Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has spent the past decade in elected office, is trying his hardest to portray himself as a political outsider. He took this to a new level yesterday in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway , when he promised that if he were elected president he would not only call for the removal of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but would also try to “get rid of” all 535 members of the House and Senate.
In response to a caller who slammed Boehner and McConnell and asked if Jindal “would you do everything within your power to honestly get that man removed from the position of speaker of the House,” Jindal responded, “Absolutely, but I wouldn’t just stop there. More than that needs to go.”
Citing the fact that Republicans in Congress have not yet defunded Planned Parenthood and were unable to block the Iran nuclear deal, he said, “It’s ridiculous. I’m sure that there are 535 Americans in this country who are capable of serving, they’re not indispensable to the future of our country. So absolutely, not only do we need to change leadership, we need to get rid, I’m ready to fire them all.”
The House today approved a bill that would block federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood for one year, unless the organization certifies that it will no longer perform abortions, something that it does not currently use federal funds for.
The vote, driven by a smear campaign from anti-choice extremists, was divided mostly along party lines, with the notable exception of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who voted “present.” In a video statement, King explained that he didn’t think the House bill went far enough in attacking the “diabolical” Planned Parenthood, taking particular issue with the fact that the bill would allow Planned Parenthood to continue offering abortions for women who have survived rape or incest:
The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the most influential leaders in the anti-choice movement, held trainings to teach Republican politicians how to change the subject when rape comes up. Dannenfelser has been very clear that she opposes rape exceptions in abortion bans, which she has called “abominable,” “regrettable” and “ intellectually dishonest,” but will urge lawmakers to support a bill that has to contain such exceptions for political reasons.
But hard as Dannenfelser and her allies might try to get anti-choice lawmakers to shut up about rape, they face an uphill battle. Although most anti-choice activists oppose rape exceptions, a vocal portion of the movement believes that lawmakers should automatically reject any bill that includes such exceptions.
A 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House earlier this year and will be coming up for a vote in the Senate next week has been mired for years in anti-choice infighting about rape exceptions. Before a version of the bill came up for a House vote in 2013, Republican leaders scrambled at the last minute to add a rape exception to neutralize controversial comments made by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks.
In January of this year, the House was planning to vote on the bill to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but scrapped the plan after a coalition led by female Republican lawmakers objected to a provision that would have required rape survivors to report the crime to law enforcement. An exasperated Sen. Lindsey Graham told anti-choice activists the next morning, “I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”
In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, Rep. Steve King warned that President Obama is “seeking to change the demographics” of the U.S. through his immigration and refugee resettlement policies, asking, “How long is it before the culture of America is changed?”
King had a simple explanation for the president’s policies: He wants to “change the demographics” of America in order to increase the number of “Democrat voters.”
The Iowa Republican challenged advocates of refugee resettlement to “tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.”
Why would you do this if you were president of the United States? He’s seeking to change the demographics of the United States of America. And changing the demographics changes the politics, they’re going to have Democrat voters at least two-to-one, some numbers go all the way to five-to-one, and I’m not speaking only of Muslims, I’m speaking of the Central American immigrants that come into America too.
So, any way to win. Bill Clinton accelerated the naturalization of more than a million people before his ’96 re-elect, and we were appalled by that. But this president is pushing, and it turns out to be millions. And we should look at the kind of character that America’s going to be.
As much as I love and appreciate people from any place on the planet, this country has been made up of, is a center-right country, is Christian based, that is our morality, we believe in freedom of religion but if you brought in, say, all the Muslims in the world into the United States, you know it changes the culture.
So if it turns into a few hundred thousand every year, how long is it before the culture of America is changed? And we’re willingly, we’re knowingly and willingly changing the culture of America by government policies driven out of the White House and we aren’t even having a national debate about how that changes our country and is it good or is it bad. I have not seen either the level of assimilation of Muslims into the broader American society, or any place in the world, for that matter. So I’d like to see that model, point to that, tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited influential state conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats on his program last week to discuss Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had just been released from jail after refusing to allow her office to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Vander Plaats was very proud of himself that all of his warnings about gay marriage destroying religious liberty had come true, telling Deace, “Our team said to me today, they said, ‘Bob, you ought to feel like you’re prophetic in some of this stuff.’”
