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Scott Walker: Clinton Using Equal Pay To 'Pit One Group Of Americans Versus Another'

In an interview with Boston Herald Radio last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker attacked Hillary Clinton for her advocacy for equal pay legislation, saying that she was just following in the footsteps of President Obama in trying to “pit one group of Americans versus another.”

When the program’s host, Adriana Cohen, asked Walker about misleading statistics from the conservative website Washington Free Beacon purporting to show a gender pay gap in Clinton’s Senate office, Walker agreed that it was “part of that amazing double standard.”

“But I think even a bigger issue than that,” he said, “and this is sadly something that would make her consistent with the president, and that is I believe that the president and now Hillary Clinton tend to think that politically they do better if they pit one group of Americans versus another.”

He said that, in contrast, “Americans are hungry” for leaders who will “make every American’s life better” rather than those who want to “pit one group against another group out there.”

He added that equal pay legislation is part of the liberal plot to get Americans “dependent on the government”: “For them, their measure of success in government is how many people are dependent on the government, how many people are dependent, on whether its Medicaid or food stamps or health care or other things out there.”

Walker has previously called equal pay “a bogus issue.”

Pratt: Prepare For 'The Fight Of Our Lives' As Obama Tries To 'Snap the Socialist Vise' On America

Larry Pratt, head of the far-right gun group Gun Owners of America, predictably reacted to last week’s horrific mass shooting at a church in Charleston by blaming the church’s pastor — one of the victims of the shooting — for his vote against a concealed carry law in the state senate and urging his group’s members to start showing up at church armed.

Pratt also lashed out at President Obama for alluding to the difficulty in passing even mild gun regulations in Congress, warning in an interview with WorldNetDaily on Friday that the president is “so incredibly ideologically driven” that he’ll start pushing for tighter gun laws because “he’s only got now less than two years to try to snap the socialist vise on the country.”

“I look at it as a time when we’re going to have the fight of our lives,” he warned.

Anti-Gay Activists Have A Hot New Song That Will Top The Charts

The anti-gay documentary “Light Wins,” just as expected, has been a source of absolute insanity. GOP leaders like Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee had no problem with appearing in the far-right film, which featured a who’s who of fringe and extreme right-wing activists.

The movie, which attempted to give hope to anti-gay activists fearing the worst, ends with a fun new song reminding people that “no matter how loud its shouted, sin is not a civil right!”

Listen to an excerpt of the song here:

As we've reported, the film has portrayed homosexuality as a deadly children's toy:

The film also claimed that homosexuality is lighting America on fire:

After all, the far-right activists in the film blame gay marriage for Noah's flood.

Right-Wing 'Documentary': Gay Rights, Like Communism, Can Be Defeated

Janet Porter, the creator of the anti-gay film “Light Wins,” says in the “documentary” that opponents of the gay rights movement should look to Ronald Reagan for inspiration. Just as Reagan brought down the Soviet Union, Porter dubiously claims, conservatives can still beat the odds and roll back the tide in favor gay rights.

As Dr. John Diggs adds, communism may be coming to the U.S.: “Political correctness, as people may not recall, is a term that was born in the Soviet Union where thousands if not millions of people died because they tried to quash religion and because they tried to quash political dissent by sending people to gulags. Don’t let this happen in America.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality claims that America “will crumble like all civilizations before who embraced and celebrated sexual immorality,” adding that homosexuality is “the only sexual sin that has its own parade.”

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who appears in the movie along with fellow Republican politicians Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Tim Huelskamp and Louie Gohmert, cites a successful campaign to kick three Iowa Supreme Court justices off the bench in retribution for their support of marriage equality as a reason anti-gay activists should have hope.

The documentary ends with Porter calling on people to shine their (smart phone) lights in the darkness, “because in the battle between darkness and light, light wins.”

We have posted excerpts here:

Gays Lighting America On Fire! Mike Huckabee Warns Freedom Is Under Attack In Fringe Anti-Gay Movie

Faith2Action’s Janet Porter warns in her new documentary “Light Wins” that “right now, our freedoms are on fire. The attack against freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion has come to Main Street, the business you own, and the place that you work.”

Panning over a map of America on fire, Porter asserts that “when the government mandates public endorsement of sin, it’s not just the bakers and photographers who suffer.” It is also “the printers, the fire chiefs, adoption agencies, bed and breakfasts, facility owners, counselors, broadcasters, students, teachers, and groups like Inner City Christian Fellowship, the Knights of Columbus, and Salvation Army.” Apparently, “now under attack is anyone who ran for public office and anyone who ever will.”

We have posted excerpts here:

Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Huckabee, who lauded Porter’s film as “groundbreaking” and “eye-opening,” also makes and appearance in the film.

“What kind of freedom of speech do we have if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about a marriage is told they can’t open their businesses in a location?” he asked, referring to Boston’s Mayor Menino’s condemnation of Chick-fil-A for its anti-gay activism. Huckabee recalls his appeal for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” when “millions of people cropped up across the country to simply buy a chicken sandwich and say, ‘We affirm the right of believers to take a biblical stand.’”

Huckabee provides viewers with a second example of Christian persecution, recalling the suspension of a star of of A&E’s show “Duck Dynasty” after he made racist and anti-gay remarks. Huckabee remarked that while Phil Robertson’s comments “might have been a little on the edge in terms of the manner in which he said them,” they are “consistent again with Christian beliefs of people all over America and the world.” Just like the Christians who supported Chick-fil-A’s right to discriminate against gays and sell fried chicken, the outcry of moral Christians to Robertson’s firing “was such they finally had to reverse that decision.”

Chalking these scenarios up to “a matter of people who were politically correct somehow wanting to tell Christians to just shut up and go away,” Huckabee reminds viewers that “Jesus told his disciples that they weren’t supposed to shut up and go away, and he told them right here in Caesarea in Philippi, so I couldn’t think of any better place to say it than here.”

Anti-Gay 'Documentary': Gays 'Grooming' Kids In Public Schools

Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, along with several GOP congressmen, recently appeared in an anti-gay documentary called “Light Wins.” They joined several fringe activists, including Theodore Shoebat, who calls for the execution of gay people, and Scott Lively, the pastor who helped craft Uganda’s notorious anti-homosexuality law, in the film, which was the brainchild of extreme anti-gay activist and former Huckabee campaign official Janet Porter.

In the documentary, Porter laments that “prayer, God and his commandments were kicked out of the classroom because they might influence children not to lie, steal and kill,” and now the “void” has been filled by “a dark agenda that robs children of their innocence and puts their life at risk.” “With the redefinition of marriage comes a state invitation to indoctrinate your child,” she adds.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality says that schools now teach kids “dangerous sexual practices under the guise of equality” and Dr. John Diggs claims that gays will now “groom” young people, “perhaps for their own purposes down the line.”

Judith Reisman, the Liberty University law professor, says that public schools that make “out gay novels” available to students are all violating federal obscenity laws because such schools effectively “groom children for sex.” “We need to get parents a class action lawsuit against the schools, against the school superintendents, against individual teachers,” Reisman says. “We could sue Planned Parenthood off the face of the earth.”

We have posted excerpts here:

Huckabee-Endorsed Documentary: Homosexuality Like A Toy That Kills Hundreds Of Thousands Of Children

Janet Porter, founder and president of Faith2Action, compares homosexuality to a deadly children’s toy in her new anti-gay documentary “Light Wins,”  which features appearances from Republican leaders Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul.

Porter ominously questions: “If hundreds of thousands of people died from a product that’s being marketed to your children, would you want to know about it? A lethal product like that would have more than a warning label, it would be pulled from the shelves and anyone caught selling it would be held legally liable?” The answer would be yes, Porter explained, “unless that product happened to be homosexual behavior, a behavior responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands.”

Anti-gay activist John R. Diggs, Jr. explains to viewers that the facts regarding the deadliness of homosexuality come from “the biggest sources of medicine, whether it be the Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, the Journal of the American Medical Association.” For this reason, Diggs suggests that gay people who are angry about what he is saying “speak to the most anti-gay force in the world, and that is Mother Nature herself.”

Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton also chimes in, saying that in order for a revival to take place, Americans must “address the homosexual issue” and “confront it head-on.” Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn adds that it is possible to save gay individuals because “there have been thousands of people who have” gotten out of the homosexual “lifestyle.”

Porter laments that her prophesized criminalization of sexual orientation conversion therapy has come to fruition. Now, “licensed counselors in California and New Jersey are forbidden from giving hope to minors who do not want same-sex attractions.” Even if pastors “do anything other than encourage homosexual behavior, they will lose their license to counsel,” she claims. Porter, dramatically positioned in front of a closing iron door, warns that “for those who want help leaving homosexuality, that door is closed.”

We have posted excerpts here:

Fox's Todd Starnes: Obama Acting Like A 'Hip-Hip Artist' Instead Of President

In an interview with podcast host Marc Maron that was released yesterday, President Obama took on institutionalized racism by saying that the fight against race discrimination is “not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public.”

Shocking nobody, the conservative pundits at Fox News completely missed the point of Obama’s remark and are now attacking him for using the n-word.

Conservative author and Fox News contributor Deneen Borelli called the president the “rapper in chief” who is “dividing our country,” while Fox News pundit Todd Starnes wrote that the president undermined “the dignity of the Oval office” and should remember that he’s “not a hip-hip [sic] artist.”

Right-Wing Pastor Blames Charleston Massacre Victim For Church Shooting Because He Was Pro-Choice

This post has been updated: The original post listed Douglas Wilson as the author because of the title, "Douglas Wilson’s Glorious Response to Russell Moore’s Racial Grandstanding." However, the post was written by JD Hall. 

Yesterday, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes tweeted out an article by conservative pundit JD Hall defending the Confederate flag hanging next to South Carolina’s capitol building in the wake of the mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston.

Hall criticized Southern Baptist Convention official Russell Moore for calling on the state to take down the Confederate flag, saying that instead of talking about the flag, people should be speaking about the “culture of death” in the U.S.

Hall wrote that Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emanuel A.M.E. church and a state senator who was one of the nine people killed in the shooting, is partly to blame for this “post-modern culture of death” since he supported a woman’s right to choose.

“[T]his murderer was carrying out the foregone conclusion of Planned Parenthood and Clementa Pinckney’s worldview,” he wrote.

1. Before evangelicalism’s public relation experts jump on the Charleston shooting like white-guilt on rice, remember that the problem is not a flag, but is sin – and the solution is Gospel. Hashtagging your scolding tweets#TakeItDown as though the problem is symbolism of a bygone era dyed on a piece of cloth not only grossly oversimplifies history and is misunderstanding of abiding heritage, but it places the impetus for change upon the outside, external cup and not the internal hatred of the heart. As Russell Moore is calling for removal of the Confederate Flag, as a wholesale rejection of ALL of the southern state’s shared heritage, he overlooks the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention still has buildings named after slaveholders like Boyce, Broadus and Manly. Why not call for those buildings to be renamed, as they are representative of that same bygone era with a shameful and sinful asterisk belonging to slavery? Would it be because Moore could argue that the heritage left behind by Boyce, Broadus and Manly cannot be reduced to their ownership of slaves? No, he dare not make that argument – the press would devour him! So why not take the log out of your own eye? It’s because that wouldn’t be popular. His Southern Baptist base would crumble beneath his feet. That would receive no accolades.

So, instead of preaching the Gospel as the solution to racial reconciliation, Russell Moore is reaching for the low-hanging fruit of symbolic imagery abused by racist, sinful, maniacs. Evangelicals never cease to amaze me in their ability to overlook the “evangel” in almost every single important, teachable and tragic moment of our culture for the appeal of cheap applause.

2. And this one may be a hard pill to swallow: The problem isn’t the Confederate Flag. It’s a culture of death, in which men like Clementa Pinckney use their political power to fight for the “right” of parents to kill their children because they don’t want them around. It’s a heart bent on sin and fully corrupt that causes a young man to exercise his wicked choice to abort people he didn’t want around, either. The problem is that our post-modern culture thinks a baby is only a live human being if the mother wants him or her. A product of post-modern culture, this church shooter didn’t view these people as human beings deserving to live because he didn’t want them. This is the post-modern culture of death we live in; this murderer was carrying out the foregone conclusion of Planned Parenthood and Clementa Pinckney’s worldview. The problem is systemic and innate and deep, and can’t be summarized by something as simple as a flag. It’s not racism (alone) that is the problem, but our over-all lack of belief in the sanctity of human life, whether or not you want someone around – they’re still a person deserving life. Pinckney’s view and Planned Parenthood’s view and apparently Dylann Roof’s view is that someones’ life is only valuable if you personally want them. THAT, my friends, is the problem. We live in and promote a culture of death, and we get death. (emphasis added)

Larry Klayman: Blame Obama For Charleston Shooting

Right-wing activist and Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman knows who is really to blame for the Charleston church shooting: President Obama.

“Obama, Holder and their enablers, like Al Sharpton, have become what they accused President George W. Bush of being: a recruiting tool for terrorists thanks to his invasion of Iraq,” Klayman wrote on Friday in WorldNetDaily. “Obama and company’s biased actions against whites, Christians and Jews have ironically served to draw neo-Nazis and sick Klansman out of their caves and have emboldened them to try to justify criminal acts – people like Dylann Roof. Indeed, Roof was quoted as saying that he struck because blacks had ‘taken over the country.’”

Just as “Obama has fanned the flames” in order to “tear down traditional America,” Klayman warned, “Hillary Clinton is poised to ignite a war between the sexes as a way to win the White House.”

Yet how can we ignore the climate of violence that is sharpening conflicts instead of soothing them? How can we ignore a simple truth: Barack Obama and Eric Holder created much of this atmosphere of anger, bitterness and bile with their disdain of whites and not too transparent belief and actions that we must now pay what are in effect reparations to the black community, even though this generation does not practice or advocate slavery. Obama, Holder and their enablers, like Al Sharpton, have become what they accused President George W. Bush of being: a recruiting tool for terrorists thanks to his invasion of Iraq. Obama and company’s biased actions against whites, Christians and Jews have ironically served to draw neo-Nazis and sick Klansman out of their caves and have emboldened them to try to justify criminal acts – people like Dylann Roof. Indeed, Roof was quoted as saying that he struck because blacks had “taken over the country.”

To fundamentally transform America, Obama, Holder and their fellow travelers have been implementing Saul Alinsky’s and Frank Marshall Davis’ teachings. They have been inciting one group against another group, race against race and class against class.

President Abraham Lincoln warned that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was specifically talking about race, a nation half slave and half free. Historically, outside conquerors have ruled over large countries by keeping groups fighting against each other and throwing salt in the wounds of local grievances. To tear down traditional America, socialists and progressives must tear at old wounds.

But this is not a faculty lounge exercise. Obama’s race war, implemented in large part by the likes of Eric Holder, has real-world consequences. Real people get hurt and trampled as collateral damage in the progressive enterprise. From the small, family-owned businesses destroyed in Ferguson, Missouri, to the neighborhoods burned down in Baltimore, to the nine black church members gunned down Wednesday night in Charleston, inciting hatred between America’s races is not just a cheap “get out the vote” trick to elect Democrats.

The Democratic Party’s ownership of black voters is weakening as the failures of progressive policies in the Obama administration and the leadership of inner cities like Detroit become clear. Officials whose policies are harming minorities in America cling to power mainly by inciting this hatred. Hispanics will tell you that in the Spanish-language media they are told that white Republicans hate them – not that Hispanics shouldn’t vote Republican, but that white Republicans hate Hispanics. Where will this race-baiting politics lead? As politicians try to get votes by stirring up hatred, the hatred does not end on Election Day. And Hillary Clinton is poised to ignite a war between the sexes as a way to win the White House. The consequences will boil over in real people’s lives.

Remember when Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency, promising to be a healer among the races, a bridge who could unite and bring us all together? Clearly, by design and not by accident, Obama has fanned the flames instead.

As racists like Dylann Roof watch on the news two police officers being executed by a black man in retaliation for events in Ferguson and rioting by blacks, what affect do we expect on society? When those who burned down their own neighborhoods are not arrested, what signals does that send to the sick unbalanced minds of people like like Dylann Roof?



The Saul Alinsky radicals are promoting racial conflict as a means of promoting political or societal change in the United States. Creating chaos is a path that they hope will lead to tearing down our country so that a new country can be built in its place. For them it is just a cynical game of politics designed to wage their own “Bolshevik” revolution. But for the real people who are damaged or murdered, this is deadly serious business.

Trump: GOP Presidential Candidates Are 'Nothings' Who Couldn't Shine His Shoes

In an interview on Friday with Michael Savage, the right-wing radio host who has taken credit for Trump's virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric, Donald Trump lashed out at his conservative critics and Republican presidential rivals.

“I read I shouldn’t be on the same stage with some governor who is a nothing or senator who is a nothing,” Trump said. “I’m not saying that a senator is nothing or a governor, I’m saying that some of these people shouldn’t be on the stage.”

Boasting of his business skills and reality TV success, Trump said that his fellow candidates aren’t even worthy of shining his shoes: “You go to the best college and you do great and all of the sudden you’re not supposed to be on a stage and you have other people that frankly can’t shine your shoes and it’s okay for them to be on it.”

Responding to criticism from the National Review, Trump said that William F. Buckley, the publication’s founder, “must be spinning in his grave, they have a bunch of lowlifes over there.” 

Steve King: Tighter Gun Laws Would Violate America's 'Higher Calling'

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway on Friday, Rep. Steve King slammed President Obama for remarking in the wake of the mass shooting in Charleston last week that because of tighter gun laws “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

King acknowledged that mass shootings are more frequent in the United States, but said that American has a “higher calling” than preventing “one event of violence” and can only be “the bastion of western civilization” if individual gun rights are unrestricted.

“Yes, we have a Second Amendment,” the Iowa Republican said. “And even if some of this violence could be stopped by confiscating all the guns, we have a charge, our charge is to defend freedom and liberty. We are the bastion of western civilization, and that requires us to be able to defend ourselves against tyranny. That’s the charge that our founding fathers gave us, that’s in our culture, we know that, we’ve had to do that worldwide. So, it’s a much higher calling than believing that somehow we end one event of violence.”


 

 

What Are Anti Marriage Equality Forces Really Demanding?

This article originally appeared on TowleRoad.

Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolutionand civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.

Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolution and civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.

One recent salvo in this rhetorical campaign was a full page ad in the June 10 Washington Post in the form of an open letter to the Supreme Court. The headline read, “We ask you not to force us to choose between the state and the Laws of God.”

“We are Christians who love America and respect the rule of law,” the ad said, “However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”

Similar statements can be found in the“Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage”put together by the same people behind thePost ad. And it’s not much different from language in the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 manifesto written by former National Organization for Marriage chairman Robert George (right) and signed by an array of conservative religious leaders. The Declaration declares that its signers will not “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

The Post ad suggested that a pro-equality ruling would “unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith,” a statement that ignores the many people of faith who do support full equality for LGBT people. The ad was signed by a bunch of far-right anti-gay activists. Here’s just a sampling:

Let’s put aside all the preening about Religious Right leaders’ willingness to endure prison and martyrdom and consider what they’re really after.

First, we can dispense with the notion that they’re just looking for a “live and let live” world in which “Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.” In fact, religious conservatives have opposed every advance in cultural acceptance and legal recognition of the equal rights and dignity of LGBT people, including efforts to protect us in laws targeting violent hate crimes, allow us to serve openly in the military, and prevent us from being discriminated against in the workplace.

Robert George, co-author of the Manhattan Declaration and a founder of the National Organization for Marriage, wrote the legal brief filed by Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council in the Lawrence v Texas case, defending state laws that made gay people de facto criminals. NOM’s current chairman John Eastman said just this month that he hopes Uganda quickly puts its notorious anti-gay law back into force, a law that included penalties of life in prison for repeat offenders. Other right-wing religious leaders have traveled the globe, from South America to the Caribbean, from Uganda to Russia, Eastern Europe to Central Asia, to support laws that make gay people into criminals for living as they choose, sometimes even for advocating on behalf of LGBT people.

Back here in the U.S., conservative evangelical leaders and their allies at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops falsely portray LGBT equality and religious liberty as fundamentally incompatible, a zero-sum game. That’s their justification for opposing civil unions as well as marriage equality – even for opposing laws to protect people from being fired just for being gay.

The reality is that religious liberty has continued to flourish, and our religious landscape has grown more diverse, in the decades thatpublic attitudes toward gay people have shifted dramatically toward equality. There has been no effort to require clergy to marry mixed faith couples if their faith prohibits it, and nobody wants to force any church or priest to marry or give their religious blessing to same-sex couples.

Next, let’s consider whether all this line-in-the-sand drawing is really about the supposed need for clergy, organizations, and business owners to enforce their religious beliefs about marriage in the public arena. The Catholic Church does not give its religious blessing to marriages involving people who have previously been married and divorced, unless the previous marriage is religiously “annulled.” But Catholic organizations are not loudly advocating for the right of a Catholic business owner to treat opposite-sex couples differently based on whether or not their marriages have the church’s blessing.

Similarly, many evangelical leaders say marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman “for life.” Yet in spite of the biblical passage in which Jesus says that a man who divorces his wife, for any reason other than sexual immorality, and marries another woman is committing adultery, there is no clamor from Religious Right leaders celebrating discrimination against people in second and third marriages.

It is clear that a different standard is being applied to same-sex couples. But anti-gay prejudice — animus is the legal term – is not an acceptable basis for discrimination, even if it is grounded in religious belief.

Now, there’s a reason Religious Right leaders are trying to make the conversation around marriage be about the grandmotherly florist who was fined when she declined to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, or the conversation about contraception about the Little Sisters of the Poor, who say they don’t want to facilitate abortion. It’s an effort associate the Right’s agenda with a “live and let live” ideal that is appealing to many Americans, regardless of religion or politics.

But here’s the problem: Once you establish the principle – as Supreme Court conservatives did in their Hobby Lobby decision last year – that business owners as well as individuals and organizations should be able to ignore laws that somehow offend their religious beliefs, you have to figure out how far people will be allowed to run with it. It is not yet clear where the justices will draw the line.

That kind of line-drawing is often challenging when dealing with questions about how the government can accommodate religion without government impermissibly favoring it. Religious denominations and houses of worship have the greatest level of protection against government interference; courts and legislatures wrestle with the status of religiously affiliated nonprofits. Until Hobby Lobby, the Court had never ruled that a for-profit corporation could “exercise religion” in a way that is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but now that door has been opened, it is not clear what kinds of anti-LGBT discrimination it could permit.

Anti-equality religious and political leaders have made it clear that they will continue to oppose marriage equality even in the face of a Supreme Court ruling striking down state marriage bans. Some are calling for massive resistance and urging state leaders to refuse to comply with a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling. Professors Douglas NeJaime and Reva B. Siegel have argued in the Yale Law Journal that in such a situation, in which there is a well-organized movement dedicated to pushing the religious exemption further and further, an accommodation may actually be more likely to extend the culture war conflict than resolve it.

It is worth addressing generally fair-minded people who don’t understand why the gay rights movement won’t just be happy with a marriage win and let a few people with religious objections “opt out.” Some people may think it’s no big deal for gay couples to find another florist or baker. For one thing, that approach discounts the humiliation of being turned away from a business, a violation of human dignity that was a motivating force behind laws banning racial discrimination in public accommodation. And it may not be such a small obstacle in smaller, conservative, religiously homogenous communities, where discrimination may flourish if it is invited by law and encouraged by local religious leaders.

Consider the anti-abortion movement as a cautionary tale.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, laws were passed to allow doctors who had religious objections to performing abortions to refuse to do so without experiencing negative professional consequences. There has been little opposition to such laws. But over the past few decades, at the urging of anti-abortion activists, the scope of that kind of religious exemption has been expanded wildly to include people ever-further removed from the actual abortion procedure, and expanded to include even marginal participation in the provision of contraception. In emergency situations these accommodation could come at high cost, including the life of a patient.

Exemptions have been extended to or claimed by nurses who don’t want to provide care to women after an abortion, pharmacists who don’t want to dispense a morning-after pill prescribed by a woman’s doctor, even a bus driver who refused to take a woman to a Planned Parenthood facility because he said he suspected she was going for an abortion.

NeJaime and Siegel describe these as “complicity-based conscience claims” – claims that are about refusing to do anything that might make one complicit in any way with another person’s behavior that one deems sinful. They note that the concept of complicity has been extended to allow health care providers not to even inform patients that some potential care or information has been withheld from them based on the religious beliefs of an individual or the policies of an institution.

The resistance to complying with the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans cover contraception takes the notion of complicity to almost surreal lengths.  Just days after theHobby Lobby decision, the Court’s conservatives sided provisionally with religious conservatives who are arguing that it is a burden on their religious freedom even to inform the government that they are refusing to provide contraceptive coverage, because that would trigger the process by which the coverage would be provided by others. Cases revolving around the simple act of informing the government of an objection are working their way back toward the Supreme Court.

Similarly, some advocates for broad religious exemptions argue that organizations taking taxpayer dollars to provide social services to victims of human trafficking or women who have been victims of rape as a weapon of war should be able to ignore government rules about providing those women with access to the full range of health care they may need. Some groups are saying it would violate their religious freedom even to notify the government when they refuse to provide information or care – such as emergency contraception for teens that have been sexually abused by their traffickers.  But keep the public dollars flowing our way!

Given what we know about the intensity of the anti-gay movement’s opposition to marriage equality, it is not hard to imagine how far that movement could run with the principle that religious beliefs about “traditional” marriage are a legitimate basis for discriminating against same-sex couples. They themselves have claimed as a model the (dismayingly successful) 40-year campaign since Roe v Wade to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. In the words of the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson, “Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.”

Where will a similarly aggressive campaign against marriage equality lead? There is a new law in North Carolina allowing magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples. A new law in Michigan allows adoption agencies functioning with government money to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Will corporations be allowed to refuse to hire someone married to a same-sex spouse based on the beliefs of the people who run the company? Will Catholic hospitals, which play an increasingly significant role in our health care system, be able to refuse to recognize same-sex spouses in medical emergencies?

The progress that LGBT people have made toward full equality has been remarkable. In my lifetime, the federal government had a formal policy to fire “sex perverts” and prevent them from getting federal jobs. In my lifetime, state laws criminalizing same-sex relationships were used to fire people from government jobs and even take parents’ children away from them. Even today, in a majority of the states, gay and lesbian people have no protection against being fired for who they are – or who they marry, even if the Supreme Court makes it illegal to keep those weddings from taking place.  In all too many places, a company could fire an employee who marries a same-sex partner, the way Catholic schools across the country have been doing.

The good news is that Americans are increasingly opposed to anti-gay discrimination. Most of the laws that were proposed this year tolegalize anti-gay discrimination on the basis of religious belief failed – often thanks to the pro-equality voices of business and religious leaders as well as the hard work of LGBT people and their friends and families and our advocacy organizations.

Most informed observers think the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality. If that’s what happens, it will be a historic victory and cause for celebration. But as the signers of the recent WashingtonPost ad have made clear, it will not be the end of the struggle.

PFAW

Mike Huckabee: Fight Gay Marriage Like Dred Scott Ruling With Civil Disobedience

In an interview last week with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee reiterated his call for civil disobedience if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality in the next few days.

Huckabee, who recently issued a letter pledging to fight gay marriage, told Starnes that conservatives should wage “civil disobedience” against a government that “acted outside of nature and nature’s God, outside of the bounds of the law, outside of the bounds of the Constitution,” warning that otherwise they will be forced to commit “biblical disobedience.”

“What if no one had acted in disobedience to the Dred Scott decision of 1857?” Huckabee continued. “What if the entire country had capitulated to judicial tyranny and we just said that because the Supreme Court said in 1857 said that a black person wasn’t fully human? Suppose we had accepted that, suppose Abraham Lincoln, our president, had accepted that, would that have been the right course of action?”

Calling a potential gay marriage ruling patently unconstitutional, Huckabee said that “if we’re not going to follow our Constitution, maybe we should loan it to some developing country so that they could try it out if we’re not going to use it anymore.” 

In the same interview, Huckabee blamed the Charleston church shooting on a lack of guns

Steve King Blames Drugs For Charleston Shooting, Says Undocumented Immigrants Have Killed More People Than 9/11

Steve Malzberg invited Rep. Steve King onto his Newsmax program on Friday to discuss issues ranging from the church shooting in Charleston, which King blamed on prescription medication, to undocumented immigrants, whom he said have killed “multiples of the victims of the September 11 attacks,” to Caitlyn Jenner, whom he said illustrates “how far this society has gone from rational thought.”

The Iowa Republican also had some thoughts on Hillary Clinton’s slam of Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric in his presidential announcement. King said that Clinton unfairly made the “presumption that perhaps there will be some white people that might discriminate against some not-so-white people on the basis of being inspired by Trump’s speech.”

He also attempted to criticize the former secretary of state for inconsistency: “It’s Hillary that says ‘I’m not going to channel my husband,’ but she would channel Donald Trumps announcement speech instead to try to gain a political advantage out of that.”

PFAW’s Drew Courtney Discusses Jeb Bush on ‘The Big Picture’

On Tuesday, PFAW Communications Director Drew Courtney joined Thom Hartmann on his program ‘The Big Picture’ to talk about Jeb Bush’s far-right agenda. Courtney critiqued Bush’s plans to privatize Social Security, his support of legislation that shamed women, and his stance on immigration.

Courtney challenged Bush’s label as a moderate, explaining his similarities to extreme conservatives like Scott Walker and Rick Santorum:

[Bush] has not just a record of rhetoric around these issues, pushing really ideologically extreme positions, but he has a record as governor showing what he’ll do when he’s in power, and I don’t think there’s any reason to assume he’ll be either more moderate or more responsible or more reasonable in the White House than he was in the Florida governor’s mansion.

Bush’s views on immigration fail to match the “kind things” he says about immigrants and their families, Courtney said. The presidential hopeful does not support a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants residing in the country; a recently released Spanish-language ad from PFAW challenges his stance on this issue and on his opposition to raising the minimum wage. Courtney concluded by emphasizing how important it is for communities to realize the true intentions of all 2016 GOP candidates. He explained, “They are pushing radical policies that the Koch brothers love, and we need to make sure people understand that.”

Watch the full video here:

 

PFAW

Anything But Race: Right-Wing Pundits In Denial Mode Following Charleston Shooting

The confessed shooter who massacred members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, made it clear that he sought his victims out because of their race and wanted to start a race war. However, Republican politicians and Fox News pundits have either feigned ignorance about the shooter’s admitted motivations or have come up with alternative explanations for the massacre.

Drugs

While conservative pundits have blasted people for stating that the attack on a black church was a hate crime — based on statements by a witness to the massacre and the shooter himself — many seem to have no problem speculating wildly about other possible explanations. In fact, the only thing they are more angry about is the suggestion that the shooting had anything do with guns.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, furious that President Obama linked the shooting to America’s problem with gun violence dismissed any discussion of the country’s gun laws, saying that the shooter in Charleston was probably drugged-up.

While Perry called the attack “a crime of hate,” he also described it as “an accident.”

Right-wing radio personalities Alex Jones and Michael Savage also wondered if the shooter was on drugs and even part of a government plot to stir up racial violence.

Religious Liberty

Former Sen. Rick Santorum posited that the attack was part of a larger “assault on religious liberty,” a recurring theme that Santorum and other Republicans use on the campaign trail to blast gay rights laws and the separation of church and state. Lindsey Graham, another presidential candidate, made a similar claim: “There are people out there, looking for Christians to kill them.”

The pundits at Fox News, where many of the GOP leaders get their talking points, were in agreement. Steve Doocy said it’s “extraordinary” that the police called the attack a hate crime since it was “was a white guy apparently and a black church,” positing that the attack was the result of the shooter’s “hostility towards Christians.” Brian Kilmeade said the shooter “hates Christian churches” and Elisabeth Hasselbeck called it an “attack on faith,” all the while ignoring the shooter’s explicit mentions of race.

E.W. Jackson, a Fox News contributor, agreed: “Most people jump to the conclusions about race, I long for the day we stop doing that in our country,” before he himself assumed that the shooter was motivated by hatred of Christians. In a radio show interview, Jackson said that gay people, liberals and President Obama all were culpable since the shooting was likely the result of “growing hostility and antipathy to Christianity” and “the biblical worldview about sexuality.”

RedState founder Erick Erickson had a similar take, even throwing Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition into the mix: “A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and ‘a new normal’ cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness -- overwhelming narcissism and delusion -- and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.”

Abortion Rights

Fox News contributor Alveda King revealed the real reason for the shooting: the legalization of abortion.

“It’s a lack of value for human life…You kill babies in the womb, kill people in their beds, shoot people on the streets, so now you go into the church when people are praying,” she said.

Alex Jones was upset that “the police and Obama keep talking about how coldblooded it was to go sit down with people in a church, and it was, super coldblooded, but isn’t it more coldblooded to kill babies and then go have lunch?”

Blame The Victims

National Rifle Association board member Charles Cotton had some strong words for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine people killed in the shooting, who was the pastor of the church and a state senator: “[H]e voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”

Not to be outdone, the leaders of Gun Owners of America, father-son duo Larry and Erich Pratt, also blamed Pinckney. The younger Pratt, the organization’s communications director, called Pinckney an “anti-gun activist,” while Larry Pratt blasted Pinckney for supposedly leaving his congregation “defenseless.”

Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio similarly accused the pastor of turning the church “into a shooting gallery.”

Who knows?

Jeb Bush opened his remarks today at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority summit by saying that no one can ever really know the true motivation behind the attack. Later, he told reporters that he still doesn’t know why the shooter carried out the attack:

 

Bush eventually clarified that he thinks the attack was racially motivated, but he isn’t alone in pleading ignorance.

Even South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said on her Facebook page that “we’ll never understand what motivates anyone” to commit such an atrocity.

Meet The Republican Candidates Who Have Defended The Confederate Flag

Following the murder of nine people in an apparent hate crime in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, many Americans, including prominent political figures, are calling for South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from the North side of the state’s capital building. Gov. Nikki Haley, who defended the flag during her campaign for reelection last year and supported its placement because business leaders had not complained to her about its posting, said today that “the state will start talking about” the flag issue again following the shooting.

The following Republican presidential hopefuls have voiced their support for the Confederate flag to remain on government buildings and public property.

Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina came to the defense of the South Carolina Confederate flag display yesterday, describing it as an integral “part of who we are”

While Graham did admit to CNN that the flag has been “used in a racist way” in the past, he argued that “the problems we have in south Carolina and the world are not because of a movie or a symbol, it’s about what’s in people’s heart.”

He added that South Carolina’s “compromise” of having both a Confederate War memorial and an African American memorial at the state capitol “works.”

Mike Huckabee

Hoping to mobilize white evangelical voters against Republican “establishment” candidates in 2008, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee demanded his fellow candidates stop asking for the removal of the Confederate flag from government offices.

Huckabee had this to say: “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag…if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole. That’s what we’d do.”

Rick Perry

During his last presidential campaign, Rick Perry came under scrutiny for his efforts to oppose the removal of the Confederate flag from display at the statehouse when he was lieutenant governor of Texas. In a March, 2000 letter to the Sons of Confederate Veterans obtained by the Associated Press, Perry wrote, “Although this is an emotional issue, I want you to know that I oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments, plaques and memorials from public property.”

However, Perry seems to have begun to rethink his stance on Confederate symbols. In 2011, he opposed an effort to create Confederate flag license plates, and in an interview on Newsmax’s The Steve Malzberg Show this week Perry voiced his agreement with critics of the flag that “we need to be looking at these issues as ways to bring the country together. And if these are issues that are pushing us apart, then maybe there’s a good conversation that needs to be had about [it].”

Yes, Seriously, It's About Race

This was originally published at The Huffington Post

As with every Wednesday night in most African American churches, pastor and people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, known as "Mother Emanuel," were engaged in prayer, worship and study. The atmosphere no doubt would have been relaxed, with familiar faces sharing, even with the stranger among them, testimonies, laughter, and some words of encouragement. In that atmosphere, in the place where so many throughout history have gone for fellowship, to feel safe, to be vulnerable, where loving "thy neighbor as thyself" and welcoming all who walk through the doors are central themes known even by children, the unimaginable took place.

The stranger, a young white gunman allegedly telling the Black worshipers that "you've raped our women and you are taking over the country," opened fire at that historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people, including Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a friend, supporter and member of the African American Ministers Leadership Council's (AAMLC) ecumenical ministerial alliance, which I lead. Yes, this was a ruthless attack on innocent people in 2015, but it is also reminiscent of the attacks on the Black Church in the '60s, the '50s, the post-Reconstruction era. All of these cowards, whether consciously or not, have targeted the Black Church in an effort to intimidate and diminish the power of its presence as a refuge of hope in the African American community.

Many clergy I have spoken with have been up for two nights, praying, calling, sharing, trying to make sense of an act that is honestly difficult to talk about and brings out a flood of deep emotions. In every conversation or prayer is the painful acknowledgement of the role that race played in this crime, something that Americans around the country from all walks of life get. However, stunningly and probably predictably, some right-wing politicians and pundits not only don't seem to get it, but are attempting to distract and confuse others about what was the obvious, real motivation of this massacre. Seriously?

Rick Santorum said the shooting was an example of recent "assaults on religious liberty," a reference to the idea promoted by him and others that policies preventing discrimination against LGBT people are persecuting conservative Christians. Seriously? That comparison between the long and violent history of white supremacy in America and efforts to secure dignity for gay and lesbian people in the public square is worse than offensive. We can argue about public policy all we want, but we all should be able to realize that being targeted by centuries of racist violence at the center of comfort and power in your community is not the same thing as being fined for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple. This is the kind of "colorblind" analogy that dismisses the very real experiences of Black people in America.

How very sad and not all too shocking to note once again what has become a sad pattern among right-wing commentators. Various conservatives have made similar attempts to play down the racial aspects of the killings of 9 innocent persons, and issue after issue public policies that disproportionately affect African Americans, policies born out of institutionalized efforts to oppress African Americans, are said to be "not about race." Yet, in everything from voting rights to criminal and reproductive justice to housing policies to defunding public education, the common denominator we see is the negative impact policies have on African Americans. It's not hard to see that these laws are strategically aimed at depressing rights and are anything but colorblind coincidences.

A young white man entered an African American place of worship with a loaded gun, sat down in that place for an hour with African American men, women and children, muttered anti-Black racist remarks, shot and killed those persons. Seriously? What about this cannot be viewed as "about race"?

I am thankful for all the Americans of all races who are mourning these senseless killings, angry about the lack of humanity that led to them, and praying for the victims and their families. You don't have to be African American to know this was an assault rooted in a dynamic of American life that too many of our elected leaders would like to ignore or dismiss as ancient history. This is a universal tragedy played out in a very specific American context. To diminish that is to diminish the lived experience of a people whose strength and courage this gunman was trying to take away.

Many are gathering for prayer services even now for the families of those who died for no other reason other than being Black. On Saturday members of AAMLC will join congregations around the country and open their doors for hope, unity and love. The doors will be open to pray yes, and also to register persons to vote and engage in conversations about why Black lives, all lives matter.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." It is because of love that racial hatred -- yes, seriously, what this was about -- will not be victorious. I hope and pray that the country will decide "to stick with love" and confront with honest and open hearts the realities we live with and work together to change them. Seriously!

PFAW

Right Wing Steamed Over Pope's Climate Change Encyclical

In the past few decades, politically conservative American Catholics and their allies in the Republican Party got used to having the public voice of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops serving as a politically useful one that prioritized opposition to legal abortion and LGBT equality. So, needless to say, some are having a hard time adjusting to Pope Francis, whose critiques of the dehumanizing excesses of modern corporate capitalism have dismayed some right-wing Catholics. Now, the Pope’s new encyclical on climate change and care for the planet, which apparently did not pay much heed to an April appeal from “Biblical worldview”-promoting climate change denialists or warnings from the Koch Brothers, is pushing some right-wing pundits over the edge.

Alan Keyes, a far-right Catholic and perennial political candidate, argued that the facts about human contribution to climate change have not been established and warned that “the whole push for totalitarian government remediation of the allegedly terrible damage we are inflicting on God’s creation is a slander against the human race, a sin against humanity being committed as a pretext for the rape of human life, human conscience and God-endowed human liberty.”

The never-subtle Keyes said that when he looks “in the mirror of reason at the reflections Pope Francis offers in his encyclical, what I see looks unlike Jesus Christ (who as of now still comes to save and not harshly to penalize humanity).” He added, “Pope Francis’ reflections look more like Marx, Stalin or Mao Zedong – materialistic ideologues who punished not for the sake of God or truth, but on account of resentful, self-idolizing human will and ideology.”

Over at the free-market-adoring Acton Institute, Kishore Jayabalan was more respectful, saying he welcomed the pope’s encyclical, but wrote that he was disappointed that the pope “seems to blame markets, over-consumption and especially finance, rather than human sin, for all our environmental problems.”

Others have had much harsher words for Pope Francis. The reliably bloviating Rush Limbaugh said the encyclical seems to confirm that Francis is a Marxist, a sentiment echoed by Fox News pundit Greg Gutfield. James Delingpole, an editor at Breitbart, said the encyclical includes “hackneyed language and extremely dubious science you might expect from a 16-year-old trotting out the formulaic bilge and accepted faux-wisdom required these days…” At Fox Business, Stuart Varney warned of a sinister alliance between the Pope and President Barack Obama to “reshape the world by taxing the rich, taxing fossil fuels, and redistributing the wealth.” Right-wing radio host Michael Savage, furious at the encyclical, called the Pope “an eco-wolf in pope’s clothing” and “a stealth Marxist in religious garb,” claiming that Francis will put Catholics “in chains” and is reminiscent of “the false prophet in Revelation, an ecumenical spiritual figure directing mankind to worship the Antichrist.”

It’s not just a bunch of pundits.

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg notes that Sen. James Inhofe, a notorious climate change denier, “bluntly told reporters that Francis was out of line.” Inhofe told attendees at a conference of the right-wing Heartland Institute, “The pope ought to stay with his job.” ThinkProgress notes that back in May, the Koch-funded Heartland Institute warned that “the Left” was working with the Pope on climate change, something akin to the “unholy alliance of international communism with the jihadi Islamists.”

Republican presidential candidates have also been slamming the encyclical. Jeb Bush, who has talked about his conversion to Catholicism on the campaign trail, has also suggested the Pope should butt out of the public conversation on climate change. “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm,” he said.

Rick Santorum said the church is not credible when “we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories,” not a concern he seems to have when the topic is, oh, same-sex couples getting married or being parents. He told an interviewer, “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”

As many have noted, the pope has studied more science than Rick Santorum. Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of America Magazine and now a senior analyst for National Catholic Reporter, flipped Santorum’s comments, saying, “It's nice — for once the Catholic Church is on the side of science.” Climate scientists agree.

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