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Voter suppression remains a hot topic in Virginia

Governor McDonnell purports to remedy disenfranchisement with voter ID executive order, but another disenfranchised group, ex-offenders, remains vulnerable.
PFAW Foundation

Schlafly Screed on Obama's 'Hostility'

As RWW readers know, there is no end to the Religious Right’s dishonest campaign to portray Barack Obama as an enemy of faith and freedom.  The latest salvo from Phyllis Schlafly on the president’s “record of hostility to religion” is a litany of the Religious Right’s favorite horror stories, half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods, wrapped up in a sweeping assertion:
When Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States” we could not have anticipated the extreme transformations he would seek. The evidence is rolling in that he is determined to transform America into a totally secular land where religion is permitted only within the walls of a church, but is banned in every public place, public gathering and public school….
Barack Obama is trying to morph our traditional religious liberty to the lesser scope of freedom of worship. That means worship only inside a church, or maybe a synagogue, but not any public affirmation of belief in God.
Schlafly must have missed Obama’s inauguration, not to mention the administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and ongoing federal funding of religiously affiliated social service organizations.   Or perhaps she cares less about the truth than about convincing conservative Christians that Obama is their enemy.

Fischer: Jesus' Teaching is 'Virtually the Foundation of the Second Amendment'

On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer was discussing the Right's latest conspiracy theory about how the United Nations is plotting to take away our guns and destroy our Second Amendment rights though the Arms Trade Treaty.

During the discussion, Fischer ventured into David Barton territory when he claimed that Jesus preached the right to self-defense and therefore his teaching is "virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment":

We not only care about the First Amendment on Focal Point, we also care about the Second Amendment. And remember, the Second Amendment, this is basically the right to self defense, this is the right to protect yourself, it's the right to bear arms in your own defense, it's our surest guarantee against a tyrannical takeover by some occupying power or even by our own government. A government is stopped, they are stalled, they have to be mindful of the fact that the American citizens have arms, so there's a limit to what they can get away with under the use of force.

So the Second Amendment is very important to us. Jesus, his teaching [is] virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment because, remember, one time he told his disciples "look, the time is going to come when you're going to need a sword - if you don't have a sword, sell everything you've got and buy one, you're going to need one for your own protection." So Jesus [was] legitimizing the use of the right of self-defense, endorsing the right of self-defense, and that's what is enshrined in the Second Amendment.

The pasage Fischer is citing comes from Luke 22:

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That is enough,” he replied.

The Heroic Tales of Kamal Saleem

Listening to "ex-terrorist" Kamal Saleem tell his life story is like listening to the Forrest Gump of terrorism as he relates who he was an extremely important figure working in terror networks ranging from Al Qaeda to those established by Moammar Gadhafi to Saddam Hussein.

Recently, Saleem has become the Religious Right's favorite ex-Muslim as he spreads some of today's craziest and wild conspiracies which the Right seemingly accepts uncritically despite the fact that his biography is rather questionable.

For the last week, Saleem has been the featured quest on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program where he has been regaling Mat Staver with tales of being trained to be a terrorist from the age of seven, when he first led a mission to smuggle weapons into Israel from Syria.

As Saleem explained today, that mission was such a success that he became a hero and was then tasked with recruiting other children for future missions, which he succeeded in doing. Saleem claims that he recruited another child named Mohammed but only after promising Mohammed's mother that he would let nothing happen to him and that Mohammed would return alive.

Now eight years-old, Saleem claims to have led a second weapons smuggling mission into Israel, only this time, when they emerge from the tunnel they had used to sneak into the country, they were confronted by the Israeli military "which started hitting us with everything they've got," killing Mohammed after he "took shrapnel through his esophagus and severed his spine," prompting Saleem to pick him up, put him on his shoulders, and run back across the border in Syria, with Mohammed serving as a shield to absorb the bullets being fired at him by the pursing Israeli soldiers: 

Sounds plausible to me.

Making voter registration easier in New York

Voter Empowerment Act seeks changes that would make the state’s outdated registration process more efficient and accessible.
PFAW Foundation

Fischer: Gays are Driven by a 'Dark, Venomous, Demonic Hatred'

On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer declared that there is "plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality," but it is all coming from gay activists and their supporters who are driven by a "heterophobic," "Christophobic," "dark, venomous, demonic hatred": 

I am convinced that there is plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality, there's a lot of hatred, there's a lot of vitriol, there's a lot of venom - it is coming from homosexuals themselves. The real haters are homosexuals. The real venom is coming from those that support the homosexual agenda, either homosexual activists, homosexuals, or those that support the homosexual agenda. They are the real haters. There is a heterophobic hatred, there is a Christophobic hatred that is just seething, there's a dark, venomous, demonic hatred that is in the homosexual community.

Five Major Corporations Ditch ALEC

People For the American Way Foundation applauded the news today that Hewlett-Packard Co., CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., MillerCoors LLC and BestBuy have become the latest major corporations to announce their exit from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), bringing the number of corporations leaving the organization to 25.

“Supporting ALEC’s extreme agenda is never justifiable,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “ALEC hurts Americans on a daily basis by promoting policies that suppress the vote, hurt working families, attack public education and destroy the environment.

“The decision by these five companies to leave ALEC is an important step to do right by their customers. Their competitors who have yet to quit should know that the American people won’t forget who continues to underwrite ALEC’s agenda at our expense. Fortunately, more and more corporations, nonprofits and organizations are withdrawing their memberships. As a result, ALEC’s ability to push its dangerous agenda through our statehouses diminishes every day.”

A petition drive and phone campaign led by People For the American Way Foundation, Color of Change, the Center for Media and Democracy, CREDO Action, Progress Now, SumOfUs and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has resulted in over 500,000 signatures and calls to ALEC’s corporate members, demanding that those companies end their membership with ALEC.

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US Reps decry Florida purge

In a letter written to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, Ranking Member John Conyers and 15 colleagues stress the need for a formal review.
PFAW Foundation

The Beckification of John Hagee

Recently, John Hagee unveiled a new internet endeavor called Global Evangelism Television (GETV) which seems to be a one-stop destination for all your John Hagee Ministries-related needs.  The website features live events along with music videos, short messages, looks behind the scenes, and  current and archived sermons

In addition, it seems that Hagee has started producing Glenn Beck-like programs, such as this recent video entitled "The Agenda to Destroy America" in which Hagee spent a half-hour talking directly to the camera about how Communists have succeeded in taking over America, just as Beck's favorite philosopher W. Cleon Skousen had predicted in his 1958 book "The Naked Communist."

As Hagee explained, today hard-working Americans are having their money confiscated by a "massive socialist government" that is giving their money to "deadbeats who can work but won't work."  This type of government, Hagee warned, "eventually leads to civil violence [and] you're seeing some of that civil violence with the Occupy Wall Street group" and creates an environment that eventually gives rise to ruthless political leaders like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and even the Antichrist:

Barton: Government Regulation is the 'Most Dangerous Attack ... on our Liberties Since the British'

On yesterday's installment of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green complained that government regulation was destroying the free market system ... not too much government regulation, mind you, but any government regulation.

In fact, Barton declared that the mere existence of federal regulatory agencies represent "the most dangerous attack on our liberties since the British" while Green explained that there was no need for federal agencies to prevent companies from dumping toxic waste because the truly free market will hold them accountable when they get sued:

Barton: What's going on right now in DC is government at the regulatory level, particularly at the cabinet level, whether it's the Department of Agriculture or Health and Human Services or whatever, those are now pretty much unaccountable agencies. And what they're starting to do to the country, they have no sense of accountability, they fear no one - they don't fear the President, they don't fear Congress, they sure as heck don't fear the people because we don't elect them. the stuff that's now going on with those agencies is, I think, unprecedented and the most dangerous attack we've had on our liberties since the British, quite frankly.

By definition, a free market means there is no government intervention or regulation. So the more these agencies get involved, the less you have the free market and the less prosperity you will have and the less freedom you will have.

Green: You know, people say if you don't have [regulatory agencies] you're gonna have some company that dumps toxic waste or whatever; well then you the company and you go through the civil courts and there's accountability there.

Yes, I am sure that if some company recklessly dumped toxic waste that ended up making one of Green's children seriously ill, he's response would be "thank goodness our truly free maket has no agencies in existence that can prevent things like this from happening so that now I have the opportunity to sue this company and hold them accountable for gravely injuring my child."

Reality as Seen from the Right

Earlier this year, a virus infected millions of computers around the world that caused the infected computers to visit fake websites and prevented owners from visiting security websites to remove it.  In an effort to stop the virus, the FBI set up several clean servers so that those infected would still be able to access the internet and remove the virus from their computers.

The FBI's efforts were only temporary and today the clean servers it had set up were scheduled to be turned off and therefore any person with an infected computer that had not gotten rid of the virus by today risked losing access to the internet.

So how is Janet Porter and her Faith2Action organization reporting this news? By suggesting that the FBI is trying to take away your internet access:

David Barton Needs to Hire a Fact-Checker

It is no exaggeration to say that we have watched or listened to several dozen of the pseudo-historical presentations that David Barton delivers to church groups and political gatherings alike.  And we continue to watch them because Barton is constantly adding new unverifiable and downright false claims to his speeches.

But it turns out that even some of the claims that have long served as the foundation for his presentations are also problematic.  Over the last week, we have watched two recent presentations that Barton delivered in which made a point that, while today we may only know a bit about a handful of our nation's Founding Fathers, the Founding Fathers themselves regularly pointed to preachers as having played an extremely important role in the founding of this nation.

And to "prove" this, Barton routinely cites a letter that John Adams wrote to a man named Hezekiah Niles in 1818 responding to a question from Niles about which people were most responsible for the ideas and principles upon which the nation was founded. In Barton's telling, Adams' reply was that it was preachers like Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Mayhew, George Whitefield, and Charles Chauncy who must be placed at the top of any such list:

Of course, if you actually bother to take a look at the letter Barton cites, here is what you find:

This produced, in 1760 and 1761, an awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings, with an enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open violence, hostility, and fury.

The characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent and influential in this revival, from 1760 to 1766, were first and foremost, before all and above all, James Otis; next to him was Oxenbridge Thatcher; next to him Samuel Adams; next to him John Hancock; then Dr. Mayhew; then Dr. Cooper and his brother.

That's it.  So not only are the individuals Barton's cites not listed "right up front," but two of the people (Whitefield and Chauncy) are not even mentioned in Adams' list, or anywhere in the letter, at all! 

We have heard Barton make this claim regarding this Adams letter several dozen time only to discover today that, like so much else that he says, it is fundamentally untrue; thereby proving once again that just about every factual assertion Barton makes needs to be checked simply because so many of them turn out to be undeniably false.

Buster Wilson: Is DHS Plotting A Civil War?

As Brian noted in the previous post, Buster Wilson, general manager of the American Family Association’s radio network and host of the program "AFA Today," declared on his radio program on Friday that he carries a "great inward burden about the truth and validity of the things that I say" because he knows he will be held accountable by God while, at the same time, spreading false information.  

The burden is so great, in fact, that Wilson felt it necessary to warn his audience, like Bryan Fischer did earlier this year, that the Department of Homeland Security is buying up millions of rounds of ammunition, possibly with plans to launch some sort of war against American civilians. 

In particular, Wilson pointed to an executive order that President Obama issued back in March that updated policies for dealing with national emergencies, including the National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER), a program that has existed for decades that allows private and public sector experts who are not full-time government employees to fill executive positions in the federal government in the case of a national emergency.

But for Wilson, "these NDER units are basically the President's version of the Brownshirts," no different than "Hitler's own private civilian army," and people who don't believe it just need to "go read it and tell me how crazy I am":

Fischer: Government Should Mandate that Everyone Attend Church and Tax Those Who Don't

Inspired by a suggestion from a listener, Bryan Fischer hit upon a brilliant idea on yesterday's radio program: using health care reform to mandate that everyone attend church and assess a tax on all those who don't.

As Fischer explained, "people who have an active, vibrant spiritual life are healthier" and since "Obamacare is all about improving the health of the American people," we ought to "mandate that you go to church for your own health and we are going to tax the atheists who don't go to church": 

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