- Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: David Barton: I’ll Only Debate Atheists If I Get to Speak 92% of the Time.
- Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: David Duke: Trump Left The Door Open To Supporting My Candidacy.
- Warren Throckmorton: David Barton Told Eric Metaxas an Untrue Story about the Jefferson Bible.
- Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: Right-Wing Media Monitor, Film Attendees Inside All-Gender Restroom At Democratic Convention.
- Peter Dreier @ The American Prospect: Hillary Haters’ Fixation on Saul Alinsky.
- Hatewatch: Anti-LGBT Oklahoma Senate Candidate also a Member of Antigovernment Conspiracy Group John Birch Society.
- A warning from the Benham brothers: "We believe if the sexual revolution is left unchecked it will become a crime to confess biblical truth in today’s America. Those that dare hold a biblical view of sexuality will spend time in jail. Those that refuse to participate in gay weddings or gay pride events will lose their business license. Perhaps it may even become a crime to teach our children biblical values when it comes to sexuality."
- Tom DeLay is upset that the RNC allowed Peter Thiel to give a speech "glorifying homosexuality" and so is Peter LaBarbera.
- Liberty Counsel says that "parents and colleges should beware" of Paul Singer because "while Singer supports Israel, he is also focused on advancing his LGBT agenda in America, and he is working to reach young millennials."
- Pat Buchanan says that “maybe [Vladimir] Putin deserves a Pulitzer.”
- Finally, Brad Dacus declares that "it is very difficult to see how a parent who is truly concerned about their children's moral upbringing from a Judeo-Christian worldview could have their children enrolled in a public school this coming school year in the state of California."
“Coach” Dave Daubenmire, an Ohio-based Religious Right activist, spoke Thursday at a rally for Operation Save America’s “Summer of Justice” in Wichita, where he declared that the “effeminized church” and “sissified Christianity” have removed real men from American Christianity and thus paved the way for the appeal of Donald Trump. Claiming that the devil is using Muslim refugees and others to “destroy Christianity,” he said he hoped that things would become so bad under the next president that the church would be forced to become “great again.”
“I’m on a manhunt!” Daubenmire proclaimed several times before explaining, “I believe that we’re in the problem we’re in in America today because there aren’t any men. There aren’t any men. There are a lot of males. There are a lot of guys who are born male. So you’re a male by birth, but you’re a man by choice.”
He said that there are “thousands and thousands of men who love the Lord but are sick of church” because Christianity has become “sissified.”
“They’re sick of the effeminized church,” he said. “They’re sick of going in there and singing sissified songs. They walk into the church, they understand something is terribly wrong in the culture and there is absolutely no relationship between what they hear in the church and what they see going on out there.”
“And the church makes fun of Donald Trump,” he said. “Where’s the Christian Donald Trump? Where’s that man that will stand forth like that and declare the truth that he’s declaring, that will take on political correctness? I’m not talking about Trump. Where are the men of God? Where have we been? And we, we, we’ve created Donald Trump. We have. Our sissified Christianity, men afraid to say anything, hiding behind their wives.”
“We are at a precipice like no other time where the very existence of western civilization is at stake,” Daubenmire continued. “I’m going to say that again. Western civilization’s at stake. The devil is running rampant trying to do everything he can to destroy Christianity. Have you noticed something? Have you noticed that all these Syrian refugees and all these Muslim refugees they’re sending over here, have you noticed that they’re sending them to what we would consider Christian countries?”
He then repeated his claim that white, Christian, heterosexual men are the only ones who can save America.
“If we can’t open our eyes and see that this is not about race, as much as they try to make it about race, it’s not about race,” he said, “it’s about culture, it’s about the Christian culture that the settlers of America and Europe and England, that those groups took the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. And the only thing standing between tyranny and liberty is a Christian, heterosexual man.”
“If we don’t wake up soon and very soon,” he said, “we’re going to reach a point of no return here in once-great Christian America. Donald Trump ain’t going to make America great again. No, no, no, no, he ain’t going to make America great. I pray that whoever gets in there, whether, whatever, if it’s Hillary, whoever it is, what I’m hoping is that it gets so stinking bad that Trump or Hillary makes the church great again, makes the church great again!”
We recorded the video of Daubenmire’s remarks off a livestream provided by the event’s host church, Word of Life Church in Wichita.
Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., appeared on “The Eric Metaxas Show” where he warned that “our kids are being brainwashed” in school.
“I did some checking,” Inhofe said, “and, Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, they are brainwash —you have to un-brainwash them when they get out.”
Later in the program, Inhofe urged Republicans to rally behind Donald Trump’s presidential bid, pointing to the future of the Supreme Court. Metaxas said that “it’s kind of game over for republican democracy” if Hillary Clinton appoints liberal justices to the bench.
“How can we possibly remain America if you have six or seven Sotomayors on the court?” he asked.
Inhofe said that while the court is admirably delaying many of the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives, its direction would shift if Clinton were allowed to fill the current vacancy.
“Stop and think how significant it is if they make one change,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be all Sotomayors, it could just be one more change and we’re through.”
Last week, ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann declared that “Islam is incompatible with western civilization.”
“It hasn’t figured out how to behave in western civilization,” she told radio host Jan Markell, “because fundamentally what Islam wants is to be dominant and Islam is saying, ‘Islamic Sharia law will be the law of the land, not western civilization law.’ That’s really, fundamentally what this is about. Terror is just a means to get to the ultimate goal, forcing Islamic law on all of us. That means, Jan, you and I don’t have a choice, that means the European people don’t have a choice, they have to live in subjection to Islamic law. No thanks! It’s an ugly way to live, under Sharia law, nothing can be more oppressive and, in my opinion, it’s a doctrine of demons.”
She continued: “And here in the United States, it’s the same thing. Wherever we see this rise, we see more of terrorist acts, we see more demands for Sharia law.”
This supposed push for Sharia law, she claimed, was behind the successful “Brexit” vote and may spur other countries to leave the European Union.
However, Bachmann predicted that “some of these masters of the universe-types, like the George Soros billionaires of the world,” may “work to collapse the economy” in order to force Europeans to come back into “the European superstrate” and “give up” their freedoms.
Earlier today, Donald Trump addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, telling the veterans’ group that he would install a veterans’ hotline in the White House and vowing to “pick up the phone personally” if a hotline employee doesn’t properly handle a complaint.
There is reason to believe, however, that Trump might not exactly keep his word. Here are just five instances that reveal Trump’s troubling record on veterans’ issues:
1) Fake Veterans’ Hotline
Just one month after announcing his presidential run last year, Trump claimed that his campaign had “established a hotline (855-VETS-352)” for veterans “to share their stories about the need to reform our Veterans Administration.”
But if you try calling the number today, it goes straight to voicemail and asks you to send an email to the campaign.
2) Fake Veterans’ Group Fundraiser
Back in September, Trump organized a fundraiser in San Diego for a group called Veterans for a Strong America, which in turn endorsed Trump.
It turns out, however, that Veterans for a Strong America is simply a one-man group and a total scam.
Rick Cohen of Non-Profit Quarterly writes, “Veterans for a Strong America was and is clearly yet another fake organization willing to use and abuse veterans for the personal or political ends of the man who created it.”
Rachel Maddow led the way in exposing the group, noting that the fundraiser itself was likely illegal:
3) Second Fake Veterans’ Fundraiser
Upset that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was set to moderate a GOP primary debate in Iowa in January, Trump announced that he would skip the debate and instead hold a fundraiser for veterans. After the event, Trump boasted that he had raised $6 million for veterans’ causes.
However, months after Trump’s “fundraiser,” veterans’ charities reported that they were “seeing a fraction of the promised money raised.” The campaign later admitted that the event brought in well short of the $6 million figure that Trump had boasted about on the campaign trail, and reporters discovered that Trump himself never made the $1 million contribution that he pledged to personally underwrite.
Facing public pressure about the contribution, Trump finally donated the money he had promised, despite the fact his then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had previously claimed that “Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent.” Trump then denied that he had ever said he had raised $6 million — a claim that was easily disproved.
