Hate Crimes

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."

Staver: Real Conservatives Wouldn't Have Booed Ryan Sorba's Anti-Gay CPAC Rant

CBS has an article on GOProud and CPAC that revolves mostly around Ryan Sorba's attack on the group from the stage and the boos it elicited from the audience which quotes Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver saying that GOProud free to be part of the conservative movement so long as they don't expect the movement to actually support their agenda. How kind of him.

But he  was also asked about his views regarding the negative reaction Sorba elicited with his attack, and Staver said that this year's CPAC was dominated by libertarian Ron Paul supporters, suggesting that if it had been dominated by social conservatives, Sorba would not have been booed

Mathew Staver, dean of the evangelical Liberty University School of Law and founder and chair of the Liberty Counsel, says that he and his allies "certainly don't support the idea that anybody would be eliminated from the political process because of their sexual orientation."

But he said Liberty University School of Law felt compelled to pull its sponsorship from CPAC over GOProud's support for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other policies.

"Those are not conservative policies, and they are not supported by the Republican Party," he said, noting that the GOP continues to oppose a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal as well as same-sex marriage and hate crimes protections based on gender identity. "I welcome all people being part of the conversation, but I also think that just because of your individual orientation, it does not mean that we change the values that conservatives support."

Asked if he was disappointed with Sorba's reception, Staver noted that Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll of 2012 presidential candidates - evidence, he suggested, that those in the room were not "reflective of the conservative movement or the Republican Party."

Really!? So if those who booed Sorba "are not reflective of the conservative movement or the Republican party," then isn't Staver saying that "real" conservatives wouldn't have booed Sorba for his anti-gay rant? 

Scarborough Unveils Yet Another Right Wing Coalition and Declaration

Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights attended the National Tea Party Convention and notes that Rick Scarborough used his address at the event to unveil a new coalition called "Mandate to Save America":

A workshop by Dr. Rick Scarborough indicated a shift taking place at the convention, transforming the focus from bailouts and deficits to the culture war. Scarborough is a former Southern Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas, and a he heads up a corporate constellation including Vision America, Vision America Action and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. He has been fixture on the Christian Right for several years (Jerry Falwell published his first book).

After showing an eight minute video cataloguing his many television appearances, the jovial Scarborough told a packed room of around 215 people that the gap between “fiscal and social conservatives has got to cease.” In addition to attacking the Obama administration for its commitment to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians into federal hate crimes protections, Scarborough warned that we "now have a government of thieves" and that we are moving towards a “collectivist” society. We have a Godly duty to defend “American exceptionalism,” he said.

Scarborough used much of his speech to launch a new campaign, called the Mandate to Save America, a project of the S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.

The pamphlet he distributed read, “We, the undersigned, and millions of other American patriots, including many who comprise the growing TEA Party movement, are no less determined than patriots of the past, who fought for our freedom. We will make any sacrifice, endure any hardship, and confront any foe to keep the flame of freedom burning bright; so help us God.”

The list of signers reads like a who’s who of the Christian Right: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Gary Bauer of American Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, and many more. The ten campaign demands marked an overt attempt to fuse Tea Party desires with the broader agenda of the Christian Right into a more potent form of Christian nationalism.

Scarborough worked up the crowd in the room, and got a standing ovation when he demanded, “enough is enough!” When he finished, an older woman in the front row stood up and stated, “What we need is revival and revolt!” which also brought enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

And sure enough, Mandate to Save America has a website carrying this declaration:

So far the list of signers includes Gary Bauer, Tom DeLay, Janet Porter, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Mat Staver, Tim Wildmon, Wendy Wright, Richard Viguerie, and several others.

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. 

Three Times Makes a Trend

For the third time in the last week, a leading Religious Right activist has declared that his goal is to see homosexuality criminalized.

First it was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council who made such declarations and now Gary Glenn of the AFA of Michigan has joined the call as well:

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, has added his voice to a growing course of American leaders calling for the re-criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S.

In an e-mail to Michigan Messenger, here’s how Glenn responded when asked if he supported the criminalization move proposed by the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg’s comments last week on Hardball:

“The short answer to your question is yes, we believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety — including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”

It should also be pointed out that Glenn is among the plantiffs in the Thomas More Law Center's lawsuit challenging the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 on the grounds that protection for gays is part of an effort 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."

Hate Crimes Protection for Gays Is "Demeaning [to] the Black Community"

Last week we noted that the Thomas More Law Center had filed suit against Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 on behalf of right-wing activists and pastors in Michigan. One of those pastors was Levon Yuille, who tells OneNewsNow that he opposes hate crimes protections for gays because he finds it "demeaning [to] the black community": 

A black pastor who is challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted federal "Hate Crimes Act" says he's offended by comparisons to the civil rights struggles of African-Americans with those who engage in homosexual behavior ... Yuille tells OneNewsNow that he also finds it insulting to equate the supposed "civil rights" struggle of homosexuals with the real civil rights struggle of African-Americans.

"I feel like individuals [are] demeaning the black community in trying to equate us to what someone chooses to do sexually," Yiulle remarks. "The totality of black people is far greater than what one would prefer to do in expressing themselves in the manner I've already stated."

The Michigan pastor says the spotlight should be on how the HIV virus is devastating his community -- women in particular. "I'm most certainly disheartened to see that there's so little focus being placed on this issue relative to so many black men participating in heterosexual and homosexual behavior -- and ultimately and regrettably a lot of black women contract AIDS through this type of behavior," he shares.

Pastor Yuille says he is taking a stand for truth, and believes he is doing what is right from a biblical, social, and health perspective.

Fischer: Everything Would Be Better If Homosexuality Was Illegal

The AFA's Bryan Fischer sure does seem intent on driving home his point that homosexuality ought to be illegal, as he has now written yet another post on this subject, this time seeking to how much better life would be if gays were still considered to be criminals: 

This raises the question, then, as to whether sodomy laws should be, or legitimately have been, repealed just because they are rarely enforced.

The answer to this is a clear and unequivocal "No."

Think for a moment of the current social controversies that could potentially be avoided if homosexual conduct was still against the law.

Gays in the military: problem solved. We shouldn't make a place for habitual felons in the armed forces. End of discussion, end of controversy. If someone objects, ask them which other felonies the military ought to overlook in screening recruits.

Gay marriage: problem solved. We should never legalize unions between any two people when the union is forged specifically to engage in felony behavior. Would we sanction, for instance, the formation of a corporation whose stated purpose was to import illegal drugs?

Gay indoctrination in the schools: problem solved. We don't want to raise a generation of schoolchildren to believe that felony behavior is perfectly appropriate. That's why we spend so much money warning students about the danger of drugs.

Hate crimes laws: problem solved. We wouldn't throw a pastor in jail for saying that illegal behavior is not only illegal but also immoral. For instance, he's free to say that murder is not only contrary to man's law but also to God's law. End of the threat to freedom of religion and speech.

Special rights for homosexuals in the workplace: problem solved. No employer should be forced to hire admitted felons to work for him. End of the threat to freedom of religion and freedom of association in the marketplace.

This list could actually be extended, but you get the point. Laws not only curb dangerous and risky behavior, they keep such behavior from being normalized, sanctioned and endorsed by the rest of society, and as such render an enormous benefit to a healthy culture.

The promos for the old movie "American Graffiti" asked the question, "Where were you in '62?" If the same question were asked about the United States, we'd have to answer: in a much better, saner and healthier place when it comes to criminal sexual conduct.

I think Fischer is aiming to establish himself in the obsessively anti-gay wing of the movement heretofore inhabited mainly by people like Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber.

Religious Right Sues Over Hate Crimes Law

I am actually surprised that it took the Religious Right this long to file suit:

A conservative civil liberties group is challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 ... The Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center says it elevates people engaged in deviant sexual behaviors to a special, protected class of persons under federal law.

The lawsuit naming U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of three pastors and the president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

All of the plaintiffs “take a strong public stand against the homosexual agenda, which seeks to normalize disordered sexual behavior that is contrary to Biblical teaching,” the Law Center said in a news release.

“There is no legitimate law enforcement need for this federal law,’ said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

“This is part of the list of political payoffs to homosexual advocacy groups for support of Barack Obama in the last presidential election,” Thompson continued. “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. It elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”

...

