Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee: Launch Proceedings Against Judge In Kim Davis Case

In an interview on American Family Radio on Friday, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denounced the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling as “illegal” and “unconstitutional,” insisting that if he is elected president, his administration will not recognize such a ruling.

“It is not the law of the land because it has not been affirmed by the people’s representatives,” Huckabee said, seemingly unaware of the concept of judicial review. “There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the authority to decide what states should do about marriage. Nothing.”

A future Huckabee administration, he said, would defend people like Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who repeatedly defied court orders requiring the county to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, and would ensure that “proceedings started against the judge who overreached” in the case because Davis was “put in jail because she’s a Christian.”

Mike Huckabee: America Will Not Survive Gay Marriage

Earlier this month, Mike Huckabee spoke to Trinity Baptist Church’s “Calling America Back to God Rally” in Van Wyck, South Carolina. Huckabee claimed that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was illegitimate, saying that the court “cannot overturn God when it comes to the definition of what marriage is.”

“They can no more redefine the purpose of marriage then they can redefine the laws of gravity and say that we can all go floating everywhere we go and don’t need to take cars anymore,” he quipped.

Later in his remarks, Huckabee addressed Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ legal battle, defending her for preventing county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to eligible couples. “I think we put the wrong Democratic woman in jail,” he said. (Davis has since become a Republican).

Huckabee said that Americans have “rebelled against a holy God” and tried “to rewrite the word of God to make it tune to our lifestyle.”

“We cannot possibly survive if we defy any standard that God has given to us,” he said, before calling for a “spiritual revival” that would cause God to “give us the political reformation that we need.”

Seven Times Conservatives Have Admitted They Don't Want People To Vote

Earlier this week, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said that he didn’t want “stupid” people — i.e. people who won’t vote for him — to vote at all. Then a Republican state representative in Florida was caught suggesting that the party beat Rep. Corrine Brown by redrawing her African-American-majority district to include a large population of prisoners, who are not allowed to vote in Florida.

These are just two of the instances of Republican lawmakers admitting that their electoral strategy hinges not just on winning votes, but on suppressing the votes of people who they think will oppose them.

Paul Weyrich

More than 30 years ago, an influential conservative leader explained why his movement shouldn’t “want everybody to vote.”

Paul Weyrich, an operative considered to be the “founding father of the conservative movement” because of his hand in founding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, the Council for National Policy and other influential conservative groups, laid out the GOP’s voter suppression strategy in a 1980 speech in Dallas.

"I don't want everybody to vote,” he said. “Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Phyllis Schlafly

In 2013, North Carolina lawmakers pushed through a package of voter suppression bills , including restrictions on early voting, something that many African American voters had taken advantage of the previous year.

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly rejoiced in the news , saying that the early voting restrictions were “particularly important” because early voting had tended to help Democrats:

The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

Franklin County, Ohio, GOP

In 2012, Republican officials in Ohio repeatedly attempted to cut back early voting hours , fighting off legal challenges from President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Doug Preisse, the chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party (whose area includes the city of Columbus), put his party’s case frankly in an email to the Columbus Dispatch:

I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.

Mike Turzai

Before the 2012 presidential election, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai declared that a new voter identification law would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Greg Abbott

In 2013, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — who has since become the state’s governor – responded to the Justice Department’s accusation that recent redistricting had discriminated against minorities by explaining that the goal was just to discriminate against Democrats and “effects on minority voters” were merely “incidental”:

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.

Mike Huckabee: Obama Wears 'Costumes' In Other Countries Yet Allows Gay People To See Pope Francis

Mike Huckabee continued his campaign of outrage against President Obama for daring to include pro-gay-rights and pro-choice Christians among the thousands of people invited to a reception with Pope Francis this week, telling Newsmax TV yesterday that the president was “disrespectful” and “not being a very gracious host.”

Huckabee was galled that Obama invited these “dissidents” to “instruct the pope on what the doctrine of the church should be,” especially since, he claimed, Obama goes out of his way to accommodate other world leads by bowing to heads of state and even “will often take on robes and various costumes to fit into the local culture.”

Obama did in fact bow to the pope when he arrived in the U.S. yesterday, following a long line of U.S. presidents who have bowed when meeting foreign leaders.

Mike Huckabee Has The Most Absurd Reaction To Obama's Pope Francis Remarks

At a White House ceremony welcoming Pope Francis today, President Obama called out violence against Christians around the world and thanked Francis for speaking out about such persecution:

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

Mike Huckabee, however, took issue with Obama’s remarks… because of Kim Davis:

The Obama administration, of course, had nothing to do with Davis’ case, as Huckabee’s Vine implied.

But it revealed how the Religious Right thinks about “persecution.”

Davis’ detention by U.S. Marshals due to her continued refusal to let deputy clerks issue marriage licenses in defiance of a court order was seen by conservatives like Huckabee as part of the “criminalization of Christianity,” no different than actual violence perpetrated against Christians in parts of the Mideast or the imprisonment of Christians in countries like China.

Huckabee marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests last year by declaring that “China is becoming more like the United States used to be and the United States is becoming more like China used to be.” He has also claimed that pastors will soon face “criminal charges” for refusing to gay couples’ weddings and said that gay rights supporters won’t stop “until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.”

“We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity,” he often states.

“We’re seeing, certainly at the national level, internally, this battle on marriage, but globally what we’re seeing is that there is an assault on the Christian faith in general,” Huckabee said in response to a pastor who likened gay marriage activists to ISIS members during a conference call earlier this year.

Huckabee isn’t the only one making such dramatic claims about anti-Christian persecution in America.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council compared Davis to a woman who was imprisoned in Sudan for converting to Christianity and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who also led Davis’ unsuccessful legal battle, likened Davis to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Davis, who was trying to impose her own religious views on others, is not a victim of religious persecution, but that won’t prevent politicians like Huckabee from using her case to whip up claims that American Christians, just like Christians in China or the self-styled Islamic State, are facing oppression from the government.

Huckabee: Obama Only 'Pretends To Be' A Christian

Mike Huckabee said in an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday that President Obama only “pretends to be” a Christian, as evidenced by his invitation of several pro-gay-rights and pro-choice Christians to a reception with the pope this week and the fact that he has, according to Huckabee, made it “very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith” in America.

When Newsmax’s Ed Berliner asked Huckabee about his GOP presidential rival Ben Carson’s comment that there should never be a Muslim president, Huckabee responded that “there is no religious test to hold public office in America,” and that he was more concerned about people like the president whose faith lacks “authenticity.”

“I’m less concerned about what faith a person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their policies,” he said. “I’m also concerned about a guy who believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith.

“I’m disappointed if a person says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the Pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy. I think there’s something very unseemly about that.”

Huckabee said earlier this week that the president’s guest list for the pope’s visit is another reason why his administration “will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history."

Mike Huckabee's Plan To Defund Planned Parenthood Would Send US Economy Into Tailspin

On Friday, Mike Huckabee repeated his claim that Congress should end federal funding to Planned Parenthood by linking it to a future measure to raise the debt ceiling, floating the catastrophic idea in an interview with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson.

Huckabee said that Republicans in Congress should tie Planned Parenthood funding “to the debt ceiling rather than to the budget, because we can continue to function even if we don’t keep moving the debt ceiling.”

He told Republicans to stop “surrendering” to President Obama and instead adopt his plan as a way to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood while also curbing the national debt.

Of course, Huckabee’s plan would also have disastrous consequences for the U.S. economy.

As the Wall Street Journal reported back in 2013, when Republicans nearly refused to raise the debt ceiling, that such a move would have severe reverberations around the world:

Even a temporary failure of the U.S. government to pay its bills would have a “catastrophic” impact on the U.S. and global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

U.S. officials warn that the government could run out of cash to pay its social security and military obligations by the middle of next month if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to raise the amount of money the country can borrow, called the debt ceiling.

Even if it was temporary, the IMF estimates that such a shock could shave around a half-percentage point off growth around the world at a fragile stage in the global recovery.

The U.S. treasury had a similar assessment at the time:

And if Congress does not raise the debt limit, raising the possibility of default if the government is unable to meet its bond obligations, Treasury said the results could be worse than the 2008 “Great Recession.”

“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth—with many private-sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse, and the result then was a recession more severe than any seen since the Great Depression,” the report states.

Politifact points out that “raising the debt ceiling allows the United States government to borrow funds that cover the obligations the government has already incurred” and does not “prompt any new spending.”

Either Huckabee doesn’t understand how the debt ceiling works, or he knows the devastating consequences of such a maneuver but thinks it is worth it just to defund Planned Parenthood.

The GOP's Deeply Bigoted Week

What a surprise that one Republican presidential candidate’s refusal last week to correct a town hall questioner who claimed that President Obama is a Muslim led to another candidate insisting that no Muslim should ever become president of the United States.

All in all, the last few days haven’t been very good for the GOP’s efforts to “rebrand” as a welcoming and inclusive party. Here are five lowlights from the GOP’s deeply bigoted week:

1) Religious Freedom For Some…

Donald Trump took heat on Friday for refusing to correct a man who, in a question to the Republican presidential frontrunner at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, blasted American Muslims and claimed that the president is a Muslim. With a typical lack of repentance, Trump later insisted that he was under no obligation to denounce the man’s statement.

But while Trump merely failed to correct the New Hampshire man’s anti-Muslim theories, Trump’s rival, Ben Carson, one-upped him by actively embracing an extreme anti-Muslim message. In an interview on Meet the Press on Sunday, Carson said that he doesn’t believe a Muslim should ever become president because Islam is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America.”

Not to be outdone, Trump told Meet the Press after Carson’s interview that while he wasn’t sure about his position on the U.S. having a Muslim president, “some people have said it already happened.”

Carson later told The Hill that he believes presidents should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran,” adding that Muslims believe that their faith “encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.” He also warned of the prospect of a Muslim president imposing Sharia law because “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

“He has great respect for the Muslim community, but there is a huge gulf between the faith and practice of the Muslim faith, and our Constitution and American values,” Carson’s campaign said in a statement.

Such rhetoric is par for the course for Carson, possibly the most conspiracy-theory-minded candidate in the race, who is campaigning on his belief that America is turning into Nazi Germany as a result of a Marxist-Leninist-Alinskyite plot to literally enslave Americans.

Despite his suggestion that millions of Americans are disloyal and sinister members of society who should never hold high office because they do not share his faith, Carson nonetheless considers himself to be a staunch defender of religious freedom … but only for the followers of certain religions.

2) Huckabee Homophobia

Two years ago, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus urged party members to “listen to Mike Huckabee” when it comes to discussing issues like gay marriage, calling him “a model for a lot of people in our party.” It was an odd statement, seeing that Huckabee has one of the most virulently anti-gay records out there, which the former Arkansas governor added to on Saturday with a statement alleging that President Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Army was only nominated because he is gay and the president only cares about “appeasing America’s homosexuals.”

Below is Gov. Huckabee's statement in response to President Obama's decision to nominate Eric Fanning as Secretary of...

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Surely his decades of experience with the armed forces, including his past as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and acting Secretary of the Air Force, had nothing do with his nomination!

3) ‘Unnatural’ Gay Marriage Still Unlawful

Rick Santorum is a bit late to the game in trying to use the Kim Davis saga as proof that Christians are under attack in America. Santorum, who during Wednesday’s CNN debate likened Davis to a young student who was misreported to have been shot by a Columbine shooter for being a Christian, doubled down on his defense of the anti-gay Kentucky clerk on Thursday, insisting that gay marriage can never be recognized as legal since “the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law.”

“That’s not the way nature functions,” Santorum said of homosexuality. “So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it.”

4) Cruz Mainstreams Radical Gun Group

No one seems to have batted an eye during the CNN debate when Ted Cruz touted the endorsement of a far-right gun activist group whose leader has ties to the white supremacist movement, openly threatens members of Congress and pushes so many conspiracy theories that it would make Ben Carson blush.

In saying that he was “honored” to have received the support of Gun Owners of America, Cruz put himself to the right of Pat Buchanan, who got so much flak for his ties to GOA head Larry Pratt during his 1996 presidential campaign that he dropped him from his campaign leadership team.

That’s right, even Pat Buchanan was embarrassed to have Pratt’s support.

5) Sarah Palin Brave Enough To Call A 14-Year-Old A Terrorist

Anti-Muslim activists are incensed that school and police officials in Irving, Texas, have faced sharp criticism for arresting a Muslim student for bringing the parts of a homemade clock to school, insisting that the teenager had actually built a “half a bomb” or at least something so close in resemblance to a bomb that he should have been taken into custody.

Sarah Palin of course felt the need to weigh in as well. The self-proclaimed explosives expert attacked Obama for inviting the “potential bomb-imitator” to the White House and confirmed that the boy was indeed “suspicious”: “That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England.”

The former GOP vice presidential nominee’s daughter Bristol Palin also claimed that Obama’s invitation to the clock-building student foments anger towards the police and “encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood.” She said that Obama’s behavior was “childish,” something that no one would ever expect from the Palin clan.

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

Next weekend, GOP presidential contenders and top lawmakers will mingle with some of the most extreme Religious Right activists in the country at the Values Voter Summit, an annual event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, and others.

Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson have all confirmed that they will be speaking at the event. Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance, according to the event’s website. Jeb Bush, who was snubbed by FRC at last year’s event, declined to attend but will send a video address. Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate to have publicly turned down the invitation, provoking the ire of FRC’s president, Tony Perkins.

Candidates who attend the Values Voter Summit choose to align themselves with some of the most radical activists and organizations working to dehumanize LGBT people, erode reproductive rights, demolish the separation between church and state, and eliminate First Amendment rights for religious minorities.

The Family Research Council routinely smears LGBT people with false and degrading pronouncements and campaigns for a United States ruled by the dicta of a small faction of fundamentalists Christians. Another principal sponsor of the summit, the American Family Association, has an equally extreme record.

In addition to the abhorrent record of the sponsors of this event, the presidential candidates will also be joined by a host of radical Religious Right speakers.

Below is an introduction to some of the people who will be sharing the stage with the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

FRC continually expresses hostility to the rights of Americans who don’t share his conservative brand of Christianity. Last year, Perkins suggested that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims, not surprising for the leader of an organization that once issued a statement that read, “[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference." He similarly suggested that Christians who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious freedoms as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those whom he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Perkins has also overseen one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization. FRC officials have expressed support for the criminalization of homosexuality not only in the United States, but also in Malawi and Uganda. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg once said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the founder and head of Liberty Counsel, which is the organization currently representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her campaign to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in her county. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government as part of an effort to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Staver has:

Jonathan Cahn

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn is best known for his novel “The Harbinger,” which asserts that the 9/11 attacks were a result of America losing God’s protection due to its sins.  Cahn also:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

David and Jason Benham

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become martyrs in the eyes of the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan
  • Compared themselves to ISIS victims
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch”

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, became a Religious-Right folk hero this summer when she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Davis, saying that she was acting under “God’s authority” and wanted to use her county office to spread “God’s word,” spent five nights in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to begin issuing licenses. The viciously anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and its founder Mat Staver has been active supporters of Davis and have been representing her in court

At the summit, Davis will receive FRC’s “Cost of Discipleship” award, which previously went to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was actually persecuted for her Christian faith. Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, has previously compared Davis’ experience to that of Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity and was later granted asylum in the U.S.

Casey Davis

Casey Davis (no relation to Kim Davis) is another Kentucky clerk who has refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality a “war on Christianity,” and vowed to go to jail — and even die — in order to protect his “freedom” to deny gay couples marriage licenses.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

Pat Fagan

Pat Fagan is the director of summit sponsor the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He has compared a UN report criticizing the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse cases to Kristallnacht, the spate of violence in which Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their property while German police turned a blind eye, and  has advocated for coming up with new names for gay marriage, such as “garriage,” “larriage” or “harriage,” so that when he says “marriage” it will be clear he means heterosexual marriage. He has said that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the distribution of contraception to unmarried people, may be “the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court,” explaining that “functioning” societies “punish” and “shame” people who have sex outside of marriage.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a Fox contributor and the editor of conservative blog RedState. Constantly pushing for the conservative movement to move further to the right, Erickson has:

Craig James

Former sportscaster Craig James joined the Family Research Council in 2014. In addition to claiming that Obama may secretly be a Muslim, James has:

Aaron & Melissa Klein

Aaron and Melissa Klein are the owners of an Oregon bakery who were sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They have since become Religious Right martyrs and were featured by Sen. Ted Cruz in a campaign video. Aaron Klein has said that denying a cake to a gay couple was part of his fight against “Satan.”

Ed Vitagliano

As research director of the American Family Association, Ed Vitagliano is a vocal anti-gay activist. Not only does he believe “pray away the gay” works, but he also claims that gay rights will lead to the destruction of America.

Brent Bozell

Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center, which works to expose what it claims is rampant “liberal media bias.”

Bozell has:

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/17/15

Jeb Bush Touts Voucher Program That Funds Christian Schools, Religious Right Ideology

At Wednesday night’s presidential debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush went out of his way to tout “a voucher program that was created under my watch, the largest voucher program in the country, where kids can go to a Christian school” — a phrase he sandwiched into a conversation about Donald Trump criticizing him for speaking Spanish in public.

Julie Ingersoll, a religious studies professor at the University of North Florida, tweeted a reminder that her book on Christian Reconstructionism, which was recently released by Oxford University Press, mentions Bush’s voucher program. “Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism” includes chapters on the enormous influence of Christian Reconstructionism in the homeschooling and Christian school movements, which have succeeded in getting states like Florida to funnel taxpayer money to their religious education efforts

Christian Reconstructionism, grounded in the teachings of 20th-century writer R.J. Rushdoony, has greatly influenced both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements with its doctrine of “sphere sovereignty,” which states that God has given government, church, and family specific responsibilities over different “spheres.” Reconstructionists argue that there is no biblical authority for the government to take on a duty that is given to church or family – for example, they argue that the government has no role in caring for the poor because charity is the job of the church.

Reconstructionism teaches that education is the duty of parents, and that the state therefore has no role in or legitimate authority over the education of children. Reconstructionists led legal and political battles to win the right of parents to homeschool their children, and continue to resist efforts at regulating homeschoolers. As Ingersoll notes, “Reconstructionists are unabashedly committed to the dismantling of public education, and their strategies and solutions have gained a hearing far beyond the boundaries of the small groups explicitly affiliated with them.” In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott named a right-wing homeschooler to chair the state’s Board of Education.

The organized and intensely active network of evangelical homeschooling families in Iowa is credited, in part, with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus, and the Associated Press reported this year that presidential candidates have been jockeying for its leaders’ support.

Ingersoll also explores how central creationism is to the Christian Reconstructionist worldview; as others have noted, creationism also forms the basis of “science” education in books and curricula used by some Christian schools and homeschoolers.

Ingersoll writes about the independent, Reconstructionism-inspired Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville, Florida, which was founded in the 1970s. In addition to the hundreds of students in its K-12 program, the school offers a program allowing homeschoolers to participate in courses and activities. Writes Ingersoll, “RCBS also has a program designed to take advantage of Florida’s school voucher plan. The plan, put into place by former Governor Jeb Bush, permits students at ‘failing public schools’ to obtain vouchers that can be used at any school.”

According to Ingersoll, the Bush voucher program “has become such a significant revenue stream” for Rocky Bayou Christian School that “it would have a major impact on the school if the state were to decide to discontinue the controversial program….”  But, she notes, “the conservative legislature took up the effort to expand the state’s privatization of public education with vouchers and the expansion of charter schools.”

Indeed, legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year expanded voucher and tax-credit programs; it also, according to the Orlando Sentinel, created state-funded “personal learning scholarship accounts” that “parents of students with certain disabilities can use to pay for private school, buy home-school curriculum or pay for needed therapies, among other services, if their child is not in public school.”

Florida is not the only state where proponents of privatization have won victories. Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal used the Katrina disaster to push through a radical privatization scheme and has battled the Obama administration over its efforts to monitor the state’s voucher program’s effect on racial segregation. Proponents of “school choice” had a major victory in Nevada this year, where a law pushed by an education foundation created by Jeb Bush would allow parents of any income level to “pull a child from the state's public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling.” While some Christian homeschoolers want no part of voucher programs, because they believe taking voucher money would bring more intrusive government regulation, laws like Nevada’s could prove a windfall for Religious Right and Christian Reconstructionist groups that provide curricula to homeschoolers.

Ingersoll writes about a 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit hosted by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado at an Indianapolis facility of Bill Gothard’s Institute for Biblical Life Principles, a troubling organization in the news recently for its connection to the Duggar family. The purpose of the summit, writes Ingersoll, was the development of a “Christian Education Manifesto,” which is no longer public, but whose goals included the elimination of public education and dismantling of government agencies that regulate the rights of parents, such as child welfare and child protective service groups.

There have been some setbacks for the privatization movement. In June, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that its state’s Choice Scholarship Pilot Program violates the state Constitution by channeling public money to private religious schools, contrary to an explicit constitutional prohibition on doing so.

But, as Ingersoll notes, the massively funded privatization movement is advancing the dream of the Christian Reconstructionists:

Florida’s efforts mirror attempts across the nation to shift the delivery of public education to the private sector; a shift of tax money from a public endeavor intended to educate and foster a shared sense of what it means to be American to sectarian efforts, including efforts at schools like Rocky Bayou which seek to transform society according to biblical law. The long-standing goal of the Christian Reconstructionists to defund, and ultimately eliminate, public education has come as close as it has ever come to being a reality.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Last night’s Republican presidential debate made clear just how extreme the party has gotten when it comes to the Supreme Court … which means danger to the entire country should one of them have the power to nominate the next one, two, or three Justices.

For instance, Jeb! Bush praised Chief Justice John Roberts,  but suggested that his own Court nominees would have longer records of far-right jurisprudence than Roberts did when he was first nominated by George W. Bush in 2005:

John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made the clarity the important thing, and that’s what we need to do.  ... And, I think he is doing a good job.  But, the simple fact is that going forward, what we need to do is to have someone that has a long standing set of rulings that consistently makes it clear that he is a focused, exclusively on upholding the Constitution of the United States so they won’t try to use the bench as a means to which legislate.

Jeb! revealed quite a lot there.  Roberts provided the fifth vote in 5-4 rulings wrecking Americans’ ability to limit money in politics, gutting the Voting Rights Act, giving for-profit corporations religious liberty rights, elevating religious offense as a significant burden on religious exercise, upholding a late term abortion ban, weakening longstanding laws against job discrimination … the list goes on.  And Jeb! thinks Roberts is “doing a good job,” even if his own Justices would be more conservative.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, angrily focused on the very few times when Roberts did not collaborate with the Republican Party’s efforts to destroy Obamacare.  Cruz blasted John Roberts as insufficiently conservative:

I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s amazingly talented lawyer, but, yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows in these Obamacare cases he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.

And, you know, we’re frustrated as conservatives. We keep winning elections, and then we don’t get the outcome we want.

Mike Huckabee made clear what type of Justice he would nominate when the moderator asked if he would apply a litmus test to potential nominees:

You better believe I will … Number one, I’d ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I’d want to know the answer to that. I’d want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I’d want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they’re deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you’re going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood

So Huckabee Justices would help right-wing extremists accomplish their longtime dream of eliminating abortion rights altogether.  They would also change U.S. law in keeping with the current conservative project to make it easier for them to disobey laws that offend them religiously, even when it deprives other people of their rights.

The current Supreme Court has done so much damage to our basic rights and liberties, yet it is not conservative enough for Republicans seeking to be the next president.

Cross-posted from People For the American Way's blog.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

GOP presidential hopefuls would make the already-right-wing Supreme Court even more extreme.

Mike Huckabee: Gay Marriage Ruling Is 'Illegal' Because It Confuses People

As Steve Benen noted yesterday after Mike Huckabee claimed that the Dred Scott decision is still the “law of the land” and is just being ignored by elected officials, when it comes to the implementation of marriage equality, the GOP presidential candidate has invented “his own brand of crackpot civics.”

Huckabee put his made-up civics beliefs on full display in an interview yesterday with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in which he claimed that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear could “very simply” fix the situation with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, by removing clerks’ names from marriage licenses altogether … while simultaneously claiming that the governor actually has no authority to do so.

This, Huckabee explained, shows why the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality was “so illegal … because this has left the whole country in a state of ambiguity and confusion.”

“The governor can fix this very simply by simply saying he’ll change the form,” Huckabee said. “Now the question is, does he have the authority to do that? And if so, under what authority? This is where this all gets very confusing. And it’s why the haste to rush into implementing same-sex marriage is so ridiculous and, frankly, Tony, it’s why it’s so illegal is because this has left the whole country in a state of ambiguity and confusion.”

Huckabee went on to cite the Tennessee judge who denied a straight couple a divorce this month in a stunt ruling meant to protest the Obergefell decision, which the former Arkansas governor said was just a sign of all the confusion about gay marriage.

“It’s chaos, confusion that’s been created,” Perkins agreed, “and this is just the beginning of what we’re going to see play out here.”

Huckabee then proceeded to roll out some other desparate legal theories about Davis, claiming that she is not required to follow laws that were implemented after she took office and even claiming that she could be guilty of a felony in Kentucky “if she just arbitrarily changes the wording of the marriage license.”

“When she was elected to that position,” He said, “she was operating under the Kentucky constitution that expressly says that marriage is between a man and a woman. … So that’s what she was elected on, that is the job she is doing. And there is a specific statute in Kentucky law that if she just arbitrarily changes the wording of the marriage license, that’s a felony. So here’s the question: Which law does she follow? The ambiguous and unconstitutional judicial tyranny ruling of the Supreme Court that has not yet been codified? Or does she follow the specific constitutional and statutory requirements under Kentucky law, under which she was elected?”

“And I just really am disapponited that some of the people think the way to handle this is just have public officials resign their jobs,” he added, “because they’re going to go ahead and surrender to what Jefferson called judicial tyranny.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/10/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/9/15

Ten Horrific Things Kim Davis' Attorney Has Said About Gay People

Yesterday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail and almost immediately took the stage at a campaign rally for Mike Huckabee, arm-in-arm with the GOP presidential candidate and with her attorney, Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel.

This is the moment that Staver has been waiting for. The former dean of Liberty University’s School of Law has repeatedly urged public officials to break the law when it comes to gay marriage, and with Davis he finally has his test case.

Much of the public attention on Staver has focused on his bizarre, and so far unsuccessful, legal argument that Davis should be able to order her entire county clerk’s office to follow her personal religious views, even in defiance of several court orders. Staver has gone all-in on the Religious Right’s claim that LGBT rights is leading to the persecution of Christians, claiming that obeying gay marriage law is tantamount to handing over a Jewish person to Nazi enforcers and comparing Davis to victims of the Holocaust.

But it’s important to remember that when Staver is not playing the victim of LGBT rights, he is spouting virulently anti-LGBT rhetoric, going so far as to suggest that supporters of gay rights are ineligible to hold public office and defending laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad.

As these 10 anti-gay comments make clear, Staver isn’t seeking a live-and-let-live world, but rather one where the government is a religious tool of conservative Christians and LGBT people are forced into the shadows.

1) Labels Gays ‘Demonic’

For Staver, the battle against gay rights is part of a spiritual war, since he believes that the gay rights movement is “doing the bidding of the Devil” and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and “demonic.”

2) Defends Bans On Homosexuality

While he has portrayed himself as a defender of freedom and liberty at home, Staver has actually praised moves in RussiaIndiaMalawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. The group also defended U.S. anti-sodomy laws by citing [PDF] a satirical essay that joked about how gays “will sodomize your sons.”

3) Compares Gays To Terrorists

The Liberty Counsel founder has claimed that there is no need to negotiate or compromise with gay rights supporters because they are acting like terrorists.

“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game,” he said of gay rights advocates during the debate about Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law. “It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist.”

4) Thinks Gays Will Force Us To Be Gay

Prior to the 2012 election, Staver warned that the Obama administration was planning to impose “in-your-face forced homosexuality” upon the nation.

He also charged that society would “just simply cease to exist” under marriage equality.

5) Paints Gays As Child Molesters

Staver, who once warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, recently claimed that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to “allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts” will lead to “all kinds of sexual molestation” as the organization transforms into “a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”

6) Wants Gay Rights Supporters Out Of Office

Staver had strong words for members of Vermont’s legislature who voted for a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying that they were unfit for office: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.”

7) Warns Gay Marriage Will Cause A Crime Wave

Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime:

He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls…. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

8) Blames Gay Marriage For Bank Failure

During the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, Staver said that the failure of two of the country’s biggest banks, Washington Mutual and Wachovia, was a price they had to pay for supporting gay marriage: “Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.”

9) Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Civilization

Staver believes that marriage equality will “has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty” as it leads to “the unraveling of the United States.”

“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said in an interview last year. “It really is, it’s that serious.”

In 2013, Staver claimed that gay marriage would be “the beginning of the end of America.”

10) Wants War To Fight Gay Marriage

Staver’s opposition to gay marriage is so fierce that he has even threatened to wage a revolution to fight it:

This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.

He said that while he would prefer a non-violent revolution, “you never know what happens.”

Mike Huckabee: God Took The Form Of Kim Davis, Holy Miracle Freed Her From Jail

Yesterday, a federal judge released Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis from custody after deputy clerks in her office began issuing marriage licenses. Davis had ordered the deputy clerks not to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage because she said doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

Davis’ release came just in time for a Mike Huckabee campaign rally that was scheduled to take place outside the jail where she was being held.

After leading Davis out to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger,” the Republican presidential candidate said that the Kentucky clerk’s stand could save America from the threat of “the tyranny of one branch of government.” Just as divine intervention started and sustained America, Huckabee said, “God showed up and he showed up in the form of an elected Democrat named Kim Davis.”

Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that the judge’s decision to release Davis from custody was nothing short of a miracle: “I think it is a God of miracles that we saw act in getting Kim Davis out of jail. But her being in jail brought attention to something that many of us have warned about: the criminalization of Christianity.”

Eye Of The Tiger: Kim Davis Basks In The Glory Of Martyrdom

Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign organized a rally this afternoon in front of the jail where anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was being held in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Huckabee brought along with him not only Davis’ attorney, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, but also Religious Right leaders including Brian Brown, Rick Scarborough, Tony Perkins and the Benham brothers. GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin also addressed the rally and Huckabee’s 2016 rival Ted Cruz met with Davis upon her release.

As fate would have it, Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger.”

Davis, the Religious Right’s favorite newpersecutionvictim, received a hero’s welcome as Huckabee and Staver declared her victorious over the forces of darkness/the rule of law.

After briefly losing her composure, a teary-eyed Davis thanked God and the crowd, beseeching attendees to keep up the fight. Huckabee then closed things out by claiming that pastors and school administrators may soon end up in prison for opposing gay marriage, even though that is not the reason that Davis was put in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Others at the rally warned of an impending anti-Christian holocaust — a line frequently used by Staver — while one participant raised up a Confederate flag.

One attendee seemed to suggest that HIV/AIDS was divine punishment for homosexuality, a claim that speaker Rick Scarborough has made in the past.

'Lock Me Up': Mike Huckabee Volunteers To Go To Jail On Kim Davis' Behalf

Today, GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee joined a handful of hardcore anti-gay activists for a rally in support of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who has become a Religious Right hero for briefly going to jail rather than allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

At the end of his remarks today, Huckabee sanctimoniously declared that he is willing to spend years in jail on Davis' behalf in opposition to the legalization of gay marriage.

"I have a message for the judge," Huckabee proclaimed, "and I say this with all my heart: If this judge believes that somebody must be put in jail because a person is willing to stand on the biblical definition of marriage ... Let Kim go, but if you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go. Let me go. Lock me up if you think that's how freedom is best served."

"I am willing to spend the next eight years in the White House leading this country," he thundered, "but I want you to know, I'm willing to spend the next eight years in jail but I'm not willing to spend one day under the tyranny of people who believe they can take our freedom and conscience away!"

Davis may indeed soon be headed back to jail as her lawyer, Mat Staver, said that she will continue to break the law in defiance of court orders when she returns to work later this week.

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