Steve Benen explained:
Exactly how much did Trump raise for veterans? His campaign doesn’t know. How much of it has been allocated? His campaign doesn’t know that, either. Who were the beneficiaries of Trump’s $1 million contribution? The campaign doesn’t want to talk about it.
Only when he faced immense media pressure and scrutiny did Trump finally fulfill his pledge, months after his January fundraiser and despite the fact his campaign manager had insisted that he had already donated the money.
“If Hillary Clinton and her campaign had been caught making blatantly false claims about donations to veterans’ charities, is there any doubt that it would be one of the biggest stories of the election season?” Benen asked. “How much punditry would we hear about this being proof about Clinton’s dishonesty and willingness to say anything to get elected?”
4) Smearing Troops
Much as Trump denied making the remarks that he had clearly made about his veterans’ fundraiser, the candidate has denied ever mocking GOP Sen. John McCain for being a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
Trump, who made the comments at an Iowa “pro-family” event last summer, did in fact mock McCain for his service: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured — I like people that weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you.”
5) Attacks On Disabled Veterans
While he fashions himself as a champion of veterans, Trump has spent years, since as far back as the 1990s, urging government officials to crack down on disabled veteran vendors on Fifth Avenue, home of the Trump Tower. In 2004, Trump called such vending “deplorable.”
“He’s done more damage to the disabled veterans in this city than any other man,” one of the veterans said of Trump.
After several lines of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week were found to have been plagiarized from a speech that Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic convention, some of the Trump campaign’s defenders went to absurd lengths to defend or deny the plagiarism.
Among them was Rachel Campos-Duffy, a spokeswoman for the Koch-funded conservative Latino group Libre Initiative and an RNC speaker, who told the Catholic TV news network EWTN on Thursday that if anyone had plagiarized it was Michelle Obama, because she lifted her 2008 speech from “the opportunity message that has been the platform of the Republican Party.”
In an interview inside the convention hall, EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo asked Campos-Duffy and her husband, Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, about the plagiarism incident.
Sean Duffy responded that it was all the fault of the media, which wanted “to create a controversy out of nothing,” but Campos-Duffy quickly cut in.
“But I’m not sure, I mean, I’m not sure that she plagiarized,” she said. “I mean, when I saw the two speeches together, I thought, wow, Michelle Obama has really plagiarized the opportunity message that has been the platform of the Republican Party.”
When Arroyo pointed out that “they used the same line at some point,” Campos-Duffy responded that it was “pretty generic stuff” and that the media was simply trying to distract from the fact that Melania Trump “looked spectacular.”
Sean Duffy then alleged that Trump has to avoid every “misstep” because the media is being especially critical of him: “But it goes to the point that Donald Trump has to be better. You can’t open yourself up for these kind of attacks because the media will take them, they’ll run with them, and they’ll run over your story and your message. So be better.”
In an interview with TMZ on the day of Melania Trump’s speech, Sean Duffy attempted to deny that there had been any plagiarism at all, saying, “These are common phrases about family and support of family and ideas about our country, so I don’t think they were so unique a phrase that only a Democrat says it, only a Republican, it’s a lot of common themes that a lot of us share.”
The Republican National Convention and the constellation of right-wing events scheduled during and around the official gathering included plenty of downright disturbing examples of racism, misogyny, religious bigotry, and Mussolini-wannabe-ism. It also included some intensely awkward moments, not all of them caught on television cameras.
Picture Sen. Jeff Sessions sitting on stage with four other speakers on a panel organized by the American Conservative Union Foundation to address the question, “Will conservatives support Trump?”
OK, now picture Sen. Sessions’ face as he tries to remain calm and composed while fellow panelist Heather Higgins, head of Independent Women’s Voice and a Wall Street Journal contributor, tells this joke:
There was a man who was lying in his hospital bed, quite sick, oxygen mask on his nose and mouth. And a young nurse comes in … to give him a sponge bath. And she hears him mumble through his mask, “Nurse, can you check, are my testicles black?”
