Focus on the Family

Religious Right Hyperbole on Contraception Coverage Mandate goes into Overdrive

The extreme and hysterical arguments emanating from the Religious Right over the contraception mandate in insurance plans would continue to amuse if not for the fact that their pathetic arguments only trivialize actual cases of religious persecution. While speaking with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, talk show host Janet Parshall claimed that the health care reform law shows that President Obama is “blinded by a doctrine of death” and is a “person whose heart is hardened.” She warned of an “erosion of free speech” and “an erosion of our practices” under the Obama administration:

Chuck Colson even told Jim Daly on Focus on the Family Radio that the contraception mandate may even lead government to dictate to churches on the doctrine of the Trinity:

Not to be outdone, Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council compared the contraception insurance coverage mandate to Nazi Germany, saying that churches should prepare to follow the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazi government for his involvement in the resistance movement and the plot to kill Adolf Hitler:

In recent days, Jewish rabbis have joined all Catholic bishops in the United States in expressing alarm over the President's "healthcare" mandates and other violations of the Constitution. The National Clergy Council deliberated for the last week on what it would do, consulting pastors, moral theologians, organizational executives and activists from around the US. As a result, the Reverend Rob Schenck, president of the Washington, DC based group, will begin the holy season of Lent 2012 by appealing to President Obama for answers with a "State of Emergency and Time for Speaking" declaration to be hand-delivered to the White House on Ash Wednesday morning, February 22, 2012.



As Rev. Schenck explains in the document, the action he and his committee have taken is inspired by the Nazi-era hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "the German pastor and martyr, who is an exemplar of what it means to hold to and to exercise one's religious, moral, and ethical convictions, even to the surrender of every other right, including the right to one's life." Bonhoeffer wrote on the "status confessionis," a time when churches must speak out. Schenck says in his letter this is such a time, "during which we must take extraordinary action to respectfully resist your decrees, state our deeply held and felt reasons for doing so, and call our coreligionists, and all people of conscience to stand with us." President Obama was publicly given a copy of a recent biography on Bonhoeffer by the author, Eric Metaxas, when Mr. Metaxas and the President shared a podium at the February 2 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel Action even likened the situation to the American Revolution:

Barack Obama is literally forcing insurance companies and self-insured religious organizations to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to Americans who want to pay for neither.

As I told you on Friday, President Obama has once again grossly overstepped the constitutional authority of his office. Thankfully, it appears that Americans have finally had enough.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, a leading member of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, recently said the Obama administration is “…as close to a monarchy as there’s been since the days of George III.”

In reality, our situation today may be even worse than during the founding era since King George III merely TAXED the goods that inspired the Boston Tea Party. Even so great a despot as he did not imagine he could FORCE the colonials to BUY the stuff!

Focus on the Family Spokesman Calls it 'Very Unscientific' to Believe Same-Sex Parents Can have Healthy Families

Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton joined John Rabe of Truth in Action Ministries on Truth that Transforms yesterday to discuss same-sex parenting. The two claimed that supporters of marriage equality are “unscientific” when it comes to family stability and have “completely ignored” evidence showing that same-sex parenting harms children.

Rabe: Glenn, it’s always very interesting to me because we Christians are portrayed as being often anti-science and anti-progress and so forth yet when you talk about the issue of marriage and family it’s interesting how the other side very quickly becomes the sentimentalists in the group, suddenly all the empirical data, all the scientific stuff, is completely ignored and you hear statements about ‘people who just love each other should be able to marry and define that for themselves.’ From an empirical perspective there’s not even any argument about how beneficial a traditional man-woman marriage and family is as opposed to other models, is there?

Stanton: You said it exactly right. It’s remarkable how those folks on the other side being the ‘reasonable ones,’ the ones who unlike us don’t believe in sentimentality and myth and things like that, they become very, very unscientific.

The claim that there is no “empirical data” or “scientific stuff” confirming the idea that same-sex parents can raise healthy and well-balanced children is false. In fact, it is anti-gay activists who are ignoring the research about same-sex parenting.