Deace, meanwhile, had nothing but contempt for Republican politicians and conservative activists who failed to defend Davis’ lawbreaking.
“Beware of those in a culture war who write, you know, really principled and highly intellectual thought pieces for conservative or Christian outlets, and then in a time of crisis and confrontation like this, they say, oh this is not the right hill to die on,” he fumed. “What they really mean, Bob, is there’s never a right time to stand for anything nor is there ever any hill to die on. And these are the people, they’re going to hold the jail cell open for us when the Marxists throw us inside too.”
He added that his only comfort was that those conservatives are on their way to Hell: “It reminds me of the famous quote from Dante, that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for these kind of cowardly quislings. And I’ll just flat-out say it on the radio, the mere thought of that comforts me. The mere thought of that statement being true comforts me, because it confirms that God is just and they have received their award in full.”
“And judgment is mine, declares the Lord,” Vander Plaats added. “And so therefore we’re glad we serve a just God.”
Scott shared a number of thoughts of her own on the issue, telling Noebel she would “confront hypocrisy” on the left even though she risked a “social jihad” in response to her comments.
Making clear for “all those haters out there” that she was just “asking the question,” Scott asked listeners to ponder this during a commercial break: “If homosexuality is something to be celebrated by the left, by Hollywood, then why does it need all of these protections? And if it needs these protections, then why do we promote it as an everyday lifestyle and a regular choice for our youth?”
After the break, she rephrased the question: “If homosexuality is truly just something that happens, then why, one, do we have to recruit it in our kindergarten through college-level educational system and, if it’s just an everyday thing, why does it need all these special protections in the civil rights?”
Scott also complained to Noebel that “it’s the left and the progressives who are always throwing the cards, whether it’s the black card, the sex card, the female card, the war on women,” saying that liberals are hypocritical to want gender equality when they are also fighting for transgender rights.
“They want 50 percent male and female [in the House and Senate] by the year 2020,” she said. “Well, my thought is, how can you do that? You don’t even want to call somebody a sex, that's a changeable thing every day.”
Iowa Religious Right activist and state Republican Party committeewoman Tamara Scott invited Summit Ministries founder David Noebel onto her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where the two agreed that the ultimate goal of the “homosexual revolution” is to “destroy Christianity.”
Gay marriage, Noebel warned, is going to “affect everything,” pointing out that even before the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, children in public schools were learning about the existence of gay people, which he said amounts to “child molestation.”
“They were already down in kindergarten, first, second and third grades teaching the younger innocents,” he said, “And you talk about child molestation. This, to me, was child molestation. When you start teaching first-, second- and third-graders about the glories and wonders of the homosexual lifestyle, you know you’ve got a problem.”
Lamenting that “the Obama administration put a flaming homosexual in charge of a good portion of our public education,” he warned that “this is very serious stuff.”
“The game plan is to destroy Christianity,” he concluded, to Scott’s agreement. “That’s the game plan. Because they contend that Christianity has been very tough on the homosexuals for 2,000 years and now it’s time to get back at the whole thing and show them who’s really boss. So we’re in a very explosive cultural revolution.”
He added that he wasn’t sure if Western civilization could “survive another generation.”
At a campaign stop in Pella, Iowa, yesterday Gov. Bobby Jindal took a question from an audience member who asked if President Obama and Hillary Clinton realize that if they “sign off our sovereignty to have the United Nations rule whether we have weapons or not” by signing the U.N Arms Trade Treaty that it “will cause a civil war.”
Rather than pushing back against the questioner’s unfounded claims and dire warning about the treaty, Jindal promises the audience that “I’m not for giving one ounce of America’s sovereignty to the United Nations or any other international body, period” and boasted of having received an award from the NRA, which has been aggressively pushing the conspiracy theory that the U.N. treaty will lead to private gun confiscation in the U.S.
