Glenn Beck And David Barton Launch Misleading Effort To Pressure Pastor To Preach On Conservative Issues

Glenn Beck felt that his television program last night was so important that he took to Facebook to tell his fans that "if you only watch one show the rest of this year from me on the blaze, make it today's." What his viewers found if they tuned in was David Barton promoting Seven Mountains dominionism, a movement that believes that Christians must gain control of the seven main cultural centers in order to create a "virtual theocracy" in America:

Barton has been openly promoting Seven Mountains since 2011 and now Beck is likewise on board, declaring in a separate Facebook post last night that "there are seven hills of culture. If you plan on surviving as a culture you must have these seven hills."

But all of this dominionist rhetoric was really just a lead-up to the release of a poll conducted by Christian pollster George Barna that reportedly found that churchgoers want their pastors to deliver more sermons opposing things like gay marriage and abortion rights and Islam.

The poll itself was conducted by Barna through the American Culture and Faith Institute, which just so happens to be "the public opinion research arm of United in Purpose," a Religious Right effort started several years ago for the purpose of mobilizing millions of right-wing Christians to vote.

To hear Barton, Beck and Barna tell it, the poll found that the average churchgoer is simply dying to have their pastor take on a whole host of controversial issues from the pulpit:

Top 12 Issues the Church Wants to Hear:

1. Abortion: Beginning of life, right to life, contraception, adoption, unwed mothers. 91%

2. Religious persecution/liberty: Personal duty, government duty, church response, global conditions. 86%

3. Poverty: Personal duty, government role, church role, homelessness, hunger, dependency. 85%

4. Cultural restoration: Appropriate morals, law and order, defensible values and norms, self-government. 83%

5. Sexual identity: Same-sex marriage, transgenderism, marriage, LGBT. 82%

6. Israel: Its role in the world, Christian responsibility to Israel, US foreign policy toward Israel and its enemies. 80%

7. Christian Heritage: role of Christian faith in American history, church role in US development, modern-day relevance. 79%

8. Role of Government: Biblical view, church-state relationship, personal responsibility, limitations. 76%

9. Bioethics: Cloning, euthanasia, genetic engineering, cryogenics, organ donation, surrogacy. 76%

10. Self-governance: Biblical support, personal conduct, impact on freedom, national sovereignty. 75%

11. Church in politics/government: Separation of church and state, legal boundaries, church resistance to government. 73%

12. Islam: Core beliefs, response to Islamic aggression, threat to US peace and domestic stability. 72%

Throughout the program, all three men repeatedly created the impression that this was a poll of average "church-going, Bible-believing people" and that pastors have been failing to address the issues that their congregations care most about:

But if you actually bother to read the poll, you discover that "conservatives represented 92% of the total respondents" and that it's findings primarily reflected the desires of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views."

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that conservative Christians want their pastors to preach against abortion and gay rights, but obviously conservatives are not the only ones filling the pews on Sundays.

In Barna's poll, 92% of respondents were conservative, while the other 8% were "moderates"; unsurprisingly, the moderates did not share the conservative views at all:

Christian conservatives were twice as likely as Christian moderates to desire more information (67% vs. 31%). Christian moderates, in contrast, were five times more likely to say that churches should not be involved in politics at all ... It is helpful to note that there are huge differences in the opinions of conservative Christians and moderate Christians on the importance of receiving biblical teaching on these matters from their church. Comparing their answers on the dozen most important issues to conservatives, realize that the average gap between the two segments is 30.2 percentage points, with the conservatives indicating a higher level of interest on each of these twelve subjects.

Predictably, nobody on Beck's show last night bothered to point out this rather important fact, as they repeatedly presented the poll as representing the views of regular churchgoers instead of the views of right-wing Christians, which is what it actually represents.

To make matters worse, the misleading poll findings are now being used by Beck and Barton to launch an effort aimed at pressuring pastors into preaching on the issues that the conservatives want to hear about.

Beck even posted a sample letter on his website for people to use in urging their pastors to address these issues:

We also want to encourage you to be bold in providing a Biblical perspective and spiritual guidance on the important moral, social and cultural issues confronting us today. As never before in our history, we are facing complex problems, and there is a competing cacophony of voices telling us what to think about these issues. We need clear guidance on what the Scriptures tell us about such issues such as abortion, religious persecution, sexual identity, bioethics and so much else. Our thinking, our children and our families are under attack from so many secular voices telling us how to think about these issues.

We understand many of these things will be seen as controversial to some, but this is all the more reason we need a clear spiritual perspective on them. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, but we want to know what the Bible says on each of these issues.

We have recently discovered we are not alone in our hunger for clear guidance on specific issues. A recent survey conducted by national pollster George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of serious Bible-minded church-goers are also hungering for relevant information.


We want – indeed, we need – to hear what God says about these things, which are pressing in upon our thinking from so many directions. We want you to know that if you will take leadership in teaching us about these things, we will have your back – we will ourselves stand up to the critics – we will stand with you and for you. We want to become better disciples and think like Jesus thought on all of these issues.

A few years ago, Beck and Barton launched the National Black Robe Regiment, which was designed to mobilize "courageous and patriotic ministers who will provide leadership and speak out on the pressing issues of the day."

We are guessing that that effort must not have been much of a success if Beck and Barton have now been forced to launch a separate effort misleadingly designed to get congregations to pressure their pastors into preaching on the issues that only conservative Christians care about.

Alex Jones: Pope's Plan To Fight Climate Change Will Leave One Billion People Dead

Alex Jones is not the biggest fan of Pope Francis, telling “InfoWars” viewers yesterday that the “slimebag” pope wants to destroy America’s borders, preserve the power of pedophiles, establish a “one world religion” and turn Americans into “abject slaves.”

He also expressed just a tiny amount of displeasure with Francis’ call for nations like the U.S. to commit to fighting climate change.

“If he gets his way, a billion people will starve to death in the next ten years,” Jones said. “I’m going to vomit.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/23/15

  • Kevin Drum: Donald Trump Once Again Shows That He's Probably Never Cracked Open a Bible in His Life.
  • Joe Jervis: Searching For The “Gay Friends” Of Kim Davis.
  • Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: How The Media Is Helping A Hate Group Leader Gain Political Power.
  • TFN Insider: Travis County GOP Promotes Anti-Muslim Screed That Also Calls George W. Bush a ‘Coward and Traitor’.
  • Andrew Husband @ Mediaite: Phoenix Anti-Islam Rally Organizer Vows to Arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/23/15

  • FRC is not exactly welcoming Pope Francis with open arms: "May American Christians give the Pope a hearty welcome! When hearing his views on 'Climate Change,' economic policy, and proposed Palestinian State, may they be like the Bereans who respectfully and eagerly listened to the Apostle Paul but examined the Scriptures daily to see if what he taught was true."
  • Donald Trump is now boycotting Fox News because the network "has been treating me very unfairly."
  • A good question: "Where Are the Cross-Inspired Doritos?"
  • Bill Muehlenberg says that "given that the sin homosexuality is singled out by Paul in this section of Scripture as the predominant example of why sinful man deserves the wrath of God, it seems we can say with full assurance that the West is long overdue for God’s righteous judgment."
  • Finally, the Media Research Center has released an informative new report: "Right Wing Watch Proves Norman Lear is No 'Conservative'."

Tony Perkins Agrees With Caller Worrying That Ahmed Mohamed Could Blow Up The White House

On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council president and self-styled religious liberty champion Tony Perkins tried to make the case that Islam is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.

After insisting that Islam should not be considered a religion deserving of the same protections as Christianity, Perkins addressed the arrest of Texas teenager Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school.

Perkins said that President Obama’s supportive tweet about the case showed that the president is trying to “vilify authorities” while “trying to placate an ethnic group in this country that has been associated with terrorist activities.” (Among the many things wrong with this statement is the fact that Islam is not an ethnicity.)

“Often times, and I’m not saying that this is the case with Ahmed in Irving, Texas, I am just saying that this is how they operate, is that you will sometimes see terrorists come in and do a dry run to see where the security lapses are and what the responses are and they will just test the systems, again I’m not saying what happened here, but it could have been and you wouldn’t know unless you began asking questions and you began to investigate,” he later said.

A caller, Michael, then chimed in with various scenarios about the student, including one suggestion that Ahmed could actually have been plotting to get the White House invitation so he could then blow it up: “This child’s dad ran for the president of Sudan twice, and we know how Sudan is. Here in America, now we know that the radical Muslims, they’ll tie explosives to the kids, so what makes us think that they didn’t come do this? We’ve got a president that invites this child, and I’ve got nothing against this kid, the president invites him to our White House, now what if, let’s just say for example, what if this child is carrying a bomb? Is it still smart?”

“I agree one hundred percent with your analysis,” Perkins said.

Brigitte Gabriel: Refugee Crisis Part Of Obama's 'Plan' To 'Intermingle America'

Conservative pundit and short-lived Republican presidential candidate Dennis Michael Lynch guest-hosted Steve Malzberg’s Newsmax TV show yesterday, where he invited ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel to discuss her efforts to keep the U.S. from resettling refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Gabriel, who will be speaking alongside several GOP presidential candidates at this week’s Values Voter Summit, claimed that Muslim refugees currently in the country “are not assimilating because they have a different value system,” which “will prevent them from assimilating no matter how long they stay in our country.”

“They are coming to your neighborhood,” she warned, “they are coming to your state, you need to know who’s coming and how many of them are coming and whether you can stop it.”

Lynch then asked Gabriel about his theory that President Obama is intentionally allowing ISIS to gain territory in order to cause a refugee crisis that will in turn “transform” America.

“He said he was going to fundamentally transform America,” Lynch said. “I’ve always believed he was going to do it through immigration. There is a part of me that believes he did not want to take out ISIS, he does not want to take out ISIS, because it creates an incredible refugee issue. … Do you think this is all part of his plan?”

“Yes it is,” Gabriel agreed, “and he is already partly changing America because that’s his values. He does not believe in American exceptionalism, he believes that America has to be on par with the rest of the world and therefore we are all one, and that’s why he wants to intermingle America, to have a population of every corner of the world, whether or not they are equal to us or not.”

Michael Savage: Gay Army Secretary Could Bring Child Abuse To Military

On Monday, conservative talk radio host Michael Savage decried President Obama’s decision to appoint Eric Fanning, an openly gay man, as Secretary of the Army, suggesting that Fanning’s appointment would lead to a “culture” of child abuse in the military.

Savage read from a recent New York Times report describing the disturbing allegations that the U.S. military ordered service members to overlook abuse of children by local Afghan soldiers who were fighting the Taliban, reportedly justifying letting the abuse continue by saying it was part of their Afghan allies’ “culture.”

“Well, maybe the whole culture of the Army soon, given Obama’s recent appointment,” Savage remarked.

Last week, Savage said that Obama’s nomination of Fanning proves that he is a “psychopath.”

Pat Buchanan Compares Kim Davis' Anti-Gay Stand To His Own Efforts To Stop Desegregation

In an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday, Pat Buchanan compared Kentucky county Kim Davis’ defiance of court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses to his own efforts to convince President Nixon to defy a Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation.

Host Rick Ungar asked Buchanan to explain why he would oppose a devout Muslim becoming president out of fear that his or her religion would trump the Constitution, when Mike Huckabee and other GOP candidates frequently say that their Christian religion trumps U.S. law.

Buchanan responded that there were plenty of examples of people rightly following “natural law” rather than obeying the courts, such as protesters in the Civil Rights Movement. He added that his father, a devout Catholic, would likewise have disobeyed a law requiring him to provide “abortifacients and contraceptives to his employees.”

Buchanan added that he himself had advocated civil disobedience when he urged President Nixon to defy a 1971 Supreme Court decision that “called for district-wide desegregation and allowed for the use of busing to achieve integration.”

“I think that [Davis] did the right thing,” Buchanan said, “she defied the law and went to jail and paid the price, that’s the price of civil disobedience of an unjust law. But I do believe this. When I was in the Nixon White House, I urged the president to defy court orders mandating court-ordered busing from counties into cities, which were tearing apart cities and towns, defy the court and work with the Congress of the United States to really circumscribe the jurisdiction of the court under … Article III, Section II of the Constitution. In other words, it would be a constitutional confrontation, you’re exactly right. I don’t disagree with that, if you believe your position is correct.”

In a column last year, Buchanan similarly compared resistance to same-sex marriage to busing opponents’ efforts to nake “our black-robed radicals back down.”

Mike Huckabee Has The Most Absurd Reaction To Obama's Pope Francis Remarks

At a White House ceremony welcoming Pope Francis today, President Obama called out violence against Christians around the world and thanked Francis for speaking out about such persecution:

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

Mike Huckabee, however, took issue with Obama’s remarks… because of Kim Davis:

The Obama administration, of course, had nothing to do with Davis’ case, as Huckabee’s Vine implied.

But it revealed how the Religious Right thinks about “persecution.”

Davis’ detention by U.S. Marshals due to her continued refusal to let deputy clerks issue marriage licenses in defiance of a court order was seen by conservatives like Huckabee as part of the “criminalization of Christianity,” no different than actual violence perpetrated against Christians in parts of the Mideast or the imprisonment of Christians in countries like China.

Huckabee marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests last year by declaring that “China is becoming more like the United States used to be and the United States is becoming more like China used to be.” He has also claimed that pastors will soon face “criminal charges” for refusing to gay couples’ weddings and said that gay rights supporters won’t stop “until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.”

“We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity,” he often states.

“We’re seeing, certainly at the national level, internally, this battle on marriage, but globally what we’re seeing is that there is an assault on the Christian faith in general,” Huckabee said in response to a pastor who likened gay marriage activists to ISIS members during a conference call earlier this year.

Huckabee isn’t the only one making such dramatic claims about anti-Christian persecution in America.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council compared Davis to a woman who was imprisoned in Sudan for converting to Christianity and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who also led Davis’ unsuccessful legal battle, likened Davis to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Davis, who was trying to impose her own religious views on others, is not a victim of religious persecution, but that won’t prevent politicians like Huckabee from using her case to whip up claims that American Christians, just like Christians in China or the self-styled Islamic State, are facing oppression from the government.

Donald Trump Heading To Extremist Religious Right Summit

It appears that Donald Trump is stepping up his outreach to the Religious Right, as the Family Research Council today confirmed that the Republican frontrunner will be attending its annual conference, which has become something of a cattle-call for the most radical speakers in the country.

The chief organizer of the Values Voter Summit, FRC’s Tony Perkins, criticized Trump when the candidate initially declined an invitation to the summit, claiming that Trump was neglecting conservative evangelicals and wasn’t trying to “talk about issues they care about” in “a way that is convincing.”

But given that the Values Voter Summit has traditionally been an event at which speakers are wildly cheered for delivering bigoted remarks and self-righteous tirades, Trump will probably fit right in.

Indeed, Trump has embraced the Right’s “persecution complex,” decrying the “War on Christmas” and warning that “before you know it, you won’t be able to go to church.”

He also expounded on his feelings about God during an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network today:

Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it fifteen years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.
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