Election 2012

Gingrich: Secular 'Elite' Promoting 'Radical Islam'

Today on The Janet Mefferd Show, Newt Gingrich said that an intolerant “elite” made up of “secular judges and religious bigots” are trying to promote “radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism.” Gingrich, who told John Hagee’s church that America may soon be “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” said that there was a conspiracy between the Justice Department and the “Organization of Islamic Countries” [sic] to “begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam.”

Listen:

Gingrich: Well, I think that we have to really, from my perspective you don’t have an issue of religious tolerance you have an elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism. You have constant pressure by secular judges and by religious bigots to drive Christianity out of public life and to establish a secular state except when it comes to radical Islam, where all of the sudden they start making excuses for Sharia, they start making excuses that we really shouldn’t use certain language. Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the US Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam, I think that’s just an amazing concept frankly.

Gingrich Tells CBN He Will Fight the 'War Against Religion'

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Newt Gingrich picked up where Rick Perry left off and said that he will fight the “war on religion.” Gingrich, as usual, attacked the media and the judiciary, two of the Religious Right’s biggest enemies, and derided them for promoting secularism. “I understand that there’s a war against religion,” Gingrich said, “and I am prepared to actually fight back for the first time in their lifetime and take on the judiciary when it’s overreaching and when it’s trying to drive God out of life.”

He went on to claim that his past affairs and divorces “make me more normal than somebody who wanders around seeming perfect” and promised social conservative voters that he would promote federal personhood legislation that would outlaw abortion “in parallel with an effort to abolish Obamacare and an effort to cut taxes and create jobs.”

Will Gingrich's Religious Right Backers Denounce his Funding from a Gambling Mogul?

With news that gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife have now both contributed $5 million each to the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future, on top of the millions of dollars the Adelson’s have contributed to Gingrich’s organizations before he entered the presidential race, Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton is wondering if social conservatives know—or care—about Gingrich’s close ties to the “billionaire casino owner.” Adelson, who is believed to be worth $26.5 billion, made his money through casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macau, China, and is one of Gingrich’s longtime financers.

Ironically, members of Gingrich’s Faith Leaders Coalition have strongly denounced the gambling industry.

Beverly LaHaye, a Gingrich coalition co-chair, founded Concerned Women for America, which explicitly calls for the “elimination of gambling in all its forms” and education about “the detrimental effects of gambling on the family.” CWA actively works against the legalization of casinos and Janice Shaw Crouse, head of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, said that “gambling” is one of the ways people “are destroying their lives.”

Another Gingrich coalition co-chair, evangelical pollster George Barna, listed gambling as one of the top causes of society’s “moral decay.” Barna’s work on gambling is frequently used by casino opponents like Focus on the Family and Barna himself has written about the dangers of the growing gambling industry.

One of Gingrich’s first Religious Right endorsers and a coalition co-chair, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, is also an outspoken opponent of the gambling industry. In his native Mississippi, Wildmon condemned then-governor Haley Barbour for betraying the “moral people” who voted for him by siding with the “money people” in his move to liberalize gambling laws. The AFA has consistently opposed the legalization of casinos and said [pdf] that “a federal commission to study the impact of gambling in America” should only include “people with sound Judeo-Christian values and no ties to the gambling industry,” while attacking congressmen who have taken “big gambling bucks.” In fact, that was the very same commission Gingrich tried to weaken to the chagrin of gambling opponents and AFA Journal noted that Gingrich “used one of his two choices to appoint the chairman and CEO of a Las Vegas casino company” to the commission. Wildmon himself wrote in 2005:

But the truth is that all our fine talk about personal freedoms in the U.S. can be nullified by the freedom we take with the moral laws of God. … Our consciences have become blunted and dulled with an overdose of pseudosophistication and broad-mindedness. We have become so tolerant of sin and sinfulness that we have lost our capacity to protest and rebel against plain indecency and moral rottenness. In many quarters we are so accustomed to violence, licentiousness, the glorification of sex, the shady deal, and the fast dollar — to say nothing of the gambler’s passion for something for nothing — that old-fashioned righteous indignation is regarded as a corny exercise for squares.