The four plaintiffs are Michiagn Pastors Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette, James Combs, and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

...

Robert Muise, who is handling the case, said the new law promotes two Orwellian concepts: “It creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution."

 

Michele Bachmann's Perfect Timing

What can better sum up the current state of the Republican Party and its ties to the Religious Right than the fact that the day after Pat Robertson declared that Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake due to the fact that the nation "swore a pact to the Devil," Rep. Michele Bachmann is profiled on The 700 Club, where Robertson introduces her as "one of the leading conservatives in America":

Now, just three years into the job, Bachmann is a major voice against what she believes is an out of control government threatening the freedom of Americans.

"What we are seeing now is the rise of big government, and so, big government is now oppressing the American people with too much spending, too much taxes, too much regulatory burden," she said. "We just saw the hate crimes law pass...really that bill is more about restricting free speech and free expression of American citizens, in contradistinction to the First Amendment that wants free speech and expression for all of Americans."

Bachmann says the United States is blessed with a unique form of government, but the current administration is straying from what the founding fathers intended.

"Jefferson warned us over 230 years ago, be prepared. The natural way of government is to enslave you," she explained. "And Jefferson said again, bind down big government with the chains of the Constitution. That's what the effort was. Use these beautiful documents to limit man, not to grow man's influence and oppress mankind."

Bachmann believes the current growth of government's influence will backfire.

"We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we've ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate," she said. "We have never had this type of radical view of government."

The congresswoman has proven she's not about to be silenced and she relies on God as her source of strength to endure the battle.

However, Bachmann isn't the only one speaking her mind. Much like Sarah Palin, Bachmann has her share of critics who lash out against her in the media, online and on TV.

"Women are very competent, very intelligent. They can be very successful and make it on their own," Bachmann said about why she's under attack. "And I think that the left is very concerned [about] the message that myself and other women would be able to deliver. And I think that's part of the reason why you see the attack to silence us as messengers."

In fairness, Bachmann apparently sat down for this interview with CBN back in early December, around the time that she joined Robertson on-air for the first time, and the segment was finally ready to air today. 

Pat Robertson's Greatest Hits

It was just last week that we posted a collection of old Pat Robertson videos, but since he's making news once again by saying the tragic earthquake in Haiti stems from the fact that the nation once "swore a pact to the Devil," now seems like a good time to go back at take a look at some of Robertson's most outrageous statements from recent years:

  • Robertson and Falwell lay the blame for 9/11.
  • Robertson says Muslims should be treated like "some fascist group."
  • Robertson says gays are on their way to hell.
  • Robertson says hate crimes legislation would protect someone "who likes to have sex with ducks."
  • Robertson says all other religions worship “demonic powers.”
  • Robertson's advice to the GOP on handling the Rep. Mark Foley scandal: just say that it is "what gay people do so don’t worry about it."
  • Robertson says marriage equality is "so gross" it will lead to the end of our nation.
  • Robertson reports that God told him to expect massive terrorist attacks on the United States in 2007, and lists the specific cities at risk.
  • Robertson declares that the separation of church and state is "insane."
  • Robertson states that Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke because he was "dividing God's land."
  • Robertson warned that President Bush was "asking for the wrath of God" for not adequately supporting Israel.
  • Robertson explains that various natural disasters and weather events are God's way of sending a message.

Explain to me again why incoming Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell invited Robertson to attend his inauguration. Or why Rep. Michele Bachmann, whom Robertson lauds as a "marvelous public servant," is appearing on his program.

It's DHS Deja Vu All Over Again

Last year, I wrote a whole series of posts about the utterly manufactured "controversy" over a Department of Homeland Security report which right-wing activists claimed labeled conservatives as "domestic terrorists."

Needless to say, the report did nothing of the sort, but no matter how many times we or others pointed out this lie, the Religious Right would not stop repeating it. 

That issue finally faded away, but now it looks like were going to have to relive it in a slightly different form, thanks to this new manufactured "controversy":

President Barack Obama's nominee to head the agency charged with keeping American travelers safe from terrorism thinks pro-life advocates are terrorists. A new video shows Transportation Security Administration nominee Erroll Southers including pro-life advocates in a list of terrorist groups.

