School Prayer

Rick Santorum Falsely Claims Students 'Can't Pray In School'

Today, Vocativ posted an interview with Rick Santorum, who is promoting his new movie “One Generation Away,” which is about the supposed “erosion of religious liberty” in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, Santorum cites a number of myths about religious liberty in schools, including claiming that “you can’t pray in school” and that public schools "can't talk about the impact" of the Bible on "Western civilization." In reality, students have a constitutionally protected right to pray in school, as long as that prayer is not school-sponsored. In addition, schools are allowed to teach about the Bible and its impact on history.

The movie argues that the observant are being forced to practice in private, for few hours in church on Sundays. But on a personal level, can’t you observe your religion wherever you want?

Not necessarily. You can’t pray in school, but it’s good to have prayer. Are people offended by prayer? Sure. But the constitution gives us the right to offend. There are a lot of things today in America that offend me.

Right, but isn’t school different? There are lots of rules in school that don’t apply to the rest of society.

This is a fallacy. By making such a judgment, you’re communicating what’s good and bad. Not having the Bible taught in school is a mistake. The Bible is the basis upon which Western civilization was built. It is the most influential book of all. And yet it’s not taught. In school, they can’t talk about the impact of this book. This is, in fact, putting forth a view of history that is ahistorical. It’s hard to not look at the history of Western civilization and not see faith.

So what about the Quran? Should that be taught in school, too?

I would absolutely encourage more teaching about Islam. Maybe 50 years ago, when Islam had third-world status and not international status—maybe that was different. But given what’s going on, it’s important to teach it.

AFA Kentucky Affiliate Claims School Prayer Ban Led to AIDS Epidemic

The American Family Association of Kentucky sent out an appeal to its members today asking them to sign a petition calling for a law legalizing school prayer in the state, similar to “inspirational message” bills recently passed in Florida and Mississippi.

The petition asserts that the 1962 Supreme Court decision prohibiting government-led prayer in schools was pushed by “anti-God forces” and led to a myriad of social ills, including a rise in teen pregnancy and violent crime, and “the AIDS epidemic and the drug culture.”

Legalizing school prayer is “one of the best ways of returning God’s protection to America,” the petition adds.

One of the best ways of returning God’s protection to America
is by putting prayer back in our schools.

FLORIDA AND MISSISSIPPI HAVE ALREADY PUT PRAYER (RELIGIOUS SPEECH) BACK INTO THEIR SCHOOLS! STUDENTS PRAYING AGAIN WILL EVENTUALLY TURN OUR COUNTRY BACK TO GOD!

Children in Florida and Mississippi are now allowed to pray in school assemblies (give an inspirational message) because their governors signed bills into law in Florida in 2012 and in Mississippi in 2013. The media has made this fact one of the best kept secrets.

Prayer was in our schools for over 200 years before the anti-God forces took it out in 1962. After prayer was removed from our schools, teen pregnancy went up 500%, STD’s went up 226%, violent crime went up 500% and SAT scores went down for 18 years in a row, opening the door for the AIDS epidemic and the drug culture.

WE NEED PRAYER BACK IN SCHOOLS! Please sign this petition.

Sincerely,
Frank Simon, Director
American Family Association of KY

 

Santorum: Colleges 'Indoctrinating' Students in 'Sea of Antagonism Toward Christianity'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins welcomed former presidential contender Rick Santorum to his “Washington Watch” radio program on Tuesday, where the two discussed the moral decline of the nation. Santorum blamed colleges and universities for “indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity,” leading to the “symptoms” of abortion, marriage and pornography:

Santorum: The cultural indicators that I talked about earlier that are sort of going the wrong way, we're, you know, in ever-increasing numbers, less and less people here in America, you know, and believe in God, and believe in Jesus Christ, and believe in truth and right and wrong. It’s understandable, I mean, if you certainly, if you look at popular culture and what comes out of Hollywood, if you go to our schools and particularly our colleges and universities, they are indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity -- religion in general, but Christianity in particular. And so it’s understandable that that happens, but we, you’re right. Abortion is a symptom, marriage is a symptom, I mean pornography is, all of these are symptoms to the fundamental issue that we’ve gotten away from the truth and the Truth-Giver.

Earlier in the program, in a conversation with FOX News’s Todd Starnes, Perkins fondly reminisced about the days “before repressive government” when his elementary school teacher would discipline her students with a yardstick:

Perkins: I remember my third grade teacher had a big Bible, one of the biggest Bibles I ever saw, sitting on the corner of her desk, and on the other side of the desk was a yardstick, and I think she used the yardstick more. In classrooms today, you couldn’t have either one. But that was, we date things in terms of A.D., that was B.R.G., Before Repressive Government, back when God was still welcome in our schools.

Bryan Fischer, The National Guard, and 'The Second War of Northern Aggression'

Yesterday Bryan Fischer took some time away from his one man crusade to defend  Todd Akin and "modern science" to discuss a decision by a Mississippi school board to end the practice of delivering prayers over the public address system before football games and other school functions after receiving a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Fischer was predictably outraged about the development, claiming that "these people in the South are total pansies" who refuse to stand up and fight back against FFRF, which is leading "the second Northern war of aggression against the South."

And even though this particular case never went to court, Fischer went on to claim that the school board should simply declare that it was going to ignore any ruling banning prayer and continue the practice while the governor of the state should be willing to send in the National Guard to surround the press box and arrest anyone who tries to stop them from delivering such prayers:

Barton: America Must Instruct Children In "The Fear Of The Lord"

Today on Believers Voice of Victory, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that the only way to rejuvenate America’s education system is to instill in kids the “fear of the Lord.” Barton launched his career as a Religious Right activist with the 1989 booklet What Happened in Education?, in which he concluded that a decline in SAT scores was a result of the end of school prayer, and that only Christian teachings in schools could bring SAT scores back up. Barton explained to Copeland, a Prosperity Gospel preacher, what that instilling the “fear of the Lord” in children would require establishing the Bible as the basis of all school curricula:

Barton: This shows you what public education is supposed to look like, the educational system was supposed to come—and it did, these guys started the first public schools in 1642 and cited Bible verses on why they were doing it, they also cited Bible verses on the courses they taught and the way they taught the courses. Now most Christians today, ‘Well we got government schools that’s the way it was supposed to be.’ Really? Show me in the Bible where government’s supposed to do the education, show me how that works, show me what courses government’s supposed to be teaching. See we can’t do that anymore, we don’t use the—we’ve been conformed to the culture, we’ve had public schools for so long that we think that’s the way it is.

