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Mat Staver says Day of Silence is a Tool of the 'Radical Homosexual Agenda' to push 'Deviant Lifestyles'

Three days after the Day of Silence, held on Friday, April 20, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel on Freedom’s Call railed against the “radical homosexual agenda” for promoting “homosexuality and other deviant lifestyles” in schools. As we found in our updated report, Big Bullies: The Right-Wing’s Anti-Anti-Bullying Strategies, Liberty Counsel has been at the forefront of opposing efforts to combat bullying and suicide among youth, and Staver today said that the Day of Silence, a day where students remain silent to show solidarity to students facing anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination, is a “dishonest” and “radical” project by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to “use American students as pawns in their attempt to transform our society”:

Staver: The radical Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network staged a so-called Day of Silence in schools across America. The goal was to disrupt the classroom learning environment in order to send a message in favor of the radical homosexual agenda. It is unfortunate that GLSEN would seek to use American students as pawns in their attempt to transform our society. We need to understand that the Day of Silence campaign is not about securing equal rights for anyone, but rather it is a concerted effort to force society to accept the practice of homosexuality and other deviant lifestyles. The facts are homosexual behavior raises some very serious public health concerns, as reported by numerous organizations including the Center for Disease Control. Not only is GLSEN being dishonest concerning the negative effects of homosexuality, they are also attempting to remove any voices that would suggest otherwise. America’s students deserve better.

Tony Perkins Laments that 'Mike and Ike' Are Gay and 'Sexualizing Candy'

As part of a new advertising campaign for the candy, ‘Mike and Ike’ have announced that they are divorcing so Ike can pursue a career in the arts and Mike can fulfill his dream of becoming a “music legend.” Advertisers hope that the “fight” between Mike and Ike can win the candy more attention among consumers, and it already grabbed the attention of Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who is upset that Mike and Ike are a gay couple. Perkins said today on his radio bulletin:

These days, you can't get a sugar high without experiencing a cultural low. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. There's trouble in candy land. After more than 70 years together, Mike & Ike are calling it quits. The duo is staging a gay divorce as part of a new ad campaign to draw in younger customers. In this society, even candy has an agenda! From Facebook to Tumblr, the fruity pair says, "The rumors are true. We just couldn't agree on stuff anymore." Starting this summer, the company will spend $15 million on billboards and TV commercials that poke fun at the breakup. It's just another subtle example of society chipping away at the value of marriage. And I don't know what's more disturbing--that advertisers think divorce appeals to kids or that sexualizing candy will make people buy more. After a year-long build-up, the company will reveal if the couple reconciles. Until then, look for Mike & Ike to have a distinctly liberal flavor.

PFAW Report: The Anti-Gay Lobby’s Pro-Bullying Agenda

As students around the country participated Friday’s “Day of Silence” to show solidarity with bullied LGBT children and teens, anti-gay activists continued to step up their efforts to prevent schools from protecting bullied students.

A new report from People For the American Way details the efforts of right-wing activists and organizations to prevent school districts from implementing strong anti-bullying policies that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived students.

The full report can be found online at: http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/updated-big-bullies-right-wings-anti-anti-bullying-strategies

“It’s no secret that anti-gay bullying is a growing problem in our schools,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Yet anti-gay activists are determined to keep parents, teachers and administrators from confronting the problem.

“It's almost unbelievable that there are organizations dedicated to opposing anti-bullying programs, but they're out there and stronger than ever. These groups are so determined to fight every step of progress for LGBT rights that they’re willing to hurt children and teens in the process. That’s just shameful.”

The new report supplements a PFAW investigation released last year, updating it with the latest activities of the anti-anti-bullying movement, including:

  • The Tennessee legislature moved forward on a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality.
  • Anti-gay groups fought anti-bullying measures in states across the country, including Arizona, Minnesota and West Virginia.
  • Prominent Religious Right groups rallied against the Day of Silence: the Family Research Council called it “a cover for the promotion of homosexuality,” the American Family Association accused it of “hijacking of the classroom for political purposes,” and Focus on the Family said it was all about “indoctrination.”
  • Several anti-gay activists blamed the gay rights movement for the suicides of LGBT teens.
  • Anti-gay groups attacked positive portrayals of LGBT teens in the show “Glee,” accusing the show of “radical homosexual promotion,” “deviant sexuality” and “demonic manipulation.”

Click here to read the full report.

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UPDATED! Big Bullies: The Right Wing's Anti- Anti-Bullying Strategies

An update to last year's report detailing the Religious Right’s anti-anti-bullying efforts. After the Religious Right's obstinate resistance to common-sense measures against bullying stunned even some conservatives, many of these groups are now proposing their own "remedies" — remedies that would ultimately weaken endeavors to prevent bullying.

The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

Recent polling indicates the vast majority of Americans believe that corporations and special interests have too much sway in our elections – a whopping 85 % of voters said that corporations have too much influence over the political system, and 93% said that average citizens have too little. Across all parties, a full 62% specifically oppose Citizens United, the deeply flawed 2010 Supreme Court Decision that opened the floodgates to massive corporate and special interest spending in our elections.

This deep disapproval is manifest in the growing grassroots movement taking hold across the country fighting for a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision. While there’s a long way to go, the people represented in these polls are making their voice heard, and our elected officials are taking action.

The 89 members of Congress who have endorsed one of the 13 federal resolutions to overturn Citizens United introduced thus far during the 112th Congress are acting on this sentiment. These proposed amendments are diverse, and are reflective of the robust and serious debate Americans are having across the country on what constitutional approach would best solve the problem. In addition, as significant is the groundswell of support at the local and state level that far transcends this total. To name just a few, the City Councils of New York City, NY, Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Albany, NY, Missoula, MT, and Boulder, CO have all adopted their own resolutions, as have the legislatures of states like Hawaii, New Mexico and Vermont (and in Maryland, where the state Constitution does not permit the passage of non-binding resolutions, a majority of legislators in both houses have signed a letter calling for a constitutional amendment). When given the chance to vote directly, the citizens of 64 towns across the state of Vermont have passed ballot measures supporting a constitutional amendment.

So far, 91 million Americans are represented by public officials who have declared their support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. 24 Senators, representing 75 million constituents, have sponsored or cosponsored a version of an amendment. Across the Capitol, 65 members of the House of Representatives, representing an additional 16 million people.

Progress is being made, but there’s still more work to do to fill these maps with dark shades of yellow and green. But this is a “movement moment” – and with the ever-increasing support of public officials, advocacy organizations and citizen activists, it can be done.

PFAW

Sessions Objects to Judicial Nominee Who Called Kagan ‘Qualified’

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Maine attorney William Kayatta Jr. to sit on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Only two committee members voted against allowing Kayatta a vote from the full Senate: Utah’s Mike Lee, who is still protesting all Obama nominees, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who gave the following reason, according to the Portland Press Herald:

In a statement on his opposition to Kayatta's nomination, Sessions cited Kayatta's role as lead evaluator for the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary during the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

Sessions said Kayatta saw fit to give Kagen the highest rating despite her lack of substantial courtroom and trial experience, as a lawyer or trial judge. Sessions said the rating was "not only unsupported by the record, but, in my opinion, the product of political bias."

Yes, that’s right. Kayatta was involved in the American Bar Association’s nonpartisan rating process, which dared to call the solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean “well qualified” for the job of Supreme Court Justice.

Sessions, one of the most outspoken opponents of Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination frequently slammed her lack of judicial experience in her confirmation hearings two years ago. He seemed to conveniently forget that the late conservative icon Chief Justice William Rehnquist also came to the High Court without having previously served as a judge – as have over one third of all Justices in U.S. history. The American Bar Association similarly found Rehnquist qualified for the job and called him “one of the best persons available for appointment to the Supreme Court [pdf].

It would be funny if it weren’t so appalling: Sessions’ grudge against Kagan runs so deep that he not only objected to her nomination, he’s objecting to anyone who who’s dared to call her qualified for her job.

PFAW

Joe the Plumber: 'I Know God's on my Side'

Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, has turned himself from Tea Party activist to Republican congressional candidate and talked to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network this week where he explained that President Obama’s “views are socialist” and his “ideology is anti-American,” adding, “I’ll say that every day and I won’t shut up about it.” “It’s connecting the dots, it’s very simple, it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s not much a hoopla, it’s real,” Plumber added. Plumber also backed Mitt Romney although he wished Herman Cain, whom he called a “Godly man,” was the nominee:

While speaking to Brody, he also said that after he was criticized over his conversation with President Obama, said that he was upset by a Huffington Post story about him and said that he was reassured after prayer, knowing that “God's on my side.”

LaBarbera: Obama and his 'Blasphemous Agenda' is Part of God’s 'Judgment on America'

After telling VCY America’s Jim Schneider about the “homosexualization” of America, Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homoseuxality went on to decry President Obama’s “blasphemous agenda” and “celebration of homosexuality.” LaBarbera called Obama a “dictator” and demanded he be “impeached,” warning that the President’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act is pushing “one of the ultimate blapshemies”:

LaBarbera: They will not enforce that latter provision of DOMA, and so this President has decided that he is judge and jury of the nation, acting like a dictator, he has decided that he is just not going to enforce the law. I believe that he can be impeached on that alone if there was enough people who had moral strength in our Congress. You can’t just decide which laws you’re going to enforce and which ones you’re not going to enforce, he has done this repeatedly throughout his administration but especially with regard to homosexuality and marriage.



We know this, the policies that he is advancing are anti-Christian: the celebration of homosexuality, undermining marriage between a man and a woman. I mean that is a blasphemous agenda, the idea that marriage, attaching marriage, this wonderful institution given by God, attaching that to the perversion of homosexuality is sort of one of the ultimate blasphemies, Jim, but that’s what he is promoting.

Later, LaBarbera spoke in even more stark terms about the President, suggesting that his presidency is “part of the judgment of America” and told a caller who wondered if Obama “is an arm of the Antichrist” that “sexual immorality” will bring about the downfall of America and civilization itself:

LaBarbera: I believe that many people see Obama’s sort of what he’s doing to the country as part of the judgment of America. We elected this man who said he wasn’t going to divide the country and lo and behold he has become one of the greatest if not the greatest president pushing immorality that this country has ever seen.



Caller: As far as Obama is concerned, I believe he is a man after Satan’s own heart, has nothing to do with the truth, he is an arm of the Antichrist, and we need something to happen. I hope it’s the Rapture.

Schneider: We are so in need of revival across this land, when we observe what’s taking place in other countries Peter, there is no guarantee that America needs to be this world superpower. When we see what’s going on in other nations, the persecution that has come to Christians, why should America be exempt from that?

LaBarbera: Right. Abraham Lincoln said America if it fell it is going to fall from within, crumble from within, and certainly historians have associated sexual immorality and other factors with the downfall of civilization and we see rampant sexual immorality, not just on the homosexual side, look at any movie rated PG-13, incredibly dirty. America has become a highly, over sexualized, perverse nation and perhaps God is just allowing us to sink and the world will go on for hundreds or thousands of more years but America will not be the great power, or the moral power certainly, than it once was.

LaBarbera Blasts 'Pathological' Gay Rights Advocates and the 'Homosexualization' of the Schools, Military and Government

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera thinks about gay people a lot, even admitting that he talks about issues concerning gays and lesbians “all the time.” Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to see him appear on VCY America’s Crosstalk with Jim Schneider where he disparaged the Day of Silence for making students “celebrate perversion” and creating “pro-homosexual indoctrination zones,” and criticized same-sex parents and their children for appearing at the White House’s Easter egg hunt. And after all that, LaBarbera grumbled that gays and lesbians have “an almost pathological drive” to their activism:

Schneider: Peter, what harm is there in having a Day of Silence?

LaBarbera: I think there is great harm in the schools becoming pro-homosexual indoctrination zones and that’s what’s happening Jim. Now GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, has created a whole host of events, National Transgender Remembrance Day, all these various activities all designed to celebrate perversion, what we as Christians consider sin and perversion. So the school, a place of authority for schools, you have your parents and you have your teachers for your children and if the teachers and the administrators of the school are basically telling the kids that celebrating homosexuality is OK, then our schools are directly promoting immorality and corruption to children, and that’s wrong. This is one reason why many parents are just getting out of the public school system altogether.

Schneider: Let’s transition from the classroom now to the highest office in our land, the White House, Peter they are doing anything but remaining silent as they are going full force, year-round now in the promotion of LGBT, just a week ago the White House made a big deal over their Easter egg roll and all the LGBT families that were coming to the event. But Peter, I didn’t see any news release talking about all the heterosexual families coming out?

LaBarbera: It’s so obnoxious, Jim, and I know we agree on this because we talk about it all the time. Everything they can use, the homosexual activists are using, even innocent events like an Easter egg hunt at the White House to promote homosexuality, because it’s all about the homosexual activists, right? Every institution, every event they can use to promote their lifestyle, they do. It’s an almost pathological drive to gain and to promote the acceptance of that which is unacceptable—homosexuality—so we see these innocent, wholesome events like the Easter egg hunt, being hijacked by the LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender movement, and this is one of those cases.

But LaBarbera’s tirade didn’t end there, as he warned that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is transforming the Pentagon into “the world’s largest so-called gay rights organization.” LaBarbera even attacked the “so-called gay families,” including their loved ones that serve in the military, for bringing “immorality” to military bases.

LaBarbera: When you open up the military to perversion, which is what President Obama and largely the Democrats although some Republicans helped, this is what you would expect. We shouldn’t be surprised when we assaults happening and Jim again, this administration, we’re going to see more homosexual activism in the military. Now they’re going to be lobbying hard for bases, for families, so-called gay families, to be allowed on bases. What does that mean? That means if you have a family with a young son or a young daughter next door could be homosexual soldiers modeling that immorality to your youngsters, right there in the military.



