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Jacobs: Prayer Led to the Capture of Manuel Noriega

A few years back we noted how Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets and a group of prophetic intercessors took credit for the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003.  But it seems they were not alone in using the power of prayer to capture world leaders as Cindy Jacobs revealed on Friday's episode of "God Knows" that another group of intercessors were responsible for the capture of Manuel Noriega in Panama back in 1983 after they drove buses around the nation, praying that God would bind Satan so that "the power of the Strong Man was broken":

Early Voting Restrictions Could Hurt Over Half of Ohio’s African Americans, Says Ministers’ Group

Members of the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC), a program of People For the American Way Foundation, spoke out today against efforts to restrict early voting opportunities in four Ohio counties that are home to 56 percent of the state’s African American population.

"Jim Crow is alive in the 21st century and evident in the struggles we still face for equal access to the ballot box," said Rev. Dr. Tony Minor of Cleveland, Ohio. "There are politicians doing the unthinkable: they are making it harder for their constituents to exercise our constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. And once again, these suppression efforts are aimed directly at African Americans in swing states.”

Officials in four Ohio counties -- Cuyahoga, Franklin, Summit and Lucas -- are set to deny night and weekend early voting to their citizens. Those four counties are home to some of Ohio’s largest cities and over half its African American population. The state has already ended early voting for most residents in the final three days before the election. Last year, nearly 20 percent of early voters in Cuyahoga and Franklin counties went to the polls during that final time period.

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, founded in 1997, has been working nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls in every election, most recently through the newly-launched non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program. The new early voting restrictions in Ohio are a setback to efforts to increase turnout and ensure that every vote counts.

"These efforts are intended to discourage and distract voters in the state of Ohio, but they will not succeed,” added Rev. Minor. “We have strengthened our efforts to educate our congregations and our communities about their rights and their civic responsibilities. Believe me, no matter how hard they try to stop us, we will fight back against these restrictions and we will show up at the polls and vote."

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Boykin: 'The Bible is Referenced Four Times More Than Any Other Document in our Constitution'

The problem with David Barton's false statements and pseudo-history is not simply that it receives support from leaders like Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann,Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich; it is that his claims get picked up by other Religious Right speakers and, in doing so, get twisted even beyond Barton's original bogus claims. 

Case in point: today we came across these recent remarks delivered by Jerry Boykin where he claimed that "there is no question that there was divine inspiration" behind the writing of the Constitution, which is why "the Bible is referenced four times more than any other document in our Constitution": 

Of course, the Bible is not referenced at all in the Constitution ... but you will not be surprised to learn that Boykin's claim finds its inspiration in Barton's "America's Godly Heritage" (skip ahead to the 4:00 mark) though Barton simply claims that the Bible was cited by the Founding Fathers four times more than they cited figures like Montesquieu and Blackstone.

Yet even Barton's original claim was itself problematic and Boykin has only made it worse by falsely claiming that the Constitution directly references the Bible multiple times, when it obviously does nothing of the sort.  

Barber: Obama is Burning the Constitution and the Bible

Today on "Faith and Freedom," Matt Barber railed against health care reform legislation, in particular the contraception mandate, declaring that it was like something out of George Orwell's 1984."  Barber blasted the "secular socialist Obama administration" for having "trampled" over the Constitution and the Bible and essentially declaring "we're going to burn them both":

Ten Patently Absurd Claims Made by David Barton

As we noted earlier, it has not been a very good week for David Barton, so this seemed like a good opportunity to pull together a list of some of the most absurd things that he has said over the last year or so just to give people who might not be particularly familiar with Barton or his work a better sense of just what sort of claims he likes to puts forth.

Yesterday we posted a list a ten demonstrably false claims Barton has made in recent months but this list, though also filled with falsehoods, focuses more on the sorts of patently ridiculous claims that Barton is prone to making:

Given this sort of record, is anyone surprised that a publisher that agreed to print a book written by Barton ultimately had to recall it? 

PHOTOS: Religious, Political Leaders Join Launch of People For Foundation Report, '12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics'

Last week, People For the American Way Foundation launched a new report, “12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics,” which offers guidelines for policymakers and advocates seeking to bring faith into political debates.

Joining us at a launch party for the report and a discussion of the issues it raises were Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress; Sister Simone Campbell, director of the Catholic social justice group NETWORK; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Here are some photos of the event from People For Foundation’s Dylan Hewitt:

Sister Simone Campbell talks with People For’s COO, Nick Ucci 


People For President Michael Keegan, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery 

Michael Keegan and Rep. Keith Ellison

Sister Simone Campbell and Rabbi David Saperstein

Rabbi David Saperstein 

Rep. Keith Ellison and Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Conference.
 

PFAW Foundation

Buster Wilson Warns 'Big Gay' Activists That They Are Destined for Hell

On yesterday's installment of "AFA Today," Buster Wilson returned to the topic of Chick-fil-A to declare that the company has been successful because "they live according to God's word" and have kept God's command to meditate on His law day and night.

And that prompted Wilson to issue a not-so-subtle warning to "Big Gay" activists who oppose Chick-fil-A's anti-gay views they they are destined for Hell and therefore must "read the Bible and they need to try to believe it because it's going to have a bearing on their soul one day":

The Most Perfectly Bartontonian Response Imaginable

As we noted yesterday, it has been a rough couple of days for the David Barton as first his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then the publisher of his latest book announced that it has "lost confidence" in it and was ceasing publication and distribution.

The Tennessean caught up with Barton to get his reaction to these developments and the criticism that his work has been receiving and he offered up the most perfectly Bartontonian defense one could have imagined:

Barton said he met with a different group of scholars recently and they approved of his work.

“I can’t tell you how many Ph.D.’s were in the room,” he said.

But he would not give any names, saying the scholars hadn’t given their permission for him do so.

While we are not surprised by Barton's defense, we have to admit that we are a bit shocked by the utter silence from the Religious Right to these developments because we have been searching high and low and have so far been unable to find any evidence of anyone stepping up to defend him or his work.  

Where are Glenn Beck, or Michele Bachmann, or Mike Huckabee, or Newt Gingrich or any of the others who routinely hail Barton as America's greatest historian?  Will nobody stand up and defend Barton in his hour of need? 

Is Bryan Fischer Trying to Get Himself Sued?

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer proclaimed that Lisa Miller had a responsibility to God to defy court orders granting visitation and custody rights to her former partner, Janet Jenkins, and kidnap her daughter and flee the country.

Fischer returned to the case today where he baselessly but repeatedly asserted that Jenkins sexually abused the girl:

[When] the girl came home, she suffered nightmares, she was wetting the bed, she was harming herself, she gave every indication of being sexually molested while she'd been in the company of this lesbian. She told her mom that she had bathed naked with this lesbian person to whom she's not even related, hadn't seen her in like four years and she's taking baths without any clothes on with this lady at five and a half.

So she's coming home clearly very disturbed, agitated emotionally by these visits and the mom said I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to put my child back into that environment. And the Vermont judge says that if you don't submit your child to an abusive environment, it was emotionally abusive, it was sexually abusive and the judge was saying, look if you don't put your child in that environment, I'm going to take your child away from you altogether and I'm going to award sole custody to the lesbian.

That was the plan; in fact the judge ruled you gotta turn her over January 1, 2010, you got to hand her over to this lesbian household where there's a proven record of child abuse. 

David Barton's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today has not been a good day for David Barton.  First, NPR ran a devastating piece exposing his biased and shoddy scholarship and now the publisher of his book "The Jefferson Lies" has announced that it is pulling his book

The Thomas Nelson publishing company has decided to cease publication and distribution of David Barton’s controversial book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson, saying it has “lost confidence in the book’s details.” (See “The David Barton controversy,” Aug. 8.)

Casey Francis Harrell, Thomas Nelson’s director of corporate communications, told me the publishing house “was contacted by a number of people expressing concerns about [The Jefferson Lies].” The company began to evaluate the criticisms, Harrell said, and “in the course of our review learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported. Because of these deficiencies we decided that it was in the best interest of our readers to stop the publication and distribution.”

Barton is currently preaching out in Hawaii, but we imagine he is not getting much rest or relaxation as he deals with this string of bad news.

Maybe he will be a little more careful about making demonstrably false statements from now on.

Ten Demonstrably False Claims Made by David Barton

In honor of all the attention that David Barton's shoddy scholarship is currently receiving, we thought we'd take some time to pull together a list of some of the demonstrably false statements that he has made in just the last several months alone.

Keep in mind, these are not simply crazy things that he has said - like life begins before conception or that Jesus opposed the Minimum Wage or that the government should regulate gay sex - but rather verifiably false claims that can be easily refuted with a basic Google search.

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center called him a "domestic terrorist." Nope.
  • There are no grocery stores within the city of Detroit. Wrong.
  • An elementary school student was yelled at for praying before lunch.  Didn't happen.
  • Mentions of Jesus were banned at military funerals.  Not quite.
  • Hate Crimes legislation was designed to imprison pastors. Please.
  • Abstinence will make you richer.  Guess again.
  • God created our system of elected government. Nice try.
  • The Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim." Huh?
  • Again claiming the Constitution quotes the Bible "verbatim."  Still not true.
  • Many of the clauses in the Constitution are "direct quotations out of the Bible." Are you seeing a pattern here?

Those are just ten examples we pulled together from recent months, though there are several others we could have also included.

It is too bad that Barton refuses to engage in debates because it would be nice to see him defend his own claims instead of always just complaining that people are attacking him because of his Christian faith.

Next Up: Leash Laws for Unicorns

Jon Stewart takes on the “Wizards of ID” and their voter suppression laws.
PFAW Foundation

How Many Times Does Obama Have to Say 'Endowed by Their Creator' Before the Right Will Stop Lying?

A few weeks ago, Phyllis Schlafly showed up on the American Family Radio's "AFA Today" program to promote her new book "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom" where she made the claim that  "every time [President Obama] quotes from the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word 'Creator.'"

As we noted at the time, the claim was demonstrably false ... but that has not stopped Schlafly from saying it, as she repeated it today while appearing on Sandy Rios' radio program:

Every time he recites the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word "Creator." Now we all know what's in the Declaration and it's very strange, you can't blame it on a slip of the tongue or blame it on the teleprompter because he does it all the time.

We have finally gotten so sick of hearing this lie that we put together this short video demonstrating multiple instances of President Obama quoting the "endowed by their Creator" line:

Schlafly's claims that Obama omits the word "Creator" every time he cites the Declaration is verifibly false, yet she keeps repeating it ... and you can't blame it on a slip of the tongue or on the teleprompter, because she does it all the time!

Fischer Says Ex-Gay Mom had an Obligation to God to Kidnap Her Daughter and Flee

For years now, we have been covering the case of Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who found Christ thanks to Jerry Falwell's church and then sought to prevent her former partner from having any sort of visitation with the couple's daughter.  After repeated violations of court orders regarding visitation arrangements, Miller was ordered to hand over custody of her daughter, at which points she kidnapped her and fled the country.

Ever since, the case has become a rallying point for anti-gay Religious Right activists and today a trial got underway for a man accused of helping Miller and her daughter flee to South America, prompting Bryan Fischer to come to Miller's defense by declaring that this kidnapping was entirely justified because the little girl was being sexually abused by Miller's former partner and so Miller had a responsibility "to obey God rather than man" and had no choice but to kidnap her daughter and run:

Why We Have to Keep Monitoring Bryan Fischer

Every once is a while, we will get criticized for supposedly paying too much attention to the AFA's Bryan Fischer, with people accusing us of giving him the attention that he craves and suggesting that we'd be better off just ignoring him.

Believe us, we'd love nothing more than to be able to ignore Fischer's daily litany of idiotically bigoted ravings ... but we can't do that as long as leading Republican candidates keep appearing on his program, as Missouri GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin did just today where they rejoiced in the fact that "freedom seems to be on the march again": 

Staver & Barber Say Democratic Platform Supporting Marriage Equality will Lead to Christian Persecution

On today's episode of "Faith and Freedom," Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the news that the official Democratic Party platform would include a plank supporting marriage equality.  Needless to say, neither Staver nor Barber were impressed, as Staver warned that it would lead to religious persecution against Christians while Barber declared that everyone knows that there is no such thing as gay marriage, which is why gay activists "respond so violently when people snicker at it." 

Both Barber and Staver asserted that supporters of marriage equality refuse to engage in any sort of debate on this topic because, as Staver said, "they can't dialogue on it from a logical perspective and so they want to shout you down and shut you up and push you out of business so that you can't even practice your profession, pursue your calling, operate your business, or do you daily life":

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