Sam Brownback

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/9/15

  • Elliot Mincberg @ Salon: The right’s slimy new scheme: The made-up “religious freedom” protection designed to gut same-sex marriage.
  • Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Pastor Responds to Maher over Christian Persecution: Nazis Didn’t Burn the Jews Right Away.
  • Warren Throckmorton: Missouri Baptist Convention Grateful to Help Host David Barton; Christian Historians Disagree.
  • Tierney Sneed @ TPM: Louisiana GOPers In Fiscal Mess Beg Grover Norquist To Relax No Tax Pledge.
  • Todd Heywood @ PrideSource: Anti-Gay West Michigan 'Mechanic' To Host Townhall In Jenison Public School.
  • Mark Joseph Stern @ Slate: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Threatens to Defund Judiciary if It Rules Against Him.

The Anti-Equality Movement's Favorite Laughably Disingenuous Talking Point

Anyone who has paid any attention at all to the marriage equality debate has heard an equality opponent speak some version of this line: “All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose. But no one has the right to redefine marriage for the rest of us.”

There’s a reason for that. The National Organization for Marriage instructs its activists that it is the “most effective single sentence” the anti-marriage-equality movement has:

Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is the following: “Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.” This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage.

Not surprisingly, people like former NOM President Maggie Gallagher use that talking point. And even as the movement continues to lose public support and legal battles, they have maintained message discipline when it comes to using this sentence. You can find nearly endless examples of it with tiny variations, spanning more than a decade. Here are just a few examples:

  • Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson used the line in his speech at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference;
  • Kate Sweeney, assistant director of the Colorado-based Catholic women's group ENDOW, used it while opposing a state civil unions bill in 2013;

Of course, the line is not only ineffective, judging by the continued pro-equality swing in public attitudes, but it’s also ridiculously disingenuous coming from people who have tried so hard over the years to restrict the ability of LGBT people “to live as they choose,” as PFAW Senior Legislative Counsel Paul Gordon recently documented.

That includes DeMint, who believes gay people should not allowed to be teachers and slams the Supreme Court for overturning sodomy laws that made gay people criminals. And it certainly includes the Heritage Foundation, which slams landmark equality cases Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans as examples of unacceptable “judicial activism.”

Heritage, also the professional home of the fresh-faced hope of the marriage equality movement Ryan T. Anderson, opposes the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which would protect people from being fired for being gay, and fought federal hate crimes legislation. Of course, Anderson frequently uses the same poll-tested phrase, as he did in a 2013 briefing paper for Heritage on the perils of “redefining marriage.”

While it is increasingly true that LGBT Americans are “free to live as they choose,” that goal is far from being accomplished nationwide. And whatever progress has been made, it has been over the opposition of people who now smile into the camera and hope to hide their anti-gay agenda with a little deceptive messaging. 

Sam Brownback: Anti-Choice Laws A Boon For Kansas's Economy

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is facing a series of bad economic news as a result of his radical economic “experiment”: sluggish job growthan exploding deficitcredit rating downgrades, inadequate pension and education funding, just to name a few. In fact, budget pressures have become so severe that Brownback recently had to reverse his no-new-taxes pledge.

But none of this seems to have bothered Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who hailed Brownback’s experiment on last weekend’s edition of “Washington Watch,” telling the Republican governor that his anti-abortion rights policies deserve some credit in shaping the state’s (mythical) economic success.

Brownback agreed, telling Perkins that his decision to sign around a dozen “pro-life bills” is part of the reason that his state is growing.

“What you’re showing in Kansas is that you can have a pro-family agenda and at the same time a pro-economic growth agenda and the two are not — rather than being mutually exclusive, they are entwined with one another,” Perkins gushed.

“They really support each other,” Brownback concurred. “One of the problems we have in the country is we’re not forming enough families.”

Chuck Pierce's Prayer Effort Got Sam Brownback Re-Elected

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has had deep ties to the modern day "prophets" and "apostles" within the New Apostolic Reformation going back to his days in the United States Senate. So deep are Brownback's ties to NAR that he actually lived with NAR leader Lou Engle for several months and his ties to the movement even became an issue when he was first running for governor back in 2010.

As governor, Brownback has maintained his ties to NAR and its leaders and on a recent episode of "God Knows," the program hosted by "respected prophet" Cindy Jacobs and her husband Mike, top NAR leader Chuck Pierce revealed that it was the prayers of their movement that helped Brownback win re-election last year.

Without ever mentioning Brownback's name, Pierce and Jacobs discussed their "good friend who was running for governor ... in Kansas," and revealed that God had told Pierce to go to Kansas in order to pray for him and salvage his struggling campaign.

Pierce, the self-proclaimed prophetic apostle who claims his prayers are so powerful that they caused earthquakes and captured Saddam Hussein, said that this candidate had called him and after the call, God told Pierce that "if you'll go there and draw my people together in that state and worship ... I will shift the environment of that entire election."

Pierce then organized various prayer events in the state, several of which featured the participation of Brownback himself, and saved Brownback's campaign.

"As a matter of fact, it's called The Lazarus Election," Pierce said, "because there was no way, they had assumed that thing was dead. That night of worship, the prophetic that came down from Heaven shifted and turned around that whole situation into a triumph like never before":

More Governors Planning 'Response' Rallies To Stop God From Destroying America, Says Tamara Scott

Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right organizer and RNC committeewoman who was involved in organizing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally, said last week that a number of other Republican governors have committed to or are seriously considering holding similar rallies, which she hoped would save America from God’s destruction.

In an interview with “The View From a Pew” program, an Iowa-based webcast, Scott said that in addition to Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hosted a “The Response” event in 2011, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley “has agreed” to host a rally and organizers are trying to convince Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to do the same.

On her own program, “Tamara Scott Live,” earlier in the week, Scott said that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida had sent a staff member to the Jindal event to investigate the possibility of holding a “The Response” rally himself and that Jindal had approached Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to ask him to consider holding one as well. Scott also expressed her hope that Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas would consider hosting a rally.

Scott told the “View from a Pew” hosts that such events are needed to save American from destruction, paraphrasing the biblical book of Jeremiah: “If I build up your nation and you fall away, I’ll destroy you…If I’m going to destroy you and you repent, I will heal your land and rebuild you.”

“If our federal government is not smart enough to stick to the foundational principles of those who set this country on the great start that it had by calling on the name of Jesus — George Washington to all the men on Mount Rushmore — if they were not smart enough to understand, then our states can do it individually,” she said on the earlier program.

The Jindal rally’s organizers have hinted that other governors may be planning similar events, writing in a recent email, “There is a sense that God may be orchestrating similar days of prayer and fasting called by Governors around the nation over this next year.” Although the event’s main organizer, David Lane, has allied with a number of top Republican figures, he has yet to name names of governors he hopes to convince to host “The Response” replicas.

Jindal was forced multiple times to back away from the extremism of the organizers of his “The Response” rally, David Lane and the American Family Association. A prayer guide posted on the event’s website was removed after we reported that it blamed marriage equality and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Then the organizers tried to scrub the website of evidence of the participation of self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs after Rachel Maddow ran a segment highlighting her extremism. And a few days after the rally, AFA stripped its main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, of his title under apparent pressure from the Republican National Committee, which was about to send 60 of its members on a trip to Israel funded by the AFA and organized by Lane.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama 'Orchestrating' Ebola Epidemic, ISIS In Arkansas And Obama's Antichrist Secret

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Of course Republicans would never resort to using the Ebola outbreak in West Africa or violence committed by terrorist groups like ISIS to score political points against President Obama … they are just merely asking the question if Obama plans to put us into FEMA camps, let terrorists cross the border into the U.S. and infect everyone with Ebola.

5. Get Ready For FEMA Camps

Right-wing commentators seem pretty convinced that President Obama actually wants the Ebola outbreak to come to America, now they just need to ascribe to him motives to substantiate this latest fear.

Morgan Brittany, a conservative author and columnist for WorldNetDaily, offers her own view, arguing that Obama is “orchestrating” the Ebola outbreak “so martial law can be declared, guns can be seized and the populace can be controlled.” After all, Obama has purchased “$1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins” and set up “FEMA camps to house people in isolation,” all of which would be a shame to waste.

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly believes the president wants to spread Ebola inside the U.S. because he thinks America should be “just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.” Kieth Ablow of Fox News agrees, writing in a column yesterday that “the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations,” a claim which he says is based on his expert opinion “as a psychiatrist who has studied this president only from a distance.”

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, as usual, puts his own twist on things, suggesting this week that Obama wants to infect people with Ebola in order to “punish America for being racist.”

4. Liberals Are Out To Get Sam Brownback…Electorally, That Is

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is locked in a tight gubernatorial race this year despite running in one of the most Republican-leaning states in the nation, and while speaking with conservative reporter David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Brownback said he isn’t to blame for any of the state’s serious economic and budget troubles.

Brownback told Brody that he is the victim of a liberal-media plot to make the state’s economy look like it is in bad shape, insisting that progressives don’t realize that “tax policy takes some time to work.”

“I think they so desperately want what’s happening in this state to fail,” Brownback said. “The left is just so desperate to see — they want this model to fail so bad.”

He even seemed offended that Democrats would dare to field a candidate to run against him and condemn his economic policies: “They want to get me, electorally, before we get on through this and prove that this is working.”

Brody predictably agreed, suggesting that the media is exclusively covering “negative news coming out of the state economically” and is leading “an out-to-get-you campaign because you’re a conservative-type guy.”

3. Supreme Court Blues

Conservative legal activist Mat Staver has been on a media tour lambasting the Supreme Court for letting several lower court marriage equality decisions stand this week, a move that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in several states, including Virginia, where Staver works as dean of the Liberty University School of Law.

Staver has pulled no punches, comparing the decision to the Dred Scott case and insisting that it marks “the beginning of the end of western civilization,” adding that marriage equality will “make the economy poorer” and “make the society unstable.”

Staver even said the Supreme Court’s decision not to act on appeals from states seeking to keep marriage bans in place will lead to the proliferation of several different “kinds of serious and deadly disease.”

2. Drug Cartel Caliphate

Despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has said that there is no evidence of ISIS members trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border, GOP members of Congress beg to differ.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz said at least four terrorists have tried to cross into Texas, while his colleague Duncan Hunter put the figure at ten. Neither found the need to share any evidence to substantiate his claim..

Tom Cotton, the Arkansas congressman and U.S. Senate candidate, warned voters that ISIS and other groups are working with Mexico-based drug cartels to launch terrorist attacks in America as they “infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.”

The discredited claim seems to be a real winner for the GOP, as Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick, who is running for lieutenant governor, has even turned the issue into a campaign ad:

1. Obama Is The Antichrist, Again

Need more proof that Obama is the Antichrist? Well, Bible Code “expert” Jonathan Wright is here to help. Wright recently shared with End Times radio broadcaster Rick Wiles his findings that the Bible Code proves that Obama is either the Antichrist or an Antichrist-like figure.

He also found more evidence of Obama’s Antichrist nature: a Muslim wedding ring… which unfortunately for Wright doesn’t actually exist.

Brownback To Rally Christian 'Freedom Fighters' To 'Cause A Revolution' And Take Back America

Back when he served in Congress, Sam Brownback had close ties to a variety of fringe Religious Right activists, even living with prayer warrior Lou Engle for several months at one point.

Since becoming Governor of Kansas, Brownback has continued this practice, declaring statewide Days of Restoration and showing up at prayer rallies that were overflowing with modern day prophets and apostles. And the trend continues, as next month Brownback will speak at an Awakening Freedom Tour in Lenexa, Kansas that is designed to encourage right-wing Christians to get involved in the culture wars and "cause a revolution" by mobilizing "freedom fighters" who will "take this country back":

A Kansas-based ministry is hosting a series of events across the state focused on equipping Christian to get involved in a cultural battle.

Entitled the Awakening Freedom Tour, the first gathering will be held on Saturday, February 8, at Lenexa Baptist Church.

Donna Lippoldt, founder and director of Culture Shield Network – which is hosting the event – says the focus is to address the moral decline in the U.S. and confront the effort to remove God from the public dialogue.

Lippoldt, Donna“We need revival, we need a Great Awakening, but it is time to cause a revolution,” she says. “We need to get some freedom fighters up and going to take this country back.”

The inaugural event will feature speakers such as Neil Mammen, Governor Sam Brownback and Donna Lippoldt.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/22/13

Brownback Declares Saturday to be a 'Day of Restoration'

In August of last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry organized and hosted a large public prayer rally featuring a host of Religious Right activists along with various self-proclaimed "prophets" of the New Apostolic Reformation.  For the most part, other elected leaders stayed away from the event, with the notable exception of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who spoke and delivered a prayer from the stage.

It was no surprise that Brownback would have no qualms about sharing the stage with these sorts of modern-day prophets, as he had a long history of working closely them and speaking at their events back when he was serving in the US Senate and even lived with Lou Engle for several months. In fact, Brownback's close ties to Engle became a bit of an issue when he was running for Governor in 2010.

And just as it was no surprise that Brownback would appear at "The Response," it is also not surprising that he has now publicly endorsed a similar prayer event that is taking place in Topeka, Kansas this weekend called Reign Down, organized by a group that began "in July of 2005, [when] God woke up a 31-year old stay-at-home mom to give her a vision" of then-President George W. Bush "repenting on behalf of the nation, culminating in a movement of God's hand across America to bring healing, restoration and unprecedented unity and prosperity."

When Reign Down organized a prayer event on the National Mall in 2008, severe thunderstorms threatened to cancel it ... until their prayers held them off: 

Leading up to the four-hour event, a massive storm with life-threatening tornadoes, heavy rain and winds, and lightning was heading straight towards the gathering at the National Mall in D.C. The National Park Service issued one warning, saying that after three warnings—or the first bolt of lightning—they were going to pull the plug and the event would not happen. Realizing it was beyond their control, with less than an hour until the event was to start, ReignDown USA's leaders and intercessors knelt behind the stage and cried out for God to divert the storm to the North and the South. They called upon the power of the Holy Spirit for the winds to shift from the West to the East and blow the storm away. As they cried out on their knees and begged God to move…He did! The wind shifted! The Park Service, watching the weather radar, said that somehow the storm cell was shifting its course and heading to the North.

And this weekend, Reign Down - which has partnerships with groups and leaders like Lou Engle, The Call, Cindy Jacobs, GodTV, the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Trent Franks - will host a prayer rally in Kansas that will be simulcast across the country, and Gov. Brownback has not only filmed a video announcing his participation and support but issued a proclamation calling on citizens to "collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us" and declaring Saturday to be a "day of restoration":

TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS, GREETINGS:

WHEREAS, the State of Kansas will host the national simulcast of REIGNDOWN USA in Topeka on December 8, 2012, bringing thousands here from across the country; and

WHEREAS, people from across America will join the millions from around the world on TV simulcast live from MacLennan Park, in the heart of America; and

WHEREAS, the first REIGNDOWN celebration was held 2008 in Washington DC, on the Capitol Grounds, introduced by proclamation of the President of the United States of America, with millions participating on site, on TV, and by computer; and

WHEREAS, regional REIGNDOWN events continued until the need was seen for the gathering to be held in the heart of our Nation; and

WHEREAS, many of our families have slid into poverty, endangering out next generation of citizens, our lands are parched by drought, our quality jobs are scarce, business and industry are struggling to expand, and many of our people have fallen into despair; and

WHEREAS, our Nation’s greatest leaders have called on a merciful God for favor during troubled times, such as:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.” - Abraham Lincoln, 1863.

“The propitious [favorable] smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” - George Washington, 1789.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1787; and

WHEREAS, we collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sam Brownback, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF KANSAS, do hereby proclaim December 8th 2012, as a

Day of Restoration

in Kansas and ask every citizen of our state to join in asking a Holy God to bring healing and restoration – help in mending broken lives, bringing peace to our families, our communities, and this land.

DONE: At the Capitol in Topeka
under the Great Seal of the
State this 23rd day of
November, A.D. 2012

BY THE GOVERNOR: Samuel Brownback

The Right to Vote Under Attack, 2012 Update

Here we detail, as of October 6, 2012, except where otherwise noted, the latest efforts across the country to suppress the vote, as well as some encouraging successes in expanding the franchise.

Right Wing Watch Research Exposes Extremism of Capitol Event

Last week, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reported that a who’s who of Religious Right activists had recently gathered in the Capitol, with the endorsement of Speaker John Boehner, for a George Washington-themed prayer event.

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on the event, drawing heavily from Right Wing Watch research to expose the extremism of its participants:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 Right Wing Watch  uncovered video of Lou Engle claiming that marriage equality would “unleash” a “sexual insanity”; Engle praying against health care reform with Sen. DeMint and then-Sen. Brownback; Jim Garlow saying that Satan is attacking the U.S. with marriage equality; David Barton claiming that AIDS can’t be cured because it’s God’s punishment for being gay; and the head of Alveda King’s group saying that supporting abortion rights is akin to supporting terrorism.

Here at People For the American Way, we spend a lot of time monitoring right-wing figures who seem far out of the mainstream. And then the Speaker of the House invites them to the Capitol.
 

PFAW

UPDATE: “Gut and go” used to move up proof of citizenship in Kansas

A Kansas Senate committee put the brakes on efforts to move up proof of citizenship for voter registration – until a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” brought it back to life. As of May 8, it’s one step closer to Governor Brownback’s desk.
PFAW Foundation

“Gut and go” used to move up proof of citizenship in Kansas

A Kansas Senate committee put the brakes on efforts to move up proof of citizenship for voter registration – until a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” brought it back to life.
PFAW Foundation
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