Science

Perkins and Vitter Tag-Team The Town Hall

Last week we posted on the toolkit that the Family Research Council was distributing to its members urging them to organize town hall events in opposition to healthcare reform in their local churches.

Well, it looks like this effort has gotten off to a fast start, thanks to Sen. David Vitter, who recently participated in one of these events which was organized by and featured FRC President Tony Perkins:

On his Facebook page, David Vitter just thanked Family Research Council President and former Louisiana legislator Tony Perkins for hosting a Vitter event in a church last night.

"Last night I participated in a community wide town hall in Greenwell Springs to discuss health care reform. Was a great meeting. Special thanks to Tony Perkins and a group of local churches who partnered together to host a panel discussion on health… care, allowing over 800 in attendance to participate in this important topic."

Several videos from the event have now appeared on YouTube and they show the event to be every bit as enlightening as we would expect.

Right off the bat, after Sen. Vitter thanks "Tony," he says that he is particularly delighted to finally participate in a church-based discussion about healthcare and hopes to have several more such faith-based discussions around the state.

Then came questions from the audience about the entire effort just being a power-grab by Obama, as well as questions about abortion and conscience protections.  At no point did Vitter try to correct the audience's misunderstandings and, instead, worked to reinforce them.

Then came this fascinating statement from an audience member in which he claimed that Vladimir Putin had recently written a column for Pravda urging President Obama not to try Marxism because it doesn't work before declaring that he was one of those uninsured that politicians keep talking about, but that he was uninsured by choice.  It seems that the audience member doesn't trust medicine and doesn't see a need for it and that what is really needed is to "get Americans weaned off of the medical care system all together" ... at which point the audience bursts into applause before the speaker goes on the cite a doctor in New Orleans who has been able to cure every cancer patient he has seen in the last twenty years in just three weeks by simply using Vitamin C:

This final video starts out with an attack on Van Jones, which is reinforced by Sen. Vitter who says that all of Obama's czars are unconstitutional. The next question is about the past writings of Obama's science adviser John Holdren, which has been a topic of right-wing outrage for several weeks now. Around the 4:00 mark of this video, Perkins' voice pops up in response to the Holdren question where he decries the "influence of authors who put these crazy ideas out there and are embraced by liberal politicians" and saying that he has "no dobut" that healthcare reform would lead to forced sterilization:

Crazy By Association

When I saw a press release announcing that Alan Keyes was going to be in South Carolina campaigning for a woman named Christina Jeffrey who is running Congress, my first thought was "wow, she must be crazy."

After all, no sane candidate would ever seek the assistance of someone like Keyes and expect to win, so I did a little research to try and found out a little about her on her website:

In these difficult economic times, the citizens in the Up-state of South Carolina deserve better representation in Congress. Christina Jeffrey, with a PhD. in Political Science and a college professor, is a person who has built her life based upon Conservative Principles.

Christina has worked in Germany and Turkey, and understands the international problems we are confronted with today. Christina has been a college professor for many years. She has been a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States. She currently teaches Foundations of American Government at Wofford College.

What I also found out was that her claim to have been the "Congressional Historian for the 104th Congress of the United States" leaves out a few key pieces of information ... like the fact that she held the job for less than two weeks before she was fired by Newt Gingrich:

Fired by Speaker Newt Gingrich as House historian because she complained Nazi views weren't represented in a Holocaust course, Christina Jeffrey said Tuesday that allegations against her ``are slanderous and outrageous.''

In a statement the morning after her firing, Jeffrey, who was hired less than a week ago, also said she was ``fired in the press.''

Reporters, who received materials from Democratic sources, began making inquiries to Gingrich's office after learning of Jeffrey's review of the Holocaust course in 1986.

House Democrats quickly pounced on her eight-year-old review, one saying it bordered on Holocaust revision.

...

Jeffrey, hired at $85,000 a year, headed a panel that reviewed the Holocaust course for the Republican-run U.S. Department of Education. The panel recommended against a federal grant for the course and the department -- insisting the decision was its own -- declined funding in 1986 and again the next two years.

Concluding her remarks on ``Facing History and Ourselves'' a course designed for eighth and ninth graders, Jeffrey wrote: ``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''

