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Fox News Darling: Do Whatever It Takes To Stop 'Evil' Gays From Marrying

Steven Hotze, the Texas-based conservative activist and doctor beloved by Fox News for his crusade against Obamacare, is out with yet another anti-gay diatribe, this time calling on members of Conservative Republicans of Texas to back a Texas bill that would prohibit clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even if marriage equality were to become legal in the state.

In a post on his website, Hotze hails the legislation, authored by GOP state representative Cecil Bell Jr., as a way to engage in “spiritual warfare” against “the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda.”

The bill, Hotze hopes, will defeat “those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.”

“Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation,” Hotze writes. “If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.”

Conservatives, he says, should “warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas” (He uses the term “homosexual mirage” because “the idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.”).

Publicizing a video from the far-right group MassResistance about how “radical and evil” gay rights supporters destroyed Massachusetts through the legalization of same-sex marriage, Hotze warns that the introduction of marriage equality means “anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

“It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage,” he adds. “This is spiritual warfare.”

Marriage equality is legal in 36 states, and nothing Hotze described is even remotely close to being true.

Via Texas Freedom Network:

It’s time to rise up and take a stand for God’s truth about marriage! A fierce battle for the soul of Texas has begun. The liberals and their pro-homosexual allies want to force Texans to accept ‘homosexual mirage’ as morally right, just as they have done in Massachusetts and California.

The idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.



State Rep. Cecil Bell has introduced HB 623, the Preservation of State Sovereignty and Marriage Act, which would ban Texas civil servants from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.

Taxes or public funding should not be used to issue ‘homosexual mirage’ licenses or be used to enforce any court order to recognize ‘homosexual mirage.’

HB 623, which follows this letter, would prohibit any state or local government employee from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.

Rep. Cecil Bell has demonstrated the courage of his convictions by introducing HB 623. He needs to know that you support him in this battle. The homosexuals have already begun harassing him with filthy and hateful emails, hoping to intimidate him and his staff. This has always been the modus operandi of those who oppose God’s Word.



Will you warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas by showing them the 28 minute video, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts?

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/video_2013/index.html.



If the Texas Marriage Amendment is overturned permanently, then every Texas citizen, every church and business would be coerced and compelled to recognize and affirm homosexuality and other deviant sexual relationships as morally and legally equivalent to marriage. If this occurs then anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If you do not think that this could happen in Texas, then it is vital that you educate yourself on what has occurred in Massachusetts since homosexual marriage was allowed by the courts there in 2003. If you want to know what the horrendous, long term, adverse effects of legalizing homosexual marriages are, then you simply must watch this shocking 28 minute documentary, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts. You may watch it online at

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/video_2013/index.html.

This documentary reveals how radical and evil the homosexual movement is. It demonstrates the dramatic legal changes that the homosexuals and their allies have imposed on every area of life in Massachusetts since 2003, when ‘homosexual mirage’ was legalized by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage. This is spiritual warfare. See Ephesians 6:10-20.

“The wicked strut about on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).

As you will see after viewing this documentary, the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda, have a godless, secular worldview and have taken control in every area of public life in Massachusetts. This is so tragic because our Savior and King Jesus Christ gave believers the Great Commission to take the entire world captive to obedience to Him (Matt. 28:18-20).

The most important issue facing our state and nation is whether we are going to follow God’s ordained plan for marriage.

Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation. If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.



I am drawing a “line in the sand” and asking you to join with me, Rep. Cecil Bell and other conservative Republican state legislators in defeating those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.

Jim Inhofe Declares Victory For Climate Change Denialists: 'We've Won'

Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who believes that human influence on climate change must be a myth because the Bible says so, said in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins last night on “Washington Watch” that climate change denialists like himself have won the debate. Not because climate scientists — over 97 percent of whom believe that human activities influence the climate — have found new data rebutting the science, but because polls show climate change dropping off the list of voters’ priorities.

“Clearly we’ve won. Gallup polls show that it’s now issue number 14 out of 15, it’s no longer issue, we’ve really won on that issue,” Inhofe boasted after voting against an unsuccessful amendment stating the fact that human activities affect climate change.

“The greatest hoax clearly is the idea that man is causing climate change,” he said. “That’s a very arrogant thing to think that man has the ability to do that.”

Todd Starnes Doesn't Want Taxes Going To 'Condoms, Cell Phones And Medical Marijuana Bongs'

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said on his daily radio commentary today that he is offended by President Obama’s plan to tax the top 1 percent of earners to help make tuition-free community college available to students who maintain over a 2.5 GPA, because real Americans “work their way through school” and think it is “shameful to ask for a handout.”

But in “Obama’s America,” according to Starnes, now taxpayers will be funding not just higher education for certain students but also “free condoms and cell phones and medicinal marijuana bongs.”

By now we all know that President Obama wants universal community college: free tuition for every person in America. But I’m having a hard time finding where the Constitution mandates that every American is entitled to an associate’s degree. We are now six years into the Obama presidency and they have a reputation for being less than truthful. Take for example this notion of free community college.

It turns out that free education is going to cost American taxpayers $60 billion over the next decade, and that doesn’t even include all of the free condoms and cell phones and medicinal marijuana bongs. You know, back when I was growing up, college kids were expect to work their way through school, it was considered shameful to ask for a handout. But this is Obama’s America and the entitlement crowd thinks that they are entitled to our money.

Tom DeLay: Obama's 'Arrogant' State Of The Union Proves He Despises America

Former House GOP leader Tom DeLay says he didn’t like President Obama’s State of the Union address one bit, telling Steve Malzberg of Newsmax yesterday that President Obama proved himself to be an “arrogant” leader who shows his “disdain” and “contempt for the American people.”

“A referee should’ve thrown a flag for taunting,” he said. “It was the most unbelievable performance I’ve ever seen.”

Later, DeLay claimed Obama “eviscerated the Constitution over and over again” by calling for universal child care and community college access and an increase in the minimum wage, which DeLay said are all “totally unconstitutional.”

“Even if the American people can’t articulate it, they know this is wrong and they know that it is going to destroy this country,” DeLay said, before noting that the people who want what Malzberg called “free this and free that” ultimately “vote Democrat anyway, most of them.”

Bobby Jindal's Extremist Prayer Rally Brings Together Prophets, Bigots And Far-Right Activists

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who only a few years ago was lamenting the GOP’s decline into “the stupid party,” is now staking out a position on the party’s far-right fringe in preparation for an expected run for the presidency. Jindal has reached out to the party’s increasingly extreme base by undermining the teaching of evolution in public schools; promoting wild conspiracy theories about Common Core, an effort to adjust school standards that he supported before it became the target of the Tea Party’s fury; and hyping the purported persecution of Christians in America, specifically citing the plight of Christians with reality television shows.

Jindal, once hailed as the GOP’s top intellectual and reformer who denounced “dumbed-down conservatism” in an era of Tea Party populism, is slated to lead a prayer rally this weekend, “The Response: Baton Rouge,” organized and sponsored by some of the most extreme figures within the party.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry organized the original “Response” prayer gathering as a prelude to his 2012 presidential bid, allying with many of the same radical activists and organizations who are supporting Jindal’s version of the rally. While Perry’s campaign ultimately imploded, the people who helped put together his prayer rally credited it for various miracles. Jindal’s event has even recycled promotional materials from the Texas rally, including a “prayer guide” blaming marriage equality for Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Joplin tornado.

“The Response” is being organized by David Lane, a Religious Right activist who boasts of his great influence and low profile, and various conservative pastors, including several who claim to be modern-day prophets and apostles, who all kicked off the prayer rally with an event at the Louisiana governor’s mansion earlier this month. The American Family Association, so notorious for its apoplectic anti-gay rhetoric and opposition to the freedoms of non-Christians that its chief spokesman earned a rebuke from Mitt Romney, is putting up the funding.

The organizers

David Lane, a self-styled “political operative” who gloats that he has “operated since 2005 largely under the radar” on behalf of conservative causes and Republican candidates, is serving as the organizational muscle behind Jindal’s prayer rally.

Jindal isn’t the only potential GOP candidate who is getting Lane’s help; Lane has also arranged various events focused on energizing conservative pastors in early GOP primary states that have featured appearances from potential presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee. He also organized overseas tours with various conservative activists for likely candidates including Huckabee, Perry and Paul. Lane has also teamed up with the Republican National Committee, whose chairman, Reince Priebus, sings his praises.

Lane hopes to use “The Response” as a launching pad for his effort to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for elected office.

Lane, who has connections to the top of the Republican Party, has views which are far out of the mainstream. He has:

  • called on conservatives to attack Mitt Romney for worshiping “the false god of Mormonism”;
  • warned that LGBT rights are creating an unparalleled “crisis” leading to “our utter destruction” as a nation;
  • forecasted America’s destruction as a result of “the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage” and “homosexual scouts”;
  • declared that “our long-term strategy must be to place the Bible in Public Schools as the principle [sic] textbook of American education”;
  • and predicted that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” in 2013 would lead to divine punishment in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.”

The American Family Association, classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is providing the financial backbone for Jindal’s prayer rally, as it did for Perry’s 2011 event.

The group’s chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has won nationwide notoriety for his remarks about homosexuality and religious and ethnic minorities, which he shares on his daily program on the AFA’s radio network. Fischer has:

Other AFA officials have blamed gay people for natural disasters like Hurricane Isaacpromoted birther conspiracy theories and railed against secular Jews as threats to America.

The “apostles”

The latter half of Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally was emceed by a self-proclaimed prophet who believes Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist.

It looks like Jindal’s rally will be no different: Doug Stringer, who considers himself to be a modern-day apostle and who also worked on Perry’s rally, is spearheading the Louisiana event. Stringer has blamed American “[l]icentiousness or moral looseness to the degree that it is ‘in your face,’ including homosexuality,” for the September 11, 2001 attacks, which he described as a “wake-up call” from God.

Another self-proclaimed prophet, Cindy Jacobs, is also featured on “The Response: Baton Rouge” website. Jacobs has quite the prophetic record. She:

  • suggested that legal victories for marriage equality advocates led to Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters;
  • proclaimed that Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally “broke the curses on the land” of Texas brought on by “the Native American people [who] were cannibals and they ate people”;

Jim Garlow, a prominent “The Response: Baton Rouge” endorser who is involved in the “apostolic” movement, has been a leader of the movement against LGBT rights. Garlow has:

One event sponsor, Jennifer LeClaire, has used her column in Charisma News to broadcast several “prophetic” warnings about the evils of homosexuality and the “gay agenda” that is “working overtime to send millions to hell.” LeClaire has:

  • and claimed that gay people are possessed by a demonic “spirit of immorality” that “often enters in through some sort of abuse and the lies of the enemy [Satan] that follow.”

The activists

“The Response: Baton Rouge” has also featured endorsements from a slew of conservative politicians. Tamara Scott, as a member of the Republican National Committee representing Iowa and leader of the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America, is a key political player in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. But her political clout doesn’t hide her unbridled extremism. Scott has:

  • characterized young Central American immigrants as “highly trained warriors” who could “rise up against us as Americans”;
  • and suggested that Muslim-Americans are waging a “stealth jihad” to overthrow the U.S.

Another official “Response” endorser, longtime conservative activist and failed Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia E.W. Jackson, has pushed similarly radical views, particularly on gay rights, saying that “homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.” He has also:

  • said of gay people: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally”;
  • warned that homosexuality will bring about a “torrent of wickedness,” including human-animal marriages;

Gene Mills, leader of the Louisiana Family Forum and another key “Response” endorser, is a vocal ally of Jindal’s who helped push the governor’s policies undermining public education and promoting religious schooling. It’s no surprise that Mills leads the state’s foremost anti-LGBT group, as he has:

  • asserted that homosexuality is not a sexual orientation but a “disorder”;
  • falsely claimed that anti-gay speech is now classified as hate crimes;
  • said that abuse shelters should turn away transgender victims of spousal abuse;
  • and explained that anti-gay discrimination is a myth because “the reality is the shame and the guilt the homosexual feels is mistakenly reinterpreted as discrimination and what they attempt to do is to call it discrimination and prohibit it.”

Anti-LGBT Activist Attacks Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt's Parenting

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is furious that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have supported their firstborn’s desire to be called John, claiming their decision is the latest in a string of “destructive ideas” from the LGBT rights movement that “are ruining people’s lives.”

LaBarbera told conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd earlier this week that it’s LGBT rights advocates, not the Religious Right, who should apologize to gay and transgender people.

“Now we learn that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s beautiful daughter, Shiloh, wants to be called John and be a boy, and they’re apparently going to accommodate this,” LaBarbera said, adding:

Then we learn that Bruce Jenner, the Olympic decathlete, this stud athlete, looks like he’s transitioning to become a woman. In other words, ideas have consequences. We’re all sick of this all-gay, all-the-time promotion, and now this transgender confusion revolution. We’re all sick of it but it has consequences. I actually witnessed a 20-something girl who wanted to be a man who had her healthy breasts removed by a surgeon, I’ve seen that in person. These destructive ideas are ruining people’s lives and yet all we hear is constantly this guilt being foisted on us by the homosexual and the transgender lobby. We’re the ones who are supposed to feel guilty. Why don’t they feel guilty when a young healthy female has her healthy breasts removed to become so-called a trans man? I don’t see the homosexual lobby and the transgender lobby apologizing for that incredibly disgusting and dangerous thing. It’s just a sad, tragic thing happening to these young people.

LaBarbera also likened being transgender to believing you are a car: “Just because somebody believes they are something doesn’t make that who they think they are. That’s just bizarre thinking. I think I’m a car, I think I’m a woman, I can become a woman. This is anti-reason thinking.”

Mike Huckabee & Jim Bakker: Christians Are Second Class Citizens In America

Yesterday, Jim Bakker posted the second part of his recent interview with Mike Huckabee, who stopped by the disgraced televangelist’s show to promote his book “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.” Huckabee agreed with Bakker’s assessment that “Christians have become second-class citizens in our nation,” which led him to rant about the so-called War on Christmas and the Hobby Lobby case.

“Now it seems like we will protect the rights of almost any religion except Christians,” Huckabee said.

So fearful of anti-Christian persecution is Bakker that he said he was “afraid” that “the government will come for us” because he criticizes Obamacare on television.

Huckabee and Bakker repeatedly accused the government of forcing Hobby Lobby to cover “abortifacients” in its health insurance plans, with Huckabee arguing that the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirements jeopardize freedom and liberty.

This is indisputably untrue, as abortifacients are excluded from the contraception mandate. As Mother Jones explained last year, the morning-after pill, which is not an abortifacient, was actually covered in Hobby Lobby’s insurance plans “until the mandate became a political issue.”

The magazine reported that at the time it filed its lawsuit against the contraception coverage mandate, Hobby Lobby’s “employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.”

Lindsey Graham Tells Anti-Choice Activists: Need To Find 'Way Out Of This Definitional Problem With Rape'

Sen. Lindsey Graham, chief Senate sponsor of the GOP’s effort to undermine Roe by banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, spoke this morning to the Family Research Council’s “ProLifeCon,” about the House GOP’s decision to cancel a vote on its version of the bill that had been planned for today. The House leadership pulled the plug on the vote in response to protests from some Republican women who objected to a provision that exempted rape survivors from the ban only if they report the rape to police. Some anti-choice groups have objected to including a rape exception in the bill at all, a last-minute addition after the bill’s previous House sponsor, Trent Franks, implied that women who are raped rarely get pregnant.

Graham acknowledged that opponents of rape exceptions are being “intellectually consistent and honest about ‘the baby is the baby’” but argued that banning rape survivors from accessing abortion is a political impossibility: “Some of us who have these exceptions do so in a democratic society believing that there are some places we will not go.”

“I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape,” he told the audience, saying that his plan was to hold a Senate vote on a Democratic bill aimed at pushing back on state-level abortion clinic “TRAP” laws in order to show that it’s Democrats who are “extreme” on abortion rights.

“The rape exception will be part of the bill…We just need to find a way definitionally to not get us in a spot where we’re debating about what a legitimate rape is, that’s not the cause that we’re in,” he said.

This post has been updated with additional details of Graham's speech. 

Minnesota Congressman Invites Right-Wing Leader To Visit Minneapolis's Non-Existent No-Go Zones

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is pretty sure that several neighborhoods in Minneapolis, along with the entire city of Dearborn, Michigan, have become “no-go zones” where Sharia law has effectively replaced the authority of the U.S. government:

Well, now Perkins has an opportunity to see the (non-existent) no-go zones for himself.

In reaction to Perkins’ remarks, which were first reported by Right Wing Watch, Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, has invited Perkins to tour Minneapolis and meet with the Muslim residents of the city, reassuring him that the city is “completely under the jurisdiction of local, state, and federal authorities.” Ellison posted a copy of his invitation to Perkins on Twitter yesterday:

Dear Mr. Perkins:

I am writing regarding your recent comments about my hometown. As you know, I represent the 5th district, of Minnesota which includes most of Minneapolis. You recently said that you believe parts of our city are so called “no-go zones” where state and federal laws are subordinate to Sharia Law. Having lived in Minneapolis for over two decades, I can assure you this is not true. But I would like you to come see firsthand that Minneapolis is an inclusive and thriving city completely under the jurisdiction of local, state, and federal authorities. The Muslim Americans in Minneapolis help make our vibrant and diverse place to live.

If you accept my invitation it may represent an important step toward interfaith understanding. I would be glad to organize meetings with local and federal enforcement as well as community leaders.

Anti-Choice Activists Furious About GOP's Reversal On 20-Week Abortion Ban

Yesterday, Republican leaders in the House decided to pull a plan to vote on a national ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy after Republican women balked at a provision that would have exempted rape survivors only if they reported their assault to the police. The vote had been planned to coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the anti-choice March for Life on the National Mall.

Anti-choice activists are, predictably, furious. After all, many saw the rape and incest exception as an unacceptable compromise in the first place. The bill, originally proposed by Rep. Trent Franks last year, included only an exception for abortions that could save the life of the pregnant woman. After Franks claimed in a hearing that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” GOP leaders quietly added a rape exception to the bill and picked a Republican woman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, to handle the vote on the House floor.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa told the National Journal yesterday that he would fix the problem by eliminating the rape exception entirely: "I would not make exceptions for rape and incest, and then the reporting requirement would not be necessary.”

After House leaders decided to pull the bill yesterday, prominent anti-choice blogger Jill Stanek and the group Students for Life announced that they were putting together a last-minute protest at the offices of two Republican women, Reps. Renee Ellmers and Jackie Walorski, who reportedly led the fight against the rape reporting provision:

Conservative pundit Erik Erickson, in a late-night blog post, attacked Ellmers for her “two-faced ploy” and shot off a series of tweets giving her the “abortion Barbie” label he had previously bestowed on Wendy Davis:

 

Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, responded with a press release saying he was “disgusted” by the House leadership’s “act of moral cowardice” and urged his supporters to call their members of Congress to protest the “breach of trust.”

“I am disgusted by this act of moral cowardice. If the House Republicans cannot pass something as basic as restricting the abortion of five-month, pain-capable unborn children, what can they get done?

“The Republicans in Congress should come and explain this atrocity to the hundreds of thousands of people gathering here in the nation’s capital to march for life. The congressional Republicans seem to think that pro-lifers will be satisfied with Ronald Reagan rhetoric and Nancy Pelosi results. They are quite wrong.”

House Republicans are now scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that would prohibit federal funding for abortions. This scheduled vote coincides with the annual March for Life event, held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat seemed to capture the feelings of many abortion rights opponents:

 

Sandy Rios: Obama Used Islamic Subliminal Messages In The State Of The Union

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios enjoys promoting bizarre conspiracy theories to imply that President Obama is a secret Muslim, and today she even managed to find proof of Obama’s hidden faith in his State of the Union address.

On Rios’ radio program this morning, a listener called in to complain that Obama said he met the country’s “newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London,” which the listener claimed was a lie because “Fort Collins is the Air Force Academy, not Colorado Springs.”

Actually, the caller is incorrect, as the Air Force Academy is indeed located just outside of Colorado Springs.

Rios didn’t pick up on the caller’s mistake, but she did use the opportunity to claim that Obama was spreading Muslim messages in his speech when he used the word “pillar” to describe the foundations of American leadership in the world: “The other thing he said that I caught, he has done this before, you know there are five pillars of Islam, and he used the term ‘pillars’ again in his speech last night.”

“It is just really interesting, language can actually give us some insight, choices of words,” she said.

Clearly, President Bush must also be an Islamist.

Religious Right Activist Admits That Marriage Equality Bans Are Like Anti-Miscegenation Laws

Brian Camenker of the anti-LGBT group MassResistance spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios this week about how same-sex marriage has wreaked havoc on Massachusetts since it became legal in 2004, declaring that ten years of marriage equality has been “terrible” for the Bay State.

“It is very, very scary. It has permeated the public school system, it has permeated the public health system, the legal system,” he said. “It has basically overwhelmed everything. It’s been a nightmare. It’s been very bad.”

Camenker’s remarks didn’t come as much of a surprise given that he once told The Daily Show that marriage equality would somehow contribute to homelessness, higher crime rates, and poorer air quality.

What did come as a surprise was Camenker conceding the point that bans on same-sex marriage are similar to laws banning interracial marriage ... and he did so by defending the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws!

On the face of it, the Fourteenth Amendment says that everybody will be treated equally, that the law will treat everyone equally. Well, the law treats everyone equally; everyone can only marry someone of the opposite sex. That’s it. There is no Fourteenth Amendment problem unless you stretch it to such ridiculous lengths and twist it around to claim there is. But yes, every person can only marry someone of the opposite sex. Now someone may say that it was the same issue with the miscegenation laws. And that’s true. The miscegenation laws were not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because they applied to everybody. As an aside, I was living in the South at the time when the miscegenation laws were struck down and the interesting thing about that was, nobody paid any attention to it, nobody cared, it was like page 25 in the newspaper, there weren’t these signature drives or meetings and gatherings. Nobody really cared at all. Here it is a much different thing because it really is a moral issue.

The Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down anti-miscegenation laws on the basis that they violated the Fourteenth Amendment. It was indeed a “moral issue” at the time, as many religious conservatives frequently alleged that interracial marriages were contrary to biblical teachings and natural law.

Some Americans, disproportionately white, still oppose interracial relationships today.

Equally preposterous is Camenker’s claim that “nobody cared” about the Loving decision. Many states have attempted to keep their anti-miscegenation laws on the books, and interracial couples have faced a long history of violence and discrimination.

At least Camenker, unlike other Religious Right activists, is being consistent in his opposition to the reasoning behind the Loving ruling and court decisions in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Rep. David Schweikert: Pro-Choice Advocates In It For The Money

Rep. David Schweikert stopped by “Washington Watch” yesterday to promote the congressional GOP’s 20-week abortion ban legislation, and told host Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that abortion rights supporters are primarily motivated by greed, money and power.

“So many bad decisions are based upon who makes money on it, who has their vanity flattered, who feels to gain more power,” the Arizona Republican said. “This is one of those debates where I believe there’s people on the other side of the issue that are there solely because that’s how they raise money and that shows you just sort of, I think, a sickness in American politics that it was about the gaining of power, not about doing what was right.” 

Schweikert also pushed the inaccurate claim [PDF] that new technology has pushed fetal viability beyond 20 weeks after fertilization: “If the benchmark changes as technology changes, then the pro-abortion industry has become completely utilitarian and not embracing the most basic concept, the dear Lord has put us here for a reason and to take life, innocent life, imagine how we will be judged.”

Mike Huckabee: Beyoncé Backlash Proves I'm Right!

Mike Huckabee, after publishing a book in which he compares Beyoncé to a prostitute, is now trying to take advantage of the backlash to his comments by portraying himself as the latest right-wing martyr to politically correct persecution.

Huckabee told Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg yesterday that his critics, such as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, are all taking his comments out of context and have proved his point that “Bubbleville” — Huckabee’s term for New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — speaks down to “Bubbaville,” or real America.

“The backlash that I have had from what is less than a page of a 242-page book, which is a fleeting reference to Beyoncé, to me validates the very message of the book that there is this disconnect between the cultures of ‘Bubbleville’ and ‘Bubbaville,’” he said.

Huckabee said Stewart “missed” the point of his book “because like so many other people in the media it was as if they read the headlines that other reporters have made but they didn’t really read the chapter and they didn’t understand the context, the chapter was ‘The Culture of Crude.’”

Mike Huckabee Falsely Claims Ted Nugent Changed The Lyrics To Sexually Explicit Song They Performed Together

After Mike Huckabee criticized Beyoncé’s music as “obnoxious and toxic mental poison” unfit for children and compared the singer to a prostitute, it didn’t take long for people to point out that he himself had once joined with Ted Nugent to perform a sexually explicit song on his national television program.

Huckabee is, predictably, reacting by pretending that what happened didn’t actually happen, telling the Chrisitan Post today that Nugent “changed the lyrics pretty dramatically” when he sang the song “Cat Scratch Fever” on Huckabee’s Fox News show.

In fact, anyone who watches a video of the performance can see that Nugent didn’t change any of the song’s explicit lyrics as Huckabee accompanied him, 5:25 in:

Lyrics via metrolyrics.com.

Well I don't know where they come from
But they sure do come
I hope they comin' for me
And I don't know how they do it
But they sure do it good
I hope they doin' it for free

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

The first time that I got it
I was just ten years old
I got it from some kitty next door
I went to see the Dr. and
He gave me the cure
I think I got it some more

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

It's nothin dangerous
I feel no pain
I've got to ch-ch-change
You know you got it when you're going insane
It makes a grown man cryin' cryin'
Won't you make my bed

I make the pussy purr with
The stroke of my hand
They know they gettin' it from me
They know just where to go
When they need their lovin man
They know I do it for free

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever
 

Americans United for Life Official: State Anti-Choice Laws Stopping 'Abortion Mentality' From 'Corroding' US

Former New Hampshire gubernatorial and senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne, who now serves as the general counsel of Americans United for Life, stopped by the “Janet Meffered Show” last week to discuss his group’s recent success in pushing scores of incremental state-level measures that are chipping away at abortion rights across the country.

Lamontange boasted about AUL’s guidance to anti-choice state legislators, and touted the Guttmacher Institute’s data showing that more abortion restrictions were enacted between 2011 and 2013 than in the entire previous decade.

He credited this success not just to his group’s lobbying efforts but to an “awakening” about “what this abortion mentality is doing to us, it’s eroding, corroding who we are as a country and as a people.”

The good news is the momentum is in our favor, more pro-life laws were passed in the last three years in this country at the state level than had been passed the prior 10 years. So we’re really in a good place. And prayer, I think, has been the most important fuel to this success. People are praying and the 40 Days for Life movement and other groups are helping people to have an awakening about what it means to preserve and protect life. And what this abortion mentality is doing to us, it’s eroding, corroding who we are as a country and as a people.

Ben Carson: Congress Should Oust Judges Who Rule For Marriage Equality

Ben Carson, the likely Republican presidential candidate who believes that the gay rights movement is part of a communist conspiracy to bring about the New World Order, wants Congress to intervene in court cases involving marriage equality, including the upcoming cases before the Supreme Court.

Speaking last night with Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, Carson said that Congress should “reprimand or remove” federal judges who issue “unconstitutional” rulings striking down state bans on same-sex marriage.

What the president and what the Supreme Court need to reiterate is that the states have a mechanism whereby they can determine the will of the people, it’s called ballot referendum. It has been done multiple times already, 32 states have indicated that marriage is between a man and a woman, and a few judges have come and overturned that. That, as far as I’m concerned, is unconstitutional, and Congress actually has oversight of all what they call the inferior courts, everything below the Supreme Court, and that’s where those overturns have come. And when judges do not carry out their duties in an appropriate way, our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.

After Deace alleged that a Supreme Court victory for marriage equality advocates would undermine freedom and lead to the “persecution of the church” and “open season on Christians,” Carson said Congress should intercede if the Supreme Court deems same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.

“We certainly cannot give up if, in fact, that turns out to be the case because we do still have the Congressional mechanism,” Carson said. “And the key here in our country, values and principles cannot be drummed out of us. They’re going to try and the only way we maintain a country with values and principles is we have to be brave enough to stand up for what we believe.”

The Personhood Movement: Where It Comes From And What It Means For The Future Of Choice: Part 1

This is the first post in a RWW series on the reemergence of the anti-choice “personhood” movement and what it means for the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

Part 2: The Personhood Movement: Internal Battles Go Public
Part 3: The Personhood Movement: Undermining Roe In The Courts
Part 4: The Personhood Movement: Regrouping After Defeat

“Welcome to the future of the pro-life movement.”

As a few dozen activists walked into a conference hall in an Atlanta suburb in October 2014, they were met with an optimistic greeting from an impromptu welcoming committee.

It was the founding convention of the Personhood Alliance, an association of anti-abortion groups from 15 states who are determined to wrest back an anti-choice movement that they fear has gone dangerously astray.

The members of the Personhood Alliance felt betrayed.

The largest and best-funded groups opposing abortion rights have, over the past several years, achieved astounding success in chipping away at women’s access to legal abortion in the United States. But these successes, Personhood Alliance’s founders maintain, are too small and have come at a grave cost.

In seeking mainstream approval for anti-choice politics, personhood advocates believe, groups like the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and Americans United for Life (AUL) have adopted a secular tone and downplayed their Christian origins. In focusing on drawing attention to issues like late-term abortion, they may have won some support for the cause but have done little to end the procedures they targeted. In seeking incremental successes, personhood advocates argue, the movement has given up on making a moral argument for the humanity of fertilized eggs and fetuses and lost sight of its larger goal of eliminating legal abortion entirely.

But the greatest betrayal in the eyes of these personhood advocates is the willingness of major anti-choice groups to endorse legislation that includes exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. The personhood movement’s leaders contend that these political concessions are not only immoral and intellectually inconsistent, but also threaten to undermine the movement’s goals in the long term. In fact, the Personhood Alliance grew out of a feud between Georgia Right to Life leader Daniel Becker and NRLC centered around a rape exception inserted into a national 20-week abortion ban. Becker and his allies believe that they have a better plan, one that does not require compromise.

Joining the activists at the founding conference was Ben DuPré, the chief of staff for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who, along with his colleague Justice Tom Parker, has outlined an alternate strategy for eliminating legal protections for abortions in the United States: building a body of laws that define fertilized zygotes and fetuses as citizens with full rights under the law.

On the first night of the Personhood Alliance’s founding convention in October, Paul Broun, then a Republican congressman from Georgia, captured the activists’ anger at the leaders of the anti-choice movement, charging that they had betrayed the movement's core principles to such a degree that it had provoked the wrath of God — and implied that they were doing so for personal gain.

Broun told the activists of a meeting he had had with two leaders of NRLC when he was running for U.S. Congress in 1996. He told them that were he elected, the first bill he would introduce would be a Sanctity of Human Life Act giving personhood rights to fertilized eggs, because [that’s] "how we’re going to overturn Roe v. Wade is by giving the right of personhood to that one-celled human being.” The NRLC leaders, Broun said, told him they wouldn’t support it and he “walked away very disillusioned.”

When an audience member asked Broun why he thought NRLC and other major anti-choice groups weren’t putting their energy behind personhood bills, including one that he helped write, Broun responded that he wasn’t “making any accusations here,” but implied that “pro-life” leaders have a financial incentive to never achieve their declared goal.

Harkening back to that 1996 meeting, he drew a historical parallel:

They never told me [why they wouldn’t back the Sanctity of Human Life Act]. I asked them, and they just said, well, we won’t. And I walked away from that meeting in 1996 very, very disappointed, very disillusioned. And shortly after, actually as I was riding away in a taxi cab, it came to mind, back when I was a kid – looking around the room, I’m not sure anybody’s old enough to remember polio – but when I was a kid I had classmates who got polio who were in iron lungs, and I had patients as a doctor, people who when I was in medical school, were people who had polio.

The biggest charity in this country was an organization called March of Dimes. And they were, their executives were, I guess, I’m not sure, but they were making lots of money, March of Dimes was probably the biggest charity in the country. And a doctor by the name of Jonas Salk developed a vaccine. And suddenly, March of Dimes went broke.

And I went away from that meeting with National Right to Life and I was wondering, I still wonder, I’m not making any accusations here: If we were to stop abortion, what would happen to the jobs of all those people who are getting paid every day to be in the pro-life movement? What would happen? I don’t know if that’s what it is or not, I’m not making any accusations, I’m just telling you what my thought was when I left that meeting.

He told the Personhood Alliance that every day that legal abortion continues, America risks God’s wrath. Discussing his 2013 refusal to vote for a 20-week ban to which the House GOP had added a rape exception at the last minute, Broun said:

If we can save some, let's do it, but let's not make exceptions and that some babies are worth killing and some are not. They're all worth saving.

And then it goes back to 'my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,' as we hear [from] Hosea 4:6, and that's the reason education is so important. Because we've got to educate the grassroots.

...

You see, God is a holy, righteous God. He cannot continue to bless America while we’re killing over a million babies every single day. Abortion must stop.

(Broun's estimate of one million abortions taking place every day is, to say the least, wildly exaggerated.)

Broun argued that groups like the NRLC are selling the movement short by accepting political compromise bills containing rape and incest exceptions and then pressuring anti-choice lawmakers to vote for those bills.

"The reason a lot of pro-life people are willing to compromise is because of that outside pressure," he said. "Whether it's an endorsement from Concerned Women [for America] or the Family Research Council or another group, or it could be an endorsement of the U.S. Chamber [of Commerce] or it could be the endorsement of any group. Politicians, the major principle that they will not budge from is their reelection. So they will do whatever it takes to get the endorsements, the money that they need to raise.”

Barry Loudermilk, a former Georgia Republican state senator who had recently been elected to the U.S. House, also spoke to the convention, comparing the fight against abortion rights to the struggle of America’s founders, who he said also witnessed “a decline in the moral sensitivity of our nation.” Loudermilk, who while serving in the state senate introduced a personhood amendment that was backed by Georgia Right to Life and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, said, “When you look at our movement, we have the exact same things against us that they had against them,” he said. “They had the government against them, the laws, the judges. We don’t have the people who are totally with us, it’s growing. But we have the truth with us. We have Providence with us.”

The congressmen echoed a founding tenet of the Personhood Alliance: that in a movement that was increasingly struggling to appear secular, the organization would be unabashedly “Christ-centered” and “biblically informed.”

As personhood's proponents like to remind their fellow activists, both sides of the movement share the same goal: to completely criminalize abortion. The question is just how to do it.

The largest and best-funded anti-choice groups, deploying a strategy of chipping away at abortion access in the name of “women’s health,” have pushed state legislatures to pass over 200 new restrictions on abortion rights since 2011, many based on model legislation from AUL and NRLC. This strategy has managed to shut down abortion providers (especially in rural areas), make it harder for low-income women to pay for abortion, and erect unnecessary logistical hurdles for even those women who could access and afford abortion care.

The movement also won a pivotal court case with the Supreme Court's ruled that private corporations could deny their employees legally mandated health insurance coverage for contraceptives that the corporations’ owners believe cause abortion. And they did this all while stemming the loss in public opinion that had hindered other “culture war” issues, in part by lifting up female leaders and adopting woman-centered empowerment rhetoric.

But at the same time, another side of the anti-choice movement, those eschewing compromise and incrementalism and pursuing the goal of establishing legal “personhood” from the moment of conception, have suffered a series of embarrassing electoral blows. In 2014, Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have defined zygotes and fetuses as persons in the state’s criminal code. It was the third time in six years that voters in the state had rejected a “personhood” measure, although its proponents noted that their margin of defeat got smaller each time. Perhaps even more galling for the movement, voters in reliably conservative North Dakota rejected an amendment to provide constitutional protections for “every being at every stage of development” by a whopping 28-point margin. And this all came three years after a personhood initiative was soundly defeated in deep-red Mississippi.

These personhood measures, while sharing the same ultimate goal as the incremental strategy, have become widely seen as politically toxic, in large part because they could threaten access to common forms of birth control. The no-compromise strategy has also become tied to a series of ham-handed comments made by male politicians, most infamously former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, which further hurt the personhood movement, while providing political cover to those pursuing a more incremental approach.

But despite its spectacular losses at the ballot box, personhood movement strategists maintain that not only is their strategy the morally sound and intellectually consistent one — they believe their strategy is the one that will ultimately swing public opinion and overturn Roe v. Wade.

This series, marking the anniversary of Roe, will explore the recent resurgence of the personhood movement and what it means for the future of abortion rights. Upcoming posts will examine the history of the split in the anti-choice movement and its debates over legal strategy, and the organizations that are currently leading the movement.

Todd Starnes Lies Again About Obama's Work To Free Imprisoned Pastor

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes was riled up during President Obama’s State of the Union, taking to Twitter to call the address “verbal water boarding” and joke that Obama will probably offer “free marijuana” to college students.

Starnes was also very displeased that Obama didn’t mention an Iranian-American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who is in Iranian jail, which Starnes wrote was evidence that Iran’s leaders are Obama’s “Muslim BFFs”:

Starnes may have missed his own network’s reporting that Obama will be meeting today with Abedini’s wife and children in Boise, Idaho, to discuss the pastor’s imprisonment.

This isn’t the first time Starnes has used the Abedini case to claim that Obama doesn’t care about imprisoned Christians.

The Fox News commentator falsely claimed during a 2013 Values Voter Summit speech that the president had refused to make a phone call to Iran’s president to urge the pastor’s release. “He cannot utter the words ‘Saeed Abedini’ from his lips,” he said of the president.

Just days beforehand, however, Fox News reported that Obama had in fact addressed the jailing of Abedini and other U.S. citizens in the country in a rare phone call with the Iranian president.

Secretary of State John Kerry has also repeatedly demanded that Iran free Abedini.

UPDATE: It seems Starnes has caught up on the news.

 

 

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