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Why is Mitt Romney Outraged at Todd Akin and Not at Paul Ryan?

Mitt Romney is outraged! He's insulted! He's offended!

Why? A Republican Senate candidate dared to state a position on choice that is exactly the same as that of Romney's own running mate.

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is attracting plenty of attention for his bizarre and idiotic justification for refusing to allow rape victims to have abortions. But the extreme policy position behind those comments - a policy that is the GOP standard -- should be getting just as much attention.

Akin explained this weekend how rape victims shouldn't be allowed reproductive choice because they already have access to some mysterious anti-pregnancy control system: "First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Romney responded today in an interview with the National Review:

"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," Romney said. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."

"I have an entirely different view," Romney said. "What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it."

What is Romney's "entirely different view"? That Rep. Akin doesn't have a basic understanding of the female anatomy that he's so interested in legislating? That Akin feels the need to draw a distinction between "legitimate rape" and "illegitimate rape"? That Akin thinks rape victims shouldn't be able to choose whether to carry their rapists' children?

Romney should start by directing his outrage at his own running mate. Rep. Paul Ryan not only opposes abortion rights for rape victims, he was a cosponsor of a so-called "personhood" amendment that would have classified abortion as first degree murder and outlawed common types of birth control. Ryan has also bought into the "legitimate rape" nonsense, cosponsoring legislation with Akin that would have limited federal services to victims of "forcible rape" - a deliberate attempt to write out some victims of date rape and statutory rape.

Romney himself has flirted with the "personhood" idea, telling Mike Huckabee during the primary that he'd "absolutely" support such a measure. When he was later confronted about the comment at a town hall meeting, it became clear that Romney had no idea how the process he wanted to legislate actually worked.

And Romney hasn't always been keen to stand up for the victims of rape. In a Republican debate in February, he actually got in an argument with Newt Gingrich over who was least in favor of requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims they were treating.

Now the Romney campaign is trying to distance itself from Akin by saying that "a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape." But Romney has also vowed to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, returning to states the power to outlaw or allow abortion as they choose. If Romney and anti-choice activists get their wish from the Supreme Court, a Romney-Ryan administration would have no power to stop states from imposing whichever abortion bans they decide to impose. The promise to carve out an exception for rape victims is not a promise they would be able to keep.

The real scandal of Rep. Akin's comments isn't the faulty sex-ed he's teaching. Instead, his comments expose the anti-choice movement's skewed and condescending view of women. Akin can't accept that a woman who fits his definition of virtue - the victim of a "legitimate rape" - would also need to seek an abortion, and he has made up false science to support that assumption. But with or without the weird right-wing science, that same false distinction underlies all anti-choice policies - including those embraced by Romney and Ryan.

Romney can feign all the outrage he wants at Rep. Akin's misogynistic pseudo-science. But until he can draw a clear distinction between Akin's policies and his own, his protests will ring hollow.

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

PFAW

Religious Right Groups Hosting Prayer Rally to kick off Republican National Convention

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”

Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.

The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:

And unleashing "Holy Laughter":

FRC Calls SPLC 'Evil,' 'Anti-American,' 'Dangerous,' 'Anti-Christian,' 'Anti-Semitic,' and 'Marxist'

On Thursday, the day after his organization was violently attacked, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins falsely accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of giving the suspected gunman “license” for the assault. He cautioned that the “Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”

On Friday, FRC’s second in command – Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin – appeared on the Glenn Beck Program and called the SPLC an “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization.” Continuing, he said that the SPLC is an “evil group of people” who “are dangerous.”
 
How’s this for “reckless use of terminology”?
 
[CNN] actually tried to justify the 'hate group' label that was placed on the Family Research Council by this anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is just an evil group of people. They actually tried to justify this “hate group” label that they gave FRC.
 
These people are dangerous, they are evil, and my question is, Glenn, who are they to have any authority to declare anybody a ‘hate group.’
 
And remember, they also called Hitler right-wing, as well. I don’t mean SPLC, but people today on the left refer to Hitler as right-wing and compare conservatives to Hitler. Hitler was anything but right-wing. Remember he was National Socialist Party.
As Kyle pointed out last Thursday, the SPLC labeled FRC a “hate group” as a result of its “false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians.” Now Boykin is getting in the act with “false and demonizing propaganda” about the SPLC itself.
 
Boykin, for those who aren’t familiar, became Tony Perkins’ right-hand man in July. He has a long track record of bigoted rhetoric and promoting wild-eyed conspiracy theories. Among other things, he’s said that:
Boykin has previously argued that Hitler wasn’t a right-wing extremist, but in fact was a leftist. This time he trotted out that argument to show why organizations like the SPLC supposedly aren’t credible authorities on what constitutes a “hate group.” In the past, he has said that American Jews don’t understand Hitler and mistakenly back Democrats as a result.

 

Todd Akin Wasn't 'Misspeaking' but Speaking for a Movement

Missouri Republican senate candidate and congressman Todd Akin is trying to run away from his claims that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy, insisting that he “misspoke” while making “off-the-cuff remarks,” even though they were in an interview with a local reporter. Akin made a similar half-apology following his claim that “at the heart of liberalism really is the hatred for God,” with his spokesman arguing that his claim during a radio interview were “off-the-cuff.”

Akin is a beloved figure of the Religious Right, and his campaign advertises endorsements from Concerned Women for America activists and activists like Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Schlafly, Michele Bachmann and David Barton. Barton, who recorded campaign ads calling Akin a “true Christian leader,” has compared Akin to John Witherspoon and other founding fathers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who hosted Akin on his radio show the day after the congressman’s primary victory, said people need to “lighten up” about his rape comments:

Previously, Akin said he wants to ban the morning after pill, worried marital rape laws will be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” and sought to narrow the definition of “rape” in legislation. Akin also prominently advertises his endorsement from Schlafly, who has said women cannot be raped by their husbands.

Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatches notes that Akin, who has a masters in divinity, received his degree at a denomination which teaches that rape seldom leads to pregnancy and should not be relevant to laws on abortion rights, and as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones pointed out, anti-choice luminary John Willke asserts that hormones make pregnancies resulting from rape “extremely rare” and Physicians for Life believes “the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare” because the stress from the rape “alter[s] bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included.”

Those opinions are commonplace among anti-choice activists.

Human Life International says “it is very useful to be able to show just how rare rape- and incest-caused pregnancies really are” in order to expose women who falsely state they were raped in order to have abortions: “Women who are willing to kill their own preborn children for mere convenience obviously see lying as a relatively small crime.”

40 Days for Life, the group which holds hundreds of protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, in “ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments” also says that pregnancies resulting from rape are “extremely rare” and “can be prevented”:

“What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?”

a. Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented.

b. Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished.

c. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rate.

d. Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim.

It remains to be seen which conservative leaders will condemn—or defend—Akin as pressure mounts on the candidate to quit the race.

Update: Fischer is now even claiming that “Todd Akin is right,” citing an article by Willke.

Tony Perkins says there is a 'Clear Link' between the FRC Shooting and Obama Administration Policies

After trying to blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for the deplorable shooting that occurred at the Family Research Council’s office this week, FRC president Tony Perkins today also implicated the Obama administration in the shooting. While speaking with Rick Santorum today on Washington Watch Weekly about the Obama administration’s “attack on religious freedom,” Perkins said that what “we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council” is “clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom.” This shameful attempt to connect the Obama administration to the shooting is just the latest sign of the FRC’s attempt to exploit the tragedy for political purposes.

Listen:

Perkins: What I would call an attack on religious freedom is trickling down in our country. It’s not just isolated to the administration but it’s as if the President and his administration’s indifference towards religious freedom has really created an open season all across this country. In fact next week down in Tampa as the Republican National Committee begins its work on its platform we’ll be working with Liberty Institute and we’ll be releasing a study that shows this increased hostility towards religious freedom in this country and I believe Rick in large part it’s driven in large part by the policies of this administration.

Santorum: When you look at what happened with the whole Chick-fil-A incident and across the country you see government officials, mayors of large cities, wanting to use the power of the government to force, to drive out Dan Cathy and the folks at Chick-fil-A from their cities. This is really unprecedented and you’re right it creates an atmosphere that when the government now is saying you folks are so evil that we can deny you access to participate in business within our city it leads to a lot of things that are going to not just constrict religious liberty but I think threaten a lot of other areas of our lives.

Perkins: Well I think as we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council, clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom and groups like as I mentioned the Southern Poverty Law Center that recklessly throws around labels giving people like this gunman who came into our building a license to take innocent life.

 

Why Would a ‘Mainstream Conservative Think Tank’ Praise the ‘Kill the Gays’ Law?

Dana Milbank writes in a column in today’s Washington Post, “Hateful speech on hate groups,” that the Southern Poverty Law Center “should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen.” He’s talking about the Family Research Council, which he describes as “a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer” which “advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.” Going further, Milbank says it’s “reckless” for groups like SPLC to designate FRC as a “hate group.”
 
While reading all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder why a “mainstream conservative think tank” would defend a bill in Uganda that would put gays and lesbians in prison for life and put them to death for “serial” offenses, among other things. If Milbank had done his homework before writing his column, he would’ve been wondering this same thing.
 
The reality is that FRC is not a “mainstream conservative think tank.” That’s why FRC is one of only a handful of the many, many groups that oppose equality for gays and lesbians to be designated a “hate group” by SPLC. There’s a big difference between being conservative and being an extremist, but many in the media are missing the distinction. Kyle and Peter have already written about FRC’s history of extremism and SPLC’s criteria (here and here), but I’d like to focus on one particularly outrageous example here.
 
Back in June of 2010, FRC president Tony Perkins praised the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, referring to it as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.” The bill that Perkins defended called for life in prison for having sex, even once, with a member of the same sex, or touching someone of the same sex with the intention of having sex.
 
The bill went further, calling for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” To be clear, Perkins defended a bill that called for people to be put to death for the following (among other things):
  • having sex with someone of the same sex multiple times (a “serial” offender)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is your employee, student, or otherwise under your authority
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is under the age of 18 (regardless of the age difference, e.g. a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex that you got drunk
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who’s blind or deaf
  • having sex with someone of the same sex if you’re HIV+, even if you use protection and the virus is not transmitted
You can read the text of the bill here. I’m not exaggerating one bit.
 
When President Obama criticized the bill, Perkins devoted his weekly radio alert to attacking him over it, citing Obama’s “preoccupation with defending homosexuality.” He went on to mischaracterize the bill, claiming that it only called for the death penalty in instances like “intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS,” and was notably silent on life imprisonment for a single homosexual “act.”
 
FRC was eventually caught lobbying Congress on a resolution to denounce the “kill the gays” bill. They took pains to say they did not support the bill or the death penalty and were merely lobbying Congress to make the resolution “more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”
 
Ok, so FRC didn’t support the “kill the gays” bill. Instead, FRC’s president devoted his weekly commentary to defending and praising the “kill the gays” bill and attacking President Obama for criticizing it. And FRC lobbied Congress to make sure that the “kill the gays” bill wouldn’t be mischaracterized.
 
Here’s what Perkins said, followed by the text of the “kill the gays” bill:
 
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality.
 
The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.
 
The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.
2. The offence of homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-
 
(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
 
(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
 
(c) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.
 
(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
 
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
 
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
 
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
 
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
 
(f) offender is a serial offender, or
 
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by  enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,
 
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.
 
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

 

Kelly Shackelford Warns Health Care Reform is the First Sign of a 'Government that is Totalitarian'

Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackelford appeared on Today’s Issues yesterday with Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon to discuss Missouri’s Amendment 2, the so-called “right to pray” amendment which may allow students to refuse to study any topic they deem to conflict with their religious beliefs, like evolution. Schakelford said the amendment was needed “to really bring their state back to full religious freedom like we had in this country until a decision about twenty to thirty years ago that came down from the Supreme Court.”

While Shackelford did not say which Supreme Court case apparently curtailed the freedom of religion, saying that we had “full religious freedom” only until two decades ago ignores periods in American history when the people of minority faiths and even certain Christian denominations sometimes faced hostility from the state. Ironically, Shackelford was speaking to the leader of the American Family Association, whose own Director of Issues Analysis wants to ban mosques, bar Muslims from the military, deport Muslim-Americans and convert all immigrants to Christianity. He went on to say that the health care reform law is creating a “totalitarian” government that undermines the freedom of religion.

What we did is we came up with the idea that states need to go and pass religious freedom amendments to really bring their state back to full religious freedom like we had in this country until a decision about twenty to thirty years ago that came down from the Supreme Court. And a number of states have started to present those and pass those. It’s like the atomic bomb to the left because we noticed anything they’re after, the thing they can’t handle is religious freedom. I mean whether it’s Obamacare or anything else, when the government wants to take over everything they can’t handle religious freedom because that means people are actually going to be able to stick with their own religious conscience, express their own religious beliefs and that kind of lack of unanimity for the state is something they can’t allow.



You know a government that is totalitarian, the one thing it will never allow is citizens who have allegiance to one higher than the government. So you will see as soon as the government takes over something the first thing that will have to go is religious freedom. Obamacare is a great example; as soon as we have it what do we have right after that, the HHS regulations. When the government is trying to touch its citizens directly and it has what it thinks is a good and noble cause it will not allow anyone to get in the way, including intermediary institutions like the church.

Janet Mefferd Suggests Groups Should Stop Reporting on the FRC's Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Janet Mefferd hosted Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality yesterday to discuss the deplorable and unconscionable shooting at the Family Research Council’s headquarters. Mefferd criticized the Human Rights Campaign for posting an article the day before the shooting “that was very inflammatory about the Family Research Council, ‘they want to export homosexuals from the US’ and ‘they equate homosexuals with pedophiles’ and all this stuff,” and wished there would be “public pressure on some of these gay rights organizations to tone it down”:

Mefferd: I was reading through for example what the Human Rights Campaign had posted the day before the shooting and they had a whole list there that was very inflammatory about the Family Research Council, ‘they want to export homosexuals from the US’ and ‘they equate homosexuals with pedophiles’ and all this stuff. I thought: if you were somewhat of an unstable person and you read this sort of stuff and you were in line with what they believe I think it could drive somebody to violence. So we’re back to the question of, to what degree should there be public pressure on some of these gay rights organizations to tone it down?

LaBarbera: Well I think it has to come from people holding them accountable and we know that the left-wing, the liberal media is basically now a cheerleader for the gay cause so it comes down to I guess alternative media, the internet. Certainly in the Chick-fil-A situation the gay activists were beaten back a bit and they know it in the sense that they overreached. But in this case, this idea of this hate proposition, where the SPLC just went for it and started ticking off every pro-family group out there. Except they keep Focus on the Family off the list, I think intentionally to say ‘hey those are the good Christians,’ of course Focus on the Family has deemphasized politics in the last few years so maybe that’s why they’re not on the SPLC’s list because the SPLC is trying to marginalize the FRC’s and the Americans for Truth’s out there, they want them out of the picture, they want them to have less power so that their pet cause, which happens to be homosexuality, will grow in power. That’s what this is all about; it’s all about helping gay activists win their goal, one of which is same-sex so-called marriage.

First to LaBarbera’s point: Kyle noted yesterday that FRC received the designation “because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians,” not due to their opposition to marriage equality.

As for Mefferd, it is absurd to claim that HRC or any other organization is wrong to point out exactly what the FRC has said about homosexuals. Here’s FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg explicitly stating that he prefers to “export homosexuals from the United States”:

And here is Sprigg and FRC president Tony Perkins linking homosexuality to pedophilia (0:52):

To say that it is “inflammatory” to report on exactly what the FRC says and believes is patently absurd. If the FRC is proud of its anti-gay rhetoric, then they and their allies should stand by it and not criticize others for simply pointing out their attacks on the LGBT community.

Progress Texas Announces 13 More State Legislators Have Left ALEC

The mass exodus from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) continued today, as an additional 13 members of the state legislature cut ties with the corporate bill factory. Progress Texas reports:

As we have written many times before, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate bill factory for model laws. The organization arranges for corporate lobbyists and conservative legislators to hold joint secret meetings to craft cookie-cutter bills that increase the profits of private companies at the public’s expense. Following public pressure from Progress Texas and its membership, 25 legislators have dropped - including every Democrat. A majority of the Texas Legislature – 96 of 181 members – is now no longer a part of ALEC.

32 corporations from across the country have also left ALEC. A complete list can be found here.

The PFAW Foundation has been key in exposing ALEC’s efforts at influencing governmental agendas at the local, state, and federal level.

PFAW

Gaffney Says McCain and Boehner are 'Parroting the Muslim Brotherhood Line' by Condemning Bachmann's Witch Hunt

Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival, who recently led the “Lenin and Sharia” conference on the supposed links between Communism and radical Islamists, today joined Frank Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio to once again defend Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt. But before they could get to that, the two attacked conservative activist Grover Norquist, whom Gaffney has consistently demonized as a Muslim Brotherhood agent. Gaffney said that his ten part “Muslim Brotherhood in America” course proves that Norquist and his Brotherhood allies are copying the “kind of subversive, clandestine operations that the Communists ran in their heyday in this country”:

Gaffney: Cliff Kincaid, one of the things that jumps out at you as you look at this material in the course and Grover’s friends in the Islamist Brotherhood infrastructure in the United States is how closely it seems to track, almost maps perfectly really, to the kind of subversive, clandestine operations that the Communists ran in their heyday in this country. You’ve developed a tremendous expertise on that subject and I wonder what particularly in your own program about Lenin and Sharia, did you find much evidence of the connection being more than coincidental there?

Kincaid: We did, Frank. This is where Grover’s conduct leaves me almost speechless. I mean here’s a guy who did recognize during the Reagan years the Communist threat and who now seemingly can’t see that we’re up against a global Islamic terrorist threat operating through front groups. That’s exactly what the Communists did.

Later, Gaffney claimed that John McCain and John Boehner, who along with many other Republicans denounced Bachmann’s witch hunt, were “sort of parroting the Muslim Brotherhood line” by defending Huma Abedin from Bachmann’s attacks. Kincaid recommended the House restore the Internal Security Committee, which was originally called the House Un-American Activities Committee, and said that neither Abedin nor President Obama could pass a background check:

Gaffney: They’re not simply imitating what the Communists did, the Communists trained them in how to run what the Brotherhood calls civilization jihad. As you know this is not necessarily terrorism, at least at the moment it’s a pre-violent form of creating the conditions of the battlefield that will enable the violent kind of jihad ultimately to be very successful. Cliff, one other thing that I’m struck by that seems to be an important parallel and it brings us back to the Grover Norquist element here; we’ve also been hearing of course from John McCain and Speaker of the House John Boehner lately, among others, sort of parroting the Muslim Brotherhood line on a number of issues, notably the revelations that the deputy chief of staff to the Secretary of State, Huma Abedin, has extensive personal as well as family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Give us a sense of how this is a throwback to the earlier revelations, among others, by J. Edgar Hoover of what the Communists have done on the other side.

Kincaid: You would think that somebody like a McCain who is of course a war hero who came out of the Hanoi Hilton would understand the similarities between what the Communists have tried to do to us and now what the global Islamists are effectively doing to us. Yet we noticed, Frank, a couple years ago that he seemed to go haywire on this whole thing, after warning about the Muslim Brotherhood he suddenly shows in Washington at an event honoring Al Jazeera and then he shows up making these comments on the Senate Floor in criticism of the conservative members of the House who have raised concerns about security problems at the State Department and other agencies.

This is something that requires frankly the Congress to take a harder look; I wish we could go beyond just asking the inspectors general to look at this problem. We have long at America’s Survival advocated the return of the House and the Senate, but they can do it in the House, of the House Internal Security Committee to issue subpoenas, to bring in and require testimony from these people, to get to the bottom of it in public hearings as to the security problems in the State Department. Who gave Huma Abedin a security clearance? Does she in fact have one? We don’t even know that. I do know that I’ve taken a look at the standard form 86, 127 pages long that she was supposed to fill out and if she had filled it out, and let’s face it even the President couldn’t pass a basic background check, but if she had filled it out truthfully she wouldn’t be in that position today.

Gaffney: Amen, Cliff Kincaid, you are as always a great, great authority on these issues.

William Owens Likens Obama to White Supremacists over Gay Marriage Views

William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors spoke to Janet Mefferd yesterday, where the anti-gay activist whose anti-Obama campaign is being bankrolled by Religious Right groups lashed out at Obama in an incoherent screed where he likened the President to white supremacists hostile the civil rights movement:

Mefferd: I wonder if he had really considered what the reaction would be because he has taken the African American community so much for granted, the support of your community so much for granted, do you think he had any inkling that he would get the reaction of a lot of the black pastors that we’ve seen?

Owens: I don’t think he did. I think he felt that he could continue to do as he’s been doing. He’ll take up the cause of the Latinos, he’ll take up the cause of the homosexuals, but it’s like the African Americans don’t exist. And he said I’m not the president of the African Americans, I’m the president of America. What if the white leaders who were in office when the civil rights bill had passed, what if they had said that, ‘We’re the politicians for the white community’? We wouldn’t have gotten a right to vote, we wouldn’t have gotten the rights we enjoy today. So we’re going to take him on even more, as a matter of fact this is one of my last interviews until we come out with a new news conference next week, we’re coming out fighting.

What President Obama said was, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” In fact, that is the exact opposite message employed by the white supremacist leaders that Owens compared Obama too, as Obama said he was the President of all Americans, including African Americans.

As for his other claim that Obama pretends “like the African Americans don’t exist,” that is not only patently absurd but he also spoke to a group of black pastors immediately after his announcement endorsing marriage equality and regularly seeks guidance from a number of black pastors.

Later, Owens said that supporting gay rights is “like waving your thing in God’s face” and said that same-sex marriages are “destroying the foundation of the family” and are “not honorable to the child”:

Mefferd: There seems to be a lack of fear of God in a lot of these activists, a lot of these people who are moving forward as if this is no big deal but in fact this is really an affront to God, would you say that’s the case?

Owens: I would say that’s the case. It’s like waving your thing in God’s face and saying, ‘You don’t matter.’ That’s exactly what I think. They do not honor God’s word; they don’t honor Him; not God’s people.



Mefferd: Why do you think the marriage issue is so important from a civilization stand point?

Owens: The marriage issue is so important because the marriage is a family ordained by God. If you destroy that you’re destroying the foundation of the family. We have a little boy; I’ve raised six children already. How can a man and a man be a parent to a child? By their nature, they cannot. How can a woman and a woman? My little boy takes both of us, he takes the love and tenderness of a mother and he takes the love and whatever the dad gives he needs that too. So to do different is disloyal, it’s not honorable to the child. We cannot say a marriage is right between the same sex.

YEP Primary Winners

The results are in from Tuesday’s primaries, and People For the American Way is proud to commend seven Young Elected Progressives endorsees on their victories.

In Connecticut, PFAW applauds Assemblymen Matthew Lesser and James Albis, both running for reelection. Lesser, of Connecticut’s 100th district, has been a proven advocate for the middle class, education, and equal rights since he was first elected in 2010. Albis, a tireless voice for seniors and the middle class, was first elected in a 2011 special election. Both assemblymen face challengers in November, but are continuing their momentum into the fall’s general election.

PFAW also extends its congratulations to five YEP endorsees who emerged victorious in primary elections in Florida: Dwight Bullard, Andrew Gillum, John Alvarez, Leo Cruz, and Ricardo Rangel. While Bullard, winner of this year’s Barbara Jordan Leadership Award given by affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s YEO Network program, defeated four primary challengers in the state Senate’s 39th district, Gillum, YEO Network National Director, defeated three challengers to his Tallahassee city commission seat in a landslide victory. Elsewhere, openly gay state House candidate Alvarez continues to shatter ceilings, advancing onto the general election after an exciting 15 point victory. Cruz and Rangel, state Senate and House hopefuls, respectively, now also face challengers in November.

For more information on PFAW’s other Young Elected Progressives endorsees, click here, and be sure support these strong progressive voices!

PFAW

Linda Harvey Attacks Teachers' Unions for Promoting 'Destructive' Gay Rights

Linda Harvey of Mission America is out with another attack against the National Education Association, which she earlier claimed is leading “gaystapo efforts” and creating “financial incentives” for students to become gay. On her radio program yesterday, Harvey said that the NEA is promoting “destructive beliefs” and an “anti-life, anti-morality agenda” by supporting the health care reform law and LGBT rights, and warned that their efforts to curb bullying and encourage safety for LGBT students and staff is part of “a Trojan Horse to bring pro-homosexual indoctrination into our schools.”

Listen:

Harvey: The NEA is already on record as supporting Obamacare and apparently that includes the mandate to pay for abortions and abortion-causing drugs even if it violates ones conscience. At the convention, the union reaffirmed its intention to support this and incorporate government-run health care into teaching contracts. The NEA also passed new Business Item D with support for sweeping ‘social justice’ measures in schools. The language here implies that homosexuality and gender confusion are equivalent to race, which is simply not true. Another agenda item will urge the US Department of Education to spend money researching the causes of bullying and especially as it leads to, you guessed it, homophobia. So this just adds another supporting point on our list proving that the issue of bullying is being exploited as a Trojan Horse to bring pro-homosexual indoctrination into our schools. And the NEA passed a measure urging more safety programs for students and teachers who are LGBTQ, that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning, and they cited as their support the invalid and discredited School Climate Surveys of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which is as you know is a group promoting homosexuality to kids…. So what can we do? We need to keep praying for our schools, support the teachers out there who don’t have these destructive beliefs, and work at the local level in all our communities to diminish the influence of the teachers’ unions as long as they would have such an anti-life, anti-morality agenda.

Truth in Action Ministries: America Becoming a 'Lawless' Nation Due to Gay Rights

A recent film released by Truth in Action Ministries, entitled Why Christians left the Political Arena, implores evangelicals to remain politically engaged. Featuring activists Calvin BeisnerWayne Grudem and Rick Scarborough along with an eminent montage of gay rights, pro-choice, and environmental activists, the film decries any separation between religion and public policy. It implies that if a truly observant Christian is to obey the commands of Jesus, they must advocate for laws that “protect” marriage, and warns that God will hold us accountable for “how we have acted in responsibility towards influencing government.”

Truth in Action Ministries has previously embraced anti-gay activists who have likened homosexuality to “slavery” and warned that “moral chaos” was inevitable due to “liberal secular people” marginalizing religious people in the public arena.

Watch:

Beisner: Law plays a proper function in curtailing sin. So, we have a responsibility to seek to use laws to retrain the outward sinful conduct of people, even where we can’t use them, we never can use them, to change people’s hearts.

Grudem: If I truly love my neighbor I want laws that will protect my neighbor’s marriage, that will give good education to neighbor, that will protect my neighbor’s health and well-being, and economic well-being, so government doesn’t steal everything from us. I think it is a way of obeying Jesus’ command ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

...

Scarborough: If pastors don’t get involved in confronting the moral issues of our day, biblically, we will soon digress into becoming a lawless nation. And frankly, we’re on the very edge of that right as we speak. Our country is becoming an amoral country because so many preachers have withdrawn from the culture completely.

Beisner: There is no part of life that is neutral, to which Christ doesn’t say “it’s mine”. No part of life. And there is no neutrality on any moral issue whatsoever. And all of life is religious.

Grudem: The bible does tell us that God will hold us accountable for how we act. I think that includes all of life and certainly it includes how we have acted in responsibility towards influencing government.

Two Powerhouse 501(c)(4) ‘Social Welfare Groups’ Buy Election Anonymously

In this years presidential election cycle 501(c)(4)s Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity have outspent all super PACs combined...
PFAW

David Barton Can't Avoid Growing Criticism of his Pseudo-History

David Barton usually dismisses the daily Right Wing Watch blog posts and two reports on his sham history and litany of patently false and absurd assertions by calling us “radical left social guys” who don’t like America. Barton, who is not a historian and does not submit his work to peer review, says that academics who criticize his “scholarship” are simply elitists who are jealous of his popularity. But as Barton’s unraveling continues, he has now lashed out at his critics by attacking one of his critic’s religious beliefs and insisting that an anonymous group of scholars has approved his work.

But Messiah College professor John Fea notes that Barton’s ability to paint his critics “as godless and liberal” isn’t working as an increasing number of evangelical pastors have denounced him:

Through it all, Barton continues to insist that his interpretation of Thomas Jefferson is accurate despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When legitimate historians criticize his work he paints them as godless and liberal. But can all these historians and critics be wrong? Apparently David Barton is the only one out there who has correctly interpreted Thomas Jefferson. This kind of arrogance not only shows a deep disrespect for the work of historians, many of whom have devoted their lives to the study of Jefferson, but, perhaps more importantly, it is an embarrassment to the Christian church. Perhaps Barton needs to take a lesson from Rev. Dudley Rutherford, the evangelical pastor who misinterpreted the story of the Star-Spangled Banner. When Rutherford, the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California, learned that his YouTube presentation contained several inaccuracies, he quickly apologized and pledged to look deeper into the historical record.

But even if we allow Barton to dismiss non-Christian historians, he will have a hard time dismissing his fellow evangelicals. Many of his critics have very solid evangelical credentials. Throckmorton is a Romney supporter (or at least “likes” Romney on his Facebook page) and is a conservative evangelical Christian. When I spoke at Grove City College in January 2012, he apologized for having to miss one of my lectures. It turns out that Throckmorton is an elder at his local Evangelical Free Church and had to attend a meeting there on that particular night. Ray McMillian, one of the Cincinnati pastors who led the boycott of Thomas Nelson, runs an organization called “Race to Unity.” Speakers at Race to Unity events have included evangelical luminaries such as Tony Evans, Joseph Stowell, Ed Dobson, and Bill Hybels.

Gregg Frazer, one of the ten historians chosen by Jay Richards, teaches at The Masters College, a school founded by popular evangelical preacher John MacArthur. (Frazer has also written an excellent book on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers which I highly recommend). Glenn Sunshine is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL—certainly not a bastion of godless liberalism. Charles Dunn, who has endorsed Getting Jefferson Right, is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Government at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. Even the folks at WorldView Weekend, an organization that used to partner with Barton, have turned their collective backs on him.

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics mentions that a number of Baptist scholars have consistently criticized Barton’s “dubious” work:

One of the nation's premier historians, Martin Marty, wrote critically of Barton's new book in May.

"Barton is publishing 'The Jefferson Lies,' which most historians would title 'Barton's Lies about Jefferson,'" said Marty.

A year earlier, Marty said that Barton cherry-picked material.

Another preeminent historian and a Baptist, Richard Pierard, referred to Barton's work as "pseudo-history."

Bruce Prescott, another Baptist scholar and leading advocate for the separation of church and state, wrote in 2010: "For more than two decades, David Barton has been deceiving many honest but naïve Christians with a revisionist history about our system of government that promotes the mythology of Christian nationalism."

In addition to columns, EthicsDaily.com has had news stories about Barton's role in shaping the public education curriculum in Texas.

Now, conservatives are challenging Barton's use of history and distancing themselves from his misuse of history. When Thomas Nelson Publishers backs away from Barton, one knows Barton's work is dubious.

But according to Barton’s deputy Rick Green, their group WallBuilders need not respond in a serious way to any criticism since criticism of them is just like the Nazis’ anti-Semitic propaganda.

Buster Wilson Repeats False Claim that the National Weather Service is Buying Ammunition

Another day, another Buster Wilson conspiracy, as the American Family Association talk show host yesterday on AFA Today said that National Weather Service (NWS) is purchasing ammunition as part of the grand conspiracy Wilson has put together about how the Obama administration is going to stage a coup:

Unfortunately for Wilson, the NWS is not purchasing the ammunition:

NOAA says there was a “clerical error” in the FedBizOpps announcement stating the NWS required ammunition. The solicitation actually originated from the “NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement” not the National Weather Service.



Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office. The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system. The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement agents in their twice annual target qualifications and training.

Michael Farris Warns that the UN might 'Get Control' over Children With Glasses

Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and American Family Association head Tim Wildmon today to call on Religious Right activists to mobilize against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. After passing out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the treaty is up for a vote by the full Senate. But Farris warns that the treaty is too ambiguous and flexible and could mean that children who wear glasses or have ADHD could be placed “under control of the UN treaty.”

Farris: They’re called living documents, just like the disgraced living Constitution theory, which means the treaty doesn’t mean today what it’s going to mean tomorrow what it’s going to mean ten years from now. So you never know what you’re signing up for, that by itself is a good enough reason to leave it alone and to never enter into one of these things. But in particular, you hit the nail on the head Tony, the definition of disability is not defined in the treaty. My kid wears glasses, now they’re disabled, now the UN gets control over them; my child’s got a mild case of ADHD, now you’re under control of the UN treaty. There’s no definitional standard, it can change over time, and the UN, not American policymakers, are the ones who get it decided.

Later, Wildmon wished that the UN would close down and Perkins warned that the State Department is using the UN to impose “radical policies” like the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the “homosexual agenda” that “we would never accept here in the United States through our legislature,” not mentioning that treaties require a two-thirds vote in the Senate for ratification.

Wildmon: We get one of these things that we talk about and ask people to call on, I can’t think of the last one that wasn’t just far-leftist junk.

Perkins: There’s nothing that comes out of the UN that’s worth anything.

Wildmon: Just close it down, you know?

Perkins: Let me just tell you, what’s happening in this administration is that the State Department is pushing this radical agenda on a number of things, whether it be the other UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child or the homosexual agenda, they push it in these foreign countries only to have it come back through the backdoor of the UN to the United States. So they’re using the UN as a way to import these radical policies that we would never accept here in the United States through our legislature. You have to pay attention to this stuff.

Linda Harvey Says 'Demonic' Lady Gaga Song is Leading Kids Down a 'Self-Destructive Path'

Linda Harvey of Mission America once again attacked Lady Gaga on her radio show, warning that her hit “Born This Way” is an “occult” and “demonic” song that is “full of lies” about sexual orientation and gender. She went on to attack Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation for leading children to “perversion, deviance, depravity, selfishness, incredible self-indulgence, artificiality and to a self-destructive path” by “embracing homosexuality” as part of anti-bullying efforts.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the video and I don’t recommend it but the theme is not just about a deviant view of gender and sexuality but it is occult in spirituality and it’s referring to first of all there’s all these gruesome birth scenes which is a complete and utter perversion and really a demonic caricature, frankly, of God’s creation, yet she dares to use words like ‘brave’ and so on. Of course she has the usual distortion, including that homosexuality and gender confusion that they’re similar to race or ethnicity, and that’s another big lie, the thing is just full of lies.



‘The foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.’ Nothing in this video or this song leads us to an authentically kinder, braver, noble vision for the world. It leads us to perversion, deviance, depravity, selfishness, incredible self-indulgence, artificiality and to a self-destructive path, at the same time they’re against self-destruction, this is so ironically shooting oneself in the foot. That’s part of this whole incredible anti-bullying campaign that the homosexual community is putting out there, trying to make it seem as if traditional values leads people to harm kids who are behaving homosexually or gender confused and so on and that traditional values causes this, it doesn’t. Traditional values is a help and not a harm. Troubled kids are the ones who bully, those bullying incidents need to be punished. We need to get our heads straight about this and not be manipulated and let our kids not be manipulated into embracing homosexuality as a byproduct of thinking we’re being kind.

Later, she asked people to pray that Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres will change their sexual orientation and support of LGBT rights:

JC Penney of course we know, they took on a new spokesperson this past winter, Ellen DeGeneres, they made her their national spokesperson. She’s an openly lesbian celebrity, a talk show host on television, and many people find Ellen to be a very pleasant person, nobody has anything against her, she seems pleasant enough. She is openly and proudly homosexual and that part of her example is a very poor and tragic one. I hope that she personally will change that at some point in the future, we need to pray for all of these people. Pray for Lady Gaga, I don’t know if she is doing this because she’s personally involved in any of these behaviors or she’s just an opportunist—she’s certainly that—or if she’s just the sum of all of the above. Pray for her too, none of these people are beyond God’s reach if it’s His will to change them.

African American Ministers In Action: Romney-Ryan Agenda is ‘Dangerous for America’

People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, a national coalition of African American pastors, spoke out today on Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

“Mitt Romney already had a dangerous agenda for America – especially Black America – and now he’s doubled down,” said Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine, Vice-Chair of African American Ministers In Action. “Paul Ryan’s appalling budget proposal, if enacted, would strike an enormous blow to our social contract. It would absolve the very wealthiest of their obligations to give back to the country that supports them, while increasing the burdens on working people who are struggling to get by. It would rob from health care and food assistance and education to pay for tax cuts for billionaires. It would deny the least fortunate among us the opportunity to change their circumstances, while showering the most fortunate with tax cuts. These skewed priorities do not align with the teachings of Christ or with our highest American ideals.

“Like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we believe that Paul Ryan’s vision for American ‘fails to meet… moral criteria.’ Now, Mitt Romney, in an effort to pander to the farthest of the far right, has adopted Ryan’s flawed vision as his own. We can’t afford to have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the White House.”

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