Please take a moment to watch this end-of-the-year thank you message for you and all of PFAW's wonderful supporters around the world from PFAW founder Norman Lear:
Please take a moment to watch this end-of-the-year thank you message for you and all of PFAW's wonderful supporters around the world from PFAW founder Norman Lear:
Not only were many conservative leaders confidently predicting a comfortable Romney victory in last month’s elections but so were many Religious Right activists who cloaked the imminent Romney win in spiritual terms. Even the “Bible Code” pointed to a Romney presidency! Of course, President Obama ended up winning re-election and these predictions were quickly forgotten by those who made them.
But Rick Joyner is still perplexed that Romney lost given that all of his fellow “prophets” thought he’d win. In his “Word of the Week” bulletin, Joyner said he was “sorry that we did not do better in understanding this election” and wonders why he knew “a lot of prophetic people who fully expected Romney to win the election.”
The only explanation Joyner thought of was that while Christians were united against Obama like never before, they were just too afraid to vote for a Mormon.
Because the 2012 elections continue to be a source of confusion to many, we will address a couple of more lessons to learn from this to finish out this year. Then we will begin the New Year with possibly unprecedented opportunities to see our nation turn to the Lord for the greatest harvest in history.
I know a lot of prophetic people who fully expected Romney to win the election. Of those I communicated with about the election, I do not know of any who gave a prophecy that Romney would win, but it was an almost universal opinion. I did not even seek a word from the Lord about it myself because I felt that I already had His opinion. That was a huge presumption.
Bob Jones had an encounter with the Lord on January 16, 2012 in which the Lord asked him what he thought about having a Mormon for President. This was long before the Republican nomination had been decided, and Bob’s response was that he did not think very much of it. Bob held to that opinion until after the nomination was won by Romney, and then he believed that he must have been wrong and that Romney must be God’s choice. After the election, he realized how he had let his own opinions cancel out what the Lord was trying to show him in the first place.
Bob is the most seasoned and wise prophetic person I know, and in great wisdom, he embraced this correction. Even the greatest prophets still see in part and prophesy in part. We have had many prophetic words come true exactly as they were given, but we misinterpreted them until they were fulfilled. I still consider interpretation one of the greatest weaknesses in the prophetic ministry, but it was also this way throughout history, including biblical history. Even so, I believe we must do better with interpreting what we are being shown prophetically.
Some would interpret the question that Bob was asked by the Lord to mean that the Lord did not want a Mormon as President, but that is not what the Lord said either. In fact, the Lord did not say anything, but just asked a question. That question may have been the ultimate question that in fact decided the election. Maybe we should have spent far more attention trying to answer that question than we did. I’m not saying that it was, but it could have been. Romney could have been God’s choice, but I know many good Christians who did not vote because they said they could not vote for a Mormon.
This past election was too good of an opportunity to learn to sweep it under the rug. I feel that I have learned something profound almost every day since the election. Wisdom and understanding are worth much more than gold or silver. I am sorry that we did not do better in understanding this election, but I love the correction because of what I’m learning. If we learn our lessons from this, they could save us in far more crucial times to come. I hope this is helpful, and I have a bit more to share next week.
Or, maybe Romney really did win but Obama stole the election.
WASHINGTON – The Senate is leaving town for the Christmas holiday without holding confirmation votes on four federal appeals court nominees who have been waiting six to nine months for approval from the full Senate. These nominees – Third Circuit nominee Patty Shwartz of New Jersey, First Circuit nominee William Kayatta of Maine, Tenth Circuit nominee Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma and Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto – all have the backing of their home-state senators, Democratic and Republican. Senate Republicans have blocked Shwartz’s nomination for over nine months, Kayatta’s and Taranto’s for eight, and Bacharach’s for six.
Senate Republicans are, however, finally allowing votes on three long-delayed district court nominees, Matthew Brann and Malachy Mannion for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Jon Tigar for the Northern District of California. All three will fill officially designated emergency vacancies. Brann will take over at a courthouse in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which has not had a serving federal judge since July 2011. Yet all three have been delayed on the Senate floor for over four months.
“It’s bad enough that entirely uncontroversial trial court nominees like Brann, Mannion and Tigar are forced to wait months before the Senate will allow them to fill emergency vacancies,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Yet Senate Republicans have the audacity as they leave town to claim credit for finally doing something they should have done back in September. Meanwhile, key circuit court vacancies have been left unfilled, some for nearly three-quarters of a year, despite the absence of any substantive concerns about the nominees’ qualifications. The Senate’s role is to advise and consent, not to obstruct and delay. Senate Republicans should take this duty seriously and allow votes on all pending nominees before the end of the year.”
Pastor Bill Elliff of the Arkansas-based The Summit Church and the Religious Right group OneCry appeared on AFA Today with host Buster Wilson this week where he explained that the September 11 attacks and the elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut were “gracious” acts of divine punishment. He said that God allowed the two tragedies to occur because of “our humanistic pride” and secular government in order to “bring us to our senses and bring us back to him.”
