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Phyllis Schlafly Cites Hoax Case To Claim Christian Students Face Persecution

Conservative activists regularly claim that they are the real victims of bigotry and compare themselves to persecuted people throughout history, frequently citing bogus cases to show proof of their pain. As Kyle noted earlier today, “One thing that you can count on from the Religious Right is that once a talking point has been established, it will be repeated endlessly even after it has been proven to be demonstrably false.”

Take today’s Phyllis Schlafly column for example, where she warns that the First Amendment is under attack in public schools:

Some public-school busybody bureaucrats are trying to suppress any and all religious mention on school property. Their orders are far more extreme than anything courts have ever held to be violations of the First Amendment.

Sports are a favorite target of the anti-religious crowd. A high-school football coach, Marcus Borden, was forbidden even to bow his head or “take a knee” during voluntary student-led prayers before the games.

In Texas, a boy’s track relay team ran its fastest race of the year and defeated its closest rival by seven yards, which should have enabled it to advance toward the state championship. The team’s anchor runner pointed to the sky to give glory to God as he crossed the finish line, but someone didn’t like the gesture, so the authorities disqualified this winning team because of it.

The first case she mentioned is authentic, as indeed the coach was told to stop praying before games because the school and the courts found that his actions amounted to religious pressure and was unconstitutional. We wonder how Schlafly would react if a Wiccan public school coach tried to lead their team in prayer….

The second case she mentions of the Texas track athlete, however, is a well-known hoax that was debunked many months ago.

The athlete who said he was penalized for saluting God admitted that he fabricated the story and that he was actually disqualified for taunting: “My actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

However, Republican politicians, Religious Right activists and conservative journalists continue to spread the myth, even well after it has been thoroughly discredited.

Rafael Cruz Tries To Disprove Evolution, Suggests Obama Thinks He Is God

Yesterday, we posted clips of Sen. Ted Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz attacking evolution and warning of Satanic control of America. Now, a reader has alerted us to a speech the elder Cruz gave to a Republican gathering in Texas in March, in which he claimed that he could disprove evolution to the “brainwashed” students in attendance.

After making his usual claim that evolution and gay rights are communist plots, Cruz warned, “We are being brainwashed by the school system and you’re called a ‘retrograde,’ you’re called an ‘idiot’ if you fight evolution. Evolution is not a fact, there is nothing factual about evolution.”

Let me just say something for you kids, evolution is based on jumping from one species to another through mutations. How many of you had biology in high school? Mutations normally go in reverse order, they go backwards, when something mutates it mutates into something worse than it was before. So if evolution moves from species to species by mutation, you’re going backwards, not forwards, it doesn’t make sense. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than to believe in the first two chapters of Genesis. Understand, it is a tool to destroy loyalty to God.

Later in the address, Cruz alleged that President Obama wants people to worship him. “Obama needs for you to see him as God,” Cruz said. “The concept is make government your god. It’s done by evolution, it’s done by destroying the concept of religion and God, and secondly by destroying the family.”

“That’s what this whole thing about homosexual marriage is about,” he added. “It has nothing to do with ‘homosexual rights,’ It has to do with the destruction of the traditional family so that there is no loyalty to the family, loyalty is to the government and government is your god.”

Pat Buchanan Invokes George Wallace to Bash 'First Hustler' Obama

Conservative columnist and cable-news racist Pat Buchanan is out with a new column calling President Obama the “first hustler” because insurers have dropped some health plans that did not comply with the new health care reform law, meaning that some people have had to change their health insurance plans.

In defending his case, Buchanan invokes none other than George Wallace, the segregationist Alabama governor perhaps most famous for physically blocking two black students from entering the University of Alabama. Wallace had his own reasons for disliking the federal government, which he said (while running for president) was composed of “pointy-headed bureaucrats who can’t park a bicycle straight” – a sentiment that Buchanan gleefully repeats.

Buchanan then goes on to declare that the Affordable Care Act will finish the work done by such travesties as “free schooling [and] Social Security” to bring capitalism to “the end of the line.”


"Nothing is lost save honor."

So said Jim Fisk after he and Jay Gould survived yet another scrape in their corrupt and storied careers in the Gilded Age.

Fisk's dismissal of honor came to mind while watching Barack Obama in Boston smugly explain how his vow — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!" — was now inoperative.

All along, it had been a bait-and-switch by the first hustler.

Here was the president's signature program — what Social Security was to FDR, Medicare to LBJ — and one month into launch, it is grist for the mills of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central.

Observing the rollout, one begins to appreciate what George Wallace meant when he talked of Washington being a city of "pointy-headed bureaucrats who can't park a bicycle straight."

And though the Obamacare website will one day be repaired, and people may begin to sign up, the land mines in Obamacare are by no means all exploded. We will be walking right through them.

The welfare state that began with Bismarck is reaching the end of the line, just as the private sector that generates the wealth to sustain that state is now, almost everywhere, buckling under its weight. The deficits stretch to the horizon. The debts rise inexorably.

Across the West, neo-socialism is out, the new austerity in.

And of all the great advances proclaimed by progressives over a century and a half, from free schooling to Social Security, Obamacare looks like it will eventually be ranked among the last — and the least.

PFAW Applauds Senate Cloture Vote on ENDA

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today applauded the Senate’s vote to end a Republican filibuster on proceeding to consider the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“Today’s Senate vote is a huge victory in the ongoing fight to end discrimination in all its forms. Passing ENDA is simply common sense – no one should be fired because of who they are or who they love. These basic workplace protections are so in line with American values that most of the country believes that these protections are already the law of the land.

“Sadly, anti-gay extremists on the right have resorted to dangerous fear mongering and flat-out lies in their push against this important legislation. From American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer’s declaration that ENDA would ‘represent the return of Jim Crow laws’ to Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver’s warning that ENDA would result in the ‘death of some individuals,’ their outrageous claims make clear just how far away their views are from those of everyday Americans.

“I trust that the Senate will soon pass ENDA. The question then becomes whether House Republican leadership will stand on the side of anti-gay extremists or on the side of common sense and decency by allowing the bill to be taken up and passed.” 

For more information on the far right and ENDA, see People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch round-up of the top ten Religious Right claims about the legislation: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated

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Discrimination Has No Place In Our Hearts or Our Workplaces

The following is a guest post by Rev. Dorothy Chaney, a licensed Baptist minister in Miami and a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action.

I have lived in Florida all my life, but here’s something I didn’t always know: in my state, you can be fired for being gay.

It’s true – although most of us don’t realize it. Here in Florida, we lack both a state and federal law protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. That means that even if you are the most dedicated employee – always on time, always going that extra mile – you can still be fired because of who you are or who you love.

That’s not right.

Why? First of all, because ensuring that all of us have the opportunity to provide for our families is a core American value. Passing a bill in Congress called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would help make sure that LGBT workers across the country are protected from workplace mistreatment. It’s simple – if you work hard, you shouldn’t be fired because of attributes that have nothing to do with your work performance.

Second, my religious beliefs mean I am dedicated to supporting those in need. As Bishop Gene Robinson pointed out in 2011, “The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are filled with admonitions that we will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable members.” He wrote that we are “morally bound” to take care of those who are marginalized, such as LGBT Americans.

He’s right. As a Christian minister, I have worked for many years to lift up those most vulnerable in our communities, from counseling women facing unplanned pregnancies to speaking out in support of those needing access to health care. I have come to see that in order to continue my work for justice, I also need to speak out in support of employment protections for LGBT members of my community. Though faith traditions and leaders may have differing beliefs about sexuality, surely we can agree that every person should be treated with dignity in their place of work. Every person should be able to be open about who they are without fearing for their job.

Finally, not only is passing ENDA the moral thing to do, it’s also the popular thing to do.  That’s true here in Florida and also across the country. New polling estimates that more than 60% of Floridians support ENDA.

Unfortunately, those who don’t support these protections are using dishonest arguments to try to mislead the public about the legislation. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, for example, has claimed that if ENDA is passed, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”  This is certainly not true. The ENDA bill even carves out a specific exemption so it will not apply to religious corporations, societies, associations, and schools.  The fact is, it goes the extra mile to protect religious liberty, and it is supported by a broad array of religious groups. The bottom line is that ENDA is in no way an attack on religious liberty any more than existing anti-discrimination laws are.

Others are using repugnant arguments in an attempt not just to defeat the bill, but to attack and malign LGBT members of my community. Last year, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition went as far as using the Newtown tragedy in a misguided attempt to turn public opinion against ENDA. Referencing a school district anti-discrimination policy in nearby Orange County, Florida, Lafferty argued that while parents are concerned about “protecting our children” in the wake of the Newtown shooting, they should be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as “people with some real issues [play] out their personal problems in the classroom.” These kinds of lies about our LGBT neighbors underscore why the discrimination protections are needed in the first place.

It is my hope that all of our elected officials will choose to stand on the side of pro-equality majorities rather than with those pushing hurtful lies about LGBT Americans. I was heartened to see that Sen. Nelson has signed on as a cosponsor. Now it’s time for Sen. Rubio to step up to the plate, as well.

Because at the end of the day, discrimination is discrimination.  It has no place in our hearts and no place in our workplaces.
 

PFAW

Youth Leaders and Faith Leaders Urge Support for ENDA

UPDATE: Following the Senate's successful 64-32 vote to pass ENDA on 11/07/2013, PFAW and AAMIA sent their support letters to the House. YEO Action, now with 34 members, and YP4 action, now with 51 members and allies, did the same.
PFAW

Video: PFAW President Discusses Rafael Cruz and Tea Party Extremism

Today, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch posted new footage of Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Raphael Cruz, denying evolution, claiming that gay rights advances endanger children and warning that the United States government is controlled by Satan. These are only the most recent extremist comments from the senator’s father – a frequent campaign surrogate --- to come to light. Right Wing Watch previously exposed the elder Cruz’s promotion of anti-Obama conspiracy theories and Christian-Nation rhetoric, and last week Mother Jones posted videos of him saying that the president should go “back to Kenya.”

On Friday, PFAW President Michael Keegan joined Rev. Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation to discuss Rafael Cruz’s extremism and why it matters:
 

PFAW

Anti-Feminist, Anti-Gay Religious Right Leader Resigns Over Extramarital Affair

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries resigned last week over an extramarital affair.

There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance. I have confessed my sin to my wife and family, my local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries. I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not “know” each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.

Phillips is the son of late conservative activist Howard Phillips and a leading advocate of Christian Reconstructionism and the patriarchal, anti-birth control Quiverfull.

Kathryn Joyce in Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement calls Phillips “one of the most influential proponents of the conservative Christian patriarchy movement now flourishing among homeschoolers.”

Phillips has even criticized Sarah Palin for being too “pro-homosexual” and warned that female politicians are offending God by running for office instead staying at home. In 2012, Phillips reacted to President Obama’s announcement that he supports marriage equality by warning that God will punish America, possibly with terrorist attacks or economic trouble, for Obama’s “treasonous” action:

On the Presidential Endorsement of Same-Sex Marriage: "For two decades the frog has been in the pot while the temperature has been slowly turned up. It began with the Bush's toleration for homosexuality, was advanced in full by Clinton and has reached its logical zenith under Obama. So we should not be surprised by the official announcement that the President of the United States of America has finally declared to the world his opposition to the historical, common law and biblical meaning of marriage. President Obama may be remembered for many things, but few are as fundamental in its treason to his countrymen, to his oath of office and to the living God then his decision to use the presidency to redefine a definition of marriage that was established on Day Six of Creation and has been the benchmark of civilization for 7,000 years. Mark your calendars--May 9, 2012, the President of the United States of America finally crossed a line from which there is no return without repudiation and repentance. Terrorists are dangerous. The economy is a real and present danger. But there is simply nothing other then the holocaust of the unborn which imperils the safety of our country or places our people in jeopardy as does the leader of the Western World publicly raising his fist at the Heavens and declaring that the bedrock institution of society, ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state, is little more than a convention of convenience for the children of Sodom to transform the meaning of something which is precious to Jesus Christ and a living picture of His love for the Church, into a legally protected justification for perversion, and vehicle of hatred aimed directly at that love."

Judges Delayed, Justice Denied: PFAW's Drew Courtney Discusses the DC Circuit on MSNBC

People For the American Way Director of Communications Drew Courtney appeared on Disrupt with Karen Finney this weekend to discuss Senate Republicans’ reckless obstruction of President Obama’s nominees to the important Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Watch the segment here:

PFAW

Rafael Cruz: Satan Controls US Government

After denouncing evolution and gay rights as Marxist lies, Rafael Cruz told a Texas Christian men’s group in June that Satan controls the US government. While quoting Second Great Awakening evangelist Charles Grandison Finney, he said that the US has fallen into a state of moral decline.

“‘If the world loses its interest in religion,’ does that sound like today?” Cruz said, “‘If Satan rules in the hall of legislation,’ man this sounds like he’s talking about right now.’”

Rafael Cruz: Evolution Is A Communist Lie, Gay Rights Endanger Children

Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz and the Texas Senator’s number one surrogate, is a favorite among Tea Party and Religious Right activists with his birther, Christian Nationalist and End Times-focused speeches.

15 Things You Need To Know About David Barton, The Man Who Could Be Texas's Next Senator

David Barton’s dishonest and discredited pseudo-history hasn’t stopped him from becoming a star within the Republican Party. Despite the glaring flaws and political bias found in his work, not to mention the fact that actual conservative Christian scholars are among his most vocal critics, GOP candidates for office consistently seek Barton’s advice, counsel and endorsements.

Now, Barton’s WallBuilders deputy and radio show co-host Rick Green has launched a Facebook page to draft Barton run for U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent John Cornyn.

On October 30, Green wrote that “if the draft page gets 5k likes in just a few days, then we’ll know people want him to run.” As of today, the page currently has fewer than half that number of “likes,” but Barton’s possible run has garnered publicity and made Glenn Beck giddy. Barton recently told Beck that “if the Lord tells me to do it, I’ll do it.”

In anticipation of Barton’s possible run for office, we decided to look through our voluminous Barton archive and pull out the highlights of his radical record.

1. God Is Rightfully Blocking A Cure For HIV/AIDS

Barton is delighted by the fact that God is preventing researchers from finding a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS. According to Barton, HIV/AIDS is a punishment for sin and therefore God will block a potential cure: “God says, ‘Hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.’” He argues that HIV/AIDS is a divine “penalty” for gay people’s “shameful sexual acts.” On a similar note, Barton has called homosexuality “absolutely reprehensible and disgusting” and said that marriage equality means we “are going down as a nation.”

2. “We Had To Destroy Indian Tribes”

Barton justified the slaughter of Native Americans as a defensive war against tribes who “declared war on all the white guys.” “We had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said ‘Oh, got the point,’” Barton said, claiming that the tactics were only necessary because Native Americans were resisting missionaries who were trying to “civilize” them.

3. Demons Control Parts Of The Capitol

If Barton runs for US Senate and is elected, he will have to be careful to avoid the demon-controlled parts of Capitol Hill. Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that demonic principalities have control over different government bodies and that is why politicians “think really goofy.”

4. The Bible Opposes Net Neutrality

Did you know that the Founding Fathers, Pilgrims, Puritans and the Bible all opposed Net Neutrality? According to Barton they did. He also argues that Net Neutrality is a “wicked” policy.

5. Founding Fathers Refuted The Theory of Evolution

While the nation’s founders lived long before Charles Darwin published his seminal works, Barton contends that the founders “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution” and sided with Creationism.

6. Evolution Should Be Banned In School Due To Separation Of Church And State

Barton maintains that evolution, secular humanism and atheism are all religions that should be banned in public school because of the separation of church and state. “Darwinism and evolution is a religion. Why don’t we say, ‘Hey, we can’t teach Darwinism in school. That affects the way people behave. I demand separation of church and state. Get Darwinism out of the classroom.’”

7. Government Should Regulate Gay Sex

After comparing homosexuality to cigarette smoking and eating unhealthy foods, Barton proposed: “Why don’t we regulate homosexuality?” He warned that nations that “rejected sexual regulation like with homosexuality” collapse “past the third generation from the time that they embraced it.”

“Nearly one-half of practicing homosexuals admit to five hundred or more sex partners and nearly one-third admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime,” he added. Barton also claims that a nation will have a spiritual revival once it stops tolerating homosexuality and has “chased the sodomites” out.

8. Schools Turn Kids Gay

Barton “guaranteed ” listeners that if they have children going to public schools “they are getting homosexual indoctrination.” He even said that public schools will “ force them to be homosexual.” Barton’s gay rights conspiracy theories don’t end there: Before the passage of the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Barton said the law was “designed to single out preachers in the pulpit” and would put pastors in prison if they condemn homosexuality. Of course, that never happened.

9. Country Needs More Hate

Barton considered writing a book entitled, “When tolerance is a sin and hate is a virtue,” telling listeners of his radio show that nowadays “tolerance is a bad thing and hate is a good thing.” “We’re tolerating a lot stuff that destroys our families, that destroys our own character and we can’t tolerate that stuff. We have to get back to the point where hate is a virtue, at least certain kinds of hate.”

10. Bible Opposes Minimum Wage

Many of Barton’s lectures rail against progressive economic policy as unbiblical, arguing that the Bible condemns the capital gains tax, estate tax, progressive income tax and the minimum wage. “Jesus did not like the minimum wage,” Barton contends.

11. Constitution Quotes The Bible ‘Verbatim’

Even though Barton can’t find a single actually verbatim quote from the Bible in the Constitution, he consistently claims that the Constitution quotes the Bible “verbatim.” It is no wonder that he also asserts that God established America’s system of elections. It is no surprise then that Barton advocates the theocratic Seven Mountains Dominionism.

12. Life Begins Before Conception

Barton has said that life doesn’t begin at conception, but actually “life begins before conception.” Not surprisingly, Barton believes that abortion rights will lead to socialism and that abortion is banned under the Seventh Amendment. The Seventh Amendment reads: “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re–examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

13. No Limits On Second Amendment

According to Barton, under the Second Amendment there is no limit to what type of weapons people could possess, including tanks, bazookas and fighter jets.

14. Abortion Rights Leads To Divine Punishment

Barton recently claimed that inclement weather linked to climate change isn’t a result of climate change at all, but is actually God’s judgment on America for abortion rights.

15. Prayer Stopped BP Oil Spill, Drought

During a Religious Right conference call, Barton maintained that state declarations of prayer ended a drought in Georgia and also prevented damage on the Gulf Coast from the BP oil spill.

Right-Wing Groups Gear Up To Oppose Disability Rights Treaty, Again

Last December, former Republican senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole took to the Senate floor in a wheelchair to urge his former colleagues to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty that would encourage countries around the world to emulate the United States’ protections for the rights of the disabled.

The treaty fell six votes short of the 2/3 majority it needed for passage, thanks to an intense lobbying effort by Religious Right groups that warned – against all evidence – that the treaty would threaten U.S. sovereignty, impede the rights of homeschoolers, expand abortion rights and allow the UN to seize children with glasses from their families.

Now, the fight is set to start over again. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the treaty for tomorrow, and once again the extremist right is gearing up to defeat it by spreading myths about CRPD’s true purpose and effects.

The first sign of what is to come is that Susan Yoshihara of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) has been called as a witness for Tuesday’s hearing. C-FAM is a far-right group dedicated to defeating gay rights and reproductive health measures at the UN. Most recently, the group has made headlines for vocally defending Russia’s ban on gay-rights speech , a law that C-FAM’s president Austin Ruse said “most of the people in the United States” would agree with. C-FAM opposes UN efforts to prevent violence against LGBT people, an effort for which it has found its strongest allies in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

C-FAM also stands against any UN public health initiatives that stray from an abstinence-only ideology. The group criticized UN HIV/AIDS guidelines that called for decriminalizing adultery, homosexuality and extramarital sex, claiming that decriminalization “would fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS.” The group also opposes efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through sex education and condom distribution, which it claims are merely ruses to “protect the sexual revolution.”

C-FAM’s opposition to the CRPD has centered on the myth that the treaty would expand abortion rights – a myth that even the anti-choice National Right to Life Committee has debunked and which Sen. John McCain called just plain “wrong.”

As the Senate considered the CRPD last year, Yoshihara warned that the treaty included protections for “sexual and reproductive health,” which she said meant the treaty would be “used to advance a right to abortion.” After the treaty fell short in the Senate, Yoshihara declared that “cooler heads prevailed,” fretting that “the text could be interpreted as including a right to abortion.”

Also gearing up to fight the CRPD is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is renewing its warnings that the treaty, along with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, would imperil homeschooling families in the United States, “override existing state laws” and “surrender our nation’s sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats.” An indication of HSLDA’s mode of operation is that the group’s founder Michael Farris has written a novel set in a future in which the United States has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, allowing the UN to snatch children from American homeschooling parents .

It is Farris who warned last year that the treaty would allow the UN to come in and take control of children who wear glasses or have ADHD. In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, Farris claimed that the treaty could even empower doctors to kill disabled children. He even warned that the treaty would make the United States “an official socialist nation.”

Thanks in large parts to Farris’ efforts, rumors claims that the United States’ signing of the CRPD would endanger homeschooling became so pervasive that Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware was forced to confirm with the Department of Justice that “ratification of this treaty will not do anything to change existing American law, rules or enforcement on homeschooling” and that the treaty would not “ erode one iota of American sovereignty.”

HSLDA and Farris found a powerful ally in former senator and failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who warned that the treaty would lead to the deaths of children with disabilities like his daughter Bella.

Under Farris and Santorum’s leadership, the Religious Right rallied to oppose the CRPD last year. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins warned – with absolutely no basis – that under the treaty, “the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense.” Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum included the treaty vote on its “bills to watch” list, and Schlafly warned that CRPD – and UN treaties as a whole – “override national sovereignty in pursuit of social engineering, feminist ideology, or merely busybody interference in a country’s internal affairs.”Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, Eagle Forum and the American Family Association also joined the effort against ratification

While right-wing groups circulate irresponsible rumors about imaginary impacts of the CRPD, international disability rights advocates are left without an important tool for their work – the United States’ approval of international standards based on US law. The Senate now has a second chance to listen to common-sense voices of support for the treaty – including leading disability rights, civil rights and business groups – and reject the unhinged rhetoric that brought down the treaty last year.

Profiles In Extremism: The Virginia GOP's Tea Party Ticket

This year, after switching its nominating process from a primary election to a convention system, the Virginia Republican Party selected three candidates for statewide office who are far out of the mainstream. The state convention, attended by the party’s diehard members, was an opportunity for the Tea Party wing of the party and Religious Right activists to push the state GOP even further to the ideological fringe, even after the bruising the party took nationwide in the 2012 election.

Now, Virginia voters will have the chance to vote on a GOP ticket so far to the right that it would make Barry Goldwater cringe.

Undermining Abortion Rights

Gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general and a former state senator, boasts that he entered politics by challenging a Republican lawmaker in a primary over the incumbent’s pro-choice views. After he was elected to the state senate, Cuccinelli tried to pass a personhood law which would criminalize all abortions in every case, along with several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. He has warned that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and has embarked on several endeavors as state senator and attorney general to close clinics that provide abortions and to defund Planned Parenthood.

E.W. Jackson, the minister and failed US Senate candidate who won the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, earned plaudits from the far-right for arguing that Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan . He fears that due to health care reform “abortion will increase like a plague upon the land” and claims anyone who backs a pro-choice candidate is “blaspheming their God.” An advocate of personhood laws, Jackson has slammed abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan” and are akin to the gross crimes committed by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

The GOP nominee for attorney general, state senator Mark Obenshain, like Cuccinelli backed multiple personhood bill in the General Assembly. He also supported successful legislation requiring invasive, transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. In fact, Obenshain introduced legislation that would make it a crime for a woman to fail to report a miscarriage to the police, punishable by a hefty fine and even prison time. A former board member of James Madison University, he wanted to ban emergency contraceptive pills from the student health center.

Anti-Gay

A hero of the anti-gay Right, Ken Cuccinelli has attacked gay rights at every turn, most recently by taking on the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down sodomy laws. Cuccinelli describes homosexuality as “intrinsically wrong,” “against nature and harmful to society” and as representing a “personal challenge,” arguing that gay people can’t have a family. Cuccinelli led the effort to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which he said would lead to polygamy, and denounced HIV/AIDS education.

“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” Cuccinelli said.

He has worked to stop gay people from adopting children and extending health benefits to their partners, and even tried to stop college and universities from offering protections for LGBT employees.

Obenshain opposed a bill to protect LGBT employees from job discrimination three times in the state senate. Receiving a perfect rating from the state’s chief anti-gay group, Obenshain voted in favor of bills that would curb gay adoption rights and undermine anti-discrimination policies at public universities. The state senator also withdrew his support from a judge whose nomination drew GOP opposition because he is openly gay.

Jackson has built his entire career demonizing gays and lesbians, whom he has called “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”

“Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of,” Jackson said. “It also attempts to poison our children, divide them from their parents and the teaching of the church and basically turn them into pawns for that movement so that they can sexualize them at the earliest possible age.” He maintained that gays have “recruited” black men, warning that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands.”

Jackson has also linked homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, and suggested that God will punish the military over the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, calling the discriminatory policy’s repeal “an abomination.”

Government Shutdown

Government shutdown architects Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jim DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina who now leads the Heritage Foundation, are two of Ken Cuccinelli’s favorite politicians. He told a conservative gathering, “I’m glad Ted Cruz was here. That was a great win. You know, you get more Ted Cruzes in there to back up Jim DeMint and you have less to worry about. You want to elect people you don't have to lobby. Sort of launch and leave missiles, politically speaking. Ted Cruz is a good one, and he’s a smart missile.”

During the shutdown, Cuccinelli joined Cruz at a Religious Right group’s event, even while saying he opposed Cruz’s strategy. But Cuccinelli actually backed a similar strategy in Virginia, urging anti-tax Republicans to take their budget standoff “right to the brink, over the brink.”

E.W. Jackson also previously supported government shutdowns. At a 2011 Tea Party rally with House Republicans, he chanted “cut it or shut it” during that year’s budget standoff. During this year’s shutdown he addressed the Values Voter Summit, an event where speaker after speaker, including Cruz, praised the GOP’s shutdown strategy.

Restricting Voting Rights

Cuccinelli said that Virginia, the home of Massive Resistance, should no longer be subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is also a huge supporter of voter ID laws that encumber voting among people of color, along with urban, young and elderly voters. While serving in the state senate, he fought against efforts to improve access to absentee ballots and restore voting rights to people who had served time for nonviolent felony convictions.

Obenshain will continue Cuccinelli’s legacy of undermining the rights of voters if he’s elected to replace him. The Washington Post editorial board writes of Obenshain: “In the legislature, he has been a champion of the GOP push for more restrictive voter ID laws, which would reduce access for poor and minority voters. (There is zero evidence of voters misrepresenting their identity at the Virginia polls, the ostensible justification for such laws.)”

Anti-Science

Exhibiting just how his extreme ideology influences his policymaking, Cuccinelli used his office as attorney general to hound climate scientists who worked at the state’s universities. One scientist who was relentlessly attacked by Cuccinelli said that the GOP gubernatorial candidate wanted to “intimidate clime scientists” and “chill the scientific discourse” around climate change. Courts sided with the University of Virginia over Cuccinelli, and also rebuffed his legal challenge to the EPA’s regulations of greenhouse gases.

Obenshain readily defended Cuccinelli’s witch hunt against climate scientists, opposing a bill to prevent the attorney general’s office from pursuing cases against academic inquiries. He told one Tea Party activist that he “absolutely” would pursue another lawsuit against the EPA and investigation into climate scientists.

Jackson, for his part, denies the theory of evolution, arguing that the theory must be wrong because chimpanzees do not have a spoken language. He similarly rejects climate science as “silly” and “hysteria,” arguing that God would prevent climate change. “As if God’s gonna let mankind destroy the planet with SUV’s,” he told National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, who also notes that Jackson has preached that yoga and meditation could lead to demonic possession.

Anti-Obama Conspiracy Theories

Cuccinelli has flirted with the birther conspiracy theory (that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii) and told a birther activist that it “doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility” that Obama was born in Kenya, even offering the activist legal advice. He also warned people against registering for a Social Security number “because it is being used to track you,” and endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama won re-election through voter fraud.

Jackson, meanwhile, suggested that Obama is an “anti-America, anti-Christian Communist and an anti-Semite with “Muslim sensibilities ” and “a lot of sympathy for radical Islam.”

“He certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam,” Jackson said. “I’ve heard him talk about Islam in ways I’ve never heard him talk about America, and Christianity, I don’t even think about that with him, I really don’t, come on, that’s a joke.”

“We are dealing with an evil presence,” Jackson said of Obama.

He has also claimed that Obama is in “ rebellion…against God ” and supports “an agenda worthy of the Antichrist ,” tweeting that Obama would “like to be” the “Pres. of Sodom & Gomorrah.” Jackson also believes Obama “will force schools to start teaching all children homosexuality.”

WND: 'Hitler Would Be Pleased' With Obama

WorldNetDaily’s Ellis Washington is tracing America’s problems all the way back to the 1850s, when he says the “Progressive Revolution” began. He says that, ever since, the country has been locked into the “Age of Progressivism,” and now under Presidnet Obama we are imitating Nazi Germany.

“Because while in a de jure (legal) sense America today doesn’t burn books, in a de facto (unofficial) sense through our book publishing industry, our literary agent industry, our media, our education system, our politics, our legal system and throughout culture and society,” Washington writes, “their exists an existential book burning, happening on a much greater scale by the Democrat Socialist Party, a scale the Nationalist Socialist Party could only dream of 80 years ago under Hitler and the Nazis.” 

“In modern times today, leftists creates this book burning atmosphere by deconstructing, perverting and destroying conservative ideas, particularly those out of the Judeo-Christian tradition of intellectual thought … without lighting one match or igniting one torch. Hitler would be pleased!”

[Eric] Metaxas demonstrated the collective angst all Germans of good faith like Bonhoeffer had over the growing Nazi menace after Hitler came to power in 1933: “Young and hitherto wholly unknown medical trainees came, as representatives of the Party, to suggest to the heads of hospitals that they immediately dismiss the Jewish doctors. Some allowed themselves to be persuaded. Any suggestions that such matters came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry and not of the Party were met with threats. The Dean tried to persuade faculty members to join the Party collectively. His attempt was foiled by individual refusals. Nor did the Ministry at first make any move to meet the demand for the dismissal of Jewish assistants. But doctors in individual hospitals were constantly spied upon to discover their attitude towards the Party.”

Doesn’t this passage have a ring of familiarity with American culture and society in the Age of Obama (2009–present), particularly the spying aspects and infusing a militant progressive worldview throughout America?



Nazification was Hitler and the Nazis’ successful attempt to make all of Germany a Nazi State and every German citizens a Nazi by using proven tactics like Gleichschaltung (forcing into line) and Weltanschauung (Nazi worldview). Similarly, under today’s Progressive Revolution since the 1850s, the Democrat Socialist Party has totally embraced Machiavelli’s “the end justify the means,” “Might makes right,” or as Lord Acton wrote of Machiavelli, “State [and federal] power is not bound by moral law,” which can only be achieved through the liberal lie: separation of church and state. Book burnings then, Obamacare now, were simply a dramatic means to achieve these socialist ends.

The caption in the image above was perhaps written around 1943 and says that, “Ten years ago the Nazis burned these books … but in America we can still read them.” Although this statement tried to distinguish America from Nazi Germany, it is only partially true today. Why? Because while in a de jure (legal) sense America today doesn’t burn books, in a de facto (unofficial) sense through our book publishing industry, our literary agent industry, our media, our education system, our politics, our legal system and throughout culture and society, their exists an existential book burning, happening on a much greater scale by the Democrat Socialist Party, a scale the Nationalist Socialist Party could only dream of 80 years ago under Hitler and the Nazis. In modern times today, leftists creates this book burning atmosphere by deconstructing, perverting and destroying conservative ideas, particularly those out of the Judeo-Christian tradition of intellectual thought … without lighting one match or igniting one torch. Hitler would be pleased!

Only in such an anti-God, anti-intellectual society as America has devolved into during the Age of Progressivism (1860–present) and in the Age of Obama (2009–present) are Heine’s prophetic words tantamount to those of Moses, Isaiah and St. Paul when he wrote, “Where books (ideas) are burned, they will, in the end burn people, too.”

Flashback: E.W. Jackson Joins Pat Robertson To Attack PFAW, Promote Christian Coalition

Back in 1997, E.W. Jackson was working for Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition as the director of the Samaritan Project, a short-lived campaign designed to reach out to minority voters by passing off the Coalition’s political agenda as a “bold and compassionate agenda to combat poverty and restore hope.”

According to the New York Times, Jackson took part in a blessing over Robertson: “With Mr. Robertson kneeling, a half-dozen black pastors blessed him, touching his shoulder. The Rev. Earl Jackson, an African-American preacher from Boston who heads the Samaritan Project, pronounced the scene ‘not just an event but an epiphany.’”

People For the American Way had criticized the Samaritan Project with a campaign called “Don’t be Fooled by the ‘Christian’ Coalition.”

In a 1997 interview on the 700 Club, Robertson and Jackson, who is now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, discussed the Christian Coalition’s outreach to the black community and criticized PFAW. “People For the American Way needs to try to do a little bit more of the American way, and the American way is a way of faith and that’s something that they just don’t seem to understand,” Jackson said.

HT: Pat Robertson’s Vault.

Anti-Gay Groups Rev Up Anti-ENDA Rhetoric As Senate Vote Nears

As RWW has been documenting, anti-gay groups have been getting wildly over the top in their denunciations of the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act, which would add to federal anti-discrimination law protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  With a procedural vote in the Senate scheduled as early as Monday evening, anti-LGBT groups are getting increasingly shrill.

On Friday night, the Family Research Council blasted out a breathtakingly dishonest alert charging that under ENDA “employers would be forced to reward workers based on their sexual preferences.” FRC’s Tony Perkins called ENDA a “republic-altering piece of legislation that has the power to fundamentally destroy Americans' First Amendment rights.”

Through ENDA (which FRC has blocked for a decade), businesses would be ordered to make hiring, firing, and promotion decisions -- not based on a person's qualifications -- but on their sexual expression. Homosexuals, cross-dressers, and transgendered workers would automatically qualify for special treatment that other workers would not. Can you imagine walking into your child's classroom and meeting a teacher dressed in drag? Neither can most Americans. But unfortunately, that's just one of the many consequences of adopting a law as dangerous as this one. Preschools, daycare centers, summer camps, religious chains like Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A -- they'll all be subject to the law, regardless of their personal beliefs and workplace standards.

Also on Friday, the National Organization for Marriage blasted ENDA, calling it “a Trojan horse built to attack the foundational institution of marriage between a man and a woman.”

That’s the same line taken a day earlier by Ryan Anderson, a protégé of Robert George and the Heritage Foundation’s answer to young Americans’ support for LGBT equality. Anderson wrote in National Review online that “ENDA would create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity, backed up by coercive enforcement.” Anderson also says “ENDA would further weaken the marriage culture and the ability of civil society to affirm that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human.”

Anderson and others call ENDA a threat to religious liberty even though the bill in fact includes a broad exemption for religious organizations, an exemption that is broad enough to raise concerns among some backers of the law. But for Anderson, even that religious liberty exemption is “inadequate and vaguely defined.” He says ENDA would interfere with the rights of business owners to run their businesses the way they want.

That was also the theme of a hyperventilating alert send on Sunday by former military chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt warning that the Senate was preparing to vote “to punish Christian Business Owners.” He says ENDA will trample religious freedom and “will force Christians into bankruptcy and lawsuits if they refuse to hire homosexuals that oppose their corporate mission.”

In reality, ENDA has broad support in the business community and is backed by large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Not only that, but majorities of all religious groups – including white evangelical Protestants – support laws to protect gay and lesbian people from workplace discrimination. So clearly, ENDA’s opponents do not speak for all Christians, or even all evangelical Christians, most of whom agree that fairness on the job is an American value that is worth upholding in law.

As President Barack Obama notes in an op-ed published in the Huffington Post on Sunday, ENDA is a concrete expression of America’s ideal of equality under the law:

America is at a turning point. We're not only becoming more accepting and loving as a people, we're becoming more just as a nation. But we still have a way to go before our laws are equal to our Founding ideals. As I said in my second inaugural address, our nation's journey toward equality isn't complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

In America of all places, people should be judged on the merits: on the contributions they make in their workplaces and communities, and on what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the content of their character." That's what ENDA helps us do. When Congress passes it, I will sign it into law, and our nation will be fairer and stronger for generations to come.

Immigration Reform Has New Life, But Will House Republican Leaders Cave to Extremists?

Immigration reform activists and President Obama have renewed the push for Congress to act on much-needed immigration legislation this year. We now see new movement as three Republicans have joined numerous Democrats in the House in co-sponsoring legislation that moves us closer to reform.

The question to ask going forward is whether House Republican leaders will side with extreme right-wing voices -- the same voices that shut down government -- or the majority of Americans who support a bi-partisan solution. It’s a clear choice and Republican leaders in the House have the power to move reform forward. All of this is laid out in People For’s recent Right Wing Watch report: Congressional Republicans' Clear Choice on Immigration.
 

PFAW

Vander Plaats: DOMA Decision Provoked A 'Constitutional Crisis' Because It Defied the Bible

Leading Iowa religious right figures Bob Vander Plaats and Steve Deace got together on American Family Radio today to discuss potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates and how they can move them even further to the right, as they did in 2012.

Eventually, the discussion moved to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who provoked conservative ire when he said that the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act was appropriate and would help avert “a culture war.”

Deace said that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case was actually “an anti-Christian polemic” that he would “expect to be reading…at Mother Jones.”

Vander Plaats agreed, saying that Kennedy had in fact provoked a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

Rep. Palazzo: DADT Repeal Proves Obama Doesn't 'Share The Same Christian Faith That We Do'

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) is coming to the defense of the Mississippi-based American Family Association after the organization was listed as a hate group in an Army training session, and is pointing figures at the White House. In an interview with the AFA’s OneNewsNow, Palazzo hailed the extremist AFA as a “great organization” and accused Obama of trying “to make America secular” and demonize Christians.

“Basically I don’t believe [President Obama] shares the same Christian faith that we do because he’s allowing his minions his political appointees to do this,” Palazzo told AFA correspondent Chad Groening. “I mean he’s repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the military. It was a policy that was working.”

Apparently, being a Christian means embracing the views of the AFA, a group whose chief spokesman has called for gays to be criminalized like drug addicts and commended the massacre of Native Americans.

Congressman Steven Palazzo represents Mississippi's Fourth District, where Camp Shelby is located. He has sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh signed by fellow Mississippi Representatives Greg Harper and Alan Nunnellee, as well as Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.

During an interview with OneNewsNow, Palazzo – a 25-year military veteran – said there seems to be a pattern of attacks on religious liberty within the military.

"I do believe there's an agenda out to make America secular and to ridicule and demagogue great groups such as AFA, which is all about the family, all about Christian principles," said the congressman. "So we're not going to stand idly by and allow ... the Army or other groups to attack such a great organization."

The Mississippi native said voters need to understand that elections have consequences.

" ... Basically I don't believe [President Obama] shares the same Christian faith that we do because he's allowing his minions his political appointees to do this," he comments. "I mean he's repealed 'don't ask, don't tell' in the military. It was a policy that was working."
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