It seems as if the entire Religious Right is in high dudgeon right now over a situation in which lawyers representing the city of Houston sought to subpoena sermons from local pastors as part of a lawsuit filed by anti-gay activists in response to the rejection of their petitions calling for a referendum on a newly enacted anti-discrimination ordinance.
The city has already backed down, but that is not stopping Religious Right groups from hammering away at city officials and using the issue to promote their persecution complex, even if doing so undermines their own previous stances, as it does with groups like the American Family Association.
Today the AFA climbed on board the outrage bandwagon, sending out an action alert slamming Houston Mayor Annise Parker and urging activists to contact her to voice their outrage over this purported violation of the First Amendment:
The mayor is demanding that sermon notes, emails, videos, and any negative comments about homosexuality or the mayor herself, be turned over to her. If the pastors refuse, the mayor has threatened to charge them with contempt of court and possible fines or jail time.
The mayor is using intimidation, threats and bully tactics in an attempt to silence anyone who will not embrace her lesbian lifestyle.
Does the First Amendment mean nothing to Mayor Parker? Does religious freedom and freedom of speech mean nothing to Mayor Parker? Does the people’s petition process mean nothing to Mayor Parker?
This is a rather odd position for the AFA to take since Bryan Fischer, the AFA's Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy and the organization's primary spokesperson, has repeatedly gone on record stating that the First Amendment only applies to Congress.
In addition to asserting that the First Amendment only protects Christianity and not other religions like Mormonism or Islam, Fischer also insists that the First Amendment was designed only to constrain Congress, which means that state and local government are not bound by its language prohibiting the establishment of an official religion or interfering with its free exercise.
Fischer has made this case time and again while arguing that local government are free to discriminate against non-Christian religions or appear to explicitly endorse Christianity, asserting that both are perfectly constitutional since the First Amendment applies only to Congress:
First, the amendment applies only to Congress. "Congress shall make no law..." No other entity is restrained by the First Amendment. Since the amendment applies only to Congress, it is legally, historically and constitutionally impossible for a state, a county commission, a city council, a school board, a school principal, a school teacher or a student to violate the First Amendment. This is for one simple reason: none of them is Congress. Violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do.
If the First Amendment only applies to Congress when it comes to establishing or discriminating against religion, as Fischer contends, then logically it must also only apply to Congress when it comes to restricting the free exercise of religion. And if that is the case, then city officials in Houston could not have possibly violated the First Amendment rights of local pastors by subpoenaing their sermons due to the simple fact that they are not Congress.
Fischer has repeatedly said on his AFA radio program and written on the AFA's website that "violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do." If that is true, then why is the AFA now fuming about city officials in Houston supposedly violating the First Amendment, since that is not even technically possible, according to the organization's primary spokesperson?
Today on “The 700 Club,” an anonymous viewer asked televangelist Pat Robertson if he should reconsider his plans to go on a mission in Kenya due to the Ebola outbreak. While Kenya is in East Africa, the Ebola outbreak has been concentrated in in West Africa.
Robertson, who once raised the specter of gay people attacking heterosexuals with secret AIDS rings, incorrectly warned the aspiring missionary that he could put himself at risk of contracting AIDS…from a towel.
“Not in Kenya. You might get AIDS in Kenya, the people have AIDS, you got to be careful, the towels can have AIDS,” he said.
Rep. Louie Gohmert appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to complain that the Obama administration is doing too little to contain the Ebola outbreak, which then led him to attack the Obama administration for sending military service members to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak.
Gohmert told the FRC’s Tony Perkins that military efforts to build treatment centers and train Liberian soldiers and aid workers will leave troops “defenseless” and at vulnerable to both the virus and terrorist attacks: “We’ve taken them away from their military function and put them out there like sacrificial lambs in infected countries.”
“Your heart goes out for those members of the 101st Airborne and others that are going to be sent into Ebola-infected epidemic countries,” he said. “Man oh man, there are terrorists in Africa that would love to wipe out a bunch of our military.”
The Texas Republican added that the deployments will leave service members “defenseless” despite military leaders claiming there will be “very low to no risk” to troops.
Phyllis Schlafly, who his promoting her new book, “Who Killed the American Family?” stopped by VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program yesterday to discuss whom she sees as the culprits in the family’s demise.
Chief among these, of course, are the feminists. “They don’t like men, they don’t like the family, and if you read their stuff and what they’re telling young women is ‘we are victims of the patriarchy’ and ‘we have to get rid of the patriarchy,’” Schlafly told host Vic Eliason. “Well, you know, you can hardly believe what nonsense it is. But a lot of us think it’s just great to have men around to provide and protect us.”
Schlafly lamented that “feminism isn’t going to go away” because feminists run the Obama administration and the media and “the men are afraid to attack the women, they don’t know how to do it.”
She illustrated this point with an anecdote from a nature documentary she had recently watched in which two “real bears — these weren’t any actors” faced off against each other, and eventually the male bear backed away from the female.
“It just isn’t natural for men to fight women,” Schlafly concluded, “and that’s one of our problems, women take advantage of that.”
In yet another column suggesting that President Obama wants to infect people with Ebola, Erik Rush writes today in WorldNetDaily that the Ebola virus may be part of “various escalating crises in America being orchestrated by the White House in order to ultimately ‘legitimize’ a declaration of martial law in America.”
Rush argues that “given how manifestly diabolical I know this president and his administration to be,” there is a strong chance that administration officials actually “want Ebola to spread in the United States.”
To date, over 8,300 suspected cases and over 4,050 deaths from Ebola have been reported worldwide from this outbreak alone, with the WHO saying that these numbers may be vastly underestimated. The WHO also stated this week that that there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week within two months.
My question then became: Why were only 1,528 people killed by Ebola during the 36 year period between 1976 and 2012, yet over 4,000 have died from Ebola in the last 11 months alone?
At this point, I can only speculate as far as the answer to this question, but I believe it is one every American should be asking, because it suggests that something besides the disease itself is driving this epidemic.
Common sense dictates that since scientists and regulators working for the federal government quite literally wrote the book on Level 4 biocontainment protocols, they know how dangerous Ebola truly is. Thus, their refusal to prudently address the threat leads to one of two conclusions:
1. They have determined that political expedience trumps public health concerns, or
2. They want Ebola to spread in the United States.
Given how manifestly diabolical I know this president and his administration to be, I don’t doubt that the latter is a possibility. It certainly would fall within the scope of concerns some analysts have expressed pertaining to various escalating crises in America being orchestrated by the White House in order to ultimately “legitimize” a declaration of martial law in America.
It would also be child’s play for a determined group of individuals, terrorists – or even a government – to “help along” an epidemic of such a virulent disease.
- Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Houston’s Pastor Subpoenas: A Meme Made for Fox News.
- Christian Walters @ Towleroad: Scott Lively Stars In Russian Anti-Gay Documentary.
- Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux @ Religion & Politics: Meet Chad Connelly, the Republican Party’s Faith Ambassador.
- Eric Hananoki @ Media Matters: Fox Doc's Racial Rant: Obama Welcomes Ebola Because His "Affinities" Are With Africa.
- Alice Ollstein @ Think Progress: Senate Candidate Claims People With Pre-Existing Conditions Were Better Off Before Obamacare.
- Alvin McEwen: Anti-gay group leader Tony Perkins attempts to spin embarrassing Fox News debate into win.
- Bruce Wilson @ TWOCARE: U.S. Pro-Coup Evangelicals Ally With Putin Inner Circle.
- David Edwards @ Raw Story: SC governor defends Confederate flag at Statehouse: Not ‘a single CEO’ has complained.
- After months of controversy, megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has resigned.
- Rick Santorum says that "I’m doing everything right now as if I’m running" for president.
- Laurie Higgins says that moderate Republicans must be defeated at the ballot box because otherwise "the Democratic wing of the Republican Party will grow. It’s a ravenous beast devouring the squishy, spineless, chestless, tasteless, bootless bodies of conservatives."
- E.W. Jackson is launching a new movement designed to protect Christians from "growing hostility, discrimination and anti-Christian bigotry."
- Finally, Dan Snyder seems to think that having Glenn Beck on his side will somehow help his effort to save the name of his football team.
In an interview with WorldNetDaily published yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly repeated her admonition that passing comprehensive immigration reform would be “suicide for the Republican Party,” claiming that immigrants “want to take jobs from our native Americans” and are “bringing in disease.”
“It’s really suicide for the Republican Party if we don’t close down our borders and stop any talk of amnesty because amnesty would I think not only kill the Republican Party, it would simply damage our country immensely,” she said. “It would bring in all these people who want to take jobs from our native Americans. And now, of course, we know it’s bringing in disease too.”
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer made the case that the government can never endorse any position that is contrary to the will of God because government was established by God specifically for the purpose of carrying out his will, which is why gay marriage can never be legal.
As Fischer explained, the entire idea of civil government came from God and therefore all earthly political and legal authority stems from God. As such, the purpose of civil government is to carry out the will of God, meaning that government can never remain neutral on moral issues.
"God has called government to take sides in the culture war," Fischer said, "and God is instructing civil government to take the side of that which is right and good. That means government and those who hold government power have a divine responsibility to know the difference between good and evil so that they can reward the former and punish the latter."
Thus, when government bans gay marriage, "it is doing a good thing," Fischer said. "It is doing a divinely ordained thing. It's doing its job. It's fulfilling its role as a minister of God":
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage said yesterday that he wishes that one day there would be some sort of a “people’s tribunal for crimes against America.”
He said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, his predecessor Leon Panetta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC president Phil Griffin should all be called before the tribunal since they are all “people who damaged this country most severely.”
Savage gave an idea of how the imaginary tribunal would work: “Department of Education, Arne Duncan, for lowering educational standards in America and brainwashing our children. Arne Duncan, people’s tribunal. ‘Mr. Duncan, step before the people, what actually did you achieve while you were here as secretary of education, Mr. Duncan?’ ‘Well I taught the children how to put a condom on a cucumber.’ ‘OK, next case, 25 years in Siberia.’”
Phyllis Schlafly: Obama Intentionally Bringing In Ebola To Make America More Like Africa
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Klayman: Obama Must Be 'Taken Alive' For Bringing Ebola To America To Afflict White People
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WND Columnist: Obama Might Bring Ebola To America To Cancel 2016 Election
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John Hagee Says Ebola Is God's Judgment On America Because Obama Is Trying To Divide Israel
10/15/14 @ 11:47am
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10/10/14 @ 4:55pm