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Beck: 'Noah' Movie is 'Dangerous Disinformation'

Glenn Beck loves watching movies but he will not be seeing Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming "Noah" movie because it is "dangerous disinformation" created in order to undermine the "true" Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. 

Just as Oliver Stone's film "JFK" was made in order to "pump into the system the disinformation of the CIA" and confuse everyone about what really happened, Beck said Aronofsky's movie is designed to do likewise by convincing children that his version is the real story while the Bible version is not to be believed.

"It is dangerous disinformation," Beck said:

Santorum 'Absolutely' Would Have Voted For Arizona's Discrimination Legislation

When Rick Santorum spoke at CPAC a few weeks ago, he sat down for an interview with the National Review where he was asked about the importance of religious liberty and Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of legislation that would have protected business owners who discriminated against gay customers.

Santorum declared that religious liberty was of the utmost importance because the freedom of conscience is "the trunk upon which all other branches of rights flow from" and warned that the government has been systemically suppressing that right.

Host Patrick Brennan then noted that Republicans like Mitt Romney and John McCain had openly opposed the discrimination legislation in Arizona and asked Santorum whether or not he would have supported it. 

Not surprisingly, Santorum did not hesitate to answer, declaring immediately that he "absolutely" would have voted for such legislation:

The Gospel of Citizens United: In Hobby Lobby, Corporations Pray for the Right to Deny Workers Contraception

Will corporations be able to claim "religious rights" to discriminate against their female employees -- and possibly others?

Lapin: Marriage Equality Is A 'Flagrant Attempt' To 'Ultimately Obliterate Christianity'

Stu Burguiere sat in for Glenn Beck on last night's television program where he interviewed Rabbi Daniel Lapin ostensibly about reports that a gay couple was going to sue the Church of England for the right to get married in the church.

Lapin said that instances like this, as well as the various cases that have occurred in the United States, are not about equal rights at all but rather are part of an all-out effort to destroy Judeo-Christian values and the Bible.

"This is a flagrant attempt to censor, undermine, and ultimately obliterate Christianity," Lapin said. "That's the purpose of this."

Lapin went on to say that words like "equality" and "fairness" are meaningless terms that are embraced by tyrannical governments in order to work up a docile population into destroying its own freedom:

LaBarbera: Anti-Gay Activists Have Been 'Sold Out' By Chick-Fil-A's Dan Cathy

Last week, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was not going to be weighing in publicly on the issue of marriage equality any longer, saying he had learned from his mistakes when his set off a controversy over the issue back in 2012.

Cathy's new position is not sitting well with Bryan Fischer or Peter LaBarbera, who accused him of selling out the entire anti-gay movement.

"For him now to say I'm going to pull back," fumed LaBarbera, "seems to be just a complete sell out."

LaBarbera went on to lament that gay activists are playing hardball while anti-gay Christians are playing tee-ball "and we're getting wiped out and every time a leader goes silent, you know, he's hurting the cause."

"Now I'm wondering," LaBarbera added, "did Dan Cathy do more harm than good in this whole thing?"

Beck Praises Mat Staver As A 'True Force For Good' Who Is Raising Up An 'Army Of The Lord'

A few months ago, Glenn Beck took a very public stand against the anti-gay crackdown in Russia, declaring that no reasonable person would support what is happening there and boldly asserting that he didn't even know anybody who was anti-gay.

As we pointed out at the time, Beck actually knew several people who were anti-gay since he was personal friends with them and had them on his show quite regularly.

In the months since, Beck has turned his attention to the case involving Justina Pelletier, which has become something of a major Religious Right campaign; so much so that Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver has taken over as the Pelletier's attorney.

As such, Staver and others from Liberty Counsel have made multiple appearances on Beck's radio and television programs, despite the fact that Staver and his organization are among the most vehemently anti-gay activists operating today.

It is no small irony that Staver and his colleague Matt Barber have openly advocated for enacting Russia-style laws here in America, which was the very topic that made Beck declare just a few months ago that he would stand with GLAAD while proclaiming that anyone who supported such laws could not consider themselves to be a fan of his.

So naturally, when Staver appeared on Beck's radio program yesterday, Beck had nothing but praise for him, saying it was "truly an honor" to work with them and calling both Liberty Counsel and Liberty University, where Staver serves as vice-president, "a true force for good" that are serving "front and center when it comes to the Army of the Lord and being a shield for many, many people, including most of our children":

Beck: My Network 'Is Being Led By A Higher Power'

With every passing day it becomes more and more obvious that Glenn Beck is willfully ignorant and will continue to repeat things on air that have already been debunked because he simply will not allow the truth to get in the way of his agenda.

As we noted just the other day, Beck has been claiming that the world was shocked to recently learn that, back during the 2008 economic crisis, Russia approached China about the possibility of selling off massive amounts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities in order to create even more chaos. Beck claimed that if people simply watched the programming on his network, they would have known this fact a whole eight months ago.

Last night, he made this same point again, only now adding that his staff "is being led by a higher power" that is allowing them to always be well ahead of the rest of the news media:

Of course, as we pointed out last time, this particular piece of information had been known for years because former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson revealed it in the book he published back in 2010:

Russia urged China to dump its Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 in a bid to force a bailout of the largest U.S. mortgage-finance companies, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said.

Paulson learned of the “disruptive scheme” while attending the Beijing Summer Olympics, according to his memoir, “On The Brink.”

The Russians made a “top-level approach” to the Chinese “that together they might sell big chunks of their GSE holdings to force the U.S. to use its emergency authorities to prop up these companies,” Paulson said, referring to the acronym for government sponsored entities. The Chinese declined, he said.

Russia’s five-day war with U.S. ally Georgia started on Aug. 8, the same day as the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told U.S. President George W. Bush during those ceremonies that “war has started,” according to Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

“The report was deeply troubling -- heavy selling could create a sudden loss of confidence in the GSEs and shake the capital markets,” Paulson wrote. “I waited till I was back home and in a secure environment to inform the president.”

This piece of information has been known for over four years, but Beck is claiming that his network is divinely-guided because it was able to report it eight months ago?

Anne Graham Lotz: Missing Airplane Just A 'Small Snapshot' Of What The World Will Experience Following The Rapture

Back in 2011, when a series of tornadoes ripped through several southern states and killed more than 300 people, we were told that this was just "a little taste" of what God's judgment upon humanity was going to look like.

Today, it seems that the mystery surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is just a little taste of what The Rapture is going to look like, according to Anne Graham Lotz.

Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham and sister of Franklin Graham, wrote on her blog that the mystery and confusion over what happened to the plane is just a "small snapshot" of what the world will experience in the wake of The Rapture when millions of Christians instantaneously disappear:

Where have all the people gone?The pictures of grieving friends and family members of those who are missing are heart-wrenching.  I have prayed for God’s peace and comfort for them, as well as God’s direction of the search and rescue teams who are desperately looking for clues that will solve the mystery.  But the unanswered questions seem to intensify the horror…

How could a modern airliner drop out of sight so quickly and completely?

What happened to the plane itself?

Was it hijacked?

Was it blown out of the sky?

Did something happen to the pilots so that without guidance the plane plunged intact into the depths of the sea?

Bottom line: Where are all the people?

The answers don’t seem to be forthcoming as I write this.  But as I have prayerfully pondered all of the above, I can’t help but wonder…Is this worldwide sense of shock and helplessness, of questions and confusion, of fear and grief, a glimpse of things to come?  Is this a small snapshot of what the entire world will experience the day after the rapture of the church? Because the Bible is clear.  There is coming a moment in time when Jesus will come back to gather to Himself all those—dead and alive--who have put their trust in Him.  And on that day, the world will be asking, Where have all the people gone?  Not just 239 of us, but millions of us.

Fischer: The Role Of Government Is 'To Only Approve That Which God Approves'

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer made the case that nothing that the Bible considers to be sinful can ever be tolerated or made legal by the government because anyone who holds public office is a "minister of God" with "a responsibility to use that authority in a manner that is consistent with the truth of God."

As such, any law that gives any sort of protection or equality to gays is a violation of that responsibility because, in granting such rights, elected officials are abusing their positions in order "to approve something that God criticizes, to approve something that God condemns."

Therefore, Fischer said, gays have no right to ever expect equal treatment from the government because "the responsibility of those in civil authority is to only approve that which God approves and to stand against that which He rejects":

Beck: Resignation Of White House Pastry Chef Is Proof Michelle Obama Is 'Nuts'

By this point, we have pretty much run out of ways to highlight how utterly delusional Glenn Beck has become other than by simply showcasing clips of him spinning insane theories out of normal, everyday occurrences, as he did today by spending the entire opening segment of his radio program holding up the resignation of the White House executive pastry chef as evidence that supports his belief that Michele Obama is a monster.

Beck seized upon a quote in this New York Times article reporting that Bill Yosses is "headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better" in which he says that "I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs" as proof that Yosses is resigning because Michelle Obama is nuts.

Of course, if you read the quote in context, it is clear that he was not saying anything of the sort:

Mr. Yosses has also been inspired by the White House garden, where he has chosen from a cornucopia of strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, figs, papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes and herbs like lemon thyme flowers, lavender and pineapple sage. Nearby is honey from the White House beehives. The result — oatmeal bars, baked apples and pear-quince cobblers, among many others — will have a lasting impact on his eating habits, as will Mrs. Obama.

“She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom in chief’ would do,” Mr. Yosses said. He called her “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Yosses has hardly turned his back on his old, sweet life. “I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” he said.

But Beck was able to read between the lines, declaring this quote to be "one of the most extraordinary statements I have ever read" because Yosses is essentially sticking his "finger in the eye of the President of the United States" by announcing to the world that Michele Obama is "nuts":

It should come as no surprise that Beck's network already debunked this idiotic theory yesterday afternoon but that Beck went ahead and repeated it on air this morning anyway because he apparently doesn't even read what is published on his own website:

[A] quick look at the Times story that served as a basis for the information reveals Yosses’ reasons for leaving are actually quite the opposite.

In the Times story, Yosses says he made the “bittersweet decision” to leave because he was inspired by Obama’s passion for healthy eating and wanted to “teach children and adults about eating better.”

In fact, Yosses praised the first lady as an “inspiring boss” with a “combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

The quote he gave the Times about not wanting to “demonize” sugary foods appears to have been said more in good humor instead of as a scathing remark against Obama’s healthy foods campaign.

As for Michelle Obama being “partly to blame” for Yosses leaving? That was simply a clever opening lede to the Times’ story.

Technically, the Times said the first lady is partly to blame — but that’s because it said she inspired him to teach others about healthy foods, not because Yosses was unhappy working under her.

If evidence exists that Yosses left for other reasons, none has been presented thus far.

Beck: 'We Are Going To Be Remembered As An Insane Society'

Every day, we watch several hours of Glenn Beck's radio and television programming and, as awful as that is, we do so while giving thanks that we don't actually work for Beck, because if we did, we might be forced to attend his morning meetings where staff members just sit there silently as he goes off on another one of his insane monologues about how the world has collectively gone insane.

"We are going to be remembered," Beck declared yesterday, "as an insane society; as a society that is just totally unhinged, totally disconnected for reality."

That sounds like the perfect definition of life inside Beck's empire, if you ask us: 

Glenn Beck's Tiresome Myopia And Self-Aggrandisement

One of the most infuriating things about watching Glenn Beck's radio and television programs is his constant assertion that his network is the only one that is, has been, or ever will be reporting whatever information or story he is covering at any given time.

He does this constantly, myopically insisting that whatever issue or piece of news he is currently fascinated with is not only the most important issue of the day but also that he is the only one with the courage to cover it.  For Beck, the fact that he hasn't personally seen something covered in whatever media outlets he visits must mean that nobody anywhere has ever covered it, leading to truly ridiculous segments like this one today where he reacts to a report today that former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has confirmed that during the economic crisis of 2008, Russia approached China about the possibility of selling off massive amounts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities in order to create even more chaos; a proposal that China rejected.

Beck can't understand why people think that is new because his network reported it a whole eight months ago when everyone supposedly mocked and ridiculed them for reporting it because it was too crazy, but now they have been proven correct:

Of course, that piece of information has been known for years and was even dramatized in the 2011 HBO movie based on Andrew Ross Sorkin's book "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves":

The movie isn’t afraid to hammer home its politics in moments like that, or in a scene set during Paulson’s trip to China. It begins with a moment of physical comedy when a Chinese official tries to get Paulson to take a miniature Chinese flag. When he won’t accept it, the official hands the flag off to a little girl, who Paulson hustles to get out of the frame. Later, over dinner, another official tells Paulson that the Russians approached the Chinese about dumping their investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in concert to strike a blow to the American economy. “The amount of debt your country carries is a terrible vulnerability,” the official demurs, delivering a warning. “We declined, respectfully.”

This piece of information has been known for several years, but Glenn Beck is acting as if everyone else is stupid and uniformed for not knowing or caring that his network happened to report it eight months ago.

John Benefiel Reveals His Close Ties To Top-Level Oklahoma Governmental Leaders

Last week, we posted a video of self-appointed "apostle" John Benefiel, who believes that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol, telling Cindy and Mike Jacobs that America is under a curse because ancient Egyptians dedicated this land to Baal thousands of years ago.

On this week's episode of "God Knows," Benefiel revealed that, back in 2004, he and a group of prayer warriors were given access to the Oklahoma House chamber where they broke Baal's hold over the state by praying over all of the desks and anointing all the chairs with oil. Four months later, Benefiel reported, conservative Christians gained control of the state House of Representatives. 

Two years later, Benefiel and crew were given access to the Senate chamber and did the same thing, with similar results.

By 2010, all of the state's executive branch officials were "all born-again Christians who love the Lord" and who had deep ties to Benefiel and his ministry.

Benefiel reported that his group led Gov. Mary Fallin "in the baptism of the Holy Spirit years ago" and that Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb is also a close friend who joined them recently and was prayed over by intercessors, as are both the state's Attorney General and Speaker of the House:

Lively: A Revolution Is Coming Because People Are 'Fed Up' With The Lawless 'Homosexual Agenda'

Scott Lively was a guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program yesterday to discuss his campaign for governor in Massachusetts but, of course, most of the interview revolved around Fischer's and Lively's mutual battle against the "homosexual agenda."

Lively asserted that America will soon undergo both a secular revolution and a simultaneous Christian revival because people are "fed up" with the "lawlessness" that is "exemplified by the homosexual agenda."

"Homosexuality always is used a symbol of extreme rebellion against God, on the verge of judgment," Lively said. "And that's where we are now in our country. It's a powder keg and I think we're going to see some real explosive changes are going to take place":

'Red, White, Blue, & Green': A Reality Show For David Barton's Right Hand Man?

Rick Green is a former Texas state representative who became David Barton's right-hand man at WallBuilders after losing his bid for re-election several years ago. In this capacity, Green has served as Barton's co-host on the daily "WallBuilders Live" radio broadcast, where he eagerly agrees with Barton's anti-gay statements, blindly accepts his falsehoods, and even spews some of this own, all while serving as one of Barton's most dogged defenders. A few years ago, Green made his own run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court and very nearly won despite his controversial history.

Green has long been essentially a poor-man's David Barton, delivering Barton-style "historical" presentations, often with his family, without ever receiving any of Barton's fame or recognition ... but that might be about to change as Green announced on his website today that a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise $45,000 to create a pilot for a reality show about Green and his family "traveling the nation’s historical sites and teaching about American exceptionalism and our Constitution":

Have you ever wished you could visit all the wonderful sites of our nation’s founding? Most of us don’t have time or money to do that, but hey, we can dream, right? As long as we’re dreaming, let’s take a captivating storyteller along on the trip who can bring those places to life for us. And then, let’s take away all the travel, hotels, and the high cost. Sounds like a dream vacation, right?

Well, this dream is actually becoming a reality. In fact, it is becoming a reality show, but with true purpose!

Not just any reality show though; this one stars one of my all-time favorite families traveling the nation’s historical sites and teaching about American exceptionalism and our Constitution!

The Green Family is one of the most fun-loving families I know, but they unite fun with purpose as they pursue their shared goal of rekindling the torch of liberty in America. They have been traveling and speaking across the nation for years, and have often wished they could take everyone along to share the inspiring things they’ve experienced.

Through this new video project, they plan to do just that.

When you sit down to watch an episode of Red, White, Blue, and Green you’ll be taking a trip back in time to one of America’s treasured locations rich with inspirational history. You’ll marvel at the scenery and architecture, learn as Rick tells the stories behind those places in his own inimitable style, and laugh as the family experiences the joys and frustrations of living their calling. Plus, you get a sneak peek into the crazy world of a close-knit, baseball-loving family on a mission to restore our nation!

More than anything else, you’ll share the inspiration and hope in the eyes of the Green kids as they relive America’s history, and you’ll be encouraged to take up that torch of liberty anew yourself.

Several networks are interested and we have an opportunity to vote with our dollars to show there are a lot of us out here that would enjoy this kind of programming. Production has already begun on the first few episodes and a director’s cut of the pilot is waiting for your own personal input and critique.

If you will partner with the Greens through their Kickstarter project, they will be able to continue producing at locations like Valley Forge, Independence Hall, the Alamo, Colonial Williamsburg, the site of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, and so many other amazing places.

Fischer: God Hasn't Struck Down Bill Maher In Order To Give Him A Chance To Repent

On his HBO program on Friday, Bill Maher delivered an rant against religion in which he called God an "psychotic mass murderer" and declared that America is a "stupid country" because most Americans believe the Bible's story of Noah and the Ark to be true.

Maher's blasphemy did not sit well with Bryan Fischer, who dedicated a segment on his radio program today to defending the Biblical tale of Noah's flood, arguing that it was the free will choices made by humans that left God with no other option but to kill every living thing, just as God has given Bill Maher the free will to engage in this sort of blasphemy.

The only reason Maher is able to say such things, Fischer declared, is because God allows it and the only reason Maher is not struck down on the spot for engaging in this sort of blasphemy is because God is merciful, compassionate, and loving.

God allows Maher to continue living after saying these things, Fischer explained, is in order to give Maher an opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness.

"Bill Maher might have thought he was being hip and kind of trendy and kind of cool and all of that," Fischer said, "but he is going to be judged for those careless words. God hopes it doesn't come to that. God could, by all rights, take him right now and Bill Maher would have to face judgment by the end of the day. Why doesn't He do that? Because He is patient with Bill Maher. He doesn't want to have to do that. He wants to give Bill Maher the time to come to his senses and to come to a place of repentance":

It Is The Government's Fault Glenn Beck Is Spinning Wild Theories About The Missing Malaysian Airliner

One thing you learn from regularly watching Glenn Beck's programs is that he is not to blame for the fact that he happens to subscribe to or promote wild conspiracy theories because it is the government and progressives and various unseen forces who have made it so that Beck can no longer believe anything that anybody tells him.

So, fresh from a week's vacation, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 represents essentially the perfect Glenn Beck story because there is so much confusion and conflicting information and general uncertainty about just what has happened that pretty much any explanation can almost seem plausible, no matter how outlandish. And since passing off outlandish stories as seemingly "plausible" is Beck's forte, it was no surprise to see him spend ten minutes today laying out his theory about just what has happened to this airplane.

Seizing upon news that twenty employees from a company called Freescale Semiconductor were on board, Beck speculated that these employees had the technology and expertise to "cloak" the plane and make it invisible to radar and detection. As such, the plane was probably diverted to someplace like Pakistan where is could be hidden and repainted to look like a British Airways jet and then flow over the Atlantic Ocean low enough so as not to be seen by radar right below another British Airways jet, flying on the same path but at a much higher altitude and registering on radar. At some point, and without explaining how this would happen, Beck speculated that the real British Airways jet could then be blown out of the sky, allowing the stolen plane to "jump up" onto that flight path and cloak itself as the now destroyed jet and fly on to Washington, DC without raising any suspicions or setting off alarms.

Sure, that seems really convoluted, not to mention probably nearly impossible to actually pull off ... but, as Beck said, the problem is that nobody trusts the government any more and so people start to believe all sorts of wild conspiracy theories. 

"See, this is the problem," Beck said. "Once you lose trust as a government, once you lie to your people over and over again, this is what happens; conspiracy theories go crazy because I don't trust our government at all":

Farah: FCC Study Is Just Like What Happened During The Holocaust

WND's Joseph Farah was the guest on "Understanding the Times with Jan Markell" over the weekend to discuss "the possible loss of press freedom in America which could trickle down to Christian radio and TV [because this] is what happens when a President appoints himself as king."

One area of concern for Farah and Markell was the totally bogus right-wing freak-out over the FCC supposedly placing government "monitors" in newsrooms all over the nation in order to control the news. Even though the entire story was total nonsense, Farah and Markell logically declared that this is a sign that America is heading in the direction of Nazi Germany.

Farah asserted that the Founding Fathers knew that America would only succeed so long as the citizens were both moral and informed, but thanks to the government, media, and education, Americans today have become secularized, demoralized, and uninformed, which has put this nation in danger.

"After the Holocaust, everybody said 'never again,' Farah warned. "But it will happen again when the same conditions are repeated and that's exactly what we see today."

"That's very true," Markell agree. "This happened in Nazi Germany, so this really troubles me":

Rick Wiles: Military Under Attack From 'Jesus-Hating, Demon-Possessed People Who Despise The Christian Cross'

As we noted just last week, it is remarkable that Religious Right activists and members of Congress continue to appear on Rick Wiles' End Times radio broadcast, given that he is a full-blown conspiracy theorist and general crackpot.

But Religious Right still go on his show, just as Travis Weber of the Family Research Council did on Friday to discuss the FRC's latest religious freedom campaign which was, of course, inspired by a recent Todd Starnes column. Weber had an increasingly difficult time offering reasonable-sounding responses to Wiles' increasingly deranged questions, such as his assertion that incidents like the one covered by Starnes' column are "a demonic attack against Christianity" as part of a spiritual war being waged by "Jesus-hating, demon-possessed people who despise the Christian cross."

Weber agreed that this was spiritual warfare, but encouraged Christians to take a public stand in defense of their faith, just as Dietrich Bonhoeffer did. That comment prompted Wiles to note that Bonhoeffer was hanged as a result of his stance and warn that the same thing would soon begin to happen in America.

"This is the course it's going," Wiles declared, "that the people who do take a stand are going to be incarcerated, they're going to be killed and the wimpy, cowardly, timid little church world is not going to do anything."

Eventually, the discussion turned to the crisis in Ukraine as Wiles asserted that Russia has embraced Christianity while the United States has shunned it. The two countries, Wiles predicted, are going to end up at war and "we're going to go into battle with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross."

For this part, Weber once again agreed, asserting that in the US, the military has unconstitutionally established a religion of secularism:

How Money in Politics Undermines Diversity in Elected Office

During a speech to a packed audience at the University of Washington on Monday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was asked by a student what problems need to be fixed in order to see more women and people of color in government. 

Sotomayor’s answer, as reported by The Seattle Times, was simple: “Money.”

“Money,” Sotomayor said to laughter. “No, seriously. Look at what’s happening in politics. What’s talking the loudest is money.” For more minorities and women to gain more of a foothold in government decisions, “we’re going to have to work the political system at the highest level,” she said.

Justice Sotomayor is right. Today our country is represented by leaders who, as a whole, look little like the electorate they are supposed to represent and serve. Women are a majority of the population, and yet only make up 20% of the Senate and 18% of the House, putting us 83rd in the world for women’s political representation. We have only one openly LGBTQ person and only a handful of people of color in the US Senate – in 2012 there were no African Americans. This picture is not only problematic in itself, but it also has broad implications for policy outcomes.

It’s true that we have also seen some promising developments in political representation in recent years. The 113th Congress is the most diverse in history, with a record number of women and minorities elected, as well as a number of firsts. As the policy director for the Young Elected Officials Network, I am heartened by the changing faces of leadership at all levels of government, and what this means for our country both symbolically and substantively. But, like Justice Sotomayor, I’m also concerned that our country’s money in politics problem is standing in the way of further progress.

Much has been said lately about the impact of money in politics on political representation. At The Atlantic’s Shriver Report summit on women and poverty in January, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted,

If you reduce the role of money in politics and increase the level of civility in debate, more women will run for office… We say to women, we want you to go raise 12 million dollars, and by the way, subject yourself to 10 million dollars in negative publicity.

The influence of money in politics not only fuels corruption and the elevation of special and powerful interests, but it exacerbates the imbalance of power as a whole in our country by creating barriers to political representation for communities who are already marginalized. It perpetuates a system where the country is led by people who don’t understand the daily lived and embodied experiences of their constituents.

On Capitol Hill, we see the effects of this imbalance play out each day. From thwarted gun violence prevention efforts to legislation attacking women’s reproductive health voted on by committees and panels made up entirely of men, we continue to have elected leaders who side against the demonstrated wishes of its voters and with the moneyed interests.

We must pursue reforms that transform our electoral processes, even the playing field for all candidates, and restore the power to the people by reducing the outsized influence of big money and protecting the rights of voters. All indications show that we get better results for everyone when there’s diversity in governing bodies.

It’s both common sense, and a matter of basic human rights.

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