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David Barton Now Misleadingly Using Barna Poll To Mobilize Conservative Christian GOTV Effort

Last week, we noted that David Barton and Glenn Beck had launched an effort to pressure pastors into speaking out on issues of importance to conservatives by misleadingly citing a survey conducted by Christian pollster George Barna.

All three men appeared on Beck's show to promote the poll, claiming that it found that large majorities of average churchgoers are clamoring to have their pastors preach against things like abortion, gay marriage and the separation of church and state. In reality, the poll represented only the views of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views," which was not surprising since conservative Christians made up "92% of the total respondents."

Barton is now this same poll to promote an effort called "One Nation Under God," which was organized by Pastor Erwin Lutzer and Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly and is aimed at getting pastors to mobilize their congregations to vote and get involved in politics.

Barton filmed a video on behalf of the effort in which he, once again, misleadingly created the impression that the findings of the Barna poll represent the views of all churchgoers.

Saying that the poll represents the views of "Bible-minded churchgoers," Barton proceeded to declare time and again that "an astounding 91 percent of churchgoers say that it was critically important that they learn the biblical perspective on abortion," and that "82 percent of Bible-believing churchgoers felt that it was crucial to hear the biblical view of sexual identity," and that "80 percent of churchgoers want to hear about Israel," and that "79 percent of churchgoers want to hear about our Christian heritage."

Of course, what the poll really found was that these were the issues that conservative Christians want to hear their pastors preach about. But Barton never bothers to mention that basic fact because doing so would undermine his effort to create the impression that America's churches are filled with people just dying to hear anti-abortion and anti-gay sermons.

'This Is The Time Of Persecution!': Glenn Beck Has Another Meltdown

Glenn Beck had another meltdown on his radio show today, brought on by the international community's struggle to figure out a cohesive and unified plan for dealing with the threat posed by ISIS, but which eventually branched out to include everything from the failure of Christians in America to vote in great enough numbers to the Hillary Clinton email controversy.

After declaring at one point that "we're a despicable nation," Beck began to grow more and more agitated until he finally just started screaming into his microphone.

"Stop listening to the people who got us into this situation in the first place!" he bellowed. "It's all happening and you're still listening to those people. What the hell is wrong with us? It's time to turn some tables over."

"Do you realize it's about 60 percent of Christians aren't even registered to vote? 60 percent! You've been standing around with your hands in your pockets, doing what? You're losing your culture! There have been more people that have been slaughtered for Christianity, in the name of Christ, in last five than the previous 2,000 years," he claimed, dubiously. "This is the time of persecution! And we're sitting around with our hands in our pockets."

Beck then began to rail against the imprisonment of American pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran, which somehow morphed into a rant about the 2016 election.

"You're listening to liars and you know you're listening to liars," he said. "There isn't a Democrat within the sound of my voice that doesn't know that Hillary Clinton, every time she opens her mouth, is a liar ... Fool me once, same on you; fool me a million times, how many times has it been? Fool me this many times, shoot me in the head."

Beck: Agenda 2030 Is A Plot To Establish Global Government

Glenn Beck dedicated his television program last night to issuing dire warnings about "Agenda 2030," an international effort to fight poverty, hunger, war and inequality over the next 15 years, declaring that the plan is really nothing more than a ruse designed to give the UN the power it needs to create a global government.

Beck is not sure if this is the one-world government warned of in the Bible that signals the End Times, mostly because he believes the End Times government will come in the form of the Islamic Caliphate. But maybe the Caliphate will adopt Agenda 2030 as it takes over the world? Who knows? But either way, it is bad news!

"I don't know if this is the global one-world government of the Beast, I have no idea," he said. "I personally think it's the Caliphate. Now, will the Caliphate eventually morph and use this too? I don't know. But I know a global government is coming and I know it's bad."

Trump Meets With Prosperity Gospel Preachers Who Can Cure Ebola And Bring Chickens Back From The Dead

Despite his best efforts, Donald Trump did not receive the warmest of welcomes from the Religious Right activists at last week's Values Voter Summit, but he did find one segment of the movement that has seemingly embraced his message: Prosperity Gospel televangelists.

HBO's John Oliver recently did an entire segment on those who preach the Prosperity Gospel and grow insanely wealthy in the process, and two of its leading practitioners — Kenneth Copeland and Jan Crouch — were among a group of right-wing Christians who recently met with Trump at his office in New York City, where they laid hands on him and prayed for him.

As Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, explained to Politico, "the people that Trump has so far identified as his evangelical outreach are mostly prosperity gospel types, which are considered by mainstream evangelicals to be heretics," yet Trump had no qualms about courting them and allowing them to pray over him:

It is especially amazing that figures like Copeland and Crouch would be among the invited guests, as both lead highly controversial ministries that have faced serious questions about misuse of funds. On top of that, both Copeland and Crouch are the sorts of preachers who claim that they can, respectively, cure Ebola by speaking in tongues and bring a chicken back from the dead through prayer:

Celebrating Banned Books Week

For decades, the Religious Right has used public school students as pawns in the "culture wars," fighting to impose a political agenda on textbooks and curricula in school districts across the country. This has included battles over sex education, school-led prayer, publicly funded vouchers for religious institutions, and shaping what children learn by controlling the content of textbooks and access to books in school libraries and classrooms. People For the American Way Foundation has a long record of resisting censorship and defending the freedom to learn.

People For the American Way Foundation is a sponsor of Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read -- and an opportunity for readers, authors, publishers, booksellers, and First Amendment advocates to call for continued vigilance against efforts to restrict that freedom. This year’s Banned Books Week has a focus on Young Adult books, which are challenged more frequently than any others.

"These are the books that speak most immediately to young people, dealing with many of the difficult issues that arise in their own lives, or in the lives of their friends,” says Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee. These are the books that give young readers the ability to safely explore the sometimes scary real world. As author Sherman Alexie said in response to the censorship of one of his young adult novels, “Everything in the book is what every kid in that school is dealing with on a daily basis, whether it’s masturbation or racism or sexism or the complications of being human. To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial.”

Platt describes the importance of Banned Books Week at the Reading Rainbow blog:

Banned Books Week is celebrated each year because efforts are underway in many parts of this country to remove “offensive” materials from public libraries, school libraries, and classroom reading lists. Arguments can be made for involving parents in the education of their children, and giving them an opportunity to voice objections when some reading material runs counter to their own values, but problems arise when that parent wants to dictate what all children can or cannot read. In the Coda to Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury said: “There’s more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

Many libraries and bookstores are sponsoring events honoring Banned Books Week. Kelly Adams, a children's book specialist at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, Minn., spoke with Minnesota Public Radio:

"Banned Books Week is my favorite week of the whole year. Seriously, it's better than Christmas.... Promoting books that have been banned or challenged shines a light on these attempts at censorship. It is an eye-opening experience for many.... We are basically a country built by rebels. When someone tells us 'you can't read that,' we naturally pick it up and read it."

In response to a recent article dismissing Banned Books Week as unnecessary, Peter Hart at the National Coalition Against Censorship argues that censorship is not just a thing of the past:

Graham thinks several hundred cases a year isn't much to get worked up about. But those numbers are a very conservative estimate of the problem. As Chris Finan of the American Booksellers for Free Expression pointed out recently, the American Library Association believes that as many as 80 percent of challenges go unreported. A Freedom of Information Act research project in two states confirmed this; the vast majority of formal challenges are never revealed publicly.

And what about librarians or school officials who seek to steer clear of controversy by avoiding potentially controversial books altogether? There is no doubt that this kind of chilling effect is real. A survey of over 600 librarians released by the School Library Journal in 2009 revealed that 70 percent reported that the possible reaction from parents affected their decisions not to buy a book. About half of librarians reported that they had gone through a formal challenge, and 20 percent of them revealed that the experience affected their book-buying decisions going forward.

So there's strong evidence that there are far more challenges than are reported, and that those challenges affect institutions over the long run. Self-censorship, as the School Library Journal put it, is "a dirty secret that no one in the profession wants to talk about."

The Banned Books Week website includes case studies on two of the most frequently challenged books, Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Marjan Satrapi’s Persepolis.

You can take the New York Public Library’s banned books quiz at http://www.nypl.org/bannedbooks. And you may be able to find an event near you.

Here’s more information on the impact of censorship challenges from People For the American Way Foundation’s “Book Wars” report:

While individual challenges don’t always succeed in removing a book from a school curriculum or forcing a textbook publisher to alter its content, they can have far-reaching effects.  Attacks on ethnic studies curricula or challenges to books that deal frankly with the lives and histories of marginalized communities can have divisive results beyond their original goals. For example, organizing a protest of a textbook that supposedly “promotes jihad” may not accomplish its stated goal, but might still succeed in stoking fear and resentment against Muslim Americans in that community.

Attacks on multicultural curricula in schools – like Arizona’s ban on ethnic studies classes – are joined by continuing efforts to ban books that acknowledge gay and lesbian families, teach about world religions, or deal frankly with the history of race in America. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, People For the American Way Foundation tracked challenges to books and curricula that included frank discussions of sexuality, race, and the less palatable truths of American history. In the 2000s, challenges focused also on books accused of promoting the “occult” or “undermining” Christianity, leading the Harry Potter series to top the American Library Association’s list of the most challenged books of the decade.

One common theme among many challenged books is their frank portrayals of the experiences of marginalized people. Toni Morrison’s Beloved and The Bluest Eye are unflinching explorations of being a Black woman in America. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian chronicles a Native American teenager’s experiences living in an impoverished reservation, while going to school in a wealthy nearby town. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man explores African-American identity in the mid-20th century. Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, is a landmark piece of Chicano literature. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale offers a dystopian tale about the oppression of women. Marjane Satrapi’s renowned graphic novel Persepolis, is about a girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

And here are some things you can do to fight censorship in your community:

1.       Attend school board meetings. School boards and other school decision-makers need to hear from parents, students, and community members who oppose censorship. Attend school board meetings, and stay in touch with board members and principals — even when there are no censorship challenges — to let them know that you care about fair, accurate, and inclusive schools.

2.       Stay informed. If a parent or activist group challenges a book in your community's school or district, read the book and learn about its author and its history. Then share what you've found with fellow community members and the local media. A strong, well-informed argument is always an effective weapon against misinformation and prejudice.

3.       Make some noise. Start a petition among students and parents in your school or district in support of a challenged book or curriculum, and tell the local media about it. You could also consider holding a protest in favor of the challenged material. In most cases, activists challenging books represent a small fraction of a community; it sends a powerful message when the rest of the community speaks up for its values

4.       Look for outside voices. While the most effective arguments against censorship are made by local students and parents, in some cases it can be helpful to bring in outside experts. If the author of a challenged book is living, consider inviting him or her to join a discussion in your community or to send a statement to school leaders. Free speech advocacy groups, including the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Library Association, and People For the American Way Foundation can also provide resources and advice on how to fight for free speech in schools.

5.       Run for office. If you don't like the way your elected officials handle censorship challenges, consider becoming an elected official yourself! Run for school board or volunteer to serve on a school committee that handles challenges against books.

 

PFAW Foundation

Glenn Beck Contemplates Opening His Own Church So He Can Host A GOP Presidential Debate

On his radio program today, Glenn Beck revealed that he is trying to organize a Republican presidential primary debate that will feature only the candidates that he and his audience could support, thereby excluding the "progressives" like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for him, Reince Priebus and the RNC will not give Beck's network permission to host that type of a limited debate but Beck thinks he has found a loophole that will allow him to do so nonetheless ... though it may require him to start a church that will exist for all of one night.

As Beck explained, a loophole exists that allows churches to invite specific candidates to participate in a discussion forum or debate and so he intends to reach out to some of the megachurches in the Dallas area about hosting just such an event as a front so that Beck's network could then organize, conduct and broadcast it.

But if he can't find a church in which to host his debate, Beck might just have to start his own one-day church.

"I'm thinking about starting the Church of the Glenn," he said. "Now, I'm just going to try it out for a little while. I may not be interested in doing it for very long; it might be just like, one night, on a Thursday when we try it ... The Spirit moves me and sometimes the Spirit will say, 'Open a church' and the very next day, after we do a big event, it might say, 'Close down your church.'"

