In a 51-48 vote today, the Senate rejected an amendment to the transportation bill by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt that would have allowed employers to deny their employees health insurance coverage for any treatment for any reason.
“The Blunt amendment was not only astoundingly bad public policy, it represented a fundamental misreading of the First Amendment. If it became law, it would have put working Americans – regardless of their religious beliefs – at the mercy of the religious beliefs of their employers. That’s not religious liberty – in fact, it’s exactly the opposite,” said PFAW president Michael Keegan in a statement released earlier today.
The extremity of this amendment wasn’t lost on every member of the GOP. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted against the amendment, and even major presidential contender Mitt Romney opposed the bill:
“I’m not for the bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”
But of course, after remembering that perpetuating the War on Women is one of the GOP’s primary tactics this year, he reversed course in record time:
“Of course I support the Blunt amendment. I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception so I was simply — misunderstood the question and of course I support the Blunt amendment.”
The American people, and in particular the 20 million American Women whose reproductive health coverage would have been jeopardized by the Blunt Amendment, are quickly losing patience for the type of brazen politicking that puts pandering to the extreme right-wing over the legitimate needs of the country.
Yesterday afternoon, presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a reporter that he would not support the Senate’s Blunt amendment, which would endanger access to reproductive care for as many as 20 million American women, saying, “Look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there." An hour later, his campaign told reporters that Romney does, in fact, support the Blunt amendment.
“It’s hardly a surprise to get a flip-flop from Mitt Romney, but such a quick turnabout on an issue critical to the lives of millions of women is staggering,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.
“Romney is trying to have it both ways: saying he doesn’t want to get in the way of personal decisions about birth control, and then supporting a law that would do just that. The Blunt amendment would set American women back decades – and American women know that. In his lightning-fast flip-flop, Romney has shown once again that he’s more interested in catering to an extreme right-wing base than to the common-sense needs of the people he wants to lead.”
On Meet the Press yesterday, David Gregory questioned GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum about the social issues – opposition to reproductive choice and gay rights – on which he has built his career. Stunningly, Santorum denied that he has focused on social issues and claimed, “There’s no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.”
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: It's so funny. I get the question all the time. Why are you talking so much about these social issues, as they, as, as people ask about me about the social issues. MR. GREGORY: Senator, no, wait a minute.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Look, the... MR. GREGORY: You talk about this stuff every week. And by the way, it's not just in this campaign. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: No, I talk about, I talk... MR. GREGORY: Sir, in this campaign you talk about it. And I've gone back years when you've been in public life and you have made this a centerpiece of your public life. So the notion that these are not deeply held views worthy of question and scrutiny, it's not just about the press. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, they, they are deeply held views, but they're not what I dominantly talk about, David. You're taking things that over a course of a 20-year career and pulling out quotes from difference speeches on, on issues that are fairly tangential, not what people care about mostly in America, and saying, "Oh, he wants to impose those values." Look at my record. I've never wanted to impose any of the things that you've just talked about. These are, these are my personal held religious beliefs, and in many forums that I, that, that are, in fact, religious, because I do speak in front of church groups and I do speak in these areas, I do talk about them. But there's no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.
This is, of course, a bunch of baloney. While Santorum has spent a lot of time in his presidential campaign talking up regressive tax policies, irresponsible deregulation and anti-environmentalism, the core of his brand has always been social conservatism. His campaign has consistently and explicitly distinguished his anti-choice, anti-gay record with Mitt Romney’s in order to successfully appeal to culture-warring voters.
Santorum has also never shied away from wanting to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of the country. In a 2005 interview with NPR, for instance, he railed against the libertarian wing of the Republican party, saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”
Santorum’s interview on Meet the Press is far from the first time he’s claimed that he’s not overly interested in social issues. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch found a speech he gave in 2008 in which he claimed that it’s liberals who have made sex an issue on the campaign trail. For liberals, he said, politics “comes down to sex” and that the Democratic Party has become “the party of Woodstock.”:
And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.