She is embarrassed at this and kind of horrified, and she says, “Sir, all I’m supposed to do is wash your upper body and your feet.” And he tries again, and says, “Please, please can you check, are my testicles black?”
And so she decides that she doesn’t want his blood pressure to go up and him to be agitated by worrying about this, so she just steels herself for the embarrassment, pulls back the bed clothes, lifts up his hospital gown, takes him in one hand and checks, and she says, ‘Sir, you’re fine. You’re magnificent…
And he takes off his oxygen mask and he says, “Thank you, that was wonderful, nurse. But let me say this again slowly: are my test results back?”
Higgins was trying to make a humorous point about messaging, and people not hearing what you’re trying to say. But she also seemed to be demonstrating the gleeful contempt for “political correctness” that was on display all last week in Cleveland. The attitude seems to be that people should just “have a sense of humor” rather than take offense when something inappropriate or offensive has been said.
As others have noted, conservatives who complain about “political correctness” often seem to be longing for a time when it was acceptable to openly traffic in stereotypes or worse – or in the words of comedian Samantha Bee, to be free of the “cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect.”
Back to Higgins. In response to a question about Trump’s promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico, Higgins reminded people that Trump has said his wall would have a big door. “Who else would run the golf courses?” she snarked. That comment drew some groans and a loud “whoa” from fellow panelist KT McFarland, and someone else chimed in, “I think it’s Eric Trump, actually.” Rather than letting it go, Higgins added, “No, I meant manage the day-to-day maintenance.”
Higgins said that some conservatives oppose Trump because they don’t genuinely believe him to be conservative; others she described as “ever snob” – people who have a “social discomfort” with the way Trump talks and presents himself and “can’t see themselves or their friends every finding it socially acceptable to say that they’re for Trump.”
She said that those snobby people might never tell a pollster they are a Trump “supporter,” but that if a pollster asks whether they are thinking about voting for Trump they will get a much higher number, because in the end it comes down to a binary choice between him and Hillary Clinton. While many conservatives who backed other candidates are still working their way through the stages of grief, Higgins said, by October and November they’ll get to “acceptance” and vote for Trump.
David Barton Falsely Claims That 'The Declaration Of Independence Had Two Clauses Condemning Slavery'
Last month, David Barton delivered a presentation at Calvary Chapel in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he falsely claimed that the Founding Fathers denounced slavery in the Declaration of Independence.
"Great Britain would not allow us to end slavery," Barton said. "A number of the states passed anti-slavery laws and King George III struck them all down, said, 'No, no, no, you're part of the British Empire, as long as you're part of the British Empire you're going to have slavery,' which is why a number of Founding Fathers got involved because they did not want slavery. That's why the Declaration of Independence had two clauses condemning slavery as a reason we were leaving Great Britain. Now, we always hear about taxation without representation, that's one clause, but twice as often in there you'll hear about slavery being an issue. We don't cover that."
Jefferson's draft constitution for the state of Virginia forbade the importation of slaves, and his draft of the Declaration of Independence — written at a time when he himself had inherited about 200 slaves — included a paragraph condemning the British king for introducing slavery into the colonies and continuing the slave trade:
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of a CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.
These words were especially offensive to delegates from Georgia and South Carolina, who were unwilling to acknowledge that slavery went so far as to violate the "most sacred rights of life and liberty." So, like some of Jefferson's more expressive phrases attacking the king, these lines were dropped in the editing process.
The Conservative Action Project is a network of more than 100 right-wing leaders created in 2008 as “an offshoot” of the secretive far-right Council for National Policy, making it part of an array of conservative coalitions that bloomed around and after the election of Barack Obama. Originally chaired by Edwin Meese, the Conservative Action Project is now headed by Becky Norton Dunlop, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. It includes leaders of all of what are often described as the three legs of the conservative movement: social, economic, and national security conservatives.
The Washington Post reported in 2010 that the Conservative Action Project was helping fuel closer coordination across the multifaceted conservative coalition with its weekly Wednesday morning meetings at the Family Research Council. The group also promotes shared messaging and strategy with its “Memos for the Movement.” Now this collection of right-wing leaders has identified its policy priorities for the first 180 days of a new administration.
At a forum organized by the American Conservative Union Foundation at the Republican National Convention, participants were given of a set of pocket cards containing policy proposals, quick facts and “market tested messages” on the one dozen highest priorities selected by Conservative Action Project leaders. The 12 priorities are divided into four categories: Constitutional Issues and the Judiciary; Preserving and Protecting Our Culture; Freeing Our Economy so Everyone Can Win; and Defending Our Freedoms.
The package provides a clear picture of the ideas that right-wing organizations are pushing Trump to embrace. Some are vague, like, “The President should revive Public Diplomacy,” but others are quite specific. Taken together, they’re a pretty good indication of what we’d have in store on the policy front with Trump in the White House.
Among the proposals, which signal the intense desire of right-wing organizations to infuse their priorities throughout the federal government’s executive branch agencies:
- Immediately rescind all Obama Executive Orders consistent with recommendations by Constitutional and trusted advisors such as The Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation, and other conservative advisors and transition committees.
- Terminate all executive branch individuals still within their probationary period and freeze hiring for all regulatory positions.
- The President should eliminate taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood using executive action and seek a permanent legislative solution.
- The President should freeze and withdraw all regulatory activity on the Obama energy and climate agenda.
- Submit legislation to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.
- The President should support the rule of law and reject amnesty proposals and fully enforce and strengthen interior enforcement measures in the United States.
The policy proposals listed under “Restore Religious Freedom” include calls for the president to ensure passage of the First Amendment Defense Act, which carves out exceptions from nondiscrimination laws for people who claim anti-LGBT religious beliefs, and to “issue an Executive Order requiring that the Executive branch respect the 1st Amendment and provisions of the First Amendment Defense Act.”
The package proposes a new tax code that is “simpler, fairer, flatter and stimulates growth,” insisting that all tax reform “should lower individual and business tax rates, particularly the top marginal rates, to encourage saving and investing.”
It says senators “should vigorously question judicial nominees about their intent to remain faithful to the original meaning of the Constitution and laws.”
On education, the movement’s priority is to “Advance School Choice,” and it calls on the president to appoint “a movement conservative” as secretary of education. It wants the president to “champion the policy of dollars following the children,” language used by advocates for private school vouchers and other forms of public school privatization.
The Conservative Action Project’s “memos for the movement” provide a further sense of the group’s worldview. For example, it responded to last year’s marriage equality decision by the Supreme Court in apocalyptic terms, saying, “The Court’s abuse of power is of such historic proportions that the conservative movement, and indeed every American who cherishes liberty must now address the serious damage done to the cause of freedom and the very foundation of our civil society.”
The group has intensely opposed efforts to expand disclosure requirements for political “dark money,” portraying conservatives as “a persecuted class” who are “bullied to either conform or suffer retribution.”
Among its 2016 releases was a March memo urging Senate Republicans to be resolute in refusing to consider a nominee from President Obama to fill the Supreme Court seat that became vacant with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Here’s an excerpt from the group’s thoughtful and rational rhetoric:
The president and his liberal allies know what is at stake and so do we. It is nothing short of their intent to eradicate precious constitutional rights. These leftists have made clear their first target is our 1st Amendment right to political speech and the silencing of conservative voices. They mock the 2nd Amendment right of the people to protect themselves and their families and are determined to take away our constitutional right to bear arms. They welcome the prospect of unleashing unaccountable federal agencies like the IRS and EPA to impose a liberal policy agenda that will harm Americans and punish any who dare to disagree with their worldview. And not least of all, they vow to use the Court’s power to impose an “unconditional surrender” in their cultural war against our fundamental institutions of faith, family, marriage, home, and school — and will wipe out any pro-life protections, instead imposing abortion on-demand, up to the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers.
Organizations:American Conservative Union , Heritage Foundation, Republican Party, Council for National Policy , Family Research Council, Conservative Action Project
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