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Anti-Gay Archbishop Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct

John Nienstedt, the Catholic archbishop who championed the failed effort to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota, is facing a church investigation over allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with other men, including priests and seminary students.

“I believe that the investigators have received about ten sworn statements alleging sexual impropriety on the part of the archbishop dating from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Bishop of New Ulm, and while coadjutor and archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” church whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger told the magazine Commonweal, adding that Nienstedt “also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct.”

Haselberger previously revealed that Neinstedt was failing to properly investigate instances of alleged sexual abuse by priests, including one priest who may have had an “unprofessional relationship” with Neinstedt.

Nienstedt vigorously denied the allegations, and stressed in his statements that none of the claims of sexual misconduct “involve minors.” Last year, he was investigated by local law enforcement for allegedly touching a boy’s buttocks during a confirmation ceremony, but was not charged.

Under Neinstedt, the archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul joined with fellow Minnesota dioceses to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups, together becoming the largest donor to the unsuccessful campaign pushing a state marriage amendment.

Neinstedt warned Catholics that “there ought not be open dissension” on the issue of marriage equality and urged them to pray against gay rights. According to the Minnesota LGBT site The Column, the archdiocese also “sent out more than 400,000 DVDs that urged voters to vote for candidates that supported putting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012.”

During the campaign to ban marriage equality, Neinstedt said Satan is behind gay rights and called homosexuality a “grave evil.”

He has criticized the film Brokeback Mountain as an attack on Jesus Christ that would bring down society and described homosexuality as the “result of psychological trauma” that “must be understood in the context of other human disorders: envy, malice, greed, etc.”

Theme Of 2015 World Congress Of Families Conference Will Be 'Religious Liberty'

The Associated Press reports that the theme of the next World Congress of Families, which will be held in Salt Lake City next year, is “religious liberty.”

“Religious liberty” is the hot topic for the Religious Right these days, but it doesn’t mean the same thing to the World Congress of Families and its allies that it means to the rest of us.

WCF has defended oppressive laws throughout the world, including a pair of recent Russian laws that were so extreme that they were condemned by even U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom chairman Robert George —  a prominent opponent of marriage equality in the U.S. — as "part of the Putin government’s assault on freedom of religion and expression."

The group applauded Putin’s crackdown on LGBT people, saying, “The Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world” and helped to bring in American validators like the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown to encourage a spate of anti-gay laws. WCF and its allied activists in Russia promoted and defended the most notorious of these laws, a gag order on pro-gay-rights speech — or “propaganda” — to minors, and worked with the law’s author to plan the Kremlin conference.

WCF, nonetheless, had to cancel its conference at the Kremlin this year — which was to be funded by major Vladimir Putin allies — after participants started to back out fearing a foreign policy headache.

WCF board member Janice Shaw Crouse, who is also a senior fellow at Concerned Women for America, has defended Putin’s prosecution of the members of the band Pussy Riot, which led to the passage of a ban on religious blasphemy.

Earlier this year, WCF presented an award to its Africa regional director, who backed a ban on free association among gay people in Nigeria.

The Salt Lake City conference’s website says the event will be organized by the Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based group whose president, Paul Mero, used to be an executive at the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, which runs the World Congress of Families. Mero was the coauthor of WCF founder Allan Carlson’s book, “The Natural Family: A Manifesto.”

Last year, after the Supreme Court heard arguments in two marriage equality cases, Mero presented his view that freedom is incompatable with gay rights. Society cannot truly be free, he wrote, if our laws “codify bad behavior” like homosexuality, because “bad behavior is the enemy of freedom.”

However these two cases are ultimately decided, I have to wonder aloud if the average American today even understands the requirements of a free society. I’ll remind you of what I have stated repeatedly: A free society requires us to become our better selves. In other words, a free society cannot long endure an aggregate of bad behavior. If the people decide one day that stealing is actually fine, we would eventually lose our freedom. If the people decide one day that lying is okay, we would eventually lose our freedom. Or, if the people decide one day that infidelity in our most personal relationships is normal, we would eventually lose our freedom.

Bad behavior is the enemy of freedom. Yes, a free society is very patient and very forgiving. Individually, each of us has great liberties to work out our lives for the better. We stumble and we fail, but as long as we keep trying to better ourselves, in character and virtue, freedom remains undisturbed. It’s only when we give up on becoming our better selves, only when a majority of people argue that character and virtue don’t matter, only when a nation decides to redefine the best within us to mean anything we need it to mean in justifying bad behavior that our freedom is in jeopardy.

There’s a lot we could talk about there but the idea itself raises another question regarding “gay rights”: How does homosexuality help us to become our better selves? What benefit to society is derived from two men being able to marry?

Again, a free society is very tolerant by nature. Everyone has wide latitude in working out their personal lives – and every one of us behaves badly to one degree or another. That’s a given. It’s part of life. But what a free society can ill afford is when the people decide to codify bad behavior in the law. Our laws increasingly reflect our dysfunctional selves, not our better selves. The argument over “gay rights” and same-sex marriage is ultimately an argument over whether or not we enshrine bad behavior in our laws. Being “gay” might be about personal feelings and sexual attractions for some. But our laws only know human behavior – and a free society requires that our laws sustain and encourage the best within us, not our selfish worst.

Dinesh D'Souza Wonders Why More Immigrants Aren't Just Like Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D’Souza told the far-right Western Center for Journalism yesterday that immigrants should be more like, well, Dinesh D’Souza. “I chose America,” D’Souza said, apparently unlike other immigrants. “I love America.”

The right-wing activist, who is just out with a new anti-Obama movie, was referring to the increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border as a result of a refugee crisis in Central America.

But President Obama, D’Souza complains, does not want to bring in more immigrants like him, and is instead employing an “Alinskyite strategy” to make Americans feel ashamed of their country.

Other conservatives claim Obama is actually using immigration as part of his “Cloward-Piven” strategy to bring down America.

A bestselling author and driving force behind the groundbreaking films 2016: Obama’s America and America: Imagine the World without Her, D’Souza is a prime example of the opportunities that await foreign-born individuals who choose to legally become Americans. He explained that he made a decision to leave his homeland behind when he came to the U.S. as a teenager more than three decades ago.

“As an immigrant, I chose America,” he said. “I love America. I can see ways in which America is very unique in the world.”

After completing high school and college in the U.S., D’Souza went on to become a prominent writer and speaker, known around the world for his defense of concepts such as American exceptionalism. Instead of courting immigrants like him, however, the Obama administration chooses to extend even more leniency to those who enter the nation illegally.

“It’s quite appalling to see the Obama administration use the border as a kind of shaming device,” D’Souza said, calling the existing policy an “Alinskyite strategy.” In the mold of ‘Rules for Radicals’ author and community organizer Saul Alinsky, he said the federal government is playing on the sensibilities of good-natured Americans in subverting the nation’s laws.

He said the embrace of de facto amnesty is a way to “exploit the goodness … of ordinary Americans” who are genuinely concerned for the foreigners who show up at our border.

One of Alinsky’s methods of reshaping a person’s opinion, D’Souza explained, is to “constantly shame him and make him do what you want.”

Obama, he continued, is quite adept at employing that technique.

“Obama is encouraging people to show up at the border with arms outstretched,” he concluded. “This is then used as a pretext for violating our immigration laws.”

Kevin Swanson Attacks 'Satanic,' 'Antichrist' Presbyterians For Approving Marriage Equality

“Generations Radio” host Kevin Swanson lambasted the Presbyterian Church (USA) last week for voting to allow same-sex marriages to take place in their churches, which Swanson said means the denomination has teamed up with the Antichrist.

“The Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, a purported Christian church, a church that had something of a Christian heritage, but of course now rotten to the very core, has adopted the Neronic agenda and effectively joined the ranks of the Antichrist,” he said, referring to the Roman emperor Nero.

Swanson went on to accuse the church of “marrying dogs” and deciding to become the “Nero Association of America.”

He also worried that the Presbyterian Church in America, a more conservative denomination, may be next in line to adopt the Satanic attack of marriage equality: “I think it’s time to stop watching the PCUSA, I think it is time to start watching the PCA and the Southern Baptists because they’re next, so to speak, that’s where the battleground is moving. If you were Satan you’d go, ‘PCUSA is in the bag, now let’s go pay attention to the PCA and see if we can gain a little ground down here.’”

Lamenting that the United States is becoming an “apostate” nation, Swanson hailed Uganda’s extreme anti-gay laws.

“Praise be to God. He’s got something happening and if he’s going to abandon the West to their homosexuality, their imploding birth rates and their drying up and dying, then that’s the way it goes,” he said. “In Uganda, these guys are standing strong.”

GOP Faith Outreach Director Offended By Christians Who Vote Democratic

The Republican National Committee recently launched a new outreach arm called GOP Faith to build “an army of activists to encourage pro-faith Americans to vote their values” and named South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly as the party’s Director of Faith Engagement.

Connelly seems to be a good fit, as he peddles messages that are red meat for the Religious Right: Christian Nationalism and fears of a Communist takeover. In his book “Freedom Tide,” Connelly even reprinted the hoax document “Communist Rules for Revolution.”

In an appearance yesterday on Sandy Rios’ American Family Radio show, Connelly said he couldn’t understand how a person of faith could back Democratic candidates. “How does a believer vote that way?” he said, speaking of the Democratic party.

After encouraging more pastors like Jim Garlow to preach politics at the pulpit or run for office themselves, he waxed nostalgic about the days when simply being a Christian was all you needed to be a good candidate for office: “It used to be exalted, if you were a person of integrity, if you were a Christian, people said, ‘Hey I can count on them.’ And now we scratch our heads and wonder why we can’t count on more of these people.”

He also urged pastors to teach members of their congregations how to “vote their values.”

Connelly also told Rios that he was frustrated that in 2012, 22 percent of evangelical Christians “voted completely opposite to what they say they believe” — that is, for President Obama.

Joseph Farah Predicts Obama Readying A 'Clone' To Succeed Him In 2016

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is pretty sure that Hillary Clinton will never win the presidency, and one reason is that President Obama has already found a “clone” of himself who he is grooming to succeed him as president

Farah doesn’t know who this Obama clone is, but he reminds us that “the unknown, undocumented, underachieving Barack Obama arose from nowhere” too.

Point No. 4: I don’t think she can get the nomination. I know what you’re thinking: Who’s going to beat her? The Democratic leadership back bench is not exactly deep. But, let’s face it: It wasn’t in 2008. And that’s when the unknown, undocumented, underachieving Barack Obama arose from nowhere.

Today, Obama remains the de facto leader of the Democratic Party, and he will remain so until the party nominates a new leader. He may not have much in the way of accomplishments as president to speak of, but he has done one thing in the last eight years: He has built a formidable political machine. Don’t you think he’s going to use it? Don’t you think Obama is going to have a say about who succeeds him? And do you think, with the animosity that is so palpable between the Obamas and the Clintons, he’s going to go with someone other than Hillary?

I don’t know who the Democratic nominee will be. But I doubt it is anyone commonly mentioned by the pundits today. That person is known to someone though. It’s known to Barack Obama.

That’s what I think. He’s going to find a clone. And they’re going to run the same drill they ran so successfully in 2008 and 2012.

Will the Obama clone win? I hope not. Depends who the Republicans nominate. If it’s Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, the unnamed Democrat wins – hands down. Even Hillary can beat either one.

Jesse Lee Peterson Explains That Marriage Can't Be A Partnership Because 'That Term Partner Came From The Homosexuals'

Tea Party activist Jesse Lee Peterson’s group BOND held a conference on “fatherhood and men” in Los Angeles earlier this month, at which Peterson moderated a panel discussion featuring radio host Morris O’Kelly, author and pundit Andrew Klavan, and Dr. Albert Gibbs, a clinical psychologist.

Gibbs seemed to have not known what he was getting into, and spent the entire discussion responding in disbelief to to Peterson’s unhinged questions.

For instance, at one point, Peterson asked Gibbs if a man should “be the head of his wife.” When Gibbs responded that he and his wife are partners in the relationship, Peterson told him that he shouldn’t use that word because “that term partner came from the homosexuals” and that any marriage based on partnership means “the man is weak.”

WorldNetDaily Columnist Read Somewhere That Hate Crimes Laws Protect Incest

WorldNetDaily pundits seem to have a habit of substantiating many of their more inflammatory claims by simply saying they “read it somewhere,” and today’s column by Les Kinsolving is no different.

Kinsolving writes that he’s “seen reports that 30 alternative sexual orientations,” such as “coprophilia, incest, urophilia, exhibitionism and klismaphilia,” are now “federally protected by the so-called Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

Wasn’t the existence of NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association – and the invitation for these child molesters to march with their small-boy comrades in homosexual parades in both Boston and San Francisco – a justification for tolerance?

Well, if that is really tolerance – rather than carnal barbarism. What about a parade allowance for marching self-advertising necrophiliacs (those who prefer fornicating with corpses) and practitioners of bestiality (with either non-reluctant or reluctant beasts)?

I’ve seen reports that 30 alternative sexual orientations are federally protected by the so-called Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, S. 909, and the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R. 1913.

This would include coprophilia, incest, urophilia, exhibitionism and klismaphilia.

While we don’t doubt that Kinsolving read that somewhere, that doesn’t mean what he read was at all accurate. The phrase “sexual orientation” in the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act is explicitly defined as “consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality.”

But Kinsolving read something different somewhere, so it must be true!

WorldNetDaily Warns Undocumented Immigrants Will Stage Bio-Terror Attack On US

WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie warns today of a terrorist attack consisting of “millions of illegal aliens pouring into our country with infectious diseases whose sole reason for being here is to infect our country with deadly illnesses.”

He implies that such an attack is already happening: “Foolish and misguided Americans are blind to the terror they are advocating, as they push to have illegal aliens be rewarded with citizenship for breaking our sovereign laws.”

It is a fact that no one, not government nor anyone else, can begin to quantify the danger we face from disease borne by illegal aliens. Illegals coming from Third World countries are not the rich and well-educated who were able to seek health care in their country of origin. They are the least-educated and the poorest. And let there be no question they are infected disease carriers. But, the government won’t tell us that. Foolish and misguided Americans are blind to the terror they are advocating, as they push to have illegal aliens be rewarded with citizenship for breaking our sovereign laws. They ignorantly fancy themselves as showing “divine love” when in reality they are sentencing their communities to untold potential misery.

But all that I have referenced thus far is just foreplay. Terrorists have used a number of different of different methods to carry out death in America. A grown man and a teenager in a beat-up old Oldsmobile held three states hostage and paralyzed with fear for weeks several years ago, simply by driving around indiscriminately shooting people while hiding in the trunk of the automobile. Terrorists succeeded in their second attempt to murder Americans by destroying the World Trade Center towers. There has been Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon bombing, and other attacks in New Jersey and Arkansas. Terrorists have shown eager willingness to strap on bombs and blow themselves up as a means of attack.

Imagine millions of illegal aliens pouring into our country with infectious diseases whose sole reason for being here is to infect our country with deadly illnesses. Even if not one person died from the epidemic of diseases, the cost of treating each infected person could easily bankrupt America considering the perilous economic condition we now find ourselves in. The cost of treating a person with TB is between $250,000 and $1 million.

Just think of the zeitgeist of panic if (or perhaps more accurately when) we are faced with said form of terrorism. And yet our congressmen are advocating amnesty, even as Obama is permitting tens of thousands of illegal alien children to cross the border – while foolhardy communities that believe themselves to be examples of charity and goodwill are placing us all at risk if not sentencing us to death from infectious diseases. Think about the illegals handling food in restaurants, and working and living in densely populated areas. Think about the numbers of illegals working in food wholesale preparation factories. Just think what a terrorist attack on a scale like that would be like.

You can read this and tell yourself it will never happen, but, how much more would it take, all things considered, to realize a terror attack on the scale I reference?

Glenn Grothman Snags Endorsement Of 'Soul Mate' Rick Santorum

Glenn Grothman, the Wisconsin state senator and U.S. House candidate who is bravely fighting against the “war on men,” this weekend earned the endorsement of a man he calls his “soul mate”: former senator Rick Santorum.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Santorum announced his Patriot Voices PAC’s endorsement of Grothman on a joint conference call late last week, where the two “praised each other for their devotion to conservative principles.”

State Sen. Glenn Grothman snagged a high-profile endorsement this week when he won the backing of previous GOP presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, from Pennsylvania, and his Patriot Voices PAC.

During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Grothman and Santorum praised each other for their devotion to conservative principles. Grothman talked about how Santorum won him over when they first met during Santorum’s unsuccessful bid to become the 2012 presidential nominee.

“When I met him, I felt we were almost soul mates,” Grothman said. “It’s kind of an odd thing.”

Along with exposing the “war on men” being waged by “gals” in the workplace, Grothman has defended Uganda’s harsh anti-gay law, tried to make abortion a crime even if it would save the life of the pregnant women, claimed that women earn less because "money is more important for men," wanted to officially classify single parenthood as a factor in child abuse, goes out of his way to bash Kwanzaa, and is a leader in pushing for blatantly political voter suppression laws.

In other words, exactly the sort of politician who would find an ally and soul mate in Rick Santorum.

Gheen: Immigrants 'May Smile At You As They Hand You Your Cheeseburger' But They Really Want 'You And Your Whole Family To Die'

In an interview with the Tea Party News Network on Saturday, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) claimed that Mexican American immigrants “may smile at you as they serve you your cheeseburger or cruise across your lawn with a weed eater” but in reality they want “for you and your whole family to die.”

Gheen claimed that Mexican schools teach students to hate America, so those who immigrate to the U.S. show “no type of mercy” to “anyone out there that’s not a flaming socialist, communist or liberal” and will vote Democratic, based on “racial identity” and “what they consider to be reparations.”

There’s no type of mercy that anyone out there that’s not a flaming socialist, communist or liberal is going to receive from these people. You’re not going to be able to just stand up and say, ‘Please, please spare us from this invasion.’

They’re like, look, they’re bringing in, they’re using in drug cartels to bring in a new block of 80, 90 percent Democratic voters. And there will be no way the Tea Party or any other grassroots organization is ever going to be able to succeed against 20 million that are voting on racial identity and that will vote for more benefits and what they consider to be reparations. Some of them hate us for their perceived status in life. They’re taught in Mexican schools that the reason they’re so poor is because their evil neighbor to the north stole all their mineral-rich land, and of course our ancestors slaughtered all of their ancestors.

And when you teach people this from the time they’re children, they develop a kind of hatred. They may smile at you as they serve you your cheeseburger or cruise across your lawn with a weed eater, but underneath it, when they look at you, they see a person who they blame to be responsible for their poverty and the genocide of their ancestors, and the only way you can make that even-Steven with them is for you and your whole family to die.

UPDATE: We have slightly edited the transcript of Gheen's remarks for accuracy.

Matt Barber Says Gay Rights Advocates Act 'Like A Horde Of Locusts'

Matt Barber warned Saturday that gay people have “swarm[ed] in like a horde of locusts” and “homosexualized the Boy Scouts.”

Barber was speaking with Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who told him that she had been outraged at the sight of Boy Scouts at the Columbus, Ohio, LGBT pride parade. Barber replied that he wasn’t surprised, since “the homosexual activist agenda” is “at the forefront of child corruption, that is a major part of their agenda.”

“It is absolutely reprehensible that they are exposing these children to this perversion, to this highly sexually charged, open acts of public displays of nudity, it is just absolutely appalling,” Barber said.

“It is simply disgusting to watch, it’s appalling to watch. They take every institution, they take things that are noble and good and they swarm in like a horde of locusts and they don’t care what damage is done because it helps further their agenda, then they fly away and what’s left is a husk of what was there to begin with.”

The Time A Corporation Cited Religious Freedom As A Way To Avoid Desegregation

In her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case today, Justice Ginsburg mentioned a 1968 precedent in which the owner of a chain of barbecue restaurants in South Carolina “refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration.”

Sandy Rios Cites Fake Obama Quote To Prove He Is A Marxist-Muslim

On her Friday radio show, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association chatted with a caller about whether Islam is the “whore of Babylon” mentioned in Revelation, which naturally gave her the opportunity to rant against President Obama.

“The President is a Marxist” whose “sympathies are most definitely with Islam,” Rios said, before telling listeners that they should be “prepared to die for their faith” in the face of supposed anti-Christian persecution.

“There’s no question about that, in his own book he said whenever there is a dispute about where I’m going to come down, I’m always going to come down on the side of Islam,” Rios said. “And he’s done that, he’s said that our space program was to help in the education of Muslims.”

Actually, Obama did not say that in his book. A bogus chain email claims Obama wrote in Dreams From My Father that “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The real quote doesn’t even mention Islam:

Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

Rios’ claim about NASA similarly has its origins in baseless right-wing paranoia

Anti-Gay Activists Hopeful Hobby Lobby Will Lead To License To Discriminate

Anti-gay activists are rejoicing at the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby today, in part because they are hopeful that the decision will pave the way for one of their own policy goals: to use the religious liberty argument to push for broad exemptions for corporations from nondiscrimination laws.

Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber is hopeful that the decision bodes well for those trying to use religious freedom as a cloak to justify discrimination against LGBT people:

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has a similar take:

There may be reason for them to be optimistic. As SCOTUSblog pointed out, the majority's opinion pointedly leaves open "the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation." 

With respect to implications for other kinds of religious-based discrimination, the Court writes that racial discrimination in hiring will not be permitted under RFRA because "The Government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to acheive [sic] that critical goal." Note that this leave open the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.

UPDATE: TPM has more on this.

UPDATE II: Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has joined the chorus:

Religious Right Reacts To Hobby Lobby Decision: A Victory Over King George III And 'Subsidized Consequence Free Sex'

The Religious Right’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case — in which the Court’s conservative majority ruled that some for-profit businesses must be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate — has started rolling in.

Erick Erickson sees the decision as a victory over the promiscuous:

Eric Metaxas thinks King George III would have been on the side of contraceptive insurance:

The Franciscan University of Steubenville compared businesses that don’t want to provide their employees with contraception coverage to religious martyrs in ancient Rome:

Steve Deace called the Green family, which owns the Hobby Lobby chain, "the Rosa Parks of the religious liberty fight" and urged the movement not to "settle" with just the Hobby Lobby victory:

If we play our cards right, and God grants us a favor, we can use this as a momentum changer. That’s mainly thanks to the Green family, who just became the Rosa Parks of the religious liberty fight. Just as her refusal to comply with an unjust edict on a bus one day blew the lid off the civil rights movement, perhaps the Greens’ refusal to comply with Obamacare’s unjust edict can accomplish the same for a similarly worthy cause.

But that won’t happen if we “settle” for this win like we have all too many others.

AFA’s Bryan Fischer thinks he knows Chief Justice John Roberts’ motivation to vote with the Court's majority:

And finally, the American Family Association is taking a poll:

Hobby Lobby: Religious Rights For Secular For-Profit Corporations … Just This One Time

Writing for the majority in the Hobby Lobby case, Justice Alito emphasized [PDF] that the ruling, which partly overturned the Obama administration’s rules on birth control coverage, does not apply to other cases involving religious objections to government regulations:

This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage man-dates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.



In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious disease) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.

Apparently, the Supreme Court has determined that contraception, unlike immunizations, just doesn’t cut it in terms of public health.

In a footnote, Alito cites findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to back up claims that the government should be allowed to require immunizations over the religious objections of people who oppose vaccinations.

Of course, the contraception rule, the New York Times points out, “relied on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, an independent group of doctors and researchers that concluded that birth control is not just a convenience but is medically necessary ‘to ensure women’s health and well-being.’”

It is undeniable that the advent of contraception, used by around 99 percent of sexually active women, and family planning has had an extraordinary impact on public health on a level similar to the creation of new vaccines. Unless, of course, your worldview leads you to believe that such pills are simply used by women as tools to have an abortion.

Justice Ginsburg points out in her dissent that the Supreme Court has rejected past religious objections to generally applicable rules from non-persons, including church-operated schools:

And where is the stopping point to the “let the government pay” alternative? Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, see Tony and Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work, see Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church? Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the employer has a religion-based objection?

Indeed, the high court previously rebuffed religious-based challenges to laws regarding the minimum wage, equal pay and regulation of illicit drugs.

Religious groups that believe in the subservience of women, reject vaccines and blood transfusions or seek to use controlled substances as part of religious rituals, according to the majority opinion, don’t have as much “religious liberty” than a secular for-profit corporation such as Hobby Lobby.

Ginsburg adds:

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga surely do not stand alone as commercial enterprises seeking exemptions from generally applicable laws on the basis of their religious beliefs. See, e.g. Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc (owner of restaurant chain refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration)…

[H]ow does the Court divine which religious beliefs are worthy of accommodation, and which are not? Isn’t the Court disarmed from making such a judgment given its recognition that “courts must not presume to determine…the plausibility of a religious claim?”

Would the exemption the Court holds RFRA demands for employers with religiously grounded objections to the use of certain contraceptives extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)?

[A]pproving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be “perceived as favoring one religion over another,” the very “risk the Establishment Claus was designed to preclude.”

While Alito stresses that only closely-held corporations are involved in this case, what about a company board dominated by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, or evangelicals like David Barton who believe “that the Bible opposes the minimum wage, unions and collective bargaining, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and progressive taxation in general”?

With Congress currently debating the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, what if Hobby Lobby’s owners cited their religion as a reason to discriminate against LGBT employees? Or refuse to cover HIV/AIDS treatments?

With this ruling, it seems that the court wants to decide for itself what counts as a necessary government strategy to protect public health, and what doesn’t.

PFAW Mobilizes Latino Voters to Save the Senate, Has First Spanish Language Ad in North Carolina Race

The National Journal just cited our work in an article about how control of the Senate could hinge on Latino voters. The story focused on the North Carolina race and noted that PFAW was the first group out with a Spanish Language ad targeting extreme Republican candidate Thom Tillis. PFAW’s political director, Randy Borntrager, spoke with the National Journal about why Tillis is out of touch with North Carolinians, and why his extreme agenda is bad for Hispanics.

From the article:

"North Carolina is the first state we've gone into because Thom Tillis's extreme agenda is forcing our hand to get involved early," said PFAW political director Randy Borntrager. "We're extremely concerned about the Latino community understanding what's at stake, so we engaged quickly."

Borntrager said Tillis's record on Medicaid, education, and tax breaks for the wealthy, combined with a history of "foot-in-mouth" comments when it comes to minorities, was something PFAW would make sure all Latinos were aware of come November.

"He's so bad on so many issues that's it is an incredible motivation to get out and vote," Borntrager said.

PFAW's award-winning program to mobilize the Latino vote has made a difference in key races over the last several election cycles – including major impacts in several presidential swing states in 2012. As Latino voters become more and more critical to progressive victories at the ballot box, our program will continue to grow with the support of allies who understand the urgent need to speak directly to this long-overlooked community.

Read the entire article here.

PFAW

Self-Aware Bobby Jindal Is Tired Of 'Candidates Who Tell Us One Thing Then Go Do Another'

In an interview earlier this month with the Iowa blog Caffienated Thoughts, noted paragon of consistency Bobby Jindal lamented about “candidates who tell us one thing then go do another” on judicial nominations.

Jindal was discussing recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality, which he suggested could be grounds for recalling judges. In 2012, Jindal joined the failed effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who had joined the court’s unanimous marriage equality ruling.

The Louisiana governor spent the first half of the interview deriding the Common Core education standards — which he previously backed — as a “federal takeover of education."

Paranoia-Rama LGBT Pride Month Edition: 'Gay Gulags,' 'Reeducation Camps' And HIV Cure

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we have dedicated this week’s edition to looking at five of the most bizarre anti-LGBT stories coming from the Right Wing just in the past week.

5. Rick Santorum Fears Gay ‘Reeducation Camps’

Religious Right activists continue to stoke fears about gay rights supporters organizing an anti-Christian holocaust, and Rick Santorum is happy to help. The former senator and presidential candidate, out with a new film about the purported loss of religious freedom in America, warned this week that Christians in the U.S. are being sent off to “reeducation camps” and face jail and martyrdom. Santorum was speaking to none other than Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association radio host who believes gay people are to blame for the Holocaust and are modern-day Nazis.

4. Gay Gulags

If you thought Santorum’s remarks were a rare occurrence in the Religious Right, just read today’s commentary from BarbWire senior editor Jeff Allen, who warns that the “gaystapo” wants its opponents “summarily shipped off on the ‘highway’ to the ‘gay’ gulag of sensitivity training — actually, reeducation camp to receive a government-provided, pro-perversity lobotomy.”

He warns about “alarming homosexual efforts at shredding the dictionary, distorting of the Constitution, creating false rights out of thin air, rewriting civil laws to criminalize deeply held moral convictions, hijacking science to promote a deviant political/social agenda, and eliminating all religious and conscience protections for business owners,” adding that “every advance of the militant ‘gay agenda’ comes at the literal expense of true democracy and freedom.”

“Many of the vindictive items on homosexual agenda are designed exactly as vengeance against their supposed oppressors,” Allen writes. “Unlike the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in which African Americans united and fought against the truly heinous injustices of racial inequality and unprovoked acts of violence, the homosexual rights movement has no intentions of being peaceful. Nobody should fool themselves, this is a hostile takeover of America.”

3. Gays Want To Molest Their Kids

Those of you who haven’t been shipped off to a gay FEMA camp yet may want to consider this brilliant analysis by Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who this week alleged that gay parents are much more likely than others to sexually abuse their children because “when you are open to sinful, God-defying behavior in one profound way, violating other boundaries happens more easily.”

2. More GOP Rebranding

Speaking out in opposition to amendment to prohibit charter schools from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, North Carolina House Speaker Pro Tem Paul ‘Skip’ Stam compared gay people to pedophiles and “distributed a flier titled ‘What Is A “Sexual Orientation”?’ that compares being lesbian or gay to mental disorders such as apotemnophilia (sexual arousal associated with an amputee’s stump) and coprophilia (sexual arousal associated with feces).”

The handout reportedly originated from the far-right Traditional Values Coalition. Catherine Thompson of TPM notes that “Stam did not mention that the information in his handout, which dated back to 2000, had been updated in the APA manual to classify those attractions as ‘disorders’ rather than ‘orientations,’ according to the news station.”

Local Religious Right activists quickly rushed to Stam’s defense after word of the flier got out.

This isn’t the first time Stam has tried to pull off this sort of stunt: he made similar claims while denouncing the School Violence Protect Act.

1. HIV/AIDS Cure At Pride

The latest religious group to claim to be able to cure HIV comes out of Minnesota, where an evangelical coalition is insisting that they will cure people of HIV at the upcoming Twin Cities Pride.

Andy Birkey of The Column reports that the group’s leader, Steven Uggen, believes God told him that he has the “healing power” to cure people of HIV, although most will not be grateful:

One of the words we got out of this outreach, the Lord really wanted to demonstrate his goodness to this community by releasing healing of HIV and AIDS, so we believe we’re going to see people healed of HIV and AIDS and we’re just, we’re carrying that word of the Lord into this outreach. And that will be part of our training just praying with boldness for the releasing of healing power and then sending them back to their doctors literally after praying for them. ‘Here’s what I want you to do: go to your doctor, get tested for HIV or AIDS and when you come back negative, you’ve got a decision to make whether you’re gonna serve the God who just healed you’ and then give them some gospel materials that they can take with them and encourage them to call on us and let us know and I’m confident that we’re going to have people healed of HIV and AIDS that are going to be contacting us. The funny thing is Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to acknowledge him so there may be 10 that get healed but only one come back, you know. This is a strategy that God wants to use so the very fruit of their sin is what he wants to, like, take away to show them his kindness and his goodness. I mean it’s just totally Jesus. I mean it’s like totally his way so we’re excited about that.
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