The American Psychological Association’s review of mainstream scientific literature has debunked claims that children of same-sex couples would have more mental and emotional problems. In addition, studies consistently find that children raised by same-sex parents are just as well-adjusted those raised in households with opposite-sex parents.

A University of Amsterdam study [pdf] on the “quality of life (QoL) of adolescents in planned lesbian families” found that their quality of life is no different from their peers:

In conclusion, the reported QoL for adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families is similar to that reported by the matched adolescents in heterosexual-parent families. This finding supports earlier evidence that adolescents reared by lesbian mothers from birth do not manifest more adjustment difficulties (e.g., depression, anxiety, and disruptive behaviors) than those reared by heterosexual parents.

Researchers from the University of Virginia similarly found that “adolescents with same-sex parents did not differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with opposite-sex parents”:

The results of the present study, which is the first based on a large national sample of adolescents living with same-sex couples, revealed that on nearly all of a large array of variables related to school and personal adjustment, adolescents with same-sex parents did not differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with opposite-sex parents. Regardless of family type, adolescents were more likely to show favorable adjustment when they perceived more caring from adults and when parents described close relationships with them. Thus, as has been reported in studies of children with lesbian mothers (e.g., Chan et al., 1998), it was the qualities of adolescent – parent relationships rather than the structural features of families (e.g., same- vs. opposite-sex parents) that were significantly associated with adolescent adjustment (Golombok, 1999; Patterson, 2000).

A Stanford University sociologist also sees no major differences among children in terms of educational achievement:

To the extent that normal progress through primary school is a useful and valid measure of child development, the results confirm that children of same-sex couples appear to have no inherent developmental disadvantage. Heterosexual married couples are the most economically prosperous, the most likely to be white, and the most legally advantaged type of parents; their children have the lowest rates of grade retention. Parental [Socio-Economic Status] accounts for more than one-half of the relatively small gap in grade retention between children of heterosexual married couples and children of same-sex couples. When one controls for parental SES and characteristics of the students, children of same-sex couples cannot be distinguished with statistical certainty from children of heterosexual married couples.

But groups like Focus on the Family and Truth in Action Ministries try to damage to the health and welfare of families led by same-sex parents with their consistent promotion of anti-gay laws and social stigmas.

CPAC: Goeglein Says Obama 'Savaged and Attacked' Marriage, Life and Religious Liberty

Focus on the Family's Tim Goeglein, a former Bush Administration official who resigned in disgrace after admitting to plagiarism, told CPAC today that more than any other president "in the history of the United States," President Obama has "savaged and attacked" marriage, life and religious liberty.

Watch:  

After 9th Circuit Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, Marriage Equality Opponents Look to the Supreme Court

The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco.

The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal victory:

Moments ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed down a sweeping ruling striking down California’s Proposition 8 and—for the first time ever—finding a "right" to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution!

This sets up an all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court.



A Supreme Court victory would preserve the marriage laws of 44 states, denying same-sex marriage radicals in their campaign to force gay marriage on the entire nation in one fell swoop. But if we lose at the Supreme Court, marriage will be jeopardized not just in California, but in all 50 states.

NOM also posted additional statements from Brown and board chairman John Eastman, who called it an “absurd ruling”:

“As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.”



“Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.”

The Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum dubbed the ruling a “Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage”:

No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.

We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage–tried in San Francisco–turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court. Every pro-marriage American should be pleased that this case can finally go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team’s arguments align with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision on marriage in American history.

Catholics for the Common Good president William May derided the court for failing to “to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society”:

"It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society," May said.

Federal District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided over a show trial about marriage in which plaintiff's counsel trotted out witness after witness with emotional arguments in a PR attempt to re-argue Proposition 8.

"Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory," said May.

"To reach his judgment about the voters and his decision to strike down Prop 8, he created a new definition of marriage as merely the public recognition of a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, the voters of California know that marriage is much more than that. It is the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. This is what marriage is; that is what it does. It is a reality that can only be recognized by law and never changed."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council accused the court of “judicial tyranny” and trying to “impose San Francisco values on the entire country”:

"Today's decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming from the most liberal Circuit Court in the country. This Hollywood-funded lawsuit, which seeks to impose San Francisco values on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists to force their will on their fellow citizens.

