Rick Santorum

Santorum: Term 'Middle Class' Is 'Marxism Talk'

Rick Santorum says the term “middle class” is “Marxism talk” since America doesn’t have any classes. “Since when in America do we have classes?” Santorum asked a Republican gathering in Lyon County, Iowa, “There’s no class in America.” He added that the GOP, unlike Democrats,“values the dignity of every human life,” and therefore shouldn’t use the term—which he has actually used repeatedly.

Right Wing Leftovers - 8/7/13

Santorum: 'We Have The Truth And We Give Up'

Rick Santorum won Students for Life’s 2013 William Wilberforce Award, and spent part of his speech lamenting the gains made by the left in the US. The likely presidential candidate said progressives focus on politics “in everything they do and in every aspect of their life…. They live it, they are passionate, they are willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company, they are willing to make the sacrifice with their business because they care enough.”

He even likened liberals to the Continental Army of the American Revolution: “We won the American Revolution against those British not because we were the most powerful, not because we had the most arms, not because we had the truth, we won because we wanted it more, we were willing to sacrifice everything for it and we were not going to give up, we were not going to stop. That’s how the left has done to America what you’ve seen in your lifetime because they simply won’t give up.”

“We have the truth and we give up, we have righteousness and we give up because it’s unpopular,” Santorum said.

Watch:

New GOP Same As the Old GOP: Iowa Summit to Feature Republican Leaders and Religious Right Stalwarts

Year after year we keep hearing about the supposed decline of the Religious Right and the GOP’s shift away from the fringes. Despite all of that talk and speculation, this weekend will see this year’s second Religious Right gathering for potential presidential candidates, almost three years before the Iowa caucus. For anyone who anticipates that Republican presidential candidates will move towards the center in 2016, this weekend’s festivities are a very loud wakeup call.

The upcoming Family Leadership Summit comes on the heels of last month’s Iowa Pastors and Pews meeting, which hosted Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

This weekend’s conference, hosted by the Religious Right group The Family Leader, will feature Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum and perennial presidential candidate-vacillator Donald Trump.

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who spearheaded the 2010 campaign to boot pro-marriage equality justices off the Iowa Supreme Court, is hosting the event. The Family Leader continues its push to become a conservative power player: Last year, the organization hosted a debate attended by every Republican presidential candidate save Mitt Romney and tried to get candidates to pledge to fight legal pornography and to agree that African-American families were better off under slavery. In 2016, the group might take over the reins of the Iowa Straw Poll.

Along with Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley, several far-right figures are slated to speak at the summit:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently claimed that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, the far-right 2010 GOP Senate nominee who has tiestomilitia groups.

Talk show host Steve Deace, who has fantasized about assaulting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and suggested that the public school system was responsible for the Newtown massacre.

Talk show host Kevin McCullough, who believes that gay people are out to kill him and hate God (but also don’t exist).

Talk show host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality and hailed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to gay rights.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who has likened his campaign against marriage equality to fights against slavery and Jim Crow.

David Bossie of Citizens United, the Clinton-era witch hunter who predicted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would cripple the military and bring back the draft.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, who argued that the Violence Against Women Act represented a “war on women” and accused Planned Parenthood of supporting domestic abuse.

Actor/Reality Show contestant Stephen Baldwin, who called President Obama a “cultural terrorist.”

Dr. Del Tackett of Truth In Action Ministries, who blamed homosexuality on lazy parenting.

Doug Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom, who pledged to represent county officials in Iowa who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, who has warned that “Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream.”

Republican Presidential Hopefuls' Favorite 'Christian Nation' Extremist

Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He decries Supreme Court rulings on prayer and Bible reading in public schools, and says, “It’s easily defended that America was founded by Christians, as a Christian nation.”

Cruz and Paul may be motivated by the fact that a similar David Lane-organized pastors briefing is credited with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus.  Evangelical political strategist Doug Wead has described Lane as “the mysterious, behind the scenes, evangelical kingmaker who stormed into Iowa in 2008 and tilted the whole thing from Romney to Huckabee,” even though subsequent renewal projects failed to deliver South Carolina and Florida to Huckabee.

Still, Lane, a self-described “political operative,” has plans that go well beyond Iowa.  The “Rediscovering God in America” event scheduled for July 17 and 18 is just one of an ongoing series of pastors briefings that are central to the American Renewal Project’s 12-state strategy to turn out conservative evangelical voters in the 2013-2014 election cycle.  (Those states: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.) 

In December, Lane described his project’s goal this way: “to engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.” And he has a clear message to representatives and senators: “Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.”

Lane is abundantly clear about his belief that the choice facing America is a return to its founding as a Christian nation or a continued descent into what he describes as paganism. He wrote  in December:

America was a Christian nation. The Mayflower Compact declared, “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken – for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith…”

Let’s decide if America is a Christian nation or a pagan nation – and get on with it; the sooner the better.

Lane told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that “America has left God” and that “unrighteousness” is “the greatest threat to freedom.” Brody says Lane “believes it’s time to remove politicians from office who have led America down this immoral and unsustainable broken path.” 

A Christian-Nation Warrior Within the GOP

To be fair to Paul and Cruz, they are only the latest Republican presidential hopefuls who have allied themselves with the zealous David Lane in order to tap his network of politically engaged pastors. Lane has been holding “pastors briefings” in 15 states since the mid-1990s. He wrote last year that state Restoration and Renewal projects had hosted more than 10,000 pastors and spouses in ten states since 2005 alone, in events that have been used to engage pastors in anti-gay initiative battles and introduce them to politicians favored by Lane. Pastors’ expenses are covered with money from the American Family Association and other religious right mega-donors. The American Renewal Project operates as a project of the AFA; Lane also operates the California-based Pastors and Pews. 

