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‘Right to Discriminate’ Bills, Meet Hobby Lobby

Last month, as Arizona governor Jan Brewer deliberated whether to sign or veto a law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, the public outcry was immense. Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain shared their opposition via Twitter. Companies including American Airlines, Apple, and AT&T urged a veto. Multiple state senators who had voted for SB 1062 asked Gov. Brewer to veto it. When she did, advocacy groups praised the decision and many in Arizona and across the country breathed a well-deserved sigh of relief.

But it turns out that sigh may have been premature.

This morning the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a case that, on its face, appears to be dealing with a different issue – women’s access to contraception – but in fact grapples with some of the same core issues in play with “right to discriminate” bills like Arizona’s. In the Hobby Lobby case, as in its companion case Conestoga Wood Specialities v. Sebelius, corporations are trying to avoid complying with the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act. But both the Supreme Court cases and the “right to discriminate” bills address the question of whether for-profit corporations have religious rights and can use those “rights” in a way that brings harm to others. 

Comparing the vetoed Arizona bill to efforts to let companies deny covering contraception, National Women’s Law Center vice president Emily Martin put it like this: “What you’re seeing in both cases are corporations asserting the right to break the law in the name of religion, even if it results in harm and discrimination for third parties.” And The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin noted,

Indeed, a victory for Hobby Lobby might bring in an Arizona-style rule through the back door….The Arizona law and the Hobby Lobby case represent two sides of the same coin. Both assert that the invocation of a religious belief allows a company to opt out of a government requirement that applies to everyone else.

But corporations have never had religious rights, and as affiliate PFAW Foundation senior fellow Jamie Raskin wrote in a recent report, that concept is simply “absurd.”

[I]t is time for the Court to restore some reality to the conversation.  Business corporations do not belong to religions and they do not worship God.  We do not protect anyone’s religious free exercise rights by denying millions of women workers access to contraception.

PFAW

A Commendably Speedy Process for a Vermont Judicial Recommendation

Patrick Leahy has shown the country what an exemplary process for identifying potential district court judges looks like.
PFAW

Steve King Criticizes Scholarships For Latino Students

After a caller on Saturday’s edition of Eagle Forum Live complained that “the Hispanics — I don’t know how they’re doing it — but they’re going to school for free,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) lamented that schools offer scholarships to Latino students.

Host Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum, also tied discredited birther conspiracies to the conversation: “I wonder if that’s the way Obama got through Columbia and Harvard? He’s never released his records so we don’t know. Maybe as a foreigner he got through free, we don’t know. Why doesn’t he tell us the truth?”

“I do know that there are programs within some of these universities there are diversity programs where they provide scholarships for, among others and in a high degree, Hispanic scholarships that is giving a free ride for—and I don’t know about the legality of these students, you can’t get that found out,” King said.

“But that’s pretty tough when you pay your student loans, you’re competing for a job, you haven’t spent a lot of money paying tuition to learn another language because you want to live and work in America where we have always focused on English as our national language if not our official language yet; there’s just a huge inequality there.”

AZ Attorney General Tom Horne & Former Rep. JD Hayworth Joke About Restoring Voting Rights to Ex-Offenders

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, along with his ally Kris Kobach , secretary of state of Kansas, won a big voter suppression victory last week when a federal court ruled that the two states can require their residents to present extra documentation of citizenship to vote in federal elections.

In an interview late last week, Horne and former Arizona congressman J.D. Hayworth (now a NewsMax host) delved into another voter suppression topic: the long-term or permanent disenfranchisement of people who have served time for felonies.

And they found it hilarious:

The two got on the topic when Hayworth’s fellow Newsmax host asked Horne about a recent case in Iowa in which a jury acquitted a woman with a prior felony drug conviction didn’t know she had lost her right to vote.

Horne joked that if voting rights are restored to ex-offenders, “I can just picture politicians appealing to the convicted felons’ vote by saying that they’ll legalize bank robbery or whatever.”

Hayworth agreed: “The politician in me suddenly thinks that in a felon-eligible society, no one can run for attorney general and say, ‘I’m tough on crime,’ because that would be counter-productive with the felon vote.”

Arizona is one of ten states that permanently bars at least some people with felony convictions from voting. Because of harsh penalties for drug crimes and racial sentencing disparities , such laws disproportionately affect African Americans; the Sentencing Project estimates that such laws have made 1 of every 13 African Americans ineligible to vote.

A growing bipartisan movement – including President Obama, Sen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell – has sought to restore voting rights to people who have served their time for felony convictions.

 

 

Two Russian Officials On Sanctions List Closely Involved In Upcoming World Congress Of Families Summit

Two Russian officials whose places in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle have made them subject to US economic sanctions are also intimately involved in the upcoming World Congress of Families summit at the Kremlin, organized by the Illinois-based World Congress of Families and supported by a number of prominent US Religious Right groups.

