Keith Fournier, the editor of Catholic Online and head of the Common Good Alliance, issued a warning today in response to the Texas marriage equality decision, predicting that same-sex marriage will lead to as much violence as China’s Cultural Revolution, which left millions dead.
In a post on Matt Barber’s website BarbWire, Fournier writes that marriage must be “liberated” from gay people who are ushering in “nothing less than a Cultural Revolution. I know that some of my readers do not like it when I use the term Cultural Revolution. They object because the term was identified with the reassertion of Maoism in China. That movement, which turned violent, caused extraordinary social turmoil. That is PRECISELY why the analogy is apropos.”
Encouraging readers to attend a National Organization for Marriage march in June, he hailed anti-gay activists as the “true liberators” and “advocates for a society of human flourishing and freedom” who are preventing the “cultural slide into the abyss of relativism.”
Like propagandists of the past, they attempt to frame public perception by calling those who defend marriage as being against what they call ‘marriage equality’. However, homosexual and lesbian partnerships are incapable of achieving the ends of marriage. The marchers in China, in France and all over the world are the proponents, the defenders, of true liberation. They are advocates for a society of human flourishing and freedom. They defend real marriage and thereby defend the rights of children to a mother and father. They promote the common good.
The marchers are a part of a global Marriage Defense Movement. This new counter-cultural movement is about to reshape history. It crosses racial, ethnic, socio-economic, religious, philosophical and political lines. The members of this Marriage Defense movement seek to defend and to liberate marriage from the propagandists and Cultural Revolutionaries who oppose it and are working undermine it. They seek to defend marriage.
Marriage ‘is what it is’, to use a popular expression. The effort to redefine the word and then use the mechanisms of the State to entirely restructure this institution inscribed in the Natural Law – and replace it – is what is at stake here. Those who advocate giving moral and legal equivalency to homosexual and lesbian relationships are the people who oppose marriage. Their intention is to entirely reorder civil society. They use the phrase ‘marriage equality’ in an Orwellian act of verbal engineering.
This is a propaganda ploy and a tactic aimed at nothing less than a Cultural Revolution. I know that some of my readers do not like it when I use the term Cultural Revolution. They object because the term was identified with the reassertion of Maoism in China. That movement, which turned violent, caused extraordinary social turmoil. That is PRECISELY why the analogy is apropos.
To state this bluntly is not to be ‘anti-gay’; it is simply to defend marriage and the common good. This is a noble cause. Those who promote and defend marriage are not bigots, they are the true liberators! Though the Marriage Defense Marchers represent every segment of society, and reflect a wide range of ages, ethnic identities and political persuasions, they were collectively labeled as conservatives in much of the international press.
There is a growing intolerance spreading which directly threatens our rights to free expression, association and political participation. This is reflected in a brazen effort to censor any speech which questions the cultural slide into the abyss of relativism. Efforts to prevent our vocal and public defense of the objective truth about marriage and the family are multiplying. However, they are not succeeding. The streets of Washington, DC need to be filled with hundreds of thousands of supporters of Marriage on June 19, 2014.
Last week, World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder joined Rick Scarborough on a Tea Party Unity conference call, where Feder got to talking about how liberals “intimidate” conservative pastors into not speaking out against gay rights.
As luck would have it, Scarborough was ready with a “very fresh and very real” anecdote to illustrate that this "threat" comes not just from gay rights activists, but from parishioners who don't want to hear about anal sex in church:
Well, let me give you a perspective that’s very fresh and very real. When pastors speak on this issue, it’s not just a threat that comes from the left that they fear.
I spoke in a church the last four days – I don’t recall the name of the church, so maybe somebody on the line listening from that church, if they are, they’re going to be very familiar with what I’m about to say – but in the second service out of five, I mentioned the word ‘anal sex’ illustrating what homosexuality actually is. And I know that that’s a repulsive expression, I know that nobody likes to think about it, but Christians need to understand what we’re talking about. This is not a gay activity, it’s a perversion. And it does carry consequences because of the nature of the act.
The one thing that the homosexual community doesn’t want us to talk about is what they actually do. They love to disguise their activities with euphemisms. And the presentation they always give is some handsome, erudite young man that’s a gift to society, when in fact he’s committing indecent acts with consequences.