“This whole idea that we’ll give away America’s interests or rights to international bodies makes no sense to me and shouldn’t be done and no president should do that and no politician should support it,” Jindal said. “Any politician that says that shouldn’t get another vote and should be kicked out of office regardless of their other positions, quite frankly.”
Jindal then played directly to the questioner’s fears: “If they don’t want law-abiding citizens to have guns, they should change the Constitution, they should stop trying to take away or give away our rights. But you know, they just don’t trust us. Let’s be honest. They don’t want us to have First or Second or 10th Amendment rights. The left doesn’t think we’re smart enough to live our own lives.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has been very impressed with Donald Trump’s candidacy, joined Minnesota talk radio host Dan “Ox” Ochsner earlier this month to discuss Trump’s far-right positions, which he said have “tapped into the emotions of fed-up Americans.”
Americans, King claimed, are “fed up” with President Obama “dismantling our military” and apologizing to “every continent out there” for things like slavery when “there’s nothing for us to apologize for.”
“They’ve delighted in dismantling our military, and it seems as though he’s apologized to every continent out there,” he said, “you know, he apologized to Africa for slavery and genuflects to the Arabic princes and genuflects to the emperor of Japan, and it goes on and on. Americans are tired of apologizing, Ox. We’re a proud people. We’re the vigor of the planet and there’s nothing for us to apologize for until they come and thank us for the things we’ve done.”
Contrary to King’s claim, Obama has not formally “apologized to Africa for slavery” and never went on what the Right has called an “apology tour.”
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who chairs Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, introduced the Texas Republican at the candidate’s “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Des Moines on Friday.
Schultz told the crowd that just as Jesus Christ threw the moneychangers out of the Temple, Cruz will go to Washington D.C. to “throw the moneychangers out.”
“When you read the Scriptures and when you look at our country’s history, you can see that God prepares and raises special men and women to protect and fight for His people and I believe this is one of those moments in time,” Schultz said. “Ted Cruz is that man who God has prepared for this moment in time to be our champion, to fight for our husbands, our wives, our children, our grandchildren, for our country.”
The video was captured by the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts.
Earlier this week, Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson proposed that states press undocumented immigrants into indentured servitude, asking a skeptical listener, “What’s wrong with slavery?” So, naturally, Sen. Ted Cruz dropped by Mickelson’s program this morning to discuss assaults on American Christians by the “atheist Taliban” and to discuss illegal immigration.
When Mickelson asked Cruz if he thought “the term ‘anchor baby’” is an offensive way to describe the American-born children of undocumented immigrants, who are automatically granted birthright citizenship under the Constitution, Cruz laughed.
“You know, it’s amazing what the media chooses to get offended by,” he said. “They don’t get offended when an illegal alien murders Kate Steinle in San Francisco. They don’t get offended when the Obama administration releases 104,000 violent criminal illegal aliens. And yet they get offended by people trying to solve real public policy problems.”
This led Mickelson to make a convoluted argument that his dictionary says that “anchor baby” is offensive but also defines marriage as between a man and a woman, so liberals must be wrong.
“You know, there is power, Jan, to simply speaking the truth, to not engaging in this politically correct nonsense and double-speak,” Cruz agreed. “Speak honestly and candidly about the challenges we face, whether it’s the assault on marriage — and we have the Supreme Court and the radical left trying to forcibly redefine marriage and to tear down what has been a fundamental building block of our society from time immemorial — or when it comes to, on immigration.”
Later in the interview, Cruz told Mickelson that “one of the real benefits of Donald Trump’s being in this race is it’s forced the mainstream media to talk about illegal immigration.” This, he thought, would ultimately turn anti-immigrant voters to him, because “for years, I’ve been leading the fight, actually been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Steve King.”
“I stood with Jeff Sessions in the Senate and Steve King in the House and we led the fight and defeated amnesty in the United States Congress,” he boasted.
“You know, it is an open legal question whether changing birthright citizenship could be done through statute or could be done through a constitutional amendment,” Cruz claimed. “There are serious constitutional scholars on both sides of that argument. As a policy matter, I think it is basic common sense that we shouldn’t be incentivizing illegal immigration, that it doesn’t make sense to provide rewards for people to break the law and come here.”
“In the end, I think we should pursue whatever means will be effective in ending birthright citizenship,” he said.
While ending birthright citizenship would take a “long-term solution,” Cruz said, if he is elected he will immediately “put boots on the ground to secure the border” and “stop releasing violent criminal illegal aliens.”
This morning, just two days after Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson caused a national controversy when he suggested that states enslave undocumented immigrants who refuse to leave, asking, “What’s wrong with slavery?,” Sen. Ted Cruz joined Mickelson’s program to discuss his upcoming rally in Iowa which will bring together various supposed victims of anti-Christian persecution.
Mickelson asked Cruz to discuss his fight against the “brazenness of the atheist Taliban” and the fact that “anytime they furrow their brow at anyone [people] fold up and go home and give them what they want.”
Cruz, who has previously railed against what he called a gay “jihad" against Christians, apparently liked Mickelson’s phrase, and took it up while describing his work fighting against church-state separation efforts.
“There is an assault on faith and an assault on religious liberty that we see across this country and it has never been as bad as it is right now,” he said, claiming that “radical atheists and liberals” are “driving any acknowledgment of God out of the public square.”
“There are these zealots — as you put it, the atheist Taliban — that seek to tear down any acknowledgment of God in the public square, and it’s contrary to our Constitution, it’s contrary to who we are as a people.”
If you are a presidential candidate, you spend a lot of time talking to people in Iowa. And if you’re a Republican, that means a lot of time on Iowa conservative radio, including popular programs hosted by right-wing activists Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson.
The fact that Deace and Mickelson have long histories of extreme rhetoric has not dissuaded Republican candidates from joining their shows. But Mickelson just upped the ante with comments he made on his program today.
Media Matters caught Mickelson proposing that undocumented immigrants in Iowa become “property of the state” and pressed into hard labor. When a listener called in to point out that Mickelson’s proposal “sounds like slavery,” Mickelson asked, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?” Undocumented immigrants, he went on to say, are the ones who are enslaving American citizens:
It will be interesting to see if any of the GOP candidates who have been on Mickelson’s radio program recently — which, according to Media Matters’ count, includes Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — repudiate his remarks.
But the fact is that if these candidates were concerned about Mickelson’s rhetoric, they should have stopped going on his show long ago.
And just last week, Mickelson was getting Rep. Steve King to entertain the conspiracy theory that a botched EPA mine cleanup in Colorado was a deliberate plan to pollute a river to create a Superfund site:
Republican candidates may try to avoid Mickelson’s show after today. But given their track record, we somehow doubt that they will.
Last month, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum got into a heated exchange with Rachel Maddow about his statement that the Supreme Court doesn’t “have the final say on anything,” including abortion rights and LGBT equality. He attempted to clarify his position at a campaign event in Iowa last week, explaining that while he is fine with the Supreme Court having judicial review powers, the president and Congress should simply ignore decisions that they think are wrong.
In comments captured on video by the conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Santorum said, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the right or the duty or the obligation to determine what is constitutional and what is not.”
“Marbury v. Madison is a Supreme Court case where they granted themselves that authority,” he continued. “And for a couple of hundred years, roughly, we have seen that deference given to the court. I think the court is the right place to make these types of constitutional judgments. But what happens if the court makes an unconstitutional judgment? What happens if the court itself violates the Constitution? Is there a remedy?"
“Our founders clearly wanted it to be very hard to change the Constitution,” he said. “That’s why when you see the court change the Constitution in an unconstitutional fashion, in other words…amend the Constitution by creating something that’s not there, they’ve short-circuited something that was supposed to be very hard to do, and there should be some remedy of saying, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ And what is that? Well, what is that is the president or the Congress saying, ‘You’re acting unconstitutionally and we’re not going to pay attention to that law, we’re not going to pay attention to your ruling.’”
Speaking at an anti-Planned Parenthood rally in Iowa on Saturday, Rick Santorum compared the “poisonous, wretched, cancerous” legalization of abortion in America to the Holocaust, saying that both were “based on a lie.”
Santorum told the rally that he had recently read the book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” by Andy Andrews and thought it applied just as easily to legal abortion as to the Holocaust.
