Brian Tashman's blog

Evangelical Official Criticizes Bachmann & Huckabee For 'Outrageous' Iran Deal Rhetoric

In an interview with the Christian Post today, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, the chairman of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons, hailed the Iran deal for offering a “high confidence of inhibiting any move by Iran to a nuclear weapon.”

When the newspaper asked Wigg-Stevenson for his reaction to Mike Huckabee’s claim that the nuclear accord will usher in a second Holocaust and Michele Bachmann’s allegation that it fulfilled Last Days prophecy by paving the way for “World War III,” the World Evangelical Alliance official was not amused.

Noting that many Jewish leaders support the deal, he described Huckabee’s remarks as “pretty outrageous” and “wildly irresponsible,” and expressed bewilderment at Bachmann’s End Times claims: “I don't even know what to say to that.”

"I think that kind of rhetoric is pretty outrageous. The Holocaust is a living memory and I think that because it was Christian Europe that perpetrated the Holocaust on Jews, Christian have an ethical responcibility [sic] forever to take seriously future existential threats to the Jewish people," he said.

While criticizing Iran's denial of how devastating the Holocaust truly was, the WEA chair on Nuclear Weapons said that it is an "outrageous stretch of rhetoric for Huackbee [sic] to invoke the Holocaust based on a treaty that the vast majority of arms control experts in the United States have said is a good treaty."

He added that the GOP presidential candidate's remarks were "wildly irresponsible," and pointed out that there is divided opinion in Israel on whether the nuclear deal is a good development or not.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has heavily condemned the lifting of sanctions on Iran, a group of 340 rabbis from "all streams of Judaism" signed a letter in support of the Iran deal earlier this week, opposing the idea that the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement.

As for the idea that the deal will be the fulfillment of biblical End Times prophecy, as former GOP presidential candidate and former Minnesota Rep. Bachmann suggested, Wigg-Stevenson responded: "I don't even know what to say to that."

As a former Baptist minister, who told CP he has since become an Anglican, Wigg-Stevenson noted that "people have for hundreds and hundreds of years been pointing to current events as sure indicators that the End Times are upon us."

He added that statements like Bachmann's are "nothing new," and up to this point have never turned out to be correct.

He said that ultimately the Iran deal bars Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and said that "so how that brings about the End Times is beyond me."

Andrea Lafferty: Affirming Trans Kids 'The Ultimate Act Of Child Abuse'

On Monday, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition called in to “Sandy Rios In The Morning” from Bentonville, Arkansas, where the school board was weighing adding protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to its employment nondiscrimination code. (The board ultimately voted against the measure.)

Lafferty told Rios that she came to Bentonville to warn that such a move would “put psychologically unhealthy teachers in the classroom” and ultimately grant legal protections to LGBT students, which she described as a danger. After Lafferty claimed that trans youth experience higher suicide rates because they are “psychologically unhealthy and unstable,” Rios likened affirmation of trans children to affirming people’s porn addictions or extramarital affairs: “We don’t say it’s okay, it’s just the way you are.”

“There are studies, the federal government is funding a study of transgendered [sic] kids, but it’s more to promote it,” Lafferty said. “To me, it’s the ultimate act of child abuse to not try and really help your child through this and to become whole but they are psychologically unhealthy.”

Scott Lively: LGBT Rights Brought Us To The 'Twilight Zone'

Religious Right activists Peter LaBarbera and Scott Lively appeared on “Crosstalk” yesterday to discuss the “massive push underway to undermine Christianity and to change the moral fabric of our nation” through LGBT rights.

“This is very spiritual warfare at the most intense level,” Lively said regarding the recent legal defeat for the ex-gay group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), which was found guilty of violating consumer fraud laws. “The idea that any person cannot reorient their sexuality to the design of their own body is preposterous and to win a lawsuit on the theme that it’s consumer fraud to suggest that it’s possible, we’ve entered into the Twilight Zone here.”

After host Jim Schneider asked the two about transgender White House staffer Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, whom Schneider made a point of misgendering, Lively said that “we’re a mockery around the world because of this.”

“I’m actually a little surprised they moved so fast into transgenderism when they still haven’t finished mopping up on just simple homosexuality,” he added. “And I was especially shocked when they went into the military and said they were going to actually legitimize transsexuals in the U.S. military. What a disaster in the making. It’s mindboggling to see what is going on here.”

Pat Robertson: Gays Can Never Be Happy, Call My Network For 'Freedom' From Homosexuality

Today, Pat Robertson’s news program “The 700 Club” aired a story about one man’s “struggle with homosexuality,” which ended, supposedly, after the man joined a “support group for Christians caught in the gay and lesbian lifestyle,” became abstinent, and eventually married a woman and founded a church.

Following the report, Robertson lamented that “it used to be that psychologists would tell people how to come out of this, now they tell them how to stay in it and be happy.” “Well, you’ll never be happy unless you’re happy in Jesus,” he said.

Later, Robertson urged gay viewers to call his Christian Broadcasting Network to speak with someone who can tell them how to receive deliverance: “If you’re into the homosexual lifestyle and you want freedom, somebody is here to love you.”

Linda Harvey: Transgender People Are Possessed By Demons

Mission America’s Linda Harvey is outraged that many journalists refer to transgender people by their preferred pronouns, telling readers of her weekly WorldNetDaily column that they must fight back any time they “hear a so-called journalist or government official refer to any male like Bruce Jenner as ‘she’” because “our children deserve a heritage of sane pronouns.”

Harvey, attacking the media for “inventing gender fables,” calls the use of preferred pronouns “untrue, inappropriate, cruel, disrespectful and hypocritical.”

She claims that such “naked propaganda” is suppressing the truth that trans people are really just possessed by the Devil: “There’s one tragic explanation for such pervasive delusion: Demonic deception may be active in the lives of these people and their advocates. Prayers are needed instead of lies.”

The next time you hear a so-called journalist or government official refer to any male like Bruce Jenner as “she,” please scream, then blast an email to demand that truth be told.

Our children deserve a heritage of sane pronouns.

If reporters aspire to a higher plane than naked propaganda, they need to stop inventing gender fables and describe objectively verifiable attributes of actual people.

Responsible journalists don’t make up the street addresses and ages of people for news reporting. Why invent gender? This popular mythology is no more justifiable than picking new names for people, variable facts in a police investigation, or inventing witnesses to crime who don’t exist.

Bruce Jenner is a guy. So is American traitor Bradley (not “Chelsea”) Manning. So are “Laverne” Cox, confused star of “Orange is the New Black,” and “Jazz” Jennings, teen TV personality. These are males – and the use of female names and pronouns is untrue, inappropriate, cruel, disrespectful and hypocritical.

Chastity Bono is a woman, not a troubled “man” called “Chaz.” There is no “he” in the reality of this person’s life, only in her public mask.

What is the problem with claiming one’s authentic sex? There’s one tragic explanation for such pervasive delusion: Demonic deception may be active in the lives of these people and their advocates. Prayers are needed instead of lies.

Mike Huckabee Jokes About Clinton Murder Conspiracy Theories, Hillary Leaving Nuke Codes At Chipotle

Earlier today, Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee if a joke he told about living to tell the tale of defeating the Arkansas “Clinton machine” had anything to do with the persistent rumors from the far right that Bill and Hillary Clinton are behind several murders (including that of a cat).

While Huckabee refused to make the connection directly, Malzberg kept pushing him on whether he was referencing “the people who didn’t survive to talk about it.”

“I’ll let the listener decide, but I think most people when they heard me say that knew that my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek,” Huckabee replied. “I’m not making reference into anything in particular. Whether I was speaking metaphorically of political surviving or otherwise, I will leave it to the listener.”

Huckabee later said that Hillary Clinton is “an ideal person to run against for the Republicans” since she is “such a damaged and wounded candidate without credibility or trust.”

“So let’s hope she stays in [the race], I don’t see how she can convince the American people that they can trust her with the nuclear launch codes when she might leave them at a Chipotle restaurant sitting at the table,” he added.

Wait. Is Ben Carson Pro-Choice?

Ben Carson has made a point of courting Religious Right voters, suggesting that God called on him to run for the GOP presidential nomination and perfecting the right-wing persecution narrative about how conservatives are being repressed by a Nazi-like government and politically correct culture. It seemed that it went without saying that Carson would emerge as a staunch opponent of abortion rights.

However, as Politico’s Katie Glueck pointed out in an article today, Carson and his campaign have been using the exact same language used by a good many supporters of abortion rights, saying that while abortion may be objectionable, it should not be outlawed.

The attention to Carson’s ambiguous position on abortion rights comes after it was revealed that Carson once used aborted fetuses in his medical research, to which he offered an incomprehensible explanation. Back in 1992, he disavowed an anti-choice campaign ad that featured his remarks, telling the Baltimore Sun at the time that he did not believe in legal sanctions on abortion and had referred patients to doctors who offer abortion services:

“As a physician who does not believe in abortion, when faced with a patient who has severe medical problems, I would refer someone for an abortion,” Carson told the Baltimore Sun in September of 1992. “I believe that person needs to hear both sides … I would never advocate it’s illegal for a person to get an abortion. I think in the long run we do a lot of harm when we bludgeon people.”

In an interview with Glueck, a spokesman for Carson’s campaign made a similar argument, saying that while Carson personally opposes abortion, he doesn’t think the laws should be changed to take away that choice. 

We can’t imagine that this position will sit well with Carson’s enthusiastic Religious Right fan base. But we also aren’t sure that Carson’s campaign even knows what his position on abortion rights is.

“He believes in quality medical care, No. 1, and secondly, he believes in people making their own decisions based on facts and information,” said Carson communications director Doug Watts, when asked whether Carson stands by his previous decisions to refer women whose fetuses had genetic defects to doctors who provide abortions. He does, Watts said.

“He believes people ought to have all the facts available to them, but he is steadfastly opposed to abortion,” Watts continued. “Referring it on does not mean he is advocating it, he’s advocating they are getting qualified medical supervision. He has always believed that the battle over abortion had to be waged in the hearts and minds of Americans, that you cannot legislate morality. But he also believes we’re winning the debate.”

Many pro-abortion rights politicians also personally have qualms about the procedure, but don’t feel it’s their role to pursue legal restrictions on the measure. Pressed repeatedly to name a legal restriction Carson supports, Watts demurred even as he stressed that the candidate is adamantly anti-abortion.

“It’s not a matter of legality, because there is legal abortion, but you’re asking for his point of view, where his restrictions are,” he said in a follow-up call. “Restrictions are not necessarily in his mind determined by laws. He believes that life begins at conception and that he is opposed to abortion after that.”

Carson has, in fact, come out in support of a bill in Congress that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, and he has said that cases in which giving birth endangers the life of the mother are rare — but should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. But Watts reiterated that the legal realm is not Carson’s focus.

“It is legal,” Watts said of abortion. “And as I say, he does not think the issue is one that can be legislated as much as having to win the hearts and minds of people, to discover the morality or immorality of abortion. He is unequivocally, completely, positively opposed to abortion.”

He thinks it is not something that is legislated,” Watts said of reining in abortion. “There’s been all kinds of laws over the years on abortion, some far more harsh than we have today, some less harsh. But what’s going on, to properly address the issue in his mind, is speaking to people in their hearts and minds so they realize the immorality of the act.” (emphasis added)

Religious Right Lawyer Debunks Religious Right's Favorite Talking Point On Gay Marriage

Anti-gay activists have claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down same-sex marriage bans in Obergefell v. Hodges will lead to a tidal wave of oppression and persecution — just as they did following the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. Struggling to find the “victims” of gay marriage, Religious Right activists have pointed to a small handful of wedding cake bakers or photographers who were sued after denying service to gay couples.

One of these bakers, Jack Phillips, recently lost his appeal after he was found to be in violation of Colorado’s nondiscrimination law. After the courts ruled against Phillips for a second time, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Fox News pundit Todd Starnes linked the ruling to the Obgerefell decision, even though the lawsuit against the baker was filed prior to Obgerefell and even before Colorado legalized same-sex marriage (the couple was married in Massachusetts).

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Nicolle Martin, who is representing Phillips, appeared yesterday on Perkins’ radio show, where she spoke to guest host Craig James, another FRC official, about the case. (When Martin spoke to Perkins about the case last year, Perkins speculated that it could be a forerunner to an anti-Christian holocaust, asking when the government would “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.”)

When James asked Martin if Phillips would have “prevailed if the Supreme Court had not redefined marriage,” the attorney flatly answered, “No.”

“This court used decisions that predated Obgerefell,” she said, adding, “Obgerefell has nothing to do with the First Amendment and the right of all Americans to live and work according to their conscience, it has nothing to do with the Free Exercise Clause, it does not affect those fundamental rights, the pre-eminent civil rights laws of our nation, it doesn’t affect those laws in anyway.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom attorney’s statement pretty much rebuts the Religious Right’s favorite talking point about how the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling “abolished” the First Amendment.

Rick Santorum: Liberals 'Rewriting History' To 'Fit Their Ideology' Like In Communist China, USSR

On Friday, Rick Santorum spoke to Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson about his recent debate with Rachel Maddow in which he disregarded the principle of judicial review, pointing to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson as presidents who defied the court in order to “do what is right.” This led Mickelson to ask him about the Iowa Democratic Party’s recent decision to rename their “Jefferson-Jackson Dinner” because the two men were slaveholders.

“This is what the left does, the left has done this from the days of the Soviet Union and Communist China, is they erase history and what history they have they re-edit it and redefine it into something that is fundamentally untrue to fit their ideology,” Santorum said. “If you are trying to decide what’s true, conservativism and traditional American values or this new progressivism, if progressivism is true, why are they going back and rewriting history to make it match what they believe in? That should raise some question marks.”

Clearly Rick Santorum has never heard of David Barton.

Pat Robertson: Christians Forced To 'Bow Down' Before Gays Who Are Bent On Destroying Us

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson claimed that “left-wing so-called progressives” have “hijacked the Constitution and control the court system of America,” which has ushered in judicial “tyranny” with rulings such the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. As a result, America’s Christian majority “are being made to bow down before the two percent who are homosexual.”

“We have surrendered the great freedom we have in this nation to an oligarchy of non-elected judges,” he said. “This is a free country.” The televangelist especially took issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the Obergefell decision: “These five, and Justice Kennedy is off on this kick about the personhood and sanctity of personhood and being gay is your self-identity and all that baloney, it’s not in the Constitution but he’s come up with all of these rules.”

“Why am I upset about this? We better be upset,” Robertson added.

Robertson further alleged that “homosexuals, gays, lesbians, transgender, whatever you call them,” are not satisfied with “acceptance.”

LGBT people, he said, are not “content,” despite the fact that they have “job protection” (which isn’t actually the case) and “homosexual marriage is protected by the Constitution,” adding that “the founders would have been turning in their graves if they thought such a thing was being said.”

“They now are on a vendetta to destroy everyone who disagree with them,” he warned. “They are going to do everything to destroy everyone who disagrees with this point of view.”

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