Texas Governor Rick Perry is also reportedly scheduled to participate in this week’s Iowa gathering, which may confirm his apparent interest in another run for the presidency.  Perry has a long-term relationship with Lane.  In 2005 and 2006, Lane and his network played a huge role in mobilizing support for Perry’s re-election as governor. Six pastors briefings were held around the state, and all six were addressed by Perry.  As Governor, Perry hasn’t disappointed Lane and his friends.

Heading into the 2012 election cycle, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich spoke to 600 pastors, ministry leaders and spouses at a March 2011 Iowa Renewal Project Pastor’s Policy Briefing. But as the primaries approached, Lane was not satisfied with the field. He played a key role in organizing conservative religious leaders to push Perry into the presidential race.  And he masterminded and served as national finance chair for “The Response”, an August 2011 prayer rally that served as Perry’s unofficial campaign launch.

Lane enthusiastically applauded anti-Mormon attacks on Mitt Romney made by Perry backer Robert Jeffress at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011.  The Daily Beast revealed emails between Lane and religious broadcaster Dick Bott in which Lane praised Jeffress, saying the message “juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism, is very important in the larger scheme of things.”

After Perry’s candidacy imploded, Religious Right leaders split between Gingrich and Santorum, dooming last-ditch efforts to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP nominee.  Lane backed Gingrich.  He organized a conference call in Florida in late January 2012 to which he said he invited some 125,000 Florida evangelicals, including 2,400 pastors; the call reportedly had 1,000 participants and a recording was emailed to the other 124,000. But obviously he failed to prevent Romney from becoming the nominee.

During the flap over Perry backers’ attacks on Romney’s Mormonism, Lane had actually told broadcaster Bott that he would sit out the 2012 elections rather than vote for Romney. But whether or not Lane actually cast his personal vote for Romney, he continued mobilizing conservative Christians in an effort to defeat Barack Obama.  In Ohio, for example, Lane was part of a major effort by Republican evangelicals to put Romney over the top in that state.  Lane organized “several glitzy mass rallies for the state’s churchgoers featuring high-profile religious and political leaders,” the Washington Times reported last November. Lane and Ralph Reed each produced voter guides for “Ohio’s faithful.”

Although Perry’s tanking disrupted Lane’s plans to get conservative evangelicals to coalesce around a single candidate in 2012, it seems clear that he has similar intentions for 2016. He told the Houston Chronicle in June, “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that they [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and Romneys left.”

At War With the GOP

Lane’s comment about “the McCains and Romneys” is just the tip of the iceberg of contempt that he has for what he sees as a cowardly, compromising Republican establishment. He denounces moderate Republicans who are “bound and determined to deposit homosexuality – and homosexual marriage – into the Grand Old Party.” And he insists, “Those doing this to our country must be removed from office and from leadership.” (These aren’t necessarily idle threats: Lane was at the center of the successful 2010 campaign to remove from office three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had been part of a unanimous ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Lane called the judges “Judicial Gods” who believe they have the “right to rule a free people” and “impose their will” however they see fit.”)

Lane was outraged last year when many Republican Party leaders abandoned Senate candidate Todd Akin in the wake of his infamous comments about “legitimate rape”— Lane was especially indignant because at the same time the GOP was backing openly gay Senate candidate Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.  Lane mobilized support for Akin among conservative pastors and complained loudly about the GOP. “Following the pounding of Todd Akin by the GOP kings and lieutenants in the last 36 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real issue is the soul of America,” he wrote in an email to activists. In October, almost 400 pastors who had gathered for a Pastors’ Policy Briefing in Missouri prayed over Akin, whose cause Lane said was “the opening battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” After all, he argues, “someone’s values must reign supreme.”

After the 2012 elections, Lane drew his battle lines:

The moderate GOP chieftains and lieutenants’ philosophy of government and set of values – in the long run – are incompatible with Christian morality and principles. As these secular “pastors” – the GOP chieftains and lieutenants – seek to bully and dictate their worldly, amoral ethics – according to their importance, omnipotence and power of the purse – there can be no amicability and meeting of minds….

Christian conservatives are coming to their moment of truth within the Republican Party. Be friendly and disarm, or annoy and aggravate the GOP kings and lieutenants by laying down the law on Christian principles and Christian values.

….

Another way to put it is: I don’t think that “restoring America” is a Christian imperative. Being a witnesses [sic] to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the imperative. If that restores America, wonderful; if it means that America collapses – like Rome – the byproduct of the Permanent Republican Majority or a decadent, sinful, immoral culture and people, the church is God’s permanent “nation.” 

Lane writes that after launching a public fight for putting the Bible, Jesus, the Ten Commandments back into public schools, “then we will watch Providence call for ‘punishment executed by angels‘ to those who oppose His word.”

Lane says he believes there is “good news in the current Republican collapse and failure – brought about as a byproduct of the amoral, empty philosophy of the Permanent Republican majority” – and that is a political opening for evangelicals. In February, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody said that Lane’s battle against Republicans who are more worried about the party than “sustaining a moral and righteous nation” is “the next confrontation to watch.”

Pastors as Cause of and Solution to America’s Descent into Hell

It is a recurring theme at Religious Right gatherings that the real reason for America’s slide from greatness into moral decay is that its preachers aren’t preaching aggressively enough. Lane is also in this camp. The relatively media-shy Lane told the New York Times in 2011, “From my perspective, our country is going to hell because pastors won’t lead from the pulpits.”

