Rick Santorum

The Ten Most Absurd Stories at Rick Santorum's New Home, WorldNetDaily

Angling for another presidential run in 2016, Rick Santorum’s decision to join WorldNetDaily, the organization best known for promoting birther conspiracy theories, may not be the worst idea as birthers were projected to be a majority of Republican voters.

Finding the ten most absurd stories at a website which publishes multiple outlandish articles each and every day is a Herculean task, but here is a good start:

1. The Bible Code Forecasts a Romney Victory

WND’s “award-winning” executive news director Joe Kovacs just before the election wrote an article based on a YouTube video he saw about how the “Bible Code” prophesizes “bad news for Barack Obama” as apparently the “hidden texts in the Holy Bible indicate Mitt Romney will be America’s next president.” Not only would Romney win, but the Bible Code even predicted Romney will be a “fitting president” who has God’s favor.

2. Romney Can Still Win Despite Election Defeat

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips also works as a WND columnist, where he has argued that if enough states boycott the Electoral College, then the House of Representatives will get to pick the President and give Romney one last shot. “That is how we can still pull this election out and make Mitt Romney president in January,” he writes. “We need this concept shared with every tea party, liberty and patriotic group throughout the country.” Of course his proposal is completely without merit, but that didn’t stop at least one Republican state legislator from hopping on board.

3. Obama Building ‘FEMA Concentration Camps’

WND commentator and Faith 2 Action president Janet Porter wondered if President Obama was using the fears about the Swine flu to “round up American citizens” and put them into “FEMA concentration camps.” Porter has also used her WND column to push fears that Obama would enact “jail sentences for those who seek treatment outside the socialized health care system” and create a massive “food shortage” so opponents will be “starved to death.”

4. Obama Plans Negotiations with Osama Bin Laden

Porter in WND predicted that Obama bin Laden will be overjoyed by Obama’s election as President and will even be able to meet with him personally. Like most other predictions in WND, this one turned out to be false.

5. Obama is a Gay, Secret Muslim, Foreign-Born Imposter

The group’s most well-known “reporter,” Jerome Corsi, believes that President Obama wears a Muslim ring (confusing a loop-like pattern with Arabic), was married to his male Muslim roommate, orchestrated the murder of his gay ex-loverswas born somewhere outside the United States and his father may be Frank Marshall Davis.

6. Gays Behind the Holocaust and Preparing to Lead the Next One

WND columnist Scott Lively, who is best known for his work in shaping Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, is the author of the book, The Pink Swastika, about how gays were behind Nazism and the Holocaust in order to have “vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan homo-occultism to obscurity and ignominy.” WND Super Store sells his bizarre book and WND editor Joseph Farah eagerly endorsed Lively’s claim while warning that the gay rights movement may bring Nazism to America. Another WND columnist, Erik Rush, even maintained that gays are planning a Holocaust against Christians, and WND commentator Judith Reisman argued that gay-straight alliances are modeled after the Hitler Youth. WND’s Molotov Mitchell has also praised Uganda for making homosexuality a capital offense because the founders would’ve agreed.

7. Obama is Orchestrating the Next Holocaust

If gay people don’t do it first, then President Obama must be the one behind the next holocaust. Farah claimed that he discovered proof that Obama wants a new Holocaust in a speech he delivered at Buchenwald where he used the line, “We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished.” Farah admitted that he is taking the line, which was about the need to combat Holocaust denialism, out of context. But since Obama has a tendency of “speaking in code” to Muslim audiences, Farah explained, then he must be sending a secret message to Muslims to kill Jews: “So, I ask you, am I really taking Obama’s words at Buchenwald out of context? Or am I the only one seeing them in context?

8. Secession Now

WND is extremely sympathetic to the secessionist movement, they only differ on the reasons. Farah believes that America may be forced to “literally…break-up” the nation if states continue to legalize same-sex marriage and WND columnist Vox Day called for a white supremacist secession movement to repel the “African, Asian and Aztec cultures” and “immigrants from various non-European nations.” Mitchell even released a video criticizing Abraham Lincoln for his stance against secession.

9. Norway Terrorist Attacks a ‘Fabrication’ by the Victims

After far-right activist Anders Breivik targeted the left-wing Labour Party’s youth group and the Norwegian government in deadly terrorist attacks, naturally, WND suggested that the attack was a “cover-up” and a “fabrication of the Labour Party,” blaming the left’s policies for apparently encouraging Breivik’s radicalism. WND also is the home of Pamela Geller, who said that Muslims were behind the attacks and tried to justify Breivik’s actions.

10. Soy Turns Kids Gay

Yes, WND ran a six part series about how soy in children’s formula leads to “sexual confusion and homosexuality.” We only hope that WND commentator Victoria Jackson writes a column about her new idea that genetically modified food is “making more men gay these days.”

BONUS: Just today, Kovacs wondered if the Obama administration will construct the Death Star.

