violence

American Spectator: How Come Journalists Are Down on the Tea Party but Favor the Egyptian Protesters?

American Spectator writer Nicholas Thimmesch, II is upset that the media doesn’t treat Tea Partiers like they treat the protesters in Egypt. Thimmesch argues that journalists have been too critical of Tea Partiers rallying against deficit spending and health care reform, while positively portraying the Egyptians who are rising up against an autocratic president who has ruled for three decades:

How ironic is it that the media proudly reports that President Obama -- ever the eternal community organizer -- is speaking out on behalf of those in Egypt and elsewhere who are "protesting," even if some may not just be protesting but inciting or participating in violence (much of the televised coverage I have seen has shown both the police and the "protesters" engaging in violence), yet the same media depicts the past year of Tea Party protests as some kind of anarchist, ruthless, violence-inspiring gathering of uniformed thugs. How much did the media focus in on one or two people who showed up packing at a Tea Party rally and, gasp, those horrible, racist signs that depicted the President in an unflattering manner?

To the best of my knowledge, there were no arrests for violence nor any actual gunfire at any Tea Party rallies, the areas where the rallies took place were left spotless versus the piles of trash and garbage left after Obama's inauguration and Ed Schultz's MSNBC Rules Rally.

The one Tea Party rally I observed in person (I am neither a Tea Party member nor necessarily a supporter) was populated by middle-aged folks who for the most part looked like tourists from Kansas wanting to know where the Vietnam Memorial or a water fountain were able to be located. Contrast that with the annual World Bank/IMF "protesters" who show up in Washington and elsewhere with masks, work gloves, lawyers and chains, ready to rock and roll with the police.

Whether or not the "protests" that have taken place in Egypt will satisfy the bloodthirsty American media's litmus test for legendary violence and brutality (the now proverbial Tiananmen Square slaughter) is anybody's guess: to some, the existing government's reaction to the "protests" already has and will far surpass Commie China's response. I just know that what is going on now has far surpassed "protest": it has become armed rebellion. The real question is who will be providing the means toward armed revolution and for what purpose: will it be the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran's secret police, or a truly democratic, peace-loving group of patriots.

Remember: Iran's Islamic revolution started out with kidnapping and "protests" and ended up with a tyrannical, Islamic based government. Will whatever replaces these toppled governments be much better and will they in turn allow future "protests" the media will embrace?

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Jewish Groups: ‘We Are Deeply Disturbed’ By Palin’s Use Of Anti-Semitic Term ‘Blood Libel,’ She Should Apologize.
  • Steve Benen: Those Who Justify Anti-Government Violence…
  • Towleroad: Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy Says Providing Food to Anti-Gay Groups is Not an Endorsement.
  • Iowa Independent: GOP Lawmakers Vow to Continue Push for Judicial Impeachment.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Jewish Groups: ‘We Are Deeply Disturbed’ By Palin’s Use Of Anti-Semitic Term ‘Blood Libel,’ She Should Apologize.
  • Steve Benen: Those Who Justify Anti-Government Violence…
  • Towleroad: Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy Says Providing Food to Anti-Gay Groups is Not an Endorsement.
  • Iowa Independent: GOP Lawmakers Vow to Continue Push for Judicial Impeachment.

South Carolina GOP Fears Doctors May Be Required To Perform Abortions Under “Obamacare”

Republicans and their allies have consistently smeared the recent health care reform law by suggesting that it will lead to taxpayer subsidized abortions. Poltifact says that, despite Rep. John Carter’s assertions to the contrary, the health care reform law certainly “does not provide full federal funding of abortions — and that’s clear,” but that hasn’t stopped GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner and Michele Bachmann from asserting that taxpayer funds are already being used to finance abortions. CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action) and Susan B. Anthony List even ran campaign ads that called the reform measure “the biggest expansion of abortion in decades” and charged supporters with backing President Obama instead of choosing “to protect life.” While the claim that the health care reform law provides funding for abortion has been readily discredited, an even more extreme and conspiratorial claim is emerging: that health care reform could require doctors to perform abortions.

According to the Columbia Free Times, Republicans in the South Carolina State House are planning to pass anti-choice legislation including one measure entitled “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out.” The South Carolina House Republican Caucus announced that State Rep. Greg Delleney will be introducing the “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” to ensure that “S.C. Doctors will not be required to perform abortions if required to by Obamacare.” The legislation is one of many right-wing bills that the South Carolina GOP hopes to pass in the new session, including a “Repeal Amendment” and a “Taxpayer Bill Of Rights.”

