Tim Wildmon

Schlafly Speculates that Obama Wants to Remove all the Crosses from Arlington National Cemetery

On AFA's "Today's Issues" program this morning, host Tim Wildmon interviewed Phyllis Schlafly about her new book "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom," which seems to basically be a catalog of the Religious Right's various complaints and allegations about President Obama's supposed hatred of Christianity and Christian values.

During the discussion, Schlafly and Wildmon falsely claimed that Obama removed the word "Creator" whenever he quotes from the Declaration of Independence and that he was the only President in history not to celebrate the National Day of Prayer before Schlafly speculated that Obama might eventually order the removal of all the crosses from Arlington Memorial Cemetery:

Schlafly: For example, every time he quotes from the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word "Creator." That's very strange; we all know what the Declaration says and he just omits that.

Wildmon: I remember the first year he was in the office, he did not recognize the National Day of Prayer in a proclamation - oh, excuse me, he didn't have any kind of public ceremony ...

Schlafly: That's right, he didn't have anything at the White House, which all the other presidents have done and he said he would pray in private.

Wildmon: So he didn't want to publicly acknowledge the God of our fathers, which has always been done by all presidents in the White House up until President Obama. President Obama says "I'm not going to recognize God, the Christian God, I'll pray in private." Well, that's not a leader!

...

Schlafly: You were talking a minute ago about Arlington Cemetery; if you haven't been there, I'm sure you've seen pictures of all the crosses there and I just wonder if the day is going to come when they want to take down all those crosses.

As we have noted before, Obama has included the word "Creator" when citing the Declaration dozens of times, so Schlafly is flat-out wrong.  

As for the National Day of Prayer, it didn't even exist until 1952, and President George W. Bush was the only president to organize regular White House events, so it is also false to claim that events were hosted "by all presidents in the White House up until President Obama." 

Perkins on Obama: 'I am Amazed that this Man is the President of the United States'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has called President Obama the “worst president this country has ever had” and warned that America will not “have a future as a country” if Obama is re-elected because his administration “will destroy this country.” Perkins even said that Christian Obama supporters must “repent” for electing a president who “has a disdain for Christianity.” And so today it was no surprise that after Perkins and co-host Tim Wildmon, the president of American Family Association, played an out of context portion of a recent Obama speech, he said he’s “amazed that this man is the President of the United States.” Wildmon also chimed in, maintaining that Obama is “oozing with envy and jealousy” and claiming it “was so un-American what he just spouted.” In the address, Obama was referring to the importance of government investment in education, infrastructure and technology in growing the economy, but right-wing detractors have twisted his speech into an attack on businessmen.

Wildmon: That was just, he was all over the map, that’s just class warfare, he was oozing with envy and jealously, he was stirring up the crowd to be against people who have created wealth for themselves and for others.

Perkins: I am amazed that this man is the President of the United States.

Wildmon: As am I. That was so un-American what he just spouted, in keeping with our traditions. And he created a straw man there too to knock down, saying that people who are wealthy ‘think they are so smart and they work so much harder, and I’m here to tell you that they don’t and it’s time for them to pay their fair share by golly and I’m going to make it happen because I’m the President.’ Well, anyway, so much for the years of Ronald Reagan’s optimism, morning in America talks.

Religious Right Unites Behind '40 Days to Save America' Initiative

In March, Kyle reported that Rick Scarborough of Vision America was launching a new effort, 40 Days to Save America, to rally conservative voters before the November election and stop the “daily deluge of sinful activity”:

We fully understand and are grateful for the fact that America was birthed first in your heart. We acknowledge that America has been a blessed nation above all the nations of the world. Hallelujah!

But we also acknowledge that we have forgotten as a people that it was you and your laws that made this country the land of freedom and opportunity that has been the envy of the world for more than two hundred years. Dear Lord, forgive us of our pride and apathy that has allowed men to call good, evil; and evil, good. We acknowledge that we have grown calloused to the daily deluge of sinful activity, degradation and speaking that has become the routine in American life, and we repent.

Reignite our love for purity and holiness, and create in us a will to initiate the changes in our society that will allow you to once again bless our beloved America.

Scarborough is now unveiling endorsements of the effort from Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmen Todd Akin, Doug Lamborn, Duncan Hunter and Louie Gohmert, and major Religious Right groups like the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Family Research Council. Dominionist organizations including Lou Engle’s The Call and Cindy Jacobs’ Generals International have also signed on, along with Janet Porter’s Faith2Action, Jerry Boykin’s Kingdom Warriors, Sam Roriguez’s National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Jim Garlow’s Renewing American Leadership.

The board of directors appears to be a who’s who of leading conservative activists and pastors:

David Bereit
40 Days for Life

General Jerry Boykin
Kingdom Warriors

Dave Butts
Harvest Prayer Ministries

Dr. Jim Garlow
Renewing American Leadership

Bishop Anne Gimenez
Rock Church, Virginia Beach, VA

Bishop Harry Jackson
Hope Christian Church

Dr. Robert Jeffress
First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX

Penny Nance
Concerned Women for America

Father Frank Pavone
Priests for Life

Tony Perkins
Family Research Council

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Dr. Rick Scarborough
Vision America

Kelly Shackelford
Liberty Institute

Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel

Tim Wildmon
American Family Association

Rep. Huelskamp Claims the Left Plans to 'Repeal any Religious Liberties or any Religious Values' in America

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-TX) today spoke to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon about the sale of bibles in LifeWay stores, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The stores were selling Bibles with the emblems of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. However, the store’s permission to use such trademarks “was revoked when the military revamped its trademark licensing regulations in 2011.”

A LifeWay spokesman told Fox News that “after selling existing inventory of those bibles, B&H [Publishing] replaced the official seals with generic insignias which continue to sell well and provide spiritual guidance and comfort to those who serve.” The Defense Department also “stressed that the revocation was solely a trademark issue.”

But Religious Right groups instead are blaming the decision on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and Huelskamp alleged that the Obama administration is the main culprit. He said that “folks on the left” would “like to delete, exclude and repeal any religious liberties or any religious values throughout our entire government and our entire society,” and argued that the administration seeks to use the military as a “training ground for a radical, leftist agenda.”

Perkins and Huelskamp later twisted the story to claim that soldiers are now being deprived of Bibles, even though the only thing that changed was the logo and not the publication, and suggested that the move could contribute to mental health problems and suicide among soldiers.

Perkins: Your thoughts on this latest attack, it’s the only way I can describe it, on the religious freedom of men and women who serve in the military?

Huelskamp: You just mentioned in a way it was simply a capitulation and the fact that the Department of the Defense and this administration will bend over backwards to protect, I guess, the rights of atheists to determine our policies in the military, which simply does an incredible disservice to the brave men and women who defend and guarantee our rights. The idea that a particular Bible is a national security threat, that would be silly if it wasn’t so serious in terms of the threats that are coming from the folks on the left that would like to delete, exclude and repeal any religious liberties or any religious values throughout our entire government and our entire society, it is a real threat to the future of this country I believe.



Huelskamp: I believe that the only way Washington is going to respond is if something will happen will happen at the polls this Fall.

Wildmon: So you think this is a reflection of the Obama administration through the Pentagon, capitulating on this?

Huelskamp: I believe so, and we see that through other agencies. You have these leftist groups from the outside and somehow they get word about something and then they come in and send these threatening letters and then the administration says ‘well my goodness I think you’re right.’ This happens in the military, I believe it happens other ways as well. It’s a cultural issue, it’s an issue of whether we’re going to just change the way Americans think and we’re going to use, in this case, the military as our training ground for a radical, leftist agenda.



Perkins: The very thing that can help our members of the military deal with these issues is being driven from the military, it makes absolutely no sense.

Wildmon: Congressman, are you on a committee that oversees this kind of thing?

Huelskamp: I am not; I serve on the veterans’ affairs committee as well for folks that finished their military service. Suicide is a real concern. When you separate people from their faith and separate people from their Creator, you expect bad things to happen. Tony is definitely right, the real folks that lose out on this are the men and women that need this truth and need this faith. In the past, in the history of our country, it’s been understood. I have an uncle that’s a chaplain, he’s served in multiple conflicts and has been there and understands as many other chaplains do that this is our role is to protect the faith of our brave men and women. And here they are defending religious liberty and freedom around the world and at home, in their own backyard it is under attack.

Conservatives Incensed by Court Ruling on Anti-Gay Discrimination

In New Mexico today the state Court of Appeals upheld decisions by the state’s Human Rights Commission and a district court and found that a photography business which refused to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violated the state’s Human Rights Act, which declares that public accommodations like photo studios can’t discriminate on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical or mental handicap.” The court rejected the business’s claim that they are like a black photography company which wouldn’t want to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally, pointing out that the “Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class. Sexual orientation, however, is protected.” The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund represented the couple and pledged to repeal the decision.

American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins said the case points to the danger of the “homosexual agenda.” “Folks, it’s coming to your town, the homosexual agenda, their social and political movement is coming to your town, you can’t avoid it,” Wildmon said:

AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer claimed that New Mexico “kicked out” the First Amendment, and said the further proof that homosexuality and freedom are incompatible:

I just cannot exaggerate the reality of what we face; we have got to come to grips with the fact that in America we are going to have to choose between homosexuality and religious liberty. You can just ask Elaine Huguenin, this Christian photographer in New Mexico, she is not even being allowed by the Court of Appeals in the state of New Mexico to make her own business decisions, to decide who she would like to do business with.



You can see right away the entire First Amendment has just been kicked out of New Mexico, the First Amendment is a worthless scrap of paper now in the state of New Mexico, no respect for freedom of religion, no respect for freedom of speech, no respect for freedom of association. That’s what’s at risk here, ladies and gentlemen, I am not exaggerating this: we have to choose as a nation, it’s either homosexuality or religious liberty, homosexuality or freedom of speech, homosexuality or freedom of association, we are going to have to choose.

Gary Bauer in an email to members of Campaign for Working Families lamented, “In New Mexico, the private bedroom behaviors of homosexuals trump religious freedom”:

For six years the Christian owners of a small photography business have fought the state of New Mexico for violating their religious liberty. At issue in this case was whether the owners would be forced to photograph a homosexual "marriage." When the couple refused, New Mexico's Civil Rights Commission accused them of discrimination and slapped them with a $7,000 fine. So the couple sued.

Last week, an appeals court upheld the Civil Rights Commission's fine ruling that religious freedom could not be the basis for discriminating against "protected classes," including homosexuals. According to one report, attorneys for the Christian couple asked the court to consider the example of a black photographer being asked to photograph a KKK rally. The judge was unmoved. In New Mexico, the private bedroom behaviors of homosexuals trump religious freedom.

My friends, I know the economy is front and center in this election, but the culture war is very real. This election will have tremendous consequences for the values we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. I cannot stress enough just how important it is for every conservative to vote this November.

American Family Association, Family Research Council Attack Target for Selling 'Pride' T-Shirts

While Target created a firestorm in 2010 for donating to a conservative group backing an anti-gay, and unsuccessful, Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota, the retailer now is selling t-shirts to benefit the Family Equality Council, a group representing LGBT families.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said “if they're looking to resonate with Americans, they ought to try defending marriage”:

Target's slogan is "expect more." And when it comes to their politics, Americans do. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. One of America's biggest companies isn't just named Target--it's becoming one. Starting May 20, the mega-chain's introducing a new line of same-sex "marriage" merchandise that says, "Love is love." Target promises to donate 100% of the profits to a national homosexual group--but they don't specify which one. Retail analyst Britt Beemer says that Target's strategy isn't "very smart," especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. "Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they] lose." The company said it wanted to "resonate beyond fashion." But if they're looking to resonate with Americans, they ought to try defending marriage. According to voters, the country's still very opposed to redefining it. Let Target know that its agenda isn't your style. Log on to target.com, scroll down, and click "Contact Us."

Naturally, the American Family Association is also fuming, and the organization’s president Tim Wildmon released an action alert and letter blasting the company:

Target is joining President Obama in ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people.

Send an email to Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel. Let him know that a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and are able to use their pocketbooks to voice their opposition to companies that support it.



Dear Chairman Steinhafel:

Thirty-one states have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional amendments to protect marriage as only between one-man, one-woman. And your company does business in all of these states.

That's why I can't understand why Target would purposely choose to offend me by donating cash to support the Family Equality Council's push for legalizing homosexual marriage.

I urge you to reconsider this promotion and stop supporting a gay marriage campaign.

Otherwise, I will reconsider shopping at your stores and choose making my purchases from your competitors.

Rep. Lankford Doubles Down, Defends Comments on Employers Being Able to Fire Gay Employees

Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) earlier this week told Think Progress that being gay is a “sexual preference” and a “choice issue,” and that he wouldn’t support employment protection legislation because people aren’t born gay. While speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins today on Washington Watch Weekly, Lankford insisted that being gay is a behavioral choice and people shouldn’t receive “special privileges” for it in the workplace:

Perkins: The idea there is they’re looking for special protections; your point is that everybody should be treated equally, no one should be fired or denied employment based upon their sexual orientation, in the ideal world we won’t even know about it, why would we even ask that question?

Lankford: Right. But neither should you have a situation where no one can fire you because of your behavior outside of the workplace, we also should not be in a situation where there are special protections extended to say ‘if I have a certain sexual behavior then you can no longer fire me, I’m a protected class and I can do whatever I want in the workplace,’ that’s not true either. So we are trying to be able to keep that balance, when you say you create special rights you also create special privileges and protections to say that they are untouchable in the workplace and they can have any kind of work conduct they choose to on that, that’s not correct. This is one of those instances where we look at every individual as created in the image of God, every person as valuable to God but every person has to be able to show that they are going to work hard and do the right thing in the workplace and outside.

He also spoke with Perkins and American Family Association president Tim Wildmon on Today’s Issues where he distorted the Think Progress report while accusing them of misrepresenting what he said, which he apparently doesn’t realize is on video.

Perkins: This is really a case study on how the left is working these days, what they do is they go and they try to ambush somebody and get them to say something or say something and take it completely out of context in which they made those comments, they slap a false headline on it, and then they feed that to the more, and I say more not ‘completely,’ legitimate news outlets, it gets on to places like MSNBC and they just hound it. I wonder though, Congressman, does this really get beyond the liberal media? How many normal people actually watch these things and respond to them?

Lankford: Well, it depends on what they are picking up and what they are reading and who else picks it up. When they throw an inflammatory headline out there saying, ‘Congressman Supports Firing People Because They Are Gay,’ then immediately people begin to pick it up and say ‘oh goodness.’ Of course when you read the story, there is no story in it, there is no fact to that headline, but it even reached into Fox News.

Actually, that wasn’t the headline, which is: “GOP Rep. Lankford Explains Why It Should Be Legal To Fire Someone For Being Gay: ‘It’s A Choice Issue.’Think Progress did not claim that Lankford wants to fire people for being gay but said he thinks it should be legal for employers to do so.

Immediately following Lankford’s appearance, Wildmon lashed out at LGBT-rights advocates for their “vile, wicked, [and] evil ways,” which he says reveals “the depravity of that lifestyle,” while Perkins astoundingly maintained that the Religious Right never speaks poorly of the LGBT community:

Wildmon: These homosexual and lesbian, transgender, bisexual, I don’t know if there’s any other word left that they are using now, these activists out there, they act in the most vile, wicked, evil ways, I’m telling you.

Perkins: Everything they accuse Christians of doing, which they don’t generally do, I have not found many on this side, if they do they are not acting in the character of Christ, but they do everything they accuse everybody else of doing.

Wildmon: Oh yeah, they will threaten you, they will call you names, they will post things on your Facebook pages and things like that and it just shows the depravity of that lifestyle, quite frankly, not all of them but a lot of the activists, man they are vile.

Religious Right Slams Obama for Backing Marriage Equality

While gay conservative groups have come out attacking President Obama for endorsing marriage equality today, Religious Right groups have also started to berate Obama on the issue.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said Obama’s position has handed Mitt Romney “the key to social conservative support”:

The President's announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.

As demonstrated by yesterday's overwhelming vote in North Carolina, redefining marriage remains outside the mainstream of American politics, especially in the critical battleground states and among minority voters. In North Carolina, the amendment received more than 60 percent of the vote in majority-black counties.

Considering that ten of the sixteen battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the President's new policy position on marriage, today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election.

The President has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by President Obama.

American Values head and former FRC president Gary Bauer claimed to be perplexed that Obama “is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage”:

The charade is finally up. We've always known that Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage. With every action he's taken, from court appointments to his rhetoric, he's been preparing the way to undermine traditional marriage. Obama's finally made that support explicit.

Every American who can't find work, whose home is under water or who can't afford to fill up his gas tank should be wondering why the president is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage. It's a political move meant to energize his left-wing base and distract Americans from his disastrous economic policies."

Bauer later commented in an email to supporters that Obama “may have just lost the presidency”:

President Obama just told ABC News that he now supports same-sex marriage. Surprised? Didn’t think so. Obama is no doubt hoping to energize his leftwing base. And he is betting this will help him to re-energize the youth vote this November. But in fact he may have just lost the presidency.

Attention Republican Party: Obama’s announcement is a chance for boldness. There are many Republicans who would rather not talk about this issue. But if the GOP confronts Obama over marriage, it could make him a one-term president. If Republicans allow Obama to exploit this issue, then it could prove decisive for him. Republicans need to remember that if their candidates can manage to win as much of the vote as the state marriage amendments have received in 31 states, they will win in a landslide in November.
...
Now look at North Carolina. It is considered a swing state. Obama won it by only 14,000 votes in 2008 – and it is a high priority for the Dems this year, which is why they are holding their national convention in Charlotte and why he has visited the state repeatedly. This morning Obama might be second guessing that Charlotte venue.

Voters in North Carolina passed a marriage amendment yesterday, making clear that marriage is one man and one woman. Obama, Biden and the entire media establishment opposed the amendment. Bill Clinton did robo calls opposing the measure. The voters felt otherwise by a 61% to 39% vote – a huge landslide and a record turnout. Current polls have Romney beating Obama in North Carolina by only two points! Governor Romney should look at the results of the marriage issue. He can win North Carolina by a landslide if he takes on Obama on this issue.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage pledged to defeat Obama and warned, "God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim”:

President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada. Voters in all these states, and over two dozen more, have adopted state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. President Obama says that although he personally supports gay marriage, he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. However, that is completely disingenuous. His administration is already trying to dismantle the nation's marriage laws by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. All the state marriage amendments and laws are at risk under a president who actively wants to change the definition of marriage. NOM will work ceaselessly in these swing states and across the nation to preserve traditional marriage because it is profoundly in the public good to do so. God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim. The definition of marriage was already headed for the ballot in four states this fall; now it will be one of the defining issues of the presidential election. No state in this country has ever voted for gay marriage. Just yesterday North Carolina voters sent a clear message that America wants to preserve marriage. We intend to win the marriage debate this November.

The Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty maintained Obama’s view on marriage equality displays his “radical ideology”:

This isn’t exactly a bold move by the president. Forced by Joe Biden’s big mouth, Obama had no choice left but to publicly embrace an agenda he has privately promoted for years.

I’ve been saying this for the last four years. Obama has always been in favor of homosexual marriage, but was forced to keep his enthusiasm at a distance for fear of offending the American public.

Obama needs new friends. His leadership has completely alienated Wall Street, financial investors, small businesses, soccer moms, and virtually every other constituency by pushing his radical ideology at a time when America needed principled leadership. Who better to appease than the LGBT community with tons of disposable income to fund his re-election campaign?

North Carolina just became the 31st state to affirm the sanctity of marriage. As if mainstream Americans needed any further reasons to reject Obama’s radical social agenda, we were most certainly reminded today.

Matt Smith of the Catholic Advocate said Obama’s support for marriage equality is part of “an anti-Catholic agenda”:

Once again, the President is spending time advancing an anti-Catholic agenda. Marriage was created long before any government came into existence. It is a settled issue in the eyes of the Catholic Church and should not be redefined.

First, the Obama administration takes away grant money helping victims of sex-trafficking over the Church refusing to refer the victims for abortions. Then the Obama administration violates our religious liberties by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as the President's health care law is being implemented. And now, should his advocacy for same-sex marriage succeed, Catholic institutions could be forced once again to violate our beliefs.

Many faithful Catholics were fooled by clever political rhetoric in 2008. This year, the anti-Catholic record of the Obama administration should inform their vote."

Rob Schenck of the Faith and Action commented: “Frankly, I question whether he really does in his heart-of-hearts. Maybe I'm naive, but, if I'm right, it's even worse, because it means he has surrendered a moral conviction for political expediency. Very wrong and very sad.”

Update: Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed said the announcement shows the President is “tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans”:

Four years ago 2008 Barack Obama promised if elected not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000, pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term — and made clear his support for traditional marriage. All those promises are now broken.

At a time of high unemployment and severe economic distress, President Obama chose the week he launched his re-election campaign to flip-flop on same-sex marriage.

Combined with his administration’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, it reveals a president who is tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans. This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign. It is certain to fuel a record turnout of voters of faith to the polls this November.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League claimed Obama “has fully broken with his Christian moorings” and suggested he also favors polygamy:

In 1996, when Barack Obama was up for a state senate post in Illinois, he said he supported gay marriage. Eight years later, when he set his sights on the U.S. Senate, he discovered his Christian roots and said he was against it. In 2008, he said he was opposed to homosexuals marrying, but he also opposed a ballot initiative in California, Proposition 8, that affirmed marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. In other words, his Christian roots were losing their grip. Since then he’s been “evolving.” Now the evolution is over and he has fully broken with his Christian moorings.

The president of the United States likes the idea of Tom and Dick marrying. He did not say whether he supports Tom, Dick and Harry marrying, or whether he is “evolving” in that direction. Perhaps he has to consult with his mentor on this issue, Mr. Joseph Biden of Delaware.

Yesterday, North Carolina voters affirmed marriage as being between a man and a woman. In the 32 times voters have been asked to decide this issue, they have voted 32 times to support traditional marriage. Gay rights advocates have never won.

President Obama will be hurt by this decision in the swing states. More than that, he has now made this cultural matter a major issue in the presidential campaign.

The time has finally come to pass a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as an institution reserved to the only two people who can naturally produce a family, namely a man and a woman.

NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes:

On the one hand, morally this is good because lying to the American people is always wrong. President Obama has come clean that he is for gay marriage. Politically, we welcome this. We think it's a huge mistake. President Obama is choosing the money over the voters the day after 61 percent of North Carolinians in a key swing state demonstrated they oppose gay marriage. We now have clear choice between Romney and Obama, and we look forward to demonstrating in November that it's a bad idea for a national candidate to support gay marriage. Marriage is a winning issue for the GOP.

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon tells OneNewsNow:

[He] has finally come out of the closet, if you will, on the homosexual marriage issue. He's in favor of it. He always has been. The only reason he didn't say anything about it before the election last time is because he didn't want to hurt himself [politically].

President Obama, [in] his first year in office, had the homosexual activists to the White House for a dinner and he promised them he would be their 'champion' -- and so he is coming through for them on many different fronts, including the military, changing the military to allow open homosexuality there.

Jim Campbell of the Alliance Defense Fund said his endorsement “promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes”:

This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage–the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman–is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.

Liberty Counsel Action released a statement [pdf] from chairman Mathew Staver, who said the country under Obama’s leadership is “headed to disaster”:

“The President has made the issues in this election very clear,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “Today, Governor Mitt Romney said he unequivocally supports natural marriage and opposes ‘marriage between people of the same gender,’ drawing a stark contrast in the upcoming election. For most voters, this election will now be an easy choice,” said Staver.

The decision by the President is not a surprise. He needs to appeal to his far-left base that helped propel him to the White House in 2008 but whose support has weakened in 2012.

“We are six months away from arguably the most critical national election in our lifetime,” said Mat Staver. “America is headed in the wrong direction: we are on the edge of a moral, financial, spiritual, and national security abyss. President Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan is ‘Forward.’ The Titanic was moving forward but headed to disaster. We need to change course.”

AFA Stands By Their Man: Fischer Says 'Things that A Lot of People on the Conservative Side of Things Think but They Won't Say'

Rosie Gray of BuzzFeed is out with a new profile of Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association spokesman, revealing that Fischer is a wildcard in the Religious Right movement not because of his extremist views but as a result of his readiness to broadcast them without restraint or fear of the consequences. Social conservative leaders never question or rebuke his hardline rhetoric or radical claims, chronicled almost daily on this blog, and are happy to give Fischer a platform at key events like the Values Voters Summit and appear on his radio show. As Gray writes, the leadership of the AFA is squarely behind Fischer, with Buster Wilson boasting that Fischer “will say things that a lot of people on the conservative side of things think but they won’t say.”

Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches noted in her report from October, 2010, that former AFA employees told her that “the views represented by Fischer are not only tolerated within the organization, but any opposition to its anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant invective—including reliance on white nativist sources in the AFA’s media programs—is dismissed. What’s worse, former employees say, anyone questioning such attitudes as un-Christian is denigrated, and in some cases forced out.”

In fact, the only times his columns were censored by the AFA was not due to internal disagreement but because the issues he was talking about veered outside of the group’s mission.

While the AFA did not remove Fischer’s column denying the link between HIV and AIDS from its website (which you can find here), the group expunged Fischer’s columns defending the expulsion of Native Americans from their land, demanding all immigrants to the US convert to Christianity and maintaining that African Americans “rut like rabbits” as a result of the welfare system. Again, the AFA didn’t think Fischer was wrong, but as Tim Wildmon said, they were about “topics that we wouldn’t get into.”

And what of the drumbeat volume of accusations from those to his left — including many Republicans — that he is a bigot and a homophobe?

“It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m right.”

“Eventually everybody in America is going to agree with me,” Fischer said gravely. “Either before it’s too late or after it’s too late. Because what we’re talking about is the truth.”

Fischer’s confidence has made him a compelling messenger. In 2009, Tim Wildmon invited him nearly 2,000 miles southeast to work at AFA headquaters [sic], and he and his wife Debbie moved to Tupelo. The couple attends the Hope Church, a midsize evangelical congregation on a desolate highway on the way out of town, and have two grown children, Jenna and J.D.

When the younger Wildmon took over the AFA from his ailing father in 2010, he immediately set out to boost its already-robust radio network — an effort that involved hiring rising star Fischer. AFA’s programming goes out to 200 stations across the country and pulls in between 800,000 and 1.2 million listeners a week, of whom Fischer’s show takes the majority, the group says. Buster Wilson, who hosts the show after Fischer’s, said he believed Fischer had inherited the elder Wildmon’s high-profile role in the conservative movement.

“Bryan will say things that a lot of people on the conservative side of things think but they won’t say,” Wilson said. “Or believe but they won’t speak of,” Wilson said.

...

Wildmon was careful to note that Fischer’s views, on his blog and on his radio show, do not always reflect those of AFA. He said there have been two instances in the past two years when he’s asked Fischer to take something off the site. One was a post asserting that Native Americans were “morally disqualified” from controlling territory in North America. Another was a column using the example of Magic Johnson’s health to question whether or not HIV really leads to AIDS.

Why can’t Fischer say that, but can say, for example, that Hitler was gay, or that God will cure AIDS if gays cease all sexual activity? Or that Bill Clinton is responsible for the rise in oral cancer?

“Most times his views are going to be be consistent with ours, but sometimes he’s going to stray and speak on topics that we wouldn’t get into,” Wildmon said. “I’m not distancing myself or our ministry from Bryan in the sense that he does work here, he’s on our payroll.”

Fischer said that every time something’s been taken off the blog, it’s been of his own volition.

“I made those decisions,” he said.

Bilge from the In-box

Here’s a Friday treat: highlights from recent right-wing direct mail. In the past week or so, in addition to an invitation to this September’s Values Voter Summit:

Jerome Corsi, a rabidly Obama-hating birther and crazy-theory-promoter extraordinaire sent a VERY CONFIDENTIAL emergency request for money for his Freedom’s Defense Fund. Although Corsi told me that it’s “imperative that the media not know what Freedom’s Defense Fund has planned,” I’m going to let you in on the secret. Corsi says he’s going to “saturate the television with attacks aimed directly at Obama.” Corsi’s letter accuses Obama of “race-baiting” and “class warfare,” which isn’t surprising given that the president is, in Corsi’s words, “nothing more than a Socialist agitator in the mold of Sol Alinsky.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website, Freedom’s Defense Fund raised and spent nearly $3 million in the 2010 election cycle. 

From the prolific folks at the American Family Association, a “declaration of spiritual emergency.” According to the AFA’s Tim Wildmon, the nation’s problems, including “the Obama administration’s blatant attempt to destroy religious freedom in this country” are evidence of what’s wrong with our nation: “As a people, we have divorced ourselves from God.”  Wildmon warns that “the ‘internal invader’ that threatens to destroy our nation is, in a word, secularism!” Wildmon’s letter is evidence of the increasingly close political alliance between the Religious Right and the Catholic Right in their joint effort to portray Obama as an enemy of religious liberty: it includes a quote from the pope himself complaining about new “cultural currents” in America “which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council contributes yet another screed warning that President Obama’s “war on religion” could “irreversibly transform America.” Perkins says of Obama: “His vision is to plant a dense forest of secularism (a non-Christian America) and socialism (a government-run America) that can never, ever be cut down or uprooted.”

Wildmon: Efforts to Prevent Human-Influenced Climate Change are 'Anti-Christian'

Prior to their interview with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who is promoting his new book on how science—and the Bible—expose the “Global Warming Hoax,” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon said efforts to combat human influence on climate change are led by “anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-Christian” activists from “the Occupy wall Street crowd.” Cohost Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, also dubbed them “anti-child.”

Perkins: We are abdicating our national sovereignty to the UN under some of these treaties on climate change, and it’s very troubling when you begin to see the entire agenda, Tim, that’s behind this global warming.

Wildmon: Yeah, I think what’s behind it is, and Senator Inhofe writes about this, it’s the people like the Occupy Wall Street crowd, it’s that kind of mentality. It’s anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-Christian.

Perkins: It’s anti-child too.

Wildmon: Anti-child. I think quite frankly they are wanting to use the global warming scare, which has basically petered out with the American people, they’re not buying it anymore, people really aren’t talking about it that much anymore. Now those who are committed to their cause are and they are continuing to fight on Capitol Hill but most of the American people I think today don’t buy it anymore. But they are using this scare, globally, to try to control, as you say Tony and as Senator Inhofe says, to control America.

Such claims are nothing new from the Religious Right, and they even made an entire “documentary” explaining how environmental protection is “anti-Christian”:

Tim Wildmon Warns of Hate Speech Laws if Obama is Re-Elected

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday hosted conservative writer Neil Mammen on Today’s Issues, where Wildmon warned that “if President Obama is re-elected again” he will “threaten our religious freedoms” by making hate speech laws to “shut you down if you have anything critical to say about homosexuality.” Conservatives have been warning, dishonestly, of impending hate speech laws for years now, with groups warning of churches being closed and pastors getting arrested and going to prison. While their nightmare vision never seems to come true, Religious Right leaders like Wildmon never fail to make such claims in order to rile up their supporters and stoke fears of equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Wildmon: If President Obama is re-elected again, he will appoint more ACLU lawyer type judges to the Supreme Court and to the federal bench, all right, that will threaten our religious freedoms in this country as we’ve known them. I guarantee you it will. Now President Obama would reject that idea but I’m telling you they will, for instance they will take hate speech, if you speak out against homosexuality, and they will impose that as unacceptable and they will shut you down if you have anything critical to say about homosexuality.

Mammen: Look at this new contraception law thing that they pushed through.

Wildmon: Exactly. Prime example, prime example right there.

Perkins Claims Christians Who Support Gay Rights 'Want to Silence Christians'

Earlier this week MSNBC refused to air Faithful America’s advertisement urging MSNBC to stop hosting Family Research Council president Tony Perkins over his erroneous and hateful remarks about the LGBT community. You can watch the ad here:

Yesterday on Today’s Issues with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, Perkins called Faithful America a “loudmouth, Soros-funded group” and attacked Bishop Eugene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire who along with other Christian leaders delivered 20,000 signatures to MSNBC urging the network to drop Perkins, whom Perkins said “split the Episcopal Church because he’s openly gay and wanted to marry his lover or whatever you call it.” Perkins argued that Faithful America is “afraid of the truth” and wants to “silence Christians,” saying that while on MSNBC it usually has “nothing to do with homosexuality.”

Wildmon: There’s something about, I didn’t read the whole story, something about you appearing on some news show the other night and now the homosexual activist groups want you banned for life or something, I don’t know.

Perkins: Well what’s new about that? They are afraid of the truth and they are probably listening because I know they like to monitor this program and that’s what it is, they are afraid of the truth. They do not want to have open debates, they know the facts simply do not line up, and so instead of publicly showing up and debating or putting their ideas out there on the table they simply want to silence Christians, that’s what it’s about.



Perkins: You might remember the Episcopal Bishop Eugene Robinson who split the Episcopal Church because he’s openly gay and wanted to marry his lover or whatever you call it, and he gathered 20,000 signatures and presented them to MSNBC demanding that they keep me off of MSNBC because you know I’m on there you know talking about politics or whatever and usually it’s nothing to do with homosexuality, they just don’t want anybody who does have views that are counter to theirs.

Wildmon: I’ll tell you what, you’re in good company, the other day Kirk Cameron went on Piers Morgan on CNN, and man, Piers Morgan asked him a question about homosexuality, he said it was ‘unnatural,’ he just got torched.

Perkins: I talked to Kirk, I talked to him yesterday actually I was actually interestingly enough I was coming out of MSNBC where I was on yesterday with Martin Bashir, and I would actually encourage folks to go watch that interview that I did with him—they have it on their homepage; at least they did this morning on MSNBC—and thank them for allowing a balanced discussion. Obviously Martin did not agree with me but we had a very civil discussion on the issues and I tell you what I have to respect MSNBC for allowing debate and not buckling under the pressure of a loudmouth, Soros-funded group that is simply trying to silence the public debate over important public policy issues, so I will have to come to the defense of MSNBC for not buckling under that pressure.

Wildmon Falsely Claims Obama has Never Visited the Border

One of the advantages of being president of the American Family Association and American Family Radio is that you get to host a daily radio program where you can vent your outrage about whatever pops into your head regardless of the fact that you may have no idea what you are talking about, as Tim Wildmon displayed yesterday while interviewing Rep. Trent Franks as he insisted that President Obama has never made a trip to America's southern border because he doesn't care about the issues of immigration and border security. 

In fact, Obama delivered a speech on both of those issues on May 10, 2011 at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas which is, as you can see, pretty much right on the border:

So we decided to grab a bit of footage from the remarks that President Obama delivered on that day and make a little video to with the aim of helping to satisfy Wildmon's concerns:

Tim Wildmon Says Islam 'Does Not Teach' Charity

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon today used his column praising the admirable works of Christian charitable organizations to criticize Muslims.

If there ever was a contrast in worldviews, it is with Christianity and Islam. One of the most striking differences is that Christianity teaches, practices, and encourages charity. Islam does not. It is the Christians from America who are doing the majority of the private charity and humanitarian work around the world. Just these past couple of weeks alone, I was reminded by several examples of this.



American Family Association/American Family Radio has been participating in this project with Gospel for Asia for several years. Why do we care about the outcast people of India? Because in the Bible, Jesus instructs us to do so.

There is no such comparable work being done around the world by Islamic groups or organizations -- because the Koran does not teach such charity.

Religion, more than anything else, affects the values and morals of a culture, a society, a country.

In fact, charitable giving is one of the five pillars of Islam. Wildmon could have done a simple Google search to find the names of major Muslim charitable organizations like Islamic Relief, Red Crescent Societies and Muslim Aid, but seeing that the American Family Association is one of the most malicious purveyors of misinformation and bigotry in this country, it should come as no surprise that its leader can twist an article about the importance of charitable work into an attack on the Muslim people.

Sandy Rios Says Secular Jews Have Been 'The Worst Enemies of the Country'

The American Family Association recently hired Fox News contributor and former Concerned Women for America president Sandy Rios to host her own show on American Family Radio, and here’s what we get to look forward to: attacks on Jewish Americans for supporting President Obama. Earlier today she spoke with the AFA’s Tim Wildmon and Bryan Fischer, where she suggested that secular Jews are enemies of America. Rios bemoaned that “the Jewish vote in this country is so confused, so many of the Jews in this country are atheist and their hearts are with this President.” “They’re far-left,” Wildmon said, “Most of the Jews in this country are far left, unfortunately.” Rios said that “a lot of Jewish atheists are some of the ones who have done, just like former Christians or quasi Christians, people who have some dealing with Judeo-Christian ethics, sometimes turn out to be the worst enemies of the country.”

Later on in the show, Rios said that “there are very few” religious people in Israel, “by and large Israel is an atheistic country, they don’t really believe in the God of their fathers, there’s no question about that,” and maintained that Christians must “evangelize and pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Perkins Claims that Gay Rights Advocates 'Want to Silence the Church'

Yesterday on Today’s Issues, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and American Family Association head Tim Wildmon hosted New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera to discuss the city’s decision to prohibit church groups from using public school buildings, which was recently overturned by a federal judge. During the interview, Cabrera attacked gay rights advocates for supposedly siding with the city government, to which Perkins replied that “homosexual groups” want “to silence the church. They want the church to go away because they don’t want that moral voice in the community.” Cabrera even claimed that gay rights supporters “want to censor language and speech”:

In another part of the program, Perkins said that while President Obama apologized for the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan his administration “is silent when Christianity is attacked in this country.” Later, Wildmon said that “Islam is not a religion of peace. That is not true.” Wildmon lamented, “President Obama on this issue, you’d at least like him to speak out on the violence committed against Christians around the world, but you don’t hear anything about that.”

However, last May President Obama defended the rights and freedoms of Christians in Egypt in a speech about the political crisis in the Middle East and earlier this week the State Department released a statement condemning Iran for giving him a death sentence because of his refusal to recant his conversion to Christianity. In fact, the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report documents and denounces the persecution of Christians in countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.

AFA: Vote to end ‘Evil’ Obama’s ‘all-out war on Christians’

It’s not exactly a surprise when the American Family Association, home of the consistently unhinged Bryan Fischer, uses over-the-top rhetoric in its attacks on President Obama.  Still, the latest fundraising letter from AFA President Tim Wildmon is memorably apocalyptic in tone:

In a very real way the year 2012 is as important to our nation as was the year 1776.

Just as then, this year Americans must choose between freedom and tyranny.

Wildmon goes on to call the administration’s recent regulations on insurance coverage of contraception “but the latest instance of the Obama Administration’s all-out war on Christians.”

Wildmon cites "the choice God put before the Israelites before He would allow them to enter into the Promised Land" and says

I believe God is asking America to make that same choice now:

              Life and good … or death and evil.

Wildmon suggests Obama’s re-election would bring God’s wrath on America:

 …everyone here at AFA is convinced that the elections this November will determine whether or not America will survive as a nation. After all, God has been long-suffering with us for decades now. How long will his patience last?

But, he says, if tens of millions of Christians register and vote for men and women who “respect our Christian heritage, will fight to protect religious freedom, and will work to build America’s crumbing moral foundation,” then

We can literally save America! As a nation we can stand before Almighty God and tell Him:

We love You, Lord! As a people, we will walk in Your ways and keep Your commandments!

The response card accompanying the letter seeks donation to “help elect godly leaders and to restore America to a nation that honors the one, true God.”

Religious Right Leaders Deride Obama's 'Overt Anti-Christian Hostility'

When one wonders why polls show that the number of Americans who don’t believe President Obama is a Christian is actually rising, consider the harsh rhetoric of Religious Right leaders like American Family Association head Tim Wildmon and Rick Scarborough of Vision America. On Today’s Issues, Wildmon and Scarborough told listeners that President Obama is not a Christian and that there are “no fruits of [Christian faith] in his public policy positions.” In fact, the Religious Right leaders argued that he is “anti-Christian”:

Wildmon: I’m just somewhat stunned by the secular, anti-Christian, anti-life attitude and statements and policies of President Obama, it’s just one thing after another. He claims to be a Christian, I see no fruits of that in his public policy positions, you claim to be a Christian yet you’re for murdering unborn babies in the womb. How do you put that together?

Scarborough: At some point finally you have to look at the man’s life and determine whether to believe the rhetoric or not.



Scarborough: You have to conclude, something is wrong, something is missing, the rhetoric doesn’t match the life.

Wildmon: I think there’s an anti-Christian, overt anti-Christian hostility.

Perkins: The Left is Trying to Create a Theocracy

To say that the Religious Right is apoplectic about the Obama administration's contraception mandate would be a bit of an understatement.  It has seemingly been all that they have been capable of talking about for the last week and that trend continued today as Tim Wildom and Tony Perkins hosted Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) on this morning's edition of "Today's Issues."

Wildmon and Smith wondered how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, or anyone other politician for that matter, could consider themselves to be Catholic if they support reproductive rights, while Perkins wondered how anyone who did so could even consider themselves to be a Christian.

The discussion eventually turned to President Obama and his citation of scripture in support of his political views, which Smith claimed was all part of a long-term effort by population control proponents to undermine Christianity by using Scriputure to promote evil, which prompted Perkins to responded by claiming that it is "the Left" that is out to create a theocracy:

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