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African American Ministers Leadership Council Applauds DOJ Investigation of Trayvon Martin Shooting

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, issued the following statement in response to the Justice Department’s announcement that it would open a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin:

“It is shocking that nearly 60 years after the murder of Emmett Till, a black teenager can be killed simply for walking down the street, and his killer not even tried. Trayvon Martin’s life was not expendable. Unfortunately, for many weeks local law enforcement acted as if it were.

“The Justice Department was right to open an investigation into Trayvon’s murder. All his family is asking for is their constitutional right to equal justice under the law, for our justice system to recognize the value of their son’s life. In 2012, that shouldn’t be too much to ask.”

African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation, is an alliance of over 700 progressive African American clergy supporting social justice, civil rights, and reproductive health and justice.


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Voter suppression’s on the menu in Michigan

Last month we reported on the citizenship question that came up during Michigan’s primary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for voter suppression in the Great Lakes State.
PFAW Foundation

Barber: Obama Ramming his 'Radical Secular, Anti-Life, Pro-Death' Agenda Down our Throats

It has been a few weeks since Matt Barber was last co-hosting Liberty Counsel's daily "Faith and Freedom" radio program and we were starting to miss him because he can always be relied on to say something bigoted, over the top, or downright crazy that we could use for a post.

But fortunately, Barber has now returned to the studio and immediately started providing great quotes for us to highlight ... like this one calling President Obama "the single most anti-Christian president in the history of the United States" who is cramming his "radical secular, anti-life, pro-death" agenda down the throats of the American people:

Dennis Terry Continues to Play the Victim

Earlier today we noted that Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry is now trying to claim that he is being misquoted and his views misrepresented over the heated rhetoric he used on Sunday evening at an event with Rick Santorum when he told those who "don’t like the way we do things" that they can "get out" of the country.

Terry has now turned to CBN's David Brody to present his side of the story because Brody is the one Religious Right journalist that they can reliably count on to take whatever they say at face value and report it.

So here is the statement Terry released exclusively to Brody:

Sunday night our church was privileged to host Sen. Rick Santorum, a candidate in the Republican Presidential contest. As stated Sunday night, Greenwell Springs Baptist church has invited all of the candidates, including President Barack Obama to visit our congregation.

Prior to Senator Santorum speaking on Sunday night I gave a short exhortation to our congregation on why we as Christians should be involved in the political and public policy process. My message was based in 1 Peter 2:11-17. In my remarks I said the following:

“This nation was founded as a Christian Nation. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, there is only one God. There is only one God! And his name is Jesus!

I’m tired of people telling me I can’t say those words, I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me if you don’t love America or you don’t like the way we do things I‘ve got one thing to say get out!”

These comments have been misreported saying that I suggested those who do not believe like me should leave the country. I said no such thing. I said those who do not love America and what she stands for should leave. Chief among the principles that America is founded upon is that of religious freedom, and that includes Christianity. I will not be made to feel as if we as Christians should apologize for our faith or that we should take the backseat as America is morally and spiritually being driven in the wrong direction.

Muslims, Hindus, people of different religions or no religions have the right to be here in America, but they do not have the right to force me to be silent while they work to transform our nation.

My comments on Sunday night were my comments as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The validation of my comments is found in the response by those who are screaming separation of church and state.

You will notice that Terry conveniently left off the intro sentence of his statement where he declared "I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation  ..." 

That is kind of a key element to understanding what Terry was saying since he was not simply saying that those who don't love America should leave but was specifically talking about liberals, claiming that liberals are the ones who are telling him he can't pray in public and that if they don't love America and don't share his views, they ought to "get out" of the country.

The video speaks for itself, as anyone who watches it can see.  But Brody, of course, simply accepts Terry's claims wholesale and reports that the controversy Terry has created is "a good example of how the mainstream media just doesn’t understand the evangelical worldview."

Dennis Terry Responds to Controversy: 'I Love America'

On Sunday evening, Rick Santorum joined Family Research Council President for an event at Perkins' home church, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, in Louisiana where Santorum and Perkins were seated on stage as Pastor Dennis Terry declared that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out!":

I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, there's only one God. There's only one God and his name is Jesus.

I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words. I'm tired of people telling us, as Christians, that we can't voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me, if you don't love America and you don't like the way we do things, I got one thing to say: Get Out!

This outburst has, not surprisingly, generated a good bit of news and forced Santorum to try to distance himself from Terry. 

Yesterday, WBRZ news in Baton Rouge interviewed Terry about the controversy he has created and, of course, he responded by claiming that "people are misquoting" what he said and "twisted and edited" his words because all he meant was that "I love America":  

You will notice that Terry never explains how he had been misquoted or had his words twisted .... and that is probably because the original video of Terry telling liberals and all others who don't share his right-wing views that they should "get out" of the country clearly speaks for itself.

Robison: Wealthy Capitalists are the Victims of a Dangerous 'Type of Racism'

Over the weekend, James Robison and Jay Richards took their promotional tour for their new book "Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late" to Richard Land's weekly radio program.

During the interview, Robison warned that there is "a type of racism" growing in America against "free market capitalists" akin to the kind that they stood against along with Martin Luther King. 

Land then said that the next election was the most important since 1860, just as the 1980 election was the most important one regarding the survival of the Soviet Union, as Robison lamented that back in the 80s, the "enemy" was obvious to most people whereas "today the enemy is within":

Robison: Our economy is trembling, it's quaking. And we can correct it if we will come together and understand that the enemy is not the creator of wealth, it is not the free market capitalist crowd that do go out and create jobs, and opportunity, and investment. And we have really today biased the whole population against in them in a type of racism that is not only damaging but actually potentially very dangerous. There is an animosity and a hostility that you have to go all the way back to the horrible racism that you and I stood against along with Martin Luther King, that we detested. You have to look at that and see how dangerous it is.

Land: The 1980 election was the most important election for the Soviet Union, for the people of the Soviet Union, because it meant that they were going to be free. But the most important election for the United States since 1860 is this one because out future is at stake as America.

Robison: Right, and in 1980 you could see the enemy. It was quite obvious to most people we had a very serious threat. Today the enemy is within, it lurks in a very subtle and crafty way. And if we who know the truth do not point to the truth and stand for the truth and really get involved to turn back the tide, we are going to see in 3D the horrific collapse of the Untied States of America economically.

FRC Slams Obama 'Sin Requirement'

“Stop Obama’s Sin Requirement” screams the envelope of the latest direct mail letter from the Family Research Council. The letter inside takes the Religious Right’s attacks on the Obama to new depths of rhetorical ridiculousness: 
 
President Obama has decreed:
Christians must violate their consciences and sin…or else.
 
The letter is of course a continuation of the Religious Right’s campaign to portray rules requiring insurance coverage for contraceptives as an apocalyptic attack on religious freedom in America. And, the letter warns, that’s just the start. 
Washington is aggressively moving to silence the influence and freedom of Christians in every sphere of society. Churches and ministries, charities, Christian bookstores, radio and television stations, Christian businesses will face coercion—censorship—silencing—denial of licenses—even being shut down.
 
Why? Because the Obama Left has made it clear they have a goal: marginalize Christianity, make it irrelevant and powerless to influence morality, the role of the family, and the course of our nation. And as the role of the Church is diminished—expand the federal bureaucracy.
 
They want to replace the effective work of churches and charities and essentially replace them with government programs—more constly, less effective programs.
 
They want to get religion out of the equation and make America utterly unrecognizable as a nation founded upon Christian principles. There is an unprecedented ideology of hostility toward the Christian religion in Washington today.
 
….
One prominent church leader has said, “what war and disease cannot do to the congregation, the government of the United States will. It will shut them down.”
The call to arms over religious liberty is signed by Tony Perkins – the same Tony Perkins who recently stood with Rick Santorum and applauded his pastor who screamed that America was founded to be a Christian nation and anyone who doesn’t like it should “get out!”

Terry Vows to Testify Against Us on the Day of Judgment

Last week, Randall Terry released a video demanding that we and others acknowlege his primary "victory" in Oklahoma over President Obama , which we gladly did. 

But now it seems that Terry is not particularly pleased with the coverage that his video received and so he is back with a new video, this one warning us, Jezebel, The Huffington Post, TPM Muckraker, and The Young Turks that he will testify against us all on the Day of Judgment because we promote murder while mocking God and His servants and are thus condemning ourselves to Hell:

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:

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