Separation of Church and State

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton to Teach Two-Day Seminar for Arkansas Legislators

If Rep. Michele Bachmann believes that David Barton is qualified to teach members of Congress about the Constitution, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Arkansas Family Council is bringing Barton in for a two-day seminar to impart his wisdom to state legislators and government officials:

A political activist who claims America was founded on biblical principles has been invited to speak to elected officials at the state Capitol later this month.

The Christian conservative Family Council has asked David Barton to hold a seminar for state legislators and constitutional officers on Jan. 25 and 26 and has reserved the Old Supreme Court chamber on those dates, said Jerry Cox, the group's executive director.

Barton, of Aledo, Texas, is the founder of the group WallBuilders and the author of several books on American history. Cox said he has spoken with Barton and is 90 percent certain he will accept the invitation.

Barton has argued that the Founding Fathers intended for the United States to be a Christian nation and did not support the separation of church and state as the phrase is understood today. Cox said Barton will discuss his views on the proper role of government, including his belief that "helping the poor ... is primarily a function of the church," not government.

Cox said he agrees with Barton's views and wants to help educate lawmakers who will be sworn into office next week, the first week of the legislative session.

"I want to help our lawmakers understand what the role of government is and then try to keep the laws that we pass within the bounds of the proper role of government," he said.

Maybe Barton will use the seminar to encourage Arkansas legislators to regulate gay sex.

Santorum: “Democracy and freedom will disappear” under Obama

Rick Santorum continues to test the waters for a presidential run in the Republican primary, now with a fresh profile in today’s Washington Post. While candidacies from Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mike Pence may leave little room for Santorum to campaign as the Religious Right’s favored contender, he seems to be doing everything right to play to his social conservative base: denouncing John F. Kennedy’s famous speech on the separation of church and state, campaigning against Iowa Supreme Court justices, donating to Republicans in early primary states through his leadership PAC, and declaring himself the only Tea Party presidential aspirant. And of course, nothing riles the right wing base more than ominous rhetoric about President Obama:

Santorum still breathes fire. In his evolving stump speech, he frames the prospect of Obama's reelection in near-apocalyptic terms: "Democracy and freedom will disappear." His agenda consists of stopping pretty much everything that has been set in motion in the past two years, starting with the overhaul of the nation's health-care system.

After losing his 2006 reelection bid for Senate by a lopsided 59% to 41% margin, Santorum hopes that Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are much kinder:

"I'm feeling like doors are opening," the Republican former senator from Pennsylvania mused over his decaf. "Things are happening that maybe give me the impression that maybe I need to look at this seriously."

So seriously that Santorum was on his seventh trip to New Hampshire since April. Not to mention seven to Iowa over the past 14 months and seven to South Carolina in that time.

It had been a busy day: morning meetings with influential New Hampshire Republicans and grass-roots leaders, a luncheon with the Manchester Rotary Club, a dash to the seacoast for a private audience with former governor John Sununu, a dinner with GOP activist Claira Monier, then a question-and-answer session with the Goffstown-Weare Republican Committee.

Santorum had yet another meeting that evening back at his hotel. Before heading home the next day, he would get in an early-morning speech to a second Rotary chapter, a round of media interviews, more face time with GOP activists. Oh, and he'd make it to Mass at a nearby church.

This is what the embryonic days of a long-shot presidential campaign look like.

"If someone gets in the race that I feel really comfortable could do the things that need to be done - both winning and governing - then maybe this is a chance to say, 'Let this cup pass,' " Santorum said. "At this point, given what I see out there, I'm not feeling that."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/07/10

Newt Gingrich

2012: Cillizza profiles Gingrich’s closest aides as he readies possible bid (The Fix, 12/6).

Iowa: Gingrich’s “American Solutions” donated $107,500 to Iowa politicians and state GOP (US News, 12/3).

Immigration: Voices support for immigration reform to conservative Latino convention (Politico, 12/2).

Mike Huckabee

2012: Seriously considers bid as Iowa and South Carolina polls look favorable to candidacy (Politico, 12/6).

Religious Right: Defends FRC from “hate group” label, asks if “60 percent of America is a hate group?” (Walton Sun, 12/5).

Book: New book tour seems like a “dry run for presidency” (Fresno Bee, 12/2).

Sarah Palin

GOP: Declines Tea Party Nation’s draft campaign to have Palin run for RNC Chair (CNN, 12/6).

Reality TV: TV career takes off as the latest episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” features Reality TV star Kate Gosselin (Forbes, 12/6).

