Values Voter Summit

FRC Infuriated That CPAC Will Host Pro-Gay Rights Presidential Candidate

The Family Research Council is joining other Religious Right groups in elevating their attacks on CPAC, which begins tomorrow. The FRC is already boycotting CPAC over the conference’s inclusion of GOProud, and hosts a similar gathering called the Values Voter Summit. But today’s news that former New Mexico governor and likely GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson will address the annual event, where he “plans on advocating legalizing marijuana and gay rights,” enraged Tom McClusky. McClusky, the FRC’s Vice President for Government Affairs, has taken to his blog to bash Johnson for his libertarian views and CPAC for including him:

Guess Who (else) Is Coming to CPAC? Grover Norquist’s pot-smoking/pro-abortion/pro-gay marriage Presidential candidate

I wrote about the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-pot legalization, pro-illegal immigration former New Mexico governor and wannabe President Gary Johnson before when it was learned that Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform were partnering with the liberal homosexual group Log Cabin Republicans for a fundraiser for him. It appears now that CPAC is so desperate to fill speaking spots that they have invited Gary Johnson to speak at CPAC as well. What is equally likely is that they hope to divide the libertarian vote to avoid the joke of a straw poll they had last year.

The Log Cabin Republicans will be hosting a fundraiser for Johnson, who supports “gay unions,” on CPAC’s opening night.

Norquist, for his part, earlier today called boycotting groups like the FRC “loser organizations.”

FRC Infuriated That CPAC Will Host Pro-Gay Rights Presidential Candidate

The Family Research Council is joining other Religious Right groups in elevating their attacks on CPAC, which begins tomorrow. The FRC is already boycotting CPAC over the conference’s inclusion of GOProud, and hosts a similar gathering called the Values Voter Summit. But today’s news that former New Mexico governor and likely GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson will address the annual event, where he “plans on advocating legalizing marijuana and gay rights,” enraged Tom McClusky. McClusky, the FRC’s Vice President for Government Affairs, has taken to his blog to bash Johnson for his libertarian views and CPAC for including him:

Guess Who (else) Is Coming to CPAC? Grover Norquist’s pot-smoking/pro-abortion/pro-gay marriage Presidential candidate

I wrote about the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-pot legalization, pro-illegal immigration former New Mexico governor and wannabe President Gary Johnson before when it was learned that Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform were partnering with the liberal homosexual group Log Cabin Republicans for a fundraiser for him. It appears now that CPAC is so desperate to fill speaking spots that they have invited Gary Johnson to speak at CPAC as well. What is equally likely is that they hope to divide the libertarian vote to avoid the joke of a straw poll they had last year.

The Log Cabin Republicans will be hosting a fundraiser for Johnson, who supports “gay unions,” on CPAC’s opening night.

Norquist, for his part, earlier today called boycotting groups like the FRC “loser organizations.”

Live Action Gives Planned Parenthood the ACORN Treatment

It appears that Lila Rose’s group Live Action was behind the covert actions that led to an FBI probe of a possible prostitution ring after all. Planned Parenthood wrote to the FBI about a pattern of incidents where men would travel to their offices across the country and describe their role in illegal sex trafficking, warning that while the pattern could be part of an elaborate hoax, the FBI should investigate the potential lawbreaking:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man’s assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

“Once inside, these people have recorded ‘undercover’ videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos,” she wrote. “This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned.”

Today, Live Action released “Caught on Tape: Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring.” Of course, Planned Parenthood’s request to the FBI to investigate the possible sex ring clearly contradicts and discredits Live Action’s claim that Planned Parenthood is colluding with lawbreakers.

The video of a fake pimp and prostitute greatly resembles James O’Keefe’s highly edited and misleading tapes where he posed as a pimp with a prostitute at ACORN offices. As Talking Points Memo points out, O’Keefe and Live Action’s head Lila Rose have collaborated before and first met at the right-wing Leadership Institute.

Rose has become a rock star of sorts in the Religious Right community. At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, she called for abortions to be performed in public:

Live Action Gives Planned Parenthood the ACORN Treatment

It appears that Lila Rose’s group Live Action was behind the covert actions that led to an FBI probe of a possible prostitution ring after all. Planned Parenthood wrote to the FBI about a pattern of incidents where men would travel to their offices across the country and describe their role in illegal sex trafficking, warning that while the pattern could be part of an elaborate hoax, the FBI should investigate the potential lawbreaking:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man’s assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

“Once inside, these people have recorded ‘undercover’ videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos,” she wrote. “This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned.”

Today, Live Action released “Caught on Tape: Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring.” Of course, Planned Parenthood’s request to the FBI to investigate the possible sex ring clearly contradicts and discredits Live Action’s claim that Planned Parenthood is colluding with lawbreakers.

