Ben Carson: Police Protests Help Al Qaeda, ISIS

Last Wednesday, likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson appeared on “The Andy Parks Show” to discuss a recent meeting he had with the leader of the New York Police Department Sergeants Benevolent Association.

Carson told Parks that NYPD officers have completely lost faith with New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio because of comments he made that some perceived as sympathetic to people protesting excessive force by police in the death of Eric Garner. Lamenting the recent debates over police tactics in New York and other cities in the U.S., Carson worried that violent groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda will capitalize on the discord.

After Parks said people should move on and focus on “real problems” like national security threats — “We’ve got ISIS, we’ve got Al Qaeda, we’ve got constant terrorist threats around the world” — Carson cheerfully agreed.

“Can you imagine how delighted they are when they see all of this strife, internal strife?” Carson said. “They’re saying, ‘Oh my this is going to make it easy for us. We’ll get in there, we’ll infiltrate, we’ll get things going and they won’t even notice what’s going on.”

J. Christian Adams Attacks Loretta Lynch For Acknowledging That Structural Racism Exists

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing today on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be U.S. attorney general, which Senate Republicans mostly used as an opportunity to attack current Attorney General Eric Holder and to try to extract promises from Lynch that she would break course from Holder on issues like immigration enforcement.

But it might be tough for Lynch to completely appease Holder’s critics on the Right, who have repeatedly attacked the attorney general for working to fight racially discriminatory voting laws and acknowledging racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

In fact, J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official who has become one of Holder’s most prominent critics on the Right, attacked Lynch today for her statements implying that structural racism exists in areas like voting rights and law enforcement.

“I think that Lynch buys into this same grievance industry about structural racism in the United States, about how minorities cannot get a fair shake ever, that the system is stacked against them, that it’s a collectivist, anti-individual approach to things,” Adams warned the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios.

“I think that Lynch is going to sound a lot like an Eric Holder mini-me when it comes to election issues and voter ID,” he said.

Earlier in the interview, Adams discussed an article he co-wrote with the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky yesterday urging Republicans, as he told Rios, to use the Lynch hearings to “extract course corrections out of the Justice Department.”

In particular, Adams wants the Justice Department to stop hiring attorneys who have previously provided legal representation to terror suspects. (Similar attacks on DOJ attorneys by Liz Chaney in 2010 were condemned by a group of Bush administration officials as “shameful” and “unjust.”)

“We’ve had an attorney general who has turned toward lawyers who have worked for Al Qaeda terrorists, who were their attorneys, to then work at the Justice Department,” Adams said.

“That’s how crazy it’s gotten in the last six years, where it seems that one of the top qualifications to become a lawyer working for the Justice Department is that you used to work at Al Qaeda, or for Al Qaeda detainees.”

Adams demanded that Republicans “get a commitment out of [Lynch] to stop catering to this far-left-wing legal world that hates U.S. foreign policy, that hates detainee policy, that hates Gitmo, that that hates our war on terror.”

Sandy Rios Thinks The Government Is Blackmailing Sen. Menendez With Discredited Prostitution Story

On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios raised the prospect that someone in high places may be blackmailing Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who recently agreed to delay a vote on an Iran sanctions bill he is cosponsoring as nuclear negotiations continue.

Rios speculated that Menendez has been “silenced” by someone with information about his alleged use of prostitutes. The prostitution story, which originated with The Daily Caller, was discredited after it was revealed that people were paid off to make the false claims about Menendez, possibly at the behest of the Cuban government.

But Rios seems to have missed the fact that the prostitution story was completely bogus, speculating that Menendez is now being blackmailed into delaying the vote on new Iranian sanctions.

“He has a terrible personal — there are terrible personal reports about his life, with prostitutes and young girls,” Rios said. “Remember he just barely made it through the last scandal so when people are not careful about their personal conduct, then they can be silenced over threats. Now I’m not saying — I don’t know that this is happening, but why in the world, suddenly he saw it very clearly just a few days ago, now not so clearly.”

Democracy For All Amendment to #GetMoneyOut Becomes Bipartisan Bill

On Monday the push for the Democracy For All Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would overturn decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and allow legislators to put reasonable limits on money in elections, became a bipartisan effort in Congress when Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) signed on as a cosponsor of the legislation.

While this is a historic step that deserves celebration, in many ways it is long overdue. Washington is the only place where the fight to get big money out of politics is a partisan issue, and it hasn’t always been that way.

Similar amendments proposed in the past have found bipartisan support in Congress, including from Rep. Jones. Republican elected officials across the country have been advocating at the local and state level to get big money out of politics. In fact, a recent report from Free Speech For People highlights the more than 100 Republican officials nationwide who favor an amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United.

Among voters, it’s also a bipartisan movement, with Americans of all political stripes speaking out against a democracy unduly influenced by corporations and billionaires. A 2014 poll found that in Senate battleground states, almost three in four voters favor a constitutional amendment to undo the harm of decisions like Citizens United, including majorities in “even the reddest states.” This support did not waver among Republican voters polled: amendment supporters outnumbered opponents by a 26 percent margin.

Still, Rep. Jones’ decision to become a cosponsor of the Democracy For All Amendment is an important step forward. Money in politics is an issue that affects all of us, and one that Americans of all political backgrounds feel strongly about. It’s only fitting that our federal elected officials in both parties listen to the voices of their constituents and join the movement to take our democratic process back from the grips of wealthy special interests.


The Family Leader Is Distributing David Barton's 'Christian Nation' Bible To Every Iowa State Legislator

Iowa Religious Right group The Family Leader, a key player in the GOP’s first-in-the-nation caucus, has a new plan to encourage legislators in Iowa to “do what God has asked them to do.”

The group is soliciting funds to purchase $100 leather-bound copies of “The Founders Bible" — which is annotated by hack historian David Barton with his thoughts on “our Judeo-Christian history as a nation" for each member of the Iowa state legislature. 

In “The Founders Bible,” legislators will find such educational passages as a retelling of Exodus that portrays Moses as the inventor of republican government; a made-up story about the early American government printing Bibles; an endorsement of the “Christian nation” concept from a notorious defender of slavery; information on the “many areas in which the Constitution specifically incorporated Biblical principles”; and an argument for the biblical origin of DNA evidence. All of this is intended to advance Barton’s view that the U.S. government exists to carry out his interpretation of the Bible’s commands.

In its fundraising appeal, The Family Leader asks churches to sponsor copies of Barton’s Bible to give to legislators in their own districts at the group’s “Life, Marriage and Family Rally” next week. While they’re at the state capitol, the group is asking pastors to meet with legislators in order to engage “in this war with Satan, who has taken many captive in Des Moines” through such means as “working to divide Christian organizations, back room deals, or organizations like Planned Parenthood pushing wicked policies”:

Our goal has been to encourage pastors to team up with The FAMiLY LEADER in accomplishing our two main goals at TFL:

1. Fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the Gospel in the civic arena. We do this by building relationships and showing the love of Christ to not only elected officials, but also staff, lobbyists, campaign workers, and many others who engage in the civic arena with the purpose of pointing them to Christ.

2. Pass righteous legislation that will help our brothers and sisters in the church, as well as current believers. Government is one of God’s three institutions, and when it fulfills its purpose, (which is to punish evil and reward good, Romans 13:1-4), it displays God’s perfect design. Our goal is to help our elected officials do what God has asked them to do.

One of the ways we accomplish these goals is by our work at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. The FAMiLY LEADER has four lobbyists who work at the capitol during the legislative session. The lobbyists are there to serve as missionaries. I am blessed to be one of them.

When pastors come to the Capitol, the first thing they do is meet with The FAMiLY LEADER team in the morning. We bring them up to date on what different legislation is being worked on, who is spiritually soft, who their ministers are, and who is in need of prayer. By meeting with us, we are able to bring pastors up to date as if they were there every day. Following the meeting, pastors then go upstairs to the House and Senate chambers and work with them to help them contact their different legislators.

What happens next is just amazing! We usually see dozens of pastors out in the Capitol rotunda praying, encouraging, building relationships, and sharing God’s Word with legislators and many others. The environment at the Capitol completely changes when these pastors are present. There is less cursing, less back-stabbing, and the place even seems brighter! There is so much spiritual warfare in that building. Whether it is Satan working to divide Christian organizations, back room deals, or organizations like Planned Parenthood pushing wicked policies, these pastors are engaging in this war with Satan, who has taken many captive in Des Moines.

Specific projects:

Legislator Bibles – We want to bring the Gospel to the Iowa Legislature. The goal is to get 150 Founders’ Bibles in the hands of Iowa’s 150 legislators.

But we need your help to accomplish this goal. We are working with churches in each legislators’ district to see if they will sponsor a Bible for their legislator. The cost for the Bible is $100.
When churches participate in the Iowa Capitol Project, they accomplish 3 big things:

1. Get a Bible in the hands of Iowa’s lawmakers.
2. Connect a legislator with a local church (which we believe is most important).
3. Have that local church faithfully praying for their legislator. (Imagine each legislator having a congregation faithfully praying for them. Wow! God could really use that!)

The Bible itself is a Founders’ Bible, which is a NASB Study Bible that focuses on our Judeo-Christian history as a nation. The Study Bible’s devotions are written by Dr. David Barton. The Bible will be leather bound with gold trim on the pages, and it will be embossed with Seal of Iowa and the legislator’s name. It will be something nice they will keep and hopefully read on a regular basis because of the compelling content pertaining to their job at the Capitol.

In order to initiate personal relationships between churches and legislators, we want a pastor and/or church members from the legislators’ own district to personally present the Bibles on February 3rd at our annual Life, Marriage, and Family Rally.

Right-Wing Activist Exposes The Obama-Ferguson-Islamist-Homosexual Plot To Destroy America

Bill Federer, a conservative “historian” who has shared a stage with the likes of Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, appeared on the conspiracy theory radio show “Trunews” this week to share his predictions about the future of America. Federer is notorious for wildly speculating about President Obama trying to fake an attempted assassination in order to win re-election, Hillary Clinton advancing worldwide Sharia law and U.S. military service members slaughtering millions of Christians, and “Trunews” host Rick Wiles was more than happy to hear out his theories.

Federer told Wiles that the “atheist homosexual gay agenda movement” will move America “into an Islamic future” complete with mythical Sharia law “no-go zones.” Wiles agreed, claiming that “the Muslims are the avengers, they are being sent in like hornets to sting us. They are the avengers that are coming in like a billion hornets coming in and just stinging and vexing the people.”

Federer also described an even more elaborate conspiracy theory.

According to Federer, the Arab Spring was all a coordinated plot by Islamic extremists to send the Mideast into turmoil in order to “set up a caliphate,” leading to an exodus of Muslim refugees who will come to America.

These refugees, along with Muslims smuggled into the U.S. through Muslim-run drug gangs, will then set up Islamic “sleeper cells” within the U.S. that will rise up once they “get a signal to have Ferguson riots in malls across America.” Once they start rioting, the government will then move to set up a “militarized dictatorship” under Obama’s complete control.

Wiles said that everything Federer told him is exactly what “the Lord showed me” years earlier in dreams and visions, proving that everything Federer said is true and will probably come about by the end of this year.

“We’re going to see unspeakable violence in this country. The Muslims are going to blow up schools, they’re going to blow up malls,” Wiles said. “It’s going to be done under the cover of a jihadist in the White House, a Marxist Muslim jihadist in the White House, planted there many years ago for this very day to bring down the nation. Mr. Obama’s election was no accident, it was the culmination of a carefully planned, funded and executed strategy to bring down this country.”

Federer and Wiles cited the work of Avi Lipkin, who predicted that Obama will “bring in 50-100 million Muslims” fleeing the Mideast to the U.S. and house them in National Parks and property seized under Agenda 21. Lipkin claims that Obama, whom he thinks is under the control of the Illuminati and Free Masons, also wants to turn women into “baby factories for Islam.”

“His warning has turned out to be true,” Wiles said.

“Again, I’m speculating,” Federer added, conveniently making sure that he doesn’t actually have to be held accountable for any of his claims.

The Personhood Movement: Regrouping After Defeat: Part 4

This is the fourth post in a RWW series on the reemergence of the fetal personhood movement and what it means for the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

Part 1: The Personhood Movement: Where It Comes From And What It Means For The Future Of Choice
Part 2: The Personhood Movement: Internal Battles Go Public
Part 3: The Personhood Movement: Undermining Roe In The Courts

Last week, the Republican Party was forced into yet another uncomfortable public conversation about abortion and rape.

The House GOP, enjoying a strengthened majority after the 2014 elections, announced that on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it would hold a vote on a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a top priority of groups like National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and Americans United for Life (AUL), which see it as a legislative key to toppling Roe v. Wade.

The night before the House was set to vote on the bill, GOP leaders pulled it from the floor, citing concerns by Republican women that a clause exempting rape survivors from the ban would require survivors to first report their assault to the police — a stipulation that they argued would prevent women from reporting rapes and would be politically unpopular.

Some anti-choice groups, however, had already stated that they would not support the bill — because they believed that the rape exception violated the principles of the anti-choice movement by exempting some women from abortion prohibitions.

In fact, less than two years earlier, the addition of the rape exemption to the bill had caused an acrimonious public split in the anti-choice movement, leading to the formation of the newest group advocating for a “personhood” strategy to end legal abortion.

The 2013 bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, included only an exception for abortions that would save the life of pregnant women. But in a committee hearing on the bill, Franks caused an uproar when he defended his bill by claiming that rape rarely results in pregnancy anyway. House Republicans, facing another outrageous comment about rape from one of their own, quickly added a rape exception to the bill, put a female cosponsor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, in charge of the floor debate, and pushed it through the House.

The day before the vote, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) sent members of Congress a letter calling the Franks bill, which was based on its own model legislation, “the most important single piece of pro-life legislation to come before the House since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was enacted, a full decade ago.”

The group told members of Congress that it would go after them if they voted against the bill, even if they opposed it because they thought the legislation did not go far enough to ban abortion: “NRLC will regard a vote against this legislation, no matter what justification is offered, as a vote to allow unlimited abortion in the sixth month or later — and that is the way it will be reported in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 113th Congress, and in subsequent communications from National Right to Life to grassroots pro-life citizens in every state.”

Major anti-choice groups including the Susan B. Anthony List and Americans United for Life also applauded the vote.

But Daniel Becker, head of National Right to Life’s Georgia affiliate, was not pleased. In the days after Republicans added a rape exception to the bill, Becker worked the phones, urging House Republicans from his state to oppose the “shameful” watered-down legislation. His efforts convinced two Georgia Republicans, Rep. Paul Broun and Rep. Rob Woodall, to buck their party and the major anti-choice groups and vote against the bill. Georgia Right to Life then endorsed Broun in his unsuccessful campaign to win the GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat.

NRLC was livid and, true to its word, sent out a press release the next day singling out Broun and Woodall for their no votes.

Also furious was a prominent NRLC ally in Georgia, conservative pundit Erick Erickson. The day that the House approved the 20-week ban, Erickson wrote a scathing blog post calling Becker’s group “the Westboro Baptist Church of the pro-life movement.”

“Instead of saving souls, they’d rather stone those who are trying to save souls,” Erickson wrote. He called for the formation of a new anti-abortion group in Georgia to replace Becker’s as NRLC's state affiliate.

Several months later, in time for an upcoming meeting of NRLC’s board, Erickson founded his own group, Georgia Life Alliance. He then asked the national group to disaffiliate itself from Georgia Right to Life and take his group on as its official state chapter. NRLC's board happily complied, saying that Becker’s group had “ruptured its relationship” with them with its defiance on the Franks bill.

It didn’t take long for Becker to strike back. Fewer than three months later, Georgia Right to Life announced that it was forming the National Personhood Alliance, a new national organization of anti-abortion rights groups committed to a “no exceptions” strategy. In a press release announcing the group’s formation, he laid out the alliance’s philosophy, including a thinly veiled attack on NRLC. “Compromise is not possible,” he wrote. “This is not like roads or highways or agricultural subsidies; when we compromise — someone dies.”

The group later renamed itself the "Personhood Alliance."

In a policy paper in June, Jay Rogers of Personhood Florida laid out the new alliance’s strategy. It would not oppose incremental measures like the 20-week ban, but it would oppose any measure that “identifies a class of human beings that we may kill with impunity.” That is, it would only support efforts to restrict abortion rights that contain no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the pregnant woman.

Becker announced that the group’s interim president would be another anti-choice activist who had broken ranks with National Right to Life over strategy — in this case, over LGBT rights. Molly Smith, the president of Cleveland Right to Life, had earned a rebuke from NRLC when she said her group would oppose the reelection of Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman after he came out in favor of marriage equality, citing his openly gay son. NRLC blasted Smith for opposing the staunchly anti-choice senator and taking on “an advocacy agenda that includes issues beyond the right to life.”

The new Personhood Alliance won early endorsements from prominent Religious Right activist Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, popular conservative talk show host Steve Deace, and the Irish anti-abortion organization Life Institute.

But it also displayed ties to more fringe activists, boasting of an endorsement from infamous abortion clinic agitator Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America, who blames the September 11 attacks on legal abortion. Jay Rogers, who wrote Personhood Alliance’s manifesto, is a longtime ally of Operation Save America who once assisted the group by administering a website showing the locations of Florida abortion providers’ private homes.

Another founding member of Personhood Alliance was Les Riley, who spearheaded Mississippi’s failed personhood amendment in 2011. Riley is a one-time blogger for a group that advocates Christian secession from the U.S. and a current officer with the theocratic Mississippi Constitution Party. Georgia’s Constitution Party also sponsored a booth at the Personhood Alliance’s convention.

Becker himself has a history on the more radical, confrontational fringes of the anti-abortion movement. In 1992, while running for a House seat in Georgia, Becker gained national attention when he helped pioneer the strategy of using an election-law loophole to run graphic anti-abortion ads on primetime television.

Personhood Alliance hasn't only set itself up against the rest of the anti-choice movement; it's directly competing with the group that brought personhood back in to the national political conversation.

In 2007, 19-year-old Colorado activist Kristi Burton teamed up with attorney Mark Meuser to push for a ballot measure defining “person” in Colorado law as beginning “from the moment of fertilization.” Keith Mason, another young activist who as an anti-choice missionary for Operation Rescue had driven a truck covered with pictures of aborted fetuses, joined the effort. Soon after the Colorado ballot initiative failed in 2008, he joined with Cal Zastrow, another veteran of the radical anti-choice “rescue movement” to found Personhood USA.

Personhood USA has raised the profile of the personhood movement by backing state-level ballot initiatives and legislation modeled on Kristi Burton’s. None of the group's measures has become law, but the political battles they cause have drawn national attention to the personhood movement’s goals.

In 2010, Mason’s group led the effort to again place a personhood measure on the Colorado ballot, eventually garnering just 29 percent of the vote (a slight uptick from 27 percent in 2008).

Following that loss, the group announced a “50 state strategy” to launch a personhood ballot petition in every state. The group focused its organizing on Mississippi, where an amendment made it onto the 2011 ballot but was rejected by 55 percent of voters after a strong pro-choice campaign centered on exposing the risk the amendment posed to legal birth control. In 2012, the group tried again in Colorado, but failed to gather enough signatures to get a personhood amendment on the ballot. The same year, a personhood bill in Virginia was passed by the state House but defeated in the Senate. In 2014, it got measures on the ballot in Colorado and North Dakota, both of which failed by wide margins.

As it expanded its mission, Personhood USA’s fundraising boomed. According to tax returns, in 2009 the group brought in just $52,000. In 2010, it raised $264,000. In 2011, when it was fighting in Mississippi, it brought in $1.5 million. But after the Mississippi defeat, the group’s fundraising faltered, falling to $1.1 million in 2012. The funding of the group’s nonpolitical arm, Personhood Education, however, continues to expand, going from $94,000 in 2010 to $373,000 in 2011 and $438,000 in 2012. In the process, it built a database of a reported 7 million supporters.

Despite its electoral setbacks, the group continues to have national ambitions: in 2012 it hosted a presidential candidates’ forum in Iowa attended by four Republican candidates. In what can be seen as another sign of the group’s success in raising the profile of the issue, in 2012 the Republican Party added to its platform support for a federal constitutional amendment banning abortion and endorsing “legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

Personhood USA has also quietly become involved in international efforts to restrict abortion rights. In its 2012 tax return, the group’s political arm reported a $400,000 grant to an unnamed recipient in Europe, representing more than one third of its total spending for the year. When Buzzfeed’s Lester Feder asked Mason who and what the grant went toward, Mason declined to comment. In 2014, Personhood USA’s Josh Craddock was granted consultative status at the United Nations, where he participated in the December, 2014, “Transatlantic Summit” of anti-choice, anti-LGBT advocates from around the world. The same year, Mason was scheduled to participate in an international social conservative forum at the Kremlin in Moscow. In January 2015, a Personhood USA representative reported having delivered a presentation at the U.K. parliament.

Personhood USA initially supported the Personhood Alliance and backed Becker — a former Personhood USA employee — in his battle against NRLC. But in September 2014, Personhood USA announced that it was cutting ties with Becker, accusing him of “trying to replace Personhood USA by using our structures and intellectual property” including the word “personhood.”

But it isn't just the right to the word "personhood" that divides the two groups; they also differ sharply and publicly on strategy.

When Becker launched his group, he took with him Gualberto Garcia Jones, a top Personhood USA official and key thinker in the personhood movement, who says he drafted the failed Colorado personhood initiatives in 2010 and 2014. A few weeks later, after statewide personhood ballot initiatives promoted by Personhood USA in North Dakota and Colorado went down in flames, Garcia Jones wrote an op-ed for LifeSiteNews explaining that while he had hoped to see those measures succeed, he believed that “the statewide personhood ballot measure is dead for now.” This was a direct repudiation of the strategy of Personhood USA’s strategy of introducing these measures or legislative alternatives in all 50 states.

Garcia Jones wrote that the struggling movement needed to engage in “asymmetrical tactics” by pushing through municipal personhood measures in rural areas where the movement can “control the battlefield”:

These initial years of the personhood movement have taught us a lot. I believe that we now know how to fight to win against Planned Parenthood. And the key is being able to control the battleground.

When you look at electoral maps of the country, it is readily evident that majorities in almost every metropolitan area of the country are opposed to our worldview. These metropolitan areas are also the major media centers and accumulate large percentages of the voting population in every state.

Right now, fighting the abortion industry at the state level is akin to having lined up a battalion of colonists against the well-trained and well armed redcoats. We need to start engaging in more asymmetrical tactics, and this means engaging the enemy in municipalities and counties that we know we control.

This can be done at the legislative and political level, as Georgia Right to Life and other groups have done by the endorsement of state officials, or it can be done by engaging in municipal ballot measures.

Jones noted that such municipal ordinances could affect the “many [local] powers that touch upon the personhood of the preborn, from local health and building codes to local law enforcement such as child abuse prevention.” And he hopes that, in the long run, municipal-level victories could lead to greater things. Becker has told blogger Jill Stanek that he hopes municipal measures will provoke legal battles that will accellerate a reconsideration of abortion rights in the courts.

Personhood USA, meanwhile, took credit for the municipal resolutions strategy and said it supported it, but noted that its state-level activism had been successful in mobilizing the grassroots and as an "educational tool that simultaneously provides a pro-life standard for lobbying and candidate endorsements."

Will the personhood movement’s strategy work?

Polling shows that the level of support for abortion rights in the U.S. depends on how you ask the question. And Gallup has found that Americans are pretty much evenly split between those who call themselves “pro-life” and those who choose the label “pro-choice.” But behind the labels is an entirely different picture. A large majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under all or some circumstances; only 21 percent want the procedure to be completely banned. Similarly, Pew found in 2013 that only three-in-ten respondents favored overturning Roe v. Wade.

These numbers don’t bode well for the personhood movement. Voters in states as conservative as Mississippi and North Dakota have been turned off by personhood’s clear goal of banning abortion in all circumstances as well as the threat it poses to contraception and fertility treatments.

At the same time, the more successful anti-choice groups have managed to work within current public opinion to push through scores of state-level measures restricting access to abortion in an effort to slowly undermine Roe. These measures, many based on model legislation from Americans United for Life, restrict abortion access by such means as imposing waiting periods for women seeking care, requiring hospital “admitting privileges” for abortion providers and then banning public hospitals from providing such agreements; or even regulating the width of the hallways in clinics.

The Guttmacher Institute has calculated that between 2011 and 2014, states enacted 231 abortion restrictions, meaning that half of all reproductive-age U.S. women now live in a state that the Institute categorizes as “hostile” or “extremely hostile” to abortion rights — all without passing outright bans on abortion or establishing fetal “personhood.” The anti-choice group Operation Rescue, which keeps detailed records on abortion providers in its effort to shut them down, reports that the number of surgical abortion clinics in the country has dropped by 75 percent since 1991, with 47 such clinics closing permanently in 2014. This can be partly attributed to the increased frequency of medication abortion, a practice that anti-choice groups are targeting with new restrictions. In 2005, even before the closures of the last few years, 87 percent of U.S. counties had no abortion provider.

Even as voters reject moves to ban abortion outright, anti-choice groups have found less resistance to this strategy of chipping away at abortion rights with the same goal. This contrast played out in the 2014 election, when voters in Colorado and North Dakota rejected personhood measures when they were clearly told could end legal abortion, while voters in Tennessee approved a measure giving the state government sweeping new powers to curtail abortion rights without outright ending abortion rights.

In fact, by loudly proclaiming its end goal, the personhood movement may be inadvertently helping the incrementalists who are using a different strategy to achieve the same ends. By proudly embracing the no-compromise extremes of the anti-choice agenda, the personhood movement has allowed the incrementalists to portray themselves as the political center, giving them cover for a successful campaign to undermine the right to choose. In 2014, Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told Time, “Most people want to see abortion restricted in some way, even if they don’t call themselves pro-life … We’re the ones occupying the middle ground.” She might not be able to make that statement if the personhood movement was not loudly and proudly occupying the absolutist, no-compromise stance that her group believes to be too politically risky.

Even as the personhood movement provides political cover to groups like AUL, it also serves as an ever-present reminder of the goals of the anti-choice movement as a whole. While the more visible anti-choice groups may find a total, immediate ban on legal abortion politically unfeasible, the personhood movement is a constant reminder that this is what they want to achieve — one way or another.

Alex Jones: 'Rand Paul Is Awesome,' Just 'Playing Politics' To Moderate His Image

It’s no secret that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is a huge fan of Sen. Rand Paul, and he is positively giddy about the prospect of the Kentucky Republican running for president.

On Monday, the “InfoWars” host urged his followers not to back a third-party candidate but to “take over one of the two big parties” and rally around people like Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who are disliked by the “power structure.”

Jones told his viewers that Paul is the real deal, and if he appears to have moderated his views or distanced himself from his father’s extreme positions over the last few years, it is only because he is “playing politics” with the elitists in the media and government who are intent on destroying him.

I’ve known Rand Paul since 1995. He’s been at Austin [home of InfoWars], we’ve interviewed him. I am one of the first people to ever get him on air, probably the first. I know Rand Paul and I know he’s for real. That’s why even though he has played politics with them and come out and said some things that they want to hear, the Atlantic Monthly and others are saying 'don’t believe him, he’s nuts like his father,' because yeah, he is a constitutionalist patriot like his father and they know that. He’s playing politics with them, like Clinton played politics in saying he didn’t want your guns or Obama did. Well, he’s doing that on the opposite end, and they know it and they don’t like it and they’re coming after him. Rand Paul is awesome.

Brian Brown's CitizenGo Promoting Anti-LGBT Referendum In Slovakia

Next week, Slovakia will hold a referendum against same-sex marriage, and anti-LGBT groups from around the globe are getting into the game to support it.

Although Slovakia has already banned same-sex marriage in its constitution, the referendum would reinforce and expand the prohibition, asking voters, according to the Associated Press, “whether they agree that a marriage can be called only a union between a man and a woman, same-sex partners can't adopt children, and that children wouldn't have to attend school classes on sex education if their parents don't agree with them.”

Last year, a European representative of the U.S. group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief in the country’s constitutional court in favor of holding the referendum. ADF also supported a provision in that would have banned domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples, but the court rejected including that provision in the referendum.

Yesterday, CitizenGo, a Madrid-based group whose board of directors includes National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, circulated a petition to its American email subscribers supporting Slovakia’s marriage referendum. The email sent to American supporters was signed by Josh Craddock, the head of Personhood USA’s international and United Nations work, on behalf of CitizenGo.

The petition, which has already gathered more than 45,000 signatures, encourages Slovak citizens to vote “yes” on the referendum in the face of what it calls “an aggressive foreign media campaign” against it:

The Slovak referendum is under attack from an aggressive foreign media campaign against the initiative. We cannot leave Slovak citizens alone in the face of these international pressures against marriage and the family.

By signing this petition, you will show your solidarity and support for marriage and family. Your signature will encourage Slovakia to vote in favor of these important values.

The November issue of the newsletter of the World Congress of Families, an Illinois-based group that connects international anti-LGBT and anti-choice activists, featured a plea from Anton Chromik, a leader the group spearheading the referendum effort in Slovakia, for support from international groups.

The Cato Institute’s Dalibor Rohac wrote in the Times last month that Chromik is warning that LGBT people don’t want “rights,” but to “shut the mouths of other people,” which he says could lead to “dictatorships” or “mass murders”:

Anton Chromik, one of the leaders of the Alliance for Family, claims that “homosexuals are not asking just for ‘rights,’ but want to shut the mouths of other people. They will be making decisions over other people’s lives, careers, and that has always in history resulted in dictatorships and sometimes even in mass murders.”

This rhetoric is reminiscent of the warnings peddled American anti-LGBT activists; as Political Research Associates has noted, the frame of LGBT people as the real oppressors is one that U.S. groups have been increasingly pushing in their work overseas.

Rohac also noted that the anti-LGBT referendum is tied up with Slovakia’s economic troubles and with its relationship with Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of anti-LGBT sentiment to strengthen support for Russia in Eastern European and Central Asia:

For the government of Prime Minister Fico, the controversy is a welcome — though temporary — distraction from some very real problems facing Slovakia. While its transition from Communism was a success, the country is still plagued by rampant corruption, chronic unemployment — exceeding 30 percent in some regions — and by the intergenerational poverty of the sizeable Roma population.

The country has also seen a geopolitical shift following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Mr. Fico becoming one of the Kremlin’s leading apologists. Unsurprisingly, Slovakia’s anti-gay activists have a soft spot for Vladimir Putin, too. Former Prime Minister Jan Carnogursky, a former Catholic dissident and an outspoken supporter of the referendum, noted recently that “in Russia, one would not even have to campaign for this — over there, the protection of traditional Christian values is an integral part of government policy” and warned against the “gender ideology” exported from the United States.

Roy Moore, 2002: Homosexuality Is An Evil, Abhorrent And Destructive 'Criminal Lifestyle'

As we’ve reported, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is calling on his state to flout a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, has a long history of virulent anti-gay activism.

His hostility to gay people has also played a role in his time on the bench.

As AL.com columnist Kyle Whitmore noted yesterday, back in 2002, the Alabama Supreme Court heard a case regarding a custody dispute in which a woman who had previously allowed her ex-husband to have primary custody of their three children sued to modify the custody agreement because of reports that the children’s father had been committing verbal and physical violence against them. The woman, who had since entered a same-sex relationship, lost in the trial court phase but won on appeal, with the appeals court finding that the children’s father did in fact abuse them.

However, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the appeal court’s decision, finding that the trial court judge “was in a better position to evaluate” the evidence of abuse.

Moore filed a concurring opinion making it clear that he saw the mother’s same-sex relationship as the main reason that she should not have custody over her children.

He cited biblical law, including the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, to make his case that “a sexual relationship between two persons of the same gender-creates a strong presumption of unfitness that alone is sufficient justification for denying that parent custody of his or her own children or prohibiting the adoption of the children of others” since “homosexual conduct by a parent is inherently detrimental to children.”

Homosexuality, Moore wrote, is a “criminal lifestyle” that is “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated.”

“[E]xposing a child to such behavior has a destructive and seriously detrimental effect on the children. It is an inherent evil against which children must be protected,” he said.

“The effect of such a lifestyle upon children must not be ignored, and the lifestyle should never be tolerated,” he wrote. “The common law designates homosexuality as an inherent evil, and if a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent.”

I concur in the opinion of the majority that D.H., the mother of the minor children in this case, did not establish a change of circumstances sufficient to transfer custody to her from H.H., the father of the minor children.   I write specially to state that the homosexual conduct of a parent-conduct involving a sexual relationship between two persons of the same gender-creates a strong presumption of unfitness that alone is sufficient justification for denying that parent custody of his or her own children or prohibiting the adoption of the children of others.

In this case there is undisputed evidence that the mother of the minor children not only dated another woman, but lived with that woman, shared a bed with her, and had an intimate physical and sexual relationship with her.   D.H. has, in fact, entered into a “domestic partnership” with her female companion under the laws of the State of California.   But Alabama expressly does not recognize same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships. § 30-1-19, Ala.Code 1975.   Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated.   Such conduct violates both the criminal and civil laws of this State and is destructive to a basic building block of society-the family.   The law of Alabama is not only clear in its condemning such conduct, but the courts of this State have consistently held that exposing a child to such behavior has a destructive and seriously detrimental effect on the children.   It is an inherent evil against which children must be protected.

For the Court of Civil Appeals to incorporate into its opinion the evidence presented by the mother, while largely ignoring the father's testimony, witnesses, and characterization of the evidence is improper.   It is not an appellate court's duty to overturn a trial court's judgment absent an abuse of discretion by the judge, who observed the witnesses and heard the evidence presented to him.   Nor is it an appellate court's duty to redefine the morals of the State of Alabama.   This Court is correct in upholding the trial court's ore tenus finding and Alabama precedent, which holds that homosexual conduct by a parent is inherently detrimental to children.   Here, the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and the Court of Civil Appeals is clearly in error.

Finally, as if to remove any doubt that homosexuality is disfavored, the court marshaled further legal precedent:

“If we need to say more, if the record of constant quadrimillennial revulsion of moralistic civilizations from the vice that evoked the total and everlasting destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has been blurred by the mutations of a few years of a single century, we underscore what was said in Horn v. State, 49 Ala.App. 489, 273 So.2d 249 (1973):

Thus, the policy of the law in Alabama-from its civil law to its Criminal Code to the educational programs provided to its public-school students-consistently condemns homosexual activity and the homosexual lifestyle.   The effect of such a lifestyle upon children must not be ignored, and the lifestyle should never be tolerated.

Homosexuality is strongly condemned in the common law because it violates both natural and revealed law.   The author of Genesis writes:  “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them․ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife;  and they shall become one flesh.”   Genesis 1:27, 2:24 (King James).   The law of the Old Testament enforced this distinction between the genders by stating that “[i]f a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.”   Leviticus 20:13 (King James).


The State may not interfere with the internal governing, structure, and maintenance of the family, but the protection of the family is a responsibility of the State.   Custody disputes involve decision-making by the State, within the limits of its sphere of authority, in a way that preserves the fundamental family structure.   The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution.   It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.

The family unit does consist, and always has consisted, of a “father, mother and their children, [and] immediate kindred, constituting [the] fundamental social unit in civilized society.”   Black's Law Dictionary 604 (6th ed.1990).   To reward a parent, who steps outside that unit by committing a “crime against nature” with custody of a child would represent a reprehensible affront to the laws of family government that the State must preserve.   The best interests of children is not promoted by such a subversion of fundamental law, the very foundation of the family and of society itself.   The State may not-must not-encourage the destruction of the family.

No matter how much society appears to change, the law on this subject has remained steadfast from the earliest history of the law, and that law is and must be our law today.   The common law designates homosexuality as an inherent evil, and if a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent.

'Response' Endorser: Antichrist Spirits At Right Wing Watch 'Verbally Crucified' Bobby Jindal

One of the Religious Right activists featured as an endorser on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally website, Jennifer LeClaire of Charisma News, is furious with the criticism directed at Jindal for hosting the event.

LeClaire writes today that she is baffled by the “backlash” against the rally, insisting that criticism of Jindal is proof that the “antichrist spirits are rising” in this generation.

LeClaire is especially angry with Right Wing Watch for having “verbally crucified the governor” and violated his religious freedom by writing about his event.

I was at The Response: Baton Rouge this weekend, where thousands of believers from all walks of life and many denominations gathered together to cry out to God on behalf of a nation in crisis.

Crucifying Jindal

Although disappointing, it's not surprising that Jindal received heaps of criticism for his decision to host a Christian prayer rally. Protestors gathered outside the assembly center to voice their opposition. One protestor told CBN, "He shouldn't be doing it on a state campus. If they want to do that, go somewhere else."

But that was mild compared to what would come next. Right Wing Watch verbally crucified the governor, accusing him of "teaming up with anti-gay extremists and Christian-nation advocates" and "giving them credibility they do not deserve." Slate assumed The Response was "part of the rollout for Jindal's inevitable presidential run." And opednews.com claimed: "Jindal's 'Response' a No-Go Zone for Atheists, Gays, and Forms of Intelligent Life."

I could go on an [sic] on and some of the backlash is much worse than that—for calling people to come together and pray in the name of Jesus. I'm all for free speech and freedom of religion, but it seems some other religions—or the religion-less, secular humanists and atheists—are threatened by Christians who pray in the name of Jesus. That always surprises me, given they don't believe there's any God listening or answering anyway. Atheists should be glad Jindal is praying. I pray that God will encounter the hearts of atheists in an unprecedented way this year.

I think Jindal said it best when he told CBN: "You've got a group of Christians who say we want to pay money to rent a hall on LSU's campus so we can come together and pray. Do we really live in a society where that's controversial?" Unfortunately, in an age where antichrist spirits are rising, I guess we do.

Benghazi Truther Group Admits It Has 'No Evidence' For Its Conspiracy Theory

Two years ago, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before a Senate panel investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack, Sen. Rand Paul quizzed her about a report, which first emerged on the conspiracy theory outlet WorldNetDaily, alleging that the U.S. was secretly transferring arms from Libya to Syrian rebels through Turkey. Paul admitted at the time that he did not “have any proof” to back up his claims, and a Republican-led House committee later debunked the theory.

Not having any evidence hasn’t stopped Benghazi conspiracy theorists before, and it isn’t stopping them now.

Today, Tom Fitton, president of the right-wing group Judicial Watch, spoke with WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi — best known for spreading bizarre rumors about Obama’s birth certificate and secret gay life and passing them off as journalism — about another conspiracy theory that his group has cooked up about the Benghazi attack.

Fitton alleges that the Obama administration wanted Ambassador Chris Stevens to get kidnapped so they could then release Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian Islamist convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, in return for Stevens’ freedom.

What proof does Judicial Watch have? Like Sen. Rand Paul, Fitton freely admitted that his group has “no evidence” at all, besides claims made by other Benghazi conspiracy theorists.

Did the Obama administration plan to allow a U.S. ambassador to be kidnapped to set up a prisoner-exchange scenario that would provide a pretext for releasing the “Blind Sheik” imprisoned for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing?

That’s one of the provocative explanations for the administration’s puzzling actions before, during and after the Benghazi attack that has prompted an investigation by the Washington, D.C.-watchdog Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told WND Tuesday his group is preparing to take legal steps to force government disclosure of documents pertaining to plans the Obama administration had to release “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence at the Butner Federal Correction Institution in North Carolina.

“Given what we know now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the terrorist attack on Benghazi could have been a kidnapping attempt aimed at releasing the Blind Sheik,” Fitton said.

He noted, however, there is “no evidence” that the Obama administration may have been complicit in any kidnapping plot related to the Benghazi attack.

Alabama's Notorious Anti-Gay Chief Justice Wants State To Defy Federal Courts On Marriage

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who first received national attention when he flouted a court decision ordering him to remove a Ten Commandment monument he installed in the state supreme court rotunda, is now calling on his state’s governor to defy a federal judge’s ruling which found Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

In a letter today [PDF] to Gov. Robert Bentley, a staunch supporter of the marriage ban, Moore cites a passage from the Gospel of Mark and notes that “the laws of this state have always recognized the biblical admonition stated by our Lord” regarding marriage. He urged the governor to “stop judicial tyranny” and essentially ignore the court’s decision.

It comes as no surprise that Moore, who founded a Religious Right group called the Foundation for Moral Law, has taken such a dogmatic stance on gay rights. Moore has gone so far as to claim that marriage equality is a Satanic plot to destroy America and likened homosexuality to bestiality.

Moore previously admonished “oppressive” judges who rule in favor of marriage equality for “warping the law,” arguing that a constitutional convention may be necessary to add an amendment banning same-sex marriage to the U.S. Constitution.

He also said that marriage equality is literally the work of the Devil, alleging that it is leading to divine wrath in the form of economic and societal suffering. “God must be sad about this,” he said, referring to the “evils” of gay rights and legal abortion.

Moore even warned anti-gay conspiracy theorist Dave Daubenmire that gay rights are really “about the destruction of an institution upon which this nation is based, and when you destroy the institutions upon which the nation is founded, you’re going to suffer for it”

“If you deny that rights come from God, then there is no moral basis for society,” and without that understanding, according to Moore, then society will face “bestiality, homosexuality, sodomy [and] incest.”

Moore said in another interview: “What is happening when a president of the United States can get up and say we need to redefine marriage? You know, when they do that they are attempting to destroy the very foundation on which this country was built.”

“They are approving same-sex marriage, fortunately not the United States government yet but they are trying to get that established across our country, that you could marry somebody of the same sex,” he said. “Our government is doing a lot that is to destroy this country and it is against the people. Unless we wake up and speak out...we’re going to lose our country.”

During an address to an Iowa rally opposing a State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, Moore drew a comparison to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown: “We’ve got a moral crisis in America. We see the things that are happening in Japan and across the nation, but right here we’ve got a moral meltdown.”

“Today the foundation is being shaken by radical judges, liberal politicians and some in the highest office of our land who would redefine marriage and in doing so would destroy the family as we know it,” he said. “No society is prepared to deal with the problems arising out of same-sex marriages: child abuse, adoption, divorce, foster care, alimony, and the list could go on and on. And what stops these judges from next saying that three can be similarly situated as two?”

He also used a speech at the Alabama Cattleman’s Association to denounce marriage equality, claiming that if marriage equality becomes law, then “we no longer have a Constitution.” Ruling in favor of same-sex marriage advocates, Moore told one Alabama news program, “makes the court illegitimate.”

Moore even criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down laws banning sodomy,” alleging that it is based on “illogical reasoning.” He wrote in a 2006 column for the anti-gay outlet WorldNetDaily that court decisions promoting the “homosexual agenda” will “undermine the will of the people and open the door for even more deviant moral relationships.”

“Same-sex marriage and sodomy are, simply stated, a slippery slope to polygamy and incestuous relationships,” he wrote. “The foundation of the fabric of our nation is being shaken, and only those who would restore our moral foundation deserve our vote on Tuesday.”

Despite the acceptance of the homosexual agenda by leadership in both political parties, the overwhelming voice of the people of our country is against sodomy, same-sex marriage, and special rights for homosexuals. In 1992, the people of Colorado passed an amendment to their state constitution that denied special rights to homosexuals. The U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 1996 in the egregious Romer v. Evans, but the ruling could not quell the will of the people. To date, 20 states have approved amendments to their constitutions defining marriage to be solely between a man and a woman, all of which have been passed by sizable majorities of the people. Eight more states are due to vote on such amendments this November, and the results are expected to be similarly overwhelming.

The importance of marriage to society and the dangers inherent in a homosexual lifestyle can hardly be overstated. Marriage is the building block of society and the basis for social and economic stability. Marriage between a man and a woman is an ordinance of God, but sodomy was deemed an abomination by the Creator, whose plan for mankind and succeeding generations was clearly stated in Holy Scripture. His design for our lives was recognized by men and women for centuries in practice and in law.

Activist decisions in the name of “tolerance” by judges and executives of both state and federal government should not be tolerated by the people. Such decisions undermine the will of the people and open the door for even more deviant moral relationships. Same-sex marriage and sodomy are, simply stated, a slippery slope to polygamy and incestuous relationships.

It is time for leadership of both parties in Congress to take action to prevent the further destruction of our morality. “It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. … Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?” Those words stated by George Washington were true in 1796 when he gave his Farewell Address, and they are true today. The foundation of the fabric of our nation is being shaken, and only those who would restore our moral foundation deserve our vote on Tuesday.

BarbWire Pundit: Take Heresy Seriously, Like They Did During The Spanish Inquisition

BarbWire columnist Bill Muehlenberg thinks that while the church may have gone too far in killing, expelling, torturing, and imprisoning thousands of people during the Spanish Inquisition, at least it showed that at one point in history, Christians were serious about combating heresy.

“In many respects this was a real perversion of biblical Christianity,” Muehlenberg said of the killing and torture in a column this week. “But we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Heresy is a vitally important issue, and must be dealt with.”

Muehlenberg, insistent that the Inquisition’s deadly consequences have been exaggerated, said that Christians today should remember the importance of fighting heretics: “[I]t can be said that Christendom back then took the issues of truth, orthodoxy and heresy seriously. Far too few believers today take such matters with the importance and earnestness which they deserve.

In his carefully researched volume, The Triumph of Christianity, historian Rodney Stark has a chapter on “The Shocking Truth About the Spanish Inquisition” in which the opening pages lay out a number of claims about this event. He then writes: “But the most shocking truth about the Spanish Inquisition is that everything above is either an outright lie or wild exaggeration!”

So let’s look briefly at some of these reckless and patently false claims. First, consider the numbers. A careful examination of the historical record reveals that at tops, around 2000 people were executed for heresy by the Inquisition. This is 2000 too many. But this works out to an average of less than 6 people a year during the 350 years. This is a far cry less than the many millions a year killed in the name of godless communism or ruthless fascism.

So how should Christians think about all this? In many respects this was a real perversion of biblical Christianity. No Biblical commands are found anywhere in the New Testament about the torture and killing of heretics. So yes, this was a blight on the Christian record.

But we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Heresy is a vitally important issue, and must be dealt with. Of course how we deal with it is crucial. The truth is, truth matters – and it matters greatly. Therefore heresy matters as well. If heresy “ultimately ends up subverting, destabilizing, or even destroying the core of Christian faith” as Alister McGrath puts it in his book on this subject, then we must certainly deal with it with utmost seriousness.

As mentioned, killing heretics is not the New Testament answer to this problem. But at the very least, it can be said that Christendom back then took the issues of truth, orthodoxy and heresy seriously. Far too few believers today take such matters with the importance and earnestness which they deserve.

AFA Hosts: Criticism Of Bobby Jindal Prayer Rally Is Treasonous, Satanic

Yesterday, Sandy Rios and Alex McFarland, who both host shows on the American Family Association’s radio network, discussed the demonstrators who protested Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally, which was financed by the AFA.

McFarland criticized Louisiana State University professors and students who attended the protest for criticizing Jindal’s prominent role in gathering: “This undermines America. This is borderline treasonous.”

Rios, upset by a sign advertising the Satanic Temple — which is best known for taking advantage of the Religious Right’s legal claims on religious accommodation to force states to host Satanic monuments and materials — held up the sign as proof that the demonstrators were demonic.

“It is tipping its hand to the fact that this really is a spiritual battle and we can see more clearly who the enemy is,” Rios said. “This is really, pulled back the layers, we’re talking about a spiritual battle against darkness and light.”

Later, McFarland described the demonstrations as an “intense spiritually oppressive environment,” saying that he tried to explain to the protesters that “if Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Witherspoon, Benjamin Rush, Patrick Henry were here today, they would be in that prayer rally.”

“But the students weren’t hearing it because their one core value is sexual license and heaven help anything or anybody that tries to stand in the way of that,” he said.

Rios claimed that liberals have steered away from “rational thinking” and are now driven by a “blindness, a passion for their passions, a passion for passion, and they are not going to be logical, they are not thinking about logic, they don’t care, they just want to do what they want to do.”

“This is all about the Father of Lies, Satan, this is really a spiritual battle,” Rios said.

Bobby Jindal: 'Teach Our Judeo-Christian Heritage' To Combat Non-Existent No-Go Zones

It appears that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is placing his efforts to combat mythical “no-go zones” at the center of his likely presidential campaign, using the dubious right-wing claim about French and British neighborhoods run according to Sharia law as a way to both attack immigrants and play the victim, railing against the liberal media for mocking his continued use of debunked Fox News talking points.

Jindal, appearing on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch” with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (who believes that Sharia law is already established in parts of Michigan and Minnesota) said that America will soon see Islamic no-go zones on our own soil because people “don’t want to teach our Judeo-Christian heritage in our schools.”

The left seized on this and they try to play semantic games. I don’t care what you call them — semi-autonomous sectors, ‘sensitive urban zone’ is what they say in French, whatever you want to say. The point is this: it is not acceptable for individuals to come into Western society and refuse to abide by our values. It’s just common sense to me, if you don’t want to be an American, don’t come to America. The reality is, is that one of the biggest threats to our country comes from within, not from the outside, but from the inside. Too many in the West, especially in the academic elite, the media elite, they for some reason don’t want to proclaim American exceptionalism, they don’t want to proclaim to our values, they don’t want to teach our Judeo-Christian heritage in our schools, they don’t want to insist on English as our language, and that weakens us. And if we’re not careful, the same no-go zones you’re seeing now in Europe will come to America.

Of course, the sensitive urban zone” designation in France that Jindal mentioned is for high-crime, high-unemployment areas that are granted more government attention, not less.

GOP Picks 'Voter Fraud' Conspiracy Theorist, 'Constitutional Sheriff' To Testify In Loretta Lynch Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee has released a list of the witnesses who will testify at this week's hearings on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, and two of them signal the GOP’s intention to tie Lynch to their criticism of Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting rights and law enforcement.

Among them is Catherine Engelbrecht, a Tea Party activist who founded the group True the Vote to promote the myth of widespread voter fraud and who has clashed with Holder over his defense of voting rights, or what she calls his “radical, racialist assault on voters' rights across America.”

Also included is David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee county, who has become a Tea Party hero for his criticism of protests of racial inequality in the justice system following a series of police killings of unarmed black men.

Both have become prominent Tea Party figures by voicing the line that racial inequality no longer exists in the U.S. and that the Justice Department’s efforts to stop voter suppression laws and combat discrimination in the criminal justice system are themselves racist. The Right cast Holder as the primary villain in this narrative, and prominent Holder critics such as the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky are using some of the same arguments to attack Lynch.

Engelbrecht’s attitude toward voting rights protections was perhaps most clearly illustrated with her reaction to a bipartisan bill meant to restore the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted it in 2013.

In an email to supporters, Engelbrecht claimed that the effort to restore the Voting Rights Act — one of the great achievements of the Civil Rights Movement — was in fact a “terrible race based bill” that would “exclude millions of Americans from full protection of the law — based solely on the color of their skin.” She fumed that restoring federal voting rights oversight to areas with a history of racial discrimination in election laws should be called the “Voting Rights Segregation Act.”

Engelbrecht has worked to drum up support for harsh voting restrictions that disproportionately affect racial minorities by hyping fears of widespread “voter fraud” and recruiting armies of volunteers to root out suspected fraud in their communities. These efforts haven’t exactly uncovered the evidence they’ve been looking for, although they have created hassles for legitimate voters targeted by True the Vote volunteers.

Sheriff Clarke, meanwhile, has been a leading conservative voice against protests against police brutality and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system, and has expressed outrage that President Obama and Holder have expressed some support for the protests. Clarke, who is African American, went on Fox News in November to accuse the president of fueling “racial animosity between people” by supporting the protests and even suggested that Obama was encouraging protesters to riot “with a wink and a nod."

He also contended that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, was a “coconspirator in his own demise” because he “chose thug life.”

Clarke has ties to the radical “constitutional sheriffs” movement who believe that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the land and have the power to defy federal laws and arrest federal officials for enforcing laws that they believe are unconstitutional. In 2013, Clarke accepted the “Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association after he had made headlines by running radio ads encouraging his constituents to arm themselves rather than rely on calling 911 in an emergency.

Other witnesses signal the intention of Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to focus on what they argue are constitutional oversteps by Holder. Engelbrecht claims that the IRS has targeted her since she started her political activism and fellow witness Sharyl Attkinson claims that Holder’s Justice Department hacked into her personal computer. (A computer security expert reviewing Attkinson’s evidence for Media Matters said it looked more like a malfunction caused by a frozen backspace key.)

GOP Rep.: Marijuana Reform Will Lead To Dystopian Future Of Meth Addiction, Government Dependency

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., brought his crusade against reforming marijuana laws to the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday, telling FRC President Tony Perkins that people who use pot will likely end up as meth addicts and become dependent on government assistance.

“Marijuana is a gateway drug, we have proven that scientifically,” Fleming said. “To think that today’s meth user was not yesterday’s marijuana user is actually just a flight of fantasy.”

He then warned that the government will begin arresting cigarette smokers while ignoring marijuana use: “Pretty soon you’ll see someone stopped on the street corner who is smoking and the policeman says, ‘I’m going to have to fine you or arrest you for smoking a cigarette,’ and they go, ‘no that’s marijuana,’ ‘oh that’s ok, it’s just marijuana.’ That’s really the direction we’re heading in.”

Fleming also disputed libertarian arguments in favor of reforming drug laws, arguing that liberalizing drug laws will make Americans less free and more reliant on government because people will be “disabled” as a result of marijuana use. 

They say, ‘you should be free to do whatever you want,’ well that’s fine but when society has to pick up the pieces and take care of you and your health and your family and support you through a very, very thick safety net system because you are now addicted or you have poor health and you can’t support yourself, then all you’re going to do is see a system, a society, if you will, that becomes more and more disabled and more and more supported by the government,” Fleming said. “How can you make a libertarian argument for that? But that is the future if we allow people to go irresponsibly into the future legalizing such dangerous substances, which inevitably are going to make their way into the homes and, when they do, children are going to be using them as well.”

Louie Gohmert: God Will Punish America For Obama's Tense Relationship With Netanyahu

Rep. Louie Gohmert warned President Obama last week that his “disdain” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may cause God to punish America, insisting that the president “would have that same disdain for anyone who was a strong leader for the nation of Israel and especially if they didn’t bow down and worship at the altar of the White House.”

While speaking with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch,” Gohmert said that Obama should reverse his decision not to meet with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister is in Washington, D.C., to give a controversial speech to Congress in the middle of his reelection campaign.

The Texas congressman said that since Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress “is important for eternity,” Obama’s decision not to meet with the Israeli leader might bring about the judgment of God: “There is judgment that will come for nations that attempt to divide the nation of Israel and this White House seems determined to do that.”

Last year, Gohmert delivered a similar warning about divine judgment.

Frank Gaffney Claims Dearborn, Michigan, Is Now A 'Muslim-Only' No-Go Zone

Not only did anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney use his interview on “Washington Watch” last week to compare President Obama to Osama bin Laden, but he also claimed that Sharia law has popped up in the U.S.

According to Gaffney, Dearborn, Michigan — a regular target of debunked claims about Sharia law that Gaffney calls “Dearbornistan” — has become a “ghetto enclave in which it’s Muslim-only and others, if they are not effectively proscribed or prevented from going in, know that it is too dangerous to go.”

Perkins, for his part, has previously claimed that both Dearborn and parts of Minneapolis are Islamic no-go zones.

The two also railed against the criticism directed at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for declaring that no-go zones are sweeping across Europe — an allegation for which Jindal offered no evidence besides anecdotal stories he claimed to have heard from people he met — and stating that Muslim faith leaders who condemned terrorist attacks didn’t go far enough because they didn’t specifically say that the culprits are going to Hell.

Gaffney said the “clueless” people criticizing Jindal want to impose a “rhetorical equivalent of a no-go zone.”

Gaffney also said that criticizing Jindal’s remarks amounts to enforcing Sharia blasphemy laws, decrying the “people who are trying to silence him, effectively to try to put Sharia blasphemy restrictions on his speech and his political prospects.”

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