Religious Right: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend writes op-ed challenging Palin’s views on church-state separation (WaPo, 12/3).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: AP looks into the ghostwriter of Pawlenty’s book “Courage to Stand” (AP, 12/7).

Experience: Defends record as governor, calling himself a stalwart conservative in a progressive state (Politico, 12/5).

PAC: Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC spent over $300,000 in last weeks before election (CNN, 12/2).

Mitt Romney

Business: Set to address small business convention in Las Vegas (RCP, 12/6).

Foreign Affairs: Pens op-ed criticizing START Treaty (Boston Globe, 12/3).

FOX: Tells Jay Leno that Fox News job is “not in the cards” (The Cutline, 12/2).

Rick Santorum

PAC: Santorum’s Keystone PAC focused on helping candidates in Iowa and South Carolina (CNN, 12/6).

South Carolina: Speaks to GOP county organizations, including a roast for retiring congressmen (Post & Courier, 12/6).

Religious Right: Plans to make another speech criticizing Kennedy’s views of separation of church and state (The Hill, 12/5).

Censorship-Advocate Bill Donohue’s History of Right Wing Demagoguery

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, with allies such as House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, succeeded in their multi-pronged attack to censor the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek” exhibit. They called on the Smithsonian to censor the work of artist David Wojnarowicz, whose work was meant “to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim” (side note: today is World AIDS Day). Even though the exhibit is completely supported by private funding, right wing leaders misleadingly portrayed “Hide/Seek” as a taxpayer funded exhibit. Donohue blasted the exhibit as “anti-Christian,” and ultimately the Smithsonian agreed to remove Wojnarowicz’s video.

Wojnarowicz is not the first target of Donohue’s fear-mongering, and he certainly won’t be Donohue’s last.

Right Wing Watch monitors Donohue’s extremism, and compiled some of his most extreme views on politics, religion, and the separation of church and state, in Bill Donohue: In His Own Words:

On Child Molestation

  • In response to then-Congressman Mark Foley’s efforts to defend his abusive conduct as having been molested by his priest as a child, he said “Most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested” and asked then-Congressman Mark Foley, “So why did you?
  • “Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the ‘abuse’ to continue until he was 18? The use of the quotes is deliberate: the charge against the former priest is not rape, but rubbing. While still objectionable, there is a glacial difference between being rubbed and raped.”
  • “No institution, religious or secular, has less of a problem with the issue of sexual abuse today than the Catholic Church.”

On Holidays

  • “There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crèches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of “Silent Night” at municipal concerts, etc…. By celebrating Christmas we are celebrating diversity. Don’t let the cultural fascists get their way this year.”
  • Cultural fascists invoke ‘diversity’ every December as cover for neutering Christmas—they never choose some other month to practice their multicultural religion. And by the way, who are these people from other religions who hate Christmas? I never met one. It would be more accurate to say that it’s precisely the persons who make this charge who hate Christmas.”

On Jews

  • “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it.
  • “None of the media distortions of this issue excuses those in the Jewish community who have lashed out at the pope. They should know better. Is their commitment to good relations with Catholics so thin that it can wither because of something like this? We certainly hope not.”

On “Jokes”

  • “I dealt with him earlier today on an MSNBC show, and I said we could hypothesize that there’d be a Columbia University pingpong team made of Asians, and somebody goes out there and says, ‘All gooks go home’….What about the gook jokes? I want to know, why don't you have a sense of humor about gook jokes?”

On Censorship

  • Led a campaign against Phillip Pullman’s books and the Golden Compass movie: "It's selling the virtues of atheism. The real person we want to get on this is Pullman. I don't want to see these books flying off the shelves at Christmas. I want them to be collecting dust."
  • Opposed Obama speaking at Notre Dame, saying the university’s president was “bestowing an honor on someone who supports selective infanticide”

On Progressives and Progressive Christians

  • “We need more, not fewer, Catholics on the Supreme Court. But not of the Ted Kennedy kind. We need more loyal sons and daughters.”
  • Called the director of Catholics for Choice “the biggest anti-Catholic bigot in the nation”
  • On Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council, he said “If these are the best ‘committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates’ Obama can find, then it is evident that he has a ‘Wright’ problem when it comes to picking Catholic advisors.”
  • Regarding progressive Catholics, he said “it’s unfortunate that we have these people, I regard them as termites.”
  • Maintained that progressive Christians and “pro-abortion Nuns” are “no more Christian than the man in the moon.”
  • Referring to progressives, believes “today we are stuck with people who are cultural nihilists, they want to annihilate our society. They are intellectually and spiritually and morally bankrupt.”
  • “Indeed, the signature appetite of the left has always been power. Now, they are running up against the American people.”