But the firestorm that one, two-word expression caused among the Christians in the church was just palpable, and consequently a segment of the church didn’t come to another service of revival and just basically boycotted because they found what I said to be reprehensible. In other words, the church families don’t find what they’re doing reprehensible, but they put such pressure on the preachers not to even mention it that a lot of preachers have gone silent.
So, it’s not just the fear of the left, it’s the fear of the right, because Christians are more concerned about what their sensitive ears have to listen to than what’s taking place at the high school that may be perverting their own children.
So, we’ve got a real challenge. Will the pastor be forced to speak to it? I sure hope so. But the reality is, a lot of the problem is in the pew as well as the pulpit.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
Apparently, Satan is going to install the next president, use gay people to destroy the black community and take over the world to bring about the Last Days. But at least we can enjoy “penis cakes” before the world comes to an end.
5) Obamacare Race War
Just as Ted Nugent isn’t actually sorry for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” the National Rifle Association board member and Republican surrogate also isn’t backing down from his statements likening President Obama to the Nazis.
When conservative talk show host Dennis Miller told Nugent he didn’t buy his Nazi comparison, Nugent insisted that the president is using the IRS and the health care reform law to spark a race war “like the brownshirts.” Media Matters grabbed the clip:
4) Satan Will Put A Witch In The White House
The Trinity Broadcasting Network considers Kim Clement a prophet, and so should you! The TBN host recently prophesied that Satan will “put a witch in the White House” who will advance the demonic spirit of “Jezebel,” and can only be stopped by a socialism-slaying politician.
3) Penis Cakes On The Way
Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips is aggrieved that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed her state’s ‘right-to-discriminate’ bill, a decision which he believes will lead to “tyranny,” “fascism” and “slavery.” In fact, he believes that bakers will now be forced to bake penis cakes:
Should a devote baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior?
We’re not sure what sort of weddings Phillips is used to attending, but we wish we had been invited.
2) The World Has Gone Gay
Scott Lively has been on a roll lately after launching a new anti-gay group, insisting that his fight against gay rights is literally a life-or-death battle against Satan. During an interview with Janet Mefferd where he explained why he believes LGBT equality is triggering the coming of the End Times, Lively said that there should be a “revolution” to defeat the socialist “conspiracy” aimed at “homosexualizing the whole world.”
1) Beware Obama’s ‘Homo Demons’
Far-far-right pastor James David Manning is at it again, this time hailing anti-gay leaders in Uganda, Gambia and Nigeria for resisting “this son of Satan Barack Hussein Obama” and his “anti-integrity, anti-life, anti-humanity, anti-universal understanding, anti-DNA” gay rights agenda.
Manning said that the decisions of Jason Collins and Michael Sam to come out of the closet are proof that “Obama has released these demons particularly upon the black males, this homosexual demon, hoping to influence as many black males to subscribe to ideas that are [as] homosexual, perverted, LGBT as possible.”
“Obama has released the homo demons on the black man; look out black woman, a white homo may take your man.” He said that under Obama’s direction, black men “are being scooped up by white homos,” thus destroying the black family.
The white homo is now moving into the black neighborhoods, looking for black men that have been converted into homosexuality. Black woman let me say something to you: You will have a very hard time competing against a white homosexual male, he’s usually got money, a white homo usually has an American Express card, he usually has an opportunity at the theatre, homos love the theatre, they love to go out to dinner parties, they love that kind of a thing. As a black woman you can’t compete not only with the financial strength of a white homo, black sister, this is devastating, black people need to rise up en masse and recognize the utter destruction that Obama is going in to destroy the black family with his homosexual statements and release of demons that he has done.
Erik Rush hosted right-wing activist Jim Garrow on his radio show this week, where the two once again insisted that Obama administration officials and members of Congress should be killed for treason.
“They sold us out for the mess of pottage and the twenty-one pieces of silver and in the end we should be able to hang them,” Garrow said. “I say that for Right Wing Watch, because they’re going to now say that we’re asking that we now hang the people who are our representatives in the House and the Senate. Well, yeah! There should be some way for us to pay them back for treason.”
