When it gets to the holiday season here at Right Wing Watch, our inboxes are flooded with warnings about the “War on Christmas,” often accompanied by year-end fundraising pitches or, better yet, Christmas gift ideas.
As a public service, we’ve compiled some of the best of these into our annual Right Wing Watch War on Christmas gift guide, where you can find something for everyone on your list.
Don’t be deterred by the elitist critics who describe the “odd, lingering aftertastes” of Bakker’s food buckets or pan them as “one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten in my life.”
For The Public Official Who Just Really Doesn’t Want To Do Her Job
The War on Christmas began early this year, when Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis became a Religious Right hero after her ill-fated attempts to exempt her county from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling landed her briefly in jail.
(Apparently the campaign has opted not to sell Sabo’s other most famous work, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis as “ Abortion Barbie.”)
For The Ted Cruz Fan With A Festive Spirit
For the Cruz supporter with a more wholesome sensibility, consider this sweater, which Cruz’s campaign instructs supporters to wear while setting “an example for the ‘tolerant left’” by saying “Merry Christmas every chance you get!”
For The Downcast Jeb Bush Supporter
Why should Ted Cruz supporters get all the cool merch? For just $20, you can get a deserving friend or relative this stylish Jeb Bush Christmas ornament, guaranteed to cheer up anyone who’s been looking at his poll numbers.
For The Relative With ‘A Case Of The Bah-Humbugs’
Kirk Cameron’s movie “Saving Christmas” came out last year, but the DVD was released last month, just in time to stuff the stockings of loved ones who need a reminder of the true spirit of the season.
In the movie, Cameron plays a pro-Christmas warrior who must cure his brother-in-law of “a bad case of the bah-humbugs.” Film critic Peter Sobczynski writes that the movie is “little more than a screed delivered by Kirk Cameron scorning everyone who doesn't celebrate the season as ostentatiously as he does, justifying his attitude with bits and pieces gleaned from the Bible, delivered in the most self-righteous manner imaginable. The result is perhaps the only Christmas movie I can think of, especially of the religious-themed variety, that seems to flat-out endorse materialism, greed and outright gluttony.”
The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, however, was pleasantly surprised: “I had assumed it would be a 90-minute jeremiad aimed at atheists, Jews, Muslims, and other people who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does. Instead, it’s an 80-minute jeremiad aimed at other Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does.”
Why settle for a Bible when you could have a Bible supplemented by misleading American history?
For The Birther Who Will Never Give Up
President Obama may be entering his last year in office, but the conservative news source WorldNetDaily will never give up on its quest to prove that Obama was ineligible for the presidency all along. What better gift for a similarly persistent loved one than these bumper stickers from the WND store, which a recent email from WND points out would make great stocking stuffers.
Mike Huckabee will headline Liberty Counsel's "The Awakening 2015" event in March.
Rep. Randy Weber has apologized for his bizarre tweet comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler.
The folks over at Free Republic are not happy with Glenn Beck's warning about creeping "heterofascim" in Russia.
David Lane fumes: "The grandiosity and recklessness of the radicalized, secular United States Supreme Court in the last century is mind-blowing. The Court has birthed a full-scale catastrophe, corrupting 500 years of natural law and threatening America's long-term, sustainable freedom."
Jan Markell warns that "we're setting ourselves up for an attack. It's going to happen because the Islamic terror world knows America does not have a president who will either protect us or fight back."
Finally, Kirk Cameron's "Saving Christmas" movie was such a "hit" that he's now released "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas Blend" coffee. Seriously.
Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Church=State in Putin’s Orthodox Empire?; Evangelical-Orthodox Anti-Gay Alliance; Malaysian Court Protects Transwomen; Catholicism (Still) Declining in Latin America; Global LGBT Recap.
Cameron told Glenn Beck’s outlet The Blaze that he seeks to save the holiday from a barrage of attacks from those who seek to “snuff out the holy root” Christmas.
But don’t worry, he insists that the movie is not an “angry rant about the culture war.”
Cameron, who is also one of the film’s stars, told TheBlaze that he decided to make “Saving Christmas” to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season, while also pushing back against those who wish to “snuff out [the holiday's] holy root.”
“Christmas is probably my favorite time of year,” he said. “It seems to be the time of year when even cranky, grumpy people seem to be touched by the spirit of generosity and kindness and brotherly love and I know that that ultimately stems from the true reason for the season, which is Christ.”
Cameron continued, “It’s obvious that there is a deliberate attempt to snuff out the holy root that has produced all this wonderful Christmas-time fruit. I think it’s about time someone spoke out and made a movie about this.”
The “Growing Pains” actor, who has gone on to direct and produce numerous faith-themed films, said that atheist activists’ attempts to diminish the true nature of the holiday by taking aim at nativities and other symbols of faith amounts to political correctness run amok.
“[It is] offensive to 90 percent of people in our country who want to see nativity scenes and who know the birth of the Christ child is the fundamental root of Christianity, which is the ideology that built this country,” Cameron said.
“Saving Christmas” isn’t an “angry rant about the culture war,” he said. Instead, it’s a celebration of the holiday and of the Christian faith.
What on earth is Harry Jackson is talking about? "Gay rights activists may be threatening to expose historic improprieties within the [Boy Scouts]. I also believe that behind the scenes, 'secret files' dug up in previous legal actions have created an urgency for these groups to attempt to affect the Supreme Court’s sense of 'societal swing'—just before the Supreme Court rules on the issue of gay marriage. You can bet the timing is connected."
Kirk Cameron is partnering with Liberty University in order to "help train a new generation of filmmakers who share his values."
Finally, the quote of the day from Burt Prelutsky: "After watching Barack and Hillary billing-and-cooing for 30 minutes, I suspect that by the time he got home, Michelle was waiting with a rolling pin and a ton of attitude, wanting to know where he got off cozying up to that honky b–ch."
Kirk Cameron told his fellow anti-Obama activists Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that Christians must use the election to “hold back the flood of moral and spiritual evil that has been pouring into the country and give moms and dads and grandparents the opportunity to begin rebuilding morality and spirituality.” Wildmon added that Obama must be defeated for “freedom to reign.”
Perkins, who once claimed Obama voters must “repent,” described a conversation he had with prominent conservative pastor Jim Garlow about how God will grant America a “reprieve” and delay judgment if Obama is ousted. “I see what could happen here today if we are successful in removing someone from office who has basically set themselves in defiance to everything that is biblically oriented in terms of the history of our country and the word of God,” Perkins said, “that it’s a reprieve, it’s not a solution.”
He claimed that voters in 2008 “chose the economy over the moral foundation of the country when we selected Barack Obama as president,” arguing that an Obama defeat now could allow the church to “begin focusing on the moral and spiritual condition of our nation.”
Kirk Cameron, who compared the backlash to the anti-gay statements he made on Piers Morgan Tonight to the persecution of Puritans in England and being “drug out to the public square and stoned so to speak,” told Liberty University students last week that “blasphemy laws are still alive and well in America” and that his critics tried to “crucify me” because he had “blasphemed the God of Political Correctness.” He said conservative Christians shouldn’t be “wussing out” when confronted by questions about homosexuality and should deliver a message of “truth in love” in order to “see people in a right relationship with God, helped and healed and whole.”
Later in his speech, Cameron promoted his movie about the Puritans who settled in Massachusetts Bay and claimed they supported “limiting the powers of government” and “religious and political freedom, freedom of speech.” Unfortunately for the students at Liberty University, founded as Liberty Baptist College, they didn’t learn that under the Colony’s law those who “openly condemne or oppose the baptizing of infants,” and a central doctrine of the Baptists is the rejection of infant baptism, “shall be sentenced to banishment.”
So while Cameron holds the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a model for the contemporary U.S., the colony’s Puritan government held that “Idolatry, blasphemy, heresy . . . are to be restrained and punished by the civil authority.”
Speaking of Liberty U, Jerry Falwell, Jr. continues to defend Donald Trump's recent speech there, saying it was all a part of the "free exchange of ideas." Because everyone knows that LU is all about free speech and diversity.
The organizers of the America for Jesus rally need your help in paying off the $98,000 deficit they now face.
Finally, Matt Barber declares that President Obama is "a white-hating racist."
During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party?
First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.
So it didn't come as much of a surprise when Cameron delivered another rather strange history lesson today while speaking at the Values Voter Summit when he proclaimed that America has been so successful because our Founding Fathers relied "on the very eternal principles that had not been tested and tried from the ground up for three thousand years since the ancient Hebrew republic under Moses":
Last night, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council hosted a nationwide simulcast entitled "iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family, and Freedom" that featured Religious Right leaders like Rick Santorum, Harry Jackson, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough and others "celebrating Christian citizenship and exhorting Christians to rise up on Election Day to make our voices heard."
Among the featured speakers was Kirk Cameron who essentially just recounted the story he laid out in his documentary "Monumental" which eventually prompted him to declare that while today's Democratic Party is wondering whether God should be mentioned in its platform, "according to our Forefathers, God is the platform!"
Cameron then went on to marvel that the Founding Fathers would be appalled and "rolling over in their graves" if they knew that we were even discussing things like abortion or marriage equality:
Last year evangelical writer and WORLD Magazine associate publisher Warren Cole Smith created quite a stir with his column pledging not to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the Republican nomination because of the boost his presidency would provide to Mormonism. “You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter, but his ‘values’ do,” Smith explained, “If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped.” He pointed to the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency “would serve to normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over,” drawing more people into the LDS church and away from orthodox Christianity.
But it seems that few other prominent faces of the Religious Right are agreeing with Smith’s stance.
Televangelist James Robison on Daystar told a listener that she should favor a non-Christian over a Christian just as people favored Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, over Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, because Reagan better understood biblical principles:
Even Robert Jeffress, the preacher who attacked Mormonism as a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit and said Christians should prefer evangelical Rick Perry over Romney, made a similar case on Janet Parshall’s radio show in January when he said a “non-Christian who embraces biblical principles” is preferable to “a professing Christian who espouses unbiblical principles”:
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he will vote for Romney even though he believes a Mormon president would undermine the “spiritual health” of the U.S., and Rick Scarborough of Vision America, repeated his antipathy towards Mormonism in an interview but made clear that “if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time.”
But the acceptance of Romney as the leader of the GOP by the Religious Right’s leadership may not come as a great surprise, as the same people have largely embraced another high profile Mormon, Glenn Beck.
Beck has become a favorite of Religious Right figures, leading his religiously-infusedRestoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial and introducing his clerical Black Robe Regiment, promulgating ‘Christian nation’ history with David Barton and keynoting last year’s Values Voters Summit.
The turnaround when it comes to working with Mormons, who many evangelicals see as “cobelligerents” in the culture wars along with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews, can be seen in Kirk Cameron’s own about-face.
Beck’s appearance and discussion of his talks with God in Cameron’s Religious Right “documentary” may raise eyebrows since Cameron in 2006 co-hosted an anti-Mormon film with evangelist Ray Comfort. In the show, Cameron said that it was likely Satan who appeared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as the Angel Moroni and led him to golden plates that became the Book of Mormon, and even said that Mormons are “following a false Jesus” and “will end up in Hell forever.” “If you’ve ever spoken to a Mormon, sometimes you know how frustrating it could when they use the same words you do but they mean something different and you’re not sure how to finish the conversation,” Cameron said.
Watch highlights of Cameron’s anti-Mormon film here:
Despite Cameron’s dogmatic warnings against Mormonism, he is now actively working with one of America’s leading Mormons. Similarly, just as many on the Religious Right once denounced the Mormon faith, they are now prepared to vote for Romney over President Obama.
After a whirlwind media tour where he warned that his freedom of speech and religion are under attack and compared his experience to being publicly stoned, Kirk Cameron hosted Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord last week where he again promoted his new film, Monumental, and stoked fears of America’s coming demise. While interviewing evangelist Ray Comfort about his anti-abortion rights film, 180, which likens legal abortion to the Holocaust, Cameron found it “chilling” how “our country right now” has “sort of the conditions that could provide the platform for someone,” like Adolf Hitler, “to step up like that and say I’ll give you back your dignity, I’ll give you back your this and your that.”
While Cameron acknowledges that many teachers and professors may simply be repeating what they were taught when it comes to the pilgrims and the founders that followed them, he maintains that others are intentionally mischaracterizing them. "They are contending for a different worldview, they're contending for a politically correct, secular-humanist worldview where it's necessary to erase and rewrite history," he argues, adding, "The greatest threat we face today is the secular totalitarianism of our current system."
Cameron defines secularism as a form of religion where the highest authority is man himself, and insists that the modern convention of a government and culture scrubbed free of all Christian influence is the opposite of the original American dream. "[The founders] wanted a system that allowed individuals to live out the principles of freedom they found in the Bible. They believed if they could govern themselves according to God's ways, to raise their families to love God and others, it would produce the sweet fruit of liberty and blessing and freedom, and other people would be attracted to their success and want to come join them," he says. "So their idea was to build the country from the ground up, not the top down, and build it from the inside out."
Like the subjects of his film, Cameron is adamant that he's willing to bear whatever personal and professional hardship he must in order to uphold the integrity of biblical doctrine on all matters, including sexuality. "One of these things I noticed when I went on Piers Morgan is how few people are willing to answer clearly on some of the questions that I was asked. ... It's been a great life lesson that Jesus was right," he laughs. "He said the world will hate you because of Me, and don't be surprised because they hated Me first. So it just confirms my confidence in God and in His goodness. I continue to want to love people and speak the truth and trust God for good results."