It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.
A message to People For the American Way supporters from PFAW president Michael Keegan:
Fighting contraception. Stopping domestic violence protections. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while hiking taxes on the middle class. Welcoming white supremacists to a conference, but banning gay conservatives. The GOP has followed its extremist fringe off the deep end, leaving the rest of us back in the reality-based world befuddled. Their strategists warned them not to do this, but it appears that to the GOP, radical fringe issue positions are like catnip. In last night's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the candidates even spent several minutes discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception.
Perhaps Bruce Bartlett, who was an economic policy official under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said it best on last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Discussing the obstacles to getting smart policies agreed upon and passed in government, he said, "the problem is purely political ... frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is." (Hint: he was not talking about the Democrats.)
Standing Up for Women's Health -- We all heard about the War on Women's Health last year, when Tea Party-empowered state legislatures passed a record slew of anti-choice laws -- like Arizona's ban on "race-based abortions" and Virginia's attempt to shut down most abortion clinics in the state. These state legislatures were joined by an enthusiastic right-wing Congress that attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program, tried to redefine "rape" and eagerly promoted lies about their favorite bogeyman, Planned Parenthood. Well, the War on Women's Health is back, and it looks to be more an all-out War on Women. PFAW members spoke out when Susan G. Komen for the Cure threatened to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood because of internal influences from right-wing staff and board members. We're currently fighting an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would give employers the power to deny any health care to their employees that they take "moral" issue with personally. And we continue to track closely dangerous and extreme state legislation like the recent bill passed by Virginia’s right-wing Assembly that would force women considering abortions -- even rape victims -- to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds.
Exposing the GOP Candidates' Extremism -- PFAW's Right Wing Watch last week uncovered the audio recording of a speech Rick Santorum gave to students at Ave Maria University in 2008 in which he said Satan, the "Father of Lies" was focusing all his attention on the United States of America. He said that academia had long ago fallen to this Satanic attack, derided mainline Protestant churches as no longer Christian and said that we are involved in a "spiritual war," as opposed to a political or cultural war -- a war in which we could only assume people with opposing views to Santorum's are on the side of Satan. The story took off like wildfire in both the blogosphere and the mainstream news media. It became the dominant storyline of the GOP debate for the two days leading up to the last debate and even had right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asserting that Santorum's religious extremism is too much for a majority of Americans.
Fighting Judicial Obstruction -- A new PFAW fact sheet shows the extremity and unprecedented nature of Senate Republicans obstruction of judicial nominees, as well as its impact on Americans' access to justice. While a vacancy crisis persists on many of the nation's federal courts, our persistence is paying off and we're finally making headway in getting some of the president's qualified nominees confirmed. This month, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jesse Furman to U.S. District Courts in California and New York respectively, and Adalberto Jose Jordan to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom had been waiting months on the Senate calendar for a vote despite the fact that they came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition. But dozens of other qualified nominees, most of whom had little or no opposition in Committee, still await confirmation. We'll continue to hold Republicans accountable for their obstruction and keep the pressure on to confirm these judges as swiftly as possible, and one at a time if necessary.
Youth Spotlight: Young Elected Officials take on Citizens United v. FEC -- In state, city and municipal governing bodies in at least seven states, members of our affiliate PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network have put forward resolutions that call for the end of corporate personhood and unlimited special interest money in politics. One of the first big victories in this coordinated national effort was that of Missoula, Montana Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken. After attending a session on Citizens United at the 2011 YEO National Convening, Councilwoman Wolken took a sample resolution and introduced a city-wide referendum calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that made it clear that corporations are not people. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, with over 75% of the vote, bringing an abundance of media attention to the issue and forcing leaders in Montana's state government to weigh-in as well.
As always, thank you for your support, without which none of our work would be possible.
