CitizenLink

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/20/14

Anti-Gay Groups Take Out Two Pro-Equality Indiana GOP State Reps

Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest .

According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm Citizenlink, the Family Research Council and the FRC’s Indiana affiliate the Indiana Family Institute were all involved in the effort to unseat the pro-marriage lawmakers. NOM writes:

NOM, the Indiana Family Institute, the American Family Association of Indiana, Citizenlink, and Family Research Council Action had warned politicians before the marriage amendment vote in the legislature that if they did not give the people the chance to vote on marriage this year, there would be political repercussions. After the failure of the legislature to pass the question to the voters, the coalition worked together to choose its targets, particularly the ousting of Heuer and Kubacki while protecting marriage champions. 

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Family Institute’s political arm "ran $12,000 worth of radio ads in the Fort Wayne area targeting Heuer, Kubacki, and a third incumbent, Casey Cox of Fort Wayne,” who won his primary contest. The FRC-affiliated group also reportedly sent out 10,000 mailers in support of the marriage amendment’s sponsor in his successful effort to fend off a primary challenger.

In February, NOM and Citizenlink started airing radio ads against at least one Republican state lawmaker who ultimately voted for the marriage amendment, but supported a change that would remove a ban on civil unions from the measure, thus pushing back the schedule for getting the ban on the ballot. The groups accused proponents of the change of bringing “San Francisco-style marriage” to Indiana.

In a statement, FRC president Tony Perkins touted his organization’s recent poll on how Republican voters view marriage equality and claimed that “elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.”

"The election outcome reinforces the findings of an FRC-commissioned survey released last month showing three-quarters of Republican voters want their elected officials to uphold natural marriage as the national standard. Voters in Indiana and across the country are now realizing that much more than marriage is on the line. Elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.

"Redefining natural marriage is about far more than the marriage altar; it is about fundamentally altering society. In the wake of same-sex marriage, religious freedom and parental rights have been lost. Business owners, like florists, bakers and photographers, have been hauled into court, fined and even put out of business for simply refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. But it doesn't stop there; university professors, sportscasters and even members of the military have been demoted or fired for simply believing marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Families have been impacted as parents have lost the right to determine whose values are taught to their children," concluded Perkins.

Michael Medved At CPAC: States Have Never Banned Gay Marriage, 'That's A Liberal Lie!'

Right-wing talk show host Michael Medved told a CPAC panel sponsored by Focus on the Family today that same-sex marriage has never been banned. While debating the issue of marriage equality with Alexander McCobin of Students for Liberty, Medved claimed, “There’s never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage, that’s a liberal lie.”

Medved seemed to be citing the Religious Right talking point that marriage bans aren’t discriminatory since a gay person could marry someone of the opposite sex, which is the same arguments once made by opponents of the legalization of interracial marriage.

Focus On The Family: Gays Are Blaming Christians For Their Own Emotional And Psychological Pain

On the most recent "CitizenLink Report" from Focus on the Family, Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht defended the recently vetoed legal discrimination bill in Arizona as nothing more than "an otherwise ordinary bill" that was badly misrepresented by gay activists.

As Shepard explained, the push for gay rights will not stop until Christian are compelled to celebrate same-sex marriages under the force of law and Hausknecht agreed, saying that what gay activists ultimately seek is the "coerced acceptance of all of their actions, behaviors, and whatnot."

"That's the direction the country is headed," Hausknecht declared. "It's a sad story to actually have to tell people."

Shepard concluded that the entire issue is rooted in the fact that gay people are in deep psychological and emotional pain but refuse to accept the fact that it is their own behavior that is causing such pain and instead lash out at Christians in order to use the law to force Christians into silence on this issue:

Focus On The Family Praises Ex-Gay Therapy, Wonders If Chris Christie Approves Of Adultery

Tom Minnery , head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, criticized Gov. Chris Christie for signing a bill barring the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. He told Stuart Shepard that ex-gay therapy is “common and there is a history of them working well, many people have lost their confusion about sexuality as a result of them to the good.”

Minnery also feared the society is making kids think they are gay when they are not, increasing the need for the discredited pseudo-scientific practice: “As society prides itself on putting homosexuality on a pedestal you can see how more and more young people might think they are gay, might think they are lesbian, but what they are probably is just confused and need precisely the kind of help that the governor by signing this law says they cannot have and that’s a tragedy.”

Later, Shepard wondered if Christie, who said he didn’t consider homosexuality to be a sin, urged reporters to ask him “if immorality is okay, are you okay with adultery? Is that what you’re saying, what sins and which ones are out, Gov. Christie?” “Someone ought to ask that question of his wife, what about adultery,” Minnery added.

(HT: Michael Allen)

Religious Right Groups Work to Defeat Treaty on Rights of People with Disabilities, Falsely Claim it Sanctions Abortion

Conservative organizations have come out strongly against the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities, with Rick Santorum leading the charge. The groups are upset about the treaty ensuring that people with disabilities have equal rights because they claim it is “pro-abortion.”

Article 25 of the Treaty reads in part: 

States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. In particular, States Parties shall:

(a) Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes;

Anti-choice activists are angry about the inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” in the nondiscrimination clause, according to LifeNews:

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, has previously noted the pro-life concerns, saying abortion advocates put language in the treaty in Article 25 that requires signatories to ‘provide persons with disabilities… free or affordable health care including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.’” “Translation: the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense” he said. “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tried to neutralize the threat during the mark-up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Unfortunately, his amendment (which would have stopped the treaty from forcing abortion policy on countries that sign) was thwarted by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) after a debate.”

Several pro-life groups are on record opposing the treaty, including Eagle Forum, Family Research Council Action, CitizenLink, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, and others.

In addition, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) have also came out against ratification.

But Perkins’s claim that the treaty “could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled-at taxpayer expense” is simply false.

The State Department makes clear that the treaty “does not include abortion” and the phrase “reproductive health” in Article 25 “does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion.”

The Convention is firmly rooted in the principles of equality and non-discrimination. As the Chairperson and many other delegations, including the United States, have noted on countless occasions over the course of negotiations, the treaty reinforces existing rights and is aimed at assuring that persons with disabilities will be treated on an equal basis with others.

This approach was reflected in oral statements and in various places in the written travaux preparatoires, including in a footnote to the draft text of Article 25 that appeared in the report of the Seventh Ad Hoc Committee.

In this regard, the United States understands that the phrase "reproductive health" in Article 25(a) of the draft Convention does not include abortion, and its use in that Article does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion. We stated this understanding at the time of adoption of the Convention in the Ad Hoc Committee, and note that no other delegation suggested a different understanding of this term.

Even the National Right to Life Committee reported after the text was adopted that no delegate interpreted “reproductive health” to mean abortion and that “delegates from pro-life nations ultimately accepted this language.” “The committee responsible for enforcing compliance to this treaty would be going way beyond their mandate if they were to interpret the term ‘reproductive health’ to include abortion,” the NRLC said:

The legally undefined and controversial term "reproductive health" remains in the document despite the fact that the term has never appeared in any other UN treaty. However, all parties maintained that the term does not include abortion and that its inclusion in this treaty cannot be interpreted to create any new rights such as a right to abortion.

The final version of Article 25 (a) on health states that nations signing and ratifying the treaty shall: "Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health. . . . ."

Delegates from pro-life nations ultimately accepted this language because they were assured and became confident that it does not include abortion or create any new human rights such as a right to abortion.

For example, during the debate the Treaty Chairman, Ambassador McKay of New Zealand, stated repeatedly that the use of the term "reproductive health" in this treaty does not create any new human rights such as abortion. He even added a non-binding footnote to the record of negotiations, not the treaty itself, which he claimed would preclude any such misinterpretation of the term.

Numerous delegates from nations throughout the world including the European Union agreed with Chairman McKay that the term "reproductive health" does not include abortion. No delegate from any nation stated that it does.

In light of all these statements and the language of the treaty, the committee responsible for enforcing compliance to this treaty would be going way beyond their mandate if they were to interpret the term "reproductive health" to include abortion. It is crucial that they do not because nations that sign and ratify a treaty are required to change their laws in order to comply with the treaty.

But for the Religious Right, even definitive evidence that the treaty’s language does not refer to abortion doesn’t change their mind that the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities must be defeated.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/31/12

  • Charisma publisher Steven Strang is urging all Americans to vote for Mitt Romney. 
  • Sen. Scott Brown is bravely using Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to skip the final debate against Elizabeth Warren.
  • Is there a "new Christian conservatism"? The fact that it was unveiled at the Family Research Council headquarters makes us doubt it.
  • Ted Nugent says "we are all heartbroken that the Herculean work ethic that dominated The Last Best Place and made America The Last Best Place has dwindled considerably since the big lies of The New Deal and The Great Society succeeded in brainwashing a segment of our country to believe Fedzilla would provide for anyone who decided, for whatever reason, to not be productive." I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.
  • Finally, this is a new election ad from Focus on the Family:

Right Wing Leftovers - 9/26/12

  • There is an election coming, so that means we will be seeing various Religious Right coalitions organizing redundant prayer efforts.
  • CitizenLink thinks a video of President Obama talking about the importance of religious liberty is really an effort to use religion as a wedge issue.
  • Tommy Thompson says he'll make a great Senator because "who better than me, who's already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?"
  • Newt Gingrich says Obama "is like the substitute referees in the sense that he’s not a real president. He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do."
  • Apparently, illegally uploading copies of "2016" is part of an effort to "to drive viewers away from the theatrical showing of the successful documentary." So I guess illegally uploading copies of "The Avengers" is an attempt to keep people from seeing "The Avengers"?
  • Finally, Cindy Jacobs says prayer alone isn't enough; it must be accompanied by action, which is they are calling for "prayer activism" ahead of the election.

Focus on the Family Lists Homosexuality alongside Rape and Adultery as Signs of 'Brokenness'

Ex-gay activist and Focus on the Family analyst Jeff Johnston is launching a new group, with Focus’s blessing, focused on sexual orientation conversion therapy in the wake of criticisms of the tactic by Exodus International’s Alan Chambers. Johnston says that Satan is responsible for the “sexual brokenness” found in gays and lesbians and that their sexual orientation is a result of poor parenting and molestation. Today, Johnston posted on an article on Focus’s political arm CitizenLink where he mocked homophobia and heteronormativity as rare, ridiculous and unfounded, comparing the LGBT rights movement to a campaign of people with deteriorating eyesight who stop wearing their eyeglasses, even if that means causing accidents while driving, in protest of “binocular-normativity.” He lambasted LGBT rights advocates for having people be “defined” by “their brokenness,” saying that homosexual and transgender people are just more signs of the world’s “brokenness,” just like rape, adultery and STIs.

Aside from my own near-sightedness, astigmatisms and presbyopia, three family members have lost an eye – for a variety of unrelated reasons. Two of them wear prosthetic eyes. Yet everywhere I look, it is a two-eyed world. When was the last time you saw someone on television take out his prosthetic eye? My family started a campaign; you may have seen some of our bumper stickers: “Monoculars Unite!” “Blind is Good!” “End Binocular-Normativity!”

Textbooks should show more people with no eyes or one eye – why do they all assume people have two eyes? Kids with glasses get teased and called “four eyes.” Our national anthem is an insult – no, I can’t “see by the dawn’s early light” – until I fumble around and find my glasses. I spent a month protesting 20/20-vision-normativity by not wearing my glasses. After a couple car accidents, my wife made me put them on again. People with good vision don’t have to spend thousands of dollars over their lifetime for glasses, contacts, prosthetic eyes, LASIK, cataract surgery, seeing-eye dogs or learning braille. It’s just not fair.



Aside from nature and culture, God has also revealed his truth for our sexuality in the Bible. We go back to the words of Genesis – affirmed by Jesus in the Gospels – and read that God created us male and female in his image. Things are defined by their perfection, by what they are supposed to be, not by their brokenness. So we don’t redefine God’s creation or gauge how we should live by the broken sexuality we see around us: adultery, pornography, sexually-transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, abortion, infertility, transgenderism, homosexuality, misogyny, lust, divorce, rape.

Same-sex lusts, fantasies and sexual activity violate God’s male-female design in a unique way. Instead of normalizing brokenness, calling homosexuality “good,” and identifying people by their sexual attractions, those who follow Jesus are called to bring redemption, grace and transformation.

Similarly, our sexuality and relationships have been dreadfully impacted by sin. Many of us under-estimate the power and effects of sin; we don’t understand how what Dallas Willard calls “radical evil in the ruined soul” has affected our sexuality and relationships. Sin devastates lives. And sexual sin, because sexuality is so good, so powerful, and such a deep part of our being, is especially destructive.

Even in our sexual brokenness, we see glimmers of God’s design. One of those glimmers is that though humans have the capacity for all kinds of sexual behaviors, and despite sin, the world is largely heteronormative – and not arbitrarily so. Most cultures recognize the truth displayed in our bodies, that humanity is divided into two sexes, male and female. And almost all have some form of marriage – mainly to keep children with the husband and wife who procreated them.

On Anniversary of the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Once-Hysterical Religious Right is Largely Silent

On this day last year, the military certified the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy after Congress overturned the policy. Religious Right activists warned that the military will suffer as a result, however, their ominous predictions failed to materialize as studies show that the new policy is working and benefiting the military.

Consequently, it wasn’t a surprise that anti-gay groups were largely quiet today on the anniversary as their warnings about an exodus of soldiers, a drop in enlistments and a return of the draft were clearly wrong.

Ron Crews of the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty released a statement that the “radical sexual agenda in our military” is leading to significant “negative consequences,” citing one example of possible sexual harassment, same-sex ceremonies on bases and the supposed “silencing” of chaplains and DADT supporters:

No Cause for Celebration: DADT Repeal Immediately Creates Major Problems for Service Members

Approaching the first anniversary of the repeal of the so-called DADT policy, mounting evidence demonstrates the negative consequences of implementing a radical sexual agenda in our military.

“The American armed forces exist to defend our nation, not as social experiment lab in which our troops serve as human subjects,” said Chaplain (Colonel Retired) Ron Crews, ED of CALL. ”While many will ignore the negative impacts, or pretend that they don’t exist, threats to our troops’ freedom are mounting.”



“This list of problems and incidents that have arisen mere months after this administration imposed its will on the armed forces is disturbing to say the least, and we know it is only the beginning,” said Crews. “Compounding the outrage, service members are not free to speak out about these matters. This ensures that distrust in the ranks will increase and morale will decrease as the number of silenced victims grows.”

Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink also said in a post quoting Crews and calling for Congress to pass a GOP-backed bill banning same-sex ceremonies on military property, which they said would preserve religious freedom by barring all chaplains from performing such ceremonies:

Crew said that a military religious freedom act introduced in January, House Resolution 3828, would help military personnel greatly.

“It’s a right-of-conscience clause that would provide protection to military personnel, so they would not be affected by their opposition to the repeal,” he explained.

If passed, H.R. 3828 would protect members of the Armed Forces who hold religious or moral convictions concerning “the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality” from discrimination or punishment for their beliefs.

The bill seeks to protect chaplains from being ordered to perform any services or ceremonies contrary to their faith, while preventing any same-sex marriage ceremonies from being performed on military posts, in accordance with the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who predicted an increase in rape if the policy was repealed, pivoted away from his group’s hysterical claims to instead focus on possible same-sex marriages in the military, a result of the “radical sexual and social agenda” pushed by “homosexual activists.” Sprigg also cited a survey from the Military Times, but didn’t mention that the same poll found negative views of the repeal among service members are declining.

He also dismissed claims that the military would have “completely collapsed in the first year after repeal” since “our service members are too professional to allow that to happen,” but FRC president Tony Perkins did in fact predict the reinstitution of the draft and that congressmen who voted for the repeal will have “blood on their hands.”

Since eight servicemembers reported harm from both circumstances (a homosexual “coming out” and one joining their unit), a total of 36 separate individuals reported such harm. The Palm Center chose to emphasize that this was only 4.5% of all those surveyed—failing to mention that it represents twenty percent of those who had a homosexual “come out” or join their unit. Twenty percent represents a significant risk of harm for the units involved—merely to advance the goals of the sexual revolution. Damage to good order, discipline, morale, and unit cohesion need not be universal to be unacceptable.

In the same Military Times survey, 8.4% of respondents said that repeal made them less likely to remain in the military, while only 3.3% said it would make them more likely to remain.

The Palm Center report almost completely ignores the most significant harms that have become immediately apparent in the first year since repeal. Predictions that the use of the military to advance a radical social/sexual agenda would place us on a “slippery slope” have clearly come true. Furthermore, assurances given in the November 2010 report of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) regarding the limited impact of repeal have not been fulfilled. Since the CRWG report was to a large extent the basis for the Congressional vote for repeal in December of 2010, it can even be argued that repeal was adopted under false pretenses.



Has America’s military completely collapsed in the first year after repeal? Of course not—our servicemembers are too professional to allow that to happen. The military is clearly being used, however, to advance a radical sexual and social agenda. The Palm Center cited one individual who stated that repeal “will help facilitate the slow cultural change towards greater acceptance” of homosexuality.

The purpose of our armed forces, however, is not to “facilitate cultural change.” It is to fight and win wars. By demanding that it do more than that, homosexual activists have undermined the single-minded focus that is necessary for military effectiveness.

 

Religious Right Groups Hosting Prayer Rally to kick off Republican National Convention

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”

Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.

The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:

And unleashing "Holy Laughter":

Anti-Gay Groups Prepare for Potential Ohio Referendum on Marriage Ban

Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), the Family Research Council and the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values are planning six seminars in Ohio over the coming months to train Culture Impact Teams and “answer the cry of a culture that needs help.”

While FRC’s Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson won’t be attending in person, they have sent messages, including this one from Dobson condemning an effort to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex marriage by referendum in 2013:

Traditional marriage is on the line. Will your church help guarantee its future?

Will you help us organize and mobilize your county to answer the cry of a culture that needs help?

Will you join a growing network of Ohio Pastors, church staff and laymen to be a witness in a hurting culture and defend issues that threaten our families, our faith, and our freedom?

SIX, FREE training seminars for pastors, church staff and laymen to launch a Culture Impact Team (CIT). Learn alongside other church leaders how to defend family, faith and freedom during this critical election year.

Confirmed guest speakers include: Attorney Matt Rawlings (Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly Alliance Defense Fund), former Congressman Bill Redmond (Focus on the Family), and National Field Director Randy Wilson (Family Research Council), Pastor J. C. Church, former Representative Seth Morgan and CCV President Phil Burress.

Additional perks: Hear about Watchmen on the Wall, an FRC ministry that supports the local pastor. –Access to sermon starters and research on the issues facing our families and culture. –CIT

Manual to multiply your leadership and influence in your church and community-A Voter Impact Toolkit DVD, containing 12 high quality videos you can pick from to encourage your church, as well as all you need to do a Christian Citizenship Sunday.

Focus on the Family Reveals How Colorado Wildfires Are Providing a Valuable Lesson About Sex Ed

Right now, wildfires are currently devastating parts of Colorado and these fires are making the Colordao-based political arm of Focus on the Family think about ... sex? 

It seems that to the folks at CitizenLink, the tragic consequences of these wildfires are just like the tragic consequences of sex-education since teaching students about safe sex is no different than handing them matches and sending them out into the woods:  

Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath?

These questions are similar to what the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is asking Congress and state legislatures about our nation’s approach toward pre-marital sex ... Certain questions arise: Why aren’t our schools, our states and our nation placing a clear and unquestionable priority on sexual risk avoidance (SRA)? Why are we intentionally spending billions of dollars handing kids matches (condoms), which result in careless (sexual) “fires” and treating victims who have been unnecessarily burned by sex (STDs, pregnancy)? Wouldn’t prevention be cheaper and healthier?

“Safe” sex education – or promoting casual sex, while handing out condoms and birth control to kids – is analogous to passing out matches to kids in school, and telling them, “Be sure you play safely with these in the forest and, above all, have fun!”

It’s irresponsible messaging that encourages high-risk behavior at a great cost to families and our entire nation.

Yet our federal government currently pours nearly 16 times as much money into “safe” sex education than it does into helping kids learn how to avoid starting fires in the area of sexuality or SRA. Perhaps this is why we have so many uncontained “fires” caused by sex outside of marriage.

What can we learn?

  • Neither adults nor children should ever play carelessly with matches or fire, especially in forests. Safe places exist to enjoy the warmth of a contained fire in the right context at the right time – started and monitored by responsible adults.
  • Neither adults nor children should carelessly play with sex, especially outside of marriage. A safe place exists to enjoy sexual bonding within the right context at the right time – when a responsible, adult man and adult woman are able sustain a lifelong, commitment to each other within the context of marriage.
  • Don’t get burned by fire or sex; both can get out of control quickly, and both have the potential to harm you – and to hurt many other people, as well. Keep fires in the fireplace, and keep sex inside of marriage.

 

Religious Right Divided on Obama's Immigration Announcement

A number of top Religious Right figures over the last few years have been trying to rally support among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that Hispanics are potential allies in their anti-choice and anti-gay advocacy work while warning that if the Right continues to alienate and demonize Latino voters then they will be writing their own political death sentence. As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference enthusiastically applaud the Obama administration decision to stop deporting undocumented immigrations who are under the age of 30 and arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 years old, and Republican activist Adryana Boyne endorsed the move at the stage of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s national summit on Saturday.

However, not all social conservatives are on board.

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, who earlier this month signed onto the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table, called the announcement partisan and divisive. Minnery even suggested that the decision to stop deporting some young migrants is bad for families because they won’t be deported with their parents:

Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family’s senior vice president for government and public policy, said he was disappointed with the president’s actions.

“A quick fix in a contentious issue seems designed only for partisan advantage and will divide the country even further,” he said.

Minnery noted that the action will serve to break up families by targeting parents for deportation, while leaving young people behind to fend for themselves.

“Teenagers just out of high school, without intact families, are more likely to wind up dependent on the government,” he said. “This is no solution at all.”

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson attacked the decision by revisiting a debunked conspiracy theory that the Department of Homeland Security thinks that people “who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists vote,” and then went on to wonder whether Obama is going to allow the young people impacted by the decision to vote, even though they won’t be granted citizenship:

It’s so interesting to me that these people who are, whether they were brought here as children by fault of their known or not, they are still in the process of violating US immigration law. Janet Napolitano will work with her president to do whatever she can to honor those folks while first thing she did in this position, right out of the shoot back in 2009, was issue a white paper to all law enforcement saying that people like you and me who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists. Incredible; I continue to ask every day now what country am I living in? It is not the America I grew up in.



Another thing that was suggested by some, and I have tried to be fair about this and to try to ascertain how this could happen. I don’t know what the process would be to make this happen, but some have suggested that 800,000 young but old enough to get work permit illegals that the president is throwing out the welcome mat to, giving them basically a soft, backdoor amnesty, could this be his way in an election year, in just months before the election, of adding 800,000 plus votes to his side of the ledger in November? Good question to ask.

Conservatives Decry 'Bizarre' Ruling Finding DOMA Unconstitutional, Lament 'East Coast Liberal Freak Show'

Today, yet another court ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, this time finding that Section 3 of the law, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where they are legal, fails the “rational basis test” as applied to laws that deny equal protection and harm a group long subject to discrimination. The unanimous ruling by the three judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, including two Republican nominees, found no “connection between DOMA’s treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted goal of strengthening the bonds and benefits to society of heterosexual marriage.”

Bruce Hausknecht of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink criticized the court’s “unfortunate exercise of judicial tampering with the rules by which constitutional cases are decided,” and the Alliance Defense Fund’s Dale Schowengerdt said the decision permits states to “hold the federal government, and potentially other states, hostage to redefine marriage.”

Remarkably, Massachusetts Family Institute president Kris Mineau claimed that the First Circuit Court of Appeals shouldn’t have any federal power to rule on the case as “a Massachusetts-based court “…seemingly unaware that it is a federal court!

Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, argued Thursday that the ruling is "bizarre" for requiring the federal government to accept Massachusetts' definition of marriage, and violates the federal government's right to determine the application of federal benefits.

"For a Massachusetts-based court to just audaciously proclaim that the federal government is wrong and has to recognize a unique social experiment in Massachusetts for the purpose of providing benefits is bizarre and a violation of the principles of our federalist system," Mineau said, according to Reuters.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation told members today that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is part of the “east coast liberal freak show” bent on ruining America:

Whether we like it or not, because the liberal states have enacted homosexual marriage, sooner or later the Supreme Court is going to say those marriages must be recognized by all fifty states.

While there are many religious and moral arguments that can be made about this, the simple fact is for the last sixty years or so; the left has been attacking the basic family unit. The end result of this has been the creation of poverty where none existed before. It has been the creation of an under class, born and raised in poverty, unlikely to escape poverty and encouraged to engage in the same behaviors that landed their parents in poverty.

Given the left’s track record in this area, they should not even be allowed to offer an opinion much less pass laws as they are doing in some of the east coast liberal freak show states.

Focus on the Family Withdraws 'License to Discriminate' Amendment in Colorado

This weekend Tom Minnery, the head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, announced that the group will be withdrawing a so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” from consideration in the upcoming election, citing what he deemed cumbersome rules on petitions. Zack Ford of Think Progress points out that the amendment effectively would give certain groups or individuals “veto power over all policy decisions,” as pharmacists could cite “a sincerely held religious belief” not to fill prescriptions like birth control, teachers could refuse to teach evolution, and employers could have free rein to discriminate against LGBT employees.

The Denver Post reports that Minnery is considering “another attempt at a ballot measure in the 2014 election cycle or look at a legislative push next year”:

Focus on the Family senior vice president Tom Minnery said Friday the conservative Christian advocacy group soon will withdraw its ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment prohibiting state interference with the religious freedom of a person or organization.

The draft language of the ballot measure said government may not directly or indirectly burden a person or organization by withholding benefits, assessing penalties or excluding a person or group from government programs or facilities.

"There's a tangled thicket of regulations that make it difficult to negotiate our way through the process," Minnery said. "When you think of a genuine grassroots effort by volunteers, (some rules) are a wet blanket in that process."

Minnery said there is pending federal litigation — the Independence Institute, Jon Caldara et al. vs. Bernie Buescher — challenging many aspects of state rules governing the initiative process. It could result in removing some of the worst thorns, Minnery said.

Minnery said one drawback in the process as it now stands is that anyone can file a civil lawsuit alleging fraud against ballot-petition circulators if any petition signers falsify information.

Colorado Springs-based Focus would consider another attempt at a ballot measure in the 2014 election cycle or look at a legislative push next year, Minnery said.

Focus also withdrew a similar measure in 2010.

Focus on the Family Warns of Day of Silence 'Indoctrination,' 'Promoting Homosexuality and Transgenderism'

Religious Right activists are reviving their anti-anti-bullying campaign by attacking April 20th’s Day of Silence, an annual event when students protest bullying and anti-LGBT bias. Religious Right groups are once again promoting Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue, a counter event scheduled for the previous day. Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family on Friday joined Janet Mefferd to warn about how the Day of Silence “crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.” Mefferd, delighted that the Day of Dialogue would stand opposed to the “deluge” of “gay propaganda,” was especially startled by the idea that gay rights advocates wanted same-sex couples to be allowed to participate in proms.

Mefferd: I just love the idea of the Day of Dialogue because we do see so many Christian kids hearing gay propaganda and being deluged with this stuff. Let’s go back to the Day of Silence, now how long has this been around and how has this played itself out in the schools?

Cushman: It’s been around for a longtime, nearly a decade now. It started just as a group of college students, actually this was first intended for older students but now GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, has done a good job of infiltrating this event all the way down to middle schools, sometimes even elementary I believe, and the event is now in I would say nearly 8,000 middle schools and high schools and some colleges today.

Mefferd: Wow. What goes on during the Day of Silence? Obviously they are silent and it’s all about bringing attention to the LGBT issues but how does it play itself out?

Cushman: Well they say it’s all about promoting safe schools and anti-bullying but if you look at what they actually encourage students and teachers to do it crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism. For example they encourage teachers on this day to discuss LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender themes in the classroom, to have materials on homosexuality and transgenderism displayed, books about it in the classroom, they have encouraged students to lobby for things like a ‘queer friendly prom.’ So it really gets into transforming students into being actions for adult gay and lesbian causes.

Mefferd: Wait, queer friendly prom? Is that what I think it is?

Cushman: That’s their word. That any combination of genders can go to prom together. it’s a problem when you have these things endorsed by the school.

Religious Right Groups Enraged after Senate Rejects the Blunt Amendment

Yesterday the US Senate voted 51-48 to kill the Blunt Amendment to the transportation bill that would have given employers the right to deny insurance coverage for any treatment that they objected to for any reason, representing a major setback for Religious Right groups who urged passage of the extreme amendment.

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink called the vote an affront to the First Amendment, although it is hard to see how anyone’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is being violated:

“Today the government, this time via Congress, again told Americans they must ‘conform or pay a price’ when it comes to their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion,” he said. “Americans are speaking out because they understand that they should not be forced to fight to protect what the Constitution already grants them under the First Amendment.”

National Right to Life Committee claimed that the mandate was part of an “abortion-expansionist agenda, even though neither abortions nor abortifacients are included in the new rule:

The Obama Administration has issued an initial mandate that requires nearly all employers to purchase plans that cover all FDA-approved methods of birth control. NRLC has pointed out that the same authority could be employed by the Administration in the future to order virtually all health plans to cover all abortions. The focus now shifts to the House, where the same legislation, introduced as H.R. 1179 by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Ne.), currently has 220 cosponsors (more than half of all House members). In addition, numerous lawsuits have been filed by religiously affiliated employers, challenging the Obama mandate as a violation of constitutional rights and of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"National Right to Life will continue to challenge the Obama Administration's abortion-expansionist agenda on Capitol Hill, and we will encourage millions of like-minded Americans to remember this issue when they cast their ballots in November," said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president.

Eagle Forum president Phyllis Schlafly said that contraceptives “are not really medical care”:

"The contraceptive mandate is an introduction to the real ObamaCare, whereby a handful of leftists in D.C. impose the views of their big-money donors on more than 300 million Americans," said Schlafly. "If the Obama Administration's contraceptive mandate remains intact, then liberals will continue to demand that Americans pay for objectionable items and services that are not really medical care."

Tony Perkins of FRCAction warned that the Constitution has been “sacrificed”:

"Today, 51 senators, led by Sen. Harry Reid, sacrificed the Constitutional right of religious liberty on the altar of the Obama administration's radical big-government agenda. They turned a deaf ear to the very real religious and moral objections of millions of Americans and the First Amendment rights of all.

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance maintained that the mandate was part of a growing “oppressive federal bureaucracy”:

"America's women refuse to accept this unconstitutional government order," said Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America. The Obama Administration's HHS Mandate demolishes our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and conscience rights."

"Churches, religious organizations, and people of faith and conscience must have the right to choose their own health care and make their own moral decisions without having to submit to the one size fits all policies of President Obama and Secretary Sebelius' oppressive federal bureaucracy," Nance said.

According to Focus on the Family, it's not 'Pro-Life' to Protect Newborns from Mercury Poisoning

Like David Barton, who has no academic training as a historian but is the Religious Right’s point person on American history, Calvin Beinser of the Cornwall Alliance has no scientific credentials but has become the go-to person for right-wing activists on questions of science, particularly climate change. While he lacks any credentials what Beisner does have is close ties to organizations financed by the energy industry and a history of attacking scientists, spreading misinformation, and fueling fears that the environmental movement is a pagan plot to destroy Christianity and kill “about 95% of the human race.”

Beisner is especially concerned about growing calls for environmental protection made by evangelical Christians, and has went out of his way to attack groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network for calling on public officials to clamp down on mercury poisoning. Beisner’s outburst against his fellow evangelicals should come as no surprise, as he has even gone after a Koch-financed study which actually confirmed the science behind climate change. He joined Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, whose head Tom Minnery appeared in Beisner’s Green Dragon video series, to disparage the EEN for thanking both Republican and Democratic politicians who supported efforts to reduce mercury emissions:

According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.” Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.”

In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.

“Calling this ‘pro-life’ is quite a misnomer, but it will result in a lot of people being confused about who’s really pro-life and who’s not,” Beisner said. “Some of these people have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in Congress, so people need to know they’re really getting the wool pulled over their eyes if they fall for this.”

But the Center for Disease control did in fact find that one in six newborns, or 630,000 of the 4 million babies born annually, are “at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother's womb,” which PBS described as mercury levels “so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities and motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.”

This attack on evangelical environmentalists comes at a time when Focus on the Family head Jim Daly pledged to take the organization in a different direction than his predecessor James Dobson, and Christianity Today reported that CitizenLink recently launched “an effort to reach young adults on issues related to sex trafficking, poverty, and the environment.” It also puts the group at odds with the long list of evangelical leaders who signed the “Evangelical Call to Stop The Mercury Poisoning of the Unborn.”

But apparently for Focus on the Family, being “pro-life” does not entail protecting newborns from mercury poisoning.

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