senate

Ted Cruz Mocks His GOP Colleagues, Calls Newtown Families 'Props' and Takes Credit for Blocking Background Checks

In remarks to a Tea Party group, Sen. Ted Cruz again showed why he's a political liability for the GOP.

Tim Scott: Christians Are a Minority under Assault (VIDEO)

Tim Scott, who is set to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, got his start in politics when he was elected in 1996 to the Charleston County Council. One year later, according to his 2010 campaign website, “he placed a plaque of the Ten Commandments outside council offices to show his support for the Ten Commandments as a guide for conduct, especially within the county chambers.”

The city was promptly sued for this blatant violation of the First Amendment. By 1998, Scott’s colleagues had decided to remove his display and settle the lawsuit. When challenged on why he was wasting taxpayer dollars, Scott replied that “whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal is worth it.”

Scott’s unconstitutional grandstanding as a county councilmember made him a favorite of the Christian right in South Carolina and put him on the track that he’s followed ever since. Scott returned to his roots while addressing a Tea Party rally in January, hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, ahead of a GOP primary debate.

Scott claimed that the “greatest minority under assault today are Christians.” “No doubt about it,” he emphasized. (Note that Scott says 1995 in the video, but he misspoke – he was elected in 1996 and posted the display in 1997.)

Watch:

Over the last 17 years of public service, I have seen the concept of faith tested time and time again. The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it.

When I was on county council in 1995, I posted the Ten Commandments. And the ACLU and the folks for separation of church and state all came and attacked us at Charleston County and said we were wasting taxpayer dollars.

Think about where we are today, 17 years later. We are in desperate need of a compass, a moral compass that tells us the difference between right and wrong. And I believe that you can look no further than the word of God to find that compass.

Tim Scott actually believes what he said about Christians being a minority under assault. Never mind that Christians aren’t a minority. Never mind that Christians control every branch of government at every level. Never mind that Christians aren’t under assault in any conceivable way.

Still, Scott feels that Christians are a minority under assault because Christians like him are being prevented by the Constitution and other Americans – Christian and non-Christian alike – from forcing everyone to live in accordance with their extreme views and beliefs. It’s a bit like the Taliban claiming that the Afghan government is attacking Islam.

Scott clearly has not changed with time and will display the same utter disregard for the First Amendment as senator that he did as a county councilmember. It’s just another way that Scott will fill the shoes of his right-wing predecessor.

Tim Scott’s Tea Party Poetry

Congressman Tim Scott, who will soon replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, is not a common man. He's quite uncommon, as is his right, and he doesn't cower or take handouts. He declares to the entire world, even if no one is listening, that he's a "free American."

Scott acknowledged as much in a bit of Tea Party poetry on his 2010 campaign website, entitled: "Republican Creed":

I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon.

If I can seek opportunity, not security,
I want to take the calculated risk to dream and
build, to fail and to succeed.
I refused to barter incentive for dole.

I prefer the challenges of life to
guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment
to the state of calm utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master,
save my God.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and
unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the
benefits of my creation; to face the whole world
boldly and say, "I am a free American."

God Told Tim Scott to Vote against Boehner’s Debt Deal

In late July of 2011, House Speaker John Boehner was closing in on a deal to end the debt ceiling crisis, but something happened during the final hours of debate. “The math appeared to turn against the speaker,” and “key lawmakers, like Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, a member of the freshman leadership team, said he would join the other freshmen from his state and vote no.”

Scott, who will soon replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, holed up in the House chapel with a group of freshman conservatives. There Scott received instructions from God to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling:

With the bill in limbo, a few first-term conservatives slipped into a small chapel a few paces down the hall from the Capitol Rotunda, as they contemplated one of the most consequential votes of their careers.

Asked if he was seeking divine inspiration, Republican Rep. Tim Scott said that had already happened. "I was leaning no and now I am a no," he said.

While it is typical for Tea Party and Religious Right politicians to claim to know what God wants, they normally rely on Biblical references. Tim Scott, it would appear, is in a different league with luminaries like Pat Robertson, who famously hears from God at the end of each year.

I suggested earlier that Republican leaders could come to regret the elevation of Scott to the Senate. Scott provides sorely needed diversity and will keep Tea Partiers engaged, to be sure, but Boehner surely didn’t appreciate hearing from a freshman member that God opposes his debt deal. I can’t imagine that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will appreciate going up against God’s proxy either. This could get interesting….

South Carolina's Next Senator Tim Scott Is Bachmann, Palin and Sanford-Approved

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will announce shortly that she has picked Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to head up the right-wing Heritage Foundation. DeMint’s imminent retirement is seen by many as a setback for the Tea Party, which had a genuine champion in DeMint, and a sign that the movement’s best days are behind it. But the Tea Party is still raging in South Carolina, and Scott is poised to become its new Senate standard-bearer.

Tim Scott was elected to Congress in 2010, becoming the first African-American Republican to represent South Carolina since Reconstruction (when the party of the Lincoln was still the party of Lincoln). Scott served for over a decade on the Charleston County Council before serving briefly in the state house. While he gained statewide – and now national – attention as a darling of the Tea Party movement, he has a far more extensive background as a cultural warrior for the Religious Right.

With Scott poised to replace DeMint in the Senate, we’re going to explore his extreme, and frequently bizarre, record. Be sure to read Peter’s primer on Scott from earlier today.

Scott made the leap from the county council to state house in 2008 with major backing from then-Governor Mark Sanford. Sanford was a family values conservative and rising star in the national GOP until he was caught eloping with his Argentine mistress. Sanford famously claimed that he had been hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Before he did all that, Sanford vouched for Scott’s sterling conservative credentials in an open letter posted to Scott’s campaign website:

I wanted to write to you today to let you know about a friend of mine who is running for the State House of Representatives who needs our help.

Tim Scott is a consistent conservative who will carry our values to the State House. […]

Tim is also a proven social conservative who will stand up for the family values that help to make our state a great place to live and work.

Because of his strong stands on conservative issues, I have endorsed Tim’s candidacy for the House.  Today, I am asking for you to join us in supporting Tim, both with your vote and with your financial contributions. 

And when Scott ran for Congress in 2010, he enjoyed strong backing and an endorsement from Sarah Palin:

Tim is a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-development, Commonsense Conservative who’s been endorsed by the Club for Growth because of his solid commitment to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. […]

“I am excited to receive the support of Sarah Palin. She has been a trailblazer for the conservative cause and tea party movement going on across the nation. We share the same values of limited government, less spending and being a champion for our Constitution.”

Michele Bachmann also gushed over Scott last year during the GOP presidential primary: “All of us in Washington, D.C., are extremely proud of you for choosing the right man to send from Charleston up to Washington. We love Tim Scott!”

Bachmann and Palin clearly have good reason to be excited about a Senator Tim Scott. Republican leaders, on the other hand, may soon find that they have a new liability on their hands. Keep an eye on Right Wing Watch for more coverage of Scott’s record.

Cain Spent $1 Million to Run Racist "Snuff My Own Seed" Ads

For weeks now, we have been urging someone - anyone - in the press to ask presidential candidate Herman Cain about his role in the offensive 2006 ad campaign for an organization called America's PAC.

The purpose of the ad campaign was to get Black and Hispanic voters to support Republican candidates via radio ads that asked why Democrats were "on the same side of the Iraq war" as a "Ku Klux Klan cracker like David Duke" and another that suggested one of the characters in the ad would never vote Republican since he supported abortion because if "you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked":

Cain served as a spokesperson for the ad campaign and even reportedly voiced some of the ads himself ... but, for some reason, nobody in the press has bothered to ask Cain anything about it. 

But maybe someone will actually get around to asking Cain about his role, now that we know that he spent $1 million of his own money funding them:

With the balance of power in Congress hanging in the air, a leading African American businessman says black voters in the United States should put their historical pro-life values above political party. That means voting for pro-life candidates rather than supporting Democratic candidates across the board.

Herman Cain is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He is a political commentator and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

“More and more African Americans are pro-life," Cain said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. “Our message to African Americans is simple — it’s time you vote for candidates who support our values."

Cain will underscore that message with a $1 million advertising campaign in key states and congressional districts targeting black radio programs and urban radio stations young African Americans enjoy ... The ads are funded by Americas PAC, a Cain-backed organization.

The Bush administration called the ads "inappropriate" and the RNC called them "racist," and the man who paid for them is now the leading frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination ... so this seems like the sort of thing that maybe someone might want to ask Cain about.

Tea Party Nation Urges Businesses To Stop Hiring In Order To Hurt Obama

Tea Party Nation sent to their members today a message from activist Melissa Brookstone urging businesspeople to “not hire a single person” to protest the Obama administration’s supposed “war against business and my country.” Brookstone writes that business owners should stop hiring new employees in order to stand up to “this new dictator,” the “global Progressive socialist movement,” Hollywood, the media and Occupy Wall Street.

Brookstone writes:

Resolved that: The Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate, in alliance with a global Progressive socialist movement, have participated in what appears to be a globalist socialist agenda of redistribution of wealth, and the waging of class warfare against our constitutional republic's heritage of individual rights, free market capitalism, and indeed our Constitution itself, with the ultimate goal of collapsing the U.S. economy and globalizing us into socialism.

Resolved that: President Obama has seized what amount to dictatorial powers to bypass our Congress, and that because the Congress is controlled by a Progressive socialist Senate that will not impeach one of their kind, they have allowed this and yielded what are rightfully congressional powers to this new dictator.

Resolved that: By their agenda and actions, those in our government who swore oaths to protect and defend our Constitution have committed treason against the United States.

Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media (Indeed, most of the news media.) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist (anti-individual rights and property ownership) agenda.



Resolved that: Our President, the Democrats-Socialists, most of the media, and most of those from Hollywood, have now encouraged and supported "Occupy" demonstrations in our streets, which are now being perpetrated across the globe, and which are being populated by various marxists, socialists and even communists, and are protesting against business, private property ownership and capitalism, something I thought I'd never see in my country, in my lifetime.

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

Herman Cain, KKK Crackers, and Snuffing The Seed of One Of Your Hoes

Given that some polls are now showing Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field, do you think that maybe someone in the media might be able to get around to asking him about his role in the 2006 radio ad campaign that the Bush administration called "inappropriate" and the RNC called "racist"? 