The new video from 2008 shows Southers responding to a documentary-style interview question about terrorist organizations.

The documentary asked Southers, "Which home-grown terrorist groups pose the greatest danger to the U.S."

Southers explained, "Most of the domestic groups that we pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They're anti-government, in most cases anti-abortion, they are usually survivalist type in nature, identity oriented."

"Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian identity oriented," he continues.

Here is the video in question, which has already been seized upon by right-wing activists:

And predictably, groups like the Family Research Council are all over it:

What's the story on the President's choice to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)? Well, if you've traveled through airport security, blogger Erick Erickson says that you've probably been screened more thoroughly than this pick. Among other things, Erroll Southers, the latest in the White House's parade of unqualified nominees, is on record saying that pro-lifers pose one of our nation's greatest security risks. In a video from 2008, Southers specifically targets "Christian identity" groups and anti-abortionists as a homegrown threat.

That's right. The man chosen to be first line of defense against another 9-11 is more worried about churchgoers than radical Islamic fundamentalists. Unfortunately, that makes him the perfect choice for Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano, who last year included pro-life and pro-marriage conservatives on the domestic "watch list." So far, Southers is just parroting what the President's official policy has been all along: marginalizing values voters who don't see the federal government as the solution to every problem.

Do these people really not realize that "Christian identity" is a specific term with a specific meaning?

Christian Identity is a religious ideology popular in extreme right-wing circles. Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the "Lost Tribes of Israel." Many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent, while non-whites are "mud peoples" created before Adam and Eve. Its virulent racist and anti-Semitic beliefs are usually accompanied by extreme anti-government sentiments. Despite its small size, Christian Identity influences virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements. It has also informed criminal behavior ranging from hate crimes to acts of terrorism.

The term "Christian identity" doesn't mean your average "churchgoer," it mean a movement consisting of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-government extremists.

But the Religious Right obviously doesn't care that and isn't about to let its fundamental misunderstanding get in the way of its efforts to generate controversy.

Pure Bigotry Driving Attacks On Amanda Simpson

After years of monitoring the Religious Right, I always assume that I have more or less become immune to being shocked by their displays of naked bigotry ... but then they always manage to surprise me. 

Take, for instance, the newest backlash against Amanda Simpson, a transgender appointee to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security where she will serve as a senior technical adviser monitoring the export of U.S. weapons technology.

Despite her thirty years of experience and degrees in physics, engineering, and business, all the Right can focus on is her gender, claiming that her appointment is part of some conspiracy to criminalize Christianity (and note also how they insist on referring to Simpson as "he"):

“He may very well be qualified for this position but it appears that he was not picked (merely) for his qualifications, he was picked because of his wardrobe,” [Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Liberty Counse] commented to CNA. “That is not diversity or tolerance. It's political correctness run amok” ... Barber continued to express his concern regarding the future ramifications of Simpson's appointment, arguing that it is part of a larger movement within the current administration.“With hate crimes legislation and ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) and other radical GLBT pieces of legislation that are being pushed by the Obama Administration,” Barber told CNA, those who disagree with the GLBT perspective “literally can and will face criminal or civil penalty.”

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth voiced similar concern on the Focus on the Family Action website on Jan. 4. “Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama Administration? How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby,” he said.

Barber added that in his opinion “there is no doubt” that Simpson's appointment “is an effort to normalize” transgender issues and “desensitize” American society.

And I know I should be shocked by anything I find in WorldNetDaily ... but I can help but shake my head in disbelief at articles like this, with its repeated use of the term "he" and inclusion of wholly irrelevant details:

Mitchell Simpson, now known as "Amanda" following a sex change, is said to have been appointed senior technical adviser at the Commerce Department. He purportedly began work today.

...

Simpson, 49, is a former test pilot who made the gender switch 10 years ago while working in Tucson, Ariz., for Raytheon Missile Systems, a major Department of Defense contractor where he became deputy director. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Simpson underwent six surgeries at a cost of $70,000 to make the transition from male to female. He had his Adam's apple removed, breasts added, forehead ground down and genital surgery.

...

Simpson told ABC News he's worried that people will assume he was hired because he is a transgender and not on his merits.

What does any of this have to do with Simpson's qualification for the job?  Nothing whatsoever. 

