Josh Glasstetter's blog

Paul Ryan Still Believes in Forcing Rape Victims to Give Birth to Their Rapists' Children

In an interview yesterday with Pittsburgh’s KDKA, Paul Ryan took the opportunity to stand behind his record of trying to force rape victims who get pregnant to give birth to their rapists’ children. Ryan, speaking with KDKA political editor Jon Delano, said he would follow the lead of Romney, who supports an exception for rape. But he made it clear that he doesn't personally support one.

Ryan’s record on reproductive rights is virtually identical to that of Todd “legitimate rape” Akin. Both oppose abortion in the case of rape, and the GOP platform committee yesterday reaffirmed this position on behalf of the entire party.

But still, you might have expected Ryan to back away from the issue during his first interview since Akin captured the spotlight. Nope, Ryan’s a true believer. Pregnant rape victims be damned:
 
Delano: “Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?”
 
Ryan: “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
 
Delano: “Despite Ryan’s views, Romney says he will allow exceptions for rape and incest."
 
Delano: "Ryan says women won’t fall for these side issues."
 
Ryan: "And I don’t think they’re going to take the bait of all these distractions that the President is trying to throw at them."

 

Anti-Abortion Group Calls on Todd Akin to Withdraw from Senate Race

Earlier this evening, the Christian Defense Coalition became the first anti-abortion group to call on Todd Akin to withdraw from the Senate race in Missouri. In a statement distributed by the right-wing Christian Newswire, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, described Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” as “offensive, repugnant and troubling.” 

Mahoney said that while he respects “the record of Congressman Akin, especially in the pro-life community,” his comments were “so offensive and indefensible” that he must “assume the full consequences and responsibility for making them.” He can do so, Mahoney said, by “removing himself from the Missouri Senate race.” Mahoney also expressed his concern that if Akin doesn’t withdraw, “these comments will follow the Congressman throughout the entire campaign.”
 
Mahoney is not what you would call a liberal. He was a longtime associate of Randall Terry, the extremist anti-abortion activist and former leader of Operation Rescue. In February, Mahoney was arrested in front of the White House while protesting President Obama’s health care bill. In March he participated in an effort to “encircle” the Supreme Court and pray for Obamacare to be struck down. And next month in Charlotte, he plans to lead protests against Obama and offer “live ultrasounds” throughout the city.

 

Paul Ryan to Headline Todd Akin Love Fest Next Month

Earlier today, Mitt Romney described Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” as “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.” In a separate interview, Romney said, “I can't defend what he said, I can't defend him.”

Romney may not be able to defend Akin, but his running mate Paul Ryan knows some people who can. He’s set to headline next month’s Values Voter Summit alongside a who’s who of Akin defenders and endorsers.
 
The event’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, leapt to Akin’s defense. The group’s political action committee complained today that Akin was “getting a very bad break here” and pledged to “support him fully and completely.”
 
Speaking from the RNC platform committee meeting, FRC president Tony Perkins warned Sen. Scott Brown to back off from his criticism of Akin: “He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow.”
 
Meanwhile Akin’s own website advertises his “100% lifetime rating” from FRC.
 
 
The American Family Association is another major sponsor. The group’s spokesperson, Bryan Fischer said that Akin was “absolutely right.” Continuing, he said that the trauma of a “real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape” would make it impossible or difficult for a woman to conceive. Meanwhile, of the high-profile endorsers listed on Akin’s website, Mike Huckabee and Reps. Michele Bachmann, Steve King and Jim Jordan will be featured speakers at the Values Voter Summit.
 
While Akin himself has tried in various ways to distance himself from his own comments, his supporters at FRC, AFA, and elsewhere have enthusiastically embraced them. There is no doubt that they will use the Values Voter Summit to buttress their newly minted martyr.
 
The real question is whether the Romney campaign will have Ryan go ahead and headline the event. Ryan, who has previously sought to redefine rape and ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest, would definitely fit in. But the problem is that he might fit in too well.

