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Rick Scarborough Organizing 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting to Save America

It looks like Vision America's Rick Scarborough is launching a new prayer and fasting effort timed to coincide with the 2010 elections called "40 Days to Save America" which, he insists "is not a political effort" because "the political problems which beset us are symptoms of a deeper spiritual malaise:

Starting on September 24, and continuing through November 2, we are calling for a Great Religious Awakening through 40 DAYS of prayer, fasting and repentance ...The place to start isn’t with primaries, platforms and conventions, but rather through prayer, fasting and repentance.

• We are calling for pastors, priests and rabbis to open their churches and synagogues throughout America for 40 days for prayer and fasting, each person seeking their own level of unselfish sacrifice as we corporately and individually seek God for His intervention in our beloved nation.

• We are calling for Christian and Jewish voters to make informed choices, voting not as Republicans or Democrats, but as followers of the living God.

• We are calling for our leaders to have the wisdom and discernment to act according to His will and not based on personal or partisan considerations.

In a video announcing the project, Scarborough says the goal is the recruit 40,000 religious leaders who will lead the congregations in forty days of prayer and fasting for the nation leading up to the election because "this is a time of national tragedy where he must have God help us [because] it is almost as if He is sounding the alarm": 

Another 'False News Friday' with David Barton

As we noted last month, every Friday David Barton and Rick Green host "Good News Friday" on their "Wallbuilders Live" radio program during which they discuss "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."

These programs are particularly interesting because they typically feature stories that Barton has plucked from the media which, he believes, demonstrate that the Religious Right is racking up victories all over the country.

The problem with these stories, as with so much else that he does, is that Barton has a tendency to over-simplify and misrepresent just what is taking place.

He did it a few weeks ago when he falsely claimed that an Eastern Michigan University had won a lawsuit against the school after being thrown out of her program for refusing to "affirm a client’s homosexual behavior," citing religious objections. 

The court had merely ruled that the student had a right to sue and did not rule on the merits of the case itself, but Barton nonetheless proclaimed it to be a "huge, huge victory [that is] going to be cited across the nation for all sorts of other kids that are facing the same kind of discrimination."

And he did it again today when he asserted that study shows that teens who remain abstinent earn $370,000 more in the lifetimes:

If a teenager wants to earn $370,000 more in their lifetime than all their neighbors, you know what they need to do? A study now shows that if you are not sexually active as a teenage, you do earn $370,000 more in your lifetime than others.

Now explain that ... it just shows God's ways work.

If that claim sounds familiar, it is probably because Amber Haskew, Coordinator of the Day of Purity, made it earlier this year and, as we pointed out then, the figure comes from a 2005 Heritage Foundation report that didn't actually provide any data to support this assertion, but simply predicted that students who abstain are also likely to do better in school and therefore have higher lifetime earnings:

Teens who abstain are likely to have greater future orientation, greater impulse control, greater perseverance, greater resistance to peer pressure, and more respect for parental and societal values. These traits are likely to contribute to higher academic achievement. In short, teen virgins are more likely to possess character traits that lead to success in life. Moreover, the practice of abstinence is likely to foster positive character traits that, in turn, will contribute to academic performance ... In our society, greater educational attainment leads, on average, to higher lifetime incomes. Because they are more successful in school, teen virgins can expect to have, on average, incomes that will be 16 percent higher than sexually active teens from identical socio-economic backgrounds. This will mean an average increase of $370,000 in income over a lifetime.

Obviously, the study did not show that those who abstain early nearly $400K more, but merely estimated that those who did so would demonstrate "greater educational attainment" and therefore earn more, on average, over their lifetimes.

But that is not what Barton reported at all and this demonstrates a central point about Barton and his work:  if he cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can he be trusted to accurately report on the things that he plucks out of centuries-old documents squirreled away in his private library that very few others ever get to see or examine? 

David Barton's Long Term Plan to Remake America

Back in 2009 and 2010, when David Barton was tapped as an "expert" to help the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the state's social studies standards, he claimed that he was not promoting any sort of agenda, but was simply dedicated to reintroducing into the curriculum ignored parts "of history that certainly should be presented."

Around the time this was all taking place, Barton appeared on some Rhode Island public access program where he said that his work on rewriting the Texas curriculum gave him tremendous optimism about the future of America because the textbooks written for Texas schools would be used all over the nation and influence the students over the next twenty to thirty years who will eventually be elected to public office:

Barton's involvement in rewriting the Texas standards provoked such an outcry that he now has to do all this sort of work in secret so that nobody knows just how or where he is reworking to inject this long term, right-wing political agenda into the nation's curriculum.

