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Even More Conservative Scholars Publicly Question David Barton's Scholarship

Earlier this month, World Magazine published a piece noting that "conservative Christian scholars" had begun to publicly question the veracity of David Barton's work.  That article and the questions it raised about Barton's work was part of a chain of events that ultimately led Barton's publisher to pull his book from circulation and cancel his contract.

Since then, more and more conservatives have been coming forward with their own questions about Barton's pseudo-history while Barton has focused his response primarily on attacking his most prominent critic, Warren Throckmorton, as some sort of fake Christian who cannot be trusted because he doesn't support the use of reparative therapy to "cure" gays.

But while Barton is intent on attacking Throckmorton's conservative bona fides, conservative scholars continue to undermine Barton's credibility, to which Barton has thus far been unable to respond.

In fact, a new piece published today on the World Magazine website quotes several more Glenn Beck-approved scholars agreeing that Barton's book is misleading and that his claims are wrong: 

The Jefferson Lies commends Daniel Dreisbach, an American University professor, calling him one of the few Jefferson scholars who employs a "sound historical approach," so I asked Dreisbach whether he agreed with Barton. Dreisbach replied that he has a "very hard time" accepting the notion that Jefferson was ever an orthodox Christian, or that Jefferson ever embraced Christianity's "transcendent claims."

...

Louisiana State University professor James Stoner, one of Glenn Beck's "Beck University" lecturers, says Throckmorton and Coulter's book seems "entirely in line" with what he knows about Jefferson's faith. Stoner describes Jefferson as a "rationalist skeptic."

Professor Kevin Gutzman, who has appeared both on WallBuilders radio and the Glenn Beck program, argues that "Jefferson was not a Christian, if the word 'Christian' has any meaning," because he rejected the Bible's "supernatural content." Gutzman thinks Jefferson's skepticism certainly predated 1813. 

A 'Blacklist' is in the Eye of the Beholder

Earlier this year, GLAAD, with the assistance of Jeremy Hooper, unveiled their Commentator Accountability Project which was aimed at putting "critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters" so that audiences could be accurately informed about their true views whenever these anti-gay activists were featured in the media.

When the list of commentators was release, those who founds themselves on it were quick to scream "McCarthysim," as if merely chronicling their publicly stated anti-gay statements for all to see was some form of blacklist.

In fact, that is exactly what Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber said:

“McCarthyism is alive and well within the ranks of the homo-fascist political lobby. Since liberals can’t win the debate, all they have left is to silence dissent,” said Barber, AFTAH board member and Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. “As we’ve seen evidenced by the recent [Sandra] Fluke flap involving Rush Limbaugh, left-wing extremists have ramped-up their Orwellian efforts to silence those who pose a threat to their radical secular-socialist agenda.

“I count it an honor to be included among such a distinguished list of pro-family warriors,” Barber said. “As Christ followers, we will never stop speaking God’s truth in love. These homosexualist hatemongers have exposed who they truly are. They will never silence us.”

Said AFTAH’s LaBarbera: “This is all about silencing, discrediting and demonizing pro-family voices. I guess GLAAD is so afraid that the truth about homosexuality will be heard that it will go to the extreme of creating a ‘blacklist’ against moral leaders — for a media already disinclined to be fair on this politically correct issue.”

So it is no small irony that both Barber and LaBarbera have signed on to an open letter to Fox News calling for Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen to be banned from appearing on the station:

It is time that the O'Reilly Factor cease using Besen as a guest commentator. Providing Besen with a forum lends credibility to his pernicious tactics and enables Besen to exploit his appearances for fundraising purposes.

When Fox News provides a forum to a radical homosexual activist known for employing inflammatory and hateful language in the service of promoting lies, the network becomes complicit in the damage done to the victims of Wayne Besen's and the SPLC's smear campaigns.

We ask the News Corporation, Fox News, and Bill O'Reilly to find more ethical spokespersons for the liberal view of sexuality. In their infamous Washington Post ad accusing FRC of hateful values, Besen and the SPLC claim that "words have consequences." Yes, they do. And Besen's may lead to violence.

If GLAAD's project which simply collected the views of anti-gay activists was, as Barber decried it, nothng less than censorship and a blacklist and downright un-American McCarthyism, what is it when Barber and others sign onto to a letter demanding that someone else be banned from appearing on a major media outlet? 

Bryan Fischer, The National Guard, and 'The Second War of Northern Aggression'

Yesterday Bryan Fischer took some time away from his one man crusade to defend  Todd Akin and "modern science" to discuss a decision by a Mississippi school board to end the practice of delivering prayers over the public address system before football games and other school functions after receiving a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Fischer was predictably outraged about the development, claiming that "these people in the South are total pansies" who refuse to stand up and fight back against FFRF, which is leading "the second Northern war of aggression against the South."

And even though this particular case never went to court, Fischer went on to claim that the school board should simply declare that it was going to ignore any ruling banning prayer and continue the practice while the governor of the state should be willing to send in the National Guard to surround the press box and arrest anyone who tries to stop them from delivering such prayers:

David Barton and the Matter of Interpretation

As David Barton has been fighting to salvage his reputation over the last few weeks, one of the main claims that he and his supporters are making is that the disputes over the veracity of Barton's work all boil down to simple matters of interpretation.

Rick Green, for instance, claims that the attacks on Barton are nothing more than "empty rhetoric using the tiniest of semantics over one fact out of thousands to try and discredit the entire premise of the book."

In Green's view, people are just nitpicking Barton's work because they disagree with his interpretation of facts ... but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, people are questioning Barton's interpretation of facts because he has a long record of intentionally misinterpreting them in order to promote his own agenda.

And today on "WallBuilders Live," Barton offered up another perfect example of this when he discussed the controversy that surrounds Jerry Boykin:

He's actually a three-star general and he got in a lot of trouble from the secular guys because he talked about God in a church. Can you imagine him doing that? He spoke in a church and he talked about God. They beat him up and demanded that he be kicked out of the military and went to the President and said "you can't let a guy speak about God when he is in church" and he's taken abuse and a beating.

He was dis-invited from speaking up at West Point last year under the Obama administration because he is the head of a group that deals with domestic terrorism, that deals with the threat of Islamic terrorism but how it applies itself domestically and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. So because he points out where there are threats, he as a guy who recognizes a threat when he sees it, who had Delta Force special forces, was kept from speaking at West Point by the Obama administration.

So that is Barton's "interpretation" of what happened and, you will be shocked to learn, it does not correspond very closely to reality.

In fact, Boykin got in trouble not for talking about God in church but for appearing in full uniform before a religious group to declare that Muslims hated the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian ... and the enemy is a guy named Satan" and that Boykin knew the US would win because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

After retiring from the military due largely to the controversy he generated with this address, Boykin then turned his attention full time to anti-Islam activism, calling on Christians to “pray over mosques and go on the offensive against Islam while declaring that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment and that America should ban the construction of mosques. And it was this long and documented history of anti-Islam activism that led Boykin to withdraw from his speaking engagement at West Point.

This perfectly demonstrates why the matter of Barton's reliability as an "interpreter" is central to the concerns about the reliability of his historical claims because, as we have said several times before, if he cannot be relied upon to accurately "interpret" information pertaining to recent events that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify,  how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about complex events in early American history?

Barber: Polygamy and Incest are 'Inevitable' if Gay Marriage is Legalized

On today's "Faith and Freedom" program, Matt Barber declared that gay activists don't actually want marriage equality but rather are interested in "deconstructing the Judeo-Christian notion of marriage as marriage has always been." 

In fact, Barber claimed, the institution of marriage has always been about restricting which sorts of relationships are legitimate, which is why "people can't marry children, people can't marry close relatives, people can't marry their favorite pet."  Barber then warned that if "we're going to break the institution of marriage and radically redefine it" then "polygamy is inevitable if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land and we can no longer have prohibitions on incestuous marriage":

WallBuilders Turns to Scott Lively in an to Attempt to Salvage David Barton's Reputation

Things have now gotten so desperate for David Barton and WallBuilders that they are reduced to calling in support from none other than Scott Lively to defend Barton's work by attacking Warren Throckmorton, Barton's primary critic.

Lively, as you know, is widely seen as the inspiration behind Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" legislation and the author of the book "The Pink Swastika," which claims that "the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party."

