Tamara Scott

Bobby Jindal's Extremist Prayer Rally Brings Together Prophets, Bigots And Far-Right Activists

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who only a few years ago was lamenting the GOP’s decline into “the stupid party,” is now staking out a position on the party’s far-right fringe in preparation for an expected run for the presidency. Jindal has reached out to the party’s increasingly extreme base by undermining the teaching of evolution in public schools; promoting wild conspiracy theories about Common Core, an effort to adjust school standards that he supported before it became the target of the Tea Party’s fury; and hyping the purported persecution of Christians in America, specifically citing the plight of Christians with reality television shows.

Jindal, once hailed as the GOP’s top intellectual and reformer who denounced “dumbed-down conservatism” in an era of Tea Party populism, is slated to lead a prayer rally this weekend, “The Response: Baton Rouge,” organized and sponsored by some of the most extreme figures within the party.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry organized the original “Response” prayer gathering as a prelude to his 2012 presidential bid, allying with many of the same radical activists and organizations who are supporting Jindal’s version of the rally. While Perry’s campaign ultimately imploded, the people who helped put together his prayer rally credited it for various miracles. Jindal’s event has even recycled promotional materials from the Texas rally, including a “prayer guide” blaming marriage equality for Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Joplin tornado.

“The Response” is being organized by David Lane, a Religious Right activist who boasts of his great influence and low profile, and various conservative pastors, including several who claim to be modern-day prophets and apostles, who all kicked off the prayer rally with an event at the Louisiana governor’s mansion earlier this month. The American Family Association, so notorious for its apoplectic anti-gay rhetoric and opposition to the freedoms of non-Christians that its chief spokesman earned a rebuke from Mitt Romney, is putting up the funding.

The organizers

David Lane, a self-styled “political operative” who gloats that he has “operated since 2005 largely under the radar” on behalf of conservative causes and Republican candidates, is serving as the organizational muscle behind Jindal’s prayer rally.

Jindal isn’t the only potential GOP candidate who is getting Lane’s help; Lane has also arranged various events focused on energizing conservative pastors in early GOP primary states that have featured appearances from potential presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee. He also organized overseas tours with various conservative activists for likely candidates including Huckabee, Perry and Paul. Lane has also teamed up with the Republican National Committee, whose chairman, Reince Priebus, sings his praises.

Lane hopes to use “The Response” as a launching pad for his effort to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for elected office.

Lane, who has connections to the top of the Republican Party, has views which are far out of the mainstream. He has:

  • called on conservatives to attack Mitt Romney for worshiping “the false god of Mormonism”;
  • warned that LGBT rights are creating an unparalleled “crisis” leading to “our utter destruction” as a nation;
  • forecasted America’s destruction as a result of “the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage” and “homosexual scouts”;
  • declared that “our long-term strategy must be to place the Bible in Public Schools as the principle [sic] textbook of American education”;
  • and predicted that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” in 2013 would lead to divine punishment in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.”

The American Family Association, classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is providing the financial backbone for Jindal’s prayer rally, as it did for Perry’s 2011 event.

The group’s chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has won nationwide notoriety for his remarks about homosexuality and religious and ethnic minorities, which he shares on his daily program on the AFA’s radio network. Fischer has:

Other AFA officials have blamed gay people for natural disasters like Hurricane Isaacpromoted birther conspiracy theories and railed against secular Jews as threats to America.

The “apostles”

The latter half of Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally was emceed by a self-proclaimed prophet who believes Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist.

It looks like Jindal’s rally will be no different: Doug Stringer, who considers himself to be a modern-day apostle and who also worked on Perry’s rally, is spearheading the Louisiana event. Stringer has blamed American “[l]icentiousness or moral looseness to the degree that it is ‘in your face,’ including homosexuality,” for the September 11, 2001 attacks, which he described as a “wake-up call” from God.

Another self-proclaimed prophet, Cindy Jacobs, is also featured on “The Response: Baton Rouge” website. Jacobs has quite the prophetic record. She:

  • suggested that legal victories for marriage equality advocates led to Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters;
  • proclaimed that Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally “broke the curses on the land” of Texas brought on by “the Native American people [who] were cannibals and they ate people”;

Jim Garlow, a prominent “The Response: Baton Rouge” endorser who is involved in the “apostolic” movement, has been a leader of the movement against LGBT rights. Garlow has:

One event sponsor, Jennifer LeClaire, has used her column in Charisma News to broadcast several “prophetic” warnings about the evils of homosexuality and the “gay agenda” that is “working overtime to send millions to hell.” LeClaire has:

  • and claimed that gay people are possessed by a demonic “spirit of immorality” that “often enters in through some sort of abuse and the lies of the enemy [Satan] that follow.”

The activists

“The Response: Baton Rouge” has also featured endorsements from a slew of conservative politicians. Tamara Scott, as a member of the Republican National Committee representing Iowa and leader of the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America, is a key political player in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. But her political clout doesn’t hide her unbridled extremism. Scott has:

  • characterized young Central American immigrants as “highly trained warriors” who could “rise up against us as Americans”;
  • and suggested that Muslim-Americans are waging a “stealth jihad” to overthrow the U.S.

Another official “Response” endorser, longtime conservative activist and failed Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia E.W. Jackson, has pushed similarly radical views, particularly on gay rights, saying that “homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.” He has also:

  • said of gay people: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally”;
  • warned that homosexuality will bring about a “torrent of wickedness,” including human-animal marriages;

Gene Mills, leader of the Louisiana Family Forum and another key “Response” endorser, is a vocal ally of Jindal’s who helped push the governor’s policies undermining public education and promoting religious schooling. It’s no surprise that Mills leads the state’s foremost anti-LGBT group, as he has:

  • asserted that homosexuality is not a sexual orientation but a “disorder”;
  • falsely claimed that anti-gay speech is now classified as hate crimes;
  • said that abuse shelters should turn away transgender victims of spousal abuse;
  • and explained that anti-gay discrimination is a myth because “the reality is the shame and the guilt the homosexual feels is mistakenly reinterpreted as discrimination and what they attempt to do is to call it discrimination and prohibit it.”

Alveda King Cites Racist Ferguson Photoshop: 'I Googled It To Make Sure It Was True'

Back in September, a photographer for the St. Louis Riverfront Times took a photo of a group of protestors in front of the Ferguson, Missouri, police station, one of whom, a young African American man, was holding a sign reading “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he leaves home.” Two months later, as protests were again rocking Ferguson, the image was resurrected as a viral racist meme after someone photoshopped the man’s sign to read “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he robs a store.”

The image was quickly traced back to its origin and debunked, but not before it had entered the popular conscious of right-wing activists trying to demonize the Ferguson protestors.

Among these, it turns out, is Alveda King, a conservative activist who is a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., who cited the hoax photo in an interview last week with Iowa GOP committeewoman Tamara Scott as she asserted that if a “child is trained” then “he or she will not be in the wrong place at the wrong time” like Michael Brown.

“I just can’t believe that quote,” Scott responded, adding, “It just shows you a whole mindset.”

King responded that she also “couldn’t believe it” but had “Googled it to make sure it was true.”

Bobby Jindal Is Predictably Partnering With Anti-Gay Radicals For His Prayer Rally

When Texas Governor Rick Perry was gearing up to run for president the last time around, he decided to kick things off by headlining a large right-wing prayer rally organized by the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group, and David Lane, a secretive Religious Right organizer and Christian nationalist, called The Response. But rather than propelling him into the White House, the event became infamous mostly for the scores of radical figures with whom Perry had chosen to align himself.

This time around, the AFA and Lane are organizing another Response prayer rally to be headlined by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and it seems to be operating from exactly the same playbook.

Over the weekend, organizers posted videos featuring several Religious Right activists urging conservative Christians to attend the event, including invitations from folks like Tamara Scott, Jennifer LeClaire, Jim Garlow, E.W. Jackson, and Cindy Jacobs:

On Friday, the AFA's Bryan Fischer also noted that he would be in attendance at the event and providing broadcast coverage, and there is quite possibly no other figure within the "mainstream" Religious Right movement today who can match him in terms of consistently unadulterated bigotry.

Gov. Jindal does not seem to have learned any lessons from the first Response rally and, if anything, remarkably seems quite intent on surrounding himself with the same group of radical Religious Right activists that made the last one so notorious.

RNC Committeewoman Warns Muslim Refugees Waging 'Stealth Jihad' Against America

RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott, who also runs the Iowa state chapter of Concerned Women for America and works with the influential group The Family Leader, spent a good part of her weekly radio program on Wednesday interviewing Leo Hohmann, a WorldNetDaily reporter who wrote an unhinged article last month about how a plan to offer asylum to Syrian refugees is in fact part of a “stealth jihad” to take over America.

Scott was quite impressed by Hohmann’s article, asking him, “So if I put on my Facebook… ‘Leo Hohman reveals stealth jihad with thousands of Muslims being brought into the U.S. under refugee resettlement program, receiving welfare, Medicaid and other taxpayer moneys while refusing to assimilate to American culture,’ that’s not an understandment?”

“No,” Hohmann assured her.

Later in the interview, Hohmann explained the difficulty he has in his “reporting” because “if you’re not listening carefully or if you come to this story from a different worldview, it can sound like we’re being racist or somehow bigoted.” But, he explained, he isn’t being bigoted because Islam is not a religion and Muslim-Americans are lying about their plan to become the majority in America and institute Sharia law.

“The problem is, Leo, is that we call it a religion, but you and I both know that it’s a political system and a military system, not just a religion, so that’s part of the danger,” Scott said of Islam later in the interview.

She then went on to praise Michele Bachmann’s furious search for Muslim Brotherhood agents in the U.S. government, which she implied was somehow precient of the 2012 attack on U.S. officials in Benghazi.

Paranoia-Rama: Immigrant Child Warriors, Gay Recruitment, And Obama's Race War

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

If President Obama is starting a race war, he will probably use his army of child migrants, gay public school students and “Muslim brothers” to join the fight. None of that will matter, of course, if Ebola sweeps across America first.

5. Child Migrants Bringing In Ebola, Probably

With Republican members of Congress including Michele Bachmann, Phil Gingrey and Todd Rokita warning that the unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border could unleash the Ebola virus on America, we shouldn’t be surprised that at least one GOP candidate for Congress is also stirring up baseless fears about immigrant children carrying Ebola.

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, said people wouldn’t be surprised if Central American child migrants are infected with Ebola. Tucson Weekly reports:

Tobin says he's hearing about worries from constituents that the recent wave of undocumented youth from Central America could cause an Ebola outbreak in the United States.

"Anything's now possible," Tobin said last week. "So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don't think anyone would be surprised."

Tobin acknowledged that Ebola has been limited to outbreaks in Africa, "to the extent that they're really aware of that. I think there is a reason we should be concerned about it and say, 'Hey, can you assure us the people crossing the border are not from the Middle East?' ... So I use that as an example, that the public would not be surprised to hear about the next calamity at the border."

4. Child Migrants Might Be Anti-American Warriors

If the Central American child migrants aren’t already dead from Ebola, then that means they are probably Venezuelan-trained child “warriors” who will “rise up against us as Americans” any day now. At least that is what we learned from an extremely informative and not-at-all speculative conversation between RNC Committeewoman Tamara Scott, who is also Concerned Women for America’s Iowa state director, and Texas Tea Party activist Mary Huls:

Alex Jones and William Gheen also wondered if the minors are really child soldiers who will kill Americans for “Obamaphones.”

3. Obama Wants A Race War!

Are President Obama and administration officials like Eric Holder using the Ferguson riots to launch a race war? Of course! At least that is what is occurring in the far-right fantasy land inhabited by Larry Klayman, who is warning that “the racist Obama and his henchmen like Eric Holder have succeeded in creating what in effect is a huge racial divide and race war in the nation.”

“[O]ur so-called president and his attorney general jump to judgment, on a consistent and regular basis, against ‘whitey’ and in favor of their black brothers,” Klayman said. “At this rate, it is remarkable that Obama has not renamed the White House ‘the Black House.’”

Ted Nugent agrees, arguing this week that “President Obama continues to beat the race drum” because he hopes “fanning the embers of racism will keep black Americans squarely in the corner of their big daddy Democratic Party.” Wayne Allyn Root added, “Obama needs ‘division.’ Race warfare. Class warfare. Anger. Resentment. Civil war.”

2. Obama’s ‘Muslim Brothers’ Crafting U.S. Foreign Policy

Rep. Louie Gohmert is pretty sure that the Muslim Brotherhood is running the show in the Obama administration and has used its influence to boost extremist groups like ISIS. “If you’re commander-in-chief you can’t be listening to Muslim brother advise on when it’s time to stop destroying Muslim brothers,” the Texas GOP congressman said in an interview this week.

Gohmert’s House colleague Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who thinks Obama might just be a secret Muslim, said that with the Bowe Berghdal swap, the Obama administration sent “a signal to the whole jihadist world” to kidnap Americans like James Foley.

“I’m afraid we sent the message to the terrorists, again, that this president will vacillate and not do what is necessary in times of crisis,” Franks said.

1. Gays Coming To Recruit Kids

Schools are using Common Core to brainwash your kids and turn them gay, according to the Tea Party of Louisiana, which proudly cited a satirical article from a parody news site titled “Common Core Turns First Wave Of Students Gay” to make its case.

When a reporter for the Times-Picayune asked the Tea Party group’s spokesman Bob Reid why his organization decided to cite an article from an outlet whose “About” page reads, “If you believe any of the shit you read here you are a freaking moron,” he responded that he was simply trying to “bring attention of the Common Core issue to those who maybe aren't paying attention.”

The American Family Association is  also worried about “recruitment programs” in public schools that are led by gay rights advocates who are “seeking to draw susceptible students into their ranks.” Randy Thomasson of Save California, for his part, said schools are pressuring children to participate in a “perverse, unnatural, unbiblical, unhealthy, tyrannical sexual agenda.”

GOP Committeewoman Warns Child Migrants 'Highly Trained As Warriors,' Could 'Rise Up Against Us As Americans'

On her weekly radio show yesterday, RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott of Iowa warned that child migrants from Central America may have been “highly trained as warriors” and could “rise up against” U.S. citizens.

“When we see these kids, you and I think young kids, we think maybe 12-year-olds, maybe homeschoolers — excuse me, middle-schoolers,” said Scott, who is also Concerned Women for American’s Iowa state director and works as a lobbyist for the conservative group The Family Leader. “But we know back in our revolution, we had 12-year-olds fighting in our revolution. And for many of these kids, depending on where they’re coming from, they could be coming from other countries and be highly trained as warriors who will meet up with their group here and actually rise up against us as Americans.”

Mary Huls, leader of a Texas-based Tea Party group, agreed, warning that the children could have been trained in Venezuela to work for Hezbollah or Hamas (never mind that most of the children are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador). “They are being trained as warriors, you’re absolutely right,” she said.

RNC Resolution Opposing AP US History Exam Originated With The Religious Right

The Republican National Committee recently condemned the College Board’s AP U.S. History exam framework for its purported anti-American bias, and it comes as no surprise that the resolution is identical to resolutions sponsored by Religious Right groups like Eagle Forum and Concerned Women for America that regularly assert that public schools engage in anti-American brainwashing.

Concerned Women for America’s Georgia chapter has sponsored a nearly identical resolution, as did Eagle Forum’s Alabama affiliate.

Tamara Scott, Concerned Women for America’s Iowa state director, introduced the resolution [PDF], which calls for a congressional investigation into the exam’s framework, as can be seen below.

WHEREAS, Almost 500,000 U.S. students take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) course each year which has traditionally been designed to present a balanced view of American history and to prepare students for college level-history courses;

WHEREAS, the College Board (a private organization unaccountable to the public) has recently released a new Framework for the APUSH course that reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects;

WHEREAS, the Framework includes little or no discussion of the Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the religious influences on our nation’s history, and many other critical topics that have always been part of the APUSH course;

WHEREAS, the Framework excludes discussion of the U. S. military (no battles, commanders, or heroes) and omits many other individuals, groups, and events that greatly shaped our nation’s history (for example, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Tuskegee Airmen, the Holocaust);

WHEREAS, the Framework presents a biased and inaccurate view of many important events in American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War; and WHEREAS, the Framework describes its detailed requirements as “required knowledge” for APUSH students, and the College Board admits that the APUSH examination will not test information outside this “required knowledge”;

WHEREAS, because the Framework differs radically from almost all state history standards, so that APUSH teachers will have to ignore their state standards to prepare students for the AP examination, the Framework will essentially usurp almost all state history standards for the best and brightest history students; and

WHEREAS, the College Board is not making its sample examination available for public review, thus maintaining secrecy about what U. S. students are actually being tested on; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee recommends that the College Board delay the implementation of the new APUSH Framework for at least a year, and that during that time a committee be convened to draft an APUSH Framework that is consistent both with the APUSH course’s traditional mission, with state history standards, and with the desires of U. S. parents and other citizens for their students to learn the true history of their country; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee requests that state legislatures and the U. S. Congress investigate this matter; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee request that Congress withhold any federal funding to the College Board (a private non-governmental organization) until the APUSH course and examination have been rewritten in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U. S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of state standards, and until sample examinations are made available to educators, state and local officials, and the public, as has long been the established practice; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall promptly deliver a copy of this resolution to every Republican member of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.

It's Not Just Dave Agema: 5 RNC Committee Members Who Have Pushed Anti-Gay Bigotry

With GOP leaders calling for Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign over his latest anti-gay outbursts, we were surprised that Agema’s views would really be that shocking in a party that, as former GOProud leader Jimmy LaSalvia puts it, has a wide “tolerance for bigotry.”

Republicans like RNC chairman Reince Priebus may think by denouncing Agema’s rhetoric they are putting distance between the GOP and extremists. But at the end of the day, the party’s platform embraces the extreme anti-LGBT agenda that Agema represents, opposing not just marriage equality but also civil unions, fair employment practices, non-discrimination policies, hate crimes laws and LGBT-inclusive foreign policy.

And Agema isn’t the only RNC member who has been quite open about his anti-gay bigotry. In fact, it wasn’t very hard at all to put together a short, and by no means an exhaustive, compilation of RNC members who have made anti-gay claims similar to Agema’s.

5. Tamara Scott (Iowa)

Scott, a Concerned Women for America leader and National Republican Committee member, has alleged that the legalization of gay marriage hurt her state’s economy. She also worried that marriage equality will pave the way man-Eiffel Tower marriage.

4. Steve Scheffler (Iowa)

Scheffler got his start as the head of the Christian Coalition’s Iowa chapter (which is now the Iowa Faith and Family Coalition chapter). Under his leadership, the group falsely linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claimed that gay men typically don’t live past the age of 47.

After he became a GOP committeeman, Schleffler blocked openly gay candidate Fred Karger from joining a presidential debate, saying that Karger belonged to the “radical homosexual community” which seeks “to harass supporters of REAL marriage.” He warned against a movement in Republican circles to push the party to support gay rights, arguing that such a move would “literally destroy the Republican Party.”

When Iowa legalized same-sex marriage, Schleffler tried to repeal marriage equality and warned that his state would become “the homosexual capital of the Midwest” and dangerous for kids. “We Iowans want this state to be a good, safe environment for our kids. You ask the average person in the street whether they support gay marriage, and they’ll say no,” he wrote.

3. Bill Armistead (Alabama)

Armistead, the Alabama GOP chairman, tried last year to purge a young Republican activist from the state GOP steering committee after she criticized the party’s hardline stance again marriage equality.

When the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, Armistead accused the government of “hijacking marriage.” “Whether by a constitutional amendment or other means, US taxpayers should not be forced by their government to reward those who choose to engage in activity that had been banned in 35 states,” he said. “Alabama’s state law banning gay marriage will prevent these benefits from being extended in Alabama, but our tax dollars will still go to support a lifestyle that we fundamentally disagree with.”

Armistead also claimed same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and charged that acceptance of gay people is a “sad testament to where we are as a nation,” warning that tolerance of LGBT people puts “America on a slippery slope.”

2. Debbie Joslin (Alaska)

Alaska Republican committeewoman Debbie Joslin led her state’s campaign to bar same-sex marriage and benefits as the state’s Eagle Forum leader.

Joslin also fought a proposal to require schools to adopt LGBT-inclusive policies, warning that increased tolerance would “foster confusion in the minds of our children.” In addition, she denounced openly gay members of the Boy Scouts, whom she claimed were not “healthy role models.”

1. Ada Fisher (North Carolina)

Fisher, a National Republican Committee member from North Carolina, expressed outrage when President Obama and former President Clinton endorsed marriage equality, suggesting that it showed a lack of respect for…straight people: “OK, now I’m confessing to a poorly kept secret — I am a heterosexual black female who loves men and has achieved some modicum of success. So, now will President Obama, Bill Clinton and others give me a call for coming out and openly expressing my sexual preference?”

Fisher also suggested that gay marriage harms the black community by destabilizing the relationships closeted gay men have with women. “The psychological side of my brain is disturbed by the further negative impact of changing gender roles in undermining already fragile black families…black men in the closet are coming out or remaining on the down-low, which may be perceived as another blow to viable relationships with these men at the expense of black women.”

 

Rand Paul's Travels with Birthers

While preparing up for the 2016 presidential election, Rand Paul visited Israel in a trip that “was arranged by the American Family Association and included 53 prominent evangelicals and conservative activists.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the far-right AFA worked closely with a potential Republican presidential candidate, as the group also put together Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally that he used as a springboard into the presidential race.

Guests included top Religious Right organizer David Lane, anti-gay activist Tamara Scott of Concerned Women for America and birther leader Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily. Farah praised Paul in his column today and saluted his opposition to foreign aid and marriage equality.

Farah’s participation is not surprising as the American Family Association also peddles similar conspiracies.

Farah and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer have blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on the lack of school prayer, endorsed birther conspiracies, likened gays to terrorists and the Taliban, seek to restrict Muslim immigration and predicted that the Obama administration will use special security forces to persecute political opponents.

Of course, Rand Paul certainly won’t be the only potential GOP presidential candidate to court extremists like Farah and the AFA as more Republicans gear up to run.

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