Robison: Time for America to 'Get out of the Pig Pen of Rotten Decisions' and Turn Back to God

James Robison had an important message for the viewers of his "Life Today" television program today: "now is the day of reckoning" and the time to "get out of the pig pen of rotten decisions" and turn this "prodigal nation" back to God .... and it starts with the next election! 

Beware the Insidious Agenda of 'Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type'

Yesterday's episode of "Wallbuilders Live" featured an interview with Kyle Olson, author of the book "Indoctrination: How 'Useful Idiots' Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism."

Olson was bought on to explain to co-host Rick Green how "useful idiots" (i.e. liberals) are using the public schools to promote their pro-gay, anti-business, America-hating agenda to the nation's students. When asked to provide some examples of how this is happening, Olson singled out an episode in Texas where a teacher used the book "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" to supposedly promote a "pro-union" message!  And, as if that wasn't bad enough, David Barton then weighed in to warn that it was also an "anti-Creation book" because it makes kids think that cows are equal to humans:

Olson: There is a book called "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" - and I have gotten a lot of heat for talking about this book, but it's very clear that this book is about union organizing because the basic story of the book is that the cows are cold at night and they want to be warm at night so they go to the farmer and say "we want electric blankets." The farmer says "I'm not going to give you electric blankets, you're cows." So then the cows go on strike, and then the chickens go on strike and then, of course, the farmer capitulates and gives them blankets and it's this great story of union power.

What some of the teachers .... have done is they find subtle ways to get this book in front of kids. And so the example from Texas was there was a teacher who decided to make this a science lesson and so, what she did was she read the book to the students and then they did a science experiment to figure out the difference between electric blankets and regular blankets. So, that's just one example ...

Green: No, but that makes sense, so then they use these maybe legitimate exercises of a science study to get the left-wing indoctrination in because I'm assuming that with a book like that, you're talking elementary school kids right?

Olson: Yeah, very young kids. I think those were kindergarteners.

Green: So you've got these kids who have never been exposed to any of this kind of stuff, have never thought about this kind of stuff, but you're already planting in their minds the whole union philosophy.

...

Barton: By the way, that's not only a pro-union book, it's an anti-creation book because it makes the animals equal to people. Those kids who come out of that kindergarten class are going to grow up to be attorneys who fight for the rights of cows, because cows are just like we are. Speciesism .... how arrogant to think that humans are a higher species than anything else. No, God does that. That's in Genesis 1-3, different days of creation, different levels, He put man at the top, said "now you go subdue everything, it's all under you, you're the apex of this thing, you're just a little lower than the angels and I'm putting everything under your feet." Real simple stuff. But now, not only are we teaching unionism, we're going against that Biblical viewpoint.

Awkward for Everyone: Pat Robertson Weighs in on Oral Sex

Normally, Brian is the one who watches "The 700 Club" and decides which clips we should grab for posts.  But he is out today, so the responsibility of watching Robertson weigh in on the news of the day fell to me.

And, lucky me, today is the day that Robertson decides to weigh in on the question of whether oral sex within marriage is a sin. 

Co-host Kristi Watts was absolutely mortified as Robertson rambled on, claiming that it is only a sin if the people engaging in it feel that it is a sin:

FRC Laments 40 Year Old SCOTUS Decision Sanctioning 'Non-Procreative Sexual Intimacy'

In 1972, the Supreme Court decided Eisenstadt v. Baird, striking down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people.

Next week, the Family Research Council will host a discussion explaining how this decision, which "sanctioned unmarried non-procreative sexual intimacy," set the stage for the Obama Administration's contraception mandate and marriage equality: 

On March 22nd, 1972, the Supreme Court undermined the boundaries and benefits of marriage. In the decision Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Court struck down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people, and implicitly sanctioned unmarried non-procreative sexual intimacy.

While the decision may seem archaic and insignificant by modern sexual standards, Eisenstadt v. Baird dealt a decisive blow to the legal and cultural norm that marriage was the institution for the full expression of the sexual relationship between man and woman. The decision and its legal consequences affect us today. Forty years ago, the Court ruled that unmarried couples could not be denied their birth control. Today, the Federal government is forcing us to share the cost, for said contraception and some states are giving marital status to homosexual relationships.

God's Business and the Dangerous Spirit of Volunteerism

Yesterday we posted audio of David Barton claiming that the Bible, specifically Matthew 20's famous "Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard" taught that employers had no obligation to be "fair" to their employees.

This same idea was also promoted by Jay Richards in his book "Money, Greed, and God" and the tenets of Biblical economics are also now being embraced by James Robison (co-author of a new book with Richards,) which explains why Robison's program today featured an interview with Buddy Pilgrim, a Biblical business consultant who "teaches Biblical principles of leadership, business management and financial success applicable to every Christian in the workplace."

During the program, Pilgrim proclaimed that business is God's system and complained that  wealth and profit are being demonized while warning that a "dangerous" spirit of volunteerism (i.e. collectivism) was taking hold in America today: 

DOJ and Houston senator take a stand for voting rights, against ID law

The US Department of Justice has officially objected to the Texas voter ID law. State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston had urged such action.
PFAW Foundation

Barton: Employers Have no Obligation to be 'Fair' to Workers (and Jesus Agrees)

In the past, we have chronicled how David Barton uses the Bible, in particular Matthew 20:1-16, to promote an ultra-right-wing economic view by claiming that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and any sort of employment discrimination laws.

Barton's interpretation of this passage is particularly absurd since, as we have noted before, Matthew 20 is the famous "Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard" in which Jesus explains "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner" who pays all of his works the same amount, regardless of how much they worked. The point of the parable is that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the Heavenly reward is the same; those who embraced Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who were Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love.

On his "Wallbuilders Live" radio program today, Barton once again trotted out this parable, this time to declare that employers have no obligation to be "fair" to their workers and to suggest that Jesus also opposed unions:

The Bible says [the worker] started grumbling about what happened, grumbling about his wages and Jesus answered and said to him "am I being unfair to you friend? Didn't you agree to work for a day's wages? You take your pay and go. I want to give to the one who was hired the same as I gave to you. That's my choice." Here it is, Matthew 20:15. "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?"

Now, two things come out here, is if an employee agrees to work for an employer, that's a contract between the two of them ... and Jesus points out that you can go to a different vineyard if you don't like what I'm paying. You've got the free market, you can go choose a different employer. You agreed to work for me for this wage and that's what you're going to get. So first you get the inviolability of contracts between employers and employees ... and whatever is fair has nothing to do with it. That's not their responsibility to be fair, it's "I gave my word, that's what I agreed to work for." So Jesus says, as an employer, isn't my money mine to do with as I please?

Second point is, where were unions in all this? The contract is between an employer and an employee, not between a group. He went out and hired individually the guys he wanted to work.

Notice how Barton takes a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven and transforms it into a Biblical justification for laissez-faire capitalism, anti-unionism, and employment discrimination and does so by attributing to Jesus words that Jesus himself put in the mouth of an unnamed landowner in order to demonstrate God's generosity.

When Barton cites Matthew 20, it is not some parable about God's love, but rather a lesson in right-wing econonics in which Jesus himself hires workers for his vineyard and tells those who complain about wage discrimination that they can take a hike if they don't like it because employers have no obligation to be fair to their workers.  

Blinded by his Hatred of the SPLC, Barber Defends Patriot Militias

Ever since the Southern Poverty Law Center placed Peter LaBarbera's Americans For Truth About Homosexuality and several other Religious Right groups on its list of anti-gay hate groups, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel has become a relentless critic of the SPLC.

Even though Barber's own Liberty Counsel has not been designed an anti-gay hate group itself, Barber is on the board of LaBarbera's organization and so he has been eager to attack the SPLC at every opportunity, even accusing the organization of doing to Christians just what the Nazis did to the Jews.

Last week, the SPLC released a new report noting a recent dramatic rise within the "antigovernment 'Patriot' movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy." 

And it seems that Barber's hatred of the SPLC has now become so all-encompassing that he just automatically rejects any sort of designation that organization makes ... so much so that he is now defending antigovernment militia movements: 

The Montgomery, Alabama-based organization recently released a report saying that antagonism toward President Barack Obama is feeding the number of so-called "hate groups," and "anti-government" organizations continue to grow. The report also describes a "stunning rise" in the number of patriot and "militia" movements.

Matt Barber is director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel. He says the SPLC is a radical group that considers patriotism something to be loathed.

"Only in the eyes of a liberal, extremist group can those who embrace patriotism be considered dangerous, radical hate groups," he decides.

Three Montana Legislators Support Disgraced Federal Judge

Efforts to reframe Cebull as a victim of oppression show a lack of basic understanding about the American justice system.
PFAW Foundation

Fischer: It's 'Ridiculous' to Think Mockery & Condemnation Cause Gay Kids to Commit Suicide

Filling in as host for the "AFR Mornings" program today, Bryan Fischer brought on anti-gay activist Michael Brown to discuss his recent column defending Kirk Cameron from a tweet by Roseanne Barr in which she said Cameron was “an accomplice to murder with his hate speech” by claiming that Michelle Obama must then also be "complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity."

Fischer loved that line of reasoning, adding that it was "just ridiculous on its face" to think that being mocked, ridiculed, and condemned would lead gay kids to commit suicide.  After all, Fischer said, the AFA is "relentlessly hammered, condemned, criticized, [and] judged" every single day and nobody there is tempted to end their life just because they are being ridiculed:

ALEC Reports

ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures

When state legislatures around the country passed virtually identical bills to deregulate specific industries, dismantle unions or award massive tax cuts to corporations, one might wonder if such pro-special interest, pro-corporate legislation originates organically from the people's elected representatives. People For the American Way Foundation's Right Wing Watch: In Focus report on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) exposes the quietly influential organization behind pro-corporate laws in states throughout the country. By connecting powerful industry lobbyists with elected officials, ALEC works behind the scenes to mold state laws in the interest of big corporations -- usually completely under the radar of voters.

Read the Report >>

 

MORE...

 

ALEC IN ARIZONA: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona's Legislature

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a key voice for corporate special interests in state legislatures across the county, is welcomed with an especially warm embrace in Arizona, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation and Common Cause. With one of the highest concentrations of ALEC legislators of any state in the United States, Arizona lawmakers are working hand-in-hand with corporate leaders who make up ALEC's membership to deregulate specific industries, privatize education and dismantle unions, the report found.

Read the Report >>

 

ALEC in Ohio: The Corporate Special Interests That Help Write Ohio's Laws

A report by People For the American Way Foundation, Common Cause, the Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Ohio reveals the deep ties between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Ohio's legislature. Through a side-by-side comparison of ALEC legislative models and actual Ohio bills, the report shows how Ohio's legislators are working in tandem with corporate leaders to deregulate key industries, privatize education and dismantle unions.

Read the Report >>

 

 

 

RightWingWatch.org on ALEC >>

 

 

Elected Officials Officially Calling Out ALEC

Over the past few weeks, more progressive elected officials are not just voting against ALEC inspired legislation that would privatize public services and make a few people very rich, they are calling it out by name and raising awareness of how ALEC serves as a vehicle to enact a corporate wish list into law in states across the country.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton recently vetoed a set of ALEC-modeled tort-reform bills that originated from an “ALEC Boot Camp” for state legislators. Here’s his statement:

“Exactly who did the Republicans in the legislature listen to? Well, three of the four bills come right from this manual, Tort Reform Boot Camp, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. This is the same group who reportedly provided legislators last week with all-expense paid trips to a posh Florida hotel for what they call an “education policy conference.” It is an extremely conservative group, funded largely by large corporations, big business associations, insurance companies and very wealthy individuals. I’ve found that Minnesotans do not want their laws written by the lobbyists of big corporations.

“Since these Republican bills so closely follow ALEC’s instructions on tort reform, and since ALEC’s opinion on these subjects are evidently more important to Republican legislators than mine, their fellow legislator’s or the Supreme Court’s, perhaps they would share with us all of the other ALEC boot camp manuals, so we can know in advance what to expect from them for the rest of this session. If Republicans want to continue to prove to Minnesotans that they are too extreme to lead, they should continue to throw ALEC’s ideology at us. If they want to begin to govern responsibly, and work collaboratively, pass real jobs legislation – and my three measures have not even been taken up – real jobs legislations that will put Minnesotans back to work, then I’m ready to work with them. And I’m waiting.”

Just last week, Wisconsin State Representative Mark Pocan (D) decided to take action as well. He joined ALEC to gain access to the bill templates, and then took to the floor to expose the origins of AB110, a bill that would damage the public education system by giving special taxpayer subsidies to private schools for special needs children.

“This is part of dismantling public education in Wisconsin, and Florida, and Ohio, and every single state it’s introduced in,” Pocan explained. “This bill doesn’t come from this body, this bill is an identical bill that’s been introduced brought by special interests by ALEC and introduced state by state by state.”

 

ALEC’s secret jig is up. The American people don’t want their laws to be written by corporations, and they’ve made their voices heard. Now, our elected representatives – that is, the ones who are actually representing us, not wealthy special interests – are taking a stand too. ALEC’s pro- corporate agenda can only advance if kept secret. Kudos to those elected officials with the courage to shine the spotlight on this undemocratic organization.

PFAW Foundation
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