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:
Watch Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall claim at an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion:
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.”
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.
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:
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.
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
, "I'm elated. I think it's a superb choice." America
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."
# # #
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.