In 2009, the Obama administration ended the travel ban on HIV-positive people, and last month Washington D.C. hosted the International AIDS Conference, the first time an American city held the event since 1990. Mission America’s Linda Harvey, however, was not amused. She attacked the Obama administration for lifting the ban since “reckless sexual behavior is not a deep American value” and warned that “the U.S.’s liberal homosexual culture” will attract HIV-positive immigrants,” leading to “an acceleration of the epidemic.”
Harvey: Overall there was an astonishing denial of reality. The conference was taking place in the U.S. for the first time in twenty-two years. Why? Because HIV-positive individuals had been banned from entering the U.S. but the Obama administration lifted that travel and immigration ban in 2009. So HHS Secretary Sebelius, ‘the HIV entry ban was a bad policy based on faulty science that ran contrary to America’s deepest values.’ She’s wrong, once again. Reckless sexual behavior is not a deep American value, except perhaps in Washington. The ban was a response to reality and the known attraction of some would-be immigrants to the U.S.’s liberal homosexual culture in certain cities. Opening our ports to HIV-positive people just invites an acceleration of the epidemic.
Eagle Forum’s Rachel Motte last weak appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk with Jim Schneider to discuss her organization’s opposition to common core standards, which are meant to “define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers.” Advocates deny that by aligning divergent state standards they will create a nationalized curriculum since “local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the standards are to be met,” but Motte maintained that the effort will be used as a backdoor for the establishment of a uniform, countrywide curriculum.
Schneider even warned that the common core standards could advance “the promotion of homosexuality” in schools, along with “other areas that would violate so many parents’ system of moral beliefs.” Motte agreed and said that it was all part of a plan to “change a culture” by getting “a hold of its children and you train them in exactly the wrong things, you teach them to love the wrong things.” “The people who will be controlling what your children learn are not the people who you would want your children to emulate,” Motte warned.
Schneider: When we’re talking about advancing in algebra or going through some of the sciences, biology and so on, talking about needing to attain higher levels is one thing but what we have found is that what is coming through the educational system today is going into so many other areas. I’m talking about that which is sometimes called the social areas or the moral areas, such as the human growth and development type things, such as the promotion of homosexuality and don’t say a word in opposition to those who want to follow in same-sex relationships and so on that we have to be so politically correct. I just fear that this kind of a nationalized curriculum is going to beyond just some of these hardcore academic issues into all these other areas that would violate so many parents’ system of moral beliefs.
Motte: Oh absolutely, that is how you change a culture for the worse, you get a hold of its children and you train them in exactly the wrong things, you teach them to love the wrong things. That’s what’s happening, it’s heartbreaking, but that is exactly what’s happening. You see how the culture has shifted in the past decade; well expect more of that, especially if this goes into effect. The people who will be controlling what your children learn are not the people who you would want your children to emulate.
The group Awakening America is hoping that people on September 11 will head to their county courthouse to gather for Cry Out America. Organizations partnering with Cry Out America 2012 include the Family Research Council, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Call, Intercessors for America, Teen Mania and 40 Days to Save America. They hope that the prayer rally will bring about a revival that will lead to a “decrease in divorce rates, co-habitation [and] same-sex relations,” along with “the restoration of Christ’s influence in the arts, media, and communications.”
On September 11, 2001, America was shaken to its foundation by a series of surprise terrorist attacks. All of us were awakened to the new reality of global terrorism. 10 years later our nation needs to be awakened again, not just to the threats of terrorism, but to our critical spiritual condition.
Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening. Our economy has been deeply shaken. Overall church attendance continues to decline across the nation, America is now the third largest mission field in the world and an entire generation is growing up with little understanding of absolute truth. Yet, in what appears to be a very trying time for the Church in this nation, we believe that America is on the verge of a sweeping move of God’s Spirit that will touch every state, every county and every heart. Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening.
Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that “Satanic” atheists were to blame for the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Robertson claimed that “people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God,” and are responsible for the massacre, which was committed by a white supremacist. “They’re angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God,” Robertson continued. He recommended that people “talk about the love of God and hope it has some impact” to stop violence.
During Glenn Beck’s Under God: Indivisible conference, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins recounted his days as a Louisiana state legislator fighting a hate crime law which included sexual orientation as a protected category along with classifications like race, religion, disability and gender. Perkins lamented that a “full time lobbyist for the homosexual community” helped pass the language over his objections and bemoaned that legislators were ignorant the amendment would lead to “indoctrination of our children in schools and the loss of religious freedom and the freedom of speech.”
Seeing that the law was passed in 1997, Perkins did not make clear how Louisiana students are being indoctrinated into homosexuality or who has lost their religious freedom or freedom of speech over the last fifteen years, but he did assert that the law was a sign of “chaos in America.”
The Religious Right has claimed that the protests over Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stances amount to an attack on freedom, religion, and all things good. Of course, many of the groups making that charge, like the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association, are simultaneously leading aggressive boycott and pressure campaigns against companies they don’t like because of the company’s views on gay rights. Yet they seem oblivious to any double standard. Today, Mission America president Linda Harvey made our point for us when she went on to list just a handful of the companies, such as Starbucks, Home Depot, JC Penney, Target and Macy’s, which have faced the ire of anti-gay groups:
‘We are committed to being a store for all Americans,’ that’s the quote from a spokesman for JC Penney who told the Wall Street Journal this was the company rationale for recently launching several highly visible pro-homosexual marketing campaigns. The problem is, it’s not true. JC Penney is apparently no longer a store for all Americans and has now become a store only for those who aren’t offended by in-your-face support of just plain deviance. There are plenty of Americans who see the JC Penney choice of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman to be a blatant insult, a bad role model for families, and an endorsement of homosexual political goals.
The pro-family group One Million Moms has called for a boycott of JC Penney because the retailer, not resting with the Ellen DeGeneres move, also featured a lesbian couple in a magazine ad in may for Mother’s Day and two homosexual men in a June catalogue for Father’s Day. Starbucks recently donated and verbally supported the push against marriage in the state of Washington. So a group that supports traditional male-female marriage, National Organization for Marriage, has started a website called DumpStarbucks.com. Now Target is selling same-sex wedding cards featuring ‘Mr. & Mr.’ even though most states have rejected homosexual so-called marriage, Target is selling them nationwide. And of course there is a long history now of pro-homosexual actions by Home Depot, so much so that the American Family Association is calling for a Home Depot boycott. Then there’s Macy’s who showed where their loyalties lie by firing a female employee last Fall who turned away a man from the woman’s dressing room. The man claimed he was a transgender person, a guy dressing as a woman, and unbelievably Macy’s supported him rather than side with their brave of employee who was acting on her religious rights. No, in a head to head match up these days, the rise of homosexuals and cross-dresses is winning in some companies instead of decency, common sense and morality,
If you’re trying to get a McCarthy-like anti-Muslim witch hunt taken seriously, it probably doesn’t help your cause to have an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who is nostalgic for the days of Joe McCarthy to get behind your cause.
In a letter defending Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, five former security officials urged Speaker John Boehner, who has condemned Bachmann, to “acquaint yourself with the background and status of the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad in America.” The letter makes a number of provocative accusations: alleging that the Obama administration is “assisting the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt”; “indulging the Islamist contention that attacks on Israel are not terrorist atrocities but legitimate ‘resistance’” ; and giving $1.5 billion to a Brotherhood government, even though the sum is actually going “to pay U.S. defense and security companies for contracts they have to supply equipment and support for the Egyptian military.” Signatories range from James Woosley, an ex-CIA director who is now involved with efforts to stop “creepingSharia,” to Andy McCarthy, the former prosecutor that now espouses birther conspiracies and believes “that Islam is the problem.”
While some Bachmann allies don’tlike the McCarthycomparisons, Boykin in an interview just this week on TruNews with Rick Wiles praised McCarthy and said he wishes “we could find a McCarthy-like individual today that was willing to stand up and proclaim very boldly that we do have a problem with a Marxist cabal in America, which are now in powerful positions, influencing our policies and the direction of our country,” including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Wiles: Little Leon Panetta, he’s got some Marxist relationships in his closet too, if you go back far enough, Mr. Panetta, he’s palled around with no communists.
Boykin: That’s right. He certainly has, as have a number of the people who are in the administration right now. It’s time for us to take this seriously and realize—you know, we criticize Joe McCarthy, we talk about McCarthyism and all that. But you know, the fact of the matter was when you look back, McCarthy was not that far off.
Wiles: I think he was a great American.
Boykin: Yeah. He recognized that there was a serious threat, most Americans didn’t take it seriously, McCarthy did and he had the guts, the courage to stand up and say ‘we got to stop this.’ I wish that we could find a McCarthy-like individual today that was willing to stand up and proclaim very boldly that we do have a problem with a Marxist cabal in America, which are now in powerful positions, influencing our policies and the direction of our country.
Richard Carmona, running for Senate in Arizona – Carmona, a solid progressive, is a Vietnam War veteran, recipient of two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, and the former Surgeon General of the United States. This election represents a rare opportunity to convert Arizona into a genuine swing state for years to come.
Congressman Raul Grijalva, running for Congress in Arizona’s 3rd District – Mr. Grijalva is the current representative for Arizona’s 7th District but is running for reelection in the 3rd District due to redistricting. The son of a migrant worker from Mexico, Grijalva was first elected to the House in 2002. Grijalva has been a strong progressive voice in the House, standing up for the rights of all Americans.
Kyrsten Sinema, running for Congress in Arizona’s 9th District – Sinema has extensive experience serving Arizonians as a former member of both the Arizona House and theArizona Senate. A People For the American Way endorsee, former PFAW Foundation board member, and member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, Sinema has been a dogged advocate of civil rights for all Americans.
Alan Lowenthal, running for Congress in California’s 47th District – First elected to the California state Senate in 2004, Lowenthal currently represents California’s 27th District as a state senator. Lowenthal received the Rivie Award from the Friends of Los Angeles River (FoLAR), an organization dedicated to restoring the natural habitat surrounding the L.A. River, for his promotion of environmental stewardship. He has received endorsements from a variety of progressive organizations and PFAW is proud to join them.
Lee Rogers, running for Congress in California’s 25th District – A nationally-known podiatrist and expert on health policy, Dr. Rogers has vowed to use his extensive healthcare experience to promote sensible measures that will protect Social Security and Medicare, improve the quality of care for all Americans, and shift towards a preventive emphasis for treatment. Rogers faces Republican incumbent Bud McKeon, who was first elected in 1992.
Jared Huffman, running for Congress in California’s 2nd District – Huffman is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, where he has served since 2006. Huffman has an impressive progressive record in the legislature and has vowed to continue his fight for accessible healthcare, equality, women’s rights, and investment in education in the U.S. House. Huffman served his local community for 12 years as a member of the board of the Marin Municipal Water District.
Dr. Raul Ruiz, running for Congress in California’s 36th District – Dr. Ruiz is a medical doctor and Latino activist who won the 2009 Influential Latino of the Year Award from the Inland Empire Hispanic Image Awards in recognition of his community work. Ruiz is running against Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack, in a very tight contest.
Dr. Ami Bera, running for Congress in California’s 7th District -- A medical doctor and former county health official, Dr. Bera is uniquely positioned to advance strong, progressive healthcare solutions. Dr. Bera most recently served as the Sacramento County Chief Medical Officer, where he fought to expand access to affordable healthcare.
Jay Chen, running for Congress in California’s 39th District – Chen has an impressive background as small business owner, intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and community activist. His opponent, incumbent Rep. Edward Royce, has repeatedly co-sponsored a bill that requires all governmental services be English-only, has tried to end the Voting Rights Act, opposed much-needed governmental regulation of the mortgage industry in the wake of the Recession, and is a proponent of Arizona’s draconian new anti-immigrant law.
Mark Takano, running for Congress in California’s 41st District -- A Martin Luther King Visionaries Award winner, Takano has extensive experience at the community level and embraces a series of sensible, progressive policies that will better the nation. Takano’s election will help bring diversity to the U.S. House and advance progressive causes at the national level.
Sal Pace, running for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd District – Pace currently represents Colorado’s 46th District in the state House, a position he’s held since 2008. While a state representative, Pace has worked with both parties for the good of Colorado, fighting for good paying jobs, and accountability and transparency in the state government. Pace is exactly the type of leader we need in Washington.
Joe Miklosi, running for Congress in Colorado’s 6th District – Currently a member of the Colorado State House, Miklosi is now running for Colorado’s 6th District against Mike Coffman, a proud member of the Tea Party Caucus. Colorado’s 6th District has been labeled the most competitive district in the nation. Miklosi has vowed to fight for every woman’s access to birth control and a woman’s right to choose.
Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT), running for Senate in Connecticut – Murphy has been a trendsetter for progressivism in Connecticut – in 2005 he was one of the first co-sponsors of a bill that made Connecticut only the third state to legalize gay marriage (the bill was upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2008). Murphy faces business magnate Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, and is sure to be outspent as McMahon pours her personal fortune into her campaign.
Alan Grayson, running for Congress in Florida’s 9th District – A self-described “congressman with guts,” Grayson gained notoriety when he worked as a specialist in whistleblower fraud causes directed at Iraq War contractors. Grayson filed a suit under the False Claims Act which became the only successful prosecution of those who illegally profited from the war. He is a proven force for progressivism and the People For the American Way is happy to lend him our support.
Lois Frankel, running for Congress in Florida’s 22nd District – A former Mayor of West Palm Beach and Florida state representative, Frankel was named one of the top 10 progressive candidates to watch in the 2012 Congressional elections by Democracy for America. Frankel has a strong record of promoting civil rights for all Americans. The 22nd District is a competitive district and represents a great opportunity to elect a proven progressive champion.
David Gill, running for Congress in Illinois’ 13th District – Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, while typically a Republican stronghold, has been rendered competitive due to recent redistricting, presenting an excellent opportunity to help shift the seat to Democratic control. An emergency room physician, Dr. Gill is a respected medical expert who will bring his knowledge to bear on healthcare policy – among other things, Dr. Gill has vowed to uphold and expand Medicare.
Christie Vilsack, running for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District – Vilsack was Iowa’s first lady from 1999-2007, and if elected will become the first-ever female member of Congress from Iowa. She is facing Rep. Steve King, a five-time Republican incumbent and one of the national leaders of the anti-immigrant movement. It is important that progressives around the country lend her their support.
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-HI), running for Senate in Hawaii – A former lieutenant governor of Hawaii, Hirono has consistently advocated for the affordability and accessibility of healthcare for all Americans and has sponsored numerous bills promoting these goals. Meanwhile, her opponent -- former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle – supports a cluster of regressive policies: as governor she ended Hawaii’s Immigrant Health Initiative and vetoed a bill that would have legalized civil unions, and she now supports regressive spending and tax cuts that will harm the middle class. Hawaiians face a stark choice this November.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), running for reelection in Maine’s 1st District– In 2010, Pingree became the first woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine, a year in which she was also a PFAW and PFAW Voters Alliance endorsee. Pingree advocates for affordable healthcare, the promotion of viable alternative energy sources, and the protection of veterans’ benefits.
Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts – Warren has extensive knowledge of finance policy, serving as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, a group responsible for overseeing the operations of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Warren subsequently became the primary advocate for a federal entity dedicated to protecting consumer rights, leading to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010. Warren is in a hotly contested race to unseat Republican incumbent Scott Brown, who is facing his first reelection effort this year.
Jim Graves, running for Congress in Minnesota’s 6th District – Graves, a successful businessman, is running to unseat Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann, a well-known Tea Party extremist. People For the American Way is proud to lend him its support. His victory will represent a strong refutation of the right-wing extremism that has taken over much of the Republican Party.
Carol Shea-Porter, running for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District – In 2006, Shea-Porter became the first woman elected to Congress from New Hampshire after winning an upset victory against her Republican opponent. Now seeking to regain her former House seat, Shea Porter has vowed to protect veterans’ benefits, oppose deficit reduction measures that harm the poor and middle class, preserve essential social welfare programs, and expand investment in education.
Ann McLane Kuster, running for Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd District -- Kuster has a long history of promoting progressive change in New Hampshire through her legal career, community work, and progressive advocacy. She supports LGBT equality, including the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Her race is expected to be extremely competitive.
Congressman Martin Heinrich (D-NM), running for Senate in New Mexico – Congressman Heinrich was first elected to the U.S. Congress from New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District in 2008, becoming the first Democrat ever to represent that district. Sabato’s Crystal Ball – a prestigious website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics -- said in March that Heinrich’s race will be one of eight that will effectively decide which party controls the Senate next year.
Congressman Tim Bishop, running for reelection in New York’s 1st District – After a long career in education, Bishop became involved in politics in 2002, running for and winning a seat in the U.S. House as a representative for New York’s 1st District. He is a top-rate progressive advocate running in one of the most competitive Congressional districts in the nation – he won reelection by a mere 593 votes in 2010.
Nate Shinagawa, running for Congress in New York’s 23rd District -- If elected, Shinagawa, along with Grace Meng, will become the first Asian American representatives in Congress from the Northeast. Shinagawa, a strong progressive, is a longtime participant in People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials (YEO) and Front Line Leaders Academy (FLLA) programs.
Grace Meng, running for Congress in New York’s 6th District – Meng has represented New York’s 22nd District in the state legislature since 2009. Meng has promised to fight for good jobs, safe neighborhoods, and quality schools in Washington. Meng was a public interest lawyer and has vowed to fight for unions and against the war on women.
Julian Schreibman, running for Congress in New York’s 19th District – Schreibman has an impressive record of governmental service, including serving as a federal prosecutor and as the legal counsel for the CIA, where he helped prosecute terrorists responsible for several U.S. embassy bombings. Schreibman is running against Chris Gibson, who supports the Romney-Ryan austerity budget and who voted to defund Planned Parenthood. People For the American Way is glad to support Schreibman in what will undoubtedly be a tight race.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), running for reelection to his second term – Sen. Brown has served Ohioans for over 30 years, in the General Assembly, as Secretary of State, and in the U.S. House and Senate. Now, as the senior senator from Ohio, Brown occupies a crucial position that he has consistently used to bolster progressive causes on the national stage.
Congresswoman Betty Sutton, running for reelection in Ohio’s 16th District – Sutton has represented Ohio’s 13th District in the U.S. House since 2007 but will be running in the 16th District against Republican incumbent Rep. Jim Renacci due to redistricting. Sutton has advanced progressive causes throughout her career, which began when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Ohio House in 1993.
Kathy Boockvar, running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 8th District – Running in what will be one of the most competitive U.S. House races this election cycle, Boockvar, a strong progressive, faces Independence Hall Tea Party endorsee and incumbent Republican Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, who has a 0% rating from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood, a 100% rating from Right to Life, and voted to strip funding from Planned Parenthood. Despite this, Fitzpatrick labels himself “one of the most independent members of Congress.”
Dr. Manan Trivedi, running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th District – Dr.Trivedi is an Iraq War veteran and a physician at Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Trivedi advised the Obama campaign on healthcare policy and has recently been named one of Democracy for America’s “Dean Dozen,” the most prestigious endorsement a candidate can receive from that organization.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), running for reelection to his second term –Sen. Whitehouse, first elected to the Senate in 2006, has been a strong progressive voice in Washington: he opposes the unnecessary and regressive austerity of the Romney-Ryan budget, and has vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security and promote economic initiatives that bolster the middle class.
Joaquin Castro, running for Congress in Texas's 20th District -- Joaquin Castro currently represents the 125th District in the Texas House of Representatives. Born and raised in San Antonio, Castro was on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention introducing his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who delivered the convention keynote address. Rep. Castro is a member of People For the American Way Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), running for reelection to his second term -- Sen. Sanders has been a stalwart advocate of progressive values throughout his years of service and is a powerful force for progressivism in national politics.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), running for Senate in Wisconsin – Baldwin has served Wisconsin for over 25 years, as Dane County Supervisor, a member of the Madison Common Council, a state representative and a member of the U.S. House. If elected this year, she will become the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.
Mark Pocan, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 2nd District – A Young Elected Officials Network member and current representative of Wisconsin’s 78th District in the state legislature, Pocan was recently named one of the top 10 progressive candidates in the country by Democracy for America. Pocan, who was first elected in 1999, has a proven record of promoting progressive causes.
Pat Kreitlow, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 7th District – Kreitlow is a former state Senator and the first of his family to graduate from college. In March 2010, his opponent, Incumbent Sean Duffy, told attendees at a town hall that he still “struggles” even though he was making $174,000 on a Congressional salary. Duffy has refused to do any televised debates with Kreitlow, even though he wanted 20 debates when he was running for the same seat in 2010.
Rob Zerban, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District – Zerban is running to unseat Rep. Paul Ryan, who is also the Republican vice presidential nominee (Wisconsin law allows Ryan to simultaneously maintain a House reelection bid while running for vice president). This election has great symbolic importance and, with progressive support, a Zerban victory would serve as a definitive refutation of Ryan-esque fiscal policy that will resonate around the nation.
Washington, DC – The proper role of religion in American politics has been the subject of vigorous – and sometimes toxic – debate for over two centuries. Today, in the midst of campaign-season claims about America’s founding as a “Christian nation” and hyperbolic rhetoric about religious persecution, People For the American Way Foundation calls for a more constructive conversation with a new report, 12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics, authored by PFAW Foundation senior fellow Peter Montgomery with a foreword by journalist Bill Moyers.
"12 Rules" takes on a number of current debates, including those over required contraception insurance coverage, marriage equality, and the role of religion in the 2012 presidential campaign. This edition builds on earlier releases of "12 Rules" in 1984 and 1994.
“Religious liberty is at the heart of what it means to be an American, but it is also at the center of some of our fiercest debates,” said Peter Montgomery. “How do we balance the constitutional principles of free exercise of religion and the separation of church and state when they come into tension with each other? And how can people of faith bring their religious values into the public arena without turning religion into a political club? As our religious landscape becomes increasingly diverse, it is important that we grapple with these issues in ways that are more constructive than divisive. We hope these Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics will launch many constructive conversations around these topics.”
“Our political climate is being poisoned by inflammatory charges of anti-religious and anti-Christian persecution,” said Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way Foundation. “We can look around the world to see what religious persecution looks like, and we think it’s wrong to cry wolf over political and policy disputes. We are strong advocates for First Amendment freedoms. But something can be legal without being wise. The principles in this report should be embraced by people of all religious and political beliefswho long for a more respectful and responsible debate in the public arena.”
This new edition of "12 Rules" will be launched at an event in Washington, DC featuring a discussion with Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim American elected to Congress.
Speaking at Glenn Beck’s Under God Indivisible Conference, anti-gay Bishop Harry Jackson unleashed a screed against marriage equality and called upon Christians to unite against gay rights in a new ‘rainbow coalition’, saying that religious leaders must “steal back the rainbow. We can’t let the gays have it.” Jackson was apparently not referencing the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a civil rights organization founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson.
If marriage is redefined, then the family is redefined, is redefined, who has children and how that operates is redefined, if the family is redefined then education is redefined. That’s how you “Heather has two mommies” being taught to 2nd graders and eight-year-old kids in Massachusetts and California, and folks who cannot reproduce want to recruit your kids. What we’re facing is a radical force of people that want to change the way America looks for the next twenty years and we’re going to have to stop this thing now.
It’s gonna take a black and brown revolution, us working together in a broader, what I want to call, a rainbow coalition, a new rainbow coalition. We need to steal back the rainbow. We can’t let the gays have it. We’re the rainbow coalition. We’re the army of god. We’re the covenant people of god. We have got to break the division that has tried to keep us apart. I guarantee you if we united in this generation, we’ll unite in this season, nothing shall be impossible to us, the church of the living god, and we are going to take back America in the name of the lord Jesus Christ. Yes! Come on let’s say it, ‘yes we can, say it yes we can!’
Washington, DC – The Senate today confirmed Gershwin Drain, a nominee to fill a long-standing emergency vacancy in the Eastern District of Michigan. The 55 to 41 vote came on the heels of the Senate GOP’s unprecedented refusal to confirm even consensus appeals court nominees until after the presidential election. While Senate Republicans claim to be cooperating on filling district court vacancies, they are doing so grudgingly and inefficiently, allowing no more than one vote a week. As a result, the backlog of pending nominees has gotten larger and larger. Drain, nominated to fill an emergency vacancy that has been open for three and a half years, was forced to wait over four months after committee approval for his long overdue vote on the Senate floor.
There are 74 district judgeships currently or about to become vacant and 18 qualified nominees waiting for votes on the Senate floor. Ten of these would fill judicial emergencies. Most have been waiting for a vote since June or earlier; four of them since April. As the Senate prepares to leave for its August recess, there is no reason not to vote on all these long-pending nominees.
“There is no way that Gershwin Drain should have had to wait four months simply for an up-or-down vote from the Senate,” said Paul Gordon of People For the American Way. “Senate Republicans have already announced they’ll filibuster all remaining appeals court nominees, even those without opposition, even those strongly supported by members of their own party. Now, they’re making the confirmation process for the 18 remaining district court nominees painfully slow. There are more than 60 vacancies in district courts around the country that need to be filled immediately, with another dozen about to open up. The Senate GOP should start doing its job and let the President and Senate fill them in a timely manner.”
Last month, Charisma posted and edited an article by Alan Chambers of Exodus International that he has since disavowed about the “gaying of the United States.” Now Charisma has posted an article by Louis Sheldon, the founder of the Traditional Values Coalition entitled “The Plan for a Gay (Domi) Nation,” where he lamented that young evangelicals Christians have become more open to gay rights and don’t see homosexuality and the Christian faith as incompatible. He also warned that the gay community is using shows like Glee to “desensitize Americans to the genuine risks of the homosexual agenda.”
Last year alumni from Wheaton College—what used to be the heart of conservative evangelicalism—made headlines for forming an organization to not only support the gay community, but also to promote the belief that homosexuality and Christianity are compatible. As on Christian college campuses throughout the United States, they have once again succeeded in convincing believers that Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor” means turning a blind eye to what the Bible explicitly calls an “abomination.”
“They” aren’t just Wheaton alumni or those who have formed similar groups—both official and unofficial—at Baylor, Harding, Samford, Seattle Pacific and a host of other universities and colleges. They would be the activists who have masterfully driven the gay agenda for more than 30 years and, with remarkable success and precision, changed our nation’s cultural mindset on homosexuality.
From kindergartens to city councils to churches to the Supreme Court, the mainstreaming of homosexuality has reshaped everything in America. And one of the most powerful vehicles by which the gay agenda has accomplished this is media. The first television network program to feature a homosexual character in an ongoing role was the soap opera One Life to Live in 1992. By 1999, there were 25 sitcoms or daytime dramas with homosexual characters. Without exception, these characters were portrayed as witty, clever, lovable and just a little quirky.
It’s perfectly clear what the Hollywood writers and producers were doing—grinding away at public morality, using comedy as a vehicle to overcome the natural resistance of adults, and playing on the curiosity and credulity of children. By sheer persistence, the gay-friendly media have been forcing Americans to accept homosexuality as a normal and natural choice, whether they believe it or not.
Today, based on the large number of primetime TV shows that currently feature openly gay characters, you have to believe that the most favored and most protected type of sexuality is homosexuality. Over the last decade, overtly pro-gay programs such as Will and Grace, Queer as Folk, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The L Word and Glee have been designed to desensitize Americans to the genuine risks of the homosexual agenda. Again, homosexuals are invariably portrayed as funny, sensitive and caring individuals.
At the same time, critics of homosexuality are portrayed as bigoted and ignorant homophobes who have to learn to accept homosexuality as a valid lifestyle choice. Yet behind the scenes, how many people realize that organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation actually have veto power over many of these scripts and can actually force directors and producers to rewrite dialogue that casts an unflattering light on homosexuals?
Last week, we noted that despite their feigned shock at gay rights’ groups Chick-fil-A boycott, Religious Right groups boycott companies all the time, and today, Mission America president Linda Harvey added her name to a pressure campaign against Office Depot backed by the American Family Association and the Florida Family Association, protesting the chain’s partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. According to Harvey, selling products with messages like “Be Brave,” “Be Kind” and “Be Yourself” is a “deceptive” scheme “to link children to homosexuality, which is deeply wrong.” She urged listeners to boycott Office Depot until it stops “corrupting our kids” by “misleading kids to accept this harmful behavior.”
There’s another business parents need to avoid these days, especially for back to school shopping. Office Depot has decided to team up with Lady Gaga and her new pro-homosexual, non-profit group. Office Depot will be pushing rainbow colored products with messages that encourage the deviance of homosexuality while giving untruthful information to kids. Just to give some background, Lady Gaga has become quite a supporter of the homosexual political agenda, including the many ways children and teens are being deceived about these lifestyles. She jumped on board in a big way with a song called Born This Way and then followed up by starting the Born This Way Foundation. The goal, the group’s website says, is to ‘foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.’ It sounds noble but the reality is that they want to link children to homosexuality, which is deeply wrong.
The American Family Association is asking people to call and email Office Depot and tell them to ‘leave our kids alone.’ I agree and I would add one more thing. Office Depot needs to stop trying to soft sell harmful, deviant behavior, and also stop using deceptive terms like ‘safe’ and ‘brave’ in connection to homosexuality. These kids are not victims, they all deserve respectful guidance away from these behaviors and people who oppose homosexuality are not unsupportive. Office Depot is implying that it’s brave to openly identify as homosexual: this is not simply untrue; it’s an idea that endangers the welfare of children. The campaign also implies that if kids don’t support their peers who are involved in homosexual behavior, they contribute to an unsafe environment and aren’t brave like the ones who do.
This is the worst kind of propaganda: pointing kids towards deviance and immorality while calling it courageous and brave. Parents need to keep kids away from such nonsense. Here’s where we stand: Mission America supports punishment for all incidents of bullying, period, for all reasons; at the same time, we absolutely reject the false and discriminatory idea that traditional morality somehow causes bullying. This is about as valid as saying that healthy nutrition programs cause the bullying incidents unleashed on kids who are overweight. No, troubled kids are the ones who bully and these incidents need to be punished when they happen.
Let’s expose the deceptive idea these people would lead kids to, and that is that schools should exercise viewpoint discrimination against Christians and conservatives, it’s deceptive hysteria to promote an agenda, one that is corrupting our kids. No one is born homosexual, there’s no credible evidence for this. Homosexuality continues to be unnatural behavior, no matter how many celebrities support it…. Tell [Office Depot] to stop misleading kids to accept this harmful behavior and be sure to shop for back to school items at a different store.
In accepting service on the Advisory Board, Congresswoman Bachmann stated, "I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center. They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam."
Congresswoman Bachmann is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As a member of that Committee, she has steadfastly advocated for peace through strength to ensure America's national security.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, "We are honored to have the counsel of a tough, tested, true American patriot; a person who puts her country above politics, party and political correctness. She understands and shares our concerns about the internal threat to our nation posed by Stealth Jihad as well as maintaining the Judeo-Christian values that made this nation 'the shining city on the hill.'"
Michele Bachmann is the mother of five and the foster mother of 23. As a believer in the traditional values upon which this country was founded, she consistently defends traditional marriage, the importance of the family as the first unit of government, and the right to life for all Americans, including the unborn.
Bachmann expressed her strong commitment to America's Judeo-Christian heritage and values: "I am honored to stand with the Thomas More Law Center as they engage in the legal battles to uphold the Judeo-Christian values upon which our country was founded."
Yesterday, House Democrats held a press conference highlighting the need to clean up the election system through what they are calling the DARE initiative. (To note, this is the same initiative Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi presented and spoke about in length at PFAW’s 30th Anniversary celebration this past June.) The acronym stands for the following:
D – Disclose
A – Amend
R – Reform
E – Elect
In just a short period of time, the impact of the Supreme Court’s egregious ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates to corporate and special interest spending in our elections, has been felt nationwide. In response, a growing chorus of activists and organizations are mobilizing to overturn the decision by amending (the A in DARE) the Constitution. As evidenced by the press conference, public officials are responding to this movement. Nearly 2,000 are already on record in support of amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, including 92 Representatives in the House.
In attendance of the press conference were Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Caucus chairman Rep John B. Larson (D-CT.), U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD.), U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA.), U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (),U.S. Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), as well as Nick Nyhart, President and CEO of Public Campaign.
Nyhart outlined three critical steps needed to remedy this: full disclosure, small donor and citizen-led funding of elections, and the ability to limit donations from large corporate entities.
Recently Republicans and Democrats clashed on the Disclose Act, which would have required the disclosure of all major donors in the election process. Leader Pelosi expressed her concern that dark money is “suffocating the airwaves and suppressing the vote.”
Not so long ago, disclosure was a bi-partisan issue. Congressman Van Hollen made this clear, quoting Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s (R-KT) statement from 2000 endorsing such reforms: “Why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?”
Expressing his passion about the issue, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, motioning toward the Capitol building, told reporters, “in post-production you might want to include a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of that.” Kucinich stated, “Let’s be candid, the system is for sale.” The outgoing congressman urged immediate action on removing the corrupting influence of dark money, lest we lose our republic to the influence of special interests. This government must remain in the hands of the people - or as Mr. Nyhart put it, remain “Of, by, and for the many… not the money.”
[Dylan Hewitt, Amelia Coffey, and Michael Jameson contributed to this post]
The ballot initiative that revoked marriage equality in California has taken a big step towards having its constitutionality determined by America’s highest court. In a long-awaited move, proponents of Prop 8 have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Hollingsworth .v Perry that the ballot initiative violated the federal Equal Protection Clause. A nearly 500 page document, which can found here, lays out their rationale for urging the court to review the case.
The question presented in the case is: “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” The proponents tell the Court that they should answer the “profoundly important question whether the ancient and vital institution of marriage should be fundamentally redefined to include same-sex couples.” They write that leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision intact would have “widespread and immediate negative consequences” and would leave the impression that any “experiment” with marriage would be “irrevocable”.
The Ninth Circuit issued a very narrow ruling, avoiding the question of whether gay and lesbian couples in general have a constitutional right to marry. Instead, it based its ruling on narrow grounds unique to California, where same-sex couples were left with all the state rights of marriage but not the name. It found that taking their designation of “marriage” while leaving their rights unchanged did not serve any of the purposes put forth by its defenders. Instead, its only purpose and effect was to lessen a targeted group’s status and dignity by reclassifying their relationship and families as inferior. While the Supreme Court will be presented with the narrower question as framed by the Ninth Circuit, it is impossible to tell, if it agrees to hear the case at all, whether they will rule on this principle or more broadly on the ability of states to deny lesbians and gays the right to marry.
The Supreme Court will likely decide in early October whether or not to hear the case. Back in February, PFAW applauded the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in upholding the decision of the district court striking down Prop 8.
Marriage equality is just one of the many critical issues that will come before the Supreme Court when they reconvene next session. The elevation of Prop 8 to the highest level of the judicial system underscores the increasing importance of the Supreme Court and the Presidential election.
It is a difficult to imagine a more conservative Court than the one we have now, but Mitt Romney has pledged to appoint justices even further to the right then John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Romney has also enlisted far-right judge Robert Bork to advise him on judicial matters.
Visit RomneyCourt.com for more on Mitt Romney’s extreme vision for the Supreme Court.
American Family Association’s Buster Wilson went on yet another tirade about Obama creating his own version of the Brownshirts based on debunked conspiracies that have been not only discredited by the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org but even Fox News. He was so upset about Right Wing Watch’s reporting that he facetiously asked the Southern Poverty Law Center to “certify” us as “official Bible, Christ, Hetero, Traditionalist haters.” Yesterday, the SPLC criticized Wilson’s conspiracy-laden rants, and so Wilson today decided that the AFA—the home of Bryan Fischer—should consider starting their own “hate watch ministry” to report on…SPLC, Right Wing Watch and the rest of the “progressive-homo-left-Christian-Bible- conservative-traditional value-hating crowd.” We here at Right Wing Watch can only hope that Wilson follows through.
Wilson: The progressive-homo-left-Christian-Bible-conservative-traditional value-hating crowd believes that we should not be allowed to ask the questions, we should simply bow at the feet of their anointed chosen ones. Of course that’s something they never did with any Republican, conservative or tea party member. I think we need to start our own hate watch ministry here at AFR [American Family Radio] and keep you the listener about the folks and organizations who are intolerant and hateful toward the traditional Christian values that we all believe in because RWW and SPLC sure ain’t gonna do it for us.
On yesterday’s edition of The Janet Mefferd Show, the host and her guest, Matt Philbin of the Media Research Center, took aim at an unlikely vector of liberal ideals: the world of sports. Reflecting on an MRC report, Mefferd said that ESPN and other sports broadcasters are “using their sports platforms really to push this liberal economic and social ideology.” Philbin asserted ESPN hires people with a “liberal pedigree” and its website includes content that is in “support of the gay agenda.”
Philbin held up liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who previously worked at ESPN, as proof of the network’s liberal bias. He conveniently ignored the fact that Texas Republican senate candidate Craig James is also a former ESPN broadcaster and ESPN’s chairman and vice president are both Romney donors.
Mefferd: If you are a big sports nut you’re noticing also that from time to time you’ll see a little bit of political material creep in on the sidelines and that’s really the intent of a lot of people on the left, they want to politicize the games, but it’s true of sports in general, and if you follow sports TV at all, ESPN, some of those other sports shows, you’ll see this, and in fact, the Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center has put together a report all about this documenting the trend of commentators and sportscasters using their sports platforms to really push this liberal, economic, and social ideology. Matt Philbin is with us, managing editor of the Media Research Center. So Matt, let’s talk about sports in general and what you guys noted looking at channels like ESPN or some of these other sports shows, where do you see this liberal ideology kind of creeping in?
Philbin: Well, you can see it all over the place, and uh, I would just, uh, just a reminder, that, uh, Keith Olbermann came from ESPN. Before he went to MSNBC, he came from SportsCenter which he actually helped create, I believe, uh, so, ESPN has a long liberal ESPN and you can see that in a lot of its programming. And you can see that on its website as well. Its website has always, for years now, has featured commentary in support of the gay agenda.
Philbin later maintained that sports journalists, like other journalists, have “an antipathy toward conservatives and toward traditional Americans.” The two also took umbrage in particular to the sports network’s supposedly cozy relationship with President Obama: Mefferd was dismayed that ESPN is helping the President “show his softer side” by broadcasting his NCAA bracket selection.
Of course, President Bush, a former baseball franchise owner, previously appeared on ESPN to talk fishing and baseball.
Philbin: They’re just pulling from the same sort of pool of people as the mainstream media is, sort of, uh, habitually liberal journalists who really have an antipathy towards conservative and toward traditional Americans.
Mefferd: What about ESPN and its relationship with President Obama, because they’ve sort of fawned over him as well, haven’t they?
Philbin: Oh, They think he’s terrific.
Mefferd: Sports picks and everything.
Philbin: Yes, you know, oh, They’ve had him on to pick his, uh, brackets in the NCAA tournament. They’ve had him speak about reforming college football’s BCS system. Things that really, a President doesn’t have much interest, or shouldn’t have much interest in talking about.
Mefferd: Well, he wants to be a man of the people I guess. Show his softer side, I guess. “They’re calling me a socialist too much, quick, ESPN, let me do my March Madness picks!
On the Janet Mefferd Show yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg shared his theory of how gay rights activists are winning the battle for public opinion: through “intimidation” and “emotional blackmail”:
Sprigg: There are people with big bucks who are trying to move the Republican Party in a more liberal direction on this issue. And while, you know, I think it will be a long time before – I don’t think it’ll ever happen that the Republican Party will endorse same-sex marriage – but what I fear more than that is some candidates in office and officeholders simply going silent on the issue.
Mefferd: Oh, that’s happening.
Sprigg: That is definitely happening and that’s where the big concern is, because if we are not willing to fight to defend marriage, then that increases the chances we will lose it.
Mefferd: Well, and that’s what’s so frustrating, especially for us as Christians, when we look at so many people who don’t have the spine to talk about it. ‘Well, let’s just work the issue back around to the economy, everybody wants to talk about the economy, I don’t want to talk about something controversial.’ Part of it, I think, is because they don’t want to be vilified, they don’t want to be called names, because that’s what the activist crowd does, they call you names, they insult you, they make your life pretty miserable. Look what they’re doing to Dan Cathy! Who does want to put up with that?
Sprigg: Right. That’s exactly right. It’s a form of intimidation that they’re using, a sort of emotional blackmail almost. And with some people it’s effective. They don’t want to pay that price.
To mark “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” Pat Robertson chided gay rights advocates on the 700 Club today for protesting the restaurant chain’s anti-gay activism. He said that he predicted that a group, in this case the gay community, will move from the “fringes” to the mainstream of society but ultimately “turn on the mainstream,” making those “who are traditionalists feel like they are unwelcome, and that’s exactly what’s happening.” Co-host Kristi Watts in her reaction to the controversy said “the Bible talks about in the later days the truth becomes a lie and the lie becomes the truth, and that really is the essence of what we’re dealing with right now.” Robertson warned that “the gays have just gotten the media megaphone and they’re shouting” at Chick-fil-A’s CEO for his anti-gay statements, “is it going to get worse? I hope not.”