Jesus has told him, Beck continued, facetiously, "that I should open my church maybe in like a giant movie sound stage.  Oh my gosh, I just realized, this is a giant movie sound stage! Who would have thunk? The first miracle of the Church of Glenn!"

Multi-Millionaire Carly Fiorina: 'All The Rest Of Us Are Getting Crushed' By A System That Benefits The Wealthy

Last night, Glenn Beck dedicated his entire television program to a one-on-one interview that he recently conducted with Carly Fiorina. Unsurprisingly, the interview was not particularly hard-hitting as Beck didn't really bother to challenge the Republican presidential hopeful on anything that she said, choosing instead to focus on important issues like the "the state of her soul."

During the discussion, Fiorina attacked Donald Trump for using eminent domain to take private property for the benefit of his businesses, laughably asserting that she has a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters attending her rallies because they know that she will fight against the "crony capitalism" which benefits only the rich and the powerful.

"Crony capitalism is alive and well," she told Beck. "When you have big, powerful, complicated, costly government, only the wealthy, the powerful, the big and the well-connected can handle it and all the rest of us are getting crushed. And people see that, they feel it in the bones. In their bones, people know if something is so complicated I don't understand it, I'm getting screwed."

Fiorina, for the record, walked away with $40 million when she was fired from Hewlett-Packard back in 2005 and currently has a net worth of $59 million, so we'd love to know exactly how she qualifies as one of "the rest of us [who] are getting crushed" by a system that is rigged to benefit the wealthy.

Fischer: All Immigrants Are Welcome in America, Provided They Convert To Christianity

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer once again made his case that America's immigration policy ought to require all immigrants to convert to Christianity and adopt Christian morals, holidays, and heroes.

"Strangers are welcome here in the United States under one condition," he explained, "that they be willing to assimilate completely into American culture. That they be willing to adopt our God, that they be willing to adopt our Judeo-Christian heritage ... adopt our Christian holidays ... If you come to America, you understand that we are a Christian country and therefore we observe Christian holidays; don't expect us to make room for your holidays. We're expecting you to accommodate yourself to our standards, our traditions, and our holidays."

"We will expect you to adopt our Christian moral values," he continued. "No place, no room for Sharia law in the United States. You'll be welcome here, we'll open our arms to you, we'll open our hearts to you, we'll open our communities to you, but we will expect you to adopt our cultural and Christian moral standards. We will expect you to adopt our Christian heroes and we will expect you to adopt our Christian history."

Todd Bentley Claims To Have Brought 35 People Back From The Dead

On Friday night, we spotted a tweet from Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries, alerting us to the fact that Todd Bentley was preaching at Joyner's church that evening on the raising of the dead:

Joyner has been key in "restoring" Bentley's reputation after he divorced his wife back in 2008 and, on Friday, the two men were preaching together at Joyner's "Harvest Fest 2015" event. Unfortunately, the footage from the event is only available to those with a subscription so we have been unable to watch it, though a short excerpt was released on the MorningStar YouTube page showing Bentley bragging about how he recently revived three people from the dead during an event in Pakistan:

It turns out that these are just the latest in a long string of resurrections of the dead in Bentley's career, as he explained earlier this month at a different event that he has been responsible for no fewer than 35 such miracles over the years.

Bentley recalled how he had recently cured a young girl of Down syndrome and had even brought back from the dead a man who, 48 hours earlier, had been electrocuted so badly that all of his internal organs were melted.

"I wish we had a dead body we could pray for, but we don't. That would have been a great illustration," Bentley stated, explaining that he travels with a "raising the dead tent" in which he places those who have recently died so that he can pray them back to life.

So far, he's managed to bring back 35 people, Bentley said, but for best results, they have to have died in the last couple of days.  Four days, it turns out, is generally the limit at which he is capable of bringing people back from the dead.

Theodore Shoebat Calls For A Global 'Inquisition' To Put Gays To Death

Theodore Shoebat, who was among the dozens of anti-gay activists, Republican members of Congress and GOP presidential hopefuls to be featured in Janet Porter's recent anti-gay "Light Wins" documentary, posted a new video over the weekend calling for a global "Inquisition" to eradicate homosexuality once and for all.

Outraged over reports that a doctor had been let go by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for repeatedly spreading anti-gay material to colleagues, Shoebat posted a video declaring that "sodomite homo Sharia" was being imposed on America by "sodomite bastards" and "faggots" who do nothing but "go around spreading AIDS."

The only solution, he declared, is the imposition of a global law criminalizing homosexuality that will be enforced by a modern-day Inquisition with the power to put gays to death.

"I'm sick and tired of the homo tyranny," he said. "What the world needs is a collective law ... What we need is the laws of God, the virtues of Heaven to become the law of the world. That is the bottom line. Do I believe in Christian world domination? Absolutely. I would be a liar if I said I didn't. Do I believe in Christian supremacy? Absolutely. Do I believe in democracy? Hell no. Do I believe in some sort of a democratic socialist republic? Hell no. I believe in monarchy, I believe in Inquisitions, I believe we need to revive the system of the Middle Ages that we had; we had no fag problems, we didn't have a lot of serial killers back in those days, we didn't have frickin drug cartel problems, we had none of the crap. We didn't have no fags asking to be married. None of that garbage."

"It's homo tyranny and it needs to be destroyed," Shoebat continued, "Christian world domination needs to be established and homosexuality needs to be deemed as a crime. And the homos need to be told, hey, you gotta stop that and if they don't stop that then, I'm sorry, we have an Inquisition and that Inquisition will enact the death penalty, as Scripture tells us."

With extreme views like this, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to learn that places like Matt Barber's BarbWire website are now quietly trying to cover up any ties to Shoebat.

Glenn Beck Outraged Over Suspension That Never Happened

Last week, a video emerged showing a visually impaired student at Huntington Beach High School in California being repeatedly punched in the face by a fellow student, until a third student stepped up to defend the victim by punching the bully in the head and knocking him to the ground.

Glenn Beck's The Blaze website covered the story and Beck discussed it on his radio program today, voicing his outrage that the student who stepped up to defend his fellow student was supposedly suspended from school for doing so.

"There is a story out of California that is just infuriating," Beck said. "There is a football player at a high school and he sees this other kid just wailing on this blind kid ... So everybody is just standing around, doing nothing, and finally this high school football player comes up and grabs the guy who is wailing on him and throws him down to the ground ... Who gets expelled? The football player! This is insane! Absolutely insane!"

That does seem pretty crazy .... probably because, as usually is the case, Beck was totally wrong. The school district made clear several times that the student who stepped up to defend this victim was, in fact, never suspended, and even released a statement clearly explaining that fact:

In  the  Education  Code  it  is a  school district’s  responsibility  to protect  student  records,  as  well  as  to  be  of  personal  support to their  families. We  want to  thank  the  family  of  the  student  who  came  to  the  aid  of  his  fellow  classmate,  as  they have  granted  us  permission  to  share  the  following information:   

Their  student  has  not  been  suspended  over  the past  two  school  days. He  has been  eligible  to  attend  school  with  all  privileges  both Thursday and Friday of  this week,  and  this  eligibility  will  continue.

It took us literally three minutes to find that piece of information, but apparently Beck, once again, cannot be bothered to do a simple Google search before going on the air and spreading misinformation. 

A Fitting End To The Values Voter Summit: God's Judgment Is Coming And There Is No Way Out

It seemed quite fitting that the Values Voter Summit closed out two days of speakers, including eight Republican presidential hopefuls, by featuring two preachers who warned that God's judgment upon America is inevitable.

First up was Jonathan Cahn who, fresh off his utterly failed Shemitah prophecy, nevertheless continued to warn that God's judgment is imminent, not only for his standard reasons of abortion and gay marriage, but also because an image of the Hindu goddess Kali was projected upon the Empire State Building last month.

"When a nation drives out God, it always brings in other gods," Cahn said. "This god is the god of darkness. Kali is also the god of death and destruction, here over New York City. We are racing to judgment and I believe a great shaking is coming."

For good measure, Cahn also declared that the jailing of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was also a sign of God's impending judgment.

Following Cahn was Joel Rosenberg, who likewise warned that God's judgment was inescapable, though he provided a bit of hope that we might be able to at least forestall it if we were to outlaw and end abortion.

"We're facing implosion," he stated. "We're not just facing a rough patch, we're facing implosion. We cannot kill 58 million babies and escape the judgment of God ... The train has left the station. Judgment is coming. There is no way out."

Star Parker: Gay Marriage is 'Bringing Horrible Hostility Into The Public Squre'

Star Parker spoke at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday afternoon, where she ranted about gay marriage and warned that its legalization is "bringing horrible hostility into the public square."

"We have 500,000 orphans in our foster system," she said. "Most God-fearing Christians don't even know we have an orphan system, but those homosexuals know because now that they're married, that's where they're going to get their children, right out of our foster system!"

Liberals have "declared a war on marriage, weakened women and opened the door to this culture of meaningless," she warned. "The feminist movement was nothing more than the promotion of monism, the elimination of gender binary. It's an attack on the Creator, the created, the distinction. He said if we look at marriage, we see Him. Conjugal and sacramental marriage is the capstone of creation and, as a result of its collapse, homosexuality is now dividing us and bringing horrible hostility into the public square."

"As the Apostle Paul defined in Romans," she said with disgust, "men leaving the natural use of the woman, burning in their lust for one another. Men with men, committing what is shameful."

Mark Levin: The Supreme Court Is Imposing Secular Sharia

Right-wing radio host Mark Levin spoke at the Values Voter Summit today, where he declared that secularism has become the established religion of the United States and the Supreme Court is now essentially imposing secular Sharia upon the entire nation.

The media and the "Sunday show dress-up hosts," Levin stated, are too stupid to understand that the First Amendment was not intended to create a separation of church and state, but rather simply to prevent the establishment of a theocracy.

"The federal government is not supposed to establish a religion," he said. "What we have now though is the federal government as a religion, secularism has become a religion. And just as in Muslim countries they have these Sharia courts to enforce Sharia law, well, we have a Supreme Court that exists to enforce apparently secularism."

Staver: 'God Birthed Kim Davis ... For This Moment In American And World History'

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council introduced Kim Davis at the Values Voter Summit this evening, where the Kentucky county clerk received the Cost of Discipleship Award for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in repeated violation of court orders.

"These are times in history that are unlike anything that we had before," Staver declared. "God birthed Kim Davis, and Joe Davis, and each one of you for this moment in American and world history ... [God is] looking for people who love Jesus Christ and who will stand for Him, who will not flinch when their time is called and that person is Kim Davis and Joe Davis. May God raise up more."

Perkins echoed that sentiment, proclaiming that it is time for Christians who hold public office "to resist the edicts of unelected and virtually unaccountable rulers who issue unjust edicts that conflict with the truth of God."

"Kim Davis should not be an outlier," Perkins said. "Kim Davis should not be something that surprises America. There should be Kim Davises in every elected office, at every level ,who say 'No' to judges who redefine the revealed truth of God."

At that point, Davis was welcomed onto the stage to a long standing ovation, where she then delivered a very short speech declaring that "I am only one, but we are many!"

Donald Trump Promises That He Is A Nice Person: 'I Believe In God. I Believe In The Bible. I'm A Christian'

In a rather transparent attempt to appeal to the Christian conservatives who make up the audience at the Values Voter Summit, Donald Trump brought a Bible with him to the podium when he spoke today, because "it brings back so many memories."

Trump them proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes delivering his standard stump speech, which consisted of relentless boasting interspersed with personal attacks on his rivals and vague but grandiose promises to solve all of this nation's problems.

At one point, after wondering why we even need to hold an election considering that he is leading in all the polls, Trump took a moment to assure the audience that he is actually a nice person.

"People were not sure I was a nice person," he said, "and I am. I am. I am. I am. I'm a giving person. I believe in God, I believe in the Bible. I'm a Christian. I have a lot of reasons. I love people."

Trump later closed out his speech by hoisting his Bible in the air and declaring "this is the key."

Santorum: America Is 'Never Going To Be Blessed By God' So Long As Abortion And Gay Marriage Are Legal

Rick Santorum kicked off his remarks at the Values Voter Summit today by declaring that the United States will never be a great nation or receive God's blessing so long as gay marriage and the right to an abortion remain legal.

Bragging that he has attended every VVS event since it began 10 years ago, Santorum thanked those in attendance for "standing up and bringing to this city the issues that are at the core of the problems in this country."

"America is never going to be a great country if we're a country that kills our children in the womb, ever!" he said. "We're never going to be blessed by God if we're a country that kills our children in the womb. We are never going to be a great country if we allow for the destruction of the American family, that's what's happened over the last 50 years."

Klingenschmitt: Mecca Crane Collapse Was The 'Consequence' Of 'Praying To Satan'

Earlier this month, a crane collapsed outside the Grand Mosque at Mecca during a storm, killing 107 Muslim worshipers, which Colorado Republican state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt declared on his "Pray In Jesus Name" show today was "the consequence of their sin" for "praying to Satan."

"There are two different Gods," he said. "There is the true God, Jehovah, the father of Jesus Christ, and there is a false god, Allah, who is the father of the false prophet Muhammad. Now which one were they praying to when an 'act of God' dumped this crane on their heads and killed 107 people? I think they were praying to a false god."

"You could either say Allah wanted to kill them," he continued, "or you could say this is the consequence of their sin when they were really praying to Satan."

"Boy, these people really have a hard time discerning which God they should be praying to," he stated.

While admitting that accident may simply have been the result of natural causes, Klingenschmitt nonetheless proceeded to pray for the Muslims who "are bringing destruction upon themselves" by worshiping "the false God of Satan who has destroyed them, both physically and spiritually; physically in this horrible accident and spiritually when their souls are cast into Hell."

Todd Starnes: Rainbow Doritos Benefit 'A Bunch Of Godless Sickos'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes used his recent radio commentary to announce that he will be boycotting Frito-Lay because of the release of Rainbow Doritos.

Starnes is particularly upset that proceeds from the limited run will benefit Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project," which supports LGBT youth, declaring that he will not buy another Frito-Lay product until the company "stops giving money to a bunch of godless sickos who bash Christians."

It appears that Frito-Lay would rather do business with the likes of Dan Savage than America’s good, church-going people.

Look, it’s not my business where you dip your Dorito, but as for me and my house, I can promise you this, not a single Frito, not a single Cheeto until Frito-Lay stops giving money to a bunch of godless sickos who bash Christians.

Starnes, of course, has previously claimed that boycotts of businesses are "anti-capitalist" and "un-American."

Glenn Beck And David Barton Launch Misleading Effort To Pressure Pastor To Preach On Conservative Issues

Glenn Beck felt that his television program last night was so important that he took to Facebook to tell his fans that "if you only watch one show the rest of this year from me on the blaze, make it today's." What his viewers found if they tuned in was David Barton promoting Seven Mountains dominionism, a movement that believes that Christians must gain control of the seven main cultural centers in order to create a "virtual theocracy" in America:

Barton has been openly promoting Seven Mountains since 2011 and now Beck is likewise on board, declaring in a separate Facebook post last night that "there are seven hills of culture. If you plan on surviving as a culture you must have these seven hills."

But all of this dominionist rhetoric was really just a lead-up to the release of a poll conducted by Christian pollster George Barna that reportedly found that churchgoers want their pastors to deliver more sermons opposing things like gay marriage and abortion rights and Islam.

The poll itself was conducted by Barna through the American Culture and Faith Institute, which just so happens to be "the public opinion research arm of United in Purpose," a Religious Right effort started several years ago for the purpose of mobilizing millions of right-wing Christians to vote.

To hear Barton, Beck and Barna tell it, the poll found that the average churchgoer is simply dying to have their pastor take on a whole host of controversial issues from the pulpit:

Top 12 Issues the Church Wants to Hear:

1. Abortion: Beginning of life, right to life, contraception, adoption, unwed mothers. 91%

2. Religious persecution/liberty: Personal duty, government duty, church response, global conditions. 86%

3. Poverty: Personal duty, government role, church role, homelessness, hunger, dependency. 85%

4. Cultural restoration: Appropriate morals, law and order, defensible values and norms, self-government. 83%

5. Sexual identity: Same-sex marriage, transgenderism, marriage, LGBT. 82%

6. Israel: Its role in the world, Christian responsibility to Israel, US foreign policy toward Israel and its enemies. 80%

7. Christian Heritage: role of Christian faith in American history, church role in US development, modern-day relevance. 79%

8. Role of Government: Biblical view, church-state relationship, personal responsibility, limitations. 76%

9. Bioethics: Cloning, euthanasia, genetic engineering, cryogenics, organ donation, surrogacy. 76%

10. Self-governance: Biblical support, personal conduct, impact on freedom, national sovereignty. 75%

11. Church in politics/government: Separation of church and state, legal boundaries, church resistance to government. 73%

12. Islam: Core beliefs, response to Islamic aggression, threat to US peace and domestic stability. 72%

Throughout the program, all three men repeatedly created the impression that this was a poll of average "church-going, Bible-believing people" and that pastors have been failing to address the issues that their congregations care most about:

But if you actually bother to read the poll, you discover that "conservatives represented 92% of the total respondents" and that it's findings primarily reflected the desires of "spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views."

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that conservative Christians want their pastors to preach against abortion and gay rights, but obviously conservatives are not the only ones filling the pews on Sundays.

In Barna's poll, 92% of respondents were conservative, while the other 8% were "moderates"; unsurprisingly, the moderates did not share the conservative views at all:

Christian conservatives were twice as likely as Christian moderates to desire more information (67% vs. 31%). Christian moderates, in contrast, were five times more likely to say that churches should not be involved in politics at all ... It is helpful to note that there are huge differences in the opinions of conservative Christians and moderate Christians on the importance of receiving biblical teaching on these matters from their church. Comparing their answers on the dozen most important issues to conservatives, realize that the average gap between the two segments is 30.2 percentage points, with the conservatives indicating a higher level of interest on each of these twelve subjects.

Predictably, nobody on Beck's show last night bothered to point out this rather important fact, as they repeatedly presented the poll as representing the views of regular churchgoers instead of the views of right-wing Christians, which is what it actually represents.

To make matters worse, the misleading poll findings are now being used by Beck and Barton to launch an effort aimed at pressuring pastors into preaching on the issues that the conservatives want to hear about.

Beck even posted a sample letter on his website for people to use in urging their pastors to address these issues:

We also want to encourage you to be bold in providing a Biblical perspective and spiritual guidance on the important moral, social and cultural issues confronting us today. As never before in our history, we are facing complex problems, and there is a competing cacophony of voices telling us what to think about these issues. We need clear guidance on what the Scriptures tell us about such issues such as abortion, religious persecution, sexual identity, bioethics and so much else. Our thinking, our children and our families are under attack from so many secular voices telling us how to think about these issues.

We understand many of these things will be seen as controversial to some, but this is all the more reason we need a clear spiritual perspective on them. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, but we want to know what the Bible says on each of these issues.

We have recently discovered we are not alone in our hunger for clear guidance on specific issues. A recent survey conducted by national pollster George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of serious Bible-minded church-goers are also hungering for relevant information.

...

We want – indeed, we need – to hear what God says about these things, which are pressing in upon our thinking from so many directions. We want you to know that if you will take leadership in teaching us about these things, we will have your back – we will ourselves stand up to the critics – we will stand with you and for you. We want to become better disciples and think like Jesus thought on all of these issues.

A few years ago, Beck and Barton launched the National Black Robe Regiment, which was designed to mobilize "courageous and patriotic ministers who will provide leadership and speak out on the pressing issues of the day."

We are guessing that that effort must not have been much of a success if Beck and Barton have now been forced to launch a separate effort misleadingly designed to get congregations to pressure their pastors into preaching on the issues that only conservative Christians care about.

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