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Scott Lively Will Run For Congress To Defend Russia's Anti-Gay Persecution

Last year, viciously anti-gay activist Scott Lively ran for governor in Massachusetts and even though he only managed to receive 19,000 votes, he still considered his run to be a "HUGE VICTORY."

Seemingly bolstered by this showing, Lively announced today that he is considering running for Congress in a challenge to Democratic Rep. Richard Neal and intends to do so in order to stand in defense of Russia inside our government.

Lively has long been a vocal supporter of Russia's harsh anti-gay crackdown, declaring the passage of anti-gay legislation in Russia to be "one of the proudest achievements of my career."

So now he hopes to serve in Congress in order to speak out against the "anti-Russian propaganda" that is "robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today":

There are a number of reasons why I would pursue Congress rather than a state office, but one of them is my interest in foreign policy and concern about the disastrous actions of the Obama administration around the world.  I am posting an article below that closely reflects my views on one aspect of the problem.

I am especially concerned that the Neoconservatives (read Republican liberals) have aligned with the Obama administration re Russia and are jointly waging a campaign of anti-Russian propaganda designed to deceive conservatives into supporting a hot war with Russia.

This is a not only very dangerous game geopolitically, it is robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today.  American and Russian conservatives could today be cooperating together to roll back liberalism around the world.  Instead, the cultural Marxists of both major US political parties are trying to drive a wedge between us with the absurd lie that Russia is trying to revive the Soviet Union.

Neither Russia nor its president are without flaws, and it is as impossible to defend them against a campaign of relentless criticism as is is anyone else but Jesus Christ.  That’s the psy-ops mind game the elite media plays: a rhetorical blitzkrieg of misrepresentations, double standards and sophistry.

But if  we ask the simple question “Which countries of the world and their current leadership align most closely to the goals of Biblical Christianity and of ideological conservatism?” it’s a whole different ballgame.

If we rank the current leaders and countries of the world by that standard Putin and Russia rank high on the list — certainly much higher than Obama and his version of America.  Indeed, is there any world leader speaking in defense of persecuted Christians in the Middle East like Putin has?  Is there any other “first world” nation standing up against the homosexual agenda like Russia is doing?

Dennis Prager Says Everyone On The AFA's Israel Trip Is Repulsed By Bryan Fischer's 'Repugnant' Views

Throughout the week, we have been chronicling the fact that several dozen members of the Republican National Committee are currently in Israel on a trip organized by Christian nationalist David Lane and paid for by an anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association.

Until attention began to be focused on the trip, nobody over at the RNC seemed to have any problem with the AFA's long record of openly promoting bigotry. Then, in a pathetically transparent effort to alleviate the controversy surrounding this trip, the AFA stripped its most notorious bigot, Bryan Fischer, of his title as the organization's director of issues analysis and role as official spokesman last week, while keeping him on staff and allowing him to retain his daily radio program on the AFA's radio network.

It seems as if the AFA's feeble effort to wash its hands of Fischer's bigotry has failed, as Haaretz is reporting that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus backed out of the trip at the last moment, claiming that he had a funeral to attend in the U.S. but would be joining the group later. But now, according to the report, Priebus will not be joining the group at all.

The most interesting aspect of this report is the fact Dennis Prager, who is currently in Israel on this very trip, says that everyone who went on the AFA's dime is repulsed by Fischer and his views.

Prager, a right-wing radio host and commentator who is anything but a moderate in his own right, told Haaretz that Fischer's bigotry is "mind-blowing":

Earlier this week, the AFA distanced itself from its former spokesman who had made statements described by critics as anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist. The spokesman, Bryan Fischer, had said, among other remarks, that America is a Christian nation in which Jews and Muslims are not entitled to constitutional protection for their religious expression.

Prager said he completely supported the decision to cut ties with Fischer. “The second I heard what he said, I said that if he really said those thing they’re repugnant,” he said. “Everybody here thinks they’re repugnant. Frankly, I can’t believe that a human being in the 21st century would say such things. It’s mind-blowing.”

The Jewish talk show host said he had never heard of Fischer before, nor had he had any dealings with any other representatives of the AFA. “This is all brand new news to me,” he said.

