After taking on Ryan Murphy’s show Glee, now the American Family Association’s subgroup One Million Moms is going after a new show Murphy is producing, The New Normal. OMM blasts the show, a comedy about a gay couple and their surrogate, for “using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values” and promoting content that is “harmful to our society” and “damaging to our culture.” They ask members to email NBC, threatening to contact the show’s sponsors (even though it hasn’t even aired yet) and asking NBC to “drop all plans to air the program” because it “features homosexuality in a positive light” and is “pushing sin directly into America's living rooms”:
NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage. These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture.
OMM is prepared to contact any and all sponsors of this program if it is aired. It is proven this strategy works! It was not too long ago that NBC announced "The Playboy Club" was canceled after only three episodes because of lack of advertisers!
Millions of Americans strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. NBC's "The New Normal" is attempting to desensitize America and our children. It is the opposite of how families are designed and created. You cannot recreate the biological wheel.
As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am concerned about the proposed new NBC show called "The New Normal." This program is degrading to families and damaging to our culture.
I am appalled that NBC network intends to air a show that features homosexuality in a positive light. I strongly encourage NBC to drop all plans to air the program "The New Normal."
My family and I commit to contact sponsors that advertise during this program if your network follows through with this show.
I am also prepared to join thousands of other voices in urging advertisers to place it on their "do not advertise" list and consider pulling all ads from the NBC network in protest of pushing sin directly into America's living rooms.
I look forward to your response.
Last month we reported on a suspicious move by the Alabama Educational Television Commission, which oversees Alabama Public Television, to fire two television managers potentially over a disagreement on airing a series produced by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton. It appeared that the two managers did not feel comfortable airing Barton’s discredited and partisan “history” material, which was pushed on them by a local Republican official and member of the commission.
Allan Pizatto, who along with fellow manager Pauline Howland was fired by the commission, has now filed a civil suit which “alleges that commissioners violated the state's Open Meetings Act by discussing Pizzato's job performance during a closed executive session.” “The suit also reveals that Pizzato's attorneys have been unable to obtain from the commission's attorneys audio recordings and other related materials from the March and June commission meetings,” Current Public Media reports, “During those meetings, disagreements between Pizzato and commissioners surfaced over religious programming, and commission members imposed a new mission statement for the station.”
According to the lawsuit [pdf], “certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views” on the commission and staff to guide the station’s programming, and at least one commissioner “has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting.” The Plaintiff also notes that a mass exodus of staffer and fundraisers followed the firings and that a number of commissioners “made threats against the Plaintiff.”
From the beginning of his tenure as Executive Director of Alabama Public Television in 2000 until his termination, Plaintiff received near universal acclaim for his leadership including, until recent months, from members of the Commission.
Several months ago, it became clear that certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views on other members of the Commission, the programming that aired on Alabama Public Television, the staff, and the direction of the station itself.
Certain members of the Commission have also made threats against Plaintiff.
After the terminations of Plaintiff and Howland, all of the active, non-Commission members of Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, a statutorily-created public nonprofit fundraising entity, and five of the seven members of the Alabama Television Foundation Board of Directors, a private entity charged with helping Alabama Public Television raise money, resigned from their respective entities.
The mass resignation of these individuals represented the virtual eradication of the independent business and community leaders who served Alabama Public Television in a fundraising capacity.
At least one of the Commissioners has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting. This conflicts with the Commission’s statutory duty of controlling and supervising the use of channels reserved by the Federal Communications Commission to Alabama for noncommercial, educational use.
A few months ago, David Barton and Rick Green invited early Mitt Romney supporter Jordan Sekulow onto their "WallBuilders Live" program to make the case why Religious Right votes can and should be excited about supporting Romney in the general election.
Sekulow made the case that Romney would nominate good judges, especially to the Supreme Court , and while that certainly appealed to Barton and Green, the fact of the matter is that regardless of how unexcited they might be about a candidate like Romney, their vehement opposition to President Obama meant that they were going to do whatever they could to see Obama defeated.
And that was more or less the argument put forth by Matt Barber last month in a column he wrote calling on Christians to support Romney primarily because Obama was so bad that no "Christian in good conscience" could ever vote for him or even consider sitting this election out.
Today, Barton and Green invited Barber on to the program to make this case to the WallBuilders listeners and the general consensus among all three was that it was a sin for any Christian not to vote for Mitt Romney:
Barber: We are admonished in Scripture to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Now the wise thing to do is to go in and support Mitt Romney because, again, the alternative is catastrophic.
Green: Absolutely. And like you said, not voting is not only a dereliction of duty, it's really anti-Biblical. It's actually being the servant, remember the parable where they gave the talents? It's being the one that buried their talent. Well that was described in the Bible as being a wicked and slothful servant. I don't want to be that one, man, I want to be one of the other guys.
Barber: Well, absolutely. Well, it's worse than that; not voting is essentially a vote for Barack Obama because it fails to cancel out a vote for Barack Obama so it's absolutely a dereliction of duty.
Barton: I don't care if Romney calls himself a Mormon [and] Obama calls himself a Christian. Here's my question: where are you on judges, because Isaiah 1:26 says the righteousness of a land is determined by the judges of the land. Who's more biblical on judges? Romney or Obama?
Green: No question, Romney.
Barton: Let's ask marriage, who's more biblical on marriage? Romney or Obama?
Green: Romney, no question.
Barton: Let's ask where we are on the life issue, who's more biblical? Romney or Obama?
Green: Not even close. Obama supports infanticide he's so pro-abortion. Romney has become very pro-life.
Barton: We know the free enterprise system was started out of five verses in the Bible, the whole economic system that God created we used in America. Who's more biblical on the free enterprise system, Obama or Romney?
Green: Obama's a socialist without question on free enterprise. Romney's a great example on true biblical free enterprise.
Barton: So why do we have a question here? Because he's a Mormon? Hey, we've got to get past labels. Just like Obama's Christian label means nothing, Romney's Mormon label means nothing. What matters is the fruit, which one is going to produce more biblical fruit ...
There's only two options Christians have. Christians do not have the option of sitting this one out. You do not have that option, it is not a possibility. You will stand before God and He will say "I gave you your vote, what did you do with your vote?" And we can't just say "well, I chose to sit this one out."
Green: Especially in a situation like this where so much is at stake. What's the verse, when you know what to do and you do nothing? That's sin!
Barton: James 4:17; when you know what's right to do and you don't do it, that is sin.
A few weeks ago, we posted a clip of Bryan Fischer rewriting American history in order to claim that the American Revolution was not a rebellion because, according to the Bible, rebellion against governing authorities is rebellion against God since Romans 13 says that all governing authorities have been established by God.
We see this sort of re-framing American history quite often from the Religious Right, mainly because their entire worldview depends on it. Since, in their view, America was founded by God and established for the propagation of Christianity, then everything good that has happened has been because Christians were following the Bible while everything bad was a result of not having Christians in charge and not following the Bible.
We see this mentality at work in the way the Religious Right proclaims that it was Christians who ended slavery and in the assertion that they are the ideological descendents of civil rights champions like Martin Luther King Jr.
How a movement dominated by Southern conservative Christian fundamentalists has managed to convince itself that it is the modern-day bearer of MLK's legacy has always been something of a mystery to us. After all, if fundamentalist Christians were the ones championing the Civil Rights struggle, then who were the ones standing in the way and turning the fire hoses on the activists?
Ladies and gentlemen, who was it that abolished the institution of slavery? It was the Republican Party, it was a Republican President, it was a conservative who abolished the institution of slavery.
Who was it that filibustered the Civil Rights Acts in the Sixties? It was liberals, it was progressives. It was conservative Republicans that voted in greater percentages that voted for the Civil Rights Act then Democrats did.
Who where the ones that were standing hosing people off with fire hoses? Those were Democrats, those were liberals that were doing that.
Last week the Department of Health and Human Services announced a relaxation of some work requirement contained in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act in an effort to give "states and localities [more] flexibility administering it so they can experiment with ways to improve the number of people making the jump from government assistance to jobs."
Today on his radio program, Bryan Fischer absolutely flipped out over the change, claiming that it was an effort by President Obama to win re-elections by getting "more people helpless, abjectly dependent upon him as if he were the slave owner of a plantation and they were working in his cotton fields."
The move, Fischer declared, was illegal and unconstitutional, demonstrating that Obama is a "lawless president" who is like a "street thug" who takes a "perverse delight" in destroying America "just like juvenile delinquents just destroy stuff just for the sheer pleasure of destruction":
We have a lawless president. This guy, he reminds me of a juvenile delinquent is really what he reminds me of. He's like a street thug where there are no laws, there are no rules that apply to him. He feels like he can do whatever he wants, he can take whatever he wants, he can ignore whatever he wants. Really, he has the mindset of a juvenile delinquent. He is destroying America, he is dismantling the structure of America, he is dismantling and destroying American values and he seems to be taking a perverse delight in doing so just like juvenile delinquents just destroy stuff just for the sheer pleasure of destruction.
In between fretting that the United States was on the verge of permanent collapse due to the policies of President Obama and the poor moral/spiritual state of the nation in general, Grudem was asked by Ryan Dobson just what he should say to people who think that just because something is legal that makes it okay. The question prompted Grudem to respond that just because something is legal, that doesn't make it moral ... just as our nation allows freedom of religion, but that doesn't mean it is "morally right" for people to be Muslims or Buddhists:
Ryan Dobson: When I speak around the country to all ages, I talk about the difference between legal and right; just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. And oftentimes I hear from churchgoers "well, that's what the law is, what am I supposed to do?" And at what point can a believer say just because it's legal doesn't make it right and I'm going to do what's right even if it's illegal.
Grudem: Well, there are two questions. One is does God require of us more than the civil laws demand? Sure. Our nation, for instance, allows freedom of religion so it's legal to have a Muslim mosque or a Buddhist temple but that doesn't mean it's morally right for people to seek to come to God that way because you and I believe, Ryan, that we only come to God through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. So there are things that are allowed that are not what God wants us to do.
On his program yesterday, Bryan Fischer was discussing the study produced by professor Mark Regnerus purporting to show that children of same-sex parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents and the news that the University of Texas would be conducting an investigation into his study, seeing the latter as proof that "the homosexual lobby is vicious, they are venomous, [and] they are filled with hatred."
During the discussion, Fischer cited the study as evidence that children in same-sex homes are at a higher risk for sexual molestation, prompting him to declare that any parent "who goes into the homosexual lifestyle after siring children" should be denied custody and only allowed to have supervised visits with their children:
As we noted in our earlier post about David Barton today, he has a rather serious problem with accurately presenting information, especially in situations where misrepresenting that information better suits his religious/political agenda.
Case in point, during last Friday's program, Barton went off on his new favorite topic about the ways in which know-nothing government bureaucrats are interfering with the lives and work of average Americans in cumbersome and absurd ways. To prove his point, Barton cited a supposed situation in which the Department of Agriculture shut down shows featuring Tennessee Walking Horses solely because these government bureaucrats thought "it looks strange to us" and must be damaging the horses, even though they had no idea how to actually check a horse's hoof in the first place:
That is Barton's version of the story, which you can compare to the real version of the story involving undercover video filmed by the Humane Society showing trainers routinely beating and torturing horses in order train them to walk in this distinctive manner:
The Humane Society of the United States released undercover video Thursday of a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer abusing the animals in order to accentuate their well-known high leg kick.
The practice, known as “soring,” involves using chemicals on the horses ankles as a way to force them, because of pain, to lift their legs higher when they walk ... Soring has been illegal under the federal Horse Protection Act since 1970. But Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the Humane Society, said it has “continued unabated for the past 42 years.”
The video, shot over seven weeks last year by an undercover humane society investigator, shows trainers at a Collierville, Tenn., farm applying the chemicals to the horses, whipping them, shocking them in the head and hitting their legs with wooden sticks. At points, horses in the video struggle to stand up.
The USDA responded by mandating that inspecting organizations levy fines on those who violate this law; a move that prompted a lawsuit from the industry.
So it was not just a bunch of DC bureaucrats shutting down a legitimate business operation because they just thought the whole thing was kind of weird but rather an order to impose fines in response to leading trainers being caught engaging in illegal practices that injured horses.
As we have said several times before, if Barton cannot be relied upon to accurately relate information pertaining to situations that anyone with access to Google can easily check and verify, how can anyone trust the arcane claims he makes about early American history?
It is no secret that we regularly listen to "WallBuilders Live" as part of our monitoring, and we do so because that is where we learn interesting things from David Barton like how people are on welfare because they are not reading the Bible, how prayer stopped the BP oil spill in the Gulf, and that there are no grocery stores in the city of Detroit.
But not every episode contains these sort of informative nuggets because sometimes Barton and co-host Rick Green dedicate the program to talking with our nation's veterans about their harrowing experiences fighting in past conflicts. Today was one of those days, and though the program was actually rather interesting, these types of episodes generally don't produce much that is of use to us in terms of blog content - except in this case Barton and Green gave us a nice shout-out at the end while bizarrely taking delight in the fantasy that we would be extremely uncomfortable listening to this show about "a guy who loves God and country":
Barton: We got to do a little shout-out to our listeners that nobody knows about: Right Wing Watch. I mean, these are the radical left social guys and they listen to every program and these are the kind of programs that drive them crazy. I mean, what do you do with a guy who loves God and country, etc ... 'cause they're always beating on us - and by the way, in addition to them doing all their little releases, they always find a little clip here and there out of our program they can release to the Huffington Post. I also, and you may not know this, I made the top 25 this year - I think it's the top 25 for the Southern Poverty Law Center and I'm apparently one of the 25 greatest terrorist, domestic terrorists in America 'cause just way too much of this God/country kind of stuff, you know patriotism now makes you a terrorist.
Green: Well congratulations.
Barton: So I'm curious to see how Right Wing Watch is going to handle a program like this where you've got such patriotism because now patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist.
Green: Yeah, because we're loving our country more than some other country, we're honoring the sacrifices ...
Barton: Yeah, we're not trying to be like France or Europe or those guys, yeah, you're right. What can we say?
Green: Well, sometimes I like to irritate people, so let's irritate Right Wing Watch a little bit with honoring these guys!
For what it is worth, it is not episodes such as this in which WWII vets recount their experiences serving in combat that irritate us - both of my grandfathers served in WWII, after all - it is Barton's flagrant misrepresentations that irritate us; misrepresentations like claiming that he was listed among "the 25 greatest domestic terrorists" when, in reality, he was merely included in a SPLC report highlighting "30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right."
Only in Barton's warped view is a SPLC article proof that "patriotism makes you a domestic terrorist" while our efforts to point out his incessant lies means that we harbor some sort of absurd hatred for our nation's veterans.
A 700 Club viewer asked Pat Robertson today if he should marry his Muslim girlfriend of three years even though he is a Christian, to which Robertson responded, “no way.” “She wants to do her Muslim thing and you want to do your Christian thing,” Robertson said, “walk away.” He urged him to pray for her to become a Christian, “and if that doesn’t work say, ‘I’m sorry, good bye.’” Robertson, who is no fan of Muslims, explained that it isn’t necessarily Christ-like to be “nice and friendly” as “he’s not gentle Jesus, meek and mild, he really isn’t.”
As Brian noted in the last post, the Religious Right is hard at work trying to link the abuse scandal at Penn State to homosexuality and it is no surprise to see the AFA's Bryan Fischer making the connection as well, declaring that the lesson to be taken from the Freeh Report is that gays must be kept out of the Boy Scouts:
The St. Louis based pharmacy benefits manager Express-Scripts told the Center for Media and Democracy today that it had terminated its relationship with ALEC. The move was confirmed by Express Scripts head of Communications David Whitrap.
The disclosure comes at the end of a busy week for corporate defections from ALEC. On Tuesday, Express-Scripts competitor CVS announced it was cutting ties, along with four other corporations, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Best Buy, and MillerCoors LLC. In a statement, PFAW Foundation President Michael Keegan applauded the news:
The decision by these five companies to leave ALEC is an important step to do right by their customers. Their competitors who have yet to quit should know that the American people won’t forget who continues to underwrite ALEC’s agenda at our expense. Fortunately, more and more corporations, nonprofits and organizations are withdrawing their memberships. As a result, ALEC’s ability to push its dangerous agenda through our statehouses diminishes every day.
As more companies follow their competitors out of ALEC, the campaign to get corporations to ditch ALEC gains even more momentum. Those who stay with the organization will have to justify their support of an extreme anti-consumer agenda to their customers.
PFAW Foundation has taken an active role in exposing ALEC’s stealth role in promoting conservative legislation at the local, state, and federal level.
A comprehensive list of the corporations who have cut ties with ALEC can he found here.
Jerry Boykin is best-known around here for being a militantly anti-Islam Religious Right activist who likes to spread all sorts of conspiracy theories about how the Council on Foreign Relations intentionally triggered a global economic crisis in order to help Barack Obama win the election so that he could establish an army of Brownshirts loyal only to him though the passage of Health Care Reform.
So obviously this is exactly the sort of man that the Family Research Council wants overseeing its day-to-day operations, which is why FRC has named Boykin its new Executive Vice President:
Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin has been appointed Family Research Council's executive vice president, the organization announced Friday at a press event. Besides overseeing the day-to-day operations at FRC, Boykin's extensive military experience will provide the organization with greater expertise to address social issues in the military.
UPDATE: FRC has released an official announcement:
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is pleased to announce today that Lt. Gen. (USA Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin has joined Family Research Council as its Executive Vice President. In this role, he will oversee day-to-day operations including policy, finance, development, communications, human resources, facilities, information technology, constituent communications and services.
Of Boykin, Perkins said:
"We are very excited and pleased to announce that Lt. General Boykin is joining Family Research Council's leadership team," said FRC President Tony Perkins, a Marine veteran. "The depth of his leadership skills, forged under the most demanding circumstances, combined with his passion for faith, family and freedom, will greatly enhance FRC's effectiveness and impact in Washington and beyond."
General Boykin was one of the original members of the U.S. Army's Delta Force. He was privileged ultimately to command these elite warriors in combat operations. Later, Jerry Boykin commanded all the Army's Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School. His last four years in the Army were spent in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
"I am honored to join the country's premier Christian public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the family, defending life and advancing freedom," said Boykin. "As I ponder the future that my six grandchildren will grow up in, I realize how important it is that I do my part to restore the values that made America a great nation. This is why I am honored to help advance Family Research Council's mission of faith, family and freedom."
Additionally Lt. Gen. Boykin will assist FRC in its expanded role of advocating for the men and women who continue to serve in our nation's military.
"The Obama administration has undermined our nation's security and increased the risk to those who serve by systematically using our nation's military to advance a liberal social agenda. There is no one better equipped to speak on behalf of those who serve our nation in uniform and advocate for policies that uphold our national security than General Boykin," concluded Perkins.
Recently, the "ex-gay" organization Exodus International shocked the Religious Right when it announced that it would no longer promote so called "reparative therapy" which claims to help gays change their sexual orientation.
The announcement has, not surprisingly, angered professional anti-gay activists and today Linda Harvey lashed out at Exodus president Alan Chambers, saying that his admission that he still struggles with same-sex attraction demonstrates "very poor judgment" and blasting the idea that gays can be Christians because the Christian Church would never welcome a "compassionate pedophile":
The group's president, Alan Chambers, has been under a firestorm of criticism lately because of several statements he has made lately that reflect poorly on his understanding of the basics of Christian faith.
For one, Chambers has said he doesn't believe a person can change his or her so-called sexual orientation. Now, there's not anything like this invented term called "sexual orientation" in Scripture in the first place, but then he also says that he still struggles himself with sexual feelings for other males. This shows very poor judgment as the leader of this ministry to, first of all, be experiencing this and secondly, to announce it to the whole world.
Of course a person can leave homosexuality; there are thousands of people who have done it and God's word clearly states that he can deliver us from sin. And the proud, open sinner who is publicly proclaiming it as good in defiance of God's word? It is highly questionable that such a person is saved.
We would not be making this exception for well-adjusted adulterers would we? How about a compassionate pedophile? What about incest like two brothers involved in homosexuality? Why not just defy God's word on this?
This is plain old rebellion and worship of self and our own impulses, not the worship of our Creator and Savior. Please join me in praying for Alan Chambers and Exodus, but also in praying for Alan's influence to diminish unless he recants this untruthful misrepresentation of the Gospel.