American Family Association

One Year After Passage Of Gay Propaganda Ban, American Right Continues To Look To Russia As A Guide

The Human Rights Campaign released a report today to mark the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of his infamous ban on “gay propaganda” and related anti-LGBT legislation. HRC reports “an uptick in violent attacks on LGBT people” since the bills’ passage that has accompanied a spike in “anti-LGBT sentiment” in the public square.

Yet despite the dangerous consequences of the increasing use of LGBT people as scapegoats — both in Russia and in neighboring Eastern European and Central Asian countries — and the place of anti-gay politics in Putin’s expansionist agenda, many on the American Religious Right continue to celebrate Putin’s crackdown on gay rights and even to hail it as a model for the United States.

The issue has been divisive on the Right. For instance, Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid — hardly a fan of gay people — got into a memorable shouting match earlier this year with World Congress of Families representatives, who he accused of cozying up to Putin.

It has also put some groups in tough positions. The World Congress of Families was forced to suspend its planned conference at the Kremlin, which was to be funded by a handful of people close to Putin, after Russia seized Crimea and groups including Concerned Women for America started backing out.

But we continue to hear right-wing activists heaping praise on Putin for his enthusiastic anti-gay politics and increasing embrace of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Just last week, Phyllis Schlafly praised Putin for “warming up to religious freedom” as “Americans are rejecting it”:

And earlier this week, WorldNetDaily announced that people around the world are “fleeing” to Russia to escape homosexuality in their own countries .

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to push for the U.S. to adopt a “propaganda” ban like Russia’s:

Anti-gay activists including Pat Buchanan,Peter LaBarbera,Franklin Graham,Scott Lively,Keith Davies,Linda Harvey,Randall Terry,Gordon Klingenschmitt,Janice Shaw Crouse, Austin Ruse, Bob Vander Plaats , Rick Scarborough and, of course, the WorldCongress of Families have defended Russia’s anti-gay crackdown or called for similar laws in the U.S.

And, of course, some have directly lent their support to the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia: the World Congress of Families has an active network in Russia and Eastern Europe and just days before Putin signed the propaganda ban recruited the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown to warn Russian lawmakers about the risks of gay rights.

The support for laws that have dangerously scapegoated LGBT people in Russia is especially ironic coming from a movement that claims that the gay rights movement in the United States is persecuting them .

Anti-Gay Activists Claim Macy's 'Insulted American Families' By Participating In LGBT Pride Events

The same crowd of Religious Right activists who cry “homo-fascism!” any time gay rights supporters criticize a business that supports anti-gay discrimination, is now organizing a campaign against Macy’s over the department store chain’s support for LGBT pride events.

In an interview published in BarbWire today, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values spoke with Linda Harvey, the head of Mission America, about why customers should be upset with Macy’s.

A coalition of pro- family and Christian groups is launching a campaign to inform American families about the unfortunate role of Macy’s, Inc. Department Stores and affiliates in supporting “gay pride” parades in cities throughout the nation.

Many people have no idea how radical these parades are,” said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values of Cincinnati. “The events and activities of a typical ‘pride’ week-end are decadent and highly-sexualized, deliberately so. They are a disgrace to communities, and certainly shouldn’t be financially supported by a retailer like Macy’s that claims to serve families.”



Throughout the summer months and “gay pride” season, Macy’s is making a different choice: to support the degradation of communities through events that are an insult to American families.

“This is nothing to be proud of,” Burress said, “and Macy’s should know better. Their customers certainly do.”

The American Family Association also denounced “the contemptible role of Macy’s department stores in supporting ‘gay pride’ throughout the nation,” arguing that [the] the chain’s actions “are a disgrace to communities.”

The group is encouraging members to write to Macy’s to protest the company’s support for a “very dangerous” and “destructive lifestyle.”

Dear Chairman Lundgren:

I am disappointed to learn that Macy's chooses to celebrate the sin of homosexuality.

Your company has taken a brazen approach toward the sanctity of family and marriage, and this offends the moral conscience of America.

Count my family as one who urges Macy's to reconsider the impact its decisions and promotions have on people. Homosexuality is very dangerous and unhealthy, and only leads to a destructive lifestyle.

Bryan Fischer Can't Understand Why Anti-Gay Bigots Are Demonized For Living In The World Of Common Sense

During his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer and a caller commiserated over the fact that American society is so "twisted around" these days that people who, based on common sense and science, oppose gay rights are demonized and treated like pariahs.

