Hate Crimes

Right Wing Leftovers

For the Right, Equal Protection = Unequal Protection

The Religious Right's willingness to blatantly lie about hate crimes legislation never ceases to amaze - from a recent American Family Association "Action Alert":

Such laws not only punish officially disapproved speech and thought, they create two tiers of victims. Under hate crimes laws, some victims get more protections than others, which violates the fundamental American principle of equality under the law.

In fact, such laws actively discriminate against heterosexual Christians who are victims of crime, since they will get less legal protection than homosexual victims.

So giving the same protection to gays as already exists for religion somehow lessens legal protections for Christians?

Sadly, now that the legislation is on its way to the President, this sort of hyperbolic lying will probably only increase.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah says the Conservapedia Bible project is an "incredibly stupid and misguided initiative."
  • NOM has endorsed Doug Hoffman.
  • Mitt Romney says "the Iranian leadership is the greatest immediate threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany."
  • Peter Marshall explains that he is not calling for for the "teaching the biblical foundations of a 'Christian America,' but merely the "biblical foundations of America."
  • Finally, Rep. Michele Bachmann says that hate crimes legislation is the reason people hate Congress.

Latest Lies on Hate Crimes Legislation

Writing about Religious Right leaders lying about gay rights advocates is starting to feel like the old Saturday Night Live sketch where the Weekend Update’s top news story was “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.” Today’s version: Tony Perkins is still lying about hate crimes.

Perkins’ latest activist alert about federal hate crimes legislation moving forward as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill was sent under the headline, “The Senate Will Vote to Silence You!”
 
Here’s Perkins’ basic lie:
 
What "hate crimes" legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.
 
And here’s an example of the demagoguery it’s wrapped in:
 
Democratic leaders believe passing their liberal agenda takes precedence over keeping our armed services safe.
 
That’s sadly typical of the level of discourse coming from the far right these days.
 
Readers of this blog know that hate crimes legislation will not in any way “silence” FRC activists or lay any kind of foundation for “investigating, prosecuting and persecuting” anyone “whose actions reflect their faith,” unless those actions include committing violent crimes against other people.
 
Once more, for the record: the hate crimes legislation targets violent crimes, not sermons or speeches or books or anti-gay screeds by Tony Perkins. The law includes explicit First Amendment protections.  Tony Perkins is still lying.

Anti-Gay Hate Crime Proves Gays Don't Need Hate Crimes Protection

I had just finished watching the news report on the vicious anti-gay beating of Jack Price (complete with an defense of the beating from a man sporting a Leviticus tattoo) when I came across this piece by Concerned Women for America's Ken Ervin claiming that the beating proves that gays don't need hate crimes protection:

The New York Post is abuzz with the story of Jack Price, a 49-year-old man who was viciously beaten by two twenty-somethings last week. While in the College Point store, two boys (why call them “men”?) hurled insults at Price, waited for him to leave the store and then jumped him. According to the Post, “Price suffered a fractured jaw and ribs, and a lacerated spleen.” He remains in a medically-induced coma in serious but stable condition.

So, to recap, two adolescently-minded wanna-be-men ganged up on a man more than twice their age, beating him so severely that his jaw and ribs were broken, his spleen was damaged, and he required hospitalization. Pretty bad, yes? Horrific and absolutely unconscionable, right? Are you outraged? Do you want to see justice done? Do you want these two jerks to spend a lot of time in some dark, dank hole in the New York prison system? Good. That’s how it should be.

And yet, for some, the mere fact of broken bones and a lacerated spleen wasn’t worthy of outrage. Oh no. What was truly outrageous about this unthinkable crime, and what seems to some to be more horrific than broken bones and life-threatening injuries is that — horror upon horror!! — the assailants hurled “anti-gay slurs” at the object of their torment.

C’mon people. Can you seriously look me in the face and tell me that these hoodlums should get a harsher sentence for calling Jack Price nasty names while they beat him? If so, you’re also saying that it’s okay with you if they had kept their mouths shut while beating him and got away with a lighter sentence. Preposterous.

Homosexual or not, who really cares? These hooligans deserve prosecution to the fullest extent of the law — the regular law, not the “special” ones. We don’t need “hate crimes” laws. We need law enforcement. We need these guys to be afraid of more than a slap on the wrists. And if that isn’t happening with the regular law, then making “special” laws isn’t going to do it either.

Let me ask, for seemingly the millionth time, if the Religious Right would be making this argument that hate crimes laws are unnecessary if the victim had been attacked because of his race or religion? 

If "special" laws are so unnecessary, then why aren't they calling for the repeal of the existing hate crimes protections for race and religion, instead of merely trying to prevent gays from getting those same protections? 

Religion is an "Immutable Characteristic," Sexual Orientation is Not

For months now, I've been trying to understand the reasoning behind the Republican and right-wing opposition to adding hate crimes protections for sexual orientation, noting that while they regularly complain that certain groups of people shouldn't be getting "special rights" or receiving extra protection, they are perfectly content to allow the existing hate crimes protections for religion to remain on the books.

As it turns out, the reason I couldn't understand their reasoning is that it is apparently rooted in a belief that sexual orientation is a choice, while religion is not

Last week, House Republican Leader John Boehner objected to House passage of a bill that would expand hate crime laws and make it a federal crime to assault people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

"All violent crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, no matter what the circumstance," he said. "The Democrats' 'thought crimes' legislation, however, places a higher value on some lives than others. Republicans believe that all lives are created equal, and should be defended with equal vigilance."

Based on that statement, CBSNews.com contacted Boehner's office to find out if the minority leader opposes all hate crimes legislation. The law as it now stands offers protections based on race, color, religion and national origin.

In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner "supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics."

It should be noted that the current law does not include gender, though the expanded legislation would cover gender as well as sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

"He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes," Smith continued.

Boehner's position, then, appears to be grounded in the notion that immutable characteristics should be protected under hate crimes laws. And while religion is an immutable characteristic, his office suggests, sexual orientation is not.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah is not happy with Rep. Michele Bachmann's refusal to join in with the Birthers.
  • Mike Huckabee will be headlining the Viriginia Family Foundation's Annual Gala later this month.
  • The Apostolic and Prophetic Conference, featuring Rod Parsley and others, is currently underway in Miami, Florida.
  • Will the Right really sue over the passage of hate crimes legislation, as FRC suggests?
  • Speaking of FRC, its Virginia Values Voter PAC released its first ad against Creigh Deeds.

Respecting the Troops By Voting Against the Defense Appropriation

Back when George W. Bush was president, any Democrat in Congress who voted against any defense appropriation bill was immediately accused of hating our troops and endangering their lives.

But times have changed apparently:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) are voting against the House/Senate fiscal year 2010 defense authorization bill — because it contains hate crimes provisions designed to protect gays and lesbians.

Boehner, speaking at his weekly press conference Thursday, said the inclusion of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the defense bill was "an abuse of power" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sought to punish offenders for what they thought — and not what they did.

He accused the speaker of pursuing her social agenda "on the backs" of the troops.

GOP Whip Eric Cantor is also a no, saying that the legislation constitutes classifying a new group of "thought crimes."

Not surprisingly, the Right has seized upon the idea that voting against this appropriations bill is a way to show support for the troops:

As FRC has said countless times, this provision would be devastating to free speech and religious freedom. Other laws that have passed under the guise of "hate crimes" have been the first step toward silencing pastors and Christians who speak out against homosexuality. Please join with us in asking Congress to respect our servicemen and women and vote no on "hate crimes" as part of the defense authorization bill!

Concerned Women for America makes a similar claim:

"The Defense Authorization bill should fund our national defense. Period. This 'hate crimes' provision grants special rights to certain political groups and could give cover to criminal behavior. This exploitation of a bill to fund our national defense shamelessly places homosexual groups' demands equal to or more important than our military," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America.

"'Hate crime' laws unduly expand the federal government. These crimes are already fully prosecuted by the states. 'Hate crime' laws allow prosecution for the same act twice, violating the Constitutional protection against Double Jeopardy. It creates a class of 'special' preferred victims, denying equal protection to other victims. It could cover every kind of sexual behavior, granting protected status even for pedophiles. And homosexual activists admit the whole effort is a scam to raise money and political power," Wright noted.

Right Wing Round-Up

How Crazy Is Too Crazy For the GOP?

For weeks now, we have been posting on the How To Take Back America Conference and the utter insanity that has long plagued the hosts of the conference, wondering why on earth Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee or Reps. Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Tom Price, Tom McClintock and Trent Franks are inexcusably lending credibility to this event and to its organizers.

To put this upcoming conference into perspective, let us put it this way: If you thought last week's Values Voter Summit  - where speakers called for public abortions, claimed that pornography turns you gay, proclaimed that gays and liberal Christians are enemies of God who deserve to be struck down, and announced that they had been chosen by God to stand for truth and suffer the consequences - was crazy ... well, you ain't seen nothing yet.

And so we have pulled together our years of monitoring of the people and organizations behind the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference and put it all together in our latest Right Wing Watch In Focus, entitled "Why Are GOP Officials Embracing Extremists at Upcoming ‘How to Take Back America’ Conference?"

Here is an excerpt of the report, from the section focusing on the event's co-chair, Janet Porter:

It is probably impossible to overstate the extremism and lunacy of Janet Porter, whose radio program and Faith2Action.org website gives her a platform for promoting the most unhinged of conspiracy theories.

Porter is Mike Huckabee’s biggest fan. She first fell in love when she organized the 2007 Values Voter Debate to which she had personally invited a gospel choir to sing “Why Should God Bless America?” and after which Porter (then Folger) declared that Huckabee had been revealed as the answer to Christians’ prayers for a presidential candidate who shared their views, proclaiming him to be the “David among Jesse’s sons.” During the presidential primaries, she started a front group to attack Huckabee’s arch nemesis Mitt Romney and wrote columns claiming that only Huckabee could prevent Hillary Clinton from throwing all Christians into prison and save her fantasy world from this “evil queen and her dragon of slaughter.”

She has since claimed that God has cursed America for voting for Obama, that anyone who voted for him is bound for hell , and that anyone who has ever voted for a pro-choice candidate is also living under a curse. She has actively pushed the Birther conspiracies and even alleged that Obama’s presidency was the culmination of a decade-long Communist conspiracy twenty years in the making. After the election, but before the inauguration, she called on God to prevent Obama from taking office, while warning that "AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN" to this nation because we deserve God's judgment.

Among other fears she has recently been stoking: the Obama administration is creating internment camps for conservatives and building mass evacuation buses to take them there, while warning that the H1N1 flu vaccine is really a nefarious plot by the government to kill millions of Americans. She helped to create and inflate the Right’s false claims that a Department of Homeland Security report was equating conservatives and veterans with terrorists; as noted above, she’s now pushing comparisons between the Obama administration and the rise of Nazism.

Porter has written a book called “The Criminalization of Christianity” and claims that hate crimes legislation will lead to Christians being thrown in jail. More recently she’s joined the chorus of extremists falsely claiming that the bill would “give heightened protection to pedophiles.” As part of her campaign against hate crimes legislation, Porter has repeatedly invited on to her radio show Ted Pike, a rabid anti-Semite who claims hate crimes laws are part of a Jewish plot for world domination.

The report also examines the equally crazy views and activities of other event co-sponsors like Phyllis Schlafly, Joseph Farah, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough, all in an effort to get an answer to one rather simple question: just how radical does a right-wing activist have to become before they are shunned by “respectable” Republican leaders?

Dobson and Scarborough: Things Were So Great After 9/11

Last week we mentioned that Rick Scarborough was going to be a guest on James Dobson's radio program. That program aired on Friday and Dobson and Scarborough spent the half-hour lamenting everything from the current state of the nation to the passing of Dobson's generation of right-wing leaders.

It began with Scarborough and Dobson lamenting that, following 9/11, the churches were filled with Americans seeking God, but in the years since, that has fallen off and the "sense of urgency" has been lost.  Americans, but more importantly churches, need to "wake up" to the threats this country faces from President Obama's agenda. Dobson says there has never "been a time in our country where we have needed prayer more than we need it right now":

 

 

Dobson and Scarborough then voiced their worries about the sorry state of preachers in this nation, with Dobson saying that his "class" of political activists, like D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, are passing on, and noted that he was "grateful" that there was second wave of leaders such as Scarborough whom would carry on that tradition:

 

Scarborough then declared that Religious Right leaders must take advantage of the outpouring of conservative outrage and hostility that gave rise to the Tea Parties and "get out in front of the movement and begin to define it":

 

Scarborough even related how he was using clips from Glenn Beck in his church sermons about the threat from President Obama's "czars" and the threat of the Fairness Doctrine:

 

Of particular concern is hate crimes legislation, which Scarborough vowed to defy and proclaimed his willingness to go to prison rather than stop preaching, saying "when it's illegal to preach that homosexuality is a sin, I will break that law" (of course, that is not going to happen, so this is just grandstanding):

 

Rick Scarborough Hits The Big Time

Last year, when Vision America's Rick Scarborough was organizing his "Crusade to Save America" events, he scheduled in Kansas in order to rally support for Phill Kline's bid to become Attorney General.

James Dobson had endorsed Kline's bid as well and so Scarborough sought to get Dobson to come to Kansas to participate in the event, but Dobson declined.

At the time, I said it looked as if "even James Dobson has enough sense to avoid being seen in public" with the likes of Scarborough. 

After all, Scarborough is a self-described “Christocrat” who, when he’s not out palling around with Alan Keys, has a penchant for suggesting that evangelical leaders are dying off because the nation has turned its back on God, suggesting that Christians will have "the blood of martyrs on [their] hands" if they don't oppose hate crimes legislation, blaming "the church" for just standing by and allowing the election of "unrighteous leaders" in 2006, saying that opponents of the War in Iraq are committing treason, organizing conferences designed to highlight the “War on Christians and Values Voters,” warning that removing the phrase "so help me God" from the president’s oath of office would be national "suicide," telling gays they "should hang their heads in shame [because of] their sinful lifestyle," and penning books entitled “Liberalism Kills Kids” among other things.

But apparently I was wrong about Dobson having enough sense to avoid Scarborough, because he is going to be bringing him onto his radio program at the end of the week:

This is certainly a big step up for Scarborough from his regular appearances on Janet Porter's radio program.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Steve Benen: For some reason, a recent Gallup poll showing strong "pro-life" numbers was a huge story, even though the results were dubious, whereas a new Gallup poll showing weaker "pro-life" numbers is a complete non-story.
  • Eleanor Bader at RH Reality Check examines the Right's campaign against ENDA and hate crimes legislation.
  • David Weigel reports that conservative TEA Party and town hall protesters are literally taking a page out of Saul Alinsky 1971 book “Rules for Radicals."
  • Autumn Sandeen: "I couldn't be more surprised to find out that I'm apparently now the honest to gawd, serious 'face' for the second tier religious right organizations regarding Obama Tranny-Care."
  • David Hart debunks Exodus International's new study that claims a 53% "success rate" in converting gays.
  • Good As You reports that the Family Research Council has gotten into the act of peddling Paul Cameron's bogus "research."
  • Truth Wins Out: Even though Focus on the Family is facing a $6 million budget shortfall, it doesn't mean it is necessarily hurting for money.

A Taste of What's To Come on ENDA

It was just last week that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced in the Senate, so the Religious Right campaign of screaming their heads off is just getting off the ground. 

But Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries gives us a nice preview of the sort of hyperbolic nonsense we can expect to see:

On Aug. 5, the GOP's Maine kleptocrats, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, joined Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and longtime sponsor Ted Kennedy in reintroducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which we'll call the "gay quota bill" for short. ENDA is profoundly dangerous. It turns private sin into a public right and brings the force of government against morality itself. Any such law is a violation of our unalienable rights as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. To put it more simply, a statute that directly contradicts God's moral law is illegitimate. Laws embody and reflect morality, or they are not laws. They are tyranny. That's why so-called same-sex "marriage" laws are absurd and treacherous. Forcing citizens to accept a counterfeit as the real thing is an act of despotism.

ENDA adds not only "sexual orientation" but "gender identity" to federal workplace anti-discrimination law. Thus, it takes an ax to the idea that sexual behavior has a natural normalcy or any relation to morality. It falsely equates a changeable condition (sexual desire) with race and ethnicity. Worse, it turns traditional values into a form of bigotry punishable under the law.

First of all, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already has a short-hand name: ENDA.  So we don't need your suggestion that it should be called the "gay quota bill" because a) that's false and b) it's longer than the one we already have.

And secondly, it looks like efforts to pass this legislation are going to run into the same sort of Religious Right lies that plagued the hate crimes legislation, with right-wing activists claiming that it will grant "special rights" to those in the LGBT community. 

Of course, that will raise the exact same problems as their efforts to make that claim about hate crimes legislation, considering that there are already a number of federal laws on the books that outlaw employment discrimination based on things like race, religion, gender, and disability: 

    • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

    • the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

    • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

    • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;

    • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government

So, once again the Right will have to explain why gays shouldn't receive similar protections as say, Christians. 

And once again, they'll fail to do that because they have no reason other than claims that God hates gays and therefore it should be okay to discriminate against them, leading to pieces like Knight's where the Right is reduced to bellowing that any "statute that directly contradicts God's moral law is illegitimate."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Anti-marriage activists in Maine say they have turned in enough signatures to place a referendum on the ballot in November seeking to overturn the state's marriage equality law.
  • The Christian Coalition has taken a stand on health care reform: No!
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty starts positioning himself for a presidential run in 2012.
  • The Family Research Council's Tom McClusky's concept of blogging seems to consist of regularly posting Republican talking points.
  • Despite what has previously been reported, Sarah Palin will not be attending the Simi Valley Republican Women’s event at the Reagan Library.
  • The Family Research Council warns that President Obama's involvement in the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest saga is "just a taste of what's to come if the President signs the hate crimes bill, a massive federal power grab that will allow Washington to judge the thoughts and motives of people involved in matters best left to local law enforcement officials."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Gordon Klingenschmitt is on a crusade [PDF] to keep the F-22 in the Defense appropriation bill in order to get President Obama to veto it and thereby veto hate crimes legislation.
  • In announcing that he would not be seeking re-election, Sen. Jim Bunning blasted "leaders of the Republican Party in the Senate [who] have done everything in their power to dry up my fundraising."
  • Bill Keller says that Ann Coulter is a bad Christian for having supported Mitt Romney.
  • Orly Taitz seems pretty excited that she has made "friends" with various members of the GOP on Facebook.
  • Next month, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute will be honoring Phyllis Schlafly at a "Lifetime Achievement Luncheon."
  • Finally, a note to Faith 2 Action:  You had Manny Miranda on your program today talking about Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court - this is Miranda:
  • This man is an insurance agent:

    They are not the same person:

Hate Crimes Legislation is a Jewish Plot for World Domination

Last week I wrote a post based on a revelation from Ted Pike that he apparently has regular contact with Janet Porter, but that Porter had been "reamed out" by Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition for associating with Pike and that, in response, Porter told Pike that if he ever publicly revealed that they spoke to one another, she would stop talking to him entirely.

Porter has had Pike on her radio program at least twice in recent months to discuss hates crimes legislation and apparently they have been working together in fighting the legislation ever since, which Pike opposes because he sees it as part of the plot by Jews to destroy and enslave Christian, which is why the Anti-Defamation League lists Pike in its Extremism in America database:

To promote his virulent anti-Semitic ideology, Pike often works under the guise of opposing federal hate crimes legislation and upholding free speech and Christian values. He gives interviews to extremist cable TV and Internet radio shows to further disseminate his anti-Semitic views and also links from his organization's Website to various anti-Semitic sites. Similarly, a variety of extremists, including neo-Nazis, post Pike's columns to their own hate sites, where they praise Pike's anti-Semitic invective.

If you want to know what ADL means when it says that Pike uses hate crimes legislation to spread his virulent anti-Semitic ideology, you need look no further than this new piece he just published on his website in which he calls Israel "the Great Harlot" and claims that the legislation is key part of the effort by "organized world Jewry" to gain "world dominion," funnel Christians into concentration camps and bring about the Anti-Christ:

We need to help make the hate law unenforceable by resisting and disobeying inevitable government edicts (particularly as precedents from liberal courts) to limit free speech. This will require willingness to suffer for the cause of truth and freedom. To help empower such courage we must continue widespread education against hate laws (such as exists at www.truthtellers.org). We must publicize as widely as possible the fact that a cabal of liberal Jewish supremacists is behind all hate laws worldwide. These, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, says are in “relentless attack on evangelical Christians.” Only through encountering massive public resistance and exposure will ADL/B’nai B’rith (organized world Jewry) be slowed on their fast track to world dominion.

The epicenter of such liberal Jewish attack on Christian civilization is the state of Israel. Israel is a nation founded on theft, repression, and terror (See, Israel: Founded on Terror). Despite its claim to democracy, it is one of the most repressive speech crime regimes in the world. In 1920 Christians constituted 20% of the inhabitants of Palestine. Now, as a result of decades of official harassment and discrimination as well as “anti-missionary” laws criminalizing even casual conversations about Christ with Jews, only 2% of Israelis are Christians. The Israeli government continues to look the other way as Messianic Christian Jews in Israel suffer constant harassment, discrimination and even violence, especially from ultra-Orthodox zealots (See website of Lura Maimon Beckford). Knesset continues to propose even stricter speech crime laws against Christians.

...

[B]ecause Jewish supremacism wants to destroy and enslave Christian/conservatives, the present “turn to the left” to which Dobson referred is actually a left turn into the steel gates of an international concentration camp with the clink of its padlock fastened behind us. The direction to the left in which we are now hurtling is part of the same Talmudic/Kabbalistic conspiracy that incited Jewish takeover of Russia in 1917. (See, Jewish Activists Created Communism ) In all its forms, Jewish-inspired Communism has killed more than 100 million, including millions of Christians. If ADL/B’nai B’rith and organized world Jewry are successful in uniting the world under its control, such atrocities will be repeated and probably even exceeded across a blood-stained planet. (Watch, Ted Pike's Zionism and Christianity: Unholy Alliance) Revelation 18:2 tells us that the garments of the Great Harlot, Israel, are drenched with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (See, Israel: On the Way to Empire in the Mideast ) ADL/B’nai B’rith represents an unbroken chain of anti-Christian/Gentile hatred and desire for revenge going back to those who crucified Jesus, the Pharisees. As the Book of Acts relates, ADL’s forefathers did their best to destroy the infant church in the first century AD. ADL wants to finish the job tomorrow, under its false messiah, the one-world ruler, Anti-Christ.

So just let me reiterate that this man has been on Janet Porter's radio program twice so far this year and that Porter co-chaired Mike Hucakbee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign and will be co-hosting the How To Take Back America Conference at which Huckabee will speak in September.

Can Someone Be Too Crazy For Janet Porter? Yes and No

Despite the fact that we had apparently written about him a few times, I was not familiar with Ted Pike until today.  We had apparently mentioned him back in 2006 when he signed on to some letter with a bunch of other right-wing activists like Paul Weyrich, Sandy Rios, Robert Knight, Dr. Paul Cameron, Peter LaBarbera, Gary Glenn, and Brian Camenker calling on then-Governor Mitt Romney "to declare immediately that homosexual “marriage” licenses issued in violation of the law are illegal and to issue an order to all state and local officials to cease violating the law."

And we mentioned him again not long after that when he said that hate crimes legislation was “the most dangerous legislation ever to come before Congress,” claiming that it would “lead inexorably to the end of free speech.”

But that was about it, until I stumbled across this post he wrote on his National Prayer Network website complaining about how his right-wing allies don't want to be seen as having anything to do with him:

For the past seven months, I have repeatedly seen the religious right ignore vital information about the hate bill threat and opportunities to defeat it for only one possible reason: they didn't want to be seen as influenced by me.

After Janet Porter, head of Faith2Action, informed me that conservative witnesses were being turned away by Sen. Leahy’s Senate Judiciary Committee, I immediately quoted her, mounting a national campaign of protest. She called back to tell me that Andrea Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition and some of her radio listeners had “reamed her out" for even talking to me! She warned me that if ever again I mentioned publicly that I had talked to her, she would never answer any call from me -- even concerning an imminent hate bill threat!

Now why would Janet Porter get "reamed out" by Andrea Lafferty for talking to Pike?

Maybe this is why:

Ted Pike, the national director of the Oregon-based National Prayer Network, has for years engaged in an anti-Semitic campaign that denigrates the Jewish religion, as well as what he perceives as Jewish-controlled organizations and leaders. Through a series of Web-based articles, Internet radio interviews, videotapes, and books, Pike constantly claims Jewish control over the government and media and asserts Jewish hatred of Christians and the alleged desire of "evil" Jewish leaders and organizations to control what Christian Americans do and say.

To promote his virulent anti-Semitic ideology, Pike often works under the guise of opposing federal hate crimes legislation and upholding free speech and Christian values. He gives interviews to extremist cable TV and Internet radio shows to further disseminate his anti-Semitic views and also links from his organization's Website to various anti-Semitic sites. Similarly, a variety of extremists, including neo-Nazis, post Pike's columns to their own hate sites, where they praise Pike's anti-Semitic invective.

It should be pointed out that Porter had Pike on her radio show on both May 4 and April 28 of this year and that, at least according to Pike, she didn't say that she was going to stop talking to him, merely that she would stop taking his calls only if he mentioned publicly that they were in contact.

I've often wondered just what someone would have to do in order to be shunned by the likes of Janet Porter, considering that she apparently knows no limits herself.  Now we know: promote virulent anti-Semitic ideology ... and only then will they be cut off if they make their connection to Porter known. 

Have I mentioned that Porter is going to be co-hosting the upcoming How To Take Back America Conference featuring Mike Huckabee and Michelle Bachmann and served as co-chair of Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition during his presidential campaign?  Just wanted to point that out.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Several progressive groups have joined a letter voicing opposition to several amendments offered by Senator Jeff Sessions to the hate crimes legislation.
  • Lou Dobbs sure does seem to be dedicating a lot of time to the Birthers and their claims.
  • On a related note, David Weigel continues his excellent coverage of the issue, pointing out how it is starting to dog Republicans.
  • Chris Rodda takes up Rep. Randy Forbes' challenge to debate his "spiritual heritage week" resolution.
  • Steve Benen notes that Gov. Mark Sanford wants to make it known that he is really, really sorry for going AWOL for several days and having an affair.
  • Alan Colmes: Free Republic Founder Calls For Peaceful Overthrow Of US Government.
  • Finally, Jim Burroway reports that Lou Engle and Charlotte, North Carolina-based pastor Michael Brown are teaming up to bring in thousands of volunteers to overwhelm this year's Charlotte Pride event.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I, for one, am growing increasingly weary of Randall Terry's need for attention.
  • Gov. Mark Sanford's spokesperson has apparently had enough of trying to defend his boss.
  • Gov. Rick Perry is now "asking the federal government for a loan to cover the very expenses the rejected stimulus money would have paid for."
  • Gary Bauer explains why Democrats don't like Sarah Palin: they hate Trig.
  • Ralph Reed offers his brilliant insights on how "Republicans can reap significant political benefits by voting against [Sonia Sotomayor's] confirmation and making her an issue in key races next year."
  • The Liberty Counsel comments on the hate crimes legislation, warning that Democrats "will not be able to continue their efforts to undermine moral values, socialize the economy, and trash American pride and heritage. The people will not remain silent forever."
  • Finally, a newspaper in Indiana is coming under fire from the Religious Right for posting an engagement of a gay couple planning to wed in Iowa and offers a very clear response:
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa, where the couple lives and plans to marry. Since one of the young men is originally from Elkhart and his family still lives here, we did the same thing we’d do for any other local family with a child getting married — we published the couple’s engagement announcement.
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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Monday 11/15/2010, 2:31pm
Following the midterm elections, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Today, meet Tim Walberg, who “was a tea partier before there was a tea party”: Tim Walberg, who is returning to the House next year after representing Michigan's 7th district for one term from 2007-2009, brags that he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Indeed, Walberg enthusiastically embraces the most extreme aspects of the Tea Party—from corporate pandering and vowing to cut social safety-net programs to far-right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 11/12/2010, 3:41pm
Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our seventh candidate profile is on Missouri's Vicky Hartzler: Although Ike Skelton, the long-time representative in Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was far from a supporter of LGBT equality, Vicky Hartzler, who defeated him in this year’s election, has based her political career on supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians. A former state legislator, she was the spokeswoman and public face of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 11/10/2010, 6:00pm
Last week we noted that, after having endorsed Joseph Cao in 2008, the Family Research Council turned around and ran ads against him this year because he was insufficiently anti-gay. Today, Cao told Warren Throckmorton that he thought FRC's actions were "inexcusable," and FRC responded with a statement blasting Cao and warning every other Republican that they would face similar campaigns if they don't support FRC's anti-gay agenda:  First, FRC Action is not a Republican organization. We are a conservative Christian organization that advocates for the family based upon... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 11/03/2010, 12:07pm
As we noted the other day, the Family Research Council had run ads against Rep. Joseph Cao in Louisiana because, after having endorsed him in 2008, FRC decided that Cao was insufficiently anti-gay. Last night, Cao lost his re-election bid. Contrast that with another Louisiana politician, Sen. David Vitter, who admitted to involvement with prostitutes.  What does FRC have to say about that? All is forgiven: “He came forward, took responsibilities for his actions, acknowledged it, asked for forgiveness, has remained consistent in his positions and the voters in Louisiana... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/01/2010, 12:12pm
In 2008, the Family Research Council endorsed Joseph Cao for Congress: Today FRC Action PAC is endorsing Joseph Cao for Congress representing the second district of Louisiana. "Joseph Cao will be a true friend of the family. We need representatives who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the House of Representatives," said Tony Perkins, President of FRC Action PAC. "I feel confident in Joseph Cao's ability to do just that. "Joseph Cao's amazing life story is a testament to the high-caliber Congressman he would be. The second district of... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 10/28/2010, 3:18pm
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins hosted a conference call for FRC activists to hear from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. Perkins, who recently said gay teens commit suicide because they know they’re abnormal, is in Iowa, where he has joined the FRC-National Organization for Marriage bus tour that is targeting state Supreme Court judges who ruled last year favor of marriage equality. While it was a unanimous decision, Religious Right groups are urging voters to reject the three justices who are up for retention this year.  Gohmert spent some time with the Iowa... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/18/2010, 1:36pm
Over the weekend, Craig Parshall, Jim Garlow, and Tony Perkins appeared on The John Ankerberg Show to make their collective case against marriage equality.  Most of the discussion involved things we have heard a thousand times before, but there was one interesting segment in which Parshall claimed that gay marriage proponents are counting on activist judges to disregard the law and ignore the fact that gays are not a minority and that gay rights are in no way "fundamental rights," while Perkins claims that Judge Vaughan Walker is gay and therefore biased: Parshall: Let's... MORE