Beck: UN Convention on Rights of the Disabled Sounds Like Something 'Fascistic From the Nazi Days'

As Brian noted last week, the Religious Right is in the middle of making a full-court press on the Senate in an effort to prevent ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by doing what they always do:  lying about what the convention says and means.

Today, Rick Santorum, who has been leading the fight against ratification, appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program when Beck ominously cited language from the convention proclaiming that "children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth" to suggest that something "really Orwellian or, quite honestly, fascistic from the Nazi days" was going on; an assessment with which Santorum heartily agreed:

The most amazing thing about this, and the subsequent discussion in which Beck and his co-hosts wildly speculated about what this and other provisions within the convention "really" mean, is the extent to which their complete ignorance about the actual meaning and intent of such provisions in no way hinders their willingness to boldly make declarations about them. 

Article 18, Section 2 of the Convention the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that "children with disabilities shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents."  

While Beck and his cronies were busy laughing about the aburd assertion that children have a right to a name and to acquire a nationality, a bit of research would have taught them that such language is rooted in Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entered into force in 1976: 

1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.

2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.

3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.

The main purpose of such rights is to "reduce the danger of abduction, sale of or traffic in children" and "ensure that every child has a nationality when born." 

And here is a news flash for Beck, who seems to thinks that there is something sinister about having the US ratify a document containing such language: as noted above, the provision that every child shall be registered upon birth was first set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ... which the United States ratified in 1992.

So the United States has already ratified a UN convention containing the very language that Beck is now warning is "fascistic" and Naziesque.

WND Columnist Floats Whites-Only Secessionist Movement

Yesterday, WorldNetDaily announced that Rick Santorum will become a regular commentator for the conspiratorial “news” site. And now, the former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate will get to share space with other commentators like Vox Day, who today uses his column to call for a new secessionist political party to resist the growing numbers of racial minorities.

Day was writing about British Prime Minister David Cameron’s resistance to attempts by the Scottish National Party (SNP) for Scotland to leave the UK and a campaign by the UK Independence Party (UKIP) for the country to exit the European Union. He writes that the SNP and UKIP can serve as a model for “white Americans who still hold to traditional values” to start a new country and leave the U.S. He claims that whites have every reason to secede as the “English people and the Scottish people have far more in common than Americans do with the tens of millions of post-1965 immigrants from various non-European nations around the world,” whom he says are ruining America.

There can be little doubt that Cameron’s opinion of UKIP is but a pale shadow of the U.S. bifactional ruling party’s hatred and contempt for white Americans who still hold to traditional values, believe in their constitutional liberties and derive their sense of identity from historical America. They mock the secessionist petitioners in Texas and other states, celebrate the infestation of even the smallest American heartland towns by African, Asian and Aztec cultures, and engage in ruthless doublethink as they worship at the altar of a false and entirely nonexistent equality.

And yet, they are afraid and they threaten every American who dares to think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable. Why? Because they know time, history and socionomics are not on their side.

Is the secession of several American states truly unthinkable? Is the breakup of the United States of America really outside the boundaries of historically reasonable possibility?

Some would point to the amount of time that has passed since the Civil War, when the question was last considered. It has been 147 years since Americans attempted to exert their right to self-determination and leave the United States. However, it has been 305 years since the Scottish Parliament passed the Union with England Act in 1707, and even if Scotland does not vote to break up the Union in the referendum tentatively scheduled for 2014, the fact that the Scottish people are seriously considering an exit from a Union that is twice as old as the forcible one imposed by Abraham Lincoln should suffice to prove that the age of the U.S. does not render a potential breakup theoretically or practically impossible.

This is especially true given that the English people and the Scottish people have far more in common than Americans do with the tens of millions of post-1965 immigrants from various non-European nations around the world, or their urban enablers. The fact that the future citizens of Aztlán are presently content to continue collecting tribute in the form of state and federal largesse does not mean that they will refrain from exerting the political muscle that their growing demographic weight provides them once the contracting economy brings the gravy train to an end.

It also seems unlikely that the millions of Americans who have moved away from declining school systems, who have retreated from an increasingly vibrant communities, and who have fled from high-tax jurisdictions will continue to retreat as the people who destroyed their schools, their communities and their state budgets attempt to follow them.

They will not because they cannot. The frontiers are closed. There is nowhere else to go.

Religious Right Groups Work to Defeat Treaty on Rights of People with Disabilities, Falsely Claim it Sanctions Abortion

Conservative organizations have come out strongly against the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities, with Rick Santorum leading the charge. The groups are upset about the treaty ensuring that people with disabilities have equal rights because they claim it is “pro-abortion.”

Article 25 of the Treaty reads in part: 

States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. In particular, States Parties shall:

(a) Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes;

Anti-choice activists are angry about the inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” in the nondiscrimination clause, according to LifeNews:

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, has previously noted the pro-life concerns, saying abortion advocates put language in the treaty in Article 25 that requires signatories to ‘provide persons with disabilities… free or affordable health care including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.’” “Translation: the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense” he said. “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tried to neutralize the threat during the mark-up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Unfortunately, his amendment (which would have stopped the treaty from forcing abortion policy on countries that sign) was thwarted by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) after a debate.”

Several pro-life groups are on record opposing the treaty, including Eagle Forum, Family Research Council Action, CitizenLink, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, and others.

In addition, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) have also came out against ratification.

But Perkins’s claim that the treaty “could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled-at taxpayer expense” is simply false.

The State Department makes clear that the treaty “does not include abortion” and the phrase “reproductive health” in Article 25 “does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion.”

The Convention is firmly rooted in the principles of equality and non-discrimination. As the Chairperson and many other delegations, including the United States, have noted on countless occasions over the course of negotiations, the treaty reinforces existing rights and is aimed at assuring that persons with disabilities will be treated on an equal basis with others.

This approach was reflected in oral statements and in various places in the written travaux preparatoires, including in a footnote to the draft text of Article 25 that appeared in the report of the Seventh Ad Hoc Committee.

In this regard, the United States understands that the phrase "reproductive health" in Article 25(a) of the draft Convention does not include abortion, and its use in that Article does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion. We stated this understanding at the time of adoption of the Convention in the Ad Hoc Committee, and note that no other delegation suggested a different understanding of this term.

Even the National Right to Life Committee reported after the text was adopted that no delegate interpreted “reproductive health” to mean abortion and that “delegates from pro-life nations ultimately accepted this language.” “The committee responsible for enforcing compliance to this treaty would be going way beyond their mandate if they were to interpret the term ‘reproductive health’ to include abortion,” the NRLC said:

The legally undefined and controversial term "reproductive health" remains in the document despite the fact that the term has never appeared in any other UN treaty. However, all parties maintained that the term does not include abortion and that its inclusion in this treaty cannot be interpreted to create any new rights such as a right to abortion.

The final version of Article 25 (a) on health states that nations signing and ratifying the treaty shall: "Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health. . . . ."

Delegates from pro-life nations ultimately accepted this language because they were assured and became confident that it does not include abortion or create any new human rights such as a right to abortion.

For example, during the debate the Treaty Chairman, Ambassador McKay of New Zealand, stated repeatedly that the use of the term "reproductive health" in this treaty does not create any new human rights such as abortion. He even added a non-binding footnote to the record of negotiations, not the treaty itself, which he claimed would preclude any such misinterpretation of the term.

Numerous delegates from nations throughout the world including the European Union agreed with Chairman McKay that the term "reproductive health" does not include abortion. No delegate from any nation stated that it does.

In light of all these statements and the language of the treaty, the committee responsible for enforcing compliance to this treaty would be going way beyond their mandate if they were to interpret the term "reproductive health" to include abortion. It is crucial that they do not because nations that sign and ratify a treaty are required to change their laws in order to comply with the treaty.

But for the Religious Right, even definitive evidence that the treaty’s language does not refer to abortion doesn’t change their mind that the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities must be defeated.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/9/12

  • The Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, which is fighting a Massachusetts ballot measure that would allow terminally ill patients to self-administer life-ending drugs, has returned a $250,000 donation from the American Family Association because of the AFA's anti-gay bigotry.
  • Rick Santorum is campaigning against marriage equality in Washington state.
  • Hundreds of pastors recently gathered to pray over Todd Akin at a Restoration event in Missouri.
  • Randall Terry is out with a new website and video labeling Samuel L. Jackson an "Uncle Tom."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer says the Religious Right doesn't have to worry about Mitt Romney using the White House to spread Mormonism because Romney knows that he cannot risk alienating Christian conservatives.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/1/12

  • Rick Santorum is already dropping hints about possibly making another run for president in 2016.
  • Activists are launching a New Independent Christian Party that "intends to influence the outcome of American elections and uphold the Godly principles by which America was built and by which Christians believe, live and exist."
  • California has banned the use of "ex-gay" therapy for minors and Liberty Counsel is already threateing to sue.
  • William Gheen says President Obama is a tyrant and a dictator.
  • Matt Barber says Todd Akin "is a man of character, a true leader and true a statesman," mainly because Akin stood up for him when he was fired by AllState.
  • Finally, speaking of Akin, Gary Bauer announced that his Campaign for Working Families "would begin a six-figure independent expenditure to elect Todd Akin to the United States Senate."

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.