While Jeffrey insisted at the time and continues to insist that her remarks were taken wildly out of context, this does at least shed some light on just what sort of political candidate openly welcome the support of someone like Keyes.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Congratulations to Pam on her Women's Media Center Award.
  • As Hilzoy says, you'd think "the absence of any evidence that the Obama administration was considering reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would have prevented people from talking darkly about the end of talk radio and freedom of speech. Regrettably, we do not live in a sane world."
  • David Weigel has been banned from covering the upcoming American Cause conference.
  • Jessica Valenti explains how the virginity movement is attempting to re-brand its abstinence message and legitimize its message by presenting it as science-based.
  • Think Progress reports that "pressure has been building on Tennessee State Sen. Diane Black (R) to fire her aide, Sherri Goforth, who sent an e-mail with a racist image of President Obama." Instead Black issued a "strongly worded reprimand" that was really nothing of the sort.
  • Think Progress also reports that Senator Jim Inhofe made up his mind not to support Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court ... eleven years ago.
  • Finally, as Crooks and Liars notes, its easy for Tony Perkins to sound like an expert on health care when he can just spew Frank Luntz's talking points.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida conservatives are already signaling that are ready to try and take out Gov. Charlie Crist during the Republican primary for the state's open Senate seat.
  • Richard Viguerie continues his attacks on the Republican leadership, saying to his fellow conservatives that "we have a party and a country to save, and the GOP establishment is in our way."
  • Sen. Jeff Session clarifies his recent somewhat contradictory statements on his willingness to possibly vote for a gay Supreme Court nominee.
  • It looks like Carrie Prejean will get to keep her Miss California title after all.
  • The Missouri Eagle Forum doesn't want even parents of sixth-grade girls to get information about the HPV vaccine because it encourages promiscuity: "Science isn't keeping up with the consequences of sexual immorality,"
  • Finally, Elaine Donnelly says that President Obama is on the verge of breaking the law if he doesn't follow through with the policies dictated by Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
  • “Any presidential order or Defense Department directive disregarding the law, handed down for reasons of political expediency, would constitute a serious, perhaps irreparable, breach of faith with men and women who volunteer to serve ... An imperious presidential challenge to congressional authority on a matter as important as this would erode relationships and good will, and give rise to constitutional questions. History shows that in conflicts with Congress, presidents do not win.”

Debunking Another Hate Crimes Lie

One of the things that I have found most confusing about the Right’s completely deranged opposition to hate crimes legislation is the insistence that the legislation would “protect” things like pedophilia and bestiality because they claim such things fall under the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of “sexual orientation” resulting in statements such as this:

But this bill goes MUCH, MUCH FARTHER that simply prosecuting violent crime — it creates a new “protected class” of people that would now be protected under “hate crimes” definitions. That means that this bill will protect all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or “Paraphilias” listed by the American Psychiatric Association! This would provide a HUGE MASS of “sacred cows” in our society, which includes pedophiles who would be given elevated protection — giving “the offender” an additional decade behind bars.

And that “offender” could be YOU! If a pedophile tries to molest your daughter, or your nephew, or your granddaughter, or some little boy in the street — if you step in and beat the pedophile to get him away, YOU could spend ten years in prison for your “offense”!

There are so many blatantly false claims here it is hard to know where to start.  

We could point out that it doesn’t create a “new” protected class, it simply adds “sexual orientation” to the list of existing protected classes such as race and religion. Or we could point out that the legislation doesn’t legalize illegal behavior like pedophilia and that the idea that someone would be charged with a hate crime from fending off an attack from a pedophile is flagrantly absurd.  

But since so much of this sort of nonsense is rooted in the idea that the legislation would somehow rely on the APA’s definition of the term instead of the already existing definition used in federal law that it warrants a thorough debunking.

And that is exactly what Jim Burroway provided with this excellent post which I am going to excerpt extensively here because it does an excellent job of clearly and concisely exposing the Right’s lies on this issue and closes with a killer quote from Dr. Jack Drescher, a member of the APA’s DSM-V Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders:

[I]t turns out that the APA’s official definition [of “sexual orientation”] is not much different from the federal government’s. The APA’s official handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR, 2000) offers a very precise definition of how clinicians should describe a client’s sexual orientation:

For sexually mature individuals, the following specifiers may be noted based on the individual’s sexual orientation: Sexually Attracted to Males, Sexually Attracted to Females, Sexually Attracted to Both, and Sexually Attracted to Neither. [Emphasis in the original]

In other words, the APA defines only four sexual orientations. And they do so in order to provide a consistent description of an individual’s sexual orientation. It is not a diagnosis itself, since homosexuality is not listed as a mental disorder. And just so everyone’s clear on exactly what the APA means by their very short description of sexual orientation, they provided an expanded discussion on their web site:

Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction toward others. It is easily distinguished from other components of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female), and the social gender role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior).

Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Bisexual persons can experience sexual, emotional, and affectional attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sometimes referred to as gay (both men and women) or as lesbian (women only).

So where did the list of thirty “sexual orientations” come from? Let’s turn again to the APA’s DSM-IV-TR, under the heading of “Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders,” namely the APA’s examples of sexual paraphilias:

The Paraphilias are characterized by recurrent, intense sexual urges, fantasies, or behaviors that involve unusual objects, activities, or situations and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The Paraphilias include Exhibitionism, Fetishism, Frotteurism, Pedophilia, Sexual Masochism, Sexual Sadism, Transvestic Fetishism, Voyeurism, and Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified.

The DSM goes further, identifying specific criteria for diagnosing these various paraphilias, something that the DSM does not do for sexual orientation. And the reason is simple: sexual paraphilias are mental disorders according to the DSM, while homosexuality is not. Which is why the DSM devotes several pages to sexual paraphilias, but none to consensual adult homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality.

The APA is in the process of updating the DSM, and Dr. Jack Drescher is a member of the DSM-V Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. I asked him to comment on the deliberate confusion anti-gay activists are trying to sow. He replied:

Pedophilia is not a sexual orientation, nor would pedophiles be covered by a law protecting people for their sexual orientation. Religious social conservatives who oppose gay rights are using terms that sound like science, as opposed to actual science, to make unwarranted and malicious comparisons between homosexuality and pedophilia. Not only is this scare tactic untruthful, it reveals how little respect some religious conservative leaders have for the intelligence of the people they are trying to persuade.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues his efforts to woo the Religious Right ahead of his primary battle with Kay Bailey Hutchison, agreeing to speak at this year's Values Voter Summit.
  • Politico profiles anti-immigration activist Chris Simcox who is planning his own primary challenge against Sen. John McCain.
  • Sarah Palin's standing within the GOP seems to be dropping by the day.
  • SunTrust Banks Inc. is suing Pat Robertson for more than $3.6 million from Robertson stemming from a failed business venture back in the 1990s.
  • Rob Schenck kicked off the 20th annual U. S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon on Sunday night and it is set to continue to 90 consecutive hours.
  • Finally, the Cornwall Alliance has hired Shannon Royce to fight the efforts by Christians to make climate change an issue for grassroots activists:
  • Royce, who formerly worked on Capitol Hill for the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm and was founding executive director of the Arlington Group, a coalition of "pro-family" organizations, said environmentalism began making inroads into evangelical Christianity a number of years ago "with some on the left deliberately courting and engaging some of our Christian friends and brothers on issues like this, and unfortunately I think at times co-opting them, with their concerns."

    "I don't question the motives of those who have gotten engaged on that, but I think unfortunately the science just doesn't support this," she said.

The End of Christian America?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remind me again: how did that all work out?  

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

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

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Dahlia Lithwick dismantles the right-wing attacks, such as this one, against Harold Koh, President Obama's pick for legal adviser to the State Department.
  • The Newsweek/Washington Post "On Faith" section has unveiled a new blog called "God in Government" which contains a good post about the scare tactics behind the opposition to hate crimes legislation.
  • Think Progress notes that Glenn Beck is getting crazier by the day.
  • Speaking of which, TP notes that the Alaska Republican Party is calling for the resignation of Sen. Mark Begich, who defeated Ted Stevens this past November, now that the charges against Stevens have been dropped.
  • Media Matters catches Ann Coulter falling for Car and Driver's April Fool story about NASCAR.
  • Jonathan Stein highlights a new Pew poll that shows that 11% of the population still believes Barack Obama is Muslim and notes that, of white evangelical Protestants and Republicans, fewer than half were able to correctly identify Obama as a Christian.
  • AU highlights a state legislator's plan to place an "Oklahoma version" of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds, whatever that means.
  • Ed Brayton highlights a rather insane anti-science ballot initiative in Washington state.
  • Finally, just when you thought the "Birthers" couldn't get any more unhinged, Alex Koppelman reports that, in fact, they can.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Good as You has the letter as well as the complete list of names of those who signed Elaine Donnelly's latest effort to save Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Anti-illegal immigration activist William Gheen is blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League for a recent Missouri law enforcement report linking some right-wing organizations to the growing militia movement, despite that fact that neither group had anything to do with it.
  • Media Matters catches Fox News once again passing off Republican talking points as "facts."
  • Steve Benen finds that Norm Coleman's legal team responding to yesterday's damaging court loss by claiming they have "no choice but to appeal that order to Minnesota Supreme Court." As Benen notes: "And when that doesn't work out, it's safe to assume Ginsberg will have 'no choice' but to head to federal district court. And when that fails to give the GOP the results the party wants, Ginsberg will have 'no choice' but to seek relief from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to weigh in."
  • Sarah Posner is back with her latest FundamentaList - she also has a good post on Tony Dungy, saying the invitation risks creating a situation where the "White House's approval institutionalizes the cover that religion gives people like Dungy for their hostility to their fellow citizens."
  • Dan Gilgoff reports on the growing rift between "Religious Progressives" and the "Religious Left," though I think his use of the term "religious progressives" to describe the centrists ends up glossing over what is actually one of the key areas of contention between the two groups.
  • Think Progress reports that the authors of a report, which Republicans are citing to back up their claim that the green economy legislation before Congress would "cost every American family up to $3,100 per year in higher energy prices," are telling the GOP to stop intentionally misinterpreting their study.
  • Jonathan Stein argues that "conservatives have a built-in ideological reason for opposing expertise on all subjects, not just science and the environment" which stems from the fact that "they fundamentally do not believe government should play an active role in Americans' lives."

White House Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for the Religious Right

To say that the Religious Right has been opposed to Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment he was elected would be something of an understatement.

Since taking office, the Right has opposed just about every aspect of his agenda, from his choice of nominees to the economic stimulus legislation. But nothing has outraged them more than reversals of President Bush’s stem cell and “Mexico City” policies.

When Obama reversed the Mexico City policy, the Family Research Council lashed out, saying that while he was for “banning the torture of terrorists” he was signing “an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world” and that because of his action “U.S. taxpayers will be forced to take part in exporting a culture of death.” Concerned Women for America likewise claimed that the moved “offends the morality of millions of Americans, funds abortion efforts in countries where abortion is illegal, and breaks a campaign promise to reduce abortions” and also asked why he was “concerned about the higher moral ground with the terrorists who murder for ‘Allah,’ and yet you won’t honor and obey Christ and defend the defenseless unborn baby.”