Rep. Delleney is a staunchly anti-choice member of the State House and he also plans to introduce a bill that would allow health care workers to refuse patrons contraceptives. He previously introduced legislation that would require women to see ultrasound images before terminating their pregnancy and to endure a twenty-four hour waiting period before having an abortion. Rep. Delleney also gained attention when he excluded gay and lesbian students from dating violence curriculum in schools.

His “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” though represents one of the GOP’s most ludicrous and extreme attempts to malign the health care reform law yet.

More Right-Wing Spin on Tucson Shootings; Malkin Sees Campaign to “Criminalize Conservativism”

While Sarah Palin tries to make herself out as the real victim of the shootings in Arizona, even going so far as to compare herself to Jewish victims of “blood libels,” the right-wing echo-chamber has been busy spinning the shootings in Tucson. After Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips called Jared Lee Loughner “a liberal lunatic,” conservatives eagerly promoted his claims. NewsMax claimed that Loughner has links to “left-wing politics” since his favorite books include “‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf,’ and the fiction classic ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.’” The American Family Association’s news service declared the “AZ shooter a leftist, not tea party supporter,” quoting Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America who “believes there is substantial evidence to show that suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is an angry leftist who hates America and Christianity.” The RightNetwork’s Gateway Pundit maintained that Loughner is a “Left-Winger” because he “likes watching US flags burn & favorite book is ‘Communist Manifesto,’” and WorldNetDaily said Loughner may have been influenced by a “liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama.”

Rush Limbaugh even alleged that Loughner “has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail; he knows what's going on. He knows that a Democrat [sic] Party -- the Democrat [sic] Party -- is attempting to find anybody but him to blame.”

But when the Right isn’t attempting to paint Loughner as a liberal, they try to demonize Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Right-wing writer Michelle Malkin today called Dupnik “The Worst Sheriff in America” and condemned his “vulture-like exploitation of the shooting rampage.” Dupnik, who has spoken out against the role of violence and hate mongering in politics, has found himself in the crosshairs of conservative pundits and politicians. Now, Malkin seeks to blame the Sheriff for the shooting and accuses him of seeking publicity for himself and attempting to “criminalize conservatism”:

Dupnik's mouth has done more to stoke self-inflicted ire against elected government clowns than anything the right could muster against him. Had the hyper-partisan Democrat been more in tune with his job than the media airwaves, the murderous, maniacal gunman might have been stopped.

As Dupnik himself has now admitted, Loughner leveled death threats against others that were investigated by law enforcement -- and then apparently shrugged off. Locals note that Loughner's mother worked for the county and may have had some pull. Pima County College campus police reported five serious confrontations with the mentally unstable young man before he was kicked out of the school, which he decried as an unconstitutional "torture facility." Classmates said they feared for their lives. His friends say he was a pothead, a 9/11 Truther and a UFO conspiracist so kooky that even flying-objects adherents spurned him.

Despite zero evidence that Rush Limbaugh, cable news, the tea party movement or immigration enforcement activists had anything to do with Loughner's warped attack, shameless Sheriff Dupnik shows no signs of shutting up.

The worst sheriff in America is walking in the footsteps of another infamous law enforcement official who put fame, ambition and ideology above public safety: disgraced Montgomery County (Md.) Police Chief Charles Moose, the publicity-hungry Keystone Cop who grossly bungled the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002.

...

Dupnik is now following the same ill-gotten path. But decent Americans understand that he and his civilian counterparts have traveled a smear too far. Despite desperate attempts by the progressive left to pin the massacre on the "harsh tone" of its political opponents, a vast majority of Americans reject the cynical campaign to criminalize conservatism, suppress political free speech and capitalize on violent crime for electoral gain.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

Right-Wing Moves to Attack Sheriff Dupnik

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s impassioned plea for greater civility and tolerance in politics following the shooting in Arizona has spurred a backlash among far-right politicians and commentators whose campaigns and careers are centered on divisive and indignant rhetoric. Dupnik, who singled out no political party or ideology, condemned the extreme language that could provoke an unhinged individual into violence: “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.” He went on to say that “people tend to poo-poo this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American people by people who make a living off doing that. That may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”

