Pat Robertson

The Tea Party and Religious Right Movements: Frenemies with Benefits

The Tea Party is coming together with leading Religious Right groups to meet a common goal -- the crippling of the Obama administration and the movement of the Republican Party even further to the right.

The Rogues' Gallery

In our latest report, PFAW takes an in-depth look at 15 of the far right's most extreme candidates for Senate, and it isn't pretty.

(P)reviewing the Right-Wing Playbook on Immigration Reform

There is near-universal agreement that America's immigration system is not working well. Unfortunately, the last major effort to achieve reform was derailed by a campaign grounded in fear, stereotypes, and a divisive nativism that is unworthy of America's ideals.

VIDEO: Does Bob Marshall Agree w/ Rev. Ellison that Haitian Earthquake Was God's Punishment for Voodoo?

Rev. Joe Ellison introduced Del. Bob Marshall last week as a "warrior who will fight for our cause." Ellison – with Marshall at his back – agreed with Pat Robertson and said that the Haitian earthquake was God's punishment for practicing voodoo. Two minutes later, Marshall said that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion.

Here's the video of Ellison's comments on Haiti and introduction of Marshall:

"From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth."

Does Marshall stand behind Ellison and his remarks on Haiti? Or will Marshall blame the Washington Post for first reporting Ellison's comments, just as he has blamed the Capital News Service for first reporting his own?

It is not an accident that Marshall and Ellison echoed one another and Pat Robertson. They all believe that God exacts vengeance on those who do not follow their peculiar and ultraconservative interpretation of the Bible.

Ellison may like to believe that Robertson's comments merely "angered a lot of the so-called, in my opinion, liberals." But the truth is that Americans overwhelmingly reject such views, just as they reject Marshall's views on disabled children and abortion – including a not-so-liberal Governor named Bob McConnell.

And for those of you who missed it, here’s the video of Bob Marshall claiming that disabled children are God’s punishment for abortion:

Video of Bob Marshall Proves He Said What He Meant, Meant What He Said

Watch Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall claim at an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion:

After his remarks set off a national controversy, Marshall tried to claim that he had somehow been misunderstood:

A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion[.] I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created[.]

But the video speaks for itself. Marshall explicitly stated that he believes God punishes women who have abortions by giving them disabled children. And then he backed up his claim with what he evidently considered to be evidence (and the gentleman to his left nodded in agreement).

Marshall is entitled to his offensive views, but he should not run from them.

It's worth noting that Marshall has a history of saying offensive things – or being “misinterpreted.”

He said this about abortion in the case of rape: "[T]he woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman."

And he said this about contraception: "[W]e have no business passing this garbage out and making these co-eds chemical Love Canals for these frat house playboys in Virginia."

Marshall was not the only one at last week’s press conference to say something completely ridiculous and offensive, or as Marshall calls it – creating a “misimpression.”

Rev. Joe Ellison said he agrees with Pat Robertson’s comments that Haitians brought the recent devastating earthquake on themselves by striking a deal with the Devil and practicing voodoo:

From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth.

And let’s remember. These guys aren’t just some sideshow attraction in Virginia’s state capital. They hold sway with top Virginia Republicans, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, and are making gains in their war on the reproductive rights of Virginia women.

Guess Who's Coming to the McDonnell Inauguration

When Bob McDonnell is sworn into office as governor tomorrow, one of his most steadfast supporters will be there too: Religious Right leader Pat Robertson, fresh off of his recent comments about Haiti. Rather than being a fringe element, Robertson's presence will be a vivid illustration of how the Religious Right movement remains deeply influential in today's GOP

PFAW Condemns Robertson’s Comments on Haiti Earthquake

Religious Right Leader says Haiti "swore a pact to the devil"

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan today condemned a statement made by Religious Right leader Pat Robertson, who said that the nation of Haiti has been cursed ever since it "swore a pact to the Devil."

In discussing the earthquake, which the UN says has killed thousands of people, Robertson said:

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

PFAW Memo: Election Results, the Far Right, and Fighting Back

Tuesday's electoral returns offered a mixed bag of results. A few bright spots managed to appear among some disappointing defeats, and politicians from both parties should consider them carefully before making rash, and perhaps costly, conclusions.

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

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

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

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

Themes from the Right -- Day 2

The second day of right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor continued many of the themes of the first day’s attacks, mostly distortions of her judicial record and public remarks and distortions of President Obama’s desire for judges who exhibit empathy. National Review published a wave of anti-Sotomayor commentary on its website.

The Right Re-Tools as a 'Resistance Movement'

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

The 'Big Lie' Strategy: Religious Right Stokes False Fears of Religious Persecution

On February 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate took up an amendment introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to strip church-state protections from the stimulus bill. The amendment failed 43 to 54 after DeMint repeated the inflammatory claims he had been making all week and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) swiftly and effectively refuted them. The creation of a phony crisis that DeMint's amendment was supposed to solve is a case study of Religious Right leaders' strategic use of false alarms about threats to religious liberty &emdash; and of the willingness of right-wing media and elected officials to play along. Watch now, in the wake of the amendment’s defeat, for Religious Right leaders to use the vote as "evidence" that Democrats are hostile to people of faith and to try to undermine support from religious Americans for the new administration.

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

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

Multimedia

Here's a selection of our recent campaign ads, videos from our right-wing research vaults, and classic ads from People For's past campaigns.

How PFAW Members Answered Right-Wing Extremism in 2013 -- And Will Keep Fighting!

The Tea Party has full control of Congress in its sights, but PFAW members standing side by side can defeat them and defend liberty, justice and The American Way.

1980 Norman Lear TV ad opposing the Religious Right

The 1980 Norman Lear TV ad opposing the Religious Right that started it all.

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC

From the creators of the Story of Stuff, the Story of Citizens United v. FEC, gives an exploration of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy.

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

Mitt Romney: Man of the Corporations

PFAW's TV ad airing in New Hampshire challenges presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent assertion that “corporations are people.”

RWW Video: Pat Robertson on Lesbians, Abortion, and Motherhood

Pat Robertson says liberals support reproductive choice in order to prevent married women from having babies and thereby make lesbians equal.

Recall the Right TV Spot: Luther Olsen

Our latest ad, now live in Wisconsin, calls for constituents to recall Luther Olsen for his support of Gov. Scott Walkers pro-corporate agenda.

Citizen Jane Explains the Impact of Citizens United

In our latest video, Citizen Jane explains how Citizens United v. FEC reversed more than 100 years of settled law.

Video: "Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Me"

We asked People For the American Way activists if Sarah Palin speaks for them. Here's what they said.

Cindy Jacobs: Birds Dying Because of DADT Repeal

Cindy Jacobs says that birds and fish may be dying in large numbers because of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Meet The New Freshman Class of Extremist Senators

In PFAW's latest video, we introduce the new class of right wing extremist Senators that have arrived in Washington.

Pat Toomey: Too Extreme for Pennsylvania

In the latest in PFAW's series of "in their own words" ads, we show that Senate candidate Pat Toomey is too extreme for Pennsylvania.

Ken Buck in His Own Words

The first video in PFAW's series of videos showing extremist right-wing candidates in their own words, it's clear that Senate candidate Ken Buck is too extreme for Colorado.

Bryan Fischer: Two Minutes of Hate

PFAW's RightWingWatch.org put together this video featuring Bryan Fischer's bigotry in action.

Citizens United panel at America's Future Now!

PFAW's Marge Baker and others present a panel at America's Future Now! conference entitled, "We the People, Not We the Corporations"

SCOTUS Pick Should Serve 'Everyday People'

PFAW's Marge Baker says that the SCOTUS nominee should serve "Everyday People."

Rev. Womack on the March 21 Immigration Rally

PFAWF's Rev. Dr. Rolen Womack invites participants to an immigration rally held on March 21, 2010.

Rev. Shine the March 21 Immigration Rally

PFAWF's Rev. Robert Shine invites participants to an immigration rally held on March 21, 2010.

Justice Alito Has Some Things He'd Like to Say...

In the aftermath of Citizens United v. FEC, PFAW looks at the cases in which Justice Samuel Alito has also said "not true."

Fight the Right!

They said the Right was dead. We knew they were wrong.

Stories of Super-Activism: Vicki Ryder & the Women of Rochester, NY

A video of the the rally of 300 women superstar activist Vicki Ryder organized in Rochester, NY to say "Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Me."

John McCain's Record on Equal Pay

McCain's voted time and time again to undermine equal pay.

For more, visit our YouTube channels:

Right Wing Praises McCain's Obedience

In 2000, John McCain solidified his "maverick" reputation by lambasting the Religious Right. He labeled Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance" and decried the Right's role within the Republican Party:

"They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country."

"John McCain has been working hard to get back in the good graces of the Right," said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. "By choosing Sarah Palin, he's given them exactly what they want — a book banning, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-science extremist who's short on experience but long on ideology. Americans don't want a candidate who believes that victims of rape and incest should be denied a right to choose abortion. But the far right does. They said jump, and McCain just asked how high."

In return, the right-wing's response has been over the top:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer."

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: "Senator McCain made an outstanding pick."

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: "I am elated with Senator McCain's choice."

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice."

Richard Land: "Governor Palin will delight the Republican base."

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, "I'm elated. I think it's a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: "They're beyond ecstatic. This is a home run."

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: "She is the best possible choice."

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: "Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race."

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: "She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people."

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs."

Jonathan Falwell: "John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that's his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin."

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: "I think it's a brilliant choice."

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: "And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn't breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down."

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments."

David Keene, American Conservative Union: "The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

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Supreme Court Slams Courthouse Doors Shut on Taxpayers in Religious Liberty Case

PFAWF Legal Director Judith E. Schaeffer spoke about Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation at a briefing organized by the American Constitution Society.

PFAW Statement on Rev. Jerry Falwell

In response to the news of the death of Jerry Falwell, People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:

We extend our condolences to Rev. Jerry Falwell’s family and friends. He was an effective advocate for his vision of America, a vision with which we strongly disagreed.

People For the American Way was founded in part to help Americans mobilize principled opposition to the rhetoric and agenda of televangelists like Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

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