On Obama

  • Compared Obama to leaders of the Soviet Union.

On Gays and Lesbians

  • “The idea of two men marrying is so bizarre and so anti-marriage that it is a great tribute to the American people that they continue to respect the right of gays to participate in American life without harassment while simultaneously rejecting the extremist gay agenda.”
  • “Their goal is not to contest the First Amendment rights of Catholics and others—their goal is to put religion on trial. What they are saying is that religious-based reasons for rejecting gay marriage are irrational, and thus do not meet the test of promoting a legitimate state interest.”
  • “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s god”
  • “They say we had a pedophilia problem, it’s been a homosexual problem all along.”
  • “The Times continues to editorialize about the ‘pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.
  • “Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style.”
  • “Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism.”

ADF Tried to Blame ACLU, AU for Its Unpopular Proposal

A few weeks back we took note of the on-going the controversy in King, North Carolina over the presence of a Christian flag that had been flying at a veteran's memorial in the city's Central Park.

City officials removed the flag as they tried to work out a constitutionally acceptable policy with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund.  The proposed solution that they hit upon is to create a lottery through which residents can request to fly any flag approved by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at one week intervals. 

But, of course, the idea of allowing a non-Christian flag to fly at the memorial is simply unacceptable to some: 

Carlton McKinney, a Vietnam veteran who lives just outside of King, asked whether people who bought tiles to help pay for the Veteran’s Memorial can pull up those tiles if a religious flag is flown at the memorial that they object to.

“I don’t feel right having a brick there representing me and having another flag that’s not a Christian flag,” McKinney said.

Local residents clearly are not happy wtih the proposal and Joe Infranco, the ADF attorney assisting the town, responded by blaming the entire thing on the ACLU and Americans United:

“It is certain that not everyone will be happy about this,” Infranco said. “But the policy complies with the legal guidelines and will not assist your enemies if they filed a lawsuit.”

...

“I understand how angry you are,” Infranco said last night. “I think it is important that your anger be focused in the right direction.”

He repeatedly said that if city officials allowed the Christian flag to remain at the monument, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State would sue the city and could probably win the lawsuit.

Then those groups would collect attorney fees from the city taxpayers, Infranco said.

Of course, those groups would win the lawsuit and collect fees because they are right and the current policy is unconstitutional. 

But instead of simply informing the residents of King of that, Infranco tried to place the blame for the situation entirely on the ACLU and AU. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum says none of the possible 2012 candidates can call themselves Tea Party candidates ... except himself, of course.
  • I'm curious: is Jaime Herrera going to be the first homeschooled member of Congress?
  • Looks like Rep. Michele Bachmann's leadership bid is failing.
  • Since when is Rick Scarborough considered a "California pastor"? Last time I checked, he was located in Texas.
  • The Utah chapter of the Eagle Forum sure is powerful.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Cape Coral , FL mayor John Sullivan on his effort to place the Ten Commandments inside a government building: “I don’t want to do this in a hap hazard way or open up a can of worms, but I think it is a good idea. I don’t see this as separation of church and state. Our laws were built on the Ten Commandments."

Christ The King: No Compromise Over Christian Flag In North Carolina

For months now, controversy has been raging in the town of King, North Carolina ever since a local veteran objected to the fact that a Christian flag was being flown at a veteran's memorial in the city's Central Park.

City officials eventually received letters from both the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and decided to remove the flag until they could work out a policy that was constitutional with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund.

And the decision to remove the flag in the interim set off protests

Many of the marchers’ T-shirts simply read, “Put our flag back.” Waving U.S. and Christian flags, and singing “Amazing Grace,” more than 5,000 people marched and rallied in the city of King yesterday morning to tell its city council to return the Christian flag to the Veteran’s Memorial in Central Park.

“The council didn’t get the opinions of the town of King and Stokes County,” said Pamela Swain Deszern, of Rural Hall, formerly of King. “This community stands together to support the Christian flag. It stands for God, peace, love, purity and the blood of Jesus.”

Working with the ADF, city officials finally came up with a policy last week that they felt was a fair and constitutional compromise: 

An attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund said that the city’s plan for returning the Christian flag to the Veteran’s Memorial is a fair compromise.

...

The King City Council approved a policy Monday night that eventually would allow a Christian flag to fly again at a memorial at the city’s Central Park as a part of a limited public display of religious flags recognized by the U.S. military.

Members of the Army Chaplain Corps wear four symbols on their uniforms — the Christian cross, the Jewish tablets and Star of David, the Buddhist dharma-chakra and the Muslim crescent, said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a spokesman for the U.S. Army.

