Family Research Council

Tony Perkins says there is a 'Clear Link' between the FRC Shooting and Obama Administration Policies

After trying to blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for the deplorable shooting that occurred at the Family Research Council’s office this week, FRC president Tony Perkins today also implicated the Obama administration in the shooting. While speaking with Rick Santorum today on Washington Watch Weekly about the Obama administration’s “attack on religious freedom,” Perkins said that what “we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council” is “clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom.” This shameful attempt to connect the Obama administration to the shooting is just the latest sign of the FRC’s attempt to exploit the tragedy for political purposes.

Listen:

Perkins: What I would call an attack on religious freedom is trickling down in our country. It’s not just isolated to the administration but it’s as if the President and his administration’s indifference towards religious freedom has really created an open season all across this country. In fact next week down in Tampa as the Republican National Committee begins its work on its platform we’ll be working with Liberty Institute and we’ll be releasing a study that shows this increased hostility towards religious freedom in this country and I believe Rick in large part it’s driven in large part by the policies of this administration.

Santorum: When you look at what happened with the whole Chick-fil-A incident and across the country you see government officials, mayors of large cities, wanting to use the power of the government to force, to drive out Dan Cathy and the folks at Chick-fil-A from their cities. This is really unprecedented and you’re right it creates an atmosphere that when the government now is saying you folks are so evil that we can deny you access to participate in business within our city it leads to a lot of things that are going to not just constrict religious liberty but I think threaten a lot of other areas of our lives.

Perkins: Well I think as we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council, clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom and groups like as I mentioned the Southern Poverty Law Center that recklessly throws around labels giving people like this gunman who came into our building a license to take innocent life.

 

Why Would a ‘Mainstream Conservative Think Tank’ Praise the ‘Kill the Gays’ Law?

Dana Milbank writes in a column in today’s Washington Post, “Hateful speech on hate groups,” that the Southern Poverty Law Center “should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen.” He’s talking about the Family Research Council, which he describes as “a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer” which “advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.” Going further, Milbank says it’s “reckless” for groups like SPLC to designate FRC as a “hate group.”
 
While reading all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder why a “mainstream conservative think tank” would defend a bill in Uganda that would put gays and lesbians in prison for life and put them to death for “serial” offenses, among other things. If Milbank had done his homework before writing his column, he would’ve been wondering this same thing.
 
The reality is that FRC is not a “mainstream conservative think tank.” That’s why FRC is one of only a handful of the many, many groups that oppose equality for gays and lesbians to be designated a “hate group” by SPLC. There’s a big difference between being conservative and being an extremist, but many in the media are missing the distinction. Kyle and Peter have already written about FRC’s history of extremism and SPLC’s criteria (here and here), but I’d like to focus on one particularly outrageous example here.
 
Back in June of 2010, FRC president Tony Perkins praised the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, referring to it as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.” The bill that Perkins defended called for life in prison for having sex, even once, with a member of the same sex, or touching someone of the same sex with the intention of having sex.
 
The bill went further, calling for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” To be clear, Perkins defended a bill that called for people to be put to death for the following (among other things):
  • having sex with someone of the same sex multiple times (a “serial” offender)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is your employee, student, or otherwise under your authority
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who is under the age of 18 (regardless of the age difference, e.g. a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old)
  • having sex with someone of the same sex that you got drunk
  • having sex with someone of the same sex who’s blind or deaf
  • having sex with someone of the same sex if you’re HIV+, even if you use protection and the virus is not transmitted
You can read the text of the bill here. I’m not exaggerating one bit.
 
When President Obama criticized the bill, Perkins devoted his weekly radio alert to attacking him over it, citing Obama’s “preoccupation with defending homosexuality.” He went on to mischaracterize the bill, claiming that it only called for the death penalty in instances like “intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS,” and was notably silent on life imprisonment for a single homosexual “act.”
 
FRC was eventually caught lobbying Congress on a resolution to denounce the “kill the gays” bill. They took pains to say they did not support the bill or the death penalty and were merely lobbying Congress to make the resolution “more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”
 
Ok, so FRC didn’t support the “kill the gays” bill. Instead, FRC’s president devoted his weekly commentary to defending and praising the “kill the gays” bill and attacking President Obama for criticizing it. And FRC lobbied Congress to make sure that the “kill the gays” bill wouldn’t be mischaracterized.
 
Here’s what Perkins said, followed by the text of the “kill the gays” bill:
 
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality.
 
The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.
 
The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.
2. The offence of homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-
 
(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
 
(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
 
(c) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.
 
(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
 
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
 
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
 
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
 
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
 
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
 
(f) offender is a serial offender, or
 
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by  enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,
 
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.
 
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

 

Janet Mefferd Suggests Groups Should Stop Reporting on the FRC's Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Janet Mefferd hosted Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality yesterday to discuss the deplorable and unconscionable shooting at the Family Research Council’s headquarters. Mefferd criticized the Human Rights Campaign for posting an article the day before the shooting “that was very inflammatory about the Family Research Council, ‘they want to export homosexuals from the US’ and ‘they equate homosexuals with pedophiles’ and all this stuff,” and wished there would be “public pressure on some of these gay rights organizations to tone it down”:

Mefferd: I was reading through for example what the Human Rights Campaign had posted the day before the shooting and they had a whole list there that was very inflammatory about the Family Research Council, ‘they want to export homosexuals from the US’ and ‘they equate homosexuals with pedophiles’ and all this stuff. I thought: if you were somewhat of an unstable person and you read this sort of stuff and you were in line with what they believe I think it could drive somebody to violence. So we’re back to the question of, to what degree should there be public pressure on some of these gay rights organizations to tone it down?

LaBarbera: Well I think it has to come from people holding them accountable and we know that the left-wing, the liberal media is basically now a cheerleader for the gay cause so it comes down to I guess alternative media, the internet. Certainly in the Chick-fil-A situation the gay activists were beaten back a bit and they know it in the sense that they overreached. But in this case, this idea of this hate proposition, where the SPLC just went for it and started ticking off every pro-family group out there. Except they keep Focus on the Family off the list, I think intentionally to say ‘hey those are the good Christians,’ of course Focus on the Family has deemphasized politics in the last few years so maybe that’s why they’re not on the SPLC’s list because the SPLC is trying to marginalize the FRC’s and the Americans for Truth’s out there, they want them out of the picture, they want them to have less power so that their pet cause, which happens to be homosexuality, will grow in power. That’s what this is all about; it’s all about helping gay activists win their goal, one of which is same-sex so-called marriage.

First to LaBarbera’s point: Kyle noted yesterday that FRC received the designation “because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians,” not due to their opposition to marriage equality.

As for Mefferd, it is absurd to claim that HRC or any other organization is wrong to point out exactly what the FRC has said about homosexuals. Here’s FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg explicitly stating that he prefers to “export homosexuals from the United States”:

And here is Sprigg and FRC president Tony Perkins linking homosexuality to pedophilia (0:52):

To say that it is “inflammatory” to report on exactly what the FRC says and believes is patently absurd. If the FRC is proud of its anti-gay rhetoric, then they and their allies should stand by it and not criticize others for simply pointing out their attacks on the LGBT community.

Religious Right Exploiting Tragedy to Blunt Criticism of Its Extremism

Religious Right groups have publicly seethed at the Southern Poverty Law Center's decision a couple of years ago to designate several of them as hate groups for consistently spreading false, inflammatory, and defamatory propaganda about LGBT people.  It is now clear that Religious Right leaders are hoping to exploit this week's shooting at the Family Research Council to try to damage the SPLC.
 
FRC's Tony Perkins said this week that the SPLC gave the shooter "license" to attack the organization by calling it a hate group.  Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber accused the SPLC of having blood on its hands.  The American Family Association and Traditional Values Coalition were among others who blamed SPLC for the attack.  Religious Right groups have long equated any criticism of their positions or tactics as attacks on their freedom of speech and religion; now they are taking it a step further to say that critics must stop calling out their hateful rhetoric and naming it as such.
 
It is important not to let Religious Right groups exploit this violence - which was quickly and unequivocally condemned by progressive movement leaders, including People For the American Way President Michael Keegan - to divert attention from the Religious Right's anti-gay extremism.  As Right Wing Watch has noted, FRC was not labeled a hate group because of a simple policy disagreement, as FRC's backers would have you believe; the SPLC cited very specific examples of FRC's wildly inflammatory anti-gay language.
                                                                                                            
You don't have to look far.  Last year Perkins called gay-rights activists vile, hateful, pawns of Satan.  In 2010, Perkins responded to President Obama's call for civility on the issue of homosexuality by slamming the president for criticizing Uganda's kill-the-gays bill. Perkins described the infamous law as "enhanced penalties for crimes related to homosexuality" and an effort to "uphold moral conduct."  FRC spokespeople have supported laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas and here in the U.S.  
 
Perkins, of course, has lots of company in the anti-gay right who are now joining in the attack on SPLC.
 
One of them is Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who went on CNN on Thursday to say it is "totally irresponsible and unacceptable" to call FRC a hate group.   But Brown was flummoxed when CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin confronted him with an actual example of FRC rhetoric claiming that "one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order."  Brown repeatedly refused to acknowledge that such rhetoric is hateful, exposing his call for "civility" as nothing but empty political posturing. 
 
Speaking of civility, Brown has presided over at least one anti-gay rally at which a fellow speaker said gays were worthy of death.  And NOM welcomed onto its board author Orson Scott Card, who had written that the advance of marriage equality was tyranny worthy of revolution:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. [...] American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

Setting the Record Straight on the FRC's 'Hate Group' Designation

Today, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins held a press conference to comment on the shooting that took place at the organization's Washington, DC headquarters yesterday.

While Perkins put the blame for the attack on the shooter, he declared that the Southern Poverty Law Center was also responsible for the attack, saying the gunman "was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations 'hate groups' because they disagree with them on public policy."

Perkins claims that SPLC labeled FRC a "hate group" back in 2010 simply because "they disagree with [us] on public policy," and many in the media have parroted the claim. But it’s utter nonsense. As the SPLC explained, FRC received the designation "because of its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians" and even produced a report chronicling FRC's long history of biased anti-gay activism complete with a collection of the sorts of claims made by the organization:

“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

“[Homosexuality] … embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.”
— Steven Schwalm, FRC senior writer and analyst, in “Desecrating Corpus Christi,” 1999

“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets' of a new sexual order.”
-1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.

“[T]he evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners.”
— Timothy Dailey, senior research fellow, “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” 2002

“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

Obviously, the attack on FRC yesterday was deplorable and has been roundly denounced by a variety of LGBT groups.  Political disagreement is never a justification for violence, but FRC should not seek to exploit this tragedy in an attempt to gloss over the organization's long and documented record of anti-gay extremism.

FRC's Deepening Embrace of the New Apostolic Reformation

Over the last year or so, we have been noting how the Family Research Council was slowly becoming more and more intertwined with various leaders within the New Apostolic Reformation movement, the collection of modern-day "prophets" and "apostles" who believe they posses the same miracle working abilities as Jesus. 

NAR's public political activism has cooled since leaders had their coming-out at Rick Perry's massive prayer rally last summer, but obviously efforts to work its way into the larger Religious Right political movement continue. 

Case in point, today we received an email from the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, the organization run by John Benefiel, who thinks that Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol, revealing that leaders from the organization. along with "50 other intercessors," had been gathered at FRC's headquarters earlier this week, just the day before the recent shooting

HAPN was represented at this meeting, according to the email, by Jon Hamill, who runs an organization called Lamplighter Ministries and which has deep ties to wide variety of NAR leaders, including Cindy Jacobs and Mike Bickel:

Ordained by James Goll, they are aligned apostolically with Global Spheres International ... In addition to work with Lamplighter, Jon and Jolene serve as MD coordinators and Mid-Atlantic coordinators of the Reformation Prayer Network, founded by Dr. Cindy Jacobs, and the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, founded by Dr. John Benefiel.

Jon and Jolene are also honored to be among the “emerging leaders” of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. For more than a decade, the ACPE has been convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs to seek the Lord and share corporate insights for times ahead.

Jon and Jolene reside in metro Washington DC. Jon was formerly on staff with Generals International, founded by Cindy Jacobs, and the International House of Prayer, founded by Mike Bickle. Jolene served for many years in the mortgage industry.

Michael Farris Warns that the UN might 'Get Control' over Children With Glasses

Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and American Family Association head Tim Wildmon today to call on Religious Right activists to mobilize against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. After passing out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the treaty is up for a vote by the full Senate. But Farris warns that the treaty is too ambiguous and flexible and could mean that children who wear glasses or have ADHD could be placed “under control of the UN treaty.”

Farris: They’re called living documents, just like the disgraced living Constitution theory, which means the treaty doesn’t mean today what it’s going to mean tomorrow what it’s going to mean ten years from now. So you never know what you’re signing up for, that by itself is a good enough reason to leave it alone and to never enter into one of these things. But in particular, you hit the nail on the head Tony, the definition of disability is not defined in the treaty. My kid wears glasses, now they’re disabled, now the UN gets control over them; my child’s got a mild case of ADHD, now you’re under control of the UN treaty. There’s no definitional standard, it can change over time, and the UN, not American policymakers, are the ones who get it decided.

Later, Wildmon wished that the UN would close down and Perkins warned that the State Department is using the UN to impose “radical policies” like the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the “homosexual agenda” that “we would never accept here in the United States through our legislature,” not mentioning that treaties require a two-thirds vote in the Senate for ratification.

Wildmon: We get one of these things that we talk about and ask people to call on, I can’t think of the last one that wasn’t just far-leftist junk.

Perkins: There’s nothing that comes out of the UN that’s worth anything.

Wildmon: Just close it down, you know?

Perkins: Let me just tell you, what’s happening in this administration is that the State Department is pushing this radical agenda on a number of things, whether it be the other UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child or the homosexual agenda, they push it in these foreign countries only to have it come back through the backdoor of the UN to the United States. So they’re using the UN as a way to import these radical policies that we would never accept here in the United States through our legislature. You have to pay attention to this stuff.

Paul Ryan Featured Alongside 'Former Terrorist’

This, in a nutshell, is your modern Religious Right:

The website for the upcoming Values Voter Summit in DC, hosted by the Family Research Council, features Mitt Romney’s running mate side-by-side with “former terrorist” Kamal Saleem, seen here:
 
 
I can’t imagine Ryan would appreciate being given equal billing with a “former terrorist,” but Saleem is a big deal to the Religious Right.
 
Saleem, whose real name is Khodor Shami, claims that he was Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy this country,” saying that he crossed the Canadian border and “brought weapon caches right through cities.” Somewhere along the way he converted, got a job at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and became the favorite ex-Muslim of the Religious Right. As a result, he says his life is constantly in danger, and he is being pursued by foreign agents.
 
If you’re asking yourself why Saleem isn’t in jail as opposed to speaking at a conference with the likes of Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Jerry Boykin, and Tony Perkins, it’s because Saleem is widely considered to be a fraud. But this begs a question.
 
Does FRC believe Saleem? Do they think he came to America as a Muslim Brotherhood member bent on destroying our nation? They have scheduled him to speak alongside Jerry Boykin in a breakout session on “the strategic nature of Israel, and its role in the Middle East, America, and in the future of Western Civilization.” That suggests they do.
 
FRC is either knowingly presenting a fraud or someone who plotted to destroy the nation. If it’s the latter, they must also believe that Saleem is being pursued by foreign agents who are threatening his life. Now I’m not an event planner, but I would lean against booking anyone like that at a high-profile conference with governors and members of Congress.
 
But no matter FRC’s real intentions, Saleem is clearly useful to their anti-Muslim efforts. He is willing to say pretty much anything to confirm the darkest, most paranoid suspicions of his audiences, e.g.:
I, for one, welcome an investigation by the proper authorities to ensure Paul Ryan’s safety and prevent Michele Bachmann from accidentally palling around with a terrorist. If Saleem is to be believed, that is.
 

 

Religious Right Groups Laud Paul Ryan, Highlight Anti-Choice and Anti-Gay Voting Record

Conservative leaders hailed Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan, the far-right congressman, to be his running mate, emphasizing his opposition to LGBT and reproductive rights.

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance said that besides his one-time vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, she is excited “to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’”

Paul Ryan is a great choice. He has one little blip in that he voted for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) a long time ago but voted right on the marriage amendment and supports the unborn. Plus, I get to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’ Bonus.

Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition commended Ryan’s “100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record.”

Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee is an inspired, outstanding selection. Paul Ryan is a rare and exceptional public servant who combines the courage of his convictions with a sharp intellect and a winsome personality. I have known him since he worked for Jack Kemp at Empower America in the early 1990s, worked with him in passing sound budgets in the House, and am proud to count him as a friend. He is a person of devout Christian faith who has a 100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record in his 14 years in Congress. He will excite and energize social conservatives, who will play a critical role in the outcome of the elections.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is proud that Ryan “believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible.”

Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan shows that he is serious about getting America's fiscal house in order. Paul Ryan's voting record also suggests that he believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible. Paul Ryan's philosophy clearly includes the understanding that America's financial greatness is tied directly to its moral and cultural wholeness.

As a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, he has been a defender of religious expression in the public square. Paul Ryan has spoken out strongly against President Obama's abortion drug and contraception mandates as an affront to religious liberty. He has articulately described how the President's government takeover of health care has pushed aside our First Amendment right of religious freedom.

We look forward to hearing Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit so that the conservative grassroots will have an opportunity to hear more about their agenda on the critical issues facing our country including religious liberty, marriage, the sanctity of human life as well as fiscal responsibility and national security.

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjore Dannenfelser hailed Ryan’s rejection of a “culture war truce.”

“By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.

“Pro-life voters are a key demographic and help secure victory in critical elections,” continued Dannenfelser. “The addition of a second strong pro-life leader to the ticket energizes the pro-life base – we are thrilled with this pick.”

The Catholic Association called Ryan an “excellent choice” since “he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.”

We believe Governor Romney has made an excellent choice. As a smart, serious Catholic, Congressman Ryan has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle – defending religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage.

In addition, he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.

The American Center for Law and Justice’s David French noted Ryan’s opposition to reproductive rights.

In the next days and weeks, there will be a lot of attention on Paul Ryan’s economic expertise and experience with fiscal reform. He became famous in political circles for the “Ryan budget” and for his fearlessness and effectiveness in challenging President Obama in the midst of the Obamacare debate. But what many may not know is that Paul Ryan is a man completely committed to the cause of life.

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is glad this “youthful, forward-looking ticket [is] reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us.”

Just moments ago, Governor Mitt Romney formally announced his selection of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate. He made the announcement at a naval museum in Norfolk, Virginia, with the USS Wisconsin as his backdrop. This is a bold choice, and I am very excited about this pick!

The selection of Paul Ryan shows Governor Romney is serious about confronting the fiscal challenges facing our country. It shows the kind of talented and experienced team Governor Romney will put together that will work for American exceptionalism.

Ryan is a strong conservative. He is pro-life and believes in traditional marriage. Of course, what he is most known for is entitlement reform and stopping the growth of government. He's 42 with a young family.

So this will be a youthful, forward-looking ticket, reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us. It will be a stark contrast to Obama's failed tax and spend policies that are taking us down the dead-end road of European-style socialism. It's clear which presidential ticket is serious about making real change!

Blackwell Distorts Ohio Voter Suit

In an interview with Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell slammed the Obama campaign’s effort to expand early voting procedures in Ohio, saying that the President is running “probably the most bareknuckle campaign I’ve seen”.

Blackwell also accused democrats of exploiting the “Voter ID controversy to gin up their base” and energize minority voters in their favor. The controversy surrounding early voting in Ohio centers on a new special exemption that the state extends to military voters. The Obama campaign filed suit, seeking to restore early voting procedures for all citizens, including servicemen and women.

Despite decrying the so-called “bareknuckle” tactics of the Obama campaign, Blackwell is no stranger to political combat. His 2006 gubernatorial campaign smeared his opponent as gay, and Blackwell worked tirelessly to suppress minority voting in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.

Perkins: To me it suggests that they’re pretty desperate, that they see every vote as being, as counting, in the state of Ohio, that they cannot spare a single vote in that state.

Blackwell: Well you’re absolutely right, and just think about, there is an alarming pattern. They are actively opposed, and in the case of what I’m getting ready to say, the administration is actively opposed to Voter ID. And they are using the Voter ID controversy to gin up their base because they are running a base turnout campaign and its imperative that they get a high voter turnout from blacks and Latinos and that they get a substantial disproportionate share of their vote, so they are basically creating the conservative republican boogeyman by saying, you know, voter ID requirements suppress votes. They then, on the other hands, they’re suppressing the votes on the military because they know the numbers are against them. So you begin to see, or the Obama campaign and their friends going after chick-fil-a. You know, it is, this is, probably the most bareknuckle campaign that I’ve seen from a sitting President, it is Chicago-style politics, and there are no rules. It’s a no-man’s land.

Romney Met Thursday with Top Anti-Muslim Activist and Leading Backers of Bachmann Witch Hunt

On Friday, Mitt Romney declined to condemn Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim Americans in the federal government, breaking with GOP leaders like Senator John McCain and Speaker John Boehner. He said that “those are not things that are part of my campaign.” If that’s the case, then why did Romney hold a closed-door meeting the evening before with high-profile supporters of Bachmann’s effort, including Jerry Boykin, a leading figure in the anti-Muslim movement?
 
As Politico reported, Romney met privately on Thursday evening in Denver with a select group of right-wing activists. Of the four participants named by Politico, three are outspoken proponents of Bachmann’s witch hunt. Gary Bauer and James Dobson wrote to John Boehner to praise Bachmann’s “good judgment, undeniable courage, and great patriotism” for “bravely demanding answers to matters essential to the safety of the American people and our Armed Forces.” Meanwhile, Boykin signed on to a separate letter expressing “strong support for congressional efforts to illuminate and address the danger posed by influence operations mounted by the Muslim Brotherhood against government agencies.” He also claimed that “Huma [Abedin] is not the only person who has penetrated our government” and wondered aloud if President Obama is a Muslim Brotherhood member.
 
Boykin, however, is more than just a cheerleader for Bachmann – he’s a leading force behind the effort to drive Muslim Americans out of public life. Boykin recently became the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, but he’s best known as the lieutenant general who was rebuked by President Bush in 2003 and Defense Department investigators in 2004 for aggressively attacking Islam – in uniform – in the midst of two wars and an expansive anti-terrorism effort in the Middle East and South Asia.
 
Now retired, Boykin is on a mission to save the country from Sharia law and Islamic infiltration, which he sees lurking in every shadow and around every corner. His rhetoric is often bigoted, and he regularly traffics in wild-eyed conspiracy theories – like the one about Obama creating a Hitler-style militia to force Marxism on the American people or the one about international bankers plotting to form a Marxist, global government. (Don’t just take my word for it, see below for links to some of Boykin’s bizarre and disturbing pronouncements.)
 
Boykin, who last made headlines in January when he withdrew from speaking at West Point under pressure from cadets, faculty and outside groups, has argued that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment and that there should be no mosques in America. In 2010, he joined forces with Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and other anti-Muslim activists to form the so-called Team B II. The real Team B was an analysis commissioned by the CIA in the 70s of the threats posed to the US by the Soviet Union. Team B II, co-led by Boykin, presented itself as performing a similar analysis of “an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls shariah.”
 
The group issued a report in September 2010, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” which won praise from Bachmann and Rep. Trent Franks, who appeared with Gaffney at a press conference announcing the report. Among the key findings of the report was that the Muslim Brotherhood “has succeeded in penetrating our educational, legal and political systems, as well as top levels of government, intelligence, the media, and U.S. military, virtually paralyzing our ability to respond effectively.”
 
Nearly two years later, Bachmann, Franks and three colleagues fired off letters to federal inspectors general alleging infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood and requesting an investigation. The second paragraph of their letter, which fingered Huma Abedin, cited a series of web videos by the Center for Security Policy. The videos, available at MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com, are narrated by Gaffney and lean heavily on Boykin’s Team B II report.
 
Remarkably, the efforts described above have spilled into Egyptian politics, with unfortunate consequences. As the New York Times reported in mid-July, many opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood, citing statements by Bachmann, Boykin, and Gaffney falsely believe that “the Obama administration harbors a secret, pro-Islamist agenda” and may have even “plotted to install the Islamist party’s presidential candidate in office.” As a result, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade “was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters” motivated by conspiracy theories that “originated with American conservatives.” With Egypt on the brink, nonsense like this only serves to undermine American diplomacy, just as his comments years earlier in uniform undermined American efforts to win hearts and minds abroad and likely put soldiers at increased risk.
 
Does Romney really think Boykin is an appropriate person to meet with? Did the meeting participants discuss Bachmann’s efforts with him? This is serious stuff that Romney should have to address. It was easy enough for him to sidestep the Bachmann question earlier, but given his meeting the evening before, he needs to be asked anew about Bachmann and Boykin.
 
As promised, here are some highlights of Boykin's conspiracy-mongering and Muslim-bashing:
“We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it's at an accelerated pace. ...
 
One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. ... Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President, I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.
 
For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?
 
Now most people say, well we haven't seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that's the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.
 
Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - we talked about all those things here - which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.”
“We need to recognize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”
“No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion. … But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.”

"If you look at Hitler, one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. 

But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth."

 

Todd Akin, Darling of the Religious Right, Wins Senate Primary

Missouri congressman Todd Akin eked out a win last night over  two rivals in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, adding to a list of Religious Right backed candidates winning competitive primaries, including Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Ted Cruz of Texas. Akin is more than just a dogmatic conservative-- he's a darling of the Religious Right, earning perfect 100% ratings from the Family Research Council, National Right to Life and Concerned Women for America . Akin has also worked Religious Right with activists Tony Perkins, Janet Porter, Rick Scarborough, Tom DeLay and David Barton, who even recorded an ad on his behalf.

Akin gained notoriety after he told Perkins on his radio show that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God,” a remark he refused to apologize for.

The congressman is also a virulent opponent of LGBT rights, pushing a ban on same-sex unions of any form in the military and as Think Progress noted, has co-sponsored nearly every piece of anti-gay legislation in the current House session. He thinks that “the liberal agenda has infiltrated our military” due to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and tried to overturn Washington, D.C.’s marriage equality law.

He took to the House Floor in 2006 with a warning that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.”

In a documentary for Truth in Action Ministries, he claimed that the left “will snuff out the light of freedom” by “rewriting the history of America,” and warned that the health care reform law is “an unbiblical threat” that violated the Ten Commandments. Akin even believes that Medicare is unconstitutional, wants to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy and the Environmental Protect Agency, wants to impeach judges for “making decisions not based on the U.S. Constitution,” and likens student loan reform to “stage three cancer.”

Akin said that Thanksgiving should be remembered as a day to renounce “unbiblical” socialism and that the U.S. should use the Pilgrim society as a model because the Pilgrims used the Bible as a “blueprint” for economic, education and government policies.

He consistently pushes anti-choice legislation and even said that legal abortion is the reason for illegal immigration: “If you think about it we’ve aborted however many – 40 million – Americans through abortion. If those Americans had not been aborted, we might have more laborers here. Consequently, America is not reproducing itself in terms of our own internal repopulation of having a bunch of kids.”

Akin thanked God and Mike Huckabee for his primary success in his victory statement:

First, I want to give thanks to God our Creator who has blessed this campaign, heard your prayers, and answered them with victory. Through the months, we have seen frequent instances of His blessing and are reminded that with Him all things are possible!

I also wanted to thank Governor Mike Huckabee, who was with us from the start, stayed by our side, lifted us up in prayer, and tonight celebrates with us in victory. Governor Huckabee – I thank you, my family thanks you, and our volunteers thank you for your dedication to our campaign and devotion to saving the America we love.

From the depths of my heart I want to thank every single volunteer who served in our campaign and brought our winning message to the people of Missouri. Tonight one campaign ends…tomorrow another begins.

Religious Right Groups Organize Nationwide September 11 Prayer Rallies

The group Awakening America is hoping that people on September 11 will head to their county courthouse to gather for Cry Out America. Organizations partnering with Cry Out America 2012 include the Family Research Council, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Call, Intercessors for America, Teen Mania and 40 Days to Save America. They hope that the prayer rally will bring about a revival that will lead to a “decrease in divorce rates, co-habitation [and] same-sex relations,” along with “the restoration of Christ’s influence in the arts, media, and communications.”

On September 11, 2001, America was shaken to its foundation by a series of surprise terrorist attacks. All of us were awakened to the new reality of global terrorism. 10 years later our nation needs to be awakened again, not just to the threats of terrorism, but to our critical spiritual condition.

Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening. Our economy has been deeply shaken. Overall church attendance continues to decline across the nation, America is now the third largest mission field in the world and an entire generation is growing up with little understanding of absolute truth. Yet, in what appears to be a very trying time for the Church in this nation, we believe that America is on the verge of a sweeping move of God’s Spirit that will touch every state, every county and every heart. Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening.

Perkins: Hate Crime Laws are a Sign of 'Chaos in America'

During Glenn Beck’s Under God: Indivisible conference, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins recounted his days as a Louisiana state legislator fighting a hate crime law which included sexual orientation as a protected category along with classifications like race, religion, disability and gender. Perkins lamented that a “full time lobbyist for the homosexual community” helped pass the language over his objections and bemoaned that legislators were ignorant the amendment would lead to “indoctrination of our children in schools and the loss of religious freedom and the freedom of speech.”

Seeing that the law was passed in 1997, Perkins did not make clear how Louisiana students are being indoctrinated into homosexuality or who has lost their religious freedom or freedom of speech over the last fifteen years, but he did assert that the law was a sign of “chaos in America.”

Watch:

Bachmann's Witch Hunt wins Support from McCarthy-Admiring, Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist

If you’re trying to get a McCarthy-like anti-Muslim witch hunt taken seriously, it probably doesn’t help your cause to have an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who is nostalgic for the days of Joe McCarthy to get behind your cause.

In a letter defending Michele Bachmann’s attacks on Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, five former security officials urged Speaker John Boehner, who has condemned Bachmann, to “acquaint yourself with the background and status of the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad in America.” The letter makes a number of provocative accusations: alleging that the Obama administration is “assisting the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt”; “indulging the Islamist contention that attacks on Israel are not terrorist atrocities but legitimate ‘resistance’” ; and giving $1.5 billion to a Brotherhood government, even though the sum is actually going “to pay U.S. defense and security companies for contracts they have to supply equipment and support for the Egyptian military.” Signatories range from James Woosley, an ex-CIA director who is now involved with efforts to stop “creeping Sharia,” to Andy McCarthy, the former prosecutor that now espouses birther conspiracies and believes “that Islam is the problem.”

But another signatory who should raise eyebrows is Jerry Boykin, a former Lt. General who was reprimanded by President Bush for making inflammatory speeches about Islam while in uniform turned Religious Right activist. Most recently he was named vice president of the Family Research Council, a group closely aligned with Bachmann.

Boykin has maintained that “Islam is evil” and a “totalitarian way of life,” and therefore its adherents should not receive First Amendment protections. Boykin even wants the U.S. to ban mosques, telling fellow mosque-banner Bryan Fischer, “no mosques in America.” But his conspiracies don’t end there. He believes that a “cabal” led by George Soros and the Council of Foreign Relations is trying to “create a global government,” and that Obama, who may or may not be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself, is using the health care reform law to build his own version of the Brownshirts to impose Marxism on America. He also seems to think that the only difference between Islam and Marxism is that Muslims believe in a God.

While some Bachmann allies don’t like the McCarthy comparisons, Boykin in an interview just this week on TruNews with Rick Wiles praised McCarthy and said he wishes “we could find a McCarthy-like individual today that was willing to stand up and proclaim very boldly that we do have a problem with a Marxist cabal in America, which are now in powerful positions, influencing our policies and the direction of our country,” including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Wiles: Little Leon Panetta, he’s got some Marxist relationships in his closet too, if you go back far enough, Mr. Panetta, he’s palled around with no communists.

Boykin: That’s right. He certainly has, as have a number of the people who are in the administration right now. It’s time for us to take this seriously and realize—you know, we criticize Joe McCarthy, we talk about McCarthyism and all that. But you know, the fact of the matter was when you look back, McCarthy was not that far off.

Wiles: I think he was a great American.

Boykin: Yeah. He recognized that there was a serious threat, most Americans didn’t take it seriously, McCarthy did and he had the guts, the courage to stand up and say ‘we got to stop this.’ I wish that we could find a McCarthy-like individual today that was willing to stand up and proclaim very boldly that we do have a problem with a Marxist cabal in America, which are now in powerful positions, influencing our policies and the direction of our country.

FRC’s Sprigg: Gay Rights Movement Winning Through ‘Intimidation’ and ‘Emotional Blackmail’

On the Janet Mefferd Show yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg shared his theory of how gay rights activists are winning the battle for public opinion: through “intimidation” and “emotional blackmail”:


Sprigg: There are people with big bucks who are trying to move the Republican Party in a more liberal direction on this issue. And while, you know, I think it will be a long time before – I don’t think it’ll ever happen that the Republican Party will endorse same-sex marriage – but what I fear more than that is some candidates in office and officeholders simply going silent on the issue.

Mefferd: Oh, that’s happening.

Sprigg: That is definitely happening and that’s where the big concern is, because if we are not willing to fight to defend marriage, then that increases the chances we will lose it.

Mefferd: Well, and that’s what’s so frustrating, especially for us as Christians, when we look at so many people who don’t have the spine to talk about it. ‘Well, let’s just work the issue back around to the economy, everybody wants to talk about the economy, I don’t want to talk about something controversial.’ Part of it, I think, is because they don’t want to be vilified, they don’t want to be called names, because that’s what the activist crowd does, they call you names, they insult you, they make your life pretty miserable. Look what they’re doing to Dan Cathy! Who does want to put up with that?

Sprigg: Right. That’s exactly right. It’s a form of intimidation that they’re using, a sort of emotional blackmail almost. And with some people it’s effective. They don’t want to pay that price.

Mike Huckabee and Conservative Activists Attack Democratic Party's Marriage Equality Stance

Joining televangelist Pat Robertson who earlier today said that same-sex marriage will be the “death knell” of the Democratic Party, Mike Huckabee and other leading conservatives have denounced the party’s decision to include marriage equality in its platform. Huckabee told Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that the move is the “best thing that’s ever happened to the Republican Party” and “may end up sinking the ship.” He said that while people tolerate people who “choose to live in lifestyles that they don’t necessarily agree with or approve of,” they are “no longer going to support” President Obama or the Democrats for having “openly declared war on biblical marriage.” “It’s to me a very tragic day,” Huckabee maintained, “when we’re so interested in getting votes form a certain community and the contributions that they’re willing to forego their own principles and just throw them overboard.”

Watch:

William Owens of the right-wing Coalition of African-American Pastors and a liaison for the National Organization for Marriage at the National Press Conference today claimed that Obama has gone down “a disgraceful road” and compared homosexuality to pedophilia:

“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” said Owens, in an interview Tuesday after the launch event at the National Press Club. “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”



“If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys, you will note that all of them will say that they were molested as a child…” Owens said. “For the president to condone this type of thing is irresponsible.”



At the Tuesday press conference, Owens questioned Obama’s commitment to black Americans, stating that the president is just “half-black, half-white” and has long “ignored the black press.”

He is “ignoring the people that put him in the White House,” Owens said.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council urged Romney not to “shy away from making a clear distinction with President Obama and the Democrats on this issue.”

Thirty-two out of thirty-two states where voters have weighed in on the issue have upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman. If President Obama were to lose those 32 states, he would face an electoral debacle. In addition, while opposition to same-sex 'marriage' may have become politically incorrect in the Democratic Party at the national level, there are many Democratic members of Congress, and office-holders further down the ticket, who live in states and districts where it will be a serious disadvantage to be identified with 'the gay marriage party.'

Gov. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, should not shy away from making a clear distinction with President Obama and the Democrats on this issue.

As always, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer didn’t hold back in his column, warning that through its decision to “embrace moral perversion” it has “sealed its own doom and relegated itself to the ash heap of history” as its founder Thomas Jefferson “must be rolling over in his personal parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence.”

Rarely can you identify a moment in time at which a major political party sealed its own doom and relegated itself to the ash heap of history. Today is that day for the Democratic Party. The party of Thomas Jefferson, who once wrote a law calling for the castration of those who committed the infamous crime against nature, has now enshrined sodomy-based marriage in its party platform.

Jefferson must be rolling over in his personal parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence, which celebrates the unalienable, God-given right to liberty, not licentiousness.

We know from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control that homosexual conduct is as dangerous to human health as intravenous drug abuse. Of all the men ever diagnosed with HIV/AIDS since the “epidemic” began, 90% contracted it either through having sex with other men (60%), injection drug use (22%) or both (8%). Thus the Democratic Party has made a noble virtue out of behavior that is immoral, unnatural, and unhealthy, and will destroy the lives of those who engage in it.

For the Democratic Party to enshrine the infamous crime against nature in its party platform is the final nail in the coffin of a party that in its history has defended slavery and racism (the KKK was a Democratic institution) and filibustered Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. This move signals its permanent slide into political oblivion.



Every Democratic candidate for the House and the Senate needs to be pinned down by both the media and Republican opponents. The GOP needs to hang gay marriage like an anvil around the neck of every Democratic candidate for higher office. Any Democrat who tries to swim with that tied around his neck will find his candidacy seeking to the bottom of the sea. Republicans, force them to declare themselves, and either embrace moral perversion or reject their own party.

Freedom for 'Phobes

It has been known for years that Chick-fil-A supports right-wing groups. The company has given out gift cards at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. At a recent Religious Right gathering, a speaker talked about how wonderful it was to live and work in Atlanta, where, he said, there’s a Baptist church on every corner and the streets are paved with Chick-fil-A.

So I am no fan of Chick-fil-A, but I’m a big fan of freedom, and that includes Chick-fil-A’s freedom to open its restaurants, even in cities where progressive political leaders don’t like the reactionary politics promoted by the company and its owners.

There’s been a robust campaign by advocates for LGBT equality to call more attention to Chick-fil-A’s contributions to “traditional family” groups, which total in the millions of dollars. But the feathers really flew when company president Dan Cathy made comments in an interview with Baptist Press bragging about his company’s position on marriage – “guilty as charged” -- and his comments to an Atlanta radio station.

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” said Cathy.

I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about,” he added.

It’s no surprise that Cathy’s comments have stirred supporters of LGBT equality to respond. Much of that response has been in the best traditions of free speech and protest. In Washington, D.C., this week, the Human Rights Campaign organized a protest in front of a Chick-Fil-A food truck. Other activists have rallied outside Chick-Fil-A stores and some students have protested the company’s presence on their campuses.

In addition, a number of political leaders have spoken out in defense of marriage equality and in opposition to the company’s support for discrimination. Twenty years ago, I would never have imagined elected officials taking the time to publicly criticize a business on behalf of the ability of same-sex couples to get married. It’s a good thing – a sign of amazing progress.

But a couple of politicians have gone too far – suggesting that the power of government should be used to prevent the company from opening restaurants based on its political donations and the positions of its owners. That’s not a good thing. As a matter of principle, the government shouldn’t treat individuals differently based on their political or religious beliefs, or companies based on the political activities and contributions of their owners.  As others have noted, we wouldn’t want cities or states to have the power to prevent the opening of stores whose owners support LGBT equality or other progressive causes. 

People For the American Way’s headquarters is located in the District of Columbia, where elected officials have recognized that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law. DC’s progressive public policies stand in stark contrast to the anti-equality work of groups like the Family Research Council, but we would never suggest that the DC government could or should have prevented FRC from planting its headquarters in the center of downtown DC. Our commitment to freedom and equality should extend to those who don’t share it.

PFAW Foundation

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.

Are Boycotts Moral? For the Religious Right, It Depends on Who They're Targeting

Last year, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council were outraged — outraged! — when gay rights advocates began pressuring companies to end their ties to a so-called charity group called the CGBG, which funds anti-gay organizations including LC and FRC. The two groups urged retailers to “remain neutral in the culture wars” and accused gay rights supporters of “economic terrorism.” The FRC even created a website where activists could call on companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles, thus enabling you to focus on business and not force consumers to make purchasing choices based on corporate political agendas.”

Of course, both LC and FRC had organized and endorsed similar pressure campaigns against corporations in the past, but apparently those didn’t constitute “economic terrorism.”

As Chick-fil-A, a company that bankrolls anti-gay groups and whose CEO has said marriage equality is inviting God’s judgment, faces a national backlash for its opposition to gay rights, once again the Religious Right is employing an almost pathetic use of double standards.

The National Organization for Marriage, which literally has two campaigns dedicated to boycotting Starbucks and General Mills for refusing to stay “neutral” in the marriage equality debate, is now outraged that gay rights activists are boycotting Chick-fil-A.

NOM's state affiliate in Minnesota organized a protest outside of the corporate headquarters of General Mills and in a letter to Minnesota corporations, NOM asked that companies “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides” of a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Another group shockingly outraged by protests targeting Chick-fil-A is the American Family Association.

The AFA and its subgroups One Million Moms and One Million Dads have boycotted countless companies, most recently leading boycotts and pressure campaigns against Home Depot, Ford, GAP, Macy's, JC Penney for their advertising campaigns and efforts to create inclusive work environments “rather than remain neutral in the culture war,” and against DC, Marvel and Archie Comics for including gay characters.

In fact, the AFA goes so far as to claim, without any evidence, that it’s pressure campaign is responsible for financial problems at JC Penney.

So the question needs to be asked, did the AFA, in the words of its spokesman Bryan Fischer, "go Ahmadinejad" on JC Penney, Home Depot and Archie?

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