The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, a former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, said today that Democrats are “aligned with our enemies and not with America” and “will doom all of us if they have their way.”
In an interview with “Breitbart News Daily,” Gaffney accused Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine of “aligning” with the Muslim Brotherhood and implicated the party in far-left, anti-DNC protests in Philadelphia this week in which protesters reportedly burned American and Israeli flags.
“The bigger question, which I think more and more of us are tumbling to watching this spectacle is not just the ignoring of that reality, it is the aligning with our enemies,” Gaffney said. “You talked earlier about Tim Kaine having done a lot of that with the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s not alone. There are whole bunches of them in the progressive movement. Look at the Palestinian flags. Look at people burning Israel’s flag and burning the American flag. These people are on the wrong side. I’m sorry for Democrats, I used to be one myself, who are now being completely disenfranchised by a party that is aligned with our enemies and not with America. They will doom all of us if they have their way.”
J.D. Hayworth, a former Republican congressman from Arizona who now hosts a program on the conservative Newsmax network, said on his program yesterday that it is “cultural surrender” for Americans to learn Spanish.
Hayworth, discussing the Democratic National Convention with anti-immigrant leader Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, played a clip of Dreamer activist Astrid Silva speaking at the convention, where she warned that Donald Trump’s immigration plan amounts to “ripping families apart.”
“Hey, Dan, there’s just one thing about family reunification,” Hayworth said. “Families can stay together when they go back to their country of origin, can’t they?
“J.D., think about how offensive this is to the American people,” Stein responded. “The people who have crashed our borders come illegally, now have the temerity to interfere with our political system. Between the illegal aliens going out and get out the vote campaign for president Obama and the Mexican government using its consulates in this country to actually organize people to work on candidates, you have a gross interference in our political process.”
“We don’t owe this young lady anything as a nation,” Stein continued. “What we owe her is a certain amount of respect, which implies, one, addressing her in the English language, as she has to us. When politicians talk in Spanish to any constituency, they’re demeaning them by saying, ‘Oh, you can’t learn English.’”
“You know, it’s worse than that, Dan,” Hayworth said. “When I had some friends taking Spanish — and of course there’s a Spanish population in Arizona — I’d say to them, ‘Oh, you boys gonna go take your class in surrender?’ Because it’s a cultural surrender, part of the mindset.”
Something the planners of the Democratic National Convention seem to be getting very right is the selection of top-notch speakers, which include some of the strongest progressive voices in national politics and reflect the ever-increasing diversity of America. Communities of color, the LGBT community, disabled and Native communities, and young people are all represented.
Activist leaders and various everyday heroes are taking the stage to speak simultaneously to the vast diversity of American experiences and the common needs and values, hopes and desires, that unify us as one people.
Included in the impressive list of speakers are several dynamic young elected leaders, and among them, some very familiar faces to the People For family. And we could not be prouder.
Mayor Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum, 37, is the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida. He has repeatedly set the example for unapologetic progressive leadership, and was included in Huffington Post’s “50 Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America.” He is the youngest person to ever be elected to the Tallahassee City Commission, assuming that office at the age of 23.
Andrew is the national Director of Youth Leadership Programs for PFAW’s affiliate, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAW Foundation).
US Rep. Joaquin Castro
Joaquin Castro, 41, uses his strong progressive voice to superbly represent the people of Texas’s 20th District in the US Congress.
Both Joaquin and his twin brother Julian -- the current US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, former mayor of San Antonio, and keynote speaker of the 2012 Democratic convention -- were charter members of PFAW Foundation’s nonpartisan Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, which works to nurture the leadership abilities and provide a supportive nationwide network to America’s young progressive elected officials.
Colorado Rep. Crisanta Duran
Crisanta Duran, 35, is the Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives and one of America’s boldest progressive champions in such an influential state-level leadership position.
Crisanta is also an active member of PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
This is just a small sampling of the growing number of young progressive champions running for and winning elected office at every level around the country.
Be on the lookout for live or recorded speeches from all of these excellent young leaders, and you will no doubt find inspiration and hope about the future of our movement.
We will try to obtain video clips after the speeches to embed in this post as updates. So stay tuned!
“Coach” Dave Daubenmire, an Ohio-based Religious Right activist, spoke Thursday at a rally for Operation Save America’s “Summer of Justice” in Wichita, where he declared that the “effeminized church” and “sissified Christianity” have removed real men from American Christianity and thus paved the way for the appeal of Donald Trump. Claiming that the devil is using Muslim refugees and others to “destroy Christianity,” he said he hoped that things would become so bad under the next president that the church would be forced to become “great again.”
“I’m on a manhunt!” Daubenmire proclaimed several times before explaining, “I believe that we’re in the problem we’re in in America today because there aren’t any men. There aren’t any men. There are a lot of males. There are a lot of guys who are born male. So you’re a male by birth, but you’re a man by choice.”
He said that there are “thousands and thousands of men who love the Lord but are sick of church” because Christianity has become “sissified.”
“They’re sick of the effeminized church,” he said. “They’re sick of going in there and singing sissified songs. They walk into the church, they understand something is terribly wrong in the culture and there is absolutely no relationship between what they hear in the church and what they see going on out there.”
“And the church makes fun of Donald Trump,” he said. “Where’s the Christian Donald Trump? Where’s that man that will stand forth like that and declare the truth that he’s declaring, that will take on political correctness? I’m not talking about Trump. Where are the men of God? Where have we been? And we, we, we’ve created Donald Trump. We have. Our sissified Christianity, men afraid to say anything, hiding behind their wives.”
“We are at a precipice like no other time where the very existence of western civilization is at stake,” Daubenmire continued. “I’m going to say that again. Western civilization’s at stake. The devil is running rampant trying to do everything he can to destroy Christianity. Have you noticed something? Have you noticed that all these Syrian refugees and all these Muslim refugees they’re sending over here, have you noticed that they’re sending them to what we would consider Christian countries?”
He then repeated his claim that white, Christian, heterosexual men are the only ones who can save America.
“If we can’t open our eyes and see that this is not about race, as much as they try to make it about race, it’s not about race,” he said, “it’s about culture, it’s about the Christian culture that the settlers of America and Europe and England, that those groups took the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. And the only thing standing between tyranny and liberty is a Christian, heterosexual man.”
“If we don’t wake up soon and very soon,” he said, “we’re going to reach a point of no return here in once-great Christian America. Donald Trump ain’t going to make America great again. No, no, no, no, he ain’t going to make America great. I pray that whoever gets in there, whether, whatever, if it’s Hillary, whoever it is, what I’m hoping is that it gets so stinking bad that Trump or Hillary makes the church great again, makes the church great again!”
We recorded the video of Daubenmire’s remarks off a livestream provided by the event’s host church, Word of Life Church in Wichita.
Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., appeared on “The Eric Metaxas Show” where he warned that “our kids are being brainwashed” in school.
Inhofe recounted a story where “my own granddaughter came home one day” and challenged him over his claims that climate change is a myth.
“I did some checking,” Inhofe said, “and, Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, they are brainwash —you have to un-brainwash them when they get out.”
Later in the program, Inhofe urged Republicans to rally behind Donald Trump’s presidential bid, pointing to the future of the Supreme Court. Metaxas said that “it’s kind of game over for republican democracy” if Hillary Clinton appoints liberal justices to the bench.
“How can we possibly remain America if you have six or seven Sotomayors on the court?” he asked.
Inhofe said that while the court is admirably delaying many of the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives, its direction would shift if Clinton were allowed to fill the current vacancy.
“Stop and think how significant it is if they make one change,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be all Sotomayors, it could just be one more change and we’re through.”
Last week, ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann declared that “Islam is incompatible with western civilization.”
“It hasn’t figured out how to behave in western civilization,” she told radio host Jan Markell, “because fundamentally what Islam wants is to be dominant and Islam is saying, ‘Islamic Sharia law will be the law of the land, not western civilization law.’ That’s really, fundamentally what this is about. Terror is just a means to get to the ultimate goal, forcing Islamic law on all of us. That means, Jan, you and I don’t have a choice, that means the European people don’t have a choice, they have to live in subjection to Islamic law. No thanks! It’s an ugly way to live, under Sharia law, nothing can be more oppressive and, in my opinion, it’s a doctrine of demons.”
She continued: “And here in the United States, it’s the same thing. Wherever we see this rise, we see more of terrorist acts, we see more demands for Sharia law.”
This supposed push for Sharia law, she claimed, was behind the successful “Brexit” vote and may spur other countries to leave the European Union.
However, Bachmann predicted that “some of these masters of the universe-types, like the George Soros billionaires of the world,” may “work to collapse the economy” in order to force Europeans to come back into “the European superstrate” and “give up” their freedoms.
Earlier today, Donald Trump addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, telling the veterans’ group that he would install a veterans’ hotline in the White House and vowing to “pick up the phone personally” if a hotline employee doesn’t properly handle a complaint.
There is reason to believe, however, that Trump might not exactly keep his word. Here are just five instances that reveal Trump’s troubling record on veterans’ issues:
1)Fake Veterans’ Hotline
Just one month after announcing his presidential run last year, Trump claimed that his campaign had “established a hotline (855-VETS-352)” for veterans “to share their stories about the need to reform our Veterans Administration.”
Back in September, Trump organized a fundraiser in San Diego for a group called Veterans for a Strong America, which in turn endorsed Trump.
It turns out, however, that Veterans for a Strong America is simply a one-man group and a total scam.
Rick Cohen of Non-Profit Quarterly writes, “Veterans for a Strong America was and is clearly yet another fake organization willing to use and abuse veterans for the personal or political ends of the man who created it.”
Upset that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was set to moderate a GOP primary debate in Iowa in January, Trump announced that he would skip the debate and instead hold a fundraiser for veterans. After the event, Trump boasted that he had raised $6 million for veterans’ causes.
However, months after Trump’s “fundraiser,” veterans’ charities reported that they were “seeing a fraction of the promised money raised.” The campaign later admitted that the event brought in well short of the $6 million figure that Trump had boasted about on the campaign trail, and reporters discovered that Trump himself never made the $1 million contribution that he pledged to personally underwrite.
Exactly how much did Trump raise for veterans? His campaign doesn’t know. How much of it has been allocated? His campaign doesn’t know that, either. Who were the beneficiaries of Trump’s $1 million contribution? The campaign doesn’t want to talk about it.
Only when he faced immense media pressure and scrutiny did Trump finally fulfill his pledge, months after his January fundraiser and despite the fact his campaign manager had insisted that he had already donated the money.
“If Hillary Clinton and her campaign had been caught making blatantly false claims about donations to veterans’ charities, is there any doubt that it would be one of the biggest stories of the election season?” Benen asked. “How much punditry would we hear about this being proof about Clinton’s dishonesty and willingness to say anything to get elected?”
Much as Trump denied making the remarks that he had clearly made about his veterans’ fundraiser, the candidate hasdenied ever mocking GOP Sen. John McCain for being a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
Trump, who made the comments at an Iowa “pro-family” event last summer, did in fact mock McCain for his service: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured — I like people that weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you.”
He has similarlydenied ever suggesting that U.S. troops in Iraq had stolen money meant for reconstruction projects — again, despite the fact that recordings of his remarks are publicly available.
5)Attacks On Disabled Veterans
While he fashions himself as a champion of veterans, Trump has spent years, since as far back as the 1990s, urging government officials to crack down on disabled veteran vendors on Fifth Avenue, home of the Trump Tower. In 2004, Trump called such vending “deplorable.”
“He’s done more damage to the disabled veterans in this city than any other man,” one of the veterans said of Trump.
After several lines of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week were found to have been plagiarized from a speech that Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic convention, some of the Trump campaign’s defenders went to absurd lengths to defend or deny the plagiarism.
Among them was Rachel Campos-Duffy, a spokeswoman for the Koch-funded conservative Latino group Libre Initiative and an RNC speaker, who told the Catholic TV news network EWTN on Thursday that if anyone had plagiarized it was Michelle Obama, because she lifted her 2008 speech from “the opportunity message that has been the platform of the Republican Party.”
In an interview inside the convention hall, EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo asked Campos-Duffy and her husband, Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, about the plagiarism incident.
Sean Duffy responded that it was all the fault of the media, which wanted “to create a controversy out of nothing,” but Campos-Duffy quickly cut in.
“But I’m not sure, I mean, I’m not sure that she plagiarized,” she said. “I mean, when I saw the two speeches together, I thought, wow, Michelle Obama has really plagiarized the opportunity message that has been the platform of the Republican Party.”
When Arroyo pointed out that “they used the same line at some point,” Campos-Duffy responded that it was “pretty generic stuff” and that the media was simply trying to distract from the fact that Melania Trump “looked spectacular.”
Sean Duffy then alleged that Trump has to avoid every “misstep” because the media is being especially critical of him: “But it goes to the point that Donald Trump has to be better. You can’t open yourself up for these kind of attacks because the media will take them, they’ll run with them, and they’ll run over your story and your message. So be better.”
In an interview with TMZ on the day of Melania Trump’s speech, Sean Duffy attempted to deny that there had been any plagiarism at all, saying, “These are common phrases about family and support of family and ideas about our country, so I don’t think they were so unique a phrase that only a Democrat says it, only a Republican, it’s a lot of common themes that a lot of us share.”
Last month, David Barton delivered a presentation at Calvary Chapel in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he falsely claimed that the Founding Fathers denounced slavery in the Declaration of Independence.
"Great Britain would not allow us to end slavery," Barton said. "A number of the states passed anti-slavery laws and King George III struck them all down, said, 'No, no, no, you're part of the British Empire, as long as you're part of the British Empire you're going to have slavery,' which is why a number of Founding Fathers got involved because they did not want slavery. That's why the Declaration of Independence had two clauses condemning slavery as a reason we were leaving Great Britain. Now, we always hear about taxation without representation, that's one clause, but twice as often in there you'll hear about slavery being an issue. We don't cover that."
Of course, anyone can read the Declaration and discover for themselves that "the final document makes no mention of slavery or African Americans."
What Barton conveniently failed to mention was that while the original draft did contain a passage on slavery, it was removed from the final version, as the Heritage Foundation explains:
Jefferson's draft constitution for the state of Virginia forbade the importation of slaves, and his draft of the Declaration of Independence — written at a time when he himself had inherited about 200 slaves — included a paragraph condemning the British king for introducing slavery into the colonies and continuing the slave trade:
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of a CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.
These words were especially offensive to delegates from Georgia and South Carolina, who were unwilling to acknowledge that slavery went so far as to violate the "most sacred rights of life and liberty." So, like some of Jefferson's more expressive phrases attacking the king, these lines were dropped in the editing process.
Earlier this month, we posted a clip of Rick Joyner praising Donald Trump for pledging to repeal the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the tax code that has long restricted the ability of nonprofit organizations, including churches, to engage in explicitly political activities and endorse or oppose candidates for office.
Joyner claimed that the provision was inserted into the tax code by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson specifically to "muzzle the church" because he was angry that Christian leaders had criticized him during his run for office. As we pointed out last time, this is entirely untrue:
That alternate version of history must come as a surprise to groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, which launched its "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" initiative back in 2008 to challenge the Johnson Amendment on the grounds that it was never intended to apply to churches.
As the ADF explained in this video it made back in 2012, Johnson was upset that two wealthy businessmen had used nonprofit organizations they had created to attack him when he ran for re-election in 1954 on the grounds that he was too soft on communism. In response, Johnson inserted an amendment into a bill overhauling the tax code that restricted the ability of nonprofit organizations to engage in overtly political activities.
According to the ADF, and contrary to Joyner's claim, "Johnson never had churches in mind" when he added this amendment.
But just because this claim is false, that's obviously not going to stop Joyner from repeating it, which he did on yesterday's "Prophetic Perspectives on Current Events" program.
Johnson inserted this provision "specifically to muzzle churches, muzzle Christian leaders because he had personally been attacked by them so much in his campaigns," Joyner falsely claimed. "He came up with this scheme and he was very open about it."
“The Democrats have a laser focus,” Black said. “Everybody they put on that [Supreme] Court is a wicked SOB and they never change. They could care less what the law says. They’re there as politicians and they’re there to do the bidding of their party. And so anybody who thinks that we can count on having fair elections in four years and redoing things, that’s a pipe dream, it’s not going to happen because Hillary Clinton is going to keep the borders open, we’re undergoing this immense immigration, which really amounts to ethnic cleansing. That’s what they’re trying to do.
“They’re trying to shatter the cohesion of the American people, not only in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of religion,” he continued. “They’re bringing in people from the Middle East, zero, zero Christians. They will not allow Christians to come in. All of them have to be Muslim. What they’re trying to do is just shatter any cohesion so that nobody can organize against them.”
If Republicans lose this election, Black said, “our children, our grandchildren, they may never face another free and fair election in the United States after this, if Hillary wins.”
After repeatedly claiming that pastors are forbidden by law to speak about politics, Donald Trump had a pastor in the audience of his Roanoke, Virginia, rally today close out the event in prayer. The pastor, who did not give his name, called on God to help Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, to fight the spiritual forces of Satan and save freedom in America:
Lord, we thank you so much for what these men represent in this country. We thank you that your hand is upon them and they are called up and raised up for this time. We are asking right now that they will be able to stand firm against the viles [sic] of the enemy, against Satan; we live in a supernatural world. Look at this ball we’re on. We’re held down by gravity. Two inches closer to the sun, we’d all burn, two inches further away, we’d all freeze. So we just ask right now, God, that we’ll humble ourselves and realize that we are created and we need your help and your support to make them the vessels that they need to be to stand up for freedom, the freedom that you authored in our Constitution.
Trump then promised to appoint Supreme Court justices from his recently released list of conservative jurists, warning that “if you put the wrong people” on the court, “you’re back to Venezuela.”
Flip Benham, the former head of the anti-abortion, anti-gay protest group Operation Save America who is now enjoying a renaissance as the father of right-wing culture-war heroes David and Jason Benham, made a surprise appearance at OSA’s “Summer of Justice” in Wichita last week, where he spoke at a rally for participants on Saturday night.
Benham recalled that he had been arrested in front of the White House just days before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which he said was a prophetic warning about the punishment that God was about to mete out on America for legal abortion.
On the day of the Sept. 11 attacks, Benham issued a statement directly linking the attacks to legal abortion:
The horrific attack on America this morning was no coincidence. Reminiscent of accounts in the Old Testament when God used prophets to warn nations of their wicked ways, America has been given its own warning over the shedding of innocent blood. The most recent national rebuke was this past weekend when a prophetic word was spoken to the White House and President George W. Bush on Saturday, September 8, 2001.
Rev. Flip Benham and 18 other pro-life pastors and leaders from across the nation gathered in the nation's capital to bring a prophetic warning that if we continue to sow bloodshed in the womb, we will reap it in ever increasing horror in our streets.
The astounding events of this morning are just another sign of the judgment of God upon our nation. We have turned our backs on God and we are now reaping the horrible consequences of our error. The President of the United States of America asked this morning for a "moment silence" to remember those in harm's way. There was not one mention of crying out to the only One who can save us, Jesus Christ!"
Benham returned to the theme in his speech last week, recalling his arrest in front of the White House in September, 2001, along with fellow anti-abortion activist Cal Zastrow. As police arrested them after a number of warnings, Benham said, an OSA protester read officers a passage from Deuteronomy in which God threatens to heap calamities upon those who defy Him.
“Do you know how many of us were arrested?” Benham asked. “How many? Nineteen. Nineteen of us. We come home on Sunday the 9th … and we get back home, and then on Tuesday, what happened? Nineteen men with box cutters tore us apart, crashed into the World Trade Center, both buildings, slammed into the Pentagon. God had given a warning! God had given a warning. Was there anybody that listened? But God was making himself known.”
A major theme at last week’s “Summer of Justice,” an event that Operation Save America convened in Wichita to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the anti-abortion Summer of Mercy, was the idea that laws that violate a particular reading of the Bible are not real laws and therefore should be ignored by elected officials.
As such, organizers convened an “ecclesiastical court” in front of Wichita’s federal courthouse on Thursday to hold the federal courts and the Supreme Court in “contempt” of God’s law, as determined by them. Eight OSA members, holding coffin-shaped signs with the names of Supreme Court cases on church-state separation, reproductive rights and LGBT equality, took turns coming to the microphone to read “charges” against the federal courts. The proceedings followed a script that the group used at a similar “ecclesiastical court” in Alabama last year.
The “charge” based on Roe v. Wade held that “America has committed domestic terrorism in the womb, and we are reaping terrorism in our streets.” The charge based on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the central finding of Roe, linked the case to the 1999 Columbine school shooting, saying that the court “declared that man can determine his own reality, standards and meanings apart from the objective truth of Almighty God,” as the Columbine shooters did.
On Lawrence v. Texas, the case striking down bans on consensual sex between adults of the same sex: “Homosexuality means the burning out of man. It will destroy those who practice this perversion and nations that condone it.”
OSA leader Rusty Thomas closed the proceedings by declaring that “the Supreme Court of the United States of America has sinned against God” in issuing decisions protecting reproductive rights and LGBT rights (or, as he put it, “sodomy”) and accusing the court of “high treason against God and our nation.”
“Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has betrayed our God, our nation, our people, our children, and has invited the wrath of Almighty God to come upon us — all of us,” he said.
The Supreme Court, he said, has “forfeited all moral authority” and therefore “by the authority invested in us as ministers of the gospel of the kingdom,” OSA would render these objectionable rulings null and void.
He led the crowd in declaring: “We cancel these wicked decisions. We render them null and void. We prohibit their enforcement upon America and its citizens. We declare with one voice that these wicked decrees are no longer binding upon us, our children or our nation.”
“You’re literally acting today like a Moses to Pharaoh” by “telling our government what you are doing is not lawful in the eyes of God,” Thomas said.
Last Saturday, Michele Bachmann appeared on “Understanding the Times with Jan Markell,” where she declared that Hillary Clinton “has innocent blood on her hands” because of her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack.
“She’s a dangerous woman with bad ideas,” she said.
Bachmann also took issue with the release of another congressional report clearing Clinton of wrongdoing in the incident, blaming the media for not getting tough on the presumptive Democratic nominee: “It’s sick. The media is treasonous in this country. They are part of the treasonous process. I’m sick of the media, like I’m sure most of your audience is. They’re lying, they’re dishonest. Trump’s exactly right about that.”
The former Minnesota congresswoman said that Clinton is trying to “keep Christians at home” on Election Day, arguing that past GOP presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain only lost because they weren’t true conservatives who failed to inspire a large Christian turnout. (Bachmann’s sixth-place finish in the 2012 Iowa caucus seems to undermine her theory that only far-right candidates can win major elections).
Bachmann said that Clinton is “the most godless woman” in politics who “should’ve been doing time,” before lamenting that America is under God’s judgment.
On Thursday’s episode of “Crosstalk,” Pastor David Brown and host Jim Schneider discussed the “demonic” Pokémon Go app and the original “pantheistic”-promoting Pokémon cards and game, beseeching parents to make sure that their children don’t have the app on their phones.
Brown declared that people who have downloaded the app are following a “satanic worldview” and ignoring Pokémon Go’s “deadly” and “demonic” ramifications.
He said that the original card game gives off a supernatural, demonic energy that promotes “pantheistic power for the occult.”
“Pikachu is a number one that is an energy one and is promoting pantheistic power as it evolves, but another one of the cards, there was a card called Abra and a card called Cadabra, and that has always been associated with the occult,” Brown said.
Brown elaborated, “The Abra card read in Pokémon and reads, ‘Using its abilities to read minds, it will identify impending danger and teleport you to safety. And then the symbols are his pentagrams in foreheads and there’s the ‘SSS’ and there’s a problem with that, Jim.”
Schneider encouraged parents to delete the app from their children’s phones. Referencing a “research paper” Brown wrote, Schneider said that “each Pokémon has its own special fighting ability. Some grow or evolve into more powerful creatures. They say, ‘Carry your Pokémon with you and you’re ready for anything. You’ve got the power in your hands, so use it.’ To me, Pastor, it sounds more like it’s written by Satan himself in defiance of God.”
“Well, it is demonic, Jim, I’m telling people, warning parents that they should not be involved themselves and their children should not be involved,” Brown said.
On “Janet Mefferd Today” on July 14, right-wing pastor Jim Garlow suggested the government should stop assuming responsibility for providing “health and welfare” services so that churches can take over the social safety net and eliminate “freeloaders.”
“This is going to sound pretty radical to the ears of most listeners,” Garlow admitted. “We’re so out of tune with Scripture. For several hundred years, we’re, for the first part of the history of this country, we did a good job at the health and welfare of people because it was in the role of the church, and the church has the DNA to do that. The family’s the number one institution, number two and the church steps in, and then the community at large, and then finally the role of the government. That’s kind of a pecking order.”
Garlow stressed that “health and welfare is 51 percent of the national budget. The government wasn’t designed to do that. It does a terrible job because it can’t isolate out freeloaders, for example. Waste, corruption, fraud. Everybody knows about it, but it never gets corrected.” (The 51 percent figure he cites consists primarily of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.)
Garlow claimed that if the 100,000 “Bible-believing churches” in America “were the epicenter of the health and welfare for people, the freeloaders would be gone, so that would take an enormous load off, the taxation off of people from overregulation of government would be gone, so people would be giving more to their local church.”
“If we followed what ancient theocracy in Israel did, they had a tax, 10 percent every three years, for the poor,” Garlow said. “That’s three and a third percent every year. Let’s suppose that somehow that went to the local worship centers across America, it was administrated to the people by hundreds of volunteers from every church who could make a difference. People might say, ‘Well, that just can’t possibly work.’ Well, let me ask you, how is it working right now? Pretty terrible. Pathetic, quite frankly.”
Garlow acknowledged that “the theocracy of ancient Israel is not the same as the constitutional republic in America” but claimed “there are principles that can come across the centuries, that can come to a different form of government and make sense and would work if we would just allow government to be what it’s supposed to be, biblically and constitutionally, church, be what you’re supposed to be, we could step back up to the plate and do what we did so well. There’s plenty of evidence that the church, for a couple thousand years, did a phenomenal job at meeting the health and welfare needs.”
Right-wing political operative and pseudo-historian David Barton playeda keyrole in drafting the Republican platform ahead of the GOP convention earlier this month and has been bragging that the platform committee ended up producing "the most conservative platform in modern history."
Over the weekend, Barton spoke at Cottonwood Creek Church in Allen, Texas, where he stated that his main goal in helping to draft GOP platforms is to "make sure that I get as many biblical principles in as possible" and boasted that he has been historically successful at doing so.
The current platform is "the most biblically friendly platform we've had in my lifetime," Barton stated, and that is because he has been able to convince the platform committee to adopt just about every amendment that he has ever recommended.
"They tell me that I have set the record for platform writing," Barton crowed. "Four years ago when we wrote it, I made 140 amendments to the platform — staff writes it and then we edit it — and all but one of those amendments were accepted. This year there was something like 70-something amendments and every one of them was accepted, which tells me that we have a somewhat friendly audience because I kept inserting stuff about the Constitution, the Declaration, and God and the Bible and they keep voting it up."
Last week People For the American Way Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery was in Cleveland, Ohio, covering this year’s Republican National Convention for Right Wing Watch.
On Thursday, he joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! to discuss Donald Trump’s selection of Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, the Religious Right’s response to this choice, and Montgomery’s recent piece in Right Wing Watch entitled, “How Would Religious Right Respond to Pence as VP?” Montgomery told Goodman:
“I think he [Trump] probably chose Mike Pence because Mike Pence is close to both the Koch brothers’ political network and to the Religious Right. And those are two hugely important parts of the Republican infrastructure that have not been uniformly excited about Trump.”
While on the program, Montgomery also detailed some instances of hate speech and intolerance that he observed in Cleveland, including misogynistic rhetoric about Hillary Clinton, attacks on Black Lives Matter activists, and attacks on immigrants. “It’s really been a disturbing show,” Montgomery said.
Right-wing moviemaking has been a growthindustryinrecentyears, as conservative activists set out to challenge what they see as the damaging cultural impact of liberalism’s dominance in Hollywood. The latest example is “Torchbearer,” which director Steve Bannon called “a Christian war film” in remarks before a screening in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention last week.
“Torchbearer” stars Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty patriarch who became a folk hero in the right-wing war on “political correctness” when the show was temporarily suspended by A&E amid controversy over Robertson's inflammatory remarks about homosexuality and black people in the pre-civil-rights-movement Louisiana. The movie was shown to distributors in Cannes and will be released in theaters in August.
The hour-long film is a collaboration between well-known right-wing groups. Bannon is executive chairman of Breitbart News; the script was written by a Breitbart editor, Rebecca Mansour. It was produced by Citizens United, the organization whose movie attacking Hillary Clinton was used by conservatives on the Supreme Court to gut regulation of political money in Citizens United the court ruling. Religious Right political operative Ralph Reed attended the premiere, and at a reception following the screening, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., took the opportunity to slam Clinton and praise the work of Citizens United.
The idea for “Torchbearer” came from Robertson’s nephew Zach Dasher, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014. The plan began to gel during conversations at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, at which Robertson was honored with the Andrew Breitbart Award. The film includes a clip from Robertson’s CPAC speech warning about sexually transmitted diseases.
Dasher introduced other pre-movie speakers, calling Citizens United’s David Bossie “Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare” and celebrating that “Breitbart is waging war on liberalism in America.” Bossie said “Torchbearer” is the sixth collaboration between Citizens United and Bannon.
Dasher said he didn’t want to make a “typical cheesy Christian film.” Judging by that standard, you would have to say the movie succeeds. But it is hard to imagine anyone, even people who share Robertson’s evangelical faith and political beliefs, could enjoy the film very far beyond the opening sequences, which intersperse shots of Robertson calmly boating, fishing and hunting with sneering critics calling him bigoted and stupid, clearly meant to set up the narrator as a common-man hero despised by the cultural elites.
The film combines Robertson presenting an evangelical message of salvation through Jesus Christ with a theory about religion’s role in human history and society. Says Robertson, “When you take out God as the anchor of your civilization you open the door to tyranny and instead of human rights you have the will to power of the ruler who makes himself the sole determiner of what is true and just. Might makes right.”
More specifically, it is a warning to Americans that societies not grounded in reverence and fear for the Judeo-Christian God, and His teachings on right and wrong, inevitably descend into depravity and brutality.
Robertson says the Scopes trial on the teaching of evolution, during which H.L. Mencken mocked religious opponents of teaching evolution in schools, was “a watershed event that would slowly unravel the bond that wove the Creator into the very fabric of American life. God would be cast out of the public square, out of education, out of national discourse, out of the popular culture altogether.”
It is hard to describe how disturbing this movie is, on multiple levels.
Firstly, it visually and emotionally assaults the viewer by lingering on gruesome images of violence and death, using reenactments and animation as well as the most graphic historical footage from Auschwitz and more recent images of victims of ISIS and Boko Haram being beaten, shot and burned to death. I would call the movie’s infliction of trauma gratuitous, but it seems a very purposeful act meant to provoke and inflame and generate a rage to war.
Also jarring are the vast leaps through time and the excising of inconvenient truths that would undermine the moviemakers’ message, which seems to be that the history of the last 2015 years is a story of barbarity inflicted on Christians and others by those who have abandoned God or worship the wrong God or gods.
The movie’s timeline starts in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve inviting evil into the world with their disobedience of God. Then we’re in Athens to talk about Aristotle’s belief in a “first cause” and four centuries later the apostle Paul’s trip there; then to Rome for the execution of Peter and Paul, the emperor Nero’s brutal massacres of Christians, and the Roman empire’s continued persecution of Christians over their refusal to adhere to the “civic religion” (dog-whistle alert) of the time, which required treating the emperor as a god.
From there, we hop to the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, conveniently skipping over a millennium-plus of history that includes abundant butchery carried out by people and societies fervent in their religious beliefs, particularly European Christians in wars against heretics and each other and during the conquest of the Americas.
Then it’s a short hop to the American Revolution. Robertson contrasts the American founders’ reverence for God with the atheistic French Revolution and Robespierre’s bloody reign of terror. The movie does not address the American Civil War, in which God-fearing Christians on both sides engaged in bloody combat.
At the turn of the 20th century, Robertson says, “worship of science becomes the new religion.” The film includes a segment on the development of the atomic bomb, “the first weapon of mass destruction.” It features a clip of nuclear scientist Robert Oppenheimer reciting language from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Robertson responds, “So fallen man, unanchored by God, uses the power of creation to destroy. Mechanized war is upon us.”
It is not entirely clear how this segment fits the movie’s thesis that without the Judeo-Christian God as an anchor, there is no protection for human rights and human dignity. Are the filmmakers suggesting that Franklin Delano Roosevelt — whose public prayers for the D-Day invasion are cited admiringly in the film — was “unanchored by God” and was wrong to back development of the atomic bomb in fierce competition with Nazi scientists?
Speaking of Nazis, the movie devotes significant time to Auschwitz, where Robertson talks at length about the details of the horrific, systematized mass murder that took place there, which he blames in part on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s claim that God is dead.
To be sure, the Holocaust is a brutal historical reality that should continue to be examined and understood as a warning about the way evil can be fostered and carried out at a national level, something that has been on many people’s minds during this political season. But this movie’s use of the stories and images of the people murdered at Auschwitz feels shamefully exploitative, especially in light of the fact that the film contains not a word about the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. Acknowledging centuries of deadly violence against Jews by Christians and in the name of Christianity would, again, undermine or at least complicate the movie’s central claim, and so it is simply ignored.
The same could be said of the film’s use of the civil rights era in the United States. The movie shows footage of the brutality meted out against those who were peacefully protesting segregation, but portrays this as another example of what happens when societies have rejected God and the weak and powerless are vulnerable to the man “with the biggest stick.”
But the big-stick brutality of Jim Crow and the official violence that enforced it were not being waged by a people who had rejected God. They were carried out by people who declared themselves to be acting in His name. Robertson himself has said that black people were more “godly” and “happy” under Jim Crow.
The movie quotes Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail as an example of religious faith in the service of public righteousness. But it utterly neglects how much slavery and Jim Crow were also justified by religious arguments, and how intensely the civil rights movement was seen by many white Christian leaders in the south as an attack on their faith as well as their culture. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., whose son had a prominent speaking role at the RNC, preached that the Supreme Court justices who ruled against segregated schools were not heeding God’s word.
Moving to the present era, Robertson warns against poll-driven morality – a not-too-subtle reference to growing support for LGBT people – and says a “sentimental need to be nice to each other” is not enough to ward off barbarism. Warning that “sentimentalism falls prey to nihilism,” Robertson says of the Hippies, “what started out as free love and flowers in your hair ended up with the Manson murders.” The movie includes footage of abortion activists’ anti-Planned Parenthood “sting” videos as well as American pop stars in sensual performances. “We are crotch-driven animals following our instincts,” he complains. “The sexual experience is now the high summit of our happiness.”
As the movie nears an end, viewers are subjected to graphic images of brutality and genocide being carried out by ISIS and affiliated terrorist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria; Robertson reads from the biblical Book of Revelation.
And then there’s an abrupt shift back into the bayou made famous by Robertson and his family. Robertson wades into the water, where one at a time, people walk out to join him and be baptized. It is strikingly peaceful end to a “war movie.” Even if one is not tempted to join the line of people being baptized by Robertson, the idea of a soothing dip is very appealing after being subjected to “Torchbearer.”