This is nothing more than a personal attack based entirely on Simpson's gender and a flagrant display of undisguised right-wing bigotry.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • In times of trouble, remind me not to turn to Brit Hume..
  • Rick Warren needed $900,000 in end-of-the-year donations and got $2.4 million instead.
  • The New York Times examines the role that three American anti-gay activists played in the creation of Uganda's death penalty for gays effort.
  • Apparently, Oklahoma Republicans are going to attempt to "opt-out" of federal hate crimes laws. Good luck with that.
  • The Washington Monthly explains how David Barton, Don McLeroy, and other Texas conservatives are rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
  • You know, if GOProud has a problem with WorldNetDaily's reporting, they ought to take it up with WND, not Good As You.
  • Finally, I never fail to be amazed at the sort of outrageous things conservatives can get away with saying.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

As we head into the last days of 2009, we are doing some end-of-the-year fundraising so we can keep going strong as we prepare to keep tracking, exposing, and fighting the Right in 2010. 

So, in honor of that effort, here is a look back at the ten most popular Right Wing Watch posts of 2009:

1. God Commands You To Kill Gays

2. Sally Kern's Proclamation for Morality

3. Terry Declares That Tiller "Reaped What He Sowed," Then Asks If Someone Will Buy Him Lunch

4. Rep. Trent Franks Declares President Obama an "Enemy of Humanity"

5. Putting "Christ" In Your Christmas Tree. Literally.

6. Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday

7. Robertson: Will Hate Crimes Protect Someone Who "Likes to Have Sex With Ducks"?

8. Wiley Drake Prays For Obama's Death

9. The Religious Right's New Demand: Stop Calling Us the Religious Right

10. Halloween is Satan's Holy Day and Candy Is How Demons Steal Your Soul!

It is your support that makes it possible for us to do this work and help turn stories such as these into national news. Please considering making a donation today, so that we can go into 2010 prepared for the battles that lay ahead.

Bauer Suddenly Concerned About Hate Crimes

Gary Bauer writes that Jews are under attack here in America and seems to think that the best way to stem anti-Semitism is for more people to become Christians:

It is true that the citizens of the U.S. are more pious than those of many European countries, where the decline of faith has been much reported. Still, in the U.S., legal attacks on Christmas have become as much of the tradition as the holiday itself, and church attendance among American youths has reached all time lows. Those are only a few of the signs of declining faith ... America’s secular momentum coincides with an increase in persecution of American Jews. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released 2008 hate crimes statistics showing that 65.7 percent of religion-motivated hate crimes were anti-Jewish. There were 1,013 cases of hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism last year, the most since 2001.

...

Theologically, Christians believe God came into this world through the Jewish people and that the Jewish faith is the foundation of all that was to come. That God has directed Christians to love His people is a great counter weight to increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S ... Christians and Jews have also reached an important time in their relationships with one another. In an increasingly hostile world, Christians and Jews must stand together to defend against attacks on Judeo-Christian values. It is a friendship as old as Abraham, as new as a baby in a manger.

And since when did members of the Religious Right start caring about hate crimes?  I thought all crimes were hate crimes and it didn't matter what the race or religion or sexual orientation was of the victim.

Apparently Bauer only believes that hate crimes laws "are neither necessary nor constitutionally authorized" when it comes to sexual orientation.

Religious Right Threatens CPAC Boycott Over Gay Group's Sponsorship

Earlier this year, GOProud, a new gay conservative group, appeared on the scene intent on finding ways to sell the conservative agenda to gays. 

Their approach has been to eschew the "traditional" gay issues like hate crimes protections or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in favor arguing that healthcare reform would be bad for gays, that "the inheritance tax is really a gay tax," or claiming that the best way to stop hate crimes is to expand gun ownership.

But GOProud does also support things like marriage equality and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... and for that reason the Religious Right's professional anti-gay activists at Americans for Truth and the Liberty Counsel are now threatening to boycott the annual CPAC conference if GOProud is allowed to serve as an official co-sponsor:

Folks, for years religious conservatives have been complaining about getting the shaft from CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. There is usually only a token panel or two dealing with “Culture War” social issues like abortion and homosexuality (and rarely one explicitly on fighting the “gay” agenda) – as organizers seek to appease the CPAC libertarians, some of whom support goals like homosexual “marriage” that are anathema to socially conservatives.

Now CPAC’s tenuous ”Big Tent” could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference (scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2010) unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor. Barber, my good friend, an AFTAH Board Member, and the Director of Cultural Affairs at Liberty Counsel, is leading the charge to keep the CPAC sponsorship list … conservative.

...

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of “conservatism” that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage. Where does the expansion of “conservatism” stop? Would CPAC welcome “Republicans for Abortion” as a co-sponsor? How about “Conservatives For Higher Taxes”? We doubt it. So let’s stop the double-standard on one issue — homosexuality — that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age.

The American Family Association is also voicing its opposition:

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association and host of the radio program Focal Point with Bryan Fischer. He says CPAC chairman David Keene and CPAC organizers have a serious problem on their hands.

"The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically. "There are any number of co-sponsoring organizations that I believe are going to have a real problem with the fact that they are giving such a prominent place to an organization which is such an active proponent of gay rights."

"And it's GOProud, they're identifying themselves with the Republican Party...and yet their legislative agenda is directly contrary to the platform of the Republican Party."

As I wrote last year, though there is significant overlap, those who attend the CPAC conference have distinctly different priorities from those who attend the strictly Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit.

It'll be interesting to see how CPAC organizers managed to handle this controversy.  I'm guessing that GOProud will eventually "voluntarily" withdraw their sponsorship.

Sarah Palin Is The "New Negro"

A few weeks ago in his column for WorldNetDaily, Ken Hutcherson penned this line:

I think Christians are the new Negro – but that's an issue for a follow-up column.

Well, that follow-up column is here:

Many reading this may not understand where I came up with this concept of calling Christians "the new Negro."

The reason is because there are undeniable similarities. Jim Crow laws were passed to keep me from having my constitutional rights and my rights under the Declaration of Independence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even though the Constitution gave me those freedoms, man was smart enough to be able to keep me from living those freedoms by saying I was "separate but equal."

Today, my constitutional right of freedom of religion is being eroded again by laws such as the Hate Crimes Bill and repeated attacks by the politically correct crowd. Threats that came along as a result of an African American wanting to get out from under Jim Crow laws were formidable and scary and designed to keep African Americans quiet. The same thing is happening to Christians today.

...

Sarah Palin is another example.

The politically correct crowd has a very difficult time dealing with Sarah because of who she is. Mrs. Palin is a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-traditional marriage, pro-hunting, white, conservative, Christian male who happened to have been born a woman! The politically correct crowd knows exactly what to do with a white male with those attributes, but a woman?

She is the perfect picture of the politically correct woman – strong, beautiful, able to both buy and fry the bacon, take care of the family, run an entire state and still take care of her baby. But because of who she is, and because she does not subscribe to politically correct thinking, she has been attacked for no other reason than her Judeo-Christian values, just as African Americans were attacked for no other reason than their skin color.

...

The only difference between Christians and African Americans is that Christians put up with this intolerance while standing behind the false disguise of humility and love. We are obsessed with showing the world our love when our primary job is to tell them the truth. The Bible does not say, "Sensitivity shall set you free." It says, "The truth shall set you free." Are we not the truth-tellers?

When are we as believers, like the African Americans that came before us, going to say, enough is enough? No more "separate but equal!" Our battle cry is "We are the salt of the earth, onward Christian soldiers and to God be the glory! For in unity we will stand and we will not be stopped!

Another Right Wing Hate Crimes Horror Story Goes Down

During the debate about expanding hate crimes legislation to cover sexual orientation, one of the standard scare tactics employed by the Religious Right was to point to pastors in other nations who had been arrested for speaking out about homosexuality and warning that, if this legislation passed, the same thing would start happening here.

One of the incidents they regularly pointed to involved Canadian pastor Stephen Boissoin ... in fact, Sen. Jim DeMint explicitly mentioned Boissoin in his speech on the Senate floor opposing the legislation:

Today in the United States, only actions are crimes. If we pass this conference report, opinions will become crimes. What is to stop us from following the lead of European countries and American college campuses, where certain speech is criminalized?

Can priests, pastors, and rabbis be sure their preaching will not be prosecuted if they say certain things are right and wrong? Again, in Canada, for instance, Pastor Stephen Boissoin was so prosecuted by Alberta’s Human Rights Commission for publishing letters critical of homosexuality.

Or will this provision serve as a warning to people not to speak out too loudly about their religious views, lest federal agents come knocking on their doors?

What about the unintended consequences, such as a pedophiles and sex-offenders claiming protected status under this provision as being “disabled”?

There is no such thing as a criminal thought, only criminal acts. Once we endorse the concept of thought-crime, where will we draw the line? And more importantly, who will draw that line?

...

I urge my colleagues to consider the implications of what we’re doing, just the raw cynicism of attaching this type of controversial legislation to the bill that funds the defense of our country. What type of legislative extortion will they consider of next? I have a choice to vote for hate crimes legislation that I feel would undermine the very justice system in our country or against the defense of my country. I don’t think we could be more cynical.
 

Well, guess what happened yesterday?

A Court of Queen's Bench judge has ruled an anti-gay letter written by a former Alberta pastor in 2002 was not a hate crime and is allowed under freedom of speech.

Justice E.C. Wilson overturned a 2008 ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission that the letter by Stephen Boissoin that was published in the Red Deer Advocate broke provincial law.

At the time, the commission said it may even have played a role in the beating of a gay teenager two weeks after it was published.

The commission had ordered Boissoin to refrain from making disparaging remarks about homosexuals and to pay the complainant, former Red Deer high school teacher Darren Lund, $5,000 in damages.

Neither order can now be enforced, as Wilson declared them "unlawful or unconstitutional."

The letter carried the headline "Homosexual agenda wicked" and suggested gays were as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps.

Boissoin had argued he was simply commenting on government policy by criticizing homosexuality being portrayed positively in the public school curriculum.

On Thursday, Boissoin said he was thrilled with the judge's ruling, calling it a victory for "freedom of speech and religious expression in Canada."

Of course, this won't stop the Religious Right from continuing to cite this case as proof of their claims, just as they continue to cite the case involving two grandmothers arrested a few years back in Philadeplhia, as we explained in our Right Wing Watch In Focus on the issue:

One story Religious Right leaders like to tell revolves around the arrest of some Repent America protestors at a Philadelphia gay pride rally. This incident has become the stuff of mythology on the right, in part due to ads produced by Repent America in 2007 featuring a couple of grandmothers who were supposedly arrested for sharing the Gospel. The way they tell it, it’s understandable that it would concern people. So it’s worth finding out what really happened.

The kernel of truth under the pile of propaganda is that a group of Repent America activists were in fact arrested while protesting Philadelphia’s OutFest, and a local prosecutor did charge them with violations of several laws, including the state’s hate crimes law. But none of those charges were for “sharing the gospel.” Repent America – and the religious and political leaders who tell the same story – don’t mention that the police in fact were careful to protect their right to protest. The court found that among other things the protesters “blocked access to vendors, and disobeyed direct orders from the police, who were trying to preserve order and keep the peace.”

The First Amendment allows equality advocates to rally, and allows those with a different point of view to protest. But it doesn’t mean that the protesters have the right to disrupt the rally or drown out its speakers. It is universally recognized that public safety officials can place reasonable “time, place, or manner” restrictions on people exercising their First Amendment rights in order to preserve public order and prevent one group from trampling another’s rights. The court, which noted that Repent America did not get a permit for its protest, found that the police applied the law reasonably when the bullhorn-wielding Repent America protesters refused a request to move to another location and instead sat down in the street.

It’s also important to note that the court ruled that the prosecutor’s decision to file charges under the hate crimes law was a misapplication of the law – and charges against the protesters were dismissed. The court affirmed that the hate crimes law did not apply to the protesters’ speech or even to their disruptive behavior and refusal to obey police requests. That’s not exactly the impression you’ll get from listening to Religious Right leaders. It’s also important to note that federal courts rejected Repent America’s claims that the city and Outfest organizers had violated their First Amendment rights.

