Robert Knight of the far-right American Civil Rights Union appeared yesterday on VCY America’s Crosstalk to discuss so-called voter fraud problems, where he accused people who oppose restrictions on voting rights such as voter ID laws of being “racist.”
Knight: To suggest that showing a Photo ID like everybody else is supposed to show is a way to suppress the minority vote to me is a rather racist thing to say, because it implies that these people are just incapable of operating by the same rules everybody else is. It’s that soft liberal racism that pops up over and over.
As detailed in the Right Wing Watch: In Focus, The Right to Vote Under Attack, research overwhelmingly dispels claims of widespread voter fraud and found that the proposed laws set out to solve this invented problem have a lopsided impact on African American voters. And according to a NAACP report [pdf], such laws are “threatening to disfranchise millions of people, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color.”
On Meet the Press yesterday, David Gregory questioned GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum about the social issues – opposition to reproductive choice and gay rights – on which he has built his career. Stunningly, Santorum denied that he has focused on social issues and claimed, “There’s no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.”
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: It's so funny. I get the question all the time. Why are you talking so much about these social issues, as they, as, as people ask about me about the social issues. MR. GREGORY: Senator, no, wait a minute.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Look, the... MR. GREGORY: You talk about this stuff every week. And by the way, it's not just in this campaign. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: No, I talk about, I talk... MR. GREGORY: Sir, in this campaign you talk about it. And I've gone back years when you've been in public life and you have made this a centerpiece of your public life. So the notion that these are not deeply held views worthy of question and scrutiny, it's not just about the press. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, they, they are deeply held views, but they're not what I dominantly talk about, David. You're taking things that over a course of a 20-year career and pulling out quotes from difference speeches on, on issues that are fairly tangential, not what people care about mostly in America, and saying, "Oh, he wants to impose those values." Look at my record. I've never wanted to impose any of the things that you've just talked about. These are, these are my personal held religious beliefs, and in many forums that I, that, that are, in fact, religious, because I do speak in front of church groups and I do speak in these areas, I do talk about them. But there's no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.
This is, of course, a bunch of baloney. While Santorum has spent a lot of time in his presidential campaign talking up regressive tax policies, irresponsible deregulation and anti-environmentalism, the core of his brand has always been social conservatism. His campaign has consistently and explicitly distinguished his anti-choice, anti-gay record with Mitt Romney’s in order to successfully appeal to culture-warring voters.
Santorum has also never shied away from wanting to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of the country. In a 2005 interview with NPR, for instance, he railed against the libertarian wing of the Republican party, saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”
Santorum’s interview on Meet the Press is far from the first time he’s claimed that he’s not overly interested in social issues. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch found a speech he gave in 2008 in which he claimed that it’s liberals who have made sex an issue on the campaign trail. For liberals, he said, politics “comes down to sex” and that the Democratic Party has become “the party of Woodstock.”:
And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.
It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.
Today on Truth that Transforms, John Rabe of Truth in Action Ministries and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission agreed that idolatry and the worship of government is to blame for the recent protests and recall movement in Wisconsin over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s push to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public workers, calling it a “theological issue.” Rabe said that the Wisconsinites who have rallied against Walker’s move are people who have made government “a replacement for God” and even went on to claim that government employees shouldn’t look to government to provide for them.
Rabe: It does seem that there is a theological issue at stake here as well. When we are trained to look to government to supply our every need, it is very tempting for that government to become a replacement for God in our lives. You know, we tend to worship our idols and I think we’ve seen from the uprisings in places like Greece and frankly even in the United States in the Wisconsin state capitol last year, what happens when that god stops providing.
We are getting really, really tired of hearing this now standard allegation from the Religious Right that President Obama is intentionally undermining religious freedom by refusing to use the phrase "freedom of religion" and replacing it with the phrase "freedom of worship."
Rick Santorum continued to talk about the separation of church and state one day before Michigan voters go to the polls on Tuesday, but insisted that this was not a distraction from discussing the economy and jobs but rather a core part of the argument he is making about economic and religious freedom.
Santorum also came close to calling Secretary of State HiIlary Clinton the "first lady," and then said that she and President Barack Obama are not for religious freedom but rather talk about "freedom of worship." Santorum said this term is an indication that Obama and Clinton want to tell churches and people of faith how they can live their lives when they are not in their place of worship.