In case we needed any more evidence that the former mainstream of the GOP has gone completely off the deep end, Republican presidential candidates spent several minutes at last night’s CNN debate discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception. Watch:
The exchange came at the heels of a week that was chock-full of shockingly regressive Republican attacks on women. PFAW’s Marge Baker summed last week up in the Huffington Post:
Just this week, we have seen not just the stunning spectacle of major presidential candidates coming out against birth control coverage, but Republicans in the Senate holding up domestic violence protections because they protect too many people; a potential vice presidential candidate pick poised to sign a law requiring women to receive medically unnecessary vaginal probes without their consent; a leading presidential candidate claiming that "emotions" will get in the way of women serving in combat; and a House committee holding a hearing on birth control access -- with a panel consisting entirely of men.
And that’s not to mention billionaire Santorum supporter Foster Friess’s saying he didn’t see why birth control was expensive because, “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."
The GOP candidates’ exchange over emergency contraception for rape victims took this tone-deafness to a new level of insensitivity. Does Mitt Romney really think he’ll appeal to female voters by attacking not just contraception but emergency care for rape victims?
It looks like not. TPM reports that since Romney started attacking birth control, he’s “suffered a precipitous drop in support among women voters.”
There is something truly remarkable about watching Mitt Romney address the audience at CPAC and lecture them about what it means to be a conservative as he tries to convince them that he has been a champion of conservative values throughout his political career ... leading to situations such as this where he takes credit for preventing Massachusetts "from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage":
People For the American Way today called on GOP presidential candidates to speak out against the inclusion of a white nationalist leader this week at
CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The conference—which will be addressed by Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and other GOP leaders— will be hosting Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE, a
white nationalist website which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers. Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain, has
expressed fear of the loss of America’s white majority, blames non-white immigrants for social and economic problems and urges the Republican Party to
give up on minority voters and focus on winning the white vote. He said that a New York City subway is the same as an Immigration and Naturalization
Service waiting room, “an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored.”
“It’s shocking that the CPAC would provide a platform for someone like Brimelow,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.
“Responsible GOP leaders should speak out against the bigotry and hatred that Brimelow and VDARE push on a regular basis. That’s doubly true of anyone
who aspires to the presidency of the United States. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum need to make it perfectly clear that they won’t be
silent when they’re confronted with racism and anti-Semitism.”
VDARE has published the work of people like Robert Weissberg, who says that black and Hispanic students are responsible for problems in the American
education system, Marcus Epstein, the Youth for Western Civilization leader who karate-chopped a black woman after calling her a n****r (and later pled
guilty to assault), and J. Philippe Rushton of the eugenicist Pioneer Fund.
“The inclusion of Brimelow is all the more galling given the fact that another group, GOProud, was excluded from the conference simply for advocating
equality for gay people,” said Keegan. “CPAC should make very clear that hatred has no place in our civic discourse.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists VDARE as a White Nationalist hate group and notes that “VDARE.com’s archives contain articles like ‘Freedom vs.
Diversity,’ ‘Abolishing America,’ ‘Anarcho-Tyranny — Where Multiculturalism Leads’ and ‘Why Immigrants Kill.”
When Mitt Romney stepped on his Florida primary victory message by declaring that he wasn’t concerned about the very poor – and that he’d patch any holes that just might be in their safety net – most observers thought his mistake was declaring disinterest in the poor. But to right-wing activists, Romney’s bigger problem was his support for any kind of social safety net.
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack called Romney’s comments “unconservative,” saying that “The standard conservative argument is that a conservative economic agenda will help everyone.”
“The safety net contributes to poverty,” declared Rush Limbaugh. “It does not solve it.” Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint told a reporter, “Those are the programs that are hurting, not just the poor, but our country.”
