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Charlotte Prayer Rally Repents for 'Homosexuality and its Agenda that is Attacking the Nation'

David Benham organized a prayer rally in Charlotte to coincide with the opening of the Democratic National Convention called Charlotte 714, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, along with groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and Operation Save America, which is led by his father Flip Benham. While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the prayer rally, Benham said that Charlotte was chosen not only because it is the site of the DNC but also because the city was one of the few areas to vote against Amendment One, the same-sex marriage ban voters passed in May. Benham called Charlotte’s vote against anti-gay discrimination a sign of the “very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country,” requiring “a citywide church service of repentance.” Later, Benham told Mefferd that America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating abortion rights, no-fault divorce, legal pornography, “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation” and the “demonic ideologies” that he says have taken over the education system.

In North Carolina you know we just fought for Amendment One which was a constitutional amendment that simply said, this is exactly what the amendment said is the only legal marriage in North Carolina was between a man and a woman. We received—it was such a battle in North Carolina it blew me away. I already knew in my heart as most all of us Christians in America know that we are in a very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country but it really hit home during Amendment One, so much so that when Amendment One passed I realized the only three counties in North Carolina that actually voted against the amendment were Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville, our three cities. So we had all the rural areas and all the suburban areas but we lost all the cities. So I felt like, OK it’s time that we have a citywide church service of repentance and that’s the reason that we decided to do it right in the heart of Charlotte the night before the DNC.



We will always finger point but we don’t realize that OK if 87% of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches. We are so complacent, we are so apathetic and we are very hypocritical in the church, that’s why the Bible says judgment begins in the house of God. So when we prayed at 714 we asked God and our city to forgive us for allowing these things in the house of God.

Chance to Vote on Citizens United!? Yes, This November

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

In today's polarized political climate, there are a few things on which American voters overwhelmingly agree. For all our disputes, we can find common ground in this: we're completely fed up. About 80 percent of us don't think Congress is doing a good job. Only aboutone third of us view the federal government favorably. In a precipitous drop, less than half of Americans have a favorable view of the Supreme Court. Across all political lines, 75 percent of Americans say there is too much money in politics, and about the same percentage think this glut of money in politics gives the rich more power than the rest in our democracy.

Interestingly, another thing that most Americans have in common is that 80 percent of us have never heard of Citizens United v. FEC, the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Our feelings of frustration with Washington are deeply connected with the widespread, and entirely founded, suspicion that our elected officials aren't representing voters, but are instead indebted to the wealthy interests that pay for their campaigns. This distrust has only deepened as politicians and the courts have handed over more and more power to those with the deepest pockets.

Citizens United is only the most famous of the recent spate of Supreme Court decisions aimed at eliminating hard-won campaign finance regulations. In fact, shortly before Citizens United, the George W. Bush-created right-wing bloc of the Supreme Court issued major rulings that had already begun to undermine decades of federal clean election laws.

And we are only partway down the slippery slope. It keeps getting worse as the Supreme Court gradually dismantles state-level clean elections laws, as it did in Arizona, and clarifies that its sweeping decision in Citizens United applies to states as well, as it did in Montana. Indeed, it won't be long before this or some future right-wing Supreme Court cuts to the chase and lifts the century-old ban on direct corporate contributions to political candidates, one of the most basic checks we have against widespread corruption.

Believe it or not, this November, we'll have the chance to vote on whether this slippery slope continues, or whether we stop it and roll it back. Each of these regressive campaign finance rulings has had a monumental impact on our democracy. It's easy to forget that they have been made by one-vote 5-4 majorities of the Supreme Court. That means we're just one Supreme Court vote away from stopping the trend in its tracks -- and even reversing it. Although Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on many issues, he's crystal clear about how he feels on this issue and exactly what kind of judge he would appoint to the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. He has said he believes "corporations are people" and he means it. He's promised to nominate more Supreme Court justices like the ones who handed down Citizens United. And his chief judicial adviser, former judge Robert Bork, is legendary in his opposition to individual voting rights while advocating expansive corporate power. On this issue in particular, President Obama has been very clear and comes down unambiguously on the opposite side. Look no further than his Supreme Court picks so far. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor have consistently resisted the right-wing court's radical transformation of our democracy. In fact, his nominees now represent half the votes in the High Court who are standing up for democracy against "government by and for" the highest bidder.

Some 2008 Obama voters may not be thrilled by the last four years. Some may even be considering giving Mitt Romney a chance, despite their misgivings. But no matter who your candidate is, what issues you care about or on what side you come down on them, most importantly your vote this November will likely determine the Supreme Court for a generation. If Romney has the opportunity to replace one of the more moderate Supreme Court justices, the Court's far-right majority will not remain narrow. The votes will be there to dismantle any remaining limits of money in politics for the foreseeable future. Conversely, future Obama appointments give Americans the chance to halt this downward spiral and the opportunity to reclaim our democracy.

Whatever the issues you most care about, this November's election will be a choice between two Supreme Courts. And the two alternatives could not be more different. Quite simply, this is the chance that the overwhelming majority of Americans -- who recognize that there is too much money in politics and that it is corrupting our government at every level -- finally have to vote on it.

Will we seize this opportunity?

PFAW

Trade Associations Funnel Secret Corporate Campaign Cash

“[T]he big winners” of Citizens United are trade associations and their corporate members that can now spend undisclosed, unlimited amounts of money to affect elections.
PFAW

Obama Administration is a Phyllis Schlafly Nightmare: 'Whatever the Feminists Want, the Feminists Get'

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly yesterday spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios to denounce the Democratic National Platform’s support for reproductive freedom and marriage equality. According to Schlafly, “the feminists completely control the Obama administration” and “whatever the feminists want, the feminists get,” including endorsements of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. There is “support of everything the feminists want,” Schlafly lamented, “It’s a very destructive force in our society.”

Rios: According to the platform, there is no place for politicians or the government to get in the way of abortions, so they’re saying that abortion—

Schlafly: Sandy, let me explain. The feminists completely control the Obama administration. Valerie [Jarrett] is considered the most powerful person in the country. Whatever the feminists want, the feminists get. That’s why we’re getting support of abortion by the Obama administration, and paying for it, forcing is to pay for it, which is what they want, and support of same-sex marriage, and support of everything the feminists want. It’s a very destructive force in our society.

Rios: It’s certainly not a forward movement, it’s a backward movement, I think.

Schlafly even claimed that progressives want people “to look to the government for everything,” unlike during the Great Depression when “we didn’t look to the government for any solution and they didn’t give us any solution and we grew up to be the greatest generation.” While Schlafly denies that the government didn’t play a role in ending the Great Depression, she appears to forget that there was significant government intervention through the New Deal and other government-driven programs to stimulate the sluggish economy:

Rios: You know Phyllis just philosophically, this is what the left always says, they always say that conservatives are old fashioned, they mock the old sitcoms you know where they had separate beds, twin beds, they mock the sitcoms of the 50s, the Andy Griffith’s, the Dick Van Dyke’s, they think that’s funny and amusing and to be progressive, to be modern, to be in-this-decade—the Constitution is old and outdated too, by the way, that’s what they think—they always make that argument that to be forward moving is to throw off any of the constraints of the past. Can you just from your perspective of life, why would we hang on to boundaries, regulations and rules from the past? Isn’t this a new day?

Schlafly: Because they work. Our Constitution has lasted over two centuries; no other country’s has done that. When our borders are open people want to come in, they’re not trying to get out, I think that’s a pretty good test of whether a country is successful or not. We built a great country of great prosperity and enormous freedom and some people don’t like that, they want to look to the government for everything. I grew up during the Great Depression, we didn’t look to the government for any solution and they didn’t give us any solution and we grew up to be the greatest generation.

Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family Unveil New Anti-Anti-Bullying Strategies

Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund, has been working with Focus on the Family to put together an “anti-bullying yardstick” that provides quite weak and watered-down measures to fight bullying. But backing ineffective measures to combat bullying may be the point, as the Religious Right has fiercely opposed comprehensive anti-bullying policies because of protections that would help curb anti-LGBT bullying, even to the point of supporting loopholes for bullies. Ironically, just today the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a report detailing the disproportionately high rates of bullying faced by LGBT youth, and how such bullying is less likely to materialize in schools with stronger anti-bullying policies.

ADF attorney Matt Sharp appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to denounce “oppressive” anti-bullying policies, and while Sharp insisted that the campaign is not linked to either the ADF or Focus’s anti-LGBT advocacy, it probably didn’t help that he was speaking to a talk show host who has consistently denounced LGBT rights and people. Just before Sharp appeared on her program, Mefferd criticized the Democratic Party for backing marriage equality by asking, “where’s the lightning?”

Sharp said that gay rights groups are using bullying as “an avenue for them to insert their homosexual agenda into the schools” and promote “the re-education of students.” He claimed ADF and Focus will provide an alternative to “the propaganda of homosexual activist groups that seek to promote their agenda in the schools,” describing their “propaganda” as books that dare to recognize the reality that some children are raised by same-sex couples!

Sharp: It’s important for schools to have proper respect for the First Amendment rights of students to express their views on religion, politics and other subjects without fear of being labeled as bullies or being punished by an oppressive anti-bullying policy that violates their rights.

Mefferd: Definitely, so we’ve seen a lot of these activist organizations getting involved in the schools, GLSEN is one that comes to mind because they’re been so big and have been so active, talk a little bit about what they have done in the way of anti-bullying policies?

Sharp: Yeah, we’ve seen several instances where they will come into schools and place pressure upon schools to adopt their model policies that are really just an avenue for them to insert their homosexual agenda into the schools. We actually saw a situation not too long ago up in Iowa where the group was promoting the re-education of students and tolerance training and all of this stuff that was meant to normalize same-sex marriage in these books they were giving to young elementary students portraying a family with two daddies and two mommies and things like that. The school district really didn’t know how to respond so it was important for us to get involved with them and help them to know that you don’t have to cave into these groups, there’s alternatives, that’s why we’re really excited about teaming up with Focus on this to provide an alternative to schools, to help them know what a proper anti-bullying policy that protects all students equally looks like without having to accept the propaganda of homosexual activist groups that seek to promote their agenda in the schools.

Sharp later asserted that groups like GLSEN “focus upon specific characteristics and elevate those to say ‘bullying against this is really bad and we don’t want that in school but other types of bullying may be tolerable.’” Actually, that is exactly what the ADF is doing by supporting religious exemptions for bullying. He even speak about bullying as almost only dealing with physical harm, which again ignores the serious harm posed by verbal abuse, cyber-bullying and harassment.

His argument is that enumeration, the policy of mentioning certain distinguishable characteristics tied to bullying to help combat bullying not only after it occurs but also to prevent it from happening in the first place, somehow doesn’t protect all students. For example, research shows that students with mental and physical disabilities are more likely to face bullying, and therefore enumerated anti-bullying policies frequently list ability as a highlighted characteristic. Similarly, studies demonstrate that LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth have a higher likelihood of being bullied.

Policies that mention sexual orientation and gender identity, along with ability, race, class, sex, national origin and religion, as characteristics that are linked to bullying help strengthen anti-bullying programs and don’t leave anyone out, as Sharp implies.

But ADF and Focus don’t really have a problem with enumeration, they just have a problem with anti-bullying plans that may be used to protect LGBT students. If ADF or Focus simply took a principled stand against enumeration in anti-bullying policies, then why haven’t these groups denounced them before they began including characteristics like sexual orientation and gender identity?

Indeed, putting an added emphasis on factors that are commonly connected to bullying does not make any student less protected—or as Sharp baselessly argues, allow for other cases of bullying—but help reduce bullying and create a safer climate for all students.

Artur Davis Blames the Left for Perpetuating Racial Divisions

During an interview with Brett Decker of the right-wing Washington Times, former Democratic congressman Artur Davis blamed the left for racial animosity in the U.S. Davis left the Democratic party after he lost the 2010 Alabama Democratic gubernatorial primary by a wide margin, and has reinvented himself as an anti-Obama Republican, possibly with the hope of running for Congress again. Davis told the Washington Times that the “racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance.” He even said that calling out overt and implicit racism is another way the “left adds to the racial divide,” and praised the GOP’s “roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind,” like Allen West and Nikki Haley. “In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own,” Davis maintained. Apparently Davis didn’t watch the Republican speakers he named as many of them cited their experience as racial and ethnic minorities in their speeches, and it is beyond dispute that the Democratic Party includes a far higher number of voters and elected officials of color.

Decker: Barack Obama’s promise to guide America to a more unified post-racial future has not been fulfilled. In fact, this president has divided the nation to a frightening degree. What do you think needs to be done to heal the racial divide? Is it unfair for me to say the Democratic Party takes the black vote for granted and pursues policies — such as opposition to school choice — that keep many African Americans down?

Davis: The racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance. The left adds to the racial divide every time its politicians or acolytes equate ordinary conservatism with racial intolerance, and link opposition to the Obama administration to racial backlash. The Democratic Party has unwisely distanced itself from policies like parental choice, vouchers and the overhaul of tenure that would have a transformative effect in the lives of black children, and there is an opening for Republicans to appeal to minorities by claiming priorities like education reform in the course of the next decade.

It should be noted that Republicans far more than Democrats are providing a pathway for African-Americas, Latinos and Indian Americans who dare to move beyond being spokespersons for their own communities. Condi Rice, Susanna Martinez, Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Tim Scott, Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio: They are a roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind, and Mia Love and Ted Cruz will join them this November. In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own.

Democratic Party Platform Stands Up for Democracy, Supports Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

People For the American Way today applauded the announcement that the Democratic Party platform will contain support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

"Since the Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United decision, Americans across the political spectrum have called for decisive action to limit the influence of money in our elections," said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. "There are legislative solutions, like the DISCLOSE Act, that can help fix the damage done by Citizens United. But there are only two ways to fully undo the damage of Citizens United: to elect a president who will nominate fair-minded Supreme Court Justices, and to pass a constitutional amendment. We can, and we must do both."

A Reuters poll earlier this year found that 75 percent of Americans think there is too much money in politics. Over one million people have signed a petition calling for a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United.

"The will for a constitutional amendment is there," continued Keegan. "Americans are sick and tired of seeing our elections dominated by moneyed interests. The inclusion of this amendment in the Democratic platform shows that Americans are ready to take back our elections."
 

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Dobson and Passno Deride Feminists for Becoming an 'Exact Replica of Male Chauvinist Pigs'

James Dobson dedicated yet another program on Family Talk to criticizing the “radical feminist movement,” this time interviewing Diane Passno of Focus on the Family, the Religious Right group founded by Dobson. Passno is out with a new book, Feminism: Mystique or Mistake?, which features a foreword by conservative talk show host Janet Parshall. Passno claimed that the feminist movement has “distorted” its Christian past and “is now completely antagonistic to the Christian faith,” and revealed her own unfamiliarity with feminism by arguing that contemporary feminism solely relies upon a “love affair with abortion” and a belief that men are not “necessary.” She told Dobson that women no longer scrutinize “the nonsense that’s being shoved down their throats” and the modern feminist has become “an exact replica of ‘male chauvinist pigs’ of thirty years ago.”

Passno: What’s so tragic about the feminist movement today is that what started as a Christian movement based on Christian principles and the wonderful examples that Jesus gives in Scripture—there’s so many women that are mentioned specifically in Scripture whose lives He touched and whose lives He changed for the better—and a movement that started in that way has become so distorted and is now completely antagonistic to the Christian faith.

Dobson: With a lot of either unintended consequences or consequences that were hidden. The National Organization for Women and what I would call the radical feminist movement really boils down to two issues today; you got them on the tip of your tongue?

Passno: Yes, you can define feminism today really as having two foundational issues. One is abortion, and of course this is a result of their love affair with abortion and so many of our listeners know that and understand that. What is less understood is the fact that what the feminist movement has done it’s gone from wanting equality with men to being a movement that doesn’t think men are really necessary at all.



Passno: I’m terribly disappointed in women today and I’m terribly disappointed that they are so quiet about some of the nonsense that’s being shoved down their throats and they swallow it, never question it. As a result, women, feminists today, are an exact replica of male chauvinist pigs of thirty years ago.

Democratic Platform Open to a Constitutional Amendment

The Democratic platform recognizes that an amendment may be needed to restore our democracy after Citizens United.
PFAW

Lively: Intimidate Pro-Gay Rights Officials with 'Angry Crowds with Tar and Feathers in Hand'

After claiming to take an exit from anti-gay advocacy, Scott Lively now says that anti-gay activists aren’t working hard enough. In a WorldNetDaily column, the activist who urged Uganda to imprison gays who refuse sexual orientation conversion therapy and blames the Holocaust on gay people said that the anti-gay movement has been too nice and must now bring out “angry crowds with tar and feathers in hand” to intimidate officials who back “gay fascism bills,” or anti-discrimination measures. Lively offered to lecture about how gays are responsible for the Holocaust and advocate the “recruitment of children into a homosexual identity” in order to help turn an anti-gay “snowball” into an “avalanche.”

Now we know that when the leftists attempt to push a “gay fascism bill” in politically conservative areas, our response must be to create controversy to draw public attention to the bill so that the people wake up and realize there’s a problem. Throw out the old playbook of acting nice and trying to persuade the public officials through reason. They think they are smarter than you all anyhow and have already made up their minds. They need to see angry crowds with tar and feathers in hand coming to run them out of office! Indeed, the Mayor of Springfield complained to the media that he was extremely bothered by threats of recall by the citizens.

If you find out there’s a “gay fascism bill” coming to your conservative town and need help exposing it to the public, just give me a call and I’ll come to help. Invite me to give a speech on my book “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” or address the global threat of homosexuality – or to give a give a sermon or lecture on ANY aspect of the homosexual issue. When they hear I’m coming to town every left-wing fanatic for miles around will start wailing and gnashing their teeth, and normal people will start popping their heads up to see what’s going on. Once that snowball of public controversy starts down the hill it takes very little effort to keep it rolling till it smashes right through the doors of city hall like an avalanche.

Friends, I believe the worm has begun to turn and the backlash against the fascistic “gay” agenda has finally started. As Christians we need to steward this process and keep it civil and positive. Our goal is not merely to stop their agenda, it is to advance our own: a genuinely family-friendly society grounded in healthy biblical values. To that end, it is time for our side to begin showing the contrast in clear unequivocal terms. We need to expose every aspect of the homosexual lifestyle and agenda to public scrutiny and at the same time remind everyone that God’s plan for sex and marriage produces as much good and health as “sexual freedom” produces harm and disease.

Last week’s vindication by the University of Texas at Austin of the Mark Regnerus’ study exposing the dangers of “gay” parenting is both another sign of the worm’s turn and a tool for every pro-family advocate to use.

Likewise, the choice of the Center for Marriage Policy to come against “gay marriage” on the grounds of public health, talking again about the diseases associated with homosexual conduct, is a very smart move. They have declared September “Protect Marriage Month” and are circulating a flyer detailing the many health risks of homosexuality. We need to bring back public discussion of AIDS as a “gay” disease, pederasty as major subculture of male homosexuality, mental health problems and domestic violence as major problems associated with lesbianism, the increasing recruitment of children into a homosexual identity through experimentation with “gay” sex, etc. – all the truths we stopped telling because the other side screamed so loudly about them.

Now is the time to step out from the behind the defensive bulwark of “traditional marriage” in which our only argument is that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” It is time to start taking back some of the ground we have ceded to the other side in the face of their overwhelming public-relations superiority. Their marketing strategy to cast homosexuality as benign and even socially beneficial has finally hit the brick wall of reality. The phony facade is beginning to crack and crumble like an eggshell does when a baby chick is ready to be born.

Lively gladly cites the recent report of the far-right Center for Marriage Policy, which declared September “Protecting Marriage Month” and in a flyer [PDF] calls homosexuality a “sexual disorder” and “perversion.”

Corporations promoting the gay lifestyle do their employees and the Nation a great disservice. Those who truly care about ending the AIDS crisis, saving others and our children from death or disability must focus on policy encouraging treatment and counseling for those caught up in a promiscuous lifestyle.

The fact that promiscuity is “normal” to the gay lifestyle indicates that it likely reflects a sexual disorder. Most homosexuals also sleep with the opposite sex, possibly infecting innocent wives, husbands, and children with HIV and other serious or untreatable infections.



Sexual perversion is not a discovery of science. It is the work of the sexual liberation movement. Their political agenda depends on us believing that sexual promiscuity and risky behaviors are normal and somehow worthy of being elevated to the status of genuine marriage.

We disagree with the sexual revolution. Science has proven that homosexuality is a harmful behavior which is dangerous to others and our children.

By protecting Marriage and encouraging homosexuals to turn the corner to live healthy lives, we share love and life with everyone.



We do not give smokers or illegal drug users special rights. We must discourage homosexuality and encourage therapy to save lives and protect the rest of America.

Copeland: My Books Helped Topple the Berlin Wall

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland is taking at least part of the credit for the collapse of the Berlin Wall, telling guest David Barton that German pastors used his books to topple the wall with the power of positive confession. A Word-Faith preacher, Copeland believes that Christians can use “positive confession” to speak things into existence, typically physical health and material wealth. During Believer’s Voice of Victory, he claimed that his books and those of fellow Word-Faith preacher Kenneth Hagin were used to bring down the Berlin Wall, to which the self-declared “historian” Barton eagerly agreed.

Watch:

Big Government the Right Likes: The Kind That Keeps People From Voting

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

The Republican Party claims to be the party of small government -- with the obvious exceptions of denying marriage equality and massive government oversight of women's medical decisions. But there is another kind of big government that the party has overwhelmingly, enthusiastically gotten behind: expensive and intrusive attempts to make it harder for Americans to vote.

A trio of federal court decisions in Florida, Ohio and Texas last week ripped the lid off the increasingly successful right-wing campaign to limit opportunities for low-income people, minorities and students to vote -- especially, and not coincidentally, in swing states. These decisions, from even-handed and moderate federal judges across the country, show just how far the Right has gone to use the power of government to disenfranchise traditionally disenfranchised groups.

In Florida, a federal judge permanently blocked a law that had made it almost impossible for good government groups to conduct voter registration drives -- which had led groups like the venerable League of Women Voters to all but shut down operations in the state. In Ohio, a federal court ordered the state to reopen early voting in the three days before November's election, which Republicans had attempted to shut down. Early voting on the weekend before the election was enormously successful in 2008 -- especially among African Americans -- and the judge found that Republicans had no legitimate reason to want it to stop.

And finally a federal court, which is required to review changes in election policy in states and counties with a history of voting discrimination, ruled that Texas' new voter ID law couldn't go forward because it "imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas."

The effort that Republican governors and legislatures across the country have gone through in the past two years to make it more difficult for citizens to vote is truly remarkable. They have been willing to buck both the law and the spirit of our constitutional democracy to bar groups of people from participating in it. And they have been willing to set up extra layers of government and bureaucracy -- things they claim to despise -- in order to keep people from the polls.

There are plenty of areas of genuine disagreement in our politics, but the right to vote shouldn't be one of them. In an interview with The Atlantic last week, Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the Civil Rights movement, said "there should be public outcry" and a "sense of righteous indignation" at what is happening to our elections. He's right.

It's astounding that nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act banned racial discrimination at the polls, it's still needed as a shield against such egregious violations of its principles. And it's astounding that the self-proclaimed party of small government wants to use government's power to keep people from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

PFAW

Barton: Gay Rights and Reproductive Rights mean 'You are Going Down as a Nation'

While appearing on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory, disgraced pseudo-historian once again used his platform on Copeland’s show to deliver an attack on gay rights and women’s rights, this time saying that marriage equality and reproductive rights lead to a nation’s destruction. “If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down,” Barton said, “anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.”

Watch:

Copeland: I don’t care who you are, if you turn loose of God and the truth of God, you’re going down, brother! You can’t—it’s created that way; you can’t violate the way it was put together.

Barton: That is why public policies in a nation are so important. If a nation says, ‘hey, we want abortion, we want homosexual marriage,’ it is going down.

Copeland: It’s going down.

Barton: You have taken what God had up top and said ‘we’re not going to do that, we want to go in a different’—anytime you move away from what God says, you are going down as a nation.

Kevin Swanson: 'Muslims Come in and Kill our People so we Elect a Muslim as President of the United States'

Pastor Kevin Swanson of the Colorado-based Generations Radio took a break from ranting against gays and the Muppets yesterday when speaking to Les Riley, the secessionist who led the unsuccessful Personhood Mississippi campaign. Riley and Swanson said that Americans did not do a very good job repenting following the Aurora shooting massacre or the September 11 attacks. “We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim,” Swanson lamented. “Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?”

Riley: I was in Aurora a few weeks ago helping collect signatures for the personhood amendment out there and help with some of the pro-life work out there and we stayed not far from the theater with a family and I drove by that memorial and it was just a real sobering picture of how ridiculously people would respond to a crisis when they don’t repent, when they don’t turn to God, when they don’t acknowledge their Creator. You see this shooting and rather than crying out to God there’s this big memorial with teddy bears and it’s great that people want to be part of something bigger than themselves but rather than turning to their Creator they again turn to their folly.

Swanson: On Sunday I was preaching from Isaiah Chapter 9 and 10 when people are warned not to embrace those nations that are striking them and I got to thinking about 9/11, remember 9/11, which is probably the most devastating thing which has happened since the War of 1812 at least in terms of an invasion upon our land. God has preserved us for many hundreds of years; we’ve had relative security and peace in this nation for a long time, so 9/11 shows up. These Muslims come in and kill our people so we elect a Muslim as President of the United States. Maybe not a pure Muslim but at least a man who has been very well indoctrinated, rooted, grounded and founded in Muslim theology and he is certainly more sympathetic to the Muslim religion than any other President we’ve ever had in the history of the nation. Five years after the Muslims came in and killed our people! There’s something odd about this, what’s going on here? We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim. Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?

Riley: No, we’re not.

Anti-Immigrant Leader Kris Kobach Levels Dishonest Attacks on Obama Immigration Directive

Kansas Secretary of State and SB 1070 architect Kris Kobach spoke to Janet Mefferd today about a new lawsuit contesting the recent executive order blocking deportation of some younger undocumented immigrants. According to the executive order, young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children can apply for “deferred action,” giving them protection from deportation, as long as they have no criminal background and either have served in the military or received a high school diploma or GED. Kobach told Mefferd that the “shocking” decision has no precedent.

However, this is not the first time prosecutorial discretion has been used in immigration cases. As the Immigration Policy Center notes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “exercised its prosecutorial discretion when it adopted a new policy establishing a procedure for surviving spouses and children of deceased U.S. citizens, who were no longer eligible to apply for permanent residence, to apply for deferred action.” Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion in Arizona v. United States (2012) also affirmed the right of the federal government to exercise such discretion:

“A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the opinion. “Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.”

“Discretion in the enforcement of immigration law em¬braces immediate human concerns. Unauthorized workers trying to support their families, for example, likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who com¬mit a serious crime,” Kennedy’s majority decision continued. “The equities of an individual case may turn on many factors, including whether the alien has children born in the United States, long ties to the community, or a record of distinguished military service.”

Later in the interview, Kobach suggested that undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. on no fault of their own should leave the U.S. and return to their country of origin once they become adults and even falsely claimed that immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. are eligible for deferred action.

Kobach: This order by Napolitano orders the ICE agents to break the law, regardless of what federal law says, we’re telling you to let them go. So it’s a clear violation of federal law, also it’s a usurpation of the legislative power of Congress. The DREAM Act has been proposed in Congress 24 times in the last 11 years, it never passed and yet this administration thinks it can just circumvent Congress and that violates our constitutional separation of powers.

Mefferd: Boy, because one of the things you state in the lawsuit is the directive commands ICE officers to violate their oaths to uphold and support federal law. In other words, Obama by issuing this executive order somehow thinks he can just make people do things but these ICE agents feel, actually it’s not just a feeling it’s actually what the truth is, they have an obligation to uphold federal law and he’s undermining it.

Kobach: That’s absolutely right. I think we have to just step back here and think how shocking this is. Prior to the Obama administration, if you asked me ‘could you give me an example of where a president has ordered federal law enforcement agents either to break the law or to look the other way when the law is being broken’ I would say no, I don’t think I can give you examples.



Kobach: Under our laws and under the laws of most countries in the world once you hit the age of 18 you can no longer blame your parents for your situation. So if you are in this country 13 years after you turned 18, you’ve been illegal all that time and you’ve been responsible for your own behavior. To say that you are somehow inculpable or just a victim of circumstance is just ridiculous. These cases are not you know college valedictorians and top of their class, these are people of all different stripes who are committing crimes some very serious crimes, some not committing crimes, but the bottom line is they are in the country illegally as adults and the President is trying to claim that they somehow have a moral right or a legal right to stay and they do not.

President Obama voices his support for a constitutional amendment

Two days ago, President Obama sat down for a live “Ask Me Anything” session on the popular social news website Reddit. Of the ten questions President Obama was asked, one pertained to money in the politics:

What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?

Although not specifically asked about the amendment strategy, President Obama raised the issue in his answer:

Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change. [Emphasis added]

President Obama already had, through spokespeople, acknowledged his support of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United; he had not however done so himself, until now. The very fact that the sitting U.S. President is speaking seriously about the use of constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United shows how far the movement has come. The movement has clearly made its move to the mainstream.

To date, here is what PFAW and our allies have accomplished:

- 1,951 public officials are now in support of constitutional remedies

- 96 House Representatives; 29 Senators

- 14 amendment resolutions introduced in the 112th Congress

- Over 275 cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting an amendment

- 7 State Legislatures have passed resolutions (HI, NM, VT, MD, RI, CA, and MA)

PFAW

Who's Ted Cruz? Getting to Know the Next Senator from the Tea Party

Cross-posted at AlterNet

The power center that Dick Armey and FreedomWorks have been aggressively building in the U.S. Senate around reigning extremist Jim DeMint will almost certainly welcome Ted Cruz in January. The Republican convention gave most Americans their first look at Cruz, who has become a Tea Party folk hero after crushing the establishment candidate, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a bitterly contested primary.

Ted Cruz loves to portray his victory as an upwelling from the grassroots, as he did during his Tuesday night speech from the platform. “I have the honor of standing before you this evening for one reason, because thousands upon thousands of grassroots activists stood united, not for a candidate, but for the sake of restoring liberty.”

It is certainly true that his impressive come-from-behind primary victory captured the fervor of anti-government Tea Party activists as well as conservative evangelicals that Cruz has been courting for years at religious right gatherings. But it wasn’t an act of spontaneous combustion. Pouring gasoline on the prairie fire were national right-wing super PACs and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Club for Growth Action dropped millions into the race on Cruz’s behalf; Jim DeMint’s Tea Party-backing Senate Conservatives Fund also kicked in with seven-figure spending. (DeMint has since cut his formal ties to the group so that it could create a super PAC.) A FreedomWorks spokesperson said after Cruz’s primary that wins by candidates like Cruz would “force Romney to the right.”

Cruz also benefitted from endorsements by an impressive roster of right-wing figures. During the primary he bragged that he was the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey. he Cruz campaign used video of a Palin campaign visit for its GOTV efforts. After his primary win an excited Breitbart blogger quoted Sarah Palin’s celebration on Facebook. She wrote that Cruz's victory was a win "both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement," and that the “message of this race couldn't be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it's on to November!”

While the media accurately describes Cruz as a darling of the Tea Party and its corporate backers, he also had strong backing from religious-right figures. Cruz has campaigned for support at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit and the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference, where he said “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” James Dobson and David Barton are among the religious-right leaders who backed Cruz; Rick Santorum endorsed Cruz on Glenn Beck’s television show.

Cruz embodies Ralph Reed’s desire to merge the Tea Party and religious right. In his convention speech, Cruz talked about the Tea Party movement as a “Great Awakening” – a not-so-subtle shout-out to religious-right leaders who are calling for a spiritual great awakening that they believe will turn the nation back to God and its Christian roots. At Rick Santorum’s event on Wednesday afternoon, Cruz mocked media conversations about divisions between different “chunks” of Republicans, declaring the party united. “We’re all here because we believe in values and principles bigger than ourselves,” he said.

Perry: 'King' Obama Leading a 'Clear Attack on People of Faith'

During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where the administration argued that religious groups are not categorically exempt from the Americans with Disability Act, and his own gut instinct.

Yes, Perry said he instinctually feels that the Obama administration is putting together a campaign of “intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election,” even though the rule on church electioneering came about in 1954 and there is no evidence that the administration is actively investigating churches for breaking the rule.

Perkins: You were out on the campaign trail quite a bit early on in the Republican primary, your message obviously on jobs, the economy, which Texas has been leading in the nation in the creation of jobs, but you also touched on the issue of religious liberty and religious freedom. Do you see a growing hostility in America in the wake of this administration towards religious—

Perry: Led by this administration, when you think about the clear messages that they send, whether it’s by fiat—and that’s one of my great concerns about this president, we didn’t elect a King Mr. Obama, we elected a president, we expect the rule of law to be maintained in this country, go to Congress, pass legislation—he’s pushing these programs through whether it’s a clear attack on the Catholic Church and their opposition to contraception, those are purely wars against religion. When you think about the ministerial exception that he went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn, you know thank God he lost 9-0, even his liberal judges wouldn’t go that far, so clear attack on people of faith. My instinct is, I don’t have clear evidence, but my instinct is through other agencies there is this intimidation factor to our places of worship that you best not be in job of anything that we decide is political. For instance, clear intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election.

YEP Primary Winners

People for the American Way extends its congratulations to three Young Elected Progressives endorsees who emerged victorious in yesterday’s primary elections.

In Arizona, Ed Ableser, who currently represents the 17th District in Arizona’s state House, won the Democratic primary for state Senate in the 26th District; he ran unopposed. Meanwhile, Stefanie Mach won the Democratic primary to represent the 10th District in the Arizona House.

In Vermont, Kesha Ram, incumbent state representative from Chittendon’s 3-4 District, won her primary contest; she ran unopposed.

PFAW

Harvey: 'Christians Should Keep Their Kids Away' From Comics' 'Gay Agenda'

Mission America’s Linda Harvey today on her radio program warned Christians to “keep their kids away” from comic books because they have now succumbed to the “ever-present gay agenda.” After reading a blog post by Christian writer Danzil Monk, Harvey said that comics like the Green Lantern and X-Men are now part of the “homosexual agenda” and promoting “lies in our culture.”

I grew up reading comic books. I was a huge Archie and Veronica fan so when I learned that Archie was rolling out a gay character I felt like part of my childhood had been revised according to the ever-present gay agenda. The new character, Kevin, was injected into the story in 2010 and the writers made him a military hero, trying to advance that part of their political goals. Well now this year Kevin was shown entering a homosexual so-called marriage with another male. There had been plans for the glorified Kevin to have even his own comic book. The original Green Lantern character Alan Scott was reintroduced earlier this summer as himself in his long ago days of youth but with the new information that he had really been a homosexual all along as a young man. The Marvel Comics X-Men character Northstar was introduced as a homosexual way back in 1992 and just recently the storyline had him marry a longtime boyfriend. Batwoman, Kathy Kane, was introduced several years ago as a lesbian. In 2005 Marvel introduced a new series called ‘The Young Adventures’ including characters called Hulkling and someone called Wiccan who the publishers decided to make a homosexual couple. Some of these stories are complete with full-on males kissing males, and so on. And some people claim there’s no homosexual agenda?

My friend Danzil is correct that probably it’s only true believers in Jesus Christ who will ultimately stand up against such lies in our culture and try and reverse these trends. I know comic books are not all that important in the grand scheme of things but if we believe that then Christians should keep their kids away from them and we should also be willing to speak out against one more area of depravity.
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