Here’s why Donald Trump is going out of his way to build bridges to Religious Right leaders: voter turnout. While Trump has done little to build a field operation to help get out the vote, he has courted conservative activists who, like Ted Cruz, believe that there are millions of conservative evangelicals who have not voted in the past, and that the candidate who can energize them will become president. Many strategists consider this to be a dubious claim, but Trump clearly feels a need to maximize turnout from this crucial part of the GOP base.
David Lane, the Christian-nationalist political operative who sponsored the event Trump and Marco Rubio attended recently in Florida, has reportedly raised nearly $10 million to conduct a church-based voter registration and GOTV drive in six target states. Lane’s organization, the American Renewal Project, will target Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Iowa. Lane has always been secretive about his donors, but as we have reported, the foundations of Texas fracking billionaires Dan and Ferris Wilks have been major donors to his operations.
Strategists, including GOP operatives Wayne Hamilton and Dave Carney, will meet in Dallas this week to map out the strategy. Like most news about Lane’s operations, the story was first reported by Lane’s mouthpiece, David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network. Brody reports that in the weeks ahead, Trump and Mike Pence will be invited to speak to at least half a dozen similar "Pastors and Pews" events, which are designed to energize politically active conservative evangelical pastors.
We have reported extensively on Lane’s political operations, his ties to the Republican Party and his extreme worldview, including his intensely anti-gay positions and his belief that politics is a form of spiritual warfare designed to bring the United States back to what he thinks is its mission and covenant with God to advance the Christian faith. He’s not shy about expressing that view, as Brody reports:
The central theme behind this effort is a need for spiritual revival in America. Lane recognizes that a president, whether they are republican or democrat isn’t going to save America. This is spiritual warfare playing out in an arena where somebody’s values are going to rule the day. Lane says it’s time for pastors to step up and lead from the pulpit. “Christians founded America, not secularists, agnostics, atheists or multicultural proponents like the current president,” Lane tells The Brody File. “Evangelical and Pro-Life Catholic Christians have to engage in 2016 if America is to be saved.”
Lane, of course, is not running the only pro-Trump Religious Right GOTV effort. In a Monday morning email, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition said it has started its 2016 ground campaign and is recruiting volunteers to knock on doors, distribute voter guides and make GOTV phone calls to generate “the largest conservative vote in American history.” The email starts with a recent quote from Jerry Falwell Jr. saying Donald Trump is a leader like Winston Churchill who can save America.
Today, radical right-wing activist Janet Porter released a video explaining why she will be voting for Donald Trump and warning Christians that they will be held accountable by God if the refuse to do likewise.
Praising Trump for his promises to appoint anti-choice judges, allow churches to directly support candidates without losing their tax-exempt status and make sure that everyone in America says "Merry Christmas," Porter declared that the basic choice in this election is between "life or death for millions."
"God actually told us not to sit [out the election] when He gave us His voter guide in Deuteronomy," she said. "He said, 'Choose life that you and your descendants may live.' You might feel good about yourself sitting out this election, but I can assure you unborn babies won't. The main choice set before us is life or death for millions."
Porter then cited anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer's famous "not to speak is to speak" quote, which she conveniently updated by adding "not to vote it to vote."
Porter will be voting for Trump, she concluded, "because the alternative is unthinkable."
Conservatives sure are worried about Hillary Clinton’s health. Not that they are actually concerned with her well-being. Instead, they have created a new blend of trutherism that uses exaggerations and even outright forgeries to construct a false narrative that a medical disorder disqualifies Clinton from the presidency.
Eight years ago, the fever swamps of the far-right were obsessed with proving that Barack Obama was constitutionally ineligible to be president because he was born in Kenya. Based on racism, birtherism was designed to depict Obama as not fully American. Proselytizers of this lie were far too often granted a platform by the media, sometimes lending undeserved credibility to their claims.
At the time, Republican nominee John McCain refused to engage in these bigoted attacks and actively dissuaded his supporters from doing so. The same cannot be said for Donald Trump. His birtherism helped elevate him from reality TV star to presidential contender and now he is actively engaged in promoting this new lie about Clinton’s health.
In an interview this week, Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson diagnosed Clinton as suffering from “dysphasia.” Trump himself has declared that Clinton “doesn’t have that strength and stamina” to be president. The Trump campaign has been joined in this smear by its partners at Breitbart.com, Sean Hannity’s radio and television programs, and the birthers at World Net Daily.
On Fox News Sunday Trump surrogate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed one of the reasons Hillary Clinton leads in national and state polls is because the media refuses to cover conservative conspiracies about her health.
Like the birthers of the Obama era, Hillary health truthers base their accusations on a convoluted mix of conspiracy theories, exaggerations and outright lies that forces believers to willfully ignore any evidence to the contrary while twisting themselves into logical pretzels.
Ignoring the standard physician's letter that Clinton’s campaign, like most presidential campaigns, has released, they are convinced that the candidate making a joke about rapid-fire questions from reporters in a Washington, D.C., coffee shop in June is evidence that she had a seizure. (Oddly, these truthers must believe that journalists next to Clinton reacted to her apparent seizure by laughing). They also point to a single picture of Clinton slipping on icy stairs as proof of her poor health, while there are literally hundreds of pictures in existence of her climbing steps unaided. The Drudge Report splashed across the top of its page a link to a conservative blog pointing to the fact that a pillow is often found on the seats upon which Hillary Clinton sits, because apparently desiring lumbar support is somehow evidence of a major medical malady. (Unlike Trump, her physician has not declared that she “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”)
Just as racism drove birtherism, health trutherism is undoubtedly driven by misogyny. There is an extensive history of demeaning women by calling them “crazy,” not to mention undercutting their ability to serve in positions of prominence and power.
Accusing the first female presidential nominee of a major political party of being brain damaged is simply an attempt to use fake medicine and outright lies to elevate this sexist trope into the mainstream political discourse.
Pushers of these theories will feign offense at these accusations. How dare they be accused of sexism, they will complain, when they’re not saying that Hillary is crazy, just brain damaged. They’re just asking questions. They will say that these queries simply come from concern about the health of the future president. Nonsense.
Hillary health truthers see this as an open opportunity to claim that the potential first female president of the United States is unfit for the job. And as in the case of birtherism, there will be no evidence presented to the contrary that will satisfy those spreading these falsehoods. They will either deny the proof at hand or move the goalposts as they invent new conspiracies.
The media has been put in a bind by these stories. Because the accusations are emerging from the Trump campaign itself, not covering them is nearly impossible. Yet even coverage that debunks this health trutherism also helps to spread it. In that way, even well-meaning reporters providing factual information— even, I admit, this piece— have the potential to give legs to these lies. Once again, the Trump campaign has successfully hacked the media.
The only appropriate response is to repeatedly, consistently and without hesitation call out not only these lies but also the misogyny that undergirds them.
- Nina Burleigh @ Newsweek: Donald Trump and the FEMA Camps Crowd.
- Joan Walsh @ The Nation: Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty Work.
- Frederick Clarkson @ Political Research Associates: Dominionism Rising: A Theocratic Movement Hiding in Plain Sight.
- Asawin Suebsaeng @ The Daily Beast: I Watched All of Steve Bannon’s Bad Movies.
- Hunter Walker @ Yahoo: Breitbart editor planned secret anti-Trump campaign to take down reporter.
- Brad Reed @ Raw Story: Ex-Breitbart PR chief: Trump’s new campaign CEO talked like a white supremacist.
- Amanda Marcotte @ Salon: Peter Montgomery explains why conservative Christians are lining up behind Trump.
- Things seems to be going swimmingly for Donald Trump's campaign: "Trump on Friday announced that campaign Chairman Paul Manafort had resigned."
- Americans United for Life claims that “the majority of the pro-life bills considered in the 2016 sessions” of state legislatures reflected the policies it put forward in its model legislation.
- Gary Cass has a question: "If God has ordained men to lead and a woman masquerading as a man by wearing pantsuits is still a woman, why isn't Clinton automatically biblically disqualified to be President? ... According to the scriptures we are under judgment when we have 'women and children' ruling over us (that would also include effeminate and immature men)."
- Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania says that if Trump loses the state, it is because of voter fraud: "Four years ago in the last presidential election, Mitt Romney in several precincts in Philadelphia did not receive one vote - which really is an impossibility if it was on the up and up. There is a lot of support in Pennsylvania for Donald Trump. So for him to lose, I would attribute that to voter fraud."
- Finally, Jim Bakker recently gave Alveda King a year of survival food and she did not seem particularly thrilled by the gift.
Seven Mountains dominionism advocate Lance Wallnau has been one of t he most creative defenders of Donald Trump on the Religious Right, explaining that Trump has an “anointing” from God similar to that of King Cyrus, whom God used despite the fact that he was not a believer.
Wallnau continued explaining his spiritual defense of Trump in two recent podcasts with Charisma magazine founder Steve Strang, explaining that Trump has an “unappreciated prophetic gifting” and that the candidate’s calls to build a border wall are not about the border at all but about instigating a revival among American Christians.
Wallnau recalled that Cyrus issued a decree that “opened a gate in heaven” and led the way for spiritual revival in Jerusalem.
“He opened a gate, Stephen,” Wallnau said, “he opened a gate in heaven with proclamation so that all the prophecies and prayers that were stored up for Jerusalem could suddenly begin to be manifested, beginning with the House of God getting revived and continuing on through Darius and to Artaxerxes until Nehemiah, on the basis of Cyrus’ decree, petitioned to build the wall.”
“And then I started looking at, my gosh, there’s more prophetic dialogue on Trump than Christians realize,” he continued. “This whole thing about building a wall isn’t about Mexico, it’s about in the Bible, from my perspective, Nehemiah’s project was to restore the boundaries around that which had collapsed where God’s people were concerned.
“I think that in the Bible, building a wall has to do with like Proverbs 25, ‘a man without self-control is like a city without walls,’ it’s broken down. Our fiscal situation is broken down, our race relations are broken down, our definitions of sexuality and gender are broken down. I believe that if Trump is allowed to be president, there will be a release of that stored up potential that we’ve been praying, fasting and prophesying into for the past 20 years for revival in America.”
Wallnau went on to describe to Strang how “if God can anoint a secular individual, then they are operating in a sense with God’s wisdom and guidance on them.”
Trump, he said, “has a remarkable and uncelebrated, I think, or perhaps I should say unappreciated prophetic gifting.”
He recalled how Trump told conservative religious leaders at a recent meeting in New York that “leadership is about seeing the future,” something that he said Trump had demonstrated with his predictions about radical Islam, the national debt, the inner cities, terrorism in Belgium and the fact that “he saw the Brexit before it happened.”
Liberals say that Trump’s rhetoric is “dark and dystopian,” he said, but “in fact, he’s merely describing, like a Churchillian gift, what is on the horizon.”
Last week, Alveda King spoke with televangelist Jim Bakker about everything from terrorist population schemes to how Hillary Clinton will “usher in the Antichrist,” often returning to the subject of abortion.
After Bakker declared that “the devil loves abortion” and lamented that “the modern woman says ‘I can kill my baby if I want to,’” King asked, “Where is the lawyer for the baby?”
Where is the lawyer for the baby? A woman has a right to choose what she does with her body, where is the lawyer for the baby? I ask mothers all the time, I said, ‘Okay, we’ll give you the right. You don’t want to carry that baby for nine months, just don’t kill the baby. Figure it out. If you can figure out how not to kill the baby and not birth the baby then we can have another discussion. And there is no answer to that. Nine months is not a long time. So we have to know that the baby is a person.
King, an anti-choice activist and Fox News contributor, urged viewers to reflect on the importance of the Supreme Court, saying that future appointees “must be justices who fear God, who understand that God is not mocked.”
“We’re dealing with emotions in a woman, ‘I don’t feel like carrying a baby for nine months, da da da.’ Well, it’s not always about what we feel, it’s about what’s right,” she said.
Today, Future in America, a super PAC supporting Donald Trump, released videos from James Dobson and his wife Shirley endorsing Trump for president and praying that their fellow Americans will join them in voting for him on Election Day.
James Dobson, who once declared that it would be "foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world," is now proudly endorsing Trump because he is "deeply concerned about the direction our country is headed" and is confident that Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, "will provide the leadership that this nation most desperately needs."
"Most importantly, Mr. Trump has promised to nominate conservative justices to the United States Supreme Court," Dobson said, which is why he hopes that others will join him in voting for Trump in November.
In her video endorsing Trump, Shirley Dobson declared that "as a Christian mother and grandmother, I am very concerned about our country" and so she is supporting Trump because "he is the best choice to defend religious liberty, protect the unborn, appoint Supreme Court justices and keep America safe."
"I pray," she concluded, "that you will join me" in voting for Trump.
Former GOP congressman J.D. Hayworth invited right-wing activist David Horowitz onto his Newsmax program yesterday to discuss an earth-shattering Daily Caller report that a foundation funded by George Soros sought to influence the Supreme Court’s recent immigration decision through the sneaky means of “a sophisticated amicus brief and media strategy.” (Dozens of organizations filed amicus briefs on both sides of the case, a common feature of Supreme Court cases.)
Horowitz said that while that nefarious activity was “horrible enough,” the big picture is that Soros is “a Jew-hater, an Israel-hater and an America-hater” who ought to be in jail, something for which the only hope is a Donald Trump administration.
“Soros should be in jail,” he declared. “Somebody’s got to be suing him—you know, of course you can’t put him in jail—he should be in jail for fomenting civil unrest, getting those policemen killed, tearing up cities. Surely there can be a civil suit. You can’t expect a Justice Department that’s headed by a criminal or an FBI that’s in bed with them to do something about this. But hopefully Trump will win the election and when the Republicans come in, I hope they go after Soros and shut him down.”
“The Achilles heel of western civilization,” he added later in the interview, “is its tolerance for people that hate it. This man is an enemy of western civilization and of America in particular and he’s treated like he’s just a normal actor. He needs to be in jail. He needs to be charged with the crimes of destroying Ferguson, Missouri, destroying Baltimore.”
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios joined “Breitbart News Daily” this morning to discuss her organization’s ongoing boycott of Target for allowing customers to use the restrooms that match their gender identity. (Breitbart News, whose head just became the CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has been feverishly promoting the idea that the retail chain’s policy will lead to sexual assault.)
Rios told Breitbart’s Alex Marlow that the boycott “isn’t just about Target” but is about scaring other corporations and governments so that they don’t adopt similar policies and leave people like Rios with nowhere left to relieve themselves.
“If we do not keep the pressure on Target,” she said, “this will quickly—we know how major corporations are, they are scared to death of anything that isn’t politically correct—this will spread like wildfire, we will not be able to go to the bathroom anywhere.”
Janet Porter: God Will Hold You Accountable For Not Voting For Trump
8/22/16 @ 10:58am
Rudy Giuliani: No Terrorist Attacks Occurred During The Bush Administration
8/15/16 @ 3:05pm
Lance Wallnau: Trump's Wall 'Isn't About Mexico,' It's About Biblical Prophecy
8/19/16 @ 3:57pm
Trump Supporter Tells Glenn Beck That If Trump Doesn't Build A Wall, 'We're Going To Come After Him Personally'
8/24/16 @ 2:09pm
Family Security Matters: 'Muslim DNA' Makes Olympic Fencer Prone To 'Attacking Others With Knives'
8/18/16 @ 12:46pm