Brian Tashman's blog

Anti-Defamation League Condemns Tony Perkins For 'Using Holocaust Imagery' To Attack Gay Rights

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League released a statement yesterday condemning Family Research Council President Tony Perkins for warning that supporters of gay rights will soon “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians” to camps, rebuking his remarks as “offensive and inappropriate.”

Tony Perkins’ invocation of the Holocaust in his statement referring to a judge’s finding that a baker unlawfully discriminated against gay customers is offensive and inappropriate.

There is no comparison between contemporary American political issues and the actions of Hitler’s regime during the Holocaust. Such inappropriate analogies only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.

We urge Perkins to apologize and to refrain from using Holocaust imagery to make his point.

Perkins, of course, is far from the first Religious Right activist to describe gay people, who were among the victims of the Holocaust, as modern-day Nazis.

You can listen to Perkins’ remarks, first reported by Right Wing Watch, here:

Eric Cantor Pushes GOP To The Edge Of A Cliff, Falls Off

The headline of a New York Times article responding to Eric Cantor’s startling primary defeat last night read, “Cantor’s Loss a Bad Omen for Moderates.” That would be true if there were still moderates in the House Republican Conference to speak of.

But there aren’t, and you can thank Eric Cantor for that.

House Republicans are now heavily skewed to the right, including a large wing that refuses to ever collaborate with President Obama or congressional Democrats on anything. Cantor, of course, was one of the chief architects of the GOP’s hardline politicking and far-right shift.

Cantor helped sink bipartisan debt deals, including the 2011 budget “grand bargain,” and engineered the Republican strategy of manufacturing fiscal crisis after crisis by putting a ransom on must-pass fiscal bills.

As Bill Burton told the New Yorker in 2011, “Cantor has had an outsized influence on how poisonously partisan Washington has been these last couple years.”

Cantor also was behind the Republican Party’s decision following the 2012 election disaster to resist any calls to moderate or begin working, even slightly, with Obama. Instead, the GOP moved to rebrand itself by attempting to change its image, beating back on the (accurate) perception that it had become an extremist, uncompromisingly ideological entity.

Vanity Fair just this month ran a piece on Cantor’s attempt to seem more moderate, respectable and bipartisan — even while sticking to his old extreme policies. “[I]f people see you for what you really are, that’s a failure on your part,” Michael Kinsley wrote of Cantor’s rebranding attempt. “Success is when people see you as what you wish you were.”

In March, the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza noted that Cantor, “the creator of a strategy to oppose and obstruct the Obama agenda” who has a “reputation as a Tea Party leader,” only sought to make “short-term adjustments in public relations” rather than to temper his increasingly unpopular, and unhinged, fanaticism:

Since the 2012 elections, the Republicans have been divided between those who believe their policies are the problem and those who believe they just need better marketing—between those who believe they need to make better pizza and those who think they just need a more attractive box. Cantor, who is known among his colleagues as someone with strategic intelligence and a knack for political positioning, argues that it’s the box.

By refusing to temper — and even encouraging — the party’s sharp far-right swing, Cantor helped to fashion a party that views even the perception of bipartisanship as blasphemy.

Take immigration, for example: While Cantor was actually blocking the House from voting on immigration reform legislation, he still tried to make it seem that the party was open to some reforms, knowing that a majority of Americans and the quickly growing Latino community strongly favored reform legislation. Cantor tried to make the GOP’s strict stance against any immigration reform palatable to the public, which eventually allowed his primary challenger to campaign against his supposed support for “amnesty.”

After encouraging hard opposition to any fiscal deals with Obama unless the president caved to their every demand, Cantor paved the way for a GOP where simply voting to lift the debt limit in order to avoid economic disaster or supporting relief for hurricane victims gives you the much-dishonored title of RINO, “Republican In Name Only.”

Cantor pushed the party so far to the right that even political posturing that had little to no effect on actual policy was too much for GOP primary voters, and now the politician often seen as the more conservative alternative to Speaker Boehner has become a target of the militant wing he helped create.

Mat Staver Unable To Explain How Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Different From Other Forms Of Discrimination

Testifying before a House committee today about supposed threats to religious freedom in the U.S., Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver struggled to defend his support for allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler grilled Staver about his view that it would be wrong for a wedding photographer to discriminate against a Jewish couple because of a religious objection, but that the photographer is free to discriminate against a same-sex couple.

First, Staver tried to avoid the question by saying a photographer wouldn’t refuse to work for a Jewish wedding, but ultimately agreed that such anti-Jewish discrimination is in fact a violation of the law.

“I don’t see any difference at all” between refusing a Jewish couple and a gay couple, Nadler said.

He continued: “I’m holding out myself in commerce and my religious belief is that I don’t want black people or Jewish people or gay people in my restaurant and the federal government says that is discrimination, is that a violation of the freedom of religion?”

“No,” Staver conceded.

Ted Cruz And Rick Santorum To Join Iowa Pastor Who Predicted Marriage Equality Would Increase The Murder Rate, Destroy America

Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.

Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.

At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”

Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”

The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”

“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.

Allen West Blames Liberals For Radio Show Caller Who Wanted KKK To Kill Obama

During an appearance last week on “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” former congressman Allen West responded to a caller who said “the Ku Klux Klan ought to hang” President Obama by blaming liberals, alleging that the caller was a left-wing “plant” trying to make conservatives look bad.

“This is what they do, they’re very smart like that,” West said, before once again demanding Obama’s impeachment over the Bergdahl exchange.

West also wondered if Obama is sane, telling Rios that the Bergdahl exchange “really questions his competence and his sanity.”

Pat Robertson Thinks 'Obama Has Just Gone Crazy'

Today on the “700 Club,” Pat Robertson blamed President Obama for the increase in unaccompanied children, predominantly from Central American countries, who are crossing the southern border, arguing that it “obviously is being done by the highest levels of this government.”

“It’s like Obama has just gone crazy,” Robertson said. “Is this the way to get immigration reform? I don’t believe it.”

Vic Eliason Warns Marriage Equality 'Defiles' People And 'Turns Them Into Perverts'

Vic Eliason of the Wisconsin-based group Voice of Christian Youth America was not pleased with a federal judge’s decision last week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a point which he expounded on at length on yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk.”

“This same-sex marriage is a branch off of — it’s promiscuity, it’s passion out of control, it’s a violation of natural order, it’s a violation of literally — you cannot procreate — and they have literally defiled the very definitions of who people are and turned them into perverts,” he said.

Eliason’s guest, Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action, agreed with his assessment and claimed the judge effectively said she “knows better than God Almighty.”

Janet Porter Wants Republicans 'Nationwide' To Adopt Texas GOP's Ex-Gay Resolution

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action is so happy about the Republican Party of Texas’s decision to embrace ex-gay therapy as part of its new far-right platform that she wants similar language endorsing the pseudo-science “adopted nationwide”:

She might find allies in Tony Perkins and David Barton, members of the 2012 Republican National Committee platform committee who are both vocal supporters of ex-gay therapy.

Barton, a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, bragged in 2012 of getting 70 of his 71 resolutions approved by the RNC, and Perkins released a statement yesterday praising the Texas GOP’s ex-gay resolution.

In 2012, Perkins claimed that his Family Research Council joined forces with Eagle Forum to shape the national GOP platform. Eagle Forum is the same group that successfully added the ex-gay language to the Texas GOP platform.

Alex Jones Warns Civil War Is Coming After Las Vegas Shooting

Alex Jones has dedicated today’s edition of InfoWars to blaming the Las Vegas shooting on a government conspiracy and explaining how he would have planned his own false flag operation if he worked as a government agent.

Naturally, he predicted that all of the supposed smears against himself and the Tea Party will cause more right-wing conspiracy theorists to carry out violent attacks like the one in Las Vegas and eventually bring about a civil war that will leave millions dead.

Rick Santorum Seems To Think His Movie Was More Successful Than 'Noah'

Despite the fact that Rick Santorum’s movie, “The Christmas Candle,” made just $2.3 million, well short of its $7 million budget, he nonetheless claims that it was an “authentic” film that was much more successful than Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.”

“One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn’t true, wasn’t authentic,” the former senator and presidential candidate said of the movie that grossed well over $300 million.

The former senator told Christian Today that his company, EchoLight Studios, can help “reclaim the public square” and make the church “the centre of culture.”

"Popular culture has an impact on the government, on culture and the direction that policies take. As a moviegoer who appreciates good quality art and entertainment, it's always been an interest of mine to see that impact," he says.

He took up the opportunity to lead the team at EchoLight after being approached by a friend in the business who wanted to make movies "consistent with the guiding principles of our country - in particular, portraying faith in an authentic way to movie-going audiences".

"That had a really great appeal to me, to make movies based on universal truths and that deal with faith in a way that is more representative of how it actually affects people and their lives, as opposed to the contrivance born of other, Hollywood, films," Santorum says.



Santorum is certain that popular culture is the means to effect change. "I use this phrase all the time: that politics is downstream from culture," he insists.

"If we want to impact the political system and shape the country, then we have to reclaim the public square and make an impact in popular culture."

The focus of EchoLights, which will debut one of its first movies, Hoovey, next year, is to "turn the industry on its head" and use churches to premiere films, rather than leave them as an afterthought. Santorum explains: "We want the Church to be the centre of culture, which it has been missing...We're about enabling the Church to do what it was designed to do – to be salt and light.



"One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn't true, wasn't authentic," he says.
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