Eagle Forum’s Virginia Armstrong, the head of the group’s Court Watch Project, today makes the novel argument that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect the rights of LGBT people but in fact requires the government to fight “homosexual conduct” in “every legitimate way possible.”
In an article published on Eagle Forum’s website, Armstrong argues that advances in LGBT equality prove “that America is indeed in the ‘danger zone’ and is in dire need of a massive ‘straightening up process.’”
She then argues that the AIDS epidemic shows that “homosexual conduct is what is harmful to gays and lesbians to the degree that governments are not only constitutionally allowed, but constitutionally required, to fight such conduct in every legitimate way possible.”
All emphasis is Armstrong’s:
Has America bent over so far backwards in our spiritual, moral, and constitutional life that we are in danger of “breaking”? This question is central to our current series of Court Watch Briefings. The question has been precipitated by America’s Culture War and echoes the anguished cry of the Father in the famous musical production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” who felt that revolutionary changes in his world were pushing him to the “breaking point.”
We are proving that America is indeed in the “danger zone” and is in dire need of a massive “straightening up process.” Nothing more clearly demonstrates this fact than the recentsame-sex marriage decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court - Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. U.S.
These statistics bring into bolder relief than ever the fatal flaws of Perry/Windsor . HIV and AIDS is a pandemic , far worse than other such health threats which have sent governments and media around the world into a veritable apoplexy, accompanied by demands for the most severe action possible to stem those threats. Yet, federal (and, now, state) judges are demanding constitutional protections for the conduct which is most responsible for the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Furthermore, Judge Vaughn Walker’s “Finding of Fact” that religious opposition to homosexual conduct “harms gays and lesbians” and is constitutionally protected is so incongruent with reality as to be laughable, if it were possible to laugh about such an adjudicative disaster. The reality, of course, is that the exact opposite is true –homosexual conduct is what is harmful to gays and lesbians to the degree that governments are not only constitutionally allowed, but constitutionally required , to fight such conduct in every legitimate way possible. This example alone illustrates how upside down is Walker’s blast that “harm to homosexuals” results from religious opposition. This falsehood converts a particularly pernicious value judgment into an adjudicative fact given great weight in pro-homosexual court decisions. One of the worst blows to reason, morality, and the Judeo-Christian worldview is the speed with which the Perry/Windsor poison has poured through America’s legal veins…
Flip Benham’s group Operation Save America disrupted the services of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans on Sunday while the congregation was honoring a member who had died. The organization framed their action as simply an effort to “present the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan” as part of their efforts “to defeat the culture of death.”
At the Unitarian Universalist “church” in New Orleans, Deanna Waller, Jay Rogers, Mary Claire, Ken Scott, Russell Hunter, Toby Harman and others presented the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan. As God would have it, the “church” was filled with students from a “social justice” training school. According to Rev. Flip Benham, OSA National Director, the team presented a “dynamic witness.”
During an open “meditation” time, Deanna shared the Word of the Lord. When the female “pastor” took issue, Deanna reminded her that, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2). In violation of their “sacred tenants” of peace and tolerance, Deanna and others were summarily escorted out of the service.
Other saints stayed and dialoged until the conclusion of the service. It created no small stir. The “social justice” candidates ran to the Christians and asked them many questions. Our brethren gave them the reason for the hope that lies within them and defended the faith. Seeds of truth were sown. may the Lord water them in Jesus’ name.
Benham is the father of David Benham, who with his twin brother Jason was slated to have a reality show on HGTV until it was cancelled following reports about his anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Muslim political activism.
While they have attempted to distance themselves from their father’s group following the fallout over their show’s cancellation, David has authored a blog post on the Operation Save America website about how campaigns against gay rights are similar to the fight against Nazism and served as a spokesman for the group during a protest at an Islamic center.
“The disturbance took place as the congregation was holding a moment of silence for a member of the church who had died the week before, said the Rev. Deanna Vandiver,” the Uptown Messenger reports. “She then invited the protesters to stay if they could join or observe the worship service respectfully, and if not, to take their protest outside the building. The congregation began to sing, and church leaders then began to lead the most vocal protesters outside, though a few chose to stay quietly through the remainder of the service.”
“I think we were an easy target, because we’re literally just a few blocks down the road from where they’re building this clinic,” Vandiver said. “But we are not interested in being terrorized. Freedom of speech does not trump freedom of religion.”
In addition to protesting Planned Parenthood sites, Operation Save America is also holding demonstrations outside the homes of providers. A neighbor to one of those homes — who asked that his name be withheld out of concern that the group would target him — said his family has already endured two sessions of protests, with dozens of people holding signs on the sidewalk near his house featuring graphic images that he has done his best to hide from his young children.
“My kids are scared,” the resident said in an interview Monday afternoon. “It’s all these ugly pictures. They’re talking on the loudspeaker. I try to speak to them civilly, and it’s very difficult to do, because they’re looking for a confrontation.”
On the day of the protest, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a certificate of recognition to Flip Benham and Operation Save America.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office told the Uptown Messenger that “It is routine for the City to provide standard proclamations to visiting non-profits, faith-based organizations and conventions that request them.”
In a posting on Facebook about the mayor’s proclamation, David Benham commented: “Are you serious? This is real?
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case that the Court’s conservative majority had “ventured into a minefield” with its decision. Many of those mines have already been placed by right-wing leaders who claim a religious grounding not only for anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-contraception positions, but also for opposition to collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, progressive taxation and government involvement in the alleviation of poverty.
In Hobby Lobby, the Court found for the first time that for-profit corporations have religious rights just like real people and can therefore make claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that they should be exempt from laws that burden their corporate “exercise” of religion. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was deeply skeptical of Justice Samuel Alito’s assertion that the decision was limited only to the contraception mandate and only for closely held corporations.
“Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?” she asked. How would the Court justify applying its logic only to religious views about contraception? “Indeed, approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.’”
Ginsburg’s questions are not merely rhetorical. Conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders who have signed the Manhattan Declaration, including some U.S. bishops, declare themselves willing to engage in civil disobedience – maybe even martyrdom – in order to avoid any participation in abortion or any “anti-life act.” Nor, they declare, “will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
Alito’s majority opinion says Hobby Lobby does not extend the right to religion-based discrimination on account of a person’s race, but is conspicuously silent on other kinds of discrimination. That silence raises concerns that business owners could use the Hobby Lobby decision to opt out of a future federal LGBT civil rights law, or the Obama administration’s executive order against anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.
Indeed, especially in light of Alito’s mention in Hobby Lobby that RFRA applies to the District of Columbia as a federal enclave, such a claim could be brought today to seek an exemption from D.C.’s Human Rights Act that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. What happens if and when a local bishop instructs Catholic business owners that it would be sinful to treat legally married gay employees the same as other married couples, or an evangelical businessman declares he will not “bend” to DC’s Human Rights Act?
Business owners now have a new basis for trying to evade anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities to their employees. Religious liberty is already the rallying cry for conservatives looking for a legal way to discriminate against LGBT Americans; other business owners have tried to use religion to justify opposition to minimum-wage laws and Social Security taxes. Faith groups are already trying to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby decision out of court; on Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for an exemption from a forthcoming federal order barring federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
To be clear, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was used as the basis for the Hobby Lobby decision applies only to federal and District of Columbia laws and regulations, including presidential executive orders, not to state laws.
The stories of business owners being told they cannot exempt themselves from anti-discrimination laws have mostly involved questions about state-level civil rights and religious freedom statutes. Earlier this year the US Supreme Court declined to review a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that a wedding photography business had violated anti-discrimination law when it refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.
Although Hobby Lobby does not apply directly to state laws, it could influence state courts weighing religious claims by business owners in states with their own versions of RFRA.
The clash between religious conservatives and advocates for LGBT equality has been well publicized. But the minefield Ginsburg refers to extends well beyond traditional “social issues.” Religious Right leaders have been working hard to convince conservative evangelicals that the Tea Party’s anti-government, anti-union, anti-welfare agenda is grounded in the Bible – an effort that started well before the Tea Party arrived on the scene.
David Barton is an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012. Barton’s “Christian nation” approach to history has been denounced by historians and scholars, including some who are themselves evangelical Christians, but it is embraced by conservative politicians who extol a divinely inspired American exceptionalism. Barton teaches that Jesus and the Bible are opposed to progressive taxation, minimum wage laws, collective bargaining, and “socialist union kind of stuff.”
In addition, “mainstream” Religious Right leaders and conservative politicians are increasingly allied with a group of Pentecostal leaders who promote a “dominionist” theology that says God requires the right kind of Christians to take dominion over every aspect of society, including the business world. Many of them were sponsors of, and participants in, the prayer rally that Texas Gov. Rick Perry used to launch his ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign.
Thanks to previous Supreme Court decisions, alluded to and affirmed by Alito’s majority opinion in Hobby Lobby, the Court has for now seemingly closed the door to companies making a religious challenge to paying Social Security and federal income taxes based on their objection to a particular government program funded with those taxes. But the same might not be true for more targeted taxes and fees, or for laws regulating company behavior or the relationships between companies and their employees.
Opposition to unions has deep roots in Christian Reconstructionism, which has influenced the Religious Right’s ideology and political agenda. An early Christian Coalition Leadership manual, co-authored by Republican operative Ralph Reed in 1990, is a stunning example. A section titled “God’s Delegated Authority in the World” argues that “God established His pattern for work as well as in the family and in the church.” It cites four Bible passages instructing slaves to be obedient to their masters, including this one:
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
The conclusion to be drawn from these slaves-obey-your-masters passages?
Of course, slavery was abolished in this country many years ago, so we must apply these principles to the way Americans work today, to employees and employers: Christians have a responsibility to submit to the authority of their employers, since they are designated as part of God’s plan for the exercise of authority on the earth by man.
More recently, Religious Right leaders have cheered on corporate-funded attacks on unions in Wisconsin and Michigan. Does the Hobby Lobby ruling open another front in the right-wing war on workers? It is not uncommon for companies to refuse to cooperate with union organizers or negotiate with a properly organized union. Imagine that a business owner objects to a National Labor Relations Board finding that they have violated the National Labor Relations Act by arguing in federal court that their company’s religious beliefs prohibit them from dealing with unions?
It’s not as far-fetched as it might seem. Since long before the Hobby Lobby case created an open invitation to business owners to raise religious objections to bargaining with unions, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has encouraged workers to raise religious objections to requirements that they join or financially support a union. Here’s an excerpt from their pamphlet, “Union Dues and Religious Do Nots.”
To determine whether your beliefs are religious instead of political or philosophical, ask yourself whether your beliefs are based upon your obligations to God. Do you simply dislike unions or hate this particular union’s politics? Or, does your desire to stand apart from the union arise from your relationship to God? If your beliefs arise from your decision to obey God, they are religious.
It is possible that conservative courts may not give the same weight to religious claims about anti-gay discrimination or the Bible’s opposition to unions or minimum wage laws as they did to Hobby Lobby’s anti-contraception claims. Those claims were based on the owners’ belief – one that runs counter to medical scientific consensus – that some of the most effective forms of birth control work by causing abortions, and are therefore the moral equivalent of murder.
But as Justice Ginsburg pointed out, it is not clear how courts will differentiate between different types of claims. And it will be easier for claims to meet the new, lower threshold created by the Court in effectively altering the “substantial burden” test.
As Justice Ginsburg pointed out, rather than having to show that a person’s, or corporation’s, practice of religion has been burdened, they simply need to show that a law is “incompatible with” the person’s religious beliefs. Additionally, it seems that a wide array of regulations, conceivably including minimum wage laws, could be threatened by Alito’s reliance on the idea that having the government pay for the cost of implementing a regulation is less restrictive than having the company bear the cost of a regulation it objects to.
It is also not clear that the decision will remain “limited” to the 90 percent of American companies that qualify as closely held, which employ more than half of the nation’s workforce. The Court explicitly acknowledged the possibility that publicly traded corporations could raise such claims, but argued that it would be “unlikely.” But in this new world in which corporate religious claims can be made against government regulation, what is to prevent the CEO or board of a publicly traded organization from finding religion with regard to, say, greenhouse gas emissions?
The Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, promoted by the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance, declares as a matter of faith that earth’s ecosystem is not fragile and that efforts to reduce global warming, like regulating the emission of carbon dioxide, are not only “fruitless” and “harmful” but would discourage economic growth and therefore violate Biblical requirements to protect the poor from harm.
Justice Alito’s opinion rejects Justice Ginsburg’s characterization of the ruling’s “startling breadth.” But it is undeniable that the Court majority has opened the door to owners of for-profit corporations making an array of claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Justice Ginsburg writes in her dissent, “Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood—combined with its other errors in construing RFRA—invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.” For today’s right-wing leaders, who claim religious grounding for just about every aspect of their political ideology, there aren’t many forms of regulation that would be off-limits.
Upset that the House GOP leadership hasn’t called for President Obama’s impeachment, far-right commentator Gina Miller is calling on God to intervene and remove the president from office.
“As painful and infuriating as it is to say, I am certain no one can stop Obama, except the Lord Himself, if only He would,” Miller writes today in BarbWire. “I don’t have much hope that God will intervene, because I see the terrible state of our nation, our headlong flight into tyranny, as part of His judgment on the United States.”
She adds that because “America worships the ‘proud’ flaunting and writing into law of homosexuality and other sexual deviancy,” God may be using Obama as “judgment on this wayward nation.”
Miller also warns that Obama is inviting divine punishment on the U.S. with his “demonic hatred for Israel,” claiming that “Obama and his fellow travelers” are “competent like devils are” in their deliberate attempt to destroy America.
As painful and infuriating as it is to say, I am certain no one can stop Obama, except the Lord Himself, if only He would. I don’t have much hope that God will intervene, because I see the terrible state of our nation, our headlong flight into tyranny, as part of His judgment on the United States. We can see the detestable state of our culture, our collective embrace of all kinds of sinful behavior and the expulsion from our government, military, institutions and public square of all things Christian. Instead, America worships the “proud” flaunting and writing into law of homosexuality and other sexual deviancy, the mass-murder of pre-born babies “celebrated” as “choice,” and the indolent, entitlement mentality of far too many people who shun work and instead insist that others pay for their living, and in so doing, choose for themselves lives of servitude to their government masters. Barack Obama is also part of the Lord’s judgment on this wayward nation. It’s not just him alone, but the entire American power structure that has sunk into diseased corruption and criminality.
Another thing we must consider regarding the Lord’s judgment is God’s promise to Israel. You don’t mess with Israel without consequences. In Genesis 12:3, God said to Abraham (then, Abram), “I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you, and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This promise has not changed, and it never will. We know that Obama and his allies have a demonic hatred for Israel. Obama has repeatedly shunned and insulted Israel, and he has sided with, and given material support to, Israel’s Muslim Arab enemies. By this also we know that America is skating on thin ice, because of our wicked “leaders” who hate Israel.
Obama and his fellow travelers are allowed to behave as an oligarchic dictatorship. They are enemies of the United States. They are not incompetent. They are competent like devils are, and they mean our nation great harm. They are anti-American fiends. Who will stop them? Who will hold them accountable for their treason and crimes against the United States? Who will prevent the near-completion of “fundamental transformation” of our once-great nation?
The view from here doesn’t look good. Nevertheless, we will not stop speaking out against them. We will not stop praying for God’s mercy on this undeserving, wayward nation. We will not stop demanding that Congress do the right thing and impeach, convict and remove Barack Obama and his collaborators from office.
Her opening column does not fail to disappoint.
Zieve writes today that President Obama “has invited [immigrants] into the country as a foreign invasion force to replace US citizens and help him bring down the USA,” because he seeks the “destruction of the American people” and is working with allies towards “actively suppressing (and trying to find ways to imprison) their opposition.”
She also warns that the “faux POTUS” hopes to “replac[e] all Islamic Shia countries with Islamic Sunnis” and “kill free speech for conservatives and those of non-Islamic religions…especially Christians and Jews.”
“He was primed for and hired by his masters to destroy America…annihilate it…and he’s done his job well.”
Over last weekend, it finally got out–despite suppression from the White House and the media–that the Mexican drug cartels/human traffickers are now firing .50 caliber ammo at our USBP Agents. These are bullets that can reach their targets as much as a mile away. This is an act of war. Yet, neither the Pretend POTUS and Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama nor any of his minions comment on it at all. Neither does Obama try to stop the thousands of illegals (largely gang members, drug cartels/human traffickers and Islamists…not children) that he has invited into the country as a foreign invasion force to replace US citizens and help him bring down the USA. Besides, he’s already decimated most of the US military, demanded the Border Patrol “stand down” and no longer attempt to stop anyone entering the USA while placing them on diaper and baby-sitting duties for the children coming in with their parents. What difference do some USBP deaths–or any additional US citizen deaths–mean to him? He does, after all, have a one-month vacation in August coming up.
Recently, Obama barely commented on the passenger plane that was shot down, apparently by the Russians or their “rebels,” over Russian-held Eastern Ukraine. Instead, he initially called it a “possible tragedy” and then continued on to another fund-raiser. Possible tragedy? Everyone on board was already known to have been killed and it’s a “possible” tragedy? Note: From Obama, there‘s never any wasted–or any at all–compassion. He’s shown that to us all with his destruction of the American people via killing their economy, encouraging them not to work while he destroys jobs and businesses, bringing on the demise of healthcare (Hint: ObamaCare does not provide healthcare), allowing foreign invasions of any and all comers via the US Southern border who are bringing in deadly diseases and being transported to multiple States; without telling the leaders of said States where he’s had them “dumped.” Yes, folks, he’s doing his job extremely well. And still no one is stopping him. Apparently, we have way too many suicidal citizens in the country now.
With regards to the growing war between Israel and Hamas, the Obama position has been and remains telling Israel–the only democratic country in the Middle East– to be careful not to kill too many of the aggressors trying to destroy them. Over the years, it has become painfully obvious that Obama’s foreign policy consists of replacing all Islamic Shia countries with Islamic Sunnis. After all, his supposed family is Sunni and its members are Muslim Brotherhood; that same Muslim Brotherhood is now largely–in de facto modality–running and ruling over the U.S. government. Anything else non-domestic doesn’t really interest the faux POTUS. He was primed for and hired by his masters to destroy America…annihilate it…and he’s done his job well. But, the complete destruction of the USA is tiresome to him and rather a bother. And he does, after all, have a one-month vacation in August coming up. Priorities must be set!
Obama, Eric Holder and the lion’s share of congressional Democrats still try to downplay the despicable behaviors of Lois Lerner, apparently many if not most of the IRS agents and now the FEC in their attempts to kill free speech for conservatives and those of non-Islamic religions…especially Christians and Jews. Obama and his syndicate have not followed U.S. law and have been actively suppressing (and trying to find ways to imprison) their opposition since entering what was once our White House. So, why would they start now? The Obama syndicate is now in all-out dismantling-of-the-USA push and does not intend to be stopped by anyone. Past experience tells them that no one will even really try to do so. Besides, they’ve been getting away with treason–and no consequences for their actions–on an almost daily basis since Obama usurped the Office of POTUS.
Does anyone see and hear what’s really happening here? Does anyone care? Hello…
In a blog post last week, Concerned Women for America reminded us of one ever-present subtext in the Christian Right’s focus on support for Israel.
Christian Zionists believe that biblical prophecy requires Jews to converge in Israel to pave way for the Second Coming, at which time Jews will be converted to Christianity or die. There are, of course, other reasons for the Christian Right’s allegiance with Israel, but the ultimate conversion of Jews is a subtext underlying the activism of many within the movement.
Take a recent CWA blog post, for example, about the need for Jews to return to Israel in order for them to ultimately convert to Christianity.
“Not only should we push for strong foreign policy, but we must also be in prayer for our Jewish friends,” CWA writes in a July 18 blog post. “Ultimately, God is eager to bring his people back to Him and to direct their zeal for the law into a zeal for Christ’s already accomplished salvation on the Cross for both Jews and Gentiles alike.”
We must push for legislation that promotes the peace that Israel deserves and pushes the Palestinian Authority to break its ties with Hamas. America must have a strategic role in this conflict, and we as citizens should hold our leaders accountable to protect our ally in the Middle East — reminding our leaders that any foreign policy that does not support Israel is at stark odds with our national interests.
Furthermore, as Christians we are called to protect Israel and stand with this nation of people that God has blessed. Not only should we push for strong foreign policy, but we must also be in prayer for our Jewish friends. Ultimately, God is eager to bring his people back to Him and to direct their zeal for the law into a zeal for Christ’s already accomplished salvation on the Cross for both Jews and Gentiles alike.
CWA was founded by Beverly LaHaye, whose husband Tim LaHaye wrote the incredibly successful “Left Behind” series.
Jody Hice, a Republican candidate to replace Rep. Paul Broun in Georgia’s congressional delegation, told a conservative radio show last week that “we have the responsibility as individuals and as states to step up in those areas where our federal government will not,” and suggested that people might have to take up arms in response to “a government that refuses to secure our borders.”
In an interview with Liberty Conservatives last week, Hice predicted (correctly) that Texas would send National Guard troops to the southern border in response to the crisis of children fleeing violence in Central America.
But then he went further. In response to a question about the border crisis, Hice said, “that is the reason we have a Second Amendment.”
“Ultimately, it’s not about hunting and fishing and that type of thing,” he said. “It’s about our ability as individuals to defend ourselves, be it in our own private property, but most importantly, ultimately, it comes down to the right of defending ourselves against tyranny should our government ever become a threat to our liberties. And when you are talking about a government that refuses to secure our borders, you are talking about a government that is not taking seriously its responsibility to defend us.”
“We have the responsibility as individuals and as states to step up in those areas where our federal government will not,” he added.
As Netroots Nation wrapped up its visit to the Motor City on Saturday, PFAW partnered with LaunchProgress and the Michigan Democratic Party’s Youth Caucus to celebrate a strong slate of young progressive candidates running for office in the state.
The Young Political Leaders Happy Hour featured many of Michigan’s young progressive candidates and staff, who came together to network and talk politics following the closing session at Netroots Nation. In June PFAW announced its Michgan slate of Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program endorsees, some of whom were able to join the party at the end of a long day of knocking on doors in their districts.
Thanks to all who joined us in Detroit!
The right-wing outlet Charisma Magazine ran a story today about states that still have religious tests for people holding public office, even though they are not enforced.
“With the never-ending battle in our culture atheists bring against Christians, will [sic] the bans may soon be altogether removed,” writes Gina Meeks, Charisma’s assistant editor.
The magazine’s website posted the story on its front page with the subtitle: “This is good news for a Judeo-Christian America, but will the bans last?”
A senior policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, which bills itself as the think tank of the anti-immigrant Right, told a Florida-based Tea Party group last week that President Obama not only deserves impeachment, but that “being hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good for him.”
The Center for New Community’s Imagine 2050 blog first reported on Stephen Steinlight’s remarks.
Steinlight also said that John Boehner’s lawsuit against the president is a “political loser” and claimed that while Obama deserves to be impeached, such an effort would backfire on Republicans.
CIS describes Steinlight as “one of the nation’s most insightful voices on immigration” who provides “expert testimony” for government panels.
A rash of opinion polls which have come out, not push polls, real polls, including one by Gallup that showed that 65 percent of the American people don’t want any part of an Obama-style immigration reform. But the idea of this [lawsuit] is vintage Boehner, it’s a political loser. There is no court that is going to stop Obama from doing anything. We all know, if there ever was a president that deserved to be impeached, it’s this guy. Alright? I mean, I wouldn’t stop. I would think being hung, drawn, and quartered is probably too good for him.
UPDATE (7/24): CIS now says that Steinlight has been "reprimanded" for his remarks:
When reached for comment, Steven Camarota, director of research at CIS, distanced the organization from Steinlight's remarks.
"Steve was speaking figuratively and hyperbolically, obviously, for effect. In that respect his intemperate comments were similar to those who are often critics of President Bush, and I would say like those comments, they are ill-advised," Camarota told The Huffington Post. "I would also say that the Center for Immigration Studies does not in fact support drawing and quartering the president."
CIS officials also said Steinlight had been disciplined and instructed to avoid similar rhetoric in the future.
"I reprimanded him and put a reprimand in his personnel file," said CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian.
CIS is an organization that advocates reducing immigration into the United States. Steinlight has said that Hispanic immigration would lead to the "unmaking of America," and that Muslims should be banned from immigrating to the United States because they "believe in things that are subversive to the Constitution."
"Steve sometimes has used impolitic language and I admonished him to choose his words more carefully in the future," Krikorian said.
Sen. Ted Cruz announced last week that his new “top priority” in Washington is to end President Obama’s deferred action program for DREAMers and start deporting undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
But to show that he is approaching his new top priority in a compassionate way, Cruz made a stop at the border this weekend to help Glenn Beck hand out his truckload of teddy bears and soccer balls to children who have come to the southern border fleeing violence in Central America.
Cruz and some of his fellow Republicans are doing their best to pin the influx of Central American children on Obama's deferred action for DREAMers — although the evidence shows that that is not the case — and to thereby frame deporting DREAMers as the solution to the child refugee crisis.
Cruz told Beck’s The Blaze network that “our country has always been a country of compassion, of humanity,” but “as long as that promise of amnesty is there, more and more children will come.”
“In my view, it is altogether appropriate that private charities and private churches are showing Christian love, are caring for these children,” he said. “But at the same time we need to eliminate the promise of amnesty.”
Former congressman Todd Akin said last week that the firestorm over his comments about how women’s bodies “shut down” pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape” was all part of a spiritual war between good and evil, and obviously, Akin was on the side of good.
Even though Akin ran a television ad during his unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign apologizing for his remarks, the Missouri Republican now insists that he always believed in what he said regarding “legitimate rape” and believes that the media, Democrats and Republicans such as Mitt Romney all decided to persecute him because he is a good, Christian, patriotic man.
Akin told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network that the uproar over his comments was really part of a spiritual war.
After the whole thing blew up and it took maybe a week or two and it was just amazing. It wasn’t just national, it was international news, because people were saying I said something most of the time that I didn’t even say and assigning me motives that I didn’t have. What did I feel like? It’s going to be sort of an odd analogy but I’ll share it with you. I felt sort of peaceful, as though I was in a parachute. I sort of felt that on each side of me were these towering cumulus clouds. On the one side lightning and thunder of evil and the other side brilliant light of good and I sort of felt like I was literally on the front lines and that evil and good were going at each other all around me and I’m thinking, ‘how did I get here so fast? If you want a mental picture, sometimes you just have to sort of think of a bizarre picture but that’s what it felt like. I felt a sense of peace like I was protected but it seemed like there was this intense war between good and evil, which in a way didn’t surprise me because I always felt like I want to be on the side of selling good ideas.
The American Family Association simply doesn’t understand why more and more Americans support equal rights for the gay community when, according to a recent study, just over two percent of people openly identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual … because as everybody knows that rights are determined by population size!
AFA head Tim Wildmon, in a statement about the study today, criticized the gay community as “an extremely small population” that is bent on “inundating television shows” and “bullying” Americans until they are “given special preferences in the law.”
American Family Association Says Efforts to Normalize Unhealthy Behavior Is Pushed by Extremely Small Population
Even though the American public thinks the figure is much higher, less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Today in America, we are changing millennia-old marriage laws, inundating television shows with multiple homosexual characters and pushing the public to embrace as accepted and healthy the behavior of less than 3 percent of the population,” said Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association. “Our culture, through the bullying, pressure and coercion of a lobby motivated by an extremely small population in America, has become focused on advancing the homosexual lifestyle as normal and even ideal.”
So far, those aiming to mainline homosexuality have done a good job tricking Americans into thinking the homosexual population is much higher than it really is.
“There are very significant health risks associated with homosexuality that the public isn’t aware of,” Wildmon added. “We care about the health of all Americans, including people who are inclined to engage in homosexual behavior. People need to be informed that the homosexual lifestyle is not a benign alternative to heterosexual behavior. There are serious health risks, which is why we at AFA oppose homosexual behavior being normalized, as well as homosexual individuals being given special preference in the law.”
Today President Obama signed an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination. In remarks this morning, the president said that our government “will become just a little bit fairer” today.
President Obama pointed out that many Americans go to work every day with the fear that they could lose their job because of who they are. It’s time to “address this injustice for every American,” he said, urging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). While today’s executive order expands protections to millions of LGBT people who work for federal contractors, we still lack a nationwide law to protect LGBT workers across the board. In many states, you can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Following the Obama administration’s announcement that an executive order was in the works, People For the American Way joined nearly 100 other organizations, including many faith groups, in a letter urging the president to reject a call for an additional religious exemption — which ultimately was not included. The letter noted:
Religious freedom is one of our most cherished values, a fundamental and defining feature of our national character. It guarantees us the freedom to hold any belief we choose and the right to act on our religious beliefs within certain limits. It does not, however, provide organizations the right to discriminate using taxpayer dollars. When a religiously affiliated organization makes the decision to request a taxpayer-funded contract with the federal government, it must play by the same rules as every other federal contractor. [emphasis added]
Jonathan Capehart from the Washington Post reports that in the past few weeks, there have been “extraordinary meetings” in the White House among LGBT and religious communities about both the necessity of protecting workers from discrimination and religious liberty. As Capehart writes, “The president’s action today shows the two are not mutually exclusive.”
Right-wing blogger Michael Bresciani is out today with yet another column castigating President Obama’s war on “our moral beliefs and our southern border,” warning that Obama is “conscripting” women, gay people, immigrants and terrorists in his plan to bring down America.
He is especially wary of Obama’s gay “elite forces” who seek to turn America into a country “where perversion is the new Apple Pie.”
“Homosexuals are conscripted by the war efforts of the media, Hollywood and the gay-loving President who is the new rainbow adorned Abraham Lincoln and has signed more than one emancipation proclamation for the poor oppressed slaves of the old morality, the Bible and all traditional forms of decency,” he said.
“When not fighting for the right to be perverted, they can furlough to use their members to assault each other in that region of the human anatomy normally used to service the evacuation of human excrement.”
Call it the war on women, homosexuals, disenfranchised, poor and blacks, criminals who seem overburdened with harsh sentences or the armies of children, gang members and drug cartel that just can’t handle life in a Central American country any longer and we are off to Obama’s declared war for 2014 – it could be called the ‘Great Borders War of 2014.”
It is a war of both our moral borders and our southern border and it will determine the very future of our nation.
Should we mention the Muslim terrorists who are like the neighbors kids in a sleep-over who have joined the tantrum and also have gained the full attention of mother Obama as he quells their rage by telling them he will deny them nothing?
Homosexuals are conscripted by the war efforts of the media, Hollywood and the gay-loving President who is the new rainbow adorned Abraham Lincoln and has signed more than one emancipation proclamation for the poor oppressed slaves of the old morality, the Bible and all traditional forms of decency.
Now, they are urged to join up and fight, plenty of parades and colorful fanfare to send them off with to their respective battle fronts. They are members of the elite forces sent to defeat the evil homophobes, preachers and naysayers.
When not fighting for the right to be perverted, they can furlough to use their members to assault each other in that region of the human anatomy normally used to service the evacuation of human excrement. It’s all good – and mother Obama has given full assurance that it all part of the changed America, where perversion is the new Apple Pie.
Should the eruption of war or threats of war occur outside the new pinkish borders of the nation – not to worry, The Golfer in Chief and the First Lady of Lavish Vacations have set an example for us all – ignore them.
Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America appeared on “Trunews” last week to discuss her belief that she is facing persecution from the media because of her anti-Muslim activism, but ended up explaining her belief that President Obama is a secret Muslim.
“Trunews” host Rick Wiles sparked the conversation about Obama’s supposed secret Islamic faith by alleging that the president is “outright arming and training and assisting radical jihadist groups in the Middle East such as ISIS” and engineered a “massive cover-up” around the 2012 Benghazi attack.
Gabriel implied that the president is in fact a Muslim by arguing that he was “raised as a Muslim child and idealized his Muslim father,” even though his father was an atheist and there is no evidence Obama was brought up as a Muslim.
After Gabriel claimed that Obama has consistently sided with the Muslim Brotherhood, Wiles made the interview’s subtext even clearer: “You know the old saying about a duck, if it waddles like a duck and it quacks like a duck…”
“It’s a duck,” Gabriel said.
Wiles added: “He’s not only pro-Islam, he’s pro-jihadist Islam. Let’s be blunt about it, he’s not just sympathetic to the Muslim religion, his foreign policies and his strategies and his covert operations are aiding and helping and funding jihadist terrorists in the Middle East.”
Gabriel later argued that Obama views terrorist groups as “good freedom fighters” because he is the product of a university system that is covertly run by Saudi Arabia. “He had friends who were terrorists,” she said. “He does not look at his friends as terrorists, he looks at his friends as freedom fighters.”
Oddly, after speaking with Wiles about how universities are filled with Marxist radicals, Gabriel said that “the average college student today cannot tell you anything about Marxism or communism or anything like that, they are not educated about these things in America today. What they are educated about and what they care about is ‘Survivor,’ ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ the Art, I mean, we have kids majoring in the Art, the Cultural Art, Women’s Rights and all of those things and they graduate and they cannot even find a job because it’s not the real world.”
“When it comes to the education about the Middle East, those college kids for the last twenty years in the United States are basically fed whatever information they have from Saudi-funded sources that is funding Middle East Studies departments at our elite universities,” she continued.
“Whoever is teaching them is appointed in the Communications class or the Middle East Studies department class by Saudi-funded chair to teach them that the Islamic world is just freedom fighters fighting this big meanie, imperialist, Zionist conspiracy to rule the world.”
For weeks now, anti-immigrant groups have been hyping a “National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty & Border Surge,” meant to be two days of protests in cities across the country in reaction to the Central American children who are coming to the southern border to flee violence in their home countries.
The protests were a bust. Local news reports and pictures posted on social media show anemic turnout, from about 40 people in front of the United Nations in New York to just three at a McClellan, Texas, border control station who wondered if they had gotten the wrong address.
These small but vitriolic protests, although they didn’t meet the hype of their organizers, tell us everything we need to know about today’s anti-immigrant movement.
1. It’s driven by extremists.
This weekend’s protests were organized by three fringe groups: Make Them Listen, Overpasses for America, and Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
Overpasses for America is a group led by activist James Neighbors that organizes demonstrations over highway overpasses to call for President Obama’s impeachment. The group went a step further this year when it backed Operation American Spring, an effort meant to flood Washington with protesters and force Obama out of office , which also came up slightly short of expectations .
Overpasses frequently shares images like this on its Facebook page:
The group also uses the platform to share its views on immigrants, including this image and its accompanying caption.
Americans for Legal Immigration is a one-man anti-immigrant hate shop run by North Carolina-based activist William Gheen. Gheen has said that “illegal and violent” means might be necessary to remove President Obama from office and has a long record of virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric . Gheen’s last national action was encouraging his supporters to mail used underwear to undocumented immigrants.
Gheen also has ties to the right-wing militia movement: he personally invited the anti-government group Oath Keepers to join the weekend’s protests.
Other groups listed as “participating organizations” in the event included 2 Million Bikers To DC, whose leader wants to repeal all but the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and which deals in racist Facebook images, and Americans Have Had Enough Coalition, which is led by white supremacist Roan Garcia-Quintana .
The largest recent anti-immigrant protests — the attempts to turn back busses of migrant children in Murrieta, California, and Oracle, Arizona — were also populated by anti-government fringe groups. The Murrieta protest, which was organized by activists tied to the Minutemen and the John Birch Society, drew some of the same people who had recently set up shop at the anti-government standoff at the Bundy Ranch.
2. It relies on xenophobia.
Signs and chants at this weekend’s protests show that the movement draws its energy from Nativism and xenophobia.
A number of signs at the events drew from the ginned-up fears of migrant children carrying diseases. In New York, one protester parodied Emma Lazarus, shouting, “bring us your smallpox, bring us your malaria, your scabies.”
Another woman in New York held a sign calling “illegals” and President Obama “cockroaches.”
At the Raleigh event, attended by Gheen himself, protesters in front of the Mexican consulate held a large sign reading “No Way Jose.”
A protester in Texas held a sign saying, “We are a nation of immigrants, not a nation of welfare .”
Another protester in Florida wrote a sign that read, “Send Them Back with Birth Control.”
3. The fringe and the “mainstream” are closely knit.
The weekend’s protests were organized by fringe extremists, but they were promoted by large national groups that have access and influence in national politics.
The largest anti-immigrant organizing groups, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Numbers USA quietly promoted the events: Numbers sent a notice about the events to its email list and a number of FAIR’s state affiliates directed members to events in their areas.
Prominent GOP-tied activists also promoted the events. The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios urged listeners of her radio show to attend events in their area and advertised the protest on Facebook. The Right’s favorite "constitutional scholar" Mark Levin also advertised the rallies on Facebook.
Rep. Steve King, the leading anti-immigrant voice in Congress, was spoke at a sparsely attended protest in Nebraska, telling his audience that the migrant children at the border represent an “invasion” the size of “Santa Ana’s army.”
4. The movement’s running on fumes.
The small turnout at the weekend’s rallies highlights the truth that the anti-immigrant movement is desperately trying to hide: it just doesn’t have that much support.
Reports from cities across the country show just small handfuls of people showing up to yell about the child migrants to passing cars.
About 12 people turned up on an overpass in Milwaukee. A similar number gathered in Oklahoma City and Placentia, California. An event in Dover, Delaware, seems to have attracted about twenty. About eight appear to have made it out to hang an “Obama Sucks” banner on an overpass in Chattanooga. Three people turned up on an overpass in Oregon. San Diego mustered 25 people. A small group of protesters in Columbus, Ohio, were disappointed that so few people had showed up. About 15 people made it to the parking lot of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock; consulate officials and local police assured local news that they weren’t too concerned about needing additional security.
Meanwhile, Think Progress reporters in McClellan, Texas, ran into a group of three anti-immigrant demonstrators who wondered if they had gotten the wrong address for the protest. They were drowned out by the more than 60 people rallying in support of the refugee children at the border.
The protests this weekend were an attempt to create the illusion of widespread outrage at the children coming to the southern border and at the concept of immigration reform. A number of the protest groups, however small, garnered local news coverage and were able to say that they were part of a large nationwide effort. A look at reports from across the country shows that that was not the case.
The anti-immigrant movement, for all its smoke and mirrors, consists of a small network of closely tied advocacy groups who rely on fringe extremists like Gheen and Neighbors to rally scant amounts of grassroots support.
5. The GOP is still listening.
The anti-immigrant movement may be smoke and mirrors, but it has some very influential people fooled. House Speaker John Boehner still refuses to bring immigration reform up for a vote in the House. Ted Cruz now says that deporting DREAMers is his “top priority.” Republicans in Congress, spooked by the victory of ALIPAC-supported David Brat in Virginia, say that immigration reform is dead — even though an overwhelming percentage of Republicans want Congress to take action to fix the immigration system and a majority of Republicans want that to include a path to citizenship or permanent residency for undocumented immigrants.
The child refugee crisis has brought out the true colors of the anti-immigrant movement. Even as some conservative groups are urging compassion and care for the children fleeing to the southern border, Republican leaders seem to be buying the narrative of the small, Nativist anti-immigrant fringe.
On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz denounced Democratic legislation to ensure that employees receive contraception access in their health insurance plans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, accusing Democrats of fooling voters through “misdirection.”
Cruz told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that the GOP-blocked Senate bill to prevent employers from refusing to cover contraception was simply a way to “distract people” from President Obama’s purported litany of scandals.
“They tried to convince Americans, and sadly they succeeded in convincing a number of Americans, that were somehow some people in the political sphere out to stop people from using contraceptives,” Cruz said. “I have literally never met anybody who wants to prohibit Americans from using contraceptives if they so desire. The allegation that there is somehow any effort at all to restrict access to contraceptives is looney, in the U.S. Senate the number of Senators advocating doing that is zero, they never have.”
While Cruz seems to miss the link between Hobby Lobby and access to contraception, he also doesn’t seem to understand a bill that he pledged to support: the Life at Conception Act. Like other personhood bills, the Life at Conception Act would outlaw some forms of birth control, along with abortion in all cases.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists points out that “some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives could be banned” under personhood bills.