Legal

ACT! Demands Donations To Fight Imaginary Sharia Invasion

Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America (formerly American Congress for Truth) today sent members a video message urging them to become “Patriot Partners” by making monthly donations to her anti-Muslim group. She said that the funding will go towards efforts to pass laws banning the supposed use of Sharia law in courts, such as the one struck down by a federal judge in Oklahoma. Gabriel called her rivals “unhinged” and “fronts” of the Muslim Brotherhood who intend to “smear” and use “legal assaults” against anti-Sharia legislation.

Of course, Gabriel’s legislative fix is still in need of a problem, as there is simply no evidence that Sharia law or Sharia courts are permeating the American justice system. But don’t let that stop you from giving Gabriel your money!

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC has released its Congressional scorecards.
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  • I look forward to watching the Religious Right turn this pastor who was arrested for protesting a high school's demon mascot into their newest cause célèbre.
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  • Is Charisma Magazine, which routinely features people like Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, really suggesting that people should be jailed for delivering false prophecies?
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  • Gary Cass bravely launched a new "anti-bullying campaign" yesterday - by which he means "an anti-Muslim campaign."
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  • Finally, Mat Staver says "I think what we see is militant atheism trying to use the courts to literally crush Christianity, silence anyone who believes in God, and to make those who do a target of punishment."  I think Staver doesn't understand what the word "literally" means.

Right Wing Round-Up

Religious Right Erupts Following Herman Cain's Incoherent Position On Abortion

Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least.

Rick Perry’s campaign suggested that Cain, along with Mitt Romney, has “flip flopped” on the issue and Rick Santorum went so far as to call him “pro-choice.” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance said that Cain “needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative”:

Last week Herman Cain said he didn’t support a federal marriage amendment, this week he has backed away from his earlier position on the sanctity of human life. Herman Cain needs to decide whether or not he is a social conservative. The issue of life is like the issue of slavery, it is an inalienable right. The life issue is a dividing line proving whether or not a leader’s moral compass is intact. This is not a point on which social conservative women will negotiate. Cain needs to figure out what he believes.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association argued that Cain’s remarks “could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook” and wrote a column taking Cain to task:

Herman seems to be saying that he is pro-life with no exceptions for rape and incest — unless the family wants an exception, and then it’s none of his business.

Ouch.

In other words, Herman’s position on conceived-in-rape is virtually indistinguishable from the typical liberal position: personally pro-life, politically pro-abortion.

Although the rape and incest issue is obviously controversial, and a subset of the larger pro-life debate, this will create real problems for Herman in the campaign. It will be difficult for him to walk this one back.

Christian talk show host Janet Mefferd, like everyone it seems besides Cain, was utterly befuddled, saying that “his answer sounds awfully pro-choice,” charging, “that’s how the pro-abortion side talks!”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber later called into Mefferd’s show and urged Cain to clarify:

Guy Benson of Townhall also writes that after watching Cain’s interviews with Piers Morgan and with John Stossel, where Cain said that “abortion should not be legal” but an abortion “is her choice, that is not government’s choice,” it seems that Cain’s position, on the face of it, is pro-choice:

I'm a bit mystified that I'm even asking this question, frankly, because I simply assumed Cain was rock solid on the life issue -- but after a puzzling interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, I'm not sure what to think any more.



He starts out by saying he believes that life begins at conception, and that he supports "abortion under no circumstances." When Morgan presses him on the government's role in enforcing that belief -- an exchange that at least begins with a hypothetical question about a rape exception -- Cain begins to sound a lot like a "personally opposed to abortion, but still pro-choice" candidate. If you didn't know the following quote came out of Herman Cain's mouth, I wouldn't blame you for presuming its source was a Democrat.

Why Is Everyone Always Misunderstanding Herman Cain?

You really have to feel for Herman Cain because it seems that people are always misunderstanding his perfectly consistent and reasonable statements. 

Like how his 9-9-9 plan will not raise taxes on the poor because he has a super-secret solution that he just hasn't told anyone about or how just because he said he wouldn't allow any Muslims to serve in his administration, that doesn't mean he wouldn't allow Muslims to serve in his administration.

Yesterday Cain made news again after saying that it is not the "government’s role, or anybody else’s role" to make the decision about whether to have an abortion in cases of rape or incest.

That statement made Religious Right activists question Cain's anti-choice bona fides, to which he responded with a tweet declaring that he was "100% pro-life.  End of story."

That, of course, was not the end of the story because it directly contradicted what Cain had just said.  So now Cain is out there trying to set the record straight by explaining that he believes that abortion ought to be illegal in all circumstances ... but that the decision to break the law and get an abortion is none of the government's business: 

FOX HOST MARTHA MACCALLUM: Do you believe that abortion should be legal in this country for families who want to make that decision [to abort]?

CAIN: No. I do not believe abortion should be legal in this country, if that's the question.

MACCALLUM: So then you're saying that if those circumstances come up and the family does make that decision, that they decide that that is the best thing for this young person or she decides that on her own, then if that's what they decided, then it would be an illegal abortion that they would seek.

CAIN: It would be an illegal abortion! Look, abortion should not be legal -- that is clear -- but if that family made a decision to break the law, that's their decision. 

In attempting to clarify his position, Cain has done the opposite and is only generating more confusion.

If the government outlaws abortion, then obviously a decision about whether to break the law and get an abortion anyway is not a situation where the government "shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision" ... mainly because the government has already made that decision for them by outlawing abortion.

Is this really Cain's position: that in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government's business to tell them what to do?

Here is helpful tip for Cain to consider: if people are repeatedly asking you to clarify your incoherent positions and your clarifications only induce further confusion, then just maybe it is not everyone else that is woefully misinformed.

Right Wing Round-Up

Discussing Lawrence King's Murder, Truth In Action Ministries Blames The Victim

After the tragic shooting of Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay California student who was shot dead by a classmate in school three years ago, Religious Right activists pounced to defame King and gay rights advocates. Randy Thomasson of Save California blamed “social engineering” and said that King’s sexual orientation and gender expression and the shooting represented the “two wrongs” in the case. Anti-gay author Michael Brown said “gay activism” was responsible for the murder. The trial of King’s shooter ended in a hung jury and will be retried.

Now, in a recently-posted interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Karen Gushta of Truth in Action Ministries argues that King’s murder demonstrates that “affirming students” is “not a healthy trend.” OneNewsNow writes that attempts to “encourage children to ‘come out’ and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks,” and claims that Brandon McInerney, the defendant, “allegedly shot King,” even though neither party is contesting the facts of the murder.

Gushta told the conservative news site that hate crimes laws and education policy were to blame for King’s brutal death:

A research coordinator says the murder of a "gay" teenage student should serve as an example for why hate crime laws "do nothing to aid in administering justice."



Dr. Karen Gushta, research coordinator for Truth in Action Ministries, points out that hate crime laws did not protect King in this case.

"Hate crime laws do nothing to aid in administering justice," she explains. "They are a solution in the search for problems because what they in actuality do is criminalize thought."

Prosecutors dropped the hate crimes count, stating that they want to "slim the case down" and "narrow the focus." If convicted under the new charges, McInerney could face 50 years to life in prison. Had he been convicted in the first trial, he would have faced 53 years to life.

Gushta warns that policies that encourage children to "come out" and experiment with alternate lifestyles causes physical and mental health risks.

"The trend toward teaching gender identity and affirming students at a young age in transgender identity that's taking place in education, and specifically in California schools, that is not a healthy trend," she contends.

McInerney allegedly shot King once, and shot him again after he fell to the floor. A pretrial hearing is set for November 21.

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

Parker: God Will Judge Us For Abortion, Gay Marriage

Star Parker ended tonight's Values Voter Summit by mourning Roe v. Wade and marriage equality, declaring, "We are sick as a country, and we are going to have to recognize how deep this sickness is." She went on to compare legal abortion and gay marriage to slavery and the holocaust, warning that God in the same way "is going to answer the question of abortion and He is going to answer the question of marriage; He already defined marriage and God is true and man is the liar."

Watch:

Parker: He is going to answer these questions, and we've been yearning, and we've been begging, and we're 35 years, 36 years now with Roe v. Wade. And we're talking about all of the millions of people whose lives were touched, how deeply abortion has scarred this country. And now we're yearning, waiting, to protect the interest of marriage, such a most humble position God would put us in, the marital sacrament, to recognize how personal and private that is. It's absolutely under attack to the degree that in California they now have to stop a law, they have to form an initiative to stop a law, from teaching their children gay history. We are sick as a country, and we are going to have to recognize how deep this sickness is.

So that when we get to November 3rd, regardless of the outcome, the same way big moral questions were on the table before, God would answer what we are praying for. And as with slavery when He turned the history clock on and we saw pictures, and we said, 'what happened? We were founded on such principles? These founding fathers prayed. How did we go eighty years, 600,000 dead later to answer a simple question, that was just unlawful in God's eyes. The protection of innocent life, to give that life that liberty, and that opportunity to pursue their personal property and happiness.' We saw it again in the Holocaust, they turned the history clock on after He answered that big question and we said, 'How did this happen? What were we doing? How did the churches that were there just turn their music up and sing a little longer?' Well, He is going to turn the history clock on on today too, He is going to turn the history clock on because one day He is going to answer these questions. He is going to answer the question of abortion and He is going to answer the question of marriage; He already defined marriage and God is true and man is the liar.

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Michele Bachmann will be speaking to Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition "Presidential Series National Tele-Town Hall" next week.
  • Fortunately for CAIR, Herman Cain will never become president.
  • Randall Terry needs money.
  • So does the Family Research Council.
  • And Gary Bauer is asking for donations to "help us defend normal marriage" despite the fact that his organization doesn't seem to ever really do much of anything.
  • Finally, can someone explain to me how the Obama administration is playing politics by refusing to release the photos of Osama Bin Laden?

Fischer: First Amendment Does Not Apply To Mormons

As mentioned in our earlier post, we are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce Bryan Fischer's long history of unmitigated bigotry. This time we are focusing on Mitt Romney because, according to the conference schedule, he will be speaking immediately before Fischer on Saturday morning.

Our efforts in the past to get someone, anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer's relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is why GOP leaders continue to appear on his radio program and on stage with him at Religious Right events. 

But we wonder if Mitt Romney might finally raise some objections to sharing the stage with someone who openly declared just earlier this week that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and asserts that the LDS church still supports polygamy:

My argument all along has been that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion.

One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing ... they weren't even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism - they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly.

And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths, so when Mormonism came along, they practiced polygamy, they believed in polygamy, just like Muslims do today. It was a part of their revealed religion. God had commanded Joseph Smith to have multiple wives and commanded Joseph Smith to go tell your wife Emma, look you gotta room, I want my son Joseph to be able to have as many wives as he wants so you're just going to have to accept it. So God is telling Emma through Joseph Smith, look you're just going to have to live with this deal. So multiple wives in the Mormon Church until 1890 when the Mormon Church told their folks to obey the law.

The Mormon Church, by the way, has never denounced the practice of polygamy. It has not. What it did in 1890, if you go back to the Doctrines and Covenants, what the Mormon Church did is they advised - it wasn't even an order - they advised the members of the LDS Church to obey the law which said one man, one woman, period. So my guess is that if those that are trying to legalize polygamy, and they are working on it right now ... [Fischer cites court case pushing for recognition of polygamy and says it the same as using courts to push for gay marriage] ... If there is some activist court that says you have to recognize polygamous marriages in your state, you're going to start seeing the LDS church, I believe go back to the exercise of polygamy. If it's legal, because all they told their folks is obey the law, if the law says you can have multiple wives, I believe the LDS Church will be out in the front of the pack.

I mean, not everybody in the LDS Church is going to do it any more than all the members of the LDS Church ever did it. It was a minority even in Joseph Smith's day - I mean, Brigham Young set some kind of world record for number of wives, I mean he was up there in Muhammad territory frankly. But most Mormons didn't do it, it was just a small percentage that had the resources to be able to do it. But I think it will come back, it will come back pretty vigorously in the Mormon Church, again, because all the church fathers said in 1890, just obey the law. Well, if the law says you can have multiple wives, they'll be back.

Robertson, Sekulow Claim That Sharia Law Is Headed To The Constitution

Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice, which was founded by Pat Robertson, has become a leading anti-Muslim legal outfit despite its supposed commitment to religious liberty. The group, for instance, tried to block the construction of the Park 51 Islamic Center and promotes paranoia over “creeping Sharia.” Today on The 700 Club, Robertson and Sekulow discussed a tragic case in Iran where a Christian pastor faces execution for apostasy. But the conversation quickly turned to panic about the purported use of Sharia law in the United States. Robertson and Sekulow had harsh words for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who referred to the notion of “creeping Sharia” as “crazy.” In fact, Sekulow made the case that Sharia law is well on its way to inclusion in the Constitution:

Alliance Defense Fund To Launch Law School Aimed At Creating "Liberal Chaser" Attorneys

Religious Right leaders are coming together to form yet another law school to train future lawyers of the conservative movement. The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund is helping Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist institution, start the Paul Pressler School of Law, which will join Liberty University, Regent University and others in providing politicized training to the next generation of Religious Right lawyers.

Pressler’s ties to the Alliance Defense Fund will be similar to the Liberty University School of Law’s partnership with Liberty Counsel and the Regent University School of Law’s (originally Oral Roberts University’s Coburn School of Law) alliance with the American Center for Law and Justice. As Sarah Posner notes, such law schools intend to “teach the ‘biblical’ foundations of the law” and create “lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.”

According to the National Law Journal, the new law school “is named for Paul Pressler III, a former Texas Court of Appeals judge who helped lead the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1970s.”

The founding dean of the Pressler law school, J. Michael Johnson, was previously senior counsel of the ADF and, according to his Townhall.com bio, has “provided legal representation to organizations such as Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Toward Tradition, the American Family Association, and Coral Ridge Ministries, and numerous family policy councils and crisis pregnancy centers.” In 2005, Johnson won the “Faith, Family and Freedom” award from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for his work defending the Louisiana Marriage Protection Amendment, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.

Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Perkins, who is a member of Pressler’s board of reference, spoke to Johnson about the new law school. Johnson said the law school would be “not unlike what our colleagues are doing at the Liberty University School of Law and the Regent University School of Law.” Perkins said, “This law school’s not going to be pumping out ambulance chasers, this is going to be pumping out liberal chasers, I mean we’re gonna track them down, wherever they are and we’re gonna defeat them, and if we can’t defeat them in the policy realm we’re gonna defeat them in the courts.” He added, “This law school is gonna be pumping out God-fearing, American-loving, family-defending attorneys”:

The choice of Louisiana College is no surprise. The school claims it “seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline” and believes “academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.”

In 2008 the school barred members of the Christian LGBT group Soul Force from appearing on campus. In his decision to bar the group, the college’s president cited a fake James Madison quote propagated by David Barton, which states that the U.S. government was based on “the Ten Commandments.”

Now David Barton is serving on the board of the law school.

Along with Perkins and Barton, Religious Right leaders on the board include Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, Alveda King of Priests for Life, Religious Right luminary Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Kelly Shackleford of the Liberty Institute and Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese. Republican politicians including Reps. Rodney Alexander and John Fleming, former congressman Bob McEwen, and senatorial candidate and Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are also on the board.

Dakota Ary, Hate Crimes, And The Gay Nazis

Whenever I see articles like this one about Dakota Ary, a fourteen year-old Texas student who was suspended for reportedly saying in class that, as a Christian, he believes homosexuality is wrong, I am always reminded of the story of Raymond Raines or, more recently, the eight year-old Massachusetts student supposedly suspended for drawing a picture of Jesus.

These absurd stories are almost always generated by the Religious Right legal groups who have been hired to represent the families of the "victims" - does anyone remember Edwin Graning? - and the resulting stories inevitably present only their version, often because school systems have policies of not commenting on specific student-related cases.

And that is exactly what is happening with Ary as he is being represented by Liberty Counsel and every article written about the situation presents only that side of the story as Ary's school district is refusing to comment.

And so it just serves up a prime opportunity for Bryan Fischer to renew his "gays commit hate crimes" campaign and trot out his "The Nazis were all gay" claims:

One can be forgiven for asking what in the world a German teacher is doing talking about homosexuality in his classroom in the first place. Apparently the tenuous link was that the teacher brought up the topic of homosexuality in Germany.

Fine. Does this teacher tell his students that Adolf Hitler was a homosexual, and developed a police record as a homosexual prostitute on the streets of Vienna? Does he tell his students that the Nazi Party started in a homosexual bar in Munich? Does this teacher tell his students that virtually all of the Brownshirts, the Storm Troopers who served as Hitler’s thugs and enforcers, were themselves homosexuals?

Does he tell his students that students in German schools are taught these things because they never want a repeat of the Nazi horror?

Thanks to the intervention of Liberty Counsel and attorney Matt Krause, the school has backed this Gaystapo teacher down and rescinded this Nazi-esque suspension in time for this honors student to play in the school’s next football game.

As a culture, we must come to grips with the simple truth that we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and freedom because we cannot have both. There is no room in the homosexual lobby for freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press or even association.

Quite simply, we must choose between homosexuality and liberty. Let’s be sure we make the right choice.

Anti-Immigrant Activists Blast Perry Over DREAM Act Defense

At last night’s Republican presidential debate Gov. Rick Perry defended a state law he signed that allows the children of undocumented immigrants living in Texas to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. Although Perry has attacked the federal DREAM Act as “amnesty,” anti-immigrant activists are furious over his defense of the Texas law.

In a statement, Americans for Legal Immigration-PAC president William Gheen speculated that Perry has “assured his own defeat”:

Texas Governor Perry destroyed his chances of winning the GOP Presidential primary during last night's debate when he defended his support for in-state tuition for illegal aliens which is opposed by 81% of all Americans.

"Rick Perry proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not the right choice for America by supporting these radical illegal immigration attracting measures," said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "Perry's support for in-state tuition for illegals forces taxpayers to pay to replace their own children in the limited seats in our colleges!"



"GOP voters cannot vote for Rick Perry now without legitimizing and supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," said William Gheen. "Perry has assured his own defeat despite the fact that he is receiving so much support and favoritism from globalist groups in the media. It is clear to me that the globalists who are responsible for illegal immigration in America are using their power to promote Rick Perry at this time."

Chris Chmielenski of Numbers USA also criticized Perry:

Legal immigration aside, the storyline of tonight's debate was Gov. Perry's insistence to stand behind his decision to sign the Texas Dream Act, granting in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. Perry's response continues to be that these individuals will become a drag on society, but what he fails to understand is that with or without an education, these young people can't legally work in the United States. Plus, as Rick Santorum pointed out, no one is denying illegal aliens an education. Illegal aliens can still go to the University of Texas, but they should have to pay the same tuition rate that Arizona residents who attend the University of Texas pay.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote in an email to members that his stance will haunt him throughout the primary:

Perry blew it.

How?

By pandering to the illegal alien vote.

Perry has gained a lot of traction from the Tea Party movement. By doubling down on the illegal alien issue, he has gained no friend and alienated many in the conservative movement.



His support of illegal aliens is hurting him.

Even American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer got into the mix, taking particular issue with Perry’s claim that those who oppose in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants don’t “have a heart”:

It’s fine to say we should not punish children for the sins of their fathers. But neither should we reward them. And we are not just rewarding the children, we are rewarding the parents, since many of them stole into the U.S. because they wanted to give their children a shot at a decent education. (The solution: help Mexico improve its educational system.) So Gov. Perry simply cannot get around the fact that he is rewarding the illegal behavior of aliens who have no right to be here. That is an exceedingly troublesome position for someone who wants to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.



Public schools at every level should be reserved for students who have a legal right to be in this country. The immigration status of every applicant should be checked and enrollment reserved for legal residents of the United States. If illegal aliens wants [sic] to pursue higher education, let’s repatriate them to their native land where they can pursue education to their heart’s content.

The ACLJ Is A Sekulow Family Affair

Earlier this month Bob Smietana of The Tennessean wrote a long article about how Jay Sekulow appears to be using the American Center For Law and Justice as a means to enrich himself and his family to the tune of millions of dollars.  This was very similar to an article Tony Mauro wrote for The Legal Times back in 2005.

Of course, Sekulow and the ACLJ say such reports present a "biased and distorted picture of the truth" but you'd think that amid such reports, they'd be a little leery of doing anything that reinforce this perception ... say, like getting the National Journal to write a profile [PDF] of their new Social Media Director who also just so happens to be getting married to Sekulow's son [and ACLJ Executive Director] Jordan next month:

Anna Handzlik considers herself in job heaven. Every day, she works with her best friend – soon-to-be-husband Jordan Sekulow – to connect people with their political causes.

Handzlik has just begun a transition to the American Center for Law and Justice’s new media team. In her position, she will be blogging, working with social media, and signing on as a regular commentator for the Jordan Sekulow Show on satellite and broadcast radio stations to discuss developments in new media and how they relate to the political landscape.

Engle: Obama Can Become The Next Lincoln By Banning Abortion

Back in July, we reported Lou Engle’s prophesy that the deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, was God’s punishment for legal abortion. This week, Engle got together with Rick Joyner of The Oak Initiative to promote The Call: Detroit with Transformation Michigan, an affiliate of The Oak Initiative. They took advantage of their time together to make a video discussing Engle’s Joplin prophesy. In the video, Engle tells Joyner that he received a message in a dream that President Obama has the potential to be the next Abraham Lincoln if he bans abortion through his very own "emancipation proclamation."

Watch:

President Obama is now presiding over a nation under the judgments of the shedding of the innocent blood, of 52, 54 million babies; I believe he is a Lincoln-type president. And wouldn’t it be God, that a man from Illinois would be elected president to release an emancipation proclamation for the blacks, and now a black man could be a president from Illinois that if we pray for him rather than point the finger at him we could actually break through the racial issues, we could find our black brothers and sisters in a realm that’s beyond politics and division. And actually if we pray for him as strong as we prayed for President Bush maybe God would loose a healing in our nation and he could become a pro-life president who would release an emancipation proclamation to end the shedding of the innocent blood and that the black voice in America would rise up maybe, because abortion started with racism with Margaret Sanger, would the black voice would arise and call this whole thing down, the shedding of innocent blood. This is a profound dream encounter; you just can’t treat it lightly.

Perry Names Stemberger Co-Chair Of Leadership Team For FL GOP Event

Last week we noted that John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council was hinting that he was going to be endorsing Rick Perry for President, despite the fact that Michele Bachmann had recently headlined a fundraising event for his organization.

Today, the Perry campaign issued a press release announcing that Stemberger would be serving as co-chair of his leadership team for the upcoming Florida Presidency 5 event:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced his leadership team for Presidency 5 (P5), with Speaker Dean Cannon serving as chairman. Gov. Perry will participate in Florida P5 this week, including the P5 debate, CPAC and straw poll in Orlando, Fla.

...

In addition to Speaker Cannon, conservative activists John Stemberger and Pam Olsen will serve as co-chairs.

Stemberger was Chairman of the Florida4Marriage.org campaign which outlawed marriage equality in Florida in 2008 and was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga in 2009.  In fact, his actions during the Bary case resulted in Stemberger eventually facing misconducted charges and a ten million dollar lawsuit, though the complaint was eventually dismissed and the lawsuit was dropped.

In addition to being a Religious Right activist, Stemberger is also a personal injury attorney who has, in this capacity, put forth some rather novel legal arguments:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

Update:  Sarah Posner reports that the other co-chair, Pam Olsen, is a Cindy Jacobs associate and the founder of the Tallahassee International House of Prayer:

Olsen founded the Tallahassee International House of Prayer after she "received a prophetic word through Cindy Jacobs that God was going to use her as a mighty weapon against the enemy through the prayer movement and that He was going to raise up a physical location that would be a place of refuge for people, pastors and missionaries to come and pray."

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Legal Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/27/2011, 9:54am
Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America (formerly American Congress for Truth) today sent members a video message urging them to become “Patriot Partners” by making monthly donations to her anti-Muslim group. She said that the funding will go towards efforts to pass laws banning the supposed use of Sharia law in courts, such as the one struck down by a federal judge in Oklahoma. Gabriel called her rivals “unhinged” and “fronts” of the Muslim Brotherhood who intend to “smear” and use “legal assaults” against anti-Sharia legislation. Of... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 4:45pm
FRC has released its Congressional scorecards.   I look forward to watching the Religious Right turn this pastor who was arrested for protesting a high school's demon mascot into their newest cause célèbre.   Is Charisma Magazine, which routinely features people like Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, really suggesting that people should be jailed for delivering false prophecies?   Gary Cass bravely launched a new "anti-bullying campaign" yesterday - by which he means "an anti-Muslim campaign."  ... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:47pm
Andrew Duffelmeyer @ Iowa Independent: GOP hopefuls fight for social conservative support in Iowa.   Igor Volsky @ Think Progress LGBT: Herman Cain Flops Back To Supporting A Constitutional Amendment Against Same-Sex Marriage.   Alan Colmes: Herman Cain Shows No Understanding Of The Constitution In Pro-Life Amendment Statement.   Warren Throckmorton: NARTH is not primarily composed of mental health professionals.   Jillian Rayfield @ TPM: Twelve Pretty Racist Or Just Crazy Quotes From Pat Buchanan’s New Book.   Eric... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/21/2011, 3:40pm
Herman Cain has said this week that he is pro-life and that abortion should be made illegal, but also that the government shouldn’t have any role in it and the decision should be left up to the woman and her family. As Kyle notes, it seems that Cain’s position is that abortion should be outlawed but “in situations where a family was deciding whether or not to break the law, it is none of the government’s business to tell them what to do.” Cain seems to be the only person who understands this view, and the Religious Right is not happy, to say the least. Rick Perry... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/21/2011, 2:43pm
You really have to feel for Herman Cain because it seems that people are always misunderstanding his perfectly consistent and reasonable statements.  Like how his 9-9-9 plan will not raise taxes on the poor because he has a super-secret solution that he just hasn't told anyone about or how just because he said he wouldn't allow any Muslims to serve in his administration, that doesn't mean he wouldn't allow Muslims to serve in his administration. Yesterday Cain made news again after saying that it is not the "government’s role, or anybody else’s role" to make the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/19/2011, 5:03pm
Michael B. Keegan @ Huffington Post: Cafeteria Libertarianism: Where the GOP Goes to Snack.   Towleroad: Rick Santorum Suggests the GOP Turn Religious Latino Voters Against the Family-Destroying Gays.   Igor Volsky @ Think Progress: Rick Santorum Pledges To Defund Contraception: ‘It’s Not Okay, It’s A License To Do Things.’   Steve Benen: The dangers of accidental candor.   Colby Hall @ Mediaite: Herman Cain: I Misspoke Earlier When I Said That I’d Negotiate With Terrorists.  ... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/13/2011, 9:10am
After the tragic shooting of Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay California student who was shot dead by a classmate in school three years ago, Religious Right activists pounced to defame King and gay rights advocates. Randy Thomasson of Save California blamed “social engineering” and said that King’s sexual orientation and gender expression and the shooting represented the “two wrongs” in the case. Anti-gay author Michael Brown said “gay activism” was responsible for the murder. The trial of King’s shooter ended in a hung jury and... MORE