C4

Are Boycotts Moral? For the Religious Right, It Depends on Who They're Targeting

Last year, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council were outraged — outraged! — when gay rights advocates began pressuring companies to end their ties to a so-called charity group called the CGBG, which funds anti-gay organizations including LC and FRC. The two groups urged retailers to “remain neutral in the culture wars” and accused gay rights supporters of “economic terrorism.” The FRC even created a website where activists could call on companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles, thus enabling you to focus on business and not force consumers to make purchasing choices based on corporate political agendas.”

Of course, both LC and FRC had organized and endorsed similar pressure campaigns against corporations in the past, but apparently those didn’t constitute “economic terrorism.”

As Chick-fil-A, a company that bankrolls anti-gay groups and whose CEO has said marriage equality is inviting God’s judgment, faces a national backlash for its opposition to gay rights, once again the Religious Right is employing an almost pathetic use of double standards.

The National Organization for Marriage, which literally has two campaigns dedicated to boycotting Starbucks and General Mills for refusing to stay “neutral” in the marriage equality debate, is now outraged that gay rights activists are boycotting Chick-fil-A.

NOM's state affiliate in Minnesota organized a protest outside of the corporate headquarters of General Mills and in a letter to Minnesota corporations, NOM asked that companies “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides” of a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Another group shockingly outraged by protests targeting Chick-fil-A is the American Family Association.

The AFA and its subgroups One Million Moms and One Million Dads have boycotted countless companies, most recently leading boycotts and pressure campaigns against Home Depot, Ford, GAP, Macy's, JC Penney for their advertising campaigns and efforts to create inclusive work environments “rather than remain neutral in the culture war,” and against DC, Marvel and Archie Comics for including gay characters.

In fact, the AFA goes so far as to claim, without any evidence, that it’s pressure campaign is responsible for financial problems at JC Penney.

So the question needs to be asked, did the AFA, in the words of its spokesman Bryan Fischer, "go Ahmadinejad" on JC Penney, Home Depot and Archie?

New Young Elected Progressives Endorsees

Today we are unveiling three more new endorsees of People For the American Way’s Young Elected Progressives program: Sean Garballey (MA), Carl Sciortino (MA), and Luz Robles (UT). These three, young individuals, under the age of 35, have been great progressive leaders in their respective states.

Sean Garballey (MA)

Sean Garballey is running for reelection to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has been a member since 2008, representing Arlington, MA. Garballey has established himself as a leader of the Massachusetts progressives and currently serves on four committees, including as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws. Prior to serving in the House, Garballey was an Arlington Town Meeting Member for 5 years. He has been a proven progressive champion in the Massachusetts legislature, sponsoring several bills to increase the funding of public education and grants for those seeking public higher education. Garballey also received the Public Service Award in 2011 from affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network. Visit his website here.

Carl Sciortino (MA)

Carl Sciortino is running for reelection to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has been serving the Somerville and Medford areas in the House since 2005. Sciortino serves on the Public Health and Transportation Committees, among others, and has been a leader in the House for the past several terms. He was named "Best of the New" by Boston Globe Magazine and "Legislator of the Year" by the National Association of Social Workers and has been a great progressive leader in fighting for equal, social rights. Visit his website here.

Luz Robles (UT)

Luz Robles is running for reelection to the Utah Senate. She has represented Utah’s 1st district since 2008. Robles serves on the Senate Ethics Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, and two others. Robles has fought hard for equal rights for all individuals and sponsored a bill which would give illegal immigrants an accountability card allowing them to gain work without changing their legal status. She was named the Fifth Most Influential Person in Utah by Deseret News and is a great progressive representative for the people of Utah. Visit her website here.

PFAW

Flip Benham to Organize Charlotte Protests against the DNC's 'Culture of Death'

Operation Save America’s Flip Benham reacted to the Colorado shooting last week by claiming the suspect was “the spawn of the ideology of the Democratic Party.” Today, Benham announced that he will lead a protest of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next month because when “the devil throws a party, like this Democratic party it is imperative that the church show up.” He added that the shootings in Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Teach “are harbingers of the ‘Culture of Death’ that will be invading the streets of Charlotte” and the city must prepare “to raise up a standard in preparation for the DNC’s invasion.”