Rush concurred: “That’s what you do with people who commit treason, isn’t it.” He also suggested that leaders be executed by firing squad.
“You’re supposed to hang them,” Garrow continued, and reiterated his new conspiracy theory that Obamacare will lead to guillotine/Sharia law executions.
Garrow, ever the con man, then asked listeners to give him $3 million so he can build “Radio Free America,” since President Obama will attempt a nuclear EMP attack on the US that will knock out communications.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is fuming over the demise of the “right-to-discriminate” bill that passed the Arizona state legislature, arguing that Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto is “one more nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.”
In a column today, Farah defends anti-LGBT job discrimination and lambasts “homosexualists” as “part of a religious cult” that unfairly smeared the Arizona legislation in an effort to “kill the First Amendment.”
“Soon the land of the free will no longer be,” he concluded.
The homosexualists, who, whether they admit or not, are part of a religious cult themselves, went to work. Their friends in the media joined in the chorus, proclaiming the law would create Jim Crow-style situations in which a class of people would be denied service at lunch counters. And Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.
The kind of “discrimination” we don’t like is when people are unfairly treated on the basis of their race, ethnicity or religion. That’s what this bill sought to do. But is it wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their behavior? Let’s say a male job applicant wearing a dress comes for an interview at your office. Should you be forced to weigh his credentials and experience on an equal basis with others who are dressed more conventionally?
I don’t think so.
On almost a daily basis now we’re seeing one more nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.
Soon the land of the free will no longer be.
For heaven’s sake, if you want a wedding cake with two men on the top layer, hire a baker who thinks it’s cute. Don’t pick the one with the fish on the window. And don’t kill the First Amendment over it.
Alan Keyes writes today in WorldNetDaily that Congress must focus on “impeaching and removing Obama and his cohorts from office” in order to stop “his destructive, dictatorial intentions.”
Keyes, who ran against Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, writes that Obama is imposing “shackles of the mind” that “have been the mainstay of almost every tyrannical regime in human history.” He adds that Americans must “overcome the effects of the political AIDS virus” that Obama is using to create “tyranny.”
A basis still exists for restoring the political initiative of the American people so as to disrupt this elitist collusion and restore the people to their proper position as the arbiters of political power under the U.S. Constitution. In a multitude of ways, Barack Obama has made clear his destructive, dictatorial intentions. Many Americans have been awakened to the truth I saw early on, that his idea of change involves destroying America’s liberty. Quietly a tide is rising in favor of taking the necessary constitutional steps to remove the danger by impeaching and removing Obama and his cohorts from office. But since the GOP’s leadership has been and is acting in collusion with Obama, they refuse to provide a rallying point for this sentiment.
But with today’s instruments of communication and mutual encouragement, people can organize amongst themselves with relative ease. This is the idea behind the Pledge to Impeach effort. A growing number of senators and congressional representatives are speaking out against Obama’s lawlessness; his abuse of executive power; his all too obvious dictatorial predilections. But they will not be emboldened to act without a strong, visible public demand for action.
Nothing stands in your way except the shackles of the mind that are, in the end, the most effective bonds of tyranny. As I have confirmed from hard experience, even though they are largely invisible, these shackles are of such adamantine strength that they have been the mainstay of almost every tyrannical regime in human history. The American mind was once peculiarly immune to them, on any large scale. Is there left in us some vestige of that immunity? Will it prove strong enough to overcome the effects of the political AIDS virus that has left our polity prey to opportunistic, lawless ambition and greed?
Massachusetts pastor Scott Lively joined Dublin radio host Niall Boylan yesterday to discuss Uganda’s passage of a harsh new anti-gay law. The two engaged in an hour-long shouting match, in which Lively accused the gay community of a Marxist plot to “destroy civilization,” insisted that women should be subservient to their husbands, and claimed that marriage equality in Ireland would lead to legalized pedophilia within five years.
Early in the interview, Boylan asked Lively if he was “accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values,” to which Lively replied, “I am.”
Lively faulted the gay rights movement following the Stonewall riot for shifting its focus “from asking for tolerance to demanding the ability and power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream,” which he described as part of a Marxist plot to “break down the nuclear family” and with the purpose of destroying society.
Later in the interview, Lively blamed the high divorce rate among heterosexuals on the gay rights movement: “That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model.”
Boylan: You’re accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values, is that what you’re trying to say?
Lively: I am. And you know, this comes out of…this is straight out of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt school of cultural Marxists. Marxism has always been about destroying civilization so they can rebuild on the ashes their utopian socialist society, which is just a fantasy. But they had an actual strategy, and that strategy was in three parts. And the primary part was to break down the nuclear family. And in the United States, where they implemented this, that’s what they taught.
Now, the original gay movement in the U.S., back that was getting started in the late 1940s, their original goal, articulated by Dale Jennings of the Mattachine Society was quote, ‘The right to be left alone.’ I always supported that. In 1968, with the Stonewall riot on Christopher Street in New York City, they shifted their focus from tolerance, from asking for tolerance, to demanding the ability and the power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream.
The idea that heterosexuals now have a dramatically higher divorce rate, that’s true. That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model. That’s what’s going on.
Later in the interview, Lively said that “if we actually followed what God instructed us to do,” we wouldn’t have “the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today.” When Boylan asked him if that included the biblical view that women should be subservient to their husbands, Lively responded, “Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.”
When pressed, he clarified, “The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president.”
Lively: I believe the Bible, I live by the Bible, I believe that the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today, if we actually followed what God instructed us to do, we wouldn’t have these problems.
Boylan: So, if men turned around and believed that women were subservient, for example, because that’s what the Bible tells men to believe. Do you think we’d have a good society?
Lively: Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.
Boylan: How do you think modern society would work? So, do you think modern society could still work like that? With women of this world who now have, thankfully, careers and rights and they can vote. You believe that they should still be subservient to men?
Lively: See, once again, you’re talking about terminology. When I say ‘submission,’ I don’t mean subservience. The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president. Right? That’s how it works.
Near the end of the interview, Lively launched into the slippery slope argument that legalizing marriage equality will “open the door to lots of other deviant sexual conduct,” like “polygamy, polyamory, incest, pederasty, even pedophilia.”
“You’re not suggesting that if we vote yes for same-sex marriage that in 20 years’ time the world will become so liberal that we will allow people to have sex and marry twelve-year-olds,” Boylan said.
“It won’t be twenty years, it will be five years,” Lively responded.
Lively apparently hasn’t noticed that ten years after his home state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, pedophilia is still illegal.
The fifth anniversary of the Tea Party gives us an opportunity to look back not only at the many myths surrounding the movement, but also at what it has to show for its five years of political nihilism:
1) Government Shutdown
Many Tea Party activists seemed to be under the delusion that the GOP was pummeled in the 2012 election because Republican candidates weren’t conservative enough, and that voters really want more of their brand of uncompromising, ultraconservative, ideological politics. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gave them just that when he convinced Republican congressional leaders to go along with him in forcing a government shutdown over the health care reform law.
Of course, Republicans ended up getting nothing out of the shutdown, and Cruz is now desperately trying to claim that it was actually Obama and Senate Democrats who were responsible for it.
2) Debt Limit Fights
With Tea Party-aligned members of Congress acting like “lemmings with suicide vests,” Tea Party politicians and organizations have repeatedly pressured GOP leaders to engage in hostage-taking over the federal debt limit, warning that they may refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to their demands — even if that means throwing the economy into crisis. One problem is that many Tea Party leaders don’t understand how the debt limit works, or the dangerous consequences of their political strategy.
3) Candidate Drama
Tea Party-backed candidates such as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Richard Mourdock are best known for their spectacular ability to lose winnable races, not to mention their high entertainment value. But we shouldn’t be surprised that Tea Party activists are drawn to such candidates, as many take after more successful Tea Party leaders like Cruz and Michele Bachmann.
Just in case you thought Republicans had learned their lesson about fringy Tea Party candidates, Glenn Beck spent last year trying to encourage extremist figures including Rep. Louie Gohmert and pseudo-historian David Barton to take on incumbent Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in this year’s Republican primary. Ultimately, the equally far-right congressman Steve Stockman got in the race.
4) GOP Takeover
Despite much talk about “establishment” Republicans fighting back against Tea Party insurgents, very few Tea Party congressmen are facing primary challengers. After the 2013 shutdown and debt fights, business groups like the Chamber of Commerce announced that they would take on the Tea Party…but they made the same threat after the 2011 debt limit crisis, and ended up funding Tea Party-aligned Republicans anyway.
“Despite making statements and sending letters voicing their concern, the Chamber has failed to spend a single penny in advocacy against the Tea Party hostage-takers,” Lee Fang notes. “[A]fter helping the Tea Party seize the House and several governors’ mansions during the midterms, business groups pumped funds into an effort to gerrymander the Tea Party into permanent rule.”
Hardline activists have also taken over groups such as Heritage Foundation and empowered new organizations such as FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Fund and The Madison Project, who are now backing Tea Party challengers in GOP Senate primaries states like Kentucky, Kansas and Mississippi.
While there is a lot of fuss about fired aides and ad firms as signs of the GOP civil war, in the end Republicans have embraced most of the Tea Party’s agenda — if not their tactics — and the many Tea Party congressmen from deep red districts seem to be here to stay.
5) Obama’s Second Term
While the Tea Party is far from the only factor that helped President Obama win re-election, the Tea Party — along with their close allies in the Religious Right, talk radio and Fox News — moved the GOP and its leaders towards unpopular and extreme positions on issues ranging from immigration to Medicare.
A CNN poll [PDF] taken a month after the 2012 election found that a 53 percent of Americans believe the Republican party is “too extreme,” a seventeen-point increase from 2010.
Completely divorced from reality, few Tea Party supporters predicted that Romney would lose: Two months before the election, a whopping 84 percent of Tea Party members believed that “pollsters [were] intentionally skewing their polls to help Barack Obama.”
Yesterday, anti-gay pastor Scott Lively told Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd that there is a Satanic, socialist “conspiracy” to “homosexualize the world” that can only be stopped by a “revolution.”
Lively didn’t discuss this supposed gay-demonic conspiracy during his appearance today on NPR, but he didn’t exactly tone down his rhetoric either.
Speaking with NPR’s Michel Martin, Lively defended Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law, arguing that the “gay movement has really brought this on themselves” and that the law is necessary to stop pedophiles.
When confronted with remarks made by a gay Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha about how anti-gay bias affects his daily life, Lively insisted that Mugisha is the real victim.
Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values, who has called this week’s marriage equality ruling in Texas a “hollow victory,” yesterday called it “one of the most egregious forms of judicial activism of our generation.” “The federal judiciary is out of control,” Saenz told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Washington Watch.
He promised that there would be an “epic battle” to defeat marriage equality in Texas.
Similarly irate, Perkins said that judges and the Obama administration believe they can “tear away at the foundation of the rule of law” when it comes to the issue of marriage equality, which he warned will lead to “anarchy” and a “breakdown of society altogether.”
As Brian noted earlier today, the Tea Party is no longer even pretending that it is focused exclusively on economic issues and not the culture wars. A case in point: At today’s Tea Party Patriots fifth anniversary convention today, Breitbart News author Sonnie Johnson was met with a standing ovation for a speech at which she insisted that President Obama is a Marxist who may or may not believe in God, but definitely thinks “God must be dethroned.”
“Karl Marx had two main goals: to destroy capitalism and to dethrone God,” Johnson said. “So when you hear the leader of progressivism, aka American Marxism, say that you are doing 'God’s work,’ understand he means it. He means you’re taking over God’s work. God must be dethroned.”
“If God is in all of these things,” she said, referring to government services, “why are the Ten Commandments not allowed in the social services building? If God is in all of these things, why is there even a question if Little Sisters of the Poor have to pay for abortion? If God is in all of these things, do we have to ask him where he stands on marriage? “
“I have to ask sometimes, ‘What God are you serving?’” she said of the president. “But that’s not my place, and kind of, truthfully, I don’t really want to know.”
In an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday about his call for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder, pastor William Owens insisted that President Obama is “anti-Christian” and the worst president in at least the last 75 years.
“We elected the wrong black president,” Owens said. “His strategy was, ‘If I get the Catholic Church, I can get all the churches because of their size; let’s knock them off, we’ll get all of them.’ He’s anti-Christian, he stands up for no Christian values whatsoever.”
Owens told Mefferd that he’s refraining from calling for the impeachment and removal of President Obama because he wants the president to leave a legacy of backing marriage equality and being the worst president ever: “Since he took this bold position and he wants to leave a legacy, we’re gonna see that he does leave a legacy, that he does leave the legacy that he did more to demoralize this country than anybody, any president, any administration since I’ve been here and I’m seventy-five years old.”
As the Tea Party celebrates its fifth anniversary, we decided to look at five of the myths that Tea Party supporters, and many pundits, continue to believe about the far-right movement.
Myth #1: Tea Party Cares About Economic Stewardship
If Tea Party activists believe they are on a crusade to save the American economy, they have an odd way of showing it. The Tea Party was responsible for an economically harmful and utterly pointless government shutdown and has several times threatened economic catastrophe by refusing to raise the debt limit — with their hostage-taking strategycontributing to a S&P credit downgrade and lower consumer confidence.
The Treasury Department warned in the midst of last year’s government shutdown [PDF]: “A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse…. Because the debt ceiling impasse contributed to the financial market disruptions, reduced confidence and increased uncertainty, the economic expansion was no doubt weaker than it otherwise would have been.”
One problem might be that Tea Party leaders seem to have no clue what they are talking about.
Tea Party politicians dismissed concerns about failing to raise the debt limit — with one Tea Party-aligned congressman arguing that such a move would help the economy — and didn’t seem to grasp the fact that “raising the debt ceiling simply lets Treasury borrow the money it needs to pay all U.S. bills and other legal obligations in full and on time” and isn’t a “license to spend more.”
Myth #2: Tea Party Wants Entitlement Cuts
We keep hearing about how the Tea Party will lead a push to cut entitlement programs, but Tea Party members are disproportionately entitlement program benefactors. A New York Times/CBS poll found that Tea Party members are more likely than others to claim that they or a family member receives Social Security benefits or is covered by Medicaid, and 62 percent believe “the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare [are] worth the costs of those programs.”
Of course, many Tea Party supporters don’t seem to mind public programs when they are the ones benefiting from them, and Republicans continue to criticize reductions in future Medicare spending that they voted for.
“[W]hat many of the Tea Party candidates have found is that when push comes to shove, their backers want to protect their entitlements as much as the next guy,” writes Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. “In fact, much of the fury of the Tea Partiers against government stimulus and bailouts might have less to do with any principled belief in the limits of government and more to do with fear of what this will do to their own entitlements.”
Myth #3: Tea Party Faces Government Persecution
The Tea Party has desperately clutched onto a conspiracy theory that the IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups to help seal President Obama’s re-election. Of course, it turns out that the IRS actually scrutinized liberal and conservative groups alike. The faux-scandal was hyped and distorted by congressional Republicans, and Tea Party leaders predicted that it would rejuvenate the movement.
As Alex Seitz-Wald reported: “We know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones; that the only organizations whose tax-exempt statuses were actually denied were progressive ones; that many of the targeted conservative groups legitimately crossed the line; that the IG’s report was limited to only Tea Party groups at congressional Republicans’ request; and that the White House was in no way involved in the targeting and didn’t even know about it until shortly before the public did. In short, the entire scandal narrative was a fiction.”
Rather than face facts, leaders are out with a fresh and similarly dubious conspiracy that proposed IRS rules on political activity by certain nonprofits will target conservative organizations for discrimination.
Myth #4: Tea Party Ignores Social Issues
Many Tea Party leaders -- including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint and Glenn Beck -- are also favorites of the Religious Right. The GOP victories in the 2010 midterm election brought about what the Daily Beast called “one of the most religiously conservative [House of Representatives] in recent history” and Republican politicians in Congress and state legislatures immediately pursued a crackdown on abortion rights.
Glenn Beck’s massive 2010 Tea Party rally on the National Mall turned into a religious revival meeting. Last year, even the openly gay founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots addressed an anti-gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court. And far-right pastor Rick Scarborough decided to establish his own group, Tea Party Unity, to promote his call for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.
Pew found that just as “the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole… Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.” Tea Party activists oppose marriage equality and abortion rights at rates nearly identical to Republicans at large, and are just as likely to cite religion as the driving force on their stances on such issues.
A 2013 American Values survey observed that the majority of Tea Party activists “identify with the Christian Right,” and a study by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell found Tea Party members to be “disproportionately social conservatives” with a penchant for the “overt use of religious language and imagery.” “It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity,” they added.
Myth #5: Tea Party Has Wide Popularity
Tea Party politicians like to fashion themselves as champions of a broadly popular movement that has supporters across partisan lines. Bachmann thinks the Tea Party represents “virtually 90 percent of America” and a poll of Tea Party supporters found that 84 percent agree that “the views of the people involved in the Tea Party movement generally reflect the views of most Americans.” Beck even believes that most Americans are in the Tea Party and to the right of the GOP.
In December, Gallup found that the Tea Party has never held widespread support:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said this week that he will join efforts to impeach of Attorney General Eric Holder over his stance on marriage equality, citing a petition by the Coalition of African-American Pastors and accusing Holder of trying to “thwart” the Constitution by not defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
Of course, the Obama administration would be far from the first administration to decline to defend an unconstitutional law, with Republicans and Democrats alike doing the same in the past.
Several Republicans have already proposed a resolution seeking Holder’s impeachment.
“More lawlessness from a lawless administration; Attorney General Holder should not advise other attorneys general to violate their oaths of office. These elected officials have a duty and a solemn obligation to defend their states’ laws and Constitution - not allow ideology and politics to cloud their legal decisions. Whatever one’s personal opinions on the Second Amendment, the Internal Revenue Service, controlled substances, the freedom of the press, or even marriage, an Attorney General simply can’t pick and choose the laws or parts of the Constitution he or she would like to defend.
“In recent years, I have grown increasingly concerned by Holder’s actions – and those of others in the Obama Administration - to disregard the laws and the Constitution they have sworn to defend. I am not alone in these concerns. Dozens of my colleagues have called upon Holder to resign. Dozens have asked the President to remove Holder from office. Additionally, on June 28, 2012, 255 members of the U.S. House of Representatives held Mr. Holder in Contempt of Congress. It is the Attorney General’s job to uphold the Constitution and the law - not ignore it, nor rewrite it, nor encourage other attorneys general to thwart it.
“This has gone on far too long. The lawlessness at the Department of Justice - of this Administration - must end now. That is why I am announcing today my co-sponsorship of H.Res. 411, which introduces five articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.”
The Tea Party Patriots are having a convention today to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the movement, and one prevalent theme in the morning session was denying the fact that the Tea Party represents any racist ideas. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said of his own election, “You know these Tea Party patriots are so racist, they decided they wanted a Puerto Rican Mormon.”
Another speaker, Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan administration official who is now an editor at the American Spectator, told the audience that accusations of racism in the Tea Party are hypocritical because it was Democrats who supported slavery and segregation.
Like “historian” David Barton, Lord conveniently skips over some pretty major political developments of the last century.
Trinity Broadcasting Network host Kim Clement says that God is raising up a leader who will “kill the giant of socialism” and “the giant of human secularism.”
In a performance on Saturday, the musician/self-proclaimed prophet told his audience that this godly politician will come up against Satan, who is “doing everything in his power to put a witch in the White House” with a “Jezebel” spirit.
We wonder who he thinks that will be?
WASHINGTON – In response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to veto Senate Bill 1062, a measure that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, People For the American Way president Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“Almost four years after Arizona shocked the country with its anti-immigrant ‘show me your papers’ law, yesterday Governor Brewer avoided making her state the national leader, once again, in state-sponsored discrimination.
“In Arizona and across the country, Americans can see through the Right’s continued attempts to cloak anti-gay bigotry in the language of First Amendment rights. We hope that the pushback Arizona received this week will be a message, loud and clear, to the states with similar bills pending. Americans don’t want to live in a country where businesses have free rein to post a ‘No Gays’ sign.”
In the past week, tens of thousands of PFAW members and activists spoke out and urged Governor Brewer to veto the bill.
On Wednesday, the second anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death, PFAW’s Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks joined Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture to discuss how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has helped promote Stand Your Ground laws in states across the country.
Brooks highlighted how the secretive organization fueled by wealthy right-wing donors and corporations pushes legislation that hurts real people: