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50 Years Later, John Lewis Returns to Podium as Sole Surviving March Speaker

Recently The New York Times reminded us that Representative John Lewis is still marching on Washington, 50 years later.

On August 28, 1963, as the 23-year-old chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis took the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Tomorrow, as the 73-year-old representative from Georgia's 5th congressional district, he will commemorate the 50th anniversary of those remarks.

Representative Lewis returns to the podium as the sole surviving speaker from the March on Washington.

A half century ago he was the torchbearer for youth leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. The message he delivered still hits home for youth leaders like those of Young People For.

Here at YP4 we know that “justice for all” is an expansive idea that includes pushing for and protecting civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT equality and more. It means rededicating ourselves to the promise of vibrant, safe, democratic communities. It means fighting for a country where our voices are not drowned out by massive corporate spending to influence our elections. It means standing up to groups like ALEC which push extreme laws threatening the wellbeing of our communities, such as the “Stand Your Ground” laws that YP4 alumni like [Phillip] Agnew – leader of the Dream Defenders in Florida – have been fighting to change.

In other words, we know that “justice for all” is a promise that has yet to be realized.

Join us tomorrow as Representative Lewis and others once again bring the struggle for jobs, justice, and freedom back to the nation's capital. Check out MLKDREAM50 for information on the full week of events.

PFAW Foundation

Don't Let The Right Wing Co-opt King

We must not allow this historic anniversary to become a moment that perpetuates an ersatz, sanitized, co-opted version of King and the movement he led.
PFAW Foundation

Don't Let The Right Wing Co-opt King

Washington, D.C. is gearing up for events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. I will be among thousands of Americans gathering on the national mall this weekend to remember those marchers and to rededicate ourselves to their demand that the country make good on its promises of equality and opportunity for all.

The fact that politicians from across the political spectrum want to associate themselves with King is a big change. Fifty years ago, he was reviled as a Communist sympathizer trying to undermine what some said was God's design that the races live separately. March organizer Bayard Rustin was denounced by segregationist Strom Thurmond on the floor of the Senate for being a communist, draft-dodger, and homosexual. This year, Rustin will be posthumously awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

So it is a reflection of social progress that so many conservative Republican lawmakers and right-wing leaders try to wrap themselves in the moral authority of the civil rights movement. But it's also a reflection of cynical political posturing.

Right-wing leaders are fond of rhetorically embracing King's dream for an America in which children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Unfortunately, they often use the quote to justify their opposition to any policies that are designed to address the ongoing effects of racial discrimination.

Right-wing politicians shouldn't be allowed to get away with pretending to share King's moral high ground simply because legally mandated segregation is now unthinkable in America. There was so much more to King's - and the movement's - vision.

King was an advocate for government intervention in the economy to address poverty and economic inequality. He was a supporter of Planned Parenthood and women's right to choose.

He endorsed the 1960s Supreme Court decisions on church-state separation that Religious Right leaders denounce as attacks on faith and freedom. One of his most valued advisors, Bayard Rustin, was an openly gay man at a time when it was far more personally and politically dangerous to be so.

How many Republican leaders today will embrace that Martin Luther King?

It is true that a strong majority of congressional Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. It is true that many of our civil rights advances were made with bipartisan support. But today many Republican leaders at the state level are pushing unfair voting laws that could keep millions of people away from the polls. And many not only cheered the Supreme Court's recent decision gutting the Voting Rights Act but moved immediately to put new voting restrictions in place.

Today's Republican leaders are also captive to the anti-government ideology fomented by the Tea Party and its right-wing backers. Let's remember that the official name of the event we are commemorating is the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Among the marchers' demands were a higher minimum wage and a "massive federal program" to provide unemployed people with decent paying jobs. Sounds like socialism!

Today's right-wing leaders say it's wrong to even pay attention to economic inequality. To Rick Santorum, just using the term "middle class" is Marxist.

We must not allow this historic anniversary to become a moment that perpetuates an ersatz, sanitized, co-opted version of King and the movement he led. Let's instead reclaim King's broadly progressive vision - for ourselves and for the history books.

Cross-posted from The Huffington Post.

Fischer: 90% Of Americans Think Gay Sex Is Disgusting And Repulsive

Earlier this month, a recording was leaked in which San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan could be heard railing against a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance and gays in general.  There has understandably been an outcry over her comments, such as her statement that homosexuals are "disgusting," but Chan is refusing to apologize ... and, for that, she is being praised by Bryan Fischer.

Fischer said on his radio program yesterday that Chan has nothing for which she needs to apologize because everything she said are "things that anybody who is thinking rightly and clearly about homosexuality would believe."

"I would guarantee you," Fischer said, "90% of the American people, if they would stop and think about what actually happens in homosexual sexual behavior, they would find it disgusting":

Still Marching for Justice, Health, and Black Women’s Lives

Guest post from Reverend Dr. Geraldine Pemberton, Assistant Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia and member of PFAW Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council. 

As a 74 year old retired nurse, I can remember the original March on Washington well.  I wasn’t able to be there in person that day, but many of my family members were.  After marching with Dr. King and more than 200,000 other Americans, they were inspired to come home and fight for justice.

I myself am of the Jim Crow era.  The injustices that Dr. King described that day as the “chains of discrimination” were injustices I faced first-hand.  My father, who was born in North Carolina, would take my family down from Philadelphia for visits to his home state.  He would try to prepare us as much as he could, but it was always overwhelming.  I remember that once we passed the Mason-Dixon line, we couldn’t use most bathrooms.  We would have to use outhouses behind gas stations instead.

Today I can see how far we’ve come, but also how much further we still have to go.  I have spent much of my life fighting the injustices that drove the first March on Washington, especially health disparities facing women of color.  Justice, I have learned, is a very big umbrella that must include equality for women.  A just society has to be one that values women’s voices and fights back against health disparities that threaten black women’s lives.

Twenty years after that march, I went to another major event that inspired people from all over to drop what they were doing and travel across the country – the 1983 Spelman College conference on women’s health, which birthed what is now the Black Women’s Health Imperative.  My friend and I saw a flyer for it but didn’t think we could afford to go.  We maxed out our credit cards and drove down to Atlanta. Thousands of women showed up for the conference – young women, older women, women with children, women who had hitchhiked there.  We just showed up - we had to be there.

That conference unfolded into a lifetime of work in pursuit of improving the health outcomes of African American women.  As a former Director of Nursing and a current Health Committee Director for an alliance of Black clergy in Philadelphia, I know that women of color need improved access to care and greater provider sensitivity.  Women need more information on the diseases that affect us most.  And as a 74 year old Philadelphian, I’m still fighting for women’s health and justice.  This year I am organizing health forums at churches throughout the city to give women more information about diseases, healthy living, and greater access to health services though the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act commonly known as “Obamacare.”

The first health forum is this weekend – fifty years after the March on Washington.  In so many ways, we are still marching.

PFAW Foundation

Beck: 'The Nazis Are Here'

For the last several days, Glenn Beck and his The Blaze network have been heavily focused on the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt, culminating in a segment on his radio program today in which Beck grew increasingly emotional as he declared that the Nazis have returned, just as he predicted.

"It is the Night of Broken Glass," Beck said, "the Nazis are here. They have finally walked through that door. When I was comparing people to Nazis in the Muslim Brotherhood and everybody said 'oh no, they're not Nazis,' well now you can see that they are!"

Beck went on to deliver a fire and brimstone warning to his audience that everyone will be held accountable by God for how they respond to this situation, saying that if this situation is not stopped, the Jews will become the next victims before eventually Christians all over the world will become targets.

"It is time to stand together," Beck proclaimed, before breaking down in tears and apologizing "for being this guy; I don't want to be this guy and I'm sorry to be this guy" as he repeatedly warned that "the hour grows late":

Barber & Staver Outraged That Chris Christie Thinks He Knows Better Than God

Shortly after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation banning the use of "ex-gay" therapy on minors, the anti-gay activists at Liberty Counsel announced that they would be filing suit.

On today's "Faith and Freedom" broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed their forthcoming lawsuit and were particularly outraged that, in signing the legislation, Christie said that he doesn't believe that homosexuality is a sin.

Staver vehemently disagreed, stating that homosexuality "is a disordered situation; it is sin; t is wrong."

Barber was likewise outraged, blasting "the hubris behind him saying that he knows better than God, that he knows better than thousands of years of tradition, the Catholic Church, the Christian church, the Bible about homosexuality and the sin inherent in those behaviors":

Klingenschmitt: The FCC Is Letting Demonic Spirits 'Molest And Visually Rape Your Children'

Citing a campaign launched by Morality In Media to ensure that Tom Wheeler, President Obama's nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission, will enforce decency standards, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt said on his "Pray In Jesus Name" show that demonic spirits are using lax FCC enforcement of these standards to "molest and visually rape your children."

"Dr. Chaps" said that former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski failed to adequately enforce the decency standards during his time in office and that was because there was a "demonic spirit of tyranny or immorality inside of him."

And even though Genachowski outwardly appears very polished and successful, "the demonic spirit influences him to abuse and, dare I say, molest and visually rape your children":

Fischer Tries To Mock Rep. Carol Shea-Porter And Fails Miserably

As we have noted several times before, self-awareness is not one of Bryan Fischer's strong suits and his cluelessness was on full display once again this afternoon when he attempted to mock Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for saying that the corporate tax rate in America was "just a suggestion."

The point that Shea-Porter was making was entirely accurate, as she was simply acknowledging that the effective tax rate actually paid by corporations is far lower than the set federal rate.  In essence, the tax rate is "just a suggestion" because corporations don't really pay that.

But Fischer played a clip of Shea-Porter making this true statement and then mocked her for it, saying "tell that to Martha Stewart, tell that to Bernie Madoff, tell that to who knows how many people are in prison for treating the tax code as if it were just a suggestion."

Of course, Stewart went to prison for insider trading and Madoff went to prison for running a massive Ponzi scheme ... so any connection between these examples and the issue of corporate tax rates exists only in Fischer's "twisted mind":

Beck: 'If Anyone Does Anything In This Company Because Of Global Warming, They're Fired'

Outraged that employees in his organization had begun placing recycling bins throughout The Blaze's headquarters and studio and replaced individual water bottles with a water cooler, Glenn Beck brought the Vice President of Studio Operations onto his radio program today to explain why these changes were taking place.

When she claimed that doing so was saving the company money, Beck not only didn't buy it but also didn't really care and instead issued a new company-wide policy that any employee who buys a compact fluorescent light bulb when non-CFL options are available will be fired.

"Global warming is a pile of crap," Beck declared, adding that he would be issuing a memo informing everyone that "if anyone does anything in this company because of global warming, they're fired":

Barber: 'It May Be A Time For Civil Disobedience'

Matt Barber appeared on the "Today's Issues" broadcast this morning to discuss his most recent column about a bakery in Oregon which has had a complaint filed against it for refusing to provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.

In light of this and similar instances around the country, Barber declared that it has become obvious that gay marriage and religious liberty cannot coexist and so "in much the same fashion as did the civil rights activists of old - Martin Luther King and others - Christians are going to have a decision to make; it may be a time for civil disobedience."

"Christians have been persecuted for 2000 years by radical leftists," he said, adding that just as King spent time in jail, anti-gay Christians today might have to suffer the same fate, knowing that they will be rewarded by God for upholding his law and refusing to "pretend that somehow a man can marry a man, a woman can marry a woman."

"You guys can put on two tuxedos or two wedding dresses and play house and get pretend married 'til your heart's content," Barber said, "but marriage is what God says it is.  We can no more change the laws of gravity than can we change the laws of marriage": 

Klingenschmitt: Madonna Is Possessed By A Demonic Spirit Of Adultery

On his most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt dedicated an entire segment to investigating the question of whether pop star Madonna is possessed by demons.

Citing lyrics from her song "Revolver," which he judged against the "Warning Against the Adulterous Woman" from Proverbs 7, Klingenschmitt concluded that, in fact, Madonna is possessed by a demonic spirit of adultery.

Klingenschmitt then added that he has heard of people being cured of liver cancer after repenting for this sin of pornography, before politely declining Madonna's invitation to engage in intercourse because he has been happily married for 22 years:

Fischer: 'I Think We May Be Headed Toward Bloodshed In America'

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who warned that the American people will one day wake up to what is being done to them by the government and when that day comes, it will lead to revolution.

Fischer shared the caller's concerns, saying "I think we may be headed toward bloodshed in America."

"There are a number of avenues," Fischer stated, "starting right where we're at right now that could lead to bloodshed, could lead to anarchy, could lead to chaos in America."

After insisting that he does not want to see anything like that happen, Fischer warned that the fact that members of Congress are reluctant to hold town hall meetings during the August recess could lead to a revolution.

"If our elected officials will not listen to us, if they will not meet with us, if they will not respond to the urgent appeal of their own constituents, the people that elected them to office, then eventually you might get to the point [where] people will just get fed up and then you'll start having some very, very unpredictable things that will happen":

Wildmon: Secular Progressives 'Hate The God Of The Bible'

Birther king Joseph Farah of WND was a guest on the "Today's Issues" program this morning where he and AFA President Tim Wildmon discussed "Obama's war against Christians."

Wildmon admitted that Christians in America are not suffering the same sort of persecution as Christians in other nations around the world, but warned that if America continues to follow this path, that same sort of persecution will soon be happening here "if you continue to denigrate people and their beliefs and their Bible."

Wildmon blamed it all on secular progressives who are "progressing toward anarchy ... or communism" and who "hate the Judeo-Christian worldview; in essence, they won't tell you this necessarily, but they hate the god of the Bible " and seek to rebel against him:

Scalia Claims Courts "Invent New Minorities"

Scalia tells the Federalist Society that "it's not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections."
PFAW Foundation

Klingenschmitt: 'American Law Needs To Reflect God's Law'

A large portion of "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt's most recent "Pray In Jesus Name" program was dedicated to replaying an interview he recently gave to Alan Colmes over his assertion that gays ought to be discriminated against.

After having played the entire interview, Klingenschmitt commented that he and Colmes disagree on the role that the Bible should play in our public policy, with Klingenschmitt saying that "American law needs to reflect God's law."

If it does not, Klingenschmitt warned, "American law is telling some people, oh this is really legal, when it's actually illegal under God's law ... [and that] does a disservice even to the homosexual community who will face that on Judgment Day":

Staver: Legal Abortion Is An 'Absolutely Atrocious Holocaust,' Akin To Nazi Germany

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Daniel Schmid of Liberty Counsel were discussing the investigation launched by the General Accounting Office into how organizations like Planned Parenthood spend public funds.

While Staver welcomed the investigation, he was dismayed that it didn't go nearly far enough, demanding to know when America "is going to wake up to this absolutely atrocious holocaust." Likening legal abortion to what happened in Nazi Germany, Staver demanded that politicians stand up and ask "how can humanity continue to condone this kind of barbaric behavior against our own human species!"

Schmid added that it was all rooted in "the wickedness of America and our need to repent and turn back to the Lord" because, just like in Nazi Germany, "those who hate God, love death."

Staver concluded by urging viewers not to "just get frustrated by this bloodthirsty administration," but rather to take a stand and get involved in the fight to outlaw abortion:

Fischer & Mihet: Those Who Oppose ENDA Will Be Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

Last week, a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit against Scott Lively stemming from his anti-gay advocacy in Uganda.  Today, his lawyer, Harry Mihet of Liberty Counsel, appeared on Bryan Fischer's radio program to discuss the lawsuit, where the two of them speculated that if it succeeds, then anyone who would dare to testify against or oppose a law like the Employment Nondiscrimination Act could be prosecuted for committing crimes against humanity.

"If that is allowed to succeed in the Scott Lively case," Mihet said, "then the very next and logical step would be to take anyone that would oppose legislation in ENDA in the US and to have the charged with international human rights violations, the most heinous of crimes, crimes against humanity, or persecution for doing nothing more than exercising their rights to speak their minds on an issue of public importance in the public square.  At some point, we have to ask ourselves are we still a free country, governed by a constitution with a First Amendment or are we entering an era of fascism when it comes to this issue":

Stemberger: New Anti-Gay Scouting Organization Like The Resurrection Of Jesus

John Stemberger was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today, discussing the new anti-gay alternative to the Boy Scouts that will be announced later this Fall.

During the discussion, Stemberger stated that with the formation of this new organization, something good will finally result from the vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay scouts, likening it to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

"Sometimes things have to die," Stemberger said, "before there's a new birth and it comes back better than before. And, not to extend the analogy too far, but even our Lord went through that process":

Later, co-host Rick Green asked Stemberger what he would say to a Boy Scout leader who was thinking of remaining with the Scouts because this is not an issue for them because they don't have any openly gay boys wanting to join their troop.  Stemberger responded by warning that gay activists will begin to "strategically place openly gay boys in troops, especially very conservative troops and see if they will, you know, deny them membership based on the fact that they are flaunting their sexuality" in order to file lawsuits:

Near the end of the broadcast, David Barton picked up on Stemberger's warming to issue a warning of his own that "little sins always grow to become big sins that will turn and devour you."  To illustrate this point, Barton cited  naturalist Joy Adamson, who wrote the book "Born Free" about her experience raising a lion cub.

"Joy Adamson is a name back years ago out of Africa.  She did the famous movie and the book 'Born Free' and then 'Living Free' where she raised the lion cubs and Elsa was a lion cub and she ends up getting killed by her favorite lions that she's raised from cubs":

Of course, like so much of what Barton says, this is not true at all, as Adamson was actually murdered by a former employee, not killed by lions. 

A Lesson For 'Dr. Chaps' On How The Internet Works

Over the last week or so, we have written several posts featuring statements that have been made by "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program and elsewhere, including one in which he asserted that Texas state Senator Wendy Davis is "ruled by a demon of murder" and ought to be prosecuted.

As we generally do, we uploaded that video to YouTube so we can embed it in our post and so others can do the same.  Of course, since this is the internet, things posted on it sometimes attract unfriendly and unpleasant comments ... but according to a statement put out by Klingenschmitt on Friday, we are going to be held criminally liable for a few random comments left by completely anonymous users on one of the internet's most popular and heavily trafficked sites because, by failing to remove them, we are now supposedly encouraging "the assassination of pro-life Christian leaders":

In their most recent post on YouTube.com, RWW plagiarized (without consent) and posted (using their own web-site logo) part of an original PIJN NEWS television broadcast created and copyrighted by Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD, in which he criticized a pro-abortion Texas legislator. Within 24 hours, six anti-Christian followers of RWW published written death threats against the chaplain on RWW's youtube page.

Three of those posts, still active on YouTube as of 16 Aug, call upon RWW's followers to kill Chaplain Klingenschmitt:
1.       can we murder this fu**
2.       I don't think he's a fetus. So yeah, you could murder him and still be pro-life.
3.       Another white a** cracker pu*** that needs a .45 Caliber renovation.

Three other followers of RWW stated they wished the Chaplain would die, or had been murdered by an abortionist, or praised the demon of murder.
4.       What a pathetic little bi***. Can't wail till these people die out.
5.       Don't diss the "deamon of murder", I've met him. He's not a bad guy.
6.       This guy is a sh** person and would have been better if he was aborted.

The Chaplain takes these death threats seriously, and has notified the F.B.I. and YouTube. He said, "Sadly, Right Wing Watch fails to watch themselves, or censor death threats from their blog, making them an accessory after the fact. I asked RWW to delete their death threats, but so far they refuse, which makes me believe their blogger Kyle Mantyla and his supervisors at People for the American Way (including President Michael B. Keegan and Chairman Lara Bergthold) now encourage the assassination of pro-life Christian leaders. If such fate should befall me or anyone in my family, I hold RWW immediately responsible, yet I do pray that God will show mercy upon those who hate Christians, and soften their hearts to repent, so the Lord Jesus Christ will forgive their sins. I return their curses with a sincere prayer that God will bless them and save them from their sins and demons, in Jesus' name, Amen."

The fact that Klingenschmitt thinks that our fair use of clips from his program is "plagiarism" gives you a sense of just what sort of legal scholar we are dealing with, so it is no surprise that he also thinks that we are somehow responsible for random comments posted on YouTube.

So imagine our joy when "Dr. Chaps" took his tale of intimidation straight over to Rick Wiles' End Times radio program on Friday afternoon where Klingenschmitt threatened that he was going "to file conspiracy after the fact" charges against us - whatever that is supposed to mean - while Wiles openly asserted that we are intentionally hoping to get people killed:

Klingenschmitt: I have received six death threats in the last twenty four hours from followers of Right Wing Watch, which is a subset of People For the American Way, which was I think started by Norman Lear and a lot of communist funding went into that.

But when they attack you, when they attack me, they don't police themselves.  It's funny how Right Wing Watch doesn't watch their own followers because their own followers now - the conversation on their YouTube page began something like this: 'well, I wish that Chaplain Klingenschmitt had been aborted' and then this other guy said 'can we kill him?,' no, this other guy said 'I can't wait for him to die,' and then another guy said 'can we murder him?' And then someone responded 'yes, we can murder him' and then someone else responded 'he needs a .45 caliber renovation.'

Wiles: This is on the website of Right Wing Watch?

Klingenschmitt: It is.

Wiles: This is on the comments section.  They're always accusing conservatives and Christians of being hatemongers, but the Right Wing Watch and the Southern Poverty Law Center, these are the real hatemongers and they are deliberately trying to get somebody murdered.

Klingenschmitt: I left a message with the FBI and then I left messages [with PFAW and they] still have not removed the blogs, so now I'm back on the phone with the FBI this afternoon.  If we need to, we're going to file conspiracy after the fact or accessory after the fact criminal charges against these leaders because even though they know about it, they're doing nothing to constrain these death threats when are on their site threatening to kill me with a .45 caliber weapon.

...

Wiles: What these communist groups are doing is that they are fomenting such vehement hate against Christians that they really are hoping that somebody will go off their rocker and kill one of them.  That's really what these people are trying to do.

Obviously, these comments are not posted here on Right Wing Watch, as both Chaps and Wiles repeatedly asserted, since we don't have comments on this blog! The comments were posted by anonymous viewers on YouTube, which is a forum that we do not moderate or generally even read and for which we most certainly are not responsible.

But if "Dr. Chaps" wants to waste tens of thousands of dollars attempting to hold us criminally responsbile for random comments left by strangers on the internet, we wish him the best of luck. 

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