Science

Rick Green Touts Support of Right Wing Doctor Who Believes All Disease Is Caused By Sin

We've already written several posts about Rick Green, the Chuck-Norris-approved-Alan-Keyes-supported-WallBuilders'-employed-pseudo-historian-TEA-Party-Religious-Right-activist who has made it into a run-off election for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court despite the fact that he has exactly zero judicial experience. 

And we've noted already that he's been endorsed by a who's who of local and national right-wingers, including David Barton, Mat Staver, Kelly Shackelford, and even Steve Hotze:

Now Hotze may not be a household name, but even by the standards of your average Texas right-winger, he is something special. 

He was behind the anti-gay mailings targeting Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker last year and he has a long history of weilding his influence in right-wing Texas politics

Thin and long-faced, 46-year-old Steven Forrest Hotze has carved out a niche in local politics over the past decade as an unyielding and occasionally strident opponent of abortion and public acceptance of homosexuality. He may not be a household name outside Republican circles, but within the party he is admired by a devout coterie of followers, catered to by secular conservatives and feared by moderates, who find themselves in a position of needing his approval to win nominations in GOP primaries. Those summoned to kiss his ring encounter a tough, uncompromising zealot who is used to getting his own way.

...

It's a considerable amount of clout for someone whose stated beliefs place him to the right of the religious right. "If we are to survive as a free nation, and if justice and liberty are to be restored in our land, then biblical Christianity, with its absolutes, must once again be embraced by our citizens," he wrote several years back in a Chronicle op-ed piece. "Only then can we expect to see Christianity's influence once again to be reflected in the laws of our civil government."

As the Houston Press reported a few years back, Hotze's medical credentials and views are also rather suspect:

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."

Last week, Rick Green made a campaign stop at Hotze's Wellness Center:

Wonderful visit with Dr. Steve Hotze at his Wellness Center on Friday. What a Blessing he is to SOOO many people!!!

Things That Make You Go "Duh!"

Cybercast News Service, the right-wing news organization run by the Media Research Center, demands to know why the new Smithsonian exhibition "What Does It Mean to Be Human?" doesn't make any mention of God:

A new exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History unveiled on Wednesday chronicles what Smithsonian officials said are the origins of man 6 million years ago in Africa, the evolution of several now-extinct human ancestors and the effects of climate on human survival and evolution.

The stages of human development also are highlighted, but visitors will not find any references to God, creationism, or pre-natal existence. The exhibit’s Web site says fossils “provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.”

...

When asked by CNSNews.com why the exhibit does not include any reference to God or address the debate – even in scientific circles – about Darwinian evolution, [curator and director of Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program Richard] Potts replied that the Natural History Museum “is a science museum, and all the objects that a museum can possibly display about the origins of humans have been uncovered in the context of doing the science of evolution.”

What's next, a CNS article complaining that nowhere does the museum mention the fact that the world is only six thousand years old?

Liberty vs Reality

Yesterday, we posted this AFP video report on what passes for science education at Liberty University, so I guess it is not a surprise that when Liberty U Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. promised students a special guest for convocation, it turned out to be infamous climate change-denier Christopher Monckton.

You really have to admire Liberty's interpretation of the visit.

First, read this Lynchburg News and Advance article entitled "Global-warming skeptic speaks at Liberty University":

British climate-change skeptic Lord Christopher Monckton took on the United Nations, Al Gore and the mainstream media during a talk at Liberty University’s student convocation Wednesday, in which he questioned the science behind climate-change research and called for an end to the “global warming panic" ... Monckton praised the late Rev. Jerry Falwell for his outspoken criticism of global warming and mocked Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” calling it a “mawkish, science fiction, comedy horror movie.”

...

Jerry Falwell Jr. said inviting Monckton to speak at Liberty was a way to expose students to both sides of the climate-change debate.

“A lot of our students come from public schools where the truth of global warming and the science of global warming is not always known,“ Falwell said after convocation.

Christians have a calling by God to protect the environment, Falwell added, and therefore should have a complete view of the global-warming debate.

“Many Christian young people are susceptible to the claims of the vast majority of environmentalists today who use pseudo-science to promote political agendas in the name of protecting the environment when their real goals are destroying freedom and destroying the economies of the western world,” he said later by e-mail. “Lord Monckton illustrated for our students in great detail how the hard left is doing just that around the world.”

...

Monckton is transparent about his lack of a science background.

“I have no scientific credentials whatsoever except a rather profitable knowledge of mathematics,” he said, adding that mathematics is the language of science.

Monckton said the “global warming panic” was responsible for countless deaths from starvation in Third World countries when Western nations shifted their priorities from growing food to growing biofuels.

“This is an outrage and a scandal that everyone at this university should oppose,” Monckton said.

Now compare that to this Liberty University article that provides a rather different account of the visit in a piece entitled "British royalty speaks on climate change":

On Wednesday, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., promised students an unusual convocation and that is what they got. Lord Christopher Monckton, the first member of British royalty to speak at convocation, presented issues with the current climate change scare driven by prominent figures within the scientific and political communities.

Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute. He has held various prestigious titles — businessman, policy advisor, newspaper editor, writer, classical architect and puzzle inventor.

Monckton served as an advisor to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policy unit and is a renowned advocate of Euro skepticism.

After first hearing Monckton on the Neal Boortz radio program a couple of years ago, Falwell said he knew he had to have him come and share with the students.

“He was so brilliant, so articulate and he was so politically incorrect on the issue of climate change,” Falwell said.

In introducing Monckton on Wednesday, Falwell encouraged students to consider the issues surrounding this false fear of climate change.

...

Students found the presentation both eye-opening and entertaining, as it called them to once again challenge majority opinion, media content and so-called scientific facts.

Monckton ended his appearance with a quote from former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “‘The university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning,’ and you are a place of light and of liberty and of learning.” He then participated in a question-and-answer session with students regarding global climate change.

Learning Creationism At Liberty U

AFP profiles the "science" classes at Liberty University, to which Christian students are flocking to learn how to defend Creationism:

They plan to become doctors, researchers and professors, but these students from Liberty University, an evangelical school, also believe God created the Earth in a week, some 6,000 years ago.

Each year, a group of biology students at the Christian university based in Lynchburg, Virginia, travels to the Natural History Museum in Washington to learn about a theory they dismiss as incorrect -- Darwin's theory of evolution.

The young "creationists" examined a model of the Morganucodon rat, believed to be the first and common ancestor of mammals that appeared some 210 million years ago.

Lauren Dunn, 19, a second-year biology student, was unimpressed.

"210 million years, that's arbitrary. They put that time to make up for what they don't know," she said.

Nathan Hubbard, a 20-year-old from Michigan and a first-year biology major who plans to become a doctor, regarded the model with suspicion.

"There is no scientific, biological genetic way that this, this rat, could become you," he said, seemingly scandalized by the proposition.

...

David DeWitt, a Liberty University biology professor, opens his classes with a prayer, asking God to help him teach his students.

"I pray that you help me to teach effectively and help the students to learn and defend their faith," he says ... "Creationism and evolutionism have different ways of explaining the evidence. The creationist way recognizes the importance of Biblical records," said [Liberty professor Marcus] Ross.

He teaches his students that dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago during the Biblical flood that Noah survived by building an ark.

He says carbon-dating techniques that have been used to suggest the Earth is in fact billions of years old are simply not reliable.

Our Nation's Policies Will Now Be Determined Solely By The FDA

I have to ask just when it became standard procedure for anti-gay activists to justify their positions on any issue by pointing to the FDA's blood donation policy?

Peter LaBarbera did it when calling for a "comprehensive federal study on the health risks of homosexual sex" on the grounds that gay sex is more dangerous than smoking. Bryan Fisher did it when claiming that gays should be treated like drug users.  And now Matt Barber is doing it in defending his opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Reasons for incompatibility are manifold. They are firmly rooted in both common sense and in the "settled" anthropological, sociopolitical and medical sciences, as well as the theological arena. Taken alone, each provides ample justification for maintaining the status quo. Combined, they prove the case. For now – in the interest of brevity – we'll focus on but one: medical science.

Consider that current U.S. health regulations prohibit men who have sex with men (MSM – aka "gays") from donating blood. Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration categorically confirm that if MSM were permitted to give blood, the general population would be placed at risk.

According to the FDA: "['Gay' men] have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first-time blood donors and 8,000 times higher than repeat blood donors."

The FDA further warns: "['Gay' men] also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion. For example, infection with the Hepatitis B virus is about 5-6 times more common, and Hepatitis C virus infections are about 2 times more common in ['gay' men] than in the general population."

A 2007 CDC study further rocked the homosexual activist community, finding that, although "gay" men comprise only 1-to-2 percent of the population, they account for an epidemic 64 percent of all syphilis cases.

Do the math: If "gays" are allowed to serve openly – as to appease leftists' euphemistic demands for "tolerance" and "diversity" – how much more would soldiers in the field – where battlefield blood transfusions and frequent exposure to biohazards are commonplace – face pointless peril?

As I asked before, since when did the FDA's blood donation policy become the foundation for every other national policy?  And why does this only seem to apply to gays?  If the FDA's policy is so foundational, they why isn't Barber demanding that everyone who is barred from donating blood be likewise be barred from military service, including "people who have recently traveled to or lived abroad in certain countries ... because they are at risk for transmitting agents such as malaria or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease"?

What is stopping these anti-gay activists from just citing this FDA policy as justification for barring gays from working in hospitals or anywhere in the medical profession ... or from working anywhere, for that matter?  In fact, what is stopping them from citing this policy as justification for instituting wholesale discrimination against gays in all aspects of life?

If the fact that gay men are not allowed to donate blood is enough to justify treating them as criminals and keeping them out of the military, then why not everything else? 

UPDATE: Well, what do you know? Sen. John Kerry is calling on the FDA to remove its ban on gay men serving as blood donors. What will anti-gay activists do if they can't cite this FDA policy to justify their calls for discrimination any more?

Good News and Bad News In Texas

The results from yesterday's primary elections in Texas were a mixed bag - first, the good news is that ultra-right-wing Board of Education member Don "I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist" McLeroy has reportedly lost his race:

Mount Pleasant Republican Thomas Ratliff narrowly beat State Board of Education member and prominent social conservative Don McLeroy in the GOP primary Tuesday, while long-time board member Geraldine Miller of Dallas was upset by Dallas high school educator George Clayton. Ratliff (right) and McLeroy were expected to have a close race, but Miller was favored in her contest because of a big edge in campaign funds and her long-time incumbency. She has served on the board since 1984 and never had a close election race before.

Ratliff waged a strong campaign and outspent McLeroy for the board seat, which represents Collin County and much of Northeast Texas, but McLeroy also ran a strong race as he tried to capitalize on recent victories by the social conservative bloc on the 15-member education board. Among the successes were changes in curriculum standards for science, history and English. Ratliff accused McLeroy and his allies of ignoring the advice of teachers and education groups in their decisions - and of politicizing the curriculum requirements such as on teaching of evolution in science classes. Ratliff, a legislative consultant and lobbyist, carried 50.5 percent of the vote

McLeroy had been bounced as chairman of the board last summer after Senate Democrats blocked his nomination, raising many of the same arguments as Ratliff, the son of former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff. His primary loss means one less seat for the social conservative bloc, which now holds seven seats.

