The American Spectator's founder, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., was a guest on the American Family Association's "Today's Issues" broadcast this morning to explain how the thesis of his recent book, "The Death of Liberalism," was still valid despite the recent election results on the grounds that President Obama is not a liberal but rather a socialist.
In Tyrrell's view, Obama's win was just a demonstration of the fact that conservatism has big victories but then reaches a plateau before going on to even greater victories. So while the 2010 midterm elections were proof that America is a conservative nation, the 2012 election results were just a temporary plateau before the 2014 midterms, which will be another blowout win for conservatives.
But AFA's Tim Wildmon had a simpler explanation of why President Obama was re-elected: because he is black.
In August of last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry organized and hosted a large public prayer rally featuring a host of Religious Right activists along with various self-proclaimed "prophets" of the New Apostolic Reformation. For the most part, other elected leaders stayed away from the event, with the notable exception of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who spoke and delivered a prayer from the stage.
It was no surprise that Brownback would have no qualms about sharing the stage with these sorts of modern-day prophets, as he had a long history of working closely them and speaking at their events back when he was serving in the US Senate and even lived with Lou Engle for several months. In fact, Brownback's close ties to Engle became a bit of an issue when he was running for Governor in 2010.
And just as it was no surprise that Brownback would appear at "The Response," it is also not surprising that he has now publicly endorsed a similar prayer event that is taking place in Topeka, Kansas this weekend called Reign Down, organized by a group that began "in July of 2005, [when] God woke up a 31-year old stay-at-home mom to give her a vision" of then-President George W. Bush "repenting on behalf of the nation, culminating in a movement of God's hand across America to bring healing, restoration and unprecedented unity and prosperity."
When Reign Down organized a prayer event on the National Mall in 2008, severe thunderstorms threatened to cancel it ... until their prayers held them off:
Leading up to the four-hour event, a massive storm with life-threatening tornadoes, heavy rain and winds, and lightning was heading straight towards the gathering at the National Mall in D.C. The National Park Service issued one warning, saying that after three warnings—or the first bolt of lightning—they were going to pull the plug and the event would not happen. Realizing it was beyond their control, with less than an hour until the event was to start, ReignDown USA's leaders and intercessors knelt behind the stage and cried out for God to divert the storm to the North and the South. They called upon the power of the Holy Spirit for the winds to shift from the West to the East and blow the storm away. As they cried out on their knees and begged God to move…He did! The wind shifted! The Park Service, watching the weather radar, said that somehow the storm cell was shifting its course and heading to the North.
And this weekend, Reign Down - which has partnerships with groups and leaders like Lou Engle, The Call, Cindy Jacobs, GodTV, the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Trent Franks - will host a prayer rally in Kansas that will be simulcast across the country, and Gov. Brownback has not only filmed a video announcing his participation and support but issued a proclamation calling on citizens to "collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us" and declaring Saturday to be a "day of restoration":
TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:
WHEREAS, the State of Kansas will host the national simulcast of REIGNDOWN USA in Topeka on December 8, 2012, bringing thousands here from across the country; and
WHEREAS, people from across America will join the millions from around the world on TV simulcast live from MacLennan Park, in the heart of America; and
WHEREAS, the first REIGNDOWN celebration was held 2008 in Washington DC, on the Capitol Grounds, introduced by proclamation of the President of the United States of America, with millions participating on site, on TV, and by computer; and
WHEREAS, regional REIGNDOWN events continued until the need was seen for the gathering to be held in the heart of our Nation; and
WHEREAS, many of our families have slid into poverty, endangering out next generation of citizens, our lands are parched by drought, our quality jobs are scarce, business and industry are struggling to expand, and many of our people have fallen into despair; and
WHEREAS, our Nation’s greatest leaders have called on a merciful God for favor during troubled times, such as:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.” - Abraham Lincoln, 1863.
“The propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” - George Washington, 1789.
“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1787; and
WHEREAS, we collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim December 8th 2012, as a
Day of Restoration
in Kansas and ask every citizen of our state to join in asking a Holy God to bring healing and restoration – help in mending broken lives, bringing peace to our families, our communities, and this land.
DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka
under the Great Seal of the
State this 23rd day of
November, A.D. 2012
BY THE GOVERNOR: Samuel Brownback
Buster Wilson of the American Family Association as of late has dedicated his radio program to fighting the so-called “War on Christmas,” railing against municipalities that don’t erect Nativity Scenes and stores that say “Happy Holidays.” Of course, Chick-fil-A has so far escaped his wrath even though the company easily fails the AFA’s “War on Christmas” test.
Last week, Wilson made the absurd argument that not having a Nativity Scene on public property is direct a violation of his First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and his God-given rights.
There are people who can put nativity scenes on their front lawns, it’s their private property and if they want to do that, they can do that, why do you have to have the public square as well? Here’s the reason why that’s a problem. The reason why we rebel against that is that the First Amendment of the Constitution gives every individual American the freedom of worship without any possibility of interference from the government. We don’t want the government saying you can do it here. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, we declare that these rights are God-given; they are our unalienable rights from our Creator. They are not privileges granted by our government. If they are a privilege granted by the government then the government can number one, regulate it, or number two, take it away, we have unalienable rights.
However, nativity scenes and other religious symbols are allowed on public lands as long as they are part of a larger secular display and do not convey the state sponsorship of religion, something even the conservative American Center for Law and Justice admits:
In Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984), the Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of a government-erected crèche. Significantly, the Lynch Court upheld the constitutionality of the holiday display in that case because the crèche was a part of a larger holiday display in which there were a variety of secular symbols.
Today he took it a step further by saying that the courts are actually going to literally prevent people from “celebrating Christmas,” asserting that those pushing the “War on Christmas” are “using the court system of this country to force Christians to not be able to celebrate Christmas at Christmastime.”
He even suggested that President Obama’s attendance at Ramadan fast-breaking dinners shows that Christians are being slighted and Christmas marginalized.
I don’t understand, ‘you’re not the majority anymore, this is not a Christian nation and you’ve guys have got to quit trying to cram everything down people’s throats,’ nobody’s trying to cram—look, it is the folks who don’t want us celebrating Christmas that are cramming that view down our throats and using the courts to do it. So if we don’t want to start cramming things down people’s throats, then why don’t the folks who are opposed to us celebrating Christmas, why don’t they be quiet for a while because they are the ones that are using the court system of this country to force Christians to not be able to celebrate Christmas at Christmastime. I don’t understand it…I don’t get it, you know if you want to celebrate Ramadan, you celebrate Ramadan. The President of the United States of America has a Ramadan dinner with Muslims in the White House of the United States of America and celebrates Islam with those Muslims.
As Brian noted last week, the Religious Right is in the middle of making a full-court press on the Senate in an effort to prevent ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by doing what they always do: lying about what the convention says and means.
Today, Rick Santorum, who has been leading the fight against ratification, appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program when Beck ominously cited language from the convention proclaiming that "children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth" to suggest that something "really Orwellian or, quite honestly, fascistic from the Nazi days" was going on; an assessment with which Santorum heartily agreed:
The most amazing thing about this, and the subsequent discussion in which Beck and his co-hosts wildly speculated about what this and other provisions within the convention "really" mean, is the extent to which their complete ignorance about the actual meaning and intent of such provisions in no way hinders their willingness to boldly make declarations about them.
Article 18, Section 2 of the Convention the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that "children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents."
While Beck and his cronies were busy laughing about the aburd assertion that children have a right to a name and to acquire a nationality, a bit of research would have taught them that such language is rooted in Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entered into force in 1976:
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.
The main purpose of such rights is to "reduce the danger of abduction, sale of or traffic in children" and "ensure that every child has a nationality when born."
And here is a news flash for Beck, who seems to thinks that there is something sinister about having the US ratify a document containing such language: as noted above, the provision that every child shall be registered upon birth was first set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ... which the United States ratified in 1992.
So the United States has already ratified a UN convention containing the very language that Beck is now warning is "fascistic" and Naziesque.
Today on her daily radio commentary, Linda Harvey sought to understand and explain why marriage equality won at the polls for the first time in last month's election, and the best she could come up with was that gay rights activists are skilled at misleading people while anti-gay activists just haven't been blunt enough about the threat that homosexuality poses to our society through encouraging kids to become gay ... or something:
The homosexual lobby is skillful at manipulating public sympathy by tugging on heartstrings while not telling the whole story. Our side sometimes plays right into their hands by also not telling the whole story, even when we get the chance.
Until we deal with the core issue - the behavior of homosexuality - it was probably only a matter of time before our side would lose a few races. We need to get to the real problem. Homosexual marriage is wrong because two men together or two women is intrinsically disordered, the behavior is unnatural. These aren't activities that are beneficial or healthy. Homosexual marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong.
There's significant dangers to our youth in this. One thing our culture does not want if it wants to survive is to have its youth corrupted and this is happening in oh so many ways now, and homosexuality is one more. And here's how it works with homosexuality: since no pregnancy threat exists, some people think there's no reason to prohibit behavior in the young, even the very young. Those who acknowledge no authority from God, who find innocence threatening, are targeting our youth with these messages for some reason.
When are we conservatives going to get serious about making a case to prevent the corruption of kids? And that's one of the big reasons why homosexual marriage is wrong: because the young are raised on the mores and traditions of the adults and if same-sex marriage is accepted, then children will begin to consider dating and forming relationship in these very different ways; ways that will be very destabilizing to many of them and to our society.
On some days, Glenn Beck comes right out of the gate spitting fire on his radio program and today was just one such day, as yesterday's UN vote to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state" prompted Beck to go off about the Muslim Brotherhood-orchestrated power-grab carried out by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the on-going protests that have erupted in response, prompting him to declare that same thing is going to happen in America within five years: "Mark my words, in the next five years you will see this very thing, somebody seizing power [and a] real democracy movement standing up, but who will stand up for them? No one!"
Earlier this month, the Religious Right's favorite climate change-denying "expert," Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, appeared on American Family Radio where he declared that believing in climate change "is an insult to God." Yesterday, when he joined Bryan Fischer on "Focal Point" for yet another discussion about the "myth" of global warming, both he and Fischer declared that failure to use coal, oil, and natural gas is an insulting rejection of the gifts that God has given to us - gifts which, incidentally, He buried deep in the earth because He delights in our search for and discovery of them:
After his group said that discredited and dangerous sexual orientation conversion therapy is “designed to bring homosexuals out of bondage and into healthy behavior,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins maintained that such counseling is simply a “compassionate” and “nonjudgmental” way for gays and lesbians to find the “wholeness that has been eluding them in their current lifestyle.”
While speaking today with con man and ex-gay group leader Arthur Goldberg, who once again compared his embattled group to Weight Watchers, on Washington Watch Weekly, Perkins lauded conversion therapy as a way for gays to pursue “this path of wholeness.” Earlier this year, Perkins argued that gays and lesbians seek to “redefine the norms of behavior” because “there is an emptiness within them.”
Goldberg even claimed that gay rights activists are only pretending to claim that sexual orientation cannot be changed as part of a “pre-planned agenda,” and that people who failed at conversion therapy simply didn’t try hard enough.
Goldberg: This was actually part of a pre-planned agenda that was set forth in a book that they wrote called “After the Ball,” I know that one of your most scholarly staff guys Peter Sprigg has written on this and I’ve also written on this, my book is called “Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change,” they spell out an agenda in their in which they say for example, tell people that we’re born gay: ‘We know we’re not gay, we know we’re not born gay, but that doesn’t matter.’
Perkins: This lawsuit, I would say it looks frivolous to me, it’s kind of novel. Their using a consumer law, consumer fraud is what they’re challenging here, that you’re promising one thing and not delivering. It’s kind of outrageous I think. You’ve said that it’s ‘without merit, designed to create a chilling effect upon speech and programs to assist people in overcoming these same-sex attractions.’
Goldberg: Correct. Their theory is basically if someone goes to Weight Watchers and says ‘I want to lose fifty pounds’ and they don’t lose fifty pounds, they’re going to say, ‘oh Weight Watchers you promised me you’d help me lose fifty pounds and I didn’t lose fifty pounds,’ same basic theory.
Perkins: Obviously the outcomes of any type of counseling is in large part determined by the patient following and genuinely perusing this path of wholeness.
Goldberg: Yes. In fact as an example, I don’t want to get into the facts of the case, but one of the plaintiffs talks about ‘I went to five sessions.’ Five sessions, hello? Is that any kind of long term involvement in terms of showing that you’re really serious about wanting to overcome?
Perkins: I think we’ve got to be very clear here. You’re here to help those who want help and it’s a compassionate help, a nonjudgmental help for those seeking a wholeness that has been eluding them in their current lifestyle.
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer made the entirely reasonable and logical argument that communists like President Obama "have a vested interest in keeping as many Americans as poor as possible" and to prevent them from succeeding in order to keep them dependent on the government.
In fact, Obama's push to help more students attend college, said Fischer, is really just an effort to saddle them with massive student loan debt and a worthless degree so that when they can't find a job, they become "helplessly, hopelessly, slavishly dependent upon government handouts."
People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For program was on the ground all across the country these past few months helping young people get out the vote. These efforts paid off: one in two Americans ages 18-29 voted this Election Day, making up 19 percent of the total electorate – an increase from 2008.
Here is a great video telling the story of how this outreach work happened:
This work was centered around a campaign called ARRIVE WITH 5, which encouraged youth, people of color, women, seniors and persons with disabilities to become active participants in the electoral process. ARRIVE WITH 5 asked voters to not only pledge to vote on Election Day, but to list five people they were committed to bringing to the polls with them:
All in all, YP4 helped campus organizers mobilize over 22,000 voters and collected 10,000 voting pledges through the ARRIVE WITH FIVE campaign.
Today, Sen. Rand Paul appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program to make the case that, despite the results of the recent election, the American people want Republicans to refuse to even consider raising any taxes whatsoever in order to deal with the looming "fiscal cliff."
As Paul sees it, if Republicans are willing to raise taxes in this case, then the entire party ought to simply disband; an idea that Beck wholeheartedly endorsed since the GOP has become the Whig Party and everyone, outside of his immediate family, hates House Speaker John Boehner.
Paul went on to claim that since Republicans only lost 52%-48% in the last election, they didn't really get "creamed," so there is no reason for them to have to compromise. Instead they simply need to come up with an alternative solution to the crisis that doesn't involve any tax increases at all and "show the American people we are willing to avert the so-called cliff, but this is how we would fix the country if we were in charge, because we are in charge of the United States House of Representatives. You elected us to be in charge; let's act like we're in charge."
The only problem with that, Paul explained, was that any such plan would have to go through the House Republican leadership, which would be quite difficult since, as Beck proclaimed, that means it has to go through Boehner "and he sucks":
Every year, a handful of conservative pundits and Religious Right activists launch a "war on Christmas" to pressure retailers to use the word "Christmas" in their advertising and displays instead of phrases like "happy holidays" on the grounds that not mentioning Christmas is wildly offensive to Christians.
So it is more than a little ironic to see Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, one of the leaders of this annual "war on Christmas" crusade, complaining about companies and municipalities that bow to the "tyranny of the minority" by changing their holiday displays "in order to not offend a kind of obnoxious few people who are looking around every corner to find some reason to be offended":
Shortly before the election, gay radio talk-show host Michelangelo Signorile got into a discussion with a gay Mitt Romney supporter who called into the program to defend his vote for Romney, which prompted Signorile to tell the caller that he would be better off committing suicide than "waiting for the slow, painful death that Mitt Romney will bring you."
Signorile apologized the following day, saying there was no excuse for what he said and admitting that it was a "total botch up."
But that apology means nothing to Bryan Fischer, who has literally never apologized for any of the hundreds of bigoted things he has said on air because he means every word of it, and is instead proof that, unlike himself, Signorile approves of the death penalty for homosexuals:
Frank Gaffney was the guest on AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program this morning to discuss the Right's ongoing obsession with the conspiracy that there has been a systematic cover-up of the attack in Benghazi, Libya back in September. The conspiracy theory now runs so deep that it prompted Tim Wildmon to go off on an extended rant about how President Obama and his administration lied and "intentionally misled the American people" about what happened in order to protect him ahead of the election. As such, Wildmon asserted, this "scandal" is worse than Watergate and that had this happened back in 1973, Obama would have been unanimously impeached:
Recently, the San Antonio, Texas school district has become embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the family of a student who is refusing to wear a mandatory student ID card embedded with a RFID tracking chip on the grounds that such chips are a "Mark of the Beast."
Yesterday on the "Hagee Hotline," John Hagee sought to reassure his audience that these sorts of ID cards are not the Mark of the Beast ... because that won't come until after the Rapture and the chips will be directly implanted in people's bodies. So it's not until the government starts forcing people to get implanted with such chips and "to keep laws that you don't want to keep," Hagee explained, "that you're in trouble":
Glenn Beck opened his program last night with a long segment responding to the recent controversy over a a painting that depicts President Obama in a Christ-like pose and wearing a crown of thorns that has gone on display at Boston's Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery.
Beck began by pretending to be a snooty art critic taking shots at several paintings he disliked by artists like Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, and Peter Paul Rubens, before switching over a French artist character who went around "correcting" these paintings by covering up the nudity they contained or simply painting over them, all in order to make the point that the Constitution protects free expression and that while people are entirely free to get offended by certain works of art, they just have to learn to accept that as the price of freedom ... which he proceeded to demonstrate by submerging a bobblehead of President Obama in a mason jar supposedly filled with urine:
As a piece of performance art, it was all mildly entertaining, but the most interesting thing about it is that one of the underlying themes of the segment was how all of these piece of art, which he considers to be "crap," have sold for millions of dollars while he couldn't understand why people would waste good money on things like this.
So, of course, Beck has now put all of his own pieces up for sale on eBay, with the proceeds benefiting his Mercury One "Hope for the Holidays" charity effort, incuding his pièce de résistance, "Obama in Pee Pee," which had been bid up to nearly $12,000 ... before it suddenly disappeared from eBay:
UPDATE: Beck reports that the item was removed by eBay for violating the site's ban on "the sale of bodily waste."
Yesterday, Bryan Fischer was a guest on Steve Deace's radio program where the two commiserated over the state of the Republican Party and discussed just what options social conservatives will have if the GOP attempts to jettison their culture war issues in an effort to win over moderate and independent voters.
In Fischer's assessment, such a move would be tantamount to political suicide for the GOP because, contrary to popular opinion, those who classify themselves as "independents" are not moderates, but rather hard-line conservatives who refuse to consider themselves Republicans because the party is not conservative enough ... and so the only way to win over "independents," especially white voters who are "naturally" a part of the Republican base, is for the GOP to become more conservative on all the issues:
Fischer: There are a lot of people in America who are independents because the Republican Party as it currently exists is not conservative enough for them, it doesn't represent their values. So they're to the right, actually, of where the Republican Party is; they're independents. So if the Republican Party thinks they've got to move toward the center, well they're moving further and further away from these conservatives that are looking for a conservative voice; they're actually hurting themselves moving away from their base.
Deace: You know, you think if the GOP is so much more business-smart, Bryan, well, the first rule of business is the customer is always right, isn't he? I mean, wouldn't you actually cater to the customers you have rather than trying to make them into something their not?
Fischer: Well, and you look at the turnout this year, Steve, where President Obama's vote totals dropped by X number of million votes, I don't know exactly what the final total was - I think it's between six and seven million fewer votes Obama received this year than 2008. So here's a guy that's ripe for being picked off, but Romney barely matched the vote totals of John McCain in 2008 and we know from some of the other exit polling that probably six to seven million white voters stayed home: they naturally would be a part of Romney's base. So he just wasn't sending any message to them that was convincing them, as part of the Republican base, that it was worth even showing up to vote.
On today’s 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson appeared to break with many of his fellow fundamentalists who subscribe to Young Earth creationism regarding the age of the earth, disputing their notion that the planet is only around 6,000 years old. Robertson said that James Ussher, the seventeenth century bishop who to this day is heralded by Young Earth creationists for using the Bible to argue that the earth was created in 4004 BC, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years, it just didn’t.” While many creationists believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, Robertson insisted that dinosaurs “were on the earth before the time of the Bible, so don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years, that’s not the Bible.”