As we have said over and over again, the Religious Right will never stop spreading useful tales of Christian victimization just because they happen to be demonstrably false.
The most recent evidence of this fact is the story of Derrick Hayes, a high school runner in Texas who was allegedly disqualified from an event for thanking God after winning a race. The story of Hayes' supposed persecution has been spread repeatedly by Religious Right activists and legislators over the last week despite the fact that Hayes and his family admit that he was not disqualified because of his faith:
Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.
To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”
The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”
But just because the supposed victim of this tale of persecution admits that it is not true, that is not about to stop "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt from using it in his latest prayer update or his "Pray in Jesus Name" television program where he claimed that Hayes was disqualified because "demonic spirits" had possessed the race officials (22:00 in):
He's inspired by the Holy Spirit and he points his finger up in the air to praise God. I see the Holy Spirit inside of these young men who won that race.
Even as they are now pointing to God and praising God for that victory, something terrible happens; there's a demonic spirit now that enters the referees, the officials, and they say "oh did you see that? He just referred to God. We need to stop that and we need to disqualify them!" And they're punished for their righteousness by the demonic spirit that's inside the referees.
The other day, Glenn Beck declared that the Obama administration was nothing more than a "Chicago crime syndicate" that will eventually be taken down by the IRS, much like Al Capone.
So logically, last night Beck decided to illustrate that point by reenacting a famous scene from the movie "The Untouchables" by beating a Tea Party activist to death with a baseball bat:
- Michael B. Keegan @ Huffington Post: The Real IRS Problem: Citizens United.
- Kevin Drum @ Mother Jones: IG Report Says IRS Has No Idea What Its Own Rules Mean.
- David Weigel: Here's the Troublesome Part of the IG Report That Rescues Top Democrats from the IRS Scandal.
- Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Mayoral Candidate ‘Endorsed by Jesus Christ’ Finishes in Last Place.
- Rob Boston @ Wall of Separation: The Partisan Preacher’s Complaint: Franklin Graham Has No Grounds To Whine About IRS.
- Sy Mukherjee @ Think Progress: Michele Bachmann: The IRS Will Kill People Through Obamacare.
- Glenn Beck says Benghazi, the IRS, and the AP scandals are all related and has collectively dubbed them "Intim-O-Gate." The "O" stands for Obama.
- Crackpot nobody Wayne Allyn Root claims that he was audited by the IRS for being critical of President Obama.
- "Coach" Dave Daubenmire explains that "abortion is a man's issue."
- Anti- gay "researcher" Judith Reisman says men "cannot technically be raped." We're pretty sure that is not true.
- Finally, it is statements like this that make you realize that there really is not much chance of ever finding any sort of common ground with some people on the right:
While the rest of the conservative movement is already several conspiracy theories ahead of him, Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt is still hung up on Fast and Furious, the troubled Justice Department operation started under the Bush administration that Pratt and others believe was actually orchestrated by President Obama to promote gun control.
So Pratt is elated by the scandals – some legitimate and some not so much – plaguing the Obama administration this week because, he says, they might finally allow for the chance to impeach the president over Fast and Furious. “If this isn’t the time when you can get him both politically and legally,” he told host Stan Solomon of the Talk to Solomon Show, “I don’t know when.”
Pratt and Solomon then had a baffling exchange about how to remove the president from the White House after his impeachment, involving forcing him to dangle from the bottom of a helicopter and something about gangrene:
Pratt: This last week has been a spectacular spinning out of control of the future of the president. He is no longer the big guy in town. I don’t know who that might be to take his place yet, but it sure is not he. And he’s gonna be doing well not to end up just exactly like Richard Nixon. They still have helicopters that can fly you out of the White House on that last flight.
Solomon: Yeah, right, and of course, with a little luck he can be dangling from the bottom of one.
Pratt: Gangrene One!
The anti-choice movement has for several years been experiencing a quiet rift over extreme state-level measures would ban all abortions – and in some cases, in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control – in a head-on challenge to Roe v. Wade. As Personhood USA and Janet Porter gain more and more success in pushing “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills at the state level, national pro-life groups who oppose the laws for strategic reasons find themselves in a bind.
In March, when North Dakota passed a “heartbeat” bill which would ban nearly all abortions in the state and strike directly at Roe v. Wade, it also passed two narrower measures banning abortion based on genetic abnormalities or the sex of the fetus. The national anti-choice group Concerned Women for America praised heartbeat the bill, while Americans United For Life issued press releases that ignored the bill and praised the narrower measures. National Right to Life went even further, actively speaking out against the North Dakota bill and similar “heartbeat” measures in other states.