Religious Right leaders added another touch: the safety net is un-Biblical. Yesterday, Liberty Counsel pushed out a statement promoting the Christian Reconstructionist notion that the Bible gives the government no role in addressing poverty:
Romney wrongly assumes that it is the role of government to provide more entitlements to help the poor. In fact, that is not the role of government. The historical biblical view of helping the poor is that they are best helped by individuals and the faith community. Government programs tend to enslave the poor in an endless cycle of poverty. The biblical model is that both, the giver and the recipient, are blessed. When government steps in between the giver and the recipient, the giver loses the blessing of giving and the recipient is often left in a worse, rather than better, position. Romney's statement that he would rely on government programs to help the poor indicates his intent to continue the same failed big government programs and policies….it is the duty of the church, the faith community, to look after the poor, the orphans, and the widows.
Longtime Religoius Right activist Gary Bauer made the same point in a USA Today column in January, arguing that “nowhere in the Bible are we told that government should take one man's money by force of law and give it to another man. Jesus' admonition was a personal command to share, not a command for Caesar to "spread the wealth around."
There are, of course, alternative views about what the Bible has to say. President Obama, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast this week, cited the Biblical principal that much will be expected of the person who has been given much. (Laughably, Obama has been criticized by Ralph Reedfor discussing how his faith influenced his approach to policy-making.) Writing recently for Sojourner’s, an economically liberal evangelical group, Tim King called Bauer’s claims about scripture “false,” saying that biblical injunctions related to forgiveness of debts and the release of slaves are “forms of government mandated redistribution of wealth” and “laws concerned with justice not encouragements to charity.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign today unveiled its Social Conservatives Coalition along with a letter from nine Massachusetts activists defending Romney’s conservative credentials on abortion rights and gay rights while governor. As Jeremy Hooper noted, one of such activists includes Roberto Miranda, who claimed that Satan is behind marriage equality and directly tied advances for gay rights to the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Kyle reported back in 2006:
Satan has warred mightily against this region, and has effectively neutralized it through the influence of principalities of rationalism, humanism, intellectual pride and spiritual arrogance. Massachusetts, as well as all of New England, has become a cemetery of churches, a breeding ground for heretical doctrine, and intellectual furnace energizing attitudes of godlessness, rational arrogance and secularism It is no coincidence, of course, that something as dramatically distant from the Christian worldview as gay marriage would be originated in this region.
Is it exaggerated to see prophetic significance in the fact that on September 11, 2001 Boston served as the point of departure for the deadly forces that spread so much destruction and havoc in this nation and all over the world? What took place at the material level is now being carried out at the moral and spiritual level, as the virus of homosexuality and gay marriage begins to spread dramatically all over this nation and perhaps the world.
While it appears that the Romney campaign has no problem with aligning itself with someone who blames “the virus of homosexuality and gay marriage” for the 911 attacks, a member of Social Conservatives Coalition may upset one major Romney booster: Florida congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Romney has campaigned with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen in Florida and the congresswoman even stars in a Romney Spanish-language ad.
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) has embarrassed and ridiculed herself by tragically becoming the first Republican to co-sponsor on a socially destructive and totally undemocratic bill to repeal the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that respects marriage at the Federal level. This new fraudulent legislation seeks to impose homosexual so-called "marriage" on all fifty (50) states and thereby trample on the will of the American people and our nation's traditions and values.
Voters elected Rep. Ros-Lehtinen as a pro-Life, pro-Family Conservative, not as an arrogant, anti-Family, homosexualist extremist. Homosexual so-called "marriage" was never part of her campaign platform. She lied to and misled her own constituents, campaign donors and volunteers by corruptly kowtowing to the anti-social, extremist homosexualist agenda in exchange for who knows what.
This much we do know, in November 2008, 62% of Florida's voters, including those in her own congressional district, voted for a constitutional amendment protecting and defining civil marriage and all of its benefits as "the union of one man, one woman." Now, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen refuses to respect this law, she refuses to respect the will of the people, and she refuses to honor the moral values and ethical principles upon which she was elected to Congress! Shame on her!
There will be more to come for this public servant tragically gone astray! Voters will not allow arrogant, corrupt politicians to undermine with impunity the safety and welfare of their families and their community. This matter is far from over.