Copeland: So now we’ve done then, we’ve gone, into our own—

Barton: Dark ages.



Barton: This book right here, every Bible says, in Proverbs 1:7, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ Now I don’t know why today we think, ‘oh I’m going to know more about the Lord if I fear God,’ we’ve made the fear of the Lord the beginning of spiritual knowledge. He didn’t say that, He said the fear of the Lord’s the beginning of knowledge. If you want education you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good scientist you better include the fear of God, if you want to be a good musician—1962, ’63, the U.S. Supreme Court in three decisions said no more fear of God in education, we want education to be secular. All right, that’s a theological issue. How’s that working out? In 1962, ’63, America was number one in the world in literacy, we are now number sixty-five in the world in literacy. We don’t have the fear of the Lord, because guess what, we don’t have knowledge, it goes down.

Bakker: "Anti-Christ Spirit" Of Liberalism Bringing In The Last Days

Jim Bakker, following the collapse of The PTL Club and a stint in jail for twenty four counts of fraud, seems to be having something of a revival. He has launched a new television program and founded Morningside, a Christian community in Missouri modeled after his failed and fraudulent Heritage USA project (Heritage USA is now the home of Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries).

Now Bakker is out with a new book, “Big Book of History.” Promoting the book on his blog, Bakker explains that the courts and President Barack Obama “kicked God out of schools and eventually we even kicked Him out of the entire nation.” Bakker points to the 1962 Supreme Court case which found mandatory school prayer to be unconstitutional as the moment when America began to reject God and consequently went into decline, an argument made by many Religious Right activists. He goes on to say that liberal politics and secular society made a generation of “kids [who] are self-willed, insolent, and morally depraved,” which he calls a sign of the End Times. Bakker writes that as a result of the Church’s silence, “An anti-christ spirit is masquerading in our world as a champion of human rights”:

How many people do you think understand that rebellious children are a sign of the Last Days? I don’t think too many Christians actually do equate a rebellious generation with the soon coming of the Lord, but that is, in fact, one of the signs. It’s easy to spot the other signs: earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, etc.



Isaiah 30:1 NCV “The Lord said, how terrible it will be for these stubborn children. They make plans, but they don’t ask me to help them. They make agreements with other nations, without asking my Spirit. They are adding more and more sins to themselves.”

This is the USA!

We are just as much the rebellious children of God who did not take council with the Lord!

I have a new book that I am making available to everyone that’s called “Big Book of History” that outlines the truth about history from the creation days until today. This is a children’s book, but even adults today need to be reminded about the things in our history that contributed to the situation we currently find ourselves in with this generation of rebellious children.

The following events and timeline are outlined in the “Big Book of History”:

1947 – Pres. Harry Truman declares the U.S. is a Christian Nation.

1948 – Dead Sea Scrolls discovered. Modern State of Israel created.

1962 – Prayer removed from state schools in the U.S. by order of Supreme Court.

1963 – The bible is removed from state schools in the US.

2005 – The Ten Commandments removed from public buildings in the US.

2010 – Pres Barack Obama declares the US is no longer a Christian Nation.

In the last 50 years, we have kicked God out of schools and eventually we even kicked Him out of the entire nation and then wonder why our kids are self-willed, insolent, and morally depraved! In all reality, we have sometimes inadvertently assisted the anti-christ spirit in its ability to proliferate. Even much of the Church seemed to be asleep when all of this happened.

“The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorized communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame” said British journalist Max Hastings in an article titled “Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalized youngsters.” The “liberal dogma” Max speaks about can be further explained in a Christian sense when we go a little deeper: an anti-christ spirit is masquerading in our world as a champion of human rights.

 

Religious Right Makes Michael Bloomberg Enemy Number One For His "Insult To God"

In planning a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept a policy observed in previous years and declined to invite religious leaders to speak at the events, which a spokesman says is to make sure “the focus remains on the families.” Of course, the Religious Right is now apoplectic and using their outrage at Bloomberg as their latest fundraising tool.

The Traditional Values Coalition emailed members today pleading for donations to stop Bloomberg’s attempts “to exterminate expressions of faith” and set up a fundraising page warning that “Islamists Continue Conquest of New York City…Islamists are spiking the football at Ground Zero! All while Mayor Bloomberg bans faith from New York's 9/11 ceremonies?!”

The American Center for Law and Justice, the right-wing legal outlet founded by Pat Robertson and led by Jay Sekulow, launched a petition demanding Bloomberg change his “damaging policy now” and include clergymen and prayer in the event. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said it was a “travesty that Mayor Bloomberg is so confused and clueless about America’s history, and so confused and clueless about the threat Islam poses to the West,” arguing that prayer should be included in the ceremonies but restricted to only Christian and Jewish clergy.

The Family Research Council has its own petition and prayer alert to oppose Bloomberg’s “shocking assault on religious liberty,” calling on members to pray to “Help the Mayor see that he has made a mistake and reverse his decision. Stir the families who will attend the 9/11 memorial service to insist that You, Lord, be honored there”:

The beginning of America's precipitous moral decline can be traced, statistically, to 1962, when atheist Madeleine Murray O'Hare's [sic] legal assault resulted in prayer being removed from public schools. Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld prayer in public ceremonies. Bloomberg's behavior is not a matter of legal philosophy, dullness or insensitivity; it is a deliberate defiance and insult to people of faith across America.

More important to Bible believers, it is an insult to God upon whom our nation depends for our safety. Amid unprecedented natural disasters, economic calamity, homeland threats, wars abroad, troubles in our families and schools, etc., we must not insult God.

The FRC referenced the 1962 Supreme Court case Engel v. Vitale and the 1963 Abington v. Schempp, in which Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist, and Edward Schempp, a Unitarian Universalist, sued against laws in their states that required their children to partake in religious exercises like Bible study and reading the Lord’s Prayer. The Court found such policies a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

Many in the Religious Right see the cases as the critical juncture where America turned its back on God. Pat Robertson writes in The New Millennium:

On June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in a case titled Engle v. Vitale [sic] that state-sponsored prayer could not be said in public school rooms. On June 17, 1963, the court ruled in the case of Abington v. Schempp that the Holy Bible could not be read to students in classrooms.



Acting on behalf of all the citizens of the United States, our government has officially insulted Almighty God and has effectively taken away from all public school children any opportunity for even the slightest acknowledgment of God’s existence. By rejecting Him, we have made the Protector and Champion of the United States his enemy.

The events that followed are not coincidence. On November 22, 1963, less than six months after the Bible-reading decision, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Within two years after that decision, America was massively embroiled in its second most painful war, which decimated our treasure, our servicemen, and our national resolve.

Robertson goes on to blame Watergate, the 1973 oil crisis, stagflation and the Iranian revolution on the rulings.

David Barton got his start in Religious Right politics by authoring the booklet, What Happened in Education?, where he argues that the removal of school prayer caused SAT scores to plummet. Barton claimed that the two cases represented “the first occasion in national recorded history that the public inclusion of God in academic endeavors had been officially prohibited,” as the only event “corresponding to the time of the beginning of the downturn in scores was the banning of God and of religious principles from schools.” He concludes by urging schools to reintroduce explicitly Christian teachings if they want to reverse the trend.

It’s interesting that the FRC brought up the school prayer cases: both the case of school prayer and clergy participating in the September 11th anniversary ceremonies show the Religious Right trying to gin up panic over a supposed but not actual infringement on religious freedom, and then warning of divine punishment when they don’t get their way.

Barton: Only Small Minority Supports Marriage Equality

Selective reading of material to support presupposed right-wing views is David Barton’s forte, so it comes as no surprise that the pseudo-historian is using a shoddy poll on same-sex marriage by an ultraconservative organization to claim that very few Americans support marriage equality.

On WallBuilders Live yesterday, Barton and co-host Rick Green hosted Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund to discuss their opposition to equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Barton and Green ended the interview by discussing the ADF poll which claimed that 62% of Americans were against marriage equality. ADF’s findings were something of an anomaly, given that most other recent polls show the majority of Americans are in favor of marriage equality, a number which even Republican pollsters admit is rapidly increasing. Unlike other polls, the ADF survey didn’t ask participants whether they believe gay and lesbian couples should be legally allowed to marry but instead asked if they agreed with the claim, “I believe marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman.” As Dan Nejfelt of Faith in Public Life points out:

A key difference is that these polls focused on legality rather than the "definition" of marriage. Given that the political debate surrounding same-sex marriage pertains to legislation rather than the contents of the dictionary, it's hard to see the relevance of ADF's data. It certainly is interesting, but it's not even close to a refutation of the overwhelming body of current nonpartisan opinion research pointing to majority support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

But for Barton and Green, the poll demonstrates that the country is united against marriage equality, which they say only has the support of a tiny but vocal minority.

Barton: If you can get a Christian spirit going, it unifies people like crazy. And that’s what we got going on the marriage issue, that’s what we have going on the school prayer issue. The other guys are screaming that it’s dividing. No. When it’s 82 to 18 that’s not dividing, when it’s 62 to 35 that’s not dividing, that’s unifying.

Green: Well the way to divide everybody is to take an issue where only 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 percent are for it and force it on the whole country.

Barton: That’s right. Oh, are you talking about gay marriage here?

Green: I’m not even sure 15 percent are for it. Even when we say 62 percent are for traditional marriage I don’t think you can say 38 percent are for gay marriage, but they might be saying ‘I don’t really know if I want to make that decision.’

Barton: See, that’s when you have to look in the polls to see who are strongly for it. And when you get strongly for, very few. And I love the point he made too, he said they want to do this against the will of the people, that’s why they file lawsuits. I mean, they did not give the people of New York a chance to vote on this, and typically they do not. They file lawsuits against marriage because they can’t win at the ballot box. This is the thing, when it comes to the people they can’t win, which is another great indication that this is a minority driving this agenda. It’s not a majority, it’s not a unifying issue.

Barton: US Should Use Biblical Justice, Just As The Constitution Says

Pseudo-historian David Barton visited Engage In Truth radio on Friday to share his right-wing view of American history and the Constitution. Without citing any evidence, David Barton said that the Due Process Clause and the Fourth and Eighth Amendments “all came out of the Bible.” Of course, Barton has a long track record of mentioning long lists of Bible verses which he believes inspired the drafters of the Constitution while never providing any proof to substantiate his claims.

Barton then goes on to cite various trials in the Bible or of biblical figures as evidence of how trials ought to be conducted and asserts that the trial system enshrined in the Constitution came directly out of the Bible: 

Barton: Now we have the Due Process Clause in the Constitution and the 4th and the 8th Amendments and that’s where you get an attorney and the right to confront your accuser and habeas corpus and all the things that are there, every one of those came out of the Bible. And it started in the Reformation with these guys pointing to the bad trials going in Europe and they said, look at the trials in the Bible, you got the trial of Naboth under Ahab and Jezebel, you got the trial of Jesus, the trial of Paul, the trial of Peter, none of the trials in Europe were being done biblically, we gotta get a system where we can do that. I mean the Declaration of Independence is about having good trials as it is about anything else and the trial clauses all came out of the Bible.

Barton, who launched his career by claiming that SAT scores dropped as a result of the end of unconstitutional school-officiated prayer, went on to say that the best way to improve the education system was to bring back school prayer. Again, without citing any evidence to back up his point, Barton blames the lack of prayer for a drop in test scores and then argues that test scores rose rapidly in schools that returned to school prayer even though he says it is banned:

Barton: If the premise is that taking prayer out in ’62, ’63 affected education, then the reverse premise is putting prayer back in will restore education. And that’s interesting because there’s a ton of stats that the schools that returned to prayer have academic scores exactly what they wore prior to 1962, 1963, that is fascinating that we can show that when you take prayer out our academic knowledge just went through the floor but it can also show that when you put it back in their knowledge recovered. So two those things are fairly significant and when you get a double correlation in social sciences that pretty strong stuff and we got that on the effect of prayer.

Clearly, the only thing David Barton “proved” in these interviews is that his lack of respect for facts and evidence shows why academics do not consider him a legitimate historian.

Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian

David Barton has been in the spotlight lately.  In recent weeks, he was featured in a New York Times profile, interviewed on "The Daily Show," and was even the focus on a long report we released chronicling his career of peddling right-wing pseudohistory for political gain.

The upside of Barton's recent high profile is that bona fide historians who, unlike Barton, actually have training and credentials, are starting to stand up to Barton's flagrant and intentional misuse of history.

For instance, yesterday Paul Harvey, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches explaining that Barton is not in any sense a historian, but rather a propaganda artist who seeks to create the impression that there is some sort of "debate" over the issue of America's identity as a Christian nation that he can use to promote his right-wing political agenda:

Barton’s intent is not to produce “scholarship,” but to influence public policy. He simply is playing a different game than worrying about scholarly credibility, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His game is to inundate public policy makers (including local and state education boards as well as Congress) with ideas packaged as products that will move policy.

Historical scholarship moves slowly and carefully, usually shunning the public arena; Barton’s proof-texting, by contrast, supplies ready-made (if sometimes made-up) quotations ready for use in the latest public policy debate, whether they involve school prayer, abortion, the wonders of supply-side economics, the Defense of Marriage Act, or the capital gains tax. ...

In short, perhaps the best way to understand Barton is as a historical product of Christian providentialist thinking, one with significant historical roots and usually with a publicly convincing spokesman. He is the latest in a long line of ideologically persuasive spokesmen for preserving American’s Protestant character ... The Christian Nation “debate” is not really an intellectual contest between legitimate contending viewpoints. Instead, it is a manufactured “controversy” akin to the global warming “debate.” On the one side are purveyors of a rich and complex view of the past, including most historians who have written and debated fiercely about the founding era. On the “other side” is a group of ideological entrepreneurs who have created an alternate intellectual universe based on a historical fundamentalism. In their drive to create a usable past, they show little respect for the past as a foreign country.

That point was echoed by Randall Stephens, an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College, who has no time for Barton's "kindergarten" understanding of history or his "hyper-politicized work":

Barton does not recognized the idea that the past is like a foreign country. Instead Barton tends to flatten out time and space and make it almost seem as if the Founders are our contemporaries, motivated by the same concerns that motivate us now. Yet people in the past--whether we're talking about leaders of Bronze Age tribes or bewigged 18th century nabobs who tinkered on their mansions, read Montaigne in their spare time, or enjoyed arm-chair speculation about nature and providence--are not the same as us. This seems like a kindergarten point, but it's apparently lost on David Barton.

...

Nearly any trained historian worth his or her salt who takes a close look at Barton and his hyper-politicized work will see glaring gaps in what he writes and talks about. He dresses his founders in 21st-century garb. He's not interested in knowing much about the history of colonial America or the US in the early republic. Why? Because he's using history to craft a very specific, anti-statist, Christian nationalist, evangelical-victimization argument in the present. (Remember the many unconfirmed quotations Barton used in the 1990s? He did so because, first and foremost, he was trying to make a political point.)

In history circles this is what we call "bad history."

Finally, John Fea, author of "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction," and Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College, has been writing an ongoing series debunking Barton's appearance on "The Daily Show," along with a piece warning Christians not to fall for his propaganda:

Wallbuilders is a political organization that selectively uses history to promote a religious and ideological agenda. Barton believes that America's last, best hope is a return to its so-called Christian roots. In his most famous book, Original Intent, Barton argues that the removal of Christianity from the public square has resulted in a rise in birth rates for unwed girls, a spike in violent crime, more sexually transmitted diseases, lower SAT scores, and an increase in single parent households. And he has convinced thousands and thousands of Christians that he is right.

Barton claims to be a historian. He is not. He has just enough historical knowledge, and just enough charisma, to be very dangerous. During his appearance on The Daily Show, Barton impressed the faithful with his grasp of American history and his belief that Christians are being subtly persecuted in this country. But if you watch the show carefully, you will notice that Barton is a master at dodging controversial questions. He refuses to admit that sometimes history does not conform to our present-day political agendas.

...

Here is the bottom line: Christians should think twice before they rely on David Barton for their understanding of the American founding. Let's not confuse history with propaganda.

As Fea says, "the more popular Barton becomes, the more his views will be debunked by what I am imagining will be an ever-growing chorus of critics" ... but that task sure would be made easier if  Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee would stop actively embracing and promoting Barton's pseudohistorical propaganda.

The Right's Reagan Worship a Relatively Recent Development, Plotted Primary Challenge in 1984

Steve Kornacki has an article at Salon about liberal disappointment with President Obama and calls to support a challenger to him in 2012 in which he uncovered an article from 1983 that I just want to highlight because I think it is interesting:

Hard-line conservatives will meet this weekend in Dallas to discuss complaints against the administration and perhaps lay some groundwork for challenging President Reagan if he seeks re-election in 1984.

"We've either got to fish or cut bait," said Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus. "Either we get some changes out of the administration or we have to go in a different direction."

Phillips said the purpose of the Dallas meeting of about 20 conservatives would be to "see if there is a consensus among conservatives about where we go from here."

Phillips and conservative publisher and fund-raiser Richard Viguerie are openly urging Reagan not to run again in 1984.

"I would think the conservative cause and the Republican Party would be better served if the president doesn't run for re-election," said Viguerie.

"If the president is not off the dime to turn this thing around in the next several weeks, I think there will be an all-out effort to persuade him not to run in 1984," said Phillips.

To hear the Religious Right tell it now, Ronald Reagan was the greatest president this nation has ever known ... but at the time he was in office, he was such a disappointingly feckless compromiser that conservatives weren't even sure they could support him if he ran for re-election:

Not all conservatives happy with Reagan
16 August 1984
The Dallas Morning News

...

 

[Cal] Thomas said that Reagan has surrounded himself with too many pragmatists "who believe in government by negotiation rather than by leadership.'

 

"To get any lasting changes, the president must be more forceful in asserting his views and his policies,' Thomas said. "I would like to see it change, but the whirlpool of pragmatism is very strong.'

[Paul] Weyrich said that Reagan has "started down the right road, but we haven't gotten very far.'

He said that although the GOP has great expectations for a second term, it won't continue to enjoy widespread support from conservatives unless the party takes action on anti-abortion legislation and school prayer, and does more things for families.

"The allegiance they (Republicans) have is more in contrast to whom the opposition is,' he said. "Reagan has been a disappointment, but we have to re-elect him because Mondale would be a disaster.'

Weyrich said conservatives are hopeful that if Reagan wins the election in November, the cast of characters in the White House will change. That would help, he said, because Reagan is very much a product of the people who surround him.

"It is not unreasonable to suggest that he will change,' Weyrich said. "It is not beyond the realm of possibilities.'

Richard Viguerie, a New Right fund-raiser and publisher of Conservative Digest, said the New Right was much quieter this year than four years ago, before Reagan was in the White House, but said the relative quiet should not be interpreted as a sign of reduced effectiveness.

"I think my organization has been significantly enlarged and strengthened,' he said. "We will mail out twice as many letters as we did four years ago and I'm working to increase the assets and resources of the movement.'

Viguerie said the major complaint with Reagan and the Republicans is that on many issues, their policy isn't that much different from the Democrats'.

"The only real difference is in rhetoric,' he said. "On issue after issue, they (Republicans) are arguing about the last 5 to 10 percent of the budget instead of fighting against the program itself.'

Carly Fiorina—No Moderate

Although you won't find it on Carly Fiorina's campaign website's list of endorsements, the far-right Government Is Not God PAC is going all-in for Fiorina's race for US Senate. Government Is Not God PAC's official blog lauds Fiorina's ultraconservatism, and says that "if someone with the support of Sarah Palin, who is as socially conservative as Carly Fiorina wins in California it will mark a huge shift in American politics and send a wave of fear over the far left. We must win this seat!" They have already contributed $1,000 to Fiorina's campaign and ask donors to contribute more.

According to their website, "GING-PAC supports only candidates who affirm that they are pro-life, pro-family and stand firmly against the unbiblical welfare state that is destroying the spiritual and economic greatness of our nation" and that "Candidates seeking GING-PAC support must complete a questionnaire concerning their stand on issues such as abortion, gambling, drug use, home schooling, school prayer, property rights, Second Amendment rights, welfare, defense and taxation."

So what does Government Is Not God PAC believe in? Their survey asks candidates if they "oppose laws allowing homosexuals to adopt children" and "believe clergy should have the right to support or disapprove of candidates for political offices from the pulpit." Candidates are also asked if they "support the right of students and teachers to publicly acknowledge the Creator" and support "eliminating the U.S. Department of Education."

During the 2008 campaign, Government Is Not God PAC launched the website soundthealarmnow.com, which claimed that Barack Obama's presidential campaign was supported by terrorists and his election victory would be celebrated by the "Death to America Coalition." The fictional news video also suggested that President Obama would meet with Osama bin Laden and sound the Muslim call to prayer five times a day in The Capitol.

Will Carly Fiorina stand by an organization that is fundamentally opposed to gay rights and a purveyor of discredited conspiracy theories about President Obama?

The Next Raymond Raines?

I recall reading an Ann Coulter column several years ago which she dedicated to praising David Limbaugh's then-new book, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity." Among the stories of "persecution" that Limbaugh highlighted, and which Coulter also highlighted in her column, was the story of Raymond Raines:

In a public school in St. Louis, a teacher spotted the suspect, fourth-grader Raymond Raines, bowing his head in prayer before lunch. The teacher stormed to Raymond's table, ordered him to stop immediately and sent him to the principal's office. The principal informed the young malefactor that praying was not allowed in school. When Raymond was again caught praying before meals on three separate occasions, he was segregated from other students, ridiculed in front of his classmates, and finally sentenced to a week's detention.

In turns out that back in 1994, Newt Gingrich and various Religious Right leaders had made Raymond's sorry tale the centerpiece of their campaign of Christian victimization, despite the fact that it was entirely untrue:

"These are not isolated examples," said Gary Bauer, a former Ronald Reagan Administration adviser who heads the Family Research Council. The American Civil Liberties Union "has convinced educators that they cannot allow any religious expression at school," he said.

These complaints of hostility toward religion have circulated widely in conservative and Christian evangelical groups in recent years. Now they are fueling a drive among some activists to draft a broad amendment to the Constitution that would go beyond voluntary school prayer.

...

"These school incidents are fueling the fire," said Jay Sekulow, counsel for Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice.

Three weeks ago, Gingrich, in a television appearance, cited the St. Louis case as evidence that "it's illegal to pray," even privately, in schools today.

...

The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.

"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.

On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, because I have started seeing this story popping up on right-wing websites:

An 8-year-old boy has been suspended from school and forced to undergo a psychological evaluation after he drew a picture of Jesus Christ on the cross, his father claims.

A teacher at Lowell Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, Mass., allegedly said the second-grade student created a violent drawing, the Taunton Daily Gazette reported.

The boy's picture portrayed a crucified Jesus with Xs over his eyes to indicate that he had died on the cross.

The child's father, outraged at the school's action, asked to remain anonymous to protect his son. He said his boy drew the picture after returning from a family trip to see the Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, a Christian retreat.

He said when the teacher asked students to draw something that reminded them of Christmas on Dec. 2, the boy recalled his trip and created a portrait of Christ on the cross.

"As far as I'm concerned, they're violating his religion," he told the newspaper.

Of course, the full story gives an entirely different perspective:

City officials sharply disputed yesterday widely distributed reports that a local elementary school suspended a second-grader and required the boy to undergo a psychological evaluation for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross.

The story, initially reported by the local newspaper, raised questions of religious bias days before Christmas and was broadcast by local television stations and other news media. Making the story more compelling, the boy’s father held court for much of the day at his girlfriend’s apartment, granting interviews to reporters from Providence to Boston, demanding that the school district compensate him for his family’s pain and suffering.

“It hurts me that they did this to my kid,’’ Chester Johnson, the boy’s father, said in an interview with the Globe. “They can’t mess with our religion. They owe us a small lump sum for this.’’

But school officials say that the account in yesterday’s Taunton Daily Gazette was rife with errors and that the father’s description of what happened is untrue.

“The report is totally inaccurate,’’ Julie Hackett, superintendent of the Taunton public schools, said in an interview in her office yesterday. “The inaccuracies in the original media story have resulted in a great deal of criticism and scrutiny of the system that is unwarranted.’’

Hackett said the student, age 9, was never suspended and that neither he nor other students at the Maxham Elementary School were asked by the teacher to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas or any religious holiday, as the Gazette and other media reported and the father suggested, although his story changed as he explained it.

She said it was unclear whether the boy, who put his name above a stick figure portrait of Christ on the cross, had drawn the picture in school, which his teacher discovered Dec. 2.

“Religion had nothing to do with this at all, 100 percent nothing to do with it,’’ Hackett said, adding that Taunton is known as “The Christmas City.’’

She said the drawing was seen as a potential cry for help when the student identified himself, rather than Jesus, on the cross, which prompted the teacher to alert the school’s principal and staff psychologist. As a result, the boy underwent a psychological evaluation.

The right-wing myth regarding Raymond Raines was debunked back in 1994, but it was still being repeated by people like Coulter and Limbaugh nearly a decade later, and I suspect that we'll be hearing this story about a young student who suspended from school for drawing a picture of Jesus at Christmas for years to come.

A Sign of Changing Times?

When I saw an article covering a forum hosted by the Alabama Christian Coalition with candidates running for governor, I have to admit that I did not expect this:

Five Republicans and one Democrat running for governor showed up tonight at Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery for a forum sponsored by the Alabama Christian Coalition.

But this was not your typical Christian Coalition forum, at least not compared to what has typically been the focus of political get-togethers sponsored by the group before it underwent a split several years ago and then came back under new leadership, leadership that many Republicans in the state now believe is nowhere near as conservative as the group once was.

Evidence of that was everywhere Monday. For starters, the panel asking questions featured some moderate Democrats along with some Republicans.

The real indication that maybe the focus of the group is not what it once was came when the questions were asked of the candidates. In a two-hour event, not one question was asked about their views on same-sex marriage, abortion, school prayer or even their views on taxes.

Some candidates, such as Republican Bill Johnson, had to seemingly go out of their way to say they were for traditional marriage and against abortion.

Other candidates, such as Republican Bradley Byrne and Democrat Artur Davis, occasionally referred to the Bible when making points. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was the darling of the group as it existed in 2006 when he ran for the GOP nomination for governor, received at best polite applause but not the kind of thunderous ovations he saw three years ago.

Instead of plenty of questions about abortion, prayer and sin, Monday night's forum was filled with questions about health care, the economy, education and yes, some moral issues. But those took the form of what to do about crowded prisons, the candidates pledging not to play the race card -- Davis is black -- and whether gambling should be made legal and taxed.

The Christian Coalition of Alabama has undergone some confusing changes in recent years.  Back in 2006, then-president John Giles announced that they were breaking from the national Christian Coalition and reforming under the name Christian Action Alabama.  The Christian Coalition of Alabama subsequently tapped Randy Brinson as president and the two organizations then got into a legal battle over assets.

Brinson, who was a key backer of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, and his organization also made news last year when they attacked Freedom's Watch over ads it ran in the state because Sheldon Adelson, the man behind the organization, had made his fortune in the gambling industry and the even blasted the National Republican Congressional Committee for ads it ran attacking Democratic Congressional Candidate Parker Griffith, claiming the NRCC ad intentionally misrepresented some of Griffith's statements "to cast aspersions on his character, patriotism and even Christian commitment."

Interestingly, Giles left his new organization shortly after it broke with the Christian Coalition and now the organization appears defunct.  Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition of Alabama has been branching out and taking stances one would never have expected from this sort of group:

The Christian Coalition of Alabama teamed up with a Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday to call for better health care for the state's uninsured.

The event may defy con ventional wisdom about Christian Coalition priorities and partnerships, but it is only the latest example of what the group's leader says is an effort to expand its focus.

"Yes, we're ardently pro-life. Yes, we're ardently for marriage," said Dr. Randy Brinson, chairman of the state Christian Coalition. "But beyond just that, there's other moral failings that are having (an) impact. ... Not enough emphasis is put on that."

One such problem is the number of people who lack medical care because they are uninsured or underinsured, said Brinson, a Montgomery physician and lifelong Republican, during a news conference with state Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham.

Brinson and Coleman said the rising cost of gas and food exacerbate the plight of the uninsured, forcing them to choose between transportation, sustenance and basic medical care.

Jackson gets reinforcements in his war against marriage

Bishop Harry Jackson took the next step in his campaign against marriage equality today, testifying before the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics that the board should approve Jackson’s proposed referendum, which would overturn a new DC law recognizing same-sex marriages conducted legally in other jurisdictions. Jackson and his allies are demanding that the board of elections allow them to put the question before voters.

The only real question facing the elections board is whether overturning the recognition law is a proper subject for a referendum.  Jackson’s legal hurdle is that DC law clearly prohibits a referendum that “would unlawfully discriminate under the Human Rights Act.”  The Human Rights Act states that the city cannot deny benefits based on gender or sexual orientation (among a range of other protections).  Board members seemed skeptical of the arguments by Jackson and his allies that it did not count as discrimination to recognize some marriages carried out in other states but not to recognize others.
 
Jackson had some new help in the form of Brian Raum, a lawyer from the Alliance Defense Fund, a national Religious Right law firm.  Others testifying for Jackson’s referendum included a couple of other preachers and the director of a teen abstinence group.  Rev. Walter Fauntroy, former DC congressional delegate, was a no-show, though he’s expected to submit written testimony.  (Speaking on Fauntroy’s behalf was attorney David New, who tangled with PFAWF years ago in his unsuccessful efforts to pass a school prayer referendum. He’s now apparently part of Jackson’s legal team.) 
 
For appalling comic relief of sorts was a guy named Leroy Swailes, who testified in a shirt emblazoned with www.thirdgender666.com.  The essence of Swailes’ testimony was that this can’t be about human rights because gays are inhuman and anti-Christ.  A woman who took the microphone uninvited at the end of the hearing said she represented “the nations” – and claimed that Latino and Korean Christians in the District were “on fire.”
 
Jackson is clearly unhappy about recent reporting by the Washington Blade that has called into question the legitimacy of his status as a DC resident, which he swore to in filing paperwork for the referendum.  Jackson’s church is in Maryland and that’s where he has lived and voted until he registered as a DC voter in April.  Jackson deflected reporters’ questions about that status by insisting that he was a legal DC resident and saying that reporters and bloggers were putting his safety and family at risk by making his address public.  He refused to answer a reporter’s direct question about whether he’d moved into the District just to run this campaign.  Keep an eye on the Blade for more on Jackson’s legal residency.
 

 

The End of Christian America?

In recent days there have appeared two pieces that have generated a lot of attention suggesting that the Religious Right days as a political and cultural force are coming to an end.

The first was Kathleen Parker’s column covering the recent skirmish between right-wing radio host Steve Deace and Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family about James Dobson's and Focus on the Family’s support of John McCain’s presidential campaign. In this fight, Parker sees evidence that “the Christian right [might be] finished as a political entity”:

Deace's point was that established Christian activist groups too often settle for lesser evils in exchange for electing Republicans. He cited as examples Dobson's support of Mitt Romney and John McCain, neither of whom is pro-life or pro-family enough from Deace's perspective.

Compromise may be the grease of politics, but it has no place in Christian orthodoxy, according to Deace.

Put another way, Christians may have no place in the political fray of dealmaking. That doesn't mean one disengages from political life, but it might mean that the church shouldn't be a branch of the Republican Party. It might mean trading fame and fortune (green rooms and fundraisers) for humility and charity.

Deace's radio show may be beneath the radar of most Americans and even most Christians, but he is not alone in his thinking. I was alerted to the Deace-Minnery interview by E. Ray Moore -- founder of the South Carolina-based Exodus Mandate, an initiative to encourage Christian education and home schooling. Moore, who considers himself a member of the Christian right, thinks the movement is imploding.

"It's hard to admit defeat, but this one was self-inflicted," he wrote in an e-mail. "Yes, Dr. Dobson and the pro-family or Christian right political movement is a failure; it would have made me sad to say this in the past, but they have done it to themselves."

A somewhat similar article appears as the cover story of the upcoming issue of Newsweek in which author Jon Meacham predicts that the most recent American Religious Identification Survey showing a rise in the number of self-identified non-believers signals that the United States may be moving into a “post-Christian” era:

This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory. To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population.

Much of Meacham’s piece is predicated on concerns raised by Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who notes that, according to the survey, “the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified” which signals that “the historic foundation of America's religious culture was cracking:

"The post-Christian narrative is radically different; it offers spirituality, however defined, without binding authority," [Mohler] told me. "It is based on an understanding of history that presumes a less tolerant past and a more tolerant future, with the present as an important transitional step." The present, in this sense, is less about the death of God and more about the birth of many gods. The rising numbers of religiously unaffiliated Americans are people more apt to call themselves "spiritual" rather than "religious."

Evangelical Christians have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles. If the church believes drinking to be a sin, for instance, then the laws of the state should ban the consumption of alcohol. If the church believes the theory of evolution conflicts with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis, then the public schools should tailor their lessons accordingly. If the church believes abortion should be outlawed, then the legislatures and courts of the land should follow suit. The intensity of feeling about how Christian the nation should be has ebbed and flowed since Jamestown; there is, as the Bible says, no thing new under the sun. For more than 40 years, the debate that began with the Supreme Court's decision to end mandatory school prayer in 1962 (and accelerated with the Roe v. Wade ruling 11 years later) may not have been novel, but it has been ferocious. Fearing the coming of a Europe-like secular state, the right longed to engineer a return to what it believed was a Christian America of yore.

But that project has failed, at least for now. In Texas, authorities have decided to side with science, not theology, in a dispute over the teaching of evolution. The terrible economic times have not led to an increase in church attendance. In Iowa last Friday, the state Supreme Court ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage, a defeat for religious conservatives. Such evidence is what has believers fretting about the possibility of an age dominated by a newly muscular secularism. "The moral teachings of Christianity have exerted an incalculable influence on Western civilization," Mohler says. "As those moral teachings fade into cultural memory, a secularized morality takes their place. Once Christianity is abandoned by a significant portion of the population, the moral landscape necessarily changes. For the better part of the 20th century, the nations of Western Europe led the way in the abandonment of Christian commitments. Christian moral reflexes and moral principles gave way to the loosening grip of a Christian memory. Now even that Christian memory is absent from the lives of millions."

I have to say I find this temptation from commentators to write the Religious Right’s obituary after every Republican electoral setback rather remarkable.  For one thing, as we pointed out not too long ago, these sorts of pieces appear every few years, only to be overtaken a short time later with pieces marveling that the “sudden” and “unexpected” resurgence of the “values voters" crowd. In addition, despite the gloominess from the likes of Mohler and Deace, the Religious Right is more committed than ever to regrouping as a “resistance movement” to fight for its agenda and eventually regain its position as an influential and powerful political and social force.

And that day may come sooner than many realize. While it might seem at the moment that the Religious Right is on its way out, it is important to remember that the GOP has lost exactly one mid-term election and one presidential election and Democrats have controlled Congress and the White House for less than three months.  

Doesn’t anyone else remember all the talk following George W. Bush’s election, and especially his re-election, about the “values voters” and coming of a “permanent Republican majority” which would give the GOP ironclad control over the reigns of government for decades to come?

Remind me again: how did that all work out?  

The point is that political fortunes change … and often change rapidly. It is far, far too early to be declaring the Religious Right to be dead based on two elections and three months of Democratic government.

Frankly, the Religious Right’s political clout has never really been tested and so it is hard to know just if they are losing power because whenever the GOP wins elections, the Right is quick to claim credit for mobilizing grassroots support, but when the GOP loses the Right is quick to chalk the loss up to the party’s failure to embrace the right-wing agenda.

There are really only two scenarios under which predictions about the Right’s demise can reliably be made.  The first is a situation in which the GOP nominates a hard-line, right-wing true believer - someone like Rick Santorum - as its presidential candidate and sees that candidate get destroyed nationwide on Election Day.  The second is if the GOP can manage to actually nominate a presidential candidate who is fundamentally unacceptable to the Right – someone like Rudy Giuliani – and then have that candidate go on to win election to the White House.

But until the GOP nominates a true-believer and loses or right-wing heretic and wins, the Religious Right will continue to maintain a very significant amount of control of one of our nation’s two main political parties … and no amount of punditry announcing its demise will change that fact.

Who's Who At the Values Voter Debate

Below are short biographies of those who have been mentioned as participating in tonight's "Values Voter Presidential Debate" in Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

Culture Warrior Chuck Norris: ‘Secular Progressive Agenda’ Responsible for Virginia Tech Tragedy

There have been a range of responses from the Right to the tragic shootings last week at Virginia Tech. Some were moderate and respectful, while others were … less so. Among those seeking to lay blame, they have managed to fault everything from the Devil to evolution and the lack of school prayer.

For his part, Chuck Norris declares that the victims of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech were “martyrs” in the culture war, “caught in a head-on clash with our culture's values, denials and degradation.”

Though one can point to Cho's own psychotic behavior and our graphic slasher media as potential contributors to his deplorable murder spree, we must also hesitate to consider how we as a society are possibly contributing to the growth of these academic killing fields.

Norris singles out ““those who wield the baton of the secular progressive agenda” and “our graphic slasher media,” which must not include the more wholesome and uplifting violence of the Norris oeuvre, such as “Missing in Action,” “The Hitman,” “Forced Vengeance”  and “Lone Wolf McQuade”

Blaming Virginia Tech Tragedy on Evolution, Lack of School Prayer

Within 24 hours of a shooting spree that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech, countless right-wing commentators took the opportunity to call for increased access to guns on campus. Some on the Right have also used the tragedy to launch less-expected tirades.

American Family Radio, a part of the American Family Association, read over the air an anonymous e-mail, updated to include this latest tragedy, that blames school shootings on the lack of school prayer and Bible-reading in public schools, on abortion and access to condoms, and on the Lewinsky affair. “We reap what we sow.”

WorldNetDaily.com published an article featuring letters from readers outraged that a Muslim spoke alongside President Bush, Gov. Kaine, and others at Virginia Tech’s convocation after the events: “How are we to know this wasn't a signal to a sleeper cell?”

And AFA’s news website offered the warnings of “a full-time creation evangelist” and apparent kitten-hater, Grady McMurtry of Creation Worldview Ministries, who pinned the blame on evolution:

For years, he says, public schools and universities have taught the theory of evolution as fact, with no opposing viewpoints -- and the result, he contends, is a lack of respect for human life.

Therefore, he asserts, people should not be surprised when mass shootings occur, such as the one on the Blacksburg university campus on Monday. "And at Virginia Tech, what do we have?" he asks rhetorically. "We have a person who, unfortunately, thought that humans had no more value than cats and dogs -- and unfortunately, I think, probably felt the same way about themselves."

The creationist continues explaining his premise. "And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies."

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School Prayer Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 08/28/2014, 10:36am
Today, Vocativ posted an interview with Rick Santorum, who is promoting his new movie “One Generation Away,” which is about the supposed “erosion of religious liberty” in the United States. Unsurprisingly, Santorum cites a number of myths about religious liberty in schools, including claiming that “you can’t pray in school” and that public schools "can't talk about the impact" of the Bible on "Western civilization." In reality, students have a constitutionally protected right to pray in school, as long as that prayer is... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 07/25/2013, 4:09pm
The American Family Association of Kentucky sent out an appeal to its members today asking them to sign a petition calling for a law legalizing school prayer in the state, similar to “inspirational message” bills recently passed in Florida and Mississippi. The petition asserts that the 1962 Supreme Court decision prohibiting government-led prayer in schools was pushed by “anti-God forces” and led to a myriad of social ills, including a rise in teen pregnancy and violent crime, and “the AIDS epidemic and the drug culture.” Legalizing school prayer is “... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 01/17/2013, 3:14pm
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins welcomed former presidential contender Rick Santorum to his “Washington Watch” radio program on Tuesday, where the two discussed the moral decline of the nation. Santorum blamed colleges and universities for “indoctrinating in a sea of relativism and a sea of antagonism toward Christianity,” leading to the “symptoms” of abortion, marriage and pornography: Santorum: The cultural indicators that I talked about earlier that are sort of going the wrong way, we're, you know, in ever-increasing numbers, less... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/23/2012, 10:36am
Yesterday Bryan Fischer took some time away from his one man crusade to defend  Todd Akin and "modern science" to discuss a decision by a Mississippi school board to end the practice of delivering prayers over the public address system before football games and other school functions after receiving a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). Fischer was predictably outraged about the development, claiming that "these people in the South are total pansies" who refuse to stand up and fight back against FFRF, which is leading... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 10/26/2011, 4:05pm
Today on Believers Voice of Victory, David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that the only way to rejuvenate America’s education system is to instill in kids the “fear of the Lord.” Barton launched his career as a Religious Right activist with the 1989 booklet What Happened in Education?, in which he concluded that a decline in SAT scores was a result of the end of school prayer, and that only Christian teachings in schools could bring SAT scores back up. Barton explained to Copeland, a Prosperity Gospel preacher, what that instilling the “fear of the Lord... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/19/2011, 12:17pm
Jim Bakker, following the collapse of The PTL Club and a stint in jail for twenty four counts of fraud, seems to be having something of a revival. He has launched a new television program and founded Morningside, a Christian community in Missouri modeled after his failed and fraudulent Heritage USA project (Heritage USA is now the home of Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries). Now Bakker is out with a new book, “Big Book of History.” Promoting the book on his blog, Bakker explains that the courts and President Barack Obama “kicked God out of schools and eventually we... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/31/2011, 3:17pm
In planning a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept a policy observed in previous years and declined to invite religious leaders to speak at the events, which a spokesman says is to make sure “the focus remains on the families.” Of course, the Religious Right is now apoplectic and using their outrage at Bloomberg as their latest fundraising tool. The Traditional Values Coalition emailed members today pleading for donations to stop Bloomberg’s attempts “to exterminate expressions of faith”... MORE