Blood is coursing down the streets of America -- Aurora Colorado, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and we are still looking at each other in awkward bewilderment and wondering -- why? These killings are harbingers of the "Culture of Death" that will be invading the streets of Charlotte this Sept 3-6.

We have expelled God from school, banished Him from the schoolyard, and have replaced Him with drugs, gangs, condoms, rape and violence of unprecedented order. When the fear of God is removed from the hearts of our children violence always fills the void.

This is the agenda of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Operation Save America will hold a press conference at 400 S Tryon. When the devil throws a party, like this Democratic party it is imperative that the church show up.

Operation Save America is bringing King Jesus to the Queen City, Charlotte, to raise up a standard in preparation for the DNC's invasion. Jesus is The Standard!

Linda Harvey: Soldiers in Gay Pride Parade Brought 'Disgrace to the Uniform and to America'

As Republican leaders express their outrage at service members marching in a San Diego pride parade in uniform, Religious Right activists aren’t holding back either. In her radio alert yesterday, Mission America’s Linda Harvey accused the military personnel who marched in the parade of bringing “disgrace to the uniform and to America”:

Harvey: The San Diego homosexual pride parade on Saturday, July 21st, broke new ground. For the first time the Pentagon allowed members of the military to dress in full uniform at an event with a political agenda, and what an agenda it is. If you haven’t been to a pride parade recently, or ever, it’s not anything to be proud of. The uniform of our country was allowed to honor a display featuring men dressed as women, people in virtually no clothing at all and in your face advocacy of every aspect of homosexuality. How low will this present administration stoop before Americans say ‘we’ve had enough’? Here’s how the decision went down: there were concerns that some military members would march in uniform with or without permission so the big brass caved and said OK. Now think about that, because men and women who have taken an oath were planning to disobey standing protocol, their superiors decided to let them. The Pentagon says the exception is only for this parade but do any of us truly believe that?

This signals much more than an endorsement of deviance, it signals a breakdown of order. It’s also an exception that would not be extended to any groups but those on the left, could conservative soldiers appear in uniform at a Tea Party rally? Of course not, it’s only the homosexual lobby that gets this kind of deference. There were approximately three hundred service members signed up to march in this parade, that friends is a disgrace to the uniform and to America.

No debate about the military’s approach to gay and lesbian service members can be complete without a comment from Elaine Donnelly, who told Janet Parshall yesterday that participants wearing the uniform brought “discredit upon the Armed Forces”:

Later, Donnelly said the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell undermined the military’s commitment to “selfless service”:

Donnelly: Connect the dots here, how far is the military going to go with this? Well, frankly, they don’t know. Because the administration is saying that LGBT equality is a paramount concern, it is actually a political concern, the President is trying to deliver on political promises to his LGBT base, the left if you will, and the Pentagon is helping him do it.

Parshall: So stunning that there has been a historic set of rules of deportment of where and when that uniform can be used, and it seems to me and you have made this point several times over the last few years, that we are kind of making it up as we go along.



Donnelly: This is a special interest faction. We don’t have in our military, we shouldn’t have, special interest factions. We don’t have labor unions either. You don’t have groups that are more interested in their own interests than they are in the selfless support for the institution, for the mission. Selfless service is what the military is all about. When you start dividing up into special interest factions that start saying ‘we want this and we want that and we are different from everyone else and we are more special than everyone else,’ that’s when you really invite problems. So Janet, this is just beginning, this is LGBT law in the military.

"End a" Discriminatory Workplace with ENDA

As a freshman in high school I approached my principal to request a space to perform one of the five mandatory Muslim prayers that happened to start and end during school hours. I had been praying for years in school and thought nothing of it, until she said no.  As unfortunate as her response was, I was lucky for two reasons. The first was that there were laws in place that protected me from facing this type of discrimination, and I was eventually allowed to pray in school thanks to the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The second reason is that experience was transformative and opened my eyes not only to the struggles of other Muslim Americans, but to all groups who face discrimination. As lucky as I was with my specific situation, I soon realized that not every group had legal recourse in situations arising from discrimination.

Yesterday, over nine years after my high school experience, I went to the office of US Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to lobby for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I, along with two other constituents from the Lone Star State, met with a staffer to discuss our desire for the senator to support this legislation that would protect the millions of Americans who identify as LGBTQ. We explained that current legislation does not extend to LGBTQ individuals in the workforce who face discrimination and action must be taken to protect the rights of these millions of Americans. We each told her why this issue matters to us individually – I told her about my experience seeking time to pray in high school. She explained a number of factors that might keep the senator from supporting ENDA, including states’ rights concerns and the timing around the election. She also reminded us how long the process has been for previous groups trying to secure equal rights in America.

But why does this group of Americans needs to wait any longer to enjoy equal rights? We need our senators and representatives to be leaders. The rights of minority groups may not always be popular with the majority, but leadership on a federal level is required to protect those rights, just as it was and remains necessary with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. LGBTQ individuals should be able to walk into their places of employment or prospective employment and not fear that who they are is going to result in discrimination – and they should be able to do so today. I call on Sen. John Cornyn and every other member of Congress to get one small step closer to ending discrimination by passing ENDA. It’s the American thing to do.

PFAW

Religious Right's Chick-fil-A Chicanery

It always amazes us how Religious Right activists present themselves as fearless defenders of the truth, but constantly run away from and flat out deny statements that cause controversy.

Take the recent dispute over Chick-fil-A.

Not only does the company finance anti-gay groups, but CEO Dan Cathy has said that same-sex marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation” because we “shake our fist at Him,” calling support for marriage equality a “tragic” a sign that God “left us to a depraved mind.”

Rather than defend these remarks, social conservatives groups are simply denying that Cathy ever uttered anything critical of gay rights or derogatory of the gay community.

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday maintained that gay rights supporters are only upset about the statement he gave to Baptist Press and ignored his earlier remarks:

Similarly, the Family Research Council’s prayer team claimed Cathy “said not one negative word about homosexuals nor homosexuality”:

Finally, you've probably seen reaction to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's declaration of support for Biblical marriage. He said not one negative word about homosexuals nor homosexuality. Rather, he said, "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender." Nevertheless, makers of the Muppets have withdrawn their partnership, and the mayor of Boston, has banned Chick-fil-A from coming to his city. Meanwhile, Internet monster Google has launched a worldwide "Legalize Love" campaign aimed at breaking down legal barriers to homosexuality in countries with moral objections. Also, J.C. Penney, which endorsed same-sex "marriage" has seen its stock go through the floor. Microsoft, which did likewise, has experienced its first quarterly loss in the company's history (Thigh will be Done, Come What Mayo, Irony of the Tolerance Police, Google). Please join us in celebrating Mike Huckabee's Wednesday, August 1, Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. And thank you for praying!

Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips endorsed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by falsely asserting that Cathy “has not said at least publicly that he opposes gay marriage”:

The left is now making war in Chic fil A. They do not like it that the President of Chic fil A came out against gay marriage. Dan Cathy, like his father who founded Chic fil A is a devout protestant Christian and he supports traditional marriage and family values. He has not said at least publicly that he opposes gay marriage, only that he supports traditional marriage.

If conservative leaders are so proud and supportive of Dan Cathy’s views, then why are they so intent on avoiding any mention of his unambiguously anti-gay statements?

John Kirkwood on Gay Judges: 'We Were Better Off When the Mafia Ran Illinois'

Illinois pastor John Kirkwood joined Peter LaBarbara on Americans for Truth About Homosexuality Radio Hour last week to discuss a pending challenge to Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage. The two were up in arms because the Cook County circuit court judge presiding over the case, Sophia Hall, is openly gay. Not only do they want Judge Hall to recuse herself from the case (the Right made a similar, unsuccessful demand of Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the Prop 8 trial in California), but they take issue with the very existence of openly gay judges.

Kirkwood, perusing a newsletter article about a function honoring openly LGBT judges in Cook County compared the event to one honoring “the adulterous judges of Cook County” and mused, “We were better off when the Mafia ran Illinois because they were interested in making a profit, not making some kind of political statement that is totally abhorrent.”

LaBarbara: It’s just amazing, John. I mean, you know, Cook County is corrupt, but it’s hard to appreciate how corrupt it is if you’re outside of Illinois. And this is a county that, and we have a photo here of Judge Hall, she’s one of 14 openly homosexual judges in this county.

Kirkwood: Yeah, you know, it’s affectionately called “Crook County” now. And I can actually make the bold statement, and it might sound absurd as a pastor, but we were better off when the Mafia ran Illinois because they were interested in making a profit, not making some kind of political statement that is totally abhorrent.

….

Kirkwood: It just occurred to me how outrageous it would seem if the headline you read is, “Seek to Honor the Adulterous Judges of Cook County.”

LaBarbara: Right, right, well that goes to, John, that goes to you as a pastor and all of us. We’re believers and we regard homosexuality as a serious sexual sin. And so, yeah, just even the language: “gay judges.” I mean these are judges who are openly practicing immoral conduct, they’re proud of it, and even though they don’t think like that, that’s how many people regard homosexuality and that’s the problem.

Horowitz: Abedin May Have Been 'Given a Special Dispensation to Marry a Jew so She can Infiltrate our Government'

Commenting on the right-wing smear campaign targeting Huma Abedin, Adam Serwer noted that the people suggesting Abedin is a secret agent for the Muslim Brotherhood would “have to ignore her marriage to the ardently pro-Israel disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. (Of course: it's the perfect cover.)” But some anti-Muslim activists are actually using the “perfect cover” line to bolster their own arguments: David Horowitz told American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday that Weiner has either “secretly converted to Islam or Huma Abedin has been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.” He lamented Republican criticism of attacks on Abedin at a time when Democrats have already been “thoroughly infiltrated and defending the jihadists”:

Horowitz: The inquiry; the fact that Michele Bachmann has been attacked as she has by Republicans, and the two key ones are McCain and John Boehner, is terrible. It’s bad enough that the Democratic Party is thoroughly infiltrated and defending the jihadists, the Islamists. But that the Republican Party should be doing this as well, it’s disastrous.



Wildmon: Michele Bachmann, the congresswoman from Minnesota is being demonized in the national media and what is happened here is that—and I’ve read about this a year ago or so—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her right hand person, who is married to disgraced Anthony Weiner—

Horowitz: Anthony Weiner is a Jew. So according to Muslim law, either Anthony Weiner has secretly converted to Islam or Huma Abedin has been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.

Horowitz also claimed that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is to blame for the rise of the “dangerous” left because it makes people want to seek change in the world they live in:

Horowitz: George Soros, who is an evil man, who has evil designs on this country, once said, he said he aspired to be the conscience of mankind. He knows that he’s a corrupt businessman who has caused a lot of pain and so he redeems himself by being the champion of the progressive future. That’s what it does for them. If you look at history you will see that all these ‘isms’—communism, socialism, Nazism—they all emerge after Darwin, that is after the decline of organized religion. They replace the religious vision of a redemption in the next life with a communist vision with a redemption in this life, and that is why they are so bloody dangerous.

Rep. Trent Franks Echoes Frank Gaffney Word for Word while Defending Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt

If you need any more evidence that anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney is influencing Republican members of Congress to push a witch hunt against Muslim-Americans public servants, look no further than Gaffney’s interview with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) today on Secure Freedom Radio. Franks, who is partnering with Rep. Michele Bachmann in her effort to investigate a supposed “penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood into the U.S. government has apparently adopted Gaffney’s specialty vocabulary. Gaffney regularly warns of “civilization jihad,” “lawfare” and “pre-violent” techniques in his conspiracy-laden diatribes against Muslims in government; in the interview today, Franks echoed back all three phrases.

Franks told Gaffney that Muslim Brotherhood agents are trying to use “use our laws and our commitment to freedom and freedom of speech, which we all believe in desperately, but they hide behind it to couch what otherwise might be called sedition.” Later, the congressman claimed that if people do not listen to his warnings about the Muslim Brotherhood, “then that little unpleasantness on 9/11 has completely gone over our heads.”

Listen:

Gaffney: The central thrust of this effort really is not just that the administration doesn’t seem to understand it but that they seem to be perhaps receptive but at least being seriously subjected to an influence operation by these Muslim Brotherhood operatives. To what extent is there in your estimation enough of a basis for concern that this is done in a systematic, disciplined, rigorous way, I guess the Brotherhood calls it civilization jihad, to warrant an investigation by these inspectors general as you’ve requested?

Franks: The bottom line is the same ideology that precipitated the planning of the attacks that we suffered on 9/11 is the same ideology that gives impulse or animates this pre-violent type of jihad where we face this civilizational jihad, I think you’ve used the term, and I think it’s a very, very accurate term of where they are trying to work within our own system. I hear the term lawfare quite a lot, where they use our laws and our commitment to freedom and freedom of speech, which we all believe in desperately, but they hide behind it to couch what otherwise might be called sedition and hide behind it and call it freedom of speech.

Gaffney: Or freedom of religion.

Franks: That’s probably the worst of all.



Franks: The bottom line is that these letters were about the Muslim Brotherhood and if we don’t have the Muslim Brotherhood figured out as a hostile organization in the United States then that little unpleasantness on 9/11 has completely gone over our heads and I find that astonishing beyond my ability to articulate.

Newest Young Elected Progressive Candidates

We are continuing to roll out our new Young Elected Progressives candidates this week with three more candidates under the age of 35. Today we are introducing you to Bret Binder (PA), Will Sylianteng (PA), and Sarah Gillooly (MO).

Bret Binder

Bret Binder is running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 156th district. Binder is currently an attorney and small business owner. He founded Binder & Canno, LLC and is part owner of Pudding Lane Brookline, a gourmet rice pudding emporium. He also played important roles with multiple real estate companies, including being the general partner of Seamazing, LLC. Prior to the creation of his law firm, Binder was a law clerk to Justice Sandra Schultz Newman of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He hopes to use this background while in the state legislature to fight back against the recent Voter ID law and will promote the importance of public education to the leaders in Harrisburg. Visit his website here.

Will Sylianteng

Will Sylianteng is running to represent the 151st district in the Pennsylvania House. He currently practices law in Blue Bell, PA and has chaired the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee as well as being the vice-chair of its Civil Practice Committee. Additionally, Sylianteng volunteers to teach a 6th grade Civics and the Law class at a local school. He has received several awards since he began practicing law, including being named a SuperLawyer Rising Star, Lawyer on the Fast Track and Pennsylvania Diversity Attorney of the Year. If elected, Sylianteng will become the first Asian-American to be elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. Visit his website here.

Sarah Gillooly

Sarah Gillooly is running for Missouri House of Representatives in the 24th district. She is a progressive champion who has put forth great time and effort into the fight for equality. She worked for Missouri’s LGBTQ organization, PROMO, and serves Missouri and Kansas women in the battle for equal health benefits. Gillooly has dedicated herself to furthering the civil rights agenda through activities that have pushed for protection of federal family planning funds, the promotion of public education, and adding gender identity to the Kansas City Human Rights Ordinance. Visit her website here.

PFAW

New Report on African Politics Features RWW Research

Political Research Associates released a new report yesterday to shed light on the activities of Religious Right organizations in Africa – activities that often fly under the radar of American media.

Exporting similar tactics used to influence voters and policymakers in the United States, a broad coalition of far-right groups have invested heavily on outposts in African nations. These groups use their outsize influence to push for radical legislation banning all rights for LGBT persons and curbing reproductive rights.

The report authored by Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest originally from Zambia, investigates the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice, the Mormon-led Family Watch International, and the Roman Catholic Human Life International, as well as a network of Christian dominionists known as the Transformation Movement or New Apostolic Reformation. The report details ACLJ's efforts to influence the constitution-writing process in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and the anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive justice activities of the other groups in such countries as Uganda, Malawi and Zambia.

The report lays out a detailed explanation of why the Christian right enjoys sizable influence on the African continent, and issues ten recommendations for protecting human rights and developing an infrastructure for the long term.

RWW’s own Brian Tashman is featured in the report, in an article which explores the role of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a right-wing legal group founded by Pat Robertson and led by Jay Sekulow.

His research sheds light on its extensive network (and questionable accounting practices) and opposition to LGBT and reproductive rights at home and abroad:

The ACLJ is now one of the principal legal advocacy groups in the conservative movement, along with the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel, the Liberty Institute, and the Thomas More Law Center. The group has built strong partnerships with many Religious Right groups, including the Christian Defense Coalition, Faith and Action,5 the American Family Association,6 and WallBuilders. Its reach has expanded globally with affiliates in countries including France, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe, and Brazil.



The Better Business Bureau says the ACLJ does not meet ten of its twenty standards for charity accountability, citing problems with oversight, compensation, accuracy of expenses, financial transparency, and disclosure; even the founder of the conservative Rutherford Institute has criticized the group’s financial mismanagement.9 An Associated Press investigation found that since 1998, the ACLJ and Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE), Sekulow’s family-controlled charity, “have paid more than $33 million to members of Sekulow’s family and businesses they own or co-own.”

Scarborough: 'America Will Not Survive' if Obama is Re-Elected

Vision America’s Rick Scarborough took to American Family Radio today to promote his “40 Days to Save America” prayer effort. Scarborough warned host Tim Wildmon that President Obama “is the worst president in the history of the country” and “America will not survive” if he wins re-election. After tarring Obama as a “dangerous president,” he went on to call for people to join his effort to pray and campaign for conservative politicians in order to “move the heart of God to relent from the judgment that we have worked so hard to get,” as a result of legal abortion, financial debt, and gay rights.

Listen:

Christians either by their not voting or by voting with their emotions in the last election put Barack Obama in the White House. I happen to believe personally, this is not Vision America, this is me speaking, I believe he is the worst president in the history of the country, I believe he is a dangerous president, and I believe America will not survive for more years under his leadership. I can’t imagine a Barack Obama unleashed without another election to face.



It will take thousands of churches and millions of Christians fasting I believe at this point to move the heart of God to relent from the judgment that we have worked so hard to get. Sixty million aborted babies, debts out of control, which is nothing more than generational theft, right now we take a good Godly man like [Chick-fil-A founder] Mr. Truett [Cathy], who founded a company and devoted every resource he had to the advancement and the welfare of his employees and the people who patronize his store, and homosexuals are seeking right now to shut it down. We deserve judgment. We’ve got to have a brokenhearted group of people who understand that, who cry out to God and who partner with us. You must go to the website, you must sign up.

Mitt Romney and America’s “Anglo-Saxon Heritage"

Mitt Romney traveled to Europe last night, and flew right into a political mess. Romney’s campaign is running away fast from a comment made by one of the candidate’s foreign policy advisers to Britain’s The Telegraph:

One of his advisers told Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that Romney is better positioned than President Obama to foster a strong relationship with the U.K. because of his "Anglo-Saxon" connection to the country. "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels the relationship is special," the unnamed aide said of Romney. "The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have."

The accusation that President Obama doesn’t appreciate America’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” is a barely veiled racist attack against the president, not to mention the millions of Americans who are not descended from ancient Britons. Newt Gingrich was getting at the same thing when he accused the president of having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. Mike Huckabee was too when he said Obama grew up near “madrassas” rather than “going to Boy Scout meetings.”

Unsurprisingly, the Romney campaign is now denying that the words were ever said (though they won’t specify by whom they were not said, nor have they asked for a retraction). I hope they’re telling the truth: the comment was massively offensive, and shouldn’t be coming from anywhere near a major political campaign. But the Romney campaign’s denials aren’t really letting the candidate off the hook. That sort of comment calls for a strong rebuke, not just a tepid denial.

But I’m not holding my breath. After all, when another Romney surrogate, former George H.W. Bush chief of staff John Sununu said the president needs to "learn how to be an American" – another appeal to the popular right-wing idea that the president is some sort of foreign imposter – Sununu attempted to walk back his own comment, but the campaign was silent.

As it happens, Romney is in a similar situation with another of his foreign policy advisers, former Bush administration official John Bolton who went on anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney’s radio show yesterday to defend Rep. Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Muslim-Americans working for the U.S. government. Bolton’s comments set him apart from prominent Republicans including John McCain and John Boehner, who have rebuked Bachmann’s witch hunt. Yet Romney, who apparently will be only appearing for photo ops in London tomorrow, hasn’t said a word.

PFAW

Barber: 'Shame on Hillary Clinton' For Not Attacking Gays in AIDS Conference Speech

Like most other Religious Right activists, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber was enraged by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement of a major push for LGBT rights abroad, even going so far as to say that reports of anti-LGBT persecution are “nonsense.” Today, Barber slammed Clinton in an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow for her speech to the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in which she called on policymakers to create a “blueprint” for “achieving an AIDS-free generation,” because she failed to attack the gay community.

Listen:

Shame on Hillary Clinton. In choosing to ignore the reality that in the United States people are primarily infected with AIDS through deviant homosexual behavior, she has essentially postured with a false air of resolve while cowardly refusing to address the real cause of AIDS in the U.S. and that’s homosexual behavior.



We all know better and so should Hillary Clinton. She missed a real opportunity here to show courage and discourage people from engaging in the high-risk behavior of homosexuality that spreads AIDS.

Michele Bachmann Is On Her Way to Becoming an Official Right-Wing Martyr

Earlier this year, Jerry Boykin pulled out of a speech he was scheduled to deliver at West Point after People For the American Way and others spread the word about his conspiratorial and extremist anti-Muslim views. But while Boykin made a career out of attacking the rights and faith of Muslim-Americans, the Religious Right turned him into a martyr, declaring him a victim of supposed anti-Christian hostility. Frank Gaffney, who collaborated with Boykin on a report called "Sharia: The Threat to America," said at the time that the call for West Point to disinvite Boykin was a direct attack on the freedom of speech -- ironic, since Gaffney frequently demands that conservative groups stop working with Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan because of what he says are their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now just as conservatives turned Boykin into a martyr after his anti-Muslim activism came back to haunt him, they are trying to do the same thing for Michele Bachmann after her McCarthy-esque attacks on Muslim-Americans serving in government led to an immediate backlash, including denunciations from her fellow Republican leaders.

Praising Bachmann as a hero and comparing her to John the Baptist and Margaret Thatcher, right-wing activists as well as radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bryan Fischer have rushed to her defense. Yesterday on The Janet Mefferd Show, Gaffney, whose work is cited by Bachmann in her letters concerning Muslim government officials, expressed his “horror” and “anger” about criticism of Bachmann and her Republican allies . “They have been subjected to the most egregious and in some cases just flat out uninformed criticism that I’ve experienced in these thirty-six years in Washington and I find it appalling,” Gaffney said, warning that the Muslim Brotherhood is using “pre-violent” means and its allies in government “to shut down the investigations we need into this kind of subversive activity within our wire.”

The ties these individuals give rise to a reasonable concern at least that maybe these people are trying to get the United States government to conform to the wishes of the Muslim Brotherhood and then you’ve got all these examples of how it is doing so and it’s a perfect fit to I think at the minimum ask members of Congress who have oversight responsibilities to seek formal inquiries into these kinds of questions. For that, they have been subjected to the most egregious and in some cases just flat out uninformed criticism that I’ve experienced in these thirty-six years in Washington and I find it appalling and I’m so glad to hear people like you and I’m sure your listeners responding as I am in horror and anger at it.



For people to turn a blind eye to this civilization jihad as the Muslim Brotherhood calls it that they’re waging, not the violent kind of Al-Qaeda and so on, they will get to that in due course, but what’s really pre-violent in character, stealthy, subversion from within. That’s what we are up against, that’s what Michele Bachmann and her colleagues have called attention to, that’s why they are being assailed as they are, it’s to shut down the investigations we need into this kind of subversive activity within our wire.

Huma Abedin Conspiracies Get Weirder

The conspiracy theories about Huma Abedin’s marriage to former congressman Anthony Weiner keep getting weirder. Walid Shoebat, who according to the Center for American Progress [pdf] is a “former purported Islamic terrorist turned apocalyptic Christian,” recently told David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag that Abedin’s marriage to Weiner, who is Jewish, is either part of her Muslim Brotherhood espionage or shows that Weiner converted to Islam, or both:

It is extremely rare to have Muslim women marry non-Muslims, much less to have conservative Muslims look the other way, unless Huma has a “higher calling” and a unique exception was made for her, since she is an ear into top U.S. sensitive information, or Anthony Weiner has converted to Islam or even both.

On Monday, Shoebat told the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios that the rise of Muslim Brotherhood is all part of biblical prophecy and we are witnessing the birth pangs of the End Times:

He also claimed that Obama is assisting the Muslim Brotherhood and is “in bed with terrorists,” and that Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, two of the five Republican congressmen who have accused Abedin of cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood, are acting like modern day John the Baptist fighting today’s Herod:

Rios: Did you have any idea, even ten years ago or right after 9/11 that things would come to this dangerous state where we do have, and we’re going to talk about this, this incredible infiltration at the highest levels and no one would listen? Did you ever foresee this?

Shoebat: Yes, yes, of course I expected this. Americans had a test when the elections happened and the results were Obama. We’ve seen anybody, you know, who looks at Obama’s record, he was in bed with terrorists. People need to confront this issue once and for all, President Obama doesn’t have a clean record.



Rios: Should we be worried about Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert and all these letters? Should we defend them, what’s the point?

Shoebat: Well, I mean, if you look at the story of John the Baptist, John the Baptist was doing what? He was a symbol of the church. He was fighting against Herod, Herod was a symbol of the Antichrist, a symbol of the evil one. So what happened? He exposed Herod and he got his head chopped off. So there is a danger in fighting this but the church’s position is to expose and to fight for what is right.

Phyllis Schlafly Says Obama Talks About Religion Too Much and Too Little

Phyllis Schlafly is out with a new book which Kyle noted last week is a “catalog of the Religious Right's various complaints and allegations about President Obama's supposed hatred of Christianity and Christian values” and relies on false accusations, conspiracy theories and claims that Obama is trying to push religion out of public life. But after attacking Obama for supposedly not discussing religion enough in office, on The Mark Levin Show yesterday Schlafly claimed that Obama actually does use religious rhetoric rather frequently, but that it is all part of a nefarious, Alinskyite political strategy. So there you have it, it is bad when Obama talks about religion, and it is bad when Obama doesn’t talk about religion.

Levin: Is there, as you write in your book, an Alinsky angle to the way Obama approaches religion?

Schlafly: Oh yes. You’ve read Saul Alinsky, the famous Chicago radical and you can get a good idea of his approach to religion that he dedicated his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ to Lucifer. Then he said ‘you got to know all this religious lingo and you’ve got to wrap your plans to take over the country in religious arguments.’ So he taught him how to use it and taught him how to use middle class language but the whole purpose was to teach people that we live in an oppressive, unjust, racist society and we got to take it over. I think, you know, Obama said Alinsky was a better education than he ever got at Harvard and Columbia and he taught him out to do it!

Levin: They taught him how to do it and they do use the language, every now and then he blows it, every now and then he shows a little ankle.

PFAW Applauds Hearings on Constitutional Amendments to Reverse Citizens United

 People For the American Way today applauded hearings held in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, chaired by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, exploring ways to reverse Citizens United by amending the Constitution and other means.

“Today’s hearing is an important step towards reclaiming our democracy for the people, not deep pocketed special interests,” said Michael Keegan. “Since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in early 2010, we’ve seen hundreds of millions of dollars contaminate our electoral system and profoundly distort our democratic process. I’m proud of the work done across the country by PFAW’s members and activists to reverse the decision. Today’s hearing is a testament to the grassroots efforts of the millions of Americans who want our country to be of, by and for the people.”

Since the Court handed down its decision, a growing movement has coalesced behind amending the Constitution to limit corporate power in our elections.

  • More than 1.9 million Americans have signed a petition calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to reverse Citizens United.
  • 1,854 public officials are on record in support, including 92 Representatives in Congress and 28 U.S. Senators.
  • Over 275 towns and cities have passed resolutions supporting an amendment, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Santa Fe, Missoula (ballot initiative), Madison (ballot initiative), Boulder (ballot initiative), New York City, Albany, Pittsburgh, Boston, South Miami, Philadelphia and Kansas City, MO.
  • The legislatures of six states have urged Congress to propose an amendment to overturn Citizens United via amendment.
  • 2,007 business leaders have spoken out in favor of an amendment.
  • 14 House and Senate amendment resolutions have been introduced in the 112th Congress.

“This is a movement moment,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Americans across the political spectrum support amending the Constitution to ensure that people, not special interests, hold the power in our democracy. Today’s hearing is an important step in the right direction. I’m grateful for the support we’ve received from members of the Sub-Committee as well as from their colleagues in the House and Senate. I’m eager to continue the fight to make Citizens United a thing of the past.”

###

Who Would Be on the Romney Court?

Romney's supporters have a familiar wish list of far-right ideologues they want to see on the Supreme Court.
PFAW

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/24/12

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) calls John McCain “numb nuts” for defending Huma Abedin.
  • Elaine Donnelly says permission for service members to wear their uniform in a San Diego pride parade was “very inappropriate” and among the “manifestations of a San Francisco military.”
  • National Organization for Marriage launches its boycott against General Mills to protest its move to “endorse a controversial political issue”…i.e. opposing a Minnesota amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious