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Freedom for 'Phobes

It has been known for years that Chick-fil-A supports right-wing groups. The company has given out gift cards at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. At a recent Religious Right gathering, a speaker talked about how wonderful it was to live and work in Atlanta, where, he said, there’s a Baptist church on every corner and the streets are paved with Chick-fil-A.

So I am no fan of Chick-fil-A, but I’m a big fan of freedom, and that includes Chick-fil-A’s freedom to open its restaurants, even in cities where progressive political leaders don’t like the reactionary politics promoted by the company and its owners.

There’s been a robust campaign by advocates for LGBT equality to call more attention to Chick-fil-A’s contributions to “traditional family” groups, which total in the millions of dollars. But the feathers really flew when company president Dan Cathy made comments in an interview with Baptist Press bragging about his company’s position on marriage – “guilty as charged” -- and his comments to an Atlanta radio station.

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” said Cathy.

I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about,” he added.

It’s no surprise that Cathy’s comments have stirred supporters of LGBT equality to respond. Much of that response has been in the best traditions of free speech and protest. In Washington, D.C., this week, the Human Rights Campaign organized a protest in front of a Chick-Fil-A food truck. Other activists have rallied outside Chick-Fil-A stores and some students have protested the company’s presence on their campuses.

In addition, a number of political leaders have spoken out in defense of marriage equality and in opposition to the company’s support for discrimination. Twenty years ago, I would never have imagined elected officials taking the time to publicly criticize a business on behalf of the ability of same-sex couples to get married. It’s a good thing – a sign of amazing progress.

But a couple of politicians have gone too far – suggesting that the power of government should be used to prevent the company from opening restaurants based on its political donations and the positions of its owners. That’s not a good thing. As a matter of principle, the government shouldn’t treat individuals differently based on their political or religious beliefs, or companies based on the political activities and contributions of their owners.  As others have noted, we wouldn’t want cities or states to have the power to prevent the opening of stores whose owners support LGBT equality or other progressive causes. 

People For the American Way’s headquarters is located in the District of Columbia, where elected officials have recognized that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law. DC’s progressive public policies stand in stark contrast to the anti-equality work of groups like the Family Research Council, but we would never suggest that the DC government could or should have prevented FRC from planting its headquarters in the center of downtown DC. Our commitment to freedom and equality should extend to those who don’t share it.

PFAW Foundation

Right-Wing McCarthyism: Bachmann Wallows in a Deep Pool

USA Today editorialized this week against the rank McCarthyism of Rep. Michele Bachmann and several of her colleagues.  PFAW’s Right Wing Watch has covered the representatives’ letter, which cited professional Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as it sounded the alarm about Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the US government and urged an investigation of Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Says USA Today:

Their letter is a masterpiece of innuendo. Abedin, a U.S.-born Muslim married to a Jewish ex-congressman, is suspect because she "has three family members … connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations."

Even the innuendo is thin: Pressed for proof, Bachmann wrote that a law review article said Abedin's father, who died when his daughter was a teenager, founded an institute that had the "support" of a man who headed another group that was "aligned" with the Brotherhood. This is two decades and several degrees of separation from Abedin in 2012, but that's how a guilt-by-association smear works. Like all cheap magic, it loses its power once you know the trick.

Well put, but one small quibble: the editorial was headlined “Bachmann’s Islamist scare relaunches McCarthyism.” In fact, right-wing McCarthyism has been thriving since President Obama’s election, as documented in PFAW reports here and here.

PFAW Foundation

Fischer: 'Muslims are Worshiping a Demon'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer yesterday defended Michele Bachmann against the criticism she has received for backing an anti-Muslim witch hunt, arguing that the issue has both political and spiritual dimensions since “Allah is an extremely powerful demon.” Fischer, who has previously said that Islam is “the spirit of Satan” and described Muslims as a “toxic cancer” who should be deported, said that “there’s no question that Muslims are worshiping a demon,” adding that he doesn’t “want to be hard on” Muslims since “they’ve been deceived.”

Listen:

Fischer: Allah is an extremely powerful demon. He is a demon God. What Muslims are worshiping is actually a demon. They think they are worshiping God, they’re deceived, they’ve been fooled, so I don’t want to be hard on them, the Muslims have been fooled, they’ve been lied to, they’ve been deceived, they think they are worshiping the true God but they are worshiping a demon-god, this is according to the New Testament. You may disagree with me but there is no question that this is what Christianity teaches. So it’s fine if you take a different view, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your view, this is America; we have freedom of speech and freedom of thought. But from a Christian stand point, from a New Testament stand point, there’s no question that Muslims are worshiping a demon. Allah is a demon God. Remember Jesus himself believed in the existence of Satan, he took Satan very seriously, Satan is a very real being according to the New Testament, he’s out there, not some kind of shadowy, vague, powerless figure but he is the dark ‘prince of the power of the air,’ as the New Testament describes him, so that’s who Muslims are worshiping.

Schlafly Speculates that Obama Wants to Remove all the Crosses from Arlington National Cemetery

On AFA's "Today's Issues" program this morning, host Tim Wildmon interviewed Phyllis Schlafly about her new book "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom," which seems to basically be a catalog of the Religious Right's various complaints and allegations about President Obama's supposed hatred of Christianity and Christian values.

During the discussion, Schlafly and Wildmon falsely claimed that Obama removed the word "Creator" whenever he quotes from the Declaration of Independence and that he was the only President in history not to celebrate the National Day of Prayer before Schlafly speculated that Obama might eventually order the removal of all the crosses from Arlington Memorial Cemetery:

Schlafly: For example, every time he quotes from the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word "Creator." That's very strange; we all know what the Declaration says and he just omits that.

Wildmon: I remember the first year he was in the office, he did not recognize the National Day of Prayer in a proclamation - oh, excuse me, he didn't have any kind of public ceremony ...

Schlafly: That's right, he didn't have anything at the White House, which all the other presidents have done and he said he would pray in private.

Wildmon: So he didn't want to publicly acknowledge the God of our fathers, which has always been done by all presidents in the White House up until President Obama. President Obama says "I'm not going to recognize God, the Christian God, I'll pray in private." Well, that's not a leader!

...

Schlafly: You were talking a minute ago about Arlington Cemetery; if you haven't been there, I'm sure you've seen pictures of all the crosses there and I just wonder if the day is going to come when they want to take down all those crosses.

As we have noted before, Obama has included the word "Creator" when citing the Declaration dozens of times, so Schlafly is flat-out wrong.  

As for the National Day of Prayer, it didn't even exist until 1952, and President George W. Bush was the only president to organize regular White House events, so it is also false to claim that events were hosted "by all presidents in the White House up until President Obama." 

Barton: American Revolution was not 'Rebellion' but 'Obedience to God'

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post featuring a video of Bryan Fischer rewriting American history in order to claim that the American Revolution was not a "rebellion" because, according to the Bible, all governing authorities have been established by God and therefore rebellion against them is rebellion against God.

We should have known that this idea originated with David Barton, who discussed it on "WallBuilders Live" today, claiming that the American Revolution was actually "obedience to God":

Barton: A lot of people get lost over the American Revolution, they say there is no way America could ever be blessed because it was born out of rebellion, they rebelled against God. No, not if you understand civil disobedience and what the Biblical issues are. Now, if you went to a public school and you were told that the Revolution was only about taxation without representation, then you can say, yeah, that was rebellion. But that's not the only issue that was there and that's one of the things that public schools are not taught is the other twenty-six clauses of the Declaration.

There is a reason that the first national motto proposed ... was "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." There's a reason for that. We're not trying to disobey but obedience to God causes us to rebel against tyrants who tell us to do the opposite of what God said.

Rick Green: So even that phrase that they used really was encapsulating the philosophy and the Biblical foundation of when it's okay, when it's right, actually when you should say "no" to government.

Barton: If you have a tyrant that's telling you that you can't do what God told you to do, then rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. And that's what they said; they said we're not in rebellion, we're in complete submission to God on this. 

Akers: Religious Education vs Indoctrination into the Spartan Mindset

On today's installment of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Shawn Akers was discussing a recent 4th Circuit Court decision upholding a South Carolina law that allows students to receive elective credits for taking off-campus religious education classes.

The case involved a lawsuit filed against a Spartanburg school district, which was interesting to Akers because it supposedly highlighted the difference between the worldview of the Founding Fathers and that held by the warriors of ancient Sparta: 

You see these two worldviews colliding. One is the worldview of the Founders that said that we are a moral and religious people, that our Constitution was created for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate for any other. And that not only is religious allowable but it's something that we have a responsibility to train in our children.

Versus another worldview and it's very close to that one we see in Sparta. Do you know what they did in Sparta? They took the children of people at a very early age, they took them away from people at a very early age. The ones that were deemed undesirable, especially young girls, baby girls, were just killed. The ones that were too weak to live were allowed to die. Only the toughest and the strongest were given over as property of the state and they were dictated to from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed to be completely indoctrinated with the Spartan mindset, to be completely indoctrinated with the religion of the state, the state of Sparta.

And we see these two religions, these two worldviews coming head to head. One is that of liberty of the Founders and the other says, no the state owns your children and we're going to train them accordingly.

Flip Benham Declares CO Shooter to be 'Spawn of the Ideology of the Democratic Party'

Flip Benham of Operation Save America has decided to join the cavalcade of blame being unleashed by the Religious Right over the tragic mass shooting in Colorado last night, declaring that the suspect is "an Occupy Wall Street guy" who is "the spawn of the ideology of the Democratic Party:" 

James Holmes, an Occupy Wall Street guy, murdered 14 and wounded 50+ at a midnight showing of the Batman movie that portrayed OWS'ers in a bad light. Perhaps there is a motive here. Twenty four years old and filled with the culture of death! When we sow bloodshed in the womb we will reap it in the streets. It is a law. It is God's Law. It is a law as certain as the physical law of gravity. It is a "spiritual gravity" that applies to all people at all places at all times. Whether or not you believe it, it applies. King Jesus is the only answer. The whole National Guard couldn't make James do what is right. He has become his own law, showing contempt for authority and doing what is right in his own eyes. He is the product of the Culture of Death that the DNC has embraced.

There is not a police force big enough to make a young man do what is right. The only answer - there is a King whose name is Jesus. When He occupies the heart of a young man, that young man will lay down his life that others may live.

This is what has happened to our country when we remove God from the equation. We have stolen the fear of God from our children, Violence always fills the void. This is the spawn of the ideology of the Democratic Party and now we look at each other in awkward amazement, wondering "what in the world just happened?" The answer is we have stolen God from the hearts of our children.

Barton Won't Stop Lying, Again Falsely Claims SPLC Called Him a 'Domestic Terrorist'

It  has become quite clear by now that David Barton does not particularly care about the accuracy of the things he says and will flagrantly misrepresent just about anything if it serves his purpose.

Last week, we posted a clip in which Barton claimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center had placed him on a list of the "25 greatest domestic terrorists in America" simply because he loves God and loves America.  As we pointed out, the SPLC did nothing of the sort, but rather simply included him in a report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."

So it is undeniably false for Barton to claim that the SPLC ever called him a domestic terrorist or anything of the sort ... but Barton doesn't care and went ahead and repeated the claim on his radio program today:

Barton: The Southern Poverty Law Center now has me as one of the thirty terrorists to be watched in America because I combine God and country and they said that really makes you a terrorist. So I'm on the list of thirty that need to be watched as domestic terrorists because I think God and country go together ... Isn't this nuts?

Green: These guys are so off-track. The people that want to save the country, they're worried about and not worried about the ones that want to destroy it.

Barton: When you look at groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, when you look at the Obama administration we've know all along that Communists and Secularists hate God and they hate country. There's nothing new about that. And the fact that they may have an old traditional name or the fact that they may have the name of a government agency doesn't change the philosophy of the people are are in it. And the people that are in it right now in the Southern Poverty Law Center, I mean you got just a ton of communist-thinking people in there and they've always hated God and they've always hated country, so I'm glad to be on the anti-communist list, which is what it amounts to.

Fischer: Removal of Prayer & Ten Commandments from Schools Responsible for CO Shooting

Not to be outdone by Jerry Newcombe, Bryan Fischer has also decided to weigh in on the tragic shooting in Colorado with a column citing none other than David Barton to make the case that it was the removal of prayer and the Ten Commandments from our public schools that is the cause of this shooting and everything else bad that is happening in America, so it is high time to stop letting "the left" destroy this nation:

With regard to students, SAT scores began to plummet almost immediately, starting in 1963, and have never recovered. The rate of premarital sex began to climb, as did the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. Teenage pregnancies and teen births began to skyrocket, again starting in 1963. The rate at which teens were arrested for rape, aggravated assault, and murder shot through the roof ... The consequences for “parents” and families have been equally severe. Since 1963, the rates of adultery, divorce, cohabitation and domestic abuse have risen dramatically, and the intact nuclear family is being ravaged perhaps beyond repair.

With regard to “teachers” and our educational system, SAT scores have fallen into the basement while rates of school violence are shooting through the ceiling and our armed forces are hampered by functionally illiterate recruits.

The consequences for “our Country” are equally catastrophic. Homicide rates are up; more Americans are being gunned down in cold blood this year in Chicago than in Afghanistan. The nuclear family is breaking apart at culture-destroying rates. One of out every five adults in America has a lifelong, incurable sexually transmitted disease.The sexual and physical abuse of children is out of control.

The Supreme Court compounded its godless and criminal misconduct by banning the Ten Commandments and its moral precepts from classrooms in 1980. Their reasoning was fantastically absurd when looked at in the light of last night’s massacre.

“[I]f the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments,” which, the Court said, is “not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”

So these black-robed miscreants said we cannot permit potential mass murderers like James Holmes to read or meditate on God’s prohibition “Thou shall not murder” as a part of their education, because someone like him just might be inclined to “venerate and obey” it and not go on a midnight shooting rampage leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. No, we can’t be having that, now, can we?

...

It’s time for us to say to the left we’ve tried it your way for the past 60 years and our country is being destroyed before our very eyes. It’s time to try it our way for next 60 years. If we don’t like what we see in 2072, we can always drink again from the poisoned well of secular fundamentalism. Something tells me we won’t want to.

Newcombe: CO Shooting a Result of the Fact that Americans Don't Fear God or Hell

Last night, a gunman shot and killed at least 12 people and injured dozens more at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado.

And already Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries is out with a piece blaming it on the fact that Americans have no fear of God or of going to Hell:

I can't help but feel that to some extent, we're reaping what we've been sowing as a society. We said to God, "Get out of the public arena." Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided "civil libertarians," have chased away any fear of God in the land -- at least in the hearts of millions.

...

Recently, I wrote on the subject of Hell and how our society has generally lost its cognizance of it.

We've lost this cognizance to the point that a recent bestseller was a book by an "evangelical pastor," who for all practical purposes denied Hell (or the import of it). (It exists, but don't worry -- supposedly nobody's going there.) When the book was first published 16 months ago, it made the cover of TIME magazine. This month it was republished as a paperback.

This makes me think. "Wow, what the heck happened to Hell?" What -- was there some new revelation that changed what the Lord warned about? To me, what He said 2,000 years ago is still worth heeding: What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?

Tens of millions of young people in this culture seem to have no fear of God. It's becoming too commonplace that some frustrated person will go on a killing spree of random people. If they kill themselves, they think it's all over. But that's like going from the frying pan into the fire. Where's the fear of God in our society? I don't think people would do those sorts of things if they truly understood the reality of Hell.

Beisner: Pixar's 'Brave' is Part of Satanic Plot to Undermine God's Plan for Mankind

Yesterday, Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance was a guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program where he revealed that God had given him an insight that Satan was engaged in a systematic attack against God's mandate for humanity as set out in Genesis 1: 27-28.

As Beisner explained, God's created us in His image and made us male and female and commanded us to "be fruitful and multiply" and take dominion over the earth.  Since Satan cannot attack God directly, he instead attacks God's representatives (mankind) by undermining our beliefs in these very principles, which is why we tolerate things like abortion and homosexuality and environmentalism, all of which are aimed at slowing population growth ... oh, and movies like Pixar's "Brave":

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