Echoing a statement he made two years ago, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote in his daily email to his group’s members yesterday that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the supposed persecution of Christians in the U.S. military are draining “morality” from the armed forces and leading to an epidemic of sexual assaults and suicide,.
Perkins also blasted Defense Secretary Ash Carter for a plan to ease some recruitment standards for service members, including accepting people with minor criminal records such as drug offenses for some positions. “In the U.S. military, it might soon be criminals in -- Christians out!” he warns.
Reports have shown that the military is facing difficulties in finding recruits due to a number of factors, including a stronger economy, high obesity rates and college dropout rates. But Perkins suggests that the military would solve its recruiting woes if it simply ended progress toward LGBT rights and brought back “morality.”
“Our troops are tired of fighting two wars: America's and the culture's,” he writes.
Perkins has previously blamed military sexual assaults on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and warned that it would damage recruiting efforts to the extent that proponents of the repeal would have the “blood of young Marines on their hands.”
In the U.S. military, it might soon be criminals in -- Christians out! That's the Pentagon's solution to the latest recruitment woes, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Faced with low enlistments, the military is desperately looking for ways to attract new service members to replenish its ranks. With morale at a record low and the crackdown on values at an all-time high, recruiters have an even more challenging job these days.
Desperate for new sign-ups, Carter and others are advocating looser standards, including allowing some with minor criminal records to enlist. Blaming the numbers on the "competitive job market," Carter said the military is going to "have to work harder to compete." But the issue isn't so much a competitive job market as it is an unfriendly military. With the wars winding down, it should be even easier to meet those enlistment targets. Instead, the Pentagon is lowering the standards to meet their quotas, which will only accelerate the downward spiral of the military.
While the Left will throw a fit, the reality is no one should be surprised. In fact, FRC's General Boykin and other military experts warned this would be the result of the Obama administration's social experimentation with the military. In the wake of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the same doors that opened for homosexuals seemed to shut in Christians' faces, as the President's hostility toward men and women of faith seeped into every aspect of military life. In more evidence that the President's policies have fundamentally transformed America,chaplains have been ousted,Bibles expelled, crosses torn down, and rainbow flags hoisted in their place.
In the absence of morality, sexual assaults have skyrocketed, suicides are through the roof, and religious liberty has vanished. Our troops are tired of fighting two wars: America's and the culture's. Congress needs to get to the bottom of these problems and fast. It's time to undo the damage done by almost seven years of social engineering on our country's finest -- or face the national security consequences.
In an interview yesterday, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver said that a potential fix to Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law ensuring that it would not effectively legalize discrimination would be “devastating,” comparing such a move to negotiating with terrorists.
“There is nothing to clarify and there is nothing to fix,” Staver told Jim Schneider on VCY America’s “Crosstalk.”
“This is what the homosexual lobby wants to do: they want to intimidate [Indiana Gov. Mike Pence] so much, they want to try to embarrass him into doing something that is absolutely foolish, that will promote their agenda,” Staver added.
“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game. It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist. You’re not going to placate them by trying to come back and pass a clarification to a law that doesn’t need any clarification at all.”
Staver told host Jim Schneider that gay rights advocates are promoting “anti-Christian hatred,” warning that the gay rights movement has “given a tolerance message, and what is behind that is, frankly, demonic. It wants to literally overpower, it has no interest in protecting religious freedom, it wants to crush it.”
“This is the wakeup call for the church,” he said.
Staver said that conservative Christians in America are in the same place as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor in Germany who died as a result of his opposition to Nazi rule.
The gay rights movement, Staver said, is all about “absolute intolerant bigotry, hatred towards Christians and people of faith,” and even the “criminalization of Christianity.”
“They want to literally crush religion, the free exercise of religion, and freedom,” Staver said. “That’s what this agenda is about. So I say stand your ground. This is a Bonhoeffer moment and Gov. Mike Pence better not back up on this issue.”