Glenn Beck Tearfully Begs The World To Realize 'We Are Living In The 1930s All Over Again'

Every few weeks, Glenn Beck invites listeners into his studio to film a television program during which he takes their questions about whatever is going on in the world. Inevitably, dozens of people eagerly flock to hear from the oracle that is Glenn Beck as he provides them with crackpot theories and tear-stained stories about how the world is about to go up in flames.

And that is exactly what he did last night, responding to a question from an audience member seeking recommendations about how Christians should be praying for an end to the violence and instability in the Middle East by breaking down in tears as he warned that "we are living in the 1930s all over again" and very soon, governments will start rounding up Jews and Christians.

"One of those things that I know God told me is to decide who your family is going to be so when they do come for people, you decide now, am I going to turn my eyes from it or will I say 'you take him, you take me too,'" he said, choking back tears.

Noting that he used to joke with some of his staffers that if they came for the Jews first, he would hide them but if they came for the Christians first, they would hide them, Beck said that they now all realize that this is no longer a joke but is actually a very real possibility.

"It is getting scary," he told his audience, as he began to tear up again. "I promise you, we are living in the 1930s and it's going to sweep the entire globe. Pray for your family to wake up. Pray for you to be strong enough to stand. Just go home with honor. Just go home with honor":

GOP Presidential Hopefuls And Members Of Congress Appear In New Anti-Gay 'Documentary'

Update: Porter has also released a trailer featuring Rand Paul and several GOP congressmen.

Today, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter sent out an email to activists excitedly announcing that she is finishing up editing a new anti-gay documentary that she intends to release at the National Religious Broadcaster's Convention in Nashville at the end of this month.

Porter, who was a longtime Religious Right activist and radio host until she lost her program due to her increasing radicalism only to re-emerge as an anti-abortion activist and right-wing social media entrepreneur, has brought together a who's who of hardline anti-gay activists, members of Congress, and presidential hopefuls for her film entitled "Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization Of Christianity."

Among the participants are Rep. Steve King, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Sen. Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, David Barton, James Dobson, Mat Staver, Phyllis Schlafly, Scott Lively, Alveda King, Brian Camenker, Frank Pavone, Robert Knight, John Stemberger, and, of course, Porter herself, who can been seen walking around in the woods with a lantern, warning that gay activists are seeking to turn Christians into criminals:

Porter released a separate preview of the film today, featuring a clip in which she blasts the Boy Scouts for having "needlessly caved to a dark sexual agenda" by allowing gay Scouts to join the organization while Knight and Stemberger warn that, as a result, the Boy Scouts will soon face "homosexual scandals" just like Penn State and the Catholic Church:

While it might come as a bit of a surprise to see someone like Rand Paul listed as appearing in this documentary, Mike Huckabee's participation should come as no surprise at all, as he has had close ties to Porter for years, even having named her as co-chair of his Faith and Family Values Coalition when he ran for president in 2008.

Predictably, Huckabee has nothing but praise for Porter's film:

"Light Wins" reveals the frightening trend not to simply ignore Christian believers, but to rid society of us altogether. This ground breaking, eye opening film will awaken viewers to the fact that being a spectator is no longer an option. One will be part of the solution or part of the problem, and I hope this riveting documentary will cause believers to take notice."

For more info on Porter's long history of making insane claims, see this round-up.

Barber & Staver: 'Obama Is Not The Leader Of The Free World' And 'The Sooner He Goes, The Better'

Promoting the entirely bogus claim that President Obama is somehow secretly working to undermine the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mat Staver and Matt Barber ripped Obama on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, declaring that Netanyahu, not Obama, is the leader of the free world.

Continuing the Religious Right tradition of blindly and silently accepting whatever Israel does regardless of how it conflicts with their supposed principles, Barber wondered if the world was "reliving the 1930s" as Netanyahu, the modern-day Winston Churchill, must fight against President Obama's Neville Chamberlain-like efforts to appease the Nazis, who are, in this case, radical Islamic militants.

"It is absolutely unconscionable," Barber said. "You know, President Obama is not the leader of the free world, Benjamin Netanyahu is the leader of the free world."

Staver, of course, shared those views, saying that "President Obama is bad for America [and] the sooner he goes, the better":

'Oh Wow': Glenn Beck Says People Are Starting To Realize That Everything He Warned About Is All Coming True

Disturbed by footage of ISIS militants burning alive a Jordanian pilot, as well as by recent comments made by Jesse Ventura and a bizarre video released by actor Randy Quaid, Glenn Beck said on his radio program today that people are starting to open their eyes and admit that "the world has gone absolutely stark raving mad" because everything Beck has been warning about for years is all now coming true.

Beck said that while he has felt "lost" for the last several years, he knows that "there's something big left to do ... I think we're at the beginning. I think it has begun."

And Beck is confident that he will be the one to show us all the way forward because people are finally beginning to realize that "everything that I warned against" is now happening.

"I had that period in my life where I was the clarion call of wake up, this is what is going to come," he said. "Now it's all here. ... Now people can begin to say, 'Oh, wait a minute, wow, there is a caliphate. Oh wow, they are going to try to kill all of us. Oh wow, fascism and Nazism and communism is coming back, the hatreds of the 1930s. Oh wow, there are people talking about killing the Jews. Oh wow, they are leaving Europe in droves and going to Israel for protection. Oh wow, they are printing money.'"

"I think," Beck concluded, "we're at the beginning of our globe radically changing":

John Hagee: Obama's Treatment Of Benjamin Netanyahu Will Cause God To Destroy America

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Washington, D.C., in March to lobby for tougher sanctions against Iran, President Obama will not be meeting with him and several Democratic members of Congress may skip his address.

Naturally, none of that is sitting well with John Hagee, who warned on yesterday's "Hagee Hotline" that God will destroy America for failing to adequately support Israel.

"I am a student of world history," Hagee said, "and you can wrap up world history in 25 words or less and here it is: the nations that blessed Israel prospered and the nations that cursed Israel were destroyed by the hand of God."

The Egyptian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire have all been wiped out, Hagee said, and even the British Empire has been "reduced to one tiny island because, since Edward the First, they have been and remain an anti-Semitic nation."

America will face the same fate, Hagee warned, because God "is watching what America does as it responds to Israel. If America turns its back on Israel, God will turn his back on America. And that's a fact. It's proven by history":

Klingenschmitt: The Bible Opposes Gun-Free Zones

On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Colordao Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt was discussing a lawsuit that has been filed against Cinemark over the mass shooting that occurred at its theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012 when he declared that even the Bible speaks about the dangers of establishing gun-free zones.

The solution to preventing mass shootings, Klingenschmitt said, is to let law-abiding citizens carry concealed weapons everywhere so that "nobody is a sitting duck" ... as even the Bible recognizes.

"Did you know in the Bible there were gun-free zones," Klingenschmitt asked, before citing 1 Samuel 13:19:

Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears."

"By removing all of the blacksmiths, the Hebrews were defenseless, they were sitting ducks without swords and spears and therefore they were ruled and dominated by their evil oppressors," he said. "Are we going to let that happen here in America? That is to be determined, but I think there ought to be a law":

Bryan Fischer Endorses The Right's Electoral College Vote-Rigging Scheme

Ever since Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, Religious Right activists have been pushing a vote-rigging scheme in which states would change the way in which they allot electoral votes during a presidential election, switching from the current winner-take-all approach to one in which electoral votes are allocated based upon the candidates' performance in each state's congressional districts.

The result of such a switch would be a system in which candidates who lose the overall popular vote in a state could still end up receiving a number, and in some cases even a majority, of that state's electoral votes simply by virtue of winning the popular vote in several individual districts. The impact would be greatest in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, both carried by Obama, where Republicans have gerrymandered congressional districts to the party’s advantage 

Had this sort of system been in place in 2012, Romney would have won the presidential election ... despite having lost the popular vote by several million votes.

Obviously, there is something fundamentally flawed about any system in which the candidate who receives fewer votes still wins the election ... but that is not stopping American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer from throwing his support behind this plan in a piece he wrote today in which he laughably declared that this change would be more "fair":

Can such changes be made in the electoral college? Certainly. And there is no time like the present. As a result of the 2014 tsunami, the GOP now has total control of 24 states, meaning they control the state legislature and hold the governor’s seat. Since these decisions are made at the state level, 24 states are in a position, starting tomorrow, to change the way votes are awarded in the electoral college.

Such a change should not be made to give an electoral advantage to one party or another. Who can foresee what the landscape will look like in two years or 20? No, the reason to make such a change is that it is fair, just, right and in accordance with the Founders’ principle of representative government. It is an idea whose time has come. Will the GOP seize the moment?

How exactly a system under which a candidate who receives fewer votes wins the election is thought to be more "fair, just, [and] right" than one under which the candidate who receives more votes wins the election is anybody's guess.

Beck: Anti-Vaxxers Are Being Persecuted, Just Like Galileo

Last year, when Glenn Beck learned that outbreaks of diseases like whooping cough and measles were on the rise due to an increasing number of parents who are refusing to have their children vaccinated, he reacted by literally standing up and applauding those parents.

Now that the issue of vaccinations has worked its way into the 2016 presidential campaign, Beck returned to the topic today on his radio show, declaring that opposing vaccinations is an issue on which activists on the Right and on the Left ought to be able to find common ground and work together.

"I'm interested in moving to common sense. I'm interested in moving in the direction of freedom," Beck said. "And so when it comes to these measles vaccinations, we have a lot in common with the left ... and we have to reach out to allies."

While declaring that nobody wants children to get measles, Beck asserted that "there's something happening" with the measles vaccine and the rise of children being diagnosed with forms of autism that should make people cautious about getting their children vaccinated.

"God gave me a brain. God gave me personal choice and responsibility for those choices," he said. "I'm going to say no to those vaccines because I've done my homework."

Beck then went on to declare that people who oppose vaccines are now being persecuted, just as Galileo was persecuted by the Catholic Church.

"Here's another group of people that are now being rounded-up and pointed at and called morons and idiots and crackpots and crazies," he said. "Just totally discredited ... Where is anybody saying 'my gosh, we're living in the days of Galileo'? The church has become the state and if you don't practice their religion exactly the way they tell you to practice it, you're done."

Dozens Of RNC Members In Israel Courtesy Of Group That Promotes The Idea That The First Amendment Doesn't Apply To Jews

At this very moment, some 60 members of the Republican National Committee are in Israel, courtesy of the anti-gay hate group the American Family Association, on a trip organized by Religious Right activist and full-blown Christian nationalist David Lane.

This trip has been a source of controversy for all involved, resulting in the AFA unsuccessfully trying to distance itself from its most notorious bigot, Bryan Fischer, last week. While Fischer no longer works as the group's director of issues analysis and is no longer an official spokesman, he is still a daily radio host on the AFA's radio network.

Fischer has a long history of not only attacking gays and Muslims, but also of declaring that the First Amendment only applies to Christianity, meaning that no other religion is entitled to any sort of constitutional protection ... and that specifically includes Judaism, as he explained back in 2013 when he said that Jews only represented 0.2 percent of the population at the time of this nation's founding and were never intended to be covered by the First Amendment.

"By 'religion,' the Founders were thinking of Christianity," Fischer said, approximately 2:30 into this clip. "So the purpose was to protect the free exercise of the Christian faith. It wasn’t about protecting anything else. They weren’t providing any cover or shelter for the free exercise of Islam or even Judaism or even atheism."

On top of that, Fischer has repeatedly declared that anyone who wishes to immigrate to the United States ought to be required to "leave behind their religion and their god" and convert to Christianity.

Fischer's views were so disturbing that, according to Politico, the Anti-Defamation League privately contacted the RNC and asked them to cancel the scheduled trip to Israel, to no avail:

A week before Republican National Committee members were set to depart Saturday on a trip to Israel sponsored by a pair of evangelical groups active in right-wing politics, officials at the Anti-Defamation League privately reached out to the RNC with a warning.

While they appreciated the interest in the Jewish state, it would be “inappropriate” for committee members to travel there with the American Family Association and the American Renewal Project — groups known for “incendiary and bigoted” language attacking gays, Mormons and Muslims, said Stacy Burdett, the ADL’s government affairs director.

The trip — a nine-day expenses-paid excursion to explore Israeli history and issues of religious liberty, according to one participant — nevertheless proceeded as planned.

Amid all the controversy surrounding this trip, Fischer himself tried to do a bit of damage control, writing a column last week declaring that "The U.S. Should Support Israel Because God Does." Interestingly, the crux of Fischer's argument is that America must support Israel because Christianity and Judaism both worship the same God:

The Jewish people zealously protected, preserved, and passed on the very words of God as recorded by the ancient prophets and historians in Israel. Our faith as a Christian nation is rooted in Jewish soil. No Judaism, no Christianity ... Our Messiah, the one we regard as the Savior of the world, walked this earth as a Jew and practiced the Jewish faith. Simple regard for the person of Jesus commands respect for the faith he himself followed and the people to whom he belonged.

So it is odd that just a few days after saying that Christians and Jews worship the same God, Fischer then wrote a new piece arguing that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, which he attempted to prove by arguing that the god that Muslims worship does not have a son:

The God of the Bible has a Son. The god of Islam does not ... The plain declaration of Christianity, then, is that Jesus is the eternally begotten Son of the true and living God. There never was a time, not even in eternity past, when he was not the Son of God.

But Islam, on the other hand, flatly denies that Allah has a son at at all. “He begetteth not, nor is begotten.” In fact, believing that God has a begotten Son will get you stoned to death in many parts of the Muslim world.

On top of all this, and of particular offense to orthodox Muslims, is the fact that Christians worship Jesus himself as God as the second member of the Trinity. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:3). Muslims are horrified at the thought that Jesus could be worshiped as God and consider such a belief as blasphemy worthy of death.

So, do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Absolutely and unequivocally not.

Obviously, the problem Fischer now encounters is how to explain how Christians and Jews can possibly worship the same God when Jews, like Muslims, do not believe that "the God of the Bible has a Son."

Given that Fischer's group has reportedly spent several hundred thousand dollars to send dozens of members of the RNC on this trip to "stand with Israel because God does," we'd be really interested to hear Fischer's explanation of how Christians and Jews can worship the same God when, by his own standard for Islam, that does not appear to be the case at all.

After all, if Muslims are not entitled to First Amendment protections, according to Fischer, because they do not worship the same God as Christians, than neither do Jews, according to Fischer's own logic.

The AFA has attempted to distance itself from Fischer's views, but that does not answer the question as to why the RNC would agree to send dozens of members on a trip to Israel paid for by an organization that employs someone who argues that Jews in America are not entitled to First Amendment protections? 

Anti-Gay Teenage Radio Host Blasts AFA For Selling Out Bryan Fischer

Caiden Cowger is a 16-year-old, anti-gay, right-wing radio host who had his 15 minutes of fame a couple of years ago when he declared that President Obama was "making kids gay." Not surprisingly, this sort of rhetoric caught the ear of Bryan Fischer and he began to feature Cowger on his American Family Radio program on occasion as the two quickly formed a mutual admiration society.

Last week, the American Family Association stripped Fischer of his role as spokesman for the organization and issued a letter denouncing several statements that Fischer has made over the last several years and this is not sitting well with Cowger at all, as he has now fired off a post blasting the AFA for being "extremely unprofessional" by supposedly misrepresenting Fischer's views and becoming "compliant with liberal organizations":

Being a regular listener of Focal Point w/ Bryan Fischer, it is clear that his own organization (The American Family Association) took his words out of context and attempted to discredit his views. Vaughn inappropriately cited remarks that Fischer said on his radio show along with his own personal interpretations, and then stated that the American Family Association disagreed with his views on those specific matters. This was completely unnecessary, because all of Fischer’s statements are already disclaimed on his radio show at the end of every broadcast, that his views do “not necessarily reflect those of the American Family Association.”

If you also notice, the lawyer did not completely quote Fischer’s statements; quotations were used in the same sentence, along with interpretations. That was extremely unprofessional.

It appears that the American Family Association has become compliant with liberal organizations and while freedom of expression is still allowed on their radio network American Family Radio, it is no longer acceptable in their main organization.

...

The problem with conservatives is that we do not defend each other. Instead we blame each other for the successes of the progressives, as I feel also applies in this case.

We have contacted Mr. Vaughn for a statement regarding this matter, but are still waiting for a response.

Allen West: Congress Should Censure Obama For Being An 'Islamist Sympathizer'

Earlier this year, former Rep. Allen West called upon Republicans to use their new majorities in Congress to demand to know whether President Obama is "on the side of liberty and freedom or the Islamic terrorists." Since then, it seems as if West has managed to make up his mind on this pressing question, as he has now moved on to demanding that the Republican-controlled Congress censure Obama for being "an Islamist sympathizer."

Speaking with Newsmax's Steve Malzberg on Friday, West said that Islamic radicals are running free all over the world because President Obama has given then the green light.

"This is what happens because weakness is enticing for your enemy," West said. "There comes a time when we really have to honestly say whose side is President Obama on? Is he an Islamist sympathizer? I think that if there's one thing that the House and Senate can do, they need to bring up a resolution to censure the president for some of these actions."

Klingenschmitt Warns That The Government Will Make Christians Renounce Christ In Order To Keep Their Jobs

Earlier this month, a court ruled in favor of a man who had sued his employer, claiming that he was forced to retire when he refused to use a biometric scanning program that had been instituted to track employee attendance. The employee claimed that using the scanner was a violation of his religious beliefs because it was a "Mark of the Beast" and a jury agreed, awarding him $150,000 in damages.

Gordon Klingenshmitt, unsurprisingly, was elated by the ruling, saying on a recent "Pray in Jesus Name" program that, like the "Mark of the Beast" scanning requirement, not allowing Christian business owners to discriminate against gay customers is a sign of the End Times.

Citing Revelation 13:16, Klingenschmitt declared that Christian photographers, florists, and bakers are all being forced to take the Mark of the Beast and will eventually be required to denounce Christ entirely in order to even remain in business.

"That's just the camel's nose under the tent," he warned. "Eventually, it will end up requiring that you renounce Christ as a condition of remaining employed":

President Huckabee's Foreign Policy? 'If We Don't Fear God, Nobody Will Fear Us'

Last year, Mike Huckabee spoke at a Florida Renewal Project event for pastors where he warned the audience that no other country around the world would fear America until America began to fear God.

In a video posted on YouTube by an attendee, Huckabee can be seen speaking at an event organized by David Lane and featuring remarks from David Barton and Bob McEwan and declaring that America was founded by God and that the key to political success is national spiritual revival.

"We're at a place in our world right now where nobody trusts America, nobody believes in America, and sadly nobody fears America," he said, adding that he doesn't "care if people like us around the world" because the only thing that matters is that they fear us. "I never want this country to get to the place where people do not fear the United States of America. But I don't want to get to the place where this country does not fear God because if we don't fear God, nobody will fear us."

"God help us all when we cannot understand that a nation that has turned its back on our Founder — and I'm not talking about George Washington, I'm talking about the fact that this nation would not exist apart from the intervention and providence of a Holy God," Huckabee said. "If it were not for His intervention, there is no way this country ever would have existed."

PFAW Foundation Joins Amicus Brief in SCOTUS Case on Health Care Tax Subsidies

Yesterday PFAW Foundation joined the National Women’s Law Center, the law firm Hogan Lovells, and close to 70 other organizations in submitting an amicus brief in King v. Burwell, the pending Supreme Court case on tax subsidies for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The brief notes that a decision in favor of those challenging the subsidies would threaten a central goal of the law: making access to health insurance possible for millions of people across the country.

The ramifications of a wrong decision in this case could be enormous, causing serious harm in the lives of people now relying on health insurance through the ACA. If the core tax subsidy provision were to be struck down, the brief points out, women of color would be especially hard-hit:

These tax credits are critical. Over 9 million women, who would otherwise go without affordable health insurance, are eligible to benefit from them, including a disproportionate number of women of color.

…The tax credits are not only critical to women’s health; they are critical to the ACA’s continued viability. Congress encouraged participation in the insurance market primarily through the careful interrelation of the individual responsibility provision, market reforms, and tax-credit provisions. Eliminate the tax credits, and the system unravels.

The amicus brief highlights the stories of many real women who depend on the tax credits to access needed health care:

Marilyn Schramm, 63, is a 26-year cancer survivor from Austin, Texas. She endured treatment for cervical cancer in her thirties and has experienced life-long complications from that treatment that have required surgeries since then. Marilyn retired several years ago. When her COBRA rights were exhausted, Marilyn was forced to go without insurance for six months because of her “preexisting conditions.” But in January 2014, Marilyn could finally purchase insurance on the federally-facilitated Exchange in Texas, with at least half of her premium covered by the ACA’s tax credits.

Marilyn has now been diagnosed with colon cancer; following surgery, she began chemotherapy this month. Her coverage depends on the ACA’s prohibition on excluding those with pre-existing conditions, and on its premium tax credits: With her modest retirement income, Marilyn is unsure whether or how she could pay her insurance premium without the tax credits.

As we have noted before, this case is a blatantly political attack intended to do serious damage to the Affordable Care Act. The millions of women and men across the country who rely on the ACA in order to access health care ranging from preventative screenings to cancer treatments deserve far better.

PFAW Foundation

Bryan Fischer Says That He Has Not Been Fired, Will Retain His Position As AFR Radio Host

Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program today by refuting reports that he had been fired by the American Family Association, explaining that he has simply given up his role as an official AFA spokesman while retaining his role as a daily radio host for AFA's radio outlet, American Family Radio.

Fischer said that his designation as an AFA spokesman while he also served as a radio host was creating confusion and resulting in the personal opinions he expressed on the radio being unfairly attributed to the AFA. As such, Fischer will no longer serve as an official voice for AFA but will continue to spew his bigotry from the AFA's radio stations:

As we noted earlier today, this supposed change is utterly meaningless and does nothing to absolve the AFA of its responsibility for giving Fischer a national platform from which to spread his hate.

Of course, the AFA doesn't see it that way, having recently sent a letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming that its radio network is "a free speech zone" and therefore AFA should not be held responsible for any of the things said on its programs. 

AFA nonetheless did explicitly repudiate an array of bigoted claims Fischer that has made over the years, thereby insisting that no longer can Fischer's views be attributed to the organization:

AFA rejects the idea expressed by Bryan Fischer that "Free exercise of religion" only applies to Christians. Consequently, AFA rejects Bryan's assertions that Muslims should not be granted permits to build mosques in the United States;

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that the violent expulsion of Native Americans was divinely ordained and that, "Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified Native Americans from "sovereign control of American soil."

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that "we" need to clamp down on immigration because Hispanics are socialist by nature and vote Democratic because it allows them to "benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the United States."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's characterization of minorities as "people who rut like rabbits."

AFA rejects the statement by Bryan Fischer that, "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal

AFA rejects the notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, "We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's statement that, "If Hillary Clinton becomes president In 2016, she will not only be our first female president, she could be our first lesbian president."

....

In light of this notice, do not continue to charge AFA with the statements by Bryan Fischer that we have repudiated. When identifying "hate groups" in the context of training military or law enforcement personnel, do not put AFA in a false light by quoting Mr. Fischer's statements that we have repudiated.

The AFA will continue to provide Fischer with the staff, resources, and national outlet through which to share the views that AFA reportedly finds abhorrent ... but wants to do so without having to answer for all of the hatred that it is responsible for producing and promoting.

David Barton Heading To D.C. To Teach Congress How To Abolish Courts That Rule For Gay Marriage

On his "WallBuilders Live" radio broadcast today, David Barton revealed that he will be heading to Congress to lead a training session for lawmakers on how to prevent the court system from ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Responding to a question from a listener on what steps Congress can take to rein in the judiciary on this issue, Barton declared that Congress has several options: it can pass a law declaring that federal courts cannot hear gay marriage cases, it can pass a law that says that no federal money can ever be used to enforce a ruling from the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage, or it can simply abolish any court, outside of the Supreme Court, that issues any ruling for gay marriage.

"All Congress has to do," he said, "is pass a law saying, 'you know, we saw the Northern District of Georgia struck down the marriage law; we're abolishing the Northern District of Georgia court. It doesn't exist any more.'"

The reason that Congress hasn't already taken such steps, Barton explained, is because members of Congress are products of "our government education system" and therefore never learned this  ... which is why he is being brought to Washington, D.C., to teach it to them.

"I was at a conference recently where I was speaking on judicial myths," he said, "and I just quoted from the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and quoted from the Founders' own writings and congressmen said 'we never heard that' and so they've asked me to come to D.C. and do a training for them on ways to limit judicial activism":

The AFA Cannot Wash Its Hands Of Bryan Fischer's Bigotry That Easily

Last night it was reported that the American Family Association had finally fired the Religious Right's most notorious bigot, Bryan Fischer. While that would be welcome news, if true, the AFA has a long history of trying to salvage its own reputation by distancing itself from Fischer's unrelenting bigotry and this latest effort appears to be simply yet another attempt to whitewash the AFA's façade without making any genuine changes.

Back in 2009, Bryan Fischer was an obscure state-level Religious Right activist with a history of getting fired for his radical views. From his position as head of the Idaho Values Alliance, Fischer was mostly known for launching boycotts against Hallmark stores for offering cards for gay weddings and celebrating a fatal plane crash as God's payback for abortion.

Fischer's radicalism and bigotry were obvious even back then, but that didn't stop the American Family Association from wooing Fischer away from Idaho with an offer to serve as the organization's "director of issues analysis" and host a daily radio program down in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Within months of his arrival at AFA, Fischer was already using his national platform to spread his unmitigated bigotry, starting with his demand that all Muslims be banned from serving in the U.S. military, a position that he continues to steadfastly promote to this day.

Within a year, Fischer was using his position at AFA to declare that homosexuality should be illegal and that gays should be treated like criminals and banned from serving in public office. While Fischer was advocating for the deportation of all Muslims and an end to the building of mosques in America, the AFA continued to provide him a platform, just as it did when he began calling for whales and bears to be put to death for biblical infractions and blaming the Holocaust on gays.

Finally, in 2010, the AFA made a half-hearted attempt to wash its hands of Fischer's vile views ... not by firing him, mind you, but simply by adding a disclaimer at the end of Fischer's blog posts and radio program insisting that the things Fischer was saying on the AFA's website and radio network should not be taken to reflect the views of the organization:

Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.

Obviously, this was nothing but a pathetic cop-out, as we have pointed out several times before. The AFA plucked Fischer from obscurity, gave him a salary and a national platform from which to regularly proclaim that gays are Satanic perverts but then tried to pretend that it was not in any way responsible for Fischer or his views, such as:

Not surprisingly, Fischer's outrageous views and statements have caused problems for the AFA and those with whom the AFA has partnered at events, most recently Gov. Bobby Jindal, who teamed up with the AFA for his "The Response" prayer rally last week. But through it all, the AFA has steadfastly insisted that Fischer does not speak for the organization while simultaneously standing by him and continuing to provide the platform from which he spreads his bigotry.

This weekend, some 60 members of the Republican National Committee are scheduled to go to Israel on a trip organized by Christian nationalist David Lane and funded by the American Family Association and it seems as if Fischer's radical views have suddenly become too much for the RNC and AFA to ignore, as last night Rachel Maddow reported that the AFA had fired Fischer:

From what we have been able to gather, Fischer has not actually been dismissed by AFA but has rather merely been stripped of his title as director of issues analysis and his role as spokesman for the organization. Fischer will reportedly continue to produce his daily radio program for the AFA's radio arm, American Family Radio.

If this is indeed the case, then the AFA has literally accomplished nothing with this stunt and has completely failed to distance itself from Fischer's utterly despicable views. The primary venues though which Fischer has managed to spread his bigotry for the last six years have always been owned, operated, and funded by the American Family Association and that relationship appears to remain intact. 

Stripping Fischer of his title as AFA spokesman in no way alleviates the AFA of its responsibility for Fischer's toxic views given that the only reason Fischer even has a platform from which to spread those views is because AFA is providing it to him and paying him to spread them!

From the very start of Fischer's time at AFA, the organization has pathetically attempted to have it both ways: providing the very microphone from which Fischer speaks while simultaneously claiming that it bears no responsibility for the message that he sends.

The AFA's latest effort to rid itself of Fischer's rancid reputation is little more than a rhetorical accounting trick aimed at creating the false impression that the organization has wiped Fischer's bigotry off of its books.

Bryan Fischer 'Clarifies': Gay Activists Are Satan's Prisoners of War

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer sought to "clarify" the remarks he made on Monday when he asserted that gay activists are driven by "the unvarnished energy of Satan himself."

Laughably insisting that his liberal critics "cherry-pick" quotes from him which are then presented out of context, Fischer explained that gay activists are actually victims who have been captured by Satan and become his prisoners of war.

"They are actually captives," he said. "Prisoners of war, if you will, of the real ultimate enemy that we contending with ... Our real struggle is with the unseen forces that are pushing this agenda which is so contrary to the will of God. And so those human beings that are caught up in this agenda and are pushing this agenda and pressing this agenda, they too are victims of the energy and the forces that are behind the entire homosexual agenda. These individuals have been deceived. They have been taken captive by the same forces with which we contend and now he's manipulating them and using them to represent the agenda that he wants to accomplish":

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