Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

Ohio State Rep Wants To Ban Abortion Because China Has Too Many Smart Kids

During a rally in Columbus for Janet Porter’s Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases, Ohio Republican State Representative Jarrod Martin came up with an economic rationale to pass the legislation: to help the U.S. compete with China.

Martin argued that since there are far more Chinese students taking AP classes than American students, the U.S. needs to ban abortion so women will have more children in order to rival China’s academic dominance.

Martin: When you look at China and you look at their population, the population growth that China has and other Third World countries have compared to the population growth of the United States; China right now how more children in AP and gifted classes than the United States has in school. Think about that, they have more children in their gifted classes than we have in our entire school system. And we are killing thousands and tens of thousands of babies every year. How do we compete? We have to think about our future. That’s a little bit of economics behind this bill.

Martin was introduced by Porter, a radical dominionist and conspiracy theorist who had fetuses testify for the legislation. The Heartbeat bill, which is backed by leading Republicans like Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, passed out of committee but has not yet been scheduled for a vote by the full Ohio State House.

Walking The Line: The Company That Mike Huckabee Keeps

Yesterday, Tim Murphy of Mother Jones wrote a good piece about Mike Huckabee's ties to Janet Porter which noted that "Huckabee's greatest asset has always been his ability to speak two languages—one to his base, and one to everyone else."

This is absolutely true, in that Huckabee has managed to develop a reputation as an affable, reasonable Republican in the media while simultaneously maintaining and establishing deep relationships with figures who inhabit the outer fringes of the Religious Right.

And nothing better exemplifies this than the fact that he dedicated a segment on a recent episode of his Fox News television program to discussing the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden ... and he brought on retired General Jerry Boykin as his expert:

Now, the segment itself contains nothing too extreme ... and that is exactly what makes it a perfect demonstration of how Huckabee manages to walk this line. 

After all, if Huckabee brought Boykin on to his Fox program so that he could talk about how he retired from the military after he was caught declaring that the US was engaged in a holy war against Islam and how, since that time, he has become a professional anti-Islam activist and teamed up with self-proclaimed prophet Rick Joyner to form a Spartan-like Christian army that can withstand President Obama's Marxist attempts to create an army of Brownshirts loyal only to him ... well, that just might undermine Huckabee's own well-crafted reputation for aw-shucks reasonableness, now wouldn't it?

Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian

David Barton has been in the spotlight lately.  In recent weeks, he was featured in a New York Times profile, interviewed on "The Daily Show," and was even the focus on a long report we released chronicling his career of peddling right-wing pseudohistory for political gain.

The upside of Barton's recent high profile is that bona fide historians who, unlike Barton, actually have training and credentials, are starting to stand up to Barton's flagrant and intentional misuse of history.

For instance, yesterday Paul Harvey, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches explaining that Barton is not in any sense a historian, but rather a propaganda artist who seeks to create the impression that there is some sort of "debate" over the issue of America's identity as a Christian nation that he can use to promote his right-wing political agenda:

Barton’s intent is not to produce “scholarship,” but to influence public policy. He simply is playing a different game than worrying about scholarly credibility, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His game is to inundate public policy makers (including local and state education boards as well as Congress) with ideas packaged as products that will move policy.

Historical scholarship moves slowly and carefully, usually shunning the public arena; Barton’s proof-texting, by contrast, supplies ready-made (if sometimes made-up) quotations ready for use in the latest public policy debate, whether they involve school prayer, abortion, the wonders of supply-side economics, the Defense of Marriage Act, or the capital gains tax. ...

In short, perhaps the best way to understand Barton is as a historical product of Christian providentialist thinking, one with significant historical roots and usually with a publicly convincing spokesman. He is the latest in a long line of ideologically persuasive spokesmen for preserving American’s Protestant character ... The Christian Nation “debate” is not really an intellectual contest between legitimate contending viewpoints. Instead, it is a manufactured “controversy” akin to the global warming “debate.” On the one side are purveyors of a rich and complex view of the past, including most historians who have written and debated fiercely about the founding era. On the “other side” is a group of ideological entrepreneurs who have created an alternate intellectual universe based on a historical fundamentalism. In their drive to create a usable past, they show little respect for the past as a foreign country.

That point was echoed by Randall Stephens, an Associate Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College, who has no time for Barton's "kindergarten" understanding of history or his "hyper-politicized work":

Barton does not recognized the idea that the past is like a foreign country. Instead Barton tends to flatten out time and space and make it almost seem as if the Founders are our contemporaries, motivated by the same concerns that motivate us now. Yet people in the past--whether we're talking about leaders of Bronze Age tribes or bewigged 18th century nabobs who tinkered on their mansions, read Montaigne in their spare time, or enjoyed arm-chair speculation about nature and providence--are not the same as us. This seems like a kindergarten point, but it's apparently lost on David Barton.

...

Nearly any trained historian worth his or her salt who takes a close look at Barton and his hyper-politicized work will see glaring gaps in what he writes and talks about. He dresses his founders in 21st-century garb. He's not interested in knowing much about the history of colonial America or the US in the early republic. Why? Because he's using history to craft a very specific, anti-statist, Christian nationalist, evangelical-victimization argument in the present. (Remember the many unconfirmed quotations Barton used in the 1990s? He did so because, first and foremost, he was trying to make a political point.)

In history circles this is what we call "bad history."

Finally, John Fea, author of "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction," and Associate Professor of American History at Messiah College, has been writing an ongoing series debunking Barton's appearance on "The Daily Show," along with a piece warning Christians not to fall for his propaganda:

Wallbuilders is a political organization that selectively uses history to promote a religious and ideological agenda. Barton believes that America's last, best hope is a return to its so-called Christian roots. In his most famous book, Original Intent, Barton argues that the removal of Christianity from the public square has resulted in a rise in birth rates for unwed girls, a spike in violent crime, more sexually transmitted diseases, lower SAT scores, and an increase in single parent households. And he has convinced thousands and thousands of Christians that he is right.

Barton claims to be a historian. He is not. He has just enough historical knowledge, and just enough charisma, to be very dangerous. During his appearance on The Daily Show, Barton impressed the faithful with his grasp of American history and his belief that Christians are being subtly persecuted in this country. But if you watch the show carefully, you will notice that Barton is a master at dodging controversial questions. He refuses to admit that sometimes history does not conform to our present-day political agendas.

...

Here is the bottom line: Christians should think twice before they rely on David Barton for their understanding of the American founding. Let's not confuse history with propaganda.

As Fea says, "the more popular Barton becomes, the more his views will be debunked by what I am imagining will be an ever-growing chorus of critics" ... but that task sure would be made easier if  Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee would stop actively embracing and promoting Barton's pseudohistorical propaganda.

Colson Warns Of The Creeping Influence Of Ayn Rand In The Conservative Movement

The rise of the Tea Party and economic libertarians has inspired a revitalization of Ayn Rand’s book sales and sparked more curiosity for her ‘Objectivist’ thinking. Leading Republicans have embraced Rand, as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) called Rand the “the reason I got involved in public service” and Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) gives a copy of Atlas Shrugged to his interns. The movie Atlas Shrugged: Part I premiered at CPAC and won burgeoning interest from conservative moviegoers, until it received abysmal reviews that were so bad it convinced the producer to drop plans for parts II and III.

But Religious Right leader Chuck Colson isn’t happy with the Ayn Rand retrospective. He made a two minute video attacking Rand and her devotees, deriding Rand as an anti-Christian atheist. “Not only should you stay away from the film,” Colson says, “you ought to stay away from anybody who wants to see the film, unless their interest is ironic.” Colson warns that Rand’s “patently anti-Christian ideas seem to be gaining steam” among conservatives, cautioning that her Objectivist philosophy is the “antithesis of Christianity” and that her followers are “undermining the Gospel”:

Colson also posted an article that expresses bewilderment on how Ryan or any other politician could have been inspired by Rand:

What makes this newly-renewed regard especially troubling is that Rand’s worldview is explicitly anti-Christian. She once said she wanted to be known as “the greatest enemy of religion.” And when Rand said “religion” she meant Christianity, which she once called the “kindergarten of communism.”

For Rand the idea of God, as understood by Christianity, was “degrading to man.” According to her, the only god who can bring men peace and joy was not the great “i am” but “I.” Yet even some prominent Christians are being sucked in.

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that her worldview, called Objectivism, which rejects love of God, has even less regard for love of neighbor. Jennifer Rubin, who wrote the definitive biography of Rand, says that “whereas traditional conservatism emphasized duties, responsibilities, and social interconnectedness, at the core” of Rand’s ideology “was a rejection of moral obligations to others.”

Thus, Rand could say that the world was “perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice.” Not because it was true but because, for Rand, any regard for your neighbor was an offense against the only god who mattered: the self. How such a toxic idea can inspire “public service” is beyond me.

Newt Gingrich Is Just Like King David

If anyone out there thinks that Newt Gingrich's serial infidelity will, in any way, sour the Religious Right on his presidential candidacy, think again.

As we've noted before, Jim Garlow was the man at the center of the battle to stop marriage equality in California through Proposition 8 and he's already forgiven Gingrich and calling him "the strongest possible candidate."

So it is pretty obvious that "family values" leaders will do what is necessary to come up with ways to justify supporting Gingrich despite his history ... and so we'll probably start seeing lots more pieces like this one from Michael Youssef on the AFA's OneNewsNow website comparing Gingrich to King David:

A number of years ago, I gave a series of messages on the life of King David of old. I entitled the series, "A Portrait of a Champion." One of the messages in that series was called, "Champions Know How to Repent." Even a great champion for God such as King David messed up "royally" and had to repent ... This brings me to Newt Gingrich. While many people have, and will continue to throw stones at the former Speaker's past marriage failures, I am glad that Newt is a man who knows how to repent. After all, isn't that all that each of us can do?

...

Back in 2007, I heard an interview between Newt Gingrich and James Dobson that I will never forget. In it, Newt Gingrich explained how, with hot tears, he cried to the Lord for forgiveness and mercy over his indiscretions. Isn't that what God's word requires? ... It is my view that Newt's personal struggles and successes will aid him in being not only a seasoned candidate but possibly one of the finest presidents since Ronald Reagan. I did not say a perfect president, but a strong and fair-minded president.

Ask yourself this question: "If I lived during the time of King David, would I have voted for him as president?"

Bryan Fischer Takes On Sears For Selling Porn

In addition to their boycott drives against Glee and Home Depot for allegedly promoting homosexuality, the American Family Association recently launched a campaign against Sears for “offering hard-core pornographic DVDs and music.” The AFA claims that Sears initially denied selling such material but ultimately apologized.

Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis, is now gloating about his investigative ‘research’ into Sears’ porn videos and successful drive to purge porn from the company’s website and defeat “the forces of secular fundamentalism”:

To prove our case, in the face of Sears’ denials, we ordered an explicit pornographic DVD right off the Sears website. The title of the DVD: “Hot Mamas Love Young Chicks 3.” I have not screened this video, but rest assured it is not a documentary about attractive Midwestern farmers’ wives running egg hatcheries.

We’ve got the packing slip with the Sears label and the title of the DVD right there in front of God and everybody. We included a copy of this packing slip in the action alert we sent out last Thursday to our 2.3 million member network, an action alert in which we urged our members to contact the CEO of Sears directly and complain.



Sears’ capitulation came so suddenly and unexpectedly that the next edition of our monthly AFA Journal, which was already in the mail, contains a feature piece on Sears’ intransigence. The surrender came too late for us to update the piece, and so Sears may well be getting many additional phone calls from faithful readers of the Journal, which will simply serve as a welcome reminder to Sears to take care of their knitting in the future.

I close my radio program every day by reminding my listeners that “we are fighting a winnable war.” What this episode proves is that even a Goliath like Sears can be brought to its knees when enough pro-family Americans care enough to act on their values by making a single phone call.

Edmund Burke famously said that all it takes for evil to triumph “is for good men to do nothing.” In this case, good men did something rather than nothing, and helped to the get the mind of a retail giant right in the process.

We are locked in a culture war with the forces of secular fundamentalism, a fight for the soul of this country, and as Sears has just proved, this is a war that can be won.

 

$30K Raised For Man Charged With Assisting Lisa Miller

We had been covering the Lisa Miller saga for over a year, but the trail had largely gone cold as Miller had kidnapped her daughter and disappeared and nobody seemed to know where they were ... until last month when a man, Timothy Miller [no relation], was arrested for allegedly having helped Miller and her daughter flee the country.

Timo Miller, as he is known, is now being charged with aiding in an "international parental kidnapping" ... and, of course, his supporters have set up a legal defense website to help him fight the charges which paints both Lisa and Timo as Christian heroes for refusing to allow a "child to become a pawn of the agenda of those who desire to 'normalize' homosexuality":

Since God has not intended for two men or two women to raise children as a family unit, they can’t produce children on their own. This creates a problem in their agenda to create the perception that homosexual behavior is normal. Thus they resort to adopting children or using artificial insemination from a male donor in the case of a lesbian relationship. Can you imagine being a child growing up in the middle of such an environment? It is a tragedy that laws and courts in our nation can be manipulated to allow an innocent and defenseless child to become a pawn of the agenda of those who desire to “normalize” homosexuality. Truly sin has devastating consequences.

...

A mother goose will fight to the death to protect her young. So will a robin or a mama bear. God has put instincts into a mother to protect their young. Lisa did what any good mother would do. She “died” while attempting to protect her young child from what she perceived as very imminent danger. Rather than risk what she felt was certain harm to her daughter, she took her child, and fled to Nicaragua .

...

The criminal complaint against Timo Miller says he aided in the removal of a child from the US in order to interfere with “parental” custody. It accuses him of arranging tickets, and picking them up at the airport.

The accusation begs a question. How can a biologically unrelated individual who has not gone through the adoption process even have “parental” rights? Homosexual marriages are not recognized federally, nor are they recognized by most states. In fact, most states have specific prohibitions banning homosexual marriage. These bans help to protect children from becoming pawns for homosexual activists who desire to use them in their crusade to “normalize” the homosexual lifestyle. Unfortunately, Vermont does not offer such protections to its defenseless children.

According to an update from yesterday, the defense fund has already raised over $30,000.

Flashback: Lou Engle Prays Over Newt Gingrich

In honor of his impending presidential announcement, yesterday we put up a post featuring links to our "top ten" posts about Newt Gingrich that included a link to a post we wrote in 2009 featuring a video of Lou Engle prayer and laying hands on Gingrich at a "Rediscovering God in America" event in Virginia that featured Gingrich and Engle along with Mike Huckabee, David Barton, Oliver North, Mat Staver, and others.

Unfortunately, we lost the video when our first YouTube account got shut down ... but thanks to Bruce Wilson we have obtained another copy of it and decided to repost it because it seems especially relevant now to document Gingrich's ties to a man like Lou Engle:  

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