Throckmorton has likewise been a vocal critic of Lively's "scholarship" and so the the geniuses at WallBuilders thought it would be a good idea of have Lively come on the program and explain that what is happening to Barton is the same thing that happened to him:

I had the same kind of run-in with Mr. Throckmorton myself. I'm the author of a history book along with Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams called "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." Very controversial but heavily documented and Mr. Throckmorton has attempted to attack my work in the very same way.

Why WallBuilders thinks this comparison helps Barton's cause is utterly beyond our comprehension. 

Green and Lively also suggested that Throckmorton is responsible for some sort of widespread conspiracy against anti-gay Religious Right leaders because he is favorably quoted on "really nasty anti-Christian blogs" such as Box Turtle Bulletin, Joe.My.God, and Truth Wins Out and engages in interaction with us here at Right Wing Watch:

Green: I noticed in your article you said just Google his name along with these really nasty anti-Christian blogs like Box Turtle Bulletin, Truth Wins Out, Joe.My.God, I mean they got some really nasty stuff on there ...

Lively: Very nasty.

Green: And apparently he's kind of a champion of these guys. They really kind of see him as a hero. They quote him all the time.

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Lively: There's a lot of interaction there between him and some of the other people and the group Right Wing Watch ...

Green: Oh yeah, those guys love us. They just love us. They love us so much that they watch us all the time and listen to us all the time. They're always taking stuff out of context and out of quotes ... so to all of our friends at Right Wing Watch and these other liberal blogs and whatnot listening today, we just want to say "hi, love ya, Lord bless you."

Lively: Amen. Hey, I want these people to be saved. I want them to be turned from the foolishness of their positions but I'm not simply going to sit back when they're attacking people who are standing for biblical truth.

It is interesting that Green would accuse us taking things out of context while categotically refusing to even acknowledge all of the instances we have documented of Barton spreading falsehoods, such as claiming that Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

Raymond Raines and the Religious Right: The Myth That Will Not Die

Yesterday Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council released a new website and joint report entitled "The Survey on Religious Hostility in America" which is billed as "collection of more than 600 cases, detailing religious bigotry throughout America."

And you can tell from the introduction just how trustworthy this report truly is:

The Obama administration no longer even speaks of freedom of religion; now it is only “freedom of worship.” This radical departure is one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional, and limited. As some have said, it is a freedom “only within four walls.” That is, you are free to worship within the four walls of your home, church, or synagogue, but when you enter the public square the message is, “leave your religion at home.” President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly echoed this same message in international forums, acknowledging only a right to the “freedom of worship.” This is no accident, and it has huge ramifications.

This claim that Obama is systematically undermining "freedom of religion" seems to be one of the Religious Right's favorite claims ... which, of course, means that it is not true at all.

The report itself consists of 100+ pages of  short descriptions of seemingly every court case along with the various urban legends that the Religious Right trots out whenever they are trying to play the victim.  In fact, this one from the Executive Summary caught my eye:

A public school official physically lifted an elementary school student from his seat and reprimanded him in front of his classmates for praying over his lunch.

That sounded a lot like the story of Raymond Raines and, sure enough, on page 74 we find this:

Elementary School Student Punished for Praying Before Meals
Joan Little, “City Schools Issue Rules About Students, Religion,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 11, 1996, at 2B

Elementary school student Raymond Raines was “caught” praying over his meal at his elementary school. He was lifted from his seat and reprimanded in front of all the other students, then taken to the principal who ordered him to cease praying in school.

As we noted just a few months ago, this myth has been around since 1994 when Newt Gingrich and various Religious Right leaders first started making Raymond's sorry tale the centerpiece of their campaign to pass a constitutional amendment protecting the right to expressions of faith ... despite the fact that it wasn't true:

The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.

"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.

On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"

This incident took place nearly twenty years ago and the Religious Right is still citing it today as proof that Christianity is under attack in America despite the fact that it never happened.

Fischer Brings on Guest to Explain 'It Really All Stands To Reason' That Few Women Get Pregnant from Rape

Bryan Fischer is the type of person who doesn't believe that HIV causes AIDS, but rather that the disease is caused by gay men taking "poppers" in order "to make it possible to have numerous encounters on the same night."

So when Rep. Todd Akin set off a firestorm of controversy by saying that women have a biological defense against pregnancy in the case of "legitimate rape," it was no surprise that Fischer was one of Akin's earliest and most vocal defenders, declaring that Akin is "absolutely right."

In fact, Fischer dedicated much of his program yesterday to defending Akin, even bringing on Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute to explain the various reasons why instances of women becoming pregnant via rape are extremely rare, such as women are only capable of conception for a few days every month, lots of women take contraception, lots of women and even rapists are sterile, and in many cases there is no penetration or deposition of sperm. 

On top of that, Mattes explained, there is "a great deal of anxiety and hormones being released that would prevent [a victim] from becoming pregnant," which is why fertility specialists recommend to women who are trying to get pregnant to reduce the stress in their life.

"So it really all stands to reason," Mattes claimed, before he and Fischer went on to praise Todd Akin for having always been a staunch anti-choice zealot whose ascension to the Senate would be a huge boost to the movement and lamented that Republicans are "throwing him under the bus" instead of holding him up and "helping him weather this storm and controversy":

Staver: Barton's Book is Required Reading for all Liberty University Law Students

As the controversy over David Barton's shoddy scholarship has roiled for the last several weeks, Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty University Law School, has been one of Barton's most ardent defenders, declaring that he "would put [his] money on David Barton any day" and even proclaiming that he'd be willing to put Barton up "against any historian and would have no question who would win in a debate."

So it was no surprise that Staver was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today where he spent most of the time attacking one of Barton's main critic Warren Throckmorton, for not being a historian.  Of course, Barton is not a historian either and neither is Staver, for that matter.

But Staver did make an interesting revelation on the program when he explained that Barton's book "Original Intent" is required reading for every law student at Liberty Law School:

We actually use his book "Original Intent" in one of our law school classes. We have a lot of different resources and certainly one of those resources regarding original intent and the Founder's vision and views for this country, we use David Barton's book.

...

In "Foundations of Law" at Liberty University School of Law that every first year law school student goes through the first semester, we have David Barton's book as one of the books, and we have excerpts from that and chapters from it that we use. And our law school students read that and we talk about it and we look at the historical issues involving the Founders.

I began using that when I was teaching the course and now our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Rena Lindevaldsen, uses that. One of our professors, Cynthia Dunbar, she uses that book in that "Foundations of Law" course as well and I know that there's other faculty at Liberty University that also are very much advocates of David Barton's work.

Barber: Pro-Gay Donors & Activists Have 'Poisoned' the GOP and Must Be 'Rooted Out'

On Friday's episode of "The Janet Mefferd Show," Matt Barber was interviewed to give his thoughts on "the GOP and their buckling stance on homosexuality." Barber was, not surprisingly, highly critical of any effort by the Republican Party to try to appear less openly-hostile to gays and blasted the party for even letting groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans or pro-gay donors have a seat at the table. 

Such groups were, Barber asserted, really just gay activists in disguise who are intent destroying the Republican Party from within.  As such, they and like-minded donors have "poisoned" the GOP and need to be "rooted out" because the "most important election in history" is approaching and the party cannot risk alienating its Chick-fil-A-loving, anti-gay base at a time like this:

You know, that's all we need is the Republican Party looking more and more like the Democratic Party. What the Log Cabin Republicans are doing here - and let's be very clear here; groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans who call themselves Republican or conservative, they're just a bunch of radical homosexual activists in conservative or Republican clothing. These guys know exactly what they're doing, they're trying to undermine the Republican Party from within I believe intentionally, I believe it's covert and they know what they're doing.

So this does not bode well, the fact that the Republican Party is even entertaining these radical activists here and they're looking at essentially spending a dollar to save a dime - I mean, imagine alienating the entire base of the Republican Party in order to appease a few radical homosexual activists; it's counter-intuitive, it's thick-headed, and this is the most important election, I think, in history that we have coming up right now, and now is not the time for the GOP to be alienating the base of the party.

...

They are not conservatives. They are liberal Republicans more suited to the Democratic Party but fiscally conservative, oftentimes, and so they have essentially poisoned, in large degree, the Republican Party and, I think, need to be rooted out.

You know, we saw what the base of the Republican Party believes with the overwhelming outpouring for Chick-fil-A, for natural marriage, for traditional values and for the Republican Party to even entertain the idea because a few of these donors have deep pockets of running afoul of these traditional values that the Republican Party platform has been based on for years, it's just a stupid idea.

UPDATE: Making voter registration easier in New York

More good news from New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new initiative that will expand access to voter registration.
PFAW Foundation

Harvey Attacks the 'Vicious Bloggers' and Cyberbullies Who Dare Report the Things She Says

On today's radio commentary, Linda Harvey called on Christians to exercise spiritual discernment when it comes to the "high intensity big media repetition of lies" on issues like homosexuality and abortion, because Satan is "weaving a bit of truth with extremely convincing lies" in order to take "the compassionate nature of Christians and use it against us" in an effort to silence them and turn people away from God.

Harvey also lashed out at the "lies by vicious bloggers that are told about me" as well as the "cyberbullying that is going on every day by anti-Christian, deliberately deceitful writers" who are seeking to "draw people away from Christ."  We wonder who she could possibly have in mind?

Our spiritual enemy is doing just what he did to temp Jesus in the desert, weaving a bit of truth with extremely convincing lies that many will have trouble rejecting. It's hateful to say anything against homosexual behavior, we hear. Yes, people can be unkind about many things but God has still said it's a grave sin and we can still see the clear evidence of that fact if we look.

How clever is this, taking the compassionate nature of Christians and using it against us? If we don't speak up, young people especially will deceived. The spells some people fall under who become enchanted by sin is hard to break and so they go down destructive roads and their eyes are blinded, possibly for their whole lives and they spend eternity separated from God because they denied him over and over.

It's hard enough to take the lies by vicious bloggers that are told about me, but I have a great support network and God has been more than gracious, so I feel extremely blessed. But that doesn't justify the cyberbullying going on every day by anti-Christian, deliberately deceitful writers and the enormous damage it's doing to draw people away from Christ.

African American Pastors Praise Court’s Upholding of Voting Rights in Florida

Jacksonville, Fla. – The African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC), a national coalition of African American clergy, today praised a federal court’s decision to strike down Florida early voting restrictions in five counties that would disproportionately affect African American voters.

“Sadly, the voter suppression tactics that the Voting Rights Act was meant to combat are alive and well in Florida,” said Elder Lee Harris of Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church in Jacksonville. “But thanks to the Voting Rights Act, those trying to suppress the African American vote in Florida aren’t going to get away with it. The court was right to apply the act to what was a blatant attempt to keep African Americans from the polls.”

A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Florida legislature’s decision to cut early voting from 12 days to eight, for as little as six hours a day (potentially all during the standard workday), violated section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires federal review of voting rights changes in states and counties with a history of voter discrimination. The court’s decision applies just to the five counties covered under section 5 --Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough and Monroe. The panel said it would approve a plan where the five counties held early voting open for 12 hours a day for each of the 8 days.

“Thanks to this sound decision, which we urge Gov. Scott to accept, Black voters in five counties will reclaim access to the ballot box during these critical early voting days,” continued Elder Harris. “However, residents of counties not covered by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act – including Duval County – continue to face these suppressive new rules. We urge officials in all of Florida’s counties to adopt the same early voting opportunities as approved by the court.”

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation, founded in 1997, has been working nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls in every election, most recently through the newly-launched non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.

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Court Rejects Florida's Efforts to Curtail Early Voting

In an opinion affecting 5 counties, a federal court rules that Florida's curtailed early voting would disproportionately harm African Americans.
PFAW Foundation

Glenn Beck's Hard-Hitting Interview With David Barton

As we noted yesterday, Glenn Beck is doing his best to address the current controversy over David Barton's shoddy scholarship by pretending to be searching for the truth while simultaneously doing all he can defend his close friend's reputation.

Thus, Beck' The Blaze ran a long piece that purported to independently examine the claims made by Barton along with the criticism of those claims and which found that, in every instance, the claims made by Barton were inaccurate, at best. But The Blaze simply could not bring itself to actually acknowledge Barton's untruths and instead bent over backwards to avoid reaching any conclusions.