Here is a refresher:  Back in 2006, an organization called America's PAC was formed for the purpose of spending $1 million to get Black and Hispanic voters to support Republican candidates with absurdly over-the-top and offensive radio ads:

The group, America's Pac, began running ads last month in more than two dozen congressional districts.The campaign discusses issues ranging from warrantless wiretapping to school choice, but the most inflammatory spots pertain to abortion.

"Black babies are terminated at triple the rate of white babies," a female announcer in one of the ads says, as rain, thunder, and a crying infant are heard in the background. "The Democratic Party supports these abortion laws that are decimating our people, but the individual's right to life is protected in the Republican platform. Democrats say they want our vote.Why don't they want our lives?"

...

Another spot attempts to link Democrats to a white supremacist who served as a Republican in the Louisiana Legislature, David Duke.The ad makes reference to Duke's trip to Syria last year, where he spoke at an anti-war rally.

"I can understand why a Ku Klux Klan cracker like David Duke makes nice with the terrorists,"a male voice in the ad says. "What I want to know is why so many of the Democrat politicians I helped elect are on the same side of the Iraq war as David Duke."

According to the New York Sun, Herman Cain was the spokesperson for the group and personally voiced some of the radio ads:

The group referred calls from The New York Sun to a conservative, African-American talk show host who voiced some of the ads, Herman Cain.

"The main thing that America's Pac is up to is it basically is challenging the thesis or the belief on the part of the Republican Party that they cannot attract the black vote," Mr. Cain said. He said similar advertisements run in 2004 helped boost President Bush's share of the black vote in Ohio to 16%, from 9% in 2000.

"We don't believe that was an accident," Mr. Cain said. The IRS filing indicates that the ads are running this year in 10 battleground states, including Ohio, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Mr. Cain, who once managed the Godfather's Pizza chain and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Georgia in 2004, said he was not troubled that Mr. Rooney, who is white, is funding ads using black voices who claim to speak on behalf of the black community."You don't have a lot of black billionaires who would want to fund something like this," he said.

We managed to track down the audio of one of America's PAC's most infamous ads a while back and uploaded it to YouTube:

Is that Cain featured in the ad?  We don't know for sure - it kind of sounds like him, but it is entirely possible that it is not him ... but since nobody seems willing to ask Cain about the ads and his role with the organization, it is impossible to know.

It is known that Cain was a voice and spokesman for the America's PAC ad series, so even if he didn't voice this particular ad, it seems worth asking him which ads he did voice and whether he feels ads about a "Ku Klux Klan cracker" or snuffing the seed of "one of your hoes" are appropriate, especially since even the RNC denounced the ad's "racist or race-baiting in intent."

Values Voter Summit 2011 & America in 2013

As RWW readers know, the Values Voter Summit, the year’s biggest political gathering for the Religious Right, took place in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Every Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Jon Huntsman addressed the summit, evidence of the continuing importance of Religious Right activists and political groups to the GOP. Polls suggest that the Religious Right is about twice as big as the Tea Party, with significant overlap between the two movements. Ron Paul’s campaign packed in enough voters to win the straw poll, but it would be wrong to say he was the favorite of the Values Voter crowd. It was up-and-coming candidate Herman Cain who won the loudest cheers (and took second place).

The two days of speeches from presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and Religious Right activists painted a clear picture of where they’ll try to take the country if they are successful in their 2012 electoral goals.  In their America, banks and corporations would be free from pesky consumer and worker protections; there would be no Environmental Protection Agency and no federal support for education; women would have no access to abortion; gays would be second-class citizens; and for at least some of them, religious minorities would have to know their place and be grateful that they are tolerated in this Christian nation. 
 
Here’s a recap of some major themes from the conference.
 
Religious Bigotry on Parade
 
In one of the most extreme expressions of the “Christian nation” approach to government, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has stated repeatedly that the religious liberty of non-Christians is not protected by the First Amendment.  More specifically, he says Mormons are not protected by the First Amendment.  For whatever reason, VVS organizers scheduled Romney and Fischer back-to-back on Saturday morning. 
 
Before the conference, People For the American Way called on Romney to take on Fischer’s bigotry, which he did, albeit in a vague and tepid manner, criticizing “poisonous” rhetoric without naming Fischer or explaining why his views are poison.  Getting greater media attention were comments by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who in his introduction of Texas Gov. Rick Perry insisted on the importance of electing a “genuine” follower of Christ. Reporters who accurately saw this as a swipe at Romney’s faith asked Jeffress about it, and he labeled Mormonism a cult.  (Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians, including Southern Baptists, believe Mormon theology is anything but.)  Following Romney at the microphone, Fischer doubled down, insisting that the next president has to be a Christian “in the mold of” the founding fathers.  Fischer’s inaccurate sense of history is eclipsed only by his lack of respect for church-state separation and for the Constitution itself – even though he insisted that his religious test for the presidency was really a “political test.” Romney took only four percent in the VVS straw poll, even though he has been leading in recent polls of GOP voters.
 
Beating up on Obama
 
Religious Right leaders routinely denounce President Barack Obama, so it is no surprise that a major theme of the VVS was attacking the president and his policies.  Perhaps the nicest thing anyone said about the president was Mitt Romney’s snide remark that Obama is “the conservative movement’s top recruiter.”    Among the nastiest came from virtue-monger Bill Bennett, who said, “if you voted for him last time to prove you are not a racist, you must vote against him this time to prove you are not an idiot.” Rep. Anne Buerkle, one of the Tea Party freshmen, said flat out that the president is not concerned about what is best for the country. 
 
