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Institute On The Constitution: Of Course There Should Be A Religious Test For Public Office!

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on the efforts of a group of church-state separation activists, led by Todd Stiefel, who are trying to remove long-forgotten articles in seven state constitutions that require people holding public office to believe in God.

This did not sit well with Jake McAuley, the chief operating officer of Michael Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution, who writes in BarbWire today that it is “impossible” for an elected official who doesn’t believe in God to fulfill his or her duties. “This isn’t about discrimination or bigotry,” he writes. “ It’s about ensuring that those holding office in America are committed to the true, lawful, American philosophy of government.”

Peroutka, who was recently elected to a county office in Maryland, has declared all laws passed by his state legislature null and void because the body violated "God's law" by legalizing gay marriage.

Now, let’s be clear. Mr. Steifel may not believe that there is a God. And no one is forcing him to do so.

But if he doesn’t believe that God exists, it follows that he doesn’t believe that God-given rights exist either.

And if he doesn’t believe that God-given rights exist, then how would you expect him, if elected, to defend and protect those rights?

You see, when someone is elected to office he swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the God-given rights that are secured thereby. To elect someone who does not believe that God exists, is to ask them to do that which is impossible for them to do.

The drafters of our state constitutions understood this simple logic and so they included these provisions designed to protect us from officeholders who do not share the American philosophy of law and government.

Think of it this way.

Suppose instead of not believing in God, Mr. Stiefel informs us that he does not believe that there exists a city called Cincinnati, Ohio.

By not believing in Cincinnati, Mr. Stiefel breaks no law that we can punish him for.

But now suppose that a few of us have decided to take a bus trip to visit Cincinnati. We advertise for a driver for the bus and Mr. Stiefel answers our advertisement.

Is Mr. Stiefel qualified to drive us to Cincinnati?

Do you see the problem? Once he started the bus, what would Mr. Stiefel do next? How would he get us to a place the existence of which he denies?

Of course he is not qualified. He not only doesn’t know the way. He doesn’t even believe that there is a way. He is not qualified to take us to a place that, in his own mind, does not exist.

So this constitutional requirement that an office holder must believe in God is a logical and consistent protection against those who might drive our constitutional republic in a bad direction.

This isn’t about discrimination or bigotry. It’s about ensuring that those holding office in America are committed to the true, lawful, American philosophy of government.

Mat Staver: Homosexuality Part Of Communist Plan To Defeat The West

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel appeared on Tuesday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s flagship radio program, where he argued that homosexuality will destroy civilization as we know it.

When a caller cited Cleon Skousen’s 1956 book “The Naked Communist” to claim that homosexuality is part of a communist endeavor “to soften America for the final takeover,” Staver completely agreed: “Yes, Skousen has a lot of good writings. In fact, he mentioned that many years ago and here’s where we are today.”

“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said. “It really is, it’s that serious.”

Staver said leaders in countries like Peru and Jamaica have told them that Obama is an “interventionist” “with regards to immoral issues,” warning that the president is “using our State Department dollars and the ambassadors that he’s appointed to promote abortion and same-sex marriage.”

He also decried America’s “shameful” opposition to Jamaica’s ban on homosexuality.

Staver recently traveled to the country to defend its laws making it a crime to be gay.

Overheard At Anti-Obama Rally: 'Hang Him! We've Got Rope'

Yesterday, a small group of right-wing demonstrators gathered in front of the White House at a rally scheduled to coincide with the visit of a number of sheriffs who were in Washington, D.C., to protest President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

One activist who was filming the rally spoke to several attendees who said they wanted to lynch Obama.

Among the remarks picked up by the cameraman:

“Hang the traitor!”

“Hang the lying Kenyan traitor!”

“We’ve got rope.”

“Plenty of trees in the front yard, wouldn’t be the first one hung on one of them trees.”

“Whatever happened to those good ol’ days?”

“Don’t snap his neck, you watch him choke to death.”

“He’s just biding his time until Satan takes him home to where he belongs.”

Anti-Immigrant Protests A Bust, Again

Earlier this month, Rep. Michele Bachmann utterly failed to organize a Tea Party uprising against President Obama’s executive action on immigration, as what she hoped would be a massive Washington, D.C., rally against “amnesty” eventually became a press conference attended by a handful of activists holding anti-Obama signs.

The anti-immigrant movement had yet another embarrassing failure yesterday when two demonstrations, one billed as a Massive Gathering in Washington to Oppose Executive Amnesty,failed to draw more than a few dozen people.

The cries for increased deportation, as well as an impeachment of the president, began with a morning rally at the White House, where despite the zealous energy amongst the assembled Tea Partyers and militia members, seemingly only about two dozen protesters showed up to air their discontent and express their support for a group of sheriffs gathering on the Hill to oppose the executive action.

Led by a picket-sign-toting activist in Revolutionary War-era garb, the small gathering of “patriots” waved American flags and chanted their demands for the “terrorist” President Obama to step down, at the apparent behest of “King Jesus,” for welcoming “diseased” immigrants into the country.

As the number of photographers covering the rally nearly surpassed the number of people actually participating in the protest, a Capitol Police officer stepped in to move the protestors back onto the sidewalk, where the crowd engulfed the ever-present demonstrators seeking a U.S. ban on nuclear weapons and a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The anti-immigrant activists then complained that they were experiencing government persecution by being moved off the street, which the colonist-impersonator claimed was an order sent directly from Obama himself.

Several blocks away and a few hours later, the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA staged what can very loosely be called a rally on Capitol Hill to welcome approximately 50 sheriffs convening in Washington to lobby against the president’s immigration action.

Sadly, it appeared that neither the sheriffs nor too many NumbersUSA supporters got the memo, as the rally drew fewer than 10 people, two picket signs, and one American flag.

The sheriffs, who were scheduled to stage a press conference immediately after their meet-and-greet with the anti-immigration activists, were also nowhere to be found. Later, the few protesters who did manage to show up were informed that the sheriffs had already convened inside the Senate office building, and that their opportunity for a grand entrance and statement-making photo ops had been lost.

Bobby Jindal's Prayer Rally Materials Blame Gays & Legal Abortion For Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is following in the footsteps of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and kicking off his possible presidential campaign next month with a stadium prayer rally organized by radical religious right activists. As Brian reported on Monday, the virulently anti-gay Christian nationalist American Family Association, influential Religious Right leader David Lane and Doug Stringer, a self-proclaimed “apostle” from Texas who has blamed America’s rejection of God for the September 11 attacks, are spearheading Jindal’s Baton Rouge rally.

These activists are the perfect ambassadors for the Christian nationalists that Jindal appears to be courting. In a letter introducing the rally — printed on official governor’s mansion stationary — Jindal warns of “a new world order of chaos…being driven by militant Islam seeking to impose Sharia Law worldwide” and domestic epidemics of “fatherless homes,” “drugs and crime in our inner cities” and “a saturation of pornography, abortion, racism,” problems for which Jesus Christ “is America’s only hope.”

Jindal’s prayer rally appears to be so closely modeled after Perry’s that its organizers are even reusing materials from the 2011 Texas event, including a prayer guide contending that natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, were the result of God’s displeasure with the “alternative lifestyle” of homosexuality, marriage equality, legal abortion, and Internet pornography.

The prayer guide listed on the “resources” page of the website for Jindal's rally includes suggestions for seven days of prayer leading up the event. It appears to be exactly the same as the guide disturbed to participants in Perry’s event in 2011  it hasn't even been updated to include the increased number of states that are bringing God’s judgment on America by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry:

Day 2 - Locust plagues

CONSIDERATION

In Joelʼs day Israel experienced the destruction of a massive locust plague. The nationʼs economy was crippled because of the decimation of the agriculture. The reason these plagues came was because of the peopleʼs negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises.

In America today we face a similar crisis. We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available ondemand through the internet. Biblical signs of apostasy are before our very eyes. While the United States still claims to be a nation “under God” it is obvious that we have greatly strayed from our foundations in Christianity.

This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO. And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.

Furthermore, because of mismanagement and greed, our national economy is in incredible disarray, with our national debt topping 14 trillion dollars. We have effectively mortgaged our childrenʼs future, while spending money we do not have on entitlements as we search in vain for “the American dream”. The first “wave of locusts” has begun to descend upon us and many are oblivious to the fact that destruction has come and is still coming.

God destined America to be a gospel beacon to the rest of the earth – a nation under God who declares His goodness, truth and mercy to a world desperately in need.

The Jindal rally’s prayer guide also includes the 2011 guide’s plea to conservative Christians to save the United States from “debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.”

There is much at stake for the church in America. In many ways we are at a crossroads of two divergent paths. Either the church will turn to the Lord with her whole heart, sparking a great revival and reformation in our nation, or she will continue in compromise, keeping the status quo as we watch our nation turn to debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.

(Emphases are ours.)

Both “Response” rallies are modeled after the “Call” rallies organized by Religious Right leader Lou Engle. The leadership team of Perry’s rally included a number of officials from the International House of Prayer, a ministry closely associated with Engle that promotes the dominionist theology that calls for evangelical Christians to gain control of all parts American culture and government. 

Phyllis Schlafly: Attention On Campus Rape Part Of 'War On Men,' Proof 'It's Really Dangerous For A Guy To Go To College'

In an interview today with WorldNetDaily, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly weighed in on efforts to combat sexual assaults on college campuses, which she contended are part of a feminist “war on men.”

Schlafly pointed to questions surrounding the accuracy of a Rolling Stone report on rape allegations at the University of Virginia as evidence that increased attention to fighting sexual assault on campuses is misplaced and reiterated her claim that college is a “dangerous” place for men: “It’s really dangerous for a guy to go to college these days. He’s better off if he doesn’t talk to any women when he gets there. The feminists are perfectly glad to make false accusations and then claim all men are capable of some dastardly deed like rape.”

“There isn’t any rape culture,” Schlafly said. “There is a war on men, and [feminists] are very open about it.”

This is, of course, coming from the anti-feminist activist who once said that men cannot rape their wives since “by getting married, the woman has consented to sex.

Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly believes feminists are so vehemently defending Jackie and her partially discredited allegations because they don’t want to lose out on an anti-male narrative.

“The reason they bought into the story and didn’t have any suspicions about the flakiness of it is antagonism toward men in general,” Schlafly said. “Their cry is they want to abolish the patriarchy, and anything that hurts men is something that pleases the feminists.”



“There isn’t any rape culture,” she said. “There’s nothing ‘culture’ about rape. Rape is a crime and ought to be punished. But people who make false accusations about a dangerous crime like that also ought to be punished, and I hope everybody connected with this false story will suffer the consequences.”

Schlafly, whose recently published book “Who Killed the American Family?” came out just days before she turned 90, sees a national media landscape dominated by feminists and those who are afraid to anger the feminists.

“They really are a vicious group,” she said. “They don’t like men, and they want anything to discredit and destroy men. I think it’s very helpful that the [UVA rape] story has been exposed as a fraud, and anybody who heard it in the first place should have suspected it was a fraud.”

Schlafly has spent the better part of her long career battling feminists, and she even goes so far as to say there is a war on men in the U.S., not a war on women.

“There is a war on men, and [feminists] are very open about it,” she said. “They don’t conceal it; they brag about it. You read all of their material – they’re always saying they want to abolish the patriarchy. They said that husbands are not necessary in a marriage, they’re not necessary in raising children.”

Noting the harm done to men falsely accused of rape, she pointed to the three Duke lacrosse players whose reputations were smeared in 2006.

“It’s really dangerous for a guy to go to college these days. He’s better off if he doesn’t talk to any women when he gets there,” Schlafly said. “The feminists are perfectly glad to make false accusations and then claim all men are capable of some dastardly deed like rape.”

Proposed Spending Bill Would Let Wealthy Political Donors Give Even More

Just what our country needs after the most expensive midterms in history: a bill that lets big political donors spend even more money.

The government spending bill released by the House last night includes a rider that would drastically increase the amount of money the super-rich can give to national party committees. The language included in the spending deal would allow wealthy donors to give ten times the current limit to political parties.

Adam Smith at Public Campaign put the potential new limits into perspective in a powerful graphic:

With the new annual individual party limit expected to be more than six times the median household income, it’s clear that this shift is simply about handing the wealthiest political donors even more power and access. A tiny fraction of the country already dominates political spending; these changes would make it even harder for ordinary Americans to have a seat at the table.

What’s more, these provisions, which would have major implications for the health of our democratic process, were not even debated by Congress. They were simply snuck into an omnibus spending bill – a quiet attack that threatens to further undermine what’s left of our country’s common-sense rules limiting big money in politics.

After the midterm elections, exit polls found that nearly two-thirds of voters said that our system already favors the wealthy. Americans are ready for a government that works for everyone. But it looks like what we’re getting instead are Congressional leaders increasing committed to big money donors at the expense of everyone else.

PFAW

Steve King Defends Government Shutdown Since The Voters Will Forget Anyway

Rep. Steve King took his crusade to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration to “The Steve Deace Show” last night, where the Iowa congressman urged House Republicans to thwart immigration reform even if it results in a government shutdown.

“Let’s throw out the fact that we have a Marxist in the White House and our very way of life is at stake,” Deace explained, “could an argument be made that a smart political move is to actually have a showdown with the president right now?”

After all, the radio host said, “in case it does blow up and the media loses their minds, the next election that matters is not for twenty-three months and a lot of things can change, Jesus could come back in the next twenty-three months, a lot of things can change in twenty-three months so let’s do it now when not much damage can be done [and] not many people are paying attention.”

King said he completely agreed with Deace’s analysis, adding that “there’s probably no better time to fight than now and no better time to risk a government shutdown than now.”

“The people would have twenty-three months to forget, presumably, but I would like it rather that they remember that we would have the courage, and I wish they don’t think it takes a lot, to stand on principle,” he said. “When the president violates his oath of office, it’s ever more incumbent upon the rest of us to stand up to our oath.”

Young Earth Creationists Take To Times Square To Advertise Noah's Ark Theme Park

Answers in Genesis, the group which runs the Creation Museum, hopes to promote its Noah’s Ark-themed amusement park with a digital billboard in Times Square, where the group last year took out a billboard to send a message to its “atheist friends,” and several billboards in its home state of Kentucky.

“The irony is that as secularists are criticizing the Ark project and relegating Noah’s Ark to a myth, they are passing around their own Ark myths,” said AiG president Ken Ham. “These agitators (most of them outside the state) are trying to undermine the Ark Encounter by spreading misinformation and putting pressure on Kentucky officials to reject an offer of a partial refund of future sales tax collected at the finished theme park (if the park sees excellent attendance and brings in significant tourism dollars to the state).”
                         

To counter the secularists’ efforts, AiG’s billboard campaign will inform members of the public that they can learn the truth about the Ark project at AnswersinGenesis.org. As some of the Ark myths have been circulated by newspapers in the state, some of the 16 boards will be seen in neighborhoods near the offices of Kentucky’s major newspapers in Louisville, Lexington, and Frankfort.



The billboard campaign that begins this week (a Lexington board is already up) runs into part of January. In addition, a 15-second digital board will be displayed starting Wednesday in New York City’s Times Square (on Broadway between 45th & 46th streets, above the Disney Store), with 672 spots per day during this busy holiday season at this bustling square. Overall, the combined outdoor effort is expected to deliver more than 20 million impressions.

You can watch the fifteen second clip to be featured on the Times Square billboard here:

Michele Bachmann Pledges To Give 'Female Perspective' To Counter Hillary Clinton, Remind People Of Benghazi

After giving her farewell address to the U.S. House last night, Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on Newsmax today to discuss her plan to stop Hillary Clinton.

Bachmann told Newsmax host Steve Malzberg that she plans to “weigh in with a female perspective” on the 2016 presidential election, reminding people that Clinton is the “godmother of Obamacare” and is to blame for the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Ironically, the House Intelligence Committee, where Bachmann serves as a Republican member, last month issued a report debunking many of the Benghazi conspiracy theories that Bachmann hopes will topple a potential Clinton presidential candidacy.

Rick Wiles Thinks Israel And America Control ISIS

End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles is getting behind a wild conspiracy theory that Israel is “secretly involved with ISIS,” adding to his previous claims that the U.S. is secretly assisting ISIS. On Tuesday, the “Trunews” host, who somehow keeps getting Republican congressmen to appear on his radio show, reacted to news reports that Israel bombed nine targets linked to Hezbollah, an ally of the Syrian government, outside of Damascus.

“Israel has been mum all year about ISIS,” Wiles said. “There hasn’t been a peep out of Israel about ISIS; there’s been a lot of speculation about who is really behind ISIS.”

Wiles also said he doesn’t believe that the U.S.-led coalition has executed over 1,000 airstrikes against ISIS: “I seriously doubt that ISIS is being attacked because ISIS is the creation of Western intelligence agencies and I would not be surprised to find that the Israeli Mossad has its hands in the creation of ISIS also.”

Ben Carson Thinks God Is Calling On Him To Save America, Stop Putinesque Obama

Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody has been slowly releasing excerpts from his interview with likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who has told Brody that liberals are responsible for “hate speech” and that he “feels fingers” from God telling him to make a run for the White House.

Today, Brody released another segment from his interview where the conservative activist was joined by his wife, Candy, to describe how God is calling him to make a presidential bid.

“We recognize that we are being instruments in the hand of God, he is the one who really orchestrates all of this,” Carson said.

After warning that the future of America is in peril, Carson stressed that “we are in fact a Judeo-Christian nation and I think that’s a huge part of our strength.”

“We most definitely need a spiritual awakening,” he added.

Carson also said that if he had the chance to speak to President Obama, he would tell him to stop violating the Constitution: “Our president is very much like Putin.”

FRC Spox Proposes Constitutional Amendment To Ban Recognition Of Gender Reassignment

Family Research Council spokesmen Peter Sprigg and Craig James of the Family Research Council have an innovative new plan to promote limited government: pass a constitutional amendment regulating gender identity!

On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” James explained how transgender rights issues will likely be the next issue that the Religious Right will have to “combat in this war that we’re on with the LGBT community.”

“I think the ideal policy for government with respect to [trans rights] is that your sex is your biological sex,” Sprigg said. “My view is, that if your biological sex is unambiguous at birth -- if your internal sex organs, your external genitalia, and your chromosomal makeup all are unequivocal in declaring you to be of one sex – then that is your sex for life, and that is your only sexual identity that the government will recognize.”

He continued on to lament how state and local governments have capitulated to the interests of transgender advocates instead of imposing more stringent legal definitions of gender. “Unfortunately, we never codified [these distinctions]. And I think a lot of states just kind of through erosion, through response to pressure from the transgender movement, have gotten to the point where they, first of all, recognize sex changes in terms of people’s identity documents…But now, they’re going further and actually punishing people who also don’t affirm this myth, this fiction, that people can change their sex.”

James even suggested that conservatives might have to consider launching a movement to pass a constitutional amendment regulating gender identity, asking Sprigg, “Might Congress — might there be a need for us to have a constitutional movement, an amendment, to identify a person’s sex: it is what you are at birth?”

Peter King: 'Hate America' Club Used Torture Report To Distract From Obamacare

Not only are conservatives outraged over the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture by the CIA, but some even seem to think that the report was made public in order to distract Americans from a congressional hearing on Obamacare.

In an appearance today on Newsmax, Rep. Peter King claimed that the CIA didn’t torture anyone — calling their enhanced interrogation techniques “mild” — and decried torture critics for having a “‘hate America first’ attitude that is self-loathing, self-hatred.”

The New York Republican then told host J.D. Hayworth that the report came to light as a way to deflect attention from Jonathan Gruber’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Obamacare.

Fox's Ralph Peters: Torture Report Provides 'Aid And Comfort To The Enemy,' Turns Terrorists Into Heroes

Fox News analyst Ralph Peters blasted Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein today for releasing her committee’s report on CIA abuses, telling Steve Mazlberg of Newsmax TV in an interview that he believes Feinstein and White House officials will now bear responsibility for future American deaths that may occur as a form of violent retaliation for U.S. torture.

“Will she accept responsibility for the American deaths, the American kidnappings and tortures at the hands of terrorists that are going to result from her stunt?” he asked. “It’s inexcusable, it’s vile, it’s providing aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Peters also took issue with Feinstein’s claim that the torture tactics used violate American values, arguing that the techniques didn’t undermine the values of “real Americans.”

“She is absolutely full of it,” he said. “This is just absolutely horrible.”

Warning that the report will “endanger American lives,” Peters called Feinstein’s statement a “propaganda gift to the terrorists” and claimed that it made one terrorist who experienced torture into “a martyr and hero.”

Peters said that progressives are now “vilifying” intelligence agents because they know it would be too unpopular to attack military service members: “It’s the same thing as back in Vietnam calling soldiers baby killers.”

Sandy Rios Defends CIA Torture: 'It's Not Like We Beheaded Them'

Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s Director of Governmental Affairs, delivered a response to the Senate Intelligence report on torture on her radio show today, calling it a distraction from Obamacare.

Admitting that she was giving “a careless response, not having thought through every jot and tittle of this,” Rios explained that she doesn’t mind the use of torture, even though the report, which she concedes that she didn’t read, found that its use actually produced large numbers of false confessions that undermined intelligence gathering.

“When I see the Islamists beheading, cruelly torturing and beheading Americans, I’m not too concerned about waterboarding them,” she said.

Mocking people who want to preserve America’s “high moral ground,” Rios defended waterboarding as a lesser evil: “It’s not like we beheaded them to see what it felt like.”

Conservative Groups Making Last-Ditch Attempt To Stop National Women's History Museum

A group of Religious Right organizations have taken a sudden interest in curbing government spending on national parks and public lands…all in the interest of stopping the creation of a museum dedicated to American women’s history.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is currently holding up a defense authorization bill that was passed last week in the House, contending that a public lands package attached to it is too pricey and doesn’t belong in a defense bill. While Coburn and Sen. Ted Cruz have objected to provisions in the bill designating new national wilderness areas, which Cruz calls an “extreme land grab,” they have garnered allies in the Religious Right who object to quite a different provision: the establishment of a bipartisan commission to start planning a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

In a letter to members of the House last week, representatives of Concerned Women for America (CWA), Heritage Action, Eagle Forum, March for Life, and the American Family Association signed on to a letter with a handful of “small government” groups that oppose the creation of more public lands, urging lawmakers to strip the lands package from the defense bill.

Although the letter makes a generic nod to preventing the government from gaining “more ownership over America’s lands,” it goes on to object specifically to the women’s history museum provision, using language copied and pasted out of a recent CWA press release.

CWA and its allies have been trying for months to stop Congress from authorizing a planning committee for the women’s history museum, claiming that the museum would end up being a “shrine to liberal ideology, abortion and liberal advocates” and complaining that the museum’s website doesn’t mention CWA founder Beverly LaHaye.

Back in May, the groups failed to stop the House from passing a bill authorizing the planning committee, in part thanks to the efforts of the bill’s main Republican sponsor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who called their arguments “convoluted.” Heritage Action’s threat to score the women’s history vote against members of Congress ultimately only scared 33 Republicans into voting against it. 

Will Evangelical Right Cry 'Persecution' At Mormon Public School Prayer Case?

It is an article of faith among Religious Right activists that the supposed persecution of Christians in America is rooted in a series of Supreme Court decisions banning government-sponsored prayer in schools, rulings which they blame for everything from school shootings to crime and HIV/AIDS.

But the mostly fundamentalist Protestant leadership of the Religious Right rarely talk about the possibility that if such bans were lifted, the state could require prayer not to their liking.

As Think Progress reports today, one varsity softball coach at a Mesa, Arizona, public school has been hit with a lawsuit for requiring his players to participate in Mormon-led prayers…and, unsurprisingly, we have heard no evangelical conservatives complaining that the lawsuit represents religious persecution of the coach.

Three athletes alleged in a complaint against the school district [PDF] that they “were penalized for not conducting ‘team prayer’ in accordance with the directive of Joseph Goodman,” the team’s Mormon coach.

They argued in their complaint that the coach took disciplinary actions against them for “not being members of the LDS Church” and their unwillingness to “accede to having and allowing student-led group ‘team prayer.’

Mesa was founded by Mormons and has a large Mormon community, so it is no surprise that when a team decided to have a prayer, it was skewed toward the Mormon tradition. Even generic, non-sectarian generic prayers organized by public schools can undermine the free exercise of religious and non-religious students alike.

This case provides yet another reminder that if the Religious Right gets its wish of lifting the constitutional prohibition of official public school prayers, not all schools would adopt the prayers that they themselves would choose.

25. Terry Richardson, along with another parent, Kelly Roberts (also an LDS Church member) expected that ‘team prayer’ would be part of the activities of the team prior to the games.

26. The expectation that there would be ‘team prayer’ was communicated to Joseph Goodman by LDS parents.



38. The Plaintiffs in fact were penalized for not conducting ‘team prayer’ in accordance with the directive of Joseph Goodman, acting for himself and at the behest of certain parents that were part of the LDS Church.

39. The Plaintiffs in fact were penalized because the parents of certain LDS students on the team complained to Joseph Goodman about the speech and expressive speech of the Plaintiffs, which actual and expressive speech events were perfectly acceptable and within the bounds of a secular society and that of a public school system.

40. The Establishment Clause provides a right of freedom from religion in the public school system, whether during academic sessions, or, during extra-curricular activities.

41. By Defendants treating Plaintiffs in the foregoing manner, dismissing them from the Team for not conducting ‘team prayer,’ for utilizing certain speech and expressive speech through pop music, social media, and otherwise, the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs were violated.



62. The actions of the Defendant, Joseph Goodman, were based upon the Plaintiffs not being members of the LDS Church and who did not accede to having and allowing student-led group ‘team prayer.’

Sandy Rios Offended By Obama's 'Colbert Report' Appearance, Not Brutal Torture

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association lit into the Senate Intelligence Community on her radio show today for releasing its report [PDF] on the CIA’s use of torture, calling the report’s publication an “evil” act that will “likely cause the death of Americans.”

She even cited the interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as proof that torture works, even though the report found that such interrogation methods, including waterboarding, only caused the 9/11 mastermind to make false confessions and did not produce much reliable information.

After a long diatribe against the Senate report, Rios unveiled what really offended her: President Obama’s appearance last night on the Colbert Report.

Rios also agreed with the Fox News line that the release of the torture report was merely a Democratic attempt to distract the public from Obamacare. 

Pat Robertson: Fight The 'War On Christmas' And 'Bring In The Green'

The Christian Broadcasting Network is giving away Christmas window clings which “700 Club” host Pat Robertson hopes will remind people to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

Following a CBN advertisement about a sales clerk who catches herself before saying “Merry Christmas” and construction workers dismantling a Nativity scene, Robertson railed against the “outrageous” and “ridiculous” “War on Christmas.”

In fact, Robertson reminded shop owners of the real reason for the season: saying “Merry Christmas” to customers will boost sales!

“They better get behind Christmas. The holidays don’t bring in the green, but Christmas does,” he said.

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