Now for the bad news, which is the Rick Green appears to have secured enough support that he will be in a run-off election for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court:

As of early Wednesday morning, Rick Green has barely broken from the crowd of six GOP candidates vying for the open spot on the High Court, and a runoff is guaranteed ... The former legislator is Green, who represented the Dripping Springs area in the Texas House from 1999 to 2003 and has no judicial experience. The libertarian-style campaign of Green has earned the endorsements of Chuck "Walker, Texas Ranger" Norris and conservative lawmakers including state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, and state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center. Green is also cozy with the Aledo-based organization WallBuilders, a group that wants to close the gap between church and state, and advocates for other causes that preserve America's "moral, religious and constitutional heritage."

That's right, Green is currently David Barton's right-hand man at WallBuilders, where he serves as a speaker and as Barton's co-host of their daily "Wallbuilders Live" radio program. 

Despite the fact that Green has no judicial experience, he's been endorsed by a who's who of right-wingers, including Barton, Mat Staver, Kelly Shackelford, and even Steve Hotze, the vehemently anti-gay activist behind the attacks on Houston Mayor Annise Parker.  On top of that, Green also has a rather checkered history in public office:

While in the House from 1998 to 2002, Green drew fire for using his Capitol office as the backdrop for a health supplement infomercial. He also came under scrutiny for successfully arguing before the parole board for early release of a man convicted of defrauding investors (who just happened to have loaned $400,000 to Green's father's company); allegedly pressuring the state health department on behalf of ephedrine maker Metabolife International, one of his law firm's clients; and squeezing lobbyists to pony up at a fundraiser for a private foundation he started. He made Texas Monthly's list of the 10 worst legislators.

Green, who always denied any wrongdoing, cast himself as a fighter for traditional values. He still does, calling himself "a true Reagan conservative and strict constructionist."

...

Green, R-Dripping Springs, was defeated in 2002 by Democrat Patrick Rose.

Their spirited and at times almost physical battle for the swing district seat in the Texas Hill Country was chronicled in "Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style," a documentary by filmmaker Paul Stekler. And the hard feelings didn't end there: In November 2006, Green was accused of assaulting Rose on election day at a polling place.

Green will most likely be facing off against Rebecca Simmons on April 13.

Bob Marshall Doubles Down, Insisting He Never Said Exactly What He Said

Amazingly, instead of just apologizing for his claim that women who have abortions are subsequently punished with giving birth to children with disabilities, Virginia state Rep. Bob Marshall continues to insist that he never made any such comments and is instead lashing out at Capital News Service, a project of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Mass Communications, for having reported his remarks:

Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall took to the floor of the House of Delegates on Wednesday to dispute reports that he said women who have abortions run the risk of birth defects in later pregnancies as a punishment from God ... Marshall denied saying that disabled children are a punishment from God or even having suggested such a thing. But that notion, he said, "has been repeated endless times in print and in the electronic media without anyone producing the smoking-gun tape."

"Of course, if some wish to make their own inferences, that is their prerogative," Marshall said. "However, they should acknowledge that is what they are doing. Furthermore, it is no one's prerogative to claim I spoke words which never came from my mouth, have never been in my heart and have never been in my public record."

Marshall also called for a correction from Capital News Service, which is produced by journalism students at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Mass Communications and whose report ignited the controversy. Jeff South, an associate professor who oversees the program, said the service stands by its report.

And Marshall has posted video of his statement on his website, which he somehow believes will exonerate him.  In his accompanying statement, Marshall insists that he never made this comment, and then provides video and a transcript of his remarks that proves he said exactly what Capital News Service quoted him as saying (emphasis added): 

A February 22nd Capital News Service story claimed, “Western Prince William Del. Bob Marshall (R-13th) says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.”

I never made this statement. I believe that all children, no matter their background are a blessing from the Lord, not a punishment. Capital News Service never called me about these alleged comments.

No other reporter who attended the same February 18th press conference regarding Planned Parenthood funding made the same claim for the simple reason that I never made such a statement about disabled children.

A video of the press conference bears this out. (May be accessed in its entirety at the end of this article)

Furthermore, my personal and public life show a respect for unwanted or disabled children, including our adoption of three children, my bills to provide for health insurance for autistic children, and my bill this year requiring that women be informed of possible problems in future pregnancies from abortion.

I acknowledge that my extemporary remarks could have been better chosen to explain the medical research findings which show a high incidence of complications following induced abortions.

I understand how disability groups could react, but they are reacting in part to words I never said, never meant, and don’t believe. But I apologize to all for the misuse of my words especially to disabled Virginians or others offended.

My purpose was to show how authentic medical findings demonstrate that abortion has consequences beyond the death of the child being aborted. That is why I have proposed HB 334, which passed the House of Delegates 95-2, and which requires women undergoing abortion to be offered medical articles concerning possible complications in future pregnancies.

I take my oath of office seriously, and believe it is important to protect my constituents by ensuring full transparency about a procedure that may adversely impact their future reproductive health. That is why I strongly believe that Planned Parenthood, which performs one-fourth of abortions nationwide and opposes protecting women with this vital information, should not be funded by Virginia taxpayers.

Children, whether wanted or unwanted, intended or unintended, “normal” or disabled, are blessings from a loving God, and I will continue to fight on their behalf and on behalf of the courageous families who care for these wonderful children.

Fighting for you,

Delegate Bob Marshall
13th District Delegate

FULL TRANSCRIPT:
Verbatim. The TRT is 2:05:

“Thank you very much for coming here today. We are dealing with an attempt to defund, frankly, a malevolent organization. And I say that because you know people by their fruits. In 1960, 65, the out of wed-lock birthrate for blacks was 25 percent. I think it was about 23 percent in 1960 – it was 5 percent for all races. Now it’s 40 percent. It’s 72% for blacks, 51% for Latinas. These are the fruits of planned parenthood. OK. Nothing else. More heartache. More guys who are completely irresponsible and think that women have one function and one function only for a few minutes. OK. But this just isn’t affecting our families, our inner cities, our communities and our state. This poison animates a world-wide population control program that the United States funds and which is unnecessarily making us enemies overseas. We are attacking traditional family structure in a way that no country should be doing. These aren’t my words. Go read a book by Denesh DeSouza [sic]. Ok. He’s looking at it from a cultural, historical perspective. This organization should be called Planned Barrenhood cause they have nothing to do with families, they have nothing to do with responsibility. One-fourth of all abortions are done by Planned Parenthood in the United States. Ok. The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first-born of any, Nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first-born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest, and with the knowledge they have from faith has been verified by a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University. First abortions of the first pregnancy are much more damaging to the woman than latter abortions. None of these are good for anybody but this organization has had its time. They have failed in their efforts and we need to defund them and not have them receive a dime of public money.”

Marshall insists that he was making a point based on science and medical findings and that focusing on the "vengence," "punishment" "Old Testament" and "Christians would suggest" language is taking his words out of context in order to make it look like he said something that he never said.

Of course, as Marshall's own video proves, he did make these comments and, in fact, all the "science" stuff at the end is meant to bolster his central point that women who have abortions are subsequently punished with disabled children later on.

But instead of just admitting that that is what he said and apologizing, Marshall continues to insist that he never made this comment and is instead lashing out and attacking those who dared to report it.

Right Wing Round-Up

The Attacks On Amanda Simpson Just Won't Stop

Apparently not content with the trans-bashing statement his organization released last week regarding Amanda Simpson, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association thought it necessary to write his own blog post attacking her as well:

According to both the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), transgenderism is mental health "disorder." Their word, not mine. A male transgendered individual is so confused and twisted around in his own thinking that he believes he is trapped inside a woman's body.

The world's leading mental health professionals agree that this is a form of mental illness. It is a psychiatric condition which requires therapeutic treatment. It is listed as such in the APA's official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and on the WHO's official International Classification of Diseases.

That's why it is a travesty that the president appointed the former Mitchell Simpson (who now goes by "Amanda") to a prominent position in his administration. What the deviance cabal wants more than anything is society's approval for their sexually aberrant lifestyles.

In fact, that and that alone is what drives the entire homosexual agenda: they want society to affirm their non-normative behavior, and want anyone who disagrees with them to be punished for daring to hold the values that have under-girded civilization for 8,000 years.

Gay activists are making a big deal out of Simpson's New Year's Eve appointment, clearly indicating that this is a milestone moment for them. Mr. Simpson himself said he hopes that "I will soon be one of hundreds."

Simpson, at the expense of some $70,000, has undergone no less than six surgical mutilations in an effort to reject science, biology, his own DNA and his own mental health in a vain effort to pretend he is a woman. He has had his Adam's apple removed, had breasts implanted, his forehead ground down, and his genitals revised.

Simpson was conceived as a male, was knit together as a male by the Creator in the womb of his mother, was born as a male, grew up as a male, married as a male, fathered a son as a male, and remains a male in every single cell of his body. No amount of surgical mutilation is ever going to change that.

He can only view his own sexuality through a transgendered prism by rejecting scientific reality and the stubborn biological truth about his own DNA. He is living in a state of alarming denial.

We rightly condemn the genital mutilation of young girls in Islamic countries. It is simply bizarre to celebrate genital mutilation among American adults, even if that mutilation is self-inflicted.

By appointing Simpson, the president has put the weight of the federal government behind the normalization of sexual confusion, sexual mutilation, and mental health disorders. Simpson, according to the APA and the World Health Organization, is mentally ill and should be in therapy rather than in a position of important public responsibility.

The president is contributing to the terrible practice of defining deviancy down in our culture. This appointment is bad for America and should be rescinded immediately.

Since the Religious Right seems intent on claiming that the APA considers transgenderism to be a "disorder," it would be nice if they were willing to ackloweldge that the APA's recommendations for treating this "disorder" involve gender transition and that the APA calls for "legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression" so that they may live "free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse":

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA encourages legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression, including access to identity documents consistent with their gender identity and expression which do not involuntarily disclose their status as transgender for transgender people who permanently socially transition to another gender role;

...

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA supports efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments, at all levels of education, as well as foster care environments and juvenile justice programs, that promote an understanding and acceptance of self and in which all youths, including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse;

...

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA supports the provision of adequate and necessary mental and medical health care treatment for transgender and gender variant individuals;

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA recognizes the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments

Pawlenty in 2012: I Support Creationism, But Not Gay Rights

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has been busy quietly working to impress the Religious Right has he contemplates a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, which goes a long way toward explaining his views as revealed in this Newsweek interview, including his belief in creationism and the revelation that while he once may have supported equality, he doesn't any more, going so far as to recant for a past vote in support of anti-discrimination legislation.

Let me ask you about social issues your party has been dealing with. In her book, Palin claims that McCain's handlers wanted her to be silent about her belief in creationism. How would you describe your view?

I can tell you how we handle it in Minnesota. We leave it to the local school districts. We don't mandate a curriculum or an approach. We allow for something called "intelligent design" to be discussed as a comparative theory. It doesn't have to be in science class.

Where are you personally?

