Harry Jackson spoke at the iPledge Sunday prayer service last night where claimed that minority voters were selling out and bowing their knee to Baal by voting Democratic and, in the process, threatening the welfare of this nation because 'if God lifts his hand from America, we lose it all." As such, Jackson told African Americans and Hispanics that they have got to "vote your Biblical values" and "decide that you're going to come off of an ideological plantation and into the freedom of the liberty of the sons of God."
Jackson then went on to proclaim that the reason America is facing tough economic times "is because we have not been biblically faithful" because the nation has been seeking to redefine God's definition of marriage:
At 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Arizona officials announced the granting of a multi-million dollar contract to Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison giant, for the operation of one thousand medium security prison beds. The grant was not exactly a big surprise; CCA had hired as lobbyists people close to Gov. Jan Brewer.
What should be more surprising is that officials are arguing with a straight face that the deal is good for taxpayers, in spite of evidence to the contrary. As the Arizona Republic reported,
The contract calls for CCA to be paid a per diem rate of $65.43 per bed. The most recent information available shows the average daily cost per inmate in a state-run medium-custody facility in 2010 was $48.42. The award to CCA is 35percent more than what it cost the state to house and monitor inmates two years ago.
Unfortunately for taxpayers, Arizona officials have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to tap taxpayers in order to advance an anti-government ideology and boost the profits of a company that is generous with its spending on lobbying and campaign contributions.
People For the American Way Foundation’s recent report “Predatory Privatization” noted that private prisons in Arizona cost the state as much as $7 million more in 2009 and 2010 than units operated by the state department of corrections. The report also noted CCA’s aggressive expansion plans:
Earlier this year, CCA wrote to officials in 48 states offering to buy and run prisons if states would guarantee a 90 percent occupancy rate. A coalition of religious groups urged state officials to turn down the offer, which the groups said would create an incentive for mass incarceration and “be costly to the moral strength of your state” as well as costly financially.
Last night, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council hosted a nationwide simulcast entitled "iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family, and Freedom" that featured Religious Right leaders like Rick Santorum, Harry Jackson, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough and others "celebrating Christian citizenship and exhorting Christians to rise up on Election Day to make our voices heard."
Among the featured speakers was Kirk Cameron who essentially just recounted the story he laid out in his documentary "Monumental" which eventually prompted him to declare that while today's Democratic Party is wondering whether God should be mentioned in its platform, "according to our Forefathers, God is the platform!"
Cameron then went on to marvel that the Founding Fathers would be appalled and "rolling over in their graves" if they knew that we were even discussing things like abortion or marriage equality:
A few months ago, an effort to legalize abortion in Ireland failed and David Barton hailed the development on today's "Good News Friday" program of "WallBuilders Live."
But Barton was not really concerned about the illegality of abortion in Ireland, as he was mostly just interested in the title of an article about it posted on LifeNews.com that read "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion" because, to him, it proves that people who support a woman's right to choose are really just socialists:
I love the title on this. It says "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion." Now the two words that stick out to me there are "socialists" and "abortion." It's interesting how those two things go together. Pro-abortion people tend to be pro-socialism people; that is, they want bigger government. If you want abortion, you want bigger government.
And I don't think I had really thought of socialism and abortion as going side-by-side until I saw the headline to this article that they defeated a socialist's bill to legalize abortion. And, you know, that kind of helps me identify things here in America; I can kind of start looking at people who are pro-abortion and say, you know, they really are pro-socialism, they're pro bigger government, less individual rights and responsibilities.
But I think it's good news for us to identify pro-abortion people with socialism, quite frankly.
It looks like we will now get to look forward to weekly videos featuring Gary Bauer offering his thoughts on contemporary issues, as his YouTube page uploaded a new video yesterday entitled "Gary Bauer's Weekly Reflection" in which he declared that the Democratic Party's platform was "the most radical left-wing document ever adopted by a major political party" ... so radical in fact, that God wouldn't even want to be a part of it:
Bill Federer was on "Focal Point" yesterday to discuss his new book "Miracles in American History - 32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayers" but somehow he and Bryan Fischer got sidetracked talking about voter fraud which then led into Federer into a rambling discussion about the possibility of an "October surprise" in the upcoming election.
Federer claimed that the 2006 scandal involving Ted Haggard was timed to help Democrats retake Congress and that the subprime mortgage crisis was like orchestrated to stop the momentum the McCain campaign had gained by choosing Sarah Palin as its running mate.
He then went on to wildly speculate about what sort of possible surprises could be in store for this election, suggesting that the Obama administration would intentionally bring about war between Iran and Israel which Obama could use as a pretext to take control of the radio, TV and internet.
Or else Obama might fake a plot on his life that can be blamed on the Tea Party, which was just the sort of strategy that Joseph Stalin used as an excuse to kill millions of his enemies!
Is that something Obama would do, asked Federer ... answering that "if you can vote to kill innocent babies, what can't you justify?"
Few Religious Right leaders can match Jim Garlow for delivering dire doom and gloom warnings about what is in store for America and Christians if the church does not rise up and make sure that President Obama is not re-elected.
Today, he joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on "Today's Issues" where he bluntly declared that there are only "61 days of America left" because if Obama is re-elected, America will become permanently unrecognizable. As such, it is imperative that Christians become "unbelievably bold," just as Perkins and Wildmon have been, for which they will one day be hailed by historians:
Perkins: Dr. Garlow, how critical is the Christian vote in this upcoming election.
Garlow: At the risk of being misunderstood, I am going to say it this bluntly: we have 61 days of America left. I know that sounds melodramatic to some, it sounds alarmist, Chicken Little to some people. But we have 61 days. If we do not see a change at this time, America will be set on a trajectory that will make it unrecognizable in four years; it is almost that today.
We have 61 days of America left. If we do not turn at this point, America as we have known her will be forever gone. It is crisic that people vote, that they activate, that they become informed and they influence every other people they can regardless of how unreceptive people might be to them announcing where they stand on the issues. It is time for us to be unbelievably bold.
And thank you Tim and thank you Tony for what you men do. When historians record what turned America someday, your names are going to be there.
Concerned Women for America's president Penny Nance recently sat down with CWA to discuss the different ways in which the Republican and Democrats are trying to appeal to women in their respective conventions and messages.
While the GOP was working to highlight pro-life women leaders, Nance said, the Democrats were trying to appeal to women like Sandra Fluke by handing out free birth control ... women who, if they just spent less money on beer, could afford their own birth control:
The question before us now is how are the Democrats going to handle that issue, how are they going to appeal to women? Is it going to be the Sandra Fluke sort of message that women are only interested in free birth control or free stuff at that. The question is what message works and it is a message of victim-hood, that you need free stuff from the government to be able to be productive in society?
Is this just about the idea that really all it takes to win a woman's vote is free birth control which, by the way, we know that WalMart offers it for $9 a month. I often think I'd like to say to Sandra Fluke that if you'd just had less beer in college, I think you probably could afford the birth control you wanted.
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer took issue with President Obama's recent claim that the Republican Party's agenda is so dated and retrograde that that it was the sort of thing one would have seen "on a black-and-white TV."
It is not that Republicans are trying to take America back to the days of black-and-white TV, Fischer declared, because they want to go even further back than that ... all the way to the Book of Genesis and the Garden of Eden!
And that is because any nation that supports things like marriage equality or the right to choose is bound to suffer the wrath of God:
You know, Barack Obama is out there, or the Democrats are out there, saying we want to go back, saying Republicans want to take us back to the days of black-and-white TV, that's what Barack Obama says.
And I say no, we're going way, way, way back further than that; we are going all the way to the dawn of creation. God is the one who created us male and female; God is the one who formed marriage, who created marriage, who designed it to be a union of one man and one woman for life. So we're going way past the 1950s; we're going clear back to the Garden of Eden.
Now I contend that we shed innocent blood and we honor sexual perversity to our national peril. This is not an incidental thing; it puts our nation in grave danger of the judgment of God. If we shed innocent blood and we embrace sexual deviancy, this will bring the judgment of God upon any nation that approves of those behaviors and gives them special protection in laws.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today where he was promoting his new book "Push Back, Reclaiming the American Judeo-Christian Spirit," which he said he hoped would inspire people to rise up and take to the streets in protest against the "hard-core leftist socialists" who are out to destroy the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian philosophy:
There's no question that there is a very concerted effort by an elitist clique on the left - they used to call themselves liberals; they're really leftists, hard-core leftist socialists - and they want to control every aspect of our life. They have no respect for our religious conscience; they actually have no respect even for the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, they override it whenever they decide to. They called many of our Founding Fathers "dead white males" and by repudiating them, they really wish to repudiate the Constitution, our American ethos, the whole Judeo-Christian system that gave us success.
If we're going to win this battle - we, the citizens state-side here - we've got to rise up and push back; we've got to go into the street, we've got to protest, we've got to rally, we've got to contact all of our people in every type of state legislature, the people on the national level, the local level, the school board because they're fighting us in every single precinct of America to take over the culture, to take over the law, to transform us into something socialist, like Europe, something that has no respect for the Judeo-Christian philosophy. It's our job to fight back; we can't rely on other people to do it for us.
In November of last year, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Overland Park, Kansas installed "11 life-size bronze sculptures that were created and donated to the arboretum by Chinese sculptors," among which was one of a "disjointed body of a young, bare-breasted woman, one thin arm extended to snap a photo of herself":
Some local residents were so outraged by the statue that they sought, without success, to have it removed. So eventually the local chapter of the American Family Association stepped in, claiming that the statue encourages “sexting” and violates obscenity standards, and gathered some 4,700 signatures which have now been delivered to the county clerk in order to have city officials indicted by a grand jury:
Phillip Cosby regional head of the American Family Association delivered 4700 signatures to the county clerks office. He wants the artwork gone, and thinks Overland Park City officials could be indicted on obscenity charges.
"There's more in the message here with the presence of the camera, the obvious come hither posture and the aroused breasts and all the sexual components. The statue is sending a message to children," says Cosby.
"On voting rights in America, the arc of the universe has indeed been long, centuries long, from the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution to the poll tax to the literacy test. But it has always bent toward justice. These new laws seek to bend the arc backward again, to take away from people their effective right to vote."
Ever since last month's tragic shooting at the Family Research Council's headquarters, the Religious Right has been on a mission to laytheblame on the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating FRC and others as anti-gay hate groups.
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, in particular, has been on a crusade to blame the shooting on the SPLC and on Friday's episode of the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, warned everyone in the media not to ever dare to cite the SPLC's anti-gay hate group designations ever again, saying that if they do and "something like this again happens, [they] will also have blood on their hands":
Cleveland, Ohio – Ohio members of the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) applauded a federal court’s decision today to restore early voting rights for all Ohioans in the three days before November’s election.
In 2008, 93,000 Ohioans cast their votes in the three days before the election. Last year, the Ohio legislature and Gov. John Kasich passed a law eliminating early voting during those three days. The Obama campaign sued to reinstate it. Last Sunday, AAMLC member Rev. Dr. Tony Minor wrote an op-ed in the Plain Dealer criticizing attempts to limit early voting in Ohio.
“This is a victory for our democracy, and a victory for every Ohio voter,” said Rev. Dr. Tony Minor of Cleveland, Ohio coordinator of the African American Ministers Leadership Council. “Early voting helped make it easier for many working Ohioans to vote four years ago. It was a success story for civic participation and for civil rights. Our elected officials’ cynical attempts to make it harder for Ohioans to cast our ballots went against both the spirit of our democracy and the letter of our law.”
The African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation founded in 1997, works nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls through the non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.
Houston, Tex. – Texas members of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation, praised a federal court decision today striking down Texas’ suppressive voter ID law. A unanimous three-judge panel on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, reviewing the proposed restrictions under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, found that the law “imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas.”
“It is inexcusable that nearly 50 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, politicians are still trying to make it harder for African Americans in Texas to vote,” said Rev. Dr. Simeon L. Queen, Prairie View City Councilman and Pastor of Community Affairs & Homeless Services at St. John's Downtown UMC. “I wish the Voting Rights Act wasn’t still necessary, but thank the Lord it’s still there. African Americans in Texas have struggled throughout our history to exercise all of our rights as citizens, including the right to vote without unnecessary restrictions meant to discourage and disenfranchise. Today, thanks to the Voting Rights Act, a major threat to that effort has been defeated.”
“Our elected officials should be trying to get more people to vote, not discouraging those who are trying to participate in our democracy,” said Rev. Dr. Rolen Lewis Womack, Jr. of Houston, co-chair of the African American Ministers Leadership Council. “We are working every day to encourage our congregations and communities to vote and to help them get to the ballot box. Today’s ruling removes a major obstacle to that work.”
The African American Ministers Leadership Council, founded in 1997, has been working nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls in every election, most recently through the newly-launched non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.
Joe Hagan of New York Magazine caught up with Ralph Reed at the RNC and the two had a rather spirited discussion over religion and politics that eventually took on the issue of the contraception mandate and the Religious Right's vehement opposition to it.
Hagan asked Reed why conservatives are so outraged about this issue but don't seem to care that people are required to pay taxes that fund all sorts of things they find objectionable and immoral - like war - for which there are no exemptions.
And the best explanation that Reed could come up with was "I don’t think it’s the same":
The Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to include contraception as part of health insurance provisions, which upset the Catholics —
Not just Catholics. Liberty University, Ohio Christian University — [they are] going to be required to subsidize health services that in their classrooms, they teach is a sin.
The students don’t have to partake of these services.
I’m not talking about the students; I’m talking about the university and the denominations of the church behind it.
So you’re saying they’re paying for a service they don’t intend to use.
Yeah. Well, and that they believe is a moral evil.
But the government wages wars that we all pay for but many of us find to be fundamentally wrong on a spiritual and every other level. Isn’t that the same?
I don’t think it’s the same.
One is a personal choice that may end the life of an unborn child, the other is going to end the lives of thousands of already-born people.
No, not true.
How is that not true?
Because, well … because we allow for an exception, in the draft laws, for conscientious and religious objectors. No respected denomination in the history of this country, not the Quakers — when they were really committed pacifists, less so today — but I’m talking about during the 18th and 19th centuries. Look at the Revolution — where it was a big issue for Quakers. Nobody forced them to serve. It is true they were required to pay taxes, but no evangelical or Catholic is saying they should be required to pay taxes. You see? I think any fair-minded analysis in mainstream theology would say we’re all required to do that.
Reed says the two things are different because nobody is saying people of faith shouldn't be required to pay taxes ... yet one of the Religious Right's most fundamental positions is that tax dollars should never be used to pay for things like abortion because that would result in forcing conservative Christians pay for things they morally oppose. In fact, one of the Religious Right's primary complaints about health care reform is that it "will force taxpayers to fund abortions."
Reed's position seems to be that everyone ought to be required to pay taxes, but those taxes should not be used to force some conservative Christians to fund things they oppose but can be used to force other people fund things that they oppose because ... well, just because.
Yesterday, Ishwar Singh, president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, became the first Sikh to speak at a Republican National Convention when he was invited to deliver the invocation ... and Religious Right activists were predictably concerned:
Fischer was not alone, as Janet Mefferd also voiced her concerns that people "who don't have the slightest similarity to us" are being allowed to pray at the convention ... and that includes Mitt Romney:
This adds new spin to my view of what's going on at the RNC right now because you still hear a little bit of talk God here and there, but it's different. When Mitt Romney talks about God, he's not talking about our God and he has yet to give his speech yet.
But we now have a party that is allowing people to pray at the Republican National Convention who don't have the slightest similarity to us, when it comes to our view of God, at all. At all.
It wasn't that long ago that Pat Buchanan at the 1992 RNC was talking about the great culture war and being a Judeo-Christian nation and how important it was to hold that all together because that was the foundation upon which our country was built. And he was right. He got skewered for it, but he was right.
And look how far we've come. Now, 2012 we have somebody from an Eastern religion offering the invocation at the Republican National Convention. I'm not saying people from different religions can't vote Republican, but what this really is is a syncretism that is kind of seeping under the door like a gas.
A federal judge in Florida yesterday said that he will permanently block new restrictions on voter registration drives that have suppressed registration in the months leading up to the 2012 election. The new restrictions had all but shut down voter registration efforts by major civic engagement groups in Florida.
Elder Lee Harris of Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church in Jacksonville, a member of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, issued the following statement:
“My fellow church leaders and I have been working to get everybody in our community to participate in our democracy. Unfortunately, some of our elected officials want to discourage new voters and drive people away from the polls, rather than drawing new voters in. Discouraging civic participation is a cynical and short-sighted way to try to win an election. Yesterday’s ruling means that more people will have more opportunities to register to vote. This decision is good for Florida, and good for our democracy.”
At the end of September, Religious Right leaders will once again partner with the "prophets" and "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation for a pre-election "American For Jesus" rally on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.
But apparently that won't quite be enough, so just a few days later, many of these same leaders and activists are hosting another prayer rally called "The Summons 2012" in Washington, DC that is being organized by National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is chaired by Shirely Dobson, the wife of James Dobson:
With each generation seeming to drift away from the God of our Fathers, now more than ever, it seems that we are truly at the precipice of a societal migration away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. With this in mind, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force has called a Solemn Assembly in Washington D.C. for such a time as this. The urgency of the moment, and the prompting of God, has paved the way for The Summons (October 3-7, 2012) to be a moment in time for God’s people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans – perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106). Based on Psalm 50:1-6, this special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington D.C. and include outdoor, corporate worship near the steps of the Capitol building, as well as the base of the Washington Monument. Groups will meet with various congressional leaders, travel to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, and many other key locations to PRAY. This is not an assignment for the faint of heart. You will need walking shoes and clothing suitable for being on location and ‘hitting the streets’, regardless of weather. We invite you to join with us, and several hundred other like-minded believers, for this unique time of prayer and worship in our nation’s capital.
As we move toward The Summons in Washington D.C., please pray specifically, focusing on the seven points of prayer for each state. As we pray, day by day, and state by state, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to sweep through our nation like a ‘mighty, rushing wind’!
Seven Point of Prayer for each State
1) Government – Pray for local and state leaders asking God to grant them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.
2) Church – Pray for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout that state. Ask God to preserve and protect them, as He inspires and empowers His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the building up of the Church, and for the spreading of the Gospel.
3) Military – Pray for our Military, Guard, and Reserve units and their leadership. Pray for God to grant courage, protection, and strength for our service men and women, and their families, as they serve our country.
4) Family – Pray for families in your community and across the state. Ask Him for protection, and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure traditional values in each home.
5) Education – Pray for God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling.
6) Media – Pray for Christian influence in the media industry, from local television and radio stations, to newspaper and magazine publishers. Ask for the Lord to provide Godly men and women to work in and influence the media throughout the state and in every city.
7) Business – Pray for divine intervention in the state and local economies. Ask that God raise up Godly business leaders and provide industry to provide honest employment and generous provision for individuals and families in each community.