It appears that every time Lou Engle leads a The Call prayer rally, the future of America is at stake. Later this month, Engle will be bringingThe Call to Fredericksburg, Virginia, this time with the help of televangelist Pat Robertson. Engle said that his rally intends to “intercede on behalf of the blood that has been shed as a result of racism and abortion and ask for God’s mercy on behalf of our nation” by praying at Civil War sites, and Robertson claimed the event is part of a “spiritual battle which can only be won by overwhelming prayer”:
Lou Engle says Virginia has always been instrumental in the great shifts in American history. It has always risen as a lead state in this nation - how Virginia goes affects the whole nation. Virginia is an “in the gap” state (as described by the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 22 of those who intercede before God on behalf of the needs of His people). The hope is that as the nation gathers in Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 26th, 2012 that God will use Virginia as a revival catalyst, a wall of intercession will be built, and God will show this nation an undeserved mercy. Lou feels that we are being brought into another great crisis in American history. We are in a “hinge of history moment” where we need to cry out to God for the Blood of Jesus to cleanse us for the sins of this nation. The word Lou received from God is, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” God has shown him the “house divided” is the racial tension in this country. Also, he received prophetic revelation that the grace period for abortion is coming to an end and we must atone for the shedding of innocent blood. This bloodshed has its roots in American history. Lou says in Appomattox and Fredericksburg, Virginia is where much blood was spilled in this country during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. That is a part of the significance of rallying in prayer where much blood was spilled – to intercede on behalf of the blood that has been shed as a result of racism and abortion and ask for God’s mercy on behalf of our nation. Also, Fredericksburg is located 50 miles south of Washington, D.C. and Lou feels that God wants people to intercede “right at the gate” of our nation’s capital. This is our hope: “God save America.” Through fasting and prayer during this critical hour, we dare to believe that God again will show us His mercy.
TheCall has had gatherings and events since its founding twelve years ago that coincide with the racial tension and abortion issues. TheCall Detroit interceded for and has seen reconciliation among the races. TheEstherCall was recently held as 39 women (representing the 39 years since the Roe v Wade decision) who had either had abortions or were survivors of abortions. They prayer walked for 250 miles for 21 days to intercede for life and the consideration of the health care law that would offer insurance coverage for abortions. After the May 26th event in Fredericksburg, TheEstherCall will have a time of prayer and communion at Appomattox, VA and a declarative word over Washington, D.C. Unexpectedly, this will be happening around the time the Supreme Court will be making a decision concerning the health care bill.
Pat Robertson also received a word from God during the New Year 2012:
“Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. A house divided cannot stand…This is a spiritual battle which can only be won by overwhelming prayer. The future of the world is at stake because if America falls, there no longer exists a strong champion of freedom and a champion of the oppressed of the world. There must be an urgent call to prayer.”
Robertson believes the Lord is calling each of us to pray for America and we need a great move of the Holy Spirit to cover our nation…to bring repentance, godliness, and unity to this land that we love. He supports TheCall in Fredericksburg, VA and hopes people will be a part of standing in the gap for America. He believes with all of his heart that praying in unity is exactly what God wants us to do right now. Although as a nation we’re facing a time of maximum stress and peril, Robertson says God Almighty hasn’t given up on this land. Our God is love and His desire is salvation, not judgment. Robertson urges everyone to stand together in this battle as we fast and pray for the future of our country.
Leslee Unruh, the founder of Abstinence Clearinghouse and a staunch anti-choice activist, today appeared on Truth that Transforms, the flagship radio program of Truth in Action Ministries, to discuss the falling teen pregnancy rate. The Centers for Disease Control noted [pdf] that “strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teenagers” and the “increased use of contraception” may “have contributed to the recent birth rate declines.” However, states with abstinence-only-until-marriage policies continue to see higher rates of teen pregnancy compared to states with schools that teach comprehensive sex-education.
“The teen birth rate increased during the height of the federal investment in abstinence education,” Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy told Salon. “Researchers who have looked at it closely over the past several years tend to believe it is contraception that is making the difference.”
Upset about the positive attention given to the role contraception is playing in lowering the teen birth rate, Unruh told Truth that Transforms host John Rabe that comprehensive sex-ed programs, particularly those which include discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity, are actually going to lead to the “self-destruction” of society and are “based on profound ignorance about human nature.” She maintained that “all the data” backs abstinence-only-until-marriage education, adding, “you know what, the church ladies are having the best sex.”
Rabe: This isn’t just basic biological information this is really ideological indoctrination form a very liberal standpoint, isn’t it?
Unruh: Exactly and you know the information is really designed to have all kinds of family, regardless of how many people were involved, it’s about [sexual] orientation, gender identity, it’s out there, and I’ll tell you it’s really based on profound ignorance about human nature and what makes for a healthy family. It really is the next stage in really the self-destruction of what we call the traditional family and a healthy society. So it’s a fight worth getting involved in and fighting for our kids.
Unruh: All the data is there, and it is time for everybody to recognize it, both in the church and in the public sector that you know what, the church ladies are having the best sex!
Just how much has Citizens United altered the electoral landscape? While the overall amount of outside money in politics has risen dramatically with each passing election cycle, the Citizens United decision eliminated restrictions on corporate and special-interest spending to influence or elections. The result shows that the new rules have stacked the deck in favor of Republicans.
This chart from the Center for Responsive Politics shows how, while spending by outside groups has been on the rise since the 90’s, it was not until 2010 Supreme Court decision that conservatives saw a sudden, major advantage in outside-expenditure spending on their behalf:
Total Liberal vs. Conservative Outside Spending, Excluding Party Committees
As Ian Milllhiser at Think Progress notes, the much of the 2012 spending on Republican candidates went to intra-party contests during the primaries, though it will likely continue through the general election. But the overall trend is clear: As a result of the Citizens United, Republicans will continue to enjoy outsized spending on their behalf by corporations.
Until a constitutional amendment can overturn Citizens United, progressives around the country are working on various legislative workarounds to address the flood of corporate money being spent to influence our elections. While only a constitutional amendment can restore to the American people the authority to regulate such spending, there are several ways to compel companies to disclose their political spending to the public and bring much-needed accountability to corporations that use their vast treasuries to sway our elections.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the rulemaking authority to require corporations to disclose their political spending to their shareholders. This is significant because so many Americans are shareholders in one form or another: if you own a 401(k) or similar retirement account, you’re a type of shareholder; and the companies you invest with could be spending your money to support candidates or fund attack ads – all without your knowledge.
The American people have told the SEC to do its job. Yesterday, we broke the record for total number of comments submitted to the SEC on a particular rule: 178,000 Americans have written to the SEC, telling them to protect Americans from the undue influence of wealthy corporations and special interests. PFAW supporters contributed a sizeable chunk of about 24,000 signatures to the effort.
The Corporate Reform Coalition, a group of progressive organizations including PFAW, Common Cause, Public Citizens, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending and others has been pushing a consumer-driven campaign to ask corporations to refrain from engaging in political spending. We are also pursuing legislative solutions like the Shareholder Protection Act as well as other means to help shine light on the influence of corporate money in our democracy.
Last night, actor and PFAW board member Alec Baldwin appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, where they discussed, as the host put it, “the number one reason to vote for president”: the United States Supreme Court.
Baldwin noted that the Supreme Court affects the daily lives of all Americans, and that the prospect of Mitt Romney making lifetimes appointments to that institution is nothing less than “scary,” especially with Robert Bork as his top judicial advisor.
“To most people, the court is an idea, they don’t realize the impact it has on our daily lives,” Baldwin said. But People For the American Way has been “drilling home the relevance of the court…this is the most abjectly politicized Supreme Court I’ve ever seen in my life,” he continued. Decisions like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, he said, are “changing the nature of this country.”
Baldwin is helping to spread the word about RomneyCourt.com, where you can read “Borking America,” PFAW’s extensive report on Mitt Romney’s top judicial advisor – whose views are so extreme his own nomination was rejected by a bipartisan coalition more than 20 years ago.
Yesterday on Faith and Freedom, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber railed against—what else?—LGBT equality, warning of a “tyranny of sexually deviant rights” that will overthrow the Constitution. Barber, who previously said that the push for equal rights is part of an attempt “to impose a globalist, communist structure” and put conservatives “behind bars,” asserted that the “LGBT agenda and Constitutional rights cannot exist in harmony.”
This tyranny of rights, this tyranny of the minority, and we’re not talking about racial minorities, neutral minorities, we’re talking about people who define their identity based upon sexually deviant behaviors and proclivities. This is a tyranny of sexually deviant rights and it’s by design to replace the enumerated Constitutional rights given by our Creator based upon the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, these so-called rights violate the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, and yes violate the expressed guarantees that we have to religious liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of association granted to us by the United States Constitution. The LGBT agenda and Constitutional rights cannot exist in harmony. At Liberty Counsel, we defend the Constitution.
Yesterday, Pastor Dan Cummins spoke to Chelsen Vicari of Concerned Women for America to publicize a May 8th prayer event, hosted by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and endorsed by Speaker John Boehner, in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall that Cummins said was inspired by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response:
Cummins: As part of the activities for National Day of Prayer, we are inviting members of the Congress, of the House and Senate, and their staff, to participate in this prayer event in probably the most sacred hall of the Capitol, Statuary Hall.
Vicari: That sounds fabulous, in conjunction to this event there is an event that our listeners can actually partake in and that’s Prayer in the People’s House, can you tell us about that?
Cummins: While we are having this event in the Capitol, in fact, let me first tell you some of the speakers that will be participating in this event for our members of Congress. Dr. Jim Garlow of Skyline Wesleyan Church and also Renewing American Leadership will be with us, Bishop Harry Jackson from High Impact Leadership, Dr. Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares International, Dr. Alveda King from Priest for Life, and everybody knows historian David Barton.
Today, Mitt Romney spokesman Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, resigned from his job on the Romney campaign. Grenell’s hiring less than two weeks ago provoked harsh criticism among Religious Right activists including the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, former FRC president Gary Bauer and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. Fischer went so far as to suggest that Grenell posed a national security risk, as reported by People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch.
Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, said:
“Mitt Romney is once again trying to have it both ways: claiming that he personally tolerates gays and lesbians while at the same time pandering to the anti-gay right-wing base whose intolerance is legendary. Obviously, it’s not working.
“Romney is clearly depending on Religious Right leaders to help him energize a wary base and they insist that he toe the line. But the support of those leaders comes at a price. If Romney is letting the likes of Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer dictate all his hiring decisions, he leaves no doubt as to what kind of president he would be.
“If Romney will cave to the far-right fringe on this, is there anything he won’t give them when they ask?”
Kamal Saleem used his appearance at Awakening 2012 to denigrate Roe v. Wade, maintaining that it will lead to Sharia law, and immigration reform, also maintaining that it will lead to Sharia law and the legalization of terrorism. He also went after another measure loathed by the Religious Right: hate crimes legislation. “When and if Sharia law is allowed in the United States of America the First Amendment will have to be broken because of the hate crime bill,” Saleem said. He then went on to argue that once Sharia law is imposed in the US the “Constitution has to be brought down and establishing fascism will have to take place. Why? Because Islam is a fascist place, just like Nazism or any other fascist religion.”
Later, Saleem and his co-panelist Frank Gaffney were asked by a member of the audience if President Obama is a Muslim, a questioned that was met with applause from the crowd. Saleem responded that Obama, when he appears to be pledging allegiance to the flag, is actually participating in an Islamic prayer.
At last week’s Awakening 2012 conference, phony “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem not only detailed a treacherous scheme by President Obama to use immigration reform to legalize terrorism, but also uncovered a liberal plot to use the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade to “bring Sharia law liberally in our face.” Responding to co-panelist Frank Gaffney’s specious allegation that there have been anywhere between fifty to seventy instances where American judges used Sharia law to decide cases, Saleem blamed the Religious Right’s most hated ruling on the supposed proliferation of Sharia law in America.
Here’s a picture, I’m going to draw it very simply. What they’re trying to integrate into our laws is Roe v. Wade, Roe v. Wade. When they put this Islamic clause, we tracked fifty and now I’m going like there’s seventy, wow, when they establish this what happened is, they will be able to bring Sharia law liberally in our face. That’s why he said fight against those—any court that allows it we need to demonstrate outside and say no Sharia law but our constitution.
Last week’s Awakening 2012 conference included a panel on Islam featuring Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council and Kamal Saleem, the phony “ex-terrorist” who has been making the rounds on Religious Right events and television programs tellinghisbogus, discreditedbackstory.
While some panelists at the Awakening criticized the GOP’s anti-immigrant stance, Saleem maintained that immigration reform is actually a plot to have “all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here” and consequently, “terrorism will be legal.” Saleem accused President Obama of “sending millions to Hamas to import Muslim people” to the U.S. as part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot. Later in the panel, Saleem warned, “This world will become past tense and one day we’ll be wearing ragheads.”
The immigration bill is not against the Hispanic, per se, many people think it’s against the Hispanic, no, it’s not, on the contrary, our President is sending millions to Hamas to import Muslim people to United States of America. If that law passed—yes mam, check your media, Google that, he just sent $23 million dollars to Hamas recently to Hamas, just this year, we’re about to bankrupt and he sent the money to Muslims—so what happened is he’s trying to import them to United States of America to throw the power of conservatism and the Church out, you know God’s people, so what happens is they will become the upper hand or the equal hand. Because if you read the Muslim Brotherhood theology and their memorandum that they came to destroy United States of America with, is to populate United States of America with a multitude of millions of Muslims. So what happened is, when they are here, the Sharia law will, what happened when he allowed in the name of the Hispanic people, Mexican people, ‘let’s make them American,’ now all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here and terrorism will be legal in United States of America.
It’s time to make our voices known and time to stand up straight and fight for it because ultimately, the whole word just like my brother Frank [Gaffney] said, this world will become past tense and one day we’ll be wearing ragheads and walking on the street and everybody will say, ‘that used to be a Christian country where Islam conquered.’
Back in January, Rick Santorum kicked off his Florida campaign by speaking at Florida’s Worldwide Christian Center, whose pastor, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, is a fervently anti-gay and anti-Muslim activist with close ties to leading Republican officials across the state, and co-chaired Santorum’s Florida campaign. During the Florida campaign and even after Romney all but locked up the party’s nomination, Dozier has consistently warned that his nomination would jeopardize the future of the GOP with black voters because according to Dozier, who is African American, “blacks are not going to vote for anyone of the Mormon faith.” Dozier even went so far as to write a letter to Southern Baptist leader Richard Land urging him to press Romney to explicitly “renounce” past Mormon doctrines on race. While speaking yesterday with conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who has hosted anti-Mormon activists before, Dozier appeared to be using a Bryan Fischer-liketactic of stoking anti-Mormon animosity but under the guise of insinuating that Democrats are to blame for attacks on his religion, accusing the left of potentially making Romney’s faith an issue in the future.
I don’t know whether people understand this or not but the Mormon religion believes that the Negros were cursed, that they were cursed in the pre-existence because of something they did in the pre-existence and in this life they are cursed, they are cursed with black skin, a flat nose and big lips. They believe this, this is written all through their doctrine, it’s in there, it’s in the Mormon book and it’s also in the Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young is one of the main ones who said these things and other prophets that they have had. I tell you, listen to me very, very carefully, when Mitt Romney is fully vetted by the Democratic Party, I don’t think a black person, a Jewish person, I don’t think any minorities will want to come nowhere next to him.
Here’s my fear, Mitt Romney being the face and the leader now of the Republican Party. What does that do to the Republican Party? Number one, it will taint the Republican Party. And a nomination of Mitt Romney will widen the racial divide in this country.
Calls have been made for some time now for President Obama to officially support anti-bullying legislation. As of April 20, he stands strong behind the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act.
Truth in Action Ministries has embraced the work of anti-gay activist Michael Brown in recent weeks, producing a condensed version of his book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, called A Stealth Agenda, and inviting him to appear in short films describing the “radical homosexual agenda” as a deadly iceberg and another defending countries that criminalize homosexuality. Today, Brown appeared on the group’s flagship radio program Truth that Transforms where he was introduced by hosts Carmen Pate and John Rabe, who likened homosexuality to “bondage” and even “slavery”:
Pate: Homosexuality, those who are struggling with that lifestyle and are desiring to leave it, are hungry for truth, John. And so it’s so important when we consider that our government ignores the truth and instead supports an agenda that really keeps them in bondage. It’s important that we speak truth so they might find that healing and restoration.
Rabe: It’s absolutely true, Carmen, there is liberation for people who are enmeshed in slavery, and this is a form of it. It really is an agenda; this didn’t just sort of happen by chance, there is an agenda here.
Brown told Pate and Rabe that government officials, businesses, Hollywood and TV shows like Glee are boosting “homosexual activism,” which he called the “principal threat to religious freedom, freedom of conscience [and] freedom of speech”:
Brown: So their creativity, energy, gets them in high places in Hollywood, so kids are watching shows like Glee on TV and that pervasive message is coming. We have many politicians fighting these things, our own government says, ‘this is now a civil rights issue and we’re going to stand for this, we’re going to fight for this,’ major businesses are championing it. Across the board, court cases, decisions being made, homosexual activism has become the principal threat to religious freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, in America and in other countries around the world. If we don’t see it now, we’re going to have to apologize to our kids and our grandkids.
On Thursday, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in an effort to drum up support for his Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. Huelskamp’s bill purportedly prevents “discrimination” against members of the military based on their beliefs on “human sexuality,” while also banning the use of military property for any same-sex “marriage or marriage-like ceremony.” Discussing the bill, the congressman accused President Obama of launching a “shocking violation of religious liberty” as part of his “administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda”:
Huelskamp: We have forty-seven cosponsors in the House including some leading members of the Armed Services Committee and we’re having a lot of great support also as well. We continue to hear, and this is the scariest thing, we hear from chaplains all across the country and even military bases elsewhere around the world that the administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda goes all the way down to having to get approval for their sermon notes, having to have man’s approval for things they’re going to preach, I mean the idea that we’re going to not allow chaplains to disagree with the President of the United States and his administration is a shocking violation of religious liberty.
Later in the interview, Rep. Huelskamp claimed that “radical secularism” is working with the “radical homosexual movement” to suppress religious freedom:
Huelskamp: It’s an issue of whether or not chaplains can actually preach the Gospel and that men and women can actually live the Gospel. I think you have this radical secularism and you put it together with the radical homosexual movement and say ‘hey, if you have those beliefs that’s fine but you can talk about it for an hour on Sunday, maybe, and after that just keep quiet for the other hundred and some hours a week.’ The idea that chaplains would not be able to preach certain parts of the Gospel and say, ‘you know what this is the way we interpret it and this is what it means,’ and those are being shut down.
After American Family Association Bryan Fischer wentintoall-outwar with Mitt Romney’s campaign for hiring an openly gay foreign policy spokesman, his “straights only” position won support from other Religious Right leaders like Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins. Now, Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is jumping to Fischer’s defense as well, telling talk show host Janet Mefferd on Friday that Romney is “putting his finger in the eye of the pro-family movement” with the hire, even though Romney has emphasized his anti-gaybonafides throughout the campaign.
Later, LaBarbera denounced the “hidden homosexuality” in Washington D.C., in particular the Republicans who “have a homosexual problem” and are not public about it. He also told Mefferd that “Americans would rally to our position” on homosexuality if only the GOP recruits a candidate like Rick Santorum who can inspire the anti-gay “silent majority” and combat the “media, Hollywood and academy [that] are 1,000 percent for perversion.” If not, LaBarbera warned that the Right may “see a bigger push for a third party,” a view also supported by Family Research Council Vice President Tom McCluskly.
LaBarbera: I think the significance of what Mitt Romney has done is he’s putting his finger in the eye of the pro-family movement, as you alluded to, here’s the entire conservative movement, especially social conservatives like us, saying ‘it’s going to be hard to get enthused about Mitt Romney.’ I’m speaking as a private citizen, our group is non-partisan, but what does he do? He appoints a homosexual activist for one of his spokespeople.
Mefferd: Mostly in the past they’ve been quasi-closeted if not fully closeted, Ken Mehlman is a perfect example, he didn’t come out until after he was out as the campaign chief of Bush.
LaBarbera: But he did say that he used his influence that he could behind the scenes, which is what I always suspected of these homosexual Republicans. I’ve always called on them to be open, if they have a homosexual problem, as I put it, I don’t believe it’s a positive identity; the people have a right to know if they’re in elected office. There’s a lot of hidden homosexuality, especially in Washington.
Mefferd: The reason this bothers me so much is because increasingly you’re seeing the GOP indicating that, ‘because this is a losing issue and we see these polls showing more and more people support so-called homosexual marriage, we want to win, we need to be able to draw some of these voters to our side.’ My feeling on that is: if you’re drawing voters to your side on an issue that actually matters, then what does it matter if you win if you’ve compromised everything that matters?
LaBarbera: Absolutely. It’s shame on them. Guess what, there was a time when anti-Communism was unpopular, and Reagan is known for that as his greatest accomplishment, stopping Soviet Communism. Rick Santorum went very far and it’s interesting, the homosexual magazine The Advocate seems very concerned that Rick Santorum got so far, so I think there’s a lot of silent support for our position. The media, Hollywood and academy are 1,000 percent for perversion, for homosexuality, but the silent majority I believe still opposes them. I think the support for so-called gay rights is a mile wide and an inch deep. I think if you had a candidate like Santorum that explains the issue, explains how religious freedom is going to be trampled over by this tiny minority of homosexual activists who want to push their agenda at any cost, I think Americans would rally to our position.
Mefferd: It may make things a little bit dicey in future elections, won’t it, if the GOP keeps going in this direction?
LaBarbera: I think if they keep going in this direction I think you will see a bigger push for a third party because this is one of the core issues. Unless, you know, Christians just give up on their faith and you know say we’re not going to believe that part of the Bible, absolutely.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is upset that Republican congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, believes President Obama is a Christian (which he explained in a rather peculiar and patronizing letter to David Brody), because according to Farah, Obama “has been at war with God before he took office and ever since”:
But what is the evidence of Obama’s Christian faith? His attendance for 20 years in Jeremiah Wright’s schizoid, America-hating, Liberation Theology cult? What does this have to do the Jesus? Nothing.
Is this naiveté on Joe the Plumber’s part, or is this politics?
Where is the evidence that Jesus is the Lord of Barack Obama’s life? Calling oneself a Christian does not mean one is a Christian.
Yet, Joe the Plumber insists he doesn’t question Obama’s faith.
“I don’t question his faith, and when I read or hear people claiming he’s not a Christian because of this or that, I don’t like it,” he wrote in his letter to CBN. “[But] Barack Obama once famously told me he just wanted to spread the wealth around and I take him at his word about that as well. After three years of watching the policies he’s put forth, the agenda he’s pushed and the detrimental effect it’s had on our country, I don’t question it one bit.”
How about this?
• his support of same-sex marriage
• his support of open homosexual activity in the military
• his support of killing innocent babies in the womb
• his support for withholding life support for survivors of abortion
• his support for forcing those of Christian conscience to provide sterilization and abortion services to their employees through mandatory health-care programs
Barack Obama has been at war with God before he took office and ever since.
Mitt Romney is eager these days to change the subject from what the public sees as his party's "war on women." He seeks to close the huge gender gap that has opened up as women flee the party of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh in search of something a little less patriarchal and misogynistic.
But Romney's problems with America's women may be just beginning. He can distance himself from the theocratic musings of other Republicans and the macho bullying of Fox News talking heads, but he cannot run away from his own selection of former Judge Robert Bork, in August of last year, to become his principal advisor on the Supreme Court and the Constitution.
Bork hopes to wipe out not only the constitutional right to privacy, especially the right to contraception and to abortion, but decades of Equal Protection decisions handed down by what he calls a feminized Supreme Court deploying "sterile feminist logic" to guarantee equal treatment and inclusion of women. Bork is no casual chauvinist but rather a sworn enemy of feminism, a political force that he considers "totalitarian" and in which, he has concluded, "the extremists are the movement."
Romney may never have to elaborate his bizarrely muted reaction to Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" ("it's not the language I would have used"), but he will definitely have to answer whether he agrees with his hand-picked constitutional advisor that feminism is "totalitarian"; that the Supreme Court, with two women Justices, had become "feminized" at the time of U.S. v. Virginia (1996) and produced a "feminization of the military"; and that gender-based discrimination by government should no longer trigger heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause.
Romney has already said that, "The key thing the president is going to do... it's going to be appointing Supreme Court and Justices throughout the judicial system." He has also said that he wishes Robert Bork "were already on the Court."
So look what Robert Bork thinks Romney's Supreme Court Justices should do about the rights of women.
Wiping Out Contraceptive, Abortion and Privacy Rights
Romney certainly hoped to leave behind the surprising controversy in the Republican primaries over access to contraception, but Robert Bork's extremist views on the subject guarantee that it stays hot. Bork rejects the line of decisions, beginning with Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), affirming the right of Americans to privacy in their procreative and reproductive choices. He denounces the Supreme Court's protection of both married couples' and individuals' right to contraception in Griswold and Eisenstaedt v. Baird (1972), declaring that such a right to privacy in matters of procreation was created "out of thin air." He calls the Ninth Amendment -- which states that the "enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" -- an "inkblot" without meaning. For him, the right of people to decide about birth control has nothing to do with Due Process liberty or other rights "retained by the people" -- it is the illegitimate expression of "radical individualism" on the Supreme Court.
Bork detests Roe v. Wade (1973), a decision he says has "no constitutional foundation" and is based on "no constitutional reasoning." He would overturn it and empower states to prosecute women and doctors who violate criminal abortion laws. Bork promises:
Attempts to overturn Roe will continue as long as the Court adheres to it. And, just so long as the decision remains, the Court will be perceived, correctly, as political and will continue to be the target of demonstrations, marches, television advertisements, mass mailings, and the like. Roe, as the greatest example and symbol of the judicial usurpation of democratic prerogatives in this century, should be overturned. The Court's integrity requires that.
In other words, the Court's "integrity" would require a President Romney to impose an anti-Roe v. Wade litmus test on all nominations to the Court.
Ending Heightened Scrutiny of Government Sex Discrimination under Equal Protection
Bork is the leading voice in America assailing the Supreme Court for using "heightened" Equal Protection scrutiny to examine government sex discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. While women and men all over America cheered the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in United States v. Virginia (1996), the decision that forced the Virginia Military Institute to stop discriminating and to admit its first women cadets, Bork attacked it for producing the "feminization of the military," which for him is a standard and cutting insult --"feminization" is always akin to degradation and dilution of standards. He writes: "Radical feminism, an increasingly powerful force across the full range of American institutions, overrode the Constitution in United States v. Virginia." Of course, in his view, this decision was no aberration: "VMI is only one example of a feminized Court transforming the Constitution," he wrote. Naturally, a "feminized Court" creates a "feminized military."
Bork argues that, outside of standard "rational basis" review, "the equal protection clause should be restricted to race and ethnicity because to go further would plunge the courts into making law without guidance from anything the ratifiers understood themselves to be doing." This rejection of gender as a protected form of classification ignores the fact that that the Fourteenth Amendment gives "equal protection" to all "persons." But, if Bork and his acolytes have their way, decades of Supreme Court decisions striking down gender-discriminatory laws under the Equal Protection Clause will be thrown into doubt as the Court comes to examine sex discrimination under the "rational basis" test, the most relaxed kind of scrutiny. Instead of asking whether government sex discrimination "substantially" advances an "important" government interest, the Court will ask simply whether it is "conceivably related" to some "rational purpose." Remarkably, Mitt Romney's key constitutional advisor wants to turn back the clock on Equal Protection jurisprudence by watering down the standards for reviewing sex-discriminatory laws.
Judge Bork Means Business: the Case of the Sterilized Women Employees
If you don't think Bork means all this, go back and look at his bleak record as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Take just one Bork opinion that became a crucial point of discussion in the hearings over his failed 1987 Supreme Court nomination. In a 1984 case calledOil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union v. American Cyanamid Co., Bork found that the Occupational Safety and Health Act did not protect women at work in a manufacturing plant from a company policy that forced them to be sterilized -- or else lose their jobs -- because of high levels of lead in the air. The Secretary of Labor had decided that the Act's requirement that employers must provide workers "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards" meant that American Cynamid had to "fix the workplace" through industrial clean-up rather than "fix the employees" by sterilizing or removing all women workers of child-bearing age. But Bork strongly disagreed. He wrote an opinion for his colleagues apparently endorsing the view that other clean-up measures were not necessary or possible and that the sterilization policy was, in any event, a "realistic and clearly lawful" way to prevent harm to the women's fetuses. Because the company's "fetus protection policy" took place by virtue of sterilization in a hospital -- outside of the physical workplace -- the plain terms of the Act simply did not apply, according to Bork. Thus, as Public Citizen put it, "an employer may require its female workers to be sterilized in order to reduce employer liability for harm to the potential children."
Decisions like this are part of Bork's dark Social Darwinist view of America in which big corporations are always right and the law should rarely ever be interpreted to protect the rights of employees, especially women, in the workplace.
No matter how vigorously Mitt Romney shakes his Etch-a-Sketch, Americans already have an indelible picture of what a Romney-run presidency and Bork-run judiciary would look like and what it would mean for women. With Robert Bork calling the shots on the courts, a vote for Mitt Romney is plainly a vote against women's rights, women's equality and women's freedom.
The Wisconsin recall campaigns have heated up with the Spring weather, and both sides in the fight are pushing their big arguments and unleashing their cash reserves in an all-out battle for the hearts and minds of Wisconsin voters. With the Primaries for Governor, Lt. Governor, and recall Senate candidates rapidly approaching on May 8th, a measure of tit-for-tat claims and debunking is happening on radio and TV, with most of the Republican advertising money coming from interest groups.
Embattled Governor Scott Walker, in multiple TV, radio, and print interviews, made outrageous success claims over the last week, saying just about anything to save his hide. Just in the last 10 days alone, Walker compared himself to Abe Lincoln , denied gutting the Wisconsin Equal Pay Act and claimed his budget saved Wisconsin taxpayers $1 Billion since he's been in office.
As they tend to do, though, facts soon took the Governor's claims apart, using hard numbers to debunk his nonsensical overstatements. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released earlier this week nailed Walker on his jobs creation claim, with reporters across Wisconsin and the United States highlighting that Wisconsin was actually dead last in job creation in all categories. Walker's week didn't get any better when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn shot back at Walker for his derisive comments before the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Policy Institute about job creation, when he lambasted Walker with the facts about Illinois' incredible rebound from economic decline. Finally, Democratic women in Wisconsin took Governor Walker to task for his assertion that he didn't repeal Equal Pay in Wisconsin, filling in the blanks on the Governor's claims, and demanding he explain himself.
Wisconsin State Senators under threat of recall, along with Tea Party darling, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch who is also in danger of losing her seat, came under more scrutiny for their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), with some Senators claiming they are no longer members of the group. This comes in the wake of the announcement that ALEC is dissolving the key committee responsible for drafting legislation currently under the microscope as part of the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida. Wisconsin ALEC members, including Governor Walker, have pushed through concealed carry laws and castle defense laws similar to those enacted in Florida, Arizona, and many other states. People For The American Way is continuing to follow this story as part of its Wisconsin Fight The Right Campaign.
Looking forward to next week, financial filings for political candidates and officials in Wisconsin are due on April 30. People For The American Way will be paying special attention to whether these “former” ALEC members actually received money from the organization's donors recently. Our "Fight The Right" effort in Wisconsin will continue to roll-out, with new information posted daily on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. On Wisconsin!
Today on Washington Watch Weekly Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted California pastor Jack Hibbs, who is promoting a petition drive to overturn SB 48 through a referendum. SB 48 ensures that prominent LGBT historical figures are included in textbooks, and has been a majortargetoffierceoppositionfromReligiousRightgroups, including the FRC. “Our children are being under attack,” Hibbs told Perkins, “we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children.” Hibbs concluded, “We’re fighting for our children’s lives, right here in California.”
What we need Tony of representatives across the nation is to stand for what’s right, we need to be very careful, we’re not standing for some political kingdom or some political direction, this has come to a point now Tony where our children are being under attack, on our watch. Jesus said, woe to the man who allows the littlest of these to be offended for it would have been better for him to have never been born. That’s a serious issue, as pastors, as Christians, as churches, for that matter, as concerned citizens no matter what your belief is, we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children from quite frankly an ongoing group of people who I don’t think any longer has what’s best in my child in mine any longer. There is an agenda and we need to push back from that agenda.
Get people in California that you know to sign the petition. You need to be a registered voter, at our church for example, you can register to vote and then move right on over the piece of paper and sign the petition. Signing the petition, dear friends, if we cannot sign a petition when it’s as easy as this then what are we going to do when things really get tough? So, you asked Tony how is it going, it’s going well but it can be going better. We need people involved, we need people to step up. We’re fighting for our children’s lives right here in California.