Hate Crimes

The Manhattan Martyrdom Declaration: Dobson Vows To Leave America

Last week, nearly 150 Religious Right leaders and activists signed on to the Manhattan Declaration, vowing to join together in an effort to stop America's descent into a totalitarianism, and not surprisingly signers are comparing themselves to Martin Luther and those who resisted the Nazi's

[Richard] Land said, "It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the process that produced the document. It is a sterling and forthright declaration of first principles. To paraphrase Martin Luther: Here we stand; we can do no other."

...

[David] Dockery said, "Not unlike the 1934 Barmen Declaration [the statement of the confessing church in Nazi Germany], the Manhattan Declaration is a clarion call for Christians of every tradition to stand together in biblical faithfulness for foundational matters of society and culture like commitments to life, marriage and family.... I pray that God will use this declaration among leaders and laity in churches, the academy and parachurch organizations to join hands together for the sake of the kingdom of God."

On today's radio program, James Dobson hosted Chuck Colson and Robert George to discuss the manifesto during which Dobson explained that if their values are "not preserved at this moment of destiny, this nation and most others in the Western world will fold and freedom itself will go down with it." Saying we are facing a "defining moment in America and the Christian Church," Dobson declared that the statement "deserves our most careful attention, I just want to emphasize that in every way that I can," before asking George just what precipitated this document, to which George explained that it was basically the election of Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in Congress who are out to destroy traditional marriage and basic Christian values. Finally, Dobson stated that with the passage of hate crimes legislation, "it could get very costly to follow this Christ," meaning that pastors and Christians are about the come under direct attack from the government, to which George responded that Christian "martyrs have [always] been called on to pay the ultimate price rather than to deny the Lord or to do what is evil in his sight": 

Eventually, Dobson turned to the supposed "monthly abortion premium" that Rep. John Boehner has been claiming is included in health care reform legislation, which Dobson vowed he would never accept, saying he and his wife Shirley would pay ruinous fines, go to prison, or even "leave this beloved country and spend the rest of our lives in exile": 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I, for one, can't wait for Ken Hutcherson's follow-up column: "I think Christians are the new Negro – but that's an issue for a follow-up column."
  • CafePress has decided to remove all Psalms 109:8 designs for its website.
  • The full text of Rick Scarborough's remarks at the anti-hate crimes legislation rally has been posted on his website.
  • You want a fight? Bill Donohue will give you a fight
  • Finally, this, amazingly, is not a joke:

ENDA: Same Strategy, Different Target

Have you missed the steady stream of lies about how some proposed piece of legislation will criminalize Christianity and give gays "special rights" now that hate crimes protections have been signed into a law?

Well, then you are in luck because, judging by this Family Research Council fund-raising email, it looks like the Religious Right is dusting off those same claims and re-tooling them for its fight against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, even deploying the same tactic of renaming the legislation to better suit their fear-mongering agenda: 

A grave threat to your traditional values and religious freedom is resurfacing.

Deceptively, it's called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Truthfully, it should be called the "Discrimination Against Christians in the Workplace Act."

I know that sounds far-fetched, but this is what ENDA will do . . .

ENDA will redefine your faith as illegal workplace bigotry . . . make the government a full partner in the homosexual rights movement . . . and force churches, small businesses run by Christians, and faith-based charities to hire nonbelievers or face federal investigation.

This law would punish anyone in the workplace who dares oppose homosexual behavior, cross-dressing and other unhealthy behaviors. The liberals intentionally want to define "discrimination" very vaguely so that their allies in the courts and federal and state agencies will have broad latitude to silence traditional moral viewpoints about sexuality.

Pro-homosexual members of Congress--with the administration's complete support--would like to pass ENDA before it becomes an issue in the 2010 elections.

And that's why we must act immediately.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Campaign Against Feldblum Goes Into Overdrive

Tomorrow, there will be a hearing on Chai Feldblum's nomination to serve as Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, as such, the Religious Right is gearing up for “Armageddon.”

The American Principles in Action, an arm of the American Principles Project, founded by National Organization for Marriage Chairman Robert P. George, has issued a call to action:

Feldblum intends to use her position of influence as EEOC commissioner to force private institutions to follow her radical vision of society, through the enforcement of aggressive and intrusive employment non-discrimination laws.

