This has been a bad week for white nationalists at National Review – John Derbyshire was fired over the weekend and Robert Weissberg was fired on Wednesday. Both men were also contributors at VDARE, the white nationalist website run by Peter Brimelow, who moonlights at Dow Jones’ MarketWatch when he isn’t calling for end to immigration or promoting racial theories about genetic inferiority.
We had never heard of Dan Delzell until today, but apparently he is pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska and a regular contributor to The Christian Post where he is given space to pen informative pieces such as this one in which he explains that "the promotion and practice of sex outside of marriage is doing more to increase the national debt than any other single factor":
The strong correlation between sexual immorality and overspending is beyond dispute. A perfect example in the Bible is the prodigal son in Luke 15. A perfect example in the world today is the United States.
Which came first...the chicken or the egg? Likewise, sensual indulgence is intricately interwoven with voracious spending habits. The prodigal son had it good at home. But he wanted more, and he wanted it immediately. His lust for money was fueled by his lust for sensual pleasure, and "vice" versa.
He took his inheritance which was intended to provide for future needs. He wasted it on wild living in the moment. He was clueless to what was happening while he was in the midst of his sensual storm. In America today, the promotion and practice of sex outside of marriage is doing more to increase the national debt than any other single factor. Blindness in one area produces blindness in the other. Just ask the prodigal son.
God made sex. God gave man and woman sexual desires. Sex within marriage between a man and a woman is a good thing. Outside of God's plan, there is chaos. When man feeds his sexual temptations, he creates financial confusion in his mind.....and this leads to economic disaster, among other things. Likewise, when man feeds his love for money, this often leads to sexual promiscuity. The two are somehow joined together in unholy matrimony. Remember....holy matrimony involves one man and one woman. Anything else is a counterfeit.
Last year, Bryan Fischer openly declared that Mitt Romney's Mormon faith "ought to be an issue in 2012" and that Romney should be forced to publicly declare whether he embraces Mormon teachings that conflict with the Bible so that voters can decide "whether they want somebody with those convictions sitting in the Oval Office."
Since then, Fischer has repeatedly attacked Romney over his faith, calling him a "spiritually-compromised candidate" and declaring that a Mormon president represents a threat to the "spiritual health" of the nation.
But Fischer has also realized that openly attacking Romney's faith in this manner might be problematic even at the American Family Association, so he has settled upon a trick whereby he continues to do so while pretending that is really the media which is attacking Romney's Mormon faith.
Fischer announced this trick a few months ago when wrote a piece claiming that if Romney became the Republican nominee, "the winger-left media" would not hesitate to highlight "the more unusual aspects of Mormon theology." And he has been using this framing ever since as he launches repeated attacks upon Mormonism while thinking he is avoiding responsibility simply because he is pretending that it is the media that is really attacking Romney's faith.
Yesterday, while discussing Hilary Rosen's comment about Ann Romney, Fischer demonstrated exactly how he does it, using the flap as cover to engage in a long attack on Mormon theology while saying that the media needs to ask Mitt and Ann Romney about it because the media once asked Michele Bachmann about her theology:
So, based on nothing more than a random comment made about Ann Romney, Fischer is now demanding that the Romney's publicly address the specific tenets of their faith ... while blaming it all on the media.
Fischer actually declared that this was the single most offensive and outrageous thing that he can recall anyone having said in the years he has been hosting his daily radio program ... which is pretty remarkable considering that Fischer says insanely bigoted and offensive things on almost a daily basis.
And, as if to prove that, he used the Rosen flap as an opportunity to make the case that it is Democrats who are waging a war on women by "protecting and defending the abortion industry," which means that "liberals in America are killing America's women before they are ever born":
Now that Rick Santorum has dropped out and Newt Gingrich is merely going through the motions, it is all but inevitable that Mitt Romney is going to secure the Republican presidential nomination. As such, Religious Right leaders have seen the handwriting on the wall and begun lining up to support him.
But not everyone is willing to do so, partially because of Romney's long history of changing his political principles to win office, but also because of his Mormon faith. As Bryan Fischer made clear yesterday, there is a not insignificant percentage of the Religious Right base that simply will not vote for a "spiritually compromised candidate" like Romney
Similarly, Steve Deace is an influential right-wing radio host in Iowa who endorsed Newt Gingrich but is now struggling with the prospect of having to support Romney. And while Deace appears to be willing to at least entertain the idea of voting for Romney out of necessity simply because of the issue of Israel, he is equally willing to give air time to vehement anti-Mormon critics like Tricia Erickson to make the case on his program that being a Mormon in and of itself demonstrates that Romney's judgement cannot be trusted:
I think that the leader of the free world, especially in the times that we're in today, we cannot afford a Mormon experiment. We have to have someone at the head of our country with sound judgment. If this man does not have the judgment to be able to discern fact from fiction on the most basic things like the horrifically false religion that he's in. If he doesn't have the wherewithal to understand that he has lived a lie all of his life and continues the lie, then how do we trust the judgment of this man to put him at the head of our country with everything that's going on? I mean, if he cannot even figure out fact from fiction in the way that he's been raised, how can we trust his judgement at the head of our nation?
Updated Report Documents Intensified Influence of American Legislative Exchange Council and its Out-of-State Corporate Donors
PHOENIX -- Legislators in Arizona continue to advance extremist legislation inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its out-of-state corporate backers, according to a new analysis by People For the American Way Foundation, Common Cause, the Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Now. This report shines a new light on the Arizona Legislature’s unprecedented ties to the secretive organization, which recently drew nationwide fire for its role in implementing radical policies across the country like “Shoot First” laws and voter suppression laws, and anti-worker measures. ALEC’s extreme agenda has recently led companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Wendy’s, KRAFT and Intuit to withdraw from the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday also withdrew its support from ALEC.
The comprehensive report found that Arizona’s large concentration of ALEC-member legislators, working hand-in-hand with the corporate leaders who make up ALEC’s membership, are continuing to endorse special interest legislation that harms ordinary people by limiting consumers’ rights, privatizing education and dismantling unions.
The report, ALEC in Arizona: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona’s Legislature, updated for the Fiftieth Legislature, second regular session is available here.
“Recent polling shows that Arizonans are appalled by the out-of-touch and extremist agenda at their State Legislature. This report shows that agenda is no accident,” said John Loredo, a member of Arizona Working Families and a former Arizona House Minority Leader. “Unfortunately, Arizona has one of the highest concentrations of ALEC legislators in the country, and that makes us a petri dish for anti-worker legislation and a host of other bad ideas.”
“ALEC-member legislators are unabashedly continuing to push legislation straight from corporate headquarters to Arizona’s lawbooks,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way Foundation. “Well-heeled special interests are circumventing the democratic system and bypassing Arizona’s citizens, who can’t match the level of access that ALEC provides. As a result, Arizonans are facing an endless assault from laws that serve the interests of the rich and powerful instead of everyday people.”
“The more Arizonans learn about ALEC, its agenda, and its tactics in advancing that agenda, the more they wonder why their elected representatives and leading corporate citizens would be associated with such an organization,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “No business has a legitimate interest in limiting the right to vote or in undermining public education; no legislator can reasonably defend laws that protect the manufacturers of dangerous or defective products. In embracing ALEC, lawmakers and business people embrace these and other policies that betray the public interest.”
"ALEC' state chair, Rep. Debbie Lesko, has claimed she gives equal access to ALEC corporation as Arizona citizens about changing the law, but this report shows how special interests outside of Arizona are crafting massive changes to the rights of state citizens behind closed doors," said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy/ALECexposed.org, adding "Public records also document that Rep. Lesko raises funds from ALEC corporations to distribute to ALEC legislators that help advance ALEC's agenda so they can go on resort trips where politicians secretly vote on model bills such as these with corporate lobbyists voting as equals. This is distorting the law in ways that harm Arizona families and should be stopped."
The updated report demonstrates the scope of ALEC’s policymaking influence with a side-by-side comparison of ALEC “model bills” with recently-submitted Arizona legislation, including:
• Anti-worker legislation designed to limit the freedom of public employees to voice their views by making it more difficult to collect professional association and union dues and blocking members from participating in professional association and union functions;
• Bills that make it easier for corporations to get away with wrongdoing and restricting consumers’ ability to seek justice in a court of law; and
• Attacks on public education by replacing real teachers with private, for profit, “virtual classrooms.”
ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, has uncovered and analyzed approximately 800 ALEC “model” bills secretly voted on by corporations and politicians in an effort to reveal the undue influence major corporations hold, with the help of ALEC, in our democracy. Click here for more information.
As we noted earlier, James Robison was joined on today's episode of his television show by David Barton and Glenn Beck. After Barton warned that liberals were trying to institute a "secular theocracy," Beck issued a warning of his own that most people are "in bed with absolute evil" and don't even realize it because our global society is "now worshiping Baal":
As we noted the other day, Glenn Beck was the special guest all week on James Robison's "Life Today" television program. But today we were treated to a surprise guest when David Barton joined Robison and Beck as an extra-special guest.
During the discussion, Robison and Barton claimed that it is not the Religious Right that seeks to impose any sort of theocracy on America, but rather "secular progressives" are seeking to institute a secular theocracy because "usually whatever they accuse you of, is what they're guilty of":
Facing unprecedented public scrutiny and the beginnings of a mass corporate exodus, the American Legislative Exchange Council is on defense. This morning, the organization issued a statement explaining that they are a “pro-growth, pro-jobs” policy organization, and really can’t see what all the fuss is about. Here’s a snippet:
"For years, ALEC has partnered with legislators to research and develop better, more effective public policies – legislation that creates a more transparent, accountable government, policies that place a priority on free enterprise and consumer choice, and tax policies that are fair, simple and that spur the kind of competiveness that puts Americans back to work.
"At a time when job creation, real solutions and improved dialogue among political leaders is needed most, ALEC’s mission has never been more important. This is why we are redoubling our commitment to these essential priorities. We are not and will not be defined by ideological special interests who would like to eliminate discourse that leads to economic vitality, jobs and fiscal stability for the states."
Unfortunately for ALEC, these defenses simply don’t hold water. If ALEC’s idea of “discourse” means putting corporate lawyers together with state lawmakers at secret conferences to draft pro-corporate legislation; and “economic vitality” and “jobs” means suppressing the vote, locking up immigrants, busting unions and wrecking the environment – all measures designed to funnel money into the coffers of ALEC’s corporate members regardless of the damage to others – then there’s a lot more fuss headed their way. Here’s part of PFAW Foundation president Michael Keegan’s response:
“ALEC’s statement would have us believe that their policies promote ‘economic vitality,’ but it is difficult to see how policies that disenfranchise thousands of voters, create irrational gun laws like ‘Shoot First,’ promote fast tracks to prison for immigrants and endanger our health and safety by gutting environmental protections make any American better off. The true economic consequences of the ALEC agenda – which includes privatizing public resources such as schools and prisons, dismantling unions and stacking the deck against average people who try to seek justice in a court of law – is that wealthy special interests get even richer while the rest of us are left in the dust. ALEC believes in job creation – unless job elimination is better for the bottom line of a few corporations."
The full statement is available here.
On yesterday's episode of "WallBuilders Live," Rick Green and David Barton were discussing the issue of religious liberty and the role the issue played in the formation of the United States when Barton asserted that, right now, America is "like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds" except that we are not burning people at the stake ... yet:
This is a really important thing, to be able to have the presence of religion there but now we're seeing a hostility that we've not [seen before.] This is like England back in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds, quite frankly. Now, we're not burning people at the stake yet, but we are imprisoning people for their faith and to say that in America, that's unbelievable.
During yesterday's program when Bryan Fischer was warning that electing a "spiritually-compromised" Mormon like Mitt Romney would weaken and endanger America, he was restating his theory that liberals and the media are now going to start attacking Romney's faith, claiming that if the media thinks that the beliefs of Evangelicals are odd, then "what Mormons believe is in coo-coo land."
That somehow sent him off on a tangent about science, during which he declared that he didn't believe in global warming or evolution because he is "committed to science." And since "evolution is completely irrational and scientifically bankrupt," the "most logical thing in the world" is to believe that God created the universe:
Sadly, Fischer never got around to explaining how the theory of evolution is even remotely related to the laws of thermodynamics or how the latter undermines the former, as he eventually got back and track and returned to his anti-Mormon diatribe.
This morning, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) issued a response to the decisions by The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, McDonald's, Kraft Foods and Intuit to leave the organization in the face of increasing public exposure of – and opposition to – the extreme agenda ALEC has pushed through state legislatures across the country.
People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“ALEC’s statement would have us believe that their policies promote ‘economic vitality,’ but it is difficult to see how policies that disenfranchise thousands of voters, create irrational gun laws like ‘Shoot First,’ promote fast tracks to prison for immigrants and endanger our health and safety by gutting environmental protections make any American better off. The true economic consequences of the ALEC agenda – which includes privatizing public resources such as schools and prisons, dismantling unions and stacking the deck against average people who try to seek justice in a court of law – is that wealthy special interests get even richer while the rest of us are left in the dust. ALEC believes in job creation – unless job elimination is better for the bottom line of a few corporations.
“Americans won't forget that corporate representatives are bypassing the democratic process by drafting these policies in secret and using ALEC to help pass them into law. It’s no wonder that the American people disapprove, and businesses that depend on the American people have no reason to advance such a harmful agenda. We commend the leadership of the companies who have left ALEC thus far.”
As Brian noted in his last post, Religious Right leaders are starting to grudgingly coalesce behind Mitt Romney not that it appears all but certain that he is going to be the Republican presidential nominee.
But Bryan Fischer is not necessarily among them.
Fischer has made no secret of his anti-Mormon views, saying that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and warning that electing a Mormon president is a threat to the "spiritual health" of the nation.
Romney, for his part, actually called out Fischer for his bigotry during last year's Values Voter Summit, which only solidified Fischer's distrust and dislike of him.
So when Rick Santorum announced yesterday that he was finally dropping out of the race, Fischer dedicated much of his program to discussing developments and declaring that many Religious Right voters will not be able to support a "spiritually compromised candidate" like Romney ... and that this "is perfectly understandable" because worshiping false gods will weaken the nation:
The reality is that there are just a number of Evangelicals that just will not vote for Romney because they do not want to put somebody who believes in a different god in the White House, which is perfectly understandable. He's a spiritually compromised candidate; that's the only way to put it. If he goes into the Oval Office, he will be the first polytheist that we've ever had as a president. Mitt Romney would be the first non-Christian president that we've ever had; the first president that we've ever had that did not emerge from a stream of historic Christian orthodoxy.
So this would be unprecedented, and it would be unprecedented spiritually. You remember the prophets, this is one of the things that they were toughest on the kings about is departing the worship of the true and living God for alternative gods. This was something that weakened a nation and so we're looking at that, if Mitt Romney becomes the president, we have a spiritually-compromised president who will be the first polytheist to ever hold the Oval Office, the first president who has ever believed in a multiplicity of gods, the first president who has ever believe that man can become a god, and that God didn't used to be God, he used to be a man who progressed to godhood. So this would be completely uncharted waters for America.
Earlier this month, Richard Land dedicated his weekly radio program to discussing the Trayvon Martin shooting where he accused "race hustlers" of using the situation to "gin up the black vote" for President Obama.
His remarks, not surprisingly, have been generating some controversy ... but Land is not backing down and has issued a statement to the Baptist Press saying he will "not bow to the false god of political correctness" because "true racial reconciliation means you can criticize black leaders when you believe they have been wrong without being labeled as a racist":
Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land, who played a key role in the Southern Baptist Convention's 1995 repentance of the "racism of which we have been guilty," has caught media attention over what he views as the infusion of politics into the Trayvon Martin killing.
In comments provided to Baptist Press April 10, Land stood by his radio remarks.
"Some have said that I, by criticizing this rush to judgment, have set back the cause of racial reconciliation. Real racial reconciliation, to which I have been committed for my entire ministry, involves treating people as equals," Land wrote.
"Among other things, it means speaking the truth in love and not being called a racist when you are the bearer of uncomfortable truths. True racial reconciliation means you can criticize black leaders when you believe they have been wrong without being labeled as a racist. True racial reconciliation means that you do not bow to the false god of political correctness," Land wrote.
As the American people become more and more aware of the damage caused by the extreme pro-corporate agenda pushed in state legislatures by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the more evident it becomes that this organization is undermining our democracy by advocating for special interest bills that benefit the wealthy few at the expense of the many.
But ALEC can’t do this on their own. They need complicit state legislators to introduce the corporate lobbyist-drafted model bills in state legislatures, but they also rely on the millions of dollars paid annually by major corporations for membership in the organization. That’s why PFAW and a number of other advocacy organization have launched a petition calling on ALEC members like State Farm, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s to disassociate from the organization. Over 68,000 people have signed it so far.
ALEC’s agenda is so extreme that the organization is becoming unpalatable even for the corporations that fund it. The Coca-Cola company, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Intuit have already ditched the group, and the Gates Foundation has decided that they will no longer provide grants to ALEC. We need to tell major corporations that funding a secretive organization that hawks legislation that is not in the American people’s interest is not in their interest either. As PFAW Foundation president Michael Keegan said,
“Corporate membership in ALEC isn’t just destructive to democracy, it’s also bad for business. Corporations that currently support ALEC have a choice to make: they can continue to underwrite reckless assaults on our rights and wellbeing, or they can stand up for their customers by leaving ALEC immediately.”
ALEC can be tied to the proliferation of “Stand Your Ground” laws like the one that is hindering bringing justice for Trayvon Martin, as well as tons of model bills that are aimed at increasing corporate profits by privatizing schools and prisons, weakening environmental protections, dismantling unions, disenfranchising voters and making it harder to seek justice in a court of law. The American people want nothing more to do with ALEC, and neither should the corporations we support.
I admit to being utterly fascinated by David Barton's continuing insistence that all sorts of elements of our society and our form of government came directly out of the Bible.
For the record, here is the language in Article II:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President.
Compare that to any of the various translations of Deuteronomy 17:15:
You shall surely set him king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you: you may not set a stranger over you, who is not your brother.
Not exactly verbatim, now are they?
State Farm, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s targeted by coalition
Washington, D.C -- A coalition of civil rights and government watchdog groups with members in all 50 states elevated the ongoing campaign to pressure corporations to withdraw from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by calling today on three prominent companies to join the list of firms departing ALEC.
Color of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way Foundation, Progress Now, the Center for Media and Democracy, and CREDO said their members will be petitioning State Farm Insurance, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s – all of whom play a prominent leadership role in ALEC to leave the organization immediately.
“Corporate membership in ALEC isn’t just destructive to democracy, it’s also bad for business. Corporations that currently support ALEC have a choice to make: they can continue to underwrite reckless assaults on our rights and wellbeing, or they can stand up for their customers by leaving ALEC immediately,” said Michael Keegan, President of People for the American Way Foundation.
“It’s increasingly clear that ALEC applies the economic clout of some of our country’s largest corporations on behalf of public policies that limit voting rights, undermine our public schools, assault collective bargaining and weaken laws protecting our environment,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “This is neither good business nor responsible corporate citizenship.”
Many Americans have learned about ALEC in recent weeks through news stories detailing its role in the proliferation of “Stand Your Ground” laws similar to the Florida statute at issue in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
"Major corporations like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Kraft understand that supporting voter suppression efforts and dangerous 'Stand Your Ground' legislation puts their brands at great risk in the Black community," said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. "We hope that McDonald's, Johnson and Johnson, and State Farm also get that message. Today, our members are flooding these companies with phone calls to demand that they stop supporting ALEC."
"The funding of these and other corporations makes ALEC's operations and agenda possible, including closed door meetings where corporate and special interest lobbyists actually vote as equals with elected officials on 'model' bills to change gun laws and make it more difficult for American citizens to vote," said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy/ALECexposed.org, adding "The American people have a right to know about this corporate bill mill and a right to hold the corporations and politicians to account."
“ALEC’s companies and lobbyists wine-and-dine our elected officials at expense-paid ‘seminars,’ write legislation for them and then fade quietly into the background as that legislation is introduced and passed in statehouses across the country,” said Anna Scholl of Progress Virginia. “People we elect to represent all of us end up representing just a few, driven by their pursuit of profit and/or a radical ideological agenda.” Progress Virginia recently released a report detailing ALEC’s undue influence in the Commonwealth.
"If you're a consumer who believes in civil rights you don't want to give your money to companies that fund the organization leading the attack on voting rights," said Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO Action. "Our members are prepared to hold companies accountable if they continue funding ALEC."
Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Intuit confirmed last week that they’ve already withdrawn from ALEC. On Monday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they will no longer be making grants to ALEC.
People For the American Way Foundation is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way.