He complains that the “the Church didn’t even shudder when the Bible, prayer, Jesus, and the Ten Commandments were removed from the public schools in 1963.” And he says there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”

Lane is fond of quoting Peter Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast. Last fall he included this segment in one of his frequently repetitive online commentaries: 

American churches have too long discipled Christians in Americanism, and that makes Christian involvement in the American polity far smoother than it ought to be. Churches must repent of our Americanism and begin to cultivate martyrs—believers who are martyrs in the original sense of ‘witness’ and in the later sense of men and women ready to follow the Lamb all the way to an imperial cross.

In a different commentary, this one for WND, Lane also quotes from Between Babel and Beast:

Until American churches actually function as outposts of Jesus’ heavenly empire rather than as cheerleaders for America – until the churches produce martyrs rather than patriots – the political witness of Christians will continue to be diluted and co-opted.

Lane also quotes Leithart in a June 2013 commentary that seemed to be too much even for the virulent WND, which has removed the post. Here’s part of the Leithart he approvingly quotes:

Americanists cannot break Babelic or bestial power because they cannot distinguish heretical Americanism from Christian orthodoxy. Until we do, America will lurch along the path that leads from Babel to Beast. If America is to be put in its place – put right – Christians must risk martyrdom and force Babel to the crux where it has to decide either to acknowledge Jesus [as] imperator and the church as God’s imperium or to begin drinking holy blood.

To that bracing section Lane adds his own words:

Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?...

As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning, and pagan media….

Christian America is in ruins…

You ask, “What is our goal?” To wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage with all of our might and strength that God will give us. You ask, “what is our aim?” One word only: victory, in spite of all intimidation and terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, America will ultimately collapse.

He sees the solution as the political organizing he does among pastors.  “Bible-believing pastor,” he wrote last fall, “without overstating it, the survival of America is on your shoulders.” According to the New York Times, at a 2011 briefing in Iowa Mike Huckabee “lavished praise on Mr. Lane for ‘bringing pastors together so they go back to their pulpits and light them on fire with enthusiasm, to make America once again the greatest country on earth under God.’”

Lane’s increasingly war-like rhetoric has given people pause. Lane frequently closes his commentaries – including the one recently pulled from WND -- with the question, “Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand.” In the Old Testament, Gideon is called by God to defeat the armies of enemies of the Israelites and end the worship of false gods. Rahab the Harlot is another Old Testament character: she enabled the Israelites’ conquest of the city of Jericho by helping two spies sent into the city by Joshua. She and her family were the only ones spared when the city was destroyed and every other man, woman and child was killed. Politicians who stand with Lane might consider asking him just what he means by his frequently repeated calls for a Gideon or Rahab to stand up among American evangelicals.

This IS the Religious Right – and the GOP’s Dominant Right Wing

Sadly, Lane’s extremist views and rhetoric do not make him much of an outlier among today’s hard-right political figures. He is closely allied with major Religious Right leaders and has no problem attracting current and former members of Congress and Republican presidential aspirants to his closed-door gatherings.  Among those scheduled to take part in this week’s Iowa event are Christian-nation “historian” David Barton, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon.  In 2010, Lane joined Barton and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and Lane offered a 12-day, $4000, Next Great Awakening Tour of historical sites in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Also part of this week’s program in Iowa is Lane’s friend Laurence White, who says “if we do not stop abortion then God will destroy and God should destroy America.” Another participant is Ken Canfield, who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2006 on a platform calling for a “no exceptions” ban on abortion; he came in second in a crowded GOP primary .

Lane, like other Religious Right leaders, sees the acceptance of homosexuality as a sign that America has turned its back on God. In one column he approvingly cites an author who describes gays and lesbians as “parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.” Last summer he asked pastors to “exhort the flock, entrusted to you by the Living God, to refrain from shopping at Target Stores until its leadership ends pushing homosexual marriage in America.”

He’s even got the Tea Party’s anti-big-government rhetoric down. He wrote in February as sequestration approached,  “we should immediately begin the mobilization of pastors and pews to contact—read tongue-lash and rail against – local Congressman and U.S. Senators to decry the immoral debt being piled on our kids and grandkids because Congress lacks the guts to make hard, painful decisions and cut spending.”

In fact, Lane covers all the issues important to the modern day right, connecting them to court decisions upholding the separation of church and state, which he says created a religion of secularism:

This ‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America – and the public square.

Lane is connected to Champion the Vote, a project of United in Purpose, which had aimed to unseat President Obama with an effort “to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.” United in Purpose produced DVDs of Lane’s 2011 event in Orlando to distribute for house parties. In the wake of Rick Perry’s supposedly non-political “Response” rally, the American Family Association sent out emails to those who registered for the event  to engage them in Champion the Vote.  It said the Response “was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation.”

Politicians like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul should be held to account for partnering politically with David Lane. But given the increasingly small differences between the GOP’s right wing and its really right wing, we probably shouldn’t expect politicians cozying up to Lane to show any discomfort with his extremism. As Ted Cruz said in another context, “If standing for liberty , if standing for free market principle and the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then, then I am a very proud wacko bird.”

Santorum: Media Ignore Alinsky Tactics of Pro-Choice Movement

Joe Pags did his best to fill in for Glenn Beck today on The Blaze, and while interviewing Rick Santorum he referred to abortion rights supporters as “nutcases” who have quite the agenda: “They’ve got a vast communist, socialist agenda; they’ve got a vast anti-freedom, anti-American agenda; they’ve got a vast anti-Christian, anti-Constitutional agenda.”

Santorum agreed that media outlets have “ignored” their nefarious agendas and crooked methods. “This is what community organizers do,” Santrum said, “these are actually tactics that Saul Alinsky and the rest for fifty years in this country have been using these tactics.”

Update 7/16: the story about protesters holding jars of urine and feces that Pags mention has not been verified.

Santorum: 'Death Knell' of Marriage Approaching

Rick Santorum told NewsmaxTV yesterday that the gay rights victories at the Supreme Court are paving the way for the “death knell” of marriage. The former senator and presidential candidate, who on Wednesday claimed that the Supreme Court’s marriage rulings represent the loss of freedom, maintained that the DOMA decision will allow the Supreme Court “to establish some sort of constitutional right or find that marriage is unconstitutional in its current form. That to me will put the death knell in it.”

But Santorum was optimistic that opposition to marriage equality will grow in the future because people will eventually see same-sex marriages’ deleterious “impact on children, on marriage, on families and on civilization.”

Santorum on DOMA Decision: 'You are Losing Freedom In This Country'

Rick Santorum told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg yesterday that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act “demeans democracy” and threatens freedom. The former senator and movie producer said that the DOMA decision, along with President Obama’s “authoritarian” speech on climate change, represent “craziness.”

“You are losing freedom in this country,” Santorum warned. “Hopefully Americans are going to wake up and see that this concentration of power in Washington is damaging to them and their freedom.”

Watch:

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/24/13

  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire is quite proud of being a "right-wing wacko" and being featured on this blog.
  • This is the spectacle with which Glenn Beck is going to forever change the Fourth of July?
  • Of course, Muslim terrorists were responsible for the Colorado wildfires.
  • Rick Santorum is now the head of a Christian movie studio. Seriously.
  • On tomorrow's radio program, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly will interview U2's Bono.
  • Finally, Steve Deace says "We don't need an Islamist invasion. Our elites are doing a great job of destroying these United States of America just fine on their own."

Teavangelicals Told to Be ‘Happy Warriors’ Against Liberals, Big Govt, GOP Nay-sayers

Here’s a question for Ralph Reed and the ‘Teavangelical’ wing of the conservative movement: how can you portray yourselves as serious about governing when the keynote speakers at last week’s “Road to Majority” conference were Donald Trump and Sarah Palin?

Palin’s conference-closing remarks on Saturday featured a breathtakingly offensive joke about the Syrian civil war, which has taken an estimated 100,000 lives. She said we should just “let Allah sort it out.” Palin also had choice words for the bipartisan immigration reform bill moving through the Senate, which she dismissed as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.” She was one of many conference speakers rhetorically crapping on Marco Rubio and the bipartisan “Gang of 8” reform bill and burning the bridges that conservative Latinos are trying to build.

At Friday night’s “gala” Reed bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Pat Robertson, who is increasingly difficult to take seriously, and who devoted his remarks to trashing President Obama.  Trump, who also addressed the gala, spoke mostly about his own Trumpian greatness and how Mitt Romney might have been president if he had the guts to run Trump’s anti-Obama “you’re fired” ad.  Trump shared plenty of pablum and piercing political insights, such as the Republicans needing to be “really smart” in choosing a “great candidate” in 2016. Trump also criticized the immigration reform bill as a “death wish” for the Republican Party, saying “every one of those people, and the tens of millions of people they will bring in with them, will be absolutely voting Democratic.”

There’s no question Ralph Reed still has pull. His conference opened with a luncheon featuring four Tea Party senators and he got a handful of Republican House members to speak along with former and future presidential hopefuls like Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz.  Rick Perry, who was introduced as a “Renaissance man,” bragged about the law he recently signed to protect the ostensibly threatened right of public school students to wish each other “Merry Christmas” Perry said, ““I hope my state is a glowing example of men and women who believe that those traditional values are how you make a stronger society.” Stronger society? Not so much.

In addition to the divide on immigration, relentless attacks on President Obama (Dick Morris said of the president, “he doesn’t care about national security”), and the unsurprising rhetoric on abortion, marriage, and supposed threats to religious liberty, there were some other major themes:

Government Bad

The conference was infused with the Tea Party’s anti-federal-government themes. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review reminded people of a video shown at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which he recalled saying the government is the one thing we all belong to.  “Now, as sort of a Tea Party-ish kind of guy, that makes me want to flip the safety on my rifle.”

Speakers urged activists to take advantage of the recent scandals surrounding the IRS, the Justice Department, and the National Security Agency. Santorum urged activists to “think big” and “seize the moment” provided by the IRS scandal. Sen. Ron Johnson said he would like Americans to apply their disgust about the scandals to the federal government in general. Rather than trying to restore faith in government, Johnson said, activists should be fostering distrust of the government.

Grover Norquist is known for his quip that he wants to shrink the government until it is small enough to drown in the bathtub.  At Road to Majority he spelled out his plan to complete the strategy he embarked on with the Bush tax cuts and the no-tax-increase pledge he demands Republican candidates sign. He noted that “thanks to the marvels of modern redistricting,” Republicans are likely to have a Republican House until 2022, which means they have several chances to get a Senate majority and a Republican in the White House before then. Whenever that happens, he says, Republicans can put the Ryan budget into law and dramatically curtail government spending. He calls it “completely doable.”

Meanwhile, he said, in the 25 states where Republicans control the legislative and executive branches, activists should push for the passage of more anti-union legislation, and for laws that encourage people to obtain concealed carry permits, home school their children, and participate in stock ownership, three things that he said make people more Republican. He called this changing the demographics by changing the rules.

Obamacare: Will it Destroy America or Obama?

House Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” – an obsession. Rick Santorum said opposition to the law should have been the centerpiece of the 2012 campaign. And many speakers repeated the demand that the health care reform law be repealed in its entirety.  Stephen Moore, founder of the Club for Growth and a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, said repealing Obamacare is the single most important thing that has to happen in Washington over the next two years. But a number of speakers had a slightly different take, suggesting that the implementation of the complex law would be its undoing, and that public outrage at rising insurance rates would bring down the Obama administration. Dick Morris predicted Obama would be “destroyed” by the law’s implementation.

GOP: Friend or Foe?

One running theme of the conference was conservative activists’ distrust for national Republican leaders, particularly around opposition to abortion and LGBT equality. Several speakers made reference to the notorious RNC “autopsy” on the 2012 election and the perception that some party leaders want social conservatives to tone it down. Reed himself complained that while self-identified evangelicals represented 45 percent of the Republican ticket’s vote, some party leaders were saying they are the problem and should “ride in the back of the bus.” He vowed that on issue of abortion and man-woman marriage, social conservatives would not be silent, “not now, not ever.”

It’s not just Ted Cruz who mocks his fellow Republicans. Gary Bauer complained that the last two Republican nominees had a hard time talking about sanctity of life issues, and he said party officials in Washington spend too much time taking the advice of “cowardly pollsters and political consultants.”  Mike Huckabee complained that “Republicans have been, if not equal, sometimes more guilty than Democrats in thinking the brilliant thing to do would be to centralize more power in the hands of the central government.” He said he’s “sick of hearing” that people think the GOP needs to move away from a conservative message.

There was enough grumbling that when it was RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s turn to speak on Saturday, the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom official who introduced him felt a need to vouch for Priebus’s faith and commitment to conservative causes. He said angrily that it is “an absolute lie” that Priebus is not a social conservative and insisted that there is no division in the party.

Priebus started his remarks by establishing his religious credentials: “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart, and I’m for changing minds, not changing values.” He added, “I’m so grateful that we’ve got a party that prays, that we’ve got a party that puts God first, and I’m proud to be part of that.” He said he “gets it” that conservative Christians are a “blessing” to the party. He said the GOP needs to have a permanent ground game in place all across the country. 

Priebus defended his plan to shorten the presidential primary season and move the party convention from August to June from critics who call it an insider move against grassroots conservatives. It isn’t an establishment takeover, he insisted, but a way to prevent a replay of the 2012, when Romney went into the summer months broke after a long primary season but not yet able to tap general election funding.

Still, not all the conservative are convinced that national Republicans are with them.  Palin portrayed Republicans in Washington as being overly fond of government spending: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting atop a bloated boot on your neck, out of control government, everyone gets infected, no party is immune. That’s why, I tell ya, I’m listening to those independents, to those libertarians who are saying, you know, it is both sides of the aisle, the leadership, the good old boys….”

Phyllis Schlafly talked about having waged internal battles to make the GOP a solidly anti-abortion Party and encouraged activists not to be seduced by talk of a conservative third party but to work within the Republican Party to make sure the right people on the ballot. Norquist insisted that activists had helped brand the GOP as the party that will not raise your taxes, and he said Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases damage the brand for everyone else. They are, he said, “rat heads in coca-cola.”

Message Envy

It might surprise many progressives, who have spent years bemoaning the effectiveness of Republicans’ emotion-laden rhetoric, that speaker after speaker complained that Democrats are so much better than Republicans at messaging.  Of course complaining about messaging is easier than admitting that there may be something about your policies that voters don’t like.

At a panel on messaging strategies, author Diane Medved said that when defending traditional marriage, she would love to say “what is it about ‘abomination’ that you don’t understand?” But she knows that won’t reach people who don’t already agree with her. She argued that conservatives should marshal the “science” that supports their positions.  She also tried out a new messaging strategy, saying that opposition to marriage equality is a feminist issue because it is empowering to women to affirm that they are different than men. “Women deserve to have credit for being who they are as a separate gender and they are not interchangeable with men.”

Ryan Anderson, co-author of a book on marriage with Robert George, the intellectual godfather of the anti-marriage-equality movement, took issue with the name of the panel, which was “Don’t Preach to the Choir.” Anderson said the choir needs to be preached to, because too many Christians are giving up on marriage. There is no such thing as parenting, he insisted, there is mothering and fathering. Anderson said that anti-marriage equality forces have only been fighting for five years, while proponents have been fighting for 20 to 30 years. “It’s not that our argument for marriage has been heard and been rejected,” he said. “It’s that it hasn’t been heard at all.”  Anderson promoted the widely discredited Regnerus study on family structures as evidence that science is on his side.

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, encouraged activists to be careful with their rhetoric. “I don’t believe that there are very many, if any, people in this movement, certainly not in public life, who have any ill will toward the same-sex community, at all. But sometimes we say things that make it sound like we do.” If Teetsel really believes that, he needs to spend some more time actually listening to conservative religious leaders, pundits and politicians who regularly charge that gay-rights advocates are Satan-inspired sexual predators who are out to destroy faith and freedom if not western civilization itself.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy or Arguing as a Lover with Stupid Liberals

Anyone who pays attention to religious right groups has been seeing the word “winsome” a lot. Conservative evangelical leaders are well aware of polling data that shows young Christians are turned off by the anti-gay bigotry they see in the church.  So there’s a push on for everyone to make conservative arguments in a “winsome” way, to be “happy warriors” like Ronald Reagan, to be cheerful when arguing with liberals. Being cheerful was a big theme at Road to Majority. Said Rick Perry, “when we fight for our county, we need to do it with joy.” 

The Manhattan Declaration's Teetsel took this theme to new heights in the messaging panel in which he called for “arguing as a lover” when “trying to woo people over to our side”: be respectful, self-effacing, funny, give people an opportunity to save face.  But he doesn’t seem to think much of his audience, saying America is no longer a society of ideas, and that in our celebrity-crazed culture it doesn’t make sense to appeal to 18th Century sources of authority like the Federalist Papers, which “are not considered authorities in my generation. People do not care what these men in wigs thought 300 years ago.”

“We serve a God who condescended to become a man in order to share his gospel. And I think that’s an example that we can learn from. Romans 12:16 advises us, do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. So we have to bite the bullet.  We have to recognize some of these facts and condescend to watching Glee from time to time so that we can talk to people about it.”

 

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/11/13

  • Today, Randall Terry and crew went to the US Capitol to "flog Rep. Peter King in effigy" in order to "to show support for whistleblower Edward Snowden."
  • Even without speaking, Glenn Beck can still wind up in tears.
  • Rick Santorum will receive the Vision America "Nation Hero of Faith Award" at a ceremony in September.
  • If E.W. Jackson becomes Lt. Governor, maybe he can hire a copy editor.
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer stretches to explain how the 4th Amendment is rooted in the Bible.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/28/13

  • Bob Vander Plaats is giddy about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s potential run for president.
  • Rick Santorum endorsed American Spectator editor Quin Hillyer’s campaign for Congress. 
  • The Creation Museum is introducing an exhibit on how stories about dragons prove that humans lived with dinosaurs. 
  • Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be keynoting Janet Porter’s latest fundraiser.
  • Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler is defending a pastor who was charged with covering up sexual abuse.
  • Townhall’s John Hawkins has come up with the “10 Musicians Who Should Be Blacklisted By Conservatives.”

Like Letting Serial Killers Teach Preschool: The Top 5 Religious Right Claims on the Consequences of Lifting the Gay Scouts Ban

As the Boy Scouts of America consider lifting a ban on openly gay scouts, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent claims from the Religious Right on what might happen if that shift were to occur.  Relying on outlandish predictions and harmful lies, right-wing personalities are linking gays in the Boy Scouts to everything from sexual abuse to North Korean nuclear threats.

Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s recent reporting on right-wing opposition to lifting the ban on gay members in the Boy Scouts:

5. Swanson: Allowing Gays in Boy Scouts Like Letting Serial Killers Teach Preschool (February 2013)

There was no way that Generations Radio hosts Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner were going to miss out on the debate over whether the Boy Scouts should allow openly gay members.  Allowing openly gay Boy Scout leaders, Swanson says, is no different than letting convicted child molesters or serial killers teach preschool. The Boy Scouts, Buehner warns, are not far from “opening a new summer camp called Camp Sandusky.”

4. Keyes: Gay Boy Scouts Will Force Other Scouts to be Gay (May 2013)

Former ambassador and perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes argues that if the Boy Scouts change the policy, then straight Boy Scouts will be forced to acquiesce to the “sexual advances” of their gay peers in order to avoid being “viciously accused of unrighteous bigotry.” Once they deny their faith and turn gay, Keyes warns, they will “slip into a whirlpool of compulsive sensual indulgence, moral guilt and spiritual confusion.”

3. Buster Wilson Claims Gays in the Boy Scouts Will Lead to Abuse, Death and the Destruction of America (January 2013)

Talk show host Buster Wilson, formerly of the American Family Association, claims that gay men sometimes have “as many as a hundred or more partners” and will put Boy Scouts in “compromising” situations. He even argues that a ban on gay scouts is a good thing because excluding them will prevent them from being bullied and contemplating suicide.  Wilson warns that if the U.S. continues to “succumb to the pressure of political correctness from the forces on the side of the homosexual agenda,” then God may “rain down destruction” on America as he did to Sodom.

2. Santorum: Dropping Gay Ban Will 'Murder' the Boy Scouts (February 2013)

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum warns that ending the Boy Scouts’ national ban on gay members could kill the group, and the group’s board would have “its fingerprints on the murder weapon.”

1. Southern Baptist Leader Fred Luter Links North Korean Threats to Gay Marriage, Boy Scouts (March 2013)

Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention: “I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying.”

Janet Mefferd: Anti-Gay Activists Will Be Treated 'Kind of Like the Jews in Nazi Germany'

This week, a Michigan high school canceled a planned speech by Rick Santorum after Santorum refused to provide school district officials with an advance copy of his remarks. But Religious Right activists think there is another explanation for the cancellation. Fox News commentator Todd Starnes reports that he spoke to a conservative youth group spokesman who said that Santorum’s speech was cancelled because of his well-known anti-gay remarks. In the past, Santorum has likened same-sex unions to “man on dog” and “man on child” marriages.

Talk show host Janet Mefferd posted a link to Starnes’ article on her Facebook page today, noting that she can soon see the “day when every Christian who supports real marriage might be made to wear a yellow patch on the sleeve, a ‘badge of shame’ to identify us as ‘anti-gay haters.’ Kind of like the Jews in Nazi Germany.”

The comparison of anti-gay activists to the Jews who suffered and died under the genocidal Nazi regime is deeply offensive and absurd on its face. And Mefferd should also remember that homosexuals in Nazi Germany were forced to wear pink triangle badges and were sent to concentration camps.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/9/13

  • Rick Santorum says "it would be suicidal" for the Republican Party to accept marriage equality.
  • Melissa Harris-Perry responds to the right-wing freakout over her MSNBC promo.
  • Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, responds to news that Sen. Bob Casey Jr. now supports gay marriage by saying that "if Bob Casey, Sr. was still alive, he would be extremely disappointed in his son."
  • Judging by the fact that its website is now defunct, we are guessing that the Newt Gingrich-founded and Jim Garlow-led Renewing American Leadership effort is no more.
  • Glenn Beck calls the Obamas the "most ostentatious family I've ever seen in my life."

Santorum: Save The American Dream by Opposing Gay Rights, Starbucks

Rick Santorum’s group Patriot Voices is out with a new contest focused on saving the American dream before President Obama destroys it. During an appearance on Patriot Voices Radio last month, Santorum declared that it is necessary to protect the American dream from companies like Starbucks that support gay rights.

Starbucks is the focus of a boycott campaign backed by groups like the National Organization for Marriage, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council over the company’s endorsement of Washington state’s marriage equality.

At a recent shareholders meeting, CEO Howard Schultz rebuffed an effort from the head of the Corporate Morality Action Center to drop the company’s pro-gay rights stance, which he said led to “disappointing” sales. Schultz refused, saying “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company.”

Naturally, Santorum is outraged that Starbucks has “taken a very aggressive stance against natural marriage and for changing the definition of marriage” and claimed Schultz said “if you are a shareholder of Starbucks and you support traditional marriage then sell your shares, we don’t want you as a shareholder.”

Santorum suggested that both the company’s support for marriage equality and the customers who patronize the chain are endangering American values and urged listeners to boycott: “So are you going to live out your life and say we’re going to support institutions, we’re going to support businesses, we’re going to support colleges and universities, we’re going to support media that are out there fighting against the values that we know are important to this country or are we going to live our lives consistent with that.”

“So when I say, what are you doing to support the American dream?” Santorum asked, “Are you going to live it or are you just going to say well I support this and then go out and do things that actually support organizations and things that undermine the causes of our country?”

What we ask people is: how do you see the American dream today and what are you going to do to make it happen? For example, I just passed a Starbucks on the way in and I don’t know if you saw this this past week but the CEO of Starbucks was asked a question by one of the shareholders at the shareholder meeting, you know they’ve taken a very aggressive stance against natural marriage and for changing the definition of marriage and they made the point that: hey look this is hurting your company, it’s hurting our sales because people are not buying Starbucks anymore. He made this bombastic statement, he said: if you are a shareholder of Starbucks and you support traditional marriage then sell your shares, we don’t want you as a shareholder. Unbelievable.

Now, a lot of Americans will say well that’s too bad, but are you going to live out what you believe? Do you believe that this is a good for society? Do you believe that this something we should stand behind? The left does and they live it in their lives every day. So are you going to live out your life and say we’re going to support institutions, we’re going to support businesses, we’re going to support colleges and universities, we’re going to support media that are out there fighting against the values that we know are important to this country or are we going to live our lives consistent with that.

So when I say, what are you doing to support the American dream? It’s not just, what are you doing to support your dream; what are you going to do to support the basic concepts and values of this country and are you going to do it in every aspect of your life, are you going to live it or are you just going to say well I support this and then go out and do things that actually support organizations and things that undermine the causes of our country? That’s the difference I think between a group of people who believe that the country is—well I hear this all the time, you know America is in trouble but we’ll be OK and everything will be fine—and the bottom line is it won’t be fine unless we make it fine, unless we actually stand up and have the same revolutionary zeal, if you will, as the left is in trying to change America. We have to have the same kind of intensity if we want to keep the values and virtues of our country solid.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/5/13

  • Rick Santorum is considering another run for president in 2016 because, if recent history has demonstrated anything, it is that GOP presidential candidates who can't even win the nomination the first time have a really good track record of winning the next time around.
  • Did you miss NOM's sparsely-attended anti-marriage rally outside the Supreme Court?  Now you can watch all the boring speakers.
  • Michael Brown explains that "there is no such thing as an unrepentant, born-again Christian prostitute."
  • Edward Hudgins of The Atlas Society says the GOP should take up all the Religious Right leaders who are threatening to leave the party on their offer and show them the door.
  • Finally, Tony Perkins for Senate?

Santorum: Obama Pushing 'Godlessness' on America

Rick Santorum and James Dobson are back together again, this time promoting Dobson’s “dystopian thriller” on Patriot Voices Radio, which is Santorum’s new radio show. The former presidential candidate said that the Obama administration is pushing “godlessness” and is “overtly hostile to people of faith,” to which Dobson agreed and predicted the creation of euthanasia clinics in the future that result from a dramatic decline in the birth rate.

Later, Dobson lamented that he has “never seen a time when there was less common sense in government than appears to be there now” and that Santorum was the only candidate who had “the guts to talk about the family” during the campaign.

Santorum: Can you play this all out, you do it in the trilogy here, can you play this all out, you end up with the godlessness and that’s really what we’re seeing this administration now doing, something that is historic in America. I have never seen anything that is so insidious as the government regulations and the court cases that this administration is bringing, they are overtly hostile to people of faith.

Dobson: You’re absolutely right about that and I should’ve mentioned that my co-author in this book is Kurt Bruner who was the vice president of Focus on the Family for many years and he’s a young, brilliant writer and he and I are working together on this. As we pointed out one of the implications of these changes demographically is a changing view of morality. Views of infanticide will change and of suicide and of euthanasia and of abortion, all those things will change because as the population struggles to bring children into the world then there will be, we predict or project, that as there are abortion clinics all over the country, and we’ve got one two blocks from my house which I have to drive by every day, there will also be euthanasia clinics where people can do ‘the loving thing.’



Dobson: I don’t want to be pessimistic about everything and I do see a lot of pessimism but what I’m seeing now is disturbing. I’ve never seen a time when there was less common sense in government than appears to be there now. This is why, I don’t want to be self-serving to you or serving to you, but I supported you for president because you were the only person that had the guts to talk about the family and to talk about its implications and why it was important and why the government had to take a stand for families and make it possible for them to survive. Man I wish you had an opportunity to continue to do that and that’s why I joined you today.