Well, you know I'm an evangelical Christian. I believe that God created everything and that he is who he says he was. The Bible says that he created man and woman; it doesn't say that he created an amoeba and then they evolved into man and woman. But there are a lot of theologians who say that the ideas of evolution and creationism aren't necessarily inconsistent; that he could have "created" human beings over time.

I know you are opposed to gay marriage, but what about medical benefits for same-sex couples?

I have not supported that.

Why not?

My general view on all of this is that marriage is to be defined as being a union of a man and a woman. Marriage should be elevated in our society at a special level. I don't think all domestic relationships are the equivalent of traditional marriage. Early on we decided as a country and as a state that there was value in a man and a woman being married in terms of impact on children and the like, and we want to encourage that.

To borrow a phrase, have your views evolved over time?

In 1993 I voted for a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation, housing, and employment. That was 16 years ago.

Yes, gay-rights activists regarded you as a pretty cool guy at the time.

We overbaked that statute, for a couple of reasons. If I had to do it over again I would have changed some things.

Overbaked?

That statute is not worded the way it should be. I said I regretted the vote later because it included things like cross-dressing, and a variety of other people involved in behaviors that weren't based on sexual orientation, just a preference for the way they dressed and behaved. So it was overly broad. So if you are a third-grade teacher and you are a man and you show up on Monday as Mr. Johnson and you show up on Tuesday as Mrs. Johnson, that is a little confusing to the kids. So I don't like that.

Has the law been changed?

No. It should be, though.

So you want to protect kids against cross-dressing elementary-school teachers. Do you have any in Minnesota?

Probably. We've had a few instances, not exactly like that, but similar.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Today, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the marriage equality legislation into law.
  • Box Turtle Bulletin: Kalamazoo churches don't want to be seen with tolerant Christians.
  • David Neiwert: Bennett compares climate-change science to Nazi medicine, debate to Hitler's persecutions.
  • Think Progress: Sarah Palin is booted from her scheduled speech at a Canadian hospital fundraiser.
  • TPM: Lawyer From Far-Right Group Picked For Key Legal-Aid Post.
  • Good As You is not impressed with the Liberty Counsel's list of "victories" this year.
  • Finally, Steve Benen on "Bill Kristol, Public Safety Advocate."

Sen. Johanns Follows "Conspiracy Kook" On Porter's Radio Program

Have you ever seen the movie "They Live," starring professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who, thanks to a special pair of sunglasses, is the only one able to realize that aliens are using subliminal messages to control humanity? 

Well, then have I got a website for you: Boxofsunglasses.com, otherwise known as THEorYofLIVEvolution.com:

Please take a few moments to read this before entering; it may save you some time. The home page is definitely aimed at 'shock value'. This "conspiracy theorist" has already awoken to the "conspiracy". Have no doubt, ultimately IT IS US. I've 'kicked the tires' endlessly here not unlike the Apostle Thomas. Call it conceit or condescension or whatever but I can see 'THEM' a mile away. And so can you, if you care to. Although a minority, I'm certainly not the only one. For example, Rush Limbaugh, a cheerleader for the less than disappointing Republican Party, has received bitter rebuke from "the One" and his minions in Congress for speaking out against our new Messiah. Why? If he's so bad let him shoot his trap. Of course there's an ulterior motive: it's called the Fairness Doctrine (look it up). "We the people" elected this guy; he's only the latest in a long line of "disappointing" leaders. How about corporate jet buying CEO's everyone is so worked up over? Again anyone can see this sham a mile away; if they care to. It is absolutely reprehensible for people to act this way especially in today's economic downturn. However, it should be their right. But it's no longer because it's 'taxpayer money' (a sham in and of itself you can see if you decide to enter the web site). This is classic class warfare brought to us courtesy "our" government. Think about it. They know it's absolutely illegal for the government to 'loan' companies money and this is for a reason: when they loan you they own you. Today everybody is lambasting the CEOs; tomorrow we're going to be lambasting each other when one company gets "more" from Uncle Sam and our Uncle decides how much the bank teller should be paid. In other words, our old Uncle will be all too willing to step and decide what's 'fair' after all 'he' loaned us the money. Of course "The Messiah" and friends will be the ones who decide what 'fair' is and what our 'rights' will be.

Now, this sort of right-wing conspiracy theory insanity is not the sort of thing we generally tend to cover here at RWW ... but we are making an exception in this case because Janet Porter decided to have Rob Roselli, the man responsible for this website, on her radio program yesterday to discuss "Copenhagen and the lies from junk climate science."

Apparently, Roselli considers himself something of an expert on the topic and so Porter decided to have him on the program to enlighten her audience.  Guess how it went?

So there you go:  climate change is really part of a massive conspiracy cooked up by "globalist clowns who hate mankind" and "genocidal maniacs" who are out to destroy humanity while the current political leadership is engaged in simply repackaging Nazi eugenics in an effort to implement it on a massive scale.

Amazingly, Porter's interview with Roselli was followed, on the very same program, by an interview with United States Senator Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska).

If that doesn't sum up the current state of the Republican Party and the right-wing movement, I don't know what does.

Creationists boost Islamic Fundamentalists in Turkey

Fundamentalist Christians are not generally big boosters of Islamic fundamentalism. But it appears that American creationists hate Darwin and the science of evolution even more, and are aggressively helping Islamic fundamentalists undermine both science and the secular governmental traditions in Turkey. According to an article in the Washington Post, the teaching of evolution is under attack by Islamic fundamentalists armed with materials created by American creationists. The article opens with an anecdote that, with one exception, will be all too familiar to U.S. science educators:

Sema Ergezen teaches biology to Turkish students interested in teaching science themselves, and she has long struggled with her students' ignorance of, and sometimes hostility to, the notion of evolution.

But she was taken aback when several of her Marmara University students recently accused her of being an atheist, or worse, for teaching anything but the doctrine that God created the Earth and everything on it.

"They said I was a liar if I called myself a Muslim because I also accepted evolution," she said.

Anti-evolution forces are blossoming, according to the article, thanks to American backers of creationism and intelligent design:

Translated and adapted for a Muslim society, the purported proofs that Darwinism and evolution were wrong came directly from American proponents of Christian creationism and its less overtly religious offshoot, intelligent design.

Ergezen's experience has become increasingly common. While creationism and intelligent design appear to be in some retreat in the United States, they have blossomed within Muslim Turkey. With direct and indirect help from American foes of evolution, similarly-minded Turks have aggressively made the case that Charles Darwin's theory is scientifically wrong and is the underlying source of most of the world's conflicts because it excludes God from human affairs.

"Darwin is the worst Fascist there has ever been, and the worst racist history has ever witnessed," writes Harun Yahya, the most assertive and best-known critic of evolution in Turkey, and long a favorite of more conservative American creationists.

The article notes that Turkey, with it secular government traditions, has been more open to scientific understandings of evolution than other Muslim countries, but that's changing with the help of American institutions like Seattle's Discovery Institute and The Institute for Creation Research in Dallas.

To many Turkish scientists and educators, this is a worrisome development. The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was an advocate of science, education and, some say, even evolution. Turkish science has been especially strong in the Muslim world. If Turks close their minds to evolutionary thinking, advocates say, it won't be long before religion and politics shut off other scientific pursuits.

To John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, however, the news could hardly be more encouraging.

"Why I'm so interested in seeing creationism succeed in Turkey is that evolution is an evil concept that has done such damage to society," said Morris, a Christian who has led several searches for Noah's Ark in eastern Turkey. Members of his group have addressed Turkish conferences numerous times.

The Discovery Institute of Seattle, which researches and promotes intelligent design as an alternative to creationism and evolution, also sent speakers to Turkey after being invited by the Istanbul municipal government in 2007. President Bruce Chapman said the institute helped bring Turkish evolution critic Mustafa Akyol to a 2005 Kansas school board hearing on teaching critiques of evolution.

The Post quotes Aykut Kence, an American-trained scientist with a doctorate in evolutionary biology, who has been targeted by local creationists circulating leaflets with pictures of him and Mao, equating the teaching of evolution with communism. Where have we heard that before?

After a decade in the trenches, Kence said he believes aggressive creationism "is part of a larger plan to convert people to a more conservative Islam."

The Islamic-oriented government, elected in 2002 and reelected in 2007, has telegraphed its views on evolution by adding doses of creationism to a required public school course on "Religion and Morals," proponents of evolution say. This year, the editor of one of the nation's prominent science journals, Science and Technology, was fired by government officials over her magazine's plans to put Darwin on its cover.

Major Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit have devoted many hours in recent years to talking about the threats posed by radical Islam. Will they now add the Discovery Institute and the Institute for Creation Science to their list of those aiding and abetting the nation's enemies? Or is their hatred for Darwin and secularism so strong that they're willing help those pushing for a more theocratic Islamic government in Turkey?

"Professor" David Barton On Darwin, Prohibition, and Herbert Hoover

Last week, David Barton spoke at at an event hosted by the South Dakota Family Policy Council.  Before the event, he sat down for an interview with The Dakota Voice during which this exchange took place:

Among all the people today pushing the revisionist picture of our history that most of the founders were deists, that America was not founded on Christian principles, how many of those do you believe are merely ignorant of the facts and are only parroting other misinformation they’ve heard, and how many actually know better and are intentionally trying to distort history?

I think there’s a lot of both. I was involved in writing an academic book with three other professors. They said there is no question that America’s founders weren’t religious, because Thomas Jefferson started the first secular university, wouldn’t allow chaplains and such. But I said that’s interesting because I have here the original ads for the University of Virginia that ran in the newspaper. The ads were signed by the chaplain and there were about nine or ten specific things Thomas Jefferson did to make sure every student had a religious activity. These professors were shocked and said, “That’s not what we were taught.” [Emphasis added.]

Three other professors? Considering that Barton's academic credentials consist entirely of a "B.A. from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College," I'm a little confused as to how Barton managed to write a book with three other professors  since Barton is not, you know, actually a professor; he's a Religious Right activist.

Anyway, the conversation then turned toward the inevitable "how did conservative Christians lose control of America" question, for which Barton had a simple explanation - Darwin, prohibition, and Herbert Hoover:

I think we really goofed it up starting in the 1920s, and it was the church that did it ... I’ll point to several things. In 1859 you had the Origin of Species, and I don’t know why people think Darwin was the father of evolution because all he did was take 2,300 years of evolutionary thought and simplify it. But for the next 20 years the church had real trouble with that. In about 1879 you’ll find major splits in most denominations, and the splits started saying, “Well, we’re not sure about the Bible and science and the culture, but we do know God wants people saved so we’re going to go preach the Gospel.” The other side said, “No, the Bible is right; science will come around.” This side said the Bible is fundamental to everything in life: media, culture, science.

Following that you had three major political setbacks in the 1920s. Those setbacks start with the repeal of prohibition, which was a direct slap at the church. You have the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, which was the trial that essentially lost the war, the media beat the dickens out of us and made Christians look like dummies. And the third one was actually the election of Herbert Hoover. Christians like Billy Sunday campaigned all across America in whistle stop tours. Hoover gets elected, the depression comes, and the critics said, “Look what you Christians did; you caused the depression. You Christians need to stay out of politics.”

About that time we stared pulling our kids out of the pulpit, “Kids, you want to do something good for God? Be a pastor, be a missionary, but don’t be anything in education, law or politics. So we bailed out. So in bailing out, somebody has to fill those arenas, and they got filled.

There are really five power centers in any culture, and we gave up for and a half of them. We gave up media and entertainment, we gave up government which is the judiciary and law, we gave up education, and we gave up business. What we still had left was pulpit, and we essentially gave up half of that. We’ve taken the Great Commission to be a mandate for salvation, when the Great Commission says to teach them everything I taught you. Jesus has economic teachings, he has social teachings, government teachings, but we don’t do that.

But getting any institution back takes 30 or 40 years, and that’s where we are now.

Right Wing Round-Up

Who Knew Porter and Farrakhan Had So Much In Common?

I have to say that I never thought I would see the day when Janet Porter and Louis Farrakhan were in agreement on anything, but apparently they are both convinced that the swine flu vaccine is part of a plot to kill millions of Americans:

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan told an audience in Memphis he believes the H1N1 flu vaccine was developed to kill people, a witness said.

Farrakhan, 76, spoke for nearly three hours Sunday at a gathering to observe the religious group's Holy Day of Atonement, which also marked the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported, citing a source who attended the speech.

"The Earth can't take 6.5 billion people. We just can't feed that many. So what are you going to do? Kill as many as you can. We have to develop a science that kills them and makes it look as though they died from some disease," Farrakhan said, adding that many wise people won't take the vaccine.

"The black community has become toxic and must cleanse and restore peace from within," Farrakhan said.

Via Joe My God.

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cut The Entire Passage

I guess we shouldn't really be surprised that Andy Schlafly's Conservapedia effort to re-translate the Bible to adhere to their right-wing cultural and political agenda would lead to changes things like this:

Schlafly, the son of national political activist Phyllis Schlafly, says a conservative Bible should be masculine, for example, using the words mankind and man rather than more inclusive language. It also should shun terms like laborer or comrade. It also should put a free market spin on the sayings of Jesus.

Take Mark 10:25, where the King James Version says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Liberals have used that passage to attack the wealthy, Schlafly said. The Conservative Bible substitutes "a man who cares only for money" for rich man.

"I don't think Jesus is saying, 'Let's all be lazy so we can get to heaven.' That's not the message. And, if you translate the word rich as simply rich, some people are going to get the message that 'I am going to be lazy so I can get to heaven easier,' " said Schlafly, who graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science and from Harvard Law School as an attorney, according to his Web site.

...

Schlafly also removed an edit suggesting that liberals conspired to have Jesus killed, by substituting the word liberal for the word Pharisee.

"The possibility that Pharisees, which is a term that's not familiar to most of us, could be better translated as liberal is intriguing," Schlafly said. "But we haven't gone with that yet."

But that is nothing compared to the fact that they are also removing chapters and verses that they don't like:

The most radical change in the Conservative Bible might be dumping two passages of familiar Scripture.

One is the long ending of Mark's Gospel, which includes verses about snake handling and the story of the woman caught in adultery. Neither is found in most of the oldest Greek manuscripts used to translate the Bible. Schlafly says that adultery story, in which Jesus says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her," should be cut because it portrays Jesus as being soft on sin.

"It's a liberal addition, put in by people who wanted to undermine the reality of hell and judgment," he said.

Interestingly, the article quotes Jennifer Knust, an actual Bible scholar who teaches the New Testament at Boston University, who explains that the adultery story was accepted universally until the 1800s, when liberal scholars began to question its authenticity, noting that traditionally "it was the liberals who wanted to take the story out and the conservatives who wanted to keep the story."

Right Wing Leftovers

How Much Is That Liberal In The Window?

If, in the coming days and weeks, you start getting an odd feeling that a bunch of strangers are praying for you, it might be because they are, now that Liberty Counsel has officially rolled out its Adopt A Liberal effort:

Liberty Counsel has launched a new program called Adopt a Liberal™. The program encourages people to pray for those in leadership to restore poor leaders to right thinking. The Adopt a Liberal™ prayer-in-action program is based on the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy to pray for "all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." I Timothy 2:1-3. The list can be obtained at www.LC.org.

The current list of liberals includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and those who are not political leaders but whose leadership and actions affect our lives. The Adopt a Liberal™ program urges people "to pray daily for the liberal(s) of your choice, so each can become a good influence on our Nation's culture. Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying." The list includes President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Barney Frank, Science Czar John Holdren, Senator Olympia Snowe, Barry Lynn, and others. There is even the "Unknown Liberal," which allows people to nominate a liberal of their choice.

...

Liberty Counsel will be producing a deck of cards similar to baseball trading cards. On one side will be the picture of a liberal and, on the other side, some of their liberal positions or policies that negatively impact life, liberty and family. In this way people can pray for a specific person and then trade cards with their friends. There will be 51 cards, which is one card short of a full deck! Liberty Counsel will also be producing a bumper sticker that reads: "Have you prayed for a liberal today?" While the Adopt a Liberal™ program has a humorous side, it also has a serious side. It is truly designed to be a program that encourages people to pray for our leaders.

Liberty is correct when they note that, while moderately humorous, their effort is entierly serious:

Pick one or more of the liberals from the list we have posted online at www.LC.org, or choose your own liberal(s) to adopt. If you are led to choose one or more of the liberals we have selected for consideration, please read their brief biographical statement, including the reasons they stand in need of prayer.

Pray earnestly and intensely for them! Pray that the Lord would move upon them and cause them to be the kind of leaders who will encourage others to lead "a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." We encourage you to seek the Lord's guidance on how to pray for your liberal(s), always allowing Him to temper your prayer with His love and mercy.

Please pray daily for the liberal(s) of your choice, so each can become a good influence on our Nation's culture. Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying. In fact, we fully expect that many of our adoptees will "graduate" from this prayer program with vivid testimonies of God having changed their lives and worldviews!

WND: President Obama Is Just Like O.J. Simpson

What was it that Joseph Farah was saying yesterday about WorldNetDaily pursuing "an independent brand of journalism beholden only to the truth"?

Is must be that sort of dogged pursuit of independent truth that leads it to publish pieces like this one explaining how President Obama is a "deeply pathological narcissist" just like O.J. Simpson, which people will only discovered when he perhaps kills somebody:

Football legend and actor O.J. Simpson was a truly beloved American icon. The quintessential American success story, he projected an amicable, wholesome, larger-than-life figure. His triumphs were even more noteworthy because he was a black man who had risen to fame and fortune during the Civil Rights Movement era.

In 1995, Simpson was put on trial for the murders of Nicole Brown (his second ex-wife) and a male friend. As a result, authorities and the press were able to delve into his affairs as no one had previously done. Only then did Americans learn that he was a beast and a brute, an obsessively controlling, chronic wife beater, emotional abuser and philanderer. In short, he was a pathological narcissist for whom whimsy, pleasure and image were paramount. Worse, his behavior had been validated and reinforced by the fact that he had been catered to by those around him, personally and professionally, for decades. After beating the murder rap, Simpson continued to manipulate and bully those around him. Twelve years later, his capricious conduct earned him a lengthy prison sentence for numerous firearms charges, robbery, burglary, assault and kidnapping.

Many Americans, and even a few trained in behavioral science, have identified President Obama as a deeply pathological narcissist. He has also managed to masterfully control his environment. While his detractors contend that his façade has been maintained by a complicit press, this may only be partially true. According to experts, the profoundly narcissistic frequently astonish casual observers when the extent of control they have been able to maintain over their environment (primarily, people close to them) is finally revealed ... Given the determination with which our president has hidden certain other personal information, it is probable that there are a few aspects thereof that he perceives might damage him politically, if not personally or even legally.

Like the close friends of Nicole Brown and O.J., there may indeed be distressed, conscientious individuals who are privy to the truth of these matters. Ironically, it may wind up being the effects of Obama's narcissism itself that eventually give them away.

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Science Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/24/2011, 10:21am
Over the weekend, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly made news for admitting in an interview in World Magazine that "we've probably lost" the fight over marriage equality and the Religious Right would "need to start calculating where we are in the culture." Focus on the Family then admitted to Jeremy Hooper at Good As You that this was admission was not "big news, but it’s really just another expression of what he’s been saying for years." But, as Jeremy noted, this admission was in fact a big deal and probably would not go over very well with the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/19/2011, 3:23pm
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission weighs in on the "It Gets Better" campaign to let young people know that, if you are gay, it does not, in fact, get better ... it actually gets worse: Cass has also written a piece for his website to accompany this video: The campaign to legitimize homosexuality in our society is based on lies that are designed to manipulate public opinion and relies upon fraudulent science and suppression of opposing views. (Source: Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, “The Trojan Couch: How the Mental Health Associations Misrepresent Science,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 10:15am
The Religious Right’s favorite Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the “honorary host” of a Virginia fundraiser for Concerned Women for America. Cuccinelli won plaudits from right-wing activists for using his Virginia post to challenge anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, attack scientists who believe in climate change, undercut health care reform, and censor the official state seal over nudity. It makes sense that Cuccinelli is hosting a fundraiser for a group which believes that health care reform violates the Ten Commandments, gays are... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/12/2011, 3:46pm
Jerry Boykin really hates Islam and he makes no bones about it ... but his obsession with denigrating the faith is now becoming pathetically comical as he is reduced to claiming, as he did at the Oak Initiative Summit, that Muslims have never accomplished anything because "there is no creativity in Islam" and that any advance in math or science for which they get credit are really the result of having captured Christians: MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/12/2011, 1:37pm
After she was forced out as head of the Texas GOP, Cathie Adams became Eagle Forum’s International Issues Chairman. Adams, who as president of Eagle Forum’s Texas chapter denied that Obama is a Christian and insisted that scientists will soon start cloning humans for the purposes of “injecting them with diseases and studying them, then killing them,” is now arguing that the United Nations is using environmentalism to destroy Christianity in American youth. Joining the many Religious Right leaders who have derided environmentalism an anti-Christian movement, Adams... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/10/2011, 8:47am
Michele Bachmann Background: NPR looks into her transition from Jimmy Carter volunteer to right-wing culture warrior (NPR, 5/9). GOP: Breaks with Speaker John Boehner over debt ceiling (The Hill, 5/9). Herman Cain Nevada: Addresses conservative group in the early caucus state (Las Vegas Sun, 5/9). Debate: Claims his candidacy gained momentum, new supporters after Fox News debate (CBS News, 5/6). Mitch Daniels Religious Right: Decision to defund Planned Parenthood will bolster social conservative credentials despite 'truce' talk (TPM, 5/9). 2012: Report claims that Daniels' wife is final... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/26/2011, 1:06pm
Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance is at the center of the Religious Right’s growing push against “the Green Dragon,” otherwise known as the environmental movement. As noted in the latest Right Wing Watch In-Focus, Beisner has his PhD. in Scottish history and absolutely no scientific credentials, however, he does have close ties to corporate-financed, anti-environmental groups such as the Acton Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Now, right-wing activists like David Barton, Wendy Wright, and Bryan Fischer are heavily promoting Beisner’s film (... MORE