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Perkins Ignores Palin To Spin The 2008 Election Loss

Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee.

During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population.

Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate can hope to win the general elections and pointed to John McCain as proof:

This idea that a candidate that would be supported by social conservatives that would win the Republican nomination would be unacceptable to the general populace is just not true. I think the opposite it true; we saw that in the last election cycle. There was a Republican nomination that was not acceptable to social conservatives. He did not have the enthusiastic support of social conservatives and, as a result, the Republicans lost the general election.

Now, obviously McCain and the Religious Right had a rather contentious history, but to say that the McCain campaign did not receive the "enthusiastic support of social conservatives" requires one to completely ignore the rapturous lovefest that exploded when McCain announced the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, which we chronicled at the time:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”

Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”

Janet Folger, Faith2Action: “[T]he selection of Sarah Palin is more than ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Electrifying!’ and ‘Energizing!’ The selection of Sarah Palin will lead to words like: ‘Rejuvenating!’ ‘Victory!’ and ‘Landslide!’"

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”

Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments’"

David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

If social conservatives were unenthusiastic about the McCain ticket last time around, some apparently forgot to tell all of these social conservatives who were gushing about just how thrilled they were. 

Bauer: "Jared Loughner ... Would Fit In Well With The Occupy Wall Street Movement"

We are not quite sure what it is that Gary Bauer actually does these days.  We know that he has been involved in the Emergency Committee For Israel that he founded with Bill Kristol, but mostly he just seems to send out daily emails to activists through his American Values organization.

And yesterday's update contained a couple of real head-scratchers, as Bauer oddly tried to tie the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords earlier this year to the Occupy Wall Street protests: 

As it turns out, the assassin, Jared Loughner, was an apolitical radical who would fit in well with the Occupy Wall Street movement ... [T]he pundits and talking heads turn a deaf ear to all the hyperbolic rhetoric on the left. They were quick to point out one or two odd signs at a Tea Party rally, but they ignore the blatant anti-Semitism in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Bauer then went on to offer his thoughts on the Viki Knox controversy where he offered up this bizarre explanation for why the teacher's union was defending her anti-gay statements:

Knox, by the way, happens to be black. The teachers’ unions won’t defend her because they have fully embraced the homosexual rights movement. And in the liberal pecking order of minority rights, gay trumps black.

Tea Party Nation: "Liberals Love Dictatorships"

Tea Party Nation’s president Judson Phillips warns in an email to members today that if America doesn’t see the “destruction of big government” then the consequences will be grave. “Let us alter government before it becomes destructive of these ends and requires abolition,” we writes. Citing North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue’s hyperbolic suggestion that congressional elections should be “suspended” so congressmen aren’t responsive to partisan politics during the budget debate, Phillips said that Democrats – or, as he calls them, “members of the Party of Treason” – are going to impose a dictatorship because “liberals love dictatorships.” Phillips absurdly claimed that Nazi Germany, Maoist China and the Soviet Union were all based on liberalism, arguing that liberals require dictatorships because their “ideas suck”:

The desperation to impose socialism on America against the will of the American people is now being seen from members of the Party of Treason. They speak openly of the problems of liberty.



Liberals love dictatorships. In a dictatorship, they can just push their crackpot ideas and not have to worry about the little people complaining about a few minor details like, the ideas don’t work. The ideas suck.

Their model has worked so well in the past. History has the precedents of their ideas. Just look at the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and China under Mao, Eastern Europe under the Warsaw Pact, Vietnam after 1975, Cambodia and Cuba.



What Bev Perdue and the left do not want is the next election that is going sweep them out of power. This is the moment where they will be the most dangerous. Between the unelected czars and the left’s last desperate gasp, as they try to push socialism down our throats one last time, we face not only the time of greatest peril but also the time of greatest opportunity.

We must find new leaders to replace these bad leaders. The people we select must have as an overriding belief in the idea that big government must be dismantled and we must take steps to ensure that never again is a socialist in the White House.

We need to remember the words our founding fathers put in the Declaration of Independence.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,”

We must make certain we have new leaders in 2012 to replace the bad leadership we have had. We must make certain that our new leaders are committed to liberty and the destruction of big government. Our government needs much altering. Let us alter government before it becomes destructive of these ends and requires abolition.

Tony Perkins Promotes "Only One Mommy"

Last month we noted that Rena Lindevaldsen, the attorney for Lisa Miller, had written a book all about Miller's saga ... or, at least most of it, since there is barely any mention of the fact that Miller ultimately kidnapped her daughter and fled the country, which is odd considering that Lindevaldsen is reportedly teaching young lawyers at Liberty University to recommend just this sort of "civil disobedience" to clients they believe are being ordered to violate "God's law."

The book itself was predictable and, frankly, rather dull but that didn't stop Mat Staver, Wendy Wright, Mike Huckabee, and Peter Sprigg from glowingly endorsing it ... and now we can add Tony Perkins to the list of those endorsing the book:

Every parent's nightmare is losing a child--and Lisa Miller couldn't face the prospect of losing hers. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Lisa Miller's child wasn't at risk from a dreaded disease. Or from violence. Or even from kidnapping. No, believe it or not, Lisa faced the prospect of losing her biological daughter because the courts ordered her to turn the child over to another woman. Why? Because she and the other woman were lesbian partners in Vermont when Lisa's daughter was born. The women are no longer together, and their civil union was dissolved. In fact, Lisa's now an ex-lesbian, who's renounced homosexuality and accepted Christ. So instead of giving up her daughter, she disappeared. Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel was Lisa's lawyer through all the court battles--but she also became her friend. She's telling Lisa's story in a new book called, Only One Mommy. Anyone concerned about parental rights, the homosexual agenda, and religious liberty should read this book--Only One Mommy, available on Amazon.com.

It is amazing that Perkins says that it is every parent's nightmare to lose a child and then actually mentions the threat of kidnapping in an effort to portray Miller as the victim when it was Miller who literally kidnapped her daughter and fled the country in order to defy multiple court orders and escape law enforcement. 

I guess we probably should not hold our breath waiting for any Religious Right leader to actually step up and suggest that maybe Miller ought to have obeyed the law or, at this point, turn herself in to authorities.

Boykin: The Church Is Called To Occupy

Jerry Boykin last week sat down with Paul Crouch Jr. of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s show First To Know to discuss a new movie based on his autobiography “Never Surrender.” Boykin, who earlier this month demanded that mosques be banned in America, told Crouch that the Church needs to become more politically active because of threats to religious freedom from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and MoveOn. He called on viewers to work “so that the Church emerges as the dominant influence in America,” adding, “I refuse to believe that we can’t, because God told us to occupy.”

Watch:

Boykin: The Church had the dominant influence in America. Today we have ceded that to other organizations like the ACLU and MoveOn.org and Code Pink and ACORN. It is time for the Church, for Bible-believing Christians regardless of denomination, to unify and understand that we truly serve the same God, Jesus Christ, and we need to come before Him and ask for His forgiveness for where this nation has gone and how we’ve turned our backs on God, and ask God to lead us to do our part, individually, to do our part to make a difference in America so that the Church emerges as the dominant influence in America in what we were called to be, again, the salt and light for this nation.

Crouch: And that in your opinion, that is possible? We can take this nation back, in your opinion?

Boykin: We absolutely can take this nation back and I refuse to believe that we can’t, because God told us to occupy.

Rick Perry Finds A Welcoming Audience At Liberty University

Yesterday we took the opportunity of Rick Perry’s recent speech at Liberty University to revisit his appearance on last year on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, in which he went into depth about the “supernatural events” (mainly rain or lack thereof) that have driven his life.

If the governor’s visit to Liberty is any indication, the affinity that he displayed with the Religious Right in his TBN appearance is still going strong. Before Wednesday’s speech, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. gave Perry a rousing welcome, defending the governor for his controversial effort to require that girls in Texas recieve HPV vaccinations and calling Perry’s secession talk “gutsy.” Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily, a publication of the Baptist Center for Ethics, reports that the ties between Perry and Falwell are even closer than what is being reported. Falwell was scheduled to take part in one of televangelist James Robison’s leadership summits, at which Religious Right leaders urged Perry to enter the race. While Falwell “could not make it,” Liberty University’s Vice President Johnnie Moore participated. Kaylor reports that Moore and David Lane, who organizes state-based “restoration” projects, were behind Perry’s appearance at Liberty:

Organized by Texas evangelist James Robison, the June meeting was a follow-up to a September 2010 meeting as Robison and other conservative Christians plotted to bring political revival and change to the 2012 elections.

Liberty's chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., son of Liberty's late founder, was scheduled to attend but could not make it.

Robison led a similar effort prior to the 1980 presidential election as he sought to defeat then-President Jimmy Carter. That effort culminated in an August 1980 rally in Dallas with then-Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan as the key speaker.

On Wednesday, Falwell introduced Perry at Liberty by talking about how much he "admired" Perry for "having the guts to say things that weren't exactly politically correct, like when Governor Perry hinted that Texas might secede one day from the Union."

Falwell also recounted saying several months ago – before Perry joined the presidential race – that "it was too bad" Perry was not running for president.



Falwell also said that Perry's trip to Liberty was organized and made possible due to the work of religious-political organizer David Lane and Liberty's vice president for executive projects, Johnnie Moore. Both Lane and Moore have been part of Robison's group.

According to Perry, Lane and Robison inspired him to lead "The Response," a prayer rally held last month at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Numerous other individuals in Robison's group were key leaders in planning the event, which thrust Perry into the national headlines just days before he officially announced he was running for president.

Perry's support among conservative evangelicals is one of the key factors to his rapid rise to the front of the Republican presidential primary polls.

His speech at Liberty University on Wednesday, his private meetings with Christian leaders in June and August, and his prayer rally in August demonstrate Perry's efforts to mobilize conservative Christians and receive their support as he seeks to be what Robison and his group say they are hoping for – a new Ronald Reagan.

Schlafly Mocks NEA for Opposing Discrimination in Schools

Phyllis Schlafly is a longtime critic of the National Education Association and LGBT rights, and today in The Phyllis Schlafly Report she ridicules the teachers’ union’s endorsement of resolutions calling for a safe and diverse work environment and opposing discrimination against LGBT school employees, families and students. While Schlafly mainly lists excerpts from the NEA, she dubs their anti-discrimination policies as “radical” and leaves no confusion over where she stands:

Eagle Forum always sends an observer to the annual convention of the National Education Association to report on its radical resolutions. The NEA usually has about 20 resolutions endorsing the gay rights agenda, often using the code word "diversity." Here are some excerpts from pro-gay resolutions adopted this year by the National Education Association.

Resolution B-14, for example, states that "discrimination and stereotyping based on ... sexual orientation, [and] gender identification ... must be eliminated" and that these factors must not affect the legal rights of "partners in ... civil unions ... in regard to ... medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration." School "activities, and programs must increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of ... gays, lesbians, bisexuals, [and] transgender persons." The NEA believes that "students who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identification" must be provided by the school with "counseling services." Another NEA resolution declared that hiring policies and practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff so that public schools "Offer ... diverse role models" among teachers, ... and education employees."

NEA Resolutions for the classroom demand that the schools "Eliminate ... stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, [and activities" and "Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups that have been under-represented historically." Another resolution urges the use of Multicultural education because it "should ... reduce ... homophobia ... and all other forms of prejudice, and discrimination."

Just so you will know -- these are the stated beliefs of the biggest teachers union.

FRC Launches Ads Pushing Marriage Amendment in North Carolina

The Family Research Council has released a series of radio ads in North Carolina, calling for the state legislature to place a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for gays and lesbians on the ballot this November. North Carolina already prohibits same-sex marriage by statute, but the FRC says it’s not enough, warning, “Our laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman could be overturned.”

Organizers of the marriage amendment have called marriage equality an evil plot concocted by Satan and said an amendment is needed to “put a big letter of shame on the behavior.” According to findings from Public Policy Polling published today, while 61% of state voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, just 30% support the constitutional amendment.

Listen:

Marriage is at risk in our state. Our laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman could be overturned. Marriage between one man and one woman benefits families in society so we must preserve the marriage laws in our state Constitution.

On September 12, the North Carolina legislature will vote on putting a marriage amendment to a vote of the people. Powerful voices in our state capitol are threatening your right to vote on marriage. Take a stand for marriage. Call Rep. Chuck McGrady and ask him to vote yes to the marriage amendment. It's not about party, it's about marriage.

And on September 12, join us for a rally supporting marriage at 11 a.m. in front of the legislative building in Raleigh. Bring a sign and take a stand for marriage.

Fischer: Make Homosexuality "A Criminal Offense"

On his radio show Focal Point yesterday, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer called on all fifty states to criminalize homosexuality. In 2003, the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas overturned anti-sodomy laws in the fourteen states that had them on the books and reversed the Supreme Court’s prior decision Bowers v. Hardwick. Fischer’s opinion should come as no surprise as the AFA filed an amicus brief in support of Texas’s anti-sodomy law and condemned the court’s decision, calling the decision tantamount to “tyranny.” Fischer said that since for most of American history “homosexual activity was a felony offense,” there is “no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again.”

Watch:

Fischer: Both of the cases that went to the United States Supreme Court that dealt with the issue of whether states should criminalize sodomy, and of course they still ought to be able to do it, every state in the union criminalized sodomy until 1962 and then forty nine states until 1972, then they began to fall like dominoes. But by the time of the founding until the late 20th Century, homosexual activity was a felony offense in the United States of America, there is no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again, absolutely none.

Farah: Marriage Equality Will "Plunge" America Into "The Moral Abyss Of Chaos And Barbarism"

Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily, is out with yet another column attacking marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, arguing that it will lead to the downfall of civilization. Farah, who once called for “literally, a break-up of the nation” because several states have legalized same-sex marriage, writes that marriage equality will inevitably lead to polygamy. Claims that same-sex marriage are not uncommon from the Right, Farah fears that if Republicans support the right of states under the Tenth Amendment to legalize same-sex marriage that they will ultimately introduce polygamy:

It took nearly 50 years for Utah to be admitted into the Union for this reason. And it was Republican Party opposition to polygamy that forced the action – just as it was Republican Party opposition to slavery that resulted in an end of that hideous institution in the United States.

Today we have even some Republicans in denial of history and in denial of the natural lusts of men throughout history.

Believe me, there is no legal or moral argument that can be made against polygamy if the institution of marriage is redefined as one between any two people. At that point, I would have to agree that marriage, as redefined, really would become discriminatory, since it is based on nothing more than judicial rulings and legislative actions by men.



Those who tell you that same-sex marriage is no big deal and won't lead to the further diminishment of the 6,000-year-old institution of marriage are either being disingenuous or are just plain ignorant.

Marriage is the most important cultural institution in any free and self-governing society.

If you want to plunge into the moral abyss of chaos and barbarism, then just cast your vote for same-sex marriage. Just pretend this profoundly faddish idea is only the latest breakthrough in "civil rights." Just don't raise your voice of objection to this bizarre idea being rammed down America's throat by those who have no appreciation for what really works in God's economy.

Anti-Gay Groups Rally To Defend Anti-Gay 'Charity' Group

A campaign spearheaded by LGBT rights and women’s rights groups Change.org and AllOut.org, encouraging companies to drop their ties to the Charity Give Back Group (formerly the Christian Values Network), unsurprisingly has the Religious Right up in arms. The CGBG “operates a sort of online mall, donating a portion of each purchase to religious nonprofits,” Michelle Goldberg explains. “Among them are conservative organizations like Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, Promise Keepers, and a number of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.”

The campaign to get businesses to opt out of CGBG’s program has been very successful, with over 200 companies such as Delta, Apple and Macy’s dropping out of the program so far.

Focus on the Family is now encouraging its members to write to the companies that have ended their ties with CGBG. And today, the Family Research Council launched the “Resist Discrimination” campaign, demanding companies “resist pressure to discriminate against customers with a traditional, biblical view of marriage” with a warning that they “should beware of online activists who spread misinformation to pressure retailers to discriminate against customers and charities with Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Of course, Focus on the Family and the FRC would never support similar pressure campaigns…right?

As a matter of the fact, FRC was part of a campaign last year that threatened to boycott Comedy Central if the channel did not drop a planned comedy show about Jesus Christ, and in 2008 endorsed a five month boycott of McDonalds and Wal-Mart because of the companies’ ties to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Focus on the Family also closed its Wells Fargo accounts in 2005 to protest the bank’s donation to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 2006, Focus on the Family founder and then-president James Dobson urged members to boycott Proctor & Gamble because of its support for a gay-rights initiative. “For Procter & Gamble to align itself with radical groups committed to redefining marriage in our country is an affront to its customers,” Dobson said.

The CGBG was founded by Stephen Baldwin (Alec Baldwin’s brother) and Michael Lohan (Lindsay Lohan’s father), with Mike Huckabee acting as its spokesman. Now, the CGBG is advised by Baldwin and Kevin McCullough, who run XtreMEDIA. McCullough recently acted as a spokesperson for CGBG’s response to the AllOut! and Change.org campaign, saying the groups were disseminating a “dishonest message.” While FRC and Focus’s active opposition to LGBT and women’s rights is well documented, McCullough is a lesser known activist. He has a radio show on the Christian channel Family NET and stands in for American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer when the latter is on vacation from his show on American Family Radio.

While McCullough claims that the CGBG shouldn’t be attacked over its ties to the FRC and Focus, McCullough’s own anti-gay activism speaks for itself.

Gheen Suggests Violence May Be Needed To Stop Obama's War On "White America"

William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC joined Janet Mefferd today to make the case that President Obama is now a dictator who plans to create a police state and use undocumented immigrants to wage war on “White America.” Gheen, who previously accused Obama of treason and “replacing many core Americans” (among other radical claims), told Mefferd that “extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent” may be needed to bring down Obama. Later in the interview, Gheen demanded that Republicans begin an impeachment process against Obama but lamented that he couldn’t hold marches in Washington D.C. because he was afraid that the president has too many supporters among the city’s black and Latino residents.

Gheen: What Janet Napolitano has spent most of her time doing in the last couple of months has been, one, preparing the new spy network that’s available now, the new data-collecting, see everything you do online, beyond the normal terrorist list that they’re creating, they’re creating a much larger list now of people who might be troublesome here in the country. And putting out videos and propaganda telegraphing what I believe to be a conflict with White America they’re preparing for after they get another 10 or 15 million people in the country to back them up.



We’re no longer referring to him as President Barack Obama, our national organization has made the decision and made the announcement we now refer to him as Dictator Barack Obama. That’s what he is. And basically at this point, if you’re looking for a peaceful, political recourse there really isn’t one that we can think of, and I’m really not sure what to tell people out there than I guess they need to make decisions soon to just accept whatever comes next or some type of extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent.

Bachmann: The American People Are Concerned About "The Rise Of The Soviet Union"

Michele Bachmann dropped by "Jay Sekulow Live" today to talk about her win last weekend in the Iowa Straw Poll and her presidential campaign in general.  During the discussion, Bachmann asserted that while the American people are very concerned about the state of the economy, they are concerned about other issues as well like abortion, defending marriage ... and the rise of the Soviet Union:

I would say it's a unified message. It really is about jobs and the economy. That doesn't mean people haven't [sic] forgotten about protecting life and marriage and the sanctity of the family. People are very concerned about that as well. But what people recognize is that there's a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward. And especially with this very bad debt ceiling bill, what we have done is given a favor to President Obama and the first thing he'll whack is five hundred billion out of the military defense at a time when we're fighting three wars. People recognize that.

Umm ... who exactly are these people that are concerned about the rise of the Soviet Union?  Because last time I checked, it went out of existence two decades ago.

Meet The Religious Right Extremists Behind The Pro-Bachmann Super PAC

A secretive ‘Super PAC’ tied to an Ohio political operative is planning to aid congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign after working to defeat South Carolina congressman John Spratt in the last midterm election. Chris Cillizza writes that “Citizens for a Working America, as the group is known, will be chaired by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ed Brookover, a longtime political consultant and adviser to Bachmann, will be involved as will conservative lawyer and economist Marc Nuttle.”

Ken Blackwell’s ties to the Religious Right are well known, but Nuttle’s activism has flown below the radar.

Blackwell was Ohio’s Secretary of State from 2002-2006 whom after leaving office, unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006 and chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009. He is now a senior fellow with the ultraconservative Family Research Council, a senior fellow with the far-right American Civil Rights Union, and a board member the pro-corporate Club for Growth. Columbus-based televangelist Rod Parsley vigorously backed his failed gubernatorial campaign and Religious Right activists endorsed his abortive bid for RNC chair. His staunchly anti-gay views will serve him well in the Bachmann camp, as Blackwell once compared gay people with arsonists and kleptomaniacs and same-sex couples with farm animals.

Nuttle is a Republican adviser and economist with deep ties to an extreme movement within the Religious Right composed of advocates of Seven Mountains Dominionism. Nuttle is in fact Chairman of The Oak Initiative, a far-right organization dedicated to promoting the Seven Mountains ideology. The group claims in its mission statement, “The Oak Institute is being developed to raise up effective leaders for all of the dominant areas of influence in the culture, including: government, business, education, arts and entertainment, family services, media, and the church,” otherwise known as the Seven Mountains of society that Dominionists think should be controlled by fundamentalist Christians.

The Oak Initiative’s president Rick Joyner, the founder of MorningStar Ministries, has claimed that God is planning to destroy California and that God used Hurricane Katrina to punish America for tolerating homosexuality. The Oak Initiative’s board is filled with leading proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, including Jerry Boykin, Janet Porter, Lance Wallnau and self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs. Lou Sheldon, the head of the Traditional Values Coalition who described LGBT activism as “the very face of evil,” is also a board member.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (Blackwell’s boss) and 2000 GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes addressed the Oak Initiative’s 2011 Summit alongside Nuttle, where Perkins called gays and lesbians “hateful” people who are “pawns” of Satan and Keyes urged Congress to impeach President Obama before he seizes power with the help of foreign countries. At the Summit, Boykin said that Obama is creating his own Brownshirt army to usher in Marxism and Joyner suggested that a secretive cabal crashed the economy to help Obama win the presidential election.

Nuttle spoke to Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries on how to “apply proper biblical principles to the marketplace and the workforce” and that God “has a plan and a solution for this current world crisis we find ourselves in.” Nuttle said that people “don’t have to figure” out all the economic solutions, “all you have to do is be obedient” to God. He also claimed that the United States is the only country with a government subservient to God: “Every other government in the world is some sort of government authority, it’s a dictatorship, or Islam where government is God, or where the dictator is God, or the Constitution is God, over the constituents.” Nuttle argued that “the fight is against the 30% [of politicians] who don’t care” about the decline of the economy, “because then there’s more room for government. Government’s what they want, socialism is the goal.” He ended his speech by saying, “lock your shields with each other against the enemy.” 

Earlier this year he addressed Liberty University’s Awakening 2011, the Religious Right political event hosted by Mat Staver of the LU-affiliate Liberty Counsel. Nuttle also appeared on God Knows with Jacobs, where he shared with the 'Prophet' his plan to solve the nation’s debt troubles.

As heads of the pro-Bachmann Super PAC, Blackwell and Nuttle will surely help Bachmann link her far-right economic views with her deep-seated social conservative activism.

The Return Of Vernon Robinson

Perennial North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson is asking for money for his campaign to readers of the far-right website WorldNetDaily. Robinson is best known for his Twilight Zone ad, which he ran during his unsuccessful campaign against Democratic Rep. Brad Miller.

While he failed in his bid for Congress, Robinson endeared himself to Republicans across the country. Now, Robinson is running in the 8th congressional district against Rep. Larry Kissell and in a fundraising email blasts President Barack Obama for “hanging out with terrorists” and “smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine”:

While Obama was smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine, I was earning badges to become an Eagle Scout. While Obama was being mentored by Communist Party Member Frank Davis, I was taught to love God and country by my parents. While Obama was consorting with Marxist professors, Black Panthers, trial lawyers, union bosses, hippie peaceniks, anti-Christian atheists, militant homosexual agitators, radical pro-abortion feminists, gun grabbers, amnesty zealots, Chi-Com sympathizers, globalists who worship at the altar of the UN, and environmentalist wackos, I was earning my bachelor's degree alongside my fellow cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

While Obama was hanging out with terrorists such as Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers (who bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon), I was serving my country as a Missile Combat Crew Commander and Intelligence Officer. While Obama was attending "Socialist conferences" at Cooper Union, I was reading Milton Friedman, watching William F. Buckley, Jr., and attending the 1980 Republican National Convention that nominated Ronald Reagan. While Obama was learning his redistribution-based economics theory from law professors at Harvard, I was earning my MBA and learning the virtues of free market principles and pro-growth policies. While Obama was following in the footsteps of Saul Alinsky to become a Chicago-based community organizer, I was working as a business professor and serving in the first Bush Administration.

While Obama was saying Amen to the loony, vile, anti-America, anti-Whitey, anti-Semitic, pro-reparations, black liberation theology spewed by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, I was worshipping at a church that preaches the Gospel and erecting a Ten Commandments monument on municipal property (to the dismay of the government bureaucrats and high priests of political correctness who insist that God must be ejected from the public square). While Obama was supporting the NAACP, the ACLU, the NEA, and ACORN, I was filing the successful lawsuit against the University of North Carolina that put an end to its practice of electing trustees according to strict racial and gender quotas and providing blacks-only scholarships at taxpayer expense.



I don't head for the high grass when the Left turns up the heat. That's just not my style. I put my trust in God, not my finger to the wind, and my record proves it. I want to put a burr in Barrack Obama's saddle. I want to put a bee in Nancy Pelosi's bonnet. I want to give Barney Frank a Maalox Moment. And I want to embolden Republican Congressmen to buck up instead of buckling.

Perry, Prayer, Politics and the Presidency

Casual viewers of “The Response,” including some political reporters who don’t pay a lot of attention to the Religious Right, may have watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally on Saturday and wondered what all the fuss was about.  Most of the time was taken up with prayer and praise music.  Few of the speakers seemed overtly political.  Nobody used the occasion to endorse Perry’s pending presidential bid.

But context is everything, and the context for this event was remarkable: a governor launching a presidential bid by teaming up with some of the nation’s most divisive extremists to hold a Christians-only prayer rally that suggested Americans are helpless to solve the country’s problems without divine intervention. Some media coverage is missing the boat: the issue wasn’t whether it was ok for a politician to pray, or the size of the audience, but the purposes of the event’s planners and their disturbing vision for America.

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that “The Response” was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast, and organizations like the Family Research Council, whose president was among the speakers, are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building.  They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

By calling for this rally, and partnering with the far right of the evangelical world, Perry aligned himself with all these troubling strategies.  When he drew criticism for the event and the extremism of its sponsors, Perry suggested his critics were intolerant of Christians.  Speakers returned to the theme, with one of them declaring that “there is an attack on the name of Jesus.” Such claims of anti-Christian persecution are a tried-and-true strategy of the Religious Right for rousing conservative Christians to political activism.  And for those who actually believe that Christianity is on the verge of being criminalized in America, Perry’s event defined him as a defiant and courageous defender of the faith. 

As journalist Dave Weigel writes, “That's the brilliance of what Perry has done here…He doesn't need to talk about politics, or do anything besides be here and understand this event. The religion is the politics. These worshippers understand that if they can bring ‘the kingdom of God’ to Earth, economic problems, even macroeconomic problems, will sort themselves out.”

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.”  Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.  But in spite of their well-documented extremism, they are embraced by Republican leaders.  Engle, for example, took part in a Family Research Council prayer-a-thon against health care reform, at which he introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Christian-nation crowd, like Response speaker David Barton and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who says the First Amendment protects only Christians’ religious liberty, shares a certain vision for America’s future.  Some of the political goals of “The Response” sponsors were brutally clear at the rally; a series of speakers prayed for an end to legal abortion.  While rhetorical gay-bashing was surprisingly absent at an event whose sponsors include the most vehemently anti-gay groups in America (including the AFA, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), it is clear that in the America envisioned by “The Response” planners, same-sex couples would have no chance at legal recognition or protection for their families.  Shortly before the event, Perry himself was forced to walk back from his very brief flirtation with a states’ rights defense of New Yorkers’ decision to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples -- and to vow his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would strip married same-sex couples of their rights and make sure that in the future gay couples could not get married anywhere in the U.S.
And lest anyone think that Perry’s religious agenda is limited to social issues, he made clear that a rigid conservative economic agenda was central to his spiritual mission. Just days before the rally, on “The 700 Club,” Perry said he’d be praying for “our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.” Those words echo the theology of activists like Barton, who have preached that the Bible condemns progressive taxation, the minimum wage and collective bargaining.
 
Perry is clearly positioning himself to enter the Republican presidential primary as a political savior to right-wing activists who are underwhelmed with their choices so far.  Yet, oddly for someone who wants to be president, he insists that America’s problems are beyond human ability to fix. (Sadly, that may only be true to the extent that enough legislators believe that God, like Grover Norquist, is opposed to any tax increases.)

Perry’s worldview and that of “The Response” organizers seems to see no useful role for non-Christian Americans, whose religious beliefs were denigrated at “The Response.”  When Perry told Americans on Saturday that we, “as a nation,” must return to God, it’s clear he meant God as understood by the event’s organizers.  Jim Garlow, who organized anti-marriage equality pastors in California before being hired by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, told journalist Sarah Posner on Saturday that “The Response” was “not about whether Perry becomes president, it’s about making Jesus king.” Perry used the event to let right-wing religious voters and churches nationwide know that for those who see politics as spiritual warfare, he is the warrior they have been waiting for.