With Romney trying to shore up his social conservative backers, he may want to stay away from trumpeting the support of people who blame homosexuality for 9/11 and representatives of organizations who call one of his prominent endorsers a “homosexualist extremist.”
On Wednesday, Newt Gingrich held a conference call with faith leaders during which he declared that the push for marriage equality is an example of "the rise of paganism" while his supporters warned that failure to elect Gingrich would quite literally spell the end of America and Western Civilization.
On Thursday, the Mitt Romney campaign held its own conference call with its own faith leaders who ripped Gingrich for his arrogance, recklessness, and "despicable behavior":
The Mitt Romney campaign held a conference call this morning with social conservative Republicans in Florida, touting the former Massachusetts governor's integrity and values and contrasting him to Newt Gingrich. Leading the call were Pastor David Janney of Orlando Baptist Church, the largest church in Orlando, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon of Indialantic, and Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and a prominent advocate for religious freedom.
Pastor Janney said he's watched Romney being vetted and noted his marriage of 42 years, five children and 16 grandchildren: "When I look at his life I'm not concerned about being embarrassed or distracted by his personal issues."
Weldon said he was one of the members of congress who tried to oust Gingrich as U.S. House Speaker. "With Newt it was kind of like every day we didn't know what he was gonna say, we didn't know what he was going to be doing, he was just a little bit unpredictable," Weldon said. "It worries me the idea of him being in the oval office."
State Rep. Dennis Baxley, former leader of the Christian Coalition of Florida, also spoke on the call, saying Romney "shares our Christian values and will protect our religious freedom."
"When your choosing a leader it's about integrity. The hardest thing to maintain in any leader is those essential qualities of humility and purity. ... I'm very concerned about Newt Gingrich on that front." Baxley called Gingrich "very arrogant on his moral failure - calling the press despicable for covering him instead of humbly seeking the forgiveness of his former wife and others for his own despicable behavior."
Romney, once a stalwart defender of Roe v. Wade, said President Obama shows a “disregard for the sanctity of human life [that] is absolutely appalling” and is leading an “assault on life” by rescinding the Mexico City Gag Rule, which bars the government from funding NGOs that use their own finances for family planning which include abortion services or referrals. Romney also distorted Obama’s statement marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, claiming that the President thinks pregnant women “can get rid of the child and therefore have an equal opportunity,” when actually Obama concluded his statement by saying that “we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
He went on to say that Obama is conducting an “assault on religion” through the administration’s opposition to employment discrimination on religious grounds and attempts to ensure that women cannot be refused birth control coverage in their insurance plans or medical procedures because of loopholes, calling it “an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen.”
Romney concluded his diatribe by attacking a push for equal rights for gays and lesbians as an “assault on marriage,” and pledged to promote the Federal Marriage Amendment and stop Obama from paving “the path to same-sex marriage.”
Romney: I think he is detached from reality when he says that he wants to ‘reclaim American values.’ There has been in my view an assault on American values since the beginning of his administration. Clearly from the beginning the assault on life with his abandonment of the Mexico City Policy and with the Vice President being sent to China and saying we understand the one-child policy there and of course the abuses associated with that policy are alarming and disturbing, and then on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade just a couple of days ago he said that the wonderful thing about Roe v. Wade is that it provides an equal opportunity for girls to equal boys, meaning that they don’t have to have a child anymore, if they become pregnant they can get rid of the child and therefore have an equal opportunity. The disregard for the sanctity of human life is absolutely appalling.
Then of course there’s the assault on religion. I think a lot of people were surprised that he felt that the government should be able to determine who is and who is not a minister and fortunately the Supreme Court disagreed with him on that, but now he’s gone forward and said that religious institutions, universities, hospitals and so forth, religious institutions have to provide free contraceptives to all their employees, even if that religious institution is opposed to the use of contraception, as in the case of the Catholic Church. Even in that regard, fighting to eliminate the conscience clause for health care workers who wish not to provide abortion services or contraceptives in their workplace, in their hospital for instance. It’s an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen.
