South Carolina

Pastor Who Claims He's Behind New South Carolina Abortion Bill Admits Goal Is To 'Get The Costs To Go Up,' Close Clinics

This week, South Carolina state senator Larry Grooms introduced a bill similar to the one recently passed in Texas that would require any doctor performing an abortion in the state to have “admitting privileges at a local hospital.”

Five states have recently passed similar bills. Publicly, advocates claim that the purpose of such bills is to protect women’s health; in unguarded moments, some activists have admitted that these provisions are actually meant to force abortion clinics to close by pressuring hospitals to deny the required privileges to abortion doctors.

According to one pastor who claims to have had a hand in the drafting of Grooms’ bill, that is the goal of the proposed provision in South Carolina. At an event in September at his church – which it appears that Sen. Grooms was attending -- pastor Bobby Eubanks explained that he planned to “help” the senator write a bill imposing a number of abortion restrictions so that he could “introduce it under his name.”

“My plan is to regulate the industry not to end it,” he said, explaining that regulations such as waiting periods and mandatory sonograms raise costs and therefore make abortions less affordable for the “girls” who are seeking them. “How you get the costs to go up is you regulate it,” he said, telling the story of a woman he met who said she was barely able to scrape up $500 for an abortion.

He also touted the admitting privileges provision, claiming that abortion clinics won’t help women who experience complications: “The girl, if she’s down there and she starts bleeding when she comes out, she’s on her own.”

But he also made clear the real reason he was pushing the provision, saying, “not a hospital in South Carolina” would actually grant the required privileges.

Eubanks then announced that he would track down any legislator who opposed his bill and “stand in front of their church and say, ‘You have a member of your church who promotes killing babies.’”

We left a message with Sen. Grooms’ office asking if Eubanks did in fact have a hand in writing the bill, and will update this post if we hear back from them.

It appears that the two are at least occasional collaborators. On the day that Grooms filed his bill, he joined Eubanks and his fellow state senator Lee Bright – currently the top-polling primary challenger to Sen. Lindsey Graham – at a protest in front of a Charleston hospital that provides reproductive medicine training to its residents.

Eubanks has some other notable views about abortion and other issues. At an event in July also attended by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Bright, Eubanks declared that he would “be in jail” if Hillary Clinton became president, suggested that Clinton had Ambassador Chris Stevens killed in Benghazi “because he knew stuff he was trying to move up the ladder,” claimed that “abortion continues to be because people don’t want biracial children,” warned that marriage equality would lead to “Braveheart”-style government destruction of marriage, and explained that slavery was “not about racism” but instead was “an accepted way of economics throughout the world.” In fact, when it comes to slavery, he said, “the real fault lies with Africa for selling their people to slave traders.”

South Carolina Senate Candidate Itching To Refight The Civil War

Yesterday, we took a look at South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s top-polling Tea Party primary challenger, state Sen. Lee Bright, who thinks the income tax is something out of Nazi Germany and is concerned about women with nice nails and pocketbooks getting food assistance.

It turns out that Bright doesn’t just want to eliminate a host of core federal programs…he’s also itching to refight the Civil War.

In a series of speeches to Republican and Tea Party gatherings this year, Bright has riled up crowds with the states-rights rallying cry, “If the Tenth Amendment won’t protect the Second, we might have to use the Second to protect the Tenth.”

Bright is a proponent of nullification, the unconstitutional idea that states can “nullify” federal laws that they don’t like. This year, he sponsored a bill in the state senate to nullify the Affordable Care Act.

At a gun-rights rally in front of the South Carolina statehouse in January, Bright stood before two confederate flags to offer his view that while he finds slavery “morally reprehensible,” President Lincoln’s Revenue Act of 1862 – which introduced a progressive income tax in order to fund the Union Army – “was when government started becoming God and taking over this country.”

Later in the speech, Bright declared he was ready to “lay down my life” fighting the federal government: “We don’t want to have to use the Second Amendment, we’re a peaceful people. But we will not be the generation that lost our liberty. People ask me all the time, ‘I don’t know what I’ll tell my children, I don’t know what I’ll tell my grandchildren.’ Well, I’m not going to have that problem, because I’m not going to be here. I want to lay down my life for my liberty just like my forefathers did.”

At a February “Day of Resistance Rally” in Greenville, Bright warned that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor might even want to dissolve the states, and expanded on his view of 19th century American history…adding that it is Americans today who are in fact under “the chains of slavery.”

“I went to public school,” he said, “and I was taught about the Civil War, and then I learned it was the War Between the States, and then I learned it was the War of Nullification, and then finally I learned out it was Lincoln’s War.”

He then accused President Obama of wanting to be a “king.” “I’ll say what my forefathers said,” he added. “No king but Jesus.”

“We have got to be organized, we have got to participate in these elections,” he said. “Because I’ve got to tell you, if we don’t, we might have to use the Second Amendment to defend the Tenth. And let me tell you, I want peace. Listen, peace is sweet, but it’s not so sweet for the chains of slavery.”
 

In another speech in February, Bright went after President Obama, claiming, “The man has never had a challenge, everything has been handed to him. We don’t know how his education was paid for, but it looks like it was handed to him, and we can’t even find out.”

He then offered his standard threat of violent revolution, speculating that in the hypothetical conflict President Obama wouldn’t send troops to South Carolina because armed forces from the state would turn against him.

“We want to use the Tenth Amendment to protect the Bill of Rights, but if we have to, we will use the Second Amendment to protect them. We want to be a peaceful people, but we can’t sacrifice liberty for peace,” he said.

“I’ve talked to plenty of soldiers, and these soldiers don’t much like what’s going on with Obama. I mean, these are our troops, these are our family members, and I just don’t think he’ll have federal troops coming down here. to South Carolina.”

One audience remember responded to the criticism of Obama by shouting “Vote him out!” Another can be heard responding, “Vote with guns!”
 

 

Graham's Tea Party Challenger: Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients 'Shouldn't Eat,' Social Safety Net 'Role Of The Church'

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright is currently leading the field of Tea Party primary challengers to Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, all of whom think the very conservative senator is not conservative enough.

To give you an idea of what someone running to the right of Lindsey Graham looks like, Bright wants anyone enforcing health care reform in South Carolina to go to jail, wants the state to have its own currency and has even joked about secession.

At a fundraising event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, Bright elaborated even further on his far-right beliefs, calling for immigrants to “self-deport,” saying that all social services should be provided by the Church and that able-bodied people relying on food stamps “shouldn’t eat,” and comparing the IRS’s income-tax collection to Nazi Germany.

Bright bashed Graham for participating in the crafting of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration law, saying that he only did so in order to bring more Democratic voters into South Carolina so he could switch parties. “Lindsey Graham would like to be a Democrat, but the numbers aren’t there,” he alleged. “But if you bring all the illegals in and they vote Democrat, then a Democrat can win in South Carolina and just about anywhere in the country.”

Bright added that his immigration solution was “self-deportation,” the draconian idea that if the government makes life miserable enough for undocumented immigrants, they’ll flee of their own will.

Later in the talk, Bright alleged that immigration reform is just a “band-aid” because “a lot” of Americans “won’t work.”

“It’s not politically correct to say this, but we’ve got a lot of people who won’t work,” he said. “And they won’t work because we’ll provide their food, and we’ll provide their housing, and we’ll provide some spending money. We’ve all seen it, the folks in line who are using [food stamps], yet they’ve got the nicest nails and the nicest pocketbook and they get the nicest car.”

Bright acknowledged that there are some Americans who are physically unable to work, but said they should be the responsibility of the Church: “There’s people that are mentally ill, there are people that are disabled. I understand that, though I still think that’s the role of the Church to take care of those folks.

“But able-bodied people, if they don’t work, they shouldn’t eat,” he said.

In fact, three-quarters of households receiving SNAP benefits include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person and a third of recipients do work, but don’t earn living incomes.

Finally, Bright voiced his support for the Tea Party dream of abolishing the IRS and income taxes, saying that “there is no other institution in our government that people are more fearful of,” he said. Getting a letter from the IRS, he added, is something out of “Nazi Germany.”

 

David Lane Digs In

In July, we reported on Christian-nation extremist David Lane’s closed-door pastors briefing in Iowa, and the presidential hopefuls and other politicians who have flocked to Lane’s gatherings over the years.

This week the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs reported that Lane’s American Renewal Project is holding church-based voter registration drives on three Sundays this month: Sept. 15, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29.  Steve Michael, a spokesperson for the project, told the Register that after the American Renewal Project’s $1.2 million voter registration campaign in Missouri during the last election cycle, the state saw a 3 percent increase in evangelical voters.  He said it will organize in Iowa “steadily until the 2014 election.”

The "Stand-up Sundays" model goes like this: Pastors ask their congregation members to stand up if they're already registered. Volunteers will then hand out voter registration paperwork to the adults still seated. But each Iowa pastor will decide how to do it, Lane told the Register.

Iowa is among 11 states the American Renewal Project is targeting in the 2014 cycle, Michael said. The others are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Organizers will do “Pastors and Pews” events followed by voter registration drives in each state. Next up is Louisiana on Sept. 26-27….

Lane said Iowa may be one of the most registered states in the nation, thanks to the attention from the presidential campaigns, so he expects Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina to be more "target rich areas."

It’s worth noting that Louisiana, Arkansas, and North Carolina are also among the top Senate races for 2014, as are other states on Lane’s target list. 

Rep. Jeff Duncan Agrees Congress Should Investigate Obama's 'Phony Identification Papers' to Determine His 'Validity'

We already know that Rick Wiles considers President Obama to be an evil, demon-possessed, America-sodomizing, Nazi, Communist, devil from Hell and a "foreign plant" who was "deliberately placed here as a child" in order to destroy this nation.

And on Friday, for the second time in a month, Wiles once again played host to a Republican member of Congress on his radio program when he interviewed South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan about his bogus fear that IRS agents are receiving training with assault weapons.

After a long discussion in which Wiles wondered if immigration reform legislation would require Americans to be implanted with a biometric scanner and whether this nation was currently experiencing a coup d'etat, he asked Duncan if the House had any plans to "pursue Barack Obama's phony identification papers."

Duncan initially tied to laugh it off, saying that people should have voted against Obama during the last election but Wiles refused to let it go, saying "if we know they are lying about all these other things, why not go back and say 'well, maybe the first scandal was a lie too?'"

And with that point, Duncan wholeheartedly agreed, saying "there you go; I'm all with you, so let's go back and revisit some of these things because Americans have questions about not only the IRS scandal but also about the President's validity":

Will Mark Sanford Listen to Mark Sanford's Lesson in Grace?

"I am one imperfect man saved by God's grace," Mark Sanford proclaimed yesterday as he declared victory in a special election for South Carolina's open House seat. "Until you experience human grace as a reflection of God's grace, I don't think you really get it," he said. "And I didn't get it before."

Sanford's victory wasn't a big surprise. He won as a Republican in a district that favored Mitt Romney by 18 points last year.

What would be a surprise, and what I would love to see, is if Sanford applied his new personal understanding of "human grace as a reflection of God's grace" to his new role in government.

He could, for instance, apply some of that grace to women facing often wrenching decisions about abortion, allowing them to make their own decisions rather than pre-judging them with burdensome regulations designed to humiliate them and severely restrict their choices.

He could apply some of that grace to gay and lesbian couples,who, like him, are simply trying to share their lives openly with the one they love. While many public figures have "evolved" on gay rights without even having to be "saved by grace," Mark Sanford just recently reminded us that he hasn't moved an inch.

He could perhaps share some grace with his fellow Americans who are struggling to raise children while working multiple low-paying jobs. Maybe with his newfound empathy, he will understand that pre-K education, health care and food assistance can help those struggling to get by keep themselves afloat in an unforgiving economy.

Maybe he will have some grace left over for undocumented immigrants who are trying to support their families and give back to the country they call home.

Perhaps he could convince his party, which claims to be in the market for a makeover, that a little grace and understanding would do it some good.

Maybe this will happen. But it seems more likely that Sanford's idea of grace, choice and personal freedom apply exclusively to people like him.

This post originally appeared at the Huffington Post.

PFAW

African American Ministers on VAWA: Stop Putting Women’s Lives in Danger

Washington, DC – Today members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council expressed deep concern about the House of Representatives’ failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins-Boseman of Camden, South Carolina, chair of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, released the following statement:

“Violence against women is an issue that affects everyone in America, but it disproportionately impacts women of color. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that more than a third of Hispanic women and nearly 44% of black women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

“For 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act has helped women across America avoid and combat domestic violence, making the country safer for every American.  Thanks to VAWA, the rate of intimate partner violence fell by 67% between 1993 and 2010.  The bottom line is that it’s an effective, life-saving law. 

“As faith leaders, we feel that it is important to speak out in support of those who are most vulnerable to violence and abuse.  The members of Congress who blocked VAWA aren’t just insulting women; they’re actively putting women’s lives in danger. Congress should act quickly in this new year to reauthorize this critically important program.” 

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Tim Scott: Christians Are a Minority under Assault (VIDEO)

Tim Scott, who is set to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, got his start in politics when he was elected in 1996 to the Charleston County Council. One year later, according to his 2010 campaign website, “he placed a plaque of the Ten Commandments outside council offices to show his support for the Ten Commandments as a guide for conduct, especially within the county chambers.”

The city was promptly sued for this blatant violation of the First Amendment. By 1998, Scott’s colleagues had decided to remove his display and settle the lawsuit. When challenged on why he was wasting taxpayer dollars, Scott replied that “whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal is worth it.”

Scott’s unconstitutional grandstanding as a county councilmember made him a favorite of the Christian right in South Carolina and put him on the track that he’s followed ever since. Scott returned to his roots while addressing a Tea Party rally in January, hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, ahead of a GOP primary debate.

Scott claimed that the “greatest minority under assault today are Christians.” “No doubt about it,” he emphasized. (Note that Scott says 1995 in the video, but he misspoke – he was elected in 1996 and posted the display in 1997.)

Watch:

Over the last 17 years of public service, I have seen the concept of faith tested time and time again. The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it.

When I was on county council in 1995, I posted the Ten Commandments. And the ACLU and the folks for separation of church and state all came and attacked us at Charleston County and said we were wasting taxpayer dollars.

Think about where we are today, 17 years later. We are in desperate need of a compass, a moral compass that tells us the difference between right and wrong. And I believe that you can look no further than the word of God to find that compass.

Tim Scott actually believes what he said about Christians being a minority under assault. Never mind that Christians aren’t a minority. Never mind that Christians control every branch of government at every level. Never mind that Christians aren’t under assault in any conceivable way.

Still, Scott feels that Christians are a minority under assault because Christians like him are being prevented by the Constitution and other Americans – Christian and non-Christian alike – from forcing everyone to live in accordance with their extreme views and beliefs. It’s a bit like the Taliban claiming that the Afghan government is attacking Islam.

Scott clearly has not changed with time and will display the same utter disregard for the First Amendment as senator that he did as a county councilmember. It’s just another way that Scott will fill the shoes of his right-wing predecessor.

Tim Scott Co-Sponsored a Monument to Aborted Fetuses

When soon-to-be Senator Tim Scott was running for Congress in 2010, he touted his record as a social conservative in the state house. On the “Social Conservative” page, he featured his support for three outrageous anti-choice bills.

The first was the so-called Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, a disgusting and misleading piece of legislation. According to Scott’s site, the bill would “protect babies who survive abortions.” The second bill, the Right to Life Act, was described as a “step in the right direction to recognize ‘pre-borned’ (sic) babies as ‘human persons’ with the same equal protection under the law as borned citizens (sic).”

And then there was the Unborn Children’s Monument Commission. The bill, explained Scott’s site, would lead to the erection of a “monument on the statehouse grounds to remember all the aborted babies in South Carolina.”

Scott, it turns out, was a co-sponsor of the bill in 2009:

H 3527 Joint Resolution, By Barfield, Vick, Pinson, J.R. Smith, Stringer, G.R. Smith, Bedingfield, Hamilton, Erickson, Moss, Nanney, Duncan, Alexander, Allison, Bingham, Bowen, G.A. Brown, Gilliard, Hayes, Littlejohn, Loftis, Long, Merrill, Mitchell, Owens, Parker, Scott, D.C. Smith, Sottile, Spires, Toole, Viers, T.R. Young, Simrill, White, G.M. Smith, Millwood and Willis

A JOINT RESOLUTION TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA UNBORN CHILDREN'S MONUMENT COMMISSION TO ERECT A MONUMENT ON THE STATE HOUSE GROUNDS AS A MEMORIAL TO  SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN WHOSE LIVES ENDED BEFORE THEIR BIRTH AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION AND TO REQUIRE PRIVATE FUNDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS MONUMENT.

By 2011 Scott was serving in Congress, but the effort to erect the monument moved ahead without him. The version of the bill introduced last year includes this stipulation:

The monument must be a wall six feet high and five feet wide depicting a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller.

If the monument is ever erected on the grounds of the South Carolina state house, it will have excellent company. There is already a monument to J. Marion Sims:

Throughout the 1840s, J. Marion Sims, who is often referred to as "the father of gynecology", performed surgical experiments on enslaved African women, without anaesthesia. The women regularly died from infections resulting from the experiments. One of the women was experimented on 30 times. In order to test one of his theories about the causes of trismus in infants, Sims performed experiments where he used a shoemaker's awl to move around the skull bones of the babies of enslaved women.

There is also, among others, a monument to legendary racist and erstwhile segregationist Strom Thurmond, whose re-election campaign was once co-chaired by Tim Scott. The monument was later updated to include the name of Thurmond’s biracial daughter by his then-teenage African-American housekeeper. I suppose it’s a testament of sorts to South Carolina that a fetus monument would barely stand out.

Tim Scott’s Tea Party Poetry

Congressman Tim Scott, who will soon replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, is not a common man. He's quite uncommon, as is his right, and he doesn't cower or take handouts. He declares to the entire world, even if no one is listening, that he's a "free American."

Scott acknowledged as much in a bit of Tea Party poetry on his 2010 campaign website, entitled: "Republican Creed":

I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon.

If I can seek opportunity, not security,
I want to take the calculated risk to dream and
build, to fail and to succeed.
I refused to barter incentive for dole.

I prefer the challenges of life to
guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment
to the state of calm utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master,
save my God.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and
unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the
benefits of my creation; to face the whole world
boldly and say, "I am a free American."

God Told Tim Scott to Vote against Boehner’s Debt Deal

In late July of 2011, House Speaker John Boehner was closing in on a deal to end the debt ceiling crisis, but something happened during the final hours of debate. “The math appeared to turn against the speaker,” and “key lawmakers, like Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, a member of the freshman leadership team, said he would join the other freshmen from his state and vote no.”

Scott, who will soon replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, holed up in the House chapel with a group of freshman conservatives. There Scott received instructions from God to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling:

With the bill in limbo, a few first-term conservatives slipped into a small chapel a few paces down the hall from the Capitol Rotunda, as they contemplated one of the most consequential votes of their careers.

Asked if he was seeking divine inspiration, Republican Rep. Tim Scott said that had already happened. "I was leaning no and now I am a no," he said.

While it is typical for Tea Party and Religious Right politicians to claim to know what God wants, they normally rely on Biblical references. Tim Scott, it would appear, is in a different league with luminaries like Pat Robertson, who famously hears from God at the end of each year.

I suggested earlier that Republican leaders could come to regret the elevation of Scott to the Senate. Scott provides sorely needed diversity and will keep Tea Partiers engaged, to be sure, but Boehner surely didn’t appreciate hearing from a freshman member that God opposes his debt deal. I can’t imagine that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will appreciate going up against God’s proxy either. This could get interesting….

South Carolina's Next Senator Tim Scott Is Bachmann, Palin and Sanford-Approved

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will announce shortly that she has picked Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to head up the right-wing Heritage Foundation. DeMint’s imminent retirement is seen by many as a setback for the Tea Party, which had a genuine champion in DeMint, and a sign that the movement’s best days are behind it. But the Tea Party is still raging in South Carolina, and Scott is poised to become its new Senate standard-bearer.

Tim Scott was elected to Congress in 2010, becoming the first African-American Republican to represent South Carolina since Reconstruction (when the party of the Lincoln was still the party of Lincoln). Scott served for over a decade on the Charleston County Council before serving briefly in the state house. While he gained statewide – and now national – attention as a darling of the Tea Party movement, he has a far more extensive background as a cultural warrior for the Religious Right.

With Scott poised to replace DeMint in the Senate, we’re going to explore his extreme, and frequently bizarre, record. Be sure to read Peter’s primer on Scott from earlier today.

Scott made the leap from the county council to state house in 2008 with major backing from then-Governor Mark Sanford. Sanford was a family values conservative and rising star in the national GOP until he was caught eloping with his Argentine mistress. Sanford famously claimed that he had been hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Before he did all that, Sanford vouched for Scott’s sterling conservative credentials in an open letter posted to Scott’s campaign website:

I wanted to write to you today to let you know about a friend of mine who is running for the State House of Representatives who needs our help.

Tim Scott is a consistent conservative who will carry our values to the State House. […]

Tim is also a proven social conservative who will stand up for the family values that help to make our state a great place to live and work.

Because of his strong stands on conservative issues, I have endorsed Tim’s candidacy for the House.  Today, I am asking for you to join us in supporting Tim, both with your vote and with your financial contributions. 

And when Scott ran for Congress in 2010, he enjoyed strong backing and an endorsement from Sarah Palin:

Tim is a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-development, Commonsense Conservative who’s been endorsed by the Club for Growth because of his solid commitment to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. […]

“I am excited to receive the support of Sarah Palin. She has been a trailblazer for the conservative cause and tea party movement going on across the nation. We share the same values of limited government, less spending and being a champion for our Constitution.”

Michele Bachmann also gushed over Scott last year during the GOP presidential primary: “All of us in Washington, D.C., are extremely proud of you for choosing the right man to send from Charleston up to Washington. We love Tim Scott!”

Bachmann and Palin clearly have good reason to be excited about a Senator Tim Scott. Republican leaders, on the other hand, may soon find that they have a new liability on their hands. Keep an eye on Right Wing Watch for more coverage of Scott’s record.

The Right to Vote Under Attack, 2012 Update

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

SC African American Ministers: Voter ID Decision Shows Continued Need for Voting Rights Act

 A three-judge US District Court panel yesterday upheld South Carolina’s restrictive new voter ID law, but ordered that the law go into effect after November’s election. South Carolina softened its interpretation of the law during litigation. Under that interpretation, voters without proper photo ID are required to cast provisional ballots, although the presumption is that the voters' ballots will be counted unless a clear case can be made that they lied about why they do not have proper ID.

South Carolina members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council reacted, expressing concern that that even the softened law could might keep African American South Carolinians from the polls in future elections.

“Today’s decision shows the continued necessity of the Voting Rights Act,” said Rev. Terry Alexander, pastor of Wayside Chapel Baptist Church in Florence and member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. “Because of the VRA’s preclearance provisions, South Carolina had to reinterpret a law that would otherwise have disenfranchised many African Americans. We now urge the state of South Carolina to enforce this law in a way that lives up to its promises in court, ensuring that every South Carolinian, with or without photo ID, can cast a vote that counts. If even one person is disenfranchised because of this law, that will be one person too many.”

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation founded in 1997, works nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls through the non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.

Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins-Boseman, pastor of Abundant Life Fellowship in Camden, who was recently named the first-ever female co-chair of AAMLC, added, “We’re working every day to make sure every member of our congregations and communities can cast a vote that counts. While we work to educate voters on their rights under this law, we will also continue to work to make our elections fairer and more accessible.”

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Nikki Haley Amplifies the GOP’s Assault on Voting Rights

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took to the stage at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, asserting her unwavering support for voter identification laws that make it harder for Americans—particularly minorities, students, and the elderly—to  exercise their constitutional right to vote.

The Justice Department is currently suing to stop South Carolina’s new voter ID law from taking effect, charging that it discriminates against traditionally disenfranchised groups. The voter ID laws particularly violate Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlaws discriminatory voting practices and gives the federal government open-ended oversight of states and communities with a history of voter discrimination.
 
In an attempt to defend the voter ID measures in South Carolina, Haley affirmed the alleged necessity of voters showing a picture ID: “…if you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed and you have to show a picture ID to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show a picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, most sacred rights we are blessed with in America - the right to vote.”
 
Haley’s statement was met with a fervent standing ovation from the Republican audience.
 
What Haley failed to mention is the overwhelming evidence proving that the implementation of voter ID laws will severely hinder many minorities from casting their vote—a right that is preserved by the Constitution. The Constitution does not protect a citizen’s right to buy Sudafed or fly on an airplane.
 
Under the South Carolina law, anyone who wants to vote but does not have one of the five acceptable forms of photo ID must acquire a new voter registration card that includes a photo. A birth certificate can be used to prove identity. But the Obama administration says the law is vague about how the new cards would be distributed, raising the issue that voters might have difficulty obtaining a new card in time for the November 6 election.
 
Another concern arising from these voter ID requirements is that many African Americans born in the era of segregation do not have accurate birth certificates or any birth certificate at all. Effectively, by requiring people to obtain a photo ID, which necessitates a birth certificate, states like South Carolina are encoding the segregation era into current voting laws.
 
 
Proponents of this law claim that it is a preventative measure that will end cases of voter fraud. Yet these claims are unfounded, as there have been no proven cases of voter misrepresentation fraud in South Carolina. During this week’s trial over South Carolina’s voter ID law, state Senator George “Chip” Campsen III even testified that he could not find cases of voter impersonation in South Carolina.
 
This law is an infringement on the constitutionally granted voting rights of minorities—a demographic that has historically maintained a liberal outlook and voted for Democratic candidates. These voter ID laws solve a problem that doesn’t exist in order to keep progressive-leaning voters from the ballot box.
 
 

 

PFAW

Akers: Religious Education vs Indoctrination into the Spartan Mindset

On today's installment of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Shawn Akers was discussing a recent 4th Circuit Court decision upholding a South Carolina law that allows students to receive elective credits for taking off-campus religious education classes.

The case involved a lawsuit filed against a Spartanburg school district, which was interesting to Akers because it supposedly highlighted the difference between the worldview of the Founding Fathers and that held by the warriors of ancient Sparta: 

You see these two worldviews colliding. One is the worldview of the Founders that said that we are a moral and religious people, that our Constitution was created for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate for any other. And that not only is religious allowable but it's something that we have a responsibility to train in our children.

Versus another worldview and it's very close to that one we see in Sparta. Do you know what they did in Sparta? They took the children of people at a very early age, they took them away from people at a very early age. The ones that were deemed undesirable, especially young girls, baby girls, were just killed. The ones that were too weak to live were allowed to die. Only the toughest and the strongest were given over as property of the state and they were dictated to from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed to be completely indoctrinated with the Spartan mindset, to be completely indoctrinated with the religion of the state, the state of Sparta.

And we see these two religions, these two worldviews coming head to head. One is that of liberty of the Founders and the other says, no the state owns your children and we're going to train them accordingly.

DeMint: God Has Put Christians 'in Charge of this Vineyard we Call America'

Earlier this month, the flu-stopping, casserole-multiplying Rick Joyner hosted a "Freedom Congress" conference that featured speakers like Oliver North and Jerry Boykin, as well as Republican South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.

DeMint used his address to urge the audience to get involved in politics because, at the moment, Washington reflects the fact that our culture has become increasingly secular, and so if parents want to teach their children right and wrong they "are likely to be persecuted in some way by the government" for doing so. 

And the reason society and government is becoming so secular, DeMint said, is because parents have been sending their children to public schools where they are no longer taught that "God created this earth" even though "we know He did" because science is proving more and more that "it could not have happened by accident."  As such, Christians must stand up because God "has put us in charge of this vineyard we call America": 

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