Conservative columnist John Zmirak, who serves as senior editor of televangelist James Robison’s new outlet The Stream, writes today that “the hate that has been spewed at the state of Indiana in the past week” will lead to bloodshed and violence akin to the genocidal campaigns targeting Tutsis in Rwanda and Armenians in Turkey.
He writes that gay marriage supporters are bent on vilifying all Christians to the point that society turns against them, which will “tear up the civil peace in this country, forcing millions of Americans to choose between church and state.”
“If Indiana caves and guts its religious freedom law — as Gov. Mike Pence has already promised — it will prove an equal triumph for those who are so enraged at Christian teaching that they are willing to persecute Christians,” Zmirak writes. “Should we engage in large-scale, non-violent civil disobedience, as black Americans once did in the face of Jim Crow laws? We have the numbers to bring this country to a sudden screeching halt, if we can stand up to the media’s blows and spitting.”
Sample the hate that has been spewed at the state of Indiana in the past week, and faithful Christians in recent years, by gay activists and their allies. We are “bigots,” “Neanderthals” and “haters,” whose views must be ritually rejected by anyone hoping to keep a job in today’s America — even in a Catholic high school. Where will this end? Is there a logical stopping point for this aggression, where Christians are left in peace?
History teaches that mass vilification rarely stops short of spilling blood. The French Jacobins who spent the 1780s slandering the clergy in pornographic pamphlets went on in the 1790s to slaughter Christians by the hundreds of thousands. The Turks paved the way for killing a million Armenian Christians with a wave of propaganda. The Bolsheviks followed their “anti-God” crusade of the 1920s with starvation camps and firing squads. The Communist governments of Eastern Europe obeyed the same script, as scholar Anne Applebaum documents in her sobering study The Iron Curtain. The Hutu government of Rwanda prepared for its assault on the once-powerful Tutsis by incessantly describing them as “cockroaches” on radio broadcasts, which triggered a genocide.
If the media, the law and our elite institutions succeed in lumping Christian sexual morals in with white racism, how long will it be before believing Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox (and many religious minorities) find themselves labelled as members of “extremist sects,” no more to be trusted with the care of their own children than the Branch Davidians were?
It’s stunning how quickly the demands of gay activists went from libertarian (“Don’t arrest us for sodomy”) to totalitarian (“Take part in our weddings or we’ll destroy your livelihoods.”)
If Indiana caves and guts its religious freedom law — as Gov. Mike Pence has already promised — it will prove an equal triumph for those who are so enraged at Christian teaching that they are willing to persecute Christians.
If these zealots succeed, they will tear up the civil peace in this country, forcing millions of Americans to choose between church and state. If laws or government policies beggar Christian businesses, close Christian colleges and schools and force faithful Christians into third-class citizenship — making us virtual dhimmis, like the Christian Copts in Egypt — what should we do? What should be our response now that we know what they want to do, and are overplaying their hand, but before they complete their coup d’etat?
Should we engage in large-scale, non-violent civil disobedience, as black Americans once did in the face of Jim Crow laws? We have the numbers to bring this country to a sudden screeching halt, if we can stand up to the media’s blows and spitting. Those who resist these unjust laws will be treated with all the violence and contempt that was poured out on the pro-life Operation Rescue in the 1980s and ’90s. Local cops from West Hartford, Connecticut, to Los Angeles, California, brutalized teenagers, old women, even nuns and pregnant mothers.
Warning that the legalization of same-sex marriage will somehow jeopardize the survival of humankind, Alan Keyes writes today that states like Indiana are right to pass laws which could discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
Keyes writes in a column at BarbWire that the purpose of marriage is “to perpetuate the human species” since it is “sourced in the authority of the Creator, and therefore antecedent to any and all humanly constructed rights.”
“Given that same sex couplings are, as such, barren,” he adds, they therefore do not have the right to marry: “For if made into a law for all, over time the concrete material manifestation of humanity would cease to exist.”
“This large-scale extinction of humanity now seems to be an acceptable goal for some elements of what I call the elitist faction,” Keyes said. “For the sake of the earth, of ecology, of environmental balance and purity, they seem to have conceived a righteous hatred against the existence of the human species, and therefore against its procreation.”
In recent years, some judges and justices in the U.S. judicial branch have construed the Constitution so as to fabricate so-called “homosexual marriage rights”. In doing so they have supported the demand that same sex couplings and those of people of different sexes be held in the same regard under the law, and be treated the same when it comes to the legal institution of marriage. When regarded strictly in term of the activities of individuals, this may appear plausible to some people. But as an artifact of just sovereign power, the law cannot be exclusively concerned with individuals when it deals with matters that affect the very nature of humanity itself. In that respect, is there a more obviously natural common good than the perpetuation of humanity as such?
There can be no dispute about the fact that, before some judges and justices in the U.S. judiciary launched their insurrection against their will, the people of the United States defined marriage in terms of the natural common good. They respected, in principle, that institution’s special (i.e., of or related to the species) purpose in relation to the survival of the human race. In this respect, marriage exactly corresponds to an activity that is existentially inseparable from the very nature of humanity, in the most common and concrete sense of the term. Thus understood, marriage is self-evidently an unalienable right, sourced in the authority of the Creator, and therefore antecedent to any and all humanly constructed rights, whatever they may be.
The organic law of the United States acknowledges the authority of the Creator as the primordial and highest authority for the exercise of rights, which is to say, for the lawful permission to do what it is right to do. Right is not sourced in human will, but in the will of the Creator. It is, as President Lincoln put it, “right, as God gives us to see the right.” Unless we mean to deny that it is right, in principle, to perpetuate the human species the right of marriage, defined in terms of that purpose, cannot be denied or disparaged by merely human laws and judgments, including the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution’s Ninth Amendment simply acknowledges, in a general way, what the unalienable right of marriage makes manifest in a concrete and specific way. The judges and justices who assert and demand enforcement of “marriage equality” for same sex couplings therefore face the burden of proving that, like the marriage couplings of men with women, same sex couplings are essential to the concrete perpetuation of the species as a whole. Given that same sex couplings are, as such, barren, this burden appears, on the face of it, impossible to sustain; and of course the U.S. courts have not done so.
No amount of reasoning as to the subjective gratification individuals derive from the spiritual, emotional or physical aspect of same sex couplings is relevant to this burden of proof. It has to do with humanity as a concrete fact, not as a subjective abstraction. This explains the general prejudice of mankind against the institutionalization of such couplings. For if made into a law for all, over time the concrete material manifestation of humanity would cease to exist.
This large-scale extinction of humanity now seems to be an acceptable goal for some elements of what I call the elitist faction. For the sake of the earth, of ecology, of environmental balance and purity, they seem to have conceived a righteous hatred against the existence of the human species, and therefore against its procreation. This may seem right according to their will. But the standard of right on which lawfulness depends, according to the declaration and ordinance by which the people of the United States constitute a nation, is God’s will, not theirs.
Televangelist Pat Robertson scolded President Obama today for his new plan to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in order to fight climate change, telling viewers of “The 700 Club” that Obama is a “rogue president” who is subverting the Constitution.
“He says, ‘I am a Messiah, I am a leader, I am anointed, I’m gifted and I’m going to make my way on climate change, I’m going to make my way on immigration, I’m going to make my way on nuclear negotiations, I’m going to make my way on all of the other things that the Republicans and the majority of the people don’t want because I am gifted, I am the Messiah,’” Robertson said. “We should haven’t a leader like that.”
Robertson lamented that Obama is dividing the country and “ripping the framework of America” apart in front of “the eyes of everybody.”
Writing today in WorldNetDaily, Liberty Counsel communications director Charla Bansley proposed that pastors and “those victimized by religious intolerance” from all around the country hold a massive rally in Indianapolis to defend Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law.
“Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015,” the Religious Right activist wrote.
Can conservatives responding to the recent controversy in Indiana over religious freedom learn anything from liberals about messaging? After the Michael Brown shooting, liberal leaders from the left, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and secular progressive communities from across America seized the opportunity and flocked to Ferguson, Missouri, to take over the narrative, blaming Brown’s death on “institutional racism.” Universities as far away as George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, held diversity discussions. College students from all over the country joined the crowds walking the streets chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Today, the church must contend for the faith and the faithful in like manner. What churches and religious universities will take a page out of the liberal playbook to rally, to march, to hold candle vigils and to speak out? What pastors will go to Indianapolis to stand by Gov. Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Which organizations will help pay the way for those victimized by religious intolerance – bakers, photographers, venue owners – to make their way to Indianapolis? When will we as a church begin matching our words with action? If not now, then when?
Pence said Sunday that the new state law “is not about discrimination. This is about empowering people to confront government overreach.” Unfortunately, those words went over the heads of most people watching the interview. Homosexual activists went to the streets claiming the law would legalize discrimination, and Americans believed the false narrative. The truth is a federal RFRA was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and 19 other states have passed similar laws, but not one case of discrimination exists. The real cases of discrimination are the religious businesses who have been sued for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding: the Catholic B&B owners who didn’t want to host a same-sex wedding in Vermont, the baker in Oregon, the photographer in New Mexico, the florist in Washington and a host of others.
Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015, courageously defending the bakers, photographers, florists, ministers, county clerks, and owners of wedding venues who, after a lifetime of acquiring skills and building businesses, have seen their livelihoods destroyed, forced to pay exorbitant fines and even threatened with jail.
On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson denounced elected officials and business leaders for “caving” to the “gay lobby” in criticizing a new “religious liberty” law in Indiana.
“They’re not liberal, they’re totalitarian dictators,” Robertson said of the law’s critics. “They’re going to force you into their mold, they’re going to make you conform to political correctness, they’re going to make you do what the Left thinks is right, they’re going to make you acknowledge homosexual marriage, they’re going to make you embrace lifestyles that you think are anti-biblical despite your religious belief.”
Robertson continued: “The fact that these gays are making such a fuss of it and businesses are caving, businesses all over the country are caving, they are terrified of the gay lobby, terrified of the gay lobby. Don’t we have any backbone left in this country?”
This op-ed was originally published at The Huffington Post.
Over the last twenty years, 19 states have passed laws modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was enacted in 1993 with broad bipartisan support. But just this year, almost the same number, 15, have seen such bills introduced, generating enormous controversy across the country, particularly in Indiana where Gov. Mike Pence signed the new state RFRA into law.
Why the huge uptick now? As one of those involved in the original drafting and passage of RFRA in 1993, I think it's a combination of the perceived dangers to the far right from the move towards LGBT marriage equality and the perceived opportunity created just last year by the 5-4 Supreme Court's rewriting of RFRA in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
Even before the Supreme Court agreed to decide the marriage equality issue, the far right has highlighted the supposed dangers to small businesses like bakers and florists who do not want to serve LGBT couples because of religious objections. Under RFRA as passed in 1993, and under the protection from the First Amendment's Free Exercise doctrine that it was meant to restore, RFRA wouldn't have offered much help. First, neither had been applied to non-religious corporations, which had never been thought to have religious freedom rights. Second, it would have been very hard to argue that a neutral law banning discrimination against LGBT people would have created a "substantial burden" on actual religious exercise, which is required to qualify for a RFRA-type exemption. For example, in one case the Supreme Court rejected the claim that requiring federal welfare recipients to submit social security numbers was such a burden even when it conflicted with an applicant's religious beliefs. And even if such a burden were created by obeying an anti-discrimination or other general law, pre-Hobby Lobby law would not have helped a religious claimant: as the Court ruled in rejecting a religious exemption to a requirement that a religious farmer withhold social security taxes, such an exemption would improperly "operate to impose the employer's religious faith on the employees" and others.
But then came Hobby Lobby.
In that case, writing for a bare majority of the Court, Justice Alito ruled that religious objections by a corporation's owners exempted them under RFRA from providing contraceptive coverage through insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act. As Justice Ginsburg explained in dissent, rather than interpreting RFRA to restore prior case law, the majority interpreted it as going beyond prior Court decisions to maximize benefits to religious claimants. In particular, she explained, the Court effectively re-wrote RFRA so that it could be invoked by for-profit corporations, and so that the original law protecting individuals against a "substantial burden" on the exercise of religion was transformed to allow claims by a business owner that complying with a neutral law offended their religious beliefs in some way. Under the majority's view, Justice Ginsburg suggested, RFRA could be interpreted to "require exemptions" in cases where religious beliefs were used to justify actions that discriminated on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Pointedly, Justice Alito responded only that "prohibitions on racial discrimination" would be safe from a RFRA exemption claim, but said nothing about gender or LGBT status.
So for far-right activists and legislators concerned about LGBT marriage equality and other rights, Hobby Lobby provided the perfect opportunity: pass state RFRA laws and effectively grant a religious exemption claim from LGBT anti-discrimination laws and local ordinances, based on the Court's re-writing of RFRA's language. Indeed, in communicating with supporters about the Indiana RFRA law, the far-right Family Research Council specifically called it the "Hobby Lobby bill."
Even better, rhetoric directed at outsiders could be cloaked in general language about protecting religious freedom, not attacking LGBT rights. Supporters could even invoke Democratic supporters of RFRA like President Clinton and claim that neither RFRA nor its state counterparts had been interpreted to allow discrimination, as Indiana Gov. Pence has tried to do. These claims ignore the fact that it wasn't until last year that the Supreme Court effectively rewrote the language in RFRA so that it was transformed from a shield for religious liberty into a sword against anti-discrimination protections. And previous supporters like President Clinton have made clear their opposition to this year's state RFRA proposals.
Under pressure, the neutral façade of recent state RFRA proposals has crumbled. When pushed to amend a state RFRA proposal in Georgia to make clear that it could not be used against anti-discrimination ordinances, a Georgia legislator admitted that one of the reasons for the bill was to allow it to be invoked by the small business owner who had religious objections to providing services to an LGBT couple. And when an amendment was added in the Georgia House Judiciary Committee to state that the RFRA bill was not to be used against discrimination laws, the bill was promptly tabled on March 26, with a supporter stating that the amendment would "gut" the bill.
As of now, the fate of RFRA bills in Georgia and elsewhere is uncertain and Gov. Pence has asked the legislature for an amendment to "clarify" that Indiana's RFRA law cannot be used to deny services to anyone. That would be a welcome step - one that flies in the face of the clear intent of some of the bill's backers, which was clearly to enshrine such a "right" for Indiana businesses. Language has been adopted elsewhere to make clear that state RFRAs cannot be used against anti-discrimination bills; such a provision is currently in Texas' RFRA, although there is a proposal to remove it. Before Hobby Lobby, such language might not have been necessary. After Hobby Lobby, it is crucial.
Yesterday, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, who helped craft Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and even stood right behind Gov. Mike Pence during the signing ceremony, said that any effort to clarify that the act will not sanction discrimination would “totally destroy” the law.
Clark repeated that message today on “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” where he told guest host Fred Jackson that his state is right now bogged down in “spiritual warfare” over the fate of the law, which Clark falsely claimed was the exact same law as RFRA statutes enacted on the federal level and in other states.
While he helped pass the broad, controversial law that effectively allows businesses to discriminate against certain customers, such as gays and lesbians, Clark said that Religious Right activists like hisemlf are the real victims in the fight.
“The first thing you have to do is pray, because this is a spiritual war,” Clark told listeners. “There is no doubt about that, by the Twitter comments I get, by the email comments and threats from the opposition, some pornographic things that are out there and obscene things being said. This is a campaign of fear and lies and so this is a spiritual war that people must pray about.”
“I said a few years ago, ‘if we won’t stand for marriage, what will we stand for,’ but if we won’t stand for our own religious freedom, what will we stand for as a church?” he added.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is joining his network colleagues in linking President Obama to a tourist who took a selfie at the site of an explosion in the East Village.
Because one of the women who took a selfie in the East Village worked as a field organizer for Obama’s 2008 campaign for four months, Starnes wondered during his radio bulletin today if she was simply taking a cue from the president.
“The self-absorbed generation, ladies and gentlemen,” Starnes said. “Maybe she was just emulating the man she helped get elected to the White House. I mean, how can we forget President Obama taking selfies during Nelson Mandela’s funeral — a funeral!”
Of course, the supposedly scandalous Obama selfies occurred at a celebratory memorial service, not during Mandela’s funeral.
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles is embracing radical conspiracy theories about the Army’s upcoming Jade Helm 15 training exercise, telling listeners of Friday’s edition of “Trunews” that the drill is “the preparation for or the actual implementation of a round-up of patriotic men who have the capacity to influence and inspire the citizenry to resist a coup against the Republic.”
He added that the training could be a “two-month-long Night of the Long Knives.” (Wiles similarly warned last year that the government will unleash the Ebola virus on America “as the cover to round up patriots who resist the takedown of the Republic.”)
“Several years ago, Satan launched his D-Day invasion and the church at large has no idea of the scope and depth of the Satanic, military operation against it, and make no mistake, this is a Satanic military operation against the body of Christ,” Wiles said.
This demonic attack apparently includes Right Wing Watch: “Satan’s people are intimidating Christians, telling us to shut up; well, the Holy Spirt is telling us, ‘speak-up.’ This radio program is monitored daily by the extreme left, the enemies of the Cross, many of you may be indifferent about whether we continue or not but I assure you, the far-left is not indifferent about the future viability of ‘Trunews.’ They want to bring us down. How many other radio programs are they monitoring like they monitor ‘Trunews’? What does that tell you? They consider ‘Trunews’ to be a serious threat.”
Last week, conservative talk show host Michael Savage spoke to Walid Shoebat – who claims amid much skepticism to be a former terrorist – to discuss “Obama's love affair with Islam.” While Shoebat has previously claimed that President Obama’s family is of the radical Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, he now apparently believes that Obama is a Shiite Muslim, explaining to Savage that Obama is advancing Shiite Islam.
But Savage was on to a bigger story: how the Obama campaign logo was an Islamic subliminal message.
“What is the symbol or campaign logo of the Obama administration?” Savage asked. “What are these Obama bumper stickers? Let’s see, a blue crescent over fallen red and white stripes. What is the crescent? Is that not the symbol of Islam? And the blue stripe over the red stripe represents the states that vote Democratic red over the states that vote Republican blue, and so he now unites them under the banner of Islam.”
Savage may need to take a second look at the logo, but he continued to explain that “Obama wants to promote Shia Islam and see a new Persia arise,” and has a plan to “subordinate the West for the spread of Islam.”
The two went on to claim that Obama’s alleged support for socialism and immigration also comes from Islam. Shoebat alleged that Obama’s socialism “comes right from the heart of Islam itself” and seeks to use immigration to “flood this country and change its demography completely.”
Later in the program, Shoebat said Obama will unite the Islamic world to invade Israel, which will result in “Israel unleashing its hydrogen bombs” on its opponents. Israel, he continued, “will unleash hell on the Islamic powers and the world will see the true power of Israel, and then the whole world will realize that God is in control.”
Long before winning a seat in the Colorado State House, Gordon Klingenschmitt became a right-wing martyr over his claim that he lost his position as a Navy chaplain for saying “Jesus” in his prayers. Klingenschmitt sued, launching the “Save Chaps” and “Pray In Jesus Name” campaigns, and he held up his purported firing as an example of anti-religious, anti-Christian hostility in government.
Klingenschmitt, however, lost his lawsuit, as a judge found that there was never an effort to “limit Dr. Klingenschmitt’s right to engage in any religious practices (including presenting an opening prayer at the event or invoking the name of Jesus in his prayer),” noting that he was appropriately disciplined for breaking well-established military rules which prohibit people from appearing at political events in full military garb.
But like other right-wing activists, Klingenschmitt never let this key detail get in the way of his narrative that he and other conservatives Christians in America are the victims of persecution.
So it is comes as no surprise that Klingesnchmitt is now creating yet another narrative about religious persecution in wake of recent comments he made about the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman. Klingenschmitt said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” televangelist program that the attack was the “curse of God upon America” for legalizing abortion: “part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
His remarks quickly incited an uproar, which Klingenschmitt hoped would die down after he made a donation to the woman’s recovery fund, regularly boasting about his contribution in media interviews. However, the woman’s family rejected his donation, and Democrats and Republicans alike condemned Klingenschmitt’s statements. He refused to apologize, insisting that he was only being criticized for “quoting the Bible in church” and standing up “against evil.”
He eventually offered an apology, but only after insisting that he was the victim of a media campaign to distort his remarks: “Klingenschmitt's apology in Monday's video comes after 23 minutes of recapping the tragedy and criticizing media reports about him. He accuses reporters of misquoting him and lying, and says the Gazette retracted its story, which is not true.”
Colorado House Republican Leader Brian DelGrosso yesterday decided to remove Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, although he will remain on another committee dealing with local government as a “kind of disciplinary action.”
The move inspired Klingenschmitt to fall back on his earlier claim that he is facing persecution for just quoting the Bible: “I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?”
House Republican leaders weren’t the only ones to incite the wrath of Klingenschmitt, as he also accused Right Wing Watch of persecuting him by quoting excerpts from his television program verbatim, as part of his long career of portraying himself as a perpetual victim of discriminatory practices that only exist in his own mind.
Drawing on the right-wing conspiracy theory that Democrats encourage non-citizens to illegally cast ballots in U.S. elections, Phyllis Schlalfy told American Family Radio today that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration are part of a larger plot to rig the vote.
The Eagle Forum founder told host Fred Jackson that the “purpose” of “Obama’s amnesty” is to help undocumented immigrants unlawfully vote: “They want to jimmy the next election by making these illegals grateful to the Democrats and able to vote, and that’s just really a change in our system that we don’t approve of. It isn’t fair, it isn’t honest, but once they have a driver’s license and a Social Security number, you can’t stop them from registering to vote.”
While likely presidential candidates chase billionaires they hope will bankroll their campaigns, activists in states across the country are ramping up a very different kind of campaign: grassroots organizing to restore some common sense to the rules governing money in elections. In March alone, we’ve seen significant victories in the movement to get big money out of politics.
Last week, following sustained advocacy by PFAW activists and allies, the New Hampshire Senate unanimously passed a bill in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn cases like Citizens United v. FEC. If it passes in the House, New Hampshire will become the 17th state calling for an amendment. PFAW’s New Hampshire Campaign Coordinator Lindsay Jakows, who has been leading our on-the-ground effort in the state, said the vote shows that “our state senators are listening to, and responding to, the voices of their constituents.” And after passing 67 town resolutions in support of an amendment – including 11 just this month – the voices of New Hampshire constituents on this issue are crystal clear.
On the other side of the country, local leaders in Washington and Montana are also making important strides. Earlier this month, Washington’s state Senate unanimously passed a disclosure bill that would expose the spending of some of the largest political donors. PFAW activists in the state made calls to their senators, urging them to vote for the bill to strengthen transparency in Washington’s politics. And in Montana a disclosure bill that would help shine a light on “dark money” in state elections passed in the state House this weekend following calls from PFAW activists.
All of these victories share the same core ingredient: people power.
The sustained drumbeat of calls and emails from local advocates, which led to important wins in three states just this month, show what’s possible when grassroots leaders organize to take their democracy back from corporations and billionaires.