In an article for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly this week, Americans United For Life’s senior counsel, William Saunders, lays out his fears of what would happen if the Supreme Court were given the opportunity to reconsider Roe v. Wade. While he praises the “admirable and inspiring” efforts behind the trio of new abortion restrictions in North Dakota, Saunders warns that a direct challenge to Roe will give the Supreme Court a chance to rewrite their 1973 decision on more solid “equal protection” footing.
Instead, he argues, anti-choice activists should target incremental measures at wearing away the opposition of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold the so-called “partial birth” abortion ban in Gonzales v. Carhart. “Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion?,” he asks.
Taken together, these three laws provide significant food for thought.
While the persistent efforts of pro-life Americans at the state level are admirable and inspiring and must be encouraged, how does one evaluate the wisdom of any particular proposed (or enacted) law? First, I suggest, one must recognize the legal realities—what kinds of statutes will the courts certainly overturn? Of course, this is not to say that the courts should govern this matter. In fact, the usurpation of the political process by courts is, in my view, unconstitutional itself and should be resisted. However, if we know a law will be overturned by a court, we should consider the risk of such a decision. At least one significant risk is that the Supreme Court, in overturning a law, will entrench “abortion rights” more firmly in constitutional jurisprudence, perhaps under an “equal-protection”-based right, as Justice Ginsburg and three colleagues wanted to do in the Gonzales dissent.
Sad as it is to consider, Gonzales was decided by only one vote, that of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The opinion he wrote for the majority, while speaking of the right of the legislature to choose among divided experts in fashioning law and while recognizing that abortion harms at least some women, did no more than uphold the outlawing of one abortion procedure when others were available. Is such a person likely to uphold a ban on all abortions at any point in pregnancy? If so, what rationale for doing so (what basis) is likely to appeal to him? Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion? Might a statute with a ban (or limit) early in pregnancy lead him to “protect” the “abortion right” and vote with Ginsburg and her colleagues in favor of a firm affirmation of a “constitutional” right to abortion? Is it better to move the ball gently, seeking to build momentum for the ultimate reversal of Roe/Doe, or to force the issue with a broad and early ban? While reasonable people can differ on the answers to these questions, the consequences of a possible forty more years of unlimited abortion due to another Casey-like decision by the Supreme Court counsels for very careful consideration of what prudence requires.
It looks like the American Family Association isn’t the only group pushing the patently false claim that Muslim-Americans are exempt from the new health care reform law.
The Traditional Values Coalition is now telling members that “Islam got a free pass” under Obamacare, even though as FactCheck.org pointed out back in 2010, Muslims are not one of the groups granted a religious exemption.
The health care law only exempts the same religious groups already exempt from government benefits like Social Security. In fact, the only religious sects that have exemptions are Christian denominations.
But what else would you expect from the group which claimed that President Obama signed a law that “makes the Bible illegal”?
Guess what? Muslims don't have to participate in Obamacare due to "religious exemptions" not extended to Christians! Need evidence? Here you go:
EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:
In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian, or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.”
Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274
Now what's curious about this tidy little insertion is that it's primarily designed for religious groups such as the Amish. But add a wrinkle here -- for Muslims, modern health care systems are a bit more akin to "gambling" -- which is haram or forbidden in Islam. Liberty and Pride explains:
There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is “haraam”, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.
What's fascinating about this is while Christian business owners and organizations -- most notably the Catholic Church, Domino's Pizza, and Hobby Lobby -- are fighting for their very lives resisting the violations of religious conscience in Obamacare, apparently Islam got a free pass.
On today's "Faith and Freedom" broadcast, Matt Barber explained that the push for gay marriage is really an effort by Satan to get the United States to officially embrace sin.
Since man-woman marriage is a metaphor for Christ and the Church, Barber explained, "Satan hates the institution of natural marriage and wants to see it watered down."
"What is central to so-called gay marriage?" Barber asked. "Homosexual sin. So therefore gay marriage is, in and of itself, sin. And so if they can get the government to put its official stamp of approval on counterfeit same-sex marriage, then that is the government shaking its fist at God and saying 'we know better than you do'":
On August 15, 2012, a gunman walked into the Washington, DC headquarters of the Family Research Council with the intent of killing as many people as possible. Fortunately, the FRC's building manager confronted him and, despite being shot in the arm, subdued him and prevented any loss of life.
When the gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins, was interrogated by the FBI about why he carried out this attack on the FRC, he said it was because of the organization's anti-gay activism. When Corkins admitted that he had visited the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center while doing research, the Religious Right seized on the info as supposed proof that the SPLC's designation of FRC as an anti-gay hate group was leading to violence.
How that vague image somehow directed Corkins to the FRC's headquarters is never explained. In fact, the map doesn't even provide any data as to FRC's actual location, unlike the FRC's own website which provides its address and detailed directions.
But since Corkins mentioned the research produced by the SPLC during his interrogation, and since Corkins was charged under the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, for activsts like Jerry Boykin and David Barton, that means that the SPLC is now "directly linked to domestic terrorism":
Boykin: Islamic terrorists are not the only people we need to be concerned about. We have now, right here, in our own country, an organization that is connected to domestic terrorism as a result of a federal trial in Washington, DC.
Barton: The fact that now, in federal court, they have been directly linked to domestic terrorism, that's significant stuff.
Much like the way that anti-Islam activists falsely insist that various Muslim groups were designated as "unindicted co-conspirators" with ties to terrorism by a federal court, we expect to keep hearing the Religious Right falsely assert that the SPLC is linked to domestic terrorism despite the fact that it is obviously nonsense.
Stakelbeck Condemns Obama for Defending Right to Build Mosques; Fears Muslim 'Infiltration' of the Bible Belt
Next time Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent Erick Stakelbeck talks about religious liberty, just remember that he doesn’t seem to extend that freedom to Muslims. During a conference call with the group Tea Party Unity, Stakelbeck attacked the Obama administration for having “literally” intervened in cases to defend the construction of mosques.
Stakelbeck said he is outraged that the Obama administration is trying to stop residents from blocking the construction of mosques because how dare the Justice Department defend the First Amendment!
He was also livid that Muslims may want to build “a $5 million mega-mosque,” just as we are sure he is angry that a Southern Baptist congregation in Dallas constructed a $130 million megachurch.
Caller: How is it we can get these facilities, because I’m not going to call it a church or a religion, how can we get them shut down?
Stakelbeck: Well look under this administration, good luck, because I’m just working on a chapter in my new book about how this administration when locals, in places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when local residents are up in arms about a mosque being built, the Obama Department of Justice literally intervenes, files amicus briefs in support of the mosque, we’ve seen this time and time again. Here’s a statistic for you, folks, in the year 2001 there were 1,200 mosques in America; now, just twelve years later after 9/11, that number has doubled to over 2,000 mosques, that’s a 74 percent increase since 9/11 alone, that is astounding and it is not a coincidence. Under the Obama administration the floodgates are open even more; they are literally intervening in these mosque cases around the country, in small towns with very small Muslim populations. I’m sorry, if you have a 200-strong Muslim population, why do you need a $5 million mega-mosque? And where is the money coming from? Look no further than Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. So getting mosques shut down in this era, in the age of Obama? Good luck. What you’re going to see is more mosques built.
Stakelbeck told another caller that “there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society,” particularly the Bible Belt.
Just to be clear, Muslims represent just 1% of the population of Tennessee and less than 0.5% in other Bible Belt states like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas.
But maybe they’re all just hiding in national parks….
Caller: We are seeing so much Saudi in middle Tennessee, I mean they have the best health care in the Saudi embassy, we have classes at the university, so we are just seeing a major, major influx of Saudi nationals here in middle Tennessee.
Stakelbeck: Folks, it’s not a coincidence. Middle Tennessee is the buckle of the Bible Belt. This is not just in New York City, Boston, Chicago, LA, traditional gateway cities for immigrants, anymore; there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society. I write about this in my book “The Terrorist Next Door,” I call it “Southern Inhospitality,” and that’s what we’re seeing, and you’re seeing it in a major way in that Nashville area where you have tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville.
Radio Host Frequented By Gun Activists Calls For Shooting of Bush Family & Obama, Sexual Violence Against Hillary Clinton
5/17/13 @ 2:37pm
Robertson Tells Woman Whose Husband Cheated to Remember 'He's a Man' and be Grateful She Lives in America
5/15/13 @ 12:30pm
Bradlee Dean Has Epic Meltdown over Minnesota's Gay Marriage Law
5/16/13 @ 2:15pm
Matt Barber Tweets Homophobic Cartoon of Gay Man Tricking Boy Scout into Sex
5/14/13 @ 3:10pm
Swanson & Buehner: New Gonorrhea Strain Sent By God to Punish America; Single Women Have No Rights
5/14/13 @ 2:20pm
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