There’s been an assault on marriage. I think he is very aggressively trying to pave the path to same-sex marriage. I would unlike this president defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I would also propose and promote once again an amendment to the constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.
To the surprise of nobody, Mitt Romney is ignoring an invitation to participate in the presidential candidate forum at Liberty Counsel’s Florida Awake! conference on Saturday. So far, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted the invitation, while Ron Paul respectfully declined because he will be outside of Florida at the time. Romney has already skipped the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa and two Personhood USA forums, and his decision to skip the Liberty Counsel debate earned him a rebuke from Personhood USA, even though Romney at one point endorsed the group’s extreme anti-choice legislation. The slam from Personhood USA, a cosponsor of the forum, implied that he wouldn’t be a strong opponent of abortion rights:
Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Rick Santorum are confirmed to participate in Florida Awake! Congressman Ron Paul regretfully declined, as he is not scheduled to be campaigning in Florida at that time. The event is already sold out, with over 1800 tickets reserved.
Governor Romney, again expressly invited, has again neglected to notify organizers of his willingness or disinclination to participate.
"Following President Obama's statement celebrating the Roe v. Wade decision -- effectively celebrating the deliberate killing of 54 million innocent American citizens -- Personhood USA recognizes the urgency of ensuring that we know where our candidates stand," stated Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. "We need a president who values life, and will defend the innocent in word and in deed. We certainly don't need a candidate who cares nothing for the Sanctity of Life, nor one who will join President Obama in celebrating the deaths of millions.'
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission is an anti-gay, anti-Islam Religious Right activist who dedicates an inordinate amount of effort to attacking the faith of leaders like Barack Obama.
So it should come as no surprise that Cass is also anti-Mormon, as he is now saying that Mitt Romney's faith should be an important issue in evaluating "his fitness for office" and calling on Romney to "renounce the historic Mormon hostility to Christianity":
Mormonism has always been at odds with Christianity and openly denies the Trinity and the gospel of grace.
As a Bishop in the Mormon Church, Romney is free to believe its strange doctrines, practice their Masonic rituals, even wear their sacred underwear, but Romney's Mormon beliefs are not Christian.
Historically Mormons have hated and insulted Christians beginning with its founder, the polygamous Joseph Smith who said he wanted to be the Mohammed of the Americas.
Romney hopes Christians fall for the lie they believe the same things we do.
Mitt Romney, Presidential candidate and Mormon Bishop, in his 2007 speech regarding his Mormon faith sounded conciliatory towards other faiths. But his position is not consistent with the Mormon beliefs he adamantly affirmed in whole and from which he refused to distance himself. The Mormon faith has, from its inception, attacked all other religions, especially orthodox Christianity.
Romney's Mormon beliefs are not Christian. Mormonism's antipathy toward Christianity should not be so quickly forgotten. This is an important aspect of any evaluation the American voters make regarding his fitness for office.
If Romney wants the Christian vote, more than the Mormon dollars supporting his campaign, he must demonstrate real respect, not rhetoric. If he does not renounce the historic Mormon hostility to Christianity, then we must conclude that he agrees with his church's defamation of the past.
Earlier this month, Glenn Beck hosted David Barton for a discussion on the importance of the 2012 election. During the segment, Beck admitted that he felt "powerless" and complained that the media was failing to hold our leaders accountable.
Even the Republican candidates are "cowards," Beck asserted, and, as evidence of the fact that "no one is saying anything" about what is happening to this nation, he singled out Mitt Romney as he marveled that he has been unwilling to call President Obama a "socialist":
It's becoming spooky. There is so much power being concentrated and no one is saying anything. Even our Republican candidates are cowards; they won't call it out for what it is. I mean, Mitt Romney won't even say this guy, he's a socialist. Socialist? I'm so far past socialist - I left socialist territory with Barack Obama two years ago and he won't even say he's a socialist. So how do you possibly, how can we change things?
Ever since Mitt Romney called out Bryan Fischer for his relentless bigotry at the Values Voter Summit, Fischer has been on a mission to ensure that Romney does not win the Republican nomination and has been increasingly willing to attackRomney'sMormonfaith as part of this effort.
[Mormonism] is not a Christian faith. It is, as Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas says, a false religion. So it's kind of a striking things and I know it concerns a number of spiritual leaders, and I count myself among them, is what this would mean for the spiritual health of the United States of America is a worshiper of a false god occupied the White House. You know, what that would mean for the spiritual future of America and what it might reveal about the spiritual weakness of America if the American people, particularly the so-called conservatives, the people of faith in America, would promote someone to the highest office in the land who is a follower of a counterfeit faith, a false religion.
Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney? As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas. And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate. All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.
“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals. He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day. “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders. Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.”
The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government. Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.
Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire. His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.
The Supreme Court
Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices. Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers. Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor. The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”
Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception
One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married. Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage. Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity. Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”
Threats to “Religious Liberty”
Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists. Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.” “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry. “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!” Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.
Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics
Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.” He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God. The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.
Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)
The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him. On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case. Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism. Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them. He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families. Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.” Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”
Appropriating a Sanitized MLK
Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day. Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.” But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event. Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.” Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.” According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.” He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.
In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes. According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society. “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…” Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender. And they weren’t the last.
Bryan Fischer just cannot understand how any evangelical could possibly support Mitt Romney for president, but he does have a theory: Romney is "preying on evangelical weaknesses."
As Fischer sees it, the only logical explanation is that evangelicals are so darned nice that they will believe anything anybody tells them and so Romney can lie to them with impunity because he knows they are so "dull" and "uninformed" that they will never figure it out:
Mitt Romney is actually preying on evangelical weaknesses. He is taking advantage of the inherent niceness in evangelicals. Evangelicals are portrayed as these people who are these flaming bigots, these hardliners, these Victorian prudes, these bluenoses, they're just angry at everybody and they walk around judging and condemning everybody. Evangelicals are not like that; they are the nicest people that you can meet, they're kind, they want to give people the benefit of the doubt, they're willing to take people at their word, they're willing to bend over backwards to accommodate other people and Mitt Romney knows that.
So he knows that evangelicals are nice people and he can take advantage of that niceness by telling them what they want to hear. And they lack enough discernment that they'll believe what he tells them. Mitt Romney tells them he's a champion on the sanctity of life, they'll believe him just because they heard him say it and they want to give him the benefit of the doubt ... Governor Romney is more responsible for the fact that we have same-sex marriage in the united States then anybody else on the planet, yet evangelicals are dull enough, uninformed enough, undiscerning enough that they are supporting him.
Steve Baldwin, the former executive director of the Council for National Policy, an influential conservative policy group founded by Tim LaHaye, went on the Steve Deace show yesterday to discuss why he thinks a President Romney would be disastrous for the country and the Republican Party. Baldwin’s major gripe is his dubious claim that Romney was “obsessed” with gay rights as governor of Massachusetts.
Baldwin expressed frustration that Romney has been given a “free pass” by conservative media, which he chalked up to “conflicts of interest” in the right-wing press. Among those he claimed are biased towards Romney is the publisher of the far-right Human Events, whom he identified as a “homosexual who likes Romney.” Although he didn’t name names on the show, Baldwin has previously asserted that Jeff Carneal, president of Human Events' publisher, is an “avowed homosexual” who has supported pro-equality causes.
But Baldwin’s gay-baiting did not end with his attack on conservative media. He let loose on Romney’s tepid pro-gay rights record as governor of Massachusetts, saying, “His whole administration was characterized by an almost obsessive devotion to the homosexual agenda.” Romney, he fumes, was involved in “gay proclamations, gay dances, gay proms, gay assemblies, gay this, gay that,” adding obliquely, “You gotta start wondering here.”
