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AFA Does Not Support Effort To Establish Christianity As Mississippi's Official Religion

Recently, a pro-Confederacy group in Mississippi launched an effort to get a measure on the ballot in 2016 that, if passed, will establish a "Confederate Heritage Month" in the state, as well as designate English as the official state language. Among the provisions contained in the measure are requirements that whenever an American flag is displayed on a public building, a state flag of the same size must also be displayed and "whenever the pledge of allegiance to the national flag is recited, the state flag salute shall be recited immediately thereafter." On top of that, "whenever the national anthem is played in a public venue or at a public event in Mississippi, either 'Dixie' or 'Go, Mississippi' shall be played immediately thereafter."

Perhaps the most controversial provision of the measure is the requirement that Christianity be recognized as the official state religion, which is just the sort of thing one would expect the Mississippi-based American Family Association to embrace and support. After all, the AFA's leading spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has repeatedly said that the Constitution was not designed to protect any religion other than Christianity and that states have every right to establish an official religion.

But, amazingly, Fischer and the AFA are not supporting the effort:

Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, told CP that he questioned the need for Initiative 46.

"I'm not clear who is behind this initiative or exactly what problems they're trying to solve," said Fischer of the AFA.

"I will be surprised if the organizers are able to get the number of signatures they need since most Mississippians aren't going to see the need for it. Mississippians like the state just fine as it is."

Fischer added that many "of the provisions in the initiative would be more appropriately handled at the state legislative level if they are to be handled at all."

"Constitutional remedies should be reserved for issues of primary importance. The issue of school mascots, for instance, doesn't rise to that level," said Fischer.

"Our main concern here at AFA is for religious liberty to be preserved in Mississippi, and we believe that our state constitution and the recently passed religious freedom restoration act provide adequate protection for religious freedom here in the Magnolia State."

'New Avenues Of Misrepresentation And Overstatement': A Devastating Review Of David Barton's Pseudo-History​

Back in 2012, Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton published his book "The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson," through which he sought to portray Jefferson as someone who would make today's Religious Right seem moderate by comparison.

In response to Barton's book, Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College, began to expose Barton's long track record of producing shoddy works of "history" and, with a fellow Grove City professor, co-authored a response to Barton's book called "Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President."

As a result, Barton's work came under increasing scrutiny and Thomas Nelson Publishing pulled his book from publication. Jay Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Creationist think tank, emerged as a top critic of Barton's disreputable scholarship within the Religious Right and was so alarmed by it that he asked Gregg Frazer, a history professor at Master's College, a Christian university in California, to review some of Barton's work, most notably his popular DVD "America’s Godly Heritage."

After viewing it, Frazer wrote an utterly scathing review of Barton's work for Richards, which Richards then reportedly used in making the case to others in the Religious Right movement that Barton's historical scholarship cannot and should not be trusted.

Today, with Frazer's permission, Throckmorton posted a copy of his review of Barton's DVD on his website and it is absolutely devastating.

Frazer's review is thirteen pages long and exposes the myriad ways in which Barton routinely and intentionally misrepresents American history in order to bolster his own radical right-wing political agenda. Many of the problems that Frazer highlights will be familiar to readers of this blog, as we have covered several of them in the past as well, but the report is well worth reading as it systematically debunks a wide array of Barton's favorite talking points, such as his tendency to credit everything with which he agrees as having come from the "Founding Fathers":

This leads to one last area of concern in America’s Godly Heritage which can best be expressed as a question: Who counts as a “Founding Father?” This issue reappears frequently in Barton’s works. He seems to count anyone of whom he approves who was living at the time of the Revolution, the founding of the political system under the Constitution, or within fifty or sixty years of those times as a “Founding Father.” For example, he says that “the American Tract Society was started by the Founding Fathers.” First, not one of those listed as a Tract  Society founder signed the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. By what standard are they “Founding Fathers?” Furthermore, the Society was started in 1825 – 36 years after the Constitution was ratified. Madison was the last living framer an d he died in 1836. How many Founding Fathers were even alive in 1825? Similarly, in his discussion of Vidal v. Girard, he said it was decided in “the time of the Founders.” It was decided in 1844 –55 years after the Constitution went into effect and, a s was just mentioned, the last framer died in 1836! Barton refers to John Quincy Adams as a “Founding Father.” At the time of the Constitutional Convention, he was a 20 year-old just out of law school (he was 8 when the Declaration was signed) – by what standard is he a “Founding Father?” Barton also claims that the “Founding Fathers” established the New England Primer as a text, but the Founding Fathers did not establish any texts for schools – that was left to local communities to decide. Apparently, by Barton’s standards (whatever they are), local school boards were “Founding Fathers.” Finally, Barton says that the state constitutions indicate that the “Founding Fathers” wanted to be sure that Christians held public office. But the Founding Fathers, in Article VI of the Constitution, specifically disallowed any religious test for office. That would seem to be a strange and counterproductive prohibition to be put in place by those who want to ensure that Christians hold the various offices.

It is worth noting that, according to Throckmorton, this review has been in circulation among Religious Right leaders since 2012 and it does not appear to have diminished Barton's reputation among them in the least, nor has it stopped Barton from routinely peddling misinformation.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/26/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/26/14

  • While appearing on the AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program yesterday, David Barton repeated his entirely false claim that families on welfare receive $61,000 a year from the government.
  • An Oklahoma school district that had been planning to offer a class based upon a Bible curriculum created by an organization started by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green has now scrapped the class.
  • BarbWire's Bill Muehlenberg says that "when you deal with people flaunting their sinful lifestyles in general, and homosexuality in particular, you will find that lies and deception characterize what they say. They hate the truth, suppress the truth, and exchange the truth of God for the lies of the enemy."
  • Tim Brown thinks Obama should have kept his mouth shut about Ferguson: "[W]hat business is it of yours what takes place in the state of Missouri? That is a state issue, not a federal one. But you like to stoke the fires of racism, don’t you Obama? You love to stir up the people for your own agenda and the agenda of your handlers."
  • Finally, Laurie Roth demands that Republicans impeach President Obama even though "Obama wants the GOP to impeach him, sue him and attack him in the media. He and his progressive traitors believe this response will land them the 2016 election, especially with the ‘obedient zombie’ illegal alien vote."

'Under The Radar': Christian Nationalist David Lane Is Quietly Waging 'Spiritual Warfare' To Save America

On her radio program yesterday, Janet Mefferd interviewed Religious Right activist and Christian Nationalist David Lane of the American Renewal Project about his recent efforts to ensure that right-wing Christian values dominate America's political system, including organizing a world tour for pastors led by Mike Huckabee, putting together a large prayer rally hosted by Gov. Bobby Jindal, and even recruiting 1,000 pastors to run for office nationwide.

As Lane told Mefferd, he generally does not give media interviews because he prefers to work "under the radar" in mobilizing conservative Christians to get politically engaged, which is easier to accomplish when he is not "telegraphing our punches" about what he is up to.

"I generally don't do radio shows or TV shows or speak to reporters because I'm not that interested in public relations," Lane said. "I'm interested in Christian men and women who know the Word engaging in culture ...  We've operated since 2005 largely under the radar ... We want to show up on Election Day with a constituency that will march and engage the culture. And so instead of telegraphing our punches and beating the bass drum of what we're doing, we've been really quietly mobilizing."

Later in the interview, Lane declared that the main focus of his efforts is to reclaim America's Judeo-Christian heritage, which has been "stolen" by the "false God" of secularism.

"This is war," he said. "Spiritually, this is warfare and we have left the Lord and my guess is that He's not really happy at this point with the way that Christian men and women in the country that was left to us" have failed to defend it:

Chuck Pierce: A Black Dragon Is Attacking Israel And Only We Can Stop It

Chuck Pierce, the self-proclaimed prophetic apostle whose claims his prayers are so powerful that they caused earthquakes and captured Saddam Hussein, has issued a dire new warning that a dragon is attacking Israel and only he and his fellow apostles have the power to "silence the dragon for this time period."

And he means all of this quite literally:

When we were flying into Tel Aviv earlier this month, I saw an unusual sunset. The sun, though setting, looked like it was rising from the ground. Above the glory realm hovering on the ground was sky. In the sky was a perfectly formed black dragon! The message the Lord had me to deliver in Jerusalem was: “The dragon is hovering over Israel. There is a birth that is near and the enemy wants to stop what God is birthing. There will be much conflict in the next several months but you can stop the dragon from having his way.”  I went on to speak from Revelation 12. I called Rick Ridings, the leader of the 24 Hour House of Prayer in Jerusalem. Rick had already planned to share an earlier vision of a great fire-breathing dragon circling the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.   He shared that when flames came from its mouth, violence was released onto the Mount (which has been the scene of increasing turmoil over the past several months).  Amazing!

We must stand and turn the enemy from Israel. In the vision, Rick was made to be aware that the dragon’s real intentions were to ignite a much larger and more far-reaching conflagration of violence. Suddenly, he saw two words in the heavens, “NOT NOW.”   His message was: “I saw a dragon on the Temple Mount, but God said, ‘NOT NOW!’” A great foot descended from Heaven, pinning the dragon to the ground.  Then the Lord reached down,  placed shackles on the dragon’s feet, and imprisoned it in the underground mosque at the southeast corner of the Temple Mount.  As this was happening, in the worship room where Rick was having the vision (which has a view of the Mount), the leader was singing from Psalm 149 about the high praise of God’s people “putting kings in chains and nobles in shackles.”  In the days following this, conflict continued and many in the media were predicting an impending huge eruption of violence and the start of a new intifada (“uprising”). 

In a second vision on November 4, Rick had a vision of the imprisoned dragon shrieking and attempting to break out of its dungeon in which it was imprisoned—demon spirits were going forth from its mouth out of the confines of the prison to incite terror.  Rick felt the Lord say we were to ask Him, as the Judge of the Universe, to give a “gag and restraining order” to silence the dragon for this time period.

Bryan Fischer Does Not Understand The Concept Of Double Jeopardy

On his radio broadcast yesterday, noted constitutional scholar Bryan Fischer made the absurd argument that Ferguson, Missouri, police office Darren Wilson cannot face federal charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown after a grand jury failed to indict him, on the grounds that such charges would violate the Constitution's protections against "double jeopardy."

Citing the Fifth Amendment's language that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb," Fischer laughably claimed that meant that Wilson can never be prosecuted for possible crimes related to Michael Brown's killing.

"He was just put in jeopardy of life or limb," Fischer argued. "No indictment was returned. He cannot be subject to the process a second time."

Unfortunately for Fischer, this clause only applies to individuals who have faced trial, as it is designed to protect people from being tried multiple times for the same crime. Wilson, of course, was never "put in jeopardy of life or limb" since he never faced a trial for his actions precisely because the grand jury failed to return an indictment.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/25/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/25/14

Bryan Fischer Says Michael Brown Was Possessed By A Homicidal Demon

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer reacted to a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, seizing upon Wilson's testimony that he felt like he was facing "a demon" during his confrontation with Brown.

Fischer absolutely agreed, saying that "the chances are very good" that Wilson was literally locked in battle with a homicidal demon that was possessing Brown during the altercation.

"I think that at this point there was a demonic presence that was operating inside Michael Brown's body," Fischer said, "activating him, energizing him, driving him forward in this homicidal rage. So when he says he looked like a demon, I think that's because he was looking into the eyes of a demon that was driving Michael Brown to do what he did":

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