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Texas Education Official to Investigate Whether Schools Teach 'Roles of Men and Women in a Traditional Way'

The Texas Board of Education member who is leading the committee to review CSCOPE, a curriculum that has been the target of several right-wing conspiracy theories, told a Republican women’s group that his committee will “look at whether or not [CSCOPE lessons] treat the roles of men and women in a traditional way.”

Republican Marty Rowley also told the group that CSCOPE had “a definite leftist bent” but that it is not as left-wing as Common Core, promising to block “any opening or opportunity for Common Core to weasel its way into Texas.”

Like CSCOPE, Common Core has come under attack from conservative figures.

The comments were first spotted by Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network, who notes that right-wing activists in Texas have consistently criticized textbooks “for including information on birth control, line drawings of self-exams for breast cancer and other content they found morally objectionable.”

“As folks began to look at those lessons what they began to see was there was a definite leftist bent to some of those lessons, particularly in the area of social studies and it became of great concern to folks, myself included,” said Rowley, R-Amarillo, during the Midland County Republican Women meeting Wednesday.

Rowley represents Midland as the District 15 SBOE member and was recently appointed chairman of an ad hoc committee to review the CSCOPE social studies curriculum this summer.



“We have some specific criteria that we’re looking at (regarding the CSCOPE lessons). We’re going to look at whether or not they treat the roles of men and women in a traditional way. That’s part of the operating rules and things that we’re looking at,” Rowley said. “We’re going to look at whether or not they treat American exceptionalism in a particular way and whether they enforce the belief that America is an exceptional nation.”



“I’ve looked through (the Common Core Standards) and it’ll curl your eyebrows. It’s not something you’ll enjoy reading. You think CSCOPE’s to the left, you ought to read Common Core,” Rowley said. “My concern is if we just say do away with this entire curriculum that 75 percent of our school districts use, they’re going to go shopping for something else. I don’t want to create any opening or opportunity for Common Core to weasel its way into Texas.”

Heritage Foundation VP Blamed Boston Bombings on 'Multiculturalism and Diversity' in Schools

Mike Gonzalez, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president of communications, has had a rough week. He was tasked with defending a Heritage report about the economic impact of immigration reform that was statistically faulty, co-authored by a white supremacist and bashed by other conservatives.

The controversy over the report, however, has overshadowed an op-ed that Gonzalez wrote for the Denver Post last week that pins at least some of the blame for the Boston Marathon bombings on what he sees as a new trend in American schools of teaching “multiculturalism and diversity” rather than “love of country.”

But we know one thing for sure: He wasn't taught that assimilation into American society was desirable. As I'm finding while researching a book on Hispanics — indeed, what I experienced as a young Cuban coming to this country in the early 1970s — we no longer teach patriotic assimilation. By that I mean love of country, not just its creature comforts.

We teach the opposite, in fact — that we're all groups living cheek by jowl with one another, all with different advantages and legal class protection statuses, but not really all part of the same national fabric. In other words, we teach multiculturalism and diversity, and are officially making assimilation very hard to achieve.

If Dzhokhar and his brother Tamarlan are guilty of the acts of terrorism they are accused of because they succumbed to Islamist radicalism, then they are monsters who are personally responsible for turning against the land that welcomed them. Tamarlan has paid with his life, and Dzhokhar will be dealt judgment.

But as we grapple now with the thorny question of immigration, how to handle the millions of people who started to arrive at mid-century in a massive immigration wave, we could do worse than look at the affairs in Boston for a clue on whether our current approach works.

Over the past few days, many people pondering the question of how the Tsarnaevs could have acted the way they did have discounted that lack of assimilation could be the case, emphasizing that the brothers Tsarnaev lived in Cambridge, "one of the most diverse and inclusive places in America."

The problem is indeed with an "inclusive" approach that considers it wrong to teach love of a country so generous that it takes in two foreigners from a far-away land, gives them refuge, welcomes them in and gives them a free education. To have done so might have precluded the radical brain washing that led to the bombing.

This absurd argument is basically the one put forward last week by Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian.

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Minnesota House Passes Marriage Equality Bill

This afternoon the Minnesota House passed a bill allowing same-sex couples in Minnesota to marry. It is expected to be taken up by the Senate on Monday, and Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the legislation if it reaches him.   If successful, Minnesota would be the twelfth state – and the third in one month – to pass marriage equality legislation.

“I personally want this to pass, but I also think it’s the right direction for Minnesota and where the future is headed,” said Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen on Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Jake Loesch, communications director for Minnesotans United, shared a similar sentiment:

“Marriage is a simple freedom, it’s something that all Minnesotans deserve and it’s about the love, the commitment, the responsibility that two people share.”
 

PFAW

PFAW Applauds Senate Confirmation of District Court Judges Dick and Román

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way applauded the Senate’s unanimous confirmation today of Shelly Deckert Dick to be a district judge for the Middle District of Louisiana and Nelson Stephen Román to be a district judge for the Southern District of New York.

The Senate GOP needlessly delayed both nominees after they were named last year, forcing President Obama to renominate them at the beginning of this year.

“The Senate is making encouraging progress as it continues to work through the backlog of judicial nominations,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “However, they have plenty of ground to make up. That these two highly qualified, unopposed nominees have been forced to wait as long as they have for a simple yes-or-no vote is outrageous. Senate Republicans have taken obstruction to a new level, making even President Obama’s unopposed district court nominees wait an average of nearly three times as long as President Bush’s.”

Dick, who was first nominated on April 25, 2012, waited over one year for a vote from the full Senate because Louisiana Sen. David Vitter blocked her, citing the fact that it was an election year. This obstruction was a sharp departure from when President Bush was running for reelection.  In 2004, everyone he nominated on or after April 25 (the date that Dick was nominated) and before Labor Day received both a committee hearing and a committee vote before Election Day.  In 2008, when Democrats controlled the Senate, they scheduled hearings, committee votes, and floor votes for eleven Bush district court nominees who had been nominated closer to the election than Shelly Dick was.  Most of these were nominated after the July 4 holiday, and they were all confirmed by voice vote before Election Day.

A Congressional Research Service report this week found that President Obama’s judicial nominees have faced dramatically longer wait times on the Senate floor than did nominees in previous administrations.

“The Senate must pick up the pace of confirmations to end the vacancy crisis on the federal courts. They should start by promptly holding yes-or-no votes on the eight judicial nominees currently awaiting confirmation," Baker added.

Today, the White House put forth nominees for two additional federal district court vacancies, Madeline Hughes Haikala for the Northern District of Alabama and Gregory Howard Woods for the Southern District of New York.  They should be moved through the Committee as expeditiously as possible.

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Hypocrisy, McCarthyism & “Christian Persecution”

It seems like with every election, congressional hearing or large gathering of its activists, the Right reaches new lows. Here are some updates on what we’re up against right now.

Rewarding Hypocrisy -- Sanford and Cruz

This week, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford staged a political comeback and won a special election to reclaim the U.S. House seat he once occupied. Sanford had left office mired in scandal about his extramarital affair and ran a campaign centered on his own humility and learned compassion -- although, apparently his experience did nothing to dissuade him from his moralizing anti-choice and anti-gay positions. I pointed out in a piece on the Huffington Post yesterday that Sanford trumpeted his new personal understanding of "human grace as a reflection of God's grace," but his ideas of grace, choice and personal freedom as they apply to his own story don’t seem to be pushing him in the direction of supporting those things for same-sex couples, women, religious minorities or really anyone who is not just like him.

Sanford’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This past weekend NRA convention speakers from Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum to Sarah Palin and NRA president Wayne LaPierre attacked “the Left,” the Obama administration, the media and, basically, their straw man version of The (uber-liberal) Establishment for using fear tactics to scare Americans into supporting common sense gun reforms like background checks… while in the same breath stoking paranoia about every manner of “big government” tyranny, like the forced disarmament of America’s law abiding gun owners.  

Another NRA convention speaker, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is being discussed in right-wing circles (and by Cruz himself) as potential presidential candidate in 2016. Cruz is a Tea Party super star who is making waves by challenging the traditional role of freshmen U.S. senators and recently gained notoriety for leading the filibuster of the background check requirement for gun purchases (the one 90% of Americans support) and then insulting his fellow Republican senators at a Tea Party event. But Sen. Cruz was born in Canada. Where are all the Tea Party “Birthers” who claimed that President Obama was born in Kenya and therefore he didn’t qualify as a “natural born citizen,” making him ineligible to run for president, even if his mother was an American citizen??

Whether it’s based on race, politics or ideology, the hypocrisy here is palpable … as it was when Cruz bragged to the NRA about vowing to filibuster any gun safety reform, no matter how common-sense or popular, but in the same speech, tore into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for requiring a 60 vote threshold to advance one of his preferred “pro-gun” bills, which incidentally had less support in the Senate than background checks.

It seems that it’s not so much a good redemption story the Right loves as it is blatant hypocrisy that gets rewarded with support and popularity.

McCarthyism

It must be political witch hunt season because Republicans in Congress – fueled by their allies in the right-wing media – are embarking on some serious fishing expeditions in attempts to smear the president, his nominee for Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee channels Sen. Joe McCarthy perhaps more than any other sitting member of Congress in his overzealous twisting of facts and events to “support” his hyperbolic allegations like President Obama’s is “the most corrupt government in history” and Hillary Clinton and her inner circle staged a vast “cover up” surrounding the embassy attack in Benghazi. Issa, who himself is no stranger to ethical questions (again with the hypocrisy -- they can’t help themselves), along with his allies, who include most congressional Republicans, the Religious Right and virtually the entire conservative movement, are clearly being motivated by their expectations that former Sec. of State Clinton will be a formidable candidate for president in 2016, so they are trying to tar her in advance.    

Issa and his House cohorts have been involved in the attacks on Tom Perez as well, although the real obstruction is taking place in Senate, where Perez’s confirmation vote has been delayed again by Republicans on the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. While obstructing an eminently well qualified Latino nominee seems like a funny way to demonstrate the GOP’s “rebranding” and appeal to Latino voters, the attacks on Tom Perez have truly been as vicious as they are baseless. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) alluded to Perez being “a dishonorable man,” and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) contorted claims about an incident involving the city of St. Paul, MN to assert that Perez wanted to “hurt poor people” simply because he was in a position of power from which he could do so.

This week, PFAW delivered 50,000 petition signatures to the Senate HELP Committee urging an end to the obstruction and swift action to confirm Tom Perez, and we’ll continue to keep the pressure on.

Religious Right’s Persecution Fantasy

Claim after claim after claim of “persecution,” used as examples of a “war on Christians” by Religious Right activists, talk show hosts and politicians, gets thoroughly debunked. But even as these examples are firmly established as myths, right-wing leaders, and even lazy mainstream journalists, continue to cite them in their speeches and reporting. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch released an In Focus report in the first weeks of the Obama administration in 2009 about the Right’s use of a “big lie” strategy about a war on Christians to stoke the base’s false fears of religious persecution. We are seeing every day in our Right Wing tracking that the playbook we identified remains in constant use.

Corporate Court(s)

A new study by the Constitutional Accountability Center details the remarkable success corporate special interests like the Chamber of Commerce have had before the current Supreme Court. Certainly as, if not even more, notable, another study published in The Minnesota Law Review ranked all 36 Supreme Court justices of the last 65 years based on their pro-corporate bent. While all five of the current Court’s conservative justices made the top 10, President George W. Bush’s nominees and the two most recent conservative additions to the Court, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, were at the very top of the list.

Meanwhile, a separate study from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service confirms what we’ve been pointing out for years -- that President Obama’s judicial nominees are being treated exceptionally poorly by Senate Republicans. Emblematic of the obstruction of President Obama’s nominees has been the situation with respect to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, often called the nation’s second most powerful court. Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to preserve the DC Circuit’s rightward tilt even at the cost of maintaining vacancies that severely hinder the Court’s ability to do its job.

PFAW will continue to call attention to and fight the GOP’s unprecedented judicial obstruction in the DC Circuit and the entire federal judiciary. We expect several confirmation battles on the horizon, with new nominations expected to be announced by the White House in coming weeks, and we’ll be employing various strategies to make sure senators are feeling the heat in their own states over the GOP’s unconscionable obstruction.

PFAW

Pat Robertson, Who Said 'The Lord Told Me' that 'Romney Will Win,' Urges Viewers to Beware False Prophets

On today’s episode of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson urged viewers to avoid false prophets and televangelists caught up in scandal. “By your fruits you shall know them, what’s their track record?” Robertson told cohost Terry Meeuwsen, “You can dominate somebody that way: I’ve heard from the Lord, I have a message for you, do this.”

Funny he should mention this, because just today we stumbled across an interview between Pat Robertson and televangelist Benny Hinn the week before the presidential election where Robertson bluntly informed Hinn that “the Lord told me” that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama.

Not only did God inform Robertson that “Romney will win” but that he will be a two-term president who presides over a huge economic boom.

Robertson even told Romney to save him a ticket for the inauguration: “I told Mitt a long time ago, I called him and said listen, I’ve been in prayer and number one you’re going to win the nomination and number two you’re going to win the general election, he said ‘well what can I do for you,’ I said give me a seat on the platform during your inauguration, give me a ticket to your inauguration.”

“The Lord said he’s going to have a second term, I told him there will be to be trillions of dollars coming into the economy when you’re elected,” Robertson continued, “the stock market ought to boom, everything ought to boom.”

This all deeply reassured Hinn who said that Robertson was conveying “God’s voice.”

Watch:

Polygamy, Mass Murder, and the End of Capitalism: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims on the Consequences of Marriage Equality

As the Supreme Court considers cases that could lead to sweeping changes for same-sex couples and as state after state passes marriage equality legislation, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent claims from the Religious Right on marriage equality. Relying on wild predications and outright lies, right-wing opponents contend that marriage for same-sex couples will lead to everything from “the murder of the masses” to Christians being forced underground. 

Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s recent reporting on right-wing opposition to marriage equality:

10. Glenn Stanton: Same-Sex Marriage is a ‘Pernicious Lie of Satan’ that Imperils Society and Humanity (February 2013)

Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family asserted that homosexuality “is a really pernicious lie of Satan” because it denies “the distinct God imaging in each of us as males and females.” He went on to warn that gay equality leads to the “persecution” of Christians and will “redefine not only marriage but the family itself if not humanity completely.”

Read the full article here.

9. Harry Jackson: ‘Polygamy and Many Other Forms of Marriage’ Will ‘Automatically Sweep the Land’ if Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal (March 2013)

Pastor Harry Jackson said conservatives can win their fight against marriage equality if they succeed in convincing Americans about gay marriage’s dire consequences, such as the “automatic” legalization of polygamy.  “If same-sex marriage is allowed to be mandated by fiat,” Jackson warned, “then right behind it, polygamy and many other forms of marriage will automatically sweep the land within just a matter of a few years.”

Read the full article here.

8. Erik Rush: Same-Sex Marriage Is an ‘Anti-Theistic, Christophobic Design of the Radical Left’ (March 2013)

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush argued that gay rights advocates have a “venomous hatred for everything smacking of Christianity” and that same-sex marriage is part of “the anti-theistic, Christophobic design of the radical left,” which Rush claims will bring about “societal dissolution.”

Read the full article here.

7. Sandy Rios: Gay Marriage Brings about the ‘Rape of Our Children's Innocence’ (November 2012)

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association argued that marriage equality will lead to “explicit instruction in public schools” and the “rape of our children’s innocence.”