 

FRC Calls SPLC 'Evil,' 'Anti-American,' 'Dangerous,' 'Anti-Christian,' 'Anti-Semitic,' and 'Marxist'

On Thursday, the day after his organization was violently attacked, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins falsely accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of giving the suspected gunman “license” for the assault. He cautioned that the “Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”

On Friday, FRC’s second in command – Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin – appeared on the Glenn Beck Program and called the SPLC an “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization.” Continuing, he said that the SPLC is an “evil group of people” who “are dangerous.”
 
How’s this for “reckless use of terminology”?
 
[CNN] actually tried to justify the 'hate group' label that was placed on the Family Research Council by this anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is just an evil group of people. They actually tried to justify this “hate group” label that they gave FRC.
 
These people are dangerous, they are evil, and my question is, Glenn, who are they to have any authority to declare anybody a ‘hate group.’
 
And remember, they also called Hitler right-wing, as well. I don’t mean SPLC, but people today on the left refer to Hitler as right-wing and compare conservatives to Hitler. Hitler was anything but right-wing. Remember he was National Socialist Party.
As Kyle pointed out last Thursday, the SPLC labeled FRC a “hate group” as a result of its “false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians.” Now Boykin is getting in the act with “false and demonizing propaganda” about the SPLC itself.
 
Boykin, for those who aren’t familiar, became Tony Perkins’ right-hand man in July. He has a long track record of bigoted rhetoric and promoting wild-eyed conspiracy theories. Among other things, he’s said that:
Boykin has previously argued that Hitler wasn’t a right-wing extremist, but in fact was a leftist. This time he trotted out that argument to show why organizations like the SPLC supposedly aren’t credible authorities on what constitutes a “hate group.” In the past, he has said that American Jews don’t understand Hitler and mistakenly back Democrats as a result.

 

Why Would a ‘Mainstream Conservative Think Tank’ Praise the ‘Kill the Gays’ Law?

Dana Milbank writes in a column in today’s Washington Post, “Hateful speech on hate groups,” that the Southern Poverty Law Center “should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen.” He’s talking about the Family Research Council, which he describes as “a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer” which “advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.” Going further, Milbank says it’s “reckless” for groups like SPLC to designate FRC as a “hate group.”
 
While reading all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder why a “mainstream conservative think tank” would defend a bill in Uganda that would put gays and lesbians in prison for life and put them to death for “serial” offenses, among other things. If Milbank had done his homework before writing his column, he would’ve been wondering this same thing.
 
The reality is that FRC is not a “mainstream conservative think tank.” That’s why FRC is one of only a handful of the many, many groups that oppose equality for gays and lesbians to be designated a “hate group” by SPLC. There’s a big difference between being conservative and being an extremist, but many in the media are missing the distinction. Kyle and Peter have already written about FRC’s history of extremism and SPLC’s criteria (here and here), but I’d like to focus on one particularly outrageous example here.
 
Back in June of 2010, FRC president Tony Perkins praised the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, referring to it as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.” The bill that Perkins defended called for life in prison for having sex, even once, with a member of the same sex, or touching someone of the same sex with the intention of having sex.
 
The bill went further, calling for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” To be clear, Perkins defended a bill that called for people to be put to death for the following (among other things):
  • having sex with someone of the same sex multiple times (a “serial” offender)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is your employee, student, or otherwise under your authority
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is under the age of 18 (regardless of the age difference, e.g. a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex that you got drunk
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who’s blind or deaf
  • having sex with someone of the same sex if you’re HIV+, even if you use protection and the virus is not transmitted
You can read the text of the bill here. I’m not exaggerating one bit.
 
When President Obama criticized the bill, Perkins devoted his weekly radio alert to attacking him over it, citing Obama’s “preoccupation with defending homosexuality.” He went on to mischaracterize the bill, claiming that it only called for the death penalty in instances like “intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS,” and was notably silent on life imprisonment for a single homosexual “act.”
 
