Joining other anti-gay activists in embracing a debunked study about the children of gay and lesbian parents, Linda Harvey of Mission America today warned that families led by same-sex couples represent “a picture of dysfunction.” Harvey, who this week in a WorldNetDaily column lamented that society is allowing “sexual deviance to be exalted,” urged listeners to “protect our kids” from gays who “insist on modeling their sexual immorality to their children” and expose “kids to serious kids”:
Harvey: Friends, this is a picture of dysfunction where the next generation is not simply disadvantaged by adults who insist on modeling their sexual immorality to their children, it’s also a picture of exposing kids to serious risks. We already knew this, of course, and now the picture is backed up by detailed facts. People of conscience need to continue to stand up against attempts to call homosexuality the same as committed male-female marriage. It’s not and it never will be. People who are drawn to homosexuality do not need to stay there, there’s no reliable evidence that these attractions are inborn and we know that starting with the word of God. Now we have verification of the truth about the outcomes of these relationships. Let’s protect our kids and educate all our family and friends.
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly hosted Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Focus on the Family board member, to discuss same-sex marriage and its supposed threat to religious freedom. Daly claimed that Satan himself is promoting same-sex marriage since “he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image.” “The Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him,” Daly said, “and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.” Later, Mohler maintained that “same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes” and will replace religious liberty with a more limited freedom of worship:
Daly: When you look at human sexuality, someone suggested to me the other day, they said, if you think about it, the Enemy of our soul, yes we refer to this entity as Satan, that he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image. In other words, in the Scripture it talks about us being made in God’s image, male and female, and when we come together in lifelong commitment to marriage we become one flesh, that the Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.
Mohler: There’s no doubt that religious liberty is now very much on the line. As a matter of fact, same-sex marriage is going to be the greatest challenge to religious liberty in our lifetimes, and both sides on the controversy know it. You can look at the papers, the law articles, the kinds of things that are already on both sides of the argument. There’s a fundamental, shared understanding that this is going to be the big issue. You mentioned Christians running bed and breakfasts, Christians in any kind of employment situation or public services, photographers for weddings and frankly even churches are going to be very much on the line because what we’ve seen in recent political decisions is that religious liberty is really being reduced, and listen very carefully to what people are saying, is a freedom of worship. Religious liberty means much more than freedom of worship.
Last month, we reported on Family Research Institute chairman Paul Cameron’s appearance on Voice of Christian Youth America’s flagship show Crosstalk, where he suggested that President Obama might be gay after he endorsed marriage equality. On Monday, Crosstalk host and VCY America founder Vic Eliason doubled down on the accusation, citing reports “on YouTube of people who claimed to have engaged in this type of behavior with the President of the United States.” While criticizing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Gay Pride Month message, Eliason warned that rights for gays and lesbians will ultimately lead to the acceptance of cannibals, grave robbers, pedophiles and people who practice bestiality. Eliason, fearing that “the moral fabric of our country” is “literally in flames,” goes on to insinuate that Obama might be gay based on videos he found on YouTube:
[Panetta] said this, “We are people with different values.” We’ll let’s talk about different values. When I came to Wisconsin way back in the 50’s, there was a story running around about a guy named Ed Gein who was a grave robber and his values meant that he would rob graves and corpses and the things that came out of the—well I don’t want to go further into that story—except it was you know it was his values after all. I mean what’s wrong with having values like that? Then some years ago ten blocks up the street from where we’re sitting right now was Jeffrey Dahmer, whose values were along the same line homosexuality but in addition to that, literally the cannibalizing and killing of human beings, dismembering their bodies and all kinds of weird stuff. But that after all we have diversity, right? We have different values.
Then of course we have people who have different values even in different venues. There are those whose values mean it’s very desirable and their own desire to molest children. We call them pedophiles. Because it’s a moral behavior or immoral behavior if properly defined. Its molestation but that happens to be their set of values and how dare we say anything about that. And then of course I don’t go from the sublime to the ridiculous here, but bestiality. Bestiality!
I mean this this is vile behavior. God says this stuff is an abomination and is sin, but of course if we no longer have a moral compass and we no longer have a God, we have a whole bunch of them and we can sit here and look at leadership, the highest leadership now in our country, that has literally voted for and has the legend has it the allegations has it that in his previous history, there are reports out even on YouTube of people who claimed to have engaged in this type of behavior with the President of the United States. These are allegations but they are out there.
When I when I think of what is happening here folks, when I see the moral fabric of our country literally in flames; how do you define morality? I mentioned the allegations that had been circulating about the past of even our President. And again, those are allegations out there. You can even go to YouTube and there are videos of those who have claimed to engage with certain.
WASHINGTON – People For the American Way issued the following statement following the party line vote by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee engineered by Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The Committee acted despite the Attorney General’s extensive efforts over the past several months to provide the Committee with the information it needed to conduct its investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
“This is nothing more than a political witch hunt, perhaps best exemplified by the announcement of the NRA – which bizarrely sees the ‘Fast and Furious’ program as an effort to justify domestic gun control laws – that it would ‘score’ this contempt vote.” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “To be sure, Congress has a legitimate interest in investigating Operation Fast and Furious, but Chairman Issa and Republican majority on the Committee appear to be more interested in scoring political points than in getting to the bottom of what happened.
“The hoops the Committee is demanding the Attorney General jump through illustrate that these contempt hearings are as partisan as they are extreme. Over the course of this ‘investigation,’ the Committee has ordered the A.G. to produce documents whose confidentiality is protected by federal law, has refused to subpoena Bush Administration officials to testify about their knowledge of the operation during their time in office, has refused to allow public testimony from officials whose testimony counters Issa’s partisan narrative, and has repeatedly rejected the A.G.’s efforts to accommodate the committee, making compliance all but impossible.
“Attorney General Holder should be commended for the courageous steps he has taken to bolster civil rights and liberties in this country. Unfortunately, these Oversight Committee hearings do nothing but distract from those critically important efforts and undermine the Justice Department’s essential function – to enforce the rule of law.”
Back in 2010, Kyle noted that the American Center for Law and Justice was organizing a campaign to stop the construction of the Park 51 Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero while simultaneously championing the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which they praised for making sure that never again will “our nation's houses of faith have their freedom to worship where and how they choose violated by ignorant or hostile zoning officials.” Now it appears that Pamela Geller, who worked alongside ACLJ executive director Jordan Sekulow against the establishment of Park 51, wants to repeal the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act altogether because it might benefit Muslim worshipers.
While speaking with conservative radio host Janet Mefferd yesterday, Geller called for the repeal of RLUIPA because “it’s become a weapon in which to club small towns and cities” where Muslims are seeking to establish mosques, lamenting, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” She said that Muslims are “dishonest” with local governments by “circumventing the rules” on capacity requirements because they pray on their knees. Geller said that RLUIPA must be repealed for the sake of the “freedom from religion,” a phrase normally anathema to Religious Right audiences.
Mefferd: You had talked about the necessity of repealing the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, I guess this is what Holder is using to pressure this Virginia board of supervisors to approve this mega-mosque, what is this Act and why is it necessary?
Geller: It’s not necessary, frankly. I urge the repeal of this Act. I’m not sure who it was, I could have it wrong, I don’t know if it was Orrin Hatch, this is not a finger pointing kind of a thing, it’s more ‘the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ It was unnecessary, it was an idea that there should be no religious persecution of houses of worship and so on and so forth, and that was all well and good, but it’s become a weapon in which to club small towns and cities.
Look, no one is saying that you can’t build a mosque, even with the Ground Zero Mosque; there are hundreds of mosques in New York City, we know there are thousands of mosques nationwide, but these giant structures, they completely change the complexion of a town. It could be a small town, residential. I’m telling you I have seen it time and time again, irrecognizable three to five years later. The call to prayer, the parking, hundreds of people. Again, there is an element of dishonesty here because as you know in Islam they got on their knees so you don’t count a chair with that. But it’s important because it’s a way of circumventing the rules, you can’t say ‘it seats 500 or it seats whatever.’ It’s not just freedom of religion here in America, it’s also freedom from religion here in America.
June 20, 2012
Fighting the Right, and Winning
Two weeks after PFAW played an integral role in flipping control of the Wisconsin Senate away from right-wing Republicans, and effectively halting Gov. Scott Walker’s extreme anti-middle class agenda, we continue to see victories and progress in the various areas of our work.
ALEC on the Ropes
Last week, Johnson & Johnson announced it was leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council, making it the 19th major corporation to sever ties with the right-wing bill factory since PFAW and our allies began a grassroots and media pressure campaign to get ALEC’s member companies to leave. For a long time, PFAW and our affiliate PFAW Foundation have tracked and exposed ALEC’s deleterious right-wing agenda and influence in state legislatures across the county.
President Leads the Way on Positive Immigration Reform
On Friday, President Obama announced a new immigration policy that would allow undocumented residents who would qualify under the DREAM Act to gain work authorization and avoid deportation. Marking a victory for common sense, basic fairness and the American Way, the move also shows a sharp contrast with a GOP whose moderate voices on immigration issues have been drowned out by the nativist far-right faction now firmly in control of the party.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney drew perhaps the hardest anti-immigrant line of all the candidates during the primary and in the wake of President Obama’s decision could only respond by saying his position was whatever Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s was. Meanwhile, the Cuban American Sen. Rubio himself proposed an alternative to the DREAM Act that would create an apartheid-style second class citizenship and is woefully unpopular with Latinos.
The upcoming election could very well be determined by Latino voters. That’s why People For the American Way is making sure Latino Americans are engaged and aware of how the Far Right’s attacks not just on immigrants, but on education, healthcare and voting rights affect their communities.
Fighting the GOP’s Judicial Obstruction
Last week started off on a good note with the Senate voting to break the filibuster of Andrew Hurwitz, confirming him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and filling one of the 90 vacancies, and 31 officially-designated “judicial emergencies,” nationwide. Then, on Friday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced his party’s senators would completely refuse to do their job of confirming nominees to federal appeals courts until after November’s elections. Citing the so-called "Thurmond Rule," McConnell is misconstruing a nebulous Senate tradition to kick what has been three years of unprecedented judicial obstruction by Senate Republicans into overdrive.
This invocation of the “Thurmond Rule,” named for South Carolina Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond, who famously conducted the longest filibuster in Senate history in an attempt to stop passage of the Civil Rights Act, is just the latest reminder that Senate Republicans will cling to anything they can to keep judicial vacancies open indefinitely until they can be filled by extreme right-wing ideologues.
PFAW is working with the White House and Senate Democratic leadership, as well as mobilizing activists, to break through this latest obstruction tactic. And we’ll be working hard to make sure voters remember Republicans obstruction and, come November, remind Mitch McConnell of the "Trent Lott Rule" -- invoke the wisdom of Strom Thurmond too many times and you're no longer a Senate Leader.
Stopping Right-Wing Election Theft
Protecting the right to vote has been a central mission of both PFAW and our affiliate PFAW Foundation for years. We’ve worked hard to expose the rash of aggressive voter suppression laws that have been passed in state legislatures across the country, particularly since the Tea Party “wave” election in 2010. We’ve seen burdensome voter ID laws, draconian restrictions on voter registration activities and, now, massive purges of voter files -- all of which are ostensibly aimed at stopping the imaginary problem of individual ‘voter fraud’ but do far more to disenfranchise eligible voters, especially from poor and minority communities.
In Florida, right-wing state officials have said they intend to push forward with a massive purge of their voter despite widespread reports of inaccuracies in their data, lawsuits from civil rights groups and stern warnings by the Department of Justice that the purge is not just reckless but illegal. We’re working hard to stop the purge and stop what happened in Florida in 2000 from happening again in 2012.
75,000 PFAW members have signed a petition urging Florida state officials to stop the purge and county supervisors of elections not to comply with it and implement the state’s recommended changes to their voter files. And PFAW Foundation is working with allies on the ground in Florida to contact potential eligible voters who have been targeted by the purge to make sure they know what to do to protect their rights and stay on the rolls.
We’re in the fight of our lives this election, but we’re confident that our strategies, hard work and the amazing commitment of supporters like you can help deliver the victories in November America so desperately needs. As always, thank you.
Michael Keegan, President
The failure of her alarming predictions about the consequences of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to materialize hasn’t stopped Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness from railing against gay rights in the military, and now Donnelly is taking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to task for delivering an “entirely inappropriate” Gay Pride Month message to service members. Donnelly, who supports the ban on gays in the military, accused the LGBT community of trying to “make other people feel like they are not welcome” in an interview yesterday with Janet Parshall. She said that Panetta’s message was part of a ploy by “LGBT activist groups” to “intimidate other people,” and Parshall lamented that she’s “never heard of a Heterosexual Month and they make up ninety-seven percent of the military.”
Parshall: We’ve got Leon Panetta, ‘June is called Gay Pride Month,’ and Leon Panetta in the Department of Defense is heralding gays in the military. Wow, I really would love to look into a crystal ball and see what we’re going to have in terms of numbers going down the road.
Donnelly: This is entirely inappropriate because the Secretary of Defense is treating a tiny minority of people in the military who are now allowed to be open, even though previously they were not even eligible to be in the armed forces, to have an event like this, which we predicted by the way. We predicted this a long time ago; this is a manifestation of LGBT law in the military. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender policies and celebrations in the armed forces, this is all part of it.
Parshall: Leon Panetta celebrating in so-called Gay Pride Month that which makes up less than three percent, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never heard of a Heterosexual Month and they make up ninety-seven percent of the military.
Donnelly: Right. What happened to the notion, ‘we just want to serve in the military, we just want to be quiet and modest and discreet, just like everyone else’? What happened to that? Well of course that was all phony because the LGBT activist groups know exactly how to intimidate other people, make other people feel they are not welcome, their views are not welcome, and name calling occurs quite a bit. That’s pretty much part of the pattern and it’s one of the reasons why the 1993 law regarding gays in the military should have been retained.
Back in April, Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that he knows “God’s on my side” in his fight against Obama’s “socialist” and “anti-American” presidency. The GOP nominee for Ohio’s 9th congressional district, who is focusing his campaign on the supposed connection between gun control policies and the Holocaust, sat down with Brody for a second time today on the 700 Club and shared the story of his conversion to Christianity at a Frisch’s Big Boy.
Wurzelbacher explained how his pastor, who seems to believe that faith and science are incompatible, noted that while science textbooks have several new editions, the Bible has never been revised. “‘Revision Seven.’ He said, ‘now look at the Bible, what does it say’? I said, ‘Holy Bible.’ He said, ‘see any revisions on it Joe’? I said, ‘no.’ He said, ‘the reason why is because this is God’s word…man’s always looking for an answer, that’s why it’s revised.’”
Good thing the pastor didn’t show him a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible:
Evangelist Bill Keller is telling people to write in Jesus on the ballot in November, arguing that Christians can’t support President Obama, whom he claims is a “true tool of satan,” or Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. As of today, Keller claims over 126,000 people have committed to “write in the name of Jesus for President”:
President Obama has proven by his words and deeds to be a true enemy of God as detailed in James 4:4. He has been the most pro-death President in history, supporting the legalized slaughter of innocent babies here and around the world, he is a staunch advocate of the radical homosexual agenda, and he has been a great friend to the enemies of Israel. On every major spiritual issue of the day, President Obama has proven to be an enemy of God and a true tool of satan!
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is a 5th generation member and a priest in the satanically inspired Mormon cult. He and others in his cult LIE when they claim to be Christians, since Mormon doctrine is 100% inconsistent with Biblical Christianity and a Mormon is no more a Christian than a Muslim is. He deceives people by saying he believes in "God" and "Jesus" is his savior, when the "god" of Romney's cult is NOT the God of the Bible, and their "jesus" is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. Romney and those in his cult believe the Bible to be a flawed and incomplete book and look at Biblical Christians as inferior and non-believers for rejecting the beliefs of their cult.
I am encouraging true followers of Jesus Christ to say NO to satan and say YES to Jesus! This November, write in the name JESUS for President! The option will be several third party candidates. Sadly, no candidate outside of the two major parties have any chance at winning the election. So rather than vote for a third party candidate, write in the name of Jesus for President.
Your vote for JESUS is not helping President Obama get re-elected, nor is it helping Mitt Romney get elected, it is telling satan you will not be responsible for either of his tools becoming our next President! Men need to quit looking to men for answers, but to the Lord!
At this week’s “Take Back the American Dream” conference, Representative Keith Ellison, Missoula City Councilman Jason Weiner, Rev. Barry Hargrove, and Maryland State Senator and Constitutional Law Professor Jamie Raskin joined PFAW’s Marge Baker for a panel discussion entitled “Overturning Citizens United: A Movement Mandate,” to discuss the growing grassroots momentum at the local, state and federal levels for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s flawed 2010 decision.
The standing-room only audience heard about a groundbreaking statewide ballot initiative in Montana calling for overturning the Citizens United decision by amending the Constitution, as well the pending Supreme Court decision on whether to hear the Montana State Supreme Court case giving the high court the opportunity to reconsider its decision. Panelists discussed the underlying need for amending the Constitution as the only effective way to reverse the harm caused by the Supreme Court in Citizens United. As put by Jamie Raskin, who is also a PFAW Senior Fellow, “For the sake of ‘We the People’ and our democracy, all corporate money is foreign money.”
The panel examined how this fight has galvanized the progressive movement as a whole, from jumpstarting voter registration drives to increasing general interest in politics and civic engagement.
At last week’s BookExpo America in New York, birther extraordinaire and WorldNetDaily editor-in-chief Joseph Farah caught up with Obama impersonator “FauxBama” and pressed him on his birth certificate and college transcripts. FauxBama, it must be said, was slightly more believable as Obama than Farah was as a journalist:
Last week we told you about an excellent profile of Bryan Fischer in the New Yorker and Fischer’s predictably over-the-top and inaccurate attacks on the article and author, Jane Mayer. In the wake of those attacks, Mayer has posted a follow-up blog post, “Have Not Love: How Bryan Fischer Turned on a Friend,” that sets the record straight and explores the twisted family values of Fischer, a so-called family values advocate:
As I worked on my profile of the influential conservative radio-host Bryan Fischer, I was struck by the difference between the “pro-family” values he espouses and some of the choices he has made in his own life. For example, Fischer has not seen his only sibling in something like a decade—a sister with serious health problems who lives on social security and welfare disability payments. Perhaps more revealing, though, is the broken friendship between Fischer and another conservative Christian activist, Dennis Mansfield.After the article came out, Fischer accused me of misrepresenting an anecdote concerning his relationship with Mansfield. Since then, Mansfield has weighed in on his own blog to defend the accuracy of the New Yorker story, and expanded on what he calls Fischer’s “divisive” politics as a dead end for this country.
The public arrest torpedoed Mansfield’s congressional bid. More importantly, he says, the episode, and the subsequent humility he learned from his son’s struggle, caused him to reëxamine the way in which he was using his Christian faith as a cudgel in politics. As Mansfield told me, he concluded that “faith-based conservatives are either purposefully or inadvertently looking punitively at other people” rather than “lifting each other up.”While Mansfield’s family crisis caused him to reassess his earlier self-righteousness, Fischer, he says, reacted to it heartlessly, and told Mansfield that he was no longer fit to be an elder at the church where Fischer was preaching, the Community Church of the Valley, in Boise, Idaho.
Pushing your own agenda using the veil of religion has been used all throughout history. Today is no exception, and individuals in the evangelical community do it as much as anyone else. When someone wraps their own hate speech in a "god blanket" it makes it easier for a subset of people to accept, and eventually it may even gather a following. The problem is that anyone outside of that subset is turned away from not only that particular subset, but from the entire religion.
The contrast between Mansfield’s message and Fischer’s in some ways captures a larger split within the evangelical Christian movement, concerning how much tolerance to show towards those who in the past may have been treated as outliers, including homosexuals. Polls of younger evangelicals, like those of younger voters of almost all stripes, show growing acceptance of gay rights, including same-sex marriage. Times, and attitudes, are changing.
Preaching at The Call: Virginia last month, Lou Engle insisted that “the homosexual agenda can be broken.” If not, he warned, America may be doomed. Engle, who promoted the prayer rally by calling on attendees to channel Confederate generals to “restrain” the demonic powers behind the “homosexual agenda,” said that they can succeed “not because of our boastfulness or our greatness, but because of our repentance, because of a great revival and maybe even a great shaking and judgment that brings us to rubble so we finally get desperate enough to return to the Lord.”
Conservative radio host and Romney-critic Steve Deace has been hosting a number of right-wing activists who have hit Romney, mainly due to his Mormon faith. But his latest guest says that his problem with Romney is not his religion but that he is “more destructive than Barack Obama.” Rev. Bob Enyart of Colorado Right to Life told Deace that after documenting Romney’s many inconsistencies on the issue of abortion rights, he found him to be worse than Obama “because he gets Republicans and conservatives and Christians to justify everything he’s done.” “Romney is worse than Obama; Obama is the lesser of two evils,” he said, “I think if you fear God, you will not because Romney destroys marriage; Romney destroys the family; Romney kills kids, and he’s a socialist.”
I’m a bit of an expert on what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts and he has already implemented far beyond what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dream of doing. He has by his own hand implemented homosexual marriage, he implemented tax-funded abortion on demand, late-term, by health care reform with the individual mandate. He’s robbed religious freedom by forcing pro-life hospitals to administer abortion pills. I mean, the record goes on and on. Romney is worse than Obama; Obama is the lesser of two evils.
We can focus on Obama and be afraid of the boogeyman, and if you fear Obama you will probably vote for Romney. But I think if you fear God, you will not because Romney destroys marriage; Romney destroys the family; Romney kills kids, and he’s a socialist. You know how they say Steve, 'well at least RomneyCare was a state run program'? Well the federal government paid for it. Their health care premiums in Massachusetts have skyrocketed, they have lost tens of thousands of jobs because of RomneyCare; we have all that documented on our profile. But once the special exception that Romney negotiated with the federal government, once that comes to an end, their health care premiums are going to skyrocket in Massachusetts. So it’s not a state program. Here in Colorado, my audience in Denver, Colorado through their federal tax dollars are paying for abortions in Massachusetts by RomneyCare. So to say that this is a state program and then Romney gets the federal government, which is already heading towards bankruptcy, to fund his socialist, government takeover of healthcare—I mean, we have nominated somebody who is more destructive than Barack Obama because he gets Republicans and conservatives and Christians to justify everything he’s done.
Although the DREAM Act seemed to remain a dream after being blocked by Senate Republicans in 2010, the Obama administration has recently taken steps to make staying in the United States a reality for thousands of young undocumented immigrants.
Last Friday, President Obama announced a new policy directive to allow undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 to apply for a two-year, renewable work permit if they met an array of criteria, including arriving to the United States before the age of 16, and are in high school, graduated from high school, or were honorably discharged from the armed forces. The plan doesn’t grant amnesty or a road to citizenship; but as the president stated, it is a “temporary solution” and “the right thing to do.”
This decision will positively impact up to 800,000 law-abiding, hard-working Americans who have until now lived in constant fear of deportation. One such DREAMer is 26 year-old Mohammad Abdollahi, who immigrated to this nation at the age of three from Iran. His family’s visa soon expired and was not renewed. Not only has Mohammad had to live the majority of his life in fear of deportation, but the price of being sent back to Iran was incredibly high. Mohammad is openly gay and due to Iran’s policy of capital punishment towards gay individuals, his deportation could be a death sentence.
With his life literally on the line, and running out of options, Mohammad became one of the first students to come out as undocumented in an attempt to pressure congress to pass the DREAM Act in 2010. Although the act didn’t pass, he hasn’t given up the fight. When President Obama made this historic announcement last week, Mohammad was occupying an Obama re-election office in Deerborn, Michigan as a symbolical plea directed towards the president to take action. This change in policy ends this nightmare for Mohammad and so many other DREAMers like him.
In his address in the Rose Garden, President Obama stated, “We are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.” Sadly, it seems many Republicans in Congress don’t share this value. After the announcement, Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas claimed, "President Obama's decision to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with the American people…It also blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy.”
Not only is Rep. Smith just flat wrong to claim that the plan grants “amnesty,” he appears to believe that the foundation of our democracy requires ridding our nation of young, productive and patriotic members of society. Republicans should wake up and embrace this change as an opportunity to finally be a part of a more permanent solution.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is commonly criticized by good government advocates because it has led to countless wealthy individuals and corporations making unlimited contributions in unprecedented amounts to groups attempting to sway electoral outcomes, often anonymously. As a result, those with means are able unfairly amplify their voices above that of average Americans.
To appreciate the magnitude of the ruling’s anti-democratic effects, it is important to consider the sheer amount of money that it takes to be a player in the Super-PAC game.
Sheldon Adelson, one of the world’s richest men with a far-right personal political agenda, plans to contribute upwards of $71 million in this election cycle, according to the Huffington Post. He is so determined to unseat the president that, after sinking $21.5 million on Super PACs supporting Newt Gingrich’s failed run, he is ready to refocus his efforts and spend similarly astronomical sums to support groups in favor of Mitt Romney and Republican congressional candidates.
His influence is real – $71 million can buy a lot of TV advertising, and ads funded by Super PACs and 501c4 groups can be particularly nasty because they are not officially “accountable” to a candidate. Average Americans, even those who can afford to contribute toward their preferred candidate, simply cannot compete on this scale. According to a friend of Adelson, “We think ‘$100 million, wow!’ But it’s a meaningless amount of money to him.”
In an interview with Forbes, Adelson acknowledged the reality that his extraordinary wealth allows him to influence elections in ways he otherwise couldn’t, in ways which ordinary Americans cannot. He doesn’t even think it’s a good thing, but that hasn’t stopped him: "I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections," he said. "But as long as it's doable, I'm going to do it."
The only way to make hijacking our elections no longer “doable” is with a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. To anyone without a spare $100 million, the need couldn’t be clearer.
Mission America’s Linda Harvey almost always dedicates her radio show to denouncing the gay community, and Saturday’s program was no different as she blasted gay parents as “pathetic” and selfish for not raising children with two parents of the opposite sex. Later in the program, she insisted that gays and lesbians can have the freedom to marry if they would only join her “ex-homosexual” friends who have “grabbed onto that freedom to marry, at least in theory.” Otherwise, Harvey laments that they will be stuck in “lifeless” relationships:
Yes people can love kids but a lot of times these—I would say the vast majority of the time—these homosexual-headed households as being featured in the JC Penney ads or the Gap billboard ads for Father’s Day, they are thinking about themselves much more than they are the kids. If they thought about the kids they would know that this child would grow up with an ache and a hole in their heart for mom if it’s two dads heading the households; if it’s two moms, they will grow up with an ache and a hole in their heart, aching to know their father. It’s just pathetic when adults construct something that is so adult-centered and just neglects the purposes of the child and of marriage.
Friends educate everyone you know out there with the truth: they have the freedom to marry. Every ex-homosexual I know has grabbed onto that freedom to marry, at least in theory, some of them are not married but many of them now are married to someone of the opposite sex because that is marriage. A homosexual marriage can never be consummated, number one, the anatomy doesn’t work. Big clue, people who love each other homosexually or believe they do, can never create under any scenario their own child together, there is no life in that relationship. In case we are being very dense and people are being very dense about this, we humans tend to be dense about things anyway but this is one more way, it’s a big clue: it is a lifeless relationship.
A number of top Religious Right figures over the last few years have been trying to rally support among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that Hispanics are potential allies in their anti-choice and anti-gay advocacy work while warning that if the Right continues to alienate and demonize Latino voters then they will be writing their own political death sentence. As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference enthusiastically applaud the Obama administration decision to stop deporting undocumented immigrations who are under the age of 30 and arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 years old, and Republican activist Adryana Boyne endorsed the move at the stage of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s national summit on Saturday.
However, not all social conservatives are on board.
Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, who earlier this month signed onto the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table, called the announcement partisan and divisive. Minnery even suggested that the decision to stop deporting some young migrants is bad for families because they won’t be deported with their parents:
Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family’s senior vice president for government and public policy, said he was disappointed with the president’s actions.
“A quick fix in a contentious issue seems designed only for partisan advantage and will divide the country even further,” he said.
Minnery noted that the action will serve to break up families by targeting parents for deportation, while leaving young people behind to fend for themselves.
“Teenagers just out of high school, without intact families, are more likely to wind up dependent on the government,” he said. “This is no solution at all.”
American Family Association’s Buster Wilson attacked the decision by revisiting a debunked conspiracy theory that the Department of Homeland Security thinks that people “who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists vote,” and then went on to wonder whether Obama is going to allow the young people impacted by the decision to vote, even though they won’t be granted citizenship:
It’s so interesting to me that these people who are, whether they were brought here as children by fault of their known or not, they are still in the process of violating US immigration law. Janet Napolitano will work with her president to do whatever she can to honor those folks while first thing she did in this position, right out of the shoot back in 2009, was issue a white paper to all law enforcement saying that people like you and me who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists. Incredible; I continue to ask every day now what country am I living in? It is not the America I grew up in.
Another thing that was suggested by some, and I have tried to be fair about this and to try to ascertain how this could happen. I don’t know what the process would be to make this happen, but some have suggested that 800,000 young but old enough to get work permit illegals that the president is throwing out the welcome mat to, giving them basically a soft, backdoor amnesty, could this be his way in an election year, in just months before the election, of adding 800,000 plus votes to his side of the ledger in November? Good question to ask.