of Columbia. We support efforts in Congress to require a vote by the District’s residents. We believe the majority of the District’s residents do not want to be known as the same-sex marriage capital, but instead want to support traditional marriage as the only form of marriage.

We will also continue to resist efforts in Congress to advance other aspects of the homosexual special rights agenda. Unfortunately, liberals in Congress did manage to pass the Hate Crimes legislation that provides special federal protections for homosexuals that are not available to most other people who are victims of violence. The next goal of homosexual rights groups is passage of the Employment Non-discrimination Act, which will prevent businesses from considering sexual orientation in their hiring practices and make it more difficult for people who oppose aberrant sexual behavior to express their beliefs about it in the workplace without fear of reprisal. This is certainly a free speech and religious freedom issue. Further, the President announced in his State of the Union address his intention to repeal existing law that bars active homosexuals from serving in the military. Liberals in Congress are fully supportive. We will continue to stand against this effort that would weaken troop morale and readiness for combat.

The Obama Administration has already ordered the federal government to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples in its employment. It is likely that this is a first step toward repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which the Administration has already declared it does not like. While we do not believe that will happen in the coming year, we stand ready to oppose any effort that will weaken our nation’s resolve to maintain its commitment to traditional marriage.

...

As we predicted, we spent most of last year resisting liberal efforts to undermine biblical values. Considering the daunting challenges we faced at the beginning of 2009, we believe traditional Judeo-Christian values won out in most cases. It is likely that we will be defending these values from liberal attacks in 2010 as well. However, we will continue to look for ways to move responsible, God-honoring measures forward. 

Pots Calling Kettles "Radical"

Back in 2007, the D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America for Christ shut down, as Coral Ridge Ministries announced that it would focus on expanding its media operations.  

Since then, Coral Ridge has produced several DVD programs like "10 Truths About Hate Crime Laws Book and Hate Crime Laws" and "Pastors, Pulpits, And Politics" ... and now, via Good As You, we see that they are back with their latest production "Radical Rulers And The Obama White House Radicals": 

America has come under the rule of the most radical administration in our nation’s history. In this explosive new book, journalist Robert Knight identifies more than a dozen White House appointees (plus President Obama) who are all working to bring extreme change to America. The Obama team’s far left ideology means a government takeover of healthcare, soaring budget deficits, redistribution of wealth, forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortions, punitive energy and environmental rules, restrictions on free speech, a push to mainstream homosexuality, and much more.

Along with the book, the DVD, The Obama White House Radicals, uncovers the backgrounds of several Obama Administration appointees—from a self-avowed Communist to a member of the Socialist International. The DVD also examines the influence of Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky on President Obama’s political education. Experts appearing on the program include Janice Shaw Crouse, political commentator for Concerned Women for America; William Federer, a nationally known speaker and host of the American Minute radio broadcast; and Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

In case you missed it, the point is that President Obama's administration is extremely "radical" ... at least, according to far-right radicals.

And for a mere $40, this insightful DVD exposé and accompanying book explaining that can be yours.

Liberty University Hosting Two Day Anti-Gay Conference

Mat Staver, Matt Barber, Elaine Donnelly, Alan Chambers, Robert Knight and various other anti-gay activists will be gathering at Liberty University for two days next week to discuss all things gay ... or rather, the threat that the "homosexual agenda" poses to this nation:

Liberty University School of Law will host a one-day conference followed by a one-day symposium addressing homosexuality and its consequences. The Friday, February 12, conference is entitled “Understanding Same-sex Attractions and Their Consequences.” On Saturday, February 13, the Liberty University Law Review will host a legal symposium entitled “Homosexual Rights and First Amendment Freedoms: Can They Truly Coexist?”

The first day of the conference will focus on the issues underlying same-sex attractions with personal and ministry insights shared by Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. Conference leaders will then discuss the American Psychological Association Task Force Report on counseling people with same-sex attractions. Current research and therapies will be discussed by experts from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors. The first day is designed for lay people, counselors, pastors, educators, attorneys, and those interested in learning more about the subject. The second day will focus on the legal implications arising from the clash between the quest for homosexual rights and freedom of speech, religion and association.

This two-day long symposium begins at 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 12, in the Vines Center of Liberty University at Liberty’s convocation service during which Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, will speak. The afternoon event, titled “Understanding Same-Sex Attractions and Their Consequences,” begins at 2:00 p.m. in the Supreme Courtroom of Liberty University School of Law. Speakers include Alan Chambers; Julie Harren-Hamilton, President of NARTH; Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors; Rena Lindevaldsen, Associate Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and Mathew Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law.

The symposium reconvenes at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, February 13, at the School of Law, and ends with a banquet held in the Grand Lobby of Liberty University, located in DeMoss Hall, at 5 p.m. Saturday speakers include: Professor Lynne Marie Kohm of Regent University School of Law; Professor Lynn D. Wardle of Brigham Young University and J. Reuben Clark Law School; Elaine Donnelly, Founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness; Robert H. Knight, Senior Writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and Senior Fellow for American Civil Rights Union; Matt Barber, Associate Dean at Liberty University School of Law, and others.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The clash between free speech, religious and homosexual rights is a like the grinding of two tectonic plates. It is imperative to understand the implications of same-sex attractions and the broader homosexual agenda. Those struggling with same-sex attractions need understanding and hope for a life without conflict. The politicized radicalism of the homosexual agenda on the other hand is aggressive and intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms of anyone who may disapprove. That is why this conference at Liberty University is vitally important.”

Atheist Sign In Illinios A Violation of the Establishment Clause?

The traditional defense from the Religious Right whenever the government places, or allows others to place, a religiously themed message or display in a public building is that such displays are not an "endorsement" of that religion by the government but rather a recognition and accommodation of the citizens' right to freely express their religion in public.

Which makes this latest lawsuit rather unique:

A candidate for Illinois Comptroller has sued the state for allowing an atheist group to post a sign alongside the religious holiday displays in the State Capitol. William Kelly, a Republican, claims Capitol Police unjustly "detained (him) and escorted him from the building" because he turned the atheists' sign face down. Kelly calls the sign "hate speech.

Kelly's federal complaint against the Illinois Secretary of State claims: "In December 2009, a sign was placed in the Capitol Building, approved by the Defendant, that read as follows:

"At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Kelly's complaint does not object to the several holiday displays "celebrating various observances" in the State Capitol. He objects only to the atheists' sign, which, he says, stood near a Nativity scene and next to a decorated Christmas tree.

Kelly claims that for the two weeks the sign was displayed, visitors, including young children, could get the impression that the sign is "endorsed" by the state as an "opposing view to the displays."

He says the state's administrative code demands that displays be approved on the basis of "symbolic expression in the exercise of free speech," but that signs are prohibited.

Kelly claims that by allowing the sign, the state approved expression of "hostility towards religion," which he says is unconstitutional.

...

Kelly sued Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, claiming that placing the atheists' sign in the Capitol violates the Establishment Clause.

He demands an injunction prohibiting atheists from "placing or allowing to be placed the sign at issue or any such similar sign in the Capitol Building of the State of Illinois and any other State of Illinois Buildings".

So the presence of a Nativity scence was perfectly fine, but a sign from an atheist group was a government endorsement and violation of the Establishment Clause? 

Good luck with that line of argument in court.

Cass: "Radical Homosexual ... Will Destroy Anyone That Comes Between Them and Their Agenda"

The newly mustache-less Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has taken up the case of Larry Grard, who claims he lost his job due to anti-Christian bigotry (though that is disputed by his former employer,) and immediately needs $5,000 to launch a campaign to get Grard his job back, according to a recent CADC email alert:

Radical homosexual activists are not playing games. They will destroy anyone that comes between them and their agenda. But the time has come for Christians to fight back and support those who courageously take a stand for righteousness.

Help us defend Christians like Larry from the attacks of radical homosexual activists. Click below to donate!

Please help me fight and win this battle. Maine Today must reinstate Larry and Lisa. We must defend Larry's right to free speech and his right to express his religious point of view. It is vital that we not neglect our wounded in the battle for the soul of America.

Help CADC stand up for Larry. I need at least $5,000.00 by February 15th to cover all the expenses of this campaign. Can you please help?

Imagine what it would be like to have your career unjustly destroyed at age 59 after 19 years of hard work for simply defending God's institution of marriage. Wouldn't you want someone to help fight to get your job back?

Let's be there for Larry and his family! Please send you best gift today!

We must expose the unfruitful deeds of wickedness! (Eph. 5:11)

Here's how:

First, we need to let Maine Today know that Christians will not stand by while our brother and sister are unjustly defamed, discriminated against, and persecuted for merely expressing their support of biblical family values.

We will demand that the newspaper re-instate Larry and his wife and reimburse them for all their unpaid wages. If they will not, I will encourage other pro-family leaders to join me in this stand for Larry. It's the least we can do for someone who stood up for what's right.

In addition, if Maine Today refuses to do the right thing, we will contact their advertisers. We will let them know that we intend to work with local churches to organize a boycott against any business that continues to support Maine Today with their advertising dollars (a strategy we have used successfully in other communities).

Maine Today caved into pressure from homosexual activists and fired Larry and Lisa. Now it's time for them to correct their persecution of this couple. If they refuse, we will make sure they don't get rewarded with adverting from local businesses. I assure you ... that will get their attention.

It's time to draw a line in the sand. We cannot allow radical homosexual activists to continue to destroy people who stand against their ungodly agenda. If we don't stop them now, it won't be long before no one will be able to resist them.

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Free Speech Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/27/2011, 10:56am
Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America, like other anti-Muslim bloggers, now believes that she is the real victims of the deadly terrorist attacks in Norway targeted at progressives for supporting a multicultural society. Geller, who was frequently cited by the right-wing Norway terrorist Anders Breivik, initially claimed that the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslims, as reported by Robert Steinback of the Southern Poverty Law Center: Her first post, at 12:57 p.m. Friday was headlined, “Jihad in Norway?” Mocking her critics, she wrote, “But remember, jihad is... MORE
Coral, Wednesday 07/20/2011, 9:42am
Cross-posted on PFAW blog Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights: CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena: • Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/13/2011, 9:45am
As we have noted before, Bryan Fischer has made it his new cause in life to prove that the "number one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists." And to prove that point, Fischer is now seizing on a story out of South Africa about former Sunday Sun columnist, and current South African ambassador to Uganda, Jon Qwelane being found guilty of hate speech by the Johannesburg Equality Court for a column he wrote back in 2008 entitled "Call Me Names, But Gay Is NOT Okay."  Qwelane was fined and ordered to apologize ... and now Fischer... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/21/2011, 10:53am
On Monday, Focus on the Family kicked off their first Day of Dialogue, which replaced the Day of Truth that had been sponsored by the “ex-gay” group Exodus International. Brad Clark, the executive director of One Colorado, wrote an open letter to Focus on the Family calling for them to work towards building “a true dialogue about what it means to be LGBT—instead of encouraging young people to spread harmful rhetoric to vulnerable youth in our schools.” Focus on the Family has consistently claimed that anti-bullying programs send students a “homosexual... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 03/31/2011, 4:26pm
The Eagle Forum calls Lawrence v. Texas "arguably the worst decision in American constitutional law." Donald Trump is quite proud to be a Birther. Marvin Olasky doesn't seem to be a particularly big fan of Glenn Beck. Peter LaBarbera's gay-hating "Truth Academy" starts tomorrow. Why is Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership trying to sell me term life coverage? FRC's latest prayer update asks God to prevent the gays from shutting them down: "May God defeat those who seek to hinder free speech and undermine legitimate, open... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/03/2011, 10:12am
With greater awareness among policymakers about the problem of pervasive anti-gay bullying in schools, the Religious Right has stepped-up their efforts to misleadingly label anti-bullying policies as “homosexual propaganda.” Focus on the Family warned of “activists who want to promote homosexuality in kids,” David Barton dismissed accounts of bullying and condemned alleged “homosexual indoctrination,” and the Minnesota Family Council blamed the LGBT community for bullying by endorsing an “unhealthy lifestyle.” Now, the California Family Council... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/03/2011, 10:12am
With greater awareness among policymakers about the problem of pervasive anti-gay bullying in schools, the Religious Right has stepped-up their efforts to misleadingly label anti-bullying policies as “homosexual propaganda.” Focus on the Family warned of “activists who want to promote homosexuality in kids,” David Barton dismissed accounts of bullying and condemned alleged “homosexual indoctrination,” and the Minnesota Family Council blamed the LGBT community for bullying by endorsing an “unhealthy lifestyle.” Now, the California Family Council... MORE