“The title of the book is ‘How Do You Kill 11 Million People?’ He could have retitled it ‘How Do You Kill 55 Million People Here In America?’” he said. “This book is about the Holocaust. And you know what his answer was, in one simple sentence? How do you kill 11 million people? You lie to them. Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry, Roe v. Wade, all of it is based on a lie about when a child becomes a human being.”
“We see the poisonous, wretched, cancerous result of that lie,” he continued. “Every lie, we all know, we tell our kids that when you lie that one lie leads to another lie, and another one, and another one, and pretty soon you just have this poisonous web that you can’t get out of. That’s where we are.”
The video was captured by the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last week that he thought it was “plausible” that the Environmental Protection Agency purposefully caused a toxic spill in the Animas River in Colorado in order to establish a Superfund site.
Earlier this month, a crew working for the EPA to clean up an abandoned gold mine accidentally caused three million gallons of contaminated water to spill into the river. The Denver Post reported this weekend that a “theory has been making its way around town that the EPA purposefully caused” the spill in order to ensure that the area is designated as a Superfund site. That theory, based on a letter to the editor of a local paper that some say “predicted” the EPA conspiracy, has begun to get national attention, including from the website of Fox News.
“I only saw the headline on that, so that’s all I know,” King responded, “but when you say this to me, what flashes through my mind is Fast and Furious, how plausible did that sound when it first emerged, and it sounded completely implausible and yet it turned out to be completely true. So I don’t want to make allegations about this particular incident, I certainly want to learn a lot more about it, and I will, but it’s plausible.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said yesterday that he hopes that Congress defunds Planned Parenthood before there is a “full investigation” into its fetal tissue donation program, saying that Congress’ response to recent attacks the women’s health group should resemble its defunding of the community organizing group ACORN in 2009.
“When we hear people say, well we can’t defund Planned Parenthood because we don’t know all of the places that they’re getting money from and we can’t be passing judgment on this until we do a full investigation, I completely disagree with that,” King told Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway. “This is similar in the function of ACORN. When we saw what ACORN was doing inside the offices across the country from the videos that were put out there by Hanna [Giles] and James [O’Keefe], that was enough to be convincing for Congress to shut off all money to ACORN, which was far more complex than shutting off the money to Planned Parenthood because they had affiliates that were different names."
“We wrote language that was broad and that encompassed it and did shut off most of, and there are still, we didn’t quite get the people followed but we got the organizations followed to do that. We can do this with Planned Parenthood, and we must.”
Sen. Joni Ernst speculated in a radio interview yesterday that President Obama may have deliberately provoked a controversy over the lowering of American flags in honor of the service members killed in a shooting in Tennessee last week in order to distract from “the fact that terrorism remains” and from the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
Simon Conway, host of an Iowa conservative talk radio program, asked Ernst about the flag hubbub, adding, “I think there’s something else going on because I think he wants us talking about that and not the other thing, whatever the other thing might be.”
The Iowa Republican replied that she was “confused as well” and criticized President Obama for waiting five days to lower flags in honor of the slain service members.
She added that Conway might have been on to something with his conspiracy theory: “I do think that there are so many things going on right now that he doesn’t want us talking about, whether it is the fact that terrorism remains, whether it is the agreement with Iran. I think there are so many things that he would just rather he don’t discuss and focus on something else.”
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited Florida Religious Right activist John Stemberger onto his program yesterday to push back against conservatives who are arguing that the government should just get out of marriage altogether after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, which Stemberger argues would actually expand government by destroying families and expanding the welfare state.
This is all what liberals want, he told Deace: “The left feeds on broken marriages and broken families. When families are strong, when there’s an economic system there, they start to understand the implications of taxes and all the economic implications of actually work and reward.”
This prompted Deace to share his theory that the sexual revolution was an outgrowth of the welfare state because before the expansion of the social safety net, most people were too poor to “act out immorally” by having “multiple wives” and “gay lovers” since “no one was subsidizing [their] depravity.”
“We have that today, which is why the sexual revolution came after the welfare state, because once it was obvious that people were not going to be held directly accountable for their actions, we removed the inhibitions against human nature that we already had,” he explained.
Stemberger agreed with Deace’s assessment, adding, “People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things.”
In an interview with The Hill newspaper today, Rep. Steve King defended Donald Trump’s comments calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug dealers, echoing Trump in claiming that the risk of sexual assault for women crossing the southern border translates into Mexican and Central American men being rapists.
"So yes, they’re being raped, they’re being murdered they’re being brutalized,” he told The Hill, “and when I know I’ve been challenged on that, 'well you can’t conclude that (it's) Mexicans or Central Americans that are doing the raping,' well, can you conclude anything else? They are being raped, they are victims of rape, and the price for the transit sometimes is, often is and predominantly is their body.”
Interestingly, while Republican presidential candidates have been scrambling to distance themselves from Trump, they continue to cater to King.
Iowa Republican national committeewoman Tamara Scott, also the state director of Concerned Women for America and a lobbyist for The Family Leader, said on her radio program last week that the shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist gunman was not a “racial issue” but instead part of a “targeted assault” on Christianity exemplified by the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage. She also criticized efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state property, saying that the flag is a Benghazi-like “diversion” from the real things dividing America: the media, public schools and rappers.
“There really was no debate” about the flag, Atkins said, up until the “secular media” used it as a distraction from the fact that the shooting actually “happened because of a lack of Christian influence in society”
Scott agreed, saying that the real cultural problems that led to the shooting are “a media that relentlessly pit groups against each other, voters in the elections where they pit voters into blocs against each other, or the education system that consistently creates a class warfare and an envy system in their children at an early age, or rappers with their racist rants about rape and everything else. There are several things that are feeding into this, but it’s not a gun and it’s not a flag.”
She added that until the recent debate, younger generations primarily associated the Confederate flag with the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard”: “For them the flag was a symbol of affection for a fun show and some culture known in the South. The unfortunate thing is this discussion is now creating a divide and a dialogue that would have died out decades ago had we not brought it up again over this. We’re continuing a problem that was actually, literally dying out.”
The Confederate flag, she concluded, is “the same distraction that the supposed video tape was for Benghazi.”
Scott discussed the issue with Atkins again on Tuesday, when she guest hosted conservative talk radio host Jan Mickelson’s program:
Atkins told Scott about another incident at a mostly white church in South Carolina, where a man had entered with a gun while a number of his family members were worshipping, which Scott said “we don’t hear about” in the media “because it can’t be made into a racial issue.”
She repeated her point that the shooting in a black church by a gunman with white supremacist views who specifically stated his desire to start a race war wasn’t as much a “racial issue” as an attack on religion. The Charleston shooting, she said, is “being made into more of a racial issue than it was,” when the shooter “could have gone anywhere – mall, sporting event, anywhere — and shot a race of people, but this was in a house of worship.”
Atkins agreed, lamenting that the shooting has led to an effort to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds: “It’s gotten the issue off what the real issue was and put the focus on what the side issue was in this situation.”
“It’s not the presence of a confederate flag at a capitol,” Scott agreed, “it’s the absence of a Christian faith in a community.”
Scott then accused the Confederate flag’s critics of turning a symbol of “fun” into something divisive.
“Creating this stir about the flag now forces dialogue that I think had died out decades ago,” she said. “It starts the divide all over again in younger generations that otherwise would have had absolutely no ill feelings on this flag. For this generation that I know, it was a symbol of Dukes of Hazzard and fun and a culture of the South. So I hate this dialogue that has started that has created a new generation of divisiveness.”
Agreeing that the Confederate flag is “an issue that really was not an issue” until the current debate, Atkins warned that removing the flag from government property could set a precedent that threatens Christianity.
“It was a symbol that this individual used to promote his hatred toward a group of people,” he explained. “And if we’re not careful, what we’re going to see happen, you’ll take fringe groups like Westboro Baptist Church, who supposedly use the word of God to justify their hatred and animosity toward different groups, and if we’re not careful, groups like that will then in turn cause even the word of God to be used as a symbol of hate.”