Santorum: 'We Will Never Have the Elite, Smart People on Our Side'

Rick Santorum tells the Values Voter Summit that the conservative movement will never have the media or the "elite, smart people" on its side, which is why it must rely on the church and the family:

Santorum: By 'Pursuit of Happiness,' The Founders Meant 'To Pursue God's Will'

Rick Santorum spoke at the iPledge Sunday prayer gathering where he explained to the audience that our Founding Fathers knew that our right came from God and that is why they explicitly protects our rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

But by "happiness," Santorum declared, the Founders didn't mean "enjoyment" but rather doing what God has commanded and serving His will: 

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RNC: Two Darlings of the Religious Right Take the Stage Tonight

Along with the parade of Republican officials and Tea Party favorites like Gov. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, two darlings of the Religious Right will be speaking tonight during the Republican National Convention:

Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia chaired the 2012 RNC platform committee, which a committee member described as “the most conservative platform in modern history.” McDonnell, known to many as Governor Ultrasound for his support of the “vaginal probe” law, is the most prominent graduate of Pat Robertson’s foray into higher education – Christian Broadcasting Network University, now called Regent.

As a student there, McDonnell authored a 93-page thesis – “The Republican Party's Vision for the Family” – which served as a blueprint for a Religious Right version of America. In it, he characterized “working women and feminists as 'detrimental' to the family” and argued that the government “should favor married couples over 'cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” McDonnell disavowed his thesis when he ran for governor, but the Washington Post noted that as a legislator he “pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out” in his thesis. Not surprisingly, Pat Robertson donated to McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign and hosted him on the 700 Club, referring to him as his “dear friend.” 

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, ran away with the hearts of Religious Right leaders during the GOP presidential primary. They rallied together to propel his campaign and then keep it afloat, and when he finally dropped out, they had one consistent piece of advice for Romney – be more like Santorum. Santorum, although Catholic, resonated with right-wing evangelicals like no other candidate. He spoke consistently and candidly about his faith and his extreme views on social issues, particularly his fervent opposition to reproductive rights and equality for gays and lesbians. However, the comments that won him favor among Religious Right audiences often got him in hot water with the broader electorate.
 
Santorum spoke to the Religious Right’s view that America, and its culture and people, are going down the tubes. He warned of “dire consequences” if the country strays from God’s “principles” and vowed to prosecute obscenity while decrying the Obama administration, which he said favors “pornographers over children and families.” He promised that he would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forcing gays and lesbians in the military back into the shadows, and urged public schools to challenge the theory of evolution. He argued that Americans should not “defy nature” by allowing gays and lesbians to marry and accused Planned Parenthood of targeting African-Americans for abortions as part of a racist, eugenic plot. Instead of Planned Parenthood, he expressed nostalgia for the days of illegal, back alley abortions.
 
The remark that summed up Santorum’s outlook was recorded in 2008 but only surfaced during the primary. Speaking at Ave Maria University in Florida, Santorum said that Satan was systematically destroying the country. He also managed to start an international row during the primary with his claim that 10% of deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia (which, he argued, is what Obamacare would lead us to).

 

Tony Perkins says there is a 'Clear Link' between the FRC Shooting and Obama Administration Policies

After trying to blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for the deplorable shooting that occurred at the Family Research Council’s office this week, FRC president Tony Perkins today also implicated the Obama administration in the shooting. While speaking with Rick Santorum today on Washington Watch Weekly about the Obama administration’s “attack on religious freedom,” Perkins said that what “we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council” is “clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom.” This shameful attempt to connect the Obama administration to the shooting is just the latest sign of the FRC’s attempt to exploit the tragedy for political purposes.

Listen:

Perkins: What I would call an attack on religious freedom is trickling down in our country. It’s not just isolated to the administration but it’s as if the President and his administration’s indifference towards religious freedom has really created an open season all across this country. In fact next week down in Tampa as the Republican National Committee begins its work on its platform we’ll be working with Liberty Institute and we’ll be releasing a study that shows this increased hostility towards religious freedom in this country and I believe Rick in large part it’s driven in large part by the policies of this administration.

Santorum: When you look at what happened with the whole Chick-fil-A incident and across the country you see government officials, mayors of large cities, wanting to use the power of the government to force, to drive out Dan Cathy and the folks at Chick-fil-A from their cities. This is really unprecedented and you’re right it creates an atmosphere that when the government now is saying you folks are so evil that we can deny you access to participate in business within our city it leads to a lot of things that are going to not just constrict religious liberty but I think threaten a lot of other areas of our lives.

Perkins: Well I think as we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council, clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom and groups like as I mentioned the Southern Poverty Law Center that recklessly throws around labels giving people like this gunman who came into our building a license to take innocent life.

 

Religious Right 'War' Room: This Weekend's Awakening Conference

The Freedom Federation – an anti-Obama amalgam of Religious Right groups, "apostolic" ministries, and the corporate-funded astroturf Americans for Prosperity – is holding its third annual Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Here’s how it describes the event:

Uniting our Voices Around Shared Values: Turning Voices into Votes

A war is raging against our shared values. Our faith and freedom are under attack. Silence in the face of this war is not an option. Decisive action is needed. Join with others who share the core values that make America a great nation. Take a stand for righteousness and justice and be part of a new revolution to take back America. The time has come to turn our voices into votes and to change the course of history.

Outreach to the Hispanic community is a major goal of this year’s Awakening and the theme of Friday’s opening night session.  That marks a continuation of the Freedom Federation’s efforts to re-brand the Religious Right as a multiracial and multigenerational movement, and to re-brand the culture war as a “social justice” movement. Last year’s gathering included a major effort to claim a religious grounding for the anti-tax, anti-government agenda of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party.

This year’s conference features Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who tries to sell the Religious Right’s culture war to Latinos while trying to get Religious Right leaders to make themselves more palatable to Latinos.  Rodriguez recently said that Latinos are here to “bring panic to the kingdom of darkness” and “make the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church, the most influential institution in America.”  He said God has sent illegal immigrants here to “redeem Christianity” in America.

Also scheduled to address this year’s conference is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a favorite of Tea Party and Religious Right leaders who describe him as the party’s Latino Ronald Reagan. Rubio is reportedly concocting a hollowed-out version of the DREAM Act that will try to help Romney and the GOP fix their well-earned image as hostile to the aspirations of millions of immigrants.

A new feature at this year’s Awakening is Patriot Camp on Saturday for kids ages 5-15.  Organizers promise that kids will learn about “the Christian principles on which America was founded,” which is important since, “As most Christians know, our true American heritage is not taught in schools, especially not in an objective manner.”

Notably for this Obama-bashing group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sending a video presentation; senior Likud official Moshe Ya'alon, Vice Premier, Minister of Strategic Affairs, is also listed as a speaker.  Also on the list, some of whom might appear by video: Former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, and Reps. John Mica and Allen West. West has been warming up for the conference by announcing, McCarthy-style, that dozens of progressive members of the House of Representatives are communists.

The list of speakers is a Who’s Who of the Religious Right and conservative legal movements, including characters like spiritual warrior Lou Engle and Cindy “God kills birds when America supports gays” Jacobs, who once haunted the fringes of the far right but have since been welcomed into a movement seeking to build the broadest political base possible.  Among them:

  • John Stemberger: head of the Florida Family Policy Council who chaired the 2008 campaign that outlawed marriage equality in Florida. Awakening organizers say he has “a unique understanding" of law and government. You could say that: He has argued that only Christians are capable of creating a free society. As a lawyer he once sued a rental car company when an Irish customer was involved in a fatal crash; he argued that the company should have known that an Irish customer “would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.” (He later apologized.) 
  • Rick Scarborough:birther, self-proclaimed “Christocrat,” and Rick Perry backer who said last year that he refused to endorse Romney in the primary because he is a Mormon. At the 2010 Awakening, Scarborough called Obama a “Marxist president.” Scarborough stated a few months ago that AIDS is God’s judgment for engaging in an immoral act. 
  • Frank Gaffney: his infamous anti-Muslim bigotry, including charges that fellow conservatives are Islamist sympathizers, is so virulent that he was denounced by the American Conservative Union.  
  • Harry Jacksonpoint man for the Religious Right’s anti-gay racial wedge strategies, defender of the National Organization for Marriage’s cynical racial wedge politics, and all-around right-wing activist, who recently called for believers to form a “fifth column” to undermine America’s secularist culture from within.  
  • Rick Joyner:  a dominionist and self-proclaimed prophet who recently warned people to get out of California because God is going to punish America for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel,  Joyner heads the Oak Initiative.
  • Richard Land:  the primary political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, Land supports the criminalization of homosexuality and recently told NPR that “The Bible tells us that socialism and neo-socialism never worked. Confiscatory tax rates never work.” Land was recently pushed into apologizing both for racially inflammatory remarks about the Trayvon Martin case and for having plagiarized them from right-wing columnists. 
  • Janet (Folger) Porter: an anti-abortion activist who famously brought fetuses to “testify” for Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” declared during the 2008 GOP primary that God had chosen Mike Huckabee to lead the nation. Her radio show was dropped by a Christian radio network unhappy with her political embrace of Christian dominionists. 
  • Mat Staver: heads Liberty Counsel, recently called the “homosexual agenda” a “moral iceberg” that threatens religious freedom.  At the 2010 Awakening, Staver agreed with a questioner that the health care reform law had a provision that gave Obama the power to create an army of brownshirts that could take control of communities. 

Should be more fun than Disney World.  Watch for updates.

The Religious Right's Message to Romney: Be More Like Santorum

When Rick Santorum ended his presidential campaign last week, his Religious Right supporters were heartbroken ... and now they seem to have moved on to a new strategy of pressuring Mitt Romney to adopt Santorum's campaign message is he wants to win their support:

Of course, if Santorum's message had been so energizing and effective, he probably would not have been forced to end his bid because his campaign "basically raised almost no money" toward the end.

Rick Santorum thanks the Family Research Council after Ending Presidential Bid

Yesterday Rick Santorum dropped by a clearly distraught Tony Perkins’ radio show, where the far-right Family Research Council president lavished praise on the former senator and presidential candidate. Perkins in an earlier interview with MSNBC declined an opportunity to endorse Romney, criticizing his record on social issues and stressing that the group will be more involved with congressional races after Santorum dropped out. While Perkins did not endorse Santorum, it was obvious that he supported his candidacy and even took him to his home church where pastor Dennis Terry railed against liberals, non-Christians and gays.

Today on Washington Watch Weekly, Santorum again spoke to Perkins and said that the FRC’s message “was one that was very much consonant with mine,” and Perkins said that he and Santorum “were just harmonizing” as his policy views were “better than any candidate that we have seen do.”

Santorum: Thank you Tony and just let me say for all your listeners, thank you for your principled stance and going out there and supporting as a chorus the things that I was saying across this country and the things you’ve been saying for a long time, you were a great echo to us and really made a big difference. While as you know because of FRC not being able to endorse you guys didn’t do a formal endorsement but certainly your voice out there was one that was very much consonant with mine and was much, much appreciated.

Perkins: Senator, we were just harmonizing.

Santorum: There you go!

Perkins: Rick, it is the message. As I’ve said many times, FRC does not and did not endorse candidates, but we do endorse ideas and principles and those were the things that you were articulating better than any candidate that we have seen do, and we’re grateful for that.

Religious Right Reacts to Rick Santorum Exiting the Race

With Rick Santorum suspending his presidential campaign, far-right activists lauded Santorum for pushing his fellow Republicans to the right, particularly on social issues.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who did not officially endorse Santorum but clearly favored his candidacy, applauded Santorum’s “message of faith, family and freedom”:

"Rick Santorum's historic run for president achieved remarkable success because his campaign was based not on money spent but on the message of faith, family and freedom that he carried. I commend his courage, boldness and tenacity in fighting for the values that made America great, and are fundamental to returning America to greatness.

"Millions of voters flocked to Rick not because he was a Republican, but because he passionately articulated the connection between America 's financial greatness and its moral and cultural wholeness. He realizes that real problem-solving starts with an understanding that the economy and the family are indivisible.

"This values message generated enthusiasm and drew many new voters into the process. If the Republican establishment hopes to generate this same voter intensity in the fall elections, Santorum voters must see it demonstrate a genuine and solid commitment to the core values issues," concluded Perkins.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, who organized a bus tour on Santorum’s behalf, said:

“With great vision and passion, Rick Santorum reached the hearts of pro-life voters and allowed them to show the strength of their voting bloc,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “The Susan B. Anthony List is proud to have mobilized those key voters.”

“Pro-life voters are a consistent and growing constituency, who proved invaluable to Senator Santorum in state after state throughout the primary elections. We will continue to reach out and mobilize those voters and millions more like them across the country. The political muscle of the pro-life movement will be critical to defeating President Obama in November.” Others were more plain in their disappointment.

Right-wing radio host Steve Deace tweeted that it is “time for a slate of new blood after Obamney loses in November,” and anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera lamented that the Republican Party is “stuck” with the “pro-homosexual” Mitt Romney.

Conservative luminary Richard Viguerie, who yesterday made clear that he will never consider Romney a bona fide conservative, today urged Romney to pick a conservative running mate, but is disappointed in the current crop of potential candidates:

The demand that there must be some conservative vs. moderate balance on the Republican ticket is already starting to lead the media to engage in some comical contortions as various establishment commentators try to bend their favorite Republican elected official’s record and views to be conservative enough to place a Romney led ticket in the conservative camp if their favored candidate is picked.

The problem with this exercise is that by-and-large the names offered are either not movement conservatives or they are not yet power players in national politics with a strong movement conservative constituency of their own.

Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez and the rest of the names floated by the inside-the-Beltway pundits all have their good qualities – but none has established their conservative bona fides by being tested on the national scene and none brings a strong base in the conservative movement to add real grassroots conservative credibility to a Romney led ticket.

Viguerie also warned that Romney’s attacks on Santorum may hurt him with the conservative base:

To date Mitt Romney has spent some $100 million to drive the conservative candidates from the field, in some case through vicious personal attacks. However, he has spent little effort making the case for his own candidacy to grassroots movement conservatives.

The first great challenge facing Republicans is whether or not Mitt Romney can heal the wounds created by his negative campaigning.

The grassroots movement conservative voters who powered the Santorum campaign can not be taken for granted. During the 2006 congressional elections some 4 million conservative voters stayed home, producing one of the biggest defeats for the Republican Party in the modern era.

The next step is up to Mitt Romney. Romney is seriously behind with committed conservative voters, to catch up he must make the case that he merits the support of movement conservatives and that a Romney administration, if elected, can and will produce conservative government.

UPDATE: Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families and a prominent Santorum supporter said his candidacy “will contribute to the end of the Obama Administration this November,” and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention claimed Santorum successfully “resurrected himself once again as a major political figure in our nation” through his role “in the most important election in our nation since 1860.”

Another Santorum booster, Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance, urged Romney to “reach out to conservative women since they are the ones who get on the phones and do tons of volunteer work,” and on a similar note Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver, who backed Newt Gingrich, said Romney has “to make some intentional steps to reach out to evangelicals and religious conservatives,” adding that “it would be a mistake to assume he has every vote from evangelicals and religious conservatives locked up.”

However, Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, who signed a letter of far-right leaders who described a Romney nomination as a “disastrous mistake,” told CNN that he may not back Romney in the general election:

Evangelical activist Michael Farris was not exactly surprised that Rick Santorum suspended his campaign on Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean that Farris, a longtime political organizer, knows what he’s supposed to do now.

“Right now my choice is to sit on my hands and do nothing or to actively try to find some alternative” to Mitt Romney, Farris said in an interview shortly after Santorum's announcement.

“Some of us just have a hard time supporting a person who said he was going to be more liberal on gay rights than Ted Kennedy,” said Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, referring to remarks Romney made in a 1994 letter.

Farris’ reaction is a stark emblem of the disappointment among religious conservatives over Santorum's announcement, and a reminder that Romney’s enthusiasm deficit among the conservative evangelicals who form the GOP’s base hasn’t gone away.

Remembering Rick Santorum for President

With former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum suspending his campaign for president today, we decided to look back at some of our fondest memories of the Santorum campaign and the great material he provided us at Right Wing Watch over the years.

Like candidates before him from Gary Bauer to Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum was a candidate that not only directed his campaign to appeal to the Religious Right but was himself from the movement. But despite strong support from such voters in a divided field it was not enough for him to win.

One of Santorum’s greatest outbursts actually came well-before he entered the presidential race, while addressing students at Florida’s ultraconservative Ave Maria University he claimed that Satan is systematically attacking the U.S. by corrupting the culture, universities and mainline Protestants:

Santorum caused an international stir when he falsely maintained during a campaign event with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson that Dutch senior citizens live in fear of the country’s hospital system and that one in ten people in the Netherlands die as a result of euthanasia. He also spoke winsomely of a time when abortions were performed illegally “in the shadows.”

His opposition to abortion rights was a central part of his campaign, and he found it “almost remarkable for a black man” like President Obama to be pro-choice:

Towards the end of the campaign, Santorum decided to whip up excitement of his Religious Right base by appearing at a Louisiana megachurch, where the pastor, Dennis Terry, welcomed him with a sweltering speech telling non-Christians and liberals to “get out” of America, which Santorum applauded:

While we are sad to see Santorum go, at least Newt Gingrich is still staying in the race.

Romney and Santorum Rally with Corrupt Lobbyist Ralph Reed in Wisconsin

Tomorrow morning in Waukesha, WI, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, among others (Gov. Scott Walker is listed as an invited speaker), will rally with corrupt former lobbyist Ralph Reed and the state chapter of his Faith & Freedom Coalition, which Reed created to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his deep involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Here are the event details:
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off, sponsored by the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition, to be held at the Country Springs Hotel on Saturday, March 31st in Waukesha, WI.  Come hear from CONFIRMED speakers Governor Mitt Romney, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
 
When Romney and Santorum – the standard–bearers of the GOP – appear on stage tomorrow with Reed, they’ll be embracing a corrupt hustler who has survived scandal after scandal by delivering cash and foot soldiers to Republican leaders (and not for the first time).
 
It wasn’t long ago that Ralph Reed was damaged goods in Republican circles, and for good reason. Reed came to national prominence as the first executive director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, beginning in 1989. However, by 1997 the groups finances were collapsing, the FEC had found that the group violated federal campaign finance laws in 1990, 1992, and 1994, and federal prosecutors were investigating allegations of financial misconduct made by the organization’s CFO. So Reed resigned and moved to Georgia to become a lobbyist.
 
In 1999, Abramoff hired Reed and ultimately paid him $1.3 million to generate opposition to legalizing video poker and a state-sponsored lottery in Alabama. The money came from the Choctaw Tribe, which runs a casino in nearby Mississippi. Reed used his extensive Religious Right contacts and engaged James Dobson and the Alabama Christian Coalition, which had a policy against being the “recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” He funneled $850,000 to the group, but made sure to launder it through his longtime friend Grover Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform.
 
Before the wheels came off Jack Abramoff’s criminal lobbying enterprise, he described Reed to his business partner as “a bad version of us.” Abramoff, explaining the comment after being released from prison, said that Reed was “a tap dancer and constantly just asking for money.” And Abramoff knows more than a thing or two about Reed. He gave Reed his first job after college and, along with Norquist, formed what some called the “triumvirate” at the College Republican National Committee.
 
After the Abramoff scandal broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests,” but the Senate Indian Affairs Committee determined that Abramoff told Reed as early as 1999 that he was taking casino money. In an interview last year with Alan Colmes, Abramoff called Reed’s denial ridiculous:
Abramoff: It's ridiculous. I mean, even the tribes that had other business, 99% of their revenue came from gaming. But a lot of those tribes had nothing but gaming.
Colmes: So, in other words, Ralph Reed was saying "hey, I'll work with you but I don't want to be paid with gambling money, I'm too clean for that." But are you saying that conversation never happened?
Abramoff: No. Never happened. Ralph didn't want it out that he was getting gambling money and, frankly, that was his choice and I think it was a big mistake.
Reed went on to become the chair of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001 and ran for lieutenant governor in 2006. However, the Abramoff scandal had broken by then, and Reed “suffered an embarrassing defeat” in the primary. The New York Times described Reed as a “close associate of Jack Abramoff” whose “candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.”
 
In 2009, Reed founded the Faith & Freedom Coalition to help resurrect his image and stature in the movement. Faith & Freedom, which Reed described as a “21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids,” is really just a Tea Party-stained version of the original, and much smaller despite the steroids.
 
However, Reed is an operator in the truest sense, and knows how to “tap dance” and “constantly ask for money” with the best of them. He has apparently earned, and I do mean earned, his way back into the good graces of Republican leaders. It’s unclear, however, how long Reed can go without another scandal.

Jerry Boykin Explains why he Endorsed Rick Santorum

Back in January,  Rick Santorum received the endorsement from, and shared the stage with, Jerry Boykin, a vicious anti-Islam activist who believes that Muslims do not deserve First Amendment protections and should not be allowed to build mosques in America.  Boykin also a conspiracy theorist who believes that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations intentionally collapsed the US economy in order to help elect President Obama, who is using health care reform legislation to create an army of Brownshirt soldiers loyal only to him.

Speaking earlier this year at The Oak Initiative Summit, Boykin explained that our leaders need to know alot about the Bible and the Constitution and who are willing to defend the idea that "the Bible was the foundation for the writing of the Constitution" ... and that is why he endorsed Santorum: 

Illuminating Rick Santorum and the Religious Right’s Vision for America

Last weekend, People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch captured video of prominent Louisiana pastor Dennis Terry introducing Rick Santorum at an event with an incendiary sermon in which he insists that those who don’t believe that America is a Christian nation “get out” of the country.

The video quickly went viral, and Santorum was forced to distance himself slightly from Terry’s remarks, saying “I didn’t clap when he said that.”

As PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery wrote in a column for the Huffington Post, the incident illuminates the Religious Right worldview that Santorum and supporters like the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins – himself a parishioner of Terry’s – embrace:

While the media may understandably focus on Santorum's garbled economic message, his Sunday evening appearance is worth a longer look -- for what it tells us about Santorum and the Religious Right movement that is propelling his campaign.

The church at which Santorum appeared is Baton Rouge, La.'s Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, which Family Research Council President Tony Perkins describes as his home church. Perkins, in fact, was introduced at the event as a "dear friend" of Pastor Terry and as a church elder. Perkins, whose FRC has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for relentlessly promoting false and malicious propaganda about LGBT people, said of Greenwell Springs Baptist, "there is not a better church in the United States of America than right here." So in Perkins's mind, there is no better congregation than the one that applauded wildly at Pastor Terry's "Christian nation" assertions and his seeming suggestion that people who do not worship Jesus Christ should find some other country to live in.

Peter discussed his column and the Religious Right movement behind Santorum’s candidacy in an interview with TruthDig radio in Los Angeles yesterday. You can listen to the interview here.
 

PFAW

Santorum Says He Loses the Catholic Vote Because He Only Does 'Well among People who take their Faith Seriously'

Fox News contributor Sandy Rios yesterday launched her new show, Sandy Rios in the Morning on the American Family Association’s American Family Radio, and had as her first guest Rick Santorum. Rios, who last week railed against secular Jews as among “the worst enemies of the country,” asked Santorum, a Catholic, about his consistent struggle to win over Catholic voters. Santorum claimed that he performs better “with folks who do practice their religion more ardently” and only has problems with voters, Catholic and Protestant alike, who do not “take their faith seriously.”

Rios: You are doing very well among evangelicals, not so well among Catholics. I have my own theory about that, but I want to know what yours is this.

Santorum: I really wish I could tell you. I think the bottom line is that we do well among people who take their faith seriously, and as you know just like some Protestants, some Protestants are not church going, they are folks who identify with a particular religion but don’t necessarily practice that from the standpoint of going to church and the like, and I think, you know, with folks who do practice their religion more ardently I tend to do well.

Rios: I have to interrupt you, I totally agree. I think you take your faith seriously and for the serious believers, you’e the man.
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