Bryan Fischer has dedicated almost every minute of his program since the Supreme Court upheld the health care reform legislation last week to railing against it and has been growing increasingly outraged and apocalyptic with every passing day.
The trend continued yesterday when Fischer seized upon an old Brietbart article about a survey conducted by a Tea Party-affiliated group called the Doctor Patient Medical Association Foundation that supposedly found that 83% of doctors are thinking about quitting the practice of medicine and nearly half would stop accepted Medicaid/Medicare patients because of the changes in legislation.
As such, Fischer declared, President Obama was going to have to create an army of "enforcers," "Stormtroopers," and "Medical Nazis" to go around forcing doctors to remain in business and ordering them to provide treatment to patients:
Guerilla anti-abortion videographer Lila Rose was interviewed on the "BreakPoint This Week" radio program where host John Stonestreet asked her how her anti-choice activism compared to the civil rights movement, prompting Rose to declare that her efforts are just as important as the efforts to end slavery and the Holocaust, and perhaps even more so since she is dedicated to fighting the "greatest human rights crisis ... our country has ever seen":
Stonestreet: I've heard you kind of talk about the civil rights movement as, as some level as where you get some of the inspiration. Where do you see the connections between the human rights struggle that they were involved in and the human rights struggle that you're involved in?
Rose: Of course, we'll there's a fundamental connection. I mean, the civil rights movements that have been fought in this country against slavery, against segregation and discrimination, against even women's suffrage have all been done because we want to protect basic human rights and we want a country that is a place that we're proud to live in, that our neighbor, the person next to us, their human rights are protected too. And so the fight for the most fundamental human rights, which is life - and it's in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - this is the defining civil rights movement of our country because if we don't get the right to life right, if we don't protect that basic foundation, then we can't survive as a nation, all the other rights are meaningless.
And especially it's a concern because, in terms of victims, we're talking fifty million children that have been killed since Roe v Wade, since abortion became legal. We're missing fifty million children, boys and girls who have been attacked and killed in the womb, torn apart and aborted, and that's a human rights crisis of a proportion we've never even seen before, it's hard to even imagine.
So I think that history will look back on this time as we look back on the anti-slavery movement and even the movement to try to, you know, be truthful about what was happening with the Holocaust and try to do something to stand up to fight for the rights of those that were being persecuted like the Jews in Germany, history will look back and say "what did we do?" We're living in the middle of the greatest human rights crisis I believe our country has ever seen; what are we going to do about it?
Bryan Fischer has not been reluctant to voice his hatred of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the constitutionality of health care reform, calling it "legal garbage" and total gibberish that signals the end of America.
On Friday's radio program, Fischer continued the assault, declaring that the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts was so fundamentally illogical and irrational that there must be something was wrong with his brain, perhaps rooted in the fact that Roberts takes medication for epilepsy:
Fischer has spent three days absolutely tearing apart this ruling and blasting it as utterly incoherent and unconstitutional, and then began attacking Chief Justice Roberts for supposedly changing sides at the last minute ... just like Justice Anthony Kennedy did during Roe v Wade:
[Roberts] ruling was absolutely irrational, it's absolutely illogical, it is absolutely unconstitutional, and it is so bad it will make your eyes water trying to make sense of it. And it's my position that ruling doesn't even make sense; you couldn't even imagine a world, you couldn't even create a parallel universe in which this ruling could make any kind of sense.
Now Roberts apparently switched his vote very late in the game. This happened on Roe v Wade, by the way - Anthony Kennedy originally was going to be against Roe v Wade [but] somebody got to him. So the first vote on Roe v Wade was to uphold the pro-life position, sanctity of life was going to be protected by the Court. But over the course of the month between when the first vote was taken and when the opinions were written, Anthony Kennedy switched teams, he went over to the dark side of the force. So they had to change and so the majority opinion became the one that struck down Roe v Wade and made abortion legal in all nine months of pregnancy.
Hmmm, apparently Fischer is such a scholar that he knows that Roberts' opinion is incoherent nonsense and totally unconstitutional .... but doesn't realize that Roe v Wade was decided in 1973 on a vote of 7-2 and that Kennedy didn't join the Court until 1988 or that there as never been a "majority opinion ... that struck down Roe v Wade."
