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.

Family Research Council Twists The Facts On Marriage Discrimination Case

When Deirdre DiBiaggio and Katie Carmichael went to their town clerk in Upstate New York to receive a marriage license, the clerk turned them away and refused to process their marriage application, instead telling them to make an appointment with a deputy on another day. The couple, represented by People For the American Way Foundation, is now trying to make sure that the clerk does her job and complies with the state’s Marriage Equality Act.

The Family Research Council is now defending the clerk, who, the group writes in an email to members, faced a “surprise visit from a lesbian couple” – a strange choice of words since a major part of the clerk’s job is to process marriage applications. The right-wing organization wrongly insists that “the women weren’t denied a license” and falsely claims that “the two women got their license and were ‘married’”:

Rose Marie Belforti, a small town cheese maker in rural New York, is at the epicenter of the effort to banish Christians from living out their faith in public office. Belforti, a Bible-believing Christian, has been the elected town clerk for nearly a decade. After the New York legislature redefined marriage and ordered clerks to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses, Belforti had a surprise visit from a lesbian who wanted a marriage license. Rose did what she would do for anyone--she offered an appointment. Just not with her. The women weren't denied a license, but Rose, in anticipation of a conflict with her faith, took the matter to the Ledyard Town Board in August. The board appointed several deputy clerks to sign and issue the licenses. The two women got their license and were "married," but now they want to make sure that those who won't participate and celebrate this ruse of a "marriage" are banished from public office.

This is hardly the case. DiBiaggio and Carmichael are still not married because Belforti continues to deny them a marriage license, insisting that they jump through hoops to obtain one from a part-time deputy. But for the Family Research Council, the facts never stand in the way of advocacy for anti-gay discrimination.

UPDATE: In Thursday’s email update, the FRC corrected its assertion that DiBiaggio and Carmichael were married.

Understanding The Methods And Agenda of Champion The Vote

Shortly after Gov. Rick Perry's giant prayer rally in August, organizers started emailing those who had registered for the event, urging them to get active in a new Religious Right voter mobilization effort called Champion The Vote.

It turns out that this registration and mobilization effort is being backed by millions of dollars from Rick Perry supporters who are dedicated to doing what they can to register tens of millions of Christian voters in the coming years in an effort to take back America.

Yesterday, Champion The Vote's Bill Dallas was a guest on The Janet Mefferd Show where he provided the first concrete details regarding just how the organization intends to go about accomplishing this "nonpartisan" goal:

Mefferd: So what is the strategy? I know you have this website, How are you compiling the database, how are you identifying these Christians, and how are you utilizing regular Christians who are registered to vote to help you out?

Dallas: So currently we have a database that has over 120 million names in it and through a lot of crashing lists against other lists - another term is called data-mining - we've been able to determine through characteristics people that are very pro-life, traditional marriage, the magazines they subscribe to - these are all things you go out and rent,. We spent a lot of money determining the characteristics of that 120 million and we've been able to find a sub-set of that that are very committed Christians based on lifestyle habits and other things that we can track and trend. We compare it to a registered voter database and if your name is not on there, we know that you're a committed Christian and you're not registered.

Then what we do is we match champions. People that are listening to your program right now, people who say "boy, that's a shame, what can I do?" Well, we ask you to go to and what we will do is we will sign you up and you will become one of our local activists - we call them champions, a local ambassador. And we give you the technology tools that you will then engage in your local neighborhood to get those 50-60 people that are currently not registered, over a 10-12 month period of time, to get them registered and then you will help message to them to make sure that they show up and have a biblical worldview on the candidates they choose.

We are nonpartisan and, as I say all the time - I'm quoting a friend of mine, Sam Rodriguez - we're not blue, we're not red, we're not about the donkey, we're not about the elephant, we're simply about the agenda of the lamb. And so we help you, as a Champion, help train people in your communities what a biblical worldview is, make sure they're registered, and then they go to the ballot voting with that biblical worldview.

"Biblical worldview," of course, means the standard Religious Right agenda of prompting religion while opposing abortion and gay marriage:

Dallas: Ultimately the heroes of this is not United in Purpose, the umbrella organization, its all of these champions changing our country back to where people raise their hands and vote with a biblical worldview. The fragrance of our nation could smell so differently two, four, six, eight, ten years from now if we got engaged, and that’s what we’re about.

Mefferd: What would you say are the top issues right now that Christians really ought to be concerned about, I know there are plenty of them but how would you rank them right now?

Dallas: Well for me my hot button is religious liberty. We got to make sure that we do not keep trying to strip God out of everything and trying to keep everybody quiet. It seems like there’s a segment over society that’s trying to keep God out of things and keeping God quiet. So I think religious liberty for me personally is number one. And the other two issues is obviously life and marriage. Those to us are the three core issues that everything rests upon.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Foundation Report Uncovers the Roberts Court's Pro-Corporate Agenda.
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Three Weeks After Frank Gaffney Released New Anti-Sharia Pledge, Zero Presidential Candidates Have Signed On.
  • Towleroad: NC Senator James Forrester, Sponsor of Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, Exposed as Ignorant Liar.
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: Alabama GOPer Apologizes For Calling Black Casino Customers 'Aborigines.'
  • Warren Throckmorton: On David Barton’s claim that Unitarians were “a very evangelical Christian denomination.”
  • Kate Sheppard @ Mother Jones: The Daily Caller Really Should Be Embarrassed By This.

Kirkwood Claims Gay Rights Are "An Affront To The Most Holy God"

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality had as his guest today Chicago pastor and radio show host John Kirkwood. While speaking with LaBarbera, Kirkwood likened gays and lesbians to heroin users and said that supporting gay rights is similar to encouraging a drug addict. Kirkwood also attacked “the Lady Gaga theology that you were born that way” and said people who believe that are “rejecting God” and “rejecting the Bible.”


Kirkwood: So when Christians start buying into the Lady Gaga theology that you were born that way, they’re rejecting Paul, they’re rejecting God, they’re rejecting the Bible, they’re rejecting the offer of redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. And so it’s a larger issue to me than simply traditional marriage versus same-sex marriage.

LaBarbera: Absolutely.

Kirkwood: It’s an affront to the most holy God. And God says, listen, here’s the thing that’s crazy, if your son was a heroin addict Peter, and you found out people were encouraging him in that behavior, that would be an enemy to you. You don’t want people to give him needles, even if they’re clean needles, you don’t want him to be applauded in that behavior because that behavior’s going to lead to destruction. You want somebody to be able to say to him 'listen God’s got a better way, you can be freed of this bondage.' And yet we don’t do this with homosexuality, or we’re scared to do this with homosexuality, when God told us that the end is destruction?

LaBarbera: He calls it an abomination.

Are VVS Organizers Trying To Hide Fischer's Involvement?

Last month, we asked why Bryan Fischer was not being pictured among the confirmed and invited leaders to the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

Fischer has been a featured speaker for each of the last two years at the event and has always been prominently featured on the speaker's list in years past.  And considering that his employer, The American Family Association, is a co-sponsor of the event, it seemed rather unlikely that Fischer had been dropped, despite his long record of unmitigated bigotry.

The Values Voter Summit is being held next week and Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum are all pictured on the confirmed speaker list, as are dozens of other GOP and Religious Right leaders ... but Fischer is nowhere to be found:

But just because he is not listed on the speakers page, that doesn't mean that Fischer won't be speaking, because the event schedule has him listed as speaking directly after Mitt Romney on Saturday:

9:00 a.m. - Noon


- Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Dr. Bill Bennett, Host, Morning in America*

- Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association*

Straight Talk on Gay "Marriage"

- Moderator: Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
- Daniel Avila, J.D., Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family , U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
- Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage
- Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance*
- David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants

- General William Boykin (Ret.), Former Commander, Delta Force*

The asterisk by Fischer's name indicates that he is a confirmed speaker, so why are event organizers seemingly trying to conceal his participation?

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 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.

Just Say No ... To The Phrase "Gay Christian"

Last year, Chuck Colson announced that he would no longer use the phrase "gay marriage" because "there is no such thing" and even using the phrase undermined the institution of marriage by weakening the definition.

Today, Denny Burk, an associate professor of New Testament at Boyce College - which is the undergraduate arm of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - endorses a similar approach by writing in The Baptist Press that Christians ought to stop using the phrase "gay Christian": 

First, the phrase designates an unbiblical identity. Christians are new creations. They are those who have died with Christ and whose lives are hidden with Christ in God (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:19-20; Colossians 3:3). Our primary identity, therefore, is not any sin but Christ. For this reason, Christians never speak of "lying Christians," "adulterer Christians," "fornicating Christians," "murderer Christians," or "thieving Christians" -- even though we know sadly that Christians are capable of all kinds of sins. It's unseemly to create labels that define Christians by sins from which they actively and self-consciously seek deliverance. We can be honest about our sin without speaking of it as if it were our identity. The phrase gay Christian creates an identity category that we would not accept for any other sin.

Second, the descriptive sense of gay Christian is not well-established. The dominant sense of this term is the one denoted by Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and a host of others who have distorted in various ways what it means to be a Christian. Because the normative sense is the most common sense, Bible-believing Christians who use the phrase risk being misunderstood. And in fact, some people who don't want to be pinned down on the issue take refuge in the ambiguity of such expressions. Christians who want to be clear about what the Bible teaches should steer clear of this phrase (2 Corinthians 2:17).

There is no good reason to risk being misunderstood when alternatives are available. At best, gay Christian risks ambiguity. At worst, the phrase might be taken as a wholesale sanction of homosexuality. For these reasons, I would argue that Christians committed to the Bible would be wise to drop the phrase altogether.

Right Wing Leftovers

Land: Gay Activists Seek Full-Blown "Sexual Paganization Of Society"

Over the weekend, the Liberty Counsel's Rena Lindevaldsen was a guest on "Richard Land Live!" where she and Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, discussed her new book chronicling the case involving her client, ex-gay kidnapper Lisa Miller.

During the program, Land warned that gay rights activists seek to "reduce [Christians] to the level of the Ku Klux Klan" so that they will be ostracized by society and went on to assert that gays are "recruiting" children, which is a form a child abuse, while claiming that homosexuality is "incomprehensible."  In the end, Land claimed, gays really just want to destroy the institution of marriage in order to bring about the "full-blown paganization" of America:

They're recruiting down in the grade school levels. They're recruiting people for homosexual clubs and it's really child abuse is what it is.

You need to find out what's going on in your school. You need to ask your children what's going on, you need to see what books their reading, you need to know what the teacher is talking about because, I'm telling you, they are trying to brainwash our children in the public schools.

It's the one sin that I know about that I find totally incomprehensible. But obviously some boys do find it comprehensible, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any homosexuality.

Even if you take out AIDS, male homosexuals die much earlier than heterosexual males do because of the inherently dangerous - health dangerous stuff that they engage in. But I don't think that's the big issue - I think that's a side issue. I think the real issue is they want to destroy marriage.

The alternative is not live and let live - it is the marginalization and the ostracizing of people of traditional faith. And it will be the full-blown paganization. You know, they have already started talking about polyamory and pedophilia. They're going to start talking now about lowering the age of consent - they are already starting to talk about it, saying who are we to deprive a child of his or her sexuality? And we’re going to end up like Greece and Rome. If this dam breaks, the tidal wave will be just an outright sexual paganization of society.


Dobson Rails Against Hollywood's "Perversion"

James Dobson hosted conservative movie critic andanti-gay activist Ted Baehr on Family Talk today where the two raved against Hollywood and the media. According to Dobson, Hollywood promotes “filth and perversion and sacrilege” and is trying to attack “the very soul of your child.”


The media is just saturated with filth and perversion and sacrilege that Hollywood is trying to shove down our throats and it really is disgusting and offensive that all this junk, and that’s what it is, it’s junk, is published and produced for both adults and kids. And I think it’s having a devastating effect on our culture and on our way of life.

This is why it is so important for parents to guard what our kids see, I mean do no permit it, even if you have a fight over it, don’t permit it, because you’re corrupting the morals and the values and the attitudes and the beliefs of your own children when you pay money to Hollywood to teach them something you don’t believe.

A lot of these kinds of things will not have eternal significance but when you run up against one like we’re talking about now where the very soul of your child is being invaded by those who deliberately want to destroy the things that you believe in and have taught, you stand like a rock.
Dobson made a similar case in his newsletter to listeners, warning that leftwing politics, feminism and greater acceptance of homosexuality have “flooded” contemporary culture with “morally corrupt influences at every turn.” He goes on to list those purportedly dangerous influences, such as Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”:
· There are no innate differences between males and females, except for the ability to bear children. To be truly equal, men and women should act and think alike.

· For a girl to become what was once considered "easy" or "loose" is now deemed socially acceptable by peers. Therefore, dressing and acting tough or looking like a prostitute is evidence of confidence and strength. Janet Jackson allowed her bra to be torn off in front of 90 million television viewers during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime extravaganza. It was just a "wardrobe malfunction," said Justin Timberlake, who exposed Jackson's breast. Most of the other female performers in that spectacle resembled streetwalkers. Who can estimate how many girls saw the performance that night and decided to change their persona from wholesome to "bad"? The "raunch culture" was on parade.

· Girls are more likely than ever before to be the aggressors in male-female relationships. The traditional understanding that males are the initiators and leaders has been turned upside down. Now girls do much of the calling. They pursue. They often pay. And they regularly take their male friends to bed.

· Homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality are considered morally equivalent. They simply represent different lifestyles from which to choose.

These are just a few of the concepts that engulfed the baby boomer generation more than four decades ago. Now, the grandchildren of these revolutionaries are growing up to accept and live by ideas that were once celebrated as "the new morality." Behavior that was shockingly racy then has become the pop culture of today. Teenagers are taught its philosophy with an evangelistic zeal. The radicals who set out long ago to "liberate" women and shape the values of their children have been amazingly successful. Most members of the younger generation have no other frame of reference.

The New Scott Lively Sounds A Lot Like The Old Scott Lively

It was earlier this year when the Boston Globe reported that notorious anti-gay activist Scott Lively had bought a coffee shop and was going to focus less on fighting the culture wars and more on helping the homeless, drug addicts, and alcoholics and "stop being involved in the other [anti-gay] stuff."

Not surprisingly, Lively hasn't done this at all and has spent the last year still carrying out his anti-gay activism, railing against "sodomites" and warning that gay marriage is literally a sign of the End Times.

Over the weekend, Lively again demonstrated his new-found commitment to helped the downtrodden by penning a new piece for WND declaring that the war against gay culture is on the verge of being lost all because Christians refuse to stand up and openly proclaim the truth that homosexuality is an abomination:

I'm old enough to remember the debate about whether homosexuals should be allowed to be teachers at all, let alone allowed to punish students for disagreeing with the class-time advocacy of their sexual lifestyle. I remember the protestations from the pro-homosexual side, that "gays and lesbians just want the right to be left alone. They would NEVER interject their private lives into the classroom." They all lied, and we believed them, and now our children and grandchildren are being forced to celebrate "gay" culture under penalty of law.

That is the end game for the "gays." The final stage of their agenda, which has always been about taking control of things, is the power to punish dissent: to silence or crush their detractors. They only have this level of control in a few places yet, but they are moving fast to achieve it everywhere, and the momentum is on their side. And wherever they have it, they use it.


So many seemingly separate issues that are really just one issue: the unnatural, dysfunctional, personally and socially destructive phenomenon of homosexual sin. We are warned clearly and emphatically about it in the Bible. We have seen its corrupting effect in history. And we are literally watching its ethic of sexual anarchy supplant the biblical model of family as the guiding value system of our society ... We need to stand firmly and unapologetically on the hard truth that homosexuality is not a benign, morally neutral social phenomenon. It is an insidious and contagious form of sexual perversion condemned by God as an abomination. I cringe even writing these words because I know the wrath I am inviting on myself. Still, someone needs to say this boldly and publicly because it is the truth, and only the truth can set us free of the political correctness that has imprisoned us until now.

The homosexual agenda represents an existential threat to Christian civilization and we're in the final phase of the war, losing badly. It all hinges upon you, Christian reader. Either get into the "game" in earnest, immediately, or wave goodbye.

Right Wing Round-Up

North Carolina Legislator Says State Needs To Ban Same-Sex Marriage To Keep Gay "Agenda" From "Being Normal"

North Carolina state Sen. James Forrester appeared on Concerned Women for America radio Tuesday, along with his wife -- who just happens to be the Associate State Director of CWA’s North Carolina chapter -- to discuss the proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Republicans in the state legislature succeeded in getting a referendum on the marriage amendment on the ballot for May of next year.

Earlier this month, Forrester memorably told a town hall meeting that gays “are going to die at least 20 years earlier” than straight people. While proponents of the discriminatory marriage amendment claim that they are only focused on the issue of marriage, Forrester made it clear that there was a much larger goal behind the amendment: to “make it more difficult for the homosexual group to get their agenda recognized as being normal and getting it into schools and things like that.”


Forrester: In some states even though the states have ratified having marriage between one man and one woman in the constitution, activist judges have overruled that, overruled the will of the people, that bothers me too, but if we don’t have it in the constitution there’s a whole lot better chance for them succeeding in what they’re trying to do. So I’m very encouraged that we’re gonna have the opportunity to vote on it, hopefully put it in our constitution, and make it more difficult for the homosexual group to get their agenda recognized as being normal and getting it into schools and things like that. So I’m very, very happy this morning.

Meet Rick Perry's Radical Leadership Team Co-Chair

Before heading to this week’s Presidency 5 conference in Orlando, Rick Perry named two Religious Right leaders to his Florida Presidency 5 campaign leadership team: John Stemberger and Pam Olsen. While Stemberger’s anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism is well known, Olsen is a far more obscure figure, but no less extreme. Olsen has said that same-sex marriage will lead to God’s judgment, preached Seven Mountains dominionism, and even claims that she, as a prophet, will have the power to raise the dead in the End Times.

Olsen heads the Tallahassee branch of the International House of Prayer, whose members helped organize and preached at Perry’s The Response prayer rally in August. The Response emcee Mike Bickle, who once claimed that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist and that gay marriage is “rooted in the depths of hell,” is the founder and director of IHOP. As reported by Sarah Posner, Olsen was inspired to found IHOP Tallahassee after extremist self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs prophesied over her.

In July, Olsen warned that God’s increasingly severe judgments will come on the church and America for legalizing same-sex marriage in the form of natural disasters:

We are under judgment. Do you know how many of the denominations now are suddenly saying, ‘Oh ok we think it’s ok now to have gay marriage, we think it’s ok to have gay preachers, we think it’s ok.’ Whole denominations! The Episcopalians fell off the planet, they think it’s ok to have gay priests. We’ve got other groups, one of the Presbyterians, they’re looking at voting, we’ve got other ones, they’re all of the sudden going, ‘Oh in the name of tolerance,’ and they’re forgetting God’s word completely in whole denominations. You know what, God is not one that’s gonna wink at sin, He will come and shake at everything that can be shaken. God is a God of judgment, He is. If we think we’re not gonna be judged…He judged Israel? Are we better than that? And sometimes I think we think we are, but we’re not. And God is shaking. If anybody looks at the news and has just seen what’s been happening recently with the floods, the fires, the tornadoes, God is shaking. Yeah I think you have God shaking, sure you have the Enemy shaking, you have both and I don’t want to say oh that’s the judgment of God or that’s the Enemy. But the reality is God is judging us, and I think it’s going to get worse.

In an April service, Olsen preached Seven Mountains dominionism, the radical theology that demands fundamentalist Christians take control over the seven critical spheres of society: government, business, media, arts and entertainment, family, media, education, and religion. Towards the end of the service, Olsen also states that in the End Times she will be capable of raising the dead:

We talk a lot about the seven centers of power or the seven mountains, asking God to come. If you are ever in any intercession set here at the house of prayer, you will find us often crying out God move on the hearts of the family; awaken the church in the West, in this city awaken the church; we cry out for the government, we’re in capital city and we better be crying out to the government; pray for the campuses and the youth to be moved; that God will move and change the media’s heart that He would begin to cause them to speak truth; that He would come and move in the marketplace and awaken and bring His people the finances to literally fund the Kingdom of God; that He come and move in every area in arts and entertainment. Those are the seven mountains of influence that God would begin to move, and we cry out for that because God wants to come, the Holy Spirit wants to come and it is like hot molten lava that He would literally sweep over every area.

Man I tell you what, we better know God’s word in this hour with what’s coming, we better know God’s word, and we better be saying, God I want to partner with your heart, whatever’s coming I want to be prepared as an End Time messenger who has walked in the fire and knows You and knows how to say, God that person needs to be raised from the dead and I’m gonna say, in Jesus’ name rise up and walk, and I’m gonna pray that in and see the dead raised!

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 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."

Schweddy Balls Make AFA Squirm

The American Family Association affiliate OneMillionMoms is calling on activists to boycott Ben & Jerry’s because of the company’s new Schweddy Balls ice cream. In an email, the group describes the legendary Saturday Night Live skit featuring People For the American Way board member Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon that gives the ice cream its name, but doesn’t see the humor in it. “The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive,” the group writes.

Urging activists to demand “that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed,” the AFA wants its members to tell Ben & Jerry’s to “refrain from producing another batch with this name or any other offensive names or you will no longer be able to purchase their products.” The AFA also knocks Ben & Jerry’s Hubby Hubby ice cream, produced to raise awareness of marriage equality, and laments “that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry’s”:

Ben & Jerry's announced their newest ice cream flavor which sounds anything but appealing. Schweddy Balls is the best they could come up with. The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive. Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket.

The name originated from a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy, owner of a holiday bakery called Season's Eatings. "There are lots of great treats this time of year," Schweddy says. "Zucchini bread, fruitcake, but the thing I most like to bring out at this time of the year are my balls."

He then explains that he sells popcorn balls, cheese balls, rum balls—balls for every taste—and the ball puns proceed for about four minutes. Ben & Jerry's chose to go with fudge-covered rum and malt balls for their flavor. The skit culminates in Baldwin stating that "No one can resist my Schweddy Balls."

In the past, Ben & Jerry's has released controversial ice creams, like a special edition of Chubby Hubby called Hubby Hubby last year which celebrated gay marriage. It seems that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry's.

The ice cream is being released in a limited batch, which means it will be distributed nationwide but only for three or four months. If it proves popular, another batch might be forthcoming, but we hope not.

"The name is irreverent," says Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood. "But we've always been about having some irreverence and having some fun ... We're not trying to offend people. Our fans get the humor."


Please send Ben & Jerry's Public Relations Manager, Sean Greenwood, an email letter requesting that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed. Also, highly recommend they refrain from producing another batch with this name or any other offensive names or you will no longer be able to purchase their products.

For David Barton, Right-Wing Political Advocacy Counts As Charity

On today’s WallBuilders Live, David Barton responded to a Houston Chronicle report that from 2000 to 2009, Rick Perry gave just $14,243 of his of $2.68 million fortune to churches and religious organizations. Barton, who claimed throughout the show that people who support social justice efforts are less likely to support charities, tried to defend Perry by pointing to the fact that the Texas governor has given away all the proceeds from his books:

Governor Perry’s getting his brains beat in because look how little he gave to charity. Time out! There’s another story there. Number one he does not itemize his deductions so you don’t know how much he gave to charity. Number two is he writes entire books and gives 100% of the proceeds to charity which doesn’t show up on his income sheet. He gives millions to charity but because he does not itemize and because he does entire books and signs the rights over there’s a lot going out that doesn’t show.

Which charities have the proceeds of Perry’s books gone to? He donated the proceeds of his first book, about the Boy Scouts, to the Boy Scouts of America. And he declares in his most recent book, the policy blueprint Fed Up!, that “all of the author’s net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Foundation to support the work of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies.” The Center for Tenth Amendment Studies is a division of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a right-wing think tank allied with Perry that was founded by James Leininger, who is now the group’s Chairman Emeritus.

Leininger is one of Perry’s biggest political bankrollers – he has donated and loaned millions of dollars to Perry’s political campaigns for over a decade and just so happens to be a close business partner of the governor. Columnist Molly Ivins dubbed Leininger “God’s sugar daddy” because of his prolific financial support for Religious Right activists and the Texas Restoration Project, including an Austin “Pastors’ Policy Briefing” to celebrate Perry’s reinauguration in January of 2007. The Texas Restoration Project was a pet project of Perry’s – Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News notes that “the governor helped create a network of ‘patriot pastors’ in Texas called the Texas Restoration Project, which worked for passage of the gay-marriage ban in 2005 and Perry's reelection a year later.”

Most recently, Leininger hosted a summit to introduce Religious Right leaders to Perry shortly after he announced his candidacy for president. Notable guests at Leininger’s ranch included James Dobson, Richard Land, Harry Jackson, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough… and, of course, David Barton.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Apparently the National Religious Broadcasters is releasing a report about how companies and the internet are censoring Christians.
  • The fact that Mat Staver's lawsuit against healthcare reform was tossed out of court is apparently evidence that healthcare reform's days are numbered.
  • On a related note, Liberty Counsel has produced a new video explaining just how important it is.
  • The Oregon state Republican Party may have removed some anti-gay language, but that  doesn't mean much.
  • Shockingly, FRC's Peter Sprigg opposes gay characters in "Archie" comics.
  • Finally, quote of the day from FRC's latest prayer update: "Father, restrain protesters in each of these cities. May all their plans be exposed and fail! Give those in authority safety and wisdom to do their jobs. Cause the news media accurately to report the events. Please prevent all efforts by anti-American ideologues to influence the 2012 elections as ACORN and others did in 2008. Please advance patriotic, God-fearing candidates for public office and help them to defeat those who foster socialism, anarchy and immorality."

Turek Intensifies His Attacks on Gays and Lesbians

Frank Turek continues to claim that he keeps losing consulting jobs simply because of his opposition to marriage equality, without noting that he is a hard line anti-gay activist who closely works with ultraconservative groups like the Oak Initiative and the American Family Association. Turek says that his social beliefs have nothing to do with his role as a workplace “team-building” speaker, even though he offers stinging criticism of workplace diversity programs.

While speaking with Janet Parshall on In The Market yesterday, Turek went on another anti-gay tirade after a caller named Andy asked him whether people were born gay and about homosexuality and bisexuality among animals. Turek said that animal sexuality wasn’t pertinent, asking, “There’s a lot of animals who eat their young, should we do that as well?” He went on to criticize the “born this way” mentality, saying, “We’re all born with an orientation toward bad behavior.” Turek claims that in the same way society shouldn’t tolerate someone born with the predisposition for gay bashing, we shouldn’t help gays and lesbians who want the right to marry.


Turek: First of all they haven’t found a gay gene but even if they had, are you saying that animal behavior should be the standard for human behavior? If so Andy, there’s a lot of animals who eat their young, should we do that as well?

Parshall: Let me go back to the point Andy, because I think what happens is sometimes things get picked up and they get folded into the secular press and the next think we know we think it’s inspired in ex cathedra and its absolute truth. Frank let’s clear the air about this idea of the discovery of the gay gene, there has been no substantiation that there has been the discovery of a gay gene, correct?

Turek: No but even if there was it would be irrelevant. We’re all born with an orientation toward bad behavior, but because I’m born with an orientation toward bad behavior that doesn’t mean I ought to engage in that behavior. If I’m born with a predisposition to anger and I start bashing gays and a gay person says to me, or a person who wants to engage in homosexual acts says to me, ‘well you ought not do that’ and I say ‘don’t blame me I just have the anti-gay gene.’ What would they say? They would say ‘no you must resist that.’

We all have things we ought not act on, we all have desires that we ought not act on. The worst thing we can do is say, look I was born with this desire or I learned it as a child and even though I know it leads to destructive behavior I ought to do it and you have to not only accept that you have to endorse it by taking my behavior and enshrining it by government endorsement by calling it marriage.
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Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/19/2011, 12:00pm
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver floated a boycott of Starbucks today on Freedom’s Call, Staver’s daily news alert. Staver was addressing the controversy over Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s cancelled appearance at the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek church, which in the past had ties to the ex-gay group Exodus International. Staver alleges that Schultz was “intimidated” by “homosexual activists” into withdrawing from the conference, falsely arguing that the petition to Schultz was about the church’s view on marriage while it was... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 5:34pm
Peter LaBarbera says the vandalism of the site hosting his conference qualifies as a hate crime.   And, of course, Bryan Fischer seconds that view.   The Associated Press takes a look at The New Apostolic Reformation.   Robert Jeffress will be a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual Reclaiming Texas for Christ Conference.   Finally, Al Mohler says Christians cannot attend gay weddings: "[A]ny Christian who knows that same-sex marriage violates God’s Law and purpose for marriage knows — and cannot act as if he or she does... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 1:40pm
On Saturday, openly gay teenager Jamie Hubley, who chronicled his experiences with depression and anti-gay bullying on his blog, committed suicide at the age of fifteen. Bill Keller of knows just who to blame for Hubley’s suicide: “the homosexual community and media who promote this lifestyle to society,” including “Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres” and pastors who don’t condemn homosexuality. “Homosexuality is a bondage like alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else people get addicted to,” Keller writes in his... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 11:55am
Janet Mefferd yesterday railed against what she sees as an emerging “pagan” movement that is leading to abortion, feminism, homosexuality, and the eventual destruction of marriage. Mefferd, who previously declared that pagans are using homosexuality to “wipe out Christianity,” repeated the claim of her previous guest Tony Perkins that homosexuality is “shaking a fist in the face of God.” Listen: Mefferd: But this is the mindset, it’s more of a pagan mindset, I go back all the time to the movement of ancient paganism because it is on the rise.... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/17/2011, 5:44pm
McKay Coppins @ The Daily Beast: Perry Camp’s Anti-Mormon Message.   Igor Volsky @ Think Progress LGBT: Santorum Claims Herman Cain Is Too Pro-Gay, Compares His Fight Against Marriage Equality To Lincoln Fighting Slavery.   Towleroad: Herman Cain Doesn't Really Want To Electrocute Mexicans.   David @ Crooks and Liars: Cain on Abortion: No 'Exceptions for Rape and Incest.'   Steve Benen: "Foreign Policy Dumb."   Andy Kopsa @ AlterNet: As Attacks on Planned Parenthood Aim for Sex-Ed Funding, Let... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/14/2011, 5:37pm
The Los Angeles Times profiles the International House of Prayer.   Bryan Fischer says "our next president must understand that the more devout a Muslim becomes ... the more of a threat he becomes to the national security of the United States."   FRC defends the Protect Life Act, saying it simply "ensures that Americans who want health care insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it, but not with federal dollars."   Richard Land is demanding the Pentagon reverse the policy of allowing... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 10/13/2011, 10:53am
One of the sessions at the recent Values Voter Summit featured a showing of a new half-hour video produced by the American Family Association called “Divorcing God: Secularism and the Republic.” (Back in the summer it was being promoted as "Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy, and the Future of the Republic.") The video features an array of Religious Right leaders and academics, whose argument can be summarized this way:  America, whose greatness is decaying because the country has turned its back on the God who inspired the founding fathers, is doomed if it... MORE