Last night, Beck dedicated his entire program to "clearing the air" on the controversy ... by letting Barton make his case, unchallenged, for an entire hour.  

Just how hard-hitting was this interview that Beck conducted with Barton?  Why don't you take a look at these excepts we grabbed from Beck's ten minute opening monologue where he positively gushed about Barton while casting aspersions on this "campaign against one of America's most respected people" and just take a guess:

Beck says that he has never seen Barton "insist that he is right when the facts demonstrate otherwise," but we are assuming that that is because Beck never actually asks Barton to show him where the Constitution directly quotes the Bible "verbatim":

Religious Right Exploiting Tragedy to Blunt Criticism of Its Extremism

Religious Right groups have publicly seethed at the Southern Poverty Law Center's decision a couple of years ago to designate several of them as hate groups for consistently spreading false, inflammatory, and defamatory propaganda about LGBT people.  It is now clear that Religious Right leaders are hoping to exploit this week's shooting at the Family Research Council to try to damage the SPLC.
 
FRC's Tony Perkins said this week that the SPLC gave the shooter "license" to attack the organization by calling it a hate group.  Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber accused the SPLC of having blood on its hands.  The American Family Association and Traditional Values Coalition were among others who blamed SPLC for the attack.  Religious Right groups have long equated any criticism of their positions or tactics as attacks on their freedom of speech and religion; now they are taking it a step further to say that critics must stop calling out their hateful rhetoric and naming it as such.
 
It is important not to let Religious Right groups exploit this violence - which was quickly and unequivocally condemned by progressive movement leaders, including People For the American Way President Michael Keegan - to divert attention from the Religious Right's anti-gay extremism.  As Right Wing Watch has noted, FRC was not labeled a hate group because of a simple policy disagreement, as FRC's backers would have you believe; the SPLC cited very specific examples of FRC's wildly inflammatory anti-gay language.
                                                                                                            
You don't have to look far.  Last year Perkins called gay-rights activists vile, hateful, pawns of Satan.  In 2010, Perkins responded to President Obama's call for civility on the issue of homosexuality by slamming the president for criticizing Uganda's kill-the-gays bill. Perkins described the infamous law as "enhanced penalties for crimes related to homosexuality" and an effort to "uphold moral conduct."  FRC spokespeople have supported laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas and here in the U.S.  
 
Perkins, of course, has lots of company in the anti-gay right who are now joining in the attack on SPLC.
 
One of them is Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who went on CNN on Thursday to say it is "totally irresponsible and unacceptable" to call FRC a hate group.   But Brown was flummoxed when CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin confronted him with an actual example of FRC rhetoric claiming that "one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order."  Brown repeatedly refused to acknowledge that such rhetoric is hateful, exposing his call for "civility" as nothing but empty political posturing. 
 
Speaking of civility, Brown has presided over at least one anti-gay rally at which a fellow speaker said gays were worthy of death.  And NOM welcomed onto its board author Orson Scott Card, who had written that the advance of marriage equality was tyranny worthy of revolution:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. [...] American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

Ohio Ministers: New Early Voting Rule Hurts Everyone Equally

Cleveland, Ohio – Members of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation, reacted today to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s order to standardize early voting hours statewide. The order equalizes early voting hours throughout the state by eliminating all weekend early voting, a critical part of what made early voting in Ohio so successful four years ago.

“Secretary of State Husted could have lifted everyone in Ohio up together, but instead he brought us all down together,” said Rev. Dr. Tony Minor of Cleveland. “Secretary Husted was right to standardize early voting hours in Ohio. But a deal that leaves everyone worse off isn’t a victory. In 2008, one quarter of Ohio voters took advantage of convenient hours to cast our ballots early, eliminating the long lines of 2004 and contributing to a strong turnout.”

“Secretary Husted’s cynical solution to the discriminatory mess of laws he helped create was to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator ” added Rev. Dr. Minor. “Husted should be trying to make it easier for everyone in Ohio to vote, not to make it equally difficult.”

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, founded in 1997, has been working nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls in every election, most recently through the newly-launched non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.

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