Geller Out, But Anti-Muslim Voices Remain at CPAC

Pamela Geller will not be welcomed back to CPAC this year, representing yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement.

During her panel last year, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force bragged that he was “proud” that many of the attacks on mosques in the U.S. have occured in the South.

But while Geller might be absent this year, CPAC still is hosting a number of anti-Muslim speakers:

1. Allen West.

Former congressman Allen West became a hero of the Radical Right through his inflammatory remarks about Islam, including his claim that the “enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion,” and that the Quran commands people to become terrorists. West has worked with Geller before (even writing a column for her blog) and told one of her conferences that “the nation goes to war against an ideology and we’ve been talking about the fact that we are against something that is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology and it is called Islam.” He also said that “satellite organizations that come from the Muslim Brotherhood” are growing throughout the US.

2. Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton has been on a mission to “expose” how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department are all working together with radical Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood. In a recent interview with End Times radio host Rick Wiles, he argued that the State Department is recruiting people directly from “the jihadist movement here in the United States” and “terrorist front organizations,” adding that the majority of Muslim-American groups are “all fronts for these terrorist front groups.”

Fitton also told Wiles that he agreed with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim government witch hunt as “perfectly legitimate” and said that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin may be connected to people who are security threats.

3. Newt Gingrich.

Former Speaker Gingrich praised the anti-Muslim witch hunt spearheaded by Bachmann and four of her fellow Republican colleagues, calling the group of congressmen the “National Security Five.” He consistently attacked the Muslim community during his presidential campaign and claimed that Muslims in the US are trying to impose Sharia law. He even argued that the US should respond to Saudi Arabia’s ban on churches by banning the Park 51 Islamic Community Center in New York, and said that the government should treat Muslims like Nazis. Gingrich has also warned that America’s “elite favors radical Islam” and that the media is covering up stories about “Obama’s Muslim friends.”

4. Rick Santorum.

While running for president, former U.S. Senator Santorum claimed that equality is incompatible with the Islamic faith and that Muslims should face profiling by law enforcement. He also raised doubts about Obama’s Christian faith and a top aide accused the President of supporting “radical Islamic policies.” Following the campaign, he became a columnist for the anti-Muslim conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. Before running for president, Santorum told a conference hosted by Islamophobic activist David Horowtiz that America is engaged in a “long war” with “Islamo-fascism” and that it must be “eradicated.”

5. Ted Cruz.

Sen. Cruz has claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the U.S. and attacked President Obama for allegedly being “utterly unable to utter the words radical Islamic terrorist.” Cruz especially stoked anti-Muslim attitudes during the confirmation hearing of defense secretary Chuck Hagel, maintaining that the former Republican senator may be a pawn of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Religious Right's Last Stand to Block Chuck Hagel

While it is becoming extremely unlikely that the GOP will be able to muster enough votes to filibuster Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary, Religious Right groups and their Republican allies continue to make new and more over-the-top overtures to activists hoping to block his confirmation.

For example, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that “we can’t afford to allow someone who has been that cozy with the terrorist groups that are out there to become Secretary of Defense.”

Inhofe went on to say that Hagel wants to “disarm us” and shows “hostility” toward the U.S. and Israel. Inhofe also cited Sen. Ted Cruz’s questioning of Hagel where he egregiously misrepresented the nominee’s speeches and interview with Al-Jazeera.

Inhofe: That is what is so scary about this; we’d be confirming a secretary of defense—

Perkins: That wants to basically disarm.

Inhofe: Who wants to disarm us. Before I run out of time, Cruz came up with something just great, he’s a new senator from Texas and he’s on my committee, the Armed Services committee, and he came out and he actually used…a spot that came from Al-Jazeera, this was Chuck Hagel being interviewed on Al-Jazeera a short time ago when he agreed with the call-ins at that time that Israel committed war crimes; Hagel admitted that Israel committed ‘sickening slaughters’; admitted that America is the world’s bully. And this is the guy that is trying to become the secretary of defense; it’s a scary, scary thing.

Perkins: Senator before I let you go, just one question: do you know why he seems to be so indifferent if not hostile toward Israel?

Inhofe: And the United States, Tony. I just don’t understand it. Of course, he denies that he is and you know the record confirms that he has this hostility to it. By the way, almost every group in Israel is lobbying us and calling us and saying, ‘please don’t let this happen.’ They’ve been just as concerned about Obama, this is the first time that any President of the United States has trashed Israel in my memory. So I can’t answer that question.

Matthew Hagee, the son of televangelist John Hagee who has been lobbying with Christians United for Israel against Hagel and called him “dangerous to America’s security,” said on the Hagee Hotline that Hagel’s contentious confirmation hearing was an answer to their prayers.

At the end of the day, Pastor Hagee and those 400 [pastors] who joined him were very confident that what they had done was all that was in their physical power to do to not only represent their views as Americans but the views of the body of Christ and the kingdom of God and to stand up on behalf of God’s chosen people, Israel. All that was left to do was to remain in prayer and to be hopeful that the actions that they had taken would make a difference. If you saw any of the headlines following the Senate committee’s interview of Chuck Hagel, you know that a difference was made. You saw that the Senate firsthand was able to expose Hagel’s weaknesses and you saw the difference that the prayer of the righteous and faith in action can make.

Just today the Family Research Council asked activists to pray for Hagel’s defeat and FRC senior fellow Ken Blackwell said Hagel’s nomination invites “chaos and confusion at a time of international peril.” Eagle Forum told members in an action alert that “Chuck Hagel is a threat to America’s strength and safety” and Rick Santorum claimed “his confirmation would be a direct threat to our national security.”

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer also weighed in, saying that Iran “loves” Hagel because he wants to “disarm” the U.S.

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