Islam

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

Values Voters' Angry Afternoon Tea

The afternoon of the first day of the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC, continued the morning’s themes: denunciations of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama axis of evil and celebrations of all things Tea Party – and the insistence that the religion and values agenda of the Religious Right is inseparable from the Tea Party’s limited government goals.

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum kicked off the session with a reprise of his current stump speech, a denunciation of secularism and an assertion that we can’t have economic freedom without virtuous people, and we can’t have virtuous people without lots of religion in our public life. Like other speakers, he called this November’s elections the most important of our lifetime.
 
Gary Bauer made it clear he was vying for “angriest man” honors, hectoring the audience with bitter complaints about liberals treating the Constitution like toilet paper and the president trying to “set one class against another in the rawest class warfare.” He insisted that “this country is in shock about what’s being done to our nation.” The country is “sick and tired of being lectured by liberal elites.” Bauer claimed, ridiculously, that “almost none” of America’s elites believe the 9-11 attacks were caused by radical Islam. When he attacked Obama and Bloomberg for defending the rights of Muslims to build a cultural center in New York, shouts of “traitor” were heard from the audience. (In contrast, there was only scattered tepid applause when Bauer described as “foolish” the Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Koran.) Bauer ended with a graphic recounting of the violence that took place on the 9-11 flight brought down by the passengers, and demanded that people show the same kind of mettle in taking back America.
 
Delaware’s new GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell urged people to remember how despondent they felt in the early days of the Obama administration, when conservatives were told, she said, to curl up in a fetal position for eight years. “Well,” she exulted, “how things have changed.” O’Donnell also railed against the “ruling class elites” who look down on Tea Party activists and insisted, “there are more of us than there are of them.” She said Tea Partiers are shouting back at these would-be masters, “You’re not the boss of me!” She encouraged people to keep fighting. “We aren’t trying to take back our country, we ARE our country.”
 
The afternoon’s “surprise guest” was not Sarah Palin, as some had speculated, but Dale Peterson – the guy from Alabama whose choppy, quick-edited, gun-toting ad running for agriculture commissioner became a YouTube sensation. Peterson was seemingly meant to be the authentic voice of Tea Party America. He said Obama hates America and is doing all he can to bring down America. Peterson later told journalist Sarah Posner that he doesn’t believe President Obama was born in the U.S.
 
A Tea Party panel brought together three activists who told stories about their own transformations from being moms and conservatives who minded their own business to becoming activists.  Activists Katie Abram and Billie Tucker said their Tea Party work was guided by God waking them up early in the morning with instructions, the same way, one said, God does with Glenn Beck. Tucker describes a disagreement among organizers of their local tea party group. When one argued against adding moral issues to the mission, Tucker responded, saying “God did not wake me up for four months at four in the morning to say, ‘Billie, we’ve got a tax issue.’ He woke me up because he said my country doesn’t love me like it used to love me.”
 
Amy Kremer of Tea Party Express said her group’s mission was focused on fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets; she credited Rick Santelli’s rant about the mortgage meltdown with lighting the fire. Kremer, who worked for Joe Miller’s Senate campaign before heading to Delaware to campaign for Christine O’Donnell, urged activists to focus on the fall elections. “The time has come to put down the protest signs and pick up the campaign signs and engage,” she said. “If we’re going to truly effect change it’s going to be at the ballot box.”

We Rest Our Case: Bryan Fischer Tries to Defend His Bigoted Record

Today, People For the American Way issued a statement calling out all those conservative leaders who will attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit and sharing the stage with notorious bigot Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and chronicled the myriad of outrageously offensive things Fischer has said about gays and Muslims and others.

Needless to say, Fischer is not particularly pleased with our statement and dedicated a portion of his radio program today to "defending" himself ... and in doing so, only helped to make our point even clearer.

Fischer took particular exception to our point that "any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America," by claiming that he did no such thing (but, of course, he did when he claimed that Muslim citizens were, simply by being virtue of being Muslim, guilty of treason against the US.)

Fischer's "defense" is that he simply wants to deny entry to all Muslims because we are doing them a favor since they could not possibly handle or tolerate our freedoms:

"Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America."

That, as a matter of fact is not true. What I has said is that if Muslims are here and they have citizenship status, we shouldn't do anything to them. They have citizenship status, it might have been a mistake to give it to them, but they have it and we need to respect it because we uphold the rule of law.

What I was talking about is when you have Muslims who are applying for permanent residency, for permanent legal residency, or applying for citizenship, my recommendation is that instead of granting them citizenship, we help them return to their homeland, to their native country, we help repatriate them to their country of origin where they can have the freedom to be Muslims without having to chafe against our religious liberty and our freedom of speech and first-class citizenship status for wives and for women.

This has got to be awkward for them, it's got to be painful for them, it's got to be uncomfortable for them to see so many people enjoying the fruit of Christianity, its liberty and its freedom, its respect for the individual, its respect for the freedom of individuals to think and make decisions for themselves, its got to chew them up because it is so the polar opposite of what Islam is all about.

So I say we are doing them a favor by repatriating them to their homeland where an entire nation shares their values.