Now, Dupnik is now himself becoming the target of right-wing fear-mongering. Jon Kyl, one of Arizona’s Republican Senators, denounced Dupnik, saying that his comments shouldn’t have “had any part in a law enforcement briefing” and represented mere “speculation.” Kyl kicked off a campaign to dismiss and smear the Arizona Sheriff. Arizona conservative activist Pamela Gorman, who won national attention over her campaign ad featuring her shooting four different fire arms to “drive the left nuts,” said that Dupnik was only elected to his position because of the county’s Democratic leanings. Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation labeled Dupnik a “leftist sheriff” who is using the attack to “silence” conservative activists and commentators. “"[T]he aftermath of today's shooting is the official obituary for political civility in this country,” Philips continued, “The left has simply gone too far. There can be no civil discourse with people as crazy as those on the left are.”

Local right-wing talk radio host Jon Justice, who has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric, accused Dupnik of making “reckless and dangerous statements” and said that he should apologize and resign over his “horrible comments.” Megyn Kelly of Fox News charged Dupnik with “putting a political spin” on the case and contributing to the same heated discourse he challenged.

The conservative blogosphere has also ratcheted up the anger against Dupnik. Breitbart praised Kelly for holding “Sheriff Dupnik Accountable for Politicizing Tucson Shooting” and the RightNetwork’s blog attacked the “dishonorable” Sheriff Dupnik and dismissed him as a “leftist hero.” Moe Lane on a front page post for the popular conservative blog RedState slammed Dupnik for purportedly peddling “conspiracy theory nonsense” and predicted that he “will lose his next election.”

Evidently, there are still some commentators out there who would rather condemn those who point out hatred and bigotry than condemn hatred and bigotry.

If you would like to show your support for Sheriff Dupnik, please take a moment to sign a letter of solidarity with him against the increasing smears he is facing from the Right.

IRD Slams State Department for Backing Gay Rights Abroad

Writing for the American Spectator, Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion and Democracy condemned the State Department for advancing the rights of gays and lesbians abroad. The IRD is a far-right group with a two-pronged strategy to advance its opposition to gay rights: dividing and decrying churches, particularly Mainline Protestant denominations, which favor LGBT equality, while at the same time aiding and promoting groups in Africa and the U.S. that attack gays and even support the criminalization of homosexuality. Most recently, the IRD vilified a North Carolina church group for electing an openly gay layman as the President. In addition to the group’s militant stance on gay rights, the IRD also works against the rights of women and immigrants, and criticizes the environmental movement, and the IRD has ties to major right wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women For America, Numbers USA, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Walton, the Communications Manager for the IRD who previously alleged that the Episcopal Church could be held responsible for the deaths of Christians abroad because it allows gays and lesbians to serve as Bishops, now is taking to the ultraconservative Spectator to reproach the State Department for “promoting homosexuality overseas.” He blasts Secretary Hillary Clinton for allegedly wanting to “legitimize homosexual practices in those socially traditional countries,” like those in Africa, and maintains that efforts to protect gays from discrimination are affronts to “religious freedom.” Walton denounces the State Department’s work to document anti-gay laws and violence, and the pressure it puts on countries like Uganda to improve the rights of gays:

Although the language of some U.S. officials begins with the legitimate concern for personal safety and freedom from the threat of violence, it often ends by demanding acceptance of homosexual acts as a human right.

"We've come such a far distance in our own country, but there are still so many who need the outreach, need the mentoring, need the support, to stand up and be who they are, and then think about people in so many countries where it just seems impossible," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a speech in June as part of "Pride Month" celebrations at the U.S. State Department.

At the event, which was organized by the group "Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies," Clinton said the State Department is supporting efforts to advance homosexual rights around the world. "We celebrate the progress of advancing the rights of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] in our country, as we continue to advance the rights of all people around the world," Clinton gushed before the receptive audience, adding that the "struggle for equality is never, ever finished."



During her June address, Clinton stated that her department has formalized reporting on homosexual rights for the first time in the 2009 annual human rights report that was issued in February on every country in the world. But the top U.S. diplomat quickly honed in on Africa, saying that U.S. embassies there had been directed to ask their host government about the status of LGBT rights. A special panel discussion on LGBT rights in Africa was also held later in the day.

He goes on to rebuke Assistant Secretary of State Michael H. Posner, openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, an Anglican Bishop who worked in Ugana to improve the livelihoods of marginalized gay Ugandans and diligently opposed a bill in Uganda’s Parliament that “would make homosexuality illegal, in some cases punishable by death.” Walton says:

In March, Posner introduced the State Department human rights report to Congress, emphasizing what was termed a growing crisis in abuse directed against LGBT people worldwide, and urging the use of diplomacy to counter the alleged trend.

In introducing the report, Posner singled out the case of Uganda, where he alleged that introduction of anti-homosexuality legislation has resulted in abuse. The report further documents LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world.

Posner's report met agreement with Robinson and Senyonjo during their conversation at CAP.

“[The] time is coming when we should not work on just one bill, but towards decriminalization," Senyonjo said, adding that he was "very grateful for voices all over the world that work against oppression."

"It is wrong to say, 'Don't interfere, it's a domestic thing,'" the former Anglican bishop said. He compared foreigners working for decriminalization of homosexuality in Africa to aid workers providing earthquake relief in Haiti.



In that commissioning, Senyonjo seems to have found a partner in the U.S. State Department. For them, seemingly sexual freedom is more important than religious freedom. Look for more developments in 2011.

Walton never explains how defending gays from violence and discrimination undermines “religious freedom,” and dismisses Bishop Senyonjo’s religiously-grounded defense of LGBT equality. Just as the IRD demonized many US churches who worked in social justice and anti-apartheid activism in South Africa because they also supported rights for gays and lesbians, Walton and the IRD are criticizing the State Department for working to document and prevent the persecution and oppression of gays outside of the U.S.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has hired Christine O'Donnell's campaign spokesman as her new communications director.
  • Sharron Angle has launched a new Patriot Caucus PAC to support Tea Party candidates around the country.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Chuck Colson comparing reaction to the Prop 8 vote to Nazism: "When I watched the violence on television, memories came back of earlier generations of thugs: Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. Do opponents of Proposition 8 who attacked Mormons and their churches think they’re any better than Bull Conner, or nicer than Nazi thugs? I don’t."

Religious Right Attack-Dog Fans Fears That Government Will Prosecute SPLC-listed “Hate Groups”

Brad O’Leary has been an emerging voice in the Religious Right thanks to books such as “The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values,” “God and America’s Leaders,” and “America’s War on Christianity.” Today he received a platform in the Washington Examiner to spew his factually incorrect and conspiratorial views over the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest hate group designations. He suggests that the SPLC’s descriptions of eighteen anti-gay organizations may lead to their future criminalization under recently-passed hate crimes law:

Their crime? These groups represent millions of Americans and speak for tens of millions more who support traditional marriage and believe that homosexuality is biblically wrong.

I don’t use the word “crime” lightly. Calling an organization a “hate group” used to be nothing more than a slur. But in today’s America, such a pejorative may have serious legal connotations.

SPLC knows this, because in 2009 the group was instrumental in getting the Democrat-led Congress to pass, and President Obama to sign, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.



As I detail in my recently released book, America’s War on Christianity, this new law adds homosexuals and transsexuals to the list of uber-protected citizens under existing federal hate crimes law.

The measure effectively criminalizes any speech that may be “proven” to incite hatred that leads to violence against any of the special classes of citizens (homosexuals, transsexuals, etc.) who are protected under the law.

But regardless of what O’Leary might say, you can’t be prosecuted under hate crimes laws unless you actually commit a crime. The suggestion that the law “criminalizes” speech is a typical and unfounded claim by Religious Right activists like O’Learly, who dismiss the law’s clear stipulation that it cannot be “construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities.” Of course, O’Leary’s assertion that the SPLC may try to push the government into prosecuting or dismantling anti-gay groups ends with a plug for O’Leary’s own organization:

If you think this blatant attempt to criminalize Christianity is outrageous, you’re not alone. In fact, you should go to www.AmericasWarOnChristianity.com to take a quick, 10-question, true-or-false quiz that reveals other shocking ways Christianity is under attack in America.

Attacking Christians during the holy season of Christmas is nothing new, and the SPLC has long been at the forefront of this bigoted tradition. But Christians and Christian groups need to be on guard, and understand that what was once nothing more than vile slander, may now be greasing the skids toward legal prosecution.

Renewed Push for Birther Bills Following GOP’s Midterm Gains

Texas State Rep. Leo Berman, who introduced a “Birther bill” in the State House because “we have a president whom the American people don’t know whether he was born in Kenya or some other place,” appears to be part of a growing trend among Republican state legislators. In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe told WorldNetDaily that he will be “introducing the legislation that would require presidential candidates to prove their natural born citizenship before they are allowed to file petitions to have their name on the state ballot.”