Health care and foreign policy were top policy targets.  Many speakers denounced “Obamacare,” and most of the presidential candidates promised to make dismantling health care reform a top priority. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Religious Right favorite who is leading a legal challenge to the health care reform law, said that if the Supreme Court did not overturn it, Americans would go from being citizens to subjects.  Just about every speaker attacked President Obama for not being strong enough in support of Israel, and repeated a favorite right-wing talking point by pledging to “never apologize” for U.S. actions abroad.
 
Gays as Enemies of Liberty
 
It is clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate and White House would put advances toward equality for LGBT Americans in peril.  Speaker after speaker denounced the recent repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers in the armed forces; many also attacked marriage equality for same-sex couples.  And many portrayed liberty as a zero-sum game, insisting that advances toward equality posed a dire threat to religious liberty. Rep. Mike Pompeo said “You cannot use our military to promote social ideals that do not reflect the values of our nation,” concluding his remarks with a call for the election of more Republicans, saying “ride to the sounds of the guns and send us more troops.”
Another member of the 2010 freshman class – Rep. Vicky Hartzler – attacked the Obama administration for “trying to use the military to advance their social agenda,” saying, “It’s wrong and it must be stopped.” Predictably, the AFA’s Fischer was the most vitriolic and insisted that the country needs a president “who will treat homosexual behavior not as a political cause at all but as a threat to public health.”
 
Loving Wall Street, Hating Wall Street Protesters
 
On the same day that moving pictures of Kol Nidre services at the site of Occupy Wall Street protests made the rounds on the Internet, Values Voter Summit speakers portrayed the protests as dangerous and violent.  Others simply mocked the protesters without taking seriously the objections being raised to growing inequality and economic hardship in America.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the “growing mobs” associated with the protests and decried “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” (Too bad he didn’t stick around to hear the rest of the speakers).  Glenn Beck denounced “Jon Stewart Marxism” and warned that the protests were the sign of an approaching “storm of biblical proportions” in which “the violent left” would smash, tear down, kill, bankrupt, and destroy.  Pundit Laura Ingraham simply made fun of the protesters and held up her own “hug the rich” sign.  Rising star Herman Cain defended Wall Street, blaming the nation’s economic crisis on policymakers, not reckless and irresponsible financiers.  Nobody wanted to regulate the financiers; speakers called for a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. 
 
A number of speakers promoted Christian Reconstructionist notions of “Biblical economics,” with Star Parker declaring that “this whole notion of redistribution of wealth is inconsistent with scripture” and calling for the selection of a candidate with commitment to the free market according to the Bible.  Ron Paul also insisted “debt is not a political principle.”  The AFA’s Bryan Fischer said that liberalism is based on violating two of the Ten Commandments, namely thou shall not steal, and thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Liberalism, he said, is “driven by angry, bitter, acquisitive greed for the wealth of productive Americans.” 
 
No Love for Libertarians
 
A major theme at last year’s Values Voter Summit, as at other recent Religious Right political events, was an effort to make social-issue libertarians unwelcome in the conservative movement by insisting that you cannot legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative if you are not also pushing “traditional family values.”  The same theme was sounded this year by the very first speaker, Tony Perkins.  Another, Joe Carter, took a shot at gay conservatives, saying it was not possible to be conservative and for gay marriage – it simply made you a “liberal who likes tax cuts.”  Carter said “social conservative” should be redundant. Ingraham echoed the theme, calling for an end to conservative modifiers (social, fiscal, national security) and, echoing popular Christian writer C.S. Lewis, called for a commitment to “mere conservatism.”  There were far fewer mentions of the Tea Party movement itself at this year’s VVS, perhaps owing to the movement’s unpopularity – or to the fact that the GOP itself has essentially become one big Tea Party party.
 
Crying Wolf on Religious Persecution
 
Religious Right leaders routinely energize movement activists with dire warnings about threats to religious liberty and the alleged religious persecution of Christians in America.  William Bennett said liberals are bigoted against “people who publicly love their God, who publicly love their country.”  Retired Gen. William Boykin said Christians are facing the greatest persecution ever in America.   The American Center for Law & Justice’s Jay Sekulow warned that the next president will probably select two Supreme Court justices, and that if it isn’t a conservative president, our Judeo-Christian values could be “eliminated.”  Crying wolf about persecution of Christians in America is offensive given the very real suffering of people in countries that do not enjoy religious freedom.  Several speakers addressed the case of a Christian pastor facing death in Iran.  That is persecution; having your political tactics challenged or losing a court case is not.
 
America is Exceptional; Europe Sucks
 
Republican strategists decided a couple of years ago that “American exceptionalism” would be a campaign theme in 2010 and 2012, and we heard plenty of talk about it at the Values Voter Summit.  Among the many who spoke about American exceptionalism was Rep. Steve King, who said “this country was ordained and built by His hand,” that the Declaration of Independence was written with divine guidance, and that God moved the founding fathers around the globe like chess pieces .  Liberals, said the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, don’t share a belief in American exceptionalism or the American dream. Many speakers contrasted a freedom-loving, God-fearing America to socialist, post-Christian Europe.  Rick Perry said “those in the White House” don’t believe in American exceptionalism; they’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.  Gen. Boykin declared Europe “hopelessly lost.”
 
Smashing the Regulatory State
 
The anti-government, anti-regulatory fervor of billionaire right-wing funders like the Koch brothers was on vibrant display at the VVS.  Without the slightest nod to the fact that regulating the behavior of corporations’ treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment is in any way beneficial, a member of a Heritage Foundation panel said conservatives’ goal should be to “break the back” of the “regulatory state.”  Some presidential candidates vowed to halt every regulation issued during the Obama administration.  Michele Bachmann said her goal was to “dismantle” the bureaucracy.
 
Judging Judges
 
Many speakers criticized judges for upholding abortion rights, church-state separation, and gay rights. Newt Gingrich took these attacks to a whole new level, calling for right-wing politicians to provoke a  constitutional crisis in which the legislative and executive branch would ignore court rulings they didn’t like.  He called the notion of “judicial supremacy” an “affront to the American system of self-government.” Aside from Gingrich’s very dubious constitutional theory, the speech seemed out of place at a conference in which speakers had been calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
 
Deconstructing the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’
 
VVS speakers love quoting the Declaration of Independence, but some are clearly a little troubled with the notion that the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right, one that might apply, for example, to happy, loving gay couples.  Rick Santorum said that the founders’ understanding of “happiness” meant “the morally right thing” and doing what God wants.  Steve King said the  pursuit of happiness was not like a tailgate party, but the pursuit of excellence in moral and spiritual development.  Michele Bachman has equated the pursuit of happiness with private property.
 
Notably weird speeches
 
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel gave a meandering address that moved from U.S. policy on Israel to the war on Islamic radicalism to an attack on the United Nations to denunciations of sexologist Alfred Kinsey and humanist/educator John Dewey for undermining western civilization. He warned against conservatives using rhetoric that might push the growing Latino population into the maw of the “leftist machine,” making an aside about Latinos whose names end in “z” having a special connection to Israel.
 
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who ended up taking third place in the straw poll, seemed personally hurt that conservative evangelicals weren’t rallying around him given all that he had done for them and the price he had paid for it.  He whined, “Don’t you want a president who’s comfortable in his shoes talking about these issues?”
 
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that people who support marriage equality or legal abortion don’t do so because they have a value system supporting those things, but because they want to spite the Religious Right – “because they know it’s precious to us.”
 
Former Fox TV personality Glenn Beck gave a trademark lurching speech contrasting visceral anger with his recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s “with malice toward none.” The speech was long on mockery of Wall Street protestors and on the messianic narcissism that was on display at his Lincoln Memorial rally last year.  “We need to give America the same choice” that Moses gave Israel, he said: good or evil, light or dark, life or death, freedom or slavery.  He said America is in a religious war, a race war, a class war, and other wars.  In one breath he insisted that the nation “must return to God” and talked about the “country’s salvation” – and in the next he denounced the notion of “collective salvation,” which he has elsewhere attributed to President Obama and denounced as evil and satanic.
 

Religious Right Hoping to Exploit Hispanic Frustration with Obama

Even before the opening bell at the Values Voter Summit, the Liberty Counsel hosted a breakfast on messaging and outreach to Hispanic Americans. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver shared the stage with Tony Calatayud, a Miami-based activist who works for the Spanish language arm of Christian radio Salem Communications.   Calatayud, who helped Marco Rubio get elected to the U.S. Senate from Florida, now travels the country helping to identify and support conservative Hispanic candidates with the group Conservadores.

Staver said that Hispanic unhappiness with Barack Obama is “a really good thing going into 2012.” Calatayud agreed. The growing Hispanic community could be a huge electoral force for conservatives, he said, if only Republicans would stop alienating Hispanic voters with “idiotic” anti-immigrant rhetoric. He said “the Hispanic evangelical movement in this country is exploding” and said repeatedly that Hispanics are “conservative in nature” and share the Religious Right’s values on social issues. Polls suggest, in fact, that Latinos are pro-LGBT equality, but also that Latino evangelicals are more politically conservative than Latino Catholics.
 
Calatayud argued that conservative leaders need to make a “covenant” with “Kingdom-minded” Latino leaders and support an approach to immigration that includes four points: border security first; family reunification; a guest worker program; and “just integration” (a term he attributed to Sam Rodriguez) of the 12-15 million undocumented people already in the country. Calatayud said he didn’t want to hear the word “amnesty” ever again; he and Staver complained about Republicans who use the word “amnesty” to describe anything short of mass deportation. Calatayud got a polite but quiet hearing from the audience for his presentation on immigration; the only applause came when, in response to a question, he affirmed his belief that everyone must learn English.
 
Calatayud also insisted that the eventual Republican candidate must build a “covenant” relationship with Latino evangelical pastors and devote real money to campaign outreach. He said he had hoped Marco Rubio would run this time around; he predicts Rubio will not accept a VP slot this year, but believes he will be the GOP nominee in 2016 or 2020.

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

Tea Party Nation Urges Monday Night Football Boycott, Backs Hank Williams For Senate

After Hank Williams Jr. compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler and called him “the enemy” during a Fox News interview, ESPN dropped his theme song on Monday Night Football. Williams later acknowledged that his comments were “extreme” but didn’t back down from the analogy. Now, Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips wants Williams Jr. to run for U.S. Senate in Tennessee and wants members to stop watching Monday Night Football “until Hank Williams is brought back to sing the intro to MNF”:

No Hank, no Monday Night Football, ESPN, owned by far left leaning Disney struck back at Hank Williams today, taking his trademark, “Are you ready for some football?” song off fo [sic] the opening of Monday night football.