Baldwin: Our conservative media won’t write negative stories about Romney. They won’t even investigate him. I’ve submitted story after story to National Review, to Human Events, to American Spectator, and every once in a while they’ll do a story with a few negative things about Romney, but a full-scale investigative piece about Romney has not appeared in most of the conservative movement’s media. And you’ll find out there’s conflicts of interests, you’ll find out National Review endorsed Romney last year, they like him this year. You’ll find out that the chairman of Regnery Gateway, that publishes Human Events, is a homosexual who likes Romney. You find out these editors have various biases. And as a result, they have collectively, along with talk radio I have to add – Sean Hannity likes Romney, a lot of our radio talk show hosts have been very hands off when it comes to Romney’s record, even though they have all been briefed and all been given information about Romney’s background. Coulter and other national columnists and Hannity and even Mark Levin say very little about Romney’s record and refuse to dig into it. So you hear nothing from our own media, so the mainstream media, they’re too lazy to dig up the stories. And so as a result, Romney’s getting a free pass here.
Deace: Does Mitt Romney have a history of supporting homosexual issues beyond the gay scoutmasters thing that we saw from 1994? What did he do in Massachusetts when he was governor?
Baldwin: Oh my goodness. Gay proclamations, gay dances, gay proms, gay assemblies, gay this, gay that. He had an entire commission called the Governor’s Commission, which served at his own discretion, and they funded gay events and programs in the schools. He promoted all kinds of laws, rules, internal, a lot of internal things, like his department of social services awarded Family of the Year, Parents of the Year, to a gay couple. He appointed homosexual leaders to key positions throughout his administration. I mean, his whole administration was characterized by a an almost obsessive devotion to the homosexual agenda. I would venture to say that Mitt Romney was the most aggressive pro-gay governor in American history, either party. Period. I mean Amy Contrada wrote a thousand page book documenting hundreds of actions by this man to advance the homosexual agenda. Hundreds. He was obsessed with it. You gotta start wondering here.
Religious Right activists are positively giddy over the new momentum behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy for president, and Maggie Gallagher today praised the former Pennsylvania senator as “a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic photo finish.” Gallagher said that the left wants “to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race,” writing that progressives “hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.”
On Tuesday night in Iowa, he stood before the cheering throngs like a Republican Rocky, or better yet, a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic storybook finish. On Tuesday night, for the first time, Rick Santorum was a contender. And a contender like nobody has yet seen in this race.
I have not yet endorsed anyone in this presidential race. And unlike some values voters, I am not anti-Mitt Romney. Romney is a fundamentally decent, extremely capable man, who fought hard for marriage in Massachussetts [sic]. If he is the GOP nominee, I can vote for him with great good will and a clean conscience.
But when the guy who has taken more hits than any other for standing up for life and marriage fights his way with nobody's help from nowhere to, well, Tuesday night -- you have to cheer.
The left, which thought it had buried Santorum years ago, is going to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race. They hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.
They will go after him not just to defeat him, but to smear his good name, to associate it with their own muck, to take a decent and honorable man and try literally to make his name mean mud. They will not succeed.
I am not anti-Romney. But after Tuesday night's victory, count me as pro-Rick.
Meanwhile, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance penned a column lauding Santorum and couldn’t help herself from taking digs at Romney’s Mormon faith:
Santorum’s appeal to women and evangelicals centers on a desire for authenticity. Rick’s been consistent in behavior and record. His stance on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage gained the voters’ attention.
Many of my Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) members respect Mitt’s savvy business skills, but they are having a hard time wrapping their minds around him as a whole package.
They can’t ignore that it was the former Massachusetts governor who championed health care reform that cost the state $4.3 billion and 18,000 jobs. Nor can they ignore his past support for so-called “domestic partnerships” or the fact that after the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s paper tiger ruling on “gay marriage,” he ordered Justices of the Peace in the state to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples or be fired.
With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, “the Mormon thing” may be an issue, but I am not convinced this is what has held him back. However, some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole “eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,” which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven.