unions

Wyoming May Follow Oklahoma and Consider Sharia Law Ban

Apparently, Sharia law is such a creeping threat to Wyoming that a Republican state legislator wants to make the “Equality State” consider a constitutional amendment barring judges from considering Islamic and international law. In November, Oklahomans passed a similar amendment, which was later blocked by a federal judge over its suspect constitutional grounds.

“To date, no Wyoming court rulings have been based on Islamic law, or Shariah,” the Billings Gazette reports, “But state Rep. Gerald Gay, R-Casper, said his proposed constitutional amendment, House Joint Resolution 8, is meant as a ‘pre-emptive strike’ to ensure judges don’t rely on Shariah in cases involving, for example, arranged marriages, ‘honor killings’ or usury cases.” Gay needs approval of two-thirds of the legislature and the governor's signature to place the amendment on the 2012 ballot.

According to the 2000 Association of Religion Data Archives, Wyoming’s two Muslim congregations have 263 adherents.

In Washington, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney that he wants to hold hearings on the creeping threat of Sharia law, and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is planning McCarthy-esque hearings on the country’s Muslim community.

While Gay pushes to stop the non-existent use of Islamic law in courts, the Wyoming State House today passed a bill to “direct Wyoming to not recognize marriages or civil unions between same-sex couples performed out of state, including foreign countries.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Iowa GOP Hopes to Ban Gay Marriage and Civil Unions as Vander Plaats Mobilizes Pastors

The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have emphasized restrictions on gay-rights and reproductive-rights in their legislative agenda, and Religious Right leader Bob Vander Plaats is pressing for the removal of the entire Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats’s new organization, The Family Leader, recently blasted pro-equality faith leaders in an alert message that questions their faith, stating: “167 ‘religious’ leaders signed a letter delivered to the Iowa Legislature saying that people of faith support homosexual ‘marriage.’ Don’t stay silent while others speak for you and misrepresnt [sic] God.” The group calls on pastors to sign an alternative petition which describes “homosexual behavior” as “immoral and sinful” and “harmful both to the individuals who choose to participate in it and the society that chooses to accept it.”

The mobilization of pastors by The Family Leader comes at a time when, according to the Des Moines Register, Republican leaders are trying to prohibit not only gay marriage but also other forms of legal rights for gay couples such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Register reports:

House Republicans will introduce legislation this week to begin the process to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships.

That prospect raised alarm with civil rights advocates, who said it would legalize discrimination.

Republicans, who took control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections, had pledged to pass a measure this legislative session that would eventually allow Iowans a vote on same-sex marriage. But the resolution they've prepared is more sweeping than that, a move intended to help place finality on the issue of the legality of same-sex unions, said Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, who is the lead sponsor of House Joint Resolution 6.

"I think the biggest issue is that if that (a same-sex marriage ban) is carried forward, and then Iowa does civil unions and recognizes that as a substitute status, then, from what I've seen in other states," people would come to consider same-sex civil unions as equal to marriage, Alons said.

As of late Wednesday, no Democrats had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Fifty-six of the 60 House Republicans are listed as co-sponsors. The measure is expected to easily pass the House, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block consideration of a same-sex marriage amendment in that chamber.

The resolution says: "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."

Des Moines attorney James Benzoni said such an amendment would run counter to the intent of Iowa laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The problem you're going to have is that it allows prejudice," Benzoni said. "It's going to open the door now for discrimination, for bullying, for treating people as second-class citizens."

The wording raised questions about whether private companies and governments in Iowa could still extend benefits to domestic partners. State government, for example, provides domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.



Those who agree with the Iowa Supreme Court ruling have noted that same-sex couples have in previous years been shut out from hospital visitation and inheritance rights. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has listed more than 1,100 benefits the government provides to married couples.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of Des Moines, president of the NAACP State Conference for Iowa and Nebraska, has helped lead protests against same-sex marriage. He said Wednesday he agrees with the attempt to also keep domestic partnership or civil unions from gaining legal status.

Ratliff said he believes same-sex marriage further erodes the family, similar to the way that two-income families have eroded traditional nuclear families.

"I think there is an immediate consequence to gay marriage because people let their guard down in relation to what the word of God says," Ratliff said.

Iowa GOP Hopes to Ban Gay Marriage and Civil Unions as Vander Plaats Mobilizes Pastors

The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have emphasized restrictions on gay-rights and reproductive-rights in their legislative agenda, and Religious Right leader Bob Vander Plaats is pressing for the removal of the entire Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats’s new organization, The Family Leader, recently blasted pro-equality faith leaders in an alert message that questions their faith, stating: “167 ‘religious’ leaders signed a letter delivered to the Iowa Legislature saying that people of faith support homosexual ‘marriage.’ Don’t stay silent while others speak for you and misrepresnt [sic] God.” The group calls on pastors to sign an alternative petition which describes “homosexual behavior” as “immoral and sinful” and “harmful both to the individuals who choose to participate in it and the society that chooses to accept it.”

The mobilization of pastors by The Family Leader comes at a time when, according to the Des Moines Register, Republican leaders are trying to prohibit not only gay marriage but also other forms of legal rights for gay couples such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Register reports:

House Republicans will introduce legislation this week to begin the process to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships.

That prospect raised alarm with civil rights advocates, who said it would legalize discrimination.

Republicans, who took control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections, had pledged to pass a measure this legislative session that would eventually allow Iowans a vote on same-sex marriage. But the resolution they've prepared is more sweeping than that, a move intended to help place finality on the issue of the legality of same-sex unions, said Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, who is the lead sponsor of House Joint Resolution 6.

"I think the biggest issue is that if that (a same-sex marriage ban) is carried forward, and then Iowa does civil unions and recognizes that as a substitute status, then, from what I've seen in other states," people would come to consider same-sex civil unions as equal to marriage, Alons said.

As of late Wednesday, no Democrats had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Fifty-six of the 60 House Republicans are listed as co-sponsors. The measure is expected to easily pass the House, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block consideration of a same-sex marriage amendment in that chamber.

The resolution says: "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."

Des Moines attorney James Benzoni said such an amendment would run counter to the intent of Iowa laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The problem you're going to have is that it allows prejudice," Benzoni said. "It's going to open the door now for discrimination, for bullying, for treating people as second-class citizens."

The wording raised questions about whether private companies and governments in Iowa could still extend benefits to domestic partners. State government, for example, provides domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.



Those who agree with the Iowa Supreme Court ruling have noted that same-sex couples have in previous years been shut out from hospital visitation and inheritance rights. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has listed more than 1,100 benefits the government provides to married couples.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of Des Moines, president of the NAACP State Conference for Iowa and Nebraska, has helped lead protests against same-sex marriage. He said Wednesday he agrees with the attempt to also keep domestic partnership or civil unions from gaining legal status.

Ratliff said he believes same-sex marriage further erodes the family, similar to the way that two-income families have eroded traditional nuclear families.

"I think there is an immediate consequence to gay marriage because people let their guard down in relation to what the word of God says," Ratliff said.

Wendy Wright: There’s No Discrimination in America, Except for that Committed by “Homosexual Activists”

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women For America, in the conservative publication The American Thinker ridicules the Obama Administration’s claims that bigotry and inequality still exist in the U.S., but goes on to claim that the Religious Right represents the actual victim of discrimination at the hands of “homosexual activists.” Such fatuous allegations are nothing new from Wright, who participated in the “Green Dragon” series that believes the environmental movement is surreptitiously trying to destroy Christianity and dismissed a study which showed that the children of same-sex parents are as “well adjusted” as their peers because it didn’t conform to her anti-gay prejudice.

In her article, “What Obama Thinks of America,” Wright is incensed that the Obama Administration still believes that discrimination survives in the U.S. and facetiously asks “Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination?” However, she then blasts the Obama Administration for not confronting the “homosexual activists” who are leading “a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage, with particular venom toward religious people.” Essentially, Wright and the CWA strongly endorse discriminatory laws and bigoted views that target gay and lesbian Americans, but in her opinion proponents of anti-gay bigotry like herself are the real victims of intolerance:

Sometimes the best way to find out what a person thinks about you is to find out what he tells others.

That's why the report on America's human rights record filed by the Obama administration with the U.N. is particularly interesting.



What comes through is that President Obama's crew thinks America is congenitally discriminatory, and his administration is bravely soldiering into this morass against the unwashed masses to create an equal society.

As the report states, "[w]ork remains to meet our goal of ensuring equality before the law for all." Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination? Not mentioned. No matter -- when you're convinced that Americans are bigots, there is no need to provide proof.

The administration crows in the report about passing the incredibly divisive and unconstitutional health care act. It devotes a section to the bill, with glowing aspirations of how it will end the discrimination of a racist medical system. (Remember, these people see everything through the filter of race or identity politics -- even health care.)

Yet religious freedom (in which the U.S. excels in contrast to other countries) gets a few measly paragraphs with boilerplate generalities. Whereas the health care bill earned details like how many Asian-American men suffer from stomach cancer, the examples of a defense of religious freedom were a Native American primary school student's right to wear his hair in a braid and a Muslim girl's right to wear a hijab.

Maybe this administration is not keen on religious freedom. The issue is so old-school...yesterday's news...Christian. And it inconveniently conflicts with one of President Obama's priorities highlighted in the report, a priority that threatens religious freedom -- privileges for those who engage in homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender behavior.

Homosexual activists conducted a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage -- with particular venom toward religious people. The vile assaults on Carrie Prejean for merely expressing her views pulled away the curtain that had been hiding how homosexual activists routinely treat decent people who dissent. It raised the question: Who is the aggressor, and who is victim?

Did you get that? "In each era of our history" -- that is, America is historically and inherently bigoted. Makes you wonder why they'd want to live here.

LGBT advocates (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) claim that sexual orientation is an inborn identity, like skin color or ethnicity, and they excoriate people who use the term "gay lifestyle" because it implies choices and actions. Yet the report's first boast of tackling discrimination against this group was the striking down of a law criminalizing sodomy. Apparently, particular actions do define homosexuality.

Wright goes on to argue that the Justice Department intentionally lost the Massachusetts cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act, a charge which Focus on the Family thinks deserves a congressional investigation by Darrell Issa, and that any move towards equality for gays and lesbians actually represents prejudice:

Remember, since he ran for president, Obama has claimed that he does not upport same-sex "marriage." Yet he opposes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the clearest federal statute that protects marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Obama's Justice Department sabotaged its defense of DOMA in a legal challenge, making such weak arguments that it guaranteed a loss. And he opposed California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. So Obama opposes federal and state measures that define and enforce traditional marriage.

That's where the report to the U.N. really gets interesting. It states, "Debate continues over equal rights to marriage for LGBT Americans at the federal and state levels, and several states have reformed their laws to provide for same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships."



President Obama is, as he said in his inaugural address, remaking America. Too bad his image of America -- and what he wants to turn us into -- is so prejudiced.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/14/10

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: LGBT activists call on Huckabee to break ties with Lou Engle (Advocate, 12/13).

2012: Believes he is best prepared to “bring in ethnic voters than most Republicans” (National Journal, 12/13).

Obama: Says the President was “amateurish,” less difficult to defeat in 2012 than Republican opponents (National Journal, 12/8).

Sarah Palin

Haiti: Travels to Haiti with Franklin Graham, Greta van Susteren (CBS News, 12/13).

Foreign affairs: Plans trips to Israel and UK, wants to meet Margaret Thatcher (NY Post, 12/9).

Ron Paul

WikiLeaks: Claims that WikiLeaks exposes failure of neoconservative foreign policy (The Nation, 12/13).

Tea Party: Paul’s ideas gain traction as House GOP embraces the Tea Party (NYT, 12/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Talks about faith on Christian Broadcasting Network profile (MN Independent, 12/13).

Labor: Pens WSJ Op-Ed criticizing public employee labor unions as “exploiters” (WSJ, 12/13).

Mike Pence

Obama: Says that the President wants American people to behave “like a dog” and “simply to obey” (US News, 12/13).

South Carolina: Hosts GOP fundraiser in early-primary state with Tea Party favorite and Gov-Elect Nikki Haley (Politico, 12/13).

GOP: George Will looks into Pence’s appeal in the Republican base (WaPo, 12/8).

Mitt Romney

Op-Ed: Slams compromise tax plan in USA Today (USA Today, 12/14).

Independents: Public Policy Poll finds Romney most popular Republican among independent voters (GOP12, 12/13).

Poll: Only GOP contender who leads Obama in Marist poll match up (McClatchy, 12/10).

Rick Santorum

Pennsylvania: Republicans in PA react to Santorum’s potential presidential run (Tribune Review, 12/12).

John Thune

Iowa: Thune’s experience in retail politics in rural, neighboring South Dakota to help bid in Iowa (Politico, 12/12).

Budget: Tells Hannity that unemployment extensions should be paid for but tax cuts shouldn’t (ThinkProgress, 12/9).

Given Land's Track Record, Islamic Center Developers Shouldn't Be Too Worried

It appears as if Richard Land isn't giving up his blatantly hypocritical opposition to the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" ... nor his penchant for making absurdly bold predictions:

A scholar and Southern Baptist leader is convinced that the controversial "Ground Zero" mosque project will never fully develop.

...

Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention, opposes the renamed "Park51" project and is convinced it will never be built at the proposed location.

"I guarantee you that mosque will not be built two blocks from Ground Zero, and I'll tell you why -- the construction unions will refuse to build it," he suggests. "And if the construction unions don't build it, it won't get built. The hard hats will picket it, and the unions will not cross that picket line. They lost too many of their own on 9/11."

Just allow me to point out that Land does not have a particularly good track record of making predictions, as he recently declared that Hillary Clinton would resign as Secretary of State in order to challenge President Obama and that she'd do so "within 30 days" of the last election.

Well, guess what?  It has now been exactly thirty days since the election and Clinton is still serving as Secretary of State.  In fact, she recently announced that her days of running for office were completely over.

So I am going to make a bold prediction of my own: Land is not going to let the fact that his predictions routinely turn out to be utterly wrong stop him from continuing to make ill-informed predictions.

Fischer Claims to Oppose Bullying While Attacking the "Deviancy Cabal" Which Is Killing Gay Students

Yesterday Bryan Fischer dedicated ten minutes of his radio program to expanding upon his column blaming gay groups for suicides among young people in which he said that "if we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students."

I have edited the segment down and I think it provides a perfect example of the utter incoherence of Fischer's anti-gay agenda in that he starts off by saying that if schools just taught the Ten Commandments there would be no bullying problems, then declares that defending God's word about homosexuality is not bullying and points to Carl Paladino as proof of what happens to those who dare to speak the truth, and then concludes by attacking the "deviancy cabal" for "brainwashing" students into declaring a "disordered sexual preference" and holding them responsible for suicides just as anyone who pressured kids into drug use would be guilty of their deaths:

If we were still inculcating Judeo-Christian principles in our public education system, we would not be having nearly the problem that we currently have this because of the classic Judeo-Christian values of courtesy and kindness, civility, respect for human beings that are made in the image of God. It's time for us to go back to introducing our students in our public eduction system to the time-honored standards that are found in the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the New Testament.

We have got to understand that speaking the truth about homosexual behavior is not bullying and it's not harassment, as much as the deviancy cabal wants it to be. I mean seriously ladies and gentlemen, they want to punish speech, they want to punish, intimidate anybody who would dare open his mouth and express criticism of homosexuality. Think of what happened to Carl Paladino, the way he has been landed on like a falling safe by every homosexual activist group in the world for daring to speak the truth about homosexuality.

I want to suggest that homosexual activists are not wholly innocent in these tragedies, in these horrible suicides by these students. Now realize that homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they have to recruit; it's the only way to swell their numbers. We, the sexually normal, we can be fruitful, we can multiply, we can fill the earth. Homosexuals cannot do it, they're incapable of procreation which is one of the reasons we should never sanctify those relationships with the term marriage or even domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Now part of the agenda of groups like GLSEN ... is to urge students at younger and younger ages to come out of the closet and declare a disordered sexual preference for themselves. so you've got sexually confused young people - and again, they're trying to push this down into kindergarten, they're trying to get this brainwashing into students of all ages even starting in elementary school - and what they're urging them to do is self-declare as homosexuals before they are mature enough to make any sort of rational decision about sexual matters.

So I'm suggesting that adults that pressure these students to declare a disordered sexual preference when they're too young to know better, that they share some culpability for those that take their life, just like an adult encouraging a young student to experiment with injection drug abuse - we would say to that adult, you share some culpability for what happens in the life of that student.

Some Voting Advice From Focus on the Family

With the mid-term elections approaching, Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery has some simple advice on how to choose the correct candidate for whom to vote: vote for the Christian.

And how do you know which candidate is the true Christian? Well, it is the candidate that supports Focus on the Family's agenda, of course:

Does the candidate have a Christian world-view? Is he pro-life? A clue is whether he knows the embryonic stem-cell debate and opposes the process. Does she firmly support God’s definition of marriage, and does she oppose civil unions that give marriage benefits to same-sex couples? Does he believe that parents, rather than the state, have ultimate say over what a child learns in school? Is she hostile toward or silent on matters of faith? A candidate’s positions on all these issues are important indicators.

But beware that you can't just vote for the Christian - you have to make sure that you vote for the candidate from the right party because that determines who gets to set the agenda: 

Political Parties matter. You like the platform and values of a local candidate who’s running with the party you typically vote against. Should you cross party lines and vote for him? Don’t forget that whichever party is in the majority has control over which bills eventually reach the floor. You’re voting for more than individual candidates; you’re voting for which party sets the agenda.

Gee, since Focus on the Family is nonpartisan, I wonder what they could possibly mean by warning their activists not to "cross party lines"?

LaBarbera Turns On NOM Over DADT

When the debate over the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was going on a few weeks back, the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated "Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman" raised a few eyebrows with a Tweet that came out in support of repealing DADT:

There is no need to prohibit gays and lesbians from openly serving in the Armed Forces. They should have the opportunity to serve.

This, of course, has outraged Peter LaBarbera, who now has NOM in his sights

I couldn’t believe this item, which we are late to report: the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the leading pro-traditional-marriage group in the country, has come out for allowing open homosexuals in the military (see Sept. 9th NOM tweet above).

This is the latest exercise in “pro-family” political and strategic folly. For all the great work that it does, NOM is dead wrong on this one. In addition to degrading morale, cohesion and discipline in the Armed Forces, creating an officially pro-homosexual U.S. military would establish a new, federal government-enforced ”civil rights” paradigm that would be used to push the homosexual agenda on the rest of the nation. That of course includes same-sex “marriage” and punishing/”re-educating” moral opponents of homosexuality. I doubt that NOM would support tradition-minded, Christian soldiers and sailors from Small Town America being subjected to radical, pro-homosexual “diversity” lectures — but that’s what’s coming if NOM’s regrettable tweet comes to pass.

Can’t NOM see that it is undercutting its own cause (and the truth) by pandering to the ”Gay” Lobby’s goal of homosexuality as a state-backed “civil right”? Long before “gay marriage” became a major issue, “sexual orientation” laws created the legal basis for punishing moral critics of sodomy. And let’s be clear: when pro-family marriage advocates talk up “equal rights for gays and lesbians” (as the Prop 8 appeal brief does here), they are engaged in a dangerous double-game — because so many homosexual ideologues believe their “right” to be approved as a homosexual supersedes YOUR right to disagree with their lifestyle. It’s a zero-sum game between “gay rights” and religious/moral rights, as lesbian lawyer and Obama EEOC appointee Chai Feldblum puts it; of course, she thinks “gays” should win and Christians should lose in most cases. In that sense, GLBT activists like Feldblum are pro-discrimination, even as they tout ”equality.”

Our constitutional rights come ultimately from God. Homosexuality, like all sin, is against God’s will (and against Nature). Therefore, it cannot be the basis for “constitutional” rights.

LaBarbera is livid that NOM is apparently throwing anti-gay activists such as himself under the bus and accuses the group of assisting "liberals in castigating the more principled fighters against the homosexual agenda as somehow 'bigoted' and extreme" and is therefore demanding that NOM refuse to "support ANY aspect of the larger homosexual agenda even as it continues its important work protecting traditional marriage."

UPDATE: It looks like LaBarbera has removed this post,  as the original link now returns only a "page not found" message.

National Organization for Marriage on the attack in New Hampshire

Republican Presidential hopefuls aren’t the only ones going to New Hampshire to take down Democratic governor John Lynch: the National Organization for Marriage is launching a $425,000 ad campaign to oppose the governor. In June of last year, Governor Lynch signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, which put him in NOM’s crosshairs. NOM has also spent $235,000 attacking members of Iowa’s Supreme Court, which unanimously decided that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the state constitution, who are up for a retention vote. Moreover, the group spent tens of thousands of dollars in unsuccessful efforts to defeat members of the DC Council that voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Hopefully, their ads in New Hampshire will be just as "memorable" as their Gathering Storm ad. NOM will surely utilize the same deceptive tactics and bigoted rhetoric present in their other ads, especially since they are working with the New Hampshire group Cornerstone Action, the political arm of the state’s foremost Religious Right organization. Cornerstone Action believes that adultery should be a criminal offense, and in 2007 their executive director claimed that same-sex couples are “unnatural” and worked to oppose civil unions as an “acceptance of a behavior that is jeopardizing the health of our children.” Without a doubt, the gubernatorial race in New Hampshire will be another test of NOM’s plans to defeat public officials who back LGBT equality.

Chuck Colson Will Never Say "Gay Marriage" Again

During the first Pray and Act webcast, we noticed the Chuck Colson had declared that he was no longer going to tolerate the use of the phrase "gay marriage" because "there is no such thing. There can't be gay marriage. Marriage is a man and a woman."

It turns out that Colson is entirely serious about refusing to use the term "gay marriage" and even made it the focus of one of his recent "Two Minute Warning" videos where he likened the term to George Orwell's "Newspeak" while, rather ironically, simultaneously vowing to completely erase the term from his own vocabulary and website: 

Look folks, when we Christians use the phrase "gay marriage" in public discourse, we're simply letting so-called gay marriage proponents manipulate the meaning of words and in the end, empty the word "marriage" of its profound meaning.

This is what C.S. Lewis called "verbicide" - we're killing the meanings of words and the concepts behind them.

This is what George Orwell referred to him his book "1984" when he talked about Newspeak and the so-called Ministry of Truth which sought to control people through the manipulation of words.

So here's what I'm going to do: from now on I'm pledging to you that you will never hear me say "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" again and you won't find the terms on our websites going forward.

Instead, you'll only here them referred to as "so-called gay marriage" or "gay unions" I can call same-sex relationships any number of things: unions, contracts, arrangements. But I will not call them marriage because that's not what they are! So-called gay marriage is simply an impossibility.

Kitty Werthmann To Appear On Glenn Beck This Week

I have written about South Dakota Eagle Forum president Kitty Werthmann and her DVD "Freedom to Dictatorship in 5 Years" a few times before:

From her own experience, Mrs. Kitty Werthmann will help you see we are walking the same path as the Nazi's. When she was 12 years old living in Austria there was order, prayer and pictures of Jesus. Hitler took over and all that was removed! Unemployment rose to 35%, bank loans rose to 25%, unions called strikes - all this with 98% of the people claiming to be Catholic! Soon there was massive welfare. Cries went out for equal rights for woman. Socialism took women out of the home, raising the children, and into the factories. They took the children away from the family and raised them by the state. The Health department offered training for the elderly but they were killed.

So of course, she is going to be on Glenn Beck this Friday:

Kitty Werthmann of Pierre will be a guest on Friday's edition of “The Glenn Beck Program” on the Fox News channel.

The show airs at 4 p.m. CDT. Werthmann, 84, will talk about growing up in Austria and living during the rule of Adolf Hitler.

Interestingly, we first wrote about Werthmann back in 2007 when, if I recall correctly, George W. Bush was still president - oddly, nobody took her seriously back then, but for some reasson she's suddenly found herself in high demand ever since Barack Obama was elected to the White House.

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

Random Book Blogging: Abolitionism as a Threat To Family and Christianity

The latest installment of "Random Book Blogging" come from "Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery" by Stephen R. Haynes.

In this section, Haynes is explaining how pro-slavery advocates argued that the institution of slavery was absolutely necessary for the stability of society and attacked abolitionists as intent on destroying the family, Christianity, and government:

The proslavery compulsion to associate human subjugation and civic harmony is quite evident in the writings of Virginian George Fitzhugh, the most respected slavery apologist in the decades prior to the Civil War. In two books published during the 1850s - Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society (1854) and Cannibals All! or, Slaves Without Masters (1857) - Fitzhugh assailed the foundations of democratic society while establishing an intellectual basis for slavocracy. Fitzhugh regarded the preservation of societal order as among the chief benefits of human thralldom, declaring that "at the saveholding South all is peace, quiet, plenty and contentment. We have no mobs, no trade unions, no strikes for higher wages, no armed resistance to the law, but little jealousy of the rich by the poor. We have but few in our jails, and fewer in our poor houses." This was no coincidence: Because blacks so clearly required masters, racial slavery was "the most necessary of all human institutions," an "indispensable police institution."

In Fitzhugh's view, abolitionists sought nothing less than the reorganization of American society. They wished "to abolish ... or greatly modify the relations of husband and wife, parent and child, the institution of private property of all kinds, but especially separate ownership of lands, and the institution of Christian churches now existing in America." If they are successful, Fitzhugh warned, government, law, religion, and marriage would be among the causalities.

Gee, where I have heard that argument before?

Americans for Prosperity funnels big money, activist anger into attacks on House Democrats

Americans for Prosperity, the “grassroots” Tea Party organization funded by anti-government billionaires, is one of several right-wing groups that glommed on to Glenn Beck’s decision to bring the Tea Party crowd to Washington, D.C. With help from the Koch family, AFP has grown rapidly. In the words of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, AFP has grown in a few years from “an idea in a New York apartment” into a network with 32 chapter and more than a million activists. AFP’s Tim Phillips told the 2500 activists (their number) at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” on Friday that “we’re going to take back Washington for two days and we’re going to take back our country over the next few years.” 

During the plenary session and in workshops, AFP speakers insisted that the organization was nonpartisan and will not endorse candidates, disclaimers that seemed like a micro-thin veneer of legalese over plans to pour millions of dollars into attacks on Democratic House candidates between now and November. In fact, the group’s November is Coming! campaign is targeting 40-50 House races where they can “make a difference.” Here’s part of the message it asks voters to sign:
 
Dear Policymakers, Elected Officials, and Candidates: You know that November is coming and voters care about the issues. Left-wing policies continue to drive Obama’s agenda for even bigger government. We want you to oppose big government programs or any other freedom-killing policies or we will remember in November.
 
November is Coming includes a publicity-seeking bus tour, and AFP is recruiting activists to engage in door to door “voter education” efforts and make phone calls from home into targeted districts using a sophisticated computer phonebanking system. The calls and visits aren’t about telling people to vote for, AFP says, it’s just doing people the service of letting them know how their representatives voted on issues like health care, cap and trade legislation, and stimulus spending. You can see some of the ads on AFP's You Tube channel.
 
AFP group used Colorado as a test case for the November is Coming model, and has held organizing meetings in 20 cities since June. Among its targets in Colorado: Reps. Betsy Markey, Ed Perlmutter, and John Salazar. Campaign organizers showed ads attacking candidates for being in league with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and said they are currently running a $330,000 ad buy attacking Markey.
 
Political consultant Dick Morris predicted that the GOP would take control over both Houses after the November elections and promised big attacks on public employee unions and a showdown over government spending. He told the crowd that there would be another government shutdown, like in 1995 and 1996, but this time he’d be on their side, and this time they’d win.
 
 

Glenn Beck Outrages The Right By Saying Gay Marriage Poses No Threat

Last week, Glenn Beck made news when he said that he didn't think issues like abortion or gay marriage were all that important and didn't pose a threat to the nation.

Needless to say, that is not sitting well with the Right and Beck is now coming under attack from people like David Kupelian, who are accusing him of abandoning core conservative values:

[S]peaking of our founding fathers, Glenn: The three founders you picture daily on your Fox TV show under the heading "Faith. Hope. Charity" – namely Sam Adams, George Washington and Ben Franklin – would have been horrified, appalled and aghast at the mere thought of men marrying men and women marrying women.

If you want to honor the founders, don't abandon their values.

America, you have a choice right now. Hold to what you know deep in your heart is right, even if both your enemies and your friends give you a hard time. Or, take the easy route and be comfortable, but lose your culture, your country, your children, and ultimately your self-respect.

And Joseph Farah is also going after Beck for not understanding the danger of "upsetting God's order":

Beck doesn't care about one of the most blatant and despicable examples of judicial tyranny in the history of our country. He doesn't care about the institution of marriage and its 5,000-year history. He doesn't care that the Bible says God created marriage way back in Genesis and that Jesus affirmed that. He doesn't care that the family is the building block of a society and that smarter men have explained how you simply can't have freedom and self-governance without it. He also doesn't seem to care about what might become of children adopted into such unions.

That, my friends, is the perfect illustration of what's wrong with the materialist worldview – whether it is held by a raving Marxist or a conservative entertainer.

And so is Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, who accuses Beck of not caring about the impact it is having upon children:

True conservatives need to rethink their cowardly refusal to address the inherent immorality of homosexual practice and their deeply flawed strategy of calling for a moratorium on “social issues.” It’s astonishing that any thinking person could view as non-existential the radical redefinition of marriage and the implications it has for First Amendment speech and religious liberties as well as for parental rights and public education.

...

The sexual revolution with its severing of sex from marriage and marriage from procreation paved the way for severing marriage from gender. And now we have children being procreated with the deliberate intention of separating them from the biological parents who procreated them. Children are being deliberately denied their self-evident and inalienable right to be raised by the parents who produced them ... Homosexual activists in cahoots with legislators and judges are working feverishly — and successfully — to force public educators to present resources that affirm homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder as positive and normal to even elementary school children. And Glenn Beck proclaims that homosexual marriage doesn’t hurt America. Apparently, children aren’t part of America in Beck’s World.

Just yesterday Glenn Beck was telling David Barton and Rick Green about how his upcoming "Restoring Honor" rally was, quite literally, being overseen by God and would lead to the next Great Awakening in America. 

But will the Religious Right support his effort now that he appears to be dismissing the social issues that are central to their agenda? 

LaBarbera's Conference Overrun By Spies

Back in June, when Peter LaBarber announced his three day anti-gay "Truth Academy," he made it clear that those who did not share his anti-gay views or agenda would not be welcome and that he would actively be screening applicants: 

This is a rigorous, 3-day program featuring some of the leading pro-family experts on homosexuality in the Culture War. Prospective attendees will need to be approved with references; this is not open to pro-homosexual activists but only to those who share AFTAH’s belief that homosexuality is immoral and that the GLBT movement is destructive to America and a direct threat to our religious freedom.

So how did that work out?

Well, Truth Wins Out got someone inside who provided audio recordings and Hemant Mehta (aka “The Friendly Atheist”) likewise had two sources inside who have provided an exhaustive recounting of the conference - one of Mehta's sources actually struck up a discussion with another attendee, only to find out that that person was also there as a spy. 

Now that spy, Timna Axel, has written her own long piece providing an inside view of the conference:

Reading Bible passages that describe God's strictly heterosexual design for marriage, Professor Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty University traced a history of court cases which systematically de-linked procreation from marriage.

"I firmly believe we got to where we are today because we as a nation strayed from God's standard," she said. In her view, the last U.S. Supreme Court case which correctly described marriage was Murphy v. Ramsey, a case on polygamy decided 125 years ago. Decrying Lawrence v. Texas, which protected citizen privacy from anti-sodomy laws, Prof. Lindevaldsen admitted that she didn't want "the government peeking into my bedroom." However, privacy in this case should be sacrificed because "laws normalize conduct."

While anti-gay federal laws would merely discourage bad conduct, pro-gay federal laws would effectively criminalize Christianity, according to LaBarbera, who cited the cases of Canada and England. In his example, laws which prohibit renters from discriminating based on sexual orientation would make it illegal to fulfill the Christian ideology.

This scriptural keystone explains the absolute inability of these believers to compromise on gay marriage. "Sexual sin is sexual sin," asserted LaBarbera. "The truth is the truth." To budge one inch for domestic partnerships or civil unions is moral cowardice, and would open the floodgates for normalizing other sexual sins such as adultery and incest.