Why? Williams dared to insult Disney darling Obama.



Earlier this year, ESPN reprimanded Golf commentator Paul Azinger for an anti-Obama tweet.

From USA Today in August:

UPDATE: ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Thursday the commander in chief plays more golf than he does -- and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.



As much as I love sports, I have just about had it with ESPN. Until Hank Williams is brought back to sing the intro to MNF, I won’t watch it and I encourage everyone else to turn off MNF.

Hank Williams, Jr. is rumored to be thinking about running for the US Senate in Tennessee. As a Tennessean, all I can say is, “Run Hank Run!”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Pressure Begins to Yield Results as Senate Takes Steps to Confirm 10 Judicial Nominees.
  • Towleroad: Anti-Gay Activists Using Child Molestation to Fool People Into Signing Petition Against California LGBT History Bill.
  • Dallas Voice: Group says FW teacher was harassed by student he punished for saying homosexuality is wrong.

Porter: Because Of My Heartbeat Bill, God Will Again Bless America

Janet Porter saved the big guns for last when she organized her Heartbeat Bill rally last week.  After speakers were done comparing supporters of the effort to Moses and likening women's health centers to concentration camps, Dutch Sheets and Lou Engle took to the podium to beseech God to pass this legislation.  While Sheets asked God to give no rest and no peace to Ohio senators until they agree to pass the bill and "end this curse in America," Engle screamed out, calling upon God to break the demonic spiritual powers over the Senate so that Senators will receive dreams and visions that will cause them to vote for this bill:

The event was closed out by Porter herself, who wept knowing that because of the passage of her legislation, God would finally be able to bless America once again:

Engle: "God Has Something To Say To Us In Walmart Parking Lots"

Lou Engle traveled to Columbus, Ohio last week to join Janet Porter, Wendy Wright, Jim Garlow, Bob McKeown, Dutch Sheets and other Religious Right leaders at Faith 2 Action’s rally promoting Porter’s Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases. The legislation has passed the state House, but the Republican leadership in the Senate has been reluctant to hold a vote on the bill, which is so extreme and clearly unconstitutional that it’s even opposed by the Ohio Right to Life Society.

In a speech at the rally, Engle repeated his assertions that the Joplin tornado was God’s judgment for abortion and that President Barack Obama should issue a new “emancipation proclamation” to ban abortion. But he also told the story of how his daughter fractured her head after falling in a Walmart parking lot in Toledo: “I didn’t understand it,” Engle said while holding his daughter, “until just this moment that that’s how God feels for every baby.” He went on to discuss an email he read about a girl who said that the LIFE wristband she lost in a Walmart parking lot convinced a woman not to have an abortion. He concluded, “God has something to say to us in Walmart parking lots, prayer is moving this nation!”

Watch:

Anti-Muslim, Religious Right Leaders Come Together For "Preserving Freedom Conference"

This November a coalition of anti-Muslim and Religious Right groups are hosting “The Constitution or Sharia—Preserving Freedom Conference” in Nashville, Tennessee, dubbed “the first national conference on Sharia and the Islamization of America.” The location does not seem to be coincidental: the Tennessee legislature recently weighed a bill that would make it a felony to follow Sharia law and the town of Murfreesboro, just south of Nashville, has witnessed vicious anti-Muslim attacks and arson against a planned mosque. A lawsuit against the mosque declared that Islam is not a religion and therefore Muslims do not deserve First Amendment protections. Presidential candidate Herman Cain went to Murfreesboro to condemn the planned mosque as an “abuse of our freedom of religion,” before declaring that municipalities have a right to ban mosques.

The summit features panels on issues such as “Fighting Islamist Propaganda in the Media,” “Grassroots Organizing Against Sharia and Rabats (including Mega-Mosques),” and “Defending Liberty In Legislatures.” The chief sponsor of the event is the extremist media outlet WorldNetDaily and speakers include a mix of the usual anti-Muslim activists including Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney and Pamela Geller, along with Religious Right leaders who have consistently attacked the rights of Muslims such as Jay Sekulow, Mat Staver, Andrea and Jim Lafferty, E.W. Jackson and William Murray. Michele Bachmann is listed an invited speaker but has not been confirmed:

• Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America and Atlas Shrugs
• Robert Spencer of Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch
• Jay Sekulow of American Center for Law and Justice
• Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel
• William J. Murray of Religious Freedom Coalition and No 911 Mosque
• Frank Gaffney of Center for Security Policy
• Christopher Holton of Center for Security Policy
• Lou Ann Zelenik of Tennessee Freedom Coaltion
• Andrea Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition
• James Lafferty of Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force
• Barrister Paul Diamond, United Kingdom
• Father Keith Roderick
• Bishop Earl W. Jackson
• Fred Grandy - Actor and former congressman
• Wafa Sultan
• Rev. Dr. Mark Durie, Australia

Lou Ann Zelenik is best known for the malicious anti-Muslim themes in her unsuccessful campaign for Congress last year, which focused on stopping the Murfreesboro mosque development. E.W. Jackson is currently relying heavily on anti-Muslim rhetoric in his bid for U.S. Senate in Virginia.

This won’t be the first time Religious Right leaders and anti-Muslim activists have come together at a major event, and anti-Muslim activists have started appearing frequently on Christian conservative radio outlets.

With another gathering set to demonize Muslims and hype fears of “creeping Sharia,” the Religious Right’s ostensible commitment to religious freedom yet again doesn’t translate into freedom for non-Christian faiths.

For example, notice the involvement of “William J. Murray of Religious Freedom Coalition and No 911 Mosque.” As Kyle noted last year in a post about Murray, the Religious Freedom Coalition is “dedicated to the equality of all mankind and the freedom of religious expression” but is also running a campaign determined to stop Muslims from having those same rights by trying to block the construction of the Park 51 Islamic Community Center. The center opened last week without protests, and so far, Lower Manhattan is not under the rule of Sharia law.

Porter's Israel Coalition Promotes Claim That September 11 Attacks Represented God's Judgment

While right now Janet Porter is focused on using spiritual warfare to persuade the Ohio State Senate to pass her anti-choice ‘Heartbeat bill,’ she continues to lead the Christian Zionist group ‘Israel: You’re Not Alone.’ Porter was able to bring together an impressive list of supporters including well known conservative leaders Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, Mat Staver, and Tim Wildmon, and during the group’s introductory press conference accused President Obama of carrying out “ethnic cleansing.”

On September 11th the organization released a statement calling for “repentance of the sin pervading the Earth and its inhabitants” and a plea for “media outlets to consider the material presented in a 10-minute video and to present this to their viewers, listeners, or readers in some format.”

The graphic video Porter’s group advertises was made by preacher Carl Gallups and depicts the September 11th attacks as a “biblical sign of judgment” and calls out politicians for the “arrogance of defiance” which is “the highest insult against the Most High God”:

“The eight harbingers of judgment pronounced on Israel,” Gallups claims, “are identically pronounced on the United States of America and have been acted out by our own nation’s leaders.” Gallups concludes:

It was in New York City where America began as a nation, it was where this nation was started, and it was there that the warning of the judgment of God was given on September 11, 2001. America on its day of birth of a nation was dedicated to God at the corner of a plot of land now known by a more ominous name, now known as Ground Zero. Ground Zero is the mystery place of American history; it was right there at the corner of Ground Zero that our nation’s first government knelt and prayed and it was there on September 11th where God spoke again. What happens to America, and probably soon, will depend upon whether America is willing to repent and turn back to God, or not.

Along with Huckabee, other Religious Right activists that signed onto her coalition include James Robison, Lou Sheldon, Jerry Boykin, Rick Scarborough, Rob Schenck, Paul Blair, Don Feder, Bill Federer, Gordon Klingenschmitt, and E.W. Jackson, and New Apostolic Reformation figures Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Che Ahn, Don Finto, Robert Stearns and Chuck Pierce. The signatories also included the Messianic Jewish Alliance and Toward Jerusalem Council II, which both work to convert Jews to Christianity.

While partnering with an extremist like Porter should’ve been alarming enough, do Mike Huckabee and the countless other conservative leaders want to continue their partnership with a group that endorses the claim that the September 11th attacks were a “biblical sign of judgment”?

Personhood USA Sets Sights On Ohio

Mississippi is set to vote this November on a patently unconstitutional personhood amendment that would criminalize abortion in their state, and ‘personhood’ advocates now strive to put a similar amendment on the ballot in Ohio in 2012. Personhood laws would not only prohibit abortion in all cases but also ban certain forms of birth control and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies by giving legal rights to zygotes. The anti-choice activists hope that Ohio will vote on it at the same time as the swing state’s closely contested presidential election. Right now Ohio is on the brink of passing Janet Porter’s ‘Heartbeat bill’ that would ban abortion in the vast majority of cases, but Porter has taken heat that her prized legislation doesn’t go as far as personhood laws.

The American Family Association, which is financing the personhood campaign in Mississippi, reports that Personhood Ohio, the state affiliate of Personhood USA, wants the amendment, if passed, enforced even if it is struck down by the courts. “There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives,” said Patrick Johnston of Personhood Ohio, “We don't have to obey them:

A campaign is under way in Ohio to place a Personhood Amendment on the 2012 ballot.

Article 1, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution currently reads: "All persons are, by nature, free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life..." The Personhood Amendment would add that "the word 'person' or 'persons' applies to every human being at every stage of biological development of that human being or human organism, including fertilization."

The idea is to amend the state constitution to define that a person is a person when human life begins at conception or fertilization. Dr. Patrick Johnston of Zanesville, a family physician who heads the campaign, says the constitutional addition would protect all unborn babies in Ohio, without exception. Personhood Ohio volunteers must now obtain 380,000 signatures to call for the election.

"It's a good state to go directly to the voters to gather enough signatures, and then go to the voters and the ballot box and bypass the committees that end up corrupting good pro-life legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate," Johnston explains.

That corruption, he sayts [sic], reaches the point where exceptions are made that result in abortions. But he believes Ohio's pro-life leaning is strong, so even if a court rules against it, it does not necessarily mean anything.

"There [are] several constitutional measures we can take," the physician asserts. "One is we can ignore it. There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives. We don't have to obey them."

Indiana Republican Congressmen Use Taxpayer Money For FRC Training

Roll Call reports today that four Republican congressmen sent staffers to the Indiana Family Institute with funding from their congressional office accounts. “The April payments of $500 from Indiana GOP Reps. Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton and Todd Young and $1,000 from Rep. Todd Rokita to the Indiana Family Institute stand out because it is rare for Congressional offices to make direct payments to political organization,” Paul Singer writes, adding that “the Members also offer their time to the IFI for the training sessions.”

The Indiana Family Institute is the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, and led the push the defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana and for the legislature to place a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot. The group also claimed it successfully defeated an anti-bullying bill because it would “allow homosexual activists to silence free speech.”

According to its manual Ignite: An Enduring Cultural Transformation, the IFI describes its political goals of fighting the “radical liberal agenda” and training leaders “grounded in a biblical worldview”:

You see, Indiana Family Institute (IFI) is unique. Strategically, IFI works at the state level to unite a coalition of allied national and local organizations. Operationally, IFI works effectively in all three areas – education, legislative, accountability – required to truly transform the culture. Philosophically, IFI works on a wide range of culture-defining issues. Organizationally, IFI works to engage churches, pastors, and their members in their government. God has blessed IFI with the unique opportunity to be a catalyst for cultural transformation.



Cultural transformation begins with leadership. Leadership of all ages and backgrounds. Leadership grounded in a biblical worldview. Leadership armed with the information and skills to influence others. IFI’s educational programs work to identify, train, and activate these leaders across Indiana both in the home and the public square.

IFI’s political goals include: Pass the Marriage Amendment. Pass a bill to stop tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood, Indiana’s largest abortion provider. Oppose Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, etc. efforts to push their radical liberal agenda.



IFI’s legislative programs provide a strong and respected voice for values in the legislature.

In the last several years alone, IFI has actively engaged on numerous critical pieces of legislation. By God’s grace and thanks to the generous support of loyal donors, IFI was successful in many of those battles – including working to pass the Marriage Amendment through the Indiana House once and the Indiana Senate five times (though former House Speaker Pat Bauer ultimately stopped it from being placed on the ballot) and defeating multiple bills by Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood and other radical leftist groups that would have diminished religious liberty, used the government as a tool to promote homosexuality and expanded abortion in Indiana.

Barton: Demonic Powers Control Parts of the U.S. Government

Prior to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, we posted video of one of the rally’s official endorsers, John Benefiel, claiming that demonic spirits ruling Washington, D.C. were literally warping the minds of politicians and elected officials. Benefiel, who leads the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, is not alone in this view.

David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who has counseled leading Republicans like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, similarly believes that demonic principalities are literally controlling parts of government and that Christians must engaged in spiritual warfare to combat them. Barton is an advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, which as Lance Wallnau explains, requires spiritual warfare against the demons that control the seven mountains of society.

In last year’s “In God We Trust” series, televangelist Kenneth Copeland asked Barton why politicians “change when they moved to Washington.” Citing Ephesians 6:12, Barton claimed that politics is a “spiritual battle” because demonic principalities literally “sit over” and control areas in the Capitol. These principalities, Barton says, prevent prayers from working because they are “fighting in the Heavenlies” and make politicians “think really goofy.”

Watch:

I’ll tell you one of the things too we’ll never get right until we understand this, it is a spiritual battle. We’re told in Ephesians, it’s not flesh in blood, we’re dealing with spirits. And I’ll tell you out of Daniel, praying, why did that answer get delayed for twenty-one days? Because the Prince of Persia fought against it. There are principalities that sit over certain areas.

And I can tell this in the U.S. Capitol. When I walk from the House side to the Senate side, I cross the middle line of the Capitol, I can feel a different principality because they have jurisdictions over different things. And there are principalities that sit over different government entities that cause them to think really goofy and you can’t get prayers through, they get delayed twenty-one days because the principalities are up there fighting in the Heavenlies.

Because we’re not fighting flesh and blood. And if you don’t understand this is a spiritual battle, and if you don’t understand there are really big principalities and powers sitting over places of power, whether it be banking, or education. There’s principalities that sit over schools to keep those kids from getting knowledge, there’s principalities that sit over financial institutions. They sit over households. That’s why you have principalities in powers, that gradation, you have the corporals, and you have the sergeants, and you have the lieutenants, the captains and the generals, and the generals have a bigger principality and those little corporals may have control over the house but it’s a spiritual battle.

It’s a spiritual battle and we’ll never win until we understand that.
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senate Posts Archive

Josh Glasstetter, Monday 04/29/2013, 12:33pm
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Josh Glasstetter, Monday 12/17/2012, 6:00pm
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Josh Glasstetter, Monday 12/17/2012, 2:46pm
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Josh Glasstetter, Monday 12/17/2012, 2:29pm
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Josh Glasstetter, Monday 12/17/2012, 1:01pm
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will announce shortly that she has picked Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to head up the right-wing Heritage Foundation. DeMint’s imminent retirement is seen by many as a setback for the Tea Party, which had a genuine champion in DeMint, and a sign that the movement’s best days are behind it. But the Tea Party is still raging in South Carolina, and Scott is poised to become its new Senate standard-bearer. Tim Scott was elected to Congress in 2010, becoming the first African-American Republican to represent South... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 1:12pm
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Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 3:50pm
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