When Obama reversed the stem cell policy, CWA’s Wendy Wright called it “politics at its worst,” saying it was “driven by hype" and "fuels the desperation of the suffering, and financially benefits those seeking to strip morality from science” while FRC said it was “yet another deadly executive order” and “a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life.”

Given that FRC’s and CWA’s stance regarding life issues is to vehemently oppose anything that does not move the country toward curtailing, and eventually outlawing, of reproductive choice, what is the Obama administration’s best option for dealing with such groups?

Why, inviting them to White House for a discussion on how to reduce the need for abortion, of course:

The Brody File has learned that conservative Evangelical groups will meet with the head of the White House Faith-Based Office on Tuesday.

Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council will meet with Joshua DuBois, the man who leads the administration’s office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wendy Wright, the president of CWA reached out to the Obama administration and they responded by inviting CWA and some of these other conservative Evangelical groups to The White House. The meeting plans to focus on the need to reduce abortions in the country and on responsible fatherhood programs. Also present at the meeting will be Tom McClusky, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council as well as representatives from the Christian Medical Association and Care Net, a pro-life Evangelical pregnancy crisis group.

Wendy Wright from CWA sends the following via email to The Brody File:

“The Obama administration says they want to be inclusive and represent all Americans. The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion. Funding abortion or abortion providers is one of the worst things that could be done. What the government funds, we get more of. We hope to begin a dialogue that results in policies which actually work, not just financially benefit certain interest groups like abortion providers.”

If the Obama administration thinks that it is going to win support for anything that it does on this issue from groups like CWA and FRC, it is sorely mistaken … which is something they will presumably learn once this meeting takes place.

These are not moderate, open-minded groups looking for common ground – they are militant, anti-choice groups committed to, above all, making abortion illegal everywhere and for everyone, with no exceptions.

It is hard to understand what the administration expects to gain by meeting with such groups to discuss efforts to reduce abortion considering that the only option such groups support is to outlaw them entirely.

Am I The Only One Who Remembers the "Anti-Christian" Stimulus Provision?

I am somewhat reluctant to bring this up again, mainly because it no longer seems to be newsworthy … but since that sort of proves the point I am trying to make, I feel compelled to revisit the “controversy” over the “anti-religious” provision that was included in the economic stimulus bill.

As we chronicled in depth a few weeks ago, the Religious Right was beside itself over a provision that they claimed would prohibit religious groups from using any university facility that is renovated or repaired with stimulus funding, which is blatantly untrue.  

After Sen. Jim DeMint failed to get the provision stripped from the bill, the Right screamed and yelled about this “discriminatory” and “anti-Christian” provision and threatened to “challenge this provision in federal court by filing suit.”

Yet the provision ended up in the final bill that was signed into law by President Obama in February and, since then, nobody on the Right has said anything about it.   

If it really is an unconstitutional provision that would punish “schools that allow spiritual activities in their facilities” and “confiscate the funds of both Christians and non-Christians and use them to force compliance with their anti-Christ agenda,” as they claimed, then why aren’t they challenging it in court?  More importantly, why have they all stopped talking about it?

Probably because they know that everything they were saying about this provision was simply untrue:

Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, cites a 1971 Supreme Court decision in a recent article on Christianity Today. That ruling, Tilton v. Richardson, says that grants under the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 for non-religious school facilities do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

According to Dr. Richard Yanikoski, president and CEO of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the provision limiting government funds to non-sectarian facilities is "nothing new and already the current practice when the federal government provides funding."

The funds can be used "for an education building or a science building but it cannot include explicit religious purposes," adds Dr. Yanikoski. "This is the government's interpretation of the separation of church and state.... certainly it is the case that in Catholic campuses, there are buildings of a religious nature... we would not expect the government to be funding that. Schools [looking to repair those buildings] will have to find funding from some place other than the government."

Grant similarly says in his article that the restriction is nothing unusual and has been part of federal policy in education funding for four decades.

"Nearly all buildings at religious colleges and universities would qualify for funding. The only facilities that would not qualify are chapels, church buildings, and others that are most often used for explicitly religious purposes. The key is to define the primary purpose of a facility. If its purpose is religious teaching or worship, then the building is ineligible. If the facility is used for classes, housing, or study, however, then it can be renovated using funds from the stimulus bill," he adds.

Of course, this is exactly what we were pointing out at the time that the Right was screeching about this provision, but it didn’t stop them from using it to rally their troops and gin up opposition to the legislation.

The ACLJ was the leading force behind this effort and declared that “unless this provision is removed from the final stimulus package, we'll be in federal court challenging this discriminatory measure.” 

Well, it has now been two weeks since Obama signed it into law and the ACLJ has not only not filed suit but has been utterly silent.  In fact, if you were relying on them to know what happened with the provision, you’d be under the mistaken impression that it was actually cut from the final version of the bill.

Apparently, the ACLJ thinks that it can set off this sort of phony controversy over a supposedly unconstitutional and discriminatory provision and whip its Religious Right allies into a frenzy of accusations and victimization to such an extent that it ends up on the floor of the US Senate, and then fall silent once everyone has figured out that they were lying all along.

And, actually, there is good reason for them to think that they can do just that - primarily because ginning up bogus controversies has been the Religious Right’s standard operating procedure for the last twenty-plus years.

The Right's Strange Silence on the DOMA Suit

I have to say that I am a bit surprised by the reaction, or lack thereof, of the Religious Right to the lawsuit filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders on behalf a several legally married gay couples in Massachusetts who are challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act which denies them a range of federal benefits that other married couples receive.

As we noted yesterday, despite the significance of the suit, the Right hasn’t really mustered any of the outrage or unleashed the sort of “the sky is falling” rhetoric one generally expects from them.  It has now been more than a day since the new of the lawsuit broke and groups like Conservative Women for America, the Pacific Justice Institute, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Traditional Values Coalition have not even so much as mentioned it, mush less issued any sort of statement.

The Alliance Defense Fund did issues a press release, which we mentioned yesterday, and now the Liberty Counsel has followed suit to asset that it will be “filing a brief in defense of the federal DOMA” and urging the Obama administration to defend DOMA:

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The sovereignty of each state to preserve the integrity of marriage must be maintained. While Massachusetts has chosen to rewrite the definition of marriage, it may not force the federal government and the rest of the country to adopt same-sex marriage. I urge the Obama administration to fully defend the federal law and to put aside its personal agenda for the sake of upholding the rule of law and the will of the American people.”

In fact, so far the only substantive statement has come from the Family Research Council and it, of course, trotted out the standard “won’t somebody please think of the children” plea:

"Recognizing the ongoing threat to marriage, voters in the last election continued to define marriage in their state constitutions as the union of one man and one woman. We advise the Obama Administration to fulfill its constitutional duties and defend DOMA energetically and competently. We also urge any federal courts that hear this case to dismiss it and preserve the right of the people to decide such important public policy decisions.

"Even more important are the implications for marriage and family. The social science confirms what history and common sense have long told us: That it is overwhelmingly, the best environment for children is a home with a mom and dad.

"DOMA is necessary, as is a Federal Marriage Amendment, to ensure a solid future for traditional marriage in this country and the well-being of our children."

Perhaps the oddest thing is that the two right-wing groups dedicated to “saving DOMA’ have been utterly silent.

Back in January, the National Organization for Marriage announced that it was launching a “DOMA Defense Fund” but a check of both the NOM and DDF websites show not one mention of the lawsuit challenging DOMA.  In fact, the only mention of the organization at all regarding this issue is a lone quote on CBN from Maggie Gallagher saying they intend to make their opposition “crystal clear.”

But at least they are one step ahead of the Alliance For Marriage and its “Protect DOMA” effort - a check of both websites reveals not one mention of the DOMA lawsuit, nor is there any mention of the organization in the press.

Granted, Religious Right groups don’t always weigh in on every issue, but given the significance of this case, it seems rather strange that the predominant response from them has been nearly universal silence.  

But it is downright bizarre that two groups that have explicitly created efforts to save DOMA have not seen fit to so much as even mention the lawsuit on their websites and have barely discussed it in the press.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family Action has launched a petition drive calling on Congress and President Barack Obama to prevent taxpayer money from funding the abortion industry.
  • Speaking of Focus, the organization is also upset about the marriage of two women on the soap opera "All My Children."
  • Liberty University School of Law hosted Howard Phillips, founder and chairman of The Conservative Caucus (TCC) as well as the Constitution Party, who was praised by Jerry Falwell, Jr. for being "instrumental in encouraging Liberty students to become involved in politics."
  • Personhood USA reports that seven states have introduced bills affirming the personhood rights of pre-born humans from the moment of fertilization.
  • "Atheists Attack in Texas!" So says the Free Market Foundation.
  • What does it mean that Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger both performed during the Inauguration ceremonies? Nothing, except that they are both communists and Seeger is a Unitarian Universalist, which is "a false religion that emphasizes tolerance and respect."
  • Finally, Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University — Carbondale, asks if the stimulus bill is "anti-religious." No, it is not, he says:
  • However, the language in the stimulus bill is neither new nor unusual, since restrictions have been part of federal higher education policy for over 40 years. Rather than inhibit religion, these restrictions make possible federal funding to religious colleges and universities ... The only facilities that would not qualify are chapels, church buildings, and others that are most often used for explicitly religious purposes. The key is to define the primary purpose of a facility. If its purpose is religious teaching or worship, then the building is ineligible. If the facility is used for classes, housing, or study, however, then it can be renovated using funds from the stimulus bill.

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Pam reports that MassResistance,'s Brian Camenker has turned his attention to attacking "the threatening Trans Agenda."
  • Crooks and Liars catches Bill O'Reilly citing an online poll that came from his own website to explain why he shouldn't have to apologize to reporter Helen Thomas for calling her the "wicked witch."
  • Good as You takes issue with ProtectMarriage.com's assertion that the California legislature should stop "disrespecting the will of voters and wasting taxpayer resources on meaningless legislative resolutions" regarding Prop. 8.
  • Frederick Clarkson has a good piece on RH Reality Check on where the abortion reduction agenda really came from. Here's a hint: it involves Frank Pavone.
  • AU reports that the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology has informed Louisiana that it will not be hosting its 2011 conference in New Orleans because of the state's policy of attacking evolution in its science curricula.
  • Media Matter says other outlets are spreading an inane Washington Times story that "rehashes several false and baseless claims regarding President Obama's presidential campaign and the American flag and uncritically quotes radio host Michael Savage attacking Obama as a 'Neo-Marxist' and 'street agitator' to whom 'our flag is just a rag.'"
  • Finally, Box Turtle Bulletin posts a truly absurd ad from American Forever that appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Deseret News over the weekend opposing the Common Ground Initiative.

Liberty University Imports and Exports Creationism

The Christian Post reports that Thomas Road Baptist Church, the church founded by Jerry Falwell and currently run by his son Jonathan, is hosting a three-day "Answers for Darwin" conference being put on by the creationists from Answers in Genesis:

Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis, which hosted the three-day "Answers for Darwin" conference, told the crowd in the opening session that America is becoming less of a Christian nation everyday and that it is due in part to the influence of Darwinism.

He cited statistics by research firm The Barna Group, showing that at least 60 percent of students raised in church-going homes who attend public schools will walk away from church.

Referring to the culture war, Ham said there are increasing pervasive attacks in America, including abortion and the removal of the Bible, prayer and creation from public schools.

"What is wrong?" he asked the audience at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. "I suggest to you the foundation is being taken out of this nation that was once here and we see the structure collapsing."  

Among the speakers is Liberty University professor Dr. David DeWitt, which makes sense because, as The News and Advance recently explained, the teaching of creationism is a key part of Liberty’s core mission to create “good Christians” who will go out and impact law, politics, society, and the culture:

DeWitt’s personal views are critical of evolution, he said.

“If a frog turns into a prince with a kiss then it’s a fairy tale. If a frog turns into a prince over millions of years, it’s science,” he said, referencing the theory of evolution. “It’s almost ridiculous.”

“I’m a scientist, and I’m not denigrating science. I’m critiquing the idea that millions of years is the magic wand that makes it possible.”

[Law School Dean Mathew] Staver said that the theory of evolution “has impacted everything,” including his area of expertise — law.

An evolutionary model for arguing cases, for example, now impacts the creation of law, he said.

Instead of the previously accepted practice of basing arguments on the original source, the U.S. Constitution, Staver said, now lawyers instead use case studies that build upon each other and “evolve” over time.

Law students at Liberty “have to understand both sides” in order to critically analyze cases, he said.

They also must learn the details of evolution versus creation “so they are comfortable and confident in advocating their position,” he said.

“You clearly see it in some of the more social areas such as marriage and abortion. But it really permeates all the areas of law.”

[Campus Pastor Johnnie] Moore said Liberty students, no matter which program they’re in, should understand arguments that support the creationist perspective so they can defend their beliefs.

“What we’re doing is, we’re training Christian young people to go into culture in various occupations; to be good Christians in their area of influence,” Moore said. “We want them to be as prepared to represent Christ and the Bible and Christian values in culture as they are prepared to excel in their careers.

Playing the Dahmer Card

It seems as if right-wing activists in Texas have been attacking evolution and seeking to gain complete control over the state's Board of Education forever, a mission that continues to this day.

Despite losing the most recent battle in this war, the Texas Freedom Network reports that various anti-evolution advocates are now targeting board members who voted against them by linking the teaching of evolution to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. 

As TFN reports, activists have been circulating an email written by Kelly Coghlan, a Houston attorney who wrote the "Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act" that passed in 2007 and who's law firm website URL is www.christianattorney.com, in which she explains that among the main problems with the theory of evolution is that Dahmer believed in it ... or something:

Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America’s most infamous serial killers who cannibalized more than 17 boys before being captured, gave an last interview with Dateline NBC nine months before his death, and he said the following about why he acted as he did: “If a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we died, you know, that was it, there was nothing….” (Dateline NBC, The Final Interview, Nov. 29, 1994).

Hmmm, interesting argument ... does that mean that others could argue for the teaching of evolution by, say, pointing out that people who oppose it include the Ku Klux Klan?

We DO NOT believe in evolution. We believe that God created each race as we see it today and that NO race evolved from any animal. Each race is unique and has different talents and capabilities. Furthermore, while the scientific data does show a difference in white and black brains - we also recognize that there are some very intelligent blacks and some lesser intelligent whites. However, as a whole, the scientific community has found that blacks as a group - and across the entire spectrum are less capable than whites in the areas of logic, math, and science. This is not meant to denigrate their position, but rather to point out the world wide devastation that would occur should the white race cease to control its own destiny and compromise its gene pool through miscegenation.

Is the Culture and Media Institute No More?

Tips-Q posts this email reporting that Bob Knight and his staff at the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute have been laid off: 

We need Bob Knight in the pro-family movement!

Bob and his whole department at Media Research Center have been laid off. Please circulate this message in hopes that another position will surface for him and the rest of his terrific staff.

The list of Bob’s stellar accomplishments would take pages and more time than any of us have. He was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, has held key positions at several conservative think tanks, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America. He has been instrumental in the battle to preserve marriage. He has written compelling pieces about the threat to religious liberty of “hate crimes” and ENDA legislation. He has exposed the pseudo-science of the “born gay” claims of homosexual advocates.He has appeared on countless TV and radio shows and always represents our side with truth, humor and grace.

At MRC, Bob’s department has done a terrific job of tracking the bias against Christians and conservatives in the mainstream media.

As we approach one of the darkest times in recent American history, the knowledge and experience of a fine Christian man like Bob Knight is needed more than ever. We understand the tough financial woes of Christian groups, yet a background like his is rare and should not go unutilized.

Please circulate this to all Christian and conservative contacts.

Maybe Focus on the Family Should Focus on Reading and Research

Does this claim from Focus on the Family make any sense at all?

Ninety percent of Americans pray every day, according to a study released Thursday by Brandeis University. Half pray several times a day, according to the analysis of four public prayer books filled by patients and visitors at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Three-quarters of those studied prayed for themselves, families and friends, with about a quarter praying for themselves alone, The Washington Times reported.

“This is a testament to our belief that prayer is a vital part of our walk with the Lord," said Brian Toon, vice chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. "Examples of answered prayer are more common than many believe. Whole communities have seen crime, suicide and unemployment drop as a result of Americans coming together in prayer."

How exactly does one go about determining that 90% of Americans pray daily, and that many pray several times daily, by analyzing prayer books in a hospital in Baltimore?  

FOF is obviously relying on this Washington Times article which makes the same claim:

Politicians come and go, fashions evolve and the culture shifts with alarming frequency. One thing remains constant, though.

Americans pray. A lot.

Ninety percent have a spiritual interlude with God every day, according to a study released Thursday by Brandeis University. Half pray several times a day, in fact.

"Most prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening, and a source of emotional and psychological support, who at least sometimes answers back," said Wendy Cadge, a sociologist who directed the research.

I haven’t read the study itself because it requires a subscription, but here is the abstract:

Researchers in sociology, medicine, and religion ask whether prayer influences health, but pay little attention to the content or experience of personal prayer. This paper draws insights from cognitive studies of religion to ask what kinds of requests people make of God in their prayers, how they construct God in their prayers, and what kinds of responses they believe possible from God based on how they frame their prayers. We analyze the prayers patients, visitors, and staff wrote in a prayer book at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital between 1999 and 2005. Prayers are primarily written to thank God (21.8%), to make requests of God (28%), or to both thank and petition God (27.5%). The majority of prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening, and a source of emotional and psychological support. Rather than focusing on specific discrete outcomes that could be falsified, writers tend to frame their prayers broadly in abstract psychological language that allows them to make multiple interpretations of the results of their prayers.

Apparently, the study focused on what sort of prayers people offer, not on how many Americans are praying on a given day.  Given that the study was limited to prayers left in prayer books at Johns Hopkins University Hospital over a six years period, it is unimaginable that the author could have deduced that 90% of Americans pray daily based on such narrow and obviously biased source material.  

In this piece by Cadge on Religion Dispatches about her study, she mentions in passing that “close to 90% of Americans pray” but she in no way suggests that this is a finding that came out of her study … yet somehow both the Washington Times and Focus on the Family have convinced themselves that that is exactly what Cadge has found, leading FOF to excitedly crow: “Good News: Study Shows 9 in 10 Americans Pray Every Day.”

Opposing Right Wing Legislation for All the Wrong Reasons

I came across an article yesterday about a piece of legislation co-authored by Oklahoma’s favorite militantly anti-gay legislator Sally Kern called the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act but didn’t write about it because, when it passed the legislature this summer, it was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry

The bill is a typical piece of right-wing claptrap whereby the authors pretend that they are just trying to protect religious freedom when, in reality, they are just trying to make sure that Intelligent Design proponents won’t fail their science classes when they write papers claiming that the Earth is only 6000 years old.

It seems that Kern’s bill has been re-introduced in the 2009 legislative session but doesn’t seem to have been changed in any way that would help it avoid the Governor’s veto pen, should it end up on his desk again.  

The only reason I am even posting on this is because I was caught a bit off guard by this explanation from Rep. Ed Cannaday about why he opposes the bill:

But some lawmakers, including Rep. Ed Cannaday, a former teacher and school administrator in eastern Oklahoma, described the measure as a “cotton candy bill.”

“It’s tasteful and you enjoy it, but it does nothing for you,” said Cannaday, D-Porum.

From reading that, you’d think Cannaday opposed it because it was a attempt by right-wing legislators to inject religion into the public school system in ways that are both unnecessary and harmful.  But you’d be wrong:

Cannaday said the bill also could open the door for radical religious groups to demand equal time in Oklahoma schools.

“What’s more dangerous is that this cotton candy has been laced with arsenic,” Cannaday said. “The radical, non-Christian fringe groups who want to undermine our faith will use this to disrupt and to distract from our spiritual base.”

While it is nice that Cannaday opposes the bill, it would be nicer if he was opposing it because it was unnecessary rather than because it might allow “non-Christian fringe groups" access to public schools from which they would undermine “our spiritual base.”

The Right-Wing War on Science

ABC News has an article about a sociologist at Rutgers University who questioned 157 scientists about "their work at the crux of a 2003 political clash between several members of Congress, a Christian lobbyist group called the Traditional Values Coalition and the National Institutes of Health" and found, not surprisingly, that TVC's rabble-rousing put enough pressure on them that "nearly a quarter of respondents said they either modified their studies to seem less controversial or abandoned controversial grant proposals."

I was particularly impressed by this statement by Andrea Lafferty, executive director of Traditional Values Coalition, who admits that she sees no "abuses of science" but plans to continue her crusade against science nonetheless: 

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) in Washington, D.C., sees no "abuses of science" but agrees that with the new administration, the content of grant proposals is likely to expand.

"My main idea is the NIH ATM machine is going to re-open in 09," said Lafferty. "It's some guys in their jammies at universities drinking beer asking, 'hey, how can we study how prostitutes spread disease?' Then they take it to the NIH" ... "NIH has always been treated like a sacred cow ... scientists overall don't believe in God, and they don't want to be questioned," she said. "These people want to say it's just TVC but you take what we find is being studied, go to any grocery store and ask people what they think. Taxpayers would be outraged."

So the NIH is primarily just a slush fund for drunken, PJ-clad atheists looking for a way to consort with prostitutes? How come I didn't know about this? More importantly, how do I apply for a grant?

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Science Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/21/2011, 1:51pm
A few weeks back, we posted a series of videos taken from David Barton's two-week stint on "Gospel Truth" with Andrew Wommack.  In one of those videos Barton explained how a "Jewish Rabbi friend" helped him understand that the Biblical story about the Tower of Bable was really about how God hates socialism. Barton's "Jewish Rabbi friend" was Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a Religious Right activist who was deeply tied to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Today, Lapin was the guest on "Wallbuilders Live" radio program and it became clear why he and... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 04/15/2011, 11:47am
Homeschooling activist Colin Gunn is set to release a new documentary in June on the perils of the public education system. Guinn’s film, “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America,” features leading Christian Reconstructionists like Gary North, Gary DeMar, Doug Phillips, John Eidsmoe, and Joseph Morecraft along with Ken Ham, champion of the young-Earth creationist movement and the founder of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum. According to Gunn, the education system can only be fixed if “every subject taught in school is... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/14/2011, 1:18pm
I have to admit that my biggest pet peeve about David Barton is not his incessant dishonesty, but the manner in which he repeatedly asserts that the Bible supports his right-wing agenda by simply citing Bible verses without every explaining what they say, as he does in this clip about how only a Christian nation allows religious freedom because Christians know their true faith will always win: Notice how he simply asserts that the entire concept of the free market comes out of the Bible and then just rattles off verses without bothering to elaborate? Of course, if you actually bother to... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/08/2011, 4:31pm
Donald Trump assures us that he's "a very honorable guy." And apparently the RNC is actually taking his candidacy seriously. Maybe George Allen should just stop talking. This year's Life Fest Film Festival will include stars like "Ben Stein, Charlie Holliday, Jonathan Flora, Mell Flynn, and Clint Howard." Wow, quite the line-up. Quote of the day from Dr. James Tonkowich of the Cornwall Alliance: "Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant - it's plant food. And higher carbon dioxide means, yes, plants are bigger, which incidentally makes the earth... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/08/2011, 10:20am
Yesterday I posted a video compilation of David Barton claiming that every aspect of our culture and politics - from our tax laws to our building codes - ought to be carried out in accordance with Biblical principles.  I have gone back through the videos to grab a few other highlights that I believe perfectly demonstrate the utter inanity of Barton's "expertise" and pseudo-history. First of all is this video in which Barton claims that science always confirms what the Bible teaches, which is why global warming is not real and why embryonic stem cell research - which... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/28/2011, 10:03am
Today's broadcast of "Family Talk With Dr. James Dobson" featured an all-star Religious Right line-up of leaders in the fight against marriage equality, including Bishop Harry Jackson, Dr. Jim Garlow, Dr. Ken Hutcherson, Gary Bauer & Tony Perkins. This was actually just part one of a two part series that will conclude tomorrow and I have edited down the program to its key soundbites. As you would expect, each one was greatly alarmed by push for marriage equality and vowed to dedicate their lives to doing everything they can to fighting it, with Jackson, who has walking... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/25/2011, 11:47am
Yesterday, RWW reported on the Religious Right’s virulent opposition to a California bill that would make sure lesbian and gay historical figures are represented in the curriculum. Now, Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink is linking the curriculum bill to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in its post “Indoctrination 101: From the Battlefield to the Ball Field.” Focus on the Family has consistently railed against “homosexual indoctrination” in schools and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, demanding its reinstatement.... MORE