In a Republican presidential field crowded with far-right candidates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to distinguish himself as the far-rightest candidate, especially on issues relating to marriage equality and its supposed threat to the religious freedom of conservative Christians.
Jindal’s latest came at the end of the day on Tuesday. Unwilling to accept the legislature’s failure to pass a so-called “religious liberty” bill (it was voted down 10-2 in a House committee), Jindal issued an executive order designed to protect any person who “acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.” The order explicitly defines “person” to include for-profit corporations and well as nonprofit organizations.
Jindal has adopted the rhetorical strategy promoted by the National Organization for Marriage and other opponents of LGTB equality: try to turn conversation about anti-gay discrimination “on its head” by declaring that laws protecting gay people are actually a form of discrimination against Christians. His statement about the executive order said it was designed to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Jindal’s order invokes the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, making it the latest sign that the decision – which granted corporations a right to claim legal exemptions based on the religious beliefs of company owners -- poses a threat to nondiscrimination measures and potentially a wide range of laws protecting the interests of workers. Jindal declared that his order is “not about discrimination,” even though its clear intent is to give legal cover to companies, government officials, and others who discriminate against same-sex couples.
Louisiana does not currently give legal recognition to same-sex couples, but Jindal is concerned that the state’s ban on marriage equality may soon be struck down by the Supreme Court, a potential ruling which his order seems to be a legally questionable effort to pre-empt. Jindal should be asked to clarify exactly what actions his legislation is designed to “protect”: a courthouse clerk who refuses to process marriage license paperwork? Religious schools getting tax dollars under Jindal’s education policy refusing to accept children of gay parents? Catholic hospitals refusing to recognize the spousal or parental rights of gay couples during medical emergencies?
Jindal’s “religious liberty” bill had been opposed by business and tourism leaders as well as civil rights groups. The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Stephen Perry had called the bill “a radioactive, poisonous message.”
But Jindal’s primary audience is no longer his Louisiana constituents; it's right-wing activists nationwide. Jindal boasted about the executive order by stopping by the radio program hosted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an anti-gay activist who once suggested that LGBT non-discrimination measures would lead to the Holocaust perpetrated against Christians.
Jindal immediately stepped in and ordered that while he’s governor the state government is not going to be a tool of the Cultural Marxists’ Rainbow Jihad against religion — particularly Christianity….
This action by Jindal is an example of what will be required of the next president if he’s going to truly honor his oath of office to defend our Constitution against all enemies — “both foreign and domestic.”
Let’s face it, the vast majority of alleged conservatives won’t stand up to the Democrats. And almost none of them will stand up to the Republicrats. On perhaps the most important issue of them all — the First Amendment that allows us the freedom to peacefully and publicly stand on principle for everything else — Jindal has done both.
But he didn’t just stand up to them rhetorically, he actually did something about it. There are several potentially exciting presidential candidates this cycle. There’s even a couple that like Jindal have shown they will tell the Republicrats bleeding us dry to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
- McKay Coppins @ BuzzFeed: Bobby Jindal Makes Religious Freedom Pitch In New Iowa Ad.
- Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Two great conspiracy theories in one.
- Josh Israel @ Think Progress: Host Of Rubio Fundraiser Was Foreign Agent For Dictator Who Endorses Gay Beheadings.
- Josh Marshall @ TPM: Clinton Foundation-palooza Hurtles Toward Its Vince Foster Moment.
- Dan Roberts @ The Guardian: Mike Huckabee in Iowa to 'sound the alarm' on gay marriage.
- Gina Miller says there is a "war being waged by the militant homosexual movement, which is tyrannical at its heart. The forcing on society of perverse sexual behavior is part of the Marxist Left’s campaign to destroy the moral foundations of the United States."
- Scott Walker was recently in Washington, D.C., where he met with leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America.
- Travis Weber of the Family Research Council calls for "legislation to be passed at the federal level and the state level around the country protecting people who support traditional marriage from the government, from the government discriminating against them, intruding into their affairs and penalizing them because of their beliefs.”
- Finally, the researchers who debunked Mark Regnerus' anti-gay parenting study say that "if he were one of my students I’d make him redo the paper."
Beck: If Hillary Clinton Becomes President, 'That Means The People Are Dead' And America Will Be Destroyed
Just prior to the 2012 presidential election, Glenn Beck was positive that Mitt Romney would win with a large margin of victory because Romney was being guided by God and "God is not neutral in [the] freedom of all mankind."
Romney simply had to win, Beck warned the day before the election, because the alternative meant that Americans are "so dead inside ... that they can no longer see the difference between good and evil, [and so] we have to be destroyed because we will be a remarkable evil on this planet."
Obviously, the nation has so far managed to survive President Obama's re-election, despite Beck's dire prediction ... so naturally, he is now warning that America will be destroyed if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
"If she is the president of the United States, I swear to you, that is it, we are done," he said on his radio program today. "You can't have all of the scandals that she has and be president of the United States. That means the people are dead. That means we have voted for destruction":
Anti-Choice Leader Admits Rape Exceptions Are 'Political,' Goal Is To Outlaw All Abortion 'From Conception'
A long-simmering debate within the anti-choice movement about whether anti-choice bills should contain exceptions for survivors of rape and incest emerged yet again in the recent debate over a House bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, had been bogged down twice in the past two years with internal disputes over a rape exception, and finally passed last week with a limited rape exception that included a 48-hour waiting period.
The bill’s rape exception split the anti-choice movement, which has been divided between “incrementalists” who want to ban abortion by gradually chipping away at access and legal protections and “immediatists” who want to swiftly declare that fertilized eggs and fetuses have the full rights of “personhood” under the 14th Amendment.
While some personhood leaders opposed the bill because of the rape exception, the main incrementalist groups, which oppose rape exceptions in principle but not necessarily in practice, lobbied behind the scenes to limit the rape exception while publicly supporting the final bill.
One of those groups was the Susan B. Anthony List, whose president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, spoke candidly about the political calculations behind rape exceptions in an interview Saturday with the Iowa conservative radio program Caffeinated Thoughts.
“Regrettably, there is a rape and incest exception” in the bill, she said. “It is the only way it was going to be allowed onto the floor by the leadership. I mean, I say regrettable, I really mean it. Any child at any stage should be protected from conception, and certainly at 20 weeks excepting anyone is just wrong.”
Host Shane Vander Hart told her that while he’d “love to see abortion completely outlawed and see some sort of a personhood amendment or a human life amendment,” he thought the 20-week ban did “move the ball forward.”
“Well, that’s why this is big,” Dannenfelser responded, adding that the 20-week bill shifted the debate to “talking about the child and his or her rights.”
Later in the interview, the program’s cohost Brian Myers asked Dannenfelser what it would take to make the GOP leadership realize that rape exceptions are “intellectually…inconsistent with the pro-life position.”
“It’s going to take winning,” she responded, citing anti-choice victories in the 2014 elections where “we had unapologetic pro-life people who didn’t talk about rape and incest.”
“I believe that it’s going to take winning the presidency for there to be a little more injection of courage, which will be required to understand the consistency of life that you’re describing,” she said.
“Do you think that at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about for a lot of those politicians, that they realize [rape exceptions are] an inconsistent position to take but they take it because they think it’s a political reality?” Myers asked.
“Yes. I think that’s why,” Dannenfelser agreed. “I think that they think they can’t get, that they will lose if they don’t. Most of them don’t believe in it in principle. Some do, which, as you say, is completely intellectually dishonest, but most of them don’t. And I think that sometimes, especially when you’re in that insular world on Capitol Hill that’s not in touch with reality, you make sacrifices that you don’t need to make.”
“I think you’re right,” she added. “It’s a political judgement. It’s not a principled judgement. And I think they made the wrong judgement, but we would have no bill at all and no 15,000 children saved if we had not allowed it to move forward with the exception.”
Interestingly, Dannenfelser held up Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as an example of “a joyful warrior going in there and boldly arguing” on the issue. Graham has said he’s “always had exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest,” even while acknowledging that opponents of exceptions are being “intellectually consistent.” She also recently wrote a glowing profile of presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who favors such exceptions.
Rick Santorum, speaking on the Iowa conservative radio show Caffeinated Thoughts in March, argued that President Obama does not want to grant free community college to all in order to raise the number of college graduates and create an educated workforce, but rather wants to “eliminate” private sector programs in order to make way for “another layer of government schools.”
“It’s the same old stuff from the president,” he said, “which is, ‘Our schools don’t work, our schools don’t function to educate our children enough so they can get a job, so we’re going to bring in another layer of government schools to try to do this and you’re going to pay for it.’”
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Santorum criticized Obama’s effort to improve access to college as “snobbery” and a threat to “our freedoms.”
Anne Graham Lotz: Terrorism And Natural Disasters Are God's Warning That Jesus Will Return In My Lifetime
Last month, Anne Graham Lotz issued a dire warning on her website that God's judgment is about to fall on this nation, which prompted her to launch an emergency "MAYDAY!" prayer campaign "to delay or soften God’s judgment that is coming on America and on our world."
Today, CBN interviewed Lotz about her effort to save America from God's impending judgment, where she explained that terrorism, natural disasters, economic problems, and social unrest are all warning signs from God that the return of Jesus Christ will happen within her lifetime.
