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PFAW to Join Rally to Restore the Voting Rights Act on Shelby County Anniversary

Today People For the American Way will join a diverse group of civil rights and voting rights advocates in Roanoke, Virginia – represented in Congress by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte – to rally for a restored Voting Rights Act (VRA). The gathering will take place on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted a key provision of the VRA.

The event will include speeches from many esteemed leaders and activists, including People For the American Way Director of African American Religious Affairs, Minister Leslie Watson Malachi.

PFAW President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“We join together to recognize both the brave leaders who paved the way for the Voting Rights Act fifty years ago and the road ahead to restore protections at the polls. For almost half a century, this landmark law helped ensure that people of color had equal access to the ballot box.

“It is imperative that Congress restores the protections that the Court gutted two years ago. Two years is far too long for voters to face the threat, and the reality, of increased racial discrimination at the polls. As we gear up for the 2016 presidential election, it’s more urgent than ever for these protections to be restored.

“Today we call on Chairman Goodlatte and his colleagues to honor those who have fought for decades for the right to cast a vote that counts by working together to renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.”

People For the American Way and African American Ministers In Action commend Senator Patrick Leahy, Representative John Lewis, and their colleagues for introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the VRA. Congress should take up and pass this legislation as quickly as possible.

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Activists Join Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton to Protest Bogus ‘Religious Liberty’ Objections to DC Anti-Discrimination Law

The right-wing tactic of pushing discriminatory policies under the guise of religious freedom is nothing new -- we’ve already seen it used to hurt LGBT people in North Carolina, Louisiana, and elsewhere across the country. But now Republican lawmakers are going a step further, by attacking anti-discrimination legislation meant to protect Americans who aren't even represented in Congress.

The legislation is Washington, DC’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which would protect workers from being fired or punished by their employers for things like using birth control, getting pregnant without being married, or having an abortion. DC’s City Council recently passed RHNDA, and now Congress is using its (fundamentally undemocratic) authority to reverse DC’s local laws to repeal it on the grounds that it violates the religious freedom of employers. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a rider that would block DC from using local funds to enforce RHNDA.

Today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) held a press conference in DC, where she denounced these congressional attacks and praised the DC employers who have vowed to embrace RHNDA’s protections anyway.

“Republicans do not understand how united this city is against discrimination, and they do not need to; they just need to let the District be the District... Our Republican opponents claim that the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act will allow pro-choice employees of anti-choice organizations to espouse their own personal pro-choice beliefs.  That falsehood must be met with the truth that employees must carry out the mission of their employer.”

Nearly 33,000 people have already signed PFAW’s petition telling Congress not to meddle with DC’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.

PFAW

Five Bobby Jindal Moments That Prove His 'Stupid Party' Bona Fides

It is almost sad to watch Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, struggling at 0 percent in presidential polls, embrace the “dumbed-down conservatism” and “stupid party” mantras that he once vociferously denounced. Jindal, who today made his presidential bid official today, has by now emerged as a “stupid party” standard-bearer:

Spreading Creationism

As we’ve reported, “Jindal has led an aggressive push in his home state for the privatization of public education and the taxpayer funding of religious schools, even directing taxpayer dollars to schools espousing Creationism, which he said would let kids ‘be exposed to the best facts.’”

Thanks to Jindal’s policies, taxpayer money is now going towards Creationist schools which teach that humans and dinosaurs lived side-by-side, citingdragons and the Loch Ness monster as proof. At the same time, Jindal has cut the state university system’s budget to the bone and advocated for even deeper cuts.

Jindal’s support for Creationism in schools has brought international notoriety to the state, as over 70 Nobel Laureates signed a letter reminding the governor that “scientific education should accurately portray the premises and processes of science. Teaching religious ideas mislabeled as science is detrimental to scientific education: It sets up a false conflict between science and religion, misleads our youth about the nature of scientific inquiry, and thereby compromises our ability to respond to the problems of an increasingly technological world.”

Sharia A-Comin’!

While Jindal made Louisiana a laughingstock with his stand for Creationism, he brought the state further disrepute when he traveled abroad to claim that Sharia law “no-go zones” are springing up around Europe and will soon come to the United States. Seemingly relying on debunked talking points from Fox News and anti-Muslim activists, Jindal didn’t know how to react when a reporter in London asked if he could name a single Sharia law “no-go zone” in the British capital. He responded that he did not actually know where they exist.

