- Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Church=State in Putin’s Orthodox Empire?; Evangelical-Orthodox Anti-Gay Alliance; Malaysian Court Protects Transwomen; Catholicism (Still) Declining in Latin America; Global LGBT Recap.
- Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: Meet Cathi Herrod, Arizona’s Extreme Anti-LGBT “Legislative Terrorist.”
- Simon Brown @ Wall of Separation: Another Scare Story: Religious Right Claims About Prayer At Colo. High School Don’t Hold Up.
- Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite: Kirk Cameron Defends Comments About Women’s Place in the Home on Fox.
- Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: Here's How Gun Extremist Larry Pratt Gets On TV.
- Deep thoughts from Glenn Beck: "Hatred is an illness. Love is the cure. Let's be the pharmacy and give away the store."
- Rick Joyner says that if President Obama issues an executive order on immigration "it could very well lead to the impeachment of the President."
- Get ready for "Old Fashioned," the Christian film that is going to take down "Fifty Shades of Grey."
- Mark Creech warns that "homosexual activists will never be satisfied with same-sex marriage only ... Their objective is to silence all opposition to their sexual sin either by delusion or legal means."
- Bryan Fischer blames the Supreme Court for school violence.
- Finally, BarbWire continues to serve as the leading outlet for virulenty anti-gay columnists like Julio Severo: "If Sodom gave the world an untrained and unsophisticated homosexual militancy, America can be proud that she has surpassed Sodom, by giving the world an aggressive, trained and sophisticated homosexual militancy."
Tony Perkins: Normalization of 'Inappropriate' Homosexuality In US Causing Worldwide Anti-Christian Persecution
In an interview with Rick Santorum on Tuesday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that American Christians are being persecuted because the U.S. “began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate” and that such supposed persecution in the U.S. is contributing to violent religious persecution around the globe.
“You hate to use the term persecution, because when you look around the world, we see real religious persecution,” Santorum, who was guest hosting Steve Deace’s show, said. “We see people dying, churches being burned, we see mass killings of Christians, so I sort of tread lightly on the world persecution.”
But, he added, “this is really the first time in this country where we’ve seen any kind of coordinated effort of government really imposing its will on the American public and forcing them to comply or else.”
Perkins told Santorum that he need not use caution in referring to things like nondiscrimination ordinances in the U.S. as “persecution,” telling him “there is a correlation…between the increase in persecution abroad and the increase of intolerance from our own government here at home.”
“They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Perkins routinely attacks the Obama administration for “doing nothing” to stop the persecution of Christians abroad, even in cases when the administration is demonstrably doing things to combat such persecution.
Earlier in the program, the two gave a clearer idea of what they mean by the “persecution” of Christians in America, discussing the situation in Houston where a number of pastors received subpoenas as part of a lawsuit filed by anti-gay activists trying to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
Perkins commended Santorum for warning America that “this was coming if we began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate and began to protect it and provide preferential treatment to it.”
Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio broadcast today with a discussion of Deuteronomy 22, in particular the prohibition against women wearing men's clothes or men wearing women's clothes, asserting that this is God's way of saying that He does not approve of transgenderism, which is why people recoil upon seeing transgender individuals.
Deuteronomy 22: 5 states:
A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Fischer assured his audience that this does not apply to people who are just "fooling around" by dressing up as the opposite sex or prohibit unisex styles of clothing, but rather it is a prohibition on people presenting themselves as members of the opposite sex, because doing so in "an abomination."
"What the word 'abomination' refers to is this just internal kind of glitch that we get when we see that," Fischer said. "That comes from God because God reacts to that the same way that we do. We see transgenderism on display and there's something inside us that recoils against that. There's something inside us that says that is not normal. There's something inside us that says that is not right. And God feels exactly the same way about that as we do. That inner recoil that we experience when we see that on display, we got that capacity from God because we are made in his image":
Just last week, Fischer made a very similar argument for why people supposedly recoil at the thought of "homosexual behavior."
Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins once again called for President Obama’s impeachment, telling “Washington Watch” listeners that Obama deserves to be impeached for using executive action to relieve some immigrants of deportation.
“What the president is about to do on amnesty is essentially tell, using his authority as the chief executive, the president, to the executive branch, Homeland Security, immigration, not to enforce the law, which is a violation of his oath to uphold the law,” Perkins said. “I think there is already, but clearly with this, if he takes this approach on amnesty and immigration — if the president does not uphold the law then that’s an impeachable act. Now you don’t impeach somebody because you don’t like their policies, it’s when they fail to uphold or abide by the law.”