There are also 41 religious symbols that can be placed on grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The city’s new policy will lay out which flags and symbols would be displayed at the memorial.

But, of course, the idea of allowing any non-Christian flag to fly is simply unacceptable:

A group formed to return the Christian flag to the King Veteran’s Memorial may file a complaint against the city to protest a policy that would allow additional flags to be displayed at the site.

...

Many of the foundation’s members are concerned that the city may allow religious flags such as the Muslim Crescent and Star flag, the satanic flag and Wiccan flag, all of which are recognized by the U.S. military, to be flown at the memorial, James said.

“There is room for expansion for this memorial,” [said Stephen James of King, an organizer of King Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Foundation.] “No one has asked for another flag to be put up there. But someone asked for our flag to be taken down.”

Under the compromise proposal, flags would fly one at a time on a rotating basis ... and so, as Americans United reports, Christian activists are working on a plan to completely monopolize the process for years to come:

This plan was revealed on the Facebook page, Christian Flag-King. The page serves to “educate, inform and update the King community and supporters to restore and keep the Christian flag flying at the Veteran’s Memorial in Central Park.” It has more than 4,000 members.

On Nov. 4, Christian Flag-King reposted a comment from Pastor Kevin Broyhill, who explained how the city can keep its sectarian bias in place. He wrote:

“The city will set the stipulations of who can fly a flag in honor of their loved one who has served in the Armed Forces. That is where the word ‘limited’ comes in. It restricts who can participate which will eliminate outsiders from taking over the pole. The idea is for Christians to fill up the reservation list and tie up the pole for years to come. This will ensure that the Christian Flag keeps flying. Calvary [Baptist Church] will buy several Christian Flags for people to use so that everyone doesn’t have to buy their own flag. We’ll even put it up for you!”

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/27

Sharron Angle

Ad: Controversy over latest anti-immigration ad, Latino groups call it “one of the ugliest anti-illegal immigrants ad campaigns in history” (AP, 10/26).

Voting: Accuses Reid camp of trying to “steal” the election (Politico, 10/26).

Campaign: Stopped paying her staff in latest FEC filing (HuffPo, 10/25).

Outside groups: Pro-GOP groups outspend Democrats 2:1 in Nevada (AP, 10/23).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Denies existence of separation of church and state (Think Progress, 10/26).

Women: Mother Jones investigates Buck’s handling of the rape case (Mother Jones, 10/26).

Ad: PFAW releases new ad on Buck’s corporate backers (PFAW, 10/25).
 

Joe Miller

Background: Records show Miller’s unethical, dishonest behavior at job (WSJ, 10/26).

Gay rights: Miller gives confusing, contradictory interview to Rachel Maddow about gay rights and federalism (HuffPo, 10/26).

Palin: Rally keynoted by Palin will feature Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint and Michele Bachmann (Politico, 10/26).

Media: Avoids press other than Fox News (CBS News, 10/21).

Christine O’Donnell

Poll: Trails Coons, especially among self-described moderates (Miami Herald, 10/27).

Constitution: Hammered for not knowing what’s in the 14th Amendment (Politico, 10/27).

Tea Party: Tea Party Express bus tour coming to Delaware (The News Journal, 10/27).

Rand Paul

Campaign: Paul campaign coordinator charged with assault, demands apology from woman he attacked (Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27; TPM, 10/27).

Health Care: Wants to repeal the “Patient’s Bill of Rights” (The Hill, 10/26).

GOP: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell embraces Paul after opposing him in the primary (Politico, 10/26).

Pat Toomey

Government: Can’t name any programs beside “study abroad” he would cut (Think Progress, 10/26).

Poll: Tied with Sestak in Reuters/Ipsos poll (TPM, 10/26).

Outside groups: Club for Growth pledges to spend an additional $1 million to boost Toomey (WSJ, 10/21).

Right Wing Round-Up

Janet Porter Prays For Control Of the Government

Earlier this year, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter lost her radio program due to her ties to Dominionists like Cindy Jacobs.  For months, Porter had been adopting the Dominionist agenda, speaking at conferences with Jacobs and praying for Christians to gain control over the media and making Seven Mountains/Dominionist theology the organizing premise behind her May Day prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial. The rally was the final straw, leading VCY America to drop her show and Porter to more or less disappear. 

But, as we noted in July, Porter had not backed away from Dominionism as a result - in fact, she had only gotten more involved and had aligned herself even more closely with Jacobs, speaking at "Deborah Company" event in Arizona this summer.

