Gary Bauer of American Values, which is one of the co-sponsors of the 2016 Values Voter Summit, closed out his speech at the event today by literally comparing the upcoming presidential election to Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11 after passengers fought back against the terrorists who had hijacked it.
"This country is the equivalent of that plane right now," Bauer said, citing a recent column posted on the Claremont Institute website. "We're heading for a disaster unless we can get control of the cockpit again and then maybe, just maybe, we'll have a chance."
The passengers on that plane "took the only shot they had," Bauer stated. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Flight 93 election. This may be out last shot. It's time to roll. It's time to run down the aisle and save Western civilization."
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas opened his remarks at the Values Voter Summit today by facetiously apologizing for having said that Hillary Clinton's "brain is in a blender" because it is unchristian to mock those with "special needs."
"You don't make fun of people who are impaired, have special needs," Gohmert said, "and whether you like her or not, Hillary Clinton has made clear she is mentally impaired and this is not somebody you should be making fun of."
"We need to be praying for Hillary Clinton," he continued. "There's special needs there, there's mental impairment ... That was not a proper thing to say because, again, I'm making fun of the mentally impaired and that's not right."
Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina kicked off the annual Values Voter Summit today by explaining how his experience as a small business owner makes him uniquely qualified to legislate on the issue of reproductive choice.
Too many people in Washington, he said, have never had a "real" job and so, unlike him, they have never had to deal with an employee coming to them and revealing that she is pregnant. But that once happened to Scott and so he took his employee to a crisis pregnancy center (which are often Christian organizations designed to mislead women away from seeking abortions), which helped his employee to "make the choice of life."
And so, Scott proclaimed, "as an elected official, when I have the responsibility and the opportunity, the privilege to protect life, I do so having been in the private sector, realizing the importance that we should place on life and the choice of life."
Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program today by literally using the lyrics from the A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera song "Say Something" to explain the state of America heading into the election.
Americans, Beck lamented, are ruthlessly attacking one another because nobody is willing to listen to what the other side has to say and, as a result, don't know how to communicate effectively any more about our shared values and desires.
Eventually, Beck compared the election to "birth pangs," saying that it is up to his audience to maintain their cool through the process so that they can bring the nation back together once the election is over.
"What we're going through right now is birth pangs," Beck said. "In 60 days, we give birth to something and we're in the room right now and this is the time where your wife is like, 'Get your hands off me, I'm never going to let you touch me again!' and screaming at you and saying all kinds of things that you know she doesn't mean. She's going to be fine the moment the pain stops. The moment she gives birth, that's all going to be over."
"These are birth pangs," he continued. "We need to be ones in the room that just looks and smiles and says, 'Uh huh, I know, breath, honey, breath.'"
Lashing out at a woman in labor "would cause massive problems," Beck explained, which is why his audience must be the voice of comfort and reason during this time so as not to cause permanent division.
"We need to understand we're giving birth to something new, to an entirely new life" he said. "And whether that life turns out to be good or Damien, we don't know. But as parents that gave that life its start, we better be one."
Yesterday, Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst who has become a prominent right-wing anti-Islam activist since retiring, spoke at a conference in Washington, D.C., organized by the anti-Muslim group ACT for America.
Near the end of his remarks, Haney took questions from the audience, including one from a woman who asked his thoughts about Abdulrahman Alharbi, a student from Saudi Arabia who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, who she said she thought "had something to do with the marathon bombing."
The questioner may have gotten this idea from Glenn Beck. Alharbi was briefly considered to be a person of interest in the early part of the investigation, but was quickly cleared by investigators, but that didn't stop Beck from repeatedly asserting on his radio and television programs that Alharbi was really an Al Qaeda "control agent" and the "money man" who financed and orchestrated the terrorist attack.
Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation and, earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that Beck would have to reveal the identities of the confidential sources upon whom his network relied in leveling these accusations against Alharbi so that Alharbi's legal team can depose them. Beck is refusing to do so and during Haney's response to the question about the bombing, he made a somewhat cryptic remark regarding that particular issue.
Haney accused former Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano of lying to Congress about Alharbi and decried the lawsuit against Beck, calling it an effort to impose Sharia on America.
"[Alharbi] is suing Glenn Beck right now," Haney said. "This is an intrusion of Sharia law—slander or defamation - ghiba, which is a capital offense—through the auspices of the Saudi government against an American citizen. The judge just ruled on the 10th of August that he has to disclose his confidential sources. Well, who might that be?"
After that rather revealing remark, Haney wondered why "a foreign government or a foreign national [has] any standing in America to sue an American citizen," complaining that he, Haney, was a victim of "invisible shrapnel because when Janet Napolitano lied to Congress, she set off a third bomb and she shredded the lives of a lot of people."
Yesterday, we reported that in response to questions about his claims that he has a Ph.D., right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton released a video insisting that he does, in fact, have "an earned doctorate."
As we and others pointed out, Barton's assertion seemed a little odd since he never actually stated where or when he "earned" his supposed doctorate and the documents in the background to which he pointed were difficult to read, though one clearly came from Pensacola Christian College, from which Barton received an honorary doctorate. The other two documents appear to have come from Ecclesia College and Life Christian University, an unaccredited Christian university that has also awarded Ph.D.s in theology to televangelists like Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinn.
Despite his claims to the contrary, Barton's video did not prove that he has "an earned doctorate" and, instead, simply raised more questions than it supposedly answered.
And perhaps that is why the video has now been removed from Barton's WallBuilders Facebook page and the video has been made private:
Dennis Prager explains that "leftism is a terminal cancer in the American bloodstream and soul. So our first and greatest principle is to destroy this cancer before it destroys us. We therefore see voting for Donald Trump as political chemotherapy needed to prevent our demise."
The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, which has been fightingfor years to remove a “sexting” statue from an Overland Park, Kansas, arboretum, has had its latest effort dismissed in court.
David Lane warns that "Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' imprisonment last September was just the warmup for our posterity, especially if our nation elects Hillary Clinton as the 45th president of the United States."
Richard Viguerie "noted the sad irony of [Phyllis] Schlafly dying just two months before the 2016 election. 'Somewhat like Moses, although she had seen the Republican Party adopt in her words "the most conservative platform ever" and she was unapologetic in her belief that Trump would finally realize her vision and break the kingmakers, Phyllis would not live to see the campaign she inspired win.'"
Rob Chambers says "Christians are being unbiblical when they say they are personally opposed to homosexuality but think it’s morally permissible for others. These Christians are really saying they are OK with homosexuals denying God and seeking pleasure in self and going down a path of destruction."
Finally, BarbWire's Gina Miller declares that "the militant homofascist movement is a tool used by the enemies of God, truth and freedom to intimidate into silence those who love truth and hold right, moral views on marriage, family and human sexuality. The primary targets of this vile movement are Christians and Christianity, because that is the essence of the true battle being waged on earth. It is a spiritual battle, playing out in the physical realm, between the forces of Satan and God."
Last week, we noted that right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton had started insisting that he has a Ph.D. and begun referring to himself as "Dr. David Barton" in an effort to bolster his credentials as his shoddy work comes under constant criticism.
We pointed out that Barton's recent claims that he has earned a Ph.D. conflict with statements he made earlier this year and last year admitting that he doesn't have a Ph.D.
Apparently, the questions about his academic qualifications have gotten under Barton's skin, so he released a video today insisting that he does, in fact, have an "earned doctorate."
"Something I've noticed about progressive and liberals is how careless they are about throwing false claims around," Barton declared, without a hint of irony. "For instance, I was recently on a national television network where I was introduced as having a doctorate, and progressives instantly ran stories proclaiming that I don't have a doctorate."
"That false claim is amusing on so many levels," Barton smirked, saying that his educational records are "fully protected by privacy laws" as he laughably claimed that he has simply "always chosen not to talk about" his academic credentials.
"Just for the record, I do have an earned doctorate," Barton stated, gesturing to some framed diplomas sitting on a table behind him. "Not only do I have an earned doctorate, I also have two honorary doctors of letters from other colleges."
The degrees displayed behind Barton are difficult to read, but the one to which he seemingly points when claiming that he has "an earned doctorate" is clearly from Pensacola Christian College, which, according to his own biography, is one of the places from which he received an honorary degree:
David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College.
To make things even more confusing, Barton then bizarrely added that "according to West Virginia University, a Doctor of Letters degree is reserved only for individuals who have the highest level of knowledge in their chosen subject matter. Hmmmm. So for all of you critics, sorry to pop your balloon, but I do have an earned doctorate."
Barton's reference to West Virginia University came directly from this Reference.com article about honorary degrees! As the WVU website makes clear, a Doctor of Letters degree is purely an honorary designation:
Honorary degrees are conferred honoris causa, a Latin term meaning “for the sake of honor.” Honorary degrees are not Ph.D.s, nor do they entitle the recipient to the same professional privileges as individuals who have earned degrees.
Rather than settling this issue, Barton has just raised more questions, such as when did he supposedly "earn" this doctorate and from where? And why didn't he provide that information in the video instead of just vaguely pointing to difficult to read documents in the background?
Last year, Barton admitted that he did not have a Ph.D. and earlier this year, he confusingly asserted that he both did and did not have a Ph.D. Now he insists that he does in fact have an "earned doctorate." So which it it? If Barton is going to take the time to film a video proving us wrong, the least he can do is provide verifiable information that actually does so.
UPDATE: Warren Throckmorton notes that the other documents featured in the background of Barton's videos appear to have come from two other Christian colleges and neither appears to support his contention that he has earned a doctorate:
The video appears to have three degrees in the background. The first one appears to be his honorary degree from Pensacola Christian College and the third appears to be from Ecclesia College. The mystery “earned degree” appears to the one which is partially hidden in the background ... Looking closer at it, I think it is a degree from the unaccredited prosperity gospel fave school Life Christian University.
I can’t find a listing of faculty and the doctorates offered are in theology and ministry, not history and/or education. The requirements have no doubt been slipped for some of those distinguished graduates and may have been in Barton’s case. The requirements say that a student must first get a masters and DMin to go for the PhD. Did Barton do that? He has never said he had anything other than a BA from ORU. The school is not accredited by a regional accrediting body which is perhaps why he didn’t name it in his video.
Barton’s smug rebuke depends entirely on what degree he actually has. It appears his degree comes from the same school which awarded Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinn a PhD in theology. The school does not award degrees in history which Barton should have disclosed.
Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Mexico’s Religious Conservatives Seek Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment, LGBT Activists Defend Secular Government; Cash From Qatar Funds ‘Traditional’ Family Activism Worldwide; Global LGBT Recap.