LaBarbera hailed his conference as a "tremendous success," but its becoming clear that a significant number of the 50 or so people LaBarbera claims attended were really there as undercover spies.

Interesting, LaBarbera is also offering DVDs and CDs from the conference ... but who needs to waste money on them when we are getting so much inside coverage of the event from the countless spies in attendance?

Right Reacts Preemptively to Expected Prop 8 Loss

The decision in the Proposition 8 trial is expected soon and backers of Prop 8 are expecting to lose, which is why they have already filed papers seeking a stay on the decision as they appeal it to the Ninth Circuit.

And Bishop Harry Jackson has already released a statement voicing his outrage about it via a series of Twitter posts:

Prop 8 Decision Threatens Core Civil Right to Vote for Marriage -This is a travesty of justice. The majority of Californians - and two-thirds of black voters in California - have just had their core civil right to vote for marriage stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his San Francisco views on the American people.

The implicit comparison Judge Walker made between racism and marriage is particularly offensive to me and to all of us who remember the reality of Jim Crow.

It is not bigotry it is biology that discriminates between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples. To make a marriage requires a husband and a wife because these unions are necessary to make new life and connect children to their mother and father.

Judge Walker’s slur will not stand the test of time and history. We demand that Congress and the Supreme Court act to protect all Americans’ right to vote for marriage.

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unions Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 3:21pm
Michael Bresciani of American Prophet claims that the move towards gay equality signals the End Days. Writing for Renew America on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s decision to permit the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers, Bresciani contends “that the rise in gay activism is not only a new low for the nation but it is part and parcel to last day’s prophecy” which “must precede the rise of the antichrist and the final judgments of God against a rebellious and totally reprobate generation.” He also mistakenly believes that Virginia has legalized... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/20/2011, 9:31am
Linda Harvey of Mission America talked to Peter LaBarbera about Friday’s Day of Silence, a day for students to protest anti-gay bullying and harassment in schools. As detailed in People For the American Way’s report “Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids,” the Religious Right has been leading a campaign against anti-bullying programs, and Harvey is one of the most outspoken critics of bullying-prevention programs. Harvey, who co-hosted the rabidly anti-gay Americans for Truth Academy with LaBarbera,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/18/2011, 10:20am
Bob Vander Plaats’s The Family Leader just announced that Rick Santorum will join them for two events in early May. The Family Leader is an obsessive, militantly anti-gay organization that wants to remove the entire Iowa Supreme Court for ruling in favor of marriage equality. Already, likely presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul have joined Vander Plaats for his religious right group’s Presidential Lecture Series, and Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain plan to address the group this summer: The goal of the Presidential Lecture Series is to provide an... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/12/2011, 3:57pm
During The Awakening’s panel on “Messaging and Mobilizing a New General of World Changers,” the fear of swelling youth support for marriage equality laws was widespread. Religious Right activists were particularly worried about the results of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that found that not only did 53 percent of Americans favor marriage equality, but that support was even stronger among younger Americans: “In an ABC/Post poll five and a half years ago, for example, under-30s were the sole age group to give majority support to gay marriage, at 57 percent.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/06/2011, 4:29pm
Back in March Right Wing Watch reported on the anti-gay group Save California’s intense hostility to a “sexual brainwashing” bill that would include historical LGBT figures from California in the state’s education curriculum. Randy Thomasson, the head of Save California, predicted that SB 48 will produce “the worst school sexual indoctrination ever” and said that “California public schools are no longer safe places for boys and girls morally.” Commenting on the bill today, Thomasson said that SB 48 smacks of “in-your-face sexual... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 04/04/2011, 5:42pm
Josh Harkinson @ Mother Jones: The Religious Right's Anti-Union Crusade. Matt Algren: LaBarbera's Truth Academy Fails Spectacularly. Again. Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council accidentally admits truth about hate group charges. Towleroad: Peter Sprigg Claims FRC Is Not A Hate Group. Joe.My.God: Mandatory Gay Adoption! Julie Sunday @ RH Reality Check: Texas to Consider "Traditional Values Centers" at State Universities. Terry Krepel @ County Fair: Pat Robertson Backs Ivory Coast Leader -- Whose Family “Guarantee[s]” Robertson’s... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/01/2011, 5:38pm
Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Colorado Republicans Block Civil Unions Bill As Opponents Warn Of ‘AIDS Tax,’ End Of Times. Evan McMorris-Santoro @ TPM: Sean Duffy To CNN: TPM Selectively Edited My Video! Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: The Most Embarrassing Losers Ever? Kevin Drum: DADT Repeal Going Smoothly. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Sen. Hall on Minneapolis and integration funding. MORE