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Religious Right's Persecution Narrative Gains Traction, Even As Most Americans Oppose Them On Policy

Polling released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute underscores the success that the Right has had in pushing its religious persecution narrative, even as majorities of Americans support the policies that the Right claims are threatening religious liberty.

PRRI finds that a “majority (54%) of Americans believe that the right of religious liberty is being threatened in America today,” including 80 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

But at the same time, large majorities support the very policies that the Right is claiming are persecuting people of faith, including the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate and LGBT nondiscrimination policies.

PRRI found that 61 percent of Americans believe that publicly-held corporations should “be required to provide their employees with health insurance that includes contraception at no cost” and that smaller majorities support the same requirement for privately-held corporations, small businesses, and even religiously-affiliated institutions.

What’s more, PRRI reports that “Americans overwhelming reject the notion that small business owners should be allowed to refuse to provide services or goods to individuals because they are gay or lesbian, atheist, Jewish or black, even if doing so would violate the owners’ religious beliefs.”

Only 16 percent wanted to allow small businesses to refuse services to gays and lesbians, only slightly more than the 10 percent who still think businesses should be allowed to refuse service to black people because of their race.

The results of PRRI’s research show the enormous success that the Religious Right is having in building its narrative of religious persecution, even as the public opposes its actual policy goals.

Tea Party Nation Tells Members It Is Time To 'Impeach And Arrest The Tyrant King Obama'

Tea Party Nation today emailed members a petition called “IMPEACH AND ARREST THE TYRANT KING OBAMA!!,” which is about as over-the-top as you would expect it to be.

The time has come to DEMAND the IMMEDIATE ARREST and PROSECUTION of one BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA upon his willful and transgression of 18 U.S. Code § 2339A.

I hereby call on all members of the house and the senate to begin impeachment proceeding against Barack Hussein Obama and for Andrew B. “Drew” Willison, the current Senate Seargent [sic] at Arms to issue and execute an arrest warrant, taking the president, Barack Hussein Obama into custody.

Barack Hussein Obama is in direct violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2339A – Providing material support to terroristsas a result of the removal of five Taliban GITMO detained terrorists and the transfer OF them to the government of Qatar where they, according to the specified arrangement negotiated BY Obama that they only be keep from traveling for a period of one year.

The petition goes on to say that Obama “should face a minimum of 15 years” in prison.

Tom DeLay Wants House Investigation Into Obama's 'Connections To Radical Islamists,' Suggests Impeachment

Yesterday, ex-House GOP leader Tom DeLay, who is still in court fighting convictions for money laundering and conspiracy, accused President Obama of breaking the law with his deal to release Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“This president is undermining the rule of law and the judiciary committee ought to start hearings on it,” DeLay said on his Washington Times radio program, adding that the House may also consider impeaching Obama to serve as a “warning to future presidents” about “undermining the rule of law.”

He also called for a House investigation into Obama’s purported “connections to radical Islamists” and his “leaning and having too much sympathy for radical Islamists.”

DeLay follows in the footsteps of Oliver North, a commentator who also may not have been in the best position to accuse the president of committing a crime.

William Gheen Robocall Warns South Carolina & Virginia Voters That Immigrants Will Take Their Jobs, Welfare And Votes

Updated

Despite his group’s perpetual financial woes, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has managed to scrape together enough funds to deluge 122,000 households in South Carolina and Virginia with a robocall attacking Rep. Eric Cantor and Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting immigration reform, Brietbart reports today.

“Remember that a vote for Cantor or Graham is a vote for tens of millions of illegal immigrants to get amnesty, jobs, welfare payments and a vote with or against you in future elections. Remember who to thank for amnesty. Thank Eric Cantor and Lindsey Graham” Gheen says in the robocall, which he tells Breitbart will reach 26,000 Republican households Cantor’s Virginia district and 96,000 in South Carolina.

Cantor, meanwhile, hasn’t explicitly endorsed immigration reform and is actuallyfundraising off the claim that he blocked reform from moving forward in Congress.

Gheen is one of the most extreme figures in the anti-immigrant movement, who has warned of a violent revolution if the immigrant “invasion” can’t be stopped and said that immigration reform would amount to “national rape.”

UPDATE: It looks like Gheen’s South Carolina calls violate state law, which of course gives Gheen another opportunity for self-aggrandizement. The State reports:

State law bans automatically dialed calls that deliver unsolicited, prerecorded consumer or political messages without assistance of a live operator, S.C. Republican Party chairman Matt Moore said in a memo sent out last month as a reminder to campaigns.

Graham’s campaign spokesman, Tate Zeigler, said of the automated calls, “We don't do illegal robo calls.”

Americans for Legal Immigration president William Gheen said his robo-calls comply with federal law. Gheen was not familiar with S.C. law. After reading it, he said he would turn himself in if any prosecutor decided to charge him.

He also said he would beat any charges.

“I feel quite confident in my ability to defeat this in a court of law,” Gheen said, adding he is defending his right to engage in political speech. “For our republic to function, people need to be able to communicate with voters.”

Gheen said he has one request for anyone who plans to arrest him: “The only thing I ask is that they do it before Election Day, please."

UPDATE II: Gheen has issued a press release hyping his own martyrdom, even though there has been no indication that he will even be charged under the rarely-enforced South Carolina law:

The President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC William Gheen is facing possible charges and arrest after bumping into a unique, obscure, and unenforced state law banning automated campaign calls that are designed to warn South Carolina and Virginia voters about how the immigration reform amnesty plans of Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Eric Cantor will affect them.

...

"I know that nobody likes robo-calls, but isn't it ironic that I might be charged for violating an obscure unenforced state law curtailing freedoms of political speech while more than 12 million illegal immigrants flagrantly violate numerous federal laws designed to protect Americans from real damages?" said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "A few seconds of an annoying call is nothing compared to the millions of devastated American lives that are a result of Lindsey Graham's and Eric Cantor's support for amnesty for illegals."

President Obama’s Support for Amendment to #GetMoneyOut Predates Public Announcement, According To New Book

Nearly two years ago, President Obama caused a splash by expressing support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session. Asked during the online forum what he was going to do to “end the corrupting influence of money in politics,” President Obama put the spotlight on the movement for a constitutional amendment by explicitly mentioning the amendment strategy:

Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it).

A new book released this week by POLITICO reporter Ken Vogel shows that President Obama had been privately discussing an amendment months before his public comment in August 2012. Vogel’s book describes President Obama telling Democratic donors in February of that year:

“Now, I taught constitutional law…I don't tinker with the Constitution lightly. But I think this is important enough that citizens have to get mobilized around this issue, and this will probably be a multiyear effort. After my reelection, my sense is that I may be in a very strong position to do it.”

The fact that President Obama was sharing support for an amendment even earlier than previously known underscores the importance of the issue to our nation’s president. In addition to President Obama, 44 U.S. senators, 123 U.S. representatives, and more than 1,700 state legislators have gone on record in support of an amendment to get big money out of politics.

PFAW

Udall Constitutional Amendment to Restore Our Democracy: PFAW Member Telebriefing

The day after Sen. Tom Udall’s proposed constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics was considered at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Udall joined People For the American Way activists, supporters, and staff members on a member telebriefing to discuss the amendment and what Americans can do to support it.

Sen. Udall noted in his introduction that together we have come a long way in the movement to get big money out of politics, due in part to the work of People For the American Way. He said that in the last few years, our nation’s campaign finance laws have come under increasing attack. There are only two ways, Sen. Udall said, to have lasting reform on this issue: either the Court can reverse itself, or we can amend the Constitution to overturn cases like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC. Sen. Udall pointed out that elections should be about the quality of ideas, not the size of bank accounts. 

When asked by a participant to address the false claim pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz and other right-wing politicians and activists that this amendment is an attack on the First Amendment, Sen. Udall explained: “This is about restoring the First Amendment so it applies equally to all Americans.” He pointed out that our access to constitutional rights and our ability to participate in the democratic process should not be based on our net worth. 

Sen. Udall urged activists on the call to voice their support at every opportunity they have. Specifically, he encouraged advocates to get a copy of the amendment and urge their local officials to support it by passing resolutions. Despite the lengthy process of amending the Constitution, Sen. Udall asked participants not to be discouraged; with a strong grassroots movement, he said, we can make it happen.

PFAW executive vice president Marge Baker also fielded questions from participants on the call. She urged activists to connect campaign finance reform to the issues most important to them and their communities, whether that’s fighting for health and safety on the job, defending the environment, or protecting voting rights. On voting rights, Baker pointed out that the Supreme Court’s attacks on campaign finance laws go hand in hand with their attacks on the right to cast a vote; both have the effect of disempowering average Americans in our democracy. This is why, Baker pointed out, we must take on the Supreme Court and reclaim our political system – making it a democracy truly of, by, and for the people. 

You can listen to the call here:

PFAW

Franklin Graham Warns Hollywood And 'Spirit Of Anti-Christ' In Government Are Bringing About The End Times

Franklin Graham sat down with TBN host Jan Crouch last week to discuss how “we are on the edge” of the End Times.

Graham cited America’s supposed persecution of Christians, Hollywood’s “demonization of people of faith” that is “poisoning the minds of people against the church,” and “the spirit of Anti-Christ at the government level” as proof that we are experiencing the Last Days.

Graham previously said that members of the Obama administration “are anti-Christ in what they say and what they do.”

Kris Kobach: Military Would 'Put Aside' Its High Standards By Admitting DREAMers

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an influential activist against voting rights and immigration reform, last week ripped into a Republican-authored proposal to allow undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children to join the military, saying that allowing DREAMers to serve would mean that the military’s “high standards will have to be put aside” to admit “lawbreakers.”

Speaking on his weekly broadcast on Kansas City’s KCMO on May 25, Kobach said of DREAMers, “This is a person who is not a U.S. citizen and whose, most likely, first act upon entering the United States was to commit a crime of entering illegally. So, this is a person we want to serve in the U.S. military? Normally, you don’t put lawbreakers into the U.S. military.”

“The U.S. military has very high standards,” he added. “I guess those high standards will have to be put aside because the political agenda of the Obama White House is to have pictures of illegal aliens serving in the military in large numbers and they don’t have those pictures now.”

Anne Paulk: Homosexuality Is Like Being Stuck In A 'Roach Motel'

Right-wing radio broadcaster Linda Harvey brought “ex-gay” activist Anne Paulk on the air this past weekend to discuss the impermanence of being or identifying as LGBT.

A repeat guest on the “Mission: America” program, Paulk spent half an hour hawking the work of her organization, Restored Hope Network, which is a collection of interdenominational ministries that promote “conversion therapy.”

Harvey was all ears as Paulk charged that LGBT people are responsible for “a great deal of grief” in their families, and asserted that the decision to come out of the closet “is like a death knell of all the future hopes of a parent.”

Paulk then compared identifying as gay to being trapped in a “roach motel,” which might lead people to “consider suicide.”

Unfortunately, not everyone could be successfully “saved” by the Restored Hope Network.

The 5 Craziest Planks In Draft Texas GOP Platform: Ban Morning After Pill, Ending Direct Election Of Senators, Defunding ACORN

According to a draft party platform obtained by the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Republican Party is ready to support a sweeping right-wing agenda with planks related to the “Benghazi cover up,” the elimination of the minimum wage and “the myth of separation of church and state.”

Voting

Not only does the draft platform advocate for the abolition of the Federal Reserve, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Security Administration and the Departments of Education and Energy, but it also calls for an end to the direct election of U.S. Senators:

Full Repeal of the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: Return the appointment of U.S. Senators by the State Legislatures.

While the state GOP wants Texas voters to lose their right to elect their U.S. senators, the party does on the other hand “support our right to select our judges by direct vote.”

The party also wants to make it more difficult to register to vote and urges Congress to repeal the Voting Rights Act:

Voter registration: We support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and Registration reducing voter fraud. We support repeal of all Motor Voter laws; re-registering voters every four years; requiring photo ID of all registrants; proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application; retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the election administrator in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.

VRA: We urge that the Voter [sic] Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized.

Science And Education

The draft platform also targets schools, calling evolution a “controversial theory” that should be challenged in the classroom, demanding that schools restrict access to “community organizers” and encouraging schools to embrace “subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems.”

The platform also includes climate change denial: “While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, 'climate change' is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives.”

The draft describes Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations agreement on sustainable development, as a threat to America and calls for “the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from United States soil.”

Social Issues

Along with supporting “reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle,” the state party also wants to repeal Texas’ hate-crimes statute (or at least its “sexual orientation category”), block non-discrimination laws and seeks a “prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients (e.g. morning after pill).”

The draft also calls for bans on “any form of reparation” and Sharia law, and limits to data gathering by the U.S. Census. It opposes “the use of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) on humans,” while reaffirming opposition to “any direct financial support of special interest organizations, such as ACORN and the ACLU, by any level of government.” ACORN, of course, hasn’t existed since 2010.

Guns

Unsurprisingly, the Texas GOP believes the state should be able to ignore federal gun laws:

All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas.

Just to clarify that they mean business, the party supports “the establishment and maintenance of a volunteer Constitutional State Militia with assistance from County Sheriffs.”

Vaccinations

To cap it off, Texas Republicans also have an anti-vaccination stance:

Immunizations: All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

Texas GOP Embraces Discredited Ex-Gay Therapy

We reported back in April that Eagle Forum, a staunchly anti-gay Religious Right group, announced that it would pressure the Texas GOP to back ex-gay therapy and other anti-gay measures in its party platform.

The Texas GOP convention, which banned conservative gay rights groups from participating, appears to have agreed on including ex-gay advocacy as part of its platform, according to a draft of the platform obtained by the Houston Chronicle:

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

We support withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.



We oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.



Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.

Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy. (emphasis added)

Mike Huckabee Marks Tiananmen Square Protests By Comparing US To Communist China

Mike Huckabee, who back in April remarked that people in North Korea have more freedoms than Americans, today marked the anniversary of the Chinese government’s violent suppression of the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by alleging that the United States is turning into Communist China.

In an interview on Newsmax TV, Huckabee insisted that “China is becoming more like the United States used to be and the United States is becoming more like China used to be.”

“We’re getting to the place where our government is controlling much more of what we say, what we think, what we do and they’re invading our privacy,” he said. “That ought to scare the daylights out of Americans.”

Texas GOP Debates Whether To Remove Anti-Gay Language From Platform, Risk 'Demise' Of Society

Updated

While subcommittees at the Texas GOP’s convention today rebuffed hardliners by removing some especially vicious anti-gay language from the state party’s platform and keeping an endorsement of an immigrant guest worker program, the debate over both issues continues.

Brian wrote earlier today about the efforts of Texas conservatives to bring back the party platform’s previous hardline anti-immigration language , including those of Texas Eagle Forum leader and former state party chairwoman Cathie Adams, who has warned that immigration reform will bring about the End Times .

A similar battle is unfolding over gay rights. Two conservative LGBT groups that were denied permission to sponsor booths at the convention are now calling on the party to remove language from its platform that states:

Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

While a subcommittee nixed the language today, the decision won’t be final until it’s approved by the full convention on Thursday night .

And in any case, the subcommittee appears to have kept the rest of the party’s anti-gay plank, which contains the actual policy prohibitions against equality, along with plenty of pointed scare quotes:

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

One activist who will be fighting for the preservation of the platform’s original anti-gay language is Adams, who told the radio station KERA that backing down on gay rights would mean that the “society is well on its way to demise.”

Cathie Adams, executive director of Texas Eagle Forum, believes the platform currently reflects a position that’s biblical.

“When a culture descends to a point where homosexuality is openly accepted as a normal behavior, then a society is well on its way to demise," she said.

UPDATE: Adams might not have to worry too much. A draft platform leaked Thursday eliminated the "fabric of society" language but added an endorsement of the discredited practive of "ex-gay" therapy.

Chris Christie To Join Ralph Reed Summit To Dispel Moderate 'Myth'

Today, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition announced that Gov. Chris Christie will speak at its “Road to Majority” conference this month, where perhaps Reed can offer the embattled governor advice on how to downplay scandals.

But the director of the New Jersey Faith and Freedom Coalition, Larry Cirignano, doesn’t seem to be much of a fan of his state’s governor.

On his Facebook page, Cirignano has posted columns attacking Christie from the right, including articles titled “Chris Christie dooms NJ to judicial activism and himself to obscurity” and “Chris Christie’s court pick has a pro-choice, anti-free press record,” which criticizes the governor for having “rolled over” on nominees for the Supreme Court.

Cirignano also shared a post “exposing ‘Republican’ Christie” as a secret Democrat for backing a “radical pro-abortion and pro-gun control” judicial nominee.

Last year, Christie was accused of snubbing the “Road to Majority” summit to attend a Clinton Global Initiative event.

Right-wing pundits have expressed outrage and disgust over Christie’s decision to sign a law banning ex-gay therapy for minors, even linking it to the bridge scandal, and lashed out at the governor for declining to appeal a court ruling in favor of marriage equality and appointing a Muslim-American to a judgeship.

At CPAC earlier this year, Christie emphasized his anti-choice stances and told the Christian Broadcasting Network that it is a “myth” that he is a moderate.

Larry Pratt: Elliot Rodger's Manifesto 'Reflects The Thinking Of A Person Like Our President'

According to Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, the unhinged, misogynist manifesto written by Elliot Rodger before he killed six people and himself in a mass shooting outside of Santa Barbara “reflects the thinking of a person like our president.” 

In an interview last week with Stan Solomon, the GOA executive director reacted to Rodger's shooting spree the way he reacts to every mass shooting – by finding anything to blame other than guns.

Solomon ripped into Richard Martinez, who criticized the NRA after losing his son in the shooting, calling the bereaved father a “stupid son of a bitch” and asking “what the hell is wrong with you?” Mistakenly thinking that Martinez lost a daughter in the shooting, he added, “If you had taught your daughter how to have and use a weapon, she might still be alive.”

Pratt responded by blaming Rodger’s lack of a “traditional kind of family life” for the shooting, adding, “I think that the parents deserve a lot of the credit slash blame for bringing up a son like that.” (Pratt has also blamed Trayvon Martin’s death on his “broken family”).

The two then discussed Rodger’s manifesto, in which he railed at women for refusing to have sex with him, which Pratt said reminded him of President Obama.

The manifesto, Pratt said, “clearly reflects the thinking of a person like our president, who’s extremely narcissistic and it’s all about me, all about me.”

Dinesh D'Souza Says There Would Have Been 'A Massive Revolt' Against Obama If It Hadn't Been For The Meddling Media

In case you thought that Dinesh D’Souza’s sex scandal would get him in trouble with his supporters in the Religious Right, rest assured that the “pro-family” movement is still enthralled by his outlandish anti-Obama rhetoric.

For example, D’Souza told right-wing broadcaster Janet Mefferd yesterday that “under normal circumstances, we would actually have a massive revolt in this country right now” against President Obama if it wasn’t for the “sycophantic, lapdog media” that treats Obama like “the second coming.”

Oh, so that’s why events built around forcing Obama out of office – like Operation American Spring and Reclaim America Now – were miserable failures. It was the media’s fault!

The Sun Sets On GOProud

After denying reports that it was dissolving, the conservative LGBT organization GOProud released a statement on Monday announcing its closure after five years.

To deflect a story alleging that the organization planned to shut its doors as part of a rebranding effort following years of financial woes and stagnancy, the organization took to social media to claim that “nothing could be further from the truth” and insist that “GOProud is not closing. It is growing.”

But just a day later, the group’s leaders reneged on their denials. “I posted what I had to on Facebook so I wouldn’t scare our members and thwart our fundraising efforts,” executive director Matthew Bechstein told The Bilerico Project in an interview, explaining that not all contributors and members were made aware of the decision to shut down prior to the news breaking. “I wanted to mitigate a disaster,” he said.

Bechstein spoke with The Bilerico Project’s Bil Browning about the next steps for GOProud, which has been mired in controversy since its inception and has struggled to gain a strong foothold in either conservative or LGBT political circles.

“There have been concerns among our members and investors about whether or not we can continue to grow and be effective without severing ourselves from past controversies," Bechstein said in a separately emailed statement.

He also conceded that GOProud’s strategy – which has included a series of failed attempts to ally with inhospitable right-wing groups –might not have been the best course of action to mobilize LGBT support within the conservative movement.

"The fact is, in order to continue promoting the conservative principles upon which this organization was founded, change is needed. One of the changes under discussion is a switch to a different legal type of organization - basic paperwork that requires dissolution and immediate subsequent reorganization. Technically, as some argue, this would be a legal closure," he emailed. "But if it were to actually happen, it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization."

BarbWire Pundit Says Transgender Boy Is Possessed By Demons

Writing today for BarbWire, ex-gay activist Matt Moore concedes that he does not “understand what people with gender identity issues experience,” but is still more than comfortable declaring that transgender people, specifically the six-year-old transgender boy Ryland Whittington, are possessed by the Devil:

With all that said, I get angry because of stories about kids like Ryland. Angry at people. Angry as sin. Angry at Satan.

I am not the type of person that believes Satan is hiding behind every rock, but I do think that there is a demonic element at play when little girls actually start to think they’re little boys, or little boys actually start to think they’re little girls. Actually, I’m sure that demons are all up in that. God created men and women to reflect His image and Satan is all about distorting God’s image. How better a way to do that than to get the image bearers to go against their own physical and biological make up? So-called transgender-ism is a literal rejection of God’s creation and image. Satan loves it.

But Satan is not only to blame for this confusion. We are too.



I hope that in the days to come — where sexual and gender identity confusion is going to abound more and more — followers of Jesus will be just as vocal with the truth as Satan and the world are with lies. I hope we won’t begin to give up on people or on our culture. I hope we won’t begin to disbelieve in God’s transforming mercy, grace and love available in Christ. I hope we won’t believe that He’s done working in the world and that we’re just here to “wait it out” among all the evil and confusion until he comes. I hope we won’t cower down, shrivel up and shrink back. I hope we don’t get hateful and bitter. I hope we don’t start pronouncing condemnation and judgment instead of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus.

45 Senators Support Amendment Strategy to Get Money Out of Elections

45 US Senators now support a constititutional amendment to undo the harm of decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon. Do yours?


State Senator

Alaska

Sen. Mark Begich

California

Sen. Barbara Boxer

California Sen. Diane Feinstein
Colorado Sen. Michael F. Bennet
Colorado

Sen. Mark Udall

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Murphy
Delaware

Sen. Thomas R. Carper

Delaware Sen. Christopher A. Coons
Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz
Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin
Maine Sen. Angus S. King, Jr.
Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin
Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski
Massachusetts

Sen. Edward J. Markey

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Michigan

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Montana Sen. Jon Tester
Montana Sen. John E. Walsh
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey Sen. Cory A. Booker
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall
New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich
New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley
Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy
Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders
Washington Sen. Patty Murray
Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin
West Virginia Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV

For more elected officials who support an amendment, visit United4thePeople.org.

PFAW

PFAW and Allies Deliver to Senate Hearing Two Million Petitions for an Amendment to #GetMoneyOut

Before yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a proposed campaign finance constitutional amendment had even begun, advocates from People For the American Way and partner organizations had already delivered a powerful message from the American people. Carrying signs saying “Restore the First Amendment” and “Amend the Constitution to #GetMoneyOut,” activists rolled in stacked boxes of more than two million petitions in support of an amendment to get big money out of politics.

 

In his opening remarks, Sen. Patrick Leahy noted that these petitions serve as a “tangible reminder that Americans are calling on Congress to act.”

In an rare move that underscored the importance of the proposed amendment, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell testified at the hearing. Sen. Reid issued a call to action for the amendment, urging Americans to work together to restore the basic principle of one American, one vote. “Our involvement in government should not be dependent on our bank account balances,” he said.

Sen. McConnell, on the other hand, used the platform to claim that the proposed amendment is about shutting people up, calling it the “latest proposal to weaken the First Amendment.” Later, Sen. Ted Cruz continued to push the false claim that the amendment would “repeal the free speech protections of the First Amendment” and “muzzle” Americans.

But other witnesses were quick to debunk this myth, including constitutional law expert Jamie Raskin, who is also a senior fellow at People For the American Way. In his testimony, Raskin noted:

[E]ven as our huge majorities of Americans support reclaiming our democracy, opponents of the Amendment are waving the flag of the First Amendment, as if political democracy and free speech are enemies. But the Citizens United era has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with plutocratic power. Citizens United did not increase the rights of a single citizen to express his or her views with speech or with money. Before the decision, all citizens, including CEOs, could express themselves freely, make contributions, and spend all the money they had to promote their politics. They could band together with the help of the corporation and form a PAC. All Citizens United did was confer a power on CEOs to write corporate treasury checks for political expenditures, without a vote of the shareholders, prior consultation or even disclosure.

In terms of real world consequences, Raskin went on to note, these damaging Supreme Court decisions did not “expand the political freedom of citizens but… reduce[d] the political power of citizens.”

North Carolina State Senator Floyd McKissick described some of those real world effects, noting that he can divide his time in the state legislature into two distinct periods: “before Citizens United, and after”:

Suddenly, no matter what the race was, money came flooding in. Even elected officials who had been in office for decades told me they’d never seen anything like it. We were barraged by television ads that were uglier and less honest than I would have thought possible. And they all seemed to be coming from groups with names we had never even heard of. But it was clear that corporations and individuals who could write giant checks had a new level of power in the state.

PFAW
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