"The signs that Jesus gives, whether it is in the environmental world, or the national world, the wars and rumors of wars, or the persecution of Christians, the persecution of Jews," Lotz said, "when we see that ratcheting up, increasing in frequency and intensity in the same generation that sees the Gospel being preached to the whole world and Israel reborn are a nation, that's the generation that's the last."
"I believe, with deep conviction, that it's my generation," she continued. "I believe that in my lifetime, if I live out my lifetime, a natural lifetime, I believe I will live to see the return of Jesus in the Rapture when he comes back to take us to be with himself. Which means, preceding that, there are going to be some signs, there are going to be some warnings":
People:Anne Graham Lotz
The secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) and the Conservative Action Project, right-wing coalitions that are trying to figure out how to get conservative evangelicals united around one of the many GOP presidential candidates vying for their support, met outside Washington, D.C. late last week to vet the presidentials and strategize for 2016.
While most of what happens at CNP gatherings is kept behind closed doors, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) was happy to brag that its president, Albert Mohler, had received the 2015 Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award from the Alliance Defending Freedom on Friday. The award was presented by ADF’s Alan Sears and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, identified by the SBTS as president of the CNP.
Meese, who played a major role in the rise of the Federalist Society and the right-wing school of constitutional interpretation known as “originalism”— colloquially referred to as “strict constructionism” — was on hand for the event. According to the SBTS account, Meese said originalism and religious liberty “go hand-in-hand” and asserted that “religious liberty is under attack as never before” in America.
That was also the theme of Mohler’s remarks, which took their title, “The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age,” from Winton Churchill’s account of the period leading up to the World War II. “We are not facing the same gathering storm,” Mohler declared, “but we are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.”
Other excerpts from Mohler’s speech:
A revolution in morality now seeks not only to subvert marriage, but also to redefine it, and thus to undermine an essential foundation of human dignity, flourishing, and freedom….
Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.
A new moral and legal order is ascendant in America, and this new order is only possible, in the arena of American law and jurisprudence, if the original intent and the very words of the Constitution of the United States are twisted beyond recognition….
We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image. Religious liberty is being redefined as mere freedom of worship, but it will not long survive if it is reduced to a private sphere with no public voice. The very freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake, and thus so is the liberty of every American. Human rights and human dignity are temporary abstractions if they are severed from their reality as gifts of the Creator. The eclipse of Christian truth will lead inevitably to a tragic loss of human dignity. If we lose religious liberty, all other liberties will be lost, one by one. I am a Christian, and I believe that salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ and in no other gospel, but I will fight for the religious liberty of all.
Organizations:Alliance Defending Freedom, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Council for National Policy , Family Research Council, Federalist Society , Conservative Action Project
In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins this weekend, Rep. Trent Franks acknowledged that his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House last week, is meant to “completely undermine” Roe v. Wade, and hoped that it would help Americans “realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” when “African Americans were considered property.”
Franks, an Arizona Republican, lamented that the bill that passed last week included a limited exception for survivors of rape and incest. The exception was first added to the bill in 2013 after Franks implied in a hearing that rape rarely results in pregnancy; a planned vote on the bill in January was scuttled after a group of Republican women raised concerns that the rape exception required women to report assaults to the police. After months of negotiations, the reporting requirement was removed from the bill but a 48-hour waiting period and other hurdles were restored in its place.
“Now, many of your listeners, including this one, Tony, would do everything that we could to protect all unborn children, and the only thing that we would ever say should be an exception to taking the life of a child would be to save another life, which is, you know, a very, very unusual situation,” Franks told Perkins.
But, he added, including the exceptions was all in service of the larger goal of launching a legal attack to undermine Roe v. Wade and making Americans realize that legal abortion is like slavery.
“But the point is, if we protect these children, now we begin to really examine, once again, the development and the humanity and the pain-capable nature of these children to where I think it gives us a chance to completely undermine the Roe v. Wade structure and to realize that as a country, we’ve been here before,” he said.
“We were here, African Americans were considered property, and somehow we rose up as a nation and turned back that evil. And now by the grace of God we’re going to turn back the evil of killing little children before they’re born.”
Franks has previously insisted that African Americans were better off under slavery than with legal abortion.
Today, “The 700 Club” aired a report on a rehab facility for people with eating disorders, which got Pat Robertson to thinking about someone he knew who had had an eating disorder as well as Karen Carpenter, the singer who died after suffering from anorexia.
Robertson agreed that those with eating disorders need “a whole rehab program,” but added that such disorders could also “be treated as a demonic possession thing.”
“This can be treated as a demonic possession thing,” he said, “it is like a demon and it needs to be rebuked and cast out.”
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