She is a master at using the language of moral imperatives to further her agenda.

Feldblum is a lesbian activist who supports government recognition of gay marriage as a way to convey approval of gay relationships and homosexuality in general. She has also argued for the equality of "polyamorous" relationships and almost any conceivable sexual relationship to traditional marriage--a position squarely out of line with American tradition, principles, and the mainstream of public opinion.

Far from believing that government should not be involved in private relationships, she is a champion of government interference in moral and religious traditions where they intersect with her personal crusade ... In other words, Feldblum believes that every organization must ascribe to her vision of society or else face penalties from the EEOC.

Worse than this, the potential damage from Feldblum's nomination is not limited to her use of the EEOC as a weapon against traditional marriage and private institutions. It is even possible to imagine Chai Feldblum as a future nominee for the United States Supreme Court, should she be successfully appointed as EEOC commissioner.

That means it is urgent to defeat her Senate confirmation now, while Americans still have a say. Send a message to your Senator (and the Committee hearing her nomination) today and let them know that Feldblum should not be confirmed.

The idea that Feldblum must be stopped now in order to keep her off the Supreme Court seems to be an emerging right-wing talking point, as it was also made by the Traditional Values Coalition:

Feldblum would impose the LGBT agenda on all of our nation’s public and private schools – and our children would be forced to affirm gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals as both teachers and as students.

Feldblum also rejects the concept of traditional marriage in favor of polyamory – where three or more men and women engaged in sex acts is considered a “marriage.” Traditional marriage will become meaningless if Feldblum achieves her goals.

Feldblum’s position on the EEOC is a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she could end up with a lifetime appointment to push the LGBT agenda on all Americans.

The Family Research Council has also gotten involved, releasing a heavily edited video of Feldblum speaking at an FRC event, full of ominous quotes seeking to portray her as radical ... but apparently not so radical that FRC refused to invite her to participate in the event or for Tony Perkins to deliver a gracious introduction.

According to FRC, this is all part of a nefarious plan by gays to destroy religious liberty:

Their plan is clear and logical. Play the victim and pass hate crimes giving sanctioned and special protected status to those who engage in homosexual behavior ... [T]hey will continue the victim routine and take this special status into the private workforce and use the weight of the EEOC to force acceptance of not only homosexuality, but cross dressing and other forms of sexual deviancy through the passage of the so-called employment non-discrimination act. What is interesting is there is no evidence that suggests what is called the GLBTQ community is economically disadvantaged, in fact, they enjoy a higher standard of living than heterosexuals. Once private businesses are forced to hire cross dressers and homosexuals the next target is the military. If private employers can’t discriminate then neither should our nation’s military. And once our nation’s military falls – the defense of marriage Act will be utterly defenseless, leaving rouge judges and liberal legislators to impose their radical views on the entire nation.

Don’t doubt for a minute that they have a plan and they are working their plan.

Highlights From the Anti-Hate Crimes Legislation Rally

We've compiled the "highlights" of the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally held earlier this week:

Pay particular attention to the segment featuring Gracy Harley, who claims that she used to be a lesbian but that God made her straight and cites Luke 13:13:

And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

There is a reason she cites the King James Version, and that is because in other translations, the passage says "straightened up," which make sense considering that story is about Jesus healing a woman who was "crippled," not gay

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues

11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.

12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."

13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

After all the Bluster, Religious Right 'Rally' on Hate Crimes a Bust

For weeks, the most anti-gay fringe of the Religious Right has been building up Monday's "rally” in front of the U.S. Department of Justice as an in-your-face challenge to the hate crimes law and the Obama administration.  Organizers like Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission promised some fire and brimstone in order to see whether the DOJ would have the cojones to arrest them: 

"We're basically going to defy the law, and challenge it," Cass told WND. "We're going to declare the whole counsel of God, including those parts that some may consider 'inciting a hate crime' to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights."
 
The parade of players on the far anti-gay fringes of the Religious Right grew seemingly by the day. Among those whose participation suggested some fireworks were Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika and supporter of anti-gay repression in Uganda; Rick Scarborough, a self-described “Christocrat” who railed against “Sodomites” at the recent How to Take Back America conference, and Gordon Klingenschmitt, who had responded to the signing of the hate crimes law by quoting Bible verses that call homosexuals worthy of death. Before the event started, Klingenschmitt saw my People For the American Way pin and said he wanted to make sure I had a copy of his statement. It included these verses:
 
Romans 1:32 – “Men with men working that which is unseemly…who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.”
 
Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a  woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
 
But Klingenschmitt didn’t utter any of these verses. Neither did anyone else.   Maybe someone  decided that footage of Religious Right leaders reading scripture calling for death for gays was not, perhaps, a great public relations move. Or perhaps the presence of a dozen or more college-age counter protestors holding up signs saying “My love is legit” threw them off message.
 
Indeed, a number of speakers seemed to be tailoring their remarks to the counterprotestors, welcoming them to the event, inviting them to pray and repent along with the speakers.   Speaker after speaker insisted that they were motivated only by love for gay people and their desire to protect their right to offer homosexuals hope and God’s word.
 
Sure, we heard many of the Religious Right’s standard lies about the hate crimes bill being an effort to silence Christians, and, of course, Janet Porter waving her book about “the criminalization of Christianity.” We heard the inflammatory and inaccurate characterization of the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act.” We heard from a Philadelphia grandmother with Repent America who in the Right’s inaccurate retelling, was arrested only for sharing the gospel with attendees at a gay pride event. We heard essentially irrelevant examples of anti-gay preachers being suppressed in other countries which don’t have the First Amendment protections Americans enjoy.  And we heard some preaching that God and the Bible say homosexuality is wrong. In other words, we heard standard and typically false Religious Right talking points about the hate crimes law, and a bit of standard anti-gay theology that is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment.
 
But there was nothing that anyone could remotely consider incitement to a hate crime, and nothing that even these speakers could say with a straight face had any chance of getting them arrested. Even Matt Barber, who typically does not shy away from disparaging comments about gay people and their supporters, gave a relatively dry recitation of the Liberty Counsel’s assertions that the law is unconstitutional.
 
So, what happened?  Did these culture warriors essentially chicken out? Did they feel outnumbered? In spite of the event being billed as a “rally,” the number of speakers gathered behind the microphone seemed to outnumber the number of people attending in support of their message. The “love is legit” folks had the most visible presence. Maybe the organizers just figured out that a “we love the homosexuals” message would play better than “God wants them dead.” 

We'll have some video posted soon.

Scarborough: Anti-Gay Activists Are Just Like MLK

As something of a follow-up to my last post, Rick Scarborough just issued yet another press release about the upcoming press conference challenging hate crimes legislation in which he compared those participating in the event to Martin Luther King:

On October 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure extending the federal hate crimes statute to include so-called sexual orientation. The ministers believe this will criminalize all criticism of homosexual behavior, including that contained in the Bible.

To test this belief and protest a clear violation of First Amendment freedom of speech and religion, various clergy will preach short sermons and read passages from the Bible regarding homosexual behavior. Like Dr. Martin Luther King and the Sixties Civil Rights movement, they will engage in civil disobedience to protest injustice.

On a semi-related note, here's another short clip of Scarborough on Janet Porter's radio program saying what while President Obama was "so careful in choosing his words and calling for caution" after the shooting at Fort Hood, "he threw all that to the wind when George Tiller was shot in his church ... There was no hesitancy in this particular presidency to immediately assume that there were conspirators ... There was a quick jump to judgment in that issue":

For the record, here is President Obama's statement on the murder of Tiller:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

Right Wing Anti-Hate Crimes Protest Picks Up More Support

It looks like the fringe right-wing press conference to challenge hate crimes legislation keeps picking up more support, as Rick Scarborough went on Janet Porter's radio program yesterday to discuss it and Porter pledged to join them in standing outside of the Department of Justice as they seek to get arrested for preaching the Bible. 

According to the program, Porter, Scarborough and the others will also be joined by Matt Barber and Gordon Klingenschmitt (as well as Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.)

In the audio clip below, Scarborough explains that he was the one who initiated this plan to challenge the recent expansion of hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation was , saying they seek to "force the hand of the Department of Justice" by defying this law, which is "designed to silence preachers from preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality." As such they are going to challenge the DOJ to arrest them, though Scarborough admits that he doesn't expect to be arrested on Monday ... instead, he expects to be arrested "in the dead of night," hauled away when nobody is around to see.

Scarborough explains that the effort is urgent because they need to challenge this law in the courts and get the case before the Supreme Court which, Scarborough says, has a majority that will side with them ... but they can't do that unless they get arrested first:

Right Wing Leftovers

Which Leviticus Should We Expect to Hear?

Religious Right participants in the upcoming hate crimes legislation protest sure intent on generating some press for themselves, as in the last few hours both Gary Cass and Paul Blair have issued press releases about it. 

And this is raising an interesting question about just how they intend to go about challenging this legislation, because they seem to think that they are going to be challenging the law by simply preaching from the Bible:

Pastor Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, said, "Pastors have preached the Bible in America for over 400 years, pointing people to Jesus Christ and standing against sin. If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested. If not, may every pastor across America know that he can stand strong and proclaim Biblical Truth without fear of persecution or prosecution."

Of course, merely preaching that homosexuality is a sin is not going to be a violation of the hate crimes law, which even Cass seems to realize:

While the ministers do not expect to be arrested, they are willing to go to jail, if necessary, to stand for freedom of speech and religion.

The question really comes down to just how they intend to preach against homosexuality. Do they intend to preach Leviticus 18:22?

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Or do they intend to preach Leviticus 20:13?

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Judging by this quote from Cass by OneNewNow, it's difficult to know:

"We're going to exercise our First Amendment rights to preach [the entire] Bible, including those parts that deal with homosexuality and the truth of the sin of homosexuality," explains Dr. Cass. He further says this is being done as a way to clarify "....that this does not constitute a hate crime."

The legislation explicitly protects religious freedom and freedom of speech, but "does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence." So if they intend to preach that homosexuality is sinful, that is not much of a challenge, as that sort of speech is clearly protected. 

But since they obviously intend for this protest to be a direct challenge to hate crimes protections, that really only leaves them one option: demanding death for gays.

If that is the case, they ought to see if Steven L. Anderson is available to join them.

Participants at Right Wing Hate Crimes Rally Unveiled

As we noted last week, various Religious Right groups will be holding an event next Monday designed to challenge the expansion of hate crimes laws to include protections for sexual orientation.   At the moment, it is unknown just how they intend to go about challenging this, though openly calling for violence against gays seems to be pretty much their only option.

Now organizers have unveiled a website:

The intention of the rally the group is to assert the freedom of speech of ministers and Christians in general to declare biblical truth in the public square. The Rally will also expose the unconstitutional nature of the hate law.

Ministers from various denominations will preach from the Bible, especially those parts that speak to the sin of homosexuality. This will serve to reassure ministers and Christians that they are free to do the same.

According to the website, participants are set to include the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Liberty Counsel, Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, S.T.A.N.D., Vision America, and Jim Garlow.

The militantly anti-gay views of CADC and Vision America are already relatively well-known to readers of this blog, as is Mat Staver and his Liberty Counsel.  But S.T.A.N.D is a relatively new organization and Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ is a recent resurrection of the defunct Center for Reclaiming America for Christ effort founded by the late D. James Kennedy, while Garlow was a leader in the right-wing campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California.

Gossip Boy has a good run down of all the participating organizations and individuals, and we are going to keep tracking these developments to try and get a sense of just what they intend to do in order to "challenge" this legislation and what, if any, "specific legal challenges" they intend to bring.

Scarborough Exploits Fort Hood Tragedy To Attack Hate Crimes Protections

Earlier this week we noted that Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission was planning a rally to challenge the recently enacted hate crimes law expanding protections for sexual orientation.

It looks like Rick Scarborough of Vision America will be joining him and has decided to announce his participation via an incoherent press release linking the issue the shooting at Fort Hood:

Referring to the man being held in connection with the deaths of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas yesterday, Scarborough observed: "We know that Dr. Hasan is a devout Muslim who once told a fellow officer that 'Muslims have a right to stand up against the U.S. military.' Clearly, yesterday's rampage was not motivated by love. Given Hasan's worldview, it's probable that he was motivated in part by an animus toward Christians and Jews. Assuming that murder charges are brought against him, will Hasan also be charged with a hate crime?"

Scarborough said this highlights the absurdity of hate crimes laws. "If convicted, Hasan could face life in prison or the death penalty. Fanatics are not deterred by the prospect of an additional penalty for hating."

Scarborough predicted that the expansion of the federal Hate-Crimes statute, signed into law by President Obama recently, will not prevent crimes like the Fort Hood shootings, but will instead be used to silence dissent.

"Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality. Muslim groups will use it against those who speak the verifiable truth about Islam. The federal Hate Crimes Law doesn't target crime, but free speech," Scarborough charged.

Scarborough said Hasan's case also illustrates an entrenched double standard, noting that the Army psychiatrist had received poor fitness reports for proselytizing his patients for Islam. "If a Christian doctor witnessed for Jesus to his patients, I can guarantee he would have been discharged from the United States Army in a New York minute," Scarborough stated.

Rev. Scarborough will lead a demonstration of pastors and other clergy in Washington, D.C., on November 16, where they will preach the Gospel and hold a press conference enumerating their objections to the recently passed Federal Hate Crimes Law. Will the U.S. Attorney General prosecute them for violating the expanded Hate Crimes law?

Will Cass Call For Violence to Protest Hate Crimes Protections?

Last week, when President Obama signed the legislation expanding hate crimes protections, various fringe activists vowed to challenge it by engaging in some pointless grandstanding.  And, by gum, that is exactly what they are going to do:

A rally is being planned in Washington to raise the alarm over the nation's new "hate crimes" law and to force Attorney General Eric Holder to confront the unconstitutionality of the measure's "thought" penalties, according to a Christian leader working on the event.

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission told WND there are a series of approaches being considered to challenge the restrictions on expression of religion and speech contained in the law signed last week by President Obama.

At the rally, set for 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, ministers will preach from the Bible on the prohibition against homosexuality, then will present a letter to Holder demanding that the religious liberty of all Americans be respected.

Specific legal challenges to the restrictions of the "hate crimes" plan also may be announced then, Cass said.

The "Rally for Religious Freedom" in front of the Department of Justice in Washington is intended to force Holder either to address the issues or be put in a position of ignoring those who say they are violating the provisions of the federal law, Cass said.

"We're basically going to defy the law, and challenge it," Cass told WND. "We're going to declare the whole counsel of God, including those parts that some may consider 'inciting a hate crime' to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights."

Of course, as we pointed out last time, the legislation contained explicit free speech and religious liberty protections, so they run no risk of prosecution and they know it.  Unless, that is, they intend to "plan or prepare for an act of physical violence" or "incite an imminent act of physical violence against another."

So is that was Cass and company are planning to do?  "Defy" the hate crimes law by calling for acts of physical violence against gays? 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • CNS News: The U.S. Catholic bishops have told the pastors of all the Catholic churches in America to insert a flyer in their church bulletin and read a statement at every Mass, informing their congregations that the health care bills now before Congress allow abortion-funding and must be opposed unless amended to specifically prohibit such funding
  • You know, for a guy who just moved to Washington, DC a few months ago simply so that he could lead the fight against marriage equality, Harry Jackson sure does use the word "we" alot when talking about the District.
  • Ray Comfort and Eugenie Scott are debating evolution over at God and Country.
  • Needless to day, Rick Scarborough is not happy about hate crimes legislation.
  • The Right is going all-in in NY-23.
  • The Christian Defense Coalition continues with its I Am 71 protests.
  • Finally, why can't the Right just enjoy Halloween like everyone else?

Everything You Need To Know About The Right's Ignorance About Hate Crimes Laws

This video and post by David Neiwert of Pat Robertson blasting the inclusion of protections for "sexual orientation" in federal hate crimes legislation tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Religious Right's fundamental ignorance about the issue:

Then, of course, there's the Religious Right, which is holding its collective breath and pouting over the event. Case in point: Pat Robertson at The 700 Club, ripping into the new law both yesterday and today on his show.

His basis for opposing the law, however, is completely detached from reality. For instance, Robertson argues:

Robertson: You know, there’s a law – what about a law that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs? Not a chance!

Robertson seems completely unaware that in fact religious bias is one of the categories of bias crime covered by hate-crime laws -- and it has been from the very start, since these laws were first enacted on the state level in the early 1980s!

I had made this point time and time and time and time and time again and just assumed that the Religious Right leaders and activists were simply lying about this basic point ... but apparently they are genuinely ignorant of the fact that there already is a law "that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs." 

And yet people still continue to take the Right's claims seriously.  Amazing.

Randall Terry's Priorities

Randall Terry is up to his old tricks, carrying out absurd protests in an effort to generate media attention for himself - and it's working:

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is calling on people to burn effigies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this Halloween, as part of a "Burn in Hell" video contest to protest the health care legislation in Congress.

Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, said Tuesday that the contest serves as a political and spiritual statement that "gives people a chance to peacefully vent their rage."

"If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid force us to pay for child killing and they die unrepentant, they will burn in hell for this," Terry said in a telephone interview.

OneNewsNow also interviewed Terry and asked him if he was concerned that his contest "could be seen as a promotion of violence against elected leaders or pro abortionists" ... and Terry doesn't appear concerned about it one bit:

"I don't want to be a wussy on the sidelines saying, 'Oh, we're just here to educate people and we want to all get along and we want to all respect each other's [opinions],'" he replies. The activist describes that approach using a derogatory phrase, and further concludes saying, "I don't respect the opinions of child killers. It's a damnable, disgusting act of murder."

...

With the recent murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller and the pending passage of hate crimes legislation, OneNewsNow asked Terry if there was a less controversial way to get the point across -- a way that would not be construed as promoting physical violence. "I'm way more concerned about the pro-lifer who was assassinated outside of a school in Michigan -- Jim Pouillon," was his reply to the suggestion.

Tiller was murdered in church by an anti-choice fanatic who has since become a hero to radical anti-abortion activists, while Pouillon was killed back in September by a man who went on a killing spree and was initially determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and now plans an insanity defense in his upcoming murder trial.

But Terry is "way more concerned" about random acts of violence that happen to anti-choice activists than he is about the targeted assassination of reproductive health providers or Democratic members of Congress.

Hate Crimes: Get Ready For Pointless Grandstanding

President Obama hasn't even signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act yet, but right-wing activists are already "challenging" it ... or at least their warped version of it.

Here is the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission vowing to defy the legislation:

"The fact the hate bill had to be passed in such an unscrupulous and cynical manner (attaching it to the Defense Authorization Act) reveals the depth of President Obama's commitment to a radical, anti-Christian agenda. He will stop at nothing to undermine the will of the majority of Americans to pay back militant homosexual activists who raised millions of dollars for his campaign and worked to get him elected."

"To sign the bill in the Rose Garden is another slap in the face and shows the level of contempt President Obama has for the majority of Americans who oppose the "homosexualization" of marriage and public education."

"The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission will soon be announcing its plans, along with other leading pro-family groups, to defy, counter and challenge this unconstitutional attack on our religious liberty."

And here is Gordon Klingenschmitt daring Obama to prosecute him:

In other words, A) pastors may quote the Bible publicly if their "intention" is the free exercise of religion or speech, but B) pastors may not quote the Bible publicly if their "intention" is to conspire with listeners to commit an act of violence. This begs the question, if the pastor never announces whether the unspoken "intention" of his heart is A or B, how can any prosecutor, judge, or jury know whether the pastor's secret thoughts intended A) free exercise or B) conspiracy? Without revealing the secret intention of my own heart, whether A or B, I hereby publicly quote both Romans 1:32 and Leviticus 20:13:

Romans 1:32 -- "Men with men working that which is unseemly...who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death."

Leviticus 20:13 -- "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

I further invite President Barack Obama, as the chief law enforcement official of America, to discern the secret thoughts and intentions of my heart, and to prosecute me for conspiracy or inciting the violent crimes of others who might read my words and act upon them, if he dares to think he knows or can prove my motives were not pursuant to the free exercise of religion or speech.

Of course, neither CADC or Klingenschmitt nor anybody else is going to be prosecuted for speaking out or "defying" this and they know it.  After all, the legislation expressly protects free speech and religious freedom:

(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this division shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual's expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual's membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

(5) FIRST AMENDMENT- Nothing in this division, or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(6) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution of the United States does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

But just because the legislation poses no threat to their religious freedom or right to free speech, amazingly that is not going to stop some on the Right from trying to use the legislation to turn paint themselves as martyrs.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family: Hate crimes legislation is the sound "of your religious liberty being flushed down the toilet."
  • Will Gov. Mark Sanford avoid impeachment?
  • The right-wing campaign against the movie "Hounddog" continues.
  • Richard Land submitted written testimony to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics warning that "legalizing same-sex marriage is certain to counteract the positive social attributes of traditional marriage, by leading to fewer marriages and more divorces."
  • Randall Terry's latest antics have succeeded in generating press coverage once again.
  • Finally, who wants to go cruising with Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, and Newsmax? Anyone?

The Big Con: How Matt Barber Swindled Me Out of $30

Yesterday, I wrote a post taking issue with right-wing outlets that were claiming that people were giving Matt Barber's new book, "The Right Hook: From The Ring To The Culture War," negative reviews without have read it, claiming that the book isn't even going to be released until next week.

As I noted, I already received a copy that I ordered from Amazon last week.  But now that I've started to read it, I made an interesting discovery: namely, that anybody who has read his columns doesn't need to actually read the book before they review it ... because they have literally already read it, since the book consists entirely of his republished columns! 

Nowhere on the publisher's website or the Amazon page is there any sort of disclaimer that this "book" is really just a collection of Barber's past columns.  Had that been made clear, I certainly would have saved myself the $32.00 I spent on this bound edition of his inane columns.

So, to save prevent anyone else who was thinking of buying this "book" from getting conned and ripped-off, here is the entire Barber book in links:

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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/03/2011, 11:45am
One of the unintended results of running this blog is that we sometimes get mistaken for the Religious Right groups that we monitor.  If you do a Google search for "Faith 2 Action" or "Generals International," for example, you see that a link to our posts about those groups tend to show up near the top of the search results.  As such, we frequently get emails mistakenly sent to us that are intended for them ... usually, angrily demanding that they stop mailing and/or calling them seeking donations. And nine times out ten, these emails are intended for the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/03/2011, 11:45am
One of the unintended results of running this blog is that we sometimes get mistaken for the Religious Right groups that we monitor.  If you do a Google search for "Faith 2 Action" or "Generals International," for example, you see that a link to our posts about those groups tend to show up near the top of the search results.  As such, we frequently get emails mistakenly sent to us that are intended for them ... usually, angrily demanding that they stop mailing and/or calling them seeking donations. And nine times out ten, these emails are intended for the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/05/2011, 3:19pm
After Bob Vander Plaats succeeded in ousting three Iowa Supreme Court justices through retention votes following the Court’s unanimous decision in favor of legalizing gay marriage, he pledged to drive out the remaining four judges if they did not resign. He has now announced a bus tour throughout Iowa’s 99 counties to push for the removal of the other members of the Court over their 2009 ruling. Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader, has emerged as the state’s most influential Religious Right activist despite losing the 2010 Republican primary for governor. His... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 12/27/2010, 4:35pm
Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 12/03/2010, 1:55pm
Brad O’Leary has been an emerging voice in the Religious Right thanks to books such as “The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values,” “God and America’s Leaders,” and “America’s War on Christianity.” Today he received a platform in the Washington Examiner to spew his factually incorrect and conspiratorial views over the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest hate group designations. He suggests that the SPLC’s descriptions of eighteen anti-gay organizations may lead to their future criminalization under... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/01/2010, 12:52pm
This is audio of Rep. Michele Bachmann delivering a five minute prayer asking God to bless the Minnesota-based ministry known as You Can Run But You Cannot Hide: Lord God, we feel you here. And we invite you, Lord, to be here in our midst this afternoon at You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ... Lord, I thank you for what you have done with this ministry. I thank you for how you are going to expand this radio program, how you are going to expand their video program, their publications, how you are going to advance them from 260 schools a year, Lord, to 2,600 schools a year. Lord, we... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/29/2010, 3:07pm
As we noted earlier, the Religious Right is uniformly livid with the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of anti-gay hate groups and seems to be struggling to come up with coherent response as demonstrated by this Concerned Women for America statement which basically accuses the SPLC of calling African Americans bigots: Concerned Women for America, among several other pro-family, pro-life national groups, has been named a “hate group” by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) because of our opposition to same-sex “marriage.” The SPLC began as a civil... MORE