Well, I've managed to find footage of the event and here is Jacobs talking about how great it is to be a Prophet and a Mother of Nations:

God has called us to be mothers of nations. A mother of nations has her eyes open. I get up in the morning and I just radar that day. I am just looking for God to do something through me. I get up in the morning and I say "God, where's my harvest, what is my mission, what am I supposed to do? Bring people across my path."

I begin to draw people to me in intercessory prayer. I call them across my path. I call my harvest, the harvest that God has made ready. And no matter how hard-hearted they may seem, I know if they are sitting next to me on an airplane, they are my harvest.

And God just gave me that sure word because I believe that in the End Times, God will pour his spirit upon me and that I walk a supernatural path and that wherever I go, there is destiny about to happen. I'm aware of it. I may not say this to anyone, but I'm aware every place I go, everything I'm doing, every situation, I am watching. I never stop watching. Whether I'm in a store, I mean, it's wonderful to be a prophet and go into a store.

You see, it's easy because I believe that God has poured his spirit out upon me. You understand this? Because he has done that, every place and every moment that I have in my life, there's a divine encounter waiting to happen.

Later, Jacobs asks Porter to pray that Christians gain control of the mountain of government, which she eagerly does:

Father we call forth godly leaders at every single level of government. We call them forth right now to run for the city councils and county commissions, to run for office and be a public servant in the state house, to be mayors, to be governors, to be congressmen, to be senators. Even in the Executive Branch we call forth godly leaders. And we decree that they will come forth.

And Father I ask you now to release a spirit of repentance, a conviction over this country for the choices we've made, a conviction over the choices that have been made across the globe. That this conviction is will be come to our knees, that we will humble ourselves, that you will hear from Heaven, that you will forgive our sins and you'll heal our land.

Father, I call forth resources. As we saw in the state of Maine just a few days ago that Maine became the thirty-first state - 31 out of 31 - to protect marriage between one man and one woman. And we just call forth the other twenty-nice, we just call forth all fifty sates, we call forth the other countries who will stand for God's institution. Not on our watch.

And Father we call forth in this time, in this generation, the end of the slaughter of the innocent. Through the legislation, through the ballot initiatives, through the judicial branch, we decree that judicial tyranny is a thing of the past, that is must stop, it was called, it is checked, it can no longer rule this nation.

And on our watch Father, in this generation we cry that the criminalization of Christianity will not take place, that we will see freedom to proclaim your truth and your gospel in this land and across the seas. Father, that we will be again an exporter of the gospel and a proclaimer of the truth.

And Father this lie of the so-called separation of church and state, that isn't in our Constitution but that of the former Soviet Union. We break down the deception, the lie, that has kept the church in the pew. They will come out, they will be a voice in government and they will no longer remain silent.

We decree that God with godly leaders will reign and rule. That they will no longer fear men, but they will fear God. And they will proclaim the gospel in the highest office in this land. We call forth Damascus road experiences to to those who occupy and if they will not turn, we call forth for their replacement.

We shut the door that no man can open and we open the doors that no men can close in the name above all names, the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let me just point out that this woman served as co-chair of Mike Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition and regularly had Republican members of Congress on her radio program before it was canceled.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/20

Sharron Angle

Terrorism: Angle refuses to apologize to Canadian Ambassador who condemned Angle for saying that terrorists are crossing into the US from Canada (AP, 10/19).

Latinos: Says that Latino students, and herself, look Asian (NYDN, 10/19).

Ad: Claims that Harry Reid is in “the conga line” with Michelle Obama (Slate, 10/19).

Fundraising: Spent over $5 million on fundraising (Salon, 10/18).

Palin: MissesTea Party Express kickoff with Palin, who praises Angle and slams Reid (Nevada News Bureau, 10/18).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Claims that homosexuality, “like alcoholism,” is a choice (KDVR, 10/19).

Poll: New data shows Buck losing lead, in dead heat with Bennet (HuffPo, 10/19).

Women: Stands by comparison of rape allegation to “buyers remorse (Daily Kos, 10/18).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: Courage Campaign asks Fiorina to refuse support from National Organization for Marriage in internet ad (YubaNet, 10/19).

Government: Can’t name spending programs she would cut (LA Times, 10/18).

Palin: Skips rally with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele (NYT, 10/17).

Experience: Fortune magazine exposes Fiorina’s failed record running Lucent Technology (Fortune, 10/15).

Ad: Boxer hits Fiorina for backing Palin, offshore drilling, and repeal of assault weapon ban (Boxer, 10/15).

Joe Miller

GOP: NRSC spends $162,000 on ads to help Miller (WaPo, 10/19).

Ethics: Admits he broke ethics rules while working for Fairbanks; judge set to rule on disclosing more information (ADN, 10/19).

Security: Miller’s security firm under investigation for arresting reporter (Alaska Dispatch, 10/19).

Immigration: Cites East Germany as a success in wall-building (Mediaite, 10/19).

Debate: Skips debate with McAdams and Murkowski (ADN, 10/18).

Christine O’Donnell

Constitution: Questions Separation of Church and State, stumped on the content of 14th and 16th Amendments (ThinkProgress, 10/19).

Taxes: Chris Coons claims that O’Donnell can’t prove assertion that the Democrat wants a $10,000 tax increase (News Journal, 10/19).

Media: Jeffrey Shaffer looks into “Christine O'Donnell and the rise of cable TV politics” (Christian Science Monitor, 10/19).

Rand Paul

Poll: Democratic poll shows Paul trailing Conway by 2% (WaPo, 10/19).

Debate: Heated debate with Jack Conway, might back out of next one (McClatchy, 10/18).

Religion: Conway ad on “Aqua Buddha” spurs debate on religion (NYT, 10/18).

Marco Rubio

Debate: Crist dubs Rubio an “extreme right-wing candidate” in debate (Miami Herald, 10/19).

Outside groups: American Crossroads spends big to back Rubio (The Ledger, 10/18).

Palin: Campaigns with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele on Saturday (Politico, 10/18).

Pat Toomey

Outside groups: Club for Growth, formerly led by Toomey, set to expand pro-Toomey ad campaign (Washington Independent, 10/19).

Tea Party: AP looks into how Toomey won backing from both the tea party and GOP establishment (AP, 10/19).

Poll: Loses lead, now in dead heat with Joe Sestak (LA Times, 10/19).

Right Wing Round-Up

Gay Marriage In Iowa Will Lead to Incest

A few weeks back, we noted that right-wing pastors in Iowa were mobilizing to oust three Supreme Court Justices who are up for retention because of the Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year.

The leaders at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City have been very active in this effort, so much so that Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have already asked the IRS to investigate the church for violating election law.

Today, the Iowa Independent reports that one of Cornernstone's members has posted a "parody" video claiming that the next step for the Iowa Supreme Court will be to legalize incest:

Tim Hicks, who created and posted the video on YouTube, is a member of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City. In fact, nearly half of the videos he’s posted on YouTube are of the church’s pastor, Cary Gordon. The church is facing a possible IRS investigation over its campaign to convince other pastors around the state to encourage their congregations to vote against retaining three state Supreme Court justices on the ballot this fall.

Hick’s video, which is entitled “Vote no on judicial retention,” is a parody of commercials for the online dating website eHarmony. The narrator of the video says the Iowa Supreme Court is the authority on marriage, all while a married couple discusses how they’ve known each other their entire lives. By the end, it is revealed that the married couple are brother and sister, and they thank the Supreme Court for allowing their marriage to happen.

In comments below the video, Hicks said he maid it to reveal “the obvious next steps for liberal judges to take. What will they legalize next … polygamy, NAMBLA, a feller and his horse?”

;

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Watch In Focus: "Rogues' Gallery"

Today, People For the American Way released out latest Right Wing Watch In Focus report examining the slate of extremist GOP Senate candidates running for office this year.

Entitled "The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate," the report examines the radical agendas and views held by Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Ken Buck, Christine O'Donnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Roy Blunt, Sharron Angle, Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Dino Rossi, plus the role that Sen. Jim DeMint has played in dragging the GOP further and further to the right.

Here is the introduction:

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have already broken all records for unprincipled partisan obstructionism, preventing the administration from putting people into key positions in the executive branch, blocking judicial confirmations, and delaying and preventing Congress from dealing with important issues facing the nation, from financial reform to immigration. Now a bumper crop of far-right GOP candidates threatens to turn the "deliberative body"into a haven for extremists who view much of the federal government as unconstitutional and who are itching to shut it down.

Fueled by the unlimited deep pockets of billionaire anti-government ideologues, various Tea Party and corporate-interest groups have poured money into primary elections this year. They and conservative voters angry about the actions of the Obama administration have replaced even very conservative senators and candidates backed by the national Republican establishment with others who embrace a range of radically right-wing views on the Constitution, the role of government, the protection of individual freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

Recently, Religious Right leaders have been grousing that Republican candidates arent talking enough about abortion and same-sex marriage. But this report indicates that anti-gay and anti-choice activists have little to worry about, as the right-wing candidates profiled here share those anti-freedom positions even if theyre talking more about shutting down federal agencies, privatizing Social Security, and eliminating most of the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. A number of these candidates oppose legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is helping to lead the charge with his Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint, an absolute favorite of both the Tea Party and Religious Right political movements for his uncompromising extremism on both economic and social issues, is at the far right fringe of the Republican Party and has committed himself to helping elect more like-minded colleagues. Sarah Palin, also popular among both Tea Party and Religious Right activists, has also injected her high-profile name, busy Twitter fingers, and PAC cash into numerous Senate races.

Among the right-wing insurgents who defeated candidates backed by national party leadership are Christine ODonnell of Delaware, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Mike Lee of Utah. Others, like Carly Fiorina of California, came through crowded primaries where right-wing leaders split their endorsements, but have now coalesced around her candidacy.

And thanks to the conservative Supreme Courts ruling in the Citizens United case, which said corporations have the same rights as citizens to make independent expenditures in elections, right-wing candidates across the board will be benefitting from a massive infusion of corporate money designed to elect candidates who will oppose governmental efforts to hold them accountable, for example environmental protections and government regulation of the financial industry practices that led the nation into a deep recession.

This In Focus provides an introduction to a select group of right-wing candidates who hope to ride a wave of toxic Tea Party anger into the U.S. Senate. The potential impact of a Senate with even half of these DeMint-Palin acolytes would be devastating to the Senates ability to function and the federal governments ability to protect the safety and well-being of American citizens.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Huckabee Endorses Glen "Hitler Created Church-State Separation" Urquhart

Last week, we highlighted this video of Delaware's Republican House nominee, Glen Urquhart, claiming that the phrase "separation of church and state" did not originate with Thomas Jefferson but rather came from Adolph Hitler:

Do you know, where does this phrase separation of Church and State come from? Does anybody know? ... Actually, that's exactly, it was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. He was reassuring that the federal government wouldn't trample on their religion. The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

So imagine our complete lack of surprise to see Urquhart today secure the endorsement of Mike Huckabee:

Huck PAC and I are proud to support Glen Urquhart for Congress from Delaware. Glen shares our traditional conservative values like the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and the right to keep and bear arms.

Glen has the right kind of experiences to make a positive difference in Congress. Glen served as Chair the National Capital Planning Commission first appointed by President Ronald Reagan and saw first hand the benefit of sound fiscal policy. Glen understands how to create jobs and spur on economic growth – and we need that kind of leadership now more than ever in Washington.

Please join me in supporting Glen Urquhart for Congress from Delaware, let’s make sure we send him to Washington.

 

If you thought Christine O’Donnell was bad…

Meet the GOP’s extreme nominee for Delaware's open seat in the House, Glen Urquhart.  Since Mike Castle vacated the seat in order to (unsuccessfully) run for Senate, the Republicans nominated Urquhart in a tight primary election. A wealthy real estate investor who self-financed his campaign, Urquhart campaigned as a social conservative with the backing of the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Conservative Fund, along with Tea Party groups such as the 9/12 Delaware Patriots.  Here is Urquhart’s opinion regarding the separation of Church and State, where he misattributes Thomas Jefferson’s quote that the US Constitution creates a “wall of separation between Church & State” to… Adolph Hitler: 

Do you know, where does this phrase separation of Church and State come from? Does anybody know? ... Actually, that's exactly, it was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. He was reassuring that the federal government wouldn't trample on their religion. The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from.  Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

  

2012 Candidates Weekly Update

Although there are no announced Republican candidates for President, the race for 2012 is already underway with a number of candidates testing the waters. RightWingWatch will begin bringing you weekly updates on new speeches, events, controversies, and activities of potential 2012 contenders.

Haley Barbour

2012: Claims that his lobbyist experience will help him as President (US News & World Report, 9/14).

Civil-rights: Odd history from Barbour on Ole Miss integration (McClatchy, 9/9)

Mitch Daniels

2012: Meets with GOP fundraisers and “well-connected Republican figures” (Politico, 9/14).

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Claims that Obama represents “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview citing a D’Souza article in Forbes which says Obama’s agenda is to fulfill the dreams of his father, whom D’Souza calls a “philandering, inebriated African socialist” (WhoRunsGov, 9/12).

2010: Predicts GOP majority in House and Senate, Reid loss (CNSNews, 9/13).

Government: Floats government shutdown if GOP wins majorities (GOP12, 9/12).

Abortion: Gingrich adviser blames legal abortion for unemployment (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Education: Scheduled to appear on Rev. Al Sharpton’s new show on education issues (Hollywood Reporter, 9/13).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Fundraises for Rob Portman and Steve Chabot in Ohio (Business Courier, 9/13).

2012: Set to address the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on economy, education, and health care (WLNS, 9/14).

Sarah Palin

2010: Holds fundraiser for Rand Paul in Louisville on Thursday (Kentucky Enquirer, 9/13); records robocalls for two Mama Grizzlies: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire before primaries.

GOP: David Plouffe claims “Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck” lead the Republican Party. “All of these Republican candidates have to pledge allegiance to them, their intolerance and their backwards thinking” (New York Times, 9/13)

Right-wing: Says Statue of Liberty meant to be a “warning” to the US “not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies” (FireDogLake, 9/13).

Park51: Imam Rauf cites Palin for encouraging a “growing Islamophobia” (NY Daily News, 9/12).

George Pataki

New Hampshire: Tells Bedford audience that “government is intimately involved in creating the problems,” responsible for stoking the economic crisis (Union Leader, 9/13).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed calling for repeal of Health Care Reform (USA Today, 9/13).

Tim Pawlenty

New Hampshire: Sends six staffers from leadership PAC to the Granite State (AP, 9/14)

Economy: Visits Shanghai World’s Fair, says of China: “They're not racing us to the bottom. They're racing us to the top” (Minnesota Post, 9/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Fundraiser in the works for GA Senator Johnny Isakson (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/13).

Rick Santorum

2012: Calls for infusion of religion into politics, rejects JFK’s 1960 speech defending the separation of church and state (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Obama: Claims the President is “condescending” to GOP leaders (GOP12, 9/13).

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Separation of Church and State Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/19/2011, 2:36pm
Earlier this month, hundreds of pastors across the nation participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," during which they openly endorsed or opposed political candidates from their pulpits in a direct challenge to the IRS. Among those participating pastors was Bishop Harry Jackson who, along with Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, was featured in a short video from Odyssey Networks about the effort. In the video, Jackson provided a rather unique explanation for his involvement in opposing IRS regulations that... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 10/13/2011, 10:53am
One of the sessions at the recent Values Voter Summit featured a showing of a new half-hour video produced by the American Family Association called “Divorcing God: Secularism and the Republic.” (Back in the summer it was being promoted as "Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy, and the Future of the Republic.") The video features an array of Religious Right leaders and academics, whose argument can be summarized this way:  America, whose greatness is decaying because the country has turned its back on the God who inspired the founding fathers, is doomed if it... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/08/2011, 1:54pm
The theory of evolution was a central topic in Bryan Fischer's speech to the Values Voter Summit, where he argued that the presidential candidates should reject evolution. "I submit to you that not a single one of our unalienable rights will be safe," Fischer said, "in the hands of a president who believes that we evolved from slime and that we are the descendents of apes and baboons." Fischer called the separation of church and state "mythical" and argued that a result of secular government and the theory of evolution result in mass murder... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/07/2011, 3:37pm
On Focal Point today Bryan Fischer says that everything, even the country's economic future and national security, relies on whether Americans can defeat marriage equality. Fischer went on to say that George Washington would view LGBT rights activists and groups that support the separation of church and state are "anti-American": Fischer: Our survival as a civilization, as a culture, depends on protecting the institution of marriage, everything is at risk here: our economic prosperity, our survival, our national security, all of it hinges on our willingness as a culture to protect... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/23/2011, 9:51am
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber took to the Washington Times this morning to lay out yet another anti-gay screed. According to Barber, the future of the country will be determined over a conflict between the conservative movement’s patriotism and the left’s supposedly unpatriotic support for equal rights and the separation of church and state. Barber, who has argued that liberalism is the “hatred for God” and that gay children commit suicide because they know homosexuality is “unnatural,” said that gay rights will bring about the country’s moral... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/19/2011, 11:50am
While the Family Research Council tries to paint itself as one of the Religious Right’s more mainstream and respectable lobbying organizations, its extreme rhetoric continues to gain exposure. Just yesterday, for instance, FRC president Tony Perkins called the anti-suicide It Gets Better Project “immoral” and “disgusting” in a fundraising letter. Now, Perkins is calling advocates of church-state separation “cultural terrorists.” Yesterday during Today’s Issues with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon on the AFA’s American... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/16/2011, 4:57pm
Earlier this month Harry Jackson appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network to talk about his commitment to Seven Mountains dominionism, the ideology that calls on fundamentalist Christians to take control key sectors of society: business, media, education, arts and entertainment, family, religion and the church, and government. Jackson has emerged as a regular Religious Right spokesman and is a vociferous opponent of abortion rights and LGBT equality. He was even co-chair of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. Yesterday, Jackson was the guest on TBN’s Praise The... MORE