Putting WND's "Pink Slip" Effort Into Perspective

For the last several week, Janet Porter and Joseph Farah have been urging activists to spend $30 to send members of Congress a "pink slip" warning them that if they vote to support "government health care, cap and trade, 'hate crimes,' or any more spending" they'll be voted out of office in their next election.

They've recently been highlighting their "success" in all sorts of ways ... some more realistic than others:

If you stacked the 7.8 million pink slips Congress has received warning members away from support of the health-care bill, big spending, hate-crimes legislation and energy taxes, the pile would tower over the tallest buildings in the world.

Laying them end to end would result in a trail that would stretch across two-thirds of the United States from East to West.

And there's no sign the "Send Congress a Pink Slip" campaign is tailing off after two months.

In fact, says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, who organized the campaign with WND columnist Janet Porter, it seems to be picking up since a half-dozen members of Congress held a press conference last week to announce their support of the effort – an event that was covered widely by television and print reporters.

Farah said over the weekend the total of pink slips sent to Congress has reached 7.8 million.

Now, 7.8 million pink slips sounds like a lot, but remember that one order through WND sends 535 individual pink slips to Congress.

As such, the 7.8 million individual pink slips represent less than 15,000 individual people.

15,000 people is not insignificant ... but it certainly isn't enough to toss too many members out of Congress for ignoring the campaign's demands.

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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/20/2011, 3:14pm
So far this week, Bryan Fischer has called gay activists Nazis, likened them to Spanish Inquisition and Torquemada, and said they will forcibly brainwash anyone who does not "support sexual deviancy." So how could he possibly top that?  By seizing on the fact that Peter Vidmar stepped down from his position with the 2012 U.S. Olympic team over his support for Proposition 8 to announce that it is now his goal in life to prove that "the number one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists": I am convinced that the number one group,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/18/2011, 11:09am
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has traditionally dedicated most of his energies toward attacking the standard Religious Right tagets: gays, hate crimes legislation, society, and President Obama. But now Cass has taken up a new issue: Glenn Beck and his Mormon faith. As we noted last week, there are some Religious Right activists who are growing alarmed that Beck seems to be passing himself off as a Christian in an effort to promote distinctly Mormon doctrines ... and now Cass has joined in with them, releasing a video claiming Beck's work is a "... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 7:04pm
PFAW: PFAW Condemns Abortion Provider Murder Bill.   Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges.   Kate Conway & Julia Krieger @ Equality Matters: Rep. Steve King Proudly Recalls Confronting "Screaming, Profane Gays."   Todd A. Heywood @ Michigan Messenger: Anti-gay activists appeal ruling on hate crimes law.   Alan Colmes: Kansas State Rep. Knows An Illegal Immigrant Because “She Had The Olive Complexion.”   Jason Hancock @ Iowa... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 7:04pm
PFAW: PFAW Condemns Abortion Provider Murder Bill.   Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges.   Kate Conway & Julia Krieger @ Equality Matters: Rep. Steve King Proudly Recalls Confronting "Screaming, Profane Gays."   Todd A. Heywood @ Michigan Messenger: Anti-gay activists appeal ruling on hate crimes law.   Alan Colmes: Kansas State Rep. Knows An Illegal Immigrant Because “She Had The Olive Complexion.”   Jason Hancock @ Iowa... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 4:14pm
With CPAC kicking off tomorrow, Metro Weekly profiles GOProud, the gay conservative group that has set off a culture war within the conservative movement and whose participation in the conference led to a boycott by several Religious Right organizations.  And while we don't agree with most of GOProud's agenda and believe their sense of smug self-satisfaction is annoying and entirely undeserved, we do whole-heartedly support their effort to drive a deep wedge into the conservative movement in order to marginalize the "nasty, anti-gay bigots" who make up the Religious Right... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 4:14pm
With CPAC kicking off tomorrow, Metro Weekly profiles GOProud, the gay conservative group that has set off a culture war within the conservative movement and whose participation in the conference led to a boycott by several Religious Right organizations.  And while we don't agree with most of GOProud's agenda and believe their sense of smug self-satisfaction is annoying and entirely undeserved, we do whole-heartedly support their effort to drive a deep wedge into the conservative movement in order to marginalize the "nasty, anti-gay bigots" who make up the Religious Right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 1:08pm
CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC. The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also... MORE