FRC was eventually caught lobbying Congress on a resolution to denounce the “kill the gays” bill. They took pains to say they did not support the bill or the death penalty and were merely lobbying Congress to make the resolution “more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”
 
Ok, so FRC didn’t support the “kill the gays” bill. Instead, FRC’s president devoted his weekly commentary to defending and praising the “kill the gays” bill and attacking President Obama for criticizing it. And FRC lobbied Congress to make sure that the “kill the gays” bill wouldn’t be mischaracterized.
 
Here’s what Perkins said, followed by the text of the “kill the gays” bill:
 
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality.
 
The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.
 
The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.
2. The offence of homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-
 
(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
 
(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
 
(c) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.
 
(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
 
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
 
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
 
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
 
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
 
(f) offender is a serial offender, or
 
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by  enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,
 
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.
 
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

 

Paul Ryan Featured Alongside 'Former Terrorist’

This, in a nutshell, is your modern Religious Right:

The website for the upcoming Values Voter Summit in DC, hosted by the Family Research Council, features Mitt Romney’s running mate side-by-side with “former terrorist” Kamal Saleem, seen here:
 
 
I can’t imagine Ryan would appreciate being given equal billing with a “former terrorist,” but Saleem is a big deal to the Religious Right.
 
Saleem, whose real name is Khodor Shami, claims that he was Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy this country,” saying that he crossed the Canadian border and “brought weapon caches right through cities.” Somewhere along the way he converted, got a job at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and became the favorite ex-Muslim of the Religious Right. As a result, he says his life is constantly in danger, and he is being pursued by foreign agents.
 
If you’re asking yourself why Saleem isn’t in jail as opposed to speaking at a conference with the likes of Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Jerry Boykin, and Tony Perkins, it’s because Saleem is widely considered to be a fraud. But this begs a question.
 
Does FRC believe Saleem? Do they think he came to America as a Muslim Brotherhood member bent on destroying our nation? They have scheduled him to speak alongside Jerry Boykin in a breakout session on “the strategic nature of Israel, and its role in the Middle East, America, and in the future of Western Civilization.” That suggests they do.
 
FRC is either knowingly presenting a fraud or someone who plotted to destroy the nation. If it’s the latter, they must also believe that Saleem is being pursued by foreign agents who are threatening his life. Now I’m not an event planner, but I would lean against booking anyone like that at a high-profile conference with governors and members of Congress.
 
But no matter FRC’s real intentions, Saleem is clearly useful to their anti-Muslim efforts. He is willing to say pretty much anything to confirm the darkest, most paranoid suspicions of his audiences, e.g.:
I, for one, welcome an investigation by the proper authorities to ensure Paul Ryan’s safety and prevent Michele Bachmann from accidentally palling around with a terrorist. If Saleem is to be believed, that is.
 

 

Romney Met Thursday with Top Anti-Muslim Activist and Leading Backers of Bachmann Witch Hunt

On Friday, Mitt Romney declined to condemn Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim Americans in the federal government, breaking with GOP leaders like Senator John McCain and Speaker John Boehner. He said that “those are not things that are part of my campaign.” If that’s the case, then why did Romney hold a closed-door meeting the evening before with high-profile supporters of Bachmann’s effort, including Jerry Boykin, a leading figure in the anti-Muslim movement?
 
As Politico reported, Romney met privately on Thursday evening in Denver with a select group of right-wing activists. Of the four participants named by Politico, three are outspoken proponents of Bachmann’s witch hunt. Gary Bauer and James Dobson wrote to John Boehner to praise Bachmann’s “good judgment, undeniable courage, and great patriotism” for “bravely demanding answers to matters essential to the safety of the American people and our Armed Forces.” Meanwhile, Boykin signed on to a separate letter expressing “strong support for congressional efforts to illuminate and address the danger posed by influence operations mounted by the Muslim Brotherhood against government agencies.” He also claimed that “Huma [Abedin] is not the only person who has penetrated our government” and wondered aloud if President Obama is a Muslim Brotherhood member.
 
Boykin, however, is more than just a cheerleader for Bachmann – he’s a leading force behind the effort to drive Muslim Americans out of public life. Boykin recently became the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, but he’s best known as the lieutenant general who was rebuked by President Bush in 2003 and Defense Department investigators in 2004 for aggressively attacking Islam – in uniform – in the midst of two wars and an expansive anti-terrorism effort in the Middle East and South Asia.
 
Now retired, Boykin is on a mission to save the country from Sharia law and Islamic infiltration, which he sees lurking in every shadow and around every corner. His rhetoric is often bigoted, and he regularly traffics in wild-eyed conspiracy theories – like the one about Obama creating a Hitler-style militia to force Marxism on the American people or the one about international bankers plotting to form a Marxist, global government. (Don’t just take my word for it, see below for links to some of Boykin’s bizarre and disturbing pronouncements.)
 
Boykin, who last made headlines in January when he withdrew from speaking at West Point under pressure from cadets, faculty and outside groups, has argued that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment and that there should be no mosques in America. In 2010, he joined forces with Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and other anti-Muslim activists to form the so-called Team B II. The real Team B was an analysis commissioned by the CIA in the 70s of the threats posed to the US by the Soviet Union. Team B II, co-led by Boykin, presented itself as performing a similar analysis of “an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls shariah.”
 
The group issued a report in September 2010, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” which won praise from Bachmann and Rep. Trent Franks, who appeared with Gaffney at a press conference announcing the report. Among the key findings of the report was that the Muslim Brotherhood “has succeeded in penetrating our educational, legal and political systems, as well as top levels of government, intelligence, the media, and U.S. military, virtually paralyzing our ability to respond effectively.”
 
Nearly two years later, Bachmann, Franks and three colleagues fired off letters to federal inspectors general alleging infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood and requesting an investigation. The second paragraph of their letter, which fingered Huma Abedin, cited a series of web videos by the Center for Security Policy. The videos, available at MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com, are narrated by Gaffney and lean heavily on Boykin’s Team B II report.
 
Remarkably, the efforts described above have spilled into Egyptian politics, with unfortunate consequences. As the New York Times reported in mid-July, many opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood, citing statements by Bachmann, Boykin, and Gaffney falsely believe that “the Obama administration harbors a secret, pro-Islamist agenda” and may have even “plotted to install the Islamist party’s presidential candidate in office.” As a result, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade “was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters” motivated by conspiracy theories that “originated with American conservatives.” With Egypt on the brink, nonsense like this only serves to undermine American diplomacy, just as his comments years earlier in uniform undermined American efforts to win hearts and minds abroad and likely put soldiers at increased risk.
 
Does Romney really think Boykin is an appropriate person to meet with? Did the meeting participants discuss Bachmann’s efforts with him? This is serious stuff that Romney should have to address. It was easy enough for him to sidestep the Bachmann question earlier, but given his meeting the evening before, he needs to be asked anew about Bachmann and Boykin.
 
As promised, here are some highlights of Boykin's conspiracy-mongering and Muslim-bashing:
“We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it's at an accelerated pace. ...
 
One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. ... Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President, I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.
 
For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?
 
Now most people say, well we haven't seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that's the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.
 
Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - we talked about all those things here - which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.”
“We need to recognize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”
“No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion. … But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.”

"If you look at Hitler, one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. 

But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth."

 

Richard Land Announces Retirement under Cloud of Controversy and Scandal

In the wake of a plagiarism scandal, controversy over racially inflammatory remarks, and an internal investigation, Richard Land announced Tuesday that he would step down next year as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land will formally retire in October, 2013 – 25 years to the day he assumed the presidency. 

In his letter to the chairman of the SBC, Land wrote that God had led him to a place “where He is releasing me to other places of service in His Kingdom.” Despite Land’s best efforts to spin his retirement, he’s not going out on top. After two decades of pushing divisive, hard-right politics and making inflammatory remarks, he finally went too far.
 
At best, he was offered a relatively graceful exit after four tumultuous months. At worst, he was forced out by critics who demanded an expiration date to the shame he brought the SBC. Either way, he clearly angered influential segments of the SBC and came to be seen as more liability than asset.
 
 
 
Land’s recent troubles begin on March 31st when, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, he said on his radio show that black “race hustlers” were trying to use the death of the unarmed African-American teen to “gin up the black vote” for Obama, who “poured gasoline on the racialist fires.” When his comments were met with understandable outrage by black leaders and others, he refused to “bow to the false god of political correctness” and said he’d be “mugged” by the media.
 
Criticism continued to mount, including from within the SBC, and Land then issued a non-apology apology, saying that he had “underestimated the extent to which we must go out of our way not to be misunderstood when we speak to issues where race is a factor.” This only inflamed his critics, including Dwight McKissic, a prominent African-American pastor in the SBC, who said that “Land’s racial remarks against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin tragedy are the most damaging, alienating, and offensive words about race that I’ve read or heard, rendered by a SBC personality.” McKissic also said he would introduce a resolution at the upcoming convention asking the SBC to repudiate Land.
 
Land’s troubles ballooned when a Baptist blogger revealed that Land had plagiarized part of his remarks on Martin from a Washington Times column and had previously plagiarized columns from other conservative publications. Land responded by downplaying his plagiarism, saying that “on occasion I have failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions on my radio broadcast.” He also added, “I regret if anyone feels they were deceived or misled.”
 
Between his plagiarism and racism, Land managed to anger and embarrass powerful forces within the SBC, which had recently elected an African-American pastor to its number two spot and was poised to elect Rev. Fred Luter as its first black president. Luter, who spoke dismissively of Land’s conduct, was elected in June.
 
Just over two weeks after Land’s radio commentary on Martin, the ERLC’s executive committee issued a statement saying that Land had “angered many and opened wounds from the past” and that a committee had been designated to “investigate the allegations of plagiarism and recommend appropriate action.” The statement also said the committee was “very saddened that this controversy has erupted, and is very concerned about how these events may damage the work of the ERLC.” Land, seeing the writing on the wall, met with a number of prominent black SBC leaders and issued a “genuine and heartfelt apology.”
 
On June 1st, the executive committee announced two reprimands of Land for “his hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words on March 31, 2012 regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy” and “for quoting material without giving attribution.” The committee also determined that the “content and purpose” of Land’s radio show were “not congruent with the mission of the ERLC,” and that the “controversy that erupted as a result…requires the termination of that program.” Additionally, the committee members expressed their “sorrow, regret, and apologies” for Land's remarks and acknowledged that “instances of plagiarism occurred because of his carelessness and poor judgment.”
 
You can reach your own conclusions about whether Land was shown the door or found his own way there, but there’s no question that he’s exiting under a cloud of scandal. We also haven’t heard the last of him. He vowed in his letter to keep fighting in the culture war, which he described as a “titanic struggle for our nation's soul.” But without the ERLC, Land will be a significantly diminished presence on the Religious Right, and that’s something we can all be thankful for.

 

 

Bachmann Takes another Stroll Down Conspiracy Lane

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in a league of her own. While she has some kooky and extreme colleagues in the House, no one can see what’s not there with quite the same clarity. After all, this is Michele Bachmann’s world, we just don’t live in it. 

This week, Bachmann is making waves with a far-fetched, McCarthyesque conspiracy theory about “deep penetration” of the US government by the Muslim Brotherhood. She’s so far over in right field that John Boehner, John McCain, and her former campaign manager Ed Rollins – among many others – have condemned the effort. She still has Glenn Beck though.
 
 
 
In fact, Bachmann may be the closest thing to Glenn Beck we have in Congress. Let’s take a look at some of her previous strolls down conspiracy lane:
  • Death Panels Are on the Way: Bachmann claimed that Obama's key heath care advisor "says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you're disabled." "If you're a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy, watch out," she continued.
  • Re-Education Camps Too: Bachmann lashed out against the national service program Americorps, claiming that it was leading toward Communist-style “re-education camps for young people.”
  • Census Could Lead to Concentration Camps: Speaking on Fox News, Bachmann said she refused to fully complete her census form because the government could use the data to create concentration camps, like with the Japanese internment during World War II.
  • Obama Leading Us to a One-World Currency: Bachmann has raised alarm bells about Obama’s plan to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.” She even pigeonholed a very confused Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner on the conspiracy.
  • Un-American Members of Congress: Bachmann announced that she was “very concerned” that Obama “may have anti-American views” and called on the media to do a “penetrating exposé” on the members of Congress to “find out, are they pro-America or anti-America?”
  • The Soviet Union Never Fell: Bachmann is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but it doesn’t show. Last year she said Americans are concerned about “the rise of the Soviet Union,” and last month she referred to Vladimir Putin as “the Russian, Communist president.” Say what you will about Putin and Russia, but Soviet and Communist they are not.
  • HPV Vaccine Causes Mental Retardation: Following one of the countless GOP presidential debates, then-candidate Bachmann told Fox News that there are “very dangerous consequences” to using a popular, safe and effective HPV vaccine. She recklessly passed along this anecdote: “There's a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine. There are very dangerous consequences.
  • Obama Is Intentionally Making Americans Poor: Bachmann knows why most Americans have seen their incomes go down. It’s not the tough economy that Obama inherited, and it’s not tax cuts for the wealth. No, it’s “all attributable directly to Barack Obama's principles.” It’s not “by accident we're seeing people struggling and we're seeing redistribution of wealth,” she said.
I could go on, but you get the point – Bachmann is a true-believer. Unlike some of her colleages, she’s not just saying this stuff for tactical advantage. She drinks the Kool-Aid and loves how it tastes. What remains to be seen is whether she’ll finally lose her perch on the Intelligence committee.
 

Reverend William Owens’ Offensive Anti-Gay Politics

Reverend William (Bill) Owens is the founder and president of a tiny outfit that goes by the name of the Coalition of African-American Pastors. The group’s sole reason for existing appears to be attacking African-American leaders and organizations from the right. Among other things, Owens thinks a man having sex with another man is like a man having sex with a dog. He also thinks that people become gay because they were molested as kids. But more on that later. 

Yesterday in Houston, Owens held a press conference outside the NAACP annual convention to attack the group for endorsing marriage equality. Back in May, Owens generated some press by attacking President Obama, likewise for endorsing marriage equality.
 
I wasn’t surprised then, to learn that Owens is affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, whose internal planning documents talk of the need to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.” Owens was once a heroic civil rights leader in Nashville, but these days it’s hard to know – apart from NOM – who or what Owens’ constituency is. For instance, Owens is a collecting signatures for an anti-marriage equality pledge at 100000signatures4marriage.com (that’s with a 1 with 5 zeros). But he wrote in a May 31 letter that “over one thousand” people had signed (so close, just 99% more to go!).
 
And just last week, the African Methodist Episcopal Church took exception with a Coalition of African-American Pastors press release that claimed that both organizations would call on black pastors to “withhold support from President Obama because of his ongoing disrespect for the views of many of us in the black church.” Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, chair of AME’s Commission on Social Action, said that “contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.” Oops.
 
Owens, it must be said, is a true believer and comes by his anti-gay wedge politics honestly (although NOM is likely providing some financial backing). At the May press conference where he attacked Obama, Owens belied his own ignorance and homophobia. He equated gay sex with bestiality and said that homosexuality is caused by, and spreads through, molestation. You can listen to highlights of the full event here:
 
A few months ago, the Commercial Appeal carried an article with a young man’s picture in it. He was charged with having sex with a dog. Now I wonder was that his civil right? Will we go down that road where whatever we choose to do, we’ll call it our civil rights? Well if it’s a civil right for a man to marry man, and a woman to marry woman, what’s the difference of a man deciding he wants to have sex with a dog? […]
 
When people that you don’t know they’re homosexuals, and they get caught into something, they will tell you it was early childhood that they were molested. Sometimes by a family member, sometimes by their father, or sometimes by a friend. It starts in early childhood. […] Homosexuality spreads because somebody abused children.
With views like these, it’s little wonder that Owens is struggling to convince people that he, not the NAACP and Obama, is on the side of justice.

 

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious