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Kansas Moves Ahead With Two-Tiered Voting System, Some Voters Allowed To Cast Ballots Only In Federal Elections

We reported last year on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s plan to create a two-tiered voting system in his state, in which voters who registered with a federal voter registration form but did not meet the state’s strict new citizenship documentation requirement would be allowed to cast ballots in federal elections but would be barred from participating state elections.

Kobach claimed at the time that the two-tiered system was “merely a contingency plan” in the event that he lost a lawsuit seeking to require the federal form used in Kansas to include the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement. Kobach won that suit, but the decision has been stayed pending appeal, meaning that Kansas will go ahead with Kobach’s two-tiered system in this summer's primaries, reports the Associated Press. Arizona, which joined Kansas on the lawsuit, is implementing a similar system.

The good news is that, according to Kobach, fewer than 100 Kansans who registered with the federal form but didn’t provide the correct citizenship documentation will be the inaugural members of the new federal-elections-only voting tier. Those voters, according to the AP, "will be given full provisional ballots during the Aug. 5 primary elections — but only the votes they cast in federal races will actually be counted."

The bad news is that 18,000 Kansans who registered with the state form but couldn’t provide the correct documentation still can’t vote in either type of election.

Kobach, of course, continues to claim that “no one is disenfranchised” by his policies.

AP:

WICHITA — Kansas voters who registered using a national form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship will be given full provisional ballots during the Aug. 5 primary elections — but only the votes they cast in federal races will actually be counted, the state’s top election official said Tuesday.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach told The Associated Press that fewer than 100 Kansas voters who used the federal registration form without providing citizenship documents will be affected.

“No one is disenfranchised — any person can vote a full ballot by providing proof of citizenship,” Kobach said. “The notion a person is disenfranchised because they have to provide proof of citizenship is a silly one.”

As of Tuesday, more than 18,000 Kansans still had their voter registrations suspended pending documentation of citizenship. The vast majority used the state form to register, and they will still not be allowed to vote at all in the primary or general election unless they prove to state election officials that they are U.S. citizens.

The exception that allows the federal registrants to still vote in the August primaries for federal races comes because the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a judge’s ruling that had forced federal election officials to help Kansas and Arizona enforce their citizenship requirements.

Eric Cantor Pushes GOP To The Edge Of A Cliff, Falls Off

The headline of a New York Times article responding to Eric Cantor’s startling primary defeat last night read, “Cantor’s Loss a Bad Omen for Moderates.” That would be true if there were still moderates in the House Republican Conference to speak of.

But there aren’t, and you can thank Eric Cantor for that.

House Republicans are now heavily skewed to the right, including a large wing that refuses to ever collaborate with President Obama or congressional Democrats on anything. Cantor, of course, was one of the chief architects of the GOP’s hardline politicking and far-right shift.

Cantor helped sink bipartisan debt deals, including the 2011 budget “grand bargain,” and engineered the Republican strategy of manufacturing fiscal crisis after crisis by putting a ransom on must-pass fiscal bills.

As Bill Burton told the New Yorker in 2011, “Cantor has had an outsized influence on how poisonously partisan Washington has been these last couple years.”

Cantor also was behind the Republican Party’s decision following the 2012 election disaster to resist any calls to moderate or begin working, even slightly, with Obama. Instead, the GOP moved to rebrand itself by attempting to change its image, beating back on the (accurate) perception that it had become an extremist, uncompromisingly ideological entity.

Vanity Fair just this month ran a piece on Cantor’s attempt to seem more moderate, respectable and bipartisan — even while sticking to his old extreme policies. “[I]f people see you for what you really are, that’s a failure on your part,” Michael Kinsley wrote of Cantor’s rebranding attempt. “Success is when people see you as what you wish you were.”

In March, the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza noted that Cantor, “the creator of a strategy to oppose and obstruct the Obama agenda” who has a “reputation as a Tea Party leader,” only sought to make “short-term adjustments in public relations” rather than to temper his increasingly unpopular, and unhinged, fanaticism:

Since the 2012 elections, the Republicans have been divided between those who believe their policies are the problem and those who believe they just need better marketing—between those who believe they need to make better pizza and those who think they just need a more attractive box. Cantor, who is known among his colleagues as someone with strategic intelligence and a knack for political positioning, argues that it’s the box.

By refusing to temper — and even encouraging — the party’s sharp far-right swing, Cantor helped to fashion a party that views even the perception of bipartisanship as blasphemy.

Take immigration, for example: While Cantor was actually blocking the House from voting on immigration reform legislation, he still tried to make it seem that the party was open to some reforms, knowing that a majority of Americans and the quickly growing Latino community strongly favored reform legislation. Cantor tried to make the GOP’s strict stance against any immigration reform palatable to the public, which eventually allowed his primary challenger to campaign against his supposed support for “amnesty.”

After encouraging hard opposition to any fiscal deals with Obama unless the president caved to their every demand, Cantor paved the way for a GOP where simply voting to lift the debt limit in order to avoid economic disaster or supporting relief for hurricane victims gives you the much-dishonored title of RINO, “Republican In Name Only.”

Cantor pushed the party so far to the right that even political posturing that had little to no effect on actual policy was too much for GOP primary voters, and now the politician often seen as the more conservative alternative to Speaker Boehner has become a target of the militant wing he helped create.

David Brat Sought Endorsement Of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group ALIPAC

David Brat’s upset victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in yesterday’s Republican primary in Virginia’s seventh congressional district was driven in part by Brat’s no-compromise position on immigration reform, which put him even farther to the right than the not-exactly immigration-friendly Cantor .

Among those celebrating Brat’s surprise win is William Gheen, head of the anti-immigrant hate group ALIPAC , who used some of his group’s meager funds to send out a robocall in the district in the days before the election, playing up the fear that undocumented immigrants would “vote with or against you in future elections.”

While the robocall was an independent endeavor, Brat had actively sought ALIPAC’s endorsement.

In February, Brat’s campaign manager filled out ALIPAC’s candidate survey, which asked prospective endorsees to choose between the enforcement of “immigration laws as the U.S. Constitution requires for the protection of American jobs, elections, taxpayer resources, health and lives” and immigration reform, which it said would “lead to a new voting bloc of 11-20 million illegal immigrants, which would in turn destroy any future hopes of border or immigration law existence or enforcement.” Brat chose the former, and earned Gheen’s endorsement .

Gheen — who is ALIPAC’s chief cook and bottle-washer — is a fringe extremist, even in the already extreme anti-immigrant movement. Here is just a smattering of his paranoid, racist rhetoric, that would have been easily accessible to the Brat campaign through a quick Google search:

Mat Staver Unable To Explain How Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Different From Other Forms Of Discrimination

Testifying before a House committee today about supposed threats to religious freedom in the U.S., Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver struggled to defend his support for allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler grilled Staver about his view that it would be wrong for a wedding photographer to discriminate against a Jewish couple because of a religious objection, but that the photographer is free to discriminate against a same-sex couple.

First, Staver tried to avoid the question by saying a photographer wouldn’t refuse to work for a Jewish wedding, but ultimately agreed that such anti-Jewish discrimination is in fact a violation of the law.

“I don’t see any difference at all” between refusing a Jewish couple and a gay couple, Nadler said.

He continued: “I’m holding out myself in commerce and my religious belief is that I don’t want black people or Jewish people or gay people in my restaurant and the federal government says that is discrimination, is that a violation of the freedom of religion?”

“No,” Staver conceded.

Ted Cruz And Rick Santorum To Join Iowa Pastor Who Predicted Marriage Equality Would Increase The Murder Rate, Destroy America

Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.

Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.

At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”

Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”

The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”

“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.

The Ten Commandments And The 4,300-Year-Old Dinosaur: Michael Peroutka's Web Of Christian-Nation Influence

Two weeks ago, the Creation Museum — the anti-evolution themepark run by the advocacy group Answers in Genesis — received a huge gift: a $1 million dinosaur skeleton meant to help the museum illustrate its belief that dinosaurs were part of the original creation 6,000 years ago and coexisted with humans until well after Noah’s flood.

The benefactor that gave the museum Ebenezer the Allosaurus was the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation, a family foundation run by Maryland-based right-wing activists and brothers Michael and Stephen Peroutka and Michael’s daughter Elizabeth. Observers immediately noted that this dinosaur came with some contemporary human baggage: Michael Peroutka is an extreme right-wing activist who is a frequent supporter and former board member of the neo-Confederate League of the South and who believes that the Union’s victory in the Civil War brought on all of America’s ills, including “homo-sodomite unmarriage.”

But the Peroutkas’ influence extends far beyond fringe anti-gay, neo-Confederate activism and providing a real-life dinosaur to illustrate made-up science. Through a set of debt-collection businesses, the Peroutkas finance a host of anti-choice groups and promote a troubling Christian-Nation ideology in Maryland and throughout the country. Michael Peroutka, a 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president, is also largely self-financing his campaign for local office in Anne Arundel County.

Michael Peroutka runs the Institute on the Constitution, an “educational” group through which he promotes his Christian Reconstructionist viewpoint that “the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law” — that is, Peroutka’s idea of what constitutes God’s law. Peroutka, for instance, claims that there are no such thing as “civil rights” enforceable by the government, because “rights come from God.”

The Institute on the Constitution, according to the group’s website, is “sponsored” by and shares an address with Peroutka and Peroutka, the debt-collection firm Michael runs with his brother Stephen, who was also a  co-founder of the Institute.

It’s through the law firm and its debt-buying arm, Pasadena Recievables, that the Peroutka brothers finance the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation, which is named after their mother.

From its founding in 2003 through 2012, the last year for which tax records are available, the family’s foundation has been almost entirely financed by grants from the Peroutkas' pair of debt-collection businesses, along with investment income and a few personal donations from Michael and Stephen. Together, the family and its businesses have put $5.2 million into the foundation over nine years.

Its biggest asset, until now, has been the Allosaurus.

Ebenezer the Allosaurus was originally dug up in 2002 by a team of homeschoolers led by a conservative Christian family from Florida that ran a business providing anti-evolution excavation adventures. Also leading that expedition was Doug Phillips, a leader of the anti-feminist Quiverfull movement, who is now facing charges of sexual battery and assault against a young follower.

From the moment the bones were found, their discoverers vowed to keep them out of the hands of scientists, who estimate that the Allosaurus lived roughly 150 million years ago. “I am sure the evolutionists would love to get their hands on these bones," Phillips said at the time. “Who can blame them. It is like a gold mine for paleontologists.”

Peroutka cited those fears at the Creation Museum unveiling last month, when he told of how he came to purchase Ebenezer. He was determined to keep the dinosaur out of the hands of “anyone with a ‘millions of years’ mindset,” he said, and to keep it under the guardianship of those who believe the skeleton is just 4,300 years old:

While snatching the dinosaur from the evolutionists has been the Peroutka family foundation’s priciest project, Michael explained in his remarks at the museum that the foundation was “primarily intended to offer financial aid to groups who were dedicated to ending the holocaust of abortion.”

Of $3.6 million in grants that the Peroutka Foundation has dispensed over nine years, about one-quarter — $920,000 — has gone to the National Pro-Life Action Center, an anti-choice lobbying group chaired by Stephen Peroutka. (The Center is one of a tangled web of right-wing organizations run out of the same office in Washington). Stephen Peroutka was also the founder of National Pro-Life Radio, a network run out of the same building as the brothers’ law office that aired shows from anti-choice activists including Janet Porter, Jay Sekulow, Frank Pavone, Jesse Lee Peterson, and both Peroutka brothers.

The foundation has heaped much of its largesse on Maryland-based abortion clinic protest groups and crisis pregnancy centers, including contributing a total of $236,000 to the Baltimore-based abortion clinic protest group Defend Life, perhaps most infamous for organizing a protest outside the middle school attended by the daughter of an abortion provider’s landlord.

And although anti-choice groups have received the bulk of the foundation’s grants, it has also taken on some other causes close to Michael Peroutka’s heart.

Most notably, the foundation has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to groups associated with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, one of the nation’s loudest proponents of Christian Reconstructionist ideology, who shot to fame in 2003 when he was ousted from his original position on the state supreme court for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from his courthouse.

In 2004, after the far-right Constitution Party failed to recruit Moore to run for president, Peroutka took his place as the party’s candidate. That same year, the Peroutka Foundation spent $120,000 bankrolling Moore’s nationwide speaking tour “regarding morality and the Ten Commandments” and gave $12,000 to the National Coalition to Restore the Constitution, a group that organized rallies backing Moore in an effort drum up support for a measure preventing federal courts from hearing many church-state separation cases .

In addition, the Peroutka Foundation has contributed a quarter of a million dollars to the Foundation for Moral Law, the group that Moore ran before returning to the Alabama Supreme Court, and which is now run by Moore’s wife. Under Moore’s leadership, the Foundation for Moral Law hosted a neo-Confederate “secession day” event, and the group employs John Eidsmoe, a Michelle Bachmann mentor who has white supremacist ties. One of Moore's activities at the group was representing protesters who had disrupted a Hindu opening prayer in the U.S. Senate. “It's a shame that not one U.S. Senator stood up to defend a tradition that goes back to the very first Continental Congress of acknowledging the one true God of the Holy Scriptures," he lamented.

In 2007 and 2008, the Peroutka Foundation contributed $60,000 to Moore’s now-defunct Coalition to Restore America. In the summer of 2007, Moore spoke at a conference in Maryland organized by Peroutka, where, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, “he and a string of far-right activists peddled ‘Christian nation’ rhetoric, bashed Islam, belittled American culture and the federal government and displayed an alarming affinity for the neo-Confederate states’ rights cause.” Also speaking at the conference were Eidsmoe and Gordon Klingenschmitt, the former Navy chaplain who now supplies the world with an endless supply of YouTube rants about gay “demonic spirits.” At the end of the day, everyone gathered under a Confederate flag to dedicate part of the Peroutkas’ land as “Judge Roy Moore Field.”

In 2011, the Institute on the Constitution presented Moore with an award for “choosing to obey God, and acknowledging Him both in word and in deed, regardless of the consequences” and resisting “a government which thought it was God.”

The next year, when Moore successfully ran to reclaim his seat on the state supreme court, Peroutka provided the bulk of his campaign chest.

The affinity between Moore and Peroutka extends to the issue of evolution. Moore contends that the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Constitution; Peroutka insists the “promotion of evolution is an act of disloyalty to America”:

While anti-choice groups and Moore have been the biggest recipients of the Peroutka Foundation’s generosity — at least until Ebenezer moved into the Creation Museum — the foundation has also offered smaller grants to a smattering of extremist ministries and Confederate history enthusiasts.

The Foundation has given $24,000 over six years to Pass the Salt, the ministry of unhinged anti-gay extremist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire (the one who complained last year that he was "sick and tired of being sodomized by the left"). In 2012, it gave a $6,000 grant to “You Can Run By You Cannot Hide,” the ministry of Bachmann acolyte Bradlee Dean, who travels to unsuspecting public schools to give disturbing anti-gay “seminars.”

Since 2006, the foundation has given an annual $1,000 grant to restoring a Confederate cemetery in Maryland, a project organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that has cozied up to the racist extremists in its ranks. In 2004, it donated $2,250 to a Confederate reenactment troop for "education of the public as to the causes of the War between the States."

The Peroutkas are also frequent donors to state and local campaigns. According to Center for Responsive Politics data, Michael, Stephen and Stephen’s wife Deborah  contributed $35,900 to their congressman, Rep. Andy Harris, between 2007 and 2011.

Not the least of the beneficiaries is Michael Peroutka himself, who has lent $30,000 to his own campaign for Anne Arundel County Council, about half of the $62,000 he has raised so far. His political ambitions may continue to run higher — it was rumored that he considered running for state attorney general this year before setting his sights on the county council.

Peroutka’s web of influence shows that he is more than, as one libertarian scholar put it, a "wackypants anti-gay crusader.” Peroutka's activism and  philanthropy illuminate the connections between the Creationist movement, the Christian-Nation philosophy of people like Judge Moore, anti-choice agitators, fringe anti-gay extremists like Daubenmire and Klingenschmitt, and the network of Confederate nostalgists that can never quite hide its racist roots. All are striving for a biblical and constitutional purism that exists only in the minds of those who adhere to it, and a return to an imagined past where dinosaurs stowed away on Noah’s ark, the Constitution mandated an exclusively Christian nation, and the Civil War didn't turn out quite right.

Research contributed by Ian Silverstone

Allen West Blames Liberals For Radio Show Caller Who Wanted KKK To Kill Obama

During an appearance last week on “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” former congressman Allen West responded to a caller who said “the Ku Klux Klan ought to hang” President Obama by blaming liberals, alleging that the caller was a left-wing “plant” trying to make conservatives look bad.

“This is what they do, they’re very smart like that,” West said, before once again demanding Obama’s impeachment over the Bergdahl exchange.

West also wondered if Obama is sane, telling Rios that the Bergdahl exchange “really questions his competence and his sanity.”

People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Ariana Kelly for Delegate in MD-16

Today People For the American Way Action Fund announced its endorsement of Ariana Kelly for delegate in Maryland’s 16th Legislative District.

Ariana Kelly currently serves Maryland’s 16th District in the House of Delegates. She is one of six primary candidates for the three delegate seats. First elected in 2010, Kelly is the former national campaign director for MomsRising.org. Prior to that she served as executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, and served on the board of directors of the Democratic Women’s PAC of Maryland. A lifelong Democrat and native of Bethesda, Kelly is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As delegate, she has been a strong advocate for women’s rights, education, and access to healthcare. She serves on the health and government operations committee, the insurance subcommittee, and the bi-county agency committee. Kelly was named Legislator of the Year by the Mental Health Association of Maryland, won the Young Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network, and is secretary for the Women Legislators of Maryland.

“Ariana Kelly is a committed champion for women, survivors of domestic violence, and children, who has established herself as a true leader,” said Randy Borntrager, PFAW Political Director. “She is a true progressive leader who will fight for a better future as delegate.”
               
Visit Ariana Kelly’s campaign website for more details.

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Pat Buchanan: 'Third World Invasion' Causing West To 'Disappear Forever'

In his column today, Pat Buchanan responds to a flawed and misleading Center for Immigration Studies report by spouting off on “the Third World invasion of the United States.”

“[P]eoples from failed states of the Third World are steadily filling up our countries and reducing our native-born into slowly shrinking national majorities,” he laments. “If this continues over many more decades, Western nations as we knew them will disappear forever, and be remade in the image of those who have newly arrived, and the countries whence they came.”

How goes the Third World invasion of the United States?

America and the West must face up to what is happening to our countries and our civilization. Or we are going to lose them both forever.

Treating with contempt U.S. and European laws, peoples from failed states of the Third World are steadily filling up our countries and reducing our native-born into slowly shrinking national majorities.

If this continues over many more decades, Western nations as we knew them will disappear forever, and be remade in the image of those who have newly arrived, and the countries whence they came.

When, ever, did Americans vote for this?

What would constitute a pro-American immigration policy?

A moratorium on all immigration until unemployment among U.S. citizens falls below five percent. A 15-foot security fence from San Diego to the Gulf, with Border Patrol outposts every 10 miles. Fines and community service for businessmen who hire illegal aliens.

People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Jordan Cooper for Delegate in MD-16

Today People For the American Way Action Fund announced its endorsement of Jordan Cooper for delegate in Maryland’s 16th Legislative District. He is one of six primary candidates for the three delegate seats.

Cooper was born and raised in Maryland and understands the needs of the community. He has served in various capacities to better Montgomery County after returning to North Bethesda with a master’s in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. Cooper is a true progressive candidate, supporting comprehensive immigration reform, campaign spending limits, the right for women to make their own health decisions, and full equality for all Americans. Cooper’s education and experience gives him unique insight into the need to lower health care costs and provide better access for working families, and his leadership will be crucial in the coming years.

“Jordan Cooper is forward-thinking and dedicated to Maryland,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “His commitment to equality and opportunity for all will make him an important part of the next generation of leaders.”

Visit Jordan Cooper’s campaign website for more details.

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Pat Robertson Thinks 'Obama Has Just Gone Crazy'

Today on the “700 Club,” Pat Robertson blamed President Obama for the increase in unaccompanied children, predominantly from Central American countries, who are crossing the southern border, arguing that it “obviously is being done by the highest levels of this government.”

“It’s like Obama has just gone crazy,” Robertson said. “Is this the way to get immigration reform? I don’t believe it.”

Vic Eliason Warns Marriage Equality 'Defiles' People And 'Turns Them Into Perverts'

Vic Eliason of the Wisconsin-based group Voice of Christian Youth America was not pleased with a federal judge’s decision last week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a point which he expounded on at length on yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk.”

“This same-sex marriage is a branch off of — it’s promiscuity, it’s passion out of control, it’s a violation of natural order, it’s a violation of literally — you cannot procreate — and they have literally defiled the very definitions of who people are and turned them into perverts,” he said.

Eliason’s guest, Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action, agreed with his assessment and claimed the judge effectively said she “knows better than God Almighty.”

Tony Perkins Attacks 'Supposed' Christians Who Support Reproductive Rights

In recent weeks, the Religious Right has caught wind of a “pastoral letter” from Planned Parenthood’s clergy advocacy group that has been posted on the organization’s website for several months and states, “The decision about abortion is a matter between a woman, her conscience, and/or her God, and that those close to her should offer support in any way they can.”

Upon learning about the letter, the Alliance Defending Freedom offered to send a copy of the Bible to every Planned Parenthood clinic, Robert Jeffress called the letter “ridiculous” and WorldNetDaily blasted “Planned Parenthood’s Pastoral Letter from Hell.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also weighed in in an email to members, writing, “Women are used to Planned Parenthood preying on them -- but praying on them? That's a new approach altogether.”

In a statement to Time yesterday, members of the Planned Parenthood clergy board responded to Perkins, saying, “Too often, the voices of negative religious discourse around abortion are those that loudly proclaim their teachings are the only ones that are valid. They try to shame and judge women who are making deeply personal and often complex decisions about their pregnancies.”

To which Perkins, of course, responded by implying that Christians who support reproductive rights are just “supposed” Christians, who “do not fully understand” the issue of abortion rights.

This line of argument is not a huge surprise coming from Perkins, who recently claimed that pro-gay clergy don’t have the same religious rights as conservatives because religious liberty is a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Three clergy board members—the Board’s chair, Reform Jewish Rabbi Jon Adland of Canton, Ohio; vice-chair Rev. Susan Russell, of All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, Calif.; and Reform Jewish Rabbi Dennis Ross of Concerned Clergy for Choice in Albany, N.Y.—responded to Perkins’ criticism against their work in a statement to TIME. “Too often, the voices of negative religious discourse around abortion are those that loudly proclaim their teachings are the only ones that are valid,” they say. “They try to shame and judge women who are making deeply personal and often complex decisions about their pregnancies.”

For these Christian and Jewish leaders, their efforts far from spiritualize abortion–they defend a woman’s religious liberty. “As clergy members, we work every day to make clear that everyone is entitled to follow their own conscience and religious beliefs; what they don’t have the right to do is impose those beliefs on everyone else,” they say.

As ministers, they also believe they also have a spiritual responsibility to care for and counsel families in their communities. “As faith leaders, we recognize that women need to be supported and receive compassionate care while making deeply personal decisions based on faith and conscience,” they say. “It is important that women know that there are people of faith who respect a woman’s ability to make these deeply personal decisions in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her faith.”

Perkins, however, suggests that Christianity and Planned Parenthood are incompatible. “A straightforward reading of the Bible shows that since the beginning God held human life to be sacred, and values human life, no matter the stage,” Perkins says. “I imagine that Christians, supposed or true, who support Planned Parenthood either do not fully understand what abortion is, what its physical and emotional consequences are or what Planned Parenthood as an organization actually stands for and advocates.”

Janet Porter Wants Republicans 'Nationwide' To Adopt Texas GOP's Ex-Gay Resolution

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action is so happy about the Republican Party of Texas’s decision to embrace ex-gay therapy as part of its new far-right platform that she wants similar language endorsing the pseudo-science “adopted nationwide”:

She might find allies in Tony Perkins and David Barton, members of the 2012 Republican National Committee platform committee who are both vocal supporters of ex-gay therapy.

Barton, a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, bragged in 2012 of getting 70 of his 71 resolutions approved by the RNC, and Perkins released a statement yesterday praising the Texas GOP’s ex-gay resolution.

In 2012, Perkins claimed that his Family Research Council joined forces with Eagle Forum to shape the national GOP platform. Eagle Forum is the same group that successfully added the ex-gay language to the Texas GOP platform.

Alex Jones Warns Civil War Is Coming After Las Vegas Shooting

Alex Jones has dedicated today’s edition of InfoWars to blaming the Las Vegas shooting on a government conspiracy and explaining how he would have planned his own false flag operation if he worked as a government agent.

Naturally, he predicted that all of the supposed smears against himself and the Tea Party will cause more right-wing conspiracy theorists to carry out violent attacks like the one in Las Vegas and eventually bring about a civil war that will leave millions dead.

Rick Santorum Seems To Think His Movie Was More Successful Than 'Noah'

Despite the fact that Rick Santorum’s movie, “The Christmas Candle,” made just $2.3 million, well short of its $7 million budget, he nonetheless claims that it was an “authentic” film that was much more successful than Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.”

“One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn’t true, wasn’t authentic,” the former senator and presidential candidate said of the movie that grossed well over $300 million.

The former senator told Christian Today that his company, EchoLight Studios, can help “reclaim the public square” and make the church “the centre of culture.”

"Popular culture has an impact on the government, on culture and the direction that policies take. As a moviegoer who appreciates good quality art and entertainment, it's always been an interest of mine to see that impact," he says.

He took up the opportunity to lead the team at EchoLight after being approached by a friend in the business who wanted to make movies "consistent with the guiding principles of our country - in particular, portraying faith in an authentic way to movie-going audiences".

"That had a really great appeal to me, to make movies based on universal truths and that deal with faith in a way that is more representative of how it actually affects people and their lives, as opposed to the contrivance born of other, Hollywood, films," Santorum says.



Santorum is certain that popular culture is the means to effect change. "I use this phrase all the time: that politics is downstream from culture," he insists.

"If we want to impact the political system and shape the country, then we have to reclaim the public square and make an impact in popular culture."

The focus of EchoLights, which will debut one of its first movies, Hoovey, next year, is to "turn the industry on its head" and use churches to premiere films, rather than leave them as an afterthought. Santorum explains: "We want the Church to be the centre of culture, which it has been missing...We're about enabling the Church to do what it was designed to do – to be salt and light.



"One of the reasons that Noah had such a great splash and then died like a rock, it sank, was that it wasn't true, wasn't authentic," he says.

Steve Stockman Suggests Obama Is A Secret Muslim And Terrorist Sympathizer

Speaking with NewsMax’s Steve Malzberg last week, Rep. Steve Stockman insisted that President Obama “has a grudge against the military and the American people” and a “propensity to fall again and again on the side of terrorists” in countries like Egypt, Syria and Libya.

“A lot of people say he’s not something, we can’t say it on the radio, but if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, I think it might be a duck,” he said, suggesting that Obama is a secret Muslim.

Lifting a joke from Sen. Rand Paul, the Texas Republican also suggested that the administration exchange National Security Advisor Susan Rice for a U.S. Marine held in a Mexican jail on weapons charges.

If He Did It: Alex Jones Explains How He Would Have Planned Las Vegas Shooting If He Was A Government Agent

InfoWars host Alex Jones is pretty sure that the Sunday Las Vegas shooting was a false flag operation meant to discredit conservative activists, and today he took a page from O.J. Simpson by spelling out how he would have orchestrated the massacre if he was a government agent.

Flashback: When The Religious Right And Republicans Quashed An Investigation Into Right-Wing Extremism

Reports that the married couple who shot and killed two police officers, a bystander and themselves in Las Vegas this week were motivated by right-wing extremism have highlighted one of the more troubling trends in even the “mainstream” Right — denial that violent right-wing extremism even exists.

As Brian mentioned earlier today, a conservative pundit’s claim on the same day as the shooting that far-right violence is a “complete and total bogeyman” echoes the objections the attacks that many right-wing groups lobbed at a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on domestic extremism. Right-wing groups and their allies in Congress created a fuss about the report, claiming that it was an attack on conservatives, Christians and veterans.

The American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the American Center for Law and Justice piled on. Republicans in Congress demanded an investigation into how the report had come to pass. Spotting a good fundraising opportunity, Liberty Counsel even printed out “Proud to be a Right-Wing Extremist” cards to distribute to its members.

Eventually, the pressure led DHS to retract the report and later to cut back the team that produced it. Two years later, speaking publicly for the first time, the analyst who wrote the report — who happened to be a conservative Republican Mormon —  said that the attacks on his unit’s work had undermined law enforcement’s ability to address the “growing and dangerous problem” of violent right-wing extremism.

What happened at DHS as a result of the criticism?
My team was dissolved. All training courses and briefings presentations were stopped. DHS leaders made it increasingly difficult to release another report on this topic.

Why would DHS leaders dissolve your team and stop these analytic activities?

The subject had become too politically charged. As a result, DHS leaders adopted a risk adverse approach toward this issue. Perhaps they thought it was a matter of organizational preservation.

Do you think the dissolution of your unit that you discuss has negatively affected State and local law enforcement?

Certainly. There is one less agency to assist state and local law enforcement with this growing and dangerous problem at a time of heightened activity.

Yet, as recently as last year, Religous Right groups were still using their bogus criticism of the report as a talking point against the Obama administration.

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