Wilson was positively dumbfounded as to why people would be offended by such rhetoric and similar language by AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who said that God refused to stop the school shooting because he’s a “gentleman,” and Elliff worried the U.S. is going the way of the Roman and British empires.
Wilson: I have never seen the vitriol that has been unleashed against us, some of us here at this ministry, since we’ve been publicly saying: you know what one of the problems is for the last fifty years we’ve been saying to God we don’t want you, there’s a wall of separation between us, and the place you’ve seen that amplified most has been in the public schools. We have received just unbelievable vitriol for saying that, seeing it as too simplistic, one person wrote ‘this is 2013, are we still wrestling over Creationism?’ We are in a changing, almost post-Christian America is what it seems like at time, what’s gonna happen if we don’t turn back to the Lord and see great revival brought about?
Elliff: I think what’s going to happen is what’s happened to every society before us who has not turned back. I was thinking the other day probably in Rome they thought ‘this could never happen to us’ and England in its prime they said ‘this could never happen to us.’ There is something about our humanistic pride that causes us to think, we could never go down as a nation.
Elliff: I’ve often thought about 9/11 and what happened there. God doesn’t cause evil, he didn’t cause the shooting the other day. But when we say, ‘Lord we can live life without you,’ then he says, ‘okay, I’ll let you feel that.’
Wilson: Let you get a taste of it.
Elliff: I thought at 9/11 what happened was God’s protective hand was removed and we felt what pure evil is like. We felt that this last week. That was pure evil, it’s the devil who has come to steal, kill and destroy. He’d just as soon kill a baby or a child in the womb as anything else. God allows that moment, we’re pressing the issue by turning from him, but he allows that moment to bring us to our senses and say, ‘God we desperately need you.’ So really it’s gracious. The pain that comes, the judgment that has really come by our turning away from the Lord is a merciful thing that God does to bring us to our senses and bring us back to him.
Elliff explained that the shooting was a sign of God’s discipline as “judgment comes to a nation it is God saying, wake up, you have walked away from me and I have loved you and I have so much desire to protect you but when you walk away you forfeit that.”
Elliff: We look at what has happened recently here in the school shooting and the so many things that have happened in the past few years. If we put all of those in biblical context and surround it with the Scripture we would come to different conclusions about what was happening. I was thinking the other day that God has instituted pain in our body, you know when you get a rusty nail that goes up to the sole of your foot that’s a real good thing that you feel pain because it causes you to make an adjustment. God’s judgment is like that. It’s a loving God saying to us when judgment comes to a nation it is God saying, wake up, you have walked away from me and I have loved you and I have so much desire to protect you but when you walk away you forfeit that.
Earlier this week, WorldNetDaily columnist and regular Fox News guest Erik Rush tweeted a video arguing that President Obama orchestrated the Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado shootings in order to cover-up a massive government scandal, forcibly disarm Americans, put people in concentration camps and start a civil war. Of course the conspiracy theory is complete nonsense, but Rush doesn’t think so.
Today in WND, Rush effectively suggested that people should begin an armed revolt against the government: “There are also Americans – some misguided, some ideologues – who work every day of the week in the cause of compromising our liberties,” Rush writes, “I suppose suggesting that we shoot them wouldn’t be taken very well – although that is precisely what it came down to 236 years ago.”
Rush, who hoped that a Romney administration would imprison liberals and journalists, like in the conspiracy video warns that the Obama administration is using the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to “divert attention from its own abject criminality,” crack down on gun ownership, do away with the Constitution and require “compulsory periodic assessments of citizens by government psychologists.”
Within hours of the first reports of the heinous massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last week, it was evident that members of the gun-control lobby, dedicated leftist organizations and elements of the press were finding the circumstances of this crime simply delicious. I say that because of the alacrity with which they immediately initiated email barrages to their mailing lists and the shamelessly biased reporting of the shootings in the context of a need for swift and sweeping changes to America’s firearms laws.
In an address advertised as intending to console residents of Newtown on Dec. 16 (I suppose one could call it a “consolation address”), President Obama furtively telegraphed his intention to advance gun-control legislation through more of his subtle tyranny. Like so many instances in the past, Obama peremptorily (though erroneously) circumscribed the problem, then alluded to more “fundamental transformation” being required to solve it, whether this involves the wholesale subordination of industrial sectors to the government, unconstitutional legislation, or dark-of-the-night, unpublicized executive orders.
In Obamaspeak, “We have to change” simply means we must be willing to pitch the Constitution, capitalism, notions of liberty and traditional values as Obama sees fit. In an effort to squeeze as much popular political capital from the Sandy Hook tragedy as possible, the administration sent an email late Monday directing supporters to the president’s weekend speech online, in which he promised to take action to prevent mass shootings.
