Hate Crimes

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Vicky Hartzler: Missouri’s Anti-Gay Zealot

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our seventh candidate profile is on Missouri's Vicky Hartzler:

Although Ike Skelton, the long-time representative in Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was far from a supporter of LGBT equality, Vicky Hartzler, who defeated him in this year’s election, has based her political career on supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians.

A former state legislator, she was the spokeswoman and public face of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, which successfully amended the state constitution to include a ban same-sex marriage (which was already banned by statute) in 2004. The New York Times writes that her group used “church functions, yard signs and a ‘marriage chain’ of rallies across the state,” and Hartzler “said she hoped that the outcome would send a loud message to the rest of the country: ‘Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage.’”

Her work helped her receive praise from Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Penny Nance of Concerned Women PAC.

Mother Jones asked if Hartzler was the “most anti-gay candidate in America” since she believes that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will “put us at risk,” maintains that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore gay people aren’t entitled to civil rights, and dubbed hate crimes legislation one of the “the extreme agenda items of the gay movement.”

Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign told Mother Jones that while “Ike Skelton has not been a friend of the LGBT community,” unlike Hartzler, “he does not wake up in the morning thinking about what he can do to harm the LGBT community.”

A staunch anti-choice activist, Hartzler supported legislation which “would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder” and “also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against doctors who performed such procedures.” She was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would pressure women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms. Throughout her career in the State House, she consistently received perfect ratings from the right-wing Missouri Family Network.

Hartzler wrote a book for Christian activists running for office called “Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign,” which “discusses how to run a political campaign by using events and stories in the bible as a guide.” Phyllis Schlafly gave her a laudatory introduction at an Eagle Forum event, calling her book “a manual for action.”

In a profile by the American Family Association, Hartzler said that she found inspiration from God to run for public office at the age of nine, and her book maintains that “Christians must become more active in politics if they are to have the impact God calls them to have.” Hartzler said that her book provides Christian candidates with “the tools and inspiration they need to bring God’s light in a darkening world.”

According to one sympathetic review in a local newspaper, Hartzler’s book “praises Absalom — a rebellious son of King David, God’s anointed leader for Israel and according to Christian theology an early example of divinely ordained rule prefiguring that of Jesus Christ — as being the “first politician” and an example for modern political leaders. In Hartzler’s words, ‘Absalom won over the hearts of the people of Israel using time-tested campaign strategies. We, too, can campaign successfully following these same guidelines.’”

A climate change denier, Hartzler asserted that she does not believe in climate change since she read “some articles that [said] it’s actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder…and certainly, I don’t believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that.”

Hartzler ran an ugly anti-immigrant ad against Ike Skelton, where she claimed that by voting to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program he supports “welfare benefits” for “illegal immigrants”, and criticized him for opposing a measure that would prohibit illegal immigrants from attending public schools as “giving illegal immigrants free education.”

She appealed to Tea Partiers by slamming government spending, as she blasted Congress’s spending plans and said that “we just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.” However, according to the Kansas City Star, Hartzler’s “farm has received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009.” She defended the government farm subsidies as a “national defense issue,” and claimed that she would not support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or defense.

In an editorial board interview she couldn’t name any programs she would cut funding to other than “the Lady Bird Highway Beautification projects. She indicated that garden clubs could do some of this work along the highways, saving public funds.”

However, Hartzler does appear to support spending money to expand the role of the Navy in Missouri, as she argued that under Skelton’s watch the landlocked state has “the smallest Navy here that we have had since the early 1960s.”

Hartzler blended her Tea Party lip service and Religious Right advocacy to topple one of the most powerful members of the House, and will now bring her years of anti-equality and anti-choice activism to become a prominent voice of the Far-Right in the GOP-led House.

 

 

 

 

 

FRC Blasts Cao, Warns Other Republicans Not To Support Gays

Last week we noted that, after having endorsed Joseph Cao in 2008, the Family Research Council turned around and ran ads against him this year because he was insufficiently anti-gay.

Today, Cao told Warren Throckmorton that he thought FRC's actions were "inexcusable," and FRC responded with a statement blasting Cao and warning every other Republican that they would face similar campaigns if they don't support FRC's anti-gay agenda: 

First, FRC Action is not a Republican organization. We are a conservative Christian organization that advocates for the family based upon biblical values and truths. Many of the problems we face today in America are the result of Republican leadership.

When Cao first ran in 2008, he sought my support and promised to be a conservative, morally based vote for the family. I endorsed him in that race and because of the unique situation with Jefferson under indictment and no other viable Democrat in the race, Cao won. In the last two years he has amassed one of the worst voting records of any Republican in Congress on our issues. By the way, the homosexual community masquerading as Republicans in New Orleans decried our ad against Cao because he was pro-life. Cao was at best a pro-life vote, under pressure.

Cao was the lone Republican who voted for the government takeover of healthcare when it first passed the House. A lot of time and energy was spent on getting him to vote against the measure when it came back to the House from the Senate with taxpayer funding of abortion included. It he was truly pro-life, he would have been leading the charge against President Obama’s plan; instead he was meeting with him in the White House. Secondly, we are not a single issue organization that only focuses on the life issue. We look at where Members stand on life, marriage, family and religious liberty. Cao’s score on FRC Action’s vote scorecard was 62, lowest of the Louisiana House delegation. His score was lower than Charlie Melancon, the one Louisiana Democrat in the House.

Cao repeatedly voted for key provisions of the homosexual agenda including: Hate Crimes, the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” even though military leaders said don’t do it. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when he recently helped the Log Cabin Republicans (homosexual Republicans) raise money for their political operation. It was the Log Cabin Republicans that recently filed a lawsuit against the military in an attempt to force them to allow open homosexuality in the military, which military leaders have said could potentially undermine their ability to accomplish their mission. The Log Cabin Republicans succeeded at the district court level and for one day the military was forced to change their policy and even had to recruit homosexuals. That case is currently on appeal.

I also wanted to send a very clear message to Republicans across the country; if you take a stand against the family, we will take a stand against you. These squishy Republicans need to know that we will come after them, just like the Democrats.

Of course, Cao wasn't alone in attending the Log Cabin fundraiser - he was joined by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Sen.John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rep, Pete Sessions (R-TX).

I guess these GOP members of Congress should all expect FRC to run ads against them as well? 

Everything You Need To Know About The FRC

As we noted the other day, the Family Research Council had run ads against Rep. Joseph Cao in Louisiana because, after having endorsed him in 2008, FRC decided that Cao was insufficiently anti-gay.

Last night, Cao lost his re-election bid.

Contrast that with another Louisiana politician, Sen. David Vitter, who admitted to involvement with prostitutes.  What does FRC have to say about that?

All is forgiven:

“He came forward, took responsibilities for his actions, acknowledged it, asked for forgiveness, has remained consistent in his positions and the voters in Louisiana have responded positively to that,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told The Ballot Box.

“He had enough time between when this event became public and when he had to stand for reelection, he was able to convince voters that he had changed,” added Perkins. “People make mistakes, but its whether or not we recognize we made a mistake” that’s the issue.

...

Perkins said he and Vitter spoke after D.C. Madam news broke.

“He left me convinced that I should give him another chance,” he said. “He certainly has not changed his positions. If anything, he’s gotten stronger and more resolute in his firm conservative stance.”

So let that be a lesson to other Republican leaders: if you support things like Hate Crimes legislation or the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, FRC will attack you for helping to "advance the radical social agendas of homosexual activists."

But if you are a "family values" conservative who frequents prostitutes and says you are sorry once you get caught, FRC won't hold it against you.

How Times Have Changed

In 2008, the Family Research Council endorsed Joseph Cao for Congress:

Today FRC Action PAC is endorsing Joseph Cao for Congress representing the second district of Louisiana.

"Joseph Cao will be a true friend of the family. We need representatives who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the House of Representatives," said Tony Perkins, President of FRC Action PAC. "I feel confident in Joseph Cao's ability to do just that.

"Joseph Cao's amazing life story is a testament to the high-caliber Congressman he would be. The second district of Louisiana deserves the type of leadership and integrity that he brings.

"We will need many pro-family representatives in the next Congress and FRC Action PAC believes that Joseph Cao will be a true advocate for the issues that best uphold and strengthen families. We are proud to support his candidacy."

Cao won his race and is now running for re-election ... and FRC is running ads against him because he turned out to be insufficiently anti-gay:

The conservative Family Research Council Action PAC has launched a last-minute radio ad campaign against Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-New Orleans, for his support of gay rights ... Cao's "record is dismal on our issues," Tony Perkins, the former Louisiana legislator who heads the Washington-based FRC, said Saturday.

...

"Who is Rep. Joseph Cao representing in Washington?" the FRC ad asks. "Cao has repeatedly voted for extra protections for homosexuals at the cost of religious liberty. Cao voted to use the military to advance the radical social agendas of homosexual activists and he voted for a so-called hate crimes bill that places your personal liberties at jeopardy."

Cao co-sponsored both the Hate Crimes Protection Act of 2009 and House legislation to repeal the policy that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces, known as "don't ask, don't tell."

"I believe it is a human rights violation to impose government-sanctioned penalties on a group of people just because of their sexual orientation, just as it would be a human rights violation to impose penalties on a group because of its religious affiliation or race," Cao said. "I will continue to fight for the protection of human rights for all people."

The Boys on the Bus, Religious Right Style

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins hosted a conference call for FRC activists to hear from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. Perkins, who recently said gay teens commit suicide because they know they’re abnormal, is in Iowa, where he has joined the FRC-National Organization for Marriage bus tour that is targeting state Supreme Court judges who ruled last year favor of marriage equality. While it was a unanimous decision, Religious Right groups are urging voters to reject the three justices who are up for retention this year.  Gohmert spent some time with the Iowa bus earlier this week. Gohmert and Perkins mocked the pro-equality judges, saying they hadn’t studied law or biology if they thought there was no difference between a man and a woman and a man and a man.

Most of today’s call focused on the elections and on how right-wing activists can make sure the crop of new Republican lawmakers doesn’t abandon their principles when they get to Washington. Gohmert was actually harder on the GOP than Perkins, complaining about the Party’s leadership, saying they didn’t understand that they had made mistakes by pushing Republicans into supporting the financial bailout and failing to fight harder against the hate crimes act, which, said Gohmert, “pushed us so far down toward the dustbin of history.” He sighed when asked about the House Republicans’ much-ballyhooed “Pledge to America,” saying that while it was beautifully written, it avoided social issues and failed to include real commitments to move legislation and deadlines for achieving progress.
 
Gohmert insisted that Republicans “can’t compromise on principle” and warned against getting “weak-kneed.” He said the principles that made the country great are faith in God, devotion to the traditional family,  and a hard work ethic. He worried that if Republicans win a majority and don’t deliver, Tea Party activists may just decide to abandon the GOP and start a third party, which would help the Democrats take back control. 
 
Perkins bragged that FRC Action is expanding its reach and said its Faith, Family & Freedom fund was active in “five or six” states with hot congressional and senate races. He said he believes that there’s an “awakening” among Americans who understand that they have a responsibility to determine the future of their country – and that if they populate the GOP with enough good people they can reform the party.
 
Gohmert, who recently said that God has ordained Christians to run the country, sounded a similar theme on today’s call. He said God gives the sword to government to punish evil, and urged “true Romans 13-believing Christians” to understand that America’s founders set things up so that the people are the government. “We are given the sword in this country.” He told them that God had blessed American Christians and that they’re expected to use the sword of government and hire (elect) servants (public officials) “to do what we tell them.”

Parshall: Gay Rights Are Not Real Rights Because The Movement Started "In a Riot Outside of Gay Bar in New York"

Over the weekend, Craig Parshall, Jim Garlow, and Tony Perkins appeared on The John Ankerberg Show to make their collective case against marriage equality.  Most of the discussion involved things we have heard a thousand times before, but there was one interesting segment in which Parshall claimed that gay marriage proponents are counting on activist judges to disregard the law and ignore the fact that gays are not a minority and that gay rights are in no way "fundamental rights," while Perkins claims that Judge Vaughan Walker is gay and therefore biased:

Parshall: Let's take Judge Walker as an example. He accepted the argument that every opposition to homosexual on moral or religious grounds is based on fear. He accepted the preposterous testimony of expert witnesses, political scientists as a matter of fact, who said that homosexuals in America are discriminated against because they are politically powerless.

Now anyone who spends time in Washington DC knows that's absurd. They have a president right now sitting in the office, Barack Obama, who's elected in part by the gay rights lobby who he courted. They have passed hate crimes law, top of their agenda, got it passed, House, Senate, got it signed into law by the President. Other laws are presently pending, initiated by gay rights people. In fact, one of the economists in this very case who was testifying for the proponents of same-sex marriage said on average, the average homosexual couple is much more economically affluent and powerful than the comparable heterosexual couple.

Does this sound like an insular minority that's discriminated against because they're politically powerless? That suggestion is absolutely patently absurd.

Ankerberg: What about the thing where he says this is a fundamental right, that it's an equal right and you can't deny it?

Parshall: Well here's a fundamental right: a fundamental right has been defined, the formula by the Supreme Court in repeated cases has said a fundamental right is a right that is deeply rooted in the history, tradition, and practices of a nation. Now the gay rights movement started around 1969 in a riot outside of gay bar in New York. How could we possibly say it's deeply rooted in the history of America compared to hundreds of years, thousands of years actually, of Western civilization honoring one man, one woman as the definition of marriage?

Perkins: And I'd also point out, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, that Judge Walker is one of two homosexuals that sit on the federal bench. So the idea that his worldview played a part in this decision is clear when he totally dismisses all of the social science put forth by the proponents of Prop 8 and just embraces. without critical review, what I could call propaganda. 

Why The Religious Right Never Talks About Divorce

Via Al Mohler we get this fascinating study by Mark A. Smith of the University of Washington in "Political Science Quarterly" entitled "Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America" [PDF].

In it, Smith examines why Religious Right groups who spend all of their time talking about family values and the sanctity of marriage seem to give only lip-service, at best, to fighting divorce, despite the fact that it is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. The Right may mentione it, generally when bemoaning the deteriorating culture, but they invest little to no effort in actually trying to change the laws to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

Smith notes that neither Jerry Falwell with his Moral Majority nor Pat Robertson with his Christian Coalition paid much attention to the issue; a trend which continues today with the Family Research Council: 

The FRC regularly sends email alerts to its members and supporters in an attempt to inform, persuade, and reinforce their attitudes and beliefs about matters of interest to the group. In 2006 and 2007, the FRC dispatched hundreds of these, most of which contained three paragraph-length items. Surprisingly for an organization that structures its activities around marriage and the family, only 8 of the 1,366 items centered on divorce. In the context of its total volume of communication with members and supporters, the FRC rarely broached the topic of divorce. The organization has stated that “we will not relent in our insistence to reform divorce laws,” but that abstract support has
not been matched by a sustained commitment to spending time or resources on the issue.

Perhaps the FRCʼs emails do not accurately reflect its priorities, meaning that analyzing a different facet of the groupʼs activities would yield a different answer. Accordingly, it will be useful to examine the messages the FRC expresses when it broadcasts its views through the mass media. As part of a larger strategy to influence both the mass public and political leaders, the FRCʼs staff regularly write editorials and attempt to publish them in leading news outlets. During 2006 and 2007, the staff succeeded in placing editorials on topics falling within the organizationʼs mission, including abstinence programs in schools, gay rights and hate crimes, abortion laws in the states, and judicial activism regarding online pornography. Yet FRC staff also published editorials that criticized wasteful government spending, warned against universal health care, and challenged the science behind global warming. Certainly no one could deny that government spending, health care, and global warming are important subjects for American citizens and political leaders to consider. For an organization whose self-definition holds that it “champions marriage and the family,” however,
these issues are considerably removed from its core mission.

The FRC has stated that constraints of budget, time, and staff prevent it from engaging questions surrounding same-sex marriage and heterosexual divorce at the same time, but it managed to allocate its scarce resources to addressing many other issues of current interest. Even if one could justify on practical or biblical grounds prioritizing gay marriage over divorce, such a view could hardly justify pushing divorce all the way to the bottom of the pecking order, below issues with only a tenuous connection to marriage and the family. Of course, a comprehensive search of all of the FRCʼs communications with members, the media, and government officials from 1983 to the present would probably uncover sporadic advocacy for changing public policy regarding divorce. Such a finding would not undermine the conclusion drawn here, namely that the subject occupies a low spot on the groupʼs priority list. Indeed, in the statement from its Web site quoted above, the FRC conceded that it spends little time on divorce.

Smith notes that FRC's lack of focus on divorce is especially odd given that FRC President Tony Perkins authored the nationʼs first covenant marriage bill back when he was a state legislator in Louisiana. 

But Smith also notes that there is very little chance that FRC or any other Religious Right group is going to "move beyond just saying that they endorse divorce reform and actually turn that abstract support into concrete action" because Americans so widely accept divorce to such an extent that even a significant portion of the Religious Right's base would oppose such efforts:

Needless to say, it is not a winning strategy for mobilization to tell your potential constituents that they have committed immoral acts that you are attempting to restrict through governmental regulations. Without an organized and vocal constituency making positions on divorce a litmus test for political support, it is difficult to imagine how the issue could join the ongoing culture war.

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.

Of Love and Revolution

For all the flag-waving Tea Party placards accusing the Obama administration of unconstitutional acts and treason, it seems that threats of revolution against the constitutional republic of the United States are coming mostly from the right wing – and not just from fringe militia groups.

We recently noted that Religious Right activist Chuck Colson has launched an effort to bully the Supreme Court into opposing marriage equality by threatening that a pro-equality ruling would result in “cultural Armageddon.” And we have noted the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer’s repeated warnings that the federal government’s “tyranny” will lead to “civil unrest.” Speakers at last year’s How To Take Back America conference suggested “Second Amendment” responses to health care reform and urged participants to buy more guns and ammunition. 

Now we see that the National Organization for Marriage, whose director Brian Brown has been claiming on his anti-equality road trip that it is an organization grounded in love, is picking up on the theme as NOM’s Maggie Gallagher writes in an op ed that "American politics are in a quasi-revolutionary phase": 

The people, symbolized first in the eruptions of Tea Parties, are rebelling against elites who believe they can ignore our voices and our values….

Rush Limbaugh had his finger on the truth. In the nearly half-hour speech he gave after the Proposition 8 ruling ("the American people are boiling over!"), Rush said that Walker "did not just slap down the will of 7 million voters. Those 7 million voters were put on trial -- a kangaroo court where everything was stacked against them. ... Those of you who voted for Prop 8 in California are guilty of hate crimes. You were thinking discrimination. That's what this judge has said! Truly unprecedented."

Yes, it is. We are entering into a new phase in the battle not only for marriage, but for self-government, for the legitimacy of the views and values of the Ameircan people.

This is a fight we cannot dodge, and must and will win.

Buckle down, it's going to be a ride!

Of course, this isn’t the first time a NOM leader has suggested possibly deploying a revolutionary response to judicial rulings recognizing marriage equality. When Mormon author Orson Scott Card joined NOM’s board last year, we and others drew attention to his own threats, which he made in writing in a Mormon newspaper:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn….

American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

We have our own question: why is it that the standard right-wing response to votes in Congress or court decisions that they don't like is to threaten revolution against the U.S.?

Right Wing Round-Up

FRC's Call2Fall Hopes to Prevent God From Destroying America Due To Our "Sexual Immorality and Perversion"

It really is remarkable how the Family Research Council is slowly transitioning from a political group with a religious agenda to a religious group with a political agenda.

Case in point: this weekend's second annual Call2Fall event through which FRC seeks to lead churches across the nation on a "journey back to God, to His forgiveness and favor, [which] begins on our knees in humility and repentant prayer."

As we noted before, FRC is even providing participants and leaders with suggested sermons and prayer targets - targets that just happen to coincide with FRC's right-wing political agenda, warning that the Obama administration's embrace of the LBGT community's "immoral social agenda" is a "threat to us all" because it will cause God to unleash his wrath upon our nation: 

Immoral Social Agenda -- June was declared by our President to be "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Equality Month." At a White House party for homosexual activists, the President recounted his pro-homosexual record and promised a host of new benefits, rights and special protections for the LGBT community. But this privileged new class, whose members are identified by their bizarre sexual practices, presents many threats to society: threats to public health, public morals, the wellbeing of children, threats to religious liberty and, indeed, to themselves. Our Creator condemns their practices as "abominable" and morally reprehensible (see Lev 18:30). Historically, many American states have had laws against homosexual behavior, yet now it is celebrated in the White House. Scripture warns that those who practice and those who approve these things are objects of God's wrath (Rom 1:32). Scripture warns that these practices will cause the very land to "vomit out its inhabitants" (Lev 18:25). Thus, public approval is a threat to us all.

The President's commitment to implement the LGBT agenda (e.g., the so-called "Hate Crimes" law, the proposals to repeal both the military's policy of prohibiting homosexuals from serving and the "Defense of Marriage Act," the pro-homosexual "Employment Non-Discrimination Act," and other measures) has far-reaching implications for America. God reminds us in the New Testament that "by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly" (2 Pet 2:6); and "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire " (Jude 7).

FRC also warns that Christians need to fall on their knees and repent the nation's slide into "economic tyranny" and for our "corporate guilt" including "America's recent treatment of Israel, widespread abortion, the subjection of our children to immoral 'sex education,' pornography, promiscuity, divorce, same-sex 'marriage,' violent entertainment, and more" ... and has produced a handy "Catalogue of Sins" [PDF] for which individuals, families, churches, and state should repent.

And thus, the need for nationwide prayer and repentence:

Pray that God will use Call2Fall to birth a new spirit of prayer and repentance in churches across America. May He help pastors to lead their churches in repentant prayer! May a new season of prayer and solemn assembly that move God's heart begin across our nation! May God send revival to His Church and another Great Awakening to America! May our children inherit a land where Christ is honored as Savior and Lord. May America yet become a "city on a hill" to the nations.

I'd like to point out that the man running the show over at FRC and leading this Call2Fall effort, Tony Perkins, was a witness for the Republicans in Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing just yesterday.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Details: Deliverance: The True Story of a Gay Exorcism.
  • Alan Colmes: Christian Fundamentalists Believe Oil Spill Heralds The Apocalypse.
  • Media Matters: Rush sub Williams links earthquake fatalities in Haiti to lack of private property rights.
  • Wonk Room: Anatomy Of A Smear: From The Federalist Society, To CBS, To Jeff Sessions.
  • Joe.My.God: NOM Spends $200K To Support Anti-Gay Candidates In California.
  • Steve Benen: The GOP Drive to Use The Green Party.
  • Jim Burroway: Did FRC Lie To Congress About the Ugandan “Kill-The-Gays” Bill?
  • Autumn Sandeen: With Federal Hate Crimes Legislation, The Sky Didn't Fall. So, Why Would It Fall With ENDA?
  • Alvin McEwen: Religious Right Manipulating Bus Incident to Attack LGBT Community.

Reclaiming Oklahoma For Christ Is Now Reclaiming America For Christ

Last year we noted that a group calling itself Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ which had more or less proclaimed itself the second incarnation of the late D. James Kennedy's defunct Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, though it was to be focused initially on Oklahoma.

Since then its founder, Paul Blair, has managed to establish himself among the Religious Right's B-list activists, co-organizing last fall's anti-hate crimes legislation rally and playing a key role in Janet Porter's recent May Day 2010 rally .. and so the organzation's mission has been expanded beyond Oklahoma to the entire nation:

We began working to “Reclaim Oklahoma for Christ” and now have an effective working relationship with over 100 pastors from across our state. Our goal is to connect with, encourage, and if needed, assist pastors all over the nation in reclaiming their own states for Christ and the Christian liberty upon which our founding fathers built this great country.

Although we are not affiliated or connected with Coral Ridge Ministries or its former initiative, the Center for Reclaiming America, we have been granted permission by those entities to use the name “Reclaiming America for Christ” as we expand this vision across America. We hope to honor the name and legacy of Dr. Kennedy as we strive for another Great Awakening in this nation.

And next month, the group is hosting two day conference/Tea Party event that is scheduled to feature the likes of David Barton, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, Jim Garlow, and Rick Scarborough:

WallBuilders Sponsoring Next Tea Party Convention?

Considering that Glenn Beck has been working diligently to turn WallBuilder's David Barton into the official "historian" of the right-wing Tea Party/912 movement, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the organization would be signing on as one of the sponsor of the next National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas ... at least that is how it appears, judging by this press release from Tea Party Nation

The Tea Party Unity Convention will be the most powerful political event of the summer as we network and empower attendees for the November 2010 elections.

Convention spokesman, Judson Phillips said, "We look forward to working with World Net Daily, Resistnet, The Leadership Institute, Judicial Watch, Numbers USA, Wall Builders, Voices of America, NAACCP, NC Freedom, The Dallas Tea Party, The Heritage Foundation, Chicago Young Republicans, National Tea Party Federation and others in this fight."

Featured speakers and participants include: Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, Andrew Breitbart, Neal Boortz, SE Cupp, Michael Reagan, Jonathan Kahn (Jon David), Lloyd Marcus, Frantz Kebreau, Ken Blackwell, Mark Thiessen, Ana Puig, Barbee Kinnison, Amy Kremer, Darla Dawald, Tom Fitton, Richard Viguerie, Michael Patrick Leahy, David DeGerolamo, Erika Franzi, Dr. B. Leland Baker, Bishop EW Jackson, Dr. William Forstchen, Fred Houck and Melody Kite.

Topics to be covered: Achieving Unity, Combating Racism Allegations, How to Raise $50,000 in 90 days For Your Tea Party Group, Fair Tax, Emergency Preparedness, Attracting and Keeping Young Activists in the Movement, Community Organizing, Women in the Tea Party Movement, Losing Our Religion, Freedom of Information Act and Open Government Laws, How to do Voter Registration Drives and Where to Find Conservative Voters.

I have to say that organizers have a real knack for getting fringe Religious Rigth activists to speak at their conventions - last time it was Rick Scarborough of Vision America, and this time it is EW Jackson:

 

Bishop E.W. Jackson is, even by right-wing standards, something of a fringe figure. He seems to have some ties to Rick Scarborough and appeared on Janet Porter's radio program not too long ago.

He is also Founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and last year founded something called Staying True to America's National Destiny [S.T.A.N.D] and was among the participants at the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally last year, where he railed against the legislation as the result of a "virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred."

 

But today, Jackson announced his most grandiose plan yet with the formation of the STAND AMERICA PAC though which he is "declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus" as part of an effort to end the deception that is causing the black community to support the "Coalition of the godless."

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.

...

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."

...

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.

Scarborough: Kagan Nomination the "Latest Step Toward the Moral Abyss for America"

It was just earlier today that I was noting that Matt Barber was using the arrest of Dale Mcalpine to try and terrify Christians into thinking that they are about to be rounded up and imprisoned here in the United States.

Now, Rick Scarborough of Vision America has sent out an new email alert, also making the same claim, but using it to generate opposition to Elena Kagan:

On October 22, 2009 Hate Crimes protection was extended to sexual orientation by the Senate and sent to the President's desk to be signed shortly thereafter.

On April 20, 2010, police arrested Dale McAlpine, a 42-year-old Baptist street preacher in Britain for telling a passerby -- in earshot of a policewoman -- that God views homosexuality as a sin. Under Britain's Public Order Act 1986, which forbids "using threatening, abusive or insulting words ... tending to and causing harassment, alarm or distress," he will face a criminal trial at a date yet to be determined. McAlpine was fingerprinted, given a DNA swab and retina scan, and was locked in a police cell for seven hours.

The law was in place for 24 years before it was applied to a preacher of the Gospel, but now, in Great Britain, you can go to jail for agreeing with the Holy Bible on homosexuality. And you can rest assured America is on a collision course with the same tragic conclusion.

The appointment of Elena Kagan is the latest step toward the moral abyss for America. As the President's latest pick for the Supreme Court, this judicial neophyte is a doctrinaire radical leftist with a written disdain for the Constitution of the United States, the very document which she will be sworn to uphold if approved by the Senate, an almost fore drawn conclusion unless enough God fearing Americans raise their voices and demand that she be withdrawn.

...

The real losers are not the preachers who will go to jail, for they shall find God's presence there and be rewarded in this and the next life. The real losers are those caught up in a sin that our Government forbids us to tell the truth about, without being threatened with arrest.

Can't happen here? Just ask Rev. Dale McAlpine of Great Britain.

Till they come for me, I am going to continue to announce the truth and pray for revival in America.

Scarborough urges activist to sign up to blast fax "ALL 100 Senators for just $99" to urge them to oppose Kagan.  

Gordon Klingenschmitt is offering the same service for only $38.

Barber: Gays Want To Imprison Christians

When it was first reported that Dale Mcalpine, a Christian street preacher in Britain, was arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin, you know it was only a matter of time before the Religious Right in the US started using this incident to work up fears about how this is exactly what gays want to do to Christians here in America.

Case in point:

Liberty Counsel Cultural Affairs Analyst Matt Barber raised the warning that such cases will be seen more and more in America, too.

"We know that what's happening in Europe and what's happening in Canada offers us a window into the future of what will happen here in the United States," he said. "The hate crimes laws and employment sexual orientation laws such as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act here in the United States, have been the precursor to the more oppressive hate speech laws," Barber explained.

"Make no mistake, those laws we have now for hate crimes and the more present danger with ENDA, these laws are the precursor in the U. S. for the same kind of criminalization of Christianity that's happening in the U. K.," Barber said.

...

"Their goal is to silence any dissent and to silence under any penalty of law the Biblical recognition and expression of a traditional Judeo-Christian world view relative to sexual behavior and sexual morality," Barber said.

He warned if unchecked, the radical homosexual lobby will ensure that the U.S. goes the same direction as Britain.

"We've seen the same kind of vague language and loopholes that are used to prosecute Mr. McAlpine in Great Britain show up in laws employed here in the United States to prosecute individuals for non-violent speech, for simply sharing a Biblical world view relative to sexual morality," Barber said.  

This WND article also contains audio of the entire interview with Barber, during which he also claims that after he first learned of this incident, he "started perusing a number of homosexual news sites and homosexual blogs" and found that "the majority of homosexuals and homosexual activists for this same kind of homophobia/hate speech persecution here in the United States" and goes on to say that this is exactly what the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Kevin Jennings, Chai Feldblum want to see happen in this country. 

FRC Renames ENDA The "Cross-dresser Protection Act"

There are so many things in the lastest Family Research Council "Washington Update" that I could blog about that it's hard to even know where to begin.

I could write about FRC's insistence that if President Obama names Elena Kagan as his nominee to the Supreme Court, she'll immediately be opposed due to her "incredibly hostile view of the military" and her "hard-Left activism [as a ] passionate supporter of hate crimes laws."

Or maybe FRC's attack on Planned Parenthood ahead of Mother's Day; "That's like asking people to celebrate Arbor Day by burning down a forest! Because of Planned Parenthood, tens of millions of women can't celebrate Mother's Day."

But I think instead I'll just highlight the upcoming edition of FRC's Washington Watch radio program ... remember when the Religious Right kept referring to hate crimes legislation as "the Pedophilia Protection Act"?  Well, they have a new name from ENDA as well: 

On this week's edition, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) joins me to discuss the upcoming vote in Congress on ENDA, also known as the Cross-dresser Protection Act.

You know, I've got a few nicknames for FRC as well, but I won't post them here - instead, I will just send my sympathies to the graduates of Louisiana College:

Congratulations to the 2010 Class of Louisiana College! I'm happy to say that I'll be on hand at tomorrow's commencement ceremony in the Guinn Auditorium to deliver the address. One hundred eighty students will be taking home diplomas for undergraduate studies, master's of arts in teaching, and associates degrees.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • James Dobson's new radio program began today.
  • It is pretty ironic to see Mat Staver go after the Freedom From Religion Foundation on the grounds that it is a "paper tiger" propped up by wealthy donors.
  • Fresh out of prison, Jim Traficant is running for Congress.
  • The US Embassy in Kenya wants it made clear that the US government is not supporting the ACLJ's effort to shape the nation's constitution to their right-wing liking.
  • A federal judge will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss the right-wing lawsuit against hate crimes legislation in June.
  • Religious Right activists in Virginia are no longer smitten with Gov. Bob McDonnell.
  • Finally, why are activists being encouraged to wear red clothing to a "Code Blue Health Care Freedom Act Rally" in Missouri? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to wear blue? Or call it a "Code Red Health Care Freedom Act Rally"?

May Day on the Mall: Lifting The Curse That Obama's Election Has Brought Upon America

 
On Saturday, May 1, Religious Right leaders and public officials will gather at the steps below the Lincoln Memorial to beg God to forgive America for having elected wicked leaders like President Obama. If you can’t make it to the national mall on Saturday morning, you can watch live on God TV or via webcast thanks to the American Family Association.
 
The "May Day - A Cry to God for a Nation in Distress" event is the brainchild of Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist/conspiracy theory-promoting radio host, and member of presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s inner circle. Porter believes America is under a curse for having “made the choice of death” by electing President Obama (even though God TV warned us not to). She announced the May Day event at last fall’s How to Take Back America conference.  
 
Since then, Porter has lined up support from a significant number of Religious Right heavy-hitters like former Focus on the Family head James Dobson, who recorded an audio message recruiting pastors to get involved, and at least five members of Congress, including  Randy “Pray Against Health Care” Forbes (Virginia), Trent “Obama is an enemy of humanity” Franks (Arizona), Louie “Hate Crimes Act is a Pedophile Protection Act” Gohmert (Texas), and Steve “Know Your Enemies” King (Iowa).  
 
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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/22/2011, 6:06pm
PFAW: PFAW Celebrates Certification of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Excuses, Excuses: The Polite Regrets of Governors Bailing on Perry's Prayer Rally. Igor Volsky @ Think Progress: GOProud: Gays Need Guns, Not Hate Crimes Legislation. Alvin McEwen: Maggie Gallagher's Hypocritical Whine About Corruption Adam Serwer @ The American Prospect: Stop Using Moozlem Words! MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 2:19pm
In 2009, Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action organized a right-wing conference in St. Louis called "How To Take Back America" that was co-sponsored by the likes of WorldNetDaily, The American Family Association, Vision America, Liberty Counsel, and WallBuilders.  The keynote speakers at the conference were Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann. The line-up at this conference was so radical that we put together a report on the participants which gave special attention to the truly fringe views espouse by Porter:  It is probably impossible to overstate the extremism and lunacy... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/05/2011, 5:43pm
Sarah Huckabee has been hired by Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign. Peter LaBarbera complains that those who "practice sodomy ... get to jump to the head of the line in immigration." If you are going to write a long profile of TVC's Lou Sheldon, can you please mention that he's the head of an anti-gay hate group? I imagine that if some pilots had refused to fly Christian banners, the response from the Religious Right would have been universal outrage. Finally, Bryan Fischer is on vacation ... but that isn't going to stop him from continuing his "... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/27/2011, 3:53pm
Bryan Fischer spent the entire first hour of his radio program today discussing the passage of marriage equality legislation in New York last week in typical Fischer-fashion ... which means me focused on warning about the health risks of gay sex while railing against the "hate crimes" gay activists are committing against Christians. And, for good measure, he also explained that there was no need to "marriage equality" legislation because gays already have the equality to marry ... anyone of the opposite sex: Allow me to just point out, once again, that this is literally... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/24/2011, 5:44pm
Ken Blackwell will not run for Senate in Ohio, thus rendering all of the crazy stuff we have collected about him useless.  Thanks a lot. Today's winner for least surprising/most pointless statement: "Liberty Counsel Supports Israel’s Right to Exist." Bryan Fischer continues his nonsensical "hate crimes" crusade. Here is Cindy Jacobs laying out the importance of the Seven Mountains. FRC's Peter Sprigg tries to get us to believe that "the principal objection to homosexual 'marriage' has nothing to do with religion." Gov.... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 06/23/2011, 4:03pm
One of the most amazing things about Bryan Fischer and his daily radio program is how he manages to pluck isolated news articles out of the ether and hold them up as rock-solid proof of the need for America to embrace his agenda. Every article about a terrorist attack is proof that Muslims should be banned from serving in the military and every article about someone being criticized for spouting anti-gay remarks is proof that gays are committing hate crimes. And today Fischer held up a story about a seven year-old boy driving a car 50 miles per hour on a twenty mile journey to see his father... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/13/2011, 10:45am
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