The tragedy is that modern Christians too often go along with the tide. We try to convince ourselves that drunkenness is illness, that filthy writing is realism, that obscenity is social comment, that perversion, adultery, cynicism, and gambling are the folkways of our time. … The cause of our problem does not lie altogether in poverty or slums or ignorance. … The truth is, the human mind is being poisoned, not by common immorality, but by an amoral, humanistic, nihilistic, cynical outlook on human behavior, wholly divorced from any concept of right or wrong.

Seeing as that Ralph Reed continues to be a leading Religious Right figure despite his past funding from casinos, Gingrich may still be able to balance his campaign focus on attracting “values voters” while his Super PAC is bankrolled with casino money.

Gingrich: Vote for Me, I'm an Outsider vs Garlow: Vote for Gingrich, He's an Insider

Newt Gingrich spent twenty years in Congress, serving the last four as Speaker of the House ... but he is now running for president on the fiction that he is some sort of anti-establishment outsider:

Newt Gingrich said today that the political establishment is fighting him because of fear over "the idea of a Gingrich presidency changing Washington."

"They are very frightened by the idea of a genuine outsider," Gingrich said on ABC's Good Morning America.

If that is going to be Gingrich's campaign strategy, someone ought to alert his main supporter Jim Garlow, because Garlow has specifically been telling anyone who will listen that he is supporting Gingrich precisely because he doesn't want an outsider in the White House:

Inside knowledge of Washington, DC.

Life inside the beltway is intimidating. I am becoming less convinced that electing an “outsider” is all that wise. I think I prefer an “insider” who truly understands how things work, and who is right on the issues. Mr. Gingrich is both of those. Mr. Gingrich will not allow the radical secularist to “out - parliamentarian” him. That is desperately needed. It is possible to have a solid, constitutional, pro-life, pro-marriage Christian president in the White House, but unable to move legislation. We need someone who cannot be “bullied” by the system.

Garlow: Only Gingrich can stop the 'Radical Homosexual Agenda' and Obama from 'Destroying' Marriage

Pastor Jim Garlow, the Proposition 8 campaign organizer and now co-chair of Newt Gingrich’s Faith Leaders Coalition, appeared on The Steve Deace Show Friday, where he argued that Gingrich is the only candidate in a position to stop President Obama and “the radical homosexual agenda” from causing the imminent “destruction of the definition of marriage.”Garlow appeared on the show to defend the twice-divorced Gingrich, whose second wife last week claimed that he wanted an open marriage with his then-mistress and now-third wife Callista, and described Gingrich as the savior of marriage and Western civilization. He said that Obama is “going to destroy America as we know it and eventually bring a halt to Western civilization as we know it” and soon it will be “virtually illegal to say the name Jesus”:

Garlow: We have got to get Romney stopped because of his policies and we must get Obama stopped if we’re going to save this nation. Obama may be a nice guy, I have no problem with that, but his ideology is going to destroy America as we know it and eventually bring a halt to Western civilization as we know it. It’s not melodramatic language, it’s not flamboyant, it’s where we are right now. We cannot economically and morally survive any more of Obama’s leadership and his ideology, therefore, we need the powerhouse of Gingrich coming in with that intellectually bandwidth to take him on and bring a halt to it.



We have come to a posture where I am absolutely astounded at the spiritual damage that Barack Obama’s ideology has done to this nation; I would never have believed three years ago he could’ve done this much in terms of moral and economic damage. Our religious liberties are evaporating at a pace—it’s going to be virtually illegal to say the name Jesus before long at the rate they’re going, or stand for any kind of authentic, biblical, historic Christianity.

Where we’re seeing it the most is we have two locomotives on the same track going at each other with full speed and one of them is going to be left standing when this day is over, it’s either going to be the radical homosexual agenda or it’s going to be religious liberty. They cannot both coexist in the same nation at the same time. Then you add in the dimension the destruction of the definition of marriage itself. I was in the auditorium at the Saddleback Civil Forum when candidate Obama said marriage is one man, one woman, people clapped and cheered, we didn’t believe him then, our concerns proved to be exactly right, and now President Obama is destroying, decimating 5,000 years’ worth of history.

Beck: Republicans are 'Cowards" who Won't Even Call Obama a 'Socialist'

Earlier this month, Glenn Beck hosted David Barton for a discussion on the importance of the 2012 election.  During the segment, Beck admitted that he felt "powerless" and complained that the media was failing to hold our leaders accountable. 

Even the Republican candidates are "cowards," Beck asserted, and, as evidence of the fact that "no one is saying anything" about what is happening to this nation, he singled out Mitt Romney as he marveled that he has been unwilling to call President Obama a "socialist":

It's becoming spooky. There is so much power being concentrated and no one is saying anything. Even our Republican candidates are cowards; they won't call it out for what it is. I mean, Mitt Romney won't even say this guy, he's a socialist. Socialist? I'm so far past socialist - I left socialist territory with Barack Obama two years ago and he won't even say he's a socialist. So how do you possibly, how can we change things?

Santorum Wins Backing of Fringe Religious Right Leaders

One day before the crucial South Carolina primary, Rick Santorum is beginning to win the endorsements of not just Religious Right luminaries but also fringe activists, including some who previously backed the failed presidential campaigns of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Santorum recently won the backing of Religious Right activists such as James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Richard Viguerie, Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance and most recently, former Perry booster John Stemberger.

Today, Viguerie released the names of additional Religious Right figures that are supporting Santorum, including Paul Pressler, the Southern Baptist leader who hosted the recent Texas meeting of social conservatives.

But other Santorum endorsers are less well-known:

  • Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who has dedicated her career to fighting the rights of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, argued that it would lead to a draft along with “forcible sodomy.”  
  • Michael Geer of the Pennsylvania Family Institute who has crusaded against marriage equality, calling it a “tragedy.” 

All in all, about the people you would expect to endorse Rick Santorum.

DeMint Suggests America May Not Survive if Obama wins Re-Election

Last time Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show, the tea party leader called the Obama administration the most “anti-American administration in my lifetime.” Yesterday, DeMint joined Mefferd once again to attack President Obama while promoting his book Now or Never: Saving America from Economic Collapse, warning listeners that if the President wins his re-election bid, America may be doomed. Last year on CNN, DeMint also claimed that the country may not survive if the Tea Party doesn’t get its way in government.

Mefferd:  We have to do some drastic things if we do not get the opportunity with conservatives on Capitol Hill to turn this thing around.  Can we survive a second term of Barack Obama?

DeMint:  I’m not sure that we can, at least not in a form that any of us would like.  That’s why it’s so important — I don’t like to exaggerate and I’m not out here crying wolf with Now or Never — but I believe this is now or never.  It may be our last chance to pull this country away from a cliff.

James Dobson Endorses Santorum, Hopes He Can Stop Same-Sex Marriage

Focus on the Family founder and Family Talk host James Dobson endorsed Rick Santorum today, which comes as no surprise as Dobson advocated for Santorum behind closed doors at a meeting with fellow Religious Right leaders in Texas. According to reports, Dobson feared the repercussions of electing Newt Gingrich and having “a woman who was a man’s mistress for eight years” as First Lady.

In his endorsement, Dobson said that “the institution of the family” is “in serious jeopardy,” warning that the “very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.” Dobson has previously compared Santorum to Tim Tebow and saluted him for “standing up for righteousness,” and joins social conservative activists Maggie Gallagher, Penny Nance, Richard Viguerie, John Stemberger and Gary Bauer in endorsing the former Pennsylvania Senator:

Dr. Dobson, well-known radio broadcaster, psychologist and author of 35 best selling books, and consultant to three U.S. Presidents, said today, "The institution of the family is the key issue facing this great nation. It is the foundation, the bedrock, upon which every dimension of Western Civilization rests. If it is undermined or weakened by cultural and governmental forces, the entire superstructure will collapse in short order. And indeed, today it is in serious jeopardy. The very definition of marriage is threatened, which has implications for the next generation and the stability of society itself.

"Of all the Republican candidates who are vying for the presidency, former Sen. Santorum is the one who has spoken passionately in every debate about this concern. He has pleaded with the nation and its leaders to come to the aid of marriages, parents, and their children. What a refreshing message. The Congress voted in 1969 to impose a marriage penalty tax on husbands and wives who were struggling to raise their children. That unfair tax continued for 32 years, until George W. Bush rolled it back. Now, if Democrats and some Republicans have their way, the marriage penalty tax will be re-imposed in 2013. We desperately need a president who will intercede on behalf of those who are caring for the next generation and working to build this nation.

"While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour. His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign."

UPDATE: Rick Santorum thanked Dobson in a statement and hoped his endorsement would help “build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win”:

I am truly honored to receive Dr. Dobson's endorsement today. Dr. Dobson has been a light for conservative movement, an unwavering leader in the face of forces both within and outside our Party to call a truce on the foundational principles that make our nation the greatest in the history of the world, but he knows that calling a truce is nothing more than surrendering. I commit to never surrender our principles, our foundational values, and the moral enterprise that is America. I am excited to work with Dr. Dobson in the weeks to come as we build upon our momentum generated from our Iowa Caucus win.

Meanwhile, the Red White and Blue Fund, a pro-Santorum Super PAC, is airing a new ad in South Carolina narrated by Bauer, who helped found the Family Research Council with Dobson, calling Santorum an opponent of “liberal elites and those who seek to undermine the nation’s freedoms and moral fabric”:

FRC: Obama Out to 'Destroy' Religious Liberty, America Itself

Religious Right leaders have long relied on bogus claims of anti-Christian persecution to energize their supporters – and they’ve cranked up the volume on those claims since Barack Obama’s election. But even by those amped-up standards, the latest direct mail piece from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is a roid-rage rant against the godless "forces of darkness" -- that would be the Obama administration -- who "seek to destroy" the country."
This year promises to be one of challenges for Christians as the Obama administration continues to destroy religious freedom in America.
The “substance” of the letter focuses on a recent episode in which a poorly worded Navy memo – meant to protect wounded servicemembers from unwanted proselytizing while recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center – seemed to ban even friends and family members from bringing a Bible to a visiting soldier. When controversy predictably erupted, the Department of the Navy withdrew the memo for re-writing so that its language would better match its intent. 
 
FRC, of course, did not see this as a problem of lousy editing, but as evidence of a “blatant attack on religion” by part of “President Obama’s secular army.”  During the December brouhaha, Perkins said the episode “speaks to the effectiveness of the President's three-year war on Christianity. Apparently, this administration will do whatever it takes to wipe faith off the military's map.” 
 
It’s not just the military, of course. FRC's new letter says the sinister Bible-ban plan was “part of a broader agenda to push God out of American life in favor of a godless, secular worldview and global community.”
The first step in the fulfillment of this radical utopian dream is silencing Christians like you. After all, it is we Christians who are at the heart of the resistance to the Obama agenda.
Perkins is just warming up. He warns that the Obama administration is counting on the excitement of the election year to distract people from its “radical anti-Christian agenda.”  Perkins says “I am certain that the attack on religious freedom, primarily Christianity, is only going to intensify this year.” 
 
But don’t worry. “Despite the forces of darkness mounted against us, I am confident we can reclaim our country from those who seek to destroy it.” Of course, that’s only if you, dear FRC contributor, aren’t too comfortable and lazy to open your wallets: 
I know for a fact that those who want America to be a godless nation are counting on Christians to retreat to the safety of our own communities and surrender the broader culture to them.
 
They are confident that Christians won’t have the courage, or motivation, to defend their faith. They think we are too comfortable and lazy.
 
Don’t play into their hands….As you contemplate the new year that lies before us, please join with FRC to help reclaim our culture for Christ.

Rick Perry, 'God's Choice' for President, Ends Campaign

With reports today that Rick Perry is exiting the presidential race, we thought it was fitting to look back on the efforts to draft Perry into the race and anoint his candidacy. Right Wing Watch closely followed Perry’s claim that he was working to return America to God, whom he claimed sent storms to keep him in Texas and was using the economic crisis to bring America to “bring us back to those biblical principles.”

Last July, Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas to push Perry into the presidential race, hoping the Texas Governor would be the more conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. One month later Perry hosted a prayer rally, The Response, which featured Religious Right leaders like James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Jim Garlow, Don Wildmon, Penny Nance, David Barton, and John Hagee, along with New Apostolic Reformation figures such as Mike Bickle, Alice Patterson, Doug Stringer, Cindy Jacobs, and John Benefiel.

Everything was falling into place for Perry, who announced his bid one week after The Response, and Religious Right activists were already talking up Perry’s supernatural gifts. Pat Robertson said that Perry successfully “founded his administration on the Bible,” Jerry Falwell Jr. thought he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan, Tom Schlueter called Perry an answer to his prayer that “one of our political leaders will rise up” to bring the nation back to God and Lou Engle even said that God so approved Perry’s presidential campaign that the day he announced his candidacy God sent rain to Texas to alleviate the state’s drought:

Even ‘prophet’ Cindy Jacobs got in the mix, saying that Perry’s The Response finally broke the curse of Native American cannibals:

Perry’s campaign also bolstered claims that God was telling him to run for president.

While campaigning in South Carolina, Anita Perry compared her husband to Gideon and said that like with Gideon’s fleece, God was telling Perry to run for president. “God was already speaking to me” but and “other people too,” but Perry only understood the message until he “threw that fleece out there twice to make sure it came back with what he needed to do.”

Perry himself even told Janet Mefferd that “God sends messages through a lot of ways and through a lot of messengers,” who were all telling him to run for president:

This entire, organic buildup of people who’ve basically said for whatever reason we’re not comfortable with the host of people who have come forward who say they want to be the next president of the United States and we look at your record, and we look at you and we want you to this. It’s been an incredible outpouring. I can tell you, that has given me the calmness in my soul that God sends messages through a lot of ways and through a lot of messengers, and I am very calm that the direction that I’m heading is good.

But alas, even though God was purportedly calling on Perry to run for president, Religious Right leaders have abandoned him for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and all Perry could manage were 5th and 6th place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, and one hell of a bad debate performance.

Far-Right Televangelist Michael Youssef Endorses Gingrich

Leading The Way ministries pastor Michael Youssef is endorsing Newt Gingrich, whom he once compared to King David. He claims that only Gingrich “truly understands” the “threat to Western civilization, threat to our way of life, threat to the American Constitution.”

A fierce critic of gay rights, he said that America is going to have “the same fate as that of Sodom and Gomorrah” because of “homosexual lobbyists,” whom he claims “know deep down that homosexuality is contrary to God’s creator order.” He contends that America is removing “the land of God’s blessing and protection” by legalizing same-sex marriage, telling Charisma News that “it is very disturbing to see the greatest nation leading the world in abomination”:

Charisma News: What are some of your thoughts on this gay marriage law passing in New York?

Youssef: Here is another one that goes down the tubes. The stats say one in nine Americans are living in states where gay marriage is legal and it’s not going to stop there.

Let’s go to the beginning. When we begin to be immoral people we will cease to be blessed people. God blessed us as a nation through the years because of the faithfulness of the Founding Fathers to God’s Word. It might not be explicit but implicit in every action of their deliberation. Now we come to a time where we are removing the boundaries of our forefathers and as we remove these boundaries we are removing ourselves from the hand of God’s blessing and protection.

It is very disturbing to see the greatest nation leading the world in this abomination. It is very, very sad. This is a group of Republicans that made this happen. This is not a Republican-Democrat issue anymore. It is a moral issue. Those who love the Scripture and God’s ideal for our society must be very repulsed and speak against it. We need to examine every candidate for office from now on—to check not how he is going to help the economy, but how he is going to uphold God’s moral standard.

Youssef also has had strong words for mainline Protestants, arguing that Episcopalians are not Christians and urging people to leave the Episcopal and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and “deliver these institutions to Satan” over their support of gay rights. Moreover, Youssef called for America to be “at war with Islam” and has written about the “peculiar similarities between the Mormon faith and Islam.”

He joins Religious Right leaders Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Don Wildmon, Mat Staver, George Barna, David Lane and Jim Garlow in endorsing Gingrich.

UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign has named Youssef National Co-Chair of his Faith Leaders Coalition:

Newt 2012 today announced that Dr. Michael Youssef has endorsed Newt Gingrich, and Dr. Youssef will be joining the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as a National Co-Chair.

...

“I’m couldn’t be happier in having Dