Last week, anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy hosted a who’s who of far-right activists including Rick Joyner, Jerry Boykin, Diana West, Andy McCarthy, Clare Lopez and others at an all-day “Defeat Jihad Summit” meant to be a conservative alternative to President Obama’s summit on violent extremism today.
Joining them were a number of prominent Republican politicians, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who submitted a speech by video. Also speaking at the summit were Republican Reps. Steve King, Mike Pompeo and Scott Perry, who used the opportunity to accuse Obama of siding with “the enemy of freedom” in the Mideast.
A major theme in the speeches at the summit was that “political correctness” has forced American leaders, including Republicans, into failing to criticize Islam as a whole, rather than just violent extremists who claim to represent Islam.
One speaker, Stephen Coughlin, who was fired as a Pentagon contractor under President Bush, urged Republicans to resist kneeling “at the altar of racism, sexism and homophobia” because “political correctness” is just a way to “mainstream Islamic slander law in America.”
Another speaker, conservative pundit Diana West, also cautioned Republicans against “political correctness,” saying that the fact that politicians criticize Islamic radicalism rather than Islam in general shows that “we are operating under Islamic slander law that prohibits the criticism of Islam.”
She drew several parallels to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s efforts to root out communists in the U.S. government, which she said has been unfairly maligned.
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told WorldNetDaily’s Radio America this weekend that he’s heard people in America say that “maybe we just need a good, caring dictator,” and that it’s this kind of apathetic attitude that’s allowing President Obama to turn the country into “a totalitarian, dictatorial type country” through things like his executive actions on immigration.
“Unfortunately, when you have 50 percent of the American people who are saying, ‘Hey, we’re okay with not having checks and balances in our government,’ it’s a way you lose a country,” he warned.
“If we allow the president to continue this kind of lawlessness, there will not be a republic, we’ll be morphing over into more of a totalitarian, dictatorial type country,” he added. “And that’s what normally happens when you have a representative form of government, people get apathetic and forget to notice the things that kept it representative, and people start saying what I’ve heard people in America say: ‘Well, maybe we just need a good, caring dictator to clean things up and then we can go back to a democracy.’”
Rep. Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas, stopped by Newsmax today to discuss President Obama’s request that Congress approve an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
Farenthold said that he would prefer an AUMF without restrictions on the use of ground troops because “if we’re going to go into this, we need to go all in.” But he added that he would rather put Chuck Norris in charge of the whole thing because the president isn’t “committed to the war on terror.”
“I’m not a big fan of President Obama’s, but he was elected president, so that makes him commander-in-chief, so we need to give him full authority to do what he does,” he said. “Quite frankly, I think Chuck Norris would be the one to send in, not President Obama.”
“You’ve got a president who I don’t think is committed to the war on terror, does not realize that the threat is from radical Islam and not just a few crazies out there. I don’t think he gets it and I don’t think his heart’s behind it, and that really worries me,” he added.
Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right organizer and RNC committeewoman who was involved in organizing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally, said last week that a number of other Republican governors have committed to or are seriously considering holding similar rallies, which she hoped would save America from God’s destruction.
In an interview with “The View From a Pew” program, an Iowa-based webcast, Scott said that in addition to Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hosted a “The Response” event in 2011, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley “has agreed” to host a rally and organizers are trying to convince Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to do the same.
On her own program, “Tamara Scott Live,” earlier in the week, Scott said that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida had sent a staff member to the Jindal event to investigate the possibility of holding a “The Response” rally himself and that Jindal had approached Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to ask him to consider holding one as well. Scott also expressed her hope that Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas would consider hosting a rally.
Scott told the “View from a Pew” hosts that such events are needed to save American from destruction, paraphrasing the biblical book of Jeremiah: “If I build up your nation and you fall away, I’ll destroy you…If I’m going to destroy you and you repent, I will heal your land and rebuild you.”
“If our federal government is not smart enough to stick to the foundational principles of those who set this country on the great start that it had by calling on the name of Jesus — George Washington to all the men on Mount Rushmore — if they were not smart enough to understand, then our states can do it individually,” she said on the earlier program.
The Jindal rally’s organizers have hinted that other governors may be planning similar events, writing in a recent email, “There is a sense that God may be orchestrating similar days of prayer and fasting called by Governors around the nation over this next year.” Although the event’s main organizer, David Lane, has allied with a number of top Republican figures, he has yet to name names of governors he hopes to convince to host “The Response” replicas.
Jindal was forced multiple times to back away from the extremism of the organizers of his “The Response” rally, David Lane and the American Family Association. A prayer guide posted on the event’s website was removed after we reported that it blamed marriage equality and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Then the organizers tried to scrub the website of evidence of the participation of self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs after Rachel Maddow ran a segment highlighting her extremism. And a few days after the rally, AFA stripped its main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, of his title under apparent pressure from the Republican National Committee, which was about to send 60 of its members on a trip to Israel funded by the AFA and organized by Lane.
Yesterday, the American Family Association announced that it was stripping Bryan Fischer of his position as a spokesman for the group. The AFA's move to distance itself from Fischer’s regular barrages of bigotry apparently came in response pressure from its allies in the Republican National Committee, who are preparing to go on a tour of Israel on AFA's dime. (Though the fact that the group is retaining Fischer as a radio personality on its American Family Radio network makes the whole thing somewhat less convincing.)
In what seems to be part of this effort, AFA has sent the Southern Poverty Law Center a letter explicitly denouncing a laundry list of Fischer’s statements, from his blaming the Holocaust on gay people to his insistence that the First Amendment applies only to Christians.
But one statement in the letter stands out:
AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal.
Really? Is AFA renouncing its support for criminal sodomy laws?
If the AFA has indeed changed its positions on criminal prohibitions on “homosexual conduct,” that would certainly be news! But we somehow wonder if this is yet another example of the group saying one thing to its critics while it continues to say another to its base.
After all, in 2003, when the Supreme Court was preparing to hear arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that struck down state-level prohibitions on sexual relationships between consenting adults of the same sex, the AFA submitted an amicus brief [PDF] passionately defending such laws.
AFA’s attorneys urged the court to consider the “injury caused to the public by same-sex sodomy,” which it implied was more harmful than rape:
In addition to the concrete physical harms that can be caused by private vices, morals laws may prevent moral harm, both to the potential wrongdoer and to the community at large. Just as “[a] physical environment marred by pollution jeopardizes people’s physical health; a social environment abounding in vice threatens their moral wellbeing and integrity.” The injury caused to the public by same-sex sodomy was well understood in the past. Blackstone, having spent several pages immediately prior on rape and abduction, introduces the section on sodomy as dealing with an offense “of a still deeper malignity,” “the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature.” Plainly, this crime is of a different magnitude. [citations removed for clarity]
AFA also warned that sodomy laws protect “the well-being of those engaged in the immoral behavior,” and that though they “may seem severe to those struggling with strong sexual urges” they will be “beneficial in the end”:
Another interest often overlooked in analysis of the issue of public harms occasioned by private immorality is that of the well-being of those engaged in the immoral behavior. The enormous price in terms of illness, disease and death resulting from the conduct…is well documented.
But even aside from the health issue, it has been almost universally recognized that restraint is the sine qua non for social harmony. “Human society requires the direction and restraint of many impulses. Few of those impulses are more powerful or unpredictable than sexual desire.” Laws such as [these] may seem severe to those struggling with strong sexual urges, but the restraint they encourage is beneficial in the end. American jurisprudence long ago rejected Hume’s notion that “reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions.” [citations removed]
The same year, AFA’s Ed Vitigliano wrote in the American Family Association Journal that a victory in Lawrence would be necessary to preserve “the notion of law and morality inherent in the Judeo-Christian worldview” and praised sodomy laws as deriving “from an older recognition of an orderly natural world, reflecting an intelligent design and, thus, purpose within nature, called natural law.”
Interestingly, the nation’s highest court will be revisiting in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas the same general issues dealt with in a previous Supreme Court case. In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), a 5-4 high court majority upheld Georgia’s sodomy statute.
That narrowest of decisions, however, pitted two culturally distinct appraisals of morality and law against each other – and in fact provides a clear lesson about what has become known as the culture war.
Sadly, however, since 1986 the more traditional Judeo-Christian views which prevailed in Bowers have been steadily eroding in our culture, in favor of the more postmodern views of the minority in that case. Should the Supreme Court in Lawrence take an opposite view than it did in Bowers, that would mean – quite remarkably – that in the span of only 17 years, the notion of law and morality inherent in the Judeo-Christian worldview had been decreed, by unelected judges, obsolete.
Most sodomy laws have already disappeared anyway. In 1960, all 50 states had such laws on their books – now only 13 states do. However, the repeal of these laws – either by state legislatures or judges – indicates that the statutes represent a worldview that is rapidly being abandoned in favor of postmodern relativism. Sodomy laws derive from an older recognition of an orderly natural world, reflecting an intelligent design and, thus, purpose within nature, called natural law.
We look forward to seeing the AFA issue a full retraction of its previous support for criminalizing “homosexual conduct.” But we aren’t holding our breath.
Steven Hotze, the Texas-based conservative activist and doctor beloved by Fox News for his crusade against Obamacare, is out with yet another anti-gay diatribe, this time calling on members of Conservative Republicans of Texas to back a Texas bill that would prohibit clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even if marriage equality were to become legal in the state.
In a post on his website, Hotze hails the legislation, authored by GOP state representative Cecil Bell Jr., as a way to engage in “spiritual warfare” against “the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda.”
The bill, Hotze hopes, will defeat “those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.”
“Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation,” Hotze writes. “If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.”
Conservatives, he says, should “warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas” (He uses the term “homosexual mirage” because “the idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.”).
Publicizing a video from the far-right group MassResistance about how “radical and evil” gay rights supporters destroyed Massachusetts through the legalization of same-sex marriage, Hotze warns that the introduction of marriage equality means “anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”
“It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage,” he adds. “This is spiritual warfare.”
Marriage equality is legal in 36 states, and nothing Hotze described is even remotely close to being true.
It’s time to rise up and take a stand for God’s truth about marriage! A fierce battle for the soul of Texas has begun. The liberals and their pro-homosexual allies want to force Texans to accept ‘homosexual mirage’ as morally right, just as they have done in Massachusetts and California.
The idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s a lie.
State Rep. Cecil Bell has introduced HB 623, the Preservation of State Sovereignty and Marriage Act, which would ban Texas civil servants from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.
Taxes or public funding should not be used to issue ‘homosexual mirage’ licenses or be used to enforce any court order to recognize ‘homosexual mirage.’
HB 623, which follows this letter, would prohibit any state or local government employee from issuing a ‘homosexual mirage’ license.
Rep. Cecil Bell has demonstrated the courage of his convictions by introducing HB 623. He needs to know that you support him in this battle. The homosexuals have already begun harassing him with filthy and hateful emails, hoping to intimidate him and his staff. This has always been the modus operandi of those who oppose God’s Word.
Will you warn your family members, friends and fellow church members about the evil that will descend upon us if we allow ‘homosexual mirage’ to occur in Texas by showing them the 28 minute video, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts?
If the Texas Marriage Amendment is overturned permanently, then every Texas citizen, every church and business would be coerced and compelled to recognize and affirm homosexuality and other deviant sexual relationships as morally and legally equivalent to marriage. If this occurs then anyone who speaks out against homosexuality and deviant sexual relationships will be prosecuted for hate speech and hate crimes, violating the Constitutional rights of the majority to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If you do not think that this could happen in Texas, then it is vital that you educate yourself on what has occurred in Massachusetts since homosexual marriage was allowed by the courts there in 2003. If you want to know what the horrendous, long term, adverse effects of legalizing homosexual marriages are, then you simply must watch this shocking 28 minute documentary, entitled What Same-Sex Marriage Has Done for Massachusetts. You may watch it online at
This documentary reveals how radical and evil the homosexual movement is. It demonstrates the dramatic legal changes that the homosexuals and their allies have imposed on every area of life in Massachusetts since 2003, when ‘homosexual mirage’ was legalized by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It should be viewed by everyone who wants to take a stand and fight for God’s standard for marriage. This is spiritual warfare. See Ephesians 6:10-20.
“The wicked strut about on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).
As you will see after viewing this documentary, the homosexuals and the politicians who support their agenda, have a godless, secular worldview and have taken control in every area of public life in Massachusetts. This is so tragic because our Savior and King Jesus Christ gave believers the Great Commission to take the entire world captive to obedience to Him (Matt. 28:18-20).
The most important issue facing our state and nation is whether we are going to follow God’s ordained plan for marriage.
Texas is the last bastion of Christian and conservative thought, power and action in the nation. If Texas were to fall, then America would be lost to the socialists and the secular humanists. We must shift the momentum in the battle for the heart of America and lead a Christian and conservative offensive that will spread across America and defeat Obama and his pro-homosexual, socialist allies.
I am drawing a “line in the sand” and asking you to join with me, Rep. Cecil Bell and other conservative Republican state legislators in defeating those who want to destroy the moral fabric of our state and nation by forcing us to accept and affirm ‘homosexual mirage’ and the chosen perverse sexual practices of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) as normal.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, spoke at a press conference in Plano, Texas, today on behalf of an effort to repeal that city’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Soon after Plano’s city council approved the ordinance last month, a new group sprung up to oppose it, apparently coordinated by Houston pastor Dave Welch, who also led the opposition to a similar ordinance in his city.
Welch and his allies are hoping to gather enough signatures to either force the council to repeal the ordinance or to put repeal on the ballot.
The Plano-based Liberty Institute, which said that it will file a lawsuit against the measure, organized today’s press conference with a number of area pastors. Cruz’s participation was not announced in advance, but a reporter who was present posted to Twitter a photo of him speaking:
The elder Cruz has been active in the effort to repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio, falsely claiming that the law allows pastors to be fined for preaching from the Bible.
We’ll update this post with video of Cruz’s speech when it becomes available.
UPDATE: The Plano group, Plano Citizens United, has posted an excerpt from Cruz’s speech in which he urged his supporters to run for office and oust “wicked” politicians who are violating the country’s “Judeo-Christian heritage.”
If the righteous, if the people of faith are not running for office, all that is left is the wicked ruling the wicked, the wicked electing the wicked. It is about time that our people of faith become involved in the political arena. We need to send a clear message, not just to the city council members, but to every politician that violates our Judeo-Christian heritage: we will primary you, we will get you out of office. Only that way will we see righteousness prevail and make America again that shining city on the hill to the glory of God.
Last month, the Texas State Board of Education approved a set of social studies textbooks after some disputes between Christian Right members of the board and scholars who had reviewed the texts. Although experts recruited by the Texas Freedom Network to review the proposed texts managed to convince textbook companies to remove some objectionable material, some claims demanded by conservative members of the board remained, including assertions that Moses was a direct influence on the founding of the U.S.
In an article for Religion Dispatches today, one of TFN’s reviewers, David R. Brockman, who teaches religious studies at Southern Methodist University, writes about his experience as a textbook reviewer and his frustrations with the board’s process for reviewing curricula on world religions. “The curriculum standards and the adoption process in Texas don’t simply lack balanced and accurate coverage of the world’s religions; they work against it,” he writes. “And while textbook publishers generally struggle against this tide, they are sometimes dragged along with it.”
In one example, Brockman writes that the Christian Right bloc on the school board “insisted that the publishers address” a last-minute set of comments submitted by Truth in Texas Textbooks, a group associated with the anti-Muslim organization ACT! for America, whose reviewers, with one exception, had no “relevant social studies credentials” and demanded that the textbooks include hostile and sometimes false comments about Islam. Although the textbook companies mostly refused TTT’s requests (many with clear exasperation), a few were successful, including a redefinition of the word “jihad”:
The problem is that, in 2014 at least, the conservative majority on the SBOE quite clearly gave comments from ideologically-driven pressure groups (such as Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Values Action) greater weight than comments from credentialed field specialists (such as myself and my fellow reviewers).
A mere two weeks before the SBOE was to take its final vote on the textbooks, and long after other public groups had filed their comments, Truth in Texas Textbooks (TTT), which has allies on the SBOE, presented their reviews—469 pages of material. Two days before the final adoption vote was to take place, Christian Right members of the SBOE made much of the TTT criticisms and insisted that publishers address them.
To judge from its website, the only TTT reviewer with relevant social studies credentials was a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. However, he reviewed only one world history textbook, and quite appropriately restricted his comments to his areas of expertise.
The other reviewers on TTT’s list appear to have no academic credentials in history, geography, economics, or religious studies (though they do include a Ph.D. in “educational leadership,” and a professor of foreign languages). Despite a lack of pertinent credentials, the TTT reviewers weighed in on a wide range of topics, including prehistory, climate change, economics, political science, and U.S. government.
But they directed special vitriol at the alleged “dangers” posed by Islam. One reviewer wrote of Islam’s “threat to the Western world,” while another lumped Muslims together with communists and socialists commenting, bizarrely, that “The greatest fear for a communist, a socialist or a Muslim is Truth.”
Other TTT comments were just plain false: “Islam is spread by the sword while monotheistic religions are not.”
(Try telling that to an Aztec or Inca—not to mention the fact that Islam is a “monotheistic religion.”)
Yet despite TTT’s lack of credentials and the obviously biased and tendentious nature of their critiques, conservative SBOE members insisted that publishers give them the same level of attention they gave comments from credentialed scholars.
Sadly, in some cases, publishers actually changed their text to suit TTT, as when Pearson Learning ( see page 16) removed from its world history text the factually correct statement that jihad “is most frequently used [by Muslims] to describe an inner struggle in God’s service.” In its place Pearson inserted more ambiguous wording: “For some Muslims, [jihad] means a struggle against one’s evil inclinations. For other Muslims, it refers to a struggle or violent holy war to defend or spread Islam.”
While this change may please TTT and other anti-Islam groups, it deprives students of the important fact that the “holy war” interpretation of jihad is held by only a small minority in the Muslim community today.
On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee announced the creation of something called "The Sanctuary of Hope," which John Hagee Ministries intends to build as a home/school for orphans, those in foster care, and children of parents who want to ensure they get a godly education and through which Hagee and his father intends to transform America.
"Right now, the battle lines in this country are for the young people," he explained. "The one thing that's missing in American education right now? The Word of God. The one thing that's missing in our decisions in government, in many cases? The Word of God. And whenever you do not have the foundation of your society, which is the Word of God, in the decisions that you are making, you're going the wrong direction."
The Sanctuary of Hope is being created to correct this problem, Hagee then explained in a video promoting the project.
"How do we take America back? One leader at a time. That school is going to train leaders that are going to make godly decisions. How are we going to take this country back? One generation at a time and the Sanctuary of Hope is going to be the training ground for the soldiers in the army of the living God that are going to do great things for his kingdom":
Shortly after last month’s elections, conservative pundit David Horowitz gathered a variety of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim activists, including a handful of members of Congress and far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, at his annual retreat at a beach resort in Florida.
It appears that Wilders formed a strong connection with Rep. Louie Gohmert who, after Wilders’ speech to the event, stood to tell the Dutch visitor about the Muslim prayer service that had been recently held in the National Cathedral in Washington. Gohmert asserted that the service was purposefully timed by “these terrorists” to mark the hundredth anniversary of a fatwa issued by the Ottoman caliph in the early days of World War I.
“Yesterday, for the first time, Friday Muslim prayers were conducted in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.,” Gohmert said. “And what the Episcopal Church didn’t realize and what you know better than most anyone, anniversaries are a big deal to these terrorists and it’s the hundredth — I’d like to say it’s the thousandth, but it was the hundredth anniversary —November 14, 1914, when the last caliph of the Ottoman Empire, the last one, issued a fatwa that started the murder spree that began with young girls being raped and then crucified. So anyway, we see what’s happening here, but hardly a peep about yesterday.”
Wilders responded by asking the audience to stand and applaud Gohmert and Rep. Michele Bachmann for having “the guts to talk about the issue.”
The exchange came after a speech in which Wilders gave his standard calls for Western countries to “stop all immigration from Islamic countries,” ban the building of mosques and “close down all Islamic schools.”
“Islam is evil,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. “We must shout this out so loud that even President Obama and all the other cowards in politics all over the West will hear it.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is following in the footsteps of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and kicking off his possible presidential campaign next month with a stadium prayer rally organized by radical religious right activists. As Brian reported on Monday, the virulently anti-gay Christian nationalist American Family Association, influential Religious Right leader David Lane and Doug Stringer, a self-proclaimed “apostle” from Texas who has blamed America’s rejection of God for the September 11 attacks, are spearheading Jindal’s Baton Rouge rally.
These activists are the perfect ambassadors for the Christian nationalists that Jindal appears to be courting. In a letter introducing the rally — printed on official governor’s mansion stationary — Jindal warns of “a new world order of chaos…being driven by militant Islam seeking to impose Sharia Law worldwide” and domestic epidemics of “fatherless homes,” “drugs and crime in our inner cities” and “a saturation of pornography, abortion, racism,” problems for which Jesus Christ “is America’s only hope.”
Jindal’s prayer rally appears to be so closely modeled after Perry’s that its organizers are even reusing materials from the 2011 Texas event, including a prayer guide contending that natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, were the result of God’s displeasure with the “alternative lifestyle” of homosexuality, marriage equality, legal abortion, and Internet pornography.
The prayer guide listed on the “resources” page of the website for Jindal's rally includes suggestions for seven days of prayer leading up the event. It appears to be exactly the same as the guide disturbed to participants in Perry’s event in 2011 — it hasn't even been updated to include the increased number of states that are bringing God’s judgment on America by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry:
Day 2 - Locust plagues
In Joelʼs day Israel experienced the destruction of a massive locust plague. The nationʼs economy was crippled because of the decimation of the agriculture. The reason these plagues came was because of the peopleʼs negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises.
In America today we face a similar crisis. We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available ondemand through the internet. Biblical signs of apostasy are before our very eyes. While the United States still claims to be a nation “under God” it is obvious that we have greatly strayed from our foundations in Christianity.
This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO. And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.
Furthermore, because of mismanagement and greed, our national economy is in incredible disarray, with our national debt topping 14 trillion dollars. We have effectively mortgaged our childrenʼs future, while spending money we do not have on entitlements as we search in vain for “the American dream”. The first “wave of locusts” has begun to descend upon us and many are oblivious to the fact that destruction has come and is still coming.
God destined America to be a gospel beacon to the rest of the earth – a nation under God who declares His goodness, truth and mercy to a world desperately in need.
The Jindal rally’s prayer guide also includes the 2011 guide’s plea to conservative Christians to save the United States from “debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.”
There is much at stake for the church in America. In many ways we are at a crossroads of two divergent paths. Either the church will turn to the Lord with her whole heart, sparking a great revival and reformation in our nation, or she will continue in compromise, keeping the status quo as we watch our nation turn to debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.
(Emphases are ours.)
Both “Response” rallies are modeled after the “Call” rallies organized by Religious Right leader Lou Engle. The leadership team of Perry’s rally included a number of officials from the International House of Prayer, a ministry closely associated with Engle that promotes the dominionist theology that calls for evangelical Christians to gain control of all parts American culture and government.
Speaking on a panel about immigration at conservative pundit David Horowitz’s “Restoration Weekend” last month, Rep. Louie Gohmert recounted a conversation he had with “a Hispanic border patrolman” which he said proved that the crisis of children fleeing to the U.S. border from violence in Central America was a hoax.
Insisting that “not a single child, young child, ever comes across unaccompanied” because many came with the help of smugglers, the Texas Republican said that the fact that some of the children were brought to the border by people affiliated with gangs shows that they were not actually fleeing gang violence.
Gohmert quoted the border patrolman, who he said told the children: “Now you may find some gringo who buys that stuff, but you and I know you paid a gang to bring you into this country, so don’t tell me you came to escape gang violence!”
Gohmert has previously claimed that the Central American children where lying about gang violence.
In the same panel discussion, Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana claimed that unlike “the way it worked traditionally in America,” today’s immigrants “come from countries where they look to the government, that’s their tradition is that the government takes care of them.”
“Now when it destroys their civilization, when it destroys their economy, they look for another place to go. And where do they come? They come here. And then what you see is a progressive lower standard of living.”
“Many of them now when they come they refuse to learn our culture, they refuse to learn our language, they refuse to build the skills necessary to be successful in America,” he added.
The Texas State Board of Education approved several dozen social studies textbooks after a contentious battle over their treatment of subjects including climate change, the role of slavery in the Civil War, Islam, and biblical influence in America’s founding. One major publisher, however, withdrew a book from consideration, saying that it was unable to meet all the standards set by the school board.
The Texas Freedom Network, which live-blogged today’s vote, said that much problematic material had been removed from the proposed textbooks, including climate denial and “offensive cartoons comparing beneficiaries of affirmative action to space aliens,” but that references to Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy remained. But TFN notes that publishers posted a number of last-minute changes to the textbooks yesterday, leaving board members and observers without time to figure out exactly what was in the approved texts:
The Texas Education Agency posted scores of pages of publisher comments and textbook revisions after the last public hearing on Tuesday. Miller said scholars did not have an opportunity to review and comment on the numerous changes publishers have submitted since the last public hearing on Tuesday. Some of those changes appeared to have been negotiated with state board members behind closed doors.
During a months-long process, publishers made a number of improvements to their textbooks. Those improvements included removing inaccurate information promoting climate change denialism; deleting offensive cartoons comparing beneficiaries of affirmative action to space aliens; making clearer that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War; and revising passages that had promoted unfair negative stereotypes of Muslims. Scholars and the general public had ample opportunity to review and comment on those revisions.
However, the new textbooks also include passages that suggest Moses influenced the writing of the Constitution and that the roots of democracy can be found in the Old Testament. Scholars from across the country have said such claims are inaccurate and mislead students about the historical record.
The textbooks were approved despite a last-minute attempt by Truth in Texas Textbooks, a group with ties to the anti-Muslim organization ACT! for America, to remove accurate information about Islam, reduce coverage of civil rights (which it found to promote unsavory “racial politics”), and insert information about Young Earth Creationism sourced to the conservative website Conservapedia. [TFN’s summary of Truth In Texas Textbooks’ complains is in this pdf.]
The Texas Tribune adds that the group’s last-minute request also included downplaying the environmental impact of coal mining and noting in a chapter about colonization that Native Americans already discriminated against and oppressed each other:
The Truth in Texas Textbooks Coalition, all but unheard from for months while new social studies textbooks and instructional materials were being vetted, submitted a 469-page report in late October identifying more than 1,500 “factual errors, omission of facts, half-truths and agenda biases” in proposed materials.
Among its objections: A passage on coal mining should say it has “minimal effect on the environment"; a chapter on Spanish colonization of Latin America should point out the “continuous discrimination and oppression practiced by the native American peoples on each other”; and a statement that Shariah law requires religious tolerance of non-Muslims should be removed.
The group was formed by retired Lt. Col. Roy White, a Tea Party activist who also leads the Bexar County Chapter of ACT! for America, an organization dedicated to fighting extremist Islam. Its founder, Brigitte Gabriel, is known for her views that Muslims in the United States pose a danger to national security.
TFN tells us that it appears that Truth in Texas Textbooks did not succeed in getting any "substantive changes" into the books.
As President Obama prepares to announce the steps that he will take to provide temporary deportation relief for some undocumented immigrants, it’s important to remember why he’s taking this step. It’s not because Obama and Democrats refuse to work with Republicans to address pressing immigration problems. It’s because a small but influential segment of the Republican caucus refuses to do anything to fix the immigration system.
Today, we at People For the American Way joined with American Bridge to release a video highlighting the kind of rhetoric from congressional Republicans that has sunk any kind of attempt at bipartisan immigration reform.
In response to President Obama's upcoming action on immigration, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has vowed to retaliate by sabotaging the federal court system in his own state.
No, that's not how he phrased it, but that would be the impact of his vow. Yesterday in Politico, Cruz wrote how he thinks the Senate should respond to the president's policy decisions on immigration enforcement:
If the president announces executive amnesty, the new Senate majority leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.
While such a refusal to perform one of the basic functions of the Senate would harm the entire nation, the damage in Texas would be particularly severe. No state has more judicial vacancies than the Lone Star State. No state even comes close.
As of today, Texas is suffering from eleven current federal court vacancies, with another four known to be opening in the next few months. The White House has worked closely with Sens. Cruz and Cornyn to identify potential nominees, but progress has been slow: Only six of the vacancies even have nominees; three of these have not yet had their committee hearings.
But the other three – for the Eastern and Western Districts – advanced through the Judiciary Committee this morning and are now ready for a confirmation vote by the full Senate. All three would fill vacancies formally designated as judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. Confirming them would be a good start at addressing the vacancy crisis in Texas.
And that's what is it: a crisis. As we wrote earlier this month in a Huffington Post piece entitled Lame Duck Opportunity and Obligation: Confirm Judges:
The situation is even more dire in Texas, where the Senate has a chance to fill three vacancies in the Eastern and Western Districts. The Western District judgeship has been vacant since 2008, and the Judicial Conference has asked for five new judgeships there to carry the load on top of filling all the existing vacancies. Chief Judge Fred Biery discussed the need for new judges last year, saying, "It would be nice to get some help. We are pedaling as fast as we can on an increasingly rickety bicycle." Judge David Ezra, formerly of Hawaii, explained why he was moving to Texas to hear cases in the Western District: "This is corollary to having a big wild fire in the Southwest Border states, and fire fighters from Hawaii going there to help put out the fire."
The Eastern District of Texas is in similar need of getting its vacancies filled during the lame duck: Of the nation's 94 federal districts, only two have had more weighted filings per judgeship than the Eastern District, according to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts' most recent statistics. Small wonder, then, that the Judicial Conference has asked for two new judgeships there: Even if every judgeship were filled, that just isn't enough. To make matters worse, two more judges in the Eastern District have announced their intention to retire or take senior status next year, making it all the more important to fill the current vacancies now.
Even if the three nominees are confirmed during the lame duck, as they should be, more vacancies in both of those districts will open up early next year. Texas would still have eight vacancies, a number that would rise to twelve in the next few months.
To express his fury at President Obama and rally his right-wing base, Cruz would work to make sure that all these vacancies remain unfilled, which would hurt a lot of innocent Texans.
Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, said today that the “extreme fringe of the Democratic Party” is supporting an executive action providing deportation relief to some undocumented immigrants because it “wants to treat those from other countries better than we treat our own American citizens” and ultimately is “banking” on the votes of new immigrants.
“It’s amazing that an American president, a United States president, would put the interest of those who don’t live in the country or are in the country illegally ahead of the interest of American citizens,” Smith told Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth.
When Hayworth asked Smith about far-right columnist Selwyn Duke’s argument that deportation relief would amount to a “get-out-the-vote drive” for Democrats, Smith agreed, saying “demographics” indicate that immigrants covered under the proposed executive action — which does not include a path to citizenship or voting rights — will give 80 percent of their votes to Democrats.
“I wish that weren’t the case, but those are the demographics and the president and the Democratic Party are banking on them, and that’s why I say they’re putting the interest of other individuals ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens,” he said.
Vision America's Rick Scarborough was a guest on Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, where he explained that God is blessing the state of Texas because "Christians have infiltrated" and taken over the state GOP.
Scarborough was discussing his efforts to mobilize right-wing pastors to get involved in politics across the nation and noting that he has had a great deal of success in Texas; so much so that if one now attends an annual Republican Party convention in Texas, it feels as if one is attending a revival meeting.
"Christians have infiltrated the Republican Party in Texas and it's like going to revival meetings when you go to our state conventions," Scarborough said. "That's why God's blessing our state and why, I believe, Texas has become a model for other states":