In his most recent column for Catholic World News, Cardinal Francis George, Head of the Archdiocese of Chicago, wrote that Catholics in America are being forced to choose between their faith and the "State religion" which imposes "its own form of morality on everyone."
This new religion, he said, compels people to support things like abortion and gay marriage and, as a result, Catholics who refuse worship this "false god" have now essentially become second class citizens just like "Christians and Jews [who] are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law":
In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered “sinful.” Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.
When the recent case about religious objection to one provision of the Health Care Act was decided against the State religion, the Huffington Post (June 30, 2014) raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.” This is not the voice of the nativists who first fought against Catholic immigration in the 1830s. Nor is it the voice of those who burned convents and churches in Boston and Philadelphia a decade later. Neither is it the voice of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s and 1850s, nor of the Ku Klux Klan, which burned crosses before Catholic churches in the Midwest after the civil war. It is a voice more sophisticated than that of the American Protective Association, whose members promised never to vote for a Catholic for public office. This is, rather, the selfrighteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as “progressive” and “enlightened.”
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.
Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.
WorldNetDaily columnists must be running out of dictators to compare President Obama to, as Burt Prelutsky today likened Obama to John Hinckley, arguing the president “is every bit as delusional” as the man who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan.
Prelutsky started his column by talking about how he would refuse to take a bullet for Obama or other Democratic president if he were in the Secret Service, which then led to a brief rant about how the “Hollywood bimbos” who recently had their photos hacked had it coming.
There are any number of jobs that I couldn’t handle physically, such as being a professional athlete or a bouncer at a nightclub; and some I wouldn’t consider because of moral objections, such as being a criminal defense attorney. But, after reading Ron Kessler’s latest book, “The First Family Detail,” there’s one I couldn’t handle for any number of reasons, and that’s being a Secret Service agent on a presidential detail.
I mean, imagine swearing to take a bullet or several bullets intended for Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. From having read Kessler’s earlier “In the President’s Secret Service,” I already knew that being assigned to protect Jimmy Carter, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton was tantamount to a prison sentence because of their blatant contempt for those sworn to sacrifice their lives for them. But when it came to guys like Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton, the day-to-day job had less to do with protecting them against assassins than it did with making sure the first ladies didn’t trip over their various bimbos.
Speaking of which, I had a good laugh recently when a bevy of Hollywood bimbos whined that hackers had managed to upload their nude photos and post them on the Internet. It seems to me that if you feel the need to take selfies of yourself in the buff, hackers are the least of your problems.
Frankly, I see little difference between all this and the nudity they often display in their professional lives on screen, aside from the fact that they aren’t compelled to defend this form of exhibitionism as essential to the plot of some cinematic stinkeroo.
Clearly, we have a commander in chief who is every bit as delusional as John Hinckley, who not only believed that actress Jodie Foster would be smitten with him if he could somehow manage to assassinate Ronald Reagan, but never even considered just sending her flowers and a box of candy.
I suspect that even if you’d pointed out to Hinckley that Ms. Foster was a lesbian, he’d have dismissed that as a mere hiccup. Instead, like Joe E. Brown in “Some Like it Hot,” when his beloved Daphne (Jack Lemmon) finally whips off his wig and confesses, “I’m not even a woman,” Hinckley would have said, “Nobody’s perfect.”
But, clearly, every time Obama gazes into a mirror, he finds reason to disagree with Joe E. Brown, even if nobody else does. I mean, what can he possibly be thinking when an American journalist is beheaded in Iraq and he flies off to yet another fundraiser? And when a second journalist is beheaded a week later, he’s the only person in America who not only isn’t screaming for blood, but doesn’t even take a moment to offer the man’s family the nation’s condolences.
- Catherine Thompson @ TPM: Ted Cruz Blames Anti-Semitism After Arab Christians Boo Him Off Stage.
- Media Matters: Hannity Guest A.J. Delgado: "Ray Rice Is The Bigger Victim Of Domestic Violence."
- David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Colorado GOP candidate comes out as Sandy Hook truther during debate.
- Joe Jervis: Bill Donoue: I've Been Betrayed And Will Boycott The St. Patrick's Day Parade.
- Tina Nguyen @ Mediaite: Tim Tebow Joins Good Morning America for Non-Football Gig.
- Josh Israel @ Think Progress: John McCain Votes To Preserve A Supreme Court Case He Called The ‘Worst Decision Ever.’
- Federal prosecutors are seeking sixteen months in prison for Dinesh D'Souza, largely based on the fact that his supposed contrition before the court does not square with the public statements he made about the case elsewhere.
- Ray Comfort's upcoming anti-gay movie is going to be absolutely amazing, according to Ray Comfort.
- Peter LaBarbera is furious that the U.S. will not support other nation's efforts to criminalize homosexuality: "Just because America has fallen so far that we now treat sin, in this case homosexuality, as a civil right doesn't mean we have the right to force that on other countries that have more wholesome and biblical values."
- New Jersey's ban on ex-gay therapy has been upheld by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Finally, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Sen. Ted Cruz all participated in David Barton's most recent pastor's briefing in Washington, D.C.
ACT for America, the anti-Muslim group run by Brigitte Gabriel, held a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill today where it was joined by Republican members of Congress including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, and Arkansas Sen. John Boozman.
Gabriel posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of Boozman, Bachmann and Gohmert speaking and of Roskam receiving the group’s “Patriot Award.” Duncan tweeted that he was planning on speaking to the gathering. Gabriel wrote that she had planned on presenting another award to Sen. Ted Cruz, but that he was unable to attend.
Gabriel also presented awards to Alabama state Sen. Gerald Allen, the author of that state’s bill banning the use of Sharia law, and Kansas state Rep. Peggy Mast, who introduced a similar bill in her state.
She has also suggested the President Obama secretly a Muslim who is “not only pro-Islam, he’s pro-jihadist.”
A few months ago, Gabriel made the news when she berated a Muslim woman who asked her a question at a Heritage Foundation panel.
On yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s Vic Eliason and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver connected same-sex marriage in the U.S. to beheadings committed by the terrorist group ISIS.
Discussing recent marriage equality legal victories, Staver made his standard prediction that the legalization of same-sex marriage will pave the way for polygamy. Eliason responded by accusing gay rights advocates of destroying morality and biblical values, leading to a decadent, anything-goes society.
“People see something they want, they steal it or they kill somebody or behead them. Some of this stuff now that’s going on, the beheading, which has become literally a religious, I don’t know what you’d call it— it becomes a very sacred thing to the Islamics to behead somebody because that is a special right that is deserved by the infidels,” Eliason said.
Staver naturally agreed and said it was all President Obama’s fault: “Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think what we’re seeing today is a meltdown of morality. That’s what certainly President Obama has been pushing, he is very much pushing a disintegration of Judeo-Christian values not just here in the United States but he’s actively doing that around the country [sic] promoting abortion and same-sex marriage, he’s trying to do that in every way possible across the world.”
Four years ago, the Texas State Board of Education made national headlines when it worked with Religious Right activists like David Barton to create a set of new textbook standards that played up the role of Christianity in the nation’s founding and played down the role of slavery in the Civil War, among other questionable changes.
According to our friends at the Texas Freedom Network , a new set of social studies textbooks up for approval from the state school board contain many flaws that “reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history.”
TFN convened a panel of historians to review proposed textbooks and found that a number of the board’s faulty claims had been absorbed into proposed textbooks. For instance, a number of books followed the board’s advice in making vague claims about Moses as a direct influence on the framers of the Constitution — a claim straight out of David Barton’s pseudo-scholarship.
The material presented in these textbooks on this issue seems to have been determined more by political concerns than considerations of good scholarship. On the one hand, the decisions of these textbooks seem to have been strongly influenced by the suggestions and requirements of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). For instance, that the Texas SBOE suggested in the 2009-2010 debate over curriculum standards that Moses influenced the writing of the nation’s founding documents and that several textbooks mention Moses’ influence on the Founders seems to be no coincidence. On the other hand, the frequently vague nature of the textbooks’ statements about the influence of Moses and other religious ideas and figures on the Founders seems to indicate that the publishers did not want to be held accountable by scholars are those critical of SBOE’s standards. Unfortunately, the result of this at once overly controversial and overly careful strategy is the failure to provide students with an understanding of the influence of religion on our Founders that rests on sound scholarship and captures the diversity of the Founders’ views. These textbooks too often settle for giving students vague impressions about the Founders and religion while denying them the crucial information necessary to evaluate these claims. The SBOE and these textbooks have collaborated to make students’’ knowledge of American history a casualty of the culture wars.
Other concerns that TFN’s reviewers found in the textbooks include:
- Some textbooks greatly exaggerate religious influences on the American founding, with some going so far as to suggest without substantiation that Moses was a major influence, that “the roots of democratic government” can be found in the Old Testament, and that “the biblical idea of a covenant … contributed to our constitutional structure.”
- While the textbooks largely make clear that slavery was the central cause of the Civil War, some give nods to neo-Confederate arguments first promoted after the war that “states’ rights” was the driving issue. Some also downplay the serious hardships faced by African Americans during segregation.
- Some textbooks reinforce negative stereotypes of Islam as a violent religion spread exclusively by conquest. One tells students, inaccurately, that “the spread of international terrorism is an outgrowth of Islamic fundamentalism,” ignoring the numerous examples of terrorism not related to Islam at all.
- Some textbooks suffer from an incomplete and at times inaccurate coverage of religions other than Christianity. For example, one textbook teaches students, inaccurately, that all Hindus are vegetarians. On other hand, coverage of key Christian concepts and historical events are lacking in a few textbooks, often apparently due to the presumption that all students are Christians and already familiar with that information.
- Reflecting concerns already noted about the curriculum standards by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a number of textbooks present an uncritical celebration of the free enterprise system. They downplay or even ignore legitimate problems in capitalism and the role government played in the growth of the American economy of the 1800s.
- A number of U.S. History textbooks suffer from a general lack of attention to the experiences of Native American peoples and cultures and sometimes include biased or misleading information.
One textbook includes a biased even offensive treatment critical of affirmative action, including cartoons that jokingly suggest space aliens would qualify.
- Most textbooks offer scant coverage of the movement for LGBT equality, one of the salient civil rights struggles of the last half-century. One publisher links the gay rights movement of the late 1960s to society “spinning out of control.”
Glenn Beck is upset that when President Obama delivered his remarks laying out his plans for confronting ISIS last night, he did not do so from the Oval Office, suggesting that this is all part of Obama's effort to fundamentally transform the nation by erasing America's image of what the presidency represents.
"There's a problem with the Oval Office and this president," Beck said. "There's something wrong there."
Beck is mystified as to why Obama refused to deliver his remarks while seated behind the Resolute Desk and concluded that the only logical explanation is that it is all part of an intentional effort to carry out "a reset of the president of the United States."
"It is part of the fundamental transformation," he said. "This guy's in for eight years, not speaking [from the Oval Office]. He has erased eight years of what that office means. You know, you build up a relationship with the image and he's changing that image. He's changing the image of the United States, he's changing the image of the president of the United States, he's changing the image of what a president looks like - I'm not talking about color, I'm talking about what he looks like, what the optics are. They're so fascinated with optics. Why won't they use the Oval Office? Something's not right":
This week, a number of American Religious Right activists are participating an in international forum on “large families and the future of mankind,” which is organized and funded by a number of close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and kicked off its session at the Kremlin yesterday with the reading of a personal message from Putin himself.
Among the Americans speaking at the forum, according to a preliminary schedule, are the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater and representatives from Personhood USA, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Janice Shaw Crouse is also scheduled to attend, although possibly no longer as a representative of Concerned Women for America, a group critical of the Moscow conference with which she seems to have parted ways.
The conference was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, but after Russia invaded Ukraine, the group began to lose support from its American allies and announced that it had “suspended planning” on the event, noting that it “takes no position on foreign affairs, except as they affect the natural family.”
In reality, very little but the official name of the conference seems to have changed. World Congress of Families officials Don Feder and Larry Jacobs are attending in their personal capacities, and insist that their group is not “financially sponsoring” the event and would not have its name attached to it. But WCF’s sponsorship was always nominal — the group has a very small budget of its own and instead acts as an agent for bringing together better-funded activists and organizations. Even before WCF dropped its official involvement, it had given credit to a number of Russian allies for funding the conference.
Although the focus of the conference is the promotion of “large families” (and with it the resistance to LGBT equality and abortion rights), it may be impossible for attendees to ignore the foreign policy implications of the event.
As we have noted, Putin played up the supposed dangers of LGBT rights in his efforts to prevent Ukraine from joining the EU — a geopolitical ploy that had dangerous consequences for the LGBT communities in Russian and Ukraine.
Constantin Malofeev, the oligarch who helped to organize and fund the conference this week, brought this up in his speech to the event yesterday, presenting the “propagation of homosexuality and gay parades” as a defining factor in the battle over Ukraine:
In Ukraine, which is our fraternal country, association with European Union was not signed last year because, in this case, the Ukrainians learned that they had to allow propagation of homosexuality and gay parades. So, the new regime in Ukraine, the first thing they did was to allow a gay parade in Kiev. So we are defending our position. We are protecting fathers, mothers and children.
He also attacked the United States for including Yelena Mizulina, the force behind many of Russia’s harsh new anti-gay laws, on its economic sanctions list. (Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin, who along with his wife Natalia also spoke at and helped fund the conference, is another U.S. sanctions target).
And if we are part of the sanctions for Ukraine. But Madam Mizulina was included in the sanctions as one of the first, and this is just because she defends the family values.
And as Richard Bartholomew points out, today’s schedule includes a panel titled “Family Policy in Ukraine: Conclusions and Warnings for Russia.”
An ever-present theme at the first day of the conference was the idea of Russia as a bulwark protecting the world against the U.S. and Europe’s encroaching liberalism. The Moscow Times writes that the theme came up in both Yakunin and Mizulina’s remarks:
In choosing conservative values, Russia represents "the final hope" for the modern world, which has been corrupted by the Western debauchery of individualism, consumerism and globalization, participants of a Moscow forum agreed Wednesday.
Yakunin, whose wife Natalya moderated the proceedings, attended the forum, taking to the stage to talk about Russia's departure from the Western model of development that, according to him, does not lead to either material or spiritual well-being.
Mizulina, who chairs the Duma's committee on family, women and children's issues and has advocated a law requiring women to get their husband's permission in order to have an abortion, lashed out at the West.
"I am sure that in contemporary Europe it would not be possible to hold a forum like this," Mizulina told the audience after reading a welcome note from State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.
"Even if they are held there, they are not hosted at the Kremlin, like in Russia, but somewhere on the outskirts," she said.
Organizations:World Congress of Families , Personhood USA, National Organization for Marriage, Howard Center for Family Religion and Society , Home School Legal Defense Association , Family Watch International, Concerned Women for America, Christian Broadcasting Network, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin said in an interview on “Washington Watch” yesterday that people like himself who believe in discredited conspiracy theories surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attacks are facing “persecution” because no one believes them and dares to think there are political motivations behind their accusations.
“The plight of not only the young service men and women in trying to ensure that their government is going to come and get them, but there is a plight of persecution today of those of us who want to stand up and demand that there be accountability on this,” he told FRC president Tony Perkins. “They’re persecuting us, the leftist media is coming out with all kinds of accusations about what our intent is.”
“We’re being hammered by the media now, being persecuted, literally, by the media as being on a witch hunt and being people that are not willing to accept the truth that has already come out. The truth hasn’t come out yet.”
Boykin insisted that no one has investigated the Benghazi attack yet…even though, as Media Matters notes, the House Intelligence Committee, along with “the State Department's independent Accountability Review Board (ARB), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Armed Services Committee” have all “repeatedly debunked right-wing Benghazi myths that have persisted since the attacks, including the falsehood that a ‘stand down’ order was given to troops stationed in Tripoli and the myth that the administration lied about the attacks having been caused by an anti-Islam YouTube video.”
But who cares what four — including two GOP-led — panels found, because Boykin knows the truth and won’t rest until investigators agree with him.
He also made the extraordinary claim that his goal in promoting Benghazi conspiracy theories “is not to go after Hillary or the president.”
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