Metcalfe, who was last seen calling veterans who supported actions to prevent climate change “traitors,” dubbing a Domestic Violence Awareness Month resolution part of the “homosexual agenda,” and decrying Muslims because they “don't recognize Jesus Christ as God,” believes that the bill will gain momentum after the Republicans won control of the State House in the 2010 elections. Metcalfe said that he and his cosponsors “hope we would be able to pass this legislation and put it into law before the next session.”

Like Metcalfe, Georgia State Rep. Mark Hatfield confirmed to WND that he is seeking to reintroduce his Birther bill in the State House since the Republicans control both chambers of the legislature and “"every constitutional statewide office.” Hatfield claimed that Hawaii only made “cryptic” statements confirming Obama’s birth in the state, and that, “I don’t think anyone has seen his original long-form birth certificate.” But Hatfield not only has doubts concerning Obama’s birth certificate but also his time in college and abroad, saying: “The President himself could release the records to show and document where he was born, he could release the records to show where he went to college and what he did in college, and he can release his passport. These are things that are completely within his control and he has chosen not to show those to the American people.”

Meet Allen West: Fanatical Opponent of Muslims, Immigrants, Progressives & Obama

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our fourth candidate profile is on Florida's Allen West:

In one of the Tea Party’s biggest victories, Florida’s Allen West defeated incumbent Democrat Ron Klein in a rematch of their 2008 race. West, an Army veteran, became a YouTube sensation by criticizing “this tyrannical government” and crying out: “if you’re here to stand up to get your musket, to fix your bayonet, and to charge into the ranks, you are my brother and sister in this fight.” He said that the country was engaging in “class warfare” between “a producing class and an entitlement class,” which is composed of Obama supporters.

While serving in Iraq, he was forced out of the Army for his violent handling of an investigation of a police officer. During the interrogation, West dragged “him outside, pushed his head into the sand, and fired a gun next to his face to get him to sing.” According to West: “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O'Donnell naked would be torture.”

West also has close ties to the Outlaws motorcycle gang, which an NBC News report found had criminal-ties and a website that features a page honoring members who are in prison, extolling “members convicted of violent crimes, including murder.” In a letter, West wrote: “Please, no more references to ‘criminal’ because I can tell you, they have the utmost respect for me and that which I seek to achieve. I was never more amazed at how members of the Outlaws guarded me during a one hour cell phone radio interview.”

Moreover, he addressed events sponsored by Outlaws-linked organizations, used Outlaws members to harass his rival’s campaign workers, and writes a column for their magazine. Their magazine, “Wheels on the Road,” has also used anti-Semitic, racist and sexist material, and once called women “oral relief stations.”

West encouraged his supporters to use violence in suppressing the votes of opponents, saying, “You've got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house.”

He maintains that it is “unfortunate” that gays and lesbians are serving in the military, and compares homosexuality to adultery. West is also radically anti-choice. On abortion rights, he has said “I believe all future discussion on this issue should move us toward the elimination of abortion except in the most extraordinary of circumstances,” and accused pro-choice groups of “promot[ing] abortion as a means of birth control.”

West wants to eliminate the progressive tax system. He supports tax cuts for the rich, and calls Wall Street Reform a “sham.” He’s advocated for eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education.

On immigration, he claims that illegal immigrants should not have access to care in emergency rooms, and that Muslim terrorists are coming through the border with Mexico. West’s first decision as Representative-elect was to choose as his chief of staff right-wing radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman, who called for illegal immigrants to be “hung on the central square. ”

A Republican partisan, West said: “I hate big-tent. I hate inclusiveness. And I hate outreach.” West uses extreme rhetoric against Democrats and liberals. He said that liberals resented the fact that he saved the lives of American soldiers. On the anti-Islam blog Atlas Shrugs, he wrote that progressives “detest anyone who has the courage of conviction and love of America, something which they find unconscionable." In the same post, he wrote, “"Liberals seek to destroy any institution of intrinsic value: God, country, family, honor, valor, courage, VIRTUE... Why? Because if such things exist, then they must be defended, which brings them back to their fear of action." He also claims that Democratic combat veterans Joe Sestak and Patrick Murphy “hate the military.”

West says that Obama does not “care for this country” and wants to “make it like some type of third world socialist cesspool,” and is not an American since he grew up in Indonesia and “never played little league baseball.” He compared Obama and his “tyrannical government” to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany, and dubbed the Obama Administration a “thugocracy.”