The video of a fake pimp and prostitute greatly resembles James O’Keefe’s highly edited and misleading tapes where he posed as a pimp with a prostitute at ACORN offices. As Talking Points Memo points out, O’Keefe and Live Action’s head Lila Rose have collaborated before and first met at the right-wing Leadership Institute.

Rose has become a rock star of sorts in the Religious Right community. At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, she called for abortions to be performed in public:

Flashback: Lila Rose Wants To See Abortions Carried Out In The Public Square

Talking Points Memo reports that the FBI is investigating a series of incidents at Planned Parenthood offices around the county where a man claimed to be running a sex-trafficking ring involving minors which Planned Parenthood believes was part of a hoax carried out by guerilla anti-choice activist Lila Rose:

The FBI has begun investigating a series of incidents in which a man told Planned Parenthood clinics around the country that he was running an underage sex trafficking ring, according to a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.

...

Planned Parenthood requested an investigation earlier this month after the clinics reported getting nearly the same visit: A young man would come in, claim he needed treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, and then reveal to a staff member that he was operating an interstate sex trafficking ring that exploits minors and illegal immigrants.

The visits all happened within a span of five days. Planned Parenthood, which is a frequent target of anti-abortion groups, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the potential sex trafficking operation, but acknowledged that it might be a "hoax."

The organization says they believe they've identified the man who made the visits and, they say, believe he's connected to Live Action -- a group that uses James O'Keefe-esque hidden camera "stings" in an attempt to dismantle Planned Parenthood.

The group is led by Lila Rose, an associate of O'Keefe's, and has been targeting Planned Parenthood with hidden camera operations since 2006.

So this seems like a good time to repost this video of Rose speaking at the 2009 Values Voter Summit and declaring that as long as abortion remains legal in this country, women should be forced to have their abortions carried out in the public square:

Flashback: Lila Rose Wants To See Abortions Carried Out In The Public Square

Talking Points Memo reports that the FBI is investigating a series of incidents at Planned Parenthood offices around the county where a man claimed to be running a sex-trafficking ring involving minors which Planned Parenthood believes was part of a hoax carried out by guerilla anti-choice activist Lila Rose:

The FBI has begun investigating a series of incidents in which a man told Planned Parenthood clinics around the country that he was running an underage sex trafficking ring, according to a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.

...

Planned Parenthood requested an investigation earlier this month after the clinics reported getting nearly the same visit: A young man would come in, claim he needed treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, and then reveal to a staff member that he was operating an interstate sex trafficking ring that exploits minors and illegal immigrants.

The visits all happened within a span of five days. Planned Parenthood, which is a frequent target of anti-abortion groups, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the potential sex trafficking operation, but acknowledged that it might be a "hoax."

The organization says they believe they've identified the man who made the visits and, they say, believe he's connected to Live Action -- a group that uses James O'Keefe-esque hidden camera "stings" in an attempt to dismantle Planned Parenthood.

The group is led by Lila Rose, an associate of O'Keefe's, and has been targeting Planned Parenthood with hidden camera operations since 2006.

So this seems like a good time to repost this video of Rose speaking at the 2009 Values Voter Summit and declaring that as long as abortion remains legal in this country, women should be forced to have their abortions carried out in the public square:

Brody: “Pence Could Become the ‘Madonna’ of 2012”

After Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) said he would decide on his election plans by the end of January, the movement to recruit him into the presidential race has moved into high gear. The recently-formed American President Committee launched a “Draft Pence” campaign and a group of Republican legislators from the critical primary state of South Carolina have organized a similar effort to lure the Indiana Congressman into a presidential run. Pence, who won the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit straw poll, has recently been spearheading anti-choice legislation and trashing President Obama. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network believes that Pence’s energetic support from both the Religious Right and pro-corporate conservatives may turn him “into the ‘Madonna’ of 2012” and predicts that “Evangelicals who don’t know about him may soon fall in love.”

Mike Pence could become the “Madonna” of 2012. Remember the 1980s movie “Desperately Seeking Susan?” starring the pop icon? (Oy, I may be dating myself.) Well, there is a political movement out there that we might want to start calling, “Desperately Seeking Pence”



[W]e should know in the next couple of weeks what Pence plans to do. If he runs, he becomes a legitimate dark horse with a huge upside to surprise a lot of people. He may be the Mike Huckabee of 2012. Evangelicals who know Pence love him. Evangelicals who don't know about him may soon fall in love.

One South Carolina legislator claimed that Pence could “lead this nation back from the precipice of socialism where we find ourselves today.”

Brody: “Pence Could Become the ‘Madonna’ of 2012”

After Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) said he would decide on his election plans by the end of January, the movement to recruit him into the presidential race has moved into high gear. The recently-formed American President Committee launched a “Draft Pence” campaign and a group of Republican legislators from the critical primary state of South Carolina have organized a similar effort to lure the Indiana Congressman into a presidential run. Pence, who won the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit straw poll, has recently been spearheading anti-choice legislation and trashing President Obama. David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network believes that Pence’s energetic support from both the Religious Right and pro-corporate conservatives may turn him “into the ‘Madonna’ of 2012” and predicts that “Evangelicals who don’t know about him may soon fall in love.”

Mike Pence could become the “Madonna” of 2012. Remember the 1980s movie “Desperately Seeking Susan?” starring the pop icon? (Oy, I may be dating myself.) Well, there is a political movement out there that we might want to start calling, “Desperately Seeking Pence”



[W]e should know in the next couple of weeks what Pence plans to do. If he runs, he becomes a legitimate dark horse with a huge upside to surprise a lot of people. He may be the Mike Huckabee of 2012. Evangelicals who know Pence love him. Evangelicals who don't know about him may soon fall in love.

One South Carolina legislator claimed that Pence could “lead this nation back from the precipice of socialism where we find ourselves today.”

Bryan Fischer: Black “Plantation Politicians” Shouldn’t Be Angry About Three-Fifths Compromise

When Republicans selected an edited version of the Constitution to read on the House Floor, one which left out sections such as the “three-fifths compromise” that says slaves will be counted as three-fifths of a person when assessing the apportionment of “representatives and direct taxes,” Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) charged that the “redacted Constitutional reading gives little deference to the long history of improving the Constitution” through anti-slavery and civil rights struggles. For very different reasons, Glenn Beck slammed the use of the edited version, because in his opinion the “three-fifths compromise” reflects “the genius of the Constitution.”

Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issue Analysis for the American Family Association, on the other hand, managed to both endorse the decision to leave the "three-fifths compromise" out of the reading while also defending the “three-fifths compromise”:

You’d think that the Democrats, with all their bloviation about how the Constitution is a living and breathing document that must change with the times, would be ecstatic at Republican recognition of legitimate changes to our founding document.

But no. The grievance industry, represented by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and other plantation politicians, is royally hacked off that the original part of the Constitution that dealt with representation in the slave-holding states wasn’t read. News flash for Rep. Jackson: the Civil War ended 146 years ago. Wake up and smell the freedom! Get over yourself and get on up into the 21st century while you’re at it.



So the grievance industry, still stuck woefully in the past, desperately wanted the Republicans to read the “three-fifths” clause. The Republicans didn’t, for one simple reason. It’s no longer part of the Constitution.

And here’s the kicker: while the Democrats wanted that read because they erroneously believe that it says that slaves were three-fifths of a person, the Constitution itself says exactly the opposite. The “three-fifths” clause clearly affirms the personhood of slaves.

Check it out. Here is the relevant portion, with emphasis added:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.



Bottom line: the three-fifths clause is not a pro-slavery clause, it is an anti-slavery clause.

And the same clause affirms the personhood of all slaves. You could look it up.

Again, this is the same Bryan Fischer who several prospective GOP presidential candidates shared a stage with at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit last year.

Family Research Council and Concerned Women For America pull out of CPAC, Religious Right Boycott Gains Momentum

The American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), one of the largest gatherings of right wing activists and a platform for Republican presidential candidates, continues to lose participants as a result of GOProud’s sponsorship of the event. GOProud is a conservative organization that supports gay rights that broke off from the Log Cabin Republicans for allegedly moving “way too far to the left.”

In November, the far-right American Principles Project instigated the CPAC boycott over GOProud’s involvement back in November, and groups such as American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, and the National Organization for Marriage followed the APP’s lead in boycotting the conference.

Today, WorldNetDaily, which has provided support for the boycott movement, reports that the Family Research Council and Concerned Women For America have decided to boycott CPAC. FRC and CWA are easily the largest groups to join the boycott movement, and FRC hosts a similar conference that is geared to Religious Right activists, the Values Voter Summit. WorldNetDaily reports on their decision and the ensuing praise from anti-gay rights activists Peter LaBarbera and Mat Staver:

"We've been very involved in CPAC for over a decade and have managed a couple of popular sessions. However, we will no longer be involved with CPAC because of the organization's financial mismanagement and movement away from conservative principles," said Tom McClusky, senior vice president for FRC Action.

"CWA has decided not to participate in part because of GOProud," CWA President Penny Nance told WND.



"Excellent. It is gratifying to see FRC and CWA respond appropriately to CPAC's moral sellout of allowing GOProud as a sponsor," said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, the nation's best-known organization dedicated exclusively to opposing the homosexual political agenda.

"By bringing in GOProud, CPAC was effectively saying moral opposition to homosexuality is no longer welcome in the conservative movement," said LaBarbera. "Would CPAC bring in an organization specifically devoted to promoting abortion and pretend it's conservative?" LaBarbera has formerly participated in CPAC, but said he may protest the conference this year.

"Shame on CPAC for defending the absurd proposition that one can be 'conservative' while embracing moral surrender – in this case the idea espoused by GOProud of the government granting 'rights' and benefits based on sinful sexual conduct long regarded as anathema to biblical and Judeo-Christian values," LaBarbera added.

"[ACU has] gone libertarian, that's their focus," said Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a public interest law firm. "Libertarianism is right on the economy, often wrong on national defense, and doesn't care about social conservatism. Libertarians only respect one leg of the Reagan revolution, and you can't stand for long on one leg."



"We said GOProud is not a conservative organization," said Staver. "They are undermining the military" by promoting open homosexuality, and "undermining marriage" by opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, which preserves the traditional definition of marriage by limiting it to one man and one woman.

"Anything that undermines marriage also undermines our freedom and economy," said Staver. "It is contrary to our fundamental values to have as a cosponsor an organization that promotes same-sex marriage."

"GOProud doesn't fit in any of the areas of conservatism within CPAC," Staver continued. "We asked CPAC to disassociate themselves from GOProud, but they refused to.

"The only way we would return to CPAC now is if CPAC openly disassociated itself from GOProud and carried on a pattern of activity that convinces us they are truly broad-based conservatives."

The decision by Family Research Council and Concerned Women For America may spur other groups and speakers to join the boycott, although others could take the path of Ryan Sorba of Young Americans for Freedom who used his speech at CPAC to attack homosexuality and condemn GOProud’s participation:

Tea Party Leaders Preparing for Primary Fights to Bolster GOP's Ideological Purity

Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him toxic to many Tea Party members and other movement conservatives. The Family Research Council has pledged to back a primary challenger to any Senator who voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the National Republican Trust PAC promised to do the same to any Republican who supported START.

More surprisingly, movement conservatives in Virginia are hoping to block George Allen from running again for the seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006. Allen, a former Senator and Governor best known for using a racial slur against his opponent’s campaign worker, is already finding himself in trouble with Tea Party groups even though he hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet. The Washington Post reports that Allen’s voting record in the Senate may sink his chances among Virginia Tea Partiers:

For months, it appeared that former U.S. senator George Allen would have a clear path to the Republican nomination if he chose to try to reclaim his old job.

But in the summer, grumbling about his past began, culminating in a Web site outlining the reasons some fellow Republicans oppose him: He's too moderate. He's part of the establishment. He's partly to blame for the record spending and ballooning deficit in Washington.

By this month, no fewer than four Republicans billing themselves as more conservative than Allen were considering challenging him for the right to run against Sen. James Webb, if the Virginia Democrat seeks reelection.

"There are some concerns based on his record and his rhetoric," said Mark Kevin Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg Tea Party and vice chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, a statewide umbrella group. "People are looking at things in a new light," he said.

Allen, who received a 92.3% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, was hardly considered a moderate in the Senate. But apparently 92% isn’t enough:

But during his one term in the U.S. Senate, some Republicans complain, he backed President George W. Bush's proposals to increase spending; supported No Child Left Behind, a costly program to create a national education report card; favored a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries; and voted to expand the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include crimes based on sexual orientation.

Jamie Ratdke, who recently stepped down as chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation in order to explore a Senate bid, said she began to consider a run for the Senate after attending a Tea Party convention that featured Rick Santorum, Lou Dobbs, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli as speakers:

Radtke said that she had considered running for the state Senate next year but that she began thinking about the U.S. Senate instead after Virginia's first tea party convention, which drew an estimated 2,800 people to Richmond in October.

Radtke, who worked for Allen for a year when he was governor and she was right out of college, said it's time for a new candidate. She said that Allen was part of "George Bush's expansion of government" when he was senator and that she was concerned about some of his stances on abortion.

Allen has said that abortions should be legal in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered, and he owned stock in the manufacturer of the morning-after pill.

If George Allen is deemed not conservative enough for the Republican Party, then expect many more extremist candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to win contested GOP primaries. Allen hurt his chances by supporting healthcare and education initiatives that were backed by President Bush and the Republican leadership, and is also deemed too moderate because he voted to include sexual orientation under hate crimes protections and believes in exceptions under a ban on abortion.

While running for reelection in 2006, Allen received wide praise at FRC’s Values Voter Summit for his staunch conservative beliefs, but now he is under attack from the Right for being “too moderate” even though he hasn’t served in public office since he lost the 2006 race. As Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors and a likely primary opponent, says, Allen’s “base has moved on.”

Pence: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood Because of High Unemployment

Empowered by Republican gains and the recent selection of Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to Chair the Subcommittee on Health, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is again speaking about ending what he calls “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Pence is the sponsor of the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would cut-off federal finances to health services groups such as Planned Parenthood. However, the title of Pence’s bill is deceiving, as under current law “Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” As a result, there is no taxpayer funding of abortion either under Title X or the new health care reform law, another baseless charge frequently used by the right wing activists.

Under Pence’s bill, the government will stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations which perform abortions or contribute to groups which perform abortions, even though abortion coverage is already banned from using federal dollars. As The Nation points out, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest and most well-known groups working in the extensive field of reproductive and sexual healthcare, and would incur most of the damage from this bill: “The aim is to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of clinics for family planning and women’s health, and in many regions the only provider within reach.”

Now Pence, the winner of the Values Voter Summit 2010 presidential straw poll, believes that cutting funds to reproductive healthcare organizations is not just necessary to constrain a woman’s access to healthcare but also to address unemployment. Pence told the anti-choice news service LifeNews:

With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”

Michele Bachmann has also embraced Pence’s bill, and the bill’s 103 co-sponsors include Speaker-designate John Boehner, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pitts, who plans to push anti-choice legislation through his Subcommittee on Health. Pence isn’t the first leader on the Right who suggested that anti-choice bills address economic problems like unemployment, as Jim Garlow, the Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, recently claimed that abortion is responsible for high unemployment:

Gohmert: Without DADT, Military Stands to Lose Thousands and US Will Reach the “End of its Existence as a Great Nation”

While debating the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), of “terror-baby” fame, claimed that the policy’s repeal may doom the military and the nation as a whole. Gohmert blasted the recent Pentagon study, which showed that an overwhelming number of military service members do not oppose repealing DADT, and said that the military could potentially lose “many thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands” if the policy is repealed. Gohmert uses no scientific evidence of his own to back up his claim that “hundreds of thousands” of troops could leave, even though the Pentagon’s own polling found that the vast majority of troops do not have problems serving alongside gays and lesbians, and 92 percent of those who believe they have already served alongside gays did not believe that their “units functioned poorly as a result.”

Gohmert went on to suggest that the House, which today voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 250-175, is opening up the floodgates to a disorganized and ineffective military. According to the Congressman, “when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that it’s fine for homosexuality to be overt…they’re toward the end of its existence as a great nation.”

You want an accurate poll? Take one where military members can answer privately with no ability of the commanders to figure out who answered where. And then let’s find out how many thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands we can lose with this activity. That’s important.

Now we were told Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is inconsistent with American values, I would submit the military is inconsistent with American values. It does not have freedom of speech, it does not have freedom of assembly, it does not have the freedom to express its love to those in the military the way you can out here because it’s an impediment to the military mission. You can’t do that. Can you imagine military members being able to tell their commander what they think of him using freedom of speech or assembling where they wish? It doesn’t work. This is one of those issues that is so personal to the military; we need to have an accurate poll.

And to my friend who said history would judge us poorly, I would submit if you look thoroughly at history, and I’m not saying its cause and effect, but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that it’s fine for homosexuality to be overt, you can keep it private it’s fine if you can’t that’s fine too, they’re toward the end of its existence as a great nation.

Such remarks channel those made by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. He argued that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would make enough soldiers “not enlist in our all-volunteer force” that “President Obama will be driven to the place he does not want to go: the military draft.” At the Values Voter Summit, Perkins maintained that countries who allow gays to serve openly are “the ones that participate in parades, they don't fight wars to keep the nation and the world free.”

Of course, major US allies, including Great Britain, Israel, Canada, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Spain and France, just to name a few, permit gay and lesbians to serve openly and their militaries have yet to collapse as a result of soldiers leaving en masse.

Mike Pence: Obama Treats Country “Like a Dog”

With growing speculation over his presidential ambitions, Indiana Republican Mike Pence is taking the anti-Obama rhetoric into high-gear. Pence is the winner of the Family Research Council’s 2010 Values Voter Summit straw poll, and is seen as a favorite of the Religious Right. By stepping down from his position as House GOP Conference Chair because he couldn’t commit to serving a full term, Pence signaled that he could potentially run for governor of Indiana or President. In an interview with US News & World Report, Pence rejects the social issues “truce” proposed by Indiana’s governor, defends the prominent role of social conservatives in the Republican Party, and maintains that Obama wants Americans “simply to obey” like a dog:

You’re about to start hearing a lot about a conservative Republican Indiana congressman, Rep. Mike Pence. That’s because the Hoosier, considered a shoo-in to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2012, is weighing a challenge to outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and about 10 others in the Republican presidential primaries. “We’ve gotten encouragement to run for governor in 2012,” says Pence, a former broadcaster. “We’ve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president.”

While Pence will decide in the spring, the presidency currently has his attention. Not just because he thinks President Obama is stretching the traditional boundaries of the office and isn’t worthy. “The current administration is the most egregious example of excess,” he says, accusing Obama of treating the nation like “a dog whose duty is not to ask why ...but simply to obey.” As he considers a run, Pence also has become a student of the presidency and recently delivered thoughtful speeches on the office.



But he sees Ronald Reagan as “the last president in my lifetime to really model a traditional American presidency.”

While some may say Daniels is the better-positioned Hoosier for 2012, the social and fiscal conservative Pence senses an advantage. He won’t go along with Daniels’s push for a truce on social issues to let candidates focus on economic topics. “To those who say we should simply focus on fiscal issues,” Pence says, “I say you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family collapses.”

Tealigious Right Gloats, Thanks God for GOP Victories

Two days after the Election Day conservative tide, Newt Gingrich, David Barton, and Jim Garlow held a conference call for conservative Christian pastors to talk about what it all means. The call brought together Gingrich, an establishment Republican who has been courting the Religious Right for a future presidential bid; Barton, a long-time fixture of the Religious Right who has become a Tea Party celebrity thanks to Glenn Beck; and Jim Garlow, who hails from the dominionist wing of the Religious Right and led religious opposition to marriage equality in California. The elections, they said, were a rejection of secularism and evidence of a new religious Great Awakening that would move America to the right for decades to come.

Gingrich, while touting the massive Republican wins in Congress and state legislatures as profoundly historic, also called attention to the million-dollar Religious Right-led campaign that led to the rejection of three marriage equality-supporting Iowa Supreme Court justices in retention elections.  “Taking on the judicial class,” said Gingrich, and telling judges that “we are not going to tolerate enforced secularization of our country,” is “one of the most important things we can engage in.” 
 
Barton reveled in the Republican takeover of the Iowa house, and said he believed that a constitutional amendment denying gay couples the right to marry would be one of the first things to come before the state legislature. Even though Republicans fell just short of taking the Senate, Barton said he thought enough Democrats would be intimidated by what happened to the judges to let an amendment move forward: “This is what we call hanging a bloody scalp on the gallery rail.”
 
Gingrich and Barton both gloated that Republican wins in state legislatures and governorships put the GOP in a position to gerrymander voting districts in a way that will make it hard for Democrats to recover during the next decade.
 
All the speakers spoke of the elections as an embrace of the notion of a divinely inspired “American Exceptionalism” that Glenn Beck has been promoting and that a number of Tea Party-backed candidates were sounding as a campaign theme. Barton said that that 90 percent of the congressional freshman class is “pro-God, pro-life, pro-faith, and pro-family.” He repeated the theme that was pounded by speaker after speaker at the Values Voter summit – that fiscal and social conservatism can’t be separated.
 
In fact, Garlow and Barton went even further, asserting a biblical underpinning for an approach to economics that is probably even further to the Right than many Tea Party activists. Taxation and deficit spending, they said, amount to theft. The estate tax, Barton said, is “absolutely condemned” by the Bible as the “most immoral” of taxes. Jesus, he said, had “teachings” condemning the capital gains tax and minimum wage.   This, he declared, was “a great election for biblical values.”
 
Barton and Garlow discussed the many prayer and fasting campaigns that took place around the elections, and whether there was a way to prove their impact. While Barton said it would be tough to come up with empirical data, he called it historically “irrefutable” that there was an impact from so many people praying and fasting for conservative election victories. “There’s no way from a biblical or historical standpoint you can do that and not see God intervene or move.”

Pray and Act Ends With a Whimper

When we first learned of the "Pray and ACT" effort which sought to link 7 Mountains Dominionism with election-oriented prayer and fasting, we were pretty surprised by the number of high profile Religious Right leaders who had signed on to the effort, like Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee, Harry Jackson, Richard Land, Maggie Gallagher and various others.

In addition to orchestrating forty days of prayer and fasting in an effort to save this nation by electing "candidates who affirm the sanctity of life in all stages and conditions, the integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty and respect for conscience," Pray and ACT organizers also hosted a series of events that became less and less ambitious with every successive outing. 

The first of these events was a two-hour live webcast that featured Jim Garlow, James Robison, Samuel Rodriquez, Jordan Lorence., Lance Wallnau, Tony Perkins, and Richard Land speaking before a tiny crowd at a church in Washington, DC.  

The second event was another webcast, but this one featured little more than pre-recorded interviews with various activists who were attending the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.

And the forty days of prayer and fasting was supposed to culminate with an event held at "the steps of the Lincoln Memorial" on October 30 ...  but instead if turned out to be nothing more than a forty-five minute webchat between Jim Garlow and Chuck Colson:

I don't know about you, but when Pray and ACT organizers rolled out their agenda earlier this year, I was expecting a bit more. 

Phyllis Schlafly: Muslim Cleric

This person is generating outrage:

A leading Muslim cleric in the United Kingdom said that it is "clearly" impossible for men to rape their wives, and it should not be considered a crime.

Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, told the human rights Web site Samosa, "Sex is part of marriage. In Islamic Sharia, rape is adultery by force."

"So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape," he continued. "It is reprehensible, but we do not call it rape."

Sayeed also claimed many married women who allege rape are lying.

By contrast, Phyllis Schlafly says that "by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape" and Republicans are proud to receive her endorsement while Religious Right groups give her James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

A View From Inside The American Family Association

It is not every day that former employees of influential Religious Right organizations step forward to reveal the unpleasant inner-workings of such organizations, but Religious Dispatches' Sarah Posner has gotten several former employees of the American Family Association to do just that.

And I guess it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that the environment inside the AFA is rather toxic, with founder Don Wildmon being described as an autocratic bully who created a culture of fear and intimidation that infected the entire organization, one which has only gotten worse with the addition of Bryan Fischer:

Brad Bullock, who worked for the organization for 17 years spearheading the launch of the radio station and producing the daily radio report, was forced out 3 years ago. He said he admired Wildmon and considered him a friend, but that in dismissing him, Wildmon told him, "you have a problem and you don't know it."

Bullock said the group is "too harsh on homosexuals," though if anyone voiced concerns, "they would be attacked." He described the leadership as "autocratic" and tolerant of petty gossip among employees, like spreading rumors about employees having extra-marital affairs with one another.

Bullock added that Wildmon "chastised" people for taking anti-depressants, and that "a lot of people who had problems felt like they were second class," including Bullock, who said that he suffered from depression while working at the AFA. Employees were fearful of speaking out, according to Bullock. "We were puppies in the corner who learned to keep out mouths shut."

The AFA's radio and news division, in particular, said [Allie] Martin, had become a place where authority could not be questioned, and where the "news" was nothing more than a mouthpiece for conservative "sources" whose views were portrayed as fact. (The Values Voter Summit award citation to Wildmon described One News Now as a "respected online news service.")

And those views were extreme, even by Martin’s standards of conservative evangelicalism. He said that the director of the news service, Fred Jackson, had a "hateful, hateful attitude" that "carried over" into stories. Martin described editorial meetings in which "liberals were accused of hating their kids," while Chad Groening, who covers immigration, described gay people as "degenerates" and "reprobates."

In the newsroom, said Martin, "I saw the tone of stories develop in a way I thought was disturbing."

"They get people as news sources to say what they want to say but can't say," he added.

After Obama got elected, said Martin, "this went up to a whole new level, we have to vilify this man."

In 2008, Jackson sent Martin an email with the subject line "attitude problems," citing scripture he said governed "a worker's attitude toward their [sic] superiors." The verses he cited included Ephesians 6:5-8 ("Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, singleness of your heart, as unto Christ") and Colossians 3:22-25 ("Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.") He closed the email with a "final warning" that "any further breaches in this area will be turned over to Brother Don."

Among the topics about which Martin had raised concerns was the news room's approach to immigration. Martin said that Groening has, for example, called undocumented immigrants "stupid," "scumbag lawbreakers" and "freeloaders." Groening believed that illegal immigration would "destroy" the country, and that "we have the best way of life, and if our borders aren't secured, this country would be destroyed."

Martin also noted that Groening had referred to Muslims as "raghead scumbag terrorists" and referred to Allah as "Satan."

Posner goes on to describe the rabidly anti-immigration attitude of AFA leaders and how that attitude has been promoted in the AFA 's work, as well as Bryan Fischer's long history of bigtory stemming all the way back to his days in Idaho when he invited Scott Lively to participate in conference hosted by his Idaho Values Alliance.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Pence Embraces Reed and the Religious Right in Iowa

After winning the Values Voter Summit straw poll of likely 2012 presidential contenders, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence spoke in Iowa to Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition. Pence appeared to reject “the truce” proposed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, which called on conservatives to play down social issues in order to push their economic agenda, and showed why he is so beloved by the Religious Right. In his remarks, Pence did discuss fiscal issues, calling for a “balanced federal budget” but also for extending the budget-busting Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He went on to link the right wing social agenda of stopping same-sex marriages and Planned Parenthood to the nation’s budgetary issues:

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say ‘what is more fiscally responsible than rolling back this administration’s effort to expand funding for abortion at home and abroad?

What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?

To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, ‘you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.

We are at our strongest when fiscal and social conservatives are united. Victory comes when we stand together, fighting arm in arm for fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional moral values.

Men and women, we must demand, here and now, that those who would lead the Republican Party stand for life and traditional marriage without apology.

This is our moment. Now is the time. It’s time for us to do all that we can to preserve what makes this country great.

Men and women of Iowa, the time has come to take our stand. We must not be afraid, and we must fight for what has always been the source of American greatness: our faith in God and our freedom.

And if we hold that banner high, I believe with all my heart the good and great people of this land will rally to our cause. We will win this Congress back in 2010, and we will win this country back in 2012, so help us God.

Pawlenty Joins FRC's Watchmen to Fight Pawns of Satan

Lately I have started regularly posting the regular updates sent out by the Family Research Council's "Prayer Team" because they provide insights into what the Religious Right's priorities are at any given moment.  And this "Prayer Team" is actually part of a series of ways that FRC targets pastors for political involvement, even going so far as to provide sample sermons for them to use on Sundays.

But the main way FRC seeks to mobilize pastors is through its Watchmen on the Wall events where they learn to be just like John the Baptist and Martin Luther King, Jr. as they work to save our nation because "the problems we face are not just political in nature, they are spiritual in nature. Consequently, these problems ultimately require a spiritual solution administered by spiritual leadership."

In addition to the main Watchmen conference held in Washington, DC every year, FRC also holds smaller conferences around the country ... like the one on Monday that will be held in Minnesota featuring Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

Please encourage your pastor to join Tony Perkins, Governor Tim Pawlenty, and other pastors from across Minnesota next Monday, September 27th for Watchmen on the Wall 2010, a regional event sponsored by Family Research Council and Minnesota Family Institute. The year 2010 could be a turning point in the life of our nation, and we need pastors to lead in defending human life, traditional marriage, and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Among the other speakers will be Dr. Kenyn Cureton, FRC's Vice President for Church Ministries, who, as Rob Boston of Americans United recently reported, spoke during a breakout session at last week's Values Voter Summit where he declared that those who do not support FRC's agenda are pawns of Satan:

Are you an agent of Satan?

Kenyn Cureton is worried that you might be. Cureton is vice president for church ministries for the Family Research Council. During the FRC’s recent “Values Voter Summit,” he warned attendees at a breakout session on churches and politics to be ready for some intense action.

“The battle that we’re fighting,” he said, “is not just a political and cultural battle, it’s a spiritual battle.”

And when a battle is spiritual, you can be sure that some people are serving the wrong side.

“When you think about it, you know, the real enemy is not the poor, deluded souls who are advancing these evil agendas,” Cureton said. “Really, they’re just simply pawns in the hands of their malevolent master. They’re simply doing the bidding of the devil, OK?”

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Values Voter Summit Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Saturday 09/15/2012, 9:53am
Today, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver addressed the Values Voter Summit where he blasted those who "want to destroy the natural definition of marriage," declaring that any effort to "redesign the definition of marriage is, ultimately, unpatriotic" and an insult to the dreams of our Founding Fathers: >/p> MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/14/2012, 6:00pm
We have been covering the absurd, bizarre and paranoid rantings of phony ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem as he emerged on the Religious Right scene, and today he had his biggest platform yet at the Values Voter Summit, where he was preceded by Ohio congressman Jim Jordan and a video message by Mitt Romney. Saleem told conference goers his made-up story about his time as a terrorist working for Lebanon, Syria, the PLO, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and even Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, until he moved to the U.S. to wage "cultural jihad." He claimed he and his fellow terrorists "met the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 5:35pm
Speaking today at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Steve King declared that President Obama and "his leftist minions" are working every day "undermining the pillar of American exceptionalism, attempting to bring down the shining city on the hill [and] turn it into rubble." But, he declared, "we are not going to let them do that" because "we're going to serve God and country, in that order" and defeat Obama in November, which will be a victory for God: MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 4:59pm
Speaking during the afternoon session at the Values Voters Summit, Texas Republican Senate nominee was introduced by fellow Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America. After Scarborough hailed Cruz as "a man grounded by faith and principle" and "a true champion of freedom," Cruz returned the favor, hailing Scarborough as a "tremendous patriot and voice for Christian values." As we noted in our pre-VVS write-up, Scarborough spends most of his time warning that America is facing "sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and declaring that AIDS is God's "... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 1:06pm
During his astonishingly smug introduction of Paul Ryan at the Values Voter Summit, self-styled "values czar" Bill Bennett blasted the Obama administration's response to the attacks in Libya and Egypt while hailing Mitt Romney's crass attempt to exploit them for political gain as a bold stand for truth. After falsely claiming that the administration responded to the attacks "by shuddering and shaking and wondering at the consequences of our First Amendment," Bennett then declared that the fact that Romney's response was so widely pilloried as tactless and inappropriate by... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 10:50am
History has never been Kirk Cameron's strong suit, which can probably be partly attributed to the fact that he relies on "experts" like David Barton for his information. So it didn't come as much of a surprise when Cameron delivered another rather strange history lesson today while speaking at the Values Voter Summit when he proclaimed that America has been so successful because our Founding Fathers relied "on the very eternal principles that had not been tested and tried from the ground up for three thousand years since the ancient Hebrew republic under Moses": MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/14/2012, 10:24am
Speaking this morning at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Michele Bachmann dedicated her remarks to attacking the Obama administration for supposedly catering to radical Islam and that Muslim Brotherhood, citing a decision by the FBI to purge hundreds of anti-Muslim documents from its training materials as proof that the administration was enforcing "Islamic speech codes here in the United States": MORE