Impugning the religious faith of others based on their political views is one of the basic themes of the Religious Right, but it’s still refreshing to hear it as openly stated as this simple test: a “True Christian” is one who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.
That’s the message of “True Christian VP,” a petition drive from Gary Cass’s “Christian Anti-Defamation Commission,” which is “calling for each candidate to select a true Christian as a running mate for the all important 2008 elections.” And in case there might be any confusion, the group has narrowed down the definition of “true Christian” to two criteria:
What qualifications are embodied in a truly Christian candidate for the Vice Presidency? Quite simply, the candidate will demonstrate actions and hold the beliefs personified by all of us who proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as Savior: the need to be re-born in Christ and the affirmation of historic Christianity, having a demonstrable and proven record of support for traditional Christian morality.
A life of dedicated Christian service to the public is demonstrated by the following:
Support for traditional marriage. As a Christian, the candidate for Vice President must affirm that marriage is an institution created by God and defined as a union between one man and one woman. …
Support for the Right to Life, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, without exception.
The group also clarifies that, for example, the two Democratic candidates for president would not qualify as “real Christians”:
Who is the real Christian seeking the Presidency of the United States?
The three major presidential candidates, Democrats Barrack [sic] Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Republican John McCain have presented Christian voters with a vexing problem for Christians. Both Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton have declared they are Christians, yet based on their votes, both have consistently demonstrated a failure to support the values and policy positions important to Christians. While Mr. McCain proclaims support for traditional Christian values and morality, he has chosen to not discuss his own religious beliefs.
Since founding his group last year, Cass has concentrated on promoting two ideas: one, that Christianity is being persecuted (or “bashed”), and two, that other people’s faith is fair game. In particular, Cass attacked Mormon candidate Mitt Romney for his religion’s supposed “secret rituals” and “hostility to Christianity.” Presumably Cass isn’t happy that Romney is being floated as a potential running mate for McCain.
This counterintuitive notion—that Christianity is to be defended from persecution in public culture by attacking others’ faith—is apparently shared by the so-called Christian Defense Coalition, which attacked Obama over the weekend for resigning from his church after public disagreements. “[I]f his church membership was truly spiritual -- then this action shows a fundamental lack of integrity,” declared Patrick Mahoney, who has attacked Obama’s religious credentials for some time. “Obama's resignation of membership in Trinity United Church demonstrates that he will trade even on his faith for political advantage.”
Ever since losing the Republican primary for Lt. Governor in Georgia thanks to his ties to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed’s once stratospheric career has come fully crashing back to earth.
Once hailed as “The Right Hand of God,” Reed built the Christian Coalition into one of the most powerful political organizations in the country in the mid-1990s, only to watch its, and his, influence wane after backing Bob Dole in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Reed left the Coalition, which went into a tailspin, while he set up his own public relations and public affairs firm, Century Strategies, in Georgia with an eye on running for office. Things looked good, with Reed becoming chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in 2002 and serving a key role in the Bush campaign in 2004, until his shady business dealings with Jack Abramoff came to light and doomed his chance of winning elected office.
Since then, Reed has more or less fallen off the public radar, though he has been spotted occasionally offering analysis on CNN, stumping with Mitt Romney, and offering political advice to John McCain. But with his political career seemingly at a standstill, it looks like Reed has decided to try out a new career as the author of a new political thriller:
As the general election approaches, a contentious battle for the Democratic nomination continues right up to the convention between the two remaining candidates. The Republican contender is a military hawk, loathed by the religious right. And the country has the possibility of the first African-American president.
Campaign 2008? No, the plot for "Dark Horse," a political thriller by Ralph Reed.
Mr. Reed, the 46-year-old former head of the Christian Coalition and a onetime darling of the Republican Party who fell from grace, has penned a work of fiction that mirrors the current political landscape. But he put his own twist on the race. The defeated Democratic candidate becomes a born-again Christian and wins the White House as an independent.
Of course, just because Reed is taking a break from his political work doesn’t mean that his new book doesn’t serve the very narrative he has been honing for two decades:
In an interview, Mr. Reed calls the book "a fable of sorts." "If the Republican Party were to try to chart a course without the faith-based constituency that has become critical to its success," Mr. Reed says, "it will find itself in permanent minority status.”
Reed told the Wall Street Journal that this novel was the "most honest book, without question, I've written." Considering that Reed has penned several books in the past, all of them nonfiction, it seems a little curious that he considers his one work of fiction to be the “most honest” thing he’s ever written.
The rise in popularity of the online, collaborative reference Wikipedia has posed a challenge to librarians and teachers who are trying to teach rigorous research methods to high school students. But while these educators have directed their students to use more traditional sources or, at least, to read Wikipedia with skepticism, one teacher decided the solution was to let his students write their own encyclopedia.
That teacher was Andy Schlafly—son of the famous culture warrior Phyllis Schlafly—the class was a group of home-school students, and the result, Conservapedia, immediately become the Internet equivalent of a laughingstock. The problem according to Schlafly was not Wikipedia’s fundamental unreliability—by design, there is no authoritative editing and factual inaccuracies may creep in despite a vigilant volunteer base—but its supposed bias against America and Christianity. Thus, Conservapedia’s obsession with right-wing politics, evolution, and homosexuality.
In spite of the ridicule, Schlafly and his young followers soldiered on, and they are still at it today. Eagle Forum just released a video promoting Conservapedia as an affirming alternative to the Wikipedia world:
STUDENT: They have an article about evolution, and when conservative or Christian editors tried to add information to that about the other side of the argument and the argument for creationism or Intelligent Design, it was censored or taken out of there.
SCHLAFLY: On Conservapedia, you’re going to get the other side of that. You’re going to get evidence against evolution. Same thing for homosexuality. We bring in all the health harm that’s caused by homosexuality, all the biblical quotes against it—you get that on Conservapedia. You’re not going to get that sort of fair treatment on the Wikipedia entries.
“I don’t have to live with what’s printed in the newspaper. I don’t have to take what’s written in Wikipedia,” said Schlafly. “We’ve got our own way to express knowledge.” Whether it’s the use of “A.D.” instead of “A.C.E.” to mark dates, or anti-gay propaganda instead of science, Schlafly’s “way of knowing” offers the Religious Right familiarity, and a respite from the oppressive world of newspapers and reference works. Or, as Stephen Colbert termed it, their own Wikiality.
You know that something odd is happening within the Republican Party when a high-profile Religious Right leader is publicly advising John McCain NOT to seek the endorsement of other high-profile Religious Right leaders.
And you know that something really odd is happening when that figure is Ralph Reed, whose own political career tanked thanks to McCain’s own investigation into the corrupt world of Jack Abramoff. Yet here Reed is, nearly two years later, doling out campaign advice to McCain as the candidate struggles to overcome the controversy generated by the endorsements of John Hagee and Rod Parsley:
John McCain should stop seeking endorsements from evangelical pastors and instead appeal directly to their church members, said Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition executive director.
“John McCain doesn't need to be standing at a bank of microphones next to a particular leader,'' Reed said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's “Political Capital With Al Hunt,'' to be broadcast today. “My advice would be stay away from endorsements and stick to the issues.''
Reed, 46, said McCain's strategy of wooing evangelicals shouldn't be “top down,'' and his meetings with leaders and activists should be held in private.
“He needs to connect with them'' by touting his opposition to same-sex marriage and his anti-abortion record, said Reed, a regional director of President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
McCain has made “some real progress'' in repairing his relationship with evangelicals, Reed said. He cited a May 6 speech at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in which McCain promised to choose judges in the mold of U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Both were among the five justices who voted in June 2007 to weaken the senator's landmark campaign-finance law.
“It was one of the best speeches on judicial conservative philosophy from a Republican nominee in my career,'' Reed said.
McCain clearly needs some help on figuring out how best to woo the right-wing base he needs in November, but it’s not clear that he should be taking advice from a guy who lost his own Republican primary race because of his history of exploiting that base for professional gain.
It’s been a while since Pat Robertson’s natural disaster obsession has led him to predict the end times. In fact, during “700 Club” coverage of the cyclone that hit Burma and Chinese earthquake, he almost seemed to be restraining himself. But as tornadoes racked the Midwest, Robertson apparently couldn’t help himself, suggesting that these disasters may be “the birth pangs of a new order”:
Normally, people love it when other people link to their websites because it means they get more attention, more traffic, and their message reaches more people,. But the American Family Association has apparently decided that it doesn’t want the kind of attention our Right Wing Watch blog has been sending their way..