Read the full article here.

6. Matthew Hagee: Gay Marriage Will Be ‘The Death of Capitalism’ (March 2013)

On “Hagee Hotline,” Pastor Matthew Hagee warned that legalizing gay marriage would spell “the death of capitalism.”

“The only relationship in natural law that can produce consumers,” Hagee declared, “is the relationship between a man and a woman.”

Read the full article here.

5. Jim Garlow: Christians Will be ‘Forced Underground’ if Court Affirms Marriage Equality (March 2013)

Pastor Jim Garlow warned that if the Supreme Court affirms marriage equality, Christians will be “forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.”

Read the full article here.

4. Tony Perkins: If SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage, it Could Lead to ‘Revolution’ (November 2012)

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council declared that if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, Christian conservatives will never accept it because they know that “it’s unnatural for two men to be married.”   If the Court strikes down the anti-gay marriage amendments passed by various states, Perkins warned that it could lead to “revolution” and “just break this nation apart.”

Read the full article here.

3. Southern Baptist Leader Fred Luter Links North Korean Threats to Gay Marriage, Boy Scouts (March 2013)

Fred Luter, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention: “I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying.”

Read the full article here.

2. Mat Staver: Supreme Court Could Spark Second Revolution and Civil War over Marriage Equality (December 2012)

According to Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, America may head toward outright revolt and a second civil war.

“This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, than anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing,” Staver said. “This could cause another civil war.”

Read the full article here.

1. Alan Keyes: Gay Marriage Will Lead to Communism and ‘The Murder of the Masses’ (April 2013)

Former ambassador and perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes maintained that if the government goes against divine law and legalizes same-sex marriage then the state will have limitless power, ultimately becoming a Communist regime that will authorize “the expropriation of all property” and “the murder of the masses.”

Read the full article here.

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Vander Plaats 'Not Here to Judge' Openly Gay State Senator Who Might Not Be 'Practicing Gay'

WHO-TV in Des Moines featured a debate last week between openly gay Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy and anti-gay activist Bob Vander Plaats.

Both were fairly restrained, despite the best efforts of the moderator, who at one point asked Vander Plaats if McCoy, who lives in Des Moines with his partner, is “living a life that is not approved by God, in your mind?”

Vander Plaats responded that he was “not here to judge Sen. McCoy” because the senator might be like “some people that say, ‘Well, I’m gay, but I’m not practicing gay.'"

Later on, the conversation turned to the future of marriage equality. Vander Plaats brought up a question that Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked during oral arguments on the Prop 8 case, in which she prompted attorney Ted Olson to take down the right’s “slippery slope” argument that gay marriage will lead to legalized polygamy and incest. This question, Vander Plaats alleges, actually indicates that Justice Sotomayor would be ready to give legal backing to polygamists and “a dad who wants to marry his son or daughter.”

Vander Plaats added that, despite polls showing steadily increasing support for marriage equality, he believed that there would be a “reverse” of marriage equality “probably in our lifetime or in somebody else’s lifetime.”

 

 

Erik Rush: Obama Likely 'Orchestrated the Attack' in Benghazi and 'Deserves to Be Occupying a Cell in Some Federal Penitentiary'

In his WorldNetDaily column today, Erik Rush claims that President Obama likely “orchestrated the attack” on the compound in Benghazi “given his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and legendary understanding of all things Islamic.” He offers no evidence as to why or how Obama “arranged for the assault on the compound,” but that’s par for the course at WorldNetDaily.

Rush cites the “Trinity United murders,” which according to far-right lore was Obama’s move to murder his former gay lovers he attended church with, as proof of Obama’s record of “grave criminal action.”

“Depending on the outcome, measures might be as severe as charges filed against Cabinet officials or the impeachment of Obama himself,” Rush writes. “While this president reasonably deserves to be occupying a cell in some federal penitentiary anyway, impeachment presents many troublesome aspects.”

But he warns that impeachment proceedings against Obama will “ignite civil unrest,” which Rush claims is actually Obama’s plan all along!

Earlier this week, Fox News Channel analyst Brit Hume asserted that for the investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, “to become the scandal it surely deserves to be,” it will require relentless news coverage.

Hume is quite right, of course; however, there is another requisite for definitive results to develop with regard to Benghazi, and that is the willingness of Congress to see the process through to a just conclusion.

And what would be a just conclusion?

I suppose that depends on two things: One, what is revealed in the hearings, and two, whom one asks. I have always leaned in the direction of the administration having orchestrated the attack for reasons of its own – given his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and legendary understanding of all things Islamic, it is possible that President Obama could even have arranged for the assault on the compound without the foreknowledge of his Cabinet.

A bold charge, to be sure, but I am operating with such questions as the unresolved Trinity United murders before me. Then there are the possibilities that the tragedy came about as the result of less grave criminal action or a series of irresponsible and craven decisions.

The burning question at present (and which may remain so for some time) is why efforts were not made to rescue the beleaguered staff at the facility and whether or not a stand-down order was given to military personnel in the area. If the latter becomes the case, then obviously we want to know who issued the order. Depending on the outcome, measures might be as severe as charges filed against Cabinet officials or the impeachment of Obama himself. While this president reasonably deserves to be occupying a cell in some federal penitentiary anyway, impeachment presents many troublesome aspects.

A major reason Obama has skated for so long – and particularly with Republican leaders – is that no one wishes his or her legacy to include having brought down America’s first black president. There is the very real concern that such action might ignite civil unrest. The latter is a realistic concern, since both activists and the administration might catalyze said unrest as a “push back” to impeachment.

MRC: 'The World's Gayest High School' on Glee Is an Insult to William McKinley

It is the job of Andrew Collins of the right-wing Media Research Center to watch shows like Glee and The New Normal, and then complain about them being too gay.

In his latest post, Collins attacks an episode of Glee for having a “particularly large dose of gay” and says that the high school is an insult to its namesake, President William McKinley, as it is “The World’s Gayest High School.”

“So many characters play for the other team it's hard to believe that there’ll be any future generations of McKinley High students to mock the Bible and cheer on transgendered [sic] performers,” Collins writes.

He goes on to lament that Kurt’s father stressed “the seriousness and permanence of marriage” when he told Blaine, Kurt’s off-and-on boyfriend, that he shouldn’t ask Kurt to marry him…because “his refusal builds the legitimacy of gay marriage even more.”

Pity William McKinley. Our 25th president was a Civil War hero who successfully prosecuted the Spanish-American War and presided over a booming economy. For his trouble, he was assassinated. Adding insult to injury, he’s the namesake of The World’s Gayest High School.

It’s no secret that “Glee” frequently and flamboyantly pushes a gay agenda. So many characters play for the other team it's hard to believe that there’ll be any future generations of McKinley High students to mock the Bible and cheer on transgendered [sic] performers. But as this season prepares to wrap up this week, things are heating up on "Glee." Last week’s episode featured a particularly large dose of gay.



And finally, in the most overt display of all, Blaine asks Kurt’s father for his son’s hand in marriage. His father is all in favor of the institution, those who support gay marriage are on the right side of history, he says. However, he says no because, like most parents these days, he believes high school is a bit too young for someone to be proposing. If anything, his refusal builds the legitimacy of gay marriage even more because he emphasizes the seriousness and permanence of marriage.

Stemberger: Lifting BSA's Gay Ban 'Is Going to Create a Wave of Boy-on-Boy Sexual Abuse'

Anti-gay activist John Stemberger is continuing to argue that sexual abuse will skyrocket if the Boy Scouts let in openly gay members. As evidence, he sites current statistics on the abuse that happens with the discriminatory ban in place.

While speaking to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on Washington Watch, Stemberger predicted that a policy shift in the Boy Scouts of America will “create a wave of boy-on-boy sexual abuse” as straight scouts will “be preyed upon” by their gay peers:

I think the national organization is just kind of winking and nodding, saying, ‘oh yeah, homosexual boys, no big deal, we can influence them for the better, boys are better off in scouting.’ Well wait a second, yeah homosexual boys are better off but what about the other boys who may be preyed upon? You know BSA’s own statistics show, their own youth training program shows that seventy percent of all abuse in scouting takes place by other boys, not by adults. So I’ve been saying from day one that this is going to create a wave of boy-on-boy sexual abuse which is going to contribute future to the scandal that scouting has had in the past and also not to mention the physical, psychological and sexual abuse of countless boys.

Graphic: Restoring Balance to the D.C. Circuit

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the most important court that most Americans have never heard of, is making waves this week with a ruling that the National Labor Relations Board’s requirement that corporations inform their employees of their right to unionize violates the free speech rights of the corporations.

This decision by a panel of three Republican-nominated D.C. Circuit judges is outrageous, but unfortunately it’s not out of character. Last year, Republican nominees on the court ruled that a regulation requiring tobacco companies to print factually accurate warnings on cigarette packages actually violated the tobacco companies’ free speech rights. In January, the court invalidated three presidential appointments to the NLRB, undermining the Board’s ability to protect the rights of workers. And that’s just the beginning.

Why is the D.C. Circuit still wreaking havoc on the government’s ability to protect the rights of workers and consumers? Because Republicans in the Senate have yet to allow a single one of President Obama’s nominees to the court reach a confirmation vote, making Obama the first president since Woodrow Wilson to serve a full first term without placing a judge on the D.C. Circuit.

That means that the partisan makeup of the D.C. Circuit is pretty much unchanged since the Bush years. Currently dominated by active judges and semi-retired senior judges appointed by Republicans, the D.C. Circuit has four vacancies. As the graphic above shows, if President Obama can fill those four vacancies, he can restore some balance to a court that has veered far, far, far to the right.

PFAW

Christian Action League Warns 'Rapid Decline into Paganism' Leads to Gay Marriage

In a column yesterday, Rev. Mark Creech of the North Carolina-based Christian Action League warned that marriage equality will lead to “a flood of religious persecutions” and can only be stopped by reversing America’s “rapid decline into paganism.”

Writing for Alan Keyes’ Renew America, Creech argues that Christians will face “serious bouts with persecution” and be forced to “bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's image” if same-sex marriage is legalized.

These events of late prove, without question, that the normalization of homosexual behavior in the culture and the legalization of same-sex marriage will inevitably usher in a flood of religious persecutions for Christians who dare say homosexuality is a sin. Touting as they have that gay rights are about civil rights, the LGBT community deceives the public into believing every born-again, God fearing, Bible-believing, follower of Jesus Christ is worse than an prejudiced Archie Bunker type idiot.



Unfortunately, very few people understand why such persecution is inevitable for those who would reject same-sex marriage. The reason is because the legalization of gay marriage doesn't simply facilitate the ability of homosexuals to marry along-side of heterosexuals; instead it legally redefines the institution of marriage for everyone. No longer is marriage between a man and a woman, but between two adults – regardless of gender. Therefore, this presents a radically different paradigm resulting in a myriad of societal conflicts that government uses its broad enforcement authority to resolve. In other words, if citizen Christians with small businesses or Christian organizations and ministries are unwilling to comply with this new legal orthodoxy on marriage, then such are outside of the law and vulnerable to the government's coercive powers to bring them into compliance.

For many years, Christians in this country – one largely based on Christian values – have had it relatively easy and not experienced serious bouts with persecution. But that may soon change if America continues its rapid decline into paganism.

Don't be fooled. True Christianity is in no way compatible with homosexuality. And same-sex marriage is in no way compatible with religious liberty.

This writer is not conceding to the so-called inevitability of gay marriage. But his point is that regardless of what happens on that front, every genuine believer must always like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, purpose in his heart that he will not bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's image.

Swanson and Buehner Call Homosexuality a 'Flesh Eating Virus,' 'Sores' with 'Happy Faces [Carved] Into Them'

On last Friday’s Generations Radio, Pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner warned that the gay population is about to rise dramatically as a result of “breakdown of the family” and will spread over America like a flesh eating virus.

As Buehner explained, feminism made women distrust men. As a result, boys lack a father and become gay, while girls venture into “amateur prostitution” and use men for “a good roller coaster ride” until eventually heading “into lesbianism.” He predicted that the gay population is “going to skyrocket.” Swanson agreed that we have a “humongous problem on our hands.”

Responding to Rep. Paul Ryan’s endorsement of same-sex adoption and Pastor Mark Horton’s openness to supporting same-sex domestic partnerships, Swanson derided “the ecclesiastical leaders and the civil leaders” who “will not acknowledge that we are under the judgment of Almighty God.”

“The body itself is shot through with this disease and it is occasionally busting through in these sores called homosexuality and these sores seem to be spreading all the time,” Swanson said, “They are taking these sores and they are carving happy faces into them, they are calling this sore ‘gay’ and they are carving happy faces into them, they are making it appear to be a wonderful, wonderful thing that we have these sores breaking out.”

Buehner elaborated on the analogy, calling homosexuality a “nasty flesh eating virus” that is spreading “all over the body” and lamenting that political and religious leaders who support gay rights are like “shepherds leading the sheep to death.”

Buehner: Women don’t trust men, women raise sons, sons don’t trust men, but there’s a hole in their heart, looking for a man, looking for the love of men, they’re not getting the love of their father, they’re going to go seek it out in other men, i.e. male homosexuality. A woman does not have a trust in a man, she didn’t see a loving relationship with a man, she’s been taught that husbands are buffoons and that at best get yourself a man who is a good roller coaster ride for the night, maybe try and get a few bucks off of him doing the amateur prostitution thing but move on, keep your independence from the family and from the man and ergo why not just go ahead into lesbianism.

Now homosexuality and lesbians start building on each other and snowballing. I believe that we are at the knee of the curve here, in other words, the rate of homosexuality in society has been fairly low, it’s been in the low one percent, two percent, we’ve always had some but it’s been low, I think it’s going to skyrocket in the next decade.

Swanson: It certainly does have a good sales program, the brochures are as glossy as they can possibly be, they are being sold in public schools all over America and it’s very possible this thing can go hyperbolic in the next couple of five to ten years, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, especially with the breakdown of the family, and we have two to three to four times more kids raised outside of a nuclear family as they were even in the last generation twenty years ago. We’re continuing to see a breakdown and what a lot of our leaders don’t want to recognize is that we’ve got a humongous problem on our hands.

It’s not like this car’s been through an accident and has got a few nicks on the bumper; the steering wheel is in the trunk, the steering wheel is in the trunk, this thing has been accordioned all the way from the hood into the trunk and we’ve got a major civilization accident on our hands and it’s going to take something really serious, something radical in order to repair this. It is probably going to have to be repentance, that is we’re going to have to repent of a lot of things and a lot of fundamental problems.

The body itself is shot through with this disease and it is occasionally busting through in these sores called homosexuality and these sores seem to be spreading all the time, especially over the last fifteen to twenty years. What guys like Paul Ryan are doing, what the politicians are doing with their approval of civil unions and homosexual marriage is that they are taking these sores and they are carving happy faces into them, they are calling this sore ‘gay’ and they are carving happy faces into them, they are making it appear to be a wonderful, wonderful thing that we have these sores breaking out and this is precisely what’s happening with our church leaders and civil leaders that are constantly wanting to endorse homosexual marriage. The fact that you have Mike Horton from the White Horse Inn endorsing civil unions as a possible way in which we can love our neighbor is again an ecclesiastical leader of the Reformed stripe saying this is cool, put the sore into a smiley face, it is okay, we are going to put the stamp approval of the civil magistrate on this thing, and the ecclesiastical leaders and the civil leaders are doing the same thing with it because they will not acknowledge that we are under the judgment of Almighty God.

Buehner: Putting the smiley face is part of the picture, they are trying to make it look happy, make it look fun, call it gay, but what they are also doing is they are spreading it. They are taking this disease that’s ravaging the body, it’s more like that nasty flesh eating virus and they are spreading it all over the body, they are spreading the virus all around because it’s so good, it’s a nice, happy virus, you want this flesh eating virus on your neck, you want it on your check, you want it on your back, you want it on your legs. They are doing everything they can by not only giving it a warrant it doesn’t deserve from Scripture but they’re also funding it, they’re also propelling it. This is horrible; this is the shepherds leading the sheep to death.

Bye, Bye Buster: We Salute the AFA's Buster Wilson

The American Family Association announced yesterday that it has parted ways with Buster Wilson, the host of AFA Today and the general manager of its radio network. Wilson says he will continue to write for his personal blog.

Certainly Wilson isn’t leaving because he is too extreme (see: Fischer, Bryan) or vacuous (see: Wildmon, Tim) for the AFA, but we are going to miss him in particular because we have always appreciated Wilson’s tendency to respond to nearly every single Right Wing Watch post about him and even completely make up things we’ve said.

But most of all we really enjoyed watching him conclude many of his conspiratorial rants with the phrase, “I’m just asking the question.”

Since Wilson is a member of the extremist Oath Keepers, we were not surprised to see him push several anti-government conspiracy theories, wonder about the existence of FEMA concentration camps and assert that he was “staying neutral” on the matter of whether it is appropriate to shoot U.S. Marshals. He also maintained that the government was going to classify Christians as mentally ill in order to “get us out of the picture,” confiscate the guns of conservative Christians and ban celebrations of Christmas. Furthermore, he has promoted the birther conspiracy theory and posted a hoax photo of President Obama’s “foreign student ID.” 

Wilson has also been no friend of the gay community. He warned that gay men are bent on molesting Boy Scouts, linked the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to an increase in the military’s suicide rate, warned that legalizing gay marriage will lead to dog, building and automobile marriages and blamed Hurricane Isaac on an LGBT festival. At one point, Wilson even floated a boycott of Google over the company’s strong stance in support of gay rights:

We’ll certainly miss Wilson’s daily presence on AFA Radio, but we look forward to keeping track of upcoming conspiracy theories on his blog.

Will Mark Sanford Listen to Mark Sanford's Lesson in Grace?

"I am one imperfect man saved by God's grace," Mark Sanford proclaimed yesterday as he declared victory in a special election for South Carolina's open House seat. "Until you experience human grace as a reflection of God's grace, I don't think you really get it," he said. "And I didn't get it before."

Sanford's victory wasn't a big surprise. He won as a Republican in a district that favored Mitt Romney by 18 points last year.

What would be a surprise, and what I would love to see, is if Sanford applied his new personal understanding of "human grace as a reflection of God's grace" to his new role in government.

He could, for instance, apply some of that grace to women facing often wrenching decisions about abortion, allowing them to make their own decisions rather than pre-judging them with burdensome regulations designed to humiliate them and severely restrict their choices.

He could apply some of that grace to gay and lesbian couples,who, like him, are simply trying to share their lives openly with the one they love. While many public figures have "evolved" on gay rights without even having to be "saved by grace," Mark Sanford just recently reminded us that he hasn't moved an inch.

He could perhaps share some grace with his fellow Americans who are struggling to raise children while working multiple low-paying jobs. Maybe with his newfound empathy, he will understand that pre-K education, health care and food assistance can help those struggling to get by keep themselves afloat in an unforgiving economy.

Maybe he will have some grace left over for undocumented immigrants who are trying to support their families and give back to the country they call home.

Perhaps he could convince his party, which claims to be in the market for a makeover, that a little grace and understanding would do it some good.

Maybe this will happen. But it seems more likely that Sanford's idea of grace, choice and personal freedom apply exclusively to people like him.

This post originally appeared at the Huffington Post.

PFAW

NOM: Portman and Kirk Will Lose Re-Election for Endorsing Marriage Equality

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is convinced that marriage equality advocates, who just helped pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage in Delaware and Rhode Island, will go down in defeat since they are opposed to “the will of the majority of Americans” and solely rely on the support of “our cultural elite.”

Speaking with Janet Mefferd yesterday, Brown argued that Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), who both support marriage equality, will lose their re-election races in 2016 over the marriage issue…if they even opt to run again.

Brown: If the Republican Party were to change its platform, that would be the death knell for the Republican Party. Right now the Democratic Party has changed its platform, has wholeheartedly embraced the redefinition of marriage. The Republican Party right now gives voters — and again, the majority of voters who have been able to vote on this issue have voted to protect marriage in this country — it gives those voters a party that at this point stands up for traditional marriage. We need to be encouraging Republican lawmakers to be speaking out more on the importance of marriage, not attempting to imitate the Democratic Party in embracing the redefinition of marriage.

Mefferd: Very, very well said. You’re seeing people like Rob Portman and Mark Kirk come out as Republicans backing now homosexual so-called marriage. What do you think the response needs to be from the voters, working very hard to get them out of office? Brown: They need to be primaried, period. I think that folks in Ohio, if Rob Portman decides to run again, he will be primaried, he may not run again because there’s been such a backlash in his state, and I think the same is true of Mark Kirk.

Joseph Farah's 9/11 Day of Prayer is Your Last Chance to Save America

WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah is organizing a National Day of Prayer and Fasting on September 11, and it’s kind of a big deal.

In fact, as Farah told Rick Wiles yesterday, it’s “our last chance” to save America from God’s judgment.

Speaking with Farah on his TruNews program, Wiles declared that America has gone “over a cliff” and “the next sound we’re going to hear will be the splat.” Farah’s day of prayer, then, is “a matter of life and death.” Farah agreed, adding, “It’s our last chance.”

In a video introducing the day of prayer, Farah warns that American politics and “cultural institutions like the media, Hollywood, academia, science, foundations, etc.” have all “become judgments on a country that has lost its moral bearings.”

In his interview with Wiles, Farah noted that he’s sick of people blaming President Obama bringing for God’s judgment on America. Instead, he said, the president is “part of the judgment.” Wiles agreed, adding, “He is the judgment. He is the pharaoh.”

Wiles: I used to say we’re going to go over the cliff. We’re over the cliff. We went over the cliff. We are in the air. We are going down now.

Farah: We’re like Wile E. Coyote when he goes off the cliff and he looks down until he recognizes it,  that’s when he falls.

Wiles: That’s where we’re at, and the next sound we’re going to hear will be the splat. And I don’t know if very many Christians are fully aware that we’ve already gone over the cliff. You know, people talk about the fiscal cliff, but what about the morality cliff? We’ve gone over the morality cliff and we’re now dropping. And we are at the state where if there is not a miracle, a sovereign act of the Holy God to stop this, then we are going to smack the ground. There is no doubt we are already descending. And so, this is a matter of life and death. This isn’t, ‘Oh, Joseph Farah’s got a nice idea, we ought to gather together and have prayer and fasting, isn’t that a cute little idea.’ No, this is life and death!

Farah: Right, I’ve heard this before, this kind of thing. It can’t be like that. This is our last chance.

Wiles: Yes!

Farah: I mean, that’s the way I feel about it, it’s our last chance. And by the way, it’s not a one-day thing. Something, you know, I remember when I first floated this idea, I got tremendous reaction from people, they loved it, they were enthusiastic, but their response was, ‘Why do we have to wait until 9/11?’ And my response to them, as many as I could respond to, was simply this: ‘You’ve got to prepare yourself for this.’ I’m just thinking to myself, I have a lot to repent for. And, you know, it might take me five months to get into that state of full and total humility and repentance. That’s what we have to be doing right now, cleaning our own act up, not pointing fingers at everybody else, you know, ‘Obama’s doing this to us’ and…You know, Obama’s part of the judgment.

Wiles: That’s right. He is the judgment. He’s our pharaoh.

Rick Perry, Fox News and Religious Right Activists Jump on Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

Todd Starnes of Fox News has dedicated himself to finding cases of Christians facing persecution. Starnes recently reported that the military is deliberately blocking access to a Baptist website and may court-martial Christian soldiers, and alleged that a school in New York is forcing girls to kiss one another. However, these three incidents were all completely false.

On Sunday, Starnes filed another report on how a high school track team in Texas “was disqualified from competing in the state championships because one of the runners made a gesture thanking God after he crossed the finish line.”

“Derrick Hayes, the anchor of the Columbus High School 4×100 relay team had just crossed the finish line when he raised his finger to the sky,” Starnes writes, “thanking the Lord for winning the race that would send them to the state finals.

His article was based on the claims of the athlete’s father, and other outlets picked up the story as well.

Gov. Rick Perry wrote a letter to the University Interscholastic League demanding an investigation:

According to press reports, the student's father, K.C. Hayes, has been widely quoted as saying the student was pointing to the heavens to thank God.

In his letter, Perry said he would “not tolerate the suppression of religious freedom anywhere.”

“It is unconscionable that a student athlete could be punished for an expression of religious faith or that an act of faith could disqualify an athlete in a UIL competition,” Perry said.

He urged the UIL to “investigate this incident thoroughly and take whatever action is necessary to ensure protection of religious freedom and expression at UIL competitions.”

As the Texas Freedom Network has pointed out, Religious Right groups such as the Liberty Institute and Liberty Counsel both jumped on the story, as did Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott.

But much like the student who was supposedly given detention for praying in school when he was actually disciplined for fighting, the Texas athlete wasn’t waving his finger to thank God and he wasn’t even disqualified for the gesture he made at the finish line.

The student was actually disqualified for inappropriate behavior towards the referee, and he and his dad now admit that the incident had nothing to do with religious expression.

According to the UIL press release:

Over the course of the investigation, the UIL interviewed several eyewitnesses and reviewed video of the race. Additionally, the UIL spoke to the involved parties. The UIL has concluded the investigation and has found no evidence to suggest that the disqualification took place as a result of the student-athlete expressing religious beliefs. The basis for the disqualification was due to the student-athlete behaving disrespectfully, in the opinion of the local meet referee.

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”
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