There were also donation link buttons on the page with the video and Obama’s pledge, which gives rise to a visual of vultures picking flesh from the carcasses of dead first-graders. It also bears mentioning here that the Newtown massacre has presented the Obama administration with a stellar opportunity to divert attention from its own abject criminality.
Of course, Obama’s sympathies, like those of anti-gun lobbyists and liberals in general, ostensibly have their genesis in our safety. Everyone wants to feel safe, of course. Don’t you want your children to be safe? Progressives want guns out of citizens’ hands so they feel safe when they circumvent or otherwise subvert the Bill of Rights.
It is of the utmost importance that Americans become aware of the dedicated efforts that are being made to transform us from citizens into subjects, and that we are already at war. This is a war we have not seen the likes of previously and that will challenge notions of war for centuries to come. Even if we did not have the Second Amendment to stand on, I would still support gun rights, because guns are not the issue – power is. Next will come edged weapons control, then blunt weapons control, then compulsory periodic assessments of citizens by government psychologists.
There are millions of Americans for whom “it can’t happen here” has been well-inculcated into their worldview; these have been conditioned to operate at the basest of intellectual levels. They are also the ones who will blindly obey any laws enacted by government, whether these imperceptibly erode their liberties, or require their reporting neighbors to secret police.
There are also Americans – some misguided, some ideologues – who work every day of the week in the cause of compromising our liberties. They are just as dangerous and criminal as those who would stifle any of the liberties contained in the Bill of Rights.
I suppose suggesting that we shoot them wouldn’t be taken very well – although that is precisely what it came down to 236 years ago.
WorldNetDaily columnist Burt Prelutsky claims that the supposed War on Christmas is the fault of “my fellow Jews” who intend to “pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.”
“When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists and the largely Jewish funded ACLU at the forefront,” he writes, “anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society; it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity.”
Prelutsky goes on to attack Jewish Americans for not showing enough support for the Republican Party and not being grateful that America is “a Christian nation.”
That has changed, as you may have noticed. And I lay a great deal of the blame at the feet of my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists and the largely Jewish funded ACLU at the forefront. What makes them even more obnoxious is that, by and large, the Jews who are leading the crusade against what is, we should never forget, a national holiday, are secular. So it’s not even a question of their religion being shortchanged; they hate their own, as well. They’re the pinheads who pretend that “separation of church and state” appears in the Constitution.
But the dirty little secret in America is that in spite of the occasional over-publicized rants by the likes of Mel Gibson and Michael Richards, anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society; it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity. For example, much of the hatred spewed towards George W. Bush had far less to do with his policies than it did with his religion. As you may have noticed, they haven’t called Barack Obama any bad names even though he’s kept Gitmo open, extended the Patriot Act and even used drones to kill American citizens. Could it be because they understand that he only attended church in order to get his political career off the ground?
These Jewish bigots voiced no concern when Bill Clinton or John Kerry made a big production out of showing up at black Baptist churches or posing with Rev. Jesse Jackson because, again, they understand that’s just politics. They only object to politicians attending church for religious reasons.
My fellow Jews, who often have the survival of Israel heading the list of their concerns when it comes to electing a president, only gave 26 percent of their vote to Bush and roughly 30 percent to Mitt Romney, even though they were clearly far friendlier toward Israel than John Kerry or Barack Obama.
It is the ACLU, which is largely funded by Jews and has a legal department that is almost exclusively Jewish, that is leading the attack against Christianity in America. It is they who have conned far too many people into believing that when the First Amendment states that Congress is prohibited from establishing a state religion, what it really means is that a Christmas wreath can’t be placed on City Hall. They also cynically ignore the part that prohibits Congress from “abridging the free exercise” of religion.
I am getting the idea that these self-righteous secular Jews won’t be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.
This is a Christian nation, my friends. And all of us are fortunate it is one, and that so many millions of Americans have seen fit to live up to the highest precepts of their religion. It should never be forgotten that, in the main, it was Christian soldiers who fought and died to defeat Nazi Germany and who liberated the concentration camps.
Speaking as a member of a minority group – and one of the smaller ones at that – I say it behooves those of us who don’t accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours.
After attacking Bob Costas for criticizing America’s gun culture, Ted Nugent is blaming America’s purportedly “politically correct culture” for the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In an op-ed for the far-right Washington Times, Nugent said that the shooting occurred because of the country’s “’anything goes’ value system” which “vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity.”
Some blabbermouths already are using the Connecticut school massacre to promote their anti-gun agenda even though more gun laws won’t prevent a psychotic from getting a gun and killing us.
Like an iceberg, we only periodically see the psychotic manifestation, the tip of our shattered culture, but what lies just beneath the surface is a gigantic cultural cancer that is rotting America from within.
The ugly and dangerous truth is that we live in an embarrassing, politically correct culture that exalts and rejoices in the bizarre; aggressively promotes an “anything goes” value system; and vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity.
We’ve embraced a culture of contempt that attacks the very institutions that make for a healthy and strong society, and then we’re shocked when it spirals out of control. The only thing I’m shocked about is that anybody is shocked.
More laws and more restrictions won’t fix our culture. The problem we face is much deeper and more insidious. What ails us is a spiritual bankruptcy of cultural values that actually matter. More laws and restrictions can’t cure that.
Until we admit what’s at the heart of the matter, we will continue to put a Band-Aid on gaping wounds and try to convince ourselves we’ve done something meaningful.
As with most things, the cure to this mess begins and ends with the family. Traditional family values have been under siege for decades by our culture of contempt. In the absence of a solid family, the whole thing slowly unravels and rots.
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafy brought on conservative historian Don Critchlow, who wrote a fawning biography of Schlafly, as her guest on Saturday’s Eagle Forum Live to promote his new book, Takeover: How the Left’s Quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism. He told Schlafly that President Obama and today’s Democratic Party have a “more insidious” and “much more radical agenda, actually, than what the old communists were talking about,” as they plan to take away “real rights” and “control the way we live.”
Schlafly: When Barack Obama was running for President he bragged, he said that he wanted to ‘fundamentally transform America,’ what do you think he really wants to transform?
Critchlow: I think he wants to transform the way Americans live. I think what this transformation is is a clear cut agenda to extend the federal government into all parts of our lives. What’s happened, Phyllis, is that we’ve seen the steady erosion of real rights in America today. This is a very insidious agenda that has been imposed upon us and too many Americans are going along with it.
Critchlow: I think the takeover of the Democratic Party, the new progressives were not communists per se. The old communists, the old Marxists were concerned with issues of production. This is a much more radical agenda, actually, than what the old communists were talking about. The new progressives want to control consumption. That’s the point of takeover — that they want to control — it’s more insidious because they’re going to control the way we live as opposed to just nationalizing a few industries as the old socialists and communists wanted.
Critchlow also didn’t rebuff one caller’s theory that Obama will soon nationalize pension plans in order to take the money from seniors after the death panels have them killed, saying that government will begin “extending its control over all kinds of things that we just can’t envision.”
Caller: One of the things that President Obama is talking about a lot right now is nationalizing the pension funds, he wants to take over all the private pension funds and have the government control them and I think give the people who should have received their pension funds give them a month annuity instead. I figure this is designed to mesh with Obamacare in the following way: sooner or later somebody getting this money that’s retired will have a medical problem, they’ll need to go see a doctor and when they go see a doctor under Obamacare they’ll be sent to the death panel and the death panel will have them euthanized and ten the government will grab up all their money and have the rest of their money, they will have only gotten tiny bit of the pension money they were saving up for and the government will have all their money. So I wanted to ask if he figures I’m right on my speculation on this point?
Critchlow: Well what we’re going to see in this financial crisis that we’re experiencing, government extending its control over all kinds of things that we just can’t envision. Obamacare is an unaffordable and cockamamie plan that now the Supreme Court has ruled is constitutional. So we’re going to see this full blown agenda being fulfilled as this crisis worsens.
Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, passed away yesterday at the age of 88, having represented the people of Hawaii in either the House or Senate as long as it has been a state. Inouye was elected to the Senate nine times, serving nearly 50 years. Taking office the year before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Inouye was a leader in half a century of civil rights battles in the Senate. John Nichols of The Nation details Inouye’s role in some of those battles:
The last sitting senator who joined the epic struggles to pass the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, he led the fight for the Americans with Disabilities Act and was a key sponsor of the constitutional amendment to extend voting rights to 18-to-20-year-olds.
Inouye battled for reparations for Japanese-Americans who were interned in government compounds during World War II. And he was a passionate defender of the right to dissent. Indeed, the ACLU recalls, “Senator Inouye fought every iteration of proposed constitutional amendments to ban flag desecration—support that was particularly meaningful to the defense of free speech because of his military service.”
Inouye was one of the handful of senators who rejected the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s and he emerged as one of the earliest and most determined backers of marriage equality in the Senate, asking: “How can we call ourselves the land of the free, if we do not permit people who love one another to get married?”
When the debate over whether gays and lesbians serving in the military arose, Inouye declared as a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient: “In every war we have had men and women of different sexual orientation who have stood in harm’s way and given their lives for their country. I fought alongside gay men during World War II, many of them were killed in combat. Are we to suggest that because of their sexual orientation they are not heroes?”
Sen. Inouye represented the best of American values. This country will miss him.
Imagine if a university president released a video on the school’s official YouTube page celebrating President Obama’s re-election and praising his political agenda. Such a video would spark outrage, and right-wing media outlets would attack it as evidence of left-wing academic bias and intimidation of conservative students.
The president of Christendom College, a Virginia-based Roman Catholic institution, did in fact make a clearly partisan post-election video, but he was mourning the re-election of President Obama.
Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said he is “bitterly disappointed” and “discouraged” by Obama’s election victory, calling his administration a “clear and present danger” and warning about the supposed dangers of gay equality and reproductive health:
With this administration there remains a very clear and present danger, so to speak, so much that we hold and cherish as Catholics will be attacked. We’ll see an increased assault on marriage and family life, and those attacks will increase in their intensity. Homosexual relationships will be held up as the new normal and certainly these will be advanced with an even greater passion. Contraception and abortion, the sacraments of the new morality, will be aggressively promoted here in our country, sadly not only here but around the world as well.
O’Donnell urged students to join “this great battle” against the President’s policies and “this present darkness.”
Call it an occupational hazard for someone who pays close attention to the right wing in America. On Friday, even while my mind and heart were struggling with how to take in, much less make sense of, the news about the killings at a Connecticut elementary school, another part of me was steeling itself for what I knew was to come.
And come it has. Rather than contributing to constructive discussion about a way forward on issues like the insufficient availability of mental health treatment and the extravagant availability of equipment designed for large-scale killing, Religious Right leaders and their Tea Party allies have wasted no time in placing blame for the killing on their usual targets: liberals, teachers, religious pluralism, judges, and the separation of church and state. Yet again.
These past few days have reminded me how Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, while the smoke had not even cleared from the destruction of the World Trade Center, blamed liberals, feminists, gays, People For the American Way, and others for the attacks. Falwell was shamed into an apology, which he later recanted. But Religious Right leaders are showing no shame in using this tragedy to push their agendas in offensive and destructive ways.
On his radio station Monday morning, James Dobson cited lack of belief in God, legal abortion, the advance of marriage equality as reasons for the school shooting: "I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that's what's going on."
The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer also blessed his listeners with his personal insight into what he says was God's gentlemanly reason not to protect those children from harm:
God is not going to go where he is not wanted. Now we have spent since 1962 - we're 50 years into this now - we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost. Telling God, 'We do not want you in our schools.'...In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked the word of God out of the schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of schools. We've kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I am not wanted. I am a gentleman.
Presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee made similar comments as did others. The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody defended them from their critics, saying their views were shared by millions of evangelicals.
Why look at what these people are saying? Because of the real power they now hold. What they say is what keeps us from even discussing, never mind solving, this country's critical problems.
Even efforts to bring people together to comfort the suffering brought attacks. Operation Save America called Sunday's interfaith memorial service "an affront to Almighty God" and added that "We expelled God from school and banished Him from the schoolyard. He was replaced with metal detectors, condoms, policemen, anti-bullying policies, No-gun zones, and violence of unprecedented order."
One of the most dismaying statements came predictably from Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, who responded to President Obama's remarks at the memorial service on Sunday with this tweet:
Absolute slime ball, #Obama exploiting memorial service to push radical#GunControl. His extremism knows no lows#Newtown
It is amazing what can be conveyed about our politics in 140 characters or less. It strikes me that Barber's tweet is emblematic of everything that the radical right has done to distort our political system and destroy our ability to even have a reasonable conversation about critical problems the country needs to solve.
Would that this was just about guns. This frenzied effort to forestall even a conversation about the ready availability of military-style weapons - and this is even before the NRA itself wades in - points to a larger picture.
Just five years ago, we were able to have some reasonable political conversations, even across party lines, about important issues like climate change and immigration reform. Of course, there were significant disagreements about the exact nature of the issues and the proper policy responses. But more recently, any effort to even acknowledge the existence of climate change runs up against a solid wall of denialism from the right wing and most importantly from legislators who now so fear the far right. Similarly, some conservatives who championed comprehensive immigration reform five or six years ago saw the effort savaged by the right wing who sounded the alarm of losing white America.
On the fiscal front, Grover Norquist's no-taxes-ever pledge, backed with the kind of political intimidation that deep-pocketed ideologues have perfected in the Tea Party era, have made it nearly impossible for the country to seriously address both its short-term job shortage and its long-term deficit problem. And we saw last year that the fear of a right wing primary challenge is much greater than the fear of damaging the credit rating of our country.
The horrific shootings in Connecticut may be leading some elected officials to consider tackling some problems that have been ignored or considered politically off-limits. But we should not have to rely on tragedies to overcome obstacles to needed action. While the far right's ideological enforcers can be counted on to fight any move by conservatives toward common sense and common ground, such movement is essential. As we are sometimes so painfully reminded, Americans need a functional political system, one with the ability to address urgent political questions to achieve much needed compromises. And quite simply, none of this can happen until we have political leaders with the courage to stand up against the far right's willingness to paralyze our country.
Televangelist Robert Jeffress used his sermon about Armageddon to argue that America’s defense policy must include banning same-sex marriage, ending abortion rights and weakening the separation of church and state, warning that they will otherwise lead to divine punishment.