"This ruling substitute's judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a 'right' to homosexual 'marriage,' and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.

"Voters in 31 states have voted to uphold the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions," concluded Perkins.

Focus on the Family analyst Bruce Hausknecht called the ruling “yet another instance of social engineering”:

“Opponents of Prop 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father," Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family, said in a statement after the ruling.

“But no judge has the right to redefine marriage," he continued. "Doing so redefines parenthood, and offers yet another instance of social engineering based on the desires of adults rather than the interests of children."

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance asserted that the judges “undermined the foundations of the family and liberty”:

Once again, the Ninth Circuit lives up to its reputation as the most overturned court in the country. Only this time, they have reached a new low. They not only showed a complete disregard for the Constitution, but also for those principles and values that gave birth to it, and for "we the people" who are supposed to be the ultimate authority.

Californians voted overwhelmingly to support the traditional definition of marriage that has been the foundation of this great nation. Our experiences have shown us, as science proves, that the best environment for children to develop as productive members of our society is in a home where there is a mother and a father who love them and each other unconditionally. Yet with a stroke of the pen these three judges have undermined the foundations of the family and liberty.

Shame on them.

We know this issue will eventually end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and we hope, for the sake of our country's future, that they will show much more respect for the Constitution, our foundations and the people who give them the right to make these rulings in the first place.

UPDATE: The Capitol Resource Institute blasted the ruling as “a stunning assault on democracy”:

"This is a stunning assault on democracy and California's initiative process," explained Karen England, Executive Director of pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute and a key leader in the passage of Proposition 8. "Well over 50% of California voters approved Proposition 8; today their will was overturned by a panel of arrogant judges who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of us."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling is not the end of the road for Proposition 8.

"The truth will always prevail and we are confident that the traditional-and true-definition of marriage will be upheld by the Supreme Court," stated England. "The voice of the people must be heard and respected. The future of California and American families depends upon the sanctity of traditional marriage. It's time for the courts to recognize marriages' critical role in society and protect it."

Former NOM head Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes on National Review Online that the ruling represents a “breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic”:

In a breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic, a divided Ninth Circuit ruled 2–1 that because Prop 8 does not take away civil-union benefits for same-sex couples, it’s an unconstitutional exercise in irrational animus towards gay people.

Dishonestly, the court claimed it did not require any heightened scrutiny to reach this result.

Gordon Klingenschmitt said that the “Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves” as a result of the ruling:

The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the Founding Fathers wrote homosexual 'marriage' rights into the U.S. Constitution, and overturned California's Proposition 8 traditional marriage law, which had twice been passed by voters. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves, since all of them believed sodomy was a crime, and certainly not a Constitutional right.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver claimed the ruling “undermines the legitimacy of the judicial system” and represents the “unraveling of the actual judiciary”:

"This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. This is, I think, an illustration of why the judiciary has lost the confidence of the American people."

"If you look at ideology ... pushed by this particular panel, obviously that's what this panel did: they looked at their own ideological bias, their radical positions -- not the Constitution itself. And when they did that, it undermined their own legitimacy -- and I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny."

"They're not only saying that the voters don't have the right to amend their own constitution and define marriage, they're also saying that there is a constitutional, guaranteed right to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution itself. That's absolutely absurd. It is insane to suggest that there is such a right in the United States Constitution."

The Family Leader dubbed the court a “friend of the radical homosexual agenda” and referred to the ruling as a case of bullying:

Today's decision by the liberal 9th Circut Court, while expected, is sad and outrageous on many levels. Not least of which is "we the people" get bullied again by a few "robed masters." It's also evidence that when executives go wobbly on fighting the left's agenda and not appointing ONLY strict constructionist judges, who take the Constitution and due process seriously, we continue to lose these battles. However, the 9th Circuit's opinon is no surprise; they have been a friend of the radical homosexual agenda for years. As for us; we have only begun to and will continue to be in the fight! Join us!

Gary Bauer of American Values chided the “Circus” Court for attempting to “force its radical agenda down our throats” and “threatening religious liberty”:

The Ninth “Circus” Court of Appeals has struck again. Today, a divided three-judge panel overruled the majority of California voters and struck down Proposition 8 — the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The court’s majority ruled that traditional marriage “fails to advance any rational basis.” So in spite of thousands of years of recorded history, in spite of the values held by every major faith, in spite of basic biology and common sense and in spite of the will of the people, these left-wing judicial ideologues believe that normal marriage is irrational.

Here’s the bottom line: The culture war is real. The left does not intend to allow these issues to be decided by the people in their respective states. It will use the courts to force its radical agenda down our throats.

This is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be informed and active in the public policy debates of our time. These decisions are redefining our cherished values and threatening religious liberty.

After 9th Circuit Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, Marriage Equality Opponents Look to the Supreme Court

The Ninth Circuit Court today upheld a lower court ruling which found Proposition 8, which overturned marriage equality in California, unconstitutional. Religious Right activists immediately denounced the ruling and used the decision to attack gays and lesbians, judges, Hollywood and San Francisco.

The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown emailed members with a warning that the case will end up with an “all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court” and told members that donations are needed to deny “same-sex marriage radicals” a legal victory:

Moments ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed down a sweeping ruling striking down California’s Proposition 8 and—for the first time ever—finding a "right" to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution!

This sets up an all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court.



A Supreme Court victory would preserve the marriage laws of 44 states, denying same-sex marriage radicals in their campaign to force gay marriage on the entire nation in one fell swoop. But if we lose at the Supreme Court, marriage will be jeopardized not just in California, but in all 50 states.

NOM also posted additional statements from Brown and board chairman John Eastman, who called it an “absurd ruling”:

“As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.”



“Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.”

The Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum dubbed the ruling a “Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage”:

No court should presume to redefine marriage. No court should undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.

We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage–tried in San Francisco–turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court. Every pro-marriage American should be pleased that this case can finally go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team’s arguments align with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision on marriage in American history.

Catholics for the Common Good president William May derided the court for failing to “to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society”:

"It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society," May said.

Federal District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided over a show trial about marriage in which plaintiff's counsel trotted out witness after witness with emotional arguments in a PR attempt to re-argue Proposition 8.

"Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory," said May.

"To reach his judgment about the voters and his decision to strike down Prop 8, he created a new definition of marriage as merely the public recognition of a committed relationship for the benefit of adults. However, the voters of California know that marriage is much more than that. It is the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. This is what marriage is; that is what it does. It is a reality that can only be recognized by law and never changed."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council accused the court of “judicial tyranny” and trying to “impose San Francisco values on the entire country”:

"Today's decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming from the most liberal Circuit Court in the country. This Hollywood-funded lawsuit, which seeks to impose San Francisco values on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists to force their will on their fellow citizens.

"This ruling substitute's judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a 'right' to homosexual 'marriage,' and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.

"Voters in 31 states have voted to uphold the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions," concluded Perkins.

Focus on the Family analyst Bruce Hausknecht called the ruling “yet another instance of social engineering”:

“Opponents of Prop 8 insist on changing the definition of marriage for everyone, including children who deserve the opportunity to grow up in a home with their own married mother and father," Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family, said in a statement after the ruling.

“But no judge has the right to redefine marriage," he continued. "Doing so redefines parenthood, and offers yet another instance of social engineering based on the desires of adults rather than the interests of children."

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance asserted that the judges “undermined the foundations of the family and liberty”:

Once again, the Ninth Circuit lives up to its reputation as the most overturned court in the country. Only this time, they have reached a new low. They not only showed a complete disregard for the Constitution, but also for those principles and values that gave birth to it, and for "we the people" who are supposed to be the ultimate authority.

Californians voted overwhelmingly to support the traditional definition of marriage that has been the foundation of this great nation. Our experiences have shown us, as science proves, that the best environment for children to develop as productive members of our society is in a home where there is a mother and a father who love them and each other unconditionally. Yet with a stroke of the pen these three judges have undermined the foundations of the family and liberty.

Shame on them.

We know this issue will eventually end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and we hope, for the sake of our country's future, that they will show much more respect for the Constitution, our foundations and the people who give them the right to make these rulings in the first place.

UPDATE: The Capitol Resource Institute blasted the ruling as “a stunning assault on democracy”:

"This is a stunning assault on democracy and California's initiative process," explained Karen England, Executive Director of pro-family group Capitol Resource Institute and a key leader in the passage of Proposition 8. "Well over 50% of California voters approved Proposition 8; today their will was overturned by a panel of arrogant judges who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of us."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling is not the end of the road for Proposition 8.

"The truth will always prevail and we are confident that the traditional-and true-definition of marriage will be upheld by the Supreme Court," stated England. "The voice of the people must be heard and respected. The future of California and American families depends upon the sanctity of traditional marriage. It's time for the courts to recognize marriages' critical role in society and protect it."

Former NOM head Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes on National Review Online that the ruling represents a “breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic”:

In a breathtaking exercise in ill-natured illogic, a divided Ninth Circuit ruled 2–1 that because Prop 8 does not take away civil-union benefits for same-sex couples, it’s an unconstitutional exercise in irrational animus towards gay people.

Dishonestly, the court claimed it did not require any heightened scrutiny to reach this result.

Gordon Klingenschmitt said that the “Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves” as a result of the ruling:

The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that the Founding Fathers wrote homosexual 'marriage' rights into the U.S. Constitution, and overturned California's Proposition 8 traditional marriage law, which had twice been passed by voters. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves, since all of them believed sodomy was a crime, and certainly not a Constitutional right.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver claimed the ruling “undermines the legitimacy of the judicial system” and represents the “unraveling of the actual judiciary”:

"This is a travesty of justice and it undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "When judges find that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it's absolutely absurd. This is, I think, an illustration of why the judiciary has lost the confidence of the American people."

"If you look at ideology ... pushed by this particular panel, obviously that's what this panel did: they looked at their own ideological bias, their radical positions -- not the Constitution itself. And when they did that, it undermined their own legitimacy -- and I think this is the unraveling of the actual judiciary. It is the very seeds, as Thomas Jefferson said, of tyranny."

"They're not only saying that the voters don't have the right to amend their own constitution and define marriage, they're also saying that there is a constitutional, guaranteed right to same-sex marriage in the United States Constitution itself. That's absolutely absurd. It is insane to suggest that there is such a right in the United States Constitution."

The Family Leader dubbed the court a “friend of the radical homosexual agenda” and referred to the ruling as a case of bullying:

Today's decision by the liberal 9th Circut Court, while expected, is sad and outrageous on many levels. Not least of which is "we the people" get bullied again by a few "robed masters." It's also evidence that when executives go wobbly on fighting the left's agenda and not appointing ONLY strict constructionist judges, who take the Constitution and due process seriously, we continue to lose these battles. However, the 9th Circuit's opinon is no surprise; they have been a friend of the radical homosexual agenda for years. As for us; we have only begun to and will continue to be in the fight! Join us!

Gary Bauer of American Values chided the “Circus” Court for attempting to “force its radical agenda down our throats” and “threatening religious liberty”:

The Ninth “Circus” Court of Appeals has struck again. Today, a divided three-judge panel overruled the majority of California voters and struck down Proposition 8 — the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The court’s majority ruled that traditional marriage “fails to advance any rational basis.” So in spite of thousands of years of recorded history, in spite of the values held by every major faith, in spite of basic biology and common sense and in spite of the will of the people, these left-wing judicial ideologues believe that normal marriage is irrational.

Here’s the bottom line: The culture war is real. The left does not intend to allow these issues to be decided by the people in their respective states. It will use the courts to force its radical agenda down our throats.

This is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be informed and active in the public policy debates of our time. These decisions are redefining our cherished values and threatening religious liberty.

Dobson Joins Santorum on the Stump

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson appeared with Rick Santorum at a campaign rally in Colorado, which has its caucus on February 7. Dobson joined other Religious Right leaders in endorsing Santorum and hailed him for fighting against same-sex marriage, and reportedly also backed Santorum because he disapproved of Newt Gingrich’s third wife Callista. Dobson said that neither Mitt Romney nor Gingrich are authentic conservatives, lauding Santorum for caring “about the moral integrity of this nation” and his consistent “fight for marriage and fight for the unborn.” While Dobson stressed social issues, the former Pennsylvania senator claimed that his image as a “social conservative” was responsible for his third place defeat in Florida:

After delivering a pointed version of his stump speech before a crowd of more than 1,200 people at Mr. Biggs Family Funhouse here, Santorum introduced Dobson, the head of the conservative group Focus on the Family.

Dobson, who endorsed Santorum in January, made the point that he was at the event “as a private individual,” and this disclaimer may have allowed him to be a bit more candid.

“It would appear to me that Mitt Romney is not a conservative,” Dobson said to much applause. “And Newt Gingrich is not – well I don’t know what he is. You’re the only true conservative in the race.”

The two men then had a conversation that veered more personal than political, with Dobson explaining the rationale behind his decision to support Santorum in the Republican primary.

“I believe you really care about the moral integrity of this nation and I believe you will fight for it,” Dobson said to Santorum. “Fight for marriage and fight for the unborn child and fight for the all the other principles that matters so much to me and so many others.”

During his opening remarks, Santorum suggested that his image as a staunch social conservative potentially damaged his efforts to appeal to the majority of the Republican electorate whose primary concern for 2012 is the flagging economy.

“I had the highest favorability as anybody in Florida,” Santorum said. “But I didn’t win, even though I had the most positive – highest positive, lowest negative. I didn’t win, and you ask the people why, ‘well, we’re not sure you can win. People think you’re a social conservative and we need someone who’s an economic conservative.’”

But looking at the issues, Santorum argued, none of the three other major GOP candidates differ in their stated positions on social issues. “What makes me more socially conservative than they? Some would suggest that I actually believe what I’m saying as opposed to them,” Santorum said.

James Dobson Endorses Santorum, Hopes He Can Stop Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson endorsed Rick Santorum today, which comes as no surprise as Dobson advocated for Santorum behind closed doors at a meeting with fellow Religious Right leaders in Texas. According to reports, Dobson feared the repercussions of electing Newt Gingrich and having “a woman who was a man’s mistress for eight years” as First Lady.

In his endorsement, Dobson said that “the institution of the family” is “in serious jeopardy,” warning that the “very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.” Dobson has previously compared Santorum to Tim Tebow and saluted him for “standing up for righteousness,” and joins social conservative activists Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance, Richard Viguerie, John Stemberger and Gary Bauer in endorsing the former Pennsylvania Senator:

Dr. Dobson, well-known radio broadcaster, psychologist and author of 35 best selling books, and consultant to three U.S. Presidents, said today, "The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation. It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests. If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order. And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy. The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.

"Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern. He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children. What a refreshing message. The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children. That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back. Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013. We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation.

"While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign."

UPDATE: Rick Santorum thanked Dobson in a statement and hoped his endorsement would help “build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win”:

I am truly honored to receive Dr. Dobson's endorsement today. Dr. Dobson has been a light for conservative movement, an unwavering leader in the face of forces both within and outside our Party to call a truce on the foundational principles that make our nation the greatest in the history of the world, but he knows that calling a truce is nothing more than surrendering. I commit to never surrender our principles, our foundational values, and the moral enterprise that is America. I am excited to work with Dr. Dobson in the weeks to come as we build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win.

Meanwhile, the Red White and Blue Fund, a pro-Santorum Super PAC, is airing a new ad in South Carolina narrated by Bauer, who helped found the Family Research Council with Dobson, calling Santorum an opponent of “liberal elites and those who seek to undermine the nation’s freedoms and moral fabric”:

After Multiple Layoffs and Budget Cuts, Focus Branches Out into Financial Planning

Since 2007, Focus on the Family has undergone round after round of layoffs while watching its annual budget get cut almost in half as the organization has regularly struggled to make ends meet.

So I guess it only makes sense that Focus has decided to expand its counseling services to helping families struggling with financial problems to "become debt free and live a life of financial freedom":

Focus [On The Family] has banded together with two Christian organizations, Crown Financial Ministries and Finicity, to bring a message of freedom and hope to millions of families trapped in cycles of financial disorder.

...

"At Focus we hear from countless families who are struggling with significant personal debt and having difficulty living within their means - the numbers of those looking for help has especially increased during these trying economic times," says Rich Bennett, Vice President of Ministry Strategy at Focus on the Family. "The financial piece impacts their marriages, their ability to effectively parent, their spiritual, mental and emotional health, and even the quality of their lives."

"To that end, we are excited to partner with these trusted organizations to bring proven, effective solutions to assist with these pervasive family problems."

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.

Editorial Memo: The Right's Recycled Supreme Court Strategy

Right-wing advocates who have made a decades-long push to bring federal courts under ideological domination are planning to wage a campaign against any nominee President Obama makes to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

To Hell with Health Care Reform: Religious Right Leaders Attack Obama, Spout GOP Dogma about "Socialism" While Fanning Flames on Abortion

Much of the Religious Right's organizing energy has been devoted to incendiary and false claims about the administration's alleged stealth plan to force every health plan to cover - and force all doctors to provide - abortion services. None of these approaches are actually included in the plans working their way through Congress. In fact, anti-choice members of Congress are using health reform to institute a new nationwide abortion ban in private insurance plans taking away coverage women already have.

As Senate Prepares to Take Up Hate Crimes Bill, Far Right’s Inflammatory Claims Should Not Be Taken Seriously

Anti-gay organizations have been fighting the steady advance of federal hate crimes legislation with rhetoric that is increasingly unhinged from reality. When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a hate crimes bill on April 29 with a bipartisan 74-vote margin, Religious Right leaders and some of their congressional allies were inspired to new heights (or depths) of literally incredible accusations.

Themes from the Right -- Nomination Day

Right-wing political and legal groups and pundits responded to President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court by cranking up their well-funded attack machine, following their pre-fab attack script (they have been attacking her for months as a potential nominee), launching ads against her confirmation, and threatening to use the nomination as a political bludgeon against Democrats from more conservative states.

The Right Re-Tools as a 'Resistance Movement'

Now that the Religious Right and the Republican Party are regrouping from significant electoral defeats, many progressives as well as pundits are tempted once again to dismiss the movement or the continued threat it poses to the constitutional principles of equality, privacy, and separation of church and state. But the legal, political, grassroots, and media infrastructure that has been built steadily over recent decades is still largely in place. It maintains a powerful ability to shape public debate and mobilize millions of Americans. And it is finding a renewed focus in opposing the Obama administration and obstructing progressive change.

Dobson Steps Down as Chair of Focus on the Family

In response to news reports that James Dobson is stepping down as the chairman of Focus on the Family, People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement:

"James Dobson may be stepping down, but he's not stepping off the field. Dobson will continue hosting his national radio show and pushing his far right agenda under the cover of folksy advice.

What Has the Right Been Up to for the Past 25 Years?

A shorthand look at the rise of the Religious Right from political obscurity to the corridors of power.

The Patriot Pastors Electoral War Against the 'Hordes of Hell'

A new generation of Religious Right leaders is turning conservative churches into political machines for far-right Republican candidates with rhetoric that might make Pat Robertson blush. The new report by People For the American Way Foundation, NAACP, and the African American Ministers Leadership Council documents how high-level Republican officials in Ohio and elsewhere are embracing the self-proclaimed "Christocrats" and counting on a new wave of aggressive politics-from-the-pulpit to win elections.

"Parental Rights"

"Parental Rights" is a phrase often used to mask a right-wing agenda to undermine the rights of children.

Sabotaging Science: Creationist Strategies in the '90's

This report examines the increasingly sophisticated strategies that creationists use in an effort to inject their ideas into public school science curricula

Back to School with the Religious Right

The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.

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