Can we point out that just last week, both the State Department and the White House issued public statements roundly condemning Iran for handing down a death sentence for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, declared "freedom of religion" to be a fundamental human right (emphasis added):
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values. The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution—a fundamental and universal human right. The trial and sentencing process for Pastor Nadarkhani demonstrates the Iranian government’s total disregard for religious freedom, and further demonstrates Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. The United States calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion. The United States renews its calls for people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities and demand Pastor Nadarkhani's immediate release.
Mission America president Linda Harvey today discussed the cases of Julea Ward, a psychology graduate student who refuses to counsel clients who are gay, and Jennifer Keaton, another student who says that rather than refer gay clients she would instead counsel them into so-called ex-gay “conversion therapy.” While an appeals court sent Ward’s case back to the district court for a jury trial, Keaton lost her appeal as the 11th Circuit Court found in favor of the Augusta State University for enforcing the school’s counseling guidelines and code of conduct.
Harvey said she hopes that Keaton “wins her case” because “homosexuality is still very harmful and a huge mistake in people’s lives.” She maintained that there is “no compelling science” for “affirming homosexuality,” and warned that even “those who are highly educated” are “accepting great evil.”
Harvey: There is another case making its way through the courts where grad student Jennifer Keaton at Augusta State University had a similar dismissal. In her case, however, she wanted to be able to counsel the patient against homosexuality. I think she should have had the right to do this and I hope she eventually wins her case. Why? Because it’s the truth. In spite of some current popular opinion, homosexuality is still very harmful and a huge mistake in people’s lives. More and more professional groups are affirming homosexuality and even sex change when there is no compelling science providing evidence for this reversal of longstanding moral and health policy. This trend is just the most recent example of sexual permissiveness blinding even those who are highly educated into accepting great evil.
Last week federal judge Jeffrey White ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause, representing a stinging rebuke to the House Republicans’ efforts to defend the law through the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). The Religious Right once hailed BLAG as a savior of the anti-gay law, arguing that the only reason judges were chipping away at DOMA was because of the poor arguments of the Justice Department. But White found that DOMA doesn’t pass constitutional muster under either a heightened scrutiny measure or the less stringent rational basis test.
Notably, former President George W. Bush nominated Judge White and the Senate confirmed him in a voice vote.
But even though he was nominated by a Republican and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate without Republican opposition, Religious Right activists are now accusing him of being an activist judge.
Gordon Klingenschmitt urged people to pray that God will “defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White” and that Congress will impeach him:
Let us pray. Almighty God, we pray You defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco, who ruled America’s founding fathers embraced sodomy and protected homosexual ‘marriage’ somehow in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore he struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law signed by President Clinton, that defined marriage as only valid between one man and one woman. We pray Congress impeaches Judge White, from Proverbs 19:25, “Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver blamed the Obama administration for the ruling as part of their plan to “sabotage” marriage, and called the judge’s ruling “absolutely ridiculous”:
"This is another outrageous example of the Obama administration abandoning the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, simply trying to sabotage marriage as the union of one man and one woman and pushing a radical homosexual agenda," Staver contends.
"I think that it's absolutely ridiculous to say that there's no rational or even debatable or logical reason for the Defense of Marriage Act, to say that you cannot have same-sex unions," Staver offers. "And in this particular case, the court did the wrong thing by ultimately finding that the Defense of Marriage Act as applied in this case was unconstitutional."
Given the Obama administration's direct war on marriage, whether through attacking military chaplains' rights of conscience or refusing to defend DOMA, it's pretty clear which side he is on. Obama can't afford to come out of the proverbial closet though... for fear of losing an election.
America's moral virtue runs pretty deep. Despite the best efforts of this liberal government to affect that, the heavy hand of the Obama administration is no match for the Judeo-Christian values that inform the consciences of millions.
...which is why Obama is attempting to impose upon our rights.
Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner, who has already dubbed President Obama an anti-Christian Leninist and called for civil disobedience to fight his administration, today writes that Obama’s support for environmental protection shows that he has “embraced radical environmentalism – a form of neo-paganism,” and is “behaving like a quasi-religious zealot.” Kuhner was responding to the claims of Rick Santorum, along with other Religious Right leaders, who contend that support for defending the environment somehow hurts humans and is its own religion. “The green movement - exemplified by the hoax of man-made global warming - has degenerated into a pseudo-religion,” Kuhner maintains, “Environmentalists worship Gaia, Mother Earth, turning it into a secular goddess.”
He goes on to argue that Obama is not a “real Christian” who “has nothing but contempt for traditional Christianity and the family,” as seen in his support for gay and reproductive rights. “Mr. Obama has declared war on our Judeo-Christian culture,” Kuhner concludes, “The path is laid for a soft authoritarian nanny state.”
Mr. Santorum’s larger point is that Mr. Obama and his liberal allies have embraced radical environmentalism - a form of neo-paganism. The green movement - exemplified by the hoax of man-made global warming - has degenerated into a pseudo-religion. Environmentalists worship Gaia, Mother Earth, turning it into a secular goddess. Hence, they believe industrial civilization must be subordinated to a green socialist agenda. This is why Mr. Obama has dramatically strengthened the Environmental Protection Agency, favors cap-and-trade legislation, prevents most oil drilling along the Gulf Coast and in Alaska, and nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project. Mr. Santorum rightly argues that Mr. Obama’s green “theology” trumps the economic interests of Americans; the president is behaving like a quasi-religious zealot. True.
Yet Mr. Santorum should have done more than just attack Mr. Obama’s extreme environmentalism. Instead, when confronted by liberal hostility, the Republican social conservative retreated. The record is clear and obvious: The president is more a radical secular progressive than a real Christian. He has more in common with Vladimir Lenin than Jesus Christ.
Mr. Obama is a radical leftist. Like all such extremists, he has nothing but contempt for traditional Christianity and the family. During the 2008 campaign, he decried Americans who “cling to guns or religion.” He supported partial-birth abortion - infanticide. As a state senator, he voted for legislation allowing doctors to kill viable babies born during botched abortions. He has embedded federal funding of abortion in Obamacare. In other words, devout Christians - as well as Orthodox Jews and Muslims - must subsidize with their taxpayer dollars a practice they find morally abhorrent. He refuses to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. He has enabled homosexuals to openly serve in the military - significantly advancing the “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” agenda. He is now mandating that health insurers for nearly all religious organizations provide their employees with free contraception and sterilization procedures - including the morning-after pill. This is a direct assault upon the Catholic Church, conscience rights and religious freedom.
Mr. Obama has declared war on our Judeo-Christian culture. He understands the economic transformation of America cannot take place without a government-imposed social revolution: Smash religion and the family - the key institutions of civil society - and the restraints upon the federal leviathan are removed. The path is laid for a soft authoritarian nanny state. The president acts as if he is hell-bent on eradicating Christianity from the public square.
Fresh after questioning President Obama’s Christian faith, Franklin Graham spoke to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on American Family Radio’s Today’s Issues, where he said that Christians would be “compromising” their faith if they voted for Obama. He attacked Obama over his support for legal abortion and said that Obama also favors legalizing same-sex marriage, a position which the President has actually not taken, warning that “same-sex marriage is unraveling the institution of marriage that God gave, it is against the Bible, it is against Holy Scripture, it is against God’s instruction, and so I cannot support any candidate” who supports it. He went on to argue that the Obama administration’s policies “are undermining the churches,” “undermining our faith,” and are “going to undermine the United States of America.”
Perkins may not have been the best person to talk to if Graham is trying to distance himself from his previous comments, as the Family Research Council president accused the Obama administration of having a “disdain for Christianity” and said any Christian who voted for Obama must “repent.”
I’m asked if the President is a Christian, I don’t know I mean he says he is so I guess he is and that’s what he says, but at the same time Tony there are the policies of the President and the administration that go against God’s teaching. Of course, that’s abortion. The Bible is very clear on this, I cannot support the President or vote for him because of his support for abortion and same-sex marriage. To me, same-sex marriage is unraveling the institution of marriage that God gave, it is against the Bible, it is against Holy Scripture, it is against God’s instruction, and so I cannot support any candidate and it has nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat, if a Republican takes these positions I’m not going to vote for them.
The moral issues to me are so important as a Christian, for a candidate to actually oppose God’s standard and then to vote for that person, you are compromising, you are joining in with them. So for me, I just have to draw the line in the sand, I’m not going to support a candidate that supports abortion and same-sex marriage, I will not do it. Unfortunately, you know the President is a nice guy, but I cannot vote for him because of these issues that go against God’s law and against His standard.
Tony, I’m a grandfather, I’ve got grandchildren, and I’m looking now at the world that they are going to inherit, the world they are going to live in. I shudder when I think of the changes that are taking place right now, churches and pastors are not speaking out, and I just hope that pastors will speak the truth, God’s word, and how these policies that are being administered right now how they are undermining the churches, how they are undermining our faith, and how it’s going to undermine the United States of America.
Joseph Backholm, the Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and the leader of the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign to repeal Washington’s marriage equality law, appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday where he likened same-sex marriage to the medical practice of bloodletting. Just as bloodletting was once a common practice until it was abandoned for not working, Backholm claimed, so too marriage equality for gays and lesbians will eventually be rejected even in states where it is legal. He went on to argue that the movement for equal rights for gays and lesbians is not comparable to the civil rights movement because, according to Backholm, “today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.”
Backholm: Redefining marriage in this way, saying that there is no difference between men and women, that it’s not important for children to have both a mother and a father, that’s not just bad policy, it’s wrong in the eternal sense. So because it’s untrue, it will ultimately be proven as untrue and we will come around to recognize the error of our ways. We used to believe in bloodletting as good medical practice, culture has embraced a lot of things temporarily until they realized it’s based on things that are not true. This is one of those, it has to be temporary, not just because I want it to be temporary, but because it’s untrue in the eternal sense.
Mefferd: That’s a good way of saying it. They have through their propaganda and the means by which they talk about this issue in the media all the time, won a lot of people over to the cause who aren’t thinking very deeply about it, part of the way they’ve done this is talking about equality and civil rights, trying to equate it with the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. The problem is back in the 1960s when we’re talking about the mistreatment of African Americans, that was something that was wrong to do, in this case we’re talking about legitimizing immoral behavior and calling it marriage. I don’t know how you get around the immorality angle of it unless you just say it straight out, this is immoral behavior, we are not going to legitimize this as a nation.
Backholm: Sure, it’s a very fair argument and there are a lot of people within the church who are moved by that. But when we talk about the civil rights issue, the reason these are different, today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.
Citizens United got a bit of airtime on Comedy Central this week, but that doesn’t mean that Supreme Court’s pro-plutocracy decision is a laughing matter.
On Tuesday, former Senator Russ Feingold joined Jon Stewart on the Daily Show to discuss the state of campaign finance, which is, essentially, that we are experiencing the “worst corruption in 100 years.” Citizens United, Feingold claims, “destroyed the entire foundation” of the McCain-Feingold Act, which was supposed to prevent corporations from using their treasuries to directly influence elections.
“If [money] causes corruption or the appearance of corruption, you can regulate it. That’s why you have limits on campaign contributions under federal law. The problem is Citizens United. It overturned a law from 1907 that nobody ever questioned and another law from 1947, so basically the Supreme Court just made it up. It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of the country. It’s the only decision I can remember that the average citizen knows about. They know something is wrong and this whole thing is going to collapse.”
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi went on the Colbert Report the next day to advocate for solutions to mitigate some of the effects of Citizens United: passing the DISCLOSE Act and eventually amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United.
“If we want to cancel elections and just have the wealthiest people in America, and you know what their names are, give tens of millions of dollars, we can just ask them, who do they want to be President, who do they want to run Congress, who do they want to be governors….our Founders intended that the people decide.”
Although Colbert believes that this would be a “polite” course of action, Pelosi counters that it would not be very democratic. The people have a right to know how corporations are spending on our elections, and to reject that influence. She offers a prescription:
“Disclose. Stand by your ad. Win the election, reform the system, overturn the Supreme Court decision by amending the Constitution, and give the vote, the voice, and the power to the people.”
A message to People For the American Way supporters from PFAW president Michael Keegan:
Fighting contraception. Stopping domestic violence protections. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while hiking taxes on the middle class. Welcoming white supremacists to a conference, but banning gay conservatives. The GOP has followed its extremist fringe off the deep end, leaving the rest of us back in the reality-based world befuddled. Their strategists warned them not to do this, but it appears that to the GOP, radical fringe issue positions are like catnip. In last night's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the candidates even spent several minutes discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception.
Perhaps Bruce Bartlett, who was an economic policy official under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said it best on last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Discussing the obstacles to getting smart policies agreed upon and passed in government, he said, "the problem is purely political ... frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is." (Hint: he was not talking about the Democrats.)
Standing Up for Women's Health -- We all heard about the War on Women's Health last year, when Tea Party-empowered state legislatures passed a record slew of anti-choice laws -- like Arizona's ban on "race-based abortions" and Virginia's attempt to shut down most abortion clinics in the state. These state legislatures were joined by an enthusiastic right-wing Congress that attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program, tried to redefine "rape" and eagerly promoted lies about their favorite bogeyman, Planned Parenthood. Well, the War on Women's Health is back, and it looks to be more an all-out War on Women. PFAW members spoke out when Susan G. Komen for the Cure threatened to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood because of internal influences from right-wing staff and board members. We're currently fighting an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would give employers the power to deny any health care to their employees that they take "moral" issue with personally. And we continue to track closely dangerous and extreme state legislation like the recent bill passed by Virginia’s right-wing Assembly that would force women considering abortions -- even rape victims -- to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds.
Exposing the GOP Candidates' Extremism -- PFAW's Right Wing Watch last week uncovered the audio recording of a speech Rick Santorum gave to students at Ave Maria University in 2008 in which he said Satan, the "Father of Lies" was focusing all his attention on the United States of America. He said that academia had long ago fallen to this Satanic attack, derided mainline Protestant churches as no longer Christian and said that we are involved in a "spiritual war," as opposed to a political or cultural war -- a war in which we could only assume people with opposing views to Santorum's are on the side of Satan. The story took off like wildfire in both the blogosphere and the mainstream news media. It became the dominant storyline of the GOP debate for the two days leading up to the last debate and even had right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asserting that Santorum's religious extremism is too much for a majority of Americans.
Fighting Judicial Obstruction -- A new PFAW fact sheet shows the extremity and unprecedented nature of Senate Republicans obstruction of judicial nominees, as well as its impact on Americans' access to justice. While a vacancy crisis persists on many of the nation's federal courts, our persistence is paying off and we're finally making headway in getting some of the president's qualified nominees confirmed. This month, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jesse Furman to U.S. District Courts in California and New York respectively, and Adalberto Jose Jordan to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom had been waiting months on the Senate calendar for a vote despite the fact that they came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition. But dozens of other qualified nominees, most of whom had little or no opposition in Committee, still await confirmation. We'll continue to hold Republicans accountable for their obstruction and keep the pressure on to confirm these judges as swiftly as possible, and one at a time if necessary.
Youth Spotlight: Young Elected Officials take on Citizens United v. FEC -- In state, city and municipal governing bodies in at least seven states, members of our affiliate PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network have put forward resolutions that call for the end of corporate personhood and unlimited special interest money in politics. One of the first big victories in this coordinated national effort was that of Missoula, Montana Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken. After attending a session on Citizens United at the 2011 YEO National Convening, Councilwoman Wolken took a sample resolution and introduced a city-wide referendum calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that made it clear that corporations are not people. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, with over 75% of the vote, bringing an abundance of media attention to the issue and forcing leaders in Montana's state government to weigh-in as well.
As always, thank you for your support, without which none of our work would be possible.
Family Research Council senior fellow Robert Morrison yesterday chided former Vice President Dick Cheney for his support of marriage equality, particularly his role in garnering Republican support for the bill in Maryland. Morrison bragged that he didn’t respond to media inquiries at the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia to goad him into criticize Cheney, even though FRC president Tony Perkins attacked the Cheney family after Mary had a child with her partner. He also said that just because Cheney has an openly gay daughter, that is no reason he should support equal rights for gays and lesbians. He even called on Cheney to follow in the footsteps of Ben Franklin, who supported the American Revolution even though his son was a prominent loyalist who fled to Great Britain after the war. “In this great cultural clash,” Morrison lamented, “Dick Cheney has enlisted with the forces of dissolution”:
Consider this thought experiment. Twin brothers announced on a TV talk show that they were gay. Under the laws proposed, can they marry? If not, why not? They’ve certainly had a “committed relationship” since before they were born. What constitutional principle could you invoke to say these twins cannot marry each other? And if these twin brothers may marry, why not a twin brother and sister?
Dick Cheney probably never met Mae West. For younger readers unfamiliar with one of Hollywood’s original blond bombshells, I’ll simply say: sailors in World War II called their large life jackets Mae Wests. (This is a family blog, after all.)
Mae West famously said: “Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.” How strange that Mae West had a better understanding of civil marriage than a former Vice President of the United States, a man who was twice elected to national office by pro-family voters.
In 2000, Dick Cheney might have considered Philadelphia’s most famous son, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s own son was the royal Governor of New Jersey. It was a patronage job Ben had secured for him. When his son remained loyal to the Crown, Benjamin Franklin did not refuse to sign the Declaration of Independence citing a “personal situation.” That’s one of the many reasons why we remember Ben Franklin with admiration and respect.
Dick Cheney is said to be worth hundreds of millions. His family may not suffer the devastation that comes from the breakdown of marriage. But in his recent book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray shows how the loss of marriage for the white working class in America has already had catastrophic consequences. If we seek the reason behind the great disparities in wealth that the Occupy crowd is howling about, we need look no further than the collapse of marriage. In this great cultural clash, Dick Cheney has enlisted with the forces of dissolution.
Today on WallBuildersLive, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton proved once again why no one should trust what he says about American history, as he argued that the United States has “never been a colonialist nation” and “never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger.” Surely, this must come as a surprise to the Native Americans and Mexicans, along with the people of the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. While he is correct to note that George Washington spoke out against an interventionist foreign policy, Barton appears to gloss over America’s wars of aggression and acquisition.
Barton: One of the things we often see with other militaries is they rule by intimidation, by threats, by terrorism really, they want to scare the dickens out of the enemy and America didn’t do that. From the very beginning when George Washington set this thing up he said, ‘ok we’re having chaplains with everybody and here’s the only kind of war you can fight is you can fight defensive wars not offensive wars, you have to respect the rights of property, you can fight back when attacked,’ so we have a whole different mentality, we’ve never been a colonialist nation, we’ve never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger, we’ve just never had that mentality.
That’s exactly what made America so different, we don’t have that colonial aspect of let’s go conquer somebody else and make our nation bigger and that’s because of the faith element.
Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries is leading a boycott of companies which endorsed a marriage equality bill in Washington state, including Google, Starbucks and Amazon, charging them with “working against Jesus and leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell.” Andrew, who previously claimed that “Starbucks hates God” over the company’s backing of gay rights, told the Christian Post that any company that favors marriage equality is “anti-God” and is “doing the devil's work.”
Andrew is currently involved in a boycott against Starbucks after the coffee company began supporting a gay marriage bill proposed in Washington State. He recently added a few others to the list as well, including Nike, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, asking Christians to no longer provide business to those corporations, which he claimed promoted homosexual sin.
For Andrew, his nonviolent protests did have a "biblical warrant." "Boycotting anti-God companies is one way a Christian lives out the First Commandment," the author of Making a Strong Christian Nation, told The Christian Post. "If you love Jesus, you won't give your money to those working against Jesus, our Savior."
He believed that if the stores in Sodom and Gomorrah that openly mocked God were boycotted, they could have possibly been saved. "God calls Christians and churches to not share in the sins of others. To love God is to flee sexual immorality. If we help the wicked, then God's Word says God judges us (2 Chronicles 19:2). God calls Christians to 100 percent love Him and to 100 percent oppose sin."
God also called the United States to have the fear of God as a nation, but complacency with sin did not indicate fear of God, Andrew asserted.
"Ungodly politicians, Starbucks, Nike, Amazon and others are doing the devil's work ... trying to 'change' our Christian laws into non-Christian laws ... Every Christian and church should boycott companies making light of Jesus Christ. It is unwise for a Christian to give their money to those working against Jesus and leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell."
After stopping by Family Talkwith James Dobson, Robert Jeffress appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show where he expounded on his claim that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas is leading to the ultimate “implosion” of America. He said the first Supreme Court ruling which he argued set off “explosives” to the country’s “spiritual and social structure” is Engel, the Supreme Court decision which deemed public school-organized prayers unconstitutional.
Jeffress said the decision is wrong not because it barred the practice of government-sponsored prayers but because it doesn’t allow the government to endorse one religion over another. He acknowledged that many evangelical Christians rightfully do not want to pray non-sectarian, generic, government-composed prayers at school. Jeffress argued that his problem with Engel is that it doesn’t allow the government to endorse Christianity, maintaining that “neutrality is really hostility toward religion.”
Jeffress’ claim contradicts the stated argument of many Religious Right activists who advocate for school-organized prayer and a constitutional amendment overturning Engel and say that their stance has nothing to do with government endorsement of Christianity but simply about the need for children to pray.
Jeffress: I use the analogy of when we imploded about a million square feet of our facility at First Baptist Dallas and I learned a lot about how implosions work, what you do is you attach explosives to some key structural supports, you explode those supporting structures, there’s a delay and then the structure falls in on itself, it collapses. I said in this book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so destroyed the spiritual and social structure of our country that I believe our collapse is inevitable. We are living right now in that delay period between the explosions and the ultimate implosion. As you mentioned, that first decision was 1962, Engel v. Vitale, I know Christians say, ‘well that’s no big deal to remove a non-sectarian prayer,’ but it’s all the decisions that cascaded from that and it’s the basis on which that decision was made. It is impossible for the government to be neutral toward religion, neutrality is really hostility toward religion and especially the Christian religion.
In case we needed any more evidence that the former mainstream of the GOP has gone completely off the deep end, Republican presidential candidates spent several minutes at last night’s CNN debate discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception. Watch:
The exchange came at the heels of a week that was chock-full of shockingly regressive Republican attacks on women. PFAW’s Marge Baker summed last week up in the Huffington Post:
Just this week, we have seen not just the stunning spectacle of major presidential candidates coming out against birth control coverage, but Republicans in the Senate holding up domestic violence protections because they protect too many people; a potential vice presidential candidate pick poised to sign a law requiring women to receive medically unnecessary vaginal probes without their consent; a leading presidential candidate claiming that "emotions" will get in the way of women serving in combat; and a House committee holding a hearing on birth control access -- with a panel consisting entirely of men.
And that’s not to mention billionaire Santorum supporter Foster Friess’s saying he didn’t see why birth control was expensive because, “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."
The GOP candidates’ exchange over emergency contraception for rape victims took this tone-deafness to a new level of insensitivity. Does Mitt Romney really think he’ll appeal to female voters by attacking not just contraception but emergency care for rape victims?
It looks like not. TPM reports that since Romney started attacking birth control, he’s “suffered a precipitous drop in support among women voters.”
Conservative columnist and frequentFoxNewsguest Jesse Lee Peterson today asserted that he is “certain without a doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is NOT a Christian.” Peterson, head of Brotherhood Organization Of A New Destiny, agreed with Rick Santorum’s remarks on how Satan is attacking the United States and even went on to link Satan to Obama’s election in 2008: “I do agree with Santorum that this is a 'spiritual war' and that 'Satan is targeting the U.S.' which is precisely why I believe Barack Obama was selected and elected.” He said that Obama is “an American hating Socialist” who is “more in harmony with Muhammad than he is with Christ”:
"I am certain without a doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is NOT a Christian. It's unfortunate that Rev. Graham and Rick Santorum won't be completely honest about Barack Obama even though his deeds are contrary to Christian values.
"Both these men oppose Obama's recent contraceptive mandate and assault on the Christian conscience. They know that for 20 years Obama worshipped in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist Black Liberation Theology-based church. They fully grasp the spiritual connection America has with Israel and see that Obama is no friend of the Jewish State. Rev. Graham has said that Obama is more concerned with the plight of Muslims than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries. Still these Christian leaders cannot tell the truth about Obama. Why?
"I do agree with Santorum that this is a 'spiritual war' and that 'Satan is targeting the U.S.' which is precisely why I believe Barack Obama was selected and elected. I'm convinced that the weak-kneed timidity that's preventing many white conservative Christians from pointing out Obama's wickedness is a result of their fear of being labeled 'racist.'
"Evil understands that most white Christians have been intimidated and are too afraid to stand up to it. Especially when it is operating in the form of an American hating Socialist black president who appears to be more in harmony with Muhammad than he is with Christ."