Jeffress: I think we ought to have a strong military, but there is absolutely no amount of armaments we could require to protect ourselves against the judgment of almighty God. The best defense policy we could have as a nation, instead of just the acquisition of an endless number of armaments, the best defense policy we could have to protect our nation would be to turn away from ignoring God’s almighty law; to turn away and say no to these things that God has said no to; to turn around and repent from the murder of millions of children in the womb through abortion; to turn away and say no to what God has called an abomination, homosexual marriage; to say no to the continued allowance of God’s named to be blasphemed or be banned from the public square.
WASHINGTON -- In the wake of yesterday’s Senate confirmation of two long-pending federal district court nominees, People For the American Way urged lawmakers to commit to holding votes on all remaining district and circuit court nominees before the end of the year. While Senate Democrats have broken through Republican gridlock to hold votes on 10 pending district court nominees in the past few weeks, the future of nine district court and four circuit court nominees remains uncertain.
Yesterday, Fernando M. Olguin was confirmed to the US District Court for the Central District of California and Thomas M. Durkin was confirmed to the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Both were forced to wait over four months for a vote from the full Senate, even though there had been no substantive objections to their nominations. Both will fill officially-designated judicial emergencies. And both would have been confirmed in September if Republicans had not blocked Democratic efforts to schedule a simple yes-or-no vote.
“It’s encouraging to see that Senate Republicans are finally allowing votes on long-pending, uncontroversial district court nominees,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “But the fact that Republicans consider it a concession to Democrats to finally stop blocking votes on such nominees symbolizes how broken the Senate is and shows where responsibility for the problem lies. Four federal circuit court nominees, all highly qualified and supported by their home-state senators, have been waiting as long as nine months for a simple up-or-down vote from the Senate. With Election Day behind us and the end of this Congress fast approaching, it is imperative that these nominees be confirmed. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for Senate Republican stalling tactics that are leaving our courts under-staffed and denying justice to countless Americans.”
Circuit court nominees awaiting Senate votes are Patty Shwartz of New Jersey, Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma, William Kayatta of Maine and Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto.
The far right’s reaction to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut continues to side into over-the-top rhetoric and conspiracy theories. The extremist group Oath Keepers released a statement claiming that the government is “complicit in the deaths of these children, and in fact an accessory to their mass murder” by promoting gun control laws:
This shooting is yet another tragic example of the failed, grotesque insistence on helpless victim zones where any crazed gunman can be assured of a large number of disarmed, undefended, helpless victims, all crammed into one place, where he can kill many children before an armed defender arrives from elsewhere. It is disturbing and sick that the federal government so hates the right of the American people to bear arms, and so hates their natural right to self defense, that the government insists on making them helpless, disarmed victims for anyone who cares to kill them. And in this case, all of the teachers and staff were willfully disarmed by the Federal Government, by force of law and threat of prison, to ensure that they would be disarmed and incapable of saving the lives of the children entrusted to their care.
That makes the Federal Government complicit in the deaths of these children, and in fact an accessory to their mass murder, by forcibly disarming (with the very real threat of prison) all the teachers, all the staff, and any parent who may have been on school property. That stupid law guaranteed the shooters would meet no immediate armed resistance, which is exactly what is needed to stop such an attack.
Randy Thomasson of Save California said that the shooting is “another example of societal degradation, a deadly consequence of promoting murderous abortions, godless evolution, and gratuitous violence,” urging schools to begin “teaching the fear of God” and arming “every school official”:
More than asking why this evil happened, we need to work diligently to prevent it. The innocents killed at Newtown are double the number of Columbine victims in 1999. We should be all the more grieved and all the more resolved to stop murders before they start. The answer is teaching the fear of God and love for God in schools and throughout society. Because mass murder is another example of societal degradation, a deadly consequence of promoting murderous abortions, godless evolution, and gratuitous violence. How opposite of teaching children that all people are worthy because they were created by God, that all innocent human beings deserve protection because they're made in God's image, and that every person is accountable to God when He judges the world.
Every school official should be armed and trained to repel these attacks upon schoolchildren. And every parent and every media industry decision maker should absolutely prohibit children from enjoying scenes that glorify violence and desensitize them to the taking of innocent human life.
WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day didn’t play down the gun imagery in a column about “firing back at gun controllers,” insisting that the government is using the shooting to acquire dictatorial powers and “assassinate [Americans] at will”:
The television is full of weeping parents and pictures of angelic children. Facebook is afire with solipsistic women attempting to co-opt the tragedy for their own emotional gratification. Politicians wipe away fake tears and thunder about the need for “meaningful action.” Psychologists blather about the killer’s motivation and wonder if his murderous rage stemmed from inadequate toilet-training, psychotropic medications or his parent’s divorce. Conspiracy theorists note inconsistencies in the news stories and mark the suicide that always seems to be accompanied by reports of a second gunman.
We know the drill. This isn’t our first rodeo.
Americans who value freedom know that they cannot permit ignorant comments from the overly emotional about how “we must do something” to stand unchallenged. The political elite that seeks to disarm the American people is getting increasingly desperate, seeing how public support for gun rights has consistently grown in keeping with the federal government’s assertion of its right to fly armed drones over their heads and assassinate them at will. They are alarmed by the way in which all of their attempts to emotionally manipulate the American people into submitting to a blatantly unconstitutional disarmament have not only failed, but backfired.
The ruling elite is presently embarking upon a full-court press for gun control, the likes of which have not been seen since George W. Bush’s administration used the 2008 financial crisis to ram TARP down the throats of an unwilling American people and bail out his friends on Wall Street. But it isn’t working. It isn’t working because we know the drill.
Don’t give them an inch. Cut them no slack. Punch back twice as hard. When they bring the knife of emotional blackmail to the argument, draw your .50 caliber Desert Eagle of facts, logic and history and blow them away without mercy.
Ask them this: 800,000 law enforcement officers have killed 525 unarmed citizens with guns so far this year. Approximately 310 million private citizens killed an estimated 10,500 of their fellow citizens with guns over the same period of time. Given that a law enforcement officer is 19.4 times more likely to shoot and kill an unarmed American than a private citizen, if you genuinely care about reducing gun deaths, why aren’t you calling for the disarmament of law enforcement?
Radical anti-gay activists are quite angry with Rick Warren over his interview with HuffPost Live where he said he is not homophobic because “I have many, many gay friends.” Warren also drew the ire of pastor Kevin Swanson who along with co-host Dave Buehner on Generations Radio likened Warren’s statement to someone boasting about friendships with serial killers, cannibals, child molesters and wife beaters.
Swanson: Dave, you know, he says, ‘I have many, many gay friends.’ ‘Many, many gay friends.’
Buehner: Which is weird, because I have never said that.
Swanson: I have never said that either, I don’t say, ‘I have many, many gay friends.’ It’s almost like saying, ‘I have many, many gay fornicators;’ ‘I have many, many gay liar friends;’ it’s just craziness. I just interviewed this guy who goes into maximum security prisons and he interviews serial killers and I appreciate this guy, he’s actually had an opportunity to talk to a number of then and he says some twenty-five percent of them actually do repent he thinks, and it’s wonderful to see their lives turn around. So I mean, you know, what does this guy say: ‘I have many, many serial killer friends.’ I don’t think he says that, he doesn’t say that. I think he says, ‘it’s a shameful thing to be a serial killer.’ You wouldn’t want to wear that on a t-shirt, you wouldn’t want to say ‘I have many, many friends who kill people.’
Buehner: ‘I have many, many cannibal friends.’ ‘I have many, many molester friends.’ Just pick the abomination.
Swanson: You just don’t want to wear that on a shirt.
Buehner: ‘Many of my friends are wife beaters,’ would I say that?
Former Susan G. Komen executive Karen Handel, the Georgia Republican politician who has been largely credited with the cancer charity’s disastrous decision last year to withdraw its grants to Planned Parenthood, spoke yesterday to the Family Research Council. Promoting her book about the episode, “Planned Bullyhood,” Handel accused Planned Parenthood of launching an “unprecedented, premeditated, Mafia-style assault” on Komen. Further, she alleges that Planned Parenthood “literally co-opted the color pink” from Komen in a sinister “bait and switch.”
Janet Mefferd spoke to Focus on the Family official Glenn Stanton yesterday about a new study in The Quarterly Review of Biology which suggests that epigenetics may explain what causes homosexuality. Right off the bat, the two were wary of the study because its principal researchers work in the field of evolutionary genetics and anyone who believes in the theory of evolution should not be trusted. Stanton maintained that upholding the science of evolution “takes as much faith” as believing in creationism!
Mefferd: It’s strange, you have scientists here headed up by an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and right away I saw ‘evolutionary biologist.’ Is there more of a propensity do you find for people who subscribe to evolution and have an evolutionary bias to buy into this?
Stanton: They do come with that bias but basically the evolutionary sociobiology as they call it is a very interesting field of study, basically as I read it and I read it all the time because that’s the norm or the orthodoxy, it’s basically trying to utilize evolutionary theory for explaining what God did: there’s a male nature, there’s a female nature, we’re affected by these things. So they talk about our evolutionary development for why men tend to be more sexually adventurous and why women tend to be more sexually conservative, well you know it takes as much faith to believe that these things evolved as it does to say, that’s the way God wired us.
He later argued that any instance where scientific findings contradict his religious views, the science is wrong and leads to rebellion against God.
Stanton: To understand it, at the end of the day there is no real separation between good science and our Christian faith. It was Christians and a Christian worldview that created scientific investigation; it has its roots in that. At the end of the day, God is right, he is true, he is lord, and he set things in orbit, not just inter-planetary, but within our human makeup. When we follow those things, good things happen; when we rebel against them, bad things tend to happen.
Stanton dismissed those who have researched the biological or hormonal link to homosexuality as biased and “politically motivated” ideologues, unlike say a Religious Right activist who has his masters in religion. He concludes by arguing that “quite literally there is more evidence for Bigfoot than there is that homosexuality is just who we are.”
Stanton: Up to now most of the scholars have been politically motivated, they have a very deep, personal interest. But here’s the thing and all your listeners need to know this, there is no evidence whatsoever that has come up in the last twenty years—and not for a lack of trying—but no evidence that has come up in the last twenty years that shows any evidence that homosexuality is solely and purely genetically driven, like we are not born that way. Quite literally, this is a provocative statement, but quite literally there is more evidence for Bigfoot than there is that homosexuality is just who we are, we’re just born that away because of our genetic makeup and you’re not going to hear that from the mainstream media.
On Nov. 6, Americans turned out in massive numbers to reelect President Obama, take away seats from Republicans in the House and the Senate, and pass progressive ballot measures throughout the country. But it seems that Republicans in Washington and in states across the country just didn't get the hint. Despite all the talk of post-election "soul-searching," there doesn't appear to be any self-examination going on among those currently clinging to their seats in Congress and state legislatures.
Just look at Michigan. Just weeks after the state legislature's Republicans took a drubbing from voters, who cut their majority in the state House from 18 to 8 despite recent Republican gerrymandering, the state's GOP leadership went on a right-wing rampage.
First, they passed a package of so-called "right to work" laws that are meant to politically weaken unions and have the side effect of financially weakening the middle class. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was against "right to work" before he was for it, thanks to some powerful arm-twisting from corporate front groups.
Then, they got to work on some extreme anti-choice measures. One tries to force abortion clinics out of business by regulating them into the ground. It also places unnecessary burdens on women, including requiring them to prove they weren't "coerced" into seeking an abortion; prohibiting them from consulting with their doctor via videoconference; and requiring them to sign a death certificate and hold a funeral for the aborted fetus (this requirement, at least, has just been removed from the bill). Yet another bill would let doctors refuse to provide or employers refuse to cover any procedures they find immoral. This one isn't just about abortion - it could allow employers to refuse their employees insurance coverage for contraception, or even blood transfusions. Sounds familiar? The Blunt Amendment in the U.S. Senate - wildly unpopular except among the Senate GOP - would have done the same thing.
Anybody who was paying the least bit of attention to this year's elections would have noticed that two of the things voters find most repugnant about today's GOP is its blind allegiance to big corporations and its enthusiasm for regulating women's health.
Apparently the Republican Party wasn't paying attention. Or is just too beholden to the interests of the Corporate and Christian Right to care.
What's happening in Michigan is just a microcosm of the whole. In Ohio, immediately after an election shaped in part by the GOP's toxic attacks on women's health, Republican legislators got to work trying to defund Planned Parenthood. And in Washington, DC, Republican leaders are approaching fiscal cliff negotiations with the sole goal of protecting George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.
This isn't what I'd call "soul-searching."
Televangelist Pat Robertson, who has previously described President Obama as an anti-American, power-hungry dictator with a Muslim “inclination,” today on the 700 Club claimed that Obama is an “ideologue” and a secret “socialist” who is out to “take over everything” and “destroy the free enterprise system.”
The President is an ideologue. He wants to redistribute wealth and he wants to grow the size of government. He wants to absorb like an amoeba all the various—he’s already taken over a good part of health care, he wants to take over the financial services, he wants to take over everything and he wants to control it. What do you call that? It’s socialism. He wouldn’t admit to being a socialist but that’s what it is. He has an agenda. Now Karl Rove was saying in an op-ed today that what the President is trying to do is set up the Republicans so they fight among themselves and therefore the party goes into disunity in the next election and Obama wins there. I don’t think he thinks that way. I think he thinks ideologically: I must cripple the capitalist class; I must cripple the business owners; I must destroy the free enterprise system in America.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been touting a WND/Wenzel Strategies poll purporting to find that many Muslim-Americans want the imposition of Sharia law, contradicting other studies which found extremely low support for radical views among Muslims in the U.S. Should the results of a Wenzel Strategies survey be trusted?
The polling firm gave Todd Akin the lead in his Senate race (he lost by 16%), claimed Mitt Romney and Republican Senate candidates would win in Ohio and Virginia (they lost) and promoted birther conspiracies. The firm even alleged that polls showing President Obama ahead were skewed to favor Obama (they weren’t) because they employ biased college students and intentionally ignore Tea Partiers. After the election, the firm’s head said Obama only won because his supporters are dumb.
But while speaking to fellow anti-Muslim activist Erik Stackelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Farah said that the poll proves that the U.S. should rethink allowing Muslim immigration, to which Stakelbeck agreed:
Farah: I think it’s time for us to really think about our immigration laws because if we want to preserve our Judeo-Christian institutions in this country, our culture, our laws, our Constitution, do we really want to have an open borders policy for Muslims who just don’t see it that way? They have a completely different worldview.