Bachmann, Romney, Santorum Promise "Presidential Commission To Investigate Harassment Of Traditional Marriage Supporters"

As we mentioned yesterday, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa.

In kicking off the event, NOM has announced that Santorum, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney have all signed a five-point "Marriage Pledge" [PDF] that includes a promise to establish a "presidential commission" to "investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters":

One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.

Two, nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the Constitution, appoint an attorney general similarly committed, and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.

Three, defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.

Four, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

Five, advance legislation to return to the people ofthe District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.

Barton: Only Small Minority Supports Marriage Equality

Selective reading of material to support presupposed right-wing views is David Barton’s forte, so it comes as no surprise that the pseudo-historian is using a shoddy poll on same-sex marriage by an ultraconservative organization to claim that very few Americans support marriage equality.

On WallBuilders Live yesterday, Barton and co-host Rick Green hosted Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund to discuss their opposition to equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Barton and Green ended the interview by discussing the ADF poll which claimed that 62% of Americans were against marriage equality. ADF’s findings were something of an anomaly, given that most other recent polls show the majority of Americans are in favor of marriage equality, a number which even Republican pollsters admit is rapidly increasing. Unlike other polls, the ADF survey didn’t ask participants whether they believe gay and lesbian couples should be legally allowed to marry but instead asked if they agreed with the claim, “I believe marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman.” As Dan Nejfelt of Faith in Public Life points out:

A key difference is that these polls focused on legality rather than the "definition" of marriage. Given that the political debate surrounding same-sex marriage pertains to legislation rather than the contents of the dictionary, it's hard to see the relevance of ADF's data. It certainly is interesting, but it's not even close to a refutation of the overwhelming body of current nonpartisan opinion research pointing to majority support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

But for Barton and Green, the poll demonstrates that the country is united against marriage equality, which they say only has the support of a tiny but vocal minority.

Barton: If you can get a Christian spirit going, it unifies people like crazy. And that’s what we got going on the marriage issue, that’s what we have going on the school prayer issue. The other guys are screaming that it’s dividing. No. When it’s 82 to 18 that’s not dividing, when it’s 62 to 35 that’s not dividing, that’s unifying.

Green: Well the way to divide everybody is to take an issue where only 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 percent are for it and force it on the whole country.

Barton: That’s right. Oh, are you talking about gay marriage here?

Green: I’m not even sure 15 percent are for it. Even when we say 62 percent are for traditional marriage I don’t think you can say 38 percent are for gay marriage, but they might be saying ‘I don’t really know if I want to make that decision.’

Barton: See, that’s when you have to look in the polls to see who are strongly for it. And when you get strongly for, very few. And I love the point he made too, he said they want to do this against the will of the people, that’s why they file lawsuits. I mean, they did not give the people of New York a chance to vote on this, and typically they do not. They file lawsuits against marriage because they can’t win at the ballot box. This is the thing, when it comes to the people they can’t win, which is another great indication that this is a minority driving this agenda. It’s not a majority, it’s not a unifying issue.

Rick Perry's Confusing Stance On Marriage Equality And States' Rights

Earlier this summer presidential candidate Michele Bachmann raised eyebrows with her incoherent argument that she supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban same-sex marriage nationwide, while agreeing that states have a right to have their own laws on marriage under the 10th Amendment. Now, Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to be taking a similarly confusing and contradictory view on states’ rights.

When asked about New York’s new marriage equality law, Perry said it was “fine” with him because of the 10th Amendment’s protections for different state marriage laws. He was quickly praised by the gay conservative group GOProud but faced immediate criticism from social conservative activists and presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Now, it appears that Perry is taking the Bachmann position by supporting both the sweeping and discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment and states’ rights to have different marriage laws under the 10th Amendment. The Austin American Statesmen reports that Perry’s spokesman is now “confirming Perry's support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman”:

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the conservative Liberty Institute, said he heard from concerned conservatives around the country who wanted to know what to make of Perry's remark.

"He probably could have used a much better term," Shackelford said. Shackelford, whose Plano-based group pushes for limited government and promotes Judeo-Christian values, said he has been telling callers that Perry has long favored an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.



Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, said the governor's social conservatism remains steadfast.

Miner said people who know Perry understand that two things he feels strongly about are states' rights and the institution of traditional marriage.

"Nothing has changed with the governor's philosophy here," he said. Besides confirming Perry's support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, Miner pointed to the governor's state record. Perry supported the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and a state constitutional amendment defining traditional marriage, Miner noted.

Peter King Witness Called Groups Defending Gitmo Detainees "Anti-American," "Al Qaeda's Useful Idiots"

Rep. Peter King (R-NY recently announced the third in his series of hearings on the “radicalization of the Muslim-American community”—the GOP’s premier venue for demonstrating the kinds of attacks highlighted in PFAW’s latest Right Wing Watch: In Focus report “The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.” As part of his hearings, King plans to call Thomas Joscelyn of the staunchly neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies as a witness. Joscelyn, from his platform as a writer for the neoconservative Weekly Standard, has questioned the patriotism of organizations and individuals who spoke out against the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, calling the ACLU “Al Qaeda’s useful idiots” and claiming that lawyers who represented accused terrorists “openly opposed the American government.”

In a 2009 column, Joscelyn called the American Civil Liberties Union “Al Qaeda’s Civil Liberties Union” and “al Qaeda’s useful idiots” because the group produced the video “Justice Denied: Voices From Guantanamo,” which featured five Muslims who were imprisoned and abused in Guantanamo Bay and never faced charges. “The ACLU has worked diligently to undermine America's stance in what was formerly known as the ‘war on terror,’” he wrote, “and has even been willing to disseminate propaganda on behalf of our jihadist enemies.” He went on to criticize the ACLU and the Obama administration for opposing the use of military commissions and supporting the right of due process under the law for accused terrorists: “The ACLU cannot tell the difference between us and our enemies--as its own propaganda shows. Therefore, it does not bode well for America's counterterrorism efforts that the Obama administration is in agreement with al Qaeda's useful idiots.”

Joscelyn also jumped on the right-wing smear campaign against Justice Department lawyers who once represented accused terrorists, writing: “Now, we don’t know what assignments these lawyers have taken on inside government. But we do know that they openly opposed the American government for years, on behalf of al Qaeda terrorists, and their objections frequently went beyond rational, principled criticisms of detainee policy.”

Joscelyn also charged the Center for Constitutional Rights with “crude anti-Americanism” because the group condemned bias against Muslim Americans. He also questioned whether accused terrorists should receive any legal representation at all:

CCR’s statement calls to mind the debate some months ago about the role of lawyers in the war on terror. Some have argued that by representing “unpopular” clients they are merely adhering to a noble legal tradition in the same manner as John Adams, who defended British soldiers years prior to the Revolutionary War. Granted, some lawyers probably are compelled by their own notions of legal principle. But not all of them are.

John Adams sought to create a free society in which all faiths can be practiced and none are enforced by the state. He succeeded.

This nation’s second president probably would not appreciate CCR’s smear of the nation he helped found. And CCR is not just standing up for the “right” of a terrorist to receive a fair trial. The organization doubts whether John Adam’s America can be fair to Muslims at all.
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Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:01pm
Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee. During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population. Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/21/2011, 8:46am
We are not quite sure what it is that Gary Bauer actually does these days.  We know that he has been involved in the Emergency Committee For Israel that he founded with Bill Kristol, but mostly he just seems to send out daily emails to activists through his American Values organization. And yesterday's update contained a couple of real head-scratchers, as Bauer oddly tried to tie the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords earlier this year to the Occupy Wall Street protests:  As it turns out, the assassin, Jared Loughner, was an apolitical radical who would fit in well with the Occupy... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/28/2011, 10:48am
Tea Party Nation’s president Judson Phillips warns in an email to members today that if America doesn’t see the “destruction of big government” then the consequences will be grave. “Let us alter government before it becomes destructive of these ends and requires abolition,” we writes. Citing North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue’s hyperbolic suggestion that congressional elections should be “suspended” so congressmen aren’t responsive to partisan politics during the budget debate, Phillips said that Democrats – or, as he calls them,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 11:07am
Last month we noted that Rena Lindevaldsen, the attorney for Lisa Miller, had written a book all about Miller's saga ... or, at least most of it, since there is barely any mention of the fact that Miller ultimately kidnapped her daughter and fled the country, which is odd considering that Lindevaldsen is reportedly teaching young lawyers at Liberty University to recommend just this sort of "civil disobedience" to clients they believe are being ordered to violate "God's law." The book itself was predictable and, frankly, rather dull but that didn't stop Mat Staver,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/19/2011, 11:35am
Jerry Boykin last week sat down with Paul Crouch Jr. of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s show First To Know to discuss a new movie based on his autobiography “Never Surrender.” Boykin, who earlier this month demanded that mosques be banned in America, told Crouch that the Church needs to become more politically active because of threats to religious freedom from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and MoveOn. He called on viewers to work “so that the Church emerges as the dominant influence in America,” adding, “I refuse to believe that we can... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/16/2011, 12:40pm
Yesterday we took the opportunity of Rick Perry’s recent speech at Liberty University to revisit his appearance on last year on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, in which he went into depth about the “supernatural events” (mainly rain or lack thereof) that have driven his life. If the governor’s visit to Liberty is any indication, the affinity that he displayed with the Religious Right in his TBN appearance is still going strong. Before Wednesday’s speech, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. gave Perry a rousing welcome, defending the governor for his... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/08/2011, 1:18pm
Phyllis Schlafly is a longtime critic of the National Education Association and LGBT rights, and today in The Phyllis Schlafly Report she ridicules the teachers’ union’s endorsement of resolutions calling for a safe and diverse work environment and opposing discrimination against LGBT school employees, families and students. While Schlafly mainly lists excerpts from the NEA, she dubs their anti-discrimination policies as “radical” and leaves no confusion over where she stands: Eagle Forum always sends an observer to the annual convention of the National Education... MORE