Science

Bachmann Wants to Reduce Fed Gov't To Its "Original Size"

Despite the fact that she generally has no idea what she is talking about, Rep. Michele Bachmann is planning on holding weekly classes on the Constitution for new members in the next Congress.

I wonder if she'll teach these freshmen members of Congress what she told WorldNetDaily's Burt Prelutsky, which is that they should be trying to get the federal government back to its "original size":

Q. If, with a snap of your fingers, you could change anything about America, what would it be?

A. Reduce the federal government to its original size and constitutional limitations and to restore the 9th and 10th amendments.

Of course, the population of the United States back when the government was at its "original size" was just under 4 million - it is now over 310 million.  For that matter, Congress only had 26 seats in the Senate and 69 seats in the House and met in New York City.

But, according to Bachmann, it would be a dream come true to see our government reduced to the size it was back when the country had only thirteen states.

Barton's Anti-Gay Discussion Gets Copeland Program Dropped In Australia

Speaking of David Barton and his anti-gay views, it looks like a few months ago he appeared on Kenneth Copeland's "Believers Voice of Victory" television program where the two had this exchange:

Barton: … those things that are in the moral Law I don’t have to pray about …. I don’t have to pray about homosexuality, He’s condemned that …

Copeland: … [Oral Roberts] he said God has never ever created anybody to be something He has already condemned … He didn’t create anybody a homosexual, because He condemned homosexuals …

Barton: … I gotta jump on this, because I want everybody to know this cause it doesn’t get publizised. This thing about that he didn’t create someone to be a homosexual, what about that homosexual gene … we now have a study out just in the last few months called Ex-Gays … it documents authoritatively 50,000 cases of people who were homosexuals who no longer were. Now on the secular side they’ve been saying there is nothing you can do about it you were born that way that’s your nature … well if that’s true you can’t have 50,000 ex-gays. I mean that’s like being an ex-black or an ex-white or an ex-whatever. So what’s it has done is science has figured out that God was right. This is not who you are, it’s what you do and you can control what you do. You may not control who you are, you can control what you do … science just got changed this year to match what the Bible’s been telling us all along. And that’s why you always stick with the Bible. Science will catch up with the Bible …

Copeland: … the reason God condemned homosexuality is because of the severe attack it has on the fabric of the blessing, life, all that God created. He created things, certain things to work certain ways to our advantage, and you break that fabric now it opens you up to all kinds of problems … so He’s not condemning people …

Barton: … in Romans 1:27-32 … not only does God not approve homosexuality, it says He does not approve those who approve homosexuality …

This exchange apparently violated standards in Australia and now Copeland's program has been dropped by the network that had been broadcasting it there:

Pentecostal powerhouse Kenneth Copeland has been a regular God-bothering feature of Network Ten’s overnight infomercial line-up for several years – but the network says it has had to pull the plug on his show Believer’s Voice of Victory after a viewer complained about the host’s homophobia.

...

An Australian viewer pointed out that the discussion, which was broadcast around three o’clock in the morning, was offensive and went against the TV Industry Code of Practice.

Ten agreed, as the Code of Practice points out that a broadcast show “should not provoke or perpetuate intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group of persons on the grounds of age, colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, disability, race, religion or sexual preference.”

Ten pulled the show, which apparently is still on-air in some Australian regional channels and on PayTV’s Australian Christian Channel.

Kenneth Copeland’s Ministries have labeled Ten’s decision “religious discrimination” and is urging faithful followers to lobby the TV network.

Why The Religious Right Never Talks About Divorce

Via Al Mohler we get this fascinating study by Mark A. Smith of the University of Washington in "Political Science Quarterly" entitled "Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America" [PDF].

In it, Smith examines why Religious Right groups who spend all of their time talking about family values and the sanctity of marriage seem to give only lip-service, at best, to fighting divorce, despite the fact that it is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. The Right may mentione it, generally when bemoaning the deteriorating culture, but they invest little to no effort in actually trying to change the laws to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce.

Smith notes that neither Jerry Falwell with his Moral Majority nor Pat Robertson with his Christian Coalition paid much attention to the issue; a trend which continues today with the Family Research Council: 

The FRC regularly sends email alerts to its members and supporters in an attempt to inform, persuade, and reinforce their attitudes and beliefs about matters of interest to the group. In 2006 and 2007, the FRC dispatched hundreds of these, most of which contained three paragraph-length items. Surprisingly for an organization that structures its activities around marriage and the family, only 8 of the 1,366 items centered on divorce. In the context of its total volume of communication with members and supporters, the FRC rarely broached the topic of divorce. The organization has stated that “we will not relent in our insistence to reform divorce laws,” but that abstract support has
not been matched by a sustained commitment to spending time or resources on the issue.

Perhaps the FRCʼs emails do not accurately reflect its priorities, meaning that analyzing a different facet of the groupʼs activities would yield a different answer. Accordingly, it will be useful to examine the messages the FRC expresses when it broadcasts its views through the mass media. As part of a larger strategy to influence both the mass public and political leaders, the FRCʼs staff regularly write editorials and attempt to publish them in leading news outlets. During 2006 and 2007, the staff succeeded in placing editorials on topics falling within the organizationʼs mission, including abstinence programs in schools, gay rights and hate crimes, abortion laws in the states, and judicial activism regarding online pornography. Yet FRC staff also published editorials that criticized wasteful government spending, warned against universal health care, and challenged the science behind global warming. Certainly no one could deny that government spending, health care, and global warming are important subjects for American citizens and political leaders to consider. For an organization whose self-definition holds that it “champions marriage and the family,” however,
these issues are considerably removed from its core mission.

The FRC has stated that constraints of budget, time, and staff prevent it from engaging questions surrounding same-sex marriage and heterosexual divorce at the same time, but it managed to allocate its scarce resources to addressing many other issues of current interest. Even if one could justify on practical or biblical grounds prioritizing gay marriage over divorce, such a view could hardly justify pushing divorce all the way to the bottom of the pecking order, below issues with only a tenuous connection to marriage and the family. Of course, a comprehensive search of all of the FRCʼs communications with members, the media, and government officials from 1983 to the present would probably uncover sporadic advocacy for changing public policy regarding divorce. Such a finding would not undermine the conclusion drawn here, namely that the subject occupies a low spot on the groupʼs priority list. Indeed, in the statement from its Web site quoted above, the FRC conceded that it spends little time on divorce.

Smith notes that FRC's lack of focus on divorce is especially odd given that FRC President Tony Perkins authored the nationʼs first covenant marriage bill back when he was a state legislator in Louisiana. 

But Smith also notes that there is very little chance that FRC or any other Religious Right group is going to "move beyond just saying that they endorse divorce reform and actually turn that abstract support into concrete action" because Americans so widely accept divorce to such an extent that even a significant portion of the Religious Right's base would oppose such efforts:

Needless to say, it is not a winning strategy for mobilization to tell your potential constituents that they have committed immoral acts that you are attempting to restrict through governmental regulations. Without an organized and vocal constituency making positions on divorce a litmus test for political support, it is difficult to imagine how the issue could join the ongoing culture war.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/29

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/22-9/29.

Sharron Angle

Government: Angle and her husband are both covered by government health care plans (Alternet, 9/28).

Health Care: Criticized for mocking “Autism” coverage (The Plum Line, 9/27).

Fundraising: Comedian Dennis Miller to raise money for Angle (LVRJ, 9/28).

House: Angle’s unpopularity may hurt Nevada’s GOP House candidates (The Hill, 9/28).

Poll: One poll shows Reid leading Angle by 5%, other finds a tie (Las Vegas Sun 9/25, LVRJ 9/28).

Ken Buck

Poll: DSCC poll shows Buck trailing Bennet by 2% (Politico, 9/29).

GOP: Senators McConnell and Cornyn host fundraiser for Buck (AP, 9/28).

Right-wing: Tries to portray himself as more moderate after primary (RCP, 9/24).

Carly Fiorina

Corporate: Rightwing Koch brothers take interest in Fiorina’s campaign (LA Times, 9/25).

Outside groups: Chamber of Commerce and FreedomWorks to bolster Fiorina (LA Times, 9/28).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 8% in new poll of California voters (San Jose Mercury News, 9/25).

Ad: New ad labels Boxer as “arrogant” (The Atlantic, 9/23).

Joe Miller

Government: Expresses support for increased spending for public health and education in 2004 survey (KTUU, 9/24).

Controversy: Classified himself as “low-income” on hunting license application (Anchorage Daily News, 9/27).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express to help Miller against McAdams, Murkowski (Daily News-Miner, 9/28).

Christine O’Donnell

Finances: CREW looks into O’Donnell’s poor financial record (News Journal, 9/29).

Science: Declares evolution “a myth” on Politically Incorrect (Huffington Post, 9/25).

Controversy: Falsely claims she attended Claremont McKenna and Oxford for graduate school (Mediaite, 9/29).

GOP: Shames Republican leadership for not supporting complete repeal of Health Care Reform (ABC News, 9/28).

Rand Paul

Ad: Blasted for supporting $2,000 Medicare deductible (Herald Leader, 9/29).

Right-wing: Member of ultraconservative medical group (Courier Journal, 9/24).

Poll: Leads Conway by just 2% in latest poll of Kentucky voters (TPMDC, 9/27).

Economy: Speaks out against raising taxes on wealthy (Huffington Post, 9/27).

Dino Rossi

Controversy: BIAW fined for illegally supporting Rossi’s gubernatorial campaign (Seattle PI, 9/24).

Ad: CommonsenseTen hits Rossi on housing crisis (Politico, 9/24).

Marco Rubio

Controversy: Releases Spanish-language ad despite support for English-only policies (Florida Independent, 9/29).

Social Security: Reverses himself on Social Security privatization (St. Petersburg Times, 9/28).

Finances: New questions about Rubio’s expenses flare (Orlando Sentinel, 9/24).

Pat Toomey

Poll: Toomey holds slight lead, but one-third of Pennsylvania voters still undecided (WPVI, 9/29).

GOP: Distances himself from spending under Bush Administration (AP, 9/27).

Right-wing: Columnist examines Toomey’s far-right beliefs while leading Club for Growth (Inquirer, 9/26).

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/22

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/15-9/22.

Sharron Angle

Radical Right: Speaks at John Birch Society and Oath Keepers-sponsored event in Utah, describes crowd as “mainstream America” (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/20).

Tea Party: Planned Las Vegas convention featuring Angle quietly cancelled (TPM, 9/20).

Health Care: Claims that pre-existing conditions coverage can be “addressed very well by the free market” (Huffington Post, 9/21).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Angle and Reid running neck-and-neck (Washington Times, 9/21).

Ken Buck

Ads: New Democratic ads hit Buck over the 17th Amendment and reproductive health (CNN, 9/21).

Civil Rights: Left-leaning group holds rally protesting Buck’s views on contraception and choice (Denver Westward, 9/21).

Economy: Favors extending all of the Bush tax cuts (Colorado Independent, 9/17).

Carly Fiorina

Poll: New poll shows Fiorina trailing Boxer by 8% (Public Policy Polling, 9/21).

Ad: Boxer blasts Fiorina’s performance as CEO of HP (Daily Kos, 9/18).

Tea Party: Wins endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (WaPo, 9/21).

Economy: Supports extending tax cuts for the wealthy (AP, 9/20).

Campaign: WSJ profiles Fiorina’s focus on the San Joaquin Valley (WSJ, 9/21).

Joe Miller

Government: Big-Government critic received farm subsidies (AP, 9/21).

GOP: Knocks Murkowski for running as a write-in candidate (CNN, 9/21).

Poll: Rasmussen poll shows Miller leading with 42% (Rasmussen, 9/21).

Economy: Changes position on unemployment benefits after criticism (ThinkProgress, 9/21).

Tea Party: Receives endorsement from Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC (Business Wire, 9/20).

Christine O’Donnell

Campaign: Used $20,000 of campaign money to pay rent for house and served as her own campaign’s treasurer (Christian Science Monitor, 9/21).

Religious Right: Journalist unearths 2008 comment where she called homosexuality an “identity disorder” (ABC News, 9/20).

Poll: Fox News poll shows Chris Coons leader 54-39% (Fox News, 9/21).

Bewitched: Reactions to “dabbled into witchcraft” comment vary (Yahoo News, 9/20).

Ad: DSCC slams O’Donnell in new ad on finances (DSCC, 9/17).

Rand Paul

Government: AFL-CIO mailer condemns Paul’s views on Social Security, workplace safety (Politico, 9/20).

Media: Criticized by journalists for not speaking to press about views (WHAS, 9/20).

Palin: Sarah Palin fundraises with Paul and joins him for Fox Business interview (Mediaite, 9/18).

Education: Knocked for supporting Dept. of Education’s elimination (McClatchy, 9/21).

Dino Rossi

Economy: Stimulus-critic Rossi visits shipyard that benefited from Stimulus funding (Seattle Times, 9/17).

Government: Rossi hammered for views on government subsidies for refueling tanker competition (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/21).

Poll: Patty Murray leads Rossi by 5% in new poll (Rasmussen Reprots, 9/16).

Immigration: Opposes both a path for citizenship and deportation of illegal immigrants in the US, offers no alternatives (Seattle Times, 9/20).

Marco Rubio

Tea Party: Speaks to “Forward with the Constitution Rally” in St. Augustine (St. Petersburg Times, 9/19).

Ad: Crist disparages Rubio for earmarks in new ad (TPM, 9/20).

Pat Toomey

Fundraiser: Scott Brown (R-MA) to fundraise in Philadelphia for Toomey (Boston Globe, 9/21).

Poll: Leads Joe Sestak 48-40% in Fox News poll, 50-43% according to Quinnipiac (PA2010, 9/21).

Economy: Signs pledge to back Estate Tax repeal (CBS21, 9/20).

Wall Street: Ties to Wall Street banks come under scrutiny (LA Times, 9/17).

Heritage Foundation on Money and Morals

The Heritage Foundation, one of the co-sponsors of the Values Voter Summit, held a breakout conversation to push one of the conference’s central themes: the indivisibility of social and economic conservativism. The overall political goal was aptly summed up by the Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall, who spoke of the need to call attention to the “moral bankruptcy” of the war on poverty and the welfare state.

Heritage has been promoting for some time now “Indivisible,” a small book of essays with a gimmick: Heritage asked people known for being social conservatives to write on an economic theme, and vice versa. Anti-gay crusader Harry Jackson, for example, contributed a chapter on the evils of the minimum wage, which he says is a form of coercion of employers that “reminds me of slavery.”
 
One of the speakers on the Heritage panel was Stephen Moore, founder of the radically anti-tax Club for Growth and now the senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal’s notoriously right-wing editorial board. Moore said the growing national debt erodes the nation’s moral fabric, and he called for an end to the progressive income tax and the estate tax (described as a “death tax,” which he called “obscene.”) Moore also called global warming “the biggest myth of the last one hundred years,” suggesting that the bumper crop of reality- and science-denying congressional candidates may have friendly WSJ editorials to fall back on when challenged on their climate change denialism.
 
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now at the Family Research Council, warned that federal spending in the U.S. is approaching levels of western Europe, and warned that anytime government has gotten big “it has accelerated the collapse of the most basic economic unit in our country and in western civilization – the family.”
 
The workshop came to an awkward end when an audience member who said he has complications from diabetes and tens of thousands of dollars in chronic medical expenses wondered what the panel would offer people like him once they abolish “Obamacare,” and the panelists had nothing much to offer beyond standard right-wing talking points about medical malpractice, medical savings accounts, and marketplace competition. He didn’t seem convinced that they understood or cared about his problem.

Political Science 101 With Professor Michele Bachmann

I think that it is pretty safe to assume that Rep. Michele Bachmann has absolutely no understanding of what the term "negative rights" actually means because, if she did, she probably would not be making ridiculous statements like this:

Barbour: Religious Right is "Using Up Valuable Time and Resources" On Issues Voters Don't Care About

Earlier this year, Gov. Mitch Daniels came in for all sorts of criticism from the Religious Right for suggesting that truce might be needed in the culture wars so that the nation can focus on addressing economic and security issues.

If there is one thing the Religious Right hates, it is being told that their issues should be placed on a back burner or that they don't motivate voter turn out.  In fact, just yesterday we noted that the Religious Right was warning House Republicans not to ignore social issues as they lay out their issues and agenda, warning that it would be an "electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off" the anti-choice, anti-gay social conservatives who make up much of the grassroots base.

So I am guessing that this is not going to sit well with them:

Republican Governor's Association Chair Haley Barbour cautioned Republican candidates on Wednesday against bringing social issues into the campaign, arguing that any discussion beyond the economy would prove distracting and problematic to their election hopes.

In a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Mississippi Republican was asked for his take on remarks made earlier in the year by Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Governor, who had urged social and fiscal conservatives to reach an informal truce for the purposes of 2010.

"I think what Mitch said is very similar to what I have responded to today," Barbour replied. "The voters have on their mind the economy, jobs, spending, debt and taxes and good campaigns are about the issues that are on the peoples minds.

"I'll put my bonafides up against anybody as a social conservative," he added, noting that as governor, Mississippi was voted the safest state in the country for an unborn child. "But that ain't going to change anybody's vote this year because people are concerned about job, the economy, growth and taxes... you are using up valuable time and resources that can be used to talk to people about what they care about."

You know, Mitch Daniels thought that it was his bonafides as a social conservative that gave him the standing and credibility to be able call for a truce in the culture wars, but that didn't stop him for getting raked over the coal ... so if Barbour thinks that the Religious Right is going to simply accept it when he tells them that they "are using up valuable time and resources" talking about issues nobody cares about, I think he is going to be in for a bit of a surprise.

Garlow: Beck May Be a Mormon, But He's Being "Used By God' To Save America

Earlier this week we noted how Glenn Beck's Mormon faith was becoming an area of concern for some on the Religious Right, especially in light of the fact that Beck seems to be making a transition from Tea Party leader to religious leader.

These sorts of concerns had prompted Davd Barton to write a defense of Beck, saying that Beck must be judged by his works and not by his lable and that, by that standard, he is a better "Christain" than the likes of Bill Clinton or Nancy Pelosi.

Now Jim Garlow, who has been a guest on Beck's program and will also be attending Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, penned a lengthy piece defending Beck and explaining that evangelicals worked hand-in-hand with Mormons during the Prop 8 fight after they agreed never bring up their faith:

Several months before the election, three officials from the Mormon Church came to my office. The meeting was cordial, respectful and warm. We discussed ways to work along side each other in this battle.

Most of us are familiar with the term “co-belligerency,” which means that people with diametrically opposing views on certain critical issues work together. It was in that role that we came together.

Towards the very end of the meeting, I was just ready to bring up a critical issue: the insistence of Mormons to proselytize and argue theology. Before I could bring up the obvious “elephant in the room,” the highest ranking Mormon official present – a member of the Council of the Seventy – said (as nearly as I am able to re-construct the conversation), “Allow me to broach a topic that is likely on your mind. You will be concerned that our people will bring up discussions regarding their Mormon beliefs. I want to assure you that they will not bring up that topic in conversation.”

I was surprised at his directness, thus I said, “Can I have your word on that?” He responded, “You can.” I asked, “Even though you are over the Pacific Rim (approx. 1/3 of the world) in the Mormon Church, may I have your cell number and call you personally if I become aware of any violation of the promise?” He responded, “You can,” and gave me his cell phone number.

I never called it. Not once. Because I never heard of one single violation. On our first weekend of knocking on doors across California, 25,000 persons showed up to work. Twenty four thousand of them were Mormons. They worked. They worked hard. They never brought up their faith. Not once. A letter had been sent instructing them to discuss only the defense of marriage – and they honored that policy.

Based on that experience, Garlow has come to see Mormons "not theological brothers and sisters, [but as] friends and neighbors" with whom evangelicals can work on issues of concern to both groups. 

Garlow says that he has had some direct contact with Beck and knows others who have had much more and, as such, is comfortable that Beck is reliable, trustworthy, and sincere ... though he does have some concerns:

But what about Glenn’s Mormonism, many ask? That is a legitimate question. Glenn was raised, as I understand it, as a Catholic. He became a heavy drinker, destroying everything in his life. It was the Mormons that got him into the equivalent of a 12-step program. His life was turned around. His wife, as I understand it, is a strong Mormon. My personal read-out would be that Glenn’s Mormon ties are not profoundly deep rooted. I am not saying that to denigrate his theological understanding. I simply do not see evidence that he has deep Mormon theological motifs.

But didn’t he talk about some Hebrew stone tablet on his show recently? Yes. Frankly, I am not sure why he did it. It appeared for a moment that he might be – for the first time – pushing his Mormonism. But in further conversation with those I regard to be “in the know,” that was apparently not the case.

Two statements by Beck have caused serious Bible believers serious heartburn. One was on an interview – I believe with Katie Couric – and the other was recently on the Bill O’Reilly show. In both cases, Glenn trivialized the dangers and harm of gay “marriage.” Some defend him, saying he was merely saying that that issue is not his personal focus.

I am not certain how to interpret this one. I was on his show a couple months ago. He specifically asked Robby George (Princeton professor) to tell the audience about the Manhattan Declaration – which strongly affirms traditional, natural marriage. He then changed the conversation to the violence against those that defended Prop 8 in California. At that point, I spoke up, referencing the acts of violence and vandalism committed by those trying to advance the radical gay agenda.

I do not have an explanation for his comments on Bill O’Reilly. I need to know more of the background. It was, most assuredly, not his strongest moment. He may be in need of much more biblical truth and social science data.

But despite these sort of concerns about Beck's recent comments and his faith, Garlow says he is happy to stand by Beck becuase he is being "used by God" to save America:

Glenn Beck is being used by God – mightily. The left loves to slam him and do so viscerally and often with vulgarities. Glenn is not perfect. (For the record, neither are you or I.) But his expose on America’s sins is stellar. I am convinced his motives are pure. His research department is profoundly skilled, checking footnotes down to the last detail. The left cannot “get” him – at least, not at this point. They have tried. Since they have no truth, and history is not on their side, they resort constantly to ad hominem attacks. He has withstood staggering scrutiny, disdain and attacks.

Based on all I know about him, I am proud to stand with him at the Restoring Honor Rally this weekend. Glenn does not see that this about him, because it is not. It is about Restoring Honor. That is the issue. It is much bigger than Glenn Beck and he knows it. And God knows, we need it.

Will Demanding Proof of Obama's Baptism Become The Next Right Wing Crusade?

I always thought that the central tenet of the Christian faith was ... well, faith.  But, as it turns out, when someone like President Obama claims to be a Christian, that can't just be taken on faith, which is why we keep seeing column after column written by right-wing activists claiming that they don't believe that Obama is, in fact, a Christian ... and it is entierly his own fault, of course:

The current president has neither a church, nor, to my knowledge, even a denomination. When I'm asked questions about his faith, by sincere people not looking to attack, I sincerely can't give a good answer. It's a problem I didn't have with any of the Bushes, the Clintons, Reagan, Carter, and on and on.

...

Of course, it shouldn't be difficult to rectify misperceptions. Throughout American history, presidents have been asked about their faith and sat for lengthy interviews sharing their thinking, explaining precisely what they believe. Why doesn't Obama simply do the same? This isn't rocket science ... Obama's problem isn't a tiny fringe that believes he faces Mecca to pray five times a day, but an increasingly large number of Americans that aren't sure what he believes. Until he makes that clearer, confusion will understandably reign.

Sure, Obama may claim to be a Christian, says Mychal Massie, but that means nothing:

In the aftermath of Obama's unsolicited, controversial dictates over the Ground Zero mosque debate, White House image-makers are now trying to convince the public he is a devout Christian. Specific to that point, he may not be a Muslim, but I'm convinced he isn't a Christian, either.

As evidence of his devoutness, the White House has entered into evidence that he allegedly prays every day. Let me be clear – praying every day no more makes one a Christian than walking across a stream makes one a fisherman.

...

Scriptures tell us that by our works we shall be known (Matthew 7:15-20). Where is Obama's fruit? I think it can be reasonably argued that, if he were a Christian following after Jesus, there would be no questions about his faith. If his actions were Christ-like, people wouldn't question whether or not he is a Muslim.

And if you thought the Birthers were an annoyingly insistent bunch, let's just hope that Cliff Kincaid's demands for proof that Obama was actually baptized never catches on:

Obama talks about hearing a Wright sermon, “The Audacity of Hope,” which inspired the title of his second book. However, there is no mention of any baptism in this—his first—book. The reference to being baptized came in the second book, as Obama was preparing to launch his presidential campaign. The timing is significant.

These are the facts as Obama himself reported them. So how have the media handled them? Needless to say, there has been no serious investigation into whether the claims are true and what they mean.

“Obama’s religious biography is unconventional and politically problematic,” Newsweek’s Lisa Miller reported. “Born to a Christian-turned-secular mother and a Muslim-turned-atheist African father, Obama grew up living all across the world with plenty of spiritual influences, but without any particular religion. He is now a Christian, having been baptized in the early 1990s at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.”

The phrase, “having been baptized,” is apparently based on Obama’s claim about being baptized. Our major media haven’t questioned the claim.

Miller went on to say, “His baptism presents its own problems. The senior pastor at Trinity at the time of Obama’s baptism was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the preacher who was seen damning America on cable TV…”

Notice the formulation, “at the time of Obama’s baptism.” She carefully does not say that Wright performed the baptism. In fact, there’s no evidence it was a baptism in the traditional sense that it was performed by Wright or anybody else. It looks like Obama walked down the aisle and made a profession of faith. That is not a Christian baptism.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • GOProud has again signed on to be a sponsor of the next CPAC, so I can't wait to see how the anti-gay Right reacts to this.
  • If there is a case to be made for discriminating against a gay person, you can rest assure that Mat Staver will be there to make it.
  • Joseph Farah and Ann Coulter continue to fight.
  • The New Yorker profiles David and Charles Koch, the ideological billionaires behind so much of today's right-wing movement.
  • Replace "homosexuality" with "Christianity" in this Brad Dacus quote and imagine how the Right would respond.
  • Harry Jackson continues to rail against gay marriage: "We declare that there is coming an unprecedented political backlash against same-sex marriage being forced down our collective throats."
  • Mike Huckabee denies trying to sell his endorsement for $250,000 and also went campaigning with Bill McCollum in church this weekend.
  • Janet Porter's Faith 2 Action organization has been almost non-existent lately ... with the exception of posting things on how "Amazing Animals" like the woodpecker prove that God exists.
  • Finally, is Hunt Downer the Antichrist or something?

Random Book Blogging: Waging Spiritual Warfare, Literally

This piece from Rachel Tabachnick on strategic level spiritual warfare (SLSW), the ideology behind the growth of "prayer warrior" networks across the nation, reminded me of something I wanted to highlight from book I have been reading by Chuck Pierce called "The Future War of the Church: How We Can Defeat Lawlessness and Bring God's Order to the Earth."

Pierce has not been as openly political as have been the likes of Cindy Jacobs and Lou Engle, but he has been making inroads, having been involved in Janet Porter's May Day rally.  Pierce has deep ties to Jacobs and is actually next in line to take over C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation dynasty, with Wagner recently explaining that his Global Harvest Ministries was merging with Pierce's Glory of Zion (GOZ) International into something called Global Spheres, Inc. (GSI).

Whenever I write about how this new brand of prophetic intercessors is working their way into the mainstream Religious Right movement, I tend to end up relying on the word "literally" a lot, as in: "when they call themselves prophets and apostles, they mean that 'literally.'"

I do that because I think that people tend to assume, when they hear these activists talk about things like waging spiritual warfare against demon strongholds, that they are speaking in some figurative or metaphorical sense.

They're not.

In his book, Pierce lays out the explanation of why they must engage in this type of spiritual warfare, explaining that sin allows Satan to gain strongholds in homes, families, communities, and cities that can only be broken by properly directed spiritual warfare ... and again, let me point out that he means this literally: 

Satan gains access to an area in the same way he gains access to an individual's life or a family line: through sin. He does this by encouraging individual or family sin to escalate into corporate sin. When corporate sin enters into our assigned boundaries, we need to be aware of how that sin can build a throne of iniquity and how we, being positioned in God's army, have the authority to dismantle it.

Corporate sin - for example, idolatry, bloodshed, immorality and covenant breaking - creates a break in God's purpose, or order, for a region. Once this break begins to occur, Satan will take advantage to gain an upper hand and being to establish his influence in that area.

...

Satan uses ongoing problems within a community, such as murder, violence, pornography or gangs, to strengthen his throne of iniquity within the community. If your community is plagued by these and other corporate sins, you must realize that Satan has a throne of iniquity in place that is being maintained through these sins.

...

Satan's confederation, through which he maintains his system of worship, is not just limited to witchcraft or covens but can manifest itself through many forms of occultic practices, including satanism, psychic hotlines, spiritism, paganism, goddess worship, voodoo, fortune-telling, palmistry, demon worship, the use of spirit guides, and other New Age practices. The enemy's confederation also extends to those who practice any form of false religion - including Mormonism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hinduism, Eastern religions, Native religions, Christian Science, and Bahai - and to those embroiled in secret societies such as Freemasonry, Shriners, Oddfellows and the Elks.

Even though many involved in these practices would deny that they are being driven by a satanic confederation, the fact is that through their practice of what the Bible clearly identifies as evil, these people are contributing to the throne of iniquity upon which Satan is seated in the area.

Earlier this week I noted that Lou Engle and TheCall were operating a mobile prayer strikeforce for exactly this purpose.  Called the Prayer Strike Program, these groups "will be developed and deployed to key regions in the earth where breakthrough is needed for the spreading of the Lord's justice and salvation. In those regions, the teams will engage in concentrated worship, prayer, and fasting."

So if you live in an area with a large population of Mormons or Elks clubs, don't be surprised when you see a battalion of spiritual warriors descend upon your town in order to break the chain of corporate sin and free the region from Satan's control ... literally.

Behold The Instructors and Curriculum for LaBarbera's 3 Days of Hate Conference

Peter LaBarbera has unveiled the instructor list and official curriculum for his upcoming three day anti-gay hatefest/"truth academy" ... and it is pretty much going to be the gay-hatingest thing you have ever seen: 

Truth Academy Instructors:

  • Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel ; Board Member, AFTAH
  • Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival; Accuracy in Media
  • Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, author, The Bible and Homosexual Practice
  • Arthur Goldberg, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), author, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change
  • Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute
  • Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; author, Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Towards Socialism, keynote presenter
  • Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
  • Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law
  • Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX); Pro-Family Network
  • Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California

THURSDAY 

Welcoming Remarks, Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality: “From gay pride to gay tyranny”

10:10 – 11:10 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law: “History of modern ‘gay’ activism and the courts”

11:20-12:20 – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel; Board Member, AFTAH: “Masculine Christianity: a non-defensive approach to the Culture War over homosexuality”

1:20-2:20 – Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California: “The ‘born gay hoax”

2:30 – 3:30 – Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute: “Using reason and logic in answering pro-homosexuality arguments”

3:40-4:40 – Arthur Goldberg, JONAH (Jews Offering Healthy Alternatives to Homosexuality), author, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change: “Can gays change? Is gay parenting good for kids? Presenting the research on homosexuality”

4:50-6:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION and Q & A:

Theme: “Can the effort to ‘mainstream’ homosexuality in American culture be stopped?”

Panelists: Rena Lindevaldsen, Matt Barber, Laurie Higgins, Ryan Sorba, Arthur Goldberg, and Greg Quinlan, Cliff Kincaid; Moderator: Peter LaBarbera

7:45 – 9:15 – Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX); Pro-Family Network: “An Ex-Gay Christian Discusses Love, Truth and Homosexuality”

FRIDAY

9:00 – 10:00 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “From abomination to ‘gay’: answering ‘queer theology’ — Old Testament”

10:10 – 11:10 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law: “The zero-sum game: homosexuality-based ‘rights’ vs. religious and First Amendment freedoms”

11:20-12:20 – Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute: “Corrupting children, politicizing schools: the homosexual youth agenda”

1:20-2:20 – Arthur Goldberg, JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality: “The gender confusion agenda: ‘transgender rights’”

2:30 – 3:30 – Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival, Accuracy in Media: “The battle over blood: ‘gay’ health risks and public policy”

3:40-4:40 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty U. School of Law: “The legal strategy to stop homosexual ‘marriage’: triumphs and pitfalls”

5:00-6:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION and Q & A:

Theme: “Returning the debate to behavior – getting off the ‘GLBT’ playing field”

Panelists: Rena Lindevaldsen, Matt Barber, Laurie Higgins, Ryan Sorba, Arthur Goldberg, Cliff Kincaid, Robert Knight, Robert Gagnon, Gregg Quinlan; Moderator: Peter LaBarbera

7:45 – 9:15 – Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; author, Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Towards Socialism: “From destroying DOMA to homosexualizing the military: Obama’s radical homosexual/transsexual agenda for America”

SATURDAY

9:00 – 10:00 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “’Jesus Never Said Anything about Homosexuality’”; Answering ‘Queer Theology’ — New Testament”

10:10 – 11:10 – Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries: “Destructive legacy: Alfred Kinsey and the (Homo)Sexual Revolution”

11:20-12:20 – Greg Quinlan, PFOX, Pro-Family Network: “The big, pink plan for a lavender culture”/”How to lobby effectively”

1:20-2:20 – Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival; Accuracy in Media: “Combating pro-homosexual media bias, confronting pro-gay ‘conservatives’”

2:30-3:40 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “Agreeing with God: a truly biblical approach toward ‘out and proud’ homosexuality”

3:50-4:50 – Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California: “Confronting the zeitgeist: new strategies to turn around younger Americans on ‘gay rights’”

5:00-6:00 – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel, AFTAH Board Member: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Bleed: stopping Obama’s campaign to homosexualize the U.S. military”

6:00-6:20 – Closing remarks, Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth

The Kagan "Smoking Gun"? Hardly

It seems that the Right is all agog over this article in the "National Review" by Shannen Coffin, claiming that Elena Kagan "manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion" while working in the Clinton White House.

Here is the gist of Coffin's "bombshell":

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.

Coffin points to this draft copy [PDF] of the ACOG statement which does not include the phrase “[An intact D & X] may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman." Instead, that phrase was handwritten in as a suggestion from Kagan.

The phrase was included in the final version and has apparently been cited by judges in cases involving the prodecure ... and this is somehow proof that Kagan is willing to "override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process" and therefore is unfit for the Supreme Court.

Of course, if you bother to actually read the document Coffin cites, or the final ACOG statement itself, it is abundantly clear that this one sentence fits with the overall position being advocated by ACOG, which was that any "legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D & X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women. The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous.."

Here is the entire ACOG statement, so you can judge for youself wheter the inclusion of this one sentence in any way changes ACOG's fundamental point or distorts science:

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS,

Washington, DC.

ACOG Statement of Policy

STATEMENT ON INTACT DILATATION AND EXTRACTION

The debate regarding legislation to prohibit a method of abortion, such as the legislation banning ``partial birth abortion,'' and ``brain sucking abortions,'' has prompted questions regarding these procedures. It is difficult to respond to these questions because the descriptions are vague and do not delineate a specific procedure recognized in the medical literature. Moreover, the definitions could be interpreted to include elements of many recognized abortion and operative obstetric techniques.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) believes the intent of such legislative proposals is to prohibit a procedure referred to as ``Intact Dilatation and Extraction'' (Intact D & X). This procedure has been described as containing all of the following four elements:

1. deliberate dilatation of the cervix, usually over a sequence of days;

2. instrumental conversion of the fetus to a footling breech;

3. breech extraction of the body excepting the head; and

4. partial evacuation of the intracranial contents of a living fetus to effect vaginal delivery of a dead but otherwise intact fetus.

Because these elements are part of established obstetric techniques, it must be emphasized that unless all four elements are present in sequence, the procedure is not an intact D & X.

Abortion intends to terminate a pregnancy while preserving the life and health of the mother. When abortion is performed after 16 weeks, intact D & X is one method of terminating a pregnancy. The physician, in consultation with the patient, must choose the most appropriate method based upon the patient's individual circumstances.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 5.3% of abortions performed in the United States in 1993, the most recent data available, were performed after the 16th week of pregnancy. A preliminary figure published by the CDC for 1994 is 5.6%. The CDC does not collect data on the specific method of abortion, so it is unknown how many of these were performed using intact D & X. Other data show that second trimester transvaginal instrumental abortion is a safe procedure.

Terminating a pregnancy is performed in some circumstances to save the life or preserve the health of the mother. Intact D & X is one of the methods available in some of these situations. A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D & X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. The potential exists that legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D & X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women. The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous.

Approved by the Executive Board, January 12, 1997.

Mike Huckabee: National Hero of Faith

According to this flyer [PDF] posted on Vision America's website, Mike Huckabee is scheduled to headline VA's "Heroes of Faith Gala" in August where he will receive the "National Hero of Faith Award": 

Vision America's President Rick Scarborough, who is among the most radical of Religious Right leaders, served on Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition when he was running for president.

And Steve Hotze is another ultra right-wing Huckabee supporter who not only bankrolled the anti-gay attacks against Houston mayor Annise Parker but also happens to believe that disease is caused by sin

Hotze was able to better articulate his views in 1986, when he was one of dozens of ministers, professionals and laypersons who signed the Coalition on Revival's Manifesto for the Christian Church. The coalition claims on its Web site to be a national network of religious leaders aligned in a mission "to help the Church rebuild civilization on the principles of the Bible so God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven." They want all aspects of life -- government, science and education -- to adhere to fundamental biblical beliefs. These beliefs include the following:

• A wife may work outside the home only with her husband's consent

• "Biblical spanking" that results in "temporary or superficial bruises or welts" should not be considered a crime

• No doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath

• All disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve

• Medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin

• "Increased longevity generally results from obedience to specific Biblical commands"

• Treatment of the "physical body" is not a doctor's highest priority

• Doctors have a priestly calling

• People receiving medical treatment are not immune from divine intervention or demonic forces

• Physicians should preach to their patients because salvation is the key to their health

• "Christians need better health to have more energy, tolerate more stress, get depressed less often, and be more creative than our non-Christian counterparts for the advancement of God's Kingdom."

As I said yesterday, I have spent a lot of time chronicling Huckabee's ties to the radical Religious Right fringe and I'd hate to see it all go to waste if he decided not to run for president in 2012.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ken Blackwell accuses Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama of trying to "hijack Christianity."
  • Erik Rush boldly takes on the problem of "Negrophilia," which is "undue and inordinate affinity for blacks."
  • The Salt Lake Tribune looks at how the "Patrick Henry Caucus" within the Utah legislature is seeking to oust moderate Republicans.
  • Alabama gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley has fired several top campaign staffers as he heads into a run-off and replaced them former Mike Huckabee staffers.
  • PayPal has reportedly threatened to cut off Pamela Geller's website, Atlas Shrugs, on the grounds that it is a hate site.
  • Finally, here is Part II of Peter LaBarbera's interview with Matt Barber. I refuse to listen to it. 

Gov. Perry: Voters Need to Decide If They Worship Government or God

For years, Cathie Adams has been the President of the Texas affiliate of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, until she was elected Chair of the state Republican Party last year.

So I guess it should come as no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry would attend a Texas Eagle Forum event at which Don McLeroy received a "Patriot Award" for his efforts to remake the state's textbooks and curriculum ... or that Perry would use his appearance to demand to know whether voters worship government or God

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

"We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left," Perry said to the receptive audience.

He said the November election is bigger than "red states and blue states, conservatives or liberals, stimulus or budget cuts."

"We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation," Perry said.

"That's the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?"

...

Featured at the event was national Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who said she is heartened by shifts in public attitudes. She cited the diminished influence of big media, the majority of Americans considering themselves conservatives and anti-abortion, and the overall pervasive feeling that come November, "conservatives know they can win."

The group presented its Patriot Award to State Board of Education leader Don McLeroy, who led the board for the past two years as it tackled curriculum standards for English, science and social studies.

How Will The Right Respond to Mitch Daniels' Calls For a "Truce" in Culture Wars?

The Weekly Standard has a long profile of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and the question of whether he plans to make a run for the White House in 2012.

If Daniels does plan on running, there are a few issues the might temper support from the Religious Right, like his 1970 arrest for pot possession or his three year divorce and eventual remarriage to his wife Cheri ... but those sorts of things would probably pale in comparison to Daniels' view that a "truce" needs to be called in the culture wars so that our nation can focus on economic issues: 

“There are things that I would advance as a candidate that the playbook says are folly—suicidal,” he said. “We’d have to fundamentally change all the welfare and entitlement programs. What Bush tried to do [in proposing private accounts for Social Security] was mild compared to what needs to be done. You have to have a completely new compact for people under a certain age, for Medicare and Social Security. You’re gonna have to dramatically cut spending across the whole government, including, by the way, national defense. When Bush arrived, we were spending $300 billion on national defense, and he thought that was plenty. Now it’s, what, $800 billion?”

Beyond the debt and the deficit, in Daniels’s telling, all other issues fade to comparative insignificance. He’s an agnostic on the science of global warming but says his views don’t matter. “I don’t know if the CO2 zealots are right,” he said. “But I don’t care, because we can’t afford to do what they want to do. Unless you want to go broke, in which case the world isn’t going to be any greener. Poor nations are never green.”

And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved. Daniels is pro-life himself, and he gets high marks from conservative religious groups in his state.

If there is one thing that drives social conservatives crazy, it is the insistance from Republican and conservative leaders that their agenda has to perpetually take a back seat to the party's economic platform ... so the idea of Religious Right leaders supporting a candidate who is calling for that agenda to be set aside in favor of focusing on economic issues seems rather unlikely: 

This morning, at the Heritage Foundation, I asked Daniels if that meant the next president shouldn't push issues like stopping taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare or reinstating the Mexico City Policy banning federal funds to overseas groups that perform abortions. Daniels replied that we face a "genuine national emergency" regarding the budget and that "maybe these things could be set aside for a while. But this doesn't mean anybody abandons their position at all. Everybody just stands down for a little while, while we try to save the republic."

To clarify whether Daniels simply wants to de-emphasize these issues or actually not act on them, I asked if, as president, he would issue an executive order to reinstate Reagan's "Mexico City Policy" his first week in office. (Obama revoked the policy during his first week in office.) Daniels replied, "I don't know."

LifeNews.com: Where "Forcing" Equals "Helping"

I am beginning to suspect that the "news" aspect of LifeNews.com's name is far less important than the "life" part, considering that the website's mission is obviously to slant every article to fit its right-wing agenda.

Just last week we noted how LifeNews printed an article claiming that a "new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency shows a correlation between the use of cells from babies in abortions in vaccines to an increase in autism rates" when the study itself showed nothing of the sort, as the article was built entirely around the baseless speculations of an anti-choice blogger and presented them as if they were fact.

But that is nothing compared to this new article

Oklahoma Law to Allow Women Ultrasound Before Abortion Subject to Lawsuit

A pro-abortion legal group based in New York City wasted no time in filing a lawsuit against a new Oklahoma law that helps women by allow them a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child while considering an abortion. The lawsuit was filed hours after the Oklahoma state Senate override the governor's veto.

The state Senate voted 36-12 Tuesday to override Governor Brad Henry on two pro-life bills, including the ultrasound measure.

Apparently, LifeNews doesn't understand the difference between words like "help" or "allow" and "force"

Oklahoma lawmakers overrode their governor's veto Tuesday to enact tough abortion laws that force women to undergo invasive ultrasounds and allow doctors to withhold test results showing fetal defects.

Even women who are victims of rape or incest will be required to listen to a detailed description of the fetus and view the ultrasound image prior to terminating a pregnancy.

They will also likely be required to undergo vaginal rather than abdominal ultrasounds as doctors are required to use the method that "would display the embryo or fetus more clearly."

The new Oklahoma law requires women to get a vaginal ultrasound with no exceptions  ... but to LifeNews, the law is reported as merely helping women by allowing them a chance to see an ultrasound.

Today In Right Wing Science

Conservative groups are making all sorts of scientific breakthroughs today; breakthroughs that nobody else seems to appreciate or take seriously ... like the one about how women who take birth control pills are at greater risk of getting AIDS:

According to Joan Robinson, a researcher at the Population Research Institute ... more than 50 medical studies to date have investigated a link between hormonal contraceptive use and HIV/AIDS infection. "The science is settled," Robinson says. "Hormonal contraceptives -- the oral pill and Depo-Provera -- increase almost all known risk factors for HIV, from upping a woman's risk of infection, to increasing the replication of the HIV virus, to speeding the debilitating and deadly progression of the disease."

This scientific consensus has received almost no publicity to date, Robinson continues, because of strong economic and ideological forces that push the pill.

"The 'family planning' types dismiss out of hand the impressive body of scientific research demonstrating a Pill/HIV link," she says, "preferring to rely on a handful of their own highly questionable trials which claim to find 'no increase in HIV risk among users of oral contraceptives and Depo-Provera.' This is like relying on a tobacco company to monitor a study on the link between cigarettes and cancer."

But that is nothing compared to this groundbreaking discovery from LifeNews.com reporting that cells from aborted babies are causing autism:

A new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency shows a correlation between the use of cells from babies in abortions in vaccines to an increase in autism rates. The study provides another problem from pro-life advocates who are already concerned about the abortion-vaccine tie.

The study, published in February in the publication Environmental Science & Technology, confirms 1988 as a “change point” in the rise of Autism Disorder rate.

"Although the debate about the nature of increasing autism continues, the potential for this increase to be real and involve exogenous environmental stressors exists," the study says.

The 1988 date is significant because, as pro-life blogger Jill Stanek notes, the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute indicates that's when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices added a second dose of the MMR vaccine, containing fetal cells from aborted babies, to its recommendations.

The study found two other change point dates: 1981, two years after MMRII was approved in the United States with fetal cells, and 1995, when SCPI says the chickenpox vaccine using aborted cells was approved.

Of course, if you bother to read the study itself [PDF], you quickly realize it says nothing of the sort and that the entire LifeNews article is based on nothing more than Jill Stanek's meaningless speculation about how there is a conspiracy to cover it all up: 

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the same sort of ideological culprits we see covering up the abortion-breast cancer link are also involved here. This would be a huge, huge blow to embryonic stem cell experimentation, for instance. That, and/or big pharma sees huge class action lawsuits on the horizon if this is proven.

So even though Stanek basically made up this supposed link, LifeNews decided to report it as an EPA study discovered it .. and I can guarantee you that the now "establish" link between abortion, vaccines, and autism will soon become right-wing conventional wisdom.

Syndicate content

Science Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/02/2011, 10:11am
Wendy Wright may be out of a job at Concerned Women for America. Once President and CEO of the powerful Religious Right organization, she appears to have been eclipsed by the new CEO Penny Young Nance. Now, Wright has been completely removed from CWA’s leadership page and her bio was taken down (you can still see her cached page). In fact, she is listed as “Past President, Concerned Women for America” on this new social conservative petition opposing government social services programs.   An outspoken opponent of evolution science, reproductive freedom and LGBT rights... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/25/2011, 1:37pm
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has tried to distance himself from the many extreme activists he is working with to put on The Response prayer rally, like the pastor who labeled Oprah Winfrey the harbinger of the Antichrist and the self-proclaimed ‘Apostle’ who called the Statue of Liberty a “demonic idol.” But Perry is open about his ties to advocates of Seven Mountains Dominionism, an ideology which demands that fundamentalist Christians take total control over all aspects of society. Dominionism advocate Jim Garlow is directing “National Church Mobilization” for... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/21/2011, 3:08pm
And now for a post from our we-couldn't-make-it-up-if-we-tried department. In our last post, we noted how Bryan Fischer had taken his "gays = Nazis" allegations to their logical conclusion by declaring that Adolf Hitler himself was gay. But in the segment directly preceding that, Fischer kicked off the program by stating that somewhere on the internet, someone had referred to him as a "Nazi gas bag" ... and claimed that when people start calling you a Nazi, it is proof that they do not have any legitimate arguments to make: And by the way, ladies and gentlemen, this is a... MORE
Nichole, Thursday 06/16/2011, 1:51pm
When Don Lemon, an openly gay anchor on CNN, revealed that he had been molested as a child he knew that some people would believe that the molestation and his sexual identity were related. Despite the fact that Lemon (and science) has dismissed such claims, Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Sexuality continues to believe that homosexuality can be caused by childhood molestation. In the 2010 CNN video below about the alleged pederastic activity of Atlanta mega-pastor Bishop Eddie Long…Lemon reveals that he was molested as a boy. What is perplexing is that Lemon, like so many... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/09/2011, 9:01am
While speaking to Rush Limbaugh yesterday, presidential candidate and former Senator Rick Santorum called global warming “patently absurd” and “junk science.” In addition, Santorum said that climate change science was simply a “beautifully concocted scheme” to allow the “government to come in and regulate your life some more.” In 2006, Santorum claimed that “scientists have not decisively concluded” that climate change is real and received a zero percent score from Republicans for Environmental Protection. Later in the program,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 1:19pm
Pseudo-historian David Barton visited the Christian television program Celebration on the Daystar Television Network with host Joni Lamb on Monday to discuss his right-wing, pro-GOP view of American history. Barton, who says that the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin opposed Net Neutrality, claims he also knows the views of the Founding Fathers in the debate over whether schools should teach Creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Naturally, Barton says that the Founding Fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and sided with Creationism... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/03/2011, 4:15pm
Richard Land was one of the dozens of speakers Ralph Reed lined up for his Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, so it makes sense that he would have some nice things to say about him ... but his ill-informed gushing over Reed's supposed brilliance is downright embarrassing: "Ralph invented the game and how to play the game. He's got a PhD in political science," said Dr Richard Land the head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Church, the nation's largest denomination with 16 million members. "He's one of them. He's and evangelical. He understands the... MORE