Anti-Gay Activism

Jindal has been so committed to the Religious Right’s attack on gay rights that when state lawmakers backed away from legislation that would have potentially enshrined discrimination into law, Jindal signed an executive order based on the controversial bill. The governor believes that gay rights opponents are the “real victims of discrimination” in American society, pointing to A&E’s temporary suspension of the show Duck Dynasty after one of the cast members made racist and homophobic statements in a magazine interview as a sign that First Amendment freedoms are under “assault” as part of a “war on religious liberty.”

Religious freedom laws which don’t include protections for anti-LGBT businesses, Jindal warned, are “dangerous” and represent “an attack on our Constitution.”

A closeally of anti-gay extremist Tony Perkins, Jindal has also courted radical figures such as David Lane, who organized Jin dal’s “Response” prayer rally. Prayer rally organizers distributed materials blaming gays for Hurricane Katrina and the whole thing was paid for by the American Family Association , one of the most virulently anti-LGBT groups in the country.

Caving To Anti-Tax Extremists

When it came to choosing between solving Louisiana’s self-inflicted budget crisis or catering to a D.C. lobbyist, Jindal chose the latter, leading to a rebellion even among his fellow Republicans. Jindal wants to keep his no-tax bona fides in place for the presidential campaign, and as a result has to please anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, whom some in Louisiana have called “Governor Norquist” since Jindal will apparently only approve budget plans that have his blessing.

Instead of raising taxes outright to stave off a budget shortfall, the governor worked with Norquist on an opaque and complicated revenue scheme known as the SAVE Act which one lawmaker called the “DUMB Act.” With actions like these, it is no wonder that not even a third of Louisiana voters give Jindal a positive job approval rating.

Common Core Reversal

Once such a strong public supporter of Common Core that his endorsement of the education standards was featured in a pro-Common-Core ad by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jindal read the polls about GOP resistance to Common Core — and the many conspiracy theories surrounding it — and has since emerged as one of its most vociferous critics.

Of course, Jindal’s attacks on Common Core defied reality, as he claims that it is a federal government takeover of education policy, even though it is and always has been a state-led initiative. “Look at the math, it makes absolutely no sense to a lot of our kids, including my own children,” he said.

He has even gone so far to file a lawsuit to block the implementation of Common Core, an effort rejected in court.

Star Parker: Baltimore Riots Result Of 'War on Marriage,' Church-State Separation

Back in April, right-wing activist Star Parker joined Alaska GOP politician Joe Miller on his radio program to discuss the riots in Baltimore and the Supreme Court marriage equality arguments, which had happened on the day of the interview.

Parker naturally found a way to tie the two together, saying that the violence in Baltimore was happening “because we declared a war on poverty during the same time that we were declaring a war on marriage through the feminist movement and declaring a war on religion through scrubbing our schools of God, taking the Bible from the schools.”

Later in the interview, Parker got into the details of the marriage equality case, saying that a ruling striking down gay marriage bans would mean that “as a nation, we have to change every law.”

Gay rights activists, she said, don’t realize this and instead are acting like “two-year-olds” at a toy store who want to “get their way on absolutely everything” even if it “will send this nation into social chaos.”

Miller opined that a ruling in favor of marriage equality would be “terribly upsetting to the social fabric of this nation,” with which Parker agreed, adding that she hoped that the justices would listen to the testimony of the “children raised in [gay and lesbian] households that are basket cases.”>

She then compared a potential marriage equality ruling to the Dred Scott case, which was also “legal but not lawful in God’s eyes.”

'Murder Of The Masses': 7 Insane Right-Wing Predictions About Gay Marriage

“If this Supreme Court rules against marriage, all hell is going to break loose,” or so warned Tom DeLay, the former House GOP leader. DeLay has said that “if they rule against marriage,” then “we will all defy” the “ten [sic] unelected, unaccountable people” on the court, joining a host of Religious Right leaders, including presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, in signing a vow to resist a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

In anticipation of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling, we’ve compiled a video of the Right’s most dire warnings about a potential decision striking down gay marriage bans, including self-proclaimed “prophet” Cindy Jacobs' fear that gay marriage will lead to natural disasters; preacher Scott Lively predicting a devastating “calamity”; Glenn Beck turning into the anti-gay version of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Tony Perkins calling for a revolution against gay marriage; and Pat Robertson, well, being Pat Robertson.

And those are just the highlights. Conservatives have made a whole host of insane predictions about what will befall America if gay marriage becomes legal nationwide (think Eiffel tower marriage). Never mind that none of these things have happened in any of the 37 states where gay and lesbian couples can already get married. Just you wait!

1) Prepare for Jail!

Much like when conservatives claimed that the 2009 Hate Crimes Act would ban all expressions of anti-gay political opinions and criminalize religious beliefs (it didn’t), Religious Right activists are now predicting that a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality will bring about the end of free speech.

“When you elevate a lifestyle to the status of a civil right, I don’t think a lot of believers fully understand or comprehend that once it’s risen to that level and our government accepts it, then anyone who disagrees with it could be at least civilly liable, but more than likely would be criminally liable,” Huckabee warned.

Huckabee also stated that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.” According to Huckabee, gay marriage will lead to “the criminalization of Christianity” and “criminal charges” against pastors who preach against it or refuse to officiate the wedding of a gay couple. Another GOP presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, also predicted that “Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages” or “speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage” will be punished for committing “hate speech.”

Of course, no such thing has ever happened in any of the 37 states that already have marriage equality, but Religious Right activists are insistent that gay marriage will lead to pastors being hauled off to jail en masse for breaking non-existent hate speech laws.

Religious Right leaders like Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and David Lane of the American Renewal Project have warned of impending “martyrdom,” while Rick Scarborough, a Religious Right activist and leading proponent of the “hate speech” myth, has insisted that gay marriage will make it “illegal” to “share the Gospel” and predicted that jails will soon fill up with pastors. He has even told conservatives that they should be prepared to “burn” if the court backs marriage equality.

2) Civil Disobedience

Following the Hate Crimes Act debate, Religious Right leaders unveiled a manifesto called the Manhattan Declaration, vowing to commit civil disobedience in the face of what they said was growing anti-Christian persecution as a result of gay rights.

Now, while preparing for the court’s ruling on marriage, conservatives are jumping over each other to frame themselves as the next Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks or Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a dissident Lutheran theologian who was executed by the Nazi regime.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, a hero of the anti-gay movement, said a pro-gay-marriage decision should be treated just like Plessy v. Ferguson and widely ignored; pastor Jim Garlow, who was instrumental in the passage of Proposition 8 in California, said that anti-gay activists will soon “become an underground resistance movement”; Lane warned of the imposition of “homosexual fascism”; and Pat Buchanan wondered about the possibility of “massive civil disobedience” similar to what “there was against segregation.” Alan Keyes said that the church must defy gay marriage in the same way a Nazi-era German citizen had to resist orders to work in the death camps.

Cruz called on anti-gay pastors to “disregard unjust edicts from government ” and Huckabee pledged to carry out civil disobedience against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, claiming it would be no different than acting “in disobedience to the Dred Scott decision of 1857.”

3) Revolution & Civil War

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has consistently warned of an anti-gay “revolution” if the Supreme Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage, a feeling shared by his right-wing allies Mat Staver and Matt Barber, both of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel.

“This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of,” Staver said. “This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war.”

Similar predictions of civil war have also come from James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, and conservative televangelist Rick Joyner. One right-wing columnist said that “this case could well be the fuse that ignites the powder keg of outrage that leads the nation into the first battle of a new war,” one which pits “homo-fascists” against “those of us who oppose their dangerous and deadly desires.

Keyes, writing in WorldNetDaily, called a gay marriage ruling a “ just cause for war.” Such a decision would be no different from “the Dred Scott decision that heralded the onset of the fist Civil War,” Keyes wrote, as it would “bring the nation to the brink” and represent “a high crime and misdemeanor that effectively dissolves the just bonds of government between and among the states, and among the individuals who compose the people of the United States.” Such a ruling, he warned, “is likely to produce the separation and dissolution of the United States.”

The stakes are high, according to Justice Moore, since a Supreme Court decision backing marriage equality will “literally cause the destruction of our country.”

4) Secession

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah thinks conservatives should have “an Exodus strategy” in case the court legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide.

“Will a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring ‘same-sex marriage’ a ‘right’ warrant secession by some state willing and eager to reclaim America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and foundation?” Farah asked. “Is there one state in 50 that would not only defy the coming abomination, but secede in response? The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?”

He added: “If not a state, are there any nations in the world interested in a pilgrimage by millions of Americans?”

One conservative author, former Reagan aide Douglas MacKinnon, has even suggested that Southern states form a separate nation that will ban same-sex marriage , proposing that the secessionists call the new anti-gay nation “Reagan.”

5) Holocaust

Seeing that Religious Right activists regularly call gay rights activists terroristsAl Qaeda and ISIS membersfascists, Nazis, and the ones who are to blame for the Holocaust, it comes as no surprise that several activists have warned of an impending holocaust of American Christians if gays and lesbians can get married nationwide.

For example, Staver and Bradlee Dean, a Religious Right activist and talk show host, have both appropriated Martin Niemöller’s famous Nazi-era “First They Came for the Socialists…” poem to warn of anti-Christian persecution in America. Staver even claims that America is already worse than Nazi Germany. While discussing non-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people, Perkins, the FRC president, wondered when the government is “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.” Former Bush administration official Robert Reilly said gay rights advocates are creating conditions in the U.S. similar to the ones which “led to the Holocaust, World War II and the death of 60 million people.”

One article that became popular among right-wing groups even stated that the gay rights movement will do to American Christians what the Turks did to the Armenians and what the Hutus did to the Tutsis. The author even warned that American Christians will soon be facing persecution as Christians do in Syria.

Not to be outdone, Keyes has claimed that gay marriage is part of a communist plot that paves the way for “the murder of the masses.”

6) Child endangerment

The civil disobedience pledge signed by Huckabee, Santorum and dozens of Religious Right leaders includes a stern warning that “authorizing the legal equivalency of marriage to same-sex couples undermines the fundamental rights of children and threatens their security, stability, and future,” a theme frequently repeated by anti-gay conservatives.

Santorum said that if he is elected president, he will flout the court’s ruling in order to “protect children.” Garlow, the California pastor, said that gay marriage will “be profoundly destructive, profoundly harming” to children, who he says will bear the brunt of “the catastrophic consequences, the pain, the suffering inflicted on the human race by this redefinition of marriage.” David Barton, a right-wing pseudo-historian, claimed that gay marriage will legalize pedophilia .

To get a snapshot of such views, just check out what the insane anti-gay film “Light Wins” says about the gay plan to “groom” children.

7) God’s wrath

Mike Huckabee has warned that gay marriage will unleash divine punishment on America. While he didn’t get into specifics, others on the Right have been happy to describe in detail the divine ramifications of gay marriage.

Bryan Fischer, the American Family Radio host, said that God will use groups such as ISIS — or as he calls them, “the pagan armies of Allah” — to punish the U.S. for gay rights. Others claim that America is already being punished for gay marriage in the form of the California drought.

Another conservative radio host, Rick Wiles, has repeatedly predicted that America will be hit with a nuclear strike if not a “fireball from space,” while Lane, the right-wing political organizer, has been a bit more modest, claiming gay rights will only lead to divine punishment in the form of car bombings.

Others have claimed that planet Earth won’t survive gay marriage, as several right-wing pundits have fretted that gay marriage will bring about the Last Days. So let Pat Robertson explain how gay marriage will lead to our destruction:

Todd Starnes: Confederate Flag Opponents Just Like ISIS, Will Burn American Flag Next

As we’ve reported, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has reacted with fury over attempts to remove the Confederate flag and other monuments to Confederate and Ku Klux Klan leaders from government property in various states.

Starnes posted a video on the Fox News website today where he compared opponents of the Confederate flag to members of ISIS and, channeling Rush Limbaugh, said that the same people will burn the U.S. flag next.

Via Mediaite:

Will The Right Reject (Again) A Report on the Threat of Far-Right Extremism?

A new report from New America, released a week after a white supremacist gunned down nine people in a black church in Charleston, finds that since the September 11, 2001, attacks, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims.”

The New York Times reports that this threat is “familiar to police officers,” three-quarters of whom list antigovernment extremism as a greater threat to their communities than “Al Qaeda-inspired” violence:

If such numbers are new to the public, they are familiar to police officers. A survey to be published this week asked 382 police and sheriff’s departments nationwide to rank the three biggest threats from violent extremism in their jurisdiction. About 74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed “Al Qaeda-inspired” violence, according to the researchers, Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina and David Schanzer of Duke University.

“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists,” said Dr. Kurzman, whose study is to be published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and the Police Executive Research Forum.

We haven’t heard any right-wing reaction to this report yet. But we aren’t incredibly optimistic that it will be reasonable.

Back in 2009, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report on countering violent right-wing extremism, the Right went ballistic, with groups including the American Family Association, the American Center for Law and Justice and Concerned Women for America denouncing it as an attack on Christians and veterans.

Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group, even went so far as to print out cards for its members to show their solidarity with the violent right-wing extremists supposedly attacked by this report:

Other right-wing groups started an ad campaign demanding that then-DHS chief Janet Napolitano resign for supposedly having labeled George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa and the pope as “the new terrorists”:

Under pressure, DHS ultimately retracted the report and cut back its team investigating non-Muslim violent extremism, infuriating the self-described conservative Republican analyst who had written the report.

Since then, conservative activists have repeatedly referred back to the report to claim that President Obama is treating all conservatives as potential domestic terrorists, a suspicion that has fed into a number of right-wing conspiracy theories about DHS. Liberty University’s Matt Barber even started defending violent extremists groups just because groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on their activities.

As recently as February, Rep. Ted Poe, Republican of Texas, was complaining on the Family Research Council’s radio program that the Obama administration is “more aggressive toward Americans, Republicans, conservatives, Christians, and concerned about them being threats to the country, which they’re not, than they are about the real threats to our country.”

Never mind that the report focused exclusively on the actual threat of violent, far-right extremism — something that even their strongest detractors aren’t accusing groups like Liberty Counsel and the AFA of being involved in. The Right saw an opportunity to stir up a fake controversy in order to raise money, reinforce the narrative of conservative activists as victims and provoke animosity toward President Obama. In the process they helped make it harder for DHS to investigate a very real threat to American security. But they ended up with a meme that lives to this day.

Council Of Conservative Citizens Head Lashes Out At 'Perverts, Liars And Marxists' In Media

After it was discovered that the man who shot and killed nine people at a black church in Charleston last week cited the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens in his racist manifesto, GOP politicians have been scrambling to return campaign donations from the group’s president, Earl Holt.

In response, CCC released a statement condemning the murders but defending the shooter’s “legitimate grievances” against African Americans. Holt released his own statement saying that the shooter had merely “gleaned accurate information” from the group’s website about “the seemingly endless incidents involving black-on-white murder.” (The Charleston murderer reportedly told his victims that “you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country.”)

But it turns out that the statement that Holt distributed wasn’t all he had to say. In an interview Saturday with the Political Cesspool, a white supremacist radio program hosted by CCC board member James Edwards, Holt read an early draft of the statement, which he said he was waiting for his webmaster to post online.

The statement Holt read on the Political Cesspool was virtually identical to the one that CCC ultimately distributed to the media, except for these paragraphs attacking the media for being “perverts, liars and Marxists,” which for some reason seem to have been removed before the statement was distributed to press:

The C of CC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website … For the corrupt leftist media and its minions to suggest otherwise is why they are almost universally viewed as dishonest, biased, and irredeemably contemptable.

The C of CC does not advocate illegal activities of any kind, and never has. In fact, the CofCC has always scrupulously observed the law even when our leftist enemies have demonstrably and flagrantly violated it. I would gladly compare the honesty, integrity and law-abiding nature of our membership to that of any group, particularly the perverts, liars and Marxists who comprise the corrupt leftist media.

Listen to Holt read his full original statement:

130 Members of Congress Call for Executive Order on Disclosure of Political Spending

Yesterday 130 senators and representatives urged President Obama to issue an executive order requiring companies that receive government contracts to disclose their political spending. A letter signed by more than one hundred representatives highlighted the lack of transparency in our current system and the important steps the president can take to help fix this:

Taxpayers have a right to know where their money is spent and you have the power to ensure that the American people can obtain this information. With public funds come public responsibilities, and any company receiving federal tax dollars should be required by executive order to fully disclose their political spending in a timely and accessible manner.

A letter signed by 26 senators echoed this call, arguing that an executive order would help restore confidence in our political system:

In our view, campaign finance disclosure is another issue that demands immediate action to restore the public’s faith in our democracy.

It’s not just members of Congress who are calling on the president to act. More than 83,000 PFAW members and supporters have signed our petition to the president urging him to issue an executive order. Several thousand more contacted their members of Congress asking them to sign on to the letters sent yesterday.

Right now corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and they can do so in secret by funneling that spending though “dark money” groups. But if President Obama were to issue an executive order, some of the nation’s biggest corporations – like Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, and any other government contractor – would have to disclose their political spending.

President Obama himself has called for a more transparent and accountable democracy. In his State of the Union address in January, he criticized “dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter” and called for a “better politics.” Now is the president’s chance to help create that “better politics.”

PFAW

The Religious Right's Council Of Conservative Citizens Connection

After the manifesto of the man who committed a mass murder at a black church in Charleston last week was found to contain material lifted from the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens, formerly the White Citizens’ Councils, GOP politicians have been scrambling to erase their ties with the group, with several Republicans returning or donating to charity a total of tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the group’s president.

But it’s proving to be more difficult for some in the GOP and their allies in the Religious Right to brush over a long history of ties with the group. As the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported, dozens of elected officials have attended the group’s meetings, including former RNC chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and current Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has also spoken to the group, as has former Georgia congressman and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr.

Lott and the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms even went so far as to provide endorsements of the CCC, according to its newsletter.

A number of prominent figures on the Religious Right have also spoken to or defended the CCC, in a sign of the uneasy and often hidden alliances between the Religious Right and racist groups.

Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a GOP presidential candidate, submitted a video presentation to the CCC’s 1993 national convention, which the group’s newsletter later reported was a smash it. TPM:

Then-Lt. Gov. Huckabee was invited to speak at the group's 1993 national convention by the its founder, Gordon Lee Baum, according to a 2008 Huffington Post report. Baum told The Huffington Post that Huckabee "sent an audio/video presentation saying 'I can't be with you but I'd like to be speaker next time'" because he was compelled to remain in Arkansas during the convention while then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D) travelled out of state.

The group's 1993 newsletter, which was obtained by Edward Sebesta, who researches neo-Confederate groups, hailed Huckabee's videotaped address as a smash hit.

"Ark. Lt. Governor Mike Huckabee, unable to leave Arkansas by law because the Governor was absent from the state, sent a terrific videotape speech, which was viewed and extremely well received by the audience," the newsletter read.

Huckabee agreed to speak in person at the group’s convention the next year but canceled after a human rights group told him that he’s be sharing the stage with a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

Tony Perkins

Back when he was a Louisiana state legislator, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke to a 2001 meeting of the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. When asked about it several years later, Perkins said he could not “remember speaking at the event.” Unfortunately for him, there’s a picture:

Perkins also has ties to David Duke, a Louisiana politician and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Roy Moore

The Alabama chief justice, a Religious Right hero who is currently battling the federal courts in an effort to stop marriage equality in his state, addressed CCC’s national conference in 1995, reports Buzzfeed.

(Image courtesy of Buzzfeed)

This is hardly Moore’s only troubling racist tie. Much of his career has been financed by Michael Peroutka, a former board member of the neo-Confederate League of the South, who shares many of his views on the role of “biblical law.” (SPLC reports that the League of the South’s and CCC’s “membership rolls overlap a good deal” and that the two groups have collaborated on events.)

John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe is the intellectual godfather of a strain of Christian nationalism that takes to an extreme the idea that “God’s law” must always be put before “man’s law.” He is a former legal advisor to Justice Moore and now works for the Foundation for Moral Law, a group that Moore founded. He is also famously a mentor of former Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Eidsmoe spoke to the 2005 national convention of the Council of Conservative citizens. He defended himself to the New Yorker, saying he would speak “to anyone.”

Ann Coulter

Perhaps even more than the Religious Right, the anti-immigrant movement sometimes has a hard time drawing a line between itself and the explicitly racist white nationalist and white supremacist movements. For instance, the work of white supremacist Sam Francis, an editor for and enthusiastic endorser of the CCC, occasionally ends up cited in the work of more “mainstream” anti-immigrant activists.

The best example of this nexus may be Ann Coulter, the anti-immigrant pundit beloved of CCC spokesman Jared Taylor and who cites white nationalist Peter Brimelow as an intellectual influence, but who has also been welcomed at Religious Right events like the Values Voter Summit.

Coulter took it upon herself in her 2009 book “Guilty,” to defend GOP politicians who had spoken to CCC, writing that the group’s statements in opposition to “forced integration” and “efforts to mix the races of mankind” were in no way endorsements of segregation:

Republican politicians who had given speeches to a conservative group, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), were branded sympathizers of white supremacists because some of the directors of the CCC had, decades earlier, been leaders of a segregationist group, the Citizen Councils of America, which were founded in 1954. There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation, though its “Statement of Principles” offers that the organization opposes “forced integration” and “efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But mostly the principles refer to subjects such as a strong national defense, the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional family, and an “America First” trade policy.

Roy Beck

Another prominent anti-immigrant activist with ties to CCC is Roy Beck, head of the influential lobbying group Numbers USA, who addressed the group in the late 1990s. The Center for New Community dug up this photo:

This post has been updated to add Roy Beck.

Pat Robertson: Wiccans 'Will Destroy Your Children'

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson told one concerned viewer not to become friends with his Wiccan neighbors because they will “destroy your children.”

The televangelist said that Wiccans will “corrupt you,” warning the viewer not to be fooled even if his neighbors “seem to be very pleasant people.”

Robertson has previously advised a viewer to cut ties with her mother-in-law who “practices witchcraft and palm readings” because she is “Mrs. Devil” and also castigated feminists as supporters of “a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

Ted Nugent Praises Call To Arrest Obama From Coup-Supporting Former General

Last year, retired-general-turned-conservative-activist Paul Vallely told a Tea Party group that he would “certainly head” a revolution to topple President Obama, remarks he later denied making despite the fact that they were captured on audio. Imagine our shock, then, when Vallely told a fringe radio host last week that President Obama should be arrested for his “treasonous activities.”

Vallely’s remarks even earned the praise of right-wing musician and NRA board member Ted Nugent, who wrote on Facebook: “Well listen everybody to what I gotta say, there's hope for tomorrow if we wakeup [sic] today!”

Calling on U.S. generals to stand up to Obama, Vallely told “The Real Side” radio program that it may soon be time to “arrest” Obama for “treasonous activities.” He cited the work of the conspiracy-theory-ridden Citizens Committee on Benghazi as evidence that there are grounds to arrest Obama for purportedly helping the Muslim Brotherhood.

“There’s a whole list we have put together at the Benghazi Citizens’ Commission on treasonous activities not only by him but by Kerry, by Clinton, the lying deceptions of Panetta, of General Dempsey, as well as Hillary Clinton,” Vallely said. “[He’s] tyrannical and that’s his communist upbringing because that’s the way they develop and take over countries and put in a tyrannical leader. We’ve seen that since World War II, all over Europe and now we have socialism gaining in South and Central America. I mean it is just unbelievable that we could let this country go down and commit national suicide that we’re doing.”

He added that Obama would have been arrested already if it wasn’t for the fact that “the Republicans are afraid of a black backlash” to such a step. “He’s black and white, he’s not just black, but they’re afraid of a black uprising, that’s the word I get,” he said.

Vallely once called for the “citizen’s arrest” of Obama.

While discussing the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory, Vallely said that “Obama would declare martial law at the earliest opportunity if he could.” He also urged military officials to be ready to stand up to Obama to stop him once he imposes martial law.

Gun Lobbyist Ties Charleston Shooting To Transgender Rights

In a radio interview on Monday, Gun Owners of America official Erich Pratt tied the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston to the transgender rights movement, saying both are products of a school system that teaches that “there is no absolute right or wrong.”

“Sadly, I think for a lot of the education that takes place in our country, the kids are being taught, ‘You decide, you decide your own morality.’” he said. “We’re being told that you decide everything from your gender to your own morality.”

This, he said, was the root of the thinking of the Charleston shooter and of Hitler: “Well, if you are in that position where you are autonomous and you decide what’s right and wrong, in this guy’s mind, as sick as it is, he might have thought he was actually doing society a favor. Certainly Hitler did, with his mass murders, he really thought he was doing society a favor. And that’s the problem, if there is no absolute right or wrong. And as we know, that’s not being taught.”

Just one day after the attack in Charleston, Pratt, publicly condemned the church’s slain pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, for his “anti-gun” activism as a state senator. Erich’s father, GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt also blamed Pinckney for leaving his congregation “defenseless” against an attacker.

Fox News Pundit Todd Starnes Has Meltdown Defending Confederate Flag And Monuments

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has spent the past few days attacking pastors and elected officials, Republican and Democratic alike, who have called for the removal of the Confederate flag and other Confederate memorials from South Carolina state property following the Charleston church shooting.

Starnes, the network’s resident culture-warrior, who has lamented the South’s loss in the “War of Northern Aggression,” accused advocates of removing Confederate symbols of “cultural cleansing,” a common refrain of Confederate apologists.

“Maybe they could just paint a rainbow flag on top and call it the General Sherman,” Starnes wrote on Fox Nation yesterday. “He culturally cleansed the South, too.”

Starnes followed this article with a complete meltdown on Twitter, defending not only the Confederate flag but also statues honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He likened the removal of the Confederate flag to the violence and destruction of shrines perpetrated by ISIS, along with actions taken by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

No One is Tying Pat Toomey's Hands Except Himself

Pat Toomey has a really lame excuse for not asking Chuck Grassley to hold a committee vote this week for Phil Restrepo.
PFAW

Indiana Anti-Gay Bill Was Ted Cruz's Alamo

At a campaign stop at a shooting range in Iowa earlier this week, captured on video by the conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Sen. Ted Cruz boasted of his support for a since-altered Indiana law that would have opened the door for private businesses to discriminate against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom, comparing his stand to that of Texas soldiers at the Alamo.

“Sadly more than a few Republicans ran for the hills, including more than a few candidates who are running for president in 2016,” he said. :Some of them chose that exact moment to go rearrange their sock drawer.”

But Ted Cruz, said Cruz, was made of stronger stuff.

“In my view, Indiana was a time of choosing. In my view, Indiana was, as William Barret Travis at the Alamo said as he drew the line in the stand, it was a moment to choose which side of the line you stand.”

Cruz previously referred to opposition to Indiana’s measure as a gay “jihad.”

Sandy Rios: Obama Created Racial 'Unrest' Behind Charleston Shooting

American Family Association official Sandy Rios, speaking on her radio program last week, accused President Obama of “using” the Charleston church massacre “to try to whip people into an emotional frenzy about disarming the American people.”

Rios, who previously said that Obama “enjoyed” the shooting because it offered him an opportunity to “remove guns from the hands of the American people,” told a caller that the president is “dangerous” and “stirred a lot of this unrest up.”

She said that not only has Obama “made racial tensions much worse,” but he has also released tens of thousands of immigrant “murderers” and “robbers” onto “our streets.”

Rios also spoke to a caller who claimed that the Sandy Hook and Aurora massacres were false flag events designed give the government “another reason to get the guns,” blaming the Aurora movie theatre shooting on a government “mind control program” that peddled “reuptake inhibitors.”

“Mao did it, Lenin did it, Stalin did it, Hitler did it, Pol Pot did it, when they take the guns, it’s over,” he said.

Rios responded that “everything you said was true, I don’t know about the inhibitor part, but certainly what Mao did with the guns and the whole move to remove our ability to protect ourselves and that it is the only thing standing between us and tyranny.”

FRC Official: Obama Emulating 'Totalitarian Regimes' By 'Weakening The Family'

Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state who is now an official at the Family Research Council, joined former Alaska GOP politician Joe Miller on his radio program this week, where he warned that the “rapid expansion of the welfare state under the Obama administration is not unlike any of the welfare state expansions, totalitarian regimes, throughout human history.”

Totalitarian regimes, he said, “have done two things,” namely “weaken the family” and “silence the church.”

“And sure enough, that’s what the Obama administration is doing,” he said. “He’s weakening the family and he’s trying to marginalize the church by attacking religious liberty.”

Rafael Cruz: Aid Recipients 'Locked Into A Slavery Relationship With The Government'

Sen. Ted Cruz’s dad, Rafael Cruz, joined right-wing Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday to promote his son’s candidacy. In response to a caller who wondered whether “our Hispanic immigrants” are falling for “some type of deception” from Democrats, Cruz responded that immigrants and others are being tricked by Democrats into being “locked into a slavery relationship with the government” through government assistance.

“I think that deception is the way that this administration operates in every area,” he said. “Look how people have been deceived into becoming dependent upon the government and having the government telling them that they’re going to take care of them from the cradle to the grave. It has destroyed the American dream, destroyed these people’s lives, they no longer strive to better themselves and to provide for their family.

“So it is just, you have realize the following: For Democrats to win, they have to lie because their policies do not work. Their policies have been a failure throughout history. So if their policies of bigger government, more control, less freedom, more taxation, more regulations don’t work, they have to lie to the American people. And unfortunately we have many, many people in American have drank the Kool-Aid.”

Kaufman interjected with a story about the owner of a Florida bodega offering to point her to government services.

“I keep going back to how that destroys the American dream, that destroys the incentive for somebody to better themselves,” Cruz responded, “and they become serfs of the government, and that just makes them locked into a slavery relationship with the government.”

Mike Huckabee Pledges To Block Gay Marriage If Elected President

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee chatted with Iowa radio host Steve Deace and Religious Right organizer Bob Vander Plaats, who led Huckabee’s 2008 campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, about the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on gay marriage.

He said that if elected president, he would simply ignore any Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality until Congress passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide…which he would then veto.

“Until the Congress of the United States puts on my desk a bill that basically defies the laws of Nature and Nature’s God and defies the longstanding tradition of marriage, the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriage because there is no law that requires it and that would be true for the military and it would be true for all federal institutions,” Huckabee said. “If the Congress decides that they want to pass enabling legislation, they could put it on my desk and I would veto it, and they can attempt to override it. That’s the process.”

Huckabee said that even his detractors should sympathize with his anti-gay-marriage stance: “If liberals were subjected to a conservative court that forced them to tithe their income to scripture or forced them to go to church or forced them to believe something that they don’t want to believe, they would say, ‘We can’t do that, that would go against our conscience.’ And I would say, ‘You are exactly right and we can’t have such a ruling. This is why I find this very unsettling is because liberals will rue the day when the sword they use to enact their agenda is the sword of the court rather than to do it by way of the people’s elected representatives.”

Of course, legalizing gay marriage won’t force opponents like Huckabee to marry someone of the same sex or officiate a same-sex couple’s wedding.

“There can be no surrender on the point of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage,” Huckabee said, claiming that the ruling “goes to the heart of who we are as Americans and whether or not religious liberty lives or dies.”

He vowed not to “surrender to a tyranny that frankly would defy everything we are as a country,” lamenting that even people who went to law school have decided to “acquiesce to this judicial supremacy.”

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