The other day we noticed that all of our links back to the AFA’s OneNewsNow website no longer take readers to the link in question, but instead redirect them to the Good Person Test (go ahead and click the OneNewsNow link above or any of these other links to see what we mean.)
So instead of being taken to a specific OneNewsNow article, our readers are directed to a website that challenges them to take a quiz to determine if they are indeed a “good person.” Not surprisingly, the answer is “no” and that they are in fact going to hell.
Answer a question about honesty and you are told you are a liar; answer a question about lust and you are told you are an adulterer; answer a question about anger and you are told you are a murderer:
And don’t think of trying to fool the test either, because if you claim to have never stolen, been angry, dishonest, lustful, or taken the Lord’s name in vain, it calls you a liar:
The end result of the quiz is that no matter how you answer the questions, you are told that you do, in fact, deserve to go straight to hell:
We’ve noticed that this special redirecting service is something AFA seems to have reserved for Right Wing Watch, because, for example, Street Prophets excerpted one of our posts the other day that included a link to a OneNewsNow article that, from their blog, takes readers to the article quoting Gary Bauer whereas those clicking through from our post get redirected.
So until AFA removes this clever little redirect, we’ll just have to stop linking to them because there is no way we’ll ever be able to figure out some sort of work-around.
CNS reports that a slew of conservative bigwigs—Limbaugh, Norquist, Bill Donohue, Ralph Reed, Morton Blackwell—really like Bobby Jindal. Norquist: “Bobby Jindal is a great American. He is great on guns, great on taxes, a Roman Catholic, a Southerner and an Indian-American. Bobby Jindal would be great for the GOP and perfect for McCain.” Crist, on the other hand, does not energize conservatives like Connie Mackay: “We have concerns about Governor Crist. While he claims to be pro-life he has not been an advocate…We would not be supportive of his candidacy for Vice-President…I think it would not help him. McCain needs to continue to try and energize the base. I think that would certainly not energize the base and I think I could go one step further and say it would de-energize the base."
Steve Hotze, one of Huckabee’s more extreme Texas backers, freaks out over the California marriage ruling: “What if you do not approve of a person's sexual orientation? Why should you be deprived of your discretion on whether or not to work with or hire that person? What about the rest of us? Why should your right to freedom of association be infringed upon?...In Massachusetts the Catholic adoption agencies were forced to close because the state mandated that they had to allow homosexuals to adopt children. In Canada, it is a hate crime to speak against homosexuality. What about the rights of those who do not approve of these activities?”
Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family weighs in on the continuing story of Colorado’s SB 200, the bill which seeks to “normalize all varieties of sexual orientation” with coed restrooms and fundamentally alter Colorado’s culture: “With SB 200, however, we no longer have two 'sexes'; we enter a brave new world with a myriad of 'sexual orientations' that must not be discriminated against, upon pain of the substantial civil and criminal penalties contained in the bill.”
Organizations:Focus on the Family
Pat Robertson, Who Said 'The Lord Told Me' that 'Romney Will Win,' Urges Viewers to Beware False Prophets
5/9/13 @ 1:00pm
Bachmann: 9/11 and Benghazi Were God's Judgment
5/10/13 @ 12:16pm
Robertson Tells Woman Whose Husband Cheated to Remember 'He's a Man' and be Grateful She Lives in America
5/15/13 @ 12:30pm
Rick Perry Urges Boy Scouts to Oppose Gay 'Pop Culture' Like Sam Houston Resisted Slavery
5/6/13 @ 11:00am
Bryan Fischer Won't Answer a Simple 'Yes' or 'No' Question
5/9/13 @ 11:37am
- Why does @Mediaite keep cutting the logo off our videos & posting them without crediting us? t.co/6GXHHAimYf t.co/842qAx70qS4 hours ago
- RT @BryanJFischer Homosexuals violate BSA oath to be "physically strong" - homosexual conduct the number one risk factor for HIV/AIDS.8 hours ago
- RT @BryanJFischer Is BSA discriminating against homosexual behavior? Absolutely. Should they? Absolutely. It's immoral, unnatural, unhealthy8 hours ago