Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver won’t be the only person honored at this year’s Ex-Gay Awareness Month festivities. The event’s organizers, Voice of the Voiceless, announced today that a former “Satanic Drag Queen” will receive their “Courage Award.”
Trace McNutt said in an interview with ex-gay leader Christopher Doyle that he became involved in drag when he learned that “the rock stars and the royalty of the gay world were the drag queens” and as a result turned into “an alien, sexual deviant creation…satanic version of a drag queen.” After battling drug addiction and homelessness, he realized that homosexuality was a choice and started attending church where “some of the most masculine, butchest men reached into my life and loved me.”
One of the chief players in Republican politics in Iowa yesterday praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for his role in criminalizing speech supportive of gay rights as part of a larger crackdown on the country’s LGBT community. Bob Vander Plaats, head of the group The Family Leader and recent host of a summit with likely presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum, defended the ban in an interview with conservative talk show host Steve Deace.
While speaking about the crisis in Syria, Vander Plaats commended Putin for appropriating American “strengths” like “military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs,” which have now “defaulted into our weaknesses because of Barack Obama.”
Vander Plaats praised Putin for taking a stand and saying “don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country for the Olympics; we believe in one man, one woman marriage; there is no homosexual marriage in Russia.”
Vander Plaats: He has taken what used to be our strengths — military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs — and he’s saying, those are being turned into your guys’ weakness and guess what I’m doing? I’m taking those. I’m taking decisive leadership, you’re following my lead. As a matter of fact, Obama’s now agreeing with Putin, ‘oh you know maybe we’ve got some other options here now.’ So he’s taking Putin’s lead. Putin’s saying, ‘you know what don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country for the Olympics; we believe in one man, one woman marriage; there is no homosexual marriage in Russia.’
Deace: Says the guy that just kicked his wife of four decades to the curb.
Vander Plaats: It doesn’t matter. He’s taken what used to be our strengths, which has now defaulted into our weaknesses because of Barack Obama, no leadership, and he’s making them his strengths and he’s emerging now on the world stage as a newly discovered leader. Ladies and gentlemen this is why you need to rise up, this is why we rise up, to demonstrate, we do have a voice in this process.
Of course for gay people and gay rights advocates in Russia, they will no longer have a voice in the already-undemocratic state.
By Yolanda "Cookie" Parker
I almost heard one of the most famous speeches in American history from a first aid tent on the National Mall.
On August 28, 1963, when I was 17 years old, my older sister and I snuck out of our house in Maryland at 6:00 am and traveled to the March on Washington, despite our parents’ objections. The day was hot and I hadn’t eaten anything. Standing in the front row, listening to the day’s first speeches, I fainted. The next thing I knew, I was in the first aid tent and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was about to begin his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. My sister and I rushed back out into the huge, alive crowd. It was a sight I will never forget.
Fifty years later, I listened to President Obama speak in the same place as Dr. King. I have come a long way since then – besides being lucky enough to have a chair this time – and, so has our country. Returning to the site of the 1963 March, it was impossible not to be moved by the sight of our first African-American president speaking in the same place that Dr. King had spoken.
My own story speaks to the extraordinary success of all those who fought for Civil Rights when I was growing up. However, it also reminds me that we have not achieved an easy pat ending of racial equality simply because we have our first African-American President as many on the political right would like us to believe.
I grew up in a military family – my stepfather was in the Air Force – which meant that my mother had to bring her own civil rights movement with her as we moved from base to base.
I started high school at a segregated school in Biloxi, Mississippi, where all girls in the 9th grade were not allowed to take science, and instead had to take home economics. After my parents went to the school board and got a special dispensation for me to take science, I was forced to sit in the back of a classroom full of boys. I still won the school’s science contest.
We then moved to Hamilton AFB in Marin County, California and lived on base. A little more than a year later my stepfather was transferred and since we could not go with him we had to move off base. The only area we could move to in those days was pretty dilapidated so my Mother repeatedly petitioned officials in the Kennedy Administration, and refused to move off base for months until my family was allowed to move into decent housing, which was in an all-white neighborhood. Before we could move in, Air Force officials went door-to-door, checking to see if any of our new neighbors minded if a “colored family” moved in. They didn’t – and ultimately, some of those neighbors became good friends.
In the last semester of my senior year in high school, we were transferred to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where I had to attend a newly integrated high school in Suitland, MD. I remember one teacher who was astounded that I had an aptitude for math and science. When I did well on my initial exam, she said in astonishment, “Oh, Yolanda, I didn’t know colored people could do math!”
Eventually, I built a career at IBM, worked for a tech startup and then started my own company with software I developed.
Throughout my career, I’ve known that none of this would have been possible if not for the relentless determination of my mother and the principled impatience of civil rights leaders like Dr. King and Whitney Young, Jr. As President Obama said on the anniversary of the March, “The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own.” There were a lot of hands bending that arc.
Although I’ve come from being banned from science class to starting a tech company, from fainting in front of the Lincoln Memorial to working as hard as I could to help elect our first African-American President, I know that achieving Dr. King’s dream, and my mother’s dream, is still going to take a lot of work.
When my son got his driver’s license in 1993, my husband and I still had to give him “the talk” about being a young black man in America – the same talk my husband’s father gave him. And today, my friends who have young children of color must explain what happened to Trayvon Martin and why, heartbreakingly, they need to understand it.
Decades after my mother fought to get my family into decent housing and to give me an equal education, the income and wealth gaps between African-Americans and whites are continuing to widen. The unemployment rate for African-Americans is still twice that of whites. Our schools still provide a wildly different quality of education to children of different races. And even the protections for voting rights that were secured by the Civil Rights Movement were just torn apart by the United States Supreme Court.
Coretta Scott King once said, “Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.” When I hear that, I think of my mother and of the young people today who are now picking up the mantle.
The truth is that for all of us, the story of the progress of our nation is the story of our own individual lives. And in all of our stories, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go and therefore must keep fighting for economic justice, voter justice and educational justice.
Yolanda “Cookie” Parker is the founder and president of KMS Software Company and a member of the board of People For the American Way. She also served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee.
Creationists advising the Texas Education Agency, the state’s board of education, are no longer even trying to hide the fact that they want to insert pseudo-scientific material grounded in religious beliefs into public school science textbooks. Terrence Stutz of the Dallas Morning News reports that evolution detractors appointed to the review boards are urging the textbook publishers to ignore the Supreme Court (along with science) and push Creationism, or be rejected.
One of the panelists reviewing the biology textbooks, a nutritionist, said that “creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”
Religious conservatives serving on state textbook review panels have criticized several proposed high school biology textbooks for not including arguments against Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The review panels include several creationists. They urge the State Board of Education to reject the books unless publishers include more disclaimers on key concepts of evolution.
One reviewer even suggested a rule requiring that each biology book cover “creation science.” That would run counter to a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The decision banned the teaching of creationism in public school science classes.
“I understand the National Academy of Science’s strong support of the theory of evolution,” said Texas A&M University nutritionist Karen Beathard, one of the biology textbook reviewers. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent and grandparent, I feel very firmly that creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”
“Now the veil is dropped,” Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network writes. “Some of the reviewers are clearly oblivious to the fact that teaching religious arguments in a science classroom is blatantly unconstitutional.”
The National Center for Science Education and Texas Freedom Network found that the Creationists on the textbook review boards have also:
• asserted that "no transitional fossils have been discovered"
• insisted that there is no evidence for a human influence on the carbon cycle
• claimed that there is no evidence about the effect of climate change on species diversity
• promoted a book touting "intelligent design" creationism as a reliable source of scientific information
• denied that recombination and genetic drift are evolutionary mechanisms
• mischaracterized experiments on the peppered moth as "discredited" and as "fabrication[s]"
Due to the size of the Texas market, textbooks tailored to the state’s standards could be used across the country, making the ramifications of the Creationist influence even greater.
The Religious Right has gone into overdrive to fight a San Antonio ordinance that added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the city’s non-discrimination policy [PDF], which already included bans on discrimination “on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex…veteran status, age or disability.” But despite their hyperventilating, the measure passed anyway.
The ordinance’s opponents were certainly not helped by their strategy of using far-fetched, over-the-top arguments to mischaracterize the ordinance…because that it was just too easy to point out where went wrong.
Take, for instance, pastor Charles Flowers, a vocal opponent of the ordinance, who appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show on September 6 to charge that councilmembers who backed the measure “don’t deserve to serve any longer” because they “assaulted” the rights of Christians.
His main complaint about the ordinance was that homosexuality is a “sexual lifestyle choice” and not an immutable characteristic…like a person’s religious beliefs.
“There is a strong response coming from this community to rid our city council of people whose judgment -- this is the issue, they could not judge the difference between the sacred suffering of someone involved in the Civil Rights Movement to gain basic human rights based on immutabilities like race, sex, where you were born and your creeds, that don’t change,” Flowers charged. “They couldn’t tell the difference between that and some group that has a sexual propensity or making as sexual lifestyle choice and now seeking protection in order to persecute and punish anybody whose ideology is different from their own.”
That’s right; the arguments from ordinance’s opponents have come down to the claim that a person’s religious beliefs are unchangeable.
Flowers later contended that “speaking out against the homosexual or lesbian agenda could garner you a fine of $500 per day.”
“That’s $15,000 a month that you could be fined in the seventh largest city in America for expressing a difference between the ideology proposed by a city, where homosexuality and lesbianism is concerned, and your personal belief and personal faith.”
“This is like a police state,” Flowers said, adding that employers who don’t believe in gay rights won’t be able to win city contracts.
His claim that people will be fined for speaking out on homosexuality was so blatantly false that Mefferd had to ask him if pastors could be fined. Flowers alleged that the ordinance would only affect businessmen who seek to fire their openly gay staff members or refuse to serve transgender customers.
Now there is a huge difference between a government fining a person for speaking out against homosexuality or for harboring anti-gay views and prohibiting businesses from discriminating against LGBT employees and customers in public accommodation.
Does he really not see the difference or is he just hoping that listeners will fall for the blatant falsehood?
Furthermore, “religious organizations” are clearly explicitly exempted from the ordinance’s provision on public accommodation, employment and housing, so the Christian businesses Flowers mentioned wouldn’t be impacted.
Last week on Secure Freedom Radio, Frank Gaffney interviewed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) about the crisis in Syria and asked him about a conspiracy theory, recently publicized by Rush Limbaugh, that the United States knew ahead of time about an imminent chemical weapons attack in Syria. As the story goes, Syrian rebels got hold of the weapons and staged the attack in order to give the US an excuse to intervene in the civil war.
One particularly troubling thing is we had just yesterday Rush Limbaugh among others picking up on a report by a former congressional staffer by the name Yossef Bodansky to the effect that a US Ambassador to Syria was in the company of rebels in Turkey shortly before the attack that took place on the 21st of August and was being told there was about to be a war changing event that would bring the United States in on the side of the rebels. I just wonder in light of the fact that some of these chemical weapons might have migrated into other hands, do you think we’re doing due diligence even to understand the authority of this claim that the administration has made that Assad was responsible for this attack? At the very least, it seems to me that question ought to be sorted don’t you think?
The radio host later claimed that “this is in fact, I believe, a formula for a war.”
Johnson didn’t directly respond to the allegations and only argued that Obama administration officials haven’t offered Senators enough time to review the evidence.
WASHINGTON – The Virginia gubernatorial candidacy of far-right Republican Ken Cuccinelli may be a test of how far the GOP is willing and able to take its recent lurch to the right, argues a new report from People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch. As a bellwether for the course of the Republican Party, Cuccinelli’s success or defeat in this race – as well as the party’s continued embrace or rejection of his extremism – will be telling for the future of our country’s political landscape.
The report, Ken Cuccinelli: The Attorney General of the Tea Party, provides an in-depth look at the extreme positions Cuccinelli has taken throughout his career. Cuccinelli’s record provides no dearth of examples of his extreme ring-wing politics and policies, including:
• Filing suit against the Affordable Care Act just five minutes after it was signed into law.
• Supporting radical “personhood” legislation which would criminalize all abortions.
• Suing the EPA for seeking to regulate greenhouse gases.
• Comparing the deportation of undocumented immigrants to pest control.
The report also outlines Cuccinelli’s positions on gay rights, voting rights, education, guns, and more.
“If the GOP is serious about their ‘rebranding,’ supporting a candidate who compares undocumented immigrants to rats, wants to radically turn back the clock on women’s rights, and thinks ‘homosexual acts’ are ‘intrinsically wrong’ is not the way to go,” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “Virginians – and all Americans – deserve better than that.”
The report notes, “In the first test for a Republican Party that is still reeling from the disastrous 2012 election, Virginia’s gubernatorial race could have provided the GOP an opportunity to temper its ultraconservative platform or restrain its partnership with the Tea Party. But the choice of state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli to be the party’s presumptive nominee for governor indicates that the GOP is moving even further to the right and letting go of any pretense of moderation or bipartisanship.”
The full report is available at www.pfaw.org.
After a lengthy interview with Jan Markell about President Obama’s supposed push for an Islamic caliphate, Michele Bachmann spoke to the Christian Right radio host about the 2016 presidential election, immigration reform and the Last Days.
Bachmann pushed back on Markell’s fera that Hillary Clinton will be elected president: “I don’t at all because I look at the story of David and Goliath, all David needed was one smooth stone to fell the giant. It wasn’t the stone, it wasn’t David, it was the strong right arm of a Holy God.”
She said that if “we repent, if we cry out to God, we have no idea what the Lord God will do for us in 2016.”
After telling Markell that the GOP needs to discover what its “positive, big picture message solution needs to be,” she responded to a question about support for Israeli policies within Congress to chastise Republicans who supported immigration reform.
She said that just as lawmakers need to stand by Israel “if Iran decides to drop a nuclear weapon on Israel,” the GOP must stand firm on immigration: “It’s not when times are good, it’s when times are bad when you count your friends. I got to tell you, I’ve been shocked and appalled by the conservatives who have gotten on board this train of amnesty for illegal aliens; I’ve been absolutely floored.”
“For some reason they’re on a political suicide journey to make sure that this happens,” Bachmann warned. “This will hurt and forever structurally change our country into the future and I think it will hurt us from a national security perspective as well.”
Bachmann then explained how she sees the “signs of the times.”
“We are in times that are unprecedented,” Bachmann said. “These are the times of birth pangs, we’re seeing the intensity of age and the speed and rapidity that these events are starting to speed up so fast that we can hardly get our minds about it.”
Marell lamented “that many are heartbroken because we’ve watched this wonderful country of ours just tank more and more and more because of this secular humanist, hardcore, atheistic, left who is hell bent on socialism for America.”
Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared alongside End Times broadcaster Jan Markell to warn that President Obama is trying to “lift up the Islamists” and impose “Islamic speech codes” that would “take away the free speech rights of the American people.”
The Minnesota congresswoman visited Understanding The Times again this weekend to discuss with Markell why she believes Obama shares the same “worldview” as Islamist groups.
Bachmann recently visited Egypt to endorse the brutal repression of opposition groups, even falsely linking the Muslim Brotherhood to the September 11 attacks. She told Markell that President Obama demanded that Egypt’s military government return deposed President Mohamed Morsi to power (he did not) because the president has “embraced” the Muslim Brotherhood’s “worldview.”
“Now why in the world would we want to put these Islamist fanatics back in power, that hate Jews, that want to see the destruction of that West; why would you do that unless the Obama administration embraced the worldview aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood?” Bachmann asked.
“This is a worldview issue,” Bachmann explained. “The Islamic view of the world seeks domination… They are seeking to expand their domination across the world.”
The congresswoman claimed that his 2009 Cairo speech, which she called “one of the weirdest speeches you will ever read,” the president said that “as President of the United States it is his duty to further some of the goals and aims of the Muslim religion, one of which is to be able to pay their tithe.”
Even though then-President Hosni Mubarak praised the address, Bachmann alleged that the speech was meant to derail Mubarak and empower the Muslim Brotherhood.
Bachmann told Markell that Obama’s speech was “the green light” for Islamists to rise up.
“What’s weird about all of this is if you just objectively look at every action that Barack Obama has taken as President of the United States, the fruit of his actions have lifted up the aims and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic jihad, and his actions have taken down Israel,” Bachmann charged. “Every intelligent leak, unprecedented intelligence leaks, all have been to the detriment to Israel, almost as if to defend a signal: don’t try to defend yourselves because the United States won’t be there for you.”
Bachmann went on to accuse Obama of inviting Muslim Brotherhood agents into the government.
She agreed with Markell’s claim that that administration officials have an “affinity” for the Muslim Brotherhood. “Obviously this has something to do with the affinity of Hillary Clinton for Islam and the affinity of Barack Obama for Islam,” Markell said.
“Yes, again, this is a worldview issue,” Bachmann replied. She said that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to “revive the Ottoman Empire” with the administration’s approval: “They are committed to reestablishing a global caliphate. What is very weird is that the Obama administration has bent over backwards to do everything that they can to reach out with what they call an engagement strategy.”
Of course, none of this would’ve happened if we had just listened to Michele Bachmann and elected her as president.
“I hate to say I told you so,” Bachmann said, maintaining that Al Qaeda is using Libyan oil to “further global jihad” and now the “black Islamic flag flies over Libya, flies over Tunisia” – which, for the record, are not controlled by Al Qaeda.
At an AFL-CIO convention this weekend, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called out the increasingly pro-corporate lean of the U.S. Supreme Court. Politico reports:
On the opening day of the AFL-CIO’s convention, Warren — the highest-profile national Democrat to address the gathering here — warned attendees of a “corporate capture of the federal courts.”
In a speech that voiced a range of widely held frustrations on the left, Warren assailed the court as an instrument of the wealthy that regularly sides with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She cited an academic study that called the current Supreme Court’s five conservative-leaning justices among the “top 10 most pro-corporate justices in half a century.”
“You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business,” Warren said, drawing murmurs from the crowd.
The study that Warren was referring to is a Minnesota Law Review study that found that the five conservative justices currently on the Supreme Court have sided with corporate interests at a greater rate than most justices since World War II. All five were among the ten most corporate-friendly justices in over 50 years. Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts were the top two.
The Supreme Court majority’s consistent twisting of the law to put the interests of corporations over those of individuals is one of the main characteristics of the Roberts Court, but it is not the only extremely influential court with such a pro-corporate bent. In fact, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to which President Obama has nominated three highly qualified candidates, has been following the same trend, also because of the influence of judges named by George W. Bush. This is the court whose ultra-conservative justices declared that cigarette label warning requirements violate the free speech rights of tobacco companies and that requiring that employers inform employees of their right to unionize violates the free speech rights of the corporations.
While there is not currently a vacancy at the Supreme Court that could affect its balance, there are three at the DC Circuit. That is why Senate Republicans are working so hard to keep them empty.
It seems that Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt never meets an anti-Obama conspiracy theory that he doesn’t like. So, when an InfoWars host last month told Pratt about a conspiracy theory that the Department of Veterans Affairs is arbitrarily disarming veterans and throwing them into psychiatric hospitals – a chain-email driven rumor that has been strongly debunked by a number of conservative bloggers – Pratt declared it “a return to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia” and suggested that Congress defund the VA in retaliation.
Earlier in the interview, Pratt discussed his theory that President Obama is using health care reform as part of a communist plot to destroy America: “The communist understands that you have to destroy the existing system before you can rebuild paradise on the rubble that they have created in their revolution.”
While David Barton’s egregiously bad and outright dishonest scholarship makes him a laughable figure among historians, as Politico’s Stephanie Simon points out, his work continues to be popular among conservative activists and GOP politicians. Barton, himself a leader of the Texas Republican Party, pushes an avowedly partisan take on history while at the same time claiming that any criticism of his work is politically-motivated.
Although Barton’s biggest critics include scholars from conservative and evangelical institutions, Republican leaders don’t seem to mind Barton’s routinely debunked claims about the nation’s founding era. In fact, the widely discredited claim at the core of Barton’s historical analysis -- that the Founding Fathers were all evangelical Christians who would’ve even been farther to the right than the average Tea Party member -- is exactly what makes him an esteemed figure on the right.
Simon mentions that Barton will undoubtedly have a significant role in the upcoming Republican presidential primary and has earned the praise of potential candidates including Ted Cruz, commentators such as Glenn Beck and key GOP figures in Iowa.
But what Barton lacks in credentials as a real historian he makes up for with absolute confidence in his work, so much so that Simon writes that analysts believe he “brings an air of sober-minded scholarship to the culture wars.”
Examples of Barton’s “sober-minded scholarship” include his beliefs that:
While Ted Cruz said that he is “not in a position to opine on academic disputes between historians,” he would do well to remember that this is irrelevant when it comes to David Barton, who is not a historian at all.
William Murray’s Government Is Not God PAC is predictably upset that the Treasury Department and the IRS, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down the federal component of DOMA, will recognize legally married same-sex couples.
The conservative group said the decision was just more proof that Obama is a “tyrant,” lamenting that “in more rational times, he would already have been impeached and removed from office” for pursuing “his socialist, Islamist, and pro-homosexual agendas.”
It should come as no surprise that Obama has just exceeded his authority to redefine marriage under federal law.
The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services are going to recognize homosexual marriages even in states that define marriage as a one-man, one-woman union.
According to Ryan Anderson, with The Heritage Foundation:
The agencies announced that they will recognize same-sex couples as married provided that they were married in states that have redefined marriage, even if they now reside in states that retain the historical definition of marriage. As Treasury and IRS put it, “The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.”
Given the Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 3 of DOMA, the federal government should look to each state’s definition of marriage as governing for federal law. This respects both federalism and democratic self-government. A bad Supreme Court ruling should not allow federal bureaucrats to redefine marriage across America for their agency.
But, of course, since Obama views the Constitution as an impediment to his socialist, Islamist, and pro-homosexual agendas, he will impose his policies on Americans without regard for the legality of whatever he wishes to do. A leader who operates this way is called a tyrant. In more rational times, he would already have been impeached and removed from office. But, don’t expect that to happen – especially since the Senate is still under the control of the Obama clone Harry Reid.
Between the Supreme Court’s decision to neuter Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the passage of one of the nation’s most restrictive voter ID bills in North Carolina, with many other states also passing bills to restrict voting and registration, it’s been a tough year for the right to vote in America. And it just got worse in Virginia, where elections are just around the corner.
According to a report by Think Progress, around “57,000 Virginians have been flagged as being registered in another state, and counties are removing some from the voter rolls without any notice or opportunity to rebut the claim.” This is a crucial point in this case: it’s one thing to make thousands of registered voters jump through hoops to prove they’re eligible to vote in the state, but it’s quite another to remove those voters without any notice, less than two months before an election and less than six weeks before the registration deadline. If the voter was removed in error, the burden is on that voter to fix the state’s mistake in time to vote this November. As Think Progress points out, 57,000 voters is around 3% of the number of voters in 2009—more than enough to make the difference in a close election.
This is disturbing news, particularly following reports that Florida may be looking to take another shot at purging their voter rolls, which they failed to do in time for the 2012 election. Oh, and Iowa, too. Any other swing states feel like joining in?
For more information on voter purges, take a look at the Brennan Center’s report, as well as our report on voter fraud, The Right To Vote Under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box.
As you probably already know, no organization in the country talks more about the issue of homosexuality than the American Family Association. Even gay rights groups talk about LGBT issues less than AFA spokespeople like Bryan Fischer. But it seems that until now the AFA has not uncovered the “real problem” behind gay rights. The group even took issue sprinter Tyson Gay’s name.
But the wait is over. Today, AFA blogger Ray Rooney Jr. writes a column entitled “The Real Problem With Homosexuality.”
According to Rooney, the real reason homosexuality is wrong — no, it’s not that gays are Nazi Stormtroopers — is because gay people want everyone to know that they have sex with someone of the same sex.
Unlike “normal people” (read: heterosexuals), who never disclose that they have sex with someone of the opposite sex, gays just want to “broadcast to the world the details of their sex lives.”
“I am fed up with the gay community,” Rooney complains, because he is “just sick of hearing about how one group of people demand that everyone in the world accept who they have sex with!”
What I find perverse about homosexuality is the insistence from the gay community that I should know about their sexual proclivities. Normal people understand that sex is an extremely intimate and therefore private act. I would find it troubling, if not disgusting, for anyone to talk publicly about what kind of sex they like to practice. Normal people do not want to broadcast to the world the details of their sex lives. There is something wrong with those who want complete strangers to know who they like to have sex with.
Medical statistics tell me homosexuality is unhealthy. My Christian faith teaches me it is unrighteous. Common sense tells me it is unfruitful and unnatural. But none of that is why I am fed up with the gay community. I’m just sick of hearing about how one group of people demand that everyone in the world accept who they want to have sex with!
I wonder if all the stories making the news today about bakers and florists being forced to cater to homosexuals would be stories but for people announcing who they like to have sex with? I mean, did the offended customers come in and ask for a wedding cake or flowers for their wedding and were denied service because they looked like homosexuals? Or did the customer come in and announce their sexual preference and then demand service? I suspect the latter.
I believe homosexuality is wrong. Just like I believe adultery and sex outside of marriage is wrong. But even though I believe I have good reasons for opposing homosexuality as a normative lifestyle based on science, medicine, and faith, that is not why I strongly oppose it. I believe anyone who insists everyone know what they do in their bedroom and with whom is perverse. Normal people do not define themselves solely on the basis of who they are sexually attracted to.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on Washington Watch yesterday with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, where he spent most of his time asserting that Republicans have a mandate to defund Obamacare because they did so well in the 2010 midterms and never mind that whole election last November.
After Jordan insisted that the GOP-led House should strip funding from Obamacare by using the budget and debt ceiling debates as leverage, the Religious Right leader came up with a brilliant plan to tell President Obama that Congress will only approve military action against Syria if the money comes out of Obamacare: “You could even take it to the issue of Syria. If the President wants to expend resources in going into Syria, maybe you should have to choose between funding Obamacare and funding a war in Syria, can’t do both.”
Of course, conservative leaders were not as concerned with the trillions of dollars spent in the Iraq war.
Rick Wiles on Wednesday interviewed fellow End Times broadcaster Jonathan Hansen of World Ministries International to discuss the coming world war that President Obama is planning since he is the Antichrist after all.
Hansen believes that the government may soon “pull the chord” and launch “World War III,” which he claims was also detailed to him by a congressman who revealed that only people who get to a certain part of Idaho will survive the bloodshed.
I had a member of the House contact me and he warned about the struggle going on in America right now and he shared with me that because of what we’re doing, as far as on television and radio trying to warn America, he gave me grid coordinates. He said if we don’t stop this insanity, they are going to crash the economy, it’s going to crash and there’s going to be blood flowing through America; but if you can get yourself and your family to this grid coordinates—you have to get a pilot—we will keep you alive…. All I know is, I did get a hold of a pilot and he said it’s in Idaho.
Wiles: We have the President of the United States going to a foreign nation at a summit meeting of world leaders and gay rights is his number one issue.
Hansen: Can you believe that? Can you believe that?
Wiles: This is like out of a nightmare. I don’t even know where I’m at anymore. This is so bizarre what’s happening in the world, I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Hansen: I’ve said that different times, I’ve gone into offices and in one of our offices I sat down saying, you wouldn’t think we’re in America anymore, I would have never thought it forty years ago.
Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network is already weighing legal action against two filmmakers over their documentary depicting the televangelist’s egregious misrepresentations of the activities of his charity, Operation Blessing.
An Operation Blessing spokesman told The Virginian-Pilot that they are “considering legal action” against Lara Zizic and David Turner, whose film “Mission Congo” will hold its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival, over the film’s supposed “false and defamatory” content.
CBN has a history of going after Robertson’s critics; for example, they recently embarked on an unsuccessful push to cover up a video of Robertson — first posted here on Right Wing Watch —arguing that gay men wear special rings that they use to infect random people they meet with HIV/AIDS.
Chris McGreal of The Guardian reports that the film depicts how Robertson diverted charitable activities to help mining projects that he owned and grossly exaggerated the work of Operation Blessing among Rwandan refugees.
The bulk of the thousands of doctors and nurses struggling to save lives – as about 40,000 people died of cholera – were volunteers for the international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The Bible readers were hired by the American televangelist and former religious right presidential candidate, Pat Robertson, and his aid organisation, Operation Blessing International.
But on Robertson's US television station, the Christian Broadcasting Network, that reality was reversed, as he raised millions of dollars from loyal followers by claiming Operation Blessing was at the forefront of the international response to the biggest refugee crisis of the decade. It's a claim he continues to make, even though an official investigation into Robertson's operation in Virginia accused him of "fraudulent and deceptive" claims when he was running an almost non-existent aid operation.
Mission Congo, by David Turner and Lara Zizic, opens at the Toronto film festival on Friday. It describes how claims about the scale of aid to Rwandan refugees were among a number of exaggerated or false assertions about the activities of Operation Blessing which pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in donations, much of it through Robertson's televangelism. They include characterising a failed large-scale farming project as a huge success, and claims about providing schools and other infrastructure.
But some of the most damaging criticism of Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing, who describe how mercy flights to save refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist.
The documentary describes how dredges, used to suck up diamonds from river beds, were delivered hundreds of miles from the crisis in Goma to a private commercial firm, African Development Company, registered in Bermuda and wholly owned by Robertson. ADC held a mining concession near the town of Kamonia on the far side of the country.
The pilot said he joined Operation Blessing to help people. Of the 40 flights he flew into Congo, just two delivered aid. The others were associated with the diamond mining. "We're not doing anything for those people," he said. "After several months I was embarrassed to have Operation Blessing on the airplane's tail." He had the lettering removed.
Robertson's activities in Congo were initially exposed by a Virginia newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, in the 1990s. The investigation by Bill Sizemore prompted the attorney general in Virginia, where Operation Blessing is registered, to order a probe by the state's office of consumer affairs.
Its report concluded that Robertson made "fraudulent and deceptive" statements with claims to be ferrying doctors and medical aid to Goma when he was delivering diamond-mining equipment. It accused Operation Blessing of "misrepresenting" what its flights were doing, and of saying that the airstrip at Kamonia was part of the aid operation when it was "for the benefit of ADC's mining operation".
It also said Robertson had falsely portrayed the Dumi farm as hugely successful when it had already failed.
"Pat Robertson made material claims, via television appeals, regarding the relief efforts. These statements are refuted by the evidence in this case," the report said.
Robertson has been embroiled in mining controversies elsewhere in Africa. He supported the then president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, during that country's civil war without revealing at the time that he had an $8m investment in a Liberian gold mine. Taylor was already indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal at the time and was later convicted of crimes against humanity.
Full disclosure: The filmmakers conducted research in People For the American Way's archives.