Militantly anti-Muslim, he consistently criticizes Arabs and Muslims, and he told Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller that the Bible is evidence the Arabs are a “wild” people: “the Angel of the Lord said to [Hagar]: Behold you are with child, and you shall bear a son, you shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against everyman, and every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.' Ishmael of course became the beginning of the Arab people....and God's word is immutable truth.”

He has suggested that there are “thirty-six training camps” run by terrorists inside the US, and that soldiers are becoming “brainwashed” by terrorists who “infiltrated the military.” According to West, Islam is “not a religion” but a “theo-political belief system and construct” that must be destroyed.

Watch:

 

"Real Christians" Say Bullying Is Bad, But Being Gay Is Even Worse

A coalition of "real Christians" want to make it clear that they disapprove of bullying ... but they disapprove of gays even more:

A coalition of pro-family leaders today urges Christian families to be faithful to biblical morality and discerning in the face of false and irresponsible accusations. Christianity and traditional values are not the cause of teen suicides, and attempts to link the two are deceptive and will ultimately harm children...

Authentic Christians will remember several key concepts from Scripture:

1. Homosexual behavior is always a sin, God's plan for sexuality is male/female marriage, and God has not changed His mind about this (Genesis 19; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

2. Jesus described marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that humans were created male and female "from the beginning." Gender change is a defiant and ungrateful sin against God's direction and design (Matthew 19:4-6)

3. Violence against children is wrong. Jesus was very clear in his protection of children and also had harsh words for those who would forbid children from knowing His truth and love ( Luke 17:2; Luke 18: 15-16). "Gay" activists want to keep children from knowing, loving and following the real Jesus Christ. At the very least, schools must not interfere in the desires of parents to raise their own children to follow Christ and live out biblical morality.

4. School boards aid child corruption and insult faithful families when they allow "gay-straight alliances," homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the "gay" lobby.

And this coalition of "real Christians" just so happens to consist of some of the gay-hatingest right-wing activists and organizations operating today:   

These pro-family leaders have signed on to this statement:

Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans for Truth
Gary Glenn, President, American Family Association of Michigan
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Rena Lindevaldson, Associate Director, Liberty Center for Law & Policy
Matt C. Abbott, Catholic columnist,RenewAmerica.com

These leaders may spend their professional lives sending out the message that gays are sinful, diseased perverts, but that is just because they know that "traditional values always help families and students, not the opposite, as extremists are trying to claim."

Brownback Called Upon to "Formally Denounce" Lou Engle

Over the last few days, we've been noting that Sam Brownback's ties to Lou Engle have become an issue in the race for Governor in Kansas, with Brownback at first refusing to comment but eventually addressing the issue by trying to downplay the relationship and distance himself from Engle's views.

As we noted yesterday, that is easier said than done, as Brownback has had deep ties to Engle and his Dominionist associates for years and has played a lead role in turning their religious concerns into public policy.

So now Brownback's opponent, Tom Holland, is calling on him to not merely voice vague "concerns" about Engle's unspecified views, but to "formally denounce" Engle once and for all:

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland is calling on Senator Sam Brownback to denounce Brownback’s former roommate and confidant, controversial anti-gay preacher Lou Engle ...

“I am calling on Senator Brownback to formally denounce Lou Engle – not just “some” of his statements – but his entire message of violence, hate and bigotry. Lou Engle sounds a lot like Fred Phelps. But the difference is unlike Fred Phelps, Lou Engle lived with Sam Brownback in Washington D.C.,” said Holland. “It’s time Sam Brownback stops brushing this issue aside, and make a denouncement on par with the nine year relationship that preceded it.”

Holland is right: Brownback lived with Engle for several months and has had a relationship with him and the various "prophets" and "apostles" with whom he associates that has lasted for year, so he cannot simply say he has "concerns" about "some" of Engle's views and hope that that settles it. 

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.

Vander Plaats Tries to Downplay AFA Backing of Iowa For Freedom

Yesterday, religious leaders in Iowa held a press conference to decry the role that the American Family Association in playing in running the Iowa For Freedom effort to remove three Supreme Court justices over their ruling in favor of marriage equality: 

“I believe that as a person of faith I am called on to aide those who are oppressed, abused and bullied — just as Jesus did,” said the Rev. Tom Capo of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist. “And when I hear any faith-based organization — whether it is called the American Family Association, Iowa for Freedom or IowaPastors.com — that calls basically for revenge against our Iowa Supreme Court justices because these justices made one decision that these groups don’t agree with, a decision to allow one group of people to have the civil rights that they deserve, I wonder if they are considering if they are living loving messages of faith that all the world religious speak of: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Help those in need or in pain. Help those who society shuns. These are the messages of my faith.”

The groups aren’t preaching that message, according to Capo, but are attempting to “manipulate us using fear.”

Rabbi Todd Thalblum, leader of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, agrees that “the voices of hate are out in force” and encouraged all Americans to return to the country’s “founding principles of equality and respect.”

“We are, each of us, a representation of God on this earth, and this makes us equal,” Thalblum said.

“History has shown us that where ever hate speech has been allowed to fester, violence and aggression are not far behind,” Thalbulum said. “The Jewish people know this all too well as do many, many other minorities both in this country and across the globe. We should never make our decisions based on a rhetoric of hate, rather we should let that what is just and right be our guide.”

Bob Vander Plaats, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, responded by claiming that the AFA was merely one supporter of many:

“The only thing I’m going to denounce is activists judges on the supreme court that’s used to make law, govern law and amend the constitution, and usurp the will of the people, and the will be the message today all the way until November two,” Vander Plaats says.

He says he believes the people of Iowa will have their voice be heard and will vote “No” on the three justices. The Interfaith Alliance says the A-F-A is an “extremist group, with a radical agenda, and a record of hate.” Vander Plaats says the group is one of many supporters of Iowa for Freedom.

He says Newt Gingrich supports the effort, Iowa Congressman Steve King supports the group and Vander Plaats says he’s not going to take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of their comments, nor should they take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of his comments.

But as the Iowa Independent reports, Vander Plaats' claim is complete nonsense: 

But in fact, according to documents filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Iowa for Freedom is not a separate entity, but simply the name given to AFA’s Iowa campaign. The group’s attorney told the state, “It is anticipated that all source funds for the Iowa for Freedom will come from AFA directly and that no other individuals or organizations will contribute specifically or directly for the campaign.”

As The Iowa Independent reported Wednesday, AFA has spent about $85,000 in Iowa in hopes of swaying Iowa voters not to retain three state Supreme Court justices that appear on the November ballot. According to Bryan Fischer, AFA’s director of issue analysis for government and public policy, the group will spend $200,000 on the effort.

...

While Vander Plaats downplays AFA’s contribution, AFA has done little, if anything, to hide its involvement with the retention campaign. Each page of the Iowa for Freedom website is marked as being “paid for by AFA Action Inc.,” the political arm of AFA. Advertisements generated by Iowa for Freedom are clearly marked as being “paid for by IowaforFreedom.com, a project of AFA Action Inc.” The West Des Moines address provided below the disclaimer is to a mail box at a UPS Store. In addition, e-mails sent by Vander Plaats on behalf of Iowa for Freedom dating back to August bear a similar disclaimer that the group is a project of the AFA. The website does note that AFA Action is a 501(c)4 organization, and that no contributions are tax-deductible.

Will FRC Take Over The "Day of Truth"?

Earlier this week, CNN's Dan Gilgoff reported that Exodus International was shutting down it annual "Day of Truth":

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group's president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

In was just last year that Exodus took over running the Day of Truth from the creators at the Alliance Defense Fund, so it'll be interesting to see if ADF will be willing to retake control over the effort.

If they do, they can probably expect the support of Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who tells Gilgoff that he is eager to see this sort of effort continue:

We stand ready to work with all pro-family groups to ensure that students continue to hear an alternative to the ideological indoctrination in support of the homosexual movement which has become all too prevalent in our public schools.

As we have repeatedly stated, we unequivocally condemn verbal or physical harassment or violence directed at any person, particularly a child, because of sexuality, religious beliefs, or for any other reason. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest any connection between those kinds of acts and the loving witness of Christian believers or the reasoned dialogue of pro-family activists.

We will never allow the slanders of activist groups that promote homosexual behavior to deter us from speaking the truth in love, and that includes the message that the choice to engage in homosexual conduct is a destructive one and that change is possible for those who experience same-sex attractions.

If FRC refuses to stop "speaking the truth in love" and wants to make sure that students continue to hear the Day of Truth's message, it only makes sense for FRC to take over the organizing of this annual event, does it not?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Hey, Janet Porter is back.
  • Randall Terry is calling on Abdul Rauf and Nihad Awad of CAIR to join him as he destroys passages from the Quran so they can renounce threats of violence against Christians.
  • On a related note, Operation Rescue wants to make it clear that they have no connection to Terry and his "negative lifestyle choices, financial mismanagement, misleading donors, and bizarre media events."
  • Alan Keyes' Black America’s PAC has spent just 1% of $2 million it has raised since 2007 supporting candidates.
  • Apparently, Christians are very concerned that they might unknowingly be eating meat that is halal.
  • Richard Land supports the construction of an Islamic center in Tennessee while Mat Staver warns Christians that if a court or other government official can ban a mosque, it could also ban churches: "There will be losers in this, and one of them could be you."
  • Finally, the Coming King Foundation just spent $200,000 getting this 5,000 lb, 18-foot tall bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ as a mighty warrior, returning in glory on a white horse installed in Minnesota:
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violence Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/29/2011, 2:09pm
WorldNetDaily columnist David Solway believes that progressives are the ones that really should be held responsible for the terrorist attacks in Norway…which targeted progressives. Like the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who said that the right-wing terrorist’s political outlook was “accurate” but strongly disagreed with his violent methods, Solway argues that more people will take up Anders Behring Breivik’s staunchly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and illiberal views because of progressives’ support for diversity and immigrant rights:... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/27/2011, 11:56am
Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America, like other anti-Muslim bloggers, now believes that she is the real victims of the deadly terrorist attacks in Norway targeted at progressives for supporting a multicultural society. Geller, who was frequently cited by the right-wing Norway terrorist Anders Breivik, initially claimed that the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslims, as reported by Robert Steinback of the Southern Poverty Law Center: Her first post, at 12:57 p.m. Friday was headlined, “Jihad in Norway?” Mocking her critics, she wrote, “But remember, jihad is... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/26/2011, 11:10am
After warning that marriage equality in New York will hasten the coming of the Antichrist, Renew America’s Michael Bresciani claims that Satan is behind the LGBT-rights movement and using demons to spread lies that will turn people away from God. “In our world most of those spreading the gay lie are liberals, activists, spineless academicians, Hollywood sellouts, and now we can throw in a president and a large contingent of fully duped politicians,” Bresciani writes, adding, “There is little doubt that the entire gay and lesbian community is guided by a powerful demon... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/25/2011, 6:19pm
Frank Graffney says the terrorist attacks in Norway demonstrates the urgency to fight…you guessed it, Sharia law. Live Prayer’s Bill Keller says that while a Christian who commits acts of violence is an apostate, “a Muslim commits acts of terror, killing innocent people, they are simply following the teachings of their false religion.” Conservatives defend Herman Cain for saying communities can ban mosques; claim states' rights trump freedom of religion. Meanwhile, Cain is skipping an interview with Stephen Colbert. Michael Brown, author... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/25/2011, 10:52am
As we learn more about the right-wing terrorist in Norway whose deadly attacks left over ninety people dead, the anti-Muslim blog FrontPageMag led by conservative activist David Horowitz is arguing that the real victims of the attacks are…anti-Muslim bloggers. Anders Behring Breivik routinely frequented popular anti-Muslim blogs and cited American and European anti-Muslim figures in his “manifesto” against progressives, minorities and “cultural Marxism.” Mark Tapson of FrontPageMag claims that Breivik’s actions did great damage to the cause of “... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/22/2011, 10:26am
Tim Dunkin of Renew America and Conservative Underground wants to warn America that not only is same-sex marriage not a right, but that homosexuality itself “is a lifestyle choice that lends itself to violence, degradation, disease, selfishness, and exploitation.” Arguing that gay rights must be “fought, defeated, and thrown back” along with “the rest of the broader revolutionary socialist agenda,” Dunkin claims that “homosexuality is destructive” and will ultimately destroy America because, he says, homosexuality is associated with violence,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/18/2011, 1:20pm
Tea Party Nation has increasingly voiced a militant opposition to gay rights, endorsing activists who maintain that LGBT equality will destroy America and that anti-LGBT bullying is “healthy.” Now, the tea party group’s president Judson Phillips himself is calling on activists to rally behind Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus as they face scrutiny over their clinic’s use of “reparative therapy” and their long opposition to gay rights. Phillips claims that the gay rights movement is part of a larger “liberal freak show” different from... MORE