Perkins added that Obama’s imminent announcement on immigration policy will undermine the republic, arguing that the message of last week’s election was a rejection of Obama’s “lawlessness.”
In an interview this week with Rick Santorum, who was guest-hosting Steve Deace’s radio program, Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that if President Obama takes executive action to grant deportation relief to some immigrants, he may push for Congress to shut down the government or impeach President Obama in order to prevent the country from “descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
King said that if the president were to issue such an order, he would advocate for Congress to only pass a spending bill funding the government until January “so that we could address this thing by shutting off the funding.”
“I don’t want to go down the path that would bring us to where the confrontation between Congress and Bill Clinton in 1998, but neither would I take it off the table,” King said, referring to impeachment. He then compared his strategy for confronting Obama with the president’s national security policy: “The president has said some things like no boots on the ground and the war in Afghanistan is over at the end of 2014. You don’t make those kinds of predictions and you don’t unilaterally disarm. You use all the constitutional tools at our disposal. ”
“Our constitution will be torn asunder if we let the president do this,” King continued.
“What he’s contemplating doing is the equivalent of standing up in front of America, opening up the Constitution, taking ahold of Article 1 — all of the congressional legislative authority — tearing that out and putting it in his shirt pocket and saying, ‘I’ll do the lawmaking in this country, it’s not your business, Congress.’ If we let that happen, our constitutional republic is descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
As the American Immigration Council has documented, every president since Eisenhower has used executive authority to grant “temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While there may not be much time left for us here in America before a combination of death panels and Sharia law overtake the nation, we still will rise up to defend the constitutional rights of the Twitter spambots that Obama seeks to crush!
5) Breitbart Uncovers The Truth The Liberal Media Is Hiding
The right-wing outlet Breitbart News went on a mission this week to uncover the dirt on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch that the biased left-wing mainstream media has been hiding. Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston discovered that Lynch had served as “a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the 1992 Whitewater corruption probe.”
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak commented that Huston’s story “ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings,” saying that the nomination was a reward “for her political loyalty.”
That is, it might have been if it they had been talking about the same Loretta Lynch. As Timothy Johnson of Media Matters reported, the Loretta Lynch profiled by Breitbart is not the same Loretta Lynch who President Obama nominated to be attorney general. Johnson notes that the “[c]onservative website American Thinker made the same mistake, misidentifying the 'Whitewater' Lynch as a graduate of Harvard — the school attended by nominee Lynch.”
Rather than actually correct the mistake, Breitbart kept the title and entire article up while simply adding, “Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”
Breitbart eventually removed Huston’s story, but such brazen misinformation from the conservative site is nothing new.
4) Obama Administration Suppressing The Free Speech Rights Of Spambots
Five years ago, many conservative politicians falsely claimed that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act repealed the right to freedom of speech. This year, many in the GOP stoked similarly bogus fears to attack a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Now, one Republican congressman is accusing the administration of advocating for the “suppression of online political speech” by awarding a National Science Foundation grant to the website Truthy, a project of researchers affiliated with Indiana University which studies “how popular sentiment, user influence, attention, social network structure, and other factors affect the manner in which information is disseminated.”
Truthy’s reports include titles such as “Competition among memes in a world with limited attention” and “Political Polarization on Twitter,” but, as we all know, studies on how information disseminates on social media are probably just a way to censor conservatives!
In one study, Truthy discovered that a Twitter campaign targeting a Democratic senator was using spambots, or fake accounts, which led Twitter to terminate the phony profiles.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, apparently believes this is a sign of political suppression, claiming in his letter [PDF] to the National Science Foundation that Truthy is “effectively muzzling the political free speech” of targeted conservatives on social media.
Let Wonkette break it down: “Truthy developed algorithms to detect spambots, they worked, and Twitter nuked the accounts for violation of their terms of service. It’s nice to know that Rep. Smith is so concerned about the precious free speech rights of spambots.”
3) Marriage Conspiracy In The Courts
The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage suggested this week that there is a conspiracy afoot to place is to place the same two Democratic-nominated judges on Ninth Circuit Court panels hearing cases involving marriage equality, thus rigging the panels in favor of gay rights advocates. The California group unveiled a new website insisting that there is a “disturbing” and “strong appearance that the Ninth Circuit did not follow its neutral, impartial assignment process in assigning” marriage cases.
The anti-gay group, however, seemed to ignore, as one political science professor told the New York Times, that “the accused judges voted against the lesbian and gay litigants in a full third of the cases deemed suspicious by the other side.”
In addition, the Times reports, judges are assigned at random to panels “long before particular cases are assigned to panels,” and many marriage cases were put on a “fast track” which were “assigned to the available panel with the most senior presiding judge,” who in this case happened to be a Carter appointee.
But the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage isn’t alone in pressing its flimsy conspiracy theory. Mark Joseph Stern points out that “Ed Whelan—a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia—penned a strange post at the National Review in October in which he ‘wonder[ed] whether nefarious hijinks in the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office in San Francisco’ accounted for the judge selection in the gay marriage case.”
2) RIP Dorothy Zborknak
Meet the first victim of the Obamacare Death Panels: Dorothy Zborknak.
Does Ms. Zborknak exist? No, just on Golden Girls.
Do death panels exist? Also no.
While the news of the fictional character’s Obamacare-manded death has apparently sparked anger on fringe outlets, more popular conservative sites like Breitbart are still intent on publishing ridiculous articles like, “The Death Panels Are Coming.”
1) Sharia By 2020
Kamal Saleem, the Religious Right activist who pretends to be a former terrorist, is pretty sure that the United States is secretly controlled by an Islamic shadow government led by the Obama family’s radical Muslim babysitter.
While speaking with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council this week, Saleem also brought us the stunning news that Sweden is now under the thumb of Islamists, and that the same Islamist rise to power “is happening here in the United States.”
Saleem told Perkins that Islamic control of America will be complete by 2020.
On his television broadcast last night, Beck grew increasingly manic during his opening monologue as he tried to explain to his audience his utter horror over the new Nicki Minaj video which features lots of Nazi-like imagery.
Saying that the video is "the most degrading thing I have seen," Beck then sought to explain that this video was somehow a violation of the Torah's requirement to keep kosher because it was mixing "graphic, awful sex with the images of death."
God commands Jews to keep kosher, Beck explained, because "milk is life" and "meat is death" and so "you don't put life and death together." And that is exactly what Nicki Minaj did in her video, Beck said, which is why, when you see it, "every warning bell in you goes off."
"That's not keeping kosher," he said. "You're mixing life and death. You put those two together, it is the height of evil, okay? That's what God is trying to tell us with keeping kosher. That's sacred! Creating life is sacred. Death, not good! Don't put those two together. Well, that's what happened. When you see that video, that's exactly what happened":
Rep. Doug Lamborn claimed yesterday that the Obama administration is overlooking religious persecution abroad because it is too busy defending LGBT rights.
In an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program, the Colorado Republican told FRC President Tony Perkins that the Obama administration is “really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues” than in preventing religious persecution.
“We have the sad situation of persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East and other parts of the country, including Christians and other various sects out there, that are being really persecuted, sometimes they’re being beheaded or crucified or tortured because of their religious views,” he said. “So the State Department,y ou would think, would want to be all over that, would want to be pressing for countries to be respecting the rights of religious minorities.
“But it seems like they are really more motivated and active promoting things like lesbian and gay rights, transgendered [sic] rights and those kind of issues to the neglect of religious prosecution [sic]. And I just want them to pay attention to the severe and deadly prosecution [sic] of Christians and other religious people wherever that occurs in the world.”
Perkins agreed, saying that “Christians are dying around the world and they’re doing nothing.”
The claim that the Obama administration is “doing nothing” to combat the persecution of religious minorities around the world is a frequent refrain among Religious Right commentators — and it’s completely deceptive.
In fact, when President Obama announced airstrikes in Iraq this summer, he cited ISIS’s violence against Yazidis, Christians and other Muslims as a reason for the intervention. Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice recently met with Mideast Christian leaders, one of whom said he “felt how deeply moved he was by what was happening to the Christians there.” Administration officials have repeatedly denounced anti-Semitic and anti-Christian attitudes in the Mideast, and the State Department operates its own Office of International Religious Freedom.
Even when the Obama administration has helped to free Christians imprisoned because of their faith, Perkins and his fellow Religious Right activists have ignored the administration’s efforts. Perkins actually criticized the Obama administration after it helped free Kenneth Bae, a U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea, and he tried to use the imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim — a Sudanese Christian who was freed with the help of U.S. diplomats —to attack Obama’s support for gay rights and attempt to overturn Citizens United.
Meanwhile, while Perkins has been falsely claiming that the Obama administration is ignoring the persecution of Christians, he has been actively opposing State Department efforts to protect LGBT people from oppressive laws and state-sanctioned violence abroad. Perkins has praised Uganda’s draconian anti-LGBT law and warned that Obama’s “radical sexualism” is promoting “global homosexuality.”
Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.
The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.
Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.
“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”
He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”
On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.
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