"You and I are people that are living in the world of common sense," Fischer told the caller. "We're living in the world of reality, we're living in the illumination of the Word of God that says homosexuality is a sin ... We live in the world of science ... We live in that world, it's the world of reality, it's the world of truth, it's the world of research, it's the world of medicine, it's the world of health, it's the world of science. And you're exactly right, this is skewed thinking here where all of a sudden we're the ones that are demonized":

Jeff Allen Warns America Is Pushing 'Sodomite Imperialism' With 'Homosexual Warheads'

BarbWire editor Jeff Allen joined Tim Wildmon on American Family Radio yesterday to warn that President Obama and his progressive allies seek to destroy America because they are engaged in “rebellion against God.”

Among the anti-American, anti-Christian demoniacs? Why, none other than us here at Right Wing Watch! Allen accused us — along with the media, public schools and the gay community — of trying to bring down the country and replace it with a socialist-communist dystopia.

And he wasn’t done there. Allen took to BarbWire today to accuse Secretary of State John of pushing “sodomite imperialism” by appointing “tranny” foreign service officers and “weaponizing the foreign affairs agencies with a homosexual warhead.”

With the Obama administration’s foreign policy in a shambles and the world going to hell in a handbasket (and frankly, we’re running out of handbaskets), Secretary of State John Kerry was busy wasting our nation’s valuable time making the ridiculous pledge to continue working hard to appoint more LGBT ambassadors as part of America’s new sodomite imperialism. Never mind the fact that ISIS is overrunning Iraq, the Syrian civil war is spilling over into Israel, and Russian aggression in the Ukraine destabilizes the region — America is too preoccupied with intimidating other nations into embracing homosexual perversion to be concerned about such “insignificant” geo-politcal [sic] issues. Talk about having our national priorities out of whack!

John Kerry delivered his remarks at the GLIFAA (formerly Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies) Pride Event in the Ben Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on June 19. During the speech, the secretary rattled off a list of “accomplishments” that have benefited the homosexual community’s aberrant agenda.

Kerry also indicated that, if confirmed, Ted Osius (nominated by President Obama to serve in Vietnam) would become the sixth openly gay U.S. ambassador currently in service. Then, he praised the work of the GLIFAA President and moderator of the event Robyn McCutcheon, who was at one time posted in Bucharest, Hungary as the first cross-dressing, tranny “female” Foreign Service officer. In other words, we’ve got people who can’t even figure out their own gender trying to navigate their way through the intricacies and intrigues of the world’s most confusing diplomatic quandaries.



For those nations that dare to balk at these thuggish U.S. demands and refuse to recognize pretend homosexual “marriages” (and won’t grant visas to their homosexual “spouses”), the Obama administration is prepared to abusively misuse its power. Kerry threatened to use coercive tactics against those nations that find homosexual practice repugnant. Apparently, we no longer respect the culture, beliefs and traditions of other nations. Just as the vindictive homosexual activists have brazenly run roughshod over the rights of conservative and Christian citizens here at home, Kerry promised more of the same around the world. Like the IRS, we are seeing the weaponizing of the foreign affairs agencies with a homosexual warhead.

Chris McDaniel Closes Out Senate Race By Campaigning With Bryan Fischer And Wayne Allyn Root

Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel spent this weekend rolling around Mississippi on the Tea Party Express bus, along with a motley assortment of fringe right-wing extremists.

McDaniel’s fellow travelers in his last tour before today's runoff election against Sen. Thad Cochran included Wayne Allyn Root, who told audiences that President Obama is a “Manchurian candidate” who lied about his resume; a songwriting duo known for the anti-immigrant song “Press 1 for English”; and notoriously anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-many-other-people American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who granted McDaniel what he said was his very first public endorsement of a candidate for office.

At the group’s stop in Biloxi, Root — a one-time Libertarian Party nominee for vice president — regaled the crowd with his theory that President Obama is a “Manchurian candidate” who “cut his Afro” in order to infiltrate the government, collapse the economy and create a permanent Democratic majority.

Strangely, although Root implies that President Obama did not actually attend Columbia University, he also claims that the president learned this “Manchurian” strategy at Columbia.

Root also told the crowd that “we’re the makers and Obama’s voters are the takers,” claiming that conservative radio exists because conservatives are listening to the radio on their way to work, while liberals are “home collecting their checks watching Oprah and Jerry Springer and ads for personal injury attorneys.”

At the bus’s Tupelo stop, Fischer made a surprise appearance to give McDaniel what he said was his first-ever public endorsement of a candidate for office, citing McDaniel's "Mississippi values." 

Also joining McDaniel on the Tea Party Express bus were Ron and Kay Rivoli, who the Tea Party group proudly notes are “best known for their hit song, ‘Press 1 for English,’ which has over 16 million views on YouTube.”

The Rivolis didn’t sing "Press 1 for English" at the McDaniel rallies, opting instead for a song about how welfare is turning the U.S. into the “USSA.” But here’s a look at their hit song, in which they announce, “I do not live in China, Mexico, no foreign place, and English is the language of these United States.”

As a bonus, here’s the Rivolis' song complaining about how liberals are always playing the “racist card.”

If you really want to, you can also listen to their anthem in support of Arizona's notorious anti-immigrant bill, SB1070.

 

Rick Santorum Joins Bryan Fischer For Christian Persecution Fear Fest

Even though Rick Santorum came under fire during his presidential campaign for appearing on Bryan Fischer’s radio program, the former senator stopped by Fischer’s show again today to promote his film studio’s new movie, “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.” The movie, which was made in conjunction with Fischer’s American Family Association, draws heavily from the right-wing narrative about supposed anti-Christian persecution in America.

Santorum told Fischer that business owners who refuse service to gay customers have been sent to “reeducation camps” and that pastors in the U.S. may soon be thrown into jail or martyred.

The former senator said that conservatives should emulate the intensity of liberal activists and refuse to throw in the towel on gay marriage: “We haven’t even lost yet and the majority of Americans still believe in marriage, and yet our side is willing to fold our tent and go away. We have to understand that this is a war and if we don’t engage in this war we will lose this war.”

Tim Wildmon Is Pretty Sure God Will Destroy America Any Day Now Thanks To Obama

In an essay in this month’s AFA Journal, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon writes that his group is working tirelessly to prevent God from destroying the country as retribution for President Obama’s support for abortion rights and LGBT equality.

“Our president is promoting the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered and queer agenda like there is no tomorrow,” Wildmon says, insisting that Obama’s support for the “immoral, unnatural and unhealthy” “lifestyle” of homosexuality is part of America’s wider “rebellion against God.”

He adds that while “God sometimes destroyed nations for their rebellion” — a punishment that “will happen to us as well if we continue down this path away from God” — America hasn’t just yet gone “down the tubes,” thanks to the AFA, of course.

If I may be so blunt, we have a president who is promoting an agenda much of which is in direct violation of God’s law. He is by far the most pro-abortion president in history. God hates the innocent shedding of blood, the killing of babies in the womb.

Our president is promoting the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered and queer agenda like there is no tomorrow. God says homosexuality is immoral, unnatural and unhealthy and should be repented of, not embraced and celebrated as a valid “alternative lifestyle.”

And on the issue of religious freedom, the president is trying to use the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to force Christian-owned businesses such as Hobby Lobby to violate their convictions. My goodness, the Obama administration even went after the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charity serving the elderly poor.

In addition, much of our popular culture is in open rebellion against God. Though they have little if any understanding of the Scripture, they routinely mock its message.

Humanly speaking, it’s easy to lose hope because the effects on our country by this kind of godlessness are devastating. The Scripture shows us that God sometimes destroyed nations for their rebellion against His moral standards and their lack of repentance. It will happen to us as well if we continue down this path away from God. I confess I get frustrated when I hear some of our fellow Christians saying we should disengage from politics, government and culture, as if we think we can live in isolation from the world around us.

AFA Wants Libraries To Dump 'Sexually Perverse' Gay Children's Book

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association was, unsurprisingly, upset to learn that some public libraries have been stocking “The Princes and the Treasure,” a children’s book that, in the words of its author Jeffrey Miles, "tells the story of two handsome princes who go on a quest to save a princess, but fall in love with each other, get married, and live happily ever after."

Fischer tells the Christian Post that “this book is a particularly pernicious form of sexually perverse propaganda” that “no responsible library should ever include” in its collection.

He adds that parents have the right not just to prevent their own kids from reading the book but to keep it from other children who might talk to their kids about it: "Christian parents don't want to be concerned only about their own children, they want to keep this kind of warped literature out of the hands of other children as well.”

Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a nonprofit Christian organization that supports traditional marriage, told CP on Thursday that "because of the power fairy tales, this book is a particularly pernicious form of sexually perverse propaganda."

"The stories and the images that children store up in their minds from fairy tales have a very powerful imprinting effect on their tender young souls," Fischer said. "And the bottom line is that no responsible library should ever include a book like this on its shelves, and no responsible school should ever use this book as a part of its curriculum."

He continued, "The reality is that no library can stock every book that's ever been published. So libraries choose all the time not to stock certain books. There's nothing wrong with parents asking the library not to stock a book of this nature."

Fischer noted that Christian parents aren't only concerned about what their children are reading, but they're also concerned about the literature that's influencing other children in their communities.

"Christian parents don't want to be concerned only about their own children, they want to keep this kind of warped literature out of the hands of other children as well," he asserted. "And if parents want this book for their children, there's nothing to stop them from going to Amazon and buying it with their own money. But taxpayer dollars should not be spent on tripe like this."

We discussed similar book censorship efforts in our recent report, “Book Wars.”

Via Book Patrol.

Bryan Fischer Proclaims That Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Good: 'It's A Virtue And It's Necessary'

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer called on anti-gay activists to "reclaim the word discrimination" because discrimination against gays, he repeatedly asserted, is a good thing.

"Discrimination, when it comes to sexual behavior," Fischer proclaimed," is not bad, it is good, and it is necessary. The alternative is utter social chaos. So [it's] time, ladies and gentlemen, to reclaim the discrimination word when it comes to sexual matters. It's not bad; it's good. It's a virtue and it's necessary":

AFA: Obama Gay Rights Speech 'Made A Mockery Of God's Word'

In a fundraising email today, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon shares “nine statements by Obama yesterday" that "made a mockery of God’s word.”

Wildmon lists such God-mocking statements as the president’s calling the overturning of DOMA “a great day for America” and noting the number of states that currently have marriage equality.

Paranoia-Rama: Straights Forced Into The Closet, Las Vegas 'False Flag,' Agenda 21 Destroying Iowa

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

Religious Right activists claimed this week that they are losing their “right” to not see gay people, even going so far as to compare their situation to the Holocaust.

5) It Ain’t Easy Being Straight

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon thinks straight people have it rough in America. In an email to the AFA’s members this week, Wildmon complained that heterosexuals are being pushed into the closet and forced to watch gay people kiss “mouth to mouth” on TV.

“Straight America is scared to death of offending or potentially offending gay, lesbian and transgender people and their powerful movement. It’s really embarrassing to watch,” he wrote, objecting especially to “Michael Sam’s mouth to mouth kiss of his lover on EPSN [sic].” Wildmon insisted that while he was grossed out by the kiss, he felt pressured by the media to enjoy it:

Sam and his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, decided to go "in your face," both to themselves (literally) and to those watching the draft on television including millions of young boys no doubt. After first kissing without debris, Sam then decided to put some cake in his mouth and go back after Vito for some more affection.

It was gross. But then I'm an old-school prude who doesn't believe men should be having sex with other men, so that is the reaction you would expect from people like me. I believe that kind of behavior is immoral, unhealthy and unnatural. If people want to live this lifestyle, that is their choice, but this idea of forcing people who disagree with it to applaud or else be shouted down, fined by the government or lose your job has gotten way out of hand.

“Now it is clear the sports world is also bowing the knee to GLBTQ,” he added. “We must get more Christians to wake up and fight back or we will lose our country” to public displays of “man-to-man mouth kissing.”

4) Gays Taking Away Freedom By Celebrating Pride Month

On a similar note, Linda Harvey of Mission America said this week that LGBT Pride Month celebrations have violated her freedom. She didn’t say which freedoms she lost exactly, but she definitely felt oppressed!

“Such conduct is nothing to be proud of,” she wrote in WorldNetDaily. “Their alleged freedom means loss of liberty for you and me.”

Harvey, who wants the government to ban such celebrations from taking place, warns that “this movement is causing collateral damage in America. Are we willing to open our eyes and see where this is going? More pride means less freedom for Christians. That means loss of virtue and a farewell to America’s soul. Isn’t it time for America to stop the parade?”

3) Holocaust Against American Christians Approaching

In case you thought the outpourings from Wildmon and Harvey were enough, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said this week that he’s pretty sure gay rights advocates will “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians” to concentration camps any day now.

In keeping with the theme, Southern Baptist Convention official Russell Moore worried about the prospect of pastors soon “going to jail” and Liberty Counsel attorneys Mat Staver and Matt Barber offered their own Nazi Germany analogy.

2) Blame Obama (And Facebook) For Las Vegas Shooting

No one should be surprised that Alex Jones claimed that the murder of three people in Las Vegas by two far-right activists hoping to launch an anti-government revolution was actually a false flag operation by Obama.

What is slightly surprising is that the InfoWars host claimed Facebook was in on the maneuver too:

1) Agenda 21 In Iowa

Right-wing conspiracy theories and absurd allegations about how the United Nations’ Agenda 21 will take away private property rights and force people into cities have truly gone mainstream in the GOP, with the latest musings about the non-binding environmental plan coming from the Iowa lawmaker who just won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Joni Ernst, a Republican state senator, suggested in a 2013 speech that the United Nations will use Agenda 21 to have Iowans thrown off “their agricultural land” and “consolidated into city centers.”

Bryan Fischer Says Commemorating Harvey Milk Is Like Honoring Jeffrey Dahmer

After the American Family Association urged members to refuse to open any letter which used a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp, Atlantic’s The Wire tried to see if the AFA, along with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, would accept a $5 donation enclosed in such an envelope.

While The AFA said they declined the donation, the other two anti-gay groups both processed the donation.

AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer used the opportunity to compare Milk to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer: “Speaking to The Wire, AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fischer said that the very existence of the Harvey Milk stamp was akin to ‘honoring Jeffrey Dahmer on a postage stamp designed to honor the culinary arts.’”

How much do anti-gay groups hate the new Harvey Milk stamps from the U.S. Postal Service? One organization refused to even open a mailed donation to their cause using one such stamp as postage. Staying true to their announcement that they would boycott all mail with the Milk stamps, the American Family Association told The Wire that the organization had mailed back our attempted $5 donation to their anti-gay group unopened. Speaking to The Wire, AFA's Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fischer said that the very existence of the Harvey Milk stamp was akin to "honoring Jeffrey Dahmer on a postage stamp designed to honor the culinary arts." That's because Fischer and the AFA, citing a line from a biography of Milk, believe that Milk was a sexual predator. "He is not somebody that should ever be honored on a postage stamp," Fischer said.

In an email to The Wire, AFA Special Projects director Randy Sharp said that the group marked our $5 donation "'Return to Sender' and returned it to the post office the next day." We still haven't received the rejected donation at Wire HQ, but Sharp included photo evidence (above) of the unopened donation on its way to a somewhat-expected round trip. Since announcing their boycott in late May, Fischer told us that the organization has received "several dozen" pieces of mail with Harvey Milk stamps on them. Unlike our attempted donation, few of those letters came with a return address. "There has been a juvenile effort to tweak us on this," Fischer added. The unopened, orphaned letters are currently sitting in a box in the AFA's offices.



Two other anti-gay groups (who, to be perfectly clear, did not pledge to boycott the stamps) are indeed accepting mailed donations with the Milk stamp, based on our experiment: Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council both processed The Wire's mailed $5 donations to their organizations, based on the records of this writer's slightly lighter bank accounts. Focus on the Family declined to comment on the stamps and on their newest donors; we'll let you know if the Family Research Council returns our request for comment.

Fischer: Obama 'Happy' To Return Taliban Fighters To The Battle Field Because They Share The 'Same Objective'

On his radio broadcast yesterday, Bryan Fischer declared that President Obama is eager to release members of the Taliban from Guantanamo Bay so that they can go back into battle against the United States since both he and the Taliban share the "same objective" of destroying America.

Fischer said that Obama actually seemed "happy about" the prospect of released Taliban fighters returning to the battlefield and that is because "the purpose of the Taliban is to defeat America and [Obama] believes that America needs to be punished."

"Since that's the same objective as the Taliban has," Fischer said, "that's why he really doesn't have a problem releasing them back into the field of battle":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/11/14

  • Linda Harvey warns that "more 'gay pride' means less freedom."
  • Jennifer Roback Morse is working on "a plan that recruits and trains large numbers of motivated people to create a mass social movement for social change."
  • Glenn Beck says Dave Brat's victory over Eric Cantor "is a return to common sense."
  • Chris McDaniel has now made four appearances on Bryan Fischer's radio program since October.
  • Finally, AFA President Tim Wildmon declares that "straight America is scared to death of offending or potentially offending gay, lesbian and transgender people and their powerful movement. It's really embarrassing to watch."

Fischer Upset Pope Francis Allowed Worship Of The 'Demon God' Allah At The Vatican

On Sunday, Pope Francis hosted an interfaith "prayer gathering" at the Vatican featuring Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well as Jewish, Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders.

Bryan Fischer, of course, is not happy about it, mainly because Muslims worship a "demon god."

Saying that interfaith prayers are "horribly misguided," Fischer declared that "not every being that occupies the unseen world, the spiritual world, is a good guy, is a good spirit," explaining that in addition to the good spirits of God, Jesus, and angels, there are also countless dark, dangerous, and sinister spirits that are under the control of Satan.

Allah is one of the latter, Fischer proclaimed, saying "Allah, as he is referred to and thought of and addressed and spoken of and invoked by Muslims is not a god, he is a demon":

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Todd Starnes 'Cannot Wait For The Day That We Have A President That Loves America'

Todd Starnes appeared on the AFA's "Today's Issues" radio program last week to discuss the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl where he suggested that President Obama has "deserted" the United States of America.

Claiming that Bergdahl is a traitor who had betrayed his country, Starnes declared that "this soldier may not be the only one who has deserted; I think President Obama has deserted his obligations and responsibilities as President of the United States of America."

AFA president Tim Wildmon agreed, asserting that he feels like he is "living in the Twilight Zone" because "it's as if our own president is against our country ... I look at what's going on and I go 'whose side is this guy on?'"

While Wildmon predicted that this story would help the Republicans in the midterm elections because "Democrats are scurrying like rats on a ship that's on fire" to distance themselves from this story, Starnes simply stated that "I cannot wait for the day that we have a president that loves America":

Bryan Fischer Can't Seem To Keep His Story Straight

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer said that while he has great respect for Ben Carson, he is not sure that Carson has the toughness needed to withstand the relentless onslaught of attacks and lies he will face if he decides to run for president.

And Fischer was speaking from experience, he said, "because virtually everything I say that the Left gets hold of they twist, they distort it, they try to create the impression that I have said something different from what I have said." This has become so routine that Fischer doesn't even bother trying to correct the record any more since people on the Left "don't care if they have misrepresented you, misconstrued what you've said; they're doing that intentionally, that's what they want to do because they want to take what do and twist it and turn it in a way to make you look as bad as humanly possible."

This comes as news to us, especially since probably 99% of the video clips featuring Fischer were first posted on this blog which, on multiple occasions, Fischer has praised for helping him to "get the word out" by posting clips that feature "exactly the soundbite that I want them to use":

Of course, by posting these clips of him saying two diametrically opposed things, we are probably guilty of creating the impression that Fischer has said something different from what he said.

Fischer: Bergdahl Release Offers More Proof Obama 'Is Secretly A Muslim'

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer said the deal to release Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl provides further evidence that President Obama "is secretly a Muslim."

Asserting that Obama insisted on releasing five members of the Taliban as part of the exchange deal because he is constantly attempting to assist radical Islam all over the world, Fischer asserted that Obama's "face lit up like a Christmas tree" when Bergdahl's father briefly spoke in Arabic at the White House, which is another reason to believe that Obama is actually a Muslim.

"I've had Washington insiders tell me everyone in D.C. believes that secretly he is a Muslim," Fischer said, "and when President Obama does stuff like this, it starts making that explanation easier and easier to believe":

The 10 Most Absurd Arguments Against The Udall Citizens United Amendment

While good-government groups have been calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s dismantling of campaign finance laws since the day the Court handed down Citizens United in 2010, the issue has been largely off the radar of conservative activists – and has actually enjoyed broad bipartisan support in an array of polls and in state and municipal ballot measures.

It was largely off their radar, that is, until this week. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposal by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., to send a constitutional amendment to the states restoring to Congress and state governments the ability to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections. In response, Republican politicians and conservative activists have kicked into gear and are starting to try out new talking points to get their movement to oppose efforts to lessen the influence of big money in politics.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, launched the misleading campaign two weeks ago when he warned a group of pastors that the Udall proposal would “repeal the First Amendment” and allow Congress to “muzzle” the free speech of clergy. In advance of the hearing today, conservative groups including the Family Research Council, Eagle Forum, Tea Party Patriots and the Home School Legal Defense Association started to mobilize against the amendment. Yesterday, the Heritage Foundation held a panel discussion to test out arguments against the amendment, featuring Bobby Burchfield, the attorney who argued the McCutcheon case before the Supreme Court, controversial former FEC chairman Don McGahn, and infamous voter-fraud conspiracy theorist Hans van Spakovsky .

Here, we’ve collected some of the most deceptive arguments that have been launched so far against the Udall amendment.

1. Democrats want to repeal the First Amendment!

When we first heard Ted Cruz  tell a stunned group of pastors that Democrats in the Senate were planning to “repeal the First Amendment,” we knew that we would be hearing that line again and again.

And we were right. Tea Party Patriots adopted the line in mobilizing its activists, as did the Eagle Forum. The Family Research Council claimed the Udall amendment would “strip political speech out of the First Amendment,” and von Spakovsky told the Heritage panel that the amendment would “roll back” the Bill of Rights.

Burchfield and McGahn both argued that the introduction of the constitutional amendment means, in the words of McGahn, that campaign finance law advocates are “admitting” that campaign finance regulations are “unconstitutional.”

On the surface, this is the opposition’s strongest argument, because it sounds so scary. But it’s just not true. Whether you support the Udall amendment or not, it’s dishonest to suggest that it would amount to a “repeal of the First Amendment.” Instead, proponents argue that it strengthens the First Amendment by undoing the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence declaring that spending on elections, including from corporate treasuries, cannot be limited. Proponents of the Udall amendment hold that this jurisprudence, including recent decisions in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, represented a radical reinterpretation of the First Amendment; undoing them would simply re-establish the ability of Congress and the states to set reasonable regulations on the raising and spending of money to influence elections.

2. Amendment supporters want to ‘silence critics’ and ‘cling to power’!

The Heritage panelists repeatedly claimed that the Udall amendment is an attempt to protect incumbency by preventing challengers from raising enough money to win elections. McGahn insisted that it was an effort by Democratic incumbents “desperately clinging to power.”

“They want to change the rules of the game and prevent people from criticizing them, not unlike England did before our revolution, and which led to our revolution,” he added.

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios also invoked the American Revolution in an interview with von Spakovsky yesterday, saying, “The First Amendment, the rights to free speech – particularly the right to political speech – were the right to criticize the king, criticize the authorities over you.”

In a later interview with Rios, Tea Party Patriots spokesman Scott Hogenson even managed to connect the Udall amendment with immigration reform, claiming that both are part of a “larger, concerted effort to maintain the Democratic Party’s control of American politics and eventually move to one-party rule.”

In reality, it’s unlimited campaign spending that tends to be a boon for incumbents, who on average are able to raise far more than challengers. For instance, in Texas, a state with few campaign finance limits, incumbents who win on average raise more than twelve times the average amount raised by challengers. By contrast, in Colorado, which has relatively low individual contribution limits, incumbents on average raise less than three times what challengers are able to raise [pdf].

3. Liberals just want to protect the lame-stream media!

In his speech to the pastors' group, Ted Cruz seized on the Udall proposal’s stipulation that “Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press” to claim that the amendment carved out an exemption to protect the New York Times.

Von Spakovsky also played up conservative conspiracy theories about the “liberal media,” telling Rios, “No surprise, there’s a glaring exception in this proposed amendment for the press. And that means that MSNBC or the New York Times Company, which are big corporations, they could spend as much newsprint or airtime as they wanted going after and criticizing candidates or talking about political issues.”

These arguments fail to recognize one key distinction, which is that there is a difference between the New York Times publishing an editorial (which would be protected under the proposed amendment, as it is now) and the corporate managers of the New York Times taking $50 million out of their corporate treasury to buy ads to influence an election (which would not be protected).

4. They’ll go after pastors!

Opponents of the constitutional amendment have also been trying to tie the proposal to the right-wing paranoia about the impending persecution of America’s Christian majority .

It’s no coincidence that Cruz rolled out his criticism of the Udall proposal at a pastors’ event organized by the Family Research Council, a main theme of which was the supposed assault on the religious liberty of Christians in America. Cruz told the pastors that the Udall measure would “muzzle” clergy and was being proposed because “they don’t like it when pastors in their community stand up and speak the truth.”

Likewise, McGahn said at the Heritage event that the amendment would endanger the religious liberty of clergy: “What about pastors and churches? This is an issue that comes up once in a while. Can the government get in there and tell a priest he can’t talk to his congregation because it may somehow have something to do with politics?”

This might be true if the proposal would, in fact, “repeal the First Amendment.” In fact, the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty would remain in place.

Of course, that didn’t stop the FRC’s Tony Perkins from somehow linking the Udall amendment to the imprisonment of a Christian woman in Sudan:

5. It’s like the Alien & Sedition Acts!

Along with comparisons to British control before the American Revolution, amendment opponents are trying to link the Udall proposal to the 18th century Alien & Sedition Acts.

In his interview with Rios yesterday, van Spakovsky claimed that “the last time Congress tried to do something like this was when they passed the Alien & Sedition Act in 1798 that criminalized criticism of the government.” Multiple GOP senators at today’s hearing, including Judiciary Committeee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, repeated the talking point.

Of course, the amendment does nothing to reduce the right of individuals to criticize the government or politicians.

6. The polls are skewed!

When an audience member at yesterday’s Heritage Foundation panel asked about polls showing overwhelming opposition to the Citizens United decision, McGahn replied that the questions in the polls were “skewed.”

You can judge for yourself whether this question from a recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll  – which found 80 percent opposition to the Citizens United decision  – is “skewed” on behalf of campaign finance law proponents:

(image via Buzzfeed)

7. What about disclosure?

In one of the least self-aware moments we’ve witnessed in the last few days, McGahn told the Heritage audience that campaign finance reform proponents could have just worked for tougher disclosure requirements, which the Supreme Court’s majority has consistently endorsed as a way to prevent corruption:

What’s interesting is the courts have upheld some disclosure of independent speech, which six months ago was supposed to be the answer, a year ago was supposed to be the answer – remember the DISCLOSE Act, Part 1 and Part 2? Well, that was supposed to cure all the ills in our democracy, but unfortunately I guess they’ve given up on that and they’ve moved to the more radical change, which is the constitutional amendment.

Of course, the DISCLOSE Act – which would have exposed the source of some of the “dark money” behind large campaign expenditures – was blocked by Senate Republicans. And McGahn, when he was at the FEC, fought hard against disclosure requirements proposed in the wake of the Citizens United decision, even though the decision explicitly sanctioned such requirements.

8. The poor don’t participate anyway!

Speaking to the Heritage audience, Burchfield  presented the curious argument that the Udall amendment would demand to "equalize debate among the haves and have-nots,” and since “the portion is small” of “those with limited means” who participate in electoral debates, this would require “severe restrictions.”

The rich do not advocate a single viewpoint. Think of Sheldon Adelson and George Soros, they don’t agree on anything. There are strong voices on the left and on the right, not just in privately funded campaign advertisements, but also in the broadcast and print media. Only a small portion of those with significant resources even bother to participate in the debate. And among those with limited means, the portion is small indeed. In order to equalize debate among the haves and the have-nots, severe restrictions would be necessary. The quantity and quality of discourse would certainly suffer.

The amendment under consideration doesn’t require that everybody be heard an equal amount; instead, it gives Congress and the states the ability to create a more even platform for those who wish to be heard, regardless of their financial means.  

Burchfield's reasoning echoes the arguments of voter-suppression proponents who claim that their laws only inconvenience people who don’t really care about voting anyway.

9. It’s voter suppression!

Although many of the advocates of unlimited, undisclosed money in politics are the same people pushing harmful voter suppression laws, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas yesterday insisted that it’s actually amendment proponents who are advocating “voter suppression” and want to “silence” critics.

10. Blame Saul Alinsky!

Inevitably, anti-amendment activists have begun invoking the right-wing bogey-man Saul Alinsky.

Hogenson told Rios that the Udall amendment is “just taken right out of Saul Alinksy’s book, ‘Rules for Radicals,’ it just makes up a gigantic lie and perpetuates it, that somehow democracy needs to be restored.”

Von Spakovsky also invoked Alinsky in his interview with Rios, claiming that criticism of the enormous political spending of the Koch brothers is an Alinskyite plot: “What’s really going on here is, look, if you look at Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals,’ one of the rules that he sets out is you pick a villain and you basically blame those villains for all of the problems. It’s a way of distracting the public, it’s a way of diverting attention, and that’s exactly what Harry Reid and the Democrats are doing here.”

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