It’s hardly a coincidence that two major backers of the summit would end up on the sanctions list. As we have reported, Putin and his allies have leaned on social conservative causes, especially opposition to gay rights, to solidify support at home and provoke anti-EU hostility in Ukraine. It’s not surprising that the World Congress of Families summit, which brings together anti-gay and anti-choice groups from around the world, has proved a popular cause among some of the Russian president’s greatest allies.

Yelena Mizulina, a member of parliament who was the force behind Russia’s infamous “gay propaganda” ban, was among the seven Russian officials on whom the White House imposed economic sanctions last Monday. Mizulina has worked closely with the organizers of the upcoming World Congress of Families summit: She joined an organizing meeting for the event in October and is scheduled to lead a panel discussion on “pro-family legislation” at the conference.

Mizulina has made no secret of the fact that her focus on opposing gay rights is closely intertwined with her interest in distancing Russia from the United States and the European Union. At an event in Moscow in June, which was also attended by the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, Mizulina framed Russia’s crackdown on gay rights as a battle between Russia’s protection of “traditional family identity” and a decadent Europe that has embraced “sexual minorities”:

[T]oday the whole world is looking at Russia with hope that Russia will hold fast and not give in to this unusual pressure from European governments and will conserve its own traditional family identity. It’s perfectly clear that Europe today, faced by the collision of two very serious values—the right of children to a family and the right of sexual minorities to a family—is making its choice in favor of sexual minorities.

A few days after the White House announced its sanctions on Mizulina, it imposed sanctions on a number of other Russian officials, including Vladimir Yakunin, a close ally of Putin who is also a major funder of the World Congress of Families summit.

At a recent press conference promoting the upcoming gathering, World Congress of Families director Larry Jacobs went out of his way to thank a list of the event’s major sponsors, including two groups connected to Yakunin: the Saint Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which is headed by Yakunin, and the Sanctity of Motherhood program, which is run by Yakunin’s wife Natalia Yakunina. Both Yakunin and Yakunina are on the “Russian organizing committee” for the WCF summit, and brochure for the event features the two alongside Putin as staples of the “pro-life and pro-family movement in Russia."

As Wayne Besen pointed out shortly before the sanctions were imposed, Yakunin is “one of Russia’s most outspoken America-bashers.”

So far, just one American group, Concerned Women For America, has dropped out of the summit in response to Russia’s siezure of Crimea. (Although it’s unclear of CWA senior fellow Janice Shaw Crouse, who is also a member of the board of the World Congress of Families, will remain involved.) We wonder if the presence of two of the event’s organizers on the sanctions list will cause any other American groups involved in the event – including Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Christian Broadcasting Network – to drop their support as well.

CWA: Youth Support For Gay Rights Shows Their 'Ignorance'

Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America knows the real reason why young voters are more likely to favor marriage equality and vote for Democratic candidates like President Obama, and it’s apparently because they’re just not smart enough to know better.

Crouse writes today in the Christian Post that young adults are “without a solid foundation” and “fall prey to the fads and changing winds of cultural trends,” transforming American youth into “a reliably leftist demographic.”

“They are also one of the best-educated generations in American history – a finding that many consider highly questionable, given their appalling ignorance both of history and contemporary events,” Crouse writes, lamenting that “this rootless generation, with little grounding in historical knowledge or moral commitments, is ripe for the demagoguery of community organizers and activists pushing special agendas.”

She adds that young voters don’t realize that gay rights are harmful to freedom, arguing that marriage equality laws “censure those whose religious beliefs condemn this unfortunate change in the definition of marriage. Marijuana legalization, the same. Life without boundaries for them, but not for the rest of us.”

According to exit polling data, in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, Millennials (young adults 18 to 33) were a reliably leftist demographic, both in their voting and their views. Now, it appears that – even though they remain decidedly liberal on political and social issues – this influential group of Americans is up for grabs in the 2014 and 2016 elections. That is to say that no specific politician or ideology can count on their support.



One of the troubling findings in the survey is that “about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion.” Coupled with their lack of political affiliation, this rootless generation, with little grounding in historical knowledge or moral commitments, is ripe for the demagoguery of community organizers and activists pushing special agendas. For example, Millennials see no inconsistency in adamantly advocating their own freedom to express their position and, at the same time, pushing for activist government policies to promote same-sex marriage and censure those whose religious beliefs condemn this unfortunate change in the definition of marriage. Marijuana legalization, the same. Life without boundaries for them, but not for the rest of us.

… Without a solid foundation – a worldview of their own – Millennials fall prey to the fads and changing winds of cultural trends. Only one-quarter (26%) of Millennials are married (in contrast to other generations when at their age – Gen X 36%, Baby Boomers 48%, Silent Generation 65%). Obviously, the lack of marriage does not mean a lack of sexual activity; cohabitation and random hook-ups are substitutes for marriage, with predictably bad measurable outcomes for both men and women.

In spite of their support for big government, liberal social views, lack of patriotism, general optimism, and personal support for President Obama (though that is declining), Millennials, like the three generations preceding them, disapprove of single parenting and believe that it is bad for society.

Pew explains some of the Millennial views by their racial diversity: “About four-in-ten members of the millennial generation are non-white – a much larger percentage than in older age groups.” They are also one of the best-educated generations in American history – a finding that many consider highly questionable, given their appalling ignorance both of history and contemporary events.

CBN Denounces Putin's Suppression Of Religious Freedom But Joins Anti-Gay Kremlin Summit

A top official with Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network is helping the far-right World Congress of Families (WCF) organize a summit with other anti-gay activists at the Kremlin in September, which the WCF is framing as a show of support for Vladimir Putin’s government and his recent crackdown on gay rights.

Justin Murff, the Grants & Foundations Manager for CBN International, is slated to speak at the first day of the pro-Putin gathering alongside Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family and Allan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom, and is on a panel the second day with Focus on the Family official Tom Minnery.

Other panels at the Kremlin conference include “Ex-Gay Movement,” “Case Studies from the Marriage Fight,” “Dangers of Sex Education” and “Roots of Sexual Revolution.” While many American Religious Right pastors, leaders and activists have become cheerleaders for Putin’s authoritarian government, CBN’s involvement in the Kremlin gathering is somewhat surprising because today the 700 Club aired a report from CBN correspondent Paul Strand about how Putin is rolling back the freedom of religion, particularly trampling on the rights of evangelicals and other Christians who aren’t members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 2011, CBN reporter George Thomas similarly reported that Baptists and Pentecostals are facing growing threats under Putin’s leadership.

CBN’s involvement in the WCF summit highlights the fact that other Religious Right groups are looking the other way and deliberately ignoring the threats to religious freedom in Russia in order to salute the country’s anti-gay policies.

Birther Justice: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Sides With Anti-Obama Birther Activists

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is best known over his fight to put a Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse rotunda, sided last week with birther activists who, according to The Huntsville Times, “wanted Alabama's Secretary of State to certify the birth certificate of each presidential candidate before allowing their names to appear on the general election ballot.”

Former congressman and Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode filed the lawsuit along with an Alabama resident Hugh McInnish, a conservative blogger and Republican party official. As we noted last year, the pair tapped birther leader Larry Klayman as their lawyer and predicted that Moore would aid their cause.

In his dissenting opinion, Moore wrote:

The Secretary of State has a duty under state law to examine the qualifications of national-convention nominees who ran in the presidential primary before placing their names on the general-election ballot. The jurisdiction-stripping statute forbids inquiry into the eligibility of presidential candidates once an election has occurred, but it does not preclude such an inquiry before the election.



The plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus from the circuit court ordering the Secretary of State to require from each presidential candidate a verified birth certificate. Presentation of a birth certificate is indeed a common means of determining age and citizenship. Although I would not prescribe the manner in which the Secretary of State is to verify eligibility of presidential candidates, I believe she has a duty as the chief presidential candidates, I believe she has a duty as the chief elections official of Alabama official of Alabama to implement the natural-born-citizen requirement of Article II, § 4, of the United States Constitution.



This matter is of great constitutional significance in regard to the highest office in our land. Should he who was elected to the presidency be determined to be ineligible, the remedy of impeachment is available through the United States Congress, and the plaintiffs in this case, McInnish and Goode, can pursue this remedy through their representatives in Congress.

Justice Tom Parker, whose biography touts his work with James Dobson and Pat Robertson, issued his own dissent in which he insisted that the secretary of state should have specifically investigated President Obama’s eligibility:

I write separately, however, to clarify that I do not believe that the Secretary of State has an affirmative duty to investigate, on his or her own volition, all the qualifications of every proposed candidate, but that the Secretary of State's duty to investigate a potential candidate's qualifications arises once the Secretary of State has received notice that a potential candidate may lack the necessary qualifications to be placed on an Alabama election ballot. For the following reasons, I believe that, in the present case, the Secretary of State received notice sufficient to raise a duty to investigate the qualifications of President Barack Hussein Obama before including him as a candidate on Alabama's election ballot.



As I noted in my unpublished special concurrence to this Court's order striking McInnish's petition for a writ of mandamus: "McInnish attached certain documentation to his mandamus petition, which, if presented to the appropriate forum as part of a proper evidentiary presentation, would raise serious questions about the authenticity of both the 'short form' and the 'long form' birth certificates of President Obama that have been made public."

On March 6, 2012, the Secretary of State was served with McInnish's petition for a writ of mandamus, including the attached documentation raising questions about President Obama's qualifications. That documentation served by McInnish on the Secretary of State was sufficient to put the Secretary of State on notice and raise a duty to investigate the qualifications of President Obama before including him as a candidate on an Alabama election ballot.

In his WorldNetDaily column yesterday, Klayman praised Moore and said that he won’t end his campaign to “remove this anti-American, pro-Muslim and anti-Judeo Christian president” until “the imposter in the White House” is “told to get up off his knees and come out with his hands up.”

To challenge a black president’s qualifications is to be branded a racist. Obama and his minions know this well and have milked his race at every turn to guilt white America, including its judges, into acquiescing to his continued destructive leadership bent on turning the country into not only a socialist pro-Muslim state, but one which is second rate in the world. And, to this end, Obama has succeeded. Today, our economy remains in shambles and Putin’s Russia is now the real superpower, having just seized a chunk of Ukraine – with more Hitleresque conquests on the horizon. As America’s power shrinks under Obama, Putin is bent on reconstituting the former communist empire of the Soviet Union. Thus, the stakes to remove this anti-American, pro-Muslim and anti-Judeo Christian president continue to rise.



Last Friday, one of the few great judges in this land, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court – the jurist who was first impeached for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and then overwhelmingly elected by the people of the state to be their chief justice – had the courage to write a compelling dissenting opinion validating our challenge to Obama’s eligibility to be president. While seven of his nine fellow justices took the easy way out perhaps to show that Alabama is no longer the state once governed by George Wallace and rejected my ballot challenge, Chief Justice Moore without political correctness and without the disingenuous and cowardly sensitivity to Obama’s race, told it like it is. He ruled that Alabama did have a legal duty to verify that candidates for the presidency are eligible to serve as natural born citizens if elected



We cannot quit. The imposter in the White House must be held accountable, and he should indeed be told to get up off his knees and come out with his hands up.

Rubio's Delay Increases Urgency of Florida Judicial Nominations

Early this year, President Obama nominated Judge Beth Bloom, Judge Darrin P. Gayles, Judge Carlos Eduardo Mendoza, and Paul G. Byron to the Southern and Middle District Courts of Florida. Of the four vacancies in the Southern District, three have been declared judicial emergencies. The situation in Florida is so dire that even if every vacancy were to be filled tomorrow, it would not be enough to take care of the courts’ growing workloads. In fact, the Judicial Conference has requested a number of new judgeships for the state, including:

• 5 new judgeships for the Middle District, plus a temporary judgeship; and
• 3 new judgeships for the Southern District, plus the conversion of a temporary judgeship to a permanent position.

It is imperative that these nominations be confirmed swiftly; the Senate’s delays in confirming nominees translate to delays for Floridians waiting for their day in court.

Sen. Marco Rubio stated on NPR last month that he did “not anticipate having any objection to moving forward on any of [President Obama’s] nominees” for the district courts in Florida. In fact, the nominees were recommended by Sen. Rubio, along with Sen. Bill Nelson, based upon the recommendations of a bipartisan committee the two senators put together. Yet to date Sen. Rubio –unlike Sen. Nelson—has not signed the “blue slips” the Senate Judiciary Committee customarily requires before nominees are given a committee hearing. This is cause for some concern in light of Sen. Rubio’s refusal last year to sign off on other Florida nominees to seats that he himself had recommended.

Rubio’s slow-walking of his “blue slips” comes in the context of the GOP obstruction that has needlessly delayed the confirmation of most Obama nominees. After committee approval, President Obama’s district court nominees have been forced to wait an average of three times longer for a confirmation vote than President George W. Bush’s at this point in his presidency. Obama’s circuit court nominees are forced to wait nearly two months longer than Bush’s. This slowing down of the process seems completely gratuitous and politically motivated since the overwhelming majority of Obama’s judicial nominees have been confirmed unanimously or near-unanimously.

The current nominees are also important because they represent much-needed diversity in the federal courts. Gayles, for example, would be the first openly gay African-American man on the federal bench. However, with Rubio’s history of unfavorable treatment of previous nominees he has recommended, there is little expectation that he will help move this nomination process forward any faster. Gayles is up for the same seat to which William Thomas, also an openly gay African American man, was nominated in November 2012, a nomination that Rubio sabotaged.

Some were expecting these four Florida nominees (who were nominated in early February) to have their committee hearings this week, but because Rubio has not submitted his blue slips, that will not happen.

We join advocacy groups in Florida in urging Rubio to help get the state’s nominees confirmed as soon as possible.
 

PFAW

Pat Robertson Wonders If Viewer's Atheist Coworker Was Raped, Demon-Possessed

When a 700 Club viewer asked host Pat Robertson today if she should give up proselytizing to her atheist coworker and “let her perish,” Robertson speculated that the colleague might be possessed by demons or a survivor of rape.

“I don’t know if you’re dealing with something that is demonic or something that is deeply ingrained,” Robertson said. “It’s something beyond normal human experience, something has happened and she associates God — maybe she had an abusive father, somebody who raped her and then acted like he was preaching to her from the Bible, you just never know what is going on in somebody’s childhood.”

Robertson advised the viewer to “be understanding, be loving and don’t try to push anything on her, pray for her.”

Watch:

Pamela Geller Distorts Internet Decision To Warn Of Sharia Law

The Obama administration recently snubbed calls to hand over oversight of the Internet to the United Nations-led International Telecommunication Union by instead relinquishing control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit founded by the US Department of Commerce.

Immediately, right-wing activists misrepresented the decision to claim just the opposite, warning that the move will actually give the UN control of the Internet.

Today in WorldNetDaily, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller falsely claims that President Obama gave control of the Internet to the UN and suggests that the move will lead to Islamic censorship laws and maybe even the outlawing of her website.

Global governance of the Internet. “Global governance?” As in the U.N.? And who and what drives the U.N.? The largest voting bloc at the U.N. is what drives its policies, and that is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC. The historian Bat Ye’or describes the OIC this way: “The OIC is one of the largest intergovernmental organizations in the world. It encompasses 56 Muslim states plus the Palestinian Authority. Spread over four continents, it claims to speak in the name of the ummah (the universal Muslim community), which numbers about 1.3 billion. The OIC’s mission is to unite all Muslims worldwide by rooting them in the Koran and the Sunnah – the core of traditional Islamic civilization and values. It aims at strengthening solidarity and cooperation among all its members, in order to protect the interests of Muslims everywhere and to galvanize the ummah into a unified body.”

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation will undoubtedly demand the suppression of websites that “insult Islam” or “encourage hatred,” and they won’t be referring to jihad forums that foment violence and incite to slaughter. The WSJ explains: “According to the administration’s announcement, the Commerce Department will not renew its agreement with Icann, which dates to 1998. This means, effective next year, the U.S. will no longer oversee the ‘root zone file,’ which contains all names and addresses for websites world-wide. If authoritarian regimes in Russia, China and elsewhere get their way, domains could be banned and new ones not approved for meddlesome groups such as Ukrainian-independence organizations or Tibetan human-rights activists.”

Readers of my website, PamelaGeller.com, are well aware of the goals of the OIC. It has already gotten passed a proposal in the U.N., backed by Muslim nations, urging the passage of laws around the world protecting religion from criticism. Islam is the only religion specifically named as deserving protection.

Websites like mine are the ones that dare speak of the truth of Islam and report on the jihad and the terrible human rights abuses, the persecution of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., the oppression of women and children, the murder of nonbelievers, the brutal imposition of Shariah law, Islamic supremacism, academic jihad, social jihad, cultural jihad, Shariah finance, stealth jihad and the galloping global jihad. The corrupt media are already subdued and self-censor. The net is all there is.

Back in 2009, Obama threatened such anti-freedom action; I wrote about it at the time. He backed off after the American people and the Congress protested.

Where are the American people now?

Scott Lively: The Mark Of The Beast Now Looks Like A Chick-Fil-A Sandwich

Of all the right-wing reactions to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s quiet step back from the marriage equality debate, Scott Lively’s might just take the cake.

In a post on Matt Barber’s BarbWire today, Lively writes that although Cathy has not yet taken the “Mark of the Beast,” his decision to back out of the gay marriage debate “suggests he might be willing to take it if faced with that choice.”

“I am convinced that God is using the homosexual issue as a test of believers all over the world,” Lively continues. “What would it profit Mr. Cathy to gain the whole world (or a few more restaurants on college campuses), if his compromise of Biblical truth today makes him less able to resist the real Mark of the Beast tomorrow?”

“In my mind’s eye I used to see the Mark of the Beast as a black dot on the back of the hand,” he concludes. “Now it looks more like a Chik Fil A [sic] sandwich. I’ll never buy another one, and I hope you won’t either.”

Dan Cathy Takes the Mark of the Beast

That headline is not true. Dan Cathy of Chick Fil A has not (to my knowledge) taken the Mark of the Beast. Yet he has done something that suggests he might be willing to take it if faced with that choice, in the same way that answering a poll is an indication of how a person will vote in an election. As the Bible says in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”

I am convinced that God is using the homosexual issue as a test of believers all over the world. It’s like the “stress test” the central bankers are using to forecast which banks would fail in the event of an economic collapse. Except in this case God is testing us for what we will do in the coming moral and spiritual collapse. The Bible hasn’t changed, only the culture has changed, and believers are being “stress tested” to see whether they stand with Him or with the world on the things He says are true but which the world is pressing very hard to declare false.

The good thing about a stress test is that it gives people an opportunity to change their ways (repent) before the final exam or the big crash. God doesn’t care about Chick Fil A’s profit margins if they come at the expense of Dan Cathy’s willingness to stand up for the truth under pressure. What would it profit Mr. Cathy to gain the whole world (or a few more restaurants on college campuses), if his compromise of Biblical truth today makes him less able to resist the real Mark of the Beast tomorrow?

I’m not saying that Dan Cathy isn’t saved, but he has certainly failed the stress test, and failed the Bible-believing Christian remnant everywhere, by surrendering to the “gay” bullies. How long before we see Chick Fil A running “gay”-friendly commercials as penance for Cathy‘s “homophobia?”

There are varying theological views about what the Mark of the Beast is, or will be, and which ones among us will face that choice of taking or rejecting it. Nevertheless, it stands as a symbol to all Christians everywhere as the choice for or against Christ when the sword is on your neck and to choose Christ means to die saved, or live condemned to hell. The stress test of pressure from “gay” bullies is not life or death, but it is an indicator of whether you have the faith and courage to choose Him over the things of this world. In my mind’s eye I used to see the Mark of the Beast as a black dot on the back of the hand. Now it looks more like a Chik Fil A sandwich. I’ll never buy another one, and I hope you won’t either.
 

Ted Cruz Cites Dubious Cases To Prove Obama's 'Hostility To Religious Liberty'

While speaking yesterday with right-wing Iowa talk show host Steve Deace, Sen. Ted Cruz listed a litany of “tragic” incidents which he said are proof that “we have never seen an administration more hostile to religious liberty than the Obama administration.”

“Whether it is threatening punishment for service men and women who share their faith, whether it is just recently ordering a young service man to take off a scripture verse from outside his room on a white board that was an open forum for speech, whether it was ordering an Air Force chaplain in Alaska to delete from his blog posting the phrase ‘there are no atheists in foxholes,’ or whether it is most astonishingly persecuting the Little Sisters of the Poor,” he said.

Cruz’s claim that service members face punishment for “sharing their faith” relies on a completely discredited crusade by Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who repeatedly misrepresents Defense Department guidelines on proselytizing and religious bias that actually date back to the Bush administration.

The Texas senator also mentioned a case at the Air Force Academy where a cadet in a leadership position wrote a Bible verse on a dormitory white board. Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson explained that the cadet voluntarily decided to erase the verse “following discussion over the issue,” and noted that the verse “could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality. With the mentorship of the active duty commanding officer as part of the discussion, the cadet squadron commander raised this potential perception and the cadet voluntarily elected to erase the scripture.” Military.com adds that “a female cadet’s attempt to show the verse was improper by writing ‘there is no evidence that God ever existed’ on the whiteboard outside her room led to two senior cadets forcibly holding her back while they wiped the board clean.”

In the other incident of supposed persecution, the website of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska posted an essay with the title “No Atheists in Foxholes.” After the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which also complained about an ‘Ask An Atheist Day,’ said that the posting was demeaning to non-religious service members, the essay was briefly removed from the website but later restored, this time with a disclaimer that the comments “are strictly those of the author and do not convey endorsement by the U.S. government.”

As for the Little Sisters of the Poor, the legal challenge isn’t about trying to “force individual citizens to violate tenets of their faith” by purchasing a health insurance plan that includes contraception coverage. The Little Sisters are in a church plan, Christian Brothers Trust, that is not required to provide the contraception coverage.

But according to Cruz, these are the “astonishing” cases that demonstrates the Obama administration’s supposed hostility to religious freedom.

Paranoia-Rama: Gays Destroying The Economy, CIA's Feminist Infiltration & Antichrist Obama

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Before the Internet becomes censored by our Chinese-Islamist overlords, right-wing figures would like you to know that America is being destroyed by feminism, gay rights and President Obama (who may or may not be the Antichrist). Not that any of that matters anyway, because it is all really a distraction from Benghazi.

5. Gay Rights Lead To Economic Collapse

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has been dismayed by growing calls within the GOP to “agree to disagree on social issues” like marriage equality. Perkins insists that treating gay people equally under the law will have dangerous, unforeseen economic consequences.

He explains that gay rights will weaken America in the eyes of the world, encouraging countries like Russia to move against the US Dollar and throw the economy into chaos. “So there goes the economy all because we ignored the morality of the issues of this administration,” Perkins warns.

4. CIA Ruined Feminism

InfoWars host Alex Jones warned this week that “true feminism,” which he explained is all about preserving the patriarchy and maintaining high fertility rates, is under attack by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and secret CIA agents like Gloria Steinem.

Feminism, Jones added, has become “a top down system of control used to divide and conquer and is run by powerful individuals who care little for actual women’s rights.” He also blamed “establishment feminism” for things such as genetically modified foods, vaccines, estrogen mimickers and metrosexual men.

3. Obama Giving China, Islamists Control Of The Internet

A decision to relinquish federal control of the Internet has sparked outrage from Republican politicians and Fox News pundits, who argue that the move will empower countries like China and Russia. As it turns out, the decision, which has been in the works since 1998, actually limits the influence of other governments and the United Nations.

But the world of right-wing conspiracies seem impenetrable to such facts. Take for example a recent warning from Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney, who predicted that “stealth jihadist groups” will now have increased control of the Internet.

2. Antichrist Alert

It turns out that Hillary Clinton isn’t the Antichrist after all, as it is Barack Obama who really has been the Antichrist all along. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League, which is the American Family Association’s North Carolina chapter, wrote that America will soon be destroyed like Babel for putting Obama, whom he seems to think is the Antichrist, in the White House.

Religious Right columnist Michael Bresciani didn’t go as far as Creech but noted that the Antichrist will look a lot like Obama: “Being the incarnation of the Devil himself means that his view is always the exact opposite of God and is always wrong. A perfect type of the antichrist is Barack Obama.”

1. Missing Plane Coverage Is A Distraction From Benghazi

Since the sad and cynical politicization of the 2012 Benghazi attack will never end, conservative media personalities are now charging that coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is a media strategy to distract from Benghazi. Of course, repeated reports — including a GOP-led House study — have discredited the conspiracy theories surrounding the attack and its aftermath, but Fox News is intent on incorporating Benghazi into its Malaysia Airlines reporting.

Bill O’Reilly said the press is only covering the Malaysia Airlines incident because it “doesn’t want to cover important stories like the IRS and Benghazi” while Peter Johnson Jr. wondered why “newscasts don’t focus on things like Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and IRS.” Fellow Fox News hosts Andrea Tantaros and Ralph Peters compared the missing plane to the Benghazi attack.

Safe Schools Supporters Make Strong Showing for Launch of Letter Campaign

PFAW recently launched a letter campaign urging members of Congress to support safe schools legislation. Along with six allies who also sent letters this week, and those who will soon join us, we are making a strong showing for the idea that all students deserve far better than what they're getting when it comes to bullying and harassment in schools.
PFAW

Erik Rush Thinks Obama 'Murdered' Everyone On Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane

On Tuesday, we noted that right-wing conspiracy theorist Jim Garrow — a notorious con man who now claims to be a former CIA agent — believes that President Obama blew up the missing Malaysia Airlines plane as part of a “jihad” against China.

He said the military forced the plane to “land by wire” at a base in Diego Garcia and interrogated the “nerds” aboard the jet who are working “for China designing ‘classified’ leading edge computer/internet control software and are carrying the matching hardware with them on the plane.”

Occasional Fox News guest and regular WorldNetDaily commentator Erik Rush, who frequently hosts Garrow on his radio show, laid out a very similar conspiracy theory about the missing plane on his blog and radio program yesterday.

According to Rush’s source (we wonder who that could be!), the US took control of the plane, landed it on Diego Garcia in order to interrogate technicians aboard who wanted to “abscond to China,” and then had everyone on the flight “murdered.”

Rush does add, however, that the pilots may have been protected because they are “pro-Islamist.”

It sounds like an expensive cigar, but Diego Garcia is actually a United States military base that we technically rent from the United Kingdom. At 967 nautical miles south-southwest from the southern tip of India, it is more or less midway between Indonesia and the African continent. The US Navy operates its Naval Support Facility (NSF) there, which is a naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, as well as a communications and space-tracking facility.



Why so few have postulated that this facility may have played a part in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may or may not seem odd at first blush given the circumstances: I mean, it’s not a secret base, though clandestine activities conducted there certainly would be. At any rate, I am told Diego Garcia is the location to which Flight 370 was diverted. My source has actually been to Diego Garcia, and assures me that you can land a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy there. Those are the military transport planes they load tanks aboard, and they’re just about the size of a Boeing 777.

At Diego Garcia, some 20 civilian technical personnel were removed from the aircraft for interrogation. On March 8, Reuters reported that 20 employees of U.S. chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor were passengers on Flight 370, according to a statement from the company. It is said that these employees traveled regularly between company facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur. It may be presumed that these individuals were the same 20 who were reportedly taken to Diego Garcia for interrogation, although my information holds that the detainees (if you will) were working in their capacities as contractors.

Reports earlier this week that the flight plan deviation was programmed into a computer system on board (rather than being executed manually by one of the pilots was quite accurate), I am told. The airliner was taken over remotely by US intelligence operatives at the behest of those at the highest levels of our government.



No, there would have to be a great deal more involved than a software package to commandeer an airliner, kidnap technical contractors, and then “disappear” the plane and over 200 passengers (who, sadly, were most likely murdered for the sake of expediency).



So what went wrong? Well, apparently the DOD got wind that these engineers (who, despite operating under the auspices of Freescale and/or other companies, were not American nationals) were on their way to abscond to China with their prototypes (which were in the cargo hold of the 777) and other valuable materials, thereby cutting the US out of the program entirely.

And why not? It’s fairly well-known in the intelligence community that the Chinese government has absolutely no respect for President Obama, and his telegraphing weak foreign policy all around the world wouldn’t lend itself to a sudden changing of his stripes (ineffectual posturing over Ukraine notwithstanding). Additionally, my understanding is that China technically owned this technology; the US was aiding in its development under a partnership, which apparently the Chinese decided to end in a rather ex parte manner.

The CIA went into action, in concert with the DOD and Boeing engineers. They commandeered Flight 370 en route, digitally, without the foreknowledge of the pilots or crew, diverting it to Diego Garcia. I imagine that’s where the aircraft made that now-infamous and mysterious turn just northeast of Malaysia.

So essentially, the CIA double-crossed the Chinese before they could double-cross us.



Flight 370’s pilots (one of whom being the pro-Islamist Zaharie Ahmad Shah) may have been afforded the opportunity to continue on to another Muslim country, blend in and take on a new identity, given the sentiments of those in the current administration. In any case, it was the geeks and the goods that the CIA was after, and I’m led to believe that’s what they got.

My understanding is that the foregoing information has been confirmed at the highest levels of our government, though not the current one, if that’s cryptic enough for you.

At least, that’s what my source tells me. And they haven’t been wrong yet.

Phyllis Schlafly Is 'Very Disappointed' That 'Nobody's Saying Anything' Against Marriage Equality

In an interview with VCY America’s Crosstalk program yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly declared that she was “very disappointed in the leadership of all the churches” and “positively amazed” that neither politicians nor pastors are voicing “any objection” to a recent spate of marriage equality rulings in the courts.

“I think everyone in leadership is to blame for not speaking up against this whole series of judges who are knocking down the constitutional provisions who were voted by the people of their state to say that marriage is a man and a woman,” Schlafly said. “Where are they? Where are the spokesmen?”

If only Schlafly read Right Wing Watch, she would find plenty of politicians and church leaders willing to speak out against the marriage equality rulings.

Creationists Demand Airtime On 'Cosmos' For The Sake Of Balance

The Creationist group Answers In Genesis, which was already incensed about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s revival of Cosmos, is now complaining that the show lacks scientific balance because it fails to provide airtime for evolution deniers.

Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to criticize Cosmos for not providing airtime for Creationism adherents. When Mefferd asked if Cosmos will “ever give a Creationist any time,” Faulkner responded by lamenting that “Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.”

Mefferd agreed that the show isn’t being very fair and balanced: “Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.”

“Consideration of special Creation is definitely not open for discussion it would seem,” Faulkner added.

Arguing that evolution, the foundation of modern biology, and one of many theological beliefs on human creation are simply “two sides” that merit competing time on a science program is much like the equally absurd argument Creationists use when trying to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Sandy Rios Wants 'Disordered' Gays And 'Trannies' Banned From The Military

American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios said yesterday that she wants to restore the ban on gays in the military because gay people are “disordered” and won’t be able to “provide strong defense for our nation.”

Rios, who is also the AFA’s governmental affairs director, was reacting to a Palm Center study that calls for an end to the military’s prohibition on transgender service members, which led her to a long rant that serves as a great example of heterosexual privilege.

Have we been so lulled into silliness and foolishness that we think that transgendered soldiers who are confused about their sexuality who want to undergo gender reassignment, homosexual soldiers who are constantly thinking about their sexuality -- and I say that with authority, having interviewed so many ex-gays and talked about this for years, there is an obsession -- their identity, they think, is their sexuality.

How many of you who are heterosexual would first of all say to someone in describing yourself, ‘I’m heterosexual, I have sex with the opposite sex’? You have much more of an identity than that, don’t you? Well for homosexuals, they claim that as an identity, it’s all about sex, so that is a disorder in itself. You can write me, I realize that’s angering words but that is a disorder because that’s not who you are, you are much more than that. It is a disorder, it is disordered thinking and if we think that soldiers that are obsessed with these issues are going to provide strong defense for our nation, I think we are foolishly denying whatever is true.

Previously, Rios claimed that the “homosexual takeover of so much of our military ” has eviscerated military readiness and effectiveness.

Rios also criticized former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who chaired the Palm Center study, for writing a four-paragraph foreword for the book Harmful To Minors, in which she endorsed sexual education for minors in order to combat misinformation and STIs.

Rios said Elders has spent her career “calling for children to be sexually active” and lamented that she is “now urging for trannies to be allowed in the military.”

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