We’re seeing what we predicted which is that under the Obama administration, with the homoseuxalization of our military, the Pentagon has become the world’s largest so-called gay rights organization.

Anti-Defamation League Says Bishop who Likened Obama to Hitler 'Needs a History Lesson'

On Tuesday we reported that Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, used his Sunday Homily to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, and described the Catholic Church as in a “war” similar to the struggles against “barbarian invasion,” “jihads,” and “Nazism and Communism.”

Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League told the Chicago Tribune that his comments were “completely over the top”:

A homily delivered Sunday by Peoria's Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky has angered the Anti-Defamation League, a watchdog for anti-Semitism.



On Wednesday, Lonnie Nasatir, the regional director of Chicago's Anti-Defamation League, demanded an apology from Jenky, calling his remarks "outrageous, offensive and completely over the top."

"Clearly, Bishop Jenky needs a history lesson," Nasatir said.

"There are few, if any, parallels in history to the religious intolerance and anti-Semitism fostered in society by Stalin, and especially Hitler, who under his regime perpetuated the open persecution and ultimate genocide of Jews, Catholics and many other minorities."

Faithful America is also calling for an apology, writing members that “this kind of hateful and incendiary rhetoric is inappropriate coming from anyone”:

As pastors and teachers, Catholic bishops are supposed to lead their flock in sharing the love of God with our neighbors. So why did a Catholic bishop just use his Sunday homily to compare President Obama to Hitler and Stalin?

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, launched a vicious tirade against politicians who disagree with the bishops' views on health care reform, culminating in the outrageous claim that "Barack Obama seems intent on following a similar path" to Hitler and Stalin, who "would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open."

This kind of hateful and incendiary rhetoric is inappropriate coming from anyone -- but it's simply outrageous coming from a religious leader in a position of public trust. Bishop Jenky needs to hear immediately that reasonable people of faith are appalled by his remarks. [emphasis theirs]

There's no excuse for comparing the President of the United States to Hitler and Stalin. Please offer an immediate apology for your offensive remarks and refrain from using such hateful rhetoric in the future.

Black SBC Pastor Condemns Land's 'Damaging, Alienating and Offensive Words' about Race

It appears that Richard Land’s non-apology backfired, badly, as the Religious Right leader and chief ethicist of the Southern Baptist Convention is quickly doing damage control following his explosive racial comments on President Obama and the Trayvon Maritn case and accusations that he repeatedly plagiarized conservative columnists during his radio show. Initially, Land took a defiant stance and criticized his detractors, but then issued two statements expressing his “regret” that he “overestimated the progress that has been made” on race relations, and he admitted not to plagiarizing but simply failing “to provide appropriate verbal attributions” during his show. As Kyle pointed out this morning, Land is now facing an investigation by the Executive Committee of the ERLC and also took down the archives of his radio show, ostensibly due to “the danger that such unauthorized use by news agencies or others might include quoted material used by Dr. Land without clear and proper credit being given to the author or source of the quoted material.”

Yesterday, Dwight McKissic, a prominent African American pastor in the SBC who has received attention for his virulently anti-gay views, slammed Land for his initial remarks and his condescending non-apology, and even threatened to boycott future SBC meetings if Land is not repudiated. He even said that Land was reviving the racist “curse of Ham”:

Richard Land’s racial remarks against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin tragedy are the most damaging, alienating, and offensive words about race that I’ve read or heard, rendered by a SBC personality, in the twenty-eight years that I’ve served as a SBC church planter/pastor.

The pain that Richard Land inflicted upon Blacks in the SBC is a pain that would be only felt greater by the pain inflicted upon Trayvon Martin’s family by George Zimmerman. In his non apology—apology, he blames those of us who responded to his racial views, for the pain we felt. The opening line in his letter of apology, dated April 16, 2012, says, “I am writing to express my deep regret for any hurt or misunderstanding my comments about the Trayvon Martin case have generated.” He then blames his readers and listeners for not being “progressive” enough to be on the same page with him racially.



I remain appalled at his unrepentant words. And since Dr. Land will not repent of his words, I feel compelled to ask the SBC by way of resolution to repudiate and renounce the racially offensive, biblically unjustifiable and factually incorrect words of Dr. Richard Land. He spoke these words as an official of the SBC; therefore, the SBC must take ownership and responsibility for Dr. Land’s words. I could not with a good conscience attend a SBC meeting in the post Luter years, or increase giving to the Cooperative Program as long as Land’s words remain un-repented of. To do so would be to engage in self-hatred; the exercise and practice of low self-esteem; to support Land’s view of racial profiling and his flawed racial reasoning.

What was even more troubling to me than Land’s remarks, was his assertion that the vast majority of Southern Baptists agree with his racial views. If he is accurate in his assessment, it confirms the suspicion that many Black Baptists have held for years regarding Southern Baptists; and that is many Southern Baptists, if not the majority, inherently and instinctively don’t honestly respect, relate to or view Blacks with a mindset of mutual respect, equality and understanding. Blacks are primarily viewed as mission projects, not as mission partners. Inadvertently, Dr. Land opened to us the window of his heart and showed us this painful reality (Mark 7:20-23). The question now is, did Richard Land show us the heart of the entirety of the SBC?

To read Land’s initial comments and his apology is painful, shameful and heartbreaking for many of us. Now the SBC must take ownership of Dr. Land’s words, because according to Dr. Land, his words reflect the views of his constituency. There are three reasons why I believe the SBC must repudiate Dr. Land’s remarks; or I, for one, will remove myself from SBC gatherings.



As I’ve listened to Black Baptists discuss Land’s comments, I believe his most offensive remark related to his belief in justified racial profiling. The SBC must repudiate the profiling comment, if nothing else. According to the prosecutor and investigators in Florida, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed because of Zimmerman’s profiling. Land’s comments gives ecclesiastical license from the SBC for this kind of profiling. Land’s racial profiling comments are analogous to what the major SBC pastors and theologians said about Black people for many years—for which they have never repented of—and that is, Black people were cursed by God. Land’s “justifiable profiling” doctrine is virtually identical and analogous to the SBC “curse of Ham” doctrine. Land just presented the 21st Century version of the “curse of Ham” doctrine, financed with Cooperative Program dollars. This is an egregious offense. Black SBC churches only give 1% to the Cooperative Program. Nevertheless, our churches helped to finance Richard Land’s communicating to all of America that racial profiling is justifiable. It was the justifiable profiling doctrine that led the SBC to conclude that slavery and segregation were biblically permissible. Land has revived that doctrine. According to Dr. Land, persons like me are worthy of being profiled.

Elsewhere in the post, McKissic commented on racial segregation at SBC meetings, called on Land to apologize to President Obama and Trayvon Martin’s family, and said that is comments “are not only factually incorrect” but are also “biblically unjustifiable.”

Mitt Romney, Judge Bork, and the Future of America’s Courts

People For the American Way launched a major new campaign today highlighting what a Mitt Romney presidency would mean for America’s courts. Romney has signaled that he’s ready to draw the Supreme Court and lower federal courts even farther to the right. And no signal has been clearer than his choice of former Judge Robert Bork to lead his campaign advisory committee on the courts and the Constitution.

In 1987, PFAW led the effort to keep Judge Bork off the Supreme Court. Ultimately, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate recognized his extremism and rejected his nomination.

Last night, PFAW’s Jamie Raskin went on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss PFAW’s campaign and what a Supreme Court picked by Mitt Romney and Robert Bork would look like:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Watch our full video, Don’t Let Romney Bork America:

To find out more about Judge Bork and what a Romney presidency would mean for America’s courts, visit www.RomneyCourt.com.
 

PFAW

Romney and Bork, a Dangerous Team: People For the American Way Campaign Exposes Romney’s Embrace of Judicial Extremism

Today, People For the American Way launched a major new campaign – including a website, a web ad and an exclusive report – exposing Mitt Romney’s dangerous agenda for America’s courts.

The campaign highlights Romney’s choice of Robert Bork to lead his constitutional and judicial advisory team. By allying with Bork, a jurist so extreme he was rejected by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate 25 years ago, Romney has sent a clear signal that he means to drag America’s courts even farther to the right, endangering many of the civil rights, liberties and economic protections won by the American people over the past five decades.

The ad, Don’t Let Romney Bork America, and the report, Borking America: What Robert Bork Will Mean to the Supreme Court and American Justice, can be viewed at www.RomneyCourt.com.

“The debates over health care and immigration have reinforced the importance of the Supreme Court to all Americans,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “However, few are aware of the extreme agenda Mitt Romney has for the High Court – an agenda exemplified by his close alliance with Robert Bork.

“In 1987, People For the American Way led the fight to keep Judge Bork off the Supreme Court,” Keegan continued. “25 years later, we are as relieved as ever that we succeeded. When Bork was nominated, Americans across the political spectrum rejected the dangerous political agenda that he would have brought to the bench – his disdain for modern civil rights legislation, his acceptance of poll taxes and literacy tests, his defense of contraception bans and criminal sodomy laws, his continued privileging of corporations over individuals. Since then, he has dug his heels even deeper into a view of the law that puts corporations first and individuals far behind.

“It is frightening that a quarter century after Robert Bork’s jurisprudence was deemed too regressive for the Supreme Court, a leading presidential candidate has picked him to shape his legal policy.”

People For the American Way Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin, the author of the report, added: “The return of Robert Bork and his reactionary jurisprudence to national politics should be a three-alarm wake-up call for all Americans. In his work on the bench as a judge and off the bench as a polemicist, Bork has consistently placed corporations above the government and government above the rights of the people. The idea that Bork could be central to shaping the Supreme Court in the 21st century is shocking because he wants to turn the clock back decades in terms of the civil rights and civil liberties. His constitutional politics are even more extreme today than in 1987, when a bipartisan group of 58 senators rejected his nomination to the Supreme Court.”

The new report and ad review Bork’s record from his days as solicitor general to President Richard Nixon to his turn as co-chair of the Romney campaign’s committee on law, the Constitution and the judiciary. Highlights of Bork’s career include:

  • Consistently choosing corporate power over the rights of people. As a judge, Bork regularly took the side of business interests against government regulators trying to hold them accountable, but the side of the government when it was challenged by workers, environmentalists and consumers pressing for more corporate accountability.
  • Opposing civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, gay rights and individual free speech. Bork disparaged the Civil Rights Act of 1964; defended the use of undemocratic poll taxes and literacy tests in state elections ; disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that overturned sodomy laws; and believes that the government should be able to jail people for advocating civil disobedience.
  • Advocating censorship and blaming American culture first. Bork promotes censorship to combat what he calls the “rot and decadence” of American society, saying “I don’t make any fine distinctions; I’m just advocating censorship.” He writes that “the liberal view of human nature” has thrown American culture into “free fall.”
  •  Rejecting the separation of church and state. Bork rejects the science of evolution, advocates legalizing school-sponsored prayer and has written that he wants to see the Constitution’s wall of separation between church and state “crumble.”
  • Turning back the clock on women's rights: Bork has argued against Supreme Court decisions upholding abortion rights and decisions upholding the right to contraception for single people and even married couples. He believes that the heightened protections of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause don’t apply to women. As a judge, he authored a decision reversing the Secretary of Labor and holding that federal law permits a company to deal with toxic workplace conditions by demanding that female employees be sterilized or lose their jobs.

Learn more at www.RomneyCourt.com.


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Mitt Romney to Liberty University

Delivering the commencement address at Liberty University has become a rite of passage for Republican and conservative leaders such as John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris, and today it has been announced that Mitt Romney will deliver the 2012 Commencement address at the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell and currently led by his son, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr.:

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced today that Gov. Mitt Romney will address Liberty University graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Arthur L. Williams Stadium.

“We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates," said Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. "This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty’s campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony.”

This will be Governor Romney’s first appearance at Liberty University. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. will also be making remarks during the ceremony.

Liberty University's 39th Commencement will celebrate the achievement of more than 14,000 graduates with more than 34,000 guests expected to attend. The ceremony will also be broadcast by streaming video to the families of Liberty’s 70,000+ online students around the world.

Liberty University prides itself as training the “replacements” of the current Religious Right leadership, but despite its name the university has banned people on campus from accessing a local newspaper that wrote about LU’s huge sums of aid from the federal government, refused to recognize a College Democrats club, inculcates students in ultraconservative, anti-gay and anti-evolution courses, and trumpets a professor who wants to outlaw pornography.

Maybe Romney, who is selling his $5.25 million ski lodge, can stop by the Liberty Mountain Snowflex.

Don't Let Romney Bork America!

Romney and Bork, a Dangerous Team: A New PFAW Campaign Exposes Romney's Embrace of Judicial Extremism

Capitol Hill Summit: Overturn Citizens United!

PFAW joined members of Congress, state and local officials, advocacy organizations and concerned citizens for a Capitol Hill summit to amplify the call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that helped usher in unprecedented levels of corporate spending to influence our elections.

The speakers recounted the toll that Citizens United has taken on our democracy, as their colleagues must contend with the outsized influence that wealthy special interests hold over the political system, and how it is absolutely imperative for Congress to have the authority to regulate campaign contributions and require disclosure. While there are many approaches under consideration, it was clear to all that amending the Constitution is a necessary step to restore our democracy. So far, 13 constitutional amendments have been introduced in the current session.

It’s a long road to ratification, but there is a rapidly growing grassroots movement taking hold across the country to get this done. State Representatives and City Councilmen took to the podium to share their constituents’ enthusiasm for a constitutional amendment, and many states and cities across the country have already adopted resolutions calling for such an amendment.

The summit concluded with a call for public officials to sign the Declaration for Democracy, a simple statement of support for amending the Constitution “to protect the integrity of our elections and limit the corrosive influence of money in our democratic process.”

Here is a video and photos of the event.

 

 

 

PFAW’s Marge Baker opens the Summit as members of Congress, local and state officials and activists look on. “We the people means all the people, not just the powerful and privileged.”

PFAW’s Diallo Brooks introduces several local government officials as Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) signs the Declaration for Democracy.

Maryland State Senator and PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin describes the Supreme Court’s flawed logic in the Citizens United decision. Quoting Justice White: “The state need not let its own creature [corporations] devour it.”

Rep. Keith Ellison watches as PFAW’s Marge Baker signs the Declaration.

The Declaration for Democracy: “I declare my support for amending the Constitution of the United States to restore the rights of the American people, undermined by Citizens United and related cases, to protect the integrity of our elections and limit the corrosive influence of money in our democratic process.”

PFAW

The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

To: Interested Parties

From: Marge Baker, Executive Vice President, People For the American Way

Date: April 18, 2012

Re: The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

91 million Americans are represented by one of the 89 members of Congress supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, according to a new analysis by People For the American Way. To date, a total of 24 U.S. Senators and 65 U.S. Representatives have sponsored or co-sponsored an amendment to the constitution seeking to undo the damage caused by the flawed decision that paved the way for unprecedented levels of corporate and special interest influence in our elections, as tracked by United For the People.

Over 75 million people live in the states represented by pro-amendment senators, according to 2010 census data. In states still awaiting senatorial support, an additional 16 million people live in congressional districts represented by a member of the House who has signed on to a proposed amendment, bringing the total to 91 million. Considered separately, the 65 supporting members of the House represent 42 million Americans.

The Citizens United decision is immensely unpopular among voters, and a majority of Americans support amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United. In fact, a 2010 PFAW poll showed that 85% of voters say corporations have too much influence over the political system, while 93% said that average citizens have too little. More recent polling commissioned by Public Campaign shows that these concerns translate to a full 62 percent across all political parties that oppose Citizens United, with nearly half strongly in opposition. The survey also found that more than three-quarters of voters say that it is important for candidates to make campaign finance reform a key election issue, and two-thirds of voters consider reducing the influence of lobbyists and money in politics to be an important factor in their vote.

The 89 members of Congress who have endorsed one of the 13 federal resolutions to overturn Citizens United introduced thus far during the 112th Congress are acting on this sentiment. These proposed amendments are diverse, reflective of the robust and serious debate Americans are having across the country on what constitutional approach would best solve the problem. In addition, as significant is the groundswell of support at the local and state level that far transcends this total. To name just a few, the City Councils of New York City, NY, Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Albany, NY, Missoula, MT, and Boulder, CO have all adopted their own resolutions, as have the legislatures of states like Hawaii and New Mexico, and when given the chance to vote directly, the citizens of 64 towns across the state of Vermont have passed ballot measures supporting a constitutional amendment.

The groundswell of support for a constitutional amendment among the American people represents a “movement moment,” and members of Congress who are taking action – on behalf of 91 million constituents so far – are on the right track. A constitutional amendment is a profound but necessary measure to restore the balance of influence in our elections to the American people. The issue of undue corporate and special interests in our democracy is a big problem that requires a big solution. Measures that require more disclosure of the sources of the big money in politics, call for public financing of elections or require greater corporate accountability to shareholders for corporate political spending would all mitigate the problems caused by the Court’s radical decision in Citizens United. But because the Court rested its decision in that case on flawed constitutional grounds, the only way to fully remedy the decision is by amending the Constitution to ensure that Americans’ voices are not overwhelmed by massive corporate and special interest spending in elections.

A broad and diverse group of organizations, under the banner of United For the People, are pressing creative ways for activists and public officials to engage on this issue. Activists are encouraging local, state and federal public officials, even those who haven’t yet decided on specific amendment language, to support these efforts by joining the simple call for constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United and related cases. Officials can sign the simple declaration of support here. Activists across the country are encouraged to take the declaration to the public officials that represent them and encourage them to sign.

###

Religious Right Groups Reaffirm Opposition to Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Earlier today we posted video from Truth in Action Ministries of Religious Right leaders condemning the Obama administration’s push to curb anti-LGBT violence and persecution and the criminalization of LGBT status. now the group’s president Dan Scalf is comparing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Pharisees in John 8:1-11, who wanted to stone a woman for adultery, for her attempt to “promote homosexuality globally”:

How should Christians react to our tax dollars being used to promote homosexuality globally?

I am reminded of the situation religious leaders created in an attempt to trap Christ. They brought a woman to him they had caught in act of adultery and asked, “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?”

Hillary Clinton did something similar to that in her speech. She reminded the international leaders and representatives in her audience that the United Nations had adapted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Then, she went on to state that homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people deserve the same protections as people persecuted because of their religion, ethnicity, age, or gender.

Christians are often trapped by that type of intellectual posturing. We allow those who call good evil and evil good to frame the argument without challenging their agenda or assumptions. We cannot come to a good solution when beginning with a flawed presupposition.



Hillary Clinton, and all those who promote homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights have an agenda. It is not “equal” rights. They want nothing less than complete cultural acceptance for a practice that God’s holy and infallible Word calls sinful.

Concerned Women for America is also voicing their opposition to efforts to decriminalize homosexuality. CWA’s Mario Diaz called the administration’s policy against anti-LGBT discrimination “embarrassing,” claimed that a “majority of Americans” do not believe that gays and lesbians should have equal rights, and even heralded a statement from the Foreign Minister of Russia, which has a dreadful record on safeguarding LGBT rights and protecting LGBT community from violence:

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has made clear that the President has put an emphasis on all foreign assistance from the U.S. to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) "rights."

"Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights," Clinton said in a speech at the end of last year that sparked strong criticism from many nations who do not adhere to the same belief.



Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said:

We have repeatedly said that the Russian Federation condemns any forms and manifestations of discrimination on any grounds…

In this connection we cannot agree with attempts to artificially single out this category of people as an independent group claiming that its rights and interests should be specially protected.


Embarrassing.

This is yet another reason why the next election is so crucial for our nation. Will we continue to export homosexuality as a human "right," despite the fact that the majority of Americans do not agree with that?

There is little doubt as to where President Obama stands in this question. His emphasis on the promotion of homosexuality as a human right internationally and his all-out effort against the traditional definition of marriage have been swift and decisive.

While many "conservatives" plead with us to stop talking about "social" issues and focus on the economy, the President has been steadfast in undermining marriage and the family. Under his leadership, the future looks bleak in this regard.

 

The Right's 2012 Solution: "Just Close Your Eyes"

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett offered a solution for women who were going to be forced by the government to undergo a completely unnecessary ultrasound against their wills: "You can't make anybody watch, okay? Because you just have to close your eyes." The governor's suggestion would be almost comical, if it weren't for the tragic fact that forcing women to watch was the whole point of the legislation Corbett supported.

But it seems that Corbett's suggestion doesn't just apply to women seeking abortions in the Keystone state. It is, in essence, what the GOP is telling to every woman turned off by the party's attacks on reproductive rights, equal pay and domestic violence protections: "You just have to close your eyes."

Mitt Romney's campaign is banking on the fact that voters of both genders are concerned about the economy in these uncertain times. Polls show that they're right. But just because you're concerned with the economy doesn't mean you ignore it when a group of people are systematically taking away your rights for their own short-term political gain.

Sadly, this is the new normal. The Tea Party's success has been based on this "just close your eyes" formula. Swept into power on a wave of economic dissatisfaction, Tea Party legislators in Washington and the states asked the country to "close its eyes" as it did everything but fix the economy. "Pay no attention while we roll back decades of progress everything else you care about. Just close your eyes while we bash immigrants, cut essential services, make it very hard to vote, and take away collective bargaining rights". Many minorities have been affected, particularly in the last two years, but arguably and amazingly, no group has been under attack more than the American majority--women.

A new report from People For the American Way investigates the new landscape that the Tea Party is creating for American women. Mississippi is set to become the only state in the country without a legal abortion clinic. Texas is on the path to denying reproductive health care to 130,000 low-income women. Wisconsin repealed its enforcement mechanism for equal pay lawsuits. Senate Republicans are fighting to stop the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Following an all-male panel speaking on women's health, a woman who dares speak in front of Congress about the importance of affordable contraception is called a "slut."

Even with closed eyes, these things are very hard to miss. The Romney campaign has attempted to distract voters from this train wreck of anti-woman policies by claiming that a second Obama administration will hurt women economically. Last week, they hammered hard on the claim that women have accounted for 92 percent of job losses under President Obama- a mangled statistic that ignores, among other factors, that many of those losses were the result of Republican-led layoffs of teachers and other government employees. Then they decided to accuse Democrats of waging a "War on Moms" - forgetting, perhaps, the candidate's history of aggressively pushing low-income women to work outside of the home when their children are very young.

Women haven't bought it. In polls, Romney still trails Obama among women voters by double digits. And in an under-reported fact, among women ages 18 to 29, he's losing by an astounding 45 points. You don't need a political science degree that know that that spells disaster.

Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans seem to think they can get away with almost anything because, in the end, their Election Day hopes will be saved by a bad economy. The problem is, the people they attack on a regular basis - women, gays, Latinos, Muslims, you name it -know the Tea Party's record on the economy and its history of cynical, culture-war attacks that deeply affect the lives of real people. We have our eyes wide open.

PFAW
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