We also pointed out that Fischer demanded a ban on Muslims serving in the US military which he "defended" by saying that he was merely telling the truth about how all Muslims are required to kill Christians and Jews:

So if telling the truth about Muslim service-members is an insult, then truth is now the new insult, truth is now the new hate speech.

All I have said about Muslims in the military is that their god commands them to kill us and it does not make sense to me that we would allow people to enlist in the body that is designed to protect our security and enable us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night, we should not invite into our military - the very organization that is supposed to protect us - invite into our military those who have a solemn and sacred obligation to kill us and kill their fellow soldiers.

Finally, Fischer explains that he doesn't "hate" gays or Muslims - he just hates the horrible, empty, disease-filled lives they lead:

 I am pro-gay; I am anti-homosexuality. I am pro-Muslim; I am anti-Islam. 

I am for homosexuals because I want them to be delivered from the bondage and the death sentence of homosexual conduct. So I am against homosexual behavior, I am against homosexual expression, I am against homosexual conduct because I want to see the people that are trapped in that lifestyle, I want to see them set free.

And the same is true when it comes to Islam: I am for Muslims; I am against-Islam. And, as I mentioned before, the primary victims of Islam are Muslims. I mean, it's got to break your heart when you visualize the life that these people lead in Muslim-dominated countries.

There is darkness, there is tyranny, there is repression, there is hatred, there is a complete absence of freedom, a complete absence of liberty, women are second-class citizens, they're considered as property, as chattel who can be beaten by their husbands according to Allah, according to the Holy Quran, according to the Prophet.

I mean the poverty, and the disease, and the emptiness and the sterility of life in a Muslim-dominated land, it ought to break our hearts. And that is why I am against Islam because I see what it does to people, I see what it does to cultures, I see what it does to entire nations when it is allowed to take root and flourish.

So I am pro-Muslims, but anti-Islam. I am pro-homosexual, I am anti-homosexuality. 

Let me point out again that this is Fischer defense against charges of being an anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot.

So let us ask again why conservative leaders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann are so willing to share a stage with this man and attend an event being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, the group that has given Fischer a national platform?

Right Wing Leftovers

Fischer: Muslims Are Stupid and Violent Because of Inbreeding

As if he's trying to prove the point that I made earlier that he's a viciously anti-Muslim bigot, the AFA's Bryan Fischer unleashes his latest attack, writing a post based on the claims of Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels in which he claims that Muslims are dangerous, violent, and stupid because of rampant inbreeding:

Lowered intellectual capacity is another devastating consequence of Muslim marriage patterns. According to Sennels, research shows that children of consanguinous marriages lose 10-16 points off their IQ and that social abilities develop much slower in inbred babies.

The risk of having an IQ lower than 70, the official demarcation for being classified as “retarded,” increases by an astonishing 400 percent among children of cousin marriages.

In Denmark, non-Western immigrants are more than 300 percent more likely to fail the intelligence test required for entrance into the Danish army.

Sennels says that “the ability to enjoy and produce knowledge and abstract thinking is simply lower in the Islamic world.” He points out that the Arab world translates just 330 books every year, about 20% of what Greece alone does.

In the last 1,200 years years of Islam, just 100,000 books have been translated into Arabic, about what Spain does in a single year. Seven out of 10 Turks have never even read a book.

Sennels points out the difficulties this creates for Muslims seeking to succeed in the West. “A lower IQ, together with a religion that denounces critical thinking, surely makes it harder for many Muslims to have success in our high-tech knowledge societies.”

Only nine Muslims have every won the Nobel Prize, and five of those were for the “Peace Prize.” According to Nature magazine, Muslim countries produce just 10 percent of the world average when it comes to scientific research (measured by articles per million inhabitants).

In Denmark, Sennels’ native country, Muslim children are grossly overrepresented among children with special needs. One-third of the budget for Danish schools is consumed by special education, and anywhere from 51% to 70% of retarded children with physical handicaps in Copenhagen have an immigrant background.

Learning ability is severely affected as well. Studies indicated that 64% of school children with Arabic parents are still illiterate after 10 years in the Danish school system. The immigrant drop-out rate in Danish high schools is twice that of the native-born.

Mental illness is also a product. The closer the blood relative, the higher the risk of schizophrenic illness. The increased risk of insanity may explain why more than 40% of the patients in Denmark’s biggest ward for clinically insane criminals have an immigrant background.

The U.S. is not immune. According to Sennels, “One study based on 300,000 Americans shows that the majority of Muslims in the USA have a lower income, are less educated, and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.”

...

Bottom line: Islam is not simply a benign and morally equivalent alternative to the Judeo-Christian tradition. As Sennels points out, the first and biggest victims of Islam are Muslims. Simple Christian compassion for Muslims and a common-sense desire to protect Western civilization from the ravages of Islam dictate a vigorous opposition to the spread of this dark and dangerous religion. These stark realities must be taken into account when we establish public polices dealing with immigration from Muslim countries and the building of mosques in the U.S.

Let’s hope America wakes up before a blind naivete about the reality of Islam destroys what remains of our Christian culture and our domestic tranquility.

So let me ask again why conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich, Bob McDonnell, and Mike Huckabee are so willing to share the stage with a viciously anti-Muslim bigot like Bryan Fischer at the upcoming Values Voter Summit?

Operation Save America To Harass Muslims Across The Nation

A few weeks back, we noted that Operation Save America had begun protesting mosques and screaming at worshipers that "Islam is a lie" and that "Jesus hates Muslims," forcing Muslim leaders in Connecticut to actually seek police protection from their harassment.

Today, the group announced that it intends to take its harassment to "mosques across the nation":

We, Operation Save America, are headed to Ground Zero in New York City, to begin our nationwide outreach to Muslims in America. We offer to our Muslim friends enslaved in the tyrannical bondage of Islam, the true source of liberty -- Jesus Christ!

First in New York City, then to Mosques across the nation!

The wounds that America is now suffering are, by in large, self-inflicted. We have forgotten the God who made this nation great and free. We have killed His children through abortion (over 50 million dead), called homosexuality good (an abomination in His sight), and prostrated Him to the level of all other false gods. God has not been silent. We are being judged. 9-11, the rise of Islam, and our present financial and social distresses are warnings of worse to come.

"God is calling America to repentance. We must begin here. Once we have returned to Him, we must go to those lost in the darkness and misery of Islam. We cannot build bridges or dialogue with this murderous false ideology. We are called to storm the gates of hell and set the captive free! We bring to America the warning that the rise of Islam is a sign of God's judgment upon a nation that has turned from Him!" Rev. Flip Benham, Director, Operation Save America.

Randall Terry on Quran-Burning: "Fire is a Sign of the Judgment of God"

In a move that should come as no surprise whatsoever, Randall Terry not only supports the burning of the Quran but actually argues that it is what God wants, as "fire is a sign of the judgment of God" [PDF] and has been throughout history:

The historical and theological (Judeo/Christian) proof is inescapable: the “sacred” books, images, and locations of false religions – and their false prophets and priests – are destined for the flames of this world or the next.

Let us beware, lest the frenzy of fools cloud our judgment.

Should we condemn St. Paul for burning witchcraft books? Should we condemn Joshua for burning the pagan cities of Canaan? Should we condemn the heroes of the Old Testament for burning pagan chariots and idols and desecrating pagan temples? Should we condemn the Church Militant that conquered the pagan Greco-Roman deities, and then destroyed their idols and plundered their temples?

Should we condemn our spiritual forebears because they did not “show respect” to the religious beliefs and buildings and books of false religions?

And should we – I speak as a fool – condemn God himself for burning Sodom and Gomorrah, for ordering the burning of countless idols and temples, and for sending his enemies into the lake of fire for all eternity?

If Christianity is true, Islam cannot be true. And if Islam is not true, and Christianity’s history and theology repeats itself (as with the pagan religions of Greece and Rome), Delphi and the Roman Forum are the signposts of Islam’s future.

Operation Save America: 9/11 Was God's Punishment for Abortion

It looks like Operation Save America is taking time off from harassing Muslims in order hold a press conference on 9/11 to deliver the "prophetic message" that God will continue to unleash terrorist attacks against the United States so long as abortion remains legal:

At noon on Saturday, September 11th, at the corner of Murray and Church Street in New York City leaders of Operation Save America will conduct a press conference and at 1 PM unveil a prophetic message to America.

Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, Assistant Director of Operation Save America, states, "We are going to New York City at this hallowed time not to politicize September 11th, but to present a prophetic message, that if heeded, may prevent future attacks and restore God's hand of blessing upon our beleaguered nation.

"Our sins of child-killing (abortion) and homosexuality have reached heaven. They are the roots of America's troubles; a tyrannical government and the threat of Islam are the horrific fruits that are being produced under our watch. There is a direct connection between our spiritual and moral state and the litany of woe afflicting our nation. If America desires to secure a future and a hope for our children and grandchildren, we must end the American holocaust; quit parading our sin like Sodom, and return to the God of the Bible and His principles that served our nation so well in times past."

...

"Since 1973 America has murdered FIFTY MILLION precious little children by abortion. The Bible warns that bloodshed follows bloodshed. We have sown domestic terrorism in the womb and we are reaping Islamic terrorism without. America is being turned over to her enemies. Our only hope is to REPENT of murdering our children and return to God through the merits of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. If we repent and end abortion, God will deliver us from the evil of Islamic terrorism. But if we refuse, our enemies will continue to afflict our nation. We will continue to reap what we have sown."

Fischer: Military Burned Bibles, So Buring Qurans Is Only Fair

It seems like just about everyone has come out against the plans by Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center to hold an "International Burn a Koran Day" on the anniversary of 9/11.

Heck, even the AFA's Bryan Fischer, who openly hates Muslims and wants them all expelled from the country, said that burning the Quran Is not "something I would do were I still in the pastorate, and not something I recommend."

But I guess he has changed his mind because he is now pointing to an episode last year when the US military burned copies of Pashto and Dari-language Bibles that had been sent to troops in Afghanistant for use in converting the local Muslim population in violation of military rules.

And since the military burned those Bibles, Fischer thinks it is only fair that Jones and his church ought to be allowed to burn the same number of Qurans: 

"There's really a staggering level of hypocrisy and double standard here for the military to burn the Holy Bible and then complain when a pastor's going to do the same thing to the Quran," Fischer contends. "You know, if the military was going to be fair here and even-handed, they would count up the number of Holy Bibles that they incinerated in Afghanistan, and then they would allow Reverend Jones to burn the same number of Qurans."

The AFA issues analysis director believes the whole incident illustrates the difference between Christianity and Islam. "When these Bibles were burned [in May 2009], the Christian community did not riot in the streets; we did not threaten violence against anyone," he points out. "[But] when even the threat of Qurans being burned takes place, it's like we're dealing with Armageddon [or] with World War III."

Fischer adds that Christianity is a religion of peace, but Islam is a religion of war and violence.

Fischer: Muslims Know They Need Christians To Keep Them From Killing Each Other

Last month, Bryan Fischer declared that the war in Iraq had been an epic failure and that our soldiers had died for nothing because we had failed to topple Islam's dominance in the country. 

As Fischer saw it, the only thing that had kept Iraq functioning under Saddam Hussein was that "Christians to help him run the country [because] Christians were the only decent, trustworthy, honest people he could find." When Hussein was toppled, it left Iraq in the hands of Muslims and "Islam simply doesn’t produce men with the kind of character and integrity needed to run a country."

Today Fischer is back and pointing to a poll showing nearly 60% of Iraqis disagree with the decision to withdraw US soliders as evidence proof Muslims know that they are incapable of living in peace and need to be controlled by Christians who can keep them all from killing one another:

How can this be? How is it possible that the Muslims in Iraq long for a Christian army to stay in their land? Simple. They know that Islam is a violent, bloodthirsty religion and that their nation will lapse into uncontrollable chaos once Christian America is no longer projecting force there.

In other words, the Iraqis are Islamorealists. They know instinctively, confirmed by long years of experience, that it is impossible to build or sustain a democratic form of government in an Islamic land. Islam is about domination, control, and tyranny. While Christianity expands through persuasion, Islam - each variant of it - expands at the point of a sword.

There is no such thing as “We the People” in an Islamic country. It is “I the Prophet” everywhere. The Prophet and his Qur’an excercises controlling power, not a democratically elected government or democratically adopted constitution.

...

Iraqi Muslims know that if they do not have a Christian army to protect them, they will soon see the disappearance of any semblance of freedom.

Is Islam a religion of violence and war while Christianity is a religion of peace and stability? CBS asked the Iraqis, and they just gave us the answer.

Back in July, Fischer was saying that the US needed to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan if all we were doing was creating Islamic states, so it becoming pretty clear that Fischer believes that the central goal of any US military operation ought to be to place Christians in control over non-Christian nations.

Anti-Islam Activists Have Equally Negative Views of Mormonism

Last week I noted now Brannon Howse, who had been leading a crusade against Glenn Beck because of his Mormon faith, had started explicitly comparing Mormonism with Islam:

Both belief systems teach that they have the only true and complete religion on face of the earth. Both reject Christianity as corrupted. Both taught the plurality of wives, both on earth and in here-after. Both teach that the Bible is corrupt and mistranslated. Both revealed God’s true scripture. Both reject original sin and the doctrine of the trinity. Both teach a salvation by good works. Both use a lay clergy. Both founded by a holy uneducated prophet. Both founding prophets had angelic visitations that they were to restore Adamic religion. Both prophets' words were above scripture or earlier prophets. Both teach a theocratic form of government.

I guess it should not come as much of a surprise to learn that many of the Religious Right activists who are most vocal in attack Islam also have a long history of attacking Mormons as well.

Case in point is Bill Keller:

To an audience of about 50 people -- fully half of whom were members of the press -- Pastor Bill Keller launched his 9-11 Christian Center at ground zero this morning with a fiery sermon targeting Muslims and Mormons as hell-bound followers of false faiths. Keller took aim in particular at Glenn Beck, a Mormon, and Imam Rauf, the organizer of the Park51 Islamic community center.

Keller first made a name for himself a few years back by attacking Mitt Romney, claiming that vote for Romney was a vote for Satan.

Keller's anti-Mormon attacks against Romney were echoed by Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, who proclaimed that "Mormonism is a cult" and that Christians could not vote for Romney because "Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god."

So it is entirely predictable that Jeffress likewise hates Islam:

Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: "The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her."

...

First Baptist's Sunday evening service on August 22 featured an "Ask the Pastor" segment, in which Jeffress called Islam "oppressive" and violent." He also said that "around the world today, you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls, taking them as their brides, because they believe the prophet Muhammad did it."

"I believe," Jeffress added, "as Christians and conservatives, it's time to take off the gloves and stand up and tell the truth about this evil, evil religion."

...

"It does incite violence. It is used to oppress women around the world," he added, continuing that he "was not talking about this country" when referencing pedophilia. But, Jeffress said, "the worst thing about Islam is that it is a deception that leads people from the true God."

Jeffress contended that "we do not hate Muslims" and noted: "I have a very good friend here in Dallas who is a Muslim."

Something for Glenn Beck to keep in mind as he gins up anti-Muslim sentiment and opposition to Park 51:  people who hate Islam generally have equally harsh views about all other faith traditions as well, including Mormonism.

Fischer: Muslim Reaction to Quran-Burning Proves They Are All Violent Terrorists

On Saturday, Terry Jones, senior pastor from the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning on burning copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary of 9/11, despite the fact that Gen. David Petraeus says his actions could "endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort [in Afghanistan]."

The AFA's Bryan Fischer says Jones' plan is a step too far:

Pastor Terry Jones intends to burn copies of the Qur'an at his church on 9/11. It's not something I would do were I still in the pastorate, and not something I recommend.

Really?  What exactly is Fischer's standard for what is appropriate when it comes to demonizing Islam?  He's already called for the deportation of every Muslim in the US on the grounds that they are traitors and demanded an end to the construction of any mosques anywhere in America.  So why would Fischer consider burning copies of the Quran to be beyond the pale?  Especially since he seemingly supports it because it proves his point that all Muslims are violent terrorists: 

How can American lives be endangered by doing nothing more than putting a match to pieces of paper, if Islam is a religion of peace and moderation? How can this be?

When atheists and secularists like the minions of the ACLU, get the Bible banned from schools what do Christians do? They make phone calls, send emails, and go to court. What do Muslims do under similar circumstances? They start shooting and throwing bombs.

Notice as well that nobody is asking what Muslims might have done that ticked off Rev. Jones, how the Muslim world may in fact to blame for his little demonstration. Nobody is out there saying that Muslim policies are "an accessory" to his bonfire, or he is "made in the Muslim world" because of Islamic attacks against America. Nope.

Islam has defenders galore, all eager to excuse Muslim violence against Americans on the grounds that Muslims have been provoked by the West. But when Rev. Jones does nothing more than commit violence against a dead tree, he has nary a defender to say that Muslim provocation is to blame. 

So, according to Fischer, the Quran is just a book and if Muslims react badly to the idea of people burning copies of it, it just proves that Islam is inherently violent ... which itself only goes to further demonstrate why the US must take steps to strip all Muslims of their citizenship and expel them from the country.

Bary's Attorney Sues Pamela Geller and John Stemberger for $10 Million

It was one year ago when I wrote my first post about Rifqa Bary, the teenage girl who fled from Ohio to Florida claiming that her Muslim parents were going to kill her for converting to Christianity.

Ove the past year, the person who most eagerly and relentlessly sought to expolit the Rifqa Bary saga for her own political ends was anti-Muslim zealot Pamela Geller of Atlas Shurgs  ... and for her efforts, she is now being sued for $10 million by the attorney who represented Rifqa's parents:

An Ohio lawyer says a blogger and a former attorney for a runaway Christian convert defamed him by alleging he has contacts with terrorists and criminals.

Omar Tarazi (tuh-RAH'-zee) is seeking $10 million in damages in a federal lawsuit filed Friday to compensate for damage he claims to his reputation.

Tarazi represented the parents of Rifqa Bary, a teenage convert who ran away to Florida saying she feared harm from her Muslim mother and father.

He says blogger Pamela Oshry wrongly linked him to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government.

"Pamela Oshry" was the name Geller went by before her divorce.

UPDATE: Tarazi is also suing John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council:

A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.

The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

...

Stemberger represented Rifqa for several weeks in Florida. That was in the days just after she ran away but before a state circuit judge in Orlando ordered her returned to Ohio.

In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa's parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit.

Stemberger on Tuesday called the suit "ridiculous and frivilous."

"This is just an attempt at grandstanding after a loss," he said.

Stemberger acknowledged but would not discuss an investigation by the Florida Bar into possible ethics violations by him for statements he made about the case.

Liberty Counsel Warns That Obama Seeks To Become Global Dictator

Ever since Barack Obama started running for the White House, we've seen occasional pieces wondering if he was the Antichrist. In December 2008, Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel said he did not think that Obama was, in fact, the Antichrist but that it was entirely understandable that people were worried that he was:

No wonder, then, that Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, says he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might. Obama's own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, Staver says, positions that "religious conservatives believe will threaten their freedom." The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they're not nuts: "They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared," Staver says.

I wonder if Staver's views have changed since then because it sure sounds like he's convinced that Obama is out to make himself some sort of global dictator because today he and Matt Barber, LC's Director of Cultural Affairs, dedicated their radio program to explaining how Obama, from the very beginning, has been focused on systemically weakening America so that he could ultimately position himself to take over the entire world:

Staver: When President Barack Obama was running for president, when we became president, I've long since stated that his end game has and is not President of the United States of America; that he has a broader worldwide agenda. And that's why he's to go to places around the world and down the United States of America, because he thinks that's going to gain him popularity in some of the other foreign areas. And that's really where I think his eyes are focused, not on [being] President of the United States.

Barber: Now here's the scary thing, I believe that that is true, but in order to have a post-American world, you have to have a post-America. And that's why his policies are pushing us into a post-American world. He is destroying American exceptionalism and is trying to do away with our free market system here in the United States. He's trying to create the climate where we have a post-American world.

Staver: Well, because America is always going to be, or at least it has been up until now, world player. And for him to be on the world scene, he's going to have to bring America down to the level of some of the European and some other countries with regards to commonality. And America always had the exceptionalism and you can't really have worldwide influence if you've got the America exceptional nation because you're going to have to have them all basically on the same level.

So for him to go into this national, or global, leadership - which he wants to do - it's no wonder why he wants to make America's economy like the European economy; it's no wonder why he wants to downplay Christianity so he can up-play Islam.

This man does not respect America. He never has.

Liberty Counsel is, of course, on of the main co-sponsors of the upcoming Values Voter Summit at which Staver is confirmed as a speaker, along with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Mike Huckabee (and it should be noted that Huck and Staver have a close personal relationship that goes back years.)

Mormonism: America's Islam

Last week we noted on Glenn Beck's Mormon faith was becoming a real scandal for some conservative Christian activists, with Brannon Howse of WorldView Weekend leading the charge against Religious Right leaders who have been linking arms with him.

Howse has been on a crusade about this for a week now and now it has come full circle as he dedicated his program yesterday to exposing how Mormonism is just like Islam:

"Mormonism, America's Islam" is a book written in 1912. What do Mormons and Muslims have in common? Similarities of Muhammad and Joseph Smith: - Visited by an angel. - Given visions. - Told that no true religion existed on the earth. - Was sent to restore the long lost faith as the one true religion. - A book produced from their teachings claimed to be “inspired by God.” - Each claimed to be illiterate or uneducated and used this as proof the book was inspired. - Each claimed the Bible was lost, altered, corrupted and unreliable. - Each claimed his new holy book was the most correct and perfect book on earth. - Each claimed to be a final prophet of God. - Each claimed he was persecuted because of his pure faith. - Was a polygamist who had many wives. - Immediately after his death a fight broke out from among the “faithful converts” as to who would succeed him. - Both religions have those who follow the “original doctrine” of the founding leaders and like these founding leaders, have been violent, polygamists, and have revelations justifying their evil actions. - Each has progressive revelation. (“New” revelation always replaces older revelation that became inconvenient to the prophet.) This list was compiled by Erick Barger. Here is the list compiled Ed Decker after his study of the two religions: Both belief systems teach that they have the only true and complete religion on face of the earth. Both reject Christianity as corrupted. Both taught the plurality of wives, both on earth and in here-after. Both teach that the Bible is corrupt and mistranslated. Both revealed God’s true scripture. Both reject original sin and the doctrine of the trinity. Both teach a salvation by good works. Both use a lay clergy. Both founded by a holy uneducated prophet. Both founding prophets had angelic visitations that they were to restore Adamic religion. Both prophets' words were above scripture or earlier prophets. Both teach a theocratic form of government. Both teach a here-after with graded rewards for works. Both claim to be the world’s fastest growing religion. Glenn Beck, a Mormon was able to get Christians to lock arms with Muslims in a spiritual endeavor that was looking to "one god".

September 11, 1857, Mormons slaughter 120 men, women and children in the name of God and then years later the Mormons worked to build a Mormon memorial on the ground of the Mountain Meadow Massacre against the wishes of family members of the slain. On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists murdered American citizens in the name of God and now seek to build a memorial to their religion in the form of a Mosque only a stone throw from where the Twin Towers once stood.

Biblically committed Christians must understand the spiritual deception of these last days and how Satan will move among false religions and cults to deceive Christians as well as non-Christians as he seeks to build his one-world religion. Satan is seeking to destroy Biblical Christianity for a humanistic Christianity. Satan wants to embarrass and compromise Christian pastors and leaders. Satan is seeking to infiltrate Bible based churches with false teaching and turn them toward his goal of pluralism in the name of tolerance and a social gospel. Satan will use that which has a form of godliness but denies the God of the Bible. Do not be shocked when most "Christians" do not see this and ridicule you.

That's right: Glenn Beck is now coming under attack for being part of a violent religious cult that is being used by Satan to destroy Christianity. 

I am choking on the irony.

Right Wing Round-Up

FRC's Latest Prayer Target: Values Voters, Islam, and the UN

I will admit that I am utterly fascinated by the Family Research Council's "Prayer Team" and how it merges its political agenda with specific prayer recommendations.

The latest installment, in addition to asking participants to pray that God will grace the Values Voter Summit and use attendees to make a difference in the election, also seeks prayer to fight off the administration's embrace of Islam: 

May God continue to expose Obama's favoritism toward Islam and disfavor toward Biblical Christianity! May Christians arise to resist this religious invasion through prayer and by communicating truth!

But most interesting is the fact that FRC takes issue with the Obama administration for submitting a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that covered both what the administration considered America's success and failures in the human rights arena. 

Of course, recognizing, or even perceiving, any sort of failure in anything America does is a monumental outrage:

May Americans learn of this egregious act to diminish American power and prestige, exalt the U.N. over us, and aggrandize the liberal Obama agenda. May voters grill candidates for office, and elect pro-American candidates this fall!

As I noted a few months ago, it is remarkable how FRC slowly seems to be transitioning from a political group with a religious agenda to a religious group with a political agenda.

Rick Joyner Very Concerned that Obama Might Be a Treasonous Muslim

Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries and The Oak Initiative just cannot decide if President Obama is a Christian or a Muslim.  On the one hand, Joyner says, Obama has a dog and hosts barbeques at the White House which are "things that no devout Muslim would do."  But then, on the other hand, maybe Obama is just following the "teachings in the Koran that allow for any Muslim to break the laws of Islam in order to deceive their enemies until they have gained an advantage over them."

So you can see why Joyner is just so confused ... and especially concerned that Obama the Muslim just might be engaging in treason:

I am about 55 percent persuaded that Obama is a Christian and 45 percent that he is possibly a Muslim, and at times I have been more persuaded that he is a Muslim. This ratio began for me believing that he was a Christian at about 95 percent, so I fully understand why so many are beginning to believe he is a Muslim, and I think it’s possible that soon the percentage will be rising.

One fact that should be very clear to any thinking, unbiased observer is that from the beginning of Obama’s Administration, we cannot trust what he says, but we have to observe what he actually does, which is to judge him by his fruit. Even a casual observer would see that Obama has demonstrated a great deal of hostility toward Christians and Jews and has demonstrated a basic affinity for Islam and Muslims.

...

In judging Obama’s faith, many are simply using the basic reasoning that “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck—it’s a duck!” No doubt President Obama is acting more like a Muslim, and doing far more to promote Islam, while at the same time demonstrating disdain or hostility toward Christians and Christianity. The fruit of his actions bears strong evidence that Obama is indeed a Muslim, or at the very least has far more affinity for Islam than Christianity.

So why am I not persuaded that he’s a Muslim? I would believe this except for one thing—I inquired of the Lord about this and feel that I have been shown something else—that deep in his heart he wants to know the real Jesus, just as many Muslims do. He has had a hard time finding Jesus in His people. He has had bad influences to shape his life and bad counselors now. I’m praying for the Lord to raise up a Joseph or Daniel to help him.

Even so, presently we are no doubt in a very grave situation in our nation with a President who has, at the very least, shaped by some bad influences. If Obama is a Muslim, this could mean that the things being done that are eroding the core strength of America could be intentional, not just done out of ignorance. That would make it treason of the highest order.

For Bryan Fischer, The Complete Absence of Evidence Is Definitive Proof

I will be the first to admit that I know next-to-nothing about Islam, which is why I recently picked up a copy of "Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters" by Omid Safi.

Now, obviously reading one book makes me only slightly less uninformed than I was before, but it has helped me to realize that the AFA's Bryan Fischer not only has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to Islam and Muslims, but that he just doesn't even care if anything he says is even remotely truthful.

Even though the book was written last year, there are passages that address the Islamophobia that is currently sweeping the Right and seem perfectly directed at people like Fischer, who use innuendo, half-truths, and outright lies to paint all Muslims as violent terrorists:

One of the most common mistakes made in cross-religious conversations is that people end up comparing the loftiest and noblest aspects of their own tradition with the most hideous aspects of others.

...

A common ploy by Islamophobes is to go to a predictable list of verses in the Qur'an and the words of Muhammad and to argue that these verses - with no context, no interpretation, and no alternative set of verses - represent the essence of Islam for all eternity, no matter what Muslims may say or why they may protest.

This new post by Fischer today is a perfect example of this tendency in action.

Fischer takes the story of Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezam al-Murisi, who were detained on suspicion of planning a terror attack but released when authorities found no such evidence, and uses it to "prove" that all Muslims are, in fact, terrorists:

What officials don’t realize is the fact al Soofi apparently acted on his own makes the case against the theory that there are any truly moderate Muslims in America crumble like a cheap Bedouin tent in a mild breeze.

In other words, al Soofi was a classic moderate Muslim, someone we’re told is not a threat to anyone, not a part of any terrorist cell, is a follower of the religion of peace and a man who only wants to contribute to America and realize the American dream.

Now it looks like he was trying to figure out a way to blow 300 of us to kingdom come.

The bottom line is this: if we can’t even trust “moderate” Muslims, which members of the Islamic persuasion can we trust? If a convenience store clerk in Tuscaloosa can go jihadi on us with no warning, how many other Muslims like him do we have to worry about?

The constant, constant danger is that a “moderate” Muslim may suddenly begin to take his religion seriously and get about the business of blasting some of us infidels to our final reward as his god and his religion teaches him to do. If a guy like al Soofi can’t be trusted, then no “moderate” Muslim in America can be trusted. We have to be cautious with them all.

Fischer has long been convinced that every Muslim is a terrorist, so it comes as no surprise that he would seize on this article.  But it is absolutely remarkable how he manages to present a case in which a Muslim was released after authorities determined that there was no evidence he was plotting an attack as proof that all Muslims are plotting terrorist attacks!  

For Fischer, a complete lack of evidence that al Soofi was plotting an attack or had any ties to terrorist organization is simply more evidence that every Muslims is violent radical at heart. 

Bauer: Obama, The Left, and Islamic Terrorists All Share The Same Agenda

In a new column in Human Events, Gary Bauer explains that, at heart, President Obama, progressives, and Islamic terrorists all have the same agenda, which is to destroy America and its Judeo-Christian values: 

Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side. Their common disdain for Christianity explains why left-wing judges in America find any inkling of Christianity in the public square unconstitutional, while Islamist judges in the Middle East deem it executable.

Their common view that life is expendable explains the left’s embrace abortion-on-demand and why the Islamists don’t hesitate to deploy their own children for homicide bombings.

Their common totalitarian impulse explains why each group has as its governing objective to render its subjects entirely dependent on the state for everything in their lives, from education to healthcare.

...

There’s a reason Obama won the Muslim American vote by more than nine to one, and why it is suspected that he received millions of dollars in contributions to his presidential campaign from Muslims abroad.

It’s not because Muslims thought Obama would fight for gays in the military. It’s because they knew he’d treat Israel as more of an annoyance than an ally, and because he’d be sure to diminish America’s stature in the world. And they were right.

More fundamentally, left-wing progressivism and Islamism both hold that religious belief and reason are at odds. Of course, Islamists embrace faith and reject reason, while progressives value reason to the exclusion of faith. Eventually these groups may have to address their basic differences.

But there will be time for that later. For now, there’s a greater goal to achieve: the annihilation of moral accountability and individual liberty and the destruction of the Judeo-Christian philosophy that is the foundation of Western civilization.

Bauer says that any "differences between the left and radical Islam fade to irrelevance in the face of such common enemies as traditional Christianity, Judaism, Israel, free enterprise and the very idea of America itself."

And just to claify, when Bauer uses the terms like "radical Islam" or "Islamist," he means "terrorist."

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Islam Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 10:24am
Speaking this morning at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Michele Bachmann dedicated her remarks to attacking the Obama administration for supposedly catering to radical Islam and that Muslim Brotherhood, citing a decision by the FBI to purge hundreds of anti-Muslim documents from its training materials as proof that the administration was enforcing "Islamic speech codes here in the United States": MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/12/2012, 1:29pm
Pat Robertson weighed in on the attacks yesterday on the American embassies in Egypt and Libya during which the US ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed by wondering what it was about Muslims that made them "go crazy" just because someone says that the Prophet Muhammad was a polygamist pedophile. Robertson concluded that "the reason they're so defensive is because they cannot defend some of the stuff they believe" and because Ishmael was, according to the Bible, "like a wild donkey" and "apparently that spirit has pervaded these people... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/11/2012, 10:26am
Yesterday, Bryan Fischer once again welcomed Jerry Boykin as a guest on his radio program where the two bonded over their mutual dislike and distrust of all things Muslim.  Fischer kicked things off by asking Boykin whether he believed that our leaders really understand the threat that Islam poses to this nation, prompting Boykin to declare not only does the political leadership not get it but that the lack of interest in the threat "is almost criminal," citing federal law that holds those who know of a threat and don't act or report it can be held criminally liable. Boykin... MORE
Josh Glasstetter, Friday 08/24/2012, 3:26pm
When the Family Research Council wasn’t rallying support this week for Todd Akin or pushing to keep the ban on abortions in the case of rape or incest in the GOP platform, it found time to denigrate an entire religion. FRC sends out weekly Prayer Team alerts, asking “for your prayers relating to various public policy issues.” This week’s alert called Islam – the religion of 2.6 million Americans and 1.6 billion people around the world – a “fanatical religion.” The alert also attacked a recent White House event with the American Muslim community... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/24/2012, 11:15am
Kansas Secretary of State and on-and-off Mitt Romney adviser Kris Kobach yesterday appeared on Secure Freedom Radio, where actor and former Congressman Fred Grandy filled in for Frank Gaffney to discuss the Republican Party Platform Committee’s adoption of an anti-Sharia plank. Kobach cited a new Kansas law combating the fictional and manufactured threat of Sharia as a reason the Republican Party Platform Committee endorsed his anti-Sharia proposal, telling Grandy that the “unequivocal intent” of the committee’s decision was to encourage other states to “take a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/16/2012, 4:15pm
Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival, who recently led the “Lenin and Sharia” conference on the supposed links between Communism and radical Islamists, today joined Frank Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio to once again defend Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt. But before they could get to that, the two attacked conservative activist Grover Norquist, whom Gaffney has consistently demonized as a Muslim Brotherhood agent. Gaffney said that his ten part “Muslim Brotherhood in America” course proves that Norquist and his Brotherhood allies are copying the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/14/2012, 1:14pm
Late last year, Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission announced that his organization would be releasing a series of monthly videos leading up to the election detailing "ten new irrefutable proofs that Barack Obama is not a Christian." Today, Cass released part seven of the series which lays out that Obama has been friendly to Islam while being hostile to Christianity, even though the Bible says that "Islam is the doctrine of demons and originates in Hell."  And the reason Obama doesn't believe that America is a Christian nation, the CADC explains... MORE