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RNC: Two Darlings of the Religious Right Take the Stage Tonight

Along with the parade of Republican officials and Tea Party favorites like Gov. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, two darlings of the Religious Right will be speaking tonight during the Republican National Convention:

Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia chaired the 2012 RNC platform committee, which a committee member described as “the most conservative platform in modern history.” McDonnell, known to many as Governor Ultrasound for his support of the “vaginal probe” law, is the most prominent graduate of Pat Robertson’s foray into higher education – Christian Broadcasting Network University, now called Regent.

As a student there, McDonnell authored a 93-page thesis – “The Republican Party's Vision for the Family” – which served as a blueprint for a Religious Right version of America. In it, he characterized “working women and feminists as 'detrimental' to the family” and argued that the government “should favor married couples over 'cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” McDonnell disavowed his thesis when he ran for governor, but the Washington Post noted that as a legislator he “pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out” in his thesis. Not surprisingly, Pat Robertson donated to McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign and hosted him on the 700 Club, referring to him as his “dear friend.” 

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, ran away with the hearts of Religious Right leaders during the GOP presidential primary. They rallied together to propel his campaign and then keep it afloat, and when he finally dropped out, they had one consistent piece of advice for Romney – be more like Santorum. Santorum, although Catholic, resonated with right-wing evangelicals like no other candidate. He spoke consistently and candidly about his faith and his extreme views on social issues, particularly his fervent opposition to reproductive rights and equality for gays and lesbians. However, the comments that won him favor among Religious Right audiences often got him in hot water with the broader electorate.
 
Santorum spoke to the Religious Right’s view that America, and its culture and people, are going down the tubes. He warned of “dire consequences” if the country strays from God’s “principles” and vowed to prosecute obscenity while decrying the Obama administration, which he said favors “pornographers over children and families.” He promised that he would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forcing gays and lesbians in the military back into the shadows, and urged public schools to challenge the theory of evolution. He argued that Americans should not “defy nature” by allowing gays and lesbians to marry and accused Planned Parenthood of targeting African-Americans for abortions as part of a racist, eugenic plot. Instead of Planned Parenthood, he expressed nostalgia for the days of illegal, back alley abortions.
 
The remark that summed up Santorum’s outlook was recorded in 2008 but only surfaced during the primary. Speaking at Ave Maria University in Florida, Santorum said that Satan was systematically destroying the country. He also managed to start an international row during the primary with his claim that 10% of deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia (which, he argued, is what Obamacare would lead us to).

 

Religious Right Groups Launch the 'Life and Marriage Coalition'

A number of Religious Right organizations are coming together for an election season coalition to attack President Obama in swing states. The Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, The Family Leader, Concerned Women for America, American Principles Project, the Susan B. Anthony List and Common Sense Issues have joined the “Life and Marriage Coalition,” which FRC head Tony Perkins said is needed to defeat Obama’s “anti-marriage and anti-life policies.”

A coalition of the nation’s most prominent conservative social issue groups (www.lifeandmarriagecoalition.com) today announced that they are coordinating efforts in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina to talk about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and supporting the sanctity of human life. The groups hope to influence voters in key swing states that Barack Obama carried in 2008.

“This is a historic coming together of premiere social conservative groups to coordinate efforts in three swing states most likely to determine the outcome of this fall’s presidential election,” said Tony Perkins, president of FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council. “Many supporters of life and marriage do not realize that their votes could determine the outcome of the election, which in turn could determine the future of marriage and life in this country. We’re working together to ensure they understand that President Obama is anti-marriage and anti-life.”

The Life and Marriage Coalition includes FRC Action, Susan B. Anthony List, National Organization for Marriage, American Principles in Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Common Sense Issues. Combined efforts will include independent expenditures for radio advertisements, billboards, phone and bus tour events designed to educate and mobilize socially conservative voters in the three targeted states.

“For millions of Americans, this election is about more than the economy, it’s about the direction our nation takes on foundational principles, like what constitutes marriage, and whether unborn children have a right to life,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List added, “We will work together as national groups and partner with local pro-family organizations to make sure that voters know that if we value marriage and want to stop government funding of abortion groups, we must defeat Barack Obama.”

State groups that are part of the effort are the North Carolina Values Coalition, and The Family Leader in Iowa.

“Fiscal and social issues are not separate issues and it is our goal to educate voters of this indisputable truth,” said Patrick Davis of Common Sense Issues. “In fact and in practice they are inseparable principles fortifying and empowering each other much like the fiscal, spiritual and emotional union of a man and woman in marriage or the life-long relationship between a mother and father and their child. All fiscal issues have a social element to them.”

The coalition also said its efforts this year are just the beginning. “Our coalition members are determined to defend American values on marriage and life for the long haul, said Davis. “The 2012 election is critical, but it is also important to lengthen the horizon to make sure that we have marriage and life champions running in critical races over the next several election cycles. We’re beginning to talk to prospective candidates now.”

Tony Perkins Takes a Victory Lap over Republican Party Platform Changes

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins continued to brag about his role in shaping the Republican Party platform, as he along with Religious Right activists like David Barton and James Bopp heavily influenced the document dubbed the “most conservative platform in modern history.” While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday, Perkins said he “inserted the language as it pertains to marriage and some other key issues” and was happy to report that “we have one of the most conservative platforms that the Republican Party’s ever had.” Perkins also noted that Mitt Romney’s representatives worked closely with him on drafting the platform’s new language.

I was very concerned with the distancing from the moral and the social issues, that the platform might take or veer or careen to the left and so I ran as a delegate from my home state of Louisiana and I ended up being selected as a delegate and selected for the platform committee. I worked on the platform last week in fact inserted the language as it pertains to marriage and some other key issues and we have one of the most conservative platforms that the Republican Party’s ever had so I’m very encouraged by that. I worked closely with the Romney folks that were representing his campaign, were pleasant to work with, there was not a lot of arm-twisting that went on, so from that standpoint I’m encouraged.

Perkins also talked to Mefferd about the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group which along with President Obama he has implicated in the recent shooting at his group’s headquarters. According to Perkins, SPLC is now all about “making money” through “shady activities.” He denounced the SPLC for its anti-bullying program called “Teaching Tolerance,” which he maintained is “pushing a very left-leaning agenda, including the homosexual agenda.”

They’re not concerned about poverty; they’re concerned about making money. There’s a lot of shady activities surrounding the Southern Poverty Law Center but what’s given them leverage, especially in the last three and a half years, has been their connection to the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and Department of Education. They have a program called ‘Teaching Tolerance’ that they do in elementary schools and middle schools across the country and it’s really nothing more than a venue for their left-wing propaganda. So I encourage parents to begin looking at what their children are bringing home because it may actually look on the surface as if it’s you know harmless stuff but when you begin to dig into it you see them pushing a very left-leaning agenda, including the homosexual agenda, it’s prominent in all of their material and parents need to be made aware of that.

Pat Robertson: 'Out of Your Mind' to Support Same-Sex Marriage

The 700 Club today highlighted the anti-gay views of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) and its founder William Owens, who praised the Republican Party for opposing gay rights in its platform and “ensuring that at least one party is willing to stand up for the common sense, biblical understand of marriage.” Owens’s son, William Owens Jr., told CBN that same-sex marriage will “hurt the heart of God.” While CBN’s Lee Webb described CAAP as a “major coalition,” the group receives all of its funding from allied conservative organizations like the American Principles Project and the Family Research Council, and CAAP’s long record of anti-Obama activism hasn’t paid dividends as President Obama currently leads Mitt Romney among black voters 94-0.

Host Pat Robertson, who in July called the Democratic Party’s likely endorsement of same-sex marriage a “death wish,” said that Obama risked alienating voters over the issue, “to think that the Democratic Party would put in their platform support of gay marriage you just say: what are they thinking about, what are they thinking about?” “Now you see this in the platform and you think: are you out of your mind?” Robertson asked, “Well maybe not, we’ll see.”

Watch:

Gingrich Demands Conservatives 'Raise a Whole Range of Questions about Barack Obama,' Such as his College Application

While talking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network at the Republican National Convention, Newt Gingrich demanded that President Obama release his college application, senior paper, and other records. “What I said to the conservative movement is we know so little about this President that it’s perfectly reasonable for conservative activists to ask lots of questions: where’s his senior paper at Columbia? Where’s his application to go to Columbia? All sorts of stuff that we don’t know.” Gingrich claimed, “In some ways we know less about this president than almost any president in modern times.” While Gingrich said Mitt Romney “should get involved in that kind of stuff, it’s perfectly legitimate for conservatives as citizens to raise a whole range of questions about Barack Obama.”

Gingrich’s statements appear to leave the door open for questions about the validity of his birth certificate, which Romney doesn’t seem to have a problem doing, along with conspiracies that Obama received poor grades and was a foreign student.

As FactCheck.org notes, “It would be illegal under federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard Law School to give any former student’s records to reporters or members of the public without that person’s specific, written permission. Obama hasn’t released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records.” Furthermore, his former professor likely lost the only copy of his senior paper, which was about negotiations over nuclear disarmament.

Romney Surrogate Briefly a No-Show at Tea Party Rally in Tampa, Awkwardness Ensues

Mitt Romney’s relationship with the Tea Party, despite his embrace of their positions on a range of issues, is famously awkward. Yesterday’s Unity Rally 2012 was no exception.

Following a rousing speech by Niger Innis, the emcee gave an uncharacteristically restrained introduction of Rep. Jason Chaffetz to speak on behalf of Romney:
Our next speaker is here on behalf of a guy you may have heard of. His name is Mitt Romney. He’s here to ask for your vote for this particular man for, uh, I believe it’s president of the United States. 
Chaffetz, however, was nowhere to be seen. After walking around on the stage and pretending to hand over the mic, the emcee said, “I hope Governor Romney shows up better in the polls than this guy does here. No offense.”
 
Here are the two most awkward minutes of the evening, which just might be a metaphor for Romney's awkward courtship of the Tea Party:
 

 

Focus on the Family Kicks off the RNC with 'Prayer Rally for America's Future'

After successfully crafting the Republican Party’s platform to be the “most conservative platform in modern history,” Religious Right activists were out in full force at Focus on the Family’s and the Florida Family Policy Council’s “Prayer Rally for America’s Future” in Tampa’s River Church, led by faith healer Rodney Howard Browne. Along with disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton, who argued that abortion is banned under the constitutional amendment guaranteeing jury trials, and the FFPC’s John Stemberger, who concluded the rally by attacking minority faiths, conservative leaders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and pastors Jim Garlow, Pam Olsen and Harry Jackson spoke at the prayer rally.

Watch highlights here:

Bachmann told participants that “at this moment in our End Time we are quite literally looking at a hurricane here at Florida, we are looking at political hurricane in our own country, we are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land,” telling them to “show up and suit up and stand up” and “pour it out for Him.” Scarborough mourned the prominence of Lady Gaga, “the Big Bang Theory,” Jerry Seinfeld, and “Brokeback Mountain,” while Jim Garlow warned that Satan is pushing gay rights in order to “destroy the image of God” and curtail freedom.

Staver said that courts have begun to “deconstruct the foundation of law,” leading to tyranny, legal abortion and same-sex marriage, and Olsen prayed for the Supreme Court to repent: “Lord we cry out for the US Supreme Court, God that these justices will realize that there is a judge higher than they are and God that they will bow before You. We a crying out for a president that will appoint pro-life justices that will stand for truth and this nation will turn back to You, touch the Supreme Court now.” Towards the end of the rally, Jackson asked for participants to pray that Maryland will overturn the new marriage equality law and to “let the fire of Your Holy Spirit to fall upon Mitt Romney.”

Public Schools Denounced at Tea Party Rally in Tampa, Blamed for Election of Barack Obama

Conservative talk show host Neal Boortz, speaking at yesterday’s Unity Rally 2012 in Tampa ahead of the Republican National Convention, denounced public schools as “government schools” that are “forced upon us.” Boortz blamed “100 years of government education” for bringing America “to the point that a man like Barack Obama could be sworn in as president of the United States.”

Boortz directed the crowd to change the way they speak about public schools – calling them “government schools” instead. He also called on the audience to “preach school choice,” by which meant efforts to defund public schools and provide taxpayer dollars for religious and private schools and homeschooling.

A number of public officials spoke at the rally, including Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Michele Bachmann. Kleefisch and Chaffetz both followed Boortz but neither stood up for public schools. One has to wonder if they, like Boortz, also hate public education:
 
Let me change your language on two things. […]
 
They are not public schools, they are government schools. They are owned by, staffed by, operated by and forced upon by the government.
 
And, ladies and gentlemen, it is 100 years of government education that led us to the point that a man like Barack Obama could be sworn in as president of the United States.
 
So, wherever you are, preach school choice.

 

Obama Wants to 'Destroy' America with 'Poverty, Tyranny and Mass Murder': Tea Party Leader at Pre-RNC Rally

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, speaking at yesterday’s Unity Rally 2012 in Tampa ahead of the Republican National Convention, claimed that President Obama and Congressional Democrats are out to destroy the country. Phillips told the crowd that Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are socialists who support a system that causes “poverty, tyranny and occasionally mass murder:”

This nation has done more good for more people than any other nation in the world. And this is the nation that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi want to diminish and destroy.

Today, freedom and liberty stand in opposition to socialism. You know, the primary products of the system that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi love so well are poverty, tyranny and occasionally mass murder.
 
These are the fruits of socialism, and to the socialists we have simply one word, "no!"
 
Friends, we are not going to go quietly into that dark night of socialist tyranny.
 

 

Right Wing Finally Unites Behind Romney With Anti-Obama Hate-Fest in Tampa

[Right Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery is covering the RNC for Alternet with Adele M. Stan]

It was to have been the day before the commencement of the Republican National Convention, but the hand of divine providence swept in, batting a storm called Isaac toward the site where the G.O.P. is to gather, delaying the convening for at least a day. But that didn't stop leaders of the Republican right wing from hosting no fewer than four events meant to rally the faithful to turn out the vote for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose name was barely mentioned from any of the four podiums.
 
In fact, there was one name that was mentioned far more than all others: that of President Barack Obama.
 
Two of the events were called by Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization dedicated to turning out the vote among both religious and secular members of the Republican right -- a melding of the religious right with the broader Tea Party movement. 
 
Reed kicked off the day with a $50-a-plate V.I.P. luncheon that brought together such secular players as the renowned and powerful anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist with religious luminaries like Pastor Jim Garlow, one of the activists who helped quash same-sex marriage in California via the Proposition 8 ballot measure.
 
The other two events -- a prayer rally and a "Unity Rally" -- featured former G.O.P. presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as a headliner, and took place in a non-denominational evangelical megachurch on the outskirts of town. The prayer rally at River Church enjoyed sponsorship from the Florida Family Policy Council and Citizenlink (both affiliates of the Family Research Council) and Salem Communications , a religious right radio network.
 
Bachmann made a return engagement in the evening for a "Unity Rally" at which she and her former presidential primary opponent, Herman Cain, were the big draws. Tea Party Nation, together with the Western Representation PAC and Cain's new venture, Job Creators Solutions , co-sponsored the event.

While each event had its own distinct character, there was unity aplenty in the overarching theme: Defeat Barack Obama, not simply because his policies stand in opposition to right-wing ideology, but because, speakers said, he is a very dangerous man.

At an exhibit table inside River Church, a painting in an elaborate frame featured an image of an angry-looking Obama with a copy of the Constitution in flames in the foreground. The signs held by attendees inside the church for the evening rally were largely home-made, and several people waved large flags, both the U.S. flag, and the yellow Gadsden flag that has become the trademark of the Tea Party movement.

But downtown, inside the ornate, Art Nouveau-style Tampa Theater in which Reed held his rally, activists had a more uniform look, with preprinted signs that read: Pro-Family, Pro-Faith, Pro-Freedom, while in the grottos that flanked the stage, statues of scantily-clad goddesses looked on.

Here are some highlights from a Sunday spent among the foot soldiers of the right, and those who seek to lead them to the polls on November 6th.

[continue reading]
 

John Stemberger: 'No Religion Can Save [America] Except for Christians'

John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council closed out his groups Prayer Rally for America’s Future last night by warning that non-Christian faiths are incapable of producing ideas like democracy or equality. He lamented that “things that were unthinkable” are now “being promoted as virtuous” and conservatives now being called “hatemonger” “Our country needs God, our country needs us,” Stemberger said, saying that principles like voting, inalienable rights and equality couldn’t have come from faiths like Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism: “No religion on the face of the earth could have created the American experience except for Christianity and no religion can save it except for Christians.”

Watch:

Christian Broadcasting Network Wonders if Prayer Moved Storm Away From Tampa to Protect the RNC

Today on the 700 Club, Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent Paul Strand spoke to Jesten Peters of Keys of Authority Ministries who said that her organization’s prayer efforts helped steer Tropical Storm Isaac away from Tampa in order to protect the Republican National Convention. But while Peters and CBN celebrated, Isaac is now heading to Louisiana and Mississippi with potential devastating consequences. CBN’s Pat Robertson in 1985 said that his prayer moved Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia Beach, were CBN is based, and towards New York, and earlier this year said that prayer could’ve stopped a string of deadly tornadoes.

Watch:

Barton: Seventh Amendment Bans Abortion

We are used to watching David Barton give off an aura of expertise by speaking so quickly that people can’t notice when he is making patently false claims and simply making stuff up about America’s founders and the Constitution. For example, last night at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future, the event hosted by Focus on the Family and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa’s River Church right before the Republican National Convention, Barton made a rather peculiar claim about the Seventh Amendment.

Here’s what the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution says:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re–examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Read that one more time, because according to David Barton, the Seventh Amendment bans abortion, which he offers as evidence to back up his false assertion that the founders criminalized abortion.

Barton, who has made the same claim about the Seventh Amendment before, does not say how exactly the right to a trial by jury bans abortion, but because Barton is so confident that all of the founders agreed with all of his own theological and political views, he sees no need to explain the connection between the right to jury trials and the legality of abortions.

Watch:

The first belief we have in American government, in American society is that there’s a divine Creator, that’s not a personal belief, that’s an official government belief, that’s in our founding document. The first thing we say is there’s a Creator, the second thing we say is we believe the Creator gave us a certain set of rights, that are God-given inalienable rights, they exist to every person on the globe just because they were born, actually just because they were conceived quite frankly. Founding Fathers recognized abortion as a crime way back in the beginning, that’s why in the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution, part of the common law, you’re not allowed to do abortions because God gives life, not humans, humans can’t take life that God gives so it’s real simple stuff.

Fischer: Democratic National Convention is a 'Three Day Death Camp'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer on Focal Point today scolded the Democratic Party for promoting pro-choice speakers for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, saying that the convention has turned into a “three day death camp.” After quoting HotAir blogger Ed Morrissey who called the DNC “abortion-palooza,” Fischer said the DNC will be a “three day Auschwitz.”

Watch:

Three New YEP Endorsements

It’s that time again – we’re unveiling three more new endorsees of People For the American Way’s Young Elected Progressives program. We’re excited to introduce you to the next generation of America’s leadership, candidates 35 years of age or younger who have been strong advocates for progressive values in their communities.

Brittany Pettersen (CO) Brittany Pettersen is running for the Colorado House of Representatives. She has served as the Denver Organizing Director for New Era, a non-profit dedicated to engaging youth in government and politics. She is a strong supporter of LGBT rights and a woman’s right to choose. Pettersen also believes that we should fight back against voter suppression and protect every citizen’s right to have their voice heard at the ballot box. Be sure to learn more about Brittany Pettersen on her website.

J. Craig Gordon (GA) J. Craig Gordon is running for reelection to the Georgia House of Representatives. He has represented the 162nd district since 2007 and during this past legislative session[] served on the Economic Development and Tourism, Health and Human Services, Retirement, and Special Rules committees. He strongly believes in re-evaluating the education system and revitalizing public education in Georgia and has a proven record fighting for the rights of every Georgian. Check out J. Craig’s website.

Nate Murphy (ID) Nate Murphy is running to represent the 29th district in Idaho’s state House. Murphy, who was elected to the District 25 School Board in Pocatello at the age of 21, is committed to improving the public education system in Idaho. For more information on Nate, click here.

PFAW

Alan Keyes: 'Lynch Mob' Wants to 'Hang Todd Akin from the Yardarm'

Religious Right activists seem to be keen on outdoing each other with their over-the-top defenses of Todd Akin and his comments on “legitimate rape.” The latest comes from Alan Keyes, who in his latest column “What really drives the GOP's anti-Akin lynch mob?” warns that the “elitist mobocracy” was just “waiting for an excuse to hang Todd Akin from the yardarm.”

Given what Todd Akin went on to say, this is quite clearly the meaning he had in mine, since he was specifically referring to the violent trauma involved in "forcible sexual assault." We all know that Akin's use of the word "legitimate" in this way is not uncommon. (In fact, it has passed into common slang in expressions like "I think he's legit," which crop up all the time.) It's also not hard to see that far from failing to acknowledge the violence inherent in the definitive crime of rape, he was specifically thinking of it. The tribe of elitist pundits and scribes who labor in the GOP's media vineyard can't be unaware of this common usage. I wouldn't disrespect their intelligence by suggesting they are. So why do they abet the slanderous assumption that his words somehow implied that the crime of rape can or ought ever to be considered lawful when, with a little thought, it's easy to show that they do not?

Akin's assertions about the effect of the physical trauma of rape on the possibility of conception are scientifically questionable, and should be questioned. But if one statement based on highly questionable science means that a candidate should bow out of contention, what about Mitt Romney's repeated statements about climate change and global warming? His straddle on the issue includes statements that would be questioned by scientists first on one side of the issue and then on the other. I don't hear the nabobs of the elitist mobocracy calling for his head. To be sure, the speed with which they formed their lynch party suggests that little or no thought went into their chorus of disapprobation. It's precisely as if they were waiting for an excuse to hang Todd Akin from the yardarm.

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy In Media also attacked Mitt Romney and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh for not standing up for Akin, noting that Limbaugh has no right to criticize Akin since he doesn’t even understand birth control:

Once again, in ganging up on Akin, Republicans and conservatives lost sight of the real extremist, Barack Obama, while ceding ground to the liberals and allowing them to control the parameters of the public debate. It is a scenario that is played out over and over again, as if the Republicans never learn.

Or perhaps a Republican like Romney, who supported abortion rights in Massachusetts, knew exactly what he was doing and where this is all going — the eventual elimination of the social issues from the national Republican agenda. Romney has made it quite clear that he wants no part of them, preferring instead to run on economic and financial matters. He doesn't even want to talk about security problems in the State Department, in the person of Muslim Brotherhood-connected official and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

We've seen the result of this trend in Britain, where the Conservative Party has become a pale imitation of the socialists. The British Conservative Party has moved far to the left in order to attract votes from the sexually different and now supports gay marriage. "I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative," says Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Another despicable performance in the Akin matter was turned in by Rush Limbaugh, who said Todd Akin's comments on rape and abortion were "stupid." This is the guy who advertised his own stupidity in accusing law student Sandra Fluke of being a slut for demanding birth control services for women. Limbaugh didn't understand that birth control pills have legitimate medical purposes and are not used exclusively to prevent pregnancy. Limbaugh apologized for his remarks.

Thanks to Limbaugh, Fluke became a national and sympathetic figure and is speaking at the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Obama. Indeed, Limbaugh's role in sparking Democratic charges of a Republican "War on Women" helps explain the Republican overreaction to Todd Akin's comments.

FRC Calls Islam a 'Fanatical Religion,' Attacks White House Event with Muslims

When the Family Research Council wasn’t rallying support this week for Todd Akin or pushing to keep the ban on abortions in the case of rape or incest in the GOP platform, it found time to denigrate an entire religion. FRC sends out weekly Prayer Team alerts, asking “for your prayers relating to various public policy issues.”

This week’s alert called Islam – the religion of 2.6 million Americans and 1.6 billion people around the world – a “fanatical religion.” The alert also attacked a recent White House event with the American Muslim community – an Iftar dinner to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.
 
At the dinner, President Obama highlighted the role of Muslim-Americans in government and showcased Thomas Jefferson’s Koran. Here’s FRC’s interpretation:
In his remarks, the President suggested that Thomas Jefferson may have hosted the first White House Iftar Dinner and he showcased the Koran from Jefferson's library (Fact: Thomas Jefferson long advocated using military force to deal with hostile Muslims in the Mediterranean and ordered the Marines to Tripoli among his first acts as President and had a Koran primarily to study the fanatical religion of his adversaries).
FRC characterized Obama’s remarks at the event as “amazing,” and not in a good way. What was so amazing, you ask? For one thing, Obama “praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration,” including Huma Abedin. The group also accused Obama of giving preference to Islam at the expense of Christians and Christianity:
The Iftar event stood in bold contrast to the National Day of Prayer. In four years, President Obama has neither hosted a White House NDP event nor sent a representative to the national event on Capitol Hill, as previous presidents have done. […] President Obama's Iftar remarks are amazing reading. While he said great things about religious freedom, his tribute to Islam stands in shocking contrast to his dealings with Christians and the National Day of Prayer. He praised Muslims in positions throughout his administration.
This is a very telling line of argument. FRC is conflating the National Day of Prayer – which is chaired by the wife of FRC’s founder, James Dobson – with all of Christianity, and it’s not by mistake. Religious Right leaders have long thought of themselves and their followers as the only real Christians.
 
That’s why Obama’s 2012 Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House and Obama’s speech at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast don’t count. Obama’s 2012 White House Seder is probably just more evidence to them that he’s not really Christian. Obama even issued a presidential proclamation declaring the 2012 National Day of Prayer, but that’s not good enough. They want him to come and kiss Dobson’s ring.
 
Remarkably, FRC used the same alert described above to call for prayers for “moderation and civility in the public debate” over social issues. That’s how blind FRC is to its own rhetoric.
 
Meanwhile the group is preparing to host Paul Ryan as the headliner of its Values Voter Summit next month in DC. Earlier in the month, Romney met privately with Dobson and FRC’s Vice President, Jerry Boykin, who has said that Islam is “evil” and should not be protected under the First Amendment. Romney met one-on-one with Perkins in mid-July.

 

Blackwell: Obama is 'Dead Set' on 'Destroying Families' and Replacing God

Today on Washington Watch Weekly, Family Research Council senior fellow Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Republican politician and one-time candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, chatted with FRC president Tony Perkins about the GOP’s adoption of an ultraconservative party platform. Blackwell said that the Republican platform offers a “direct contrast” with the vision of President Obama, whom Blackwell believes is “dead set” on “destroying families” and advancing the belief that “the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government.” He contends that the Democrats have embraced ideas that are un-American and “run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.”

President Obama and his party want to transform our market economy into a government-controlled economy but most importantly, they are dead set on making sure that they transform our national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the individual and the supremacy of God to one founded on the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of the central government. Our document, the GOP document, is a direct contrast; it provides the American people with a choice, not an echo. That is so important because there are two paths that we can go down: we can reinforce our fundamental belief that when we are God-centered, free men and free women and free markets can accomplish much and overcome most hurdles thrown in our way or do we want to go down the path of being a government-controlled economy, destroying families, replacing it with bureaucrat decision makers that would run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago.



In our 237th year as being an exceptional nation we are at risk of losing it all. We just can’t afford to have four more years of a President that one, doesn’t understand the nature of our exceptionalism, and two, has a worldview and a set of guiding principles that are in direct contradiction with what has made us an exceptional nation. I’ve always enjoyed the push and pull of the whole process, I think it’s now incumbent upon us to make sure that this is not a document that is put on the shelf and our candidates across the country can just let collect dust and ignore. There is a fault line from the Pacific to the Atlantic and one side are those who believe in big government and who believe that the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government, and that’s a problem.

Kris Kobach Says the GOP will Inspire Laws Targeting the Imaginary Sharia Threat Nationwide

Kansas Secretary of State and on-and-off Mitt Romney adviser Kris Kobach yesterday appeared on Secure Freedom Radio, where actor and former Congressman Fred Grandy filled in for Frank Gaffney to discuss the Republican Party Platform Committee’s adoption of an anti-Sharia plank. Kobach cited a new Kansas law combating the fictional and manufactured threat of Sharia as a reason the Republican Party Platform Committee endorsed his anti-Sharia proposal, telling Grandy that the “unequivocal intent” of the committee’s decision was to encourage other states to “take a firm stand against Sharia law.” He later said that politicians across the country will point to the national party platform and say, ‘hey look, this is part of our national platform, this is not some unheard of or imaginary threat, this is part of the national Republican Party platform.’ Unfortunately for Kobach, just because the GOP embraced anti-Sharia conspiracies in its platform, that doesn’t make the threat of “creeping Sharia” any less imaginary.

Grandy: Is this a way of saying through the Republican Party organs that perhaps these kinds of Kansas-like provisions should be introduced at the state level around the country?

Kobach: Absolutely, that is the unequivocal intent and I don’t think anyone reading out platform cold come to any other conclusion. We’d like to see all of the states take a firm stand against Sharia law being used in their courts.

Grandy: I would have to say that particularly for those states where you have Republican dominated legislatures that have been somewhat reluctant to even consider this, or as in the case of Kansas had some pushback from some different minded Republicans, this is a terribly encouraging step. Because if the Republican Party nationally can say ‘no foreign laws in foreign courts’ particularly at the state level, because the point you make about it obviously being a threat from the top-down with the U.S. Supreme Court, but we also have to be mindful of the threat bottom-up at the state level, is something that I think enhances those of us that are trying to advance this initiative around the country in legislatures that up to this point have not been receptive.

Kobach: I hope so and I think it will allow state legislators who are trying to move similar legislation like Kansas’s and other states, they can point to the national party platform and say, ‘hey look, this is part of our national platform, this is not some unheard of or imaginary threat, this is part of the national Republican Party platform,’ and hopefully that will help assuage concerns that some of the more wobbly Republicans might have.

Gaffney Upset that Jews, Gays and Feminists Haven't Embraced his Anti-Muslim Efforts

Yesterday on Secure Freedom Radio, Frank Gaffney hosted the vociferously anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-Obama Rabbi Aryeh Spero to discuss his new book, “Push Back: Reclaiming the American Judeo-Christian Spirit.” Gaffney asked Spero why women’s rights and gay rights advocates, along with “the Jews who make up many of the most visible members of the international or at least domestic left,” are “making common cause” with Islamists.

In Gaffney’s view, any opposition to efforts by him and other anti-Muslim activists to undermine the religious freedom and civil rights of Muslim-Americans is tantamount to the promotion of Sharia law and Islamism. Spero replied to Gaffney’s ridiculous question by claiming that the left has “partnered up with Islam” and have become “tools of Islam” in order to bring about “the destruction of Judeo-Christian ethos” and “the destruction of the historic American civilization.” Spero also falsely claimed that feminists and gay rights supporters are silent on abuses in Muslim-majority countries, which is of course not the case.

Gaffney: We’re often struck by the seeming commitment of those you’ve properly characterized as leftists seeking a transformation of the United States, to the Islamists who are seeking their own transformation of the United States and indeed the entire world. To what do you attribute the fact that despite when you’ve used the terms misogyny, the hatred of women, that the Islamists routinely engage in as they promote Sharia with a community of people who are all about feminism; the antipathy of the Islamists to homosexuality yet being supported by people who prize homosexual rights and have many of them in their ranks; the artists; the Jews who make up many of the most visible members of the international or at least domestic left. How can they possibly be making common cause against the culture, the Judeo-Christian culture of America with people who so clearly oppose them on all of those fronts?

Spero: Now this is actually what I consider the most important question of the day: how is it that those on the left who are always championing certain rights are now partnered up with Islam who is the very antithesis of the rights that the left is always championing. I think it forces us to see the left in a light that we’ve never saw before. I don’t think that the left is concerned is concerned so much with civil rights. If they were the feminists would be the first ones condemning what is happening to women all throughout the Muslim world and they are quiet and the people on the left and the homosexual lobby would be condemning Islam for what they’re doing in curtailing freedoms and killing homosexuals. I think what we now see, what the left has always wanted or what the left wants today is the destruction of Judeo-Christian ethos and I think that they want the destruction of the historic American civilization.



Spero: The left, who wish to control, they think that they are going to live with this blissful partnership with Islam becomes stronger in the country; they’re going to share all this power with Islam. Fools that they are, they are being used by Islam, they are tools of Islam, but it is we who will be the victim.

At the end of the interview, Spero said that Obama is a Marxist who identifies with “Muslim Brotherhood Islam,” which Gaffney agreed with.

Spero: This election’s very important because the General, the poster child behind the economic Marxism and transnationalism and the acceptance of Muslim Brotherhood-type Islam is Barack Obama. How this happened to America is a very unfortunate and alarming condition that we are faced with that we elected a man that basically did not believe in Americanism, he’s an economic Marxist and he identifies with Islam but actually it’s the Muslim Brotherhood Islam that he identifies with.

Gaffney: You’re absolutely right.
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