As Kyle has been documenting, there is no shortage of rhetorical excess from right-wing leaders upset about the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act. But the response from Rick Joyner, head of MorningStar Ministries and the dominionist Oak Initiative, has to be among the most unhinged. Joyner has a penchant for apocalyptic rhetoric, warning of demonic threats and natural disasters facing an unrepentant America.
Joyner is embraced by other right-wing leaders, appearing at the Awakening conferences organized by the Liberty Counsel and the Freedom Federation, a Religious Right super-group of which Joyner’s organization is a member. Sen. Jim DeMint spoke earlier this month at a “Freedom Congress” organized by Joyner.
In a “special bulletin” appropriately titled “Dazed and Confused,” Joyner goes after Chief Justice John Roberts with literally hellish relish. Roberts’ reasoning, he says, “could potentially open the biggest gate of hell into our nation and culture by the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade” and “has potentially released the most evil hounds from hell against the American people.”
Joyner even suggests that Roberts is, quite literally, on drugs:
It is understandable that some are now making the assertion that Chief Justice Roberts’ medication used to control his epilepsy has taken a toll on his mental abilities and reasoning. Nothing else has come forward as an adequate explanation for why he would be the one to free Obamacare like he did to become the biggest grab of totalitarian power over America in history.
“This decision,” says Joyner, “has deepened our national crisis, and jeopardized our Constitution at a most inopportune and dangerous time.”
It now seems that the American Republic is under unrelenting attack from every possible direction. Let us not faint, but keep in mind that the greatest victories only come when there are great battles. No doubt this will wake up many more Americans to the battle we are in. Great souls run to the sound of battle, not away from it. America still has many great souls who will fight regardless of the odds against them, and who will stand and never surrender for the sake of the freedom that was their birthright. This Supreme Court Decision has only increased the volume of the alarm and we can expect many more to hear it now.
Joyner had much kinder words for Mitt Romney, quoting the candidate’s response to the ruling and his “resolve” to repeal the health care reform law.
On today's edition of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green were discussing what they considered several positive changes that were taking place in the state of Michigan thanks to the election of lots of Tea Party candidates to the state legislature. In making the point that things were really bad in the state, Barton claimed that he was recently there and was shocked to learn that there is "not a single grocery store in the city limits of Detroit":
Detroit has a population of over 700,000 and Barton is claiming that there is not one grocery store within a city this size? How exactly does he think these people are getting food?
Now I haven't been to Detroit in person, but I do have access Google Street View which allows me to find various of grocery stores located within the city in about two minutes, like University Foods located at 1131 Warren Ave W, Detroit, MI 48208:
And an Aldi grocery store located at 15415 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48205:
And Parkway Foods located at 13210 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48215:
In fact, a simple Google Maps search for "supermarket" in Detroit returns dozens and dozens of results:
As we have said several times before, if Barton cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can anyone trust anything that he says?
While collecting reactions from the Religious Right to yesterday's ruling upholding health care reform legislation, one person we didn't include was Bryan Fischer since we were waiting until his radio program aired to see just how outraged he was over the ruling.
And was he ever outraged, kicking off his program by declaring that "America no longer exists as a constitutional republic," suggesting that the authors of the decision ought to be impeached, questioning Chief Justice John Roberts' sanity, and calling the decision "legal garbage" that should be tossed in a landfill and left to rot:
Ladies and gentlemen, today the Grim Reaper has visited the United States. Unless this Supreme Court decision from today is repealed, unless it is overturned, unless it is repealed, America no longer exists as a constitutional republic and Chief Justice John Roberts will do down in history as the man who shredded the Constitution beyond recognition. His ruling today is unconscionable, it's inexcusable for somebody who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States to issue a ruling like John Roberts issued today.
This is bad behavior. All five of the judges that participated in this ruling could be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office. This is a gross dereliction of duty on their part.
I mean, John Roberts, ladies and gentlemen, this is embarrassing. John Roberts today participated and wrote legal gobbledygook, it is legal gibberish, it is irrational, it makes absolutely no sense. Not only is it unconstitutional, it's not even rational what he wrote in his opinion that is going to take away the freedom of million and million and million of Americans. It actually makes you wonder if something has gone wrong with his brain. He's not thinking clearly, he's not writing clearly.
The main ruling is just garbage, I mean it is legal garbage, ladies and gentlemen. That's the most polite term I can use to describe what John Roberts has written. It is legal garbage. It belongs in a landfill somewhere where it can be left to rot and decompose and decay in peace. That's how bad it is.
Last week, People For the American Way Foundation hosted a gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate founder Norman Lear’s 90th birthday and the Young Elected Officials Network.
The event highlighted Lear’s legendary career as a television producer, and how in 1981, he turned to that medium to express his concern about the growing right-wing movement in America – and People For the American Way Foundation was born. 30 years later, PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network – consisting of nearly 700 progressive officeholders between 18 and 35 years of age – are at the forefront of change in their communities.
Members of Congress, celebrities, members of the board and community leaders were in attendance to celebrate Norman Lear, the YEO Network and the mission of People For the American Way Foundation.
From left: PFAW Foundation Founder Norman Lear, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, PFAW Foundation President Michael Keegan and board member Jane Lynch
From left: Board member Kathleen Turner and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison
From left: YEOs Kesha Ram, Melvin Carter and Angie Buhl
On today's episode of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, hosts Steve Crampton and Harry Mihet were discussing the Pentagon's decision to no longer allow Bibles to be published bearing the official emblems of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps; a move which has, predictably, outraged the Religious Right.
Somehow Crampton and Mihet managed to tie this issue to a recent Senate hearing on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA,) prompting Crampton to marvel that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complain that ENDA is not about "equal rights" but rather "special rights" for gays and cross-dressers.
Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work - "God forbid," he said - wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women's restroom. "In years past," Crampton said, "we had another word for this: it's called insanity":
Young People For (YP4), a program of People For the American Way Foundation, is a year-long leadership development program that helps a diverse set of student leaders turn their idealism into actions that advance social change on their campuses and in their communities. YP4 Fellows design and implement a capstone project called the Blueprint for Social Justice and work on social justice projects of their choosing. We’ll be highlighting the work of some of our outstanding Fellows here.
This week, we’re pleased to introduce Elena Swartz, representing Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Recognizing the importance strong voter turnout in order to foster positive change in her community, Elena chose to organize a Civic Empowerment Summit at Bryn Mawr as her Blueprint for Social Justice. The summit provided information on how students can be a voice for change through vote work on campus and in their community, and was strategically planned in the spring to help students plan their voter engagement work ahead of the upcoming fall elections. During the training, Elena shared strategies for effective campus and community outreach, volunteer recruitment, data management, voter registration and more. Elena’s project is so important because the right to vote is constantly under attack by those who want to disenfranchise certain groups of voters for political gain, such as students.
Across the country, states are implementing Voter ID laws that exclude student ID’s from the list of acceptable forms of identification, imposing strict residency requirements to register to vote and some are even requiring college students to travel to their home precincts to vote instead of casting a ballot near their campuses. By organizing and educating her fellow students, Elena is helping to empower young people to take a stand against these measures and strengthen our fundamental rights.
By Erik Lampmann
Norman Lear, more so than almost any other, understands the inspiration, joy, and revitalization to be had by bringing together a diverse and wide movement to share in moments of success -- large and small. This week, I was honored to attend Norman Lear’s 90th Birthday celebration and the kick-off to the Young Elected Officials Network’s national convening. An alum of the Young People For (YP4) millennial fellowship program, I was invited to the event to share my experience and represent young people active in the progressive movement. While being in the presence of celebrities, major donors, and political leaders would give any college student simultaneous sensations of absolute fear and overwhelming excitement, I think the most poignant emotion I felt during the night was a profound sense of purpose, of drive, of calling.
Of the activists and organizers I met Thursday, I was continually impressed not by their successes -- be they electoral, issue-based, or local -- but by their resounding human spirit. From Norman Lear’s keen ability to enrapture a crowd -- whisking them from applause line to somber reflection -- to the YEO members who not only envisioned change but came to embody it within themselves, I was humbled. From talking to students from different campuses about the wins and losses of their organizations this Spring semester to discussing the Presidential Medal Freedom with Dolores Huerta, to hearing Jane Lynch give an interview on the consequences of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case, I was astounded by the grace with which my peers in the movement campaigned for justice with compassion.
I will confess that I am, at times, disillusioned with the progressive movement, in general. As a campus organizer working on progressive public policy and LGBTQ justice in Richmond, VA, I am often disheartened at the gap between what we’ve currently achieved and the ideal that we continue to pursue. While everyday I see the stifling states’ rights conservatism of the former Capital of the Confederacy, local progressive wins seem much slower coming. For these reasons, the reinvigoration of the PFAW Foundation celebration of this past week could not have come at a better time. As I complete a summer research fellowship on political theory and strategize for next year’s mobilizations on-campus, I am reminded of the inclusive, accomplished, and intentional family of YP4 and the dedication of People For the American Way Foundation in the pursuit of justice, equality, and the American Way even despite the challenges ahead.
Indeed, our fight as a movement has never been more necessary or the challenges we face more dire. Most recently, conservative ad hominem attacks on Attorney General Eric Holder continue to distract Congress from meaningful action. Out-of-touch elected officials continue to hold hostage major pieces of policy legislation from confronting the student debt crisis to tackling the federal deficit. Voter suppression bills are -- this very minute -- actively disenfranchising the elderly, youth, and communities of color across the country. Reproductive justice continues to be vilified and erased from popular discourse by those who censure speeches in the Michigan State House, for example, or close all of the abortion clinics in Mississippi simply in order to devalue the personal autonomy of women. Racial profiling continues to make life for undocumented people in Arizona and Alabama that much more difficult. Queer folks continue to challenge a heterosexist culture that seeks to tokenize their experience while the elderly, young people, and the differently-abled are shunned to the margins of political discourse.
Reflecting on the significance of Thursday’s event as well as the struggles to come reminds me of a refrain within this piece, the need for solidarity and union within our movement family. I think my sentiment is expressed best by a quote I first heard at a YP4 training: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” -- Assata Shakur.
Erik Lampmann is a junior studying political theory and French at the University of Richmond (VA) and a 2011-2012 YP4 Fellow.
We have spent most of the day collecting reactions from the Religious Right to today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of health care reform legislation and listening to hours of radio programs as movement leaders try to understand what happened, what it all means, and where to go next.
Based on what we have heard from them today, the emerging narrative seems to be that the ruling itself was awful and wrongly decided, but that it will ultimately end up doing more harm than good for President Obama as he seeks re-election by leading to a resurgence of Tea Party activism and and landslide for candidates running for office who will vow to repeal the legislation.
Tony Perkins summed it up when he explained on today's radio program that it was Congress and President Obama who were responsible for this legislation that "is a time-bomb of destruction for our nation" and must be replaced in November:
We're right to be disappointed and frustrated by the Court's decision, but it was Congress that did this to begin with. It was Barack Obama who did this to begin with, so I think we've got to go back and put this around them, making them responsible for something that almost 70% of Americans oppose.
We do have a way to correct this, and it's called the election in November. And folks, I'm going to tell you, if you're apathetic and you think "well, I'm not going to vote because I've got a choice between this one and that one and there's not that much difference," there is a difference! Barack Obama is responsible for this health care bill which is going to strip you of your rights as an American citizen in the ability to make your own decisions. It is an infringement upon religious freedom. We have rationing boards that are going to be put in place. These are not seeds, this is a time-bomb of destruction for our nation and President Obama is responsible for it.
Ken Hutcherson in on a mission to take back both the word "gay" and the symbol of the rainbow in his fight against gay rights and made his case on "WallBuilders Live" today with David Barton and Rick Green.
Following the interview with Hutcherson, Barton and Green speculated that the gay rights movement has sought to co-opt these things in order to distort God's blessing upon mankind:
Barton: We don't even think about "gay" in the term it was, we only think it in the way of the new definition ... You know, I hadn't even thought about why they chose that word or how they came to use that word or how that became the denotation for homosexuals. I don't know.
Green: Well, when you take that or the rainbow, as Hutch was saying [is] a promise from God, isn't that part of the goal? To distort what God gave us and to distort what would normally be a blessing and be something that you enjoy and honor and worship God because of?
Barton: Well, it goes back to the Garden [of Eden.] The Serpent said "oh yeah, if you'll eat this you will have the knowledge." Eh, it wasn't the right knowledge; you got knowledge but it was a distorted form. And that's why the Bible also says that Satan appears as an angel of light - he looks like the real thing, but it's a distortion. He doesn't come to give you the good things, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, not give you life and not give you all the good things Jesus wants to give you in John 10:10, but he looks the same when he comes. You know, he makes the same offer, it just doesn't ever work out that way. And so it's the same thing, you take something good like "gay" and you distort it into something else.
On yesterday's program, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment to discussing a 2009 newspaper article about bestiality advocates in order to bolster his case against marriage equality, saying that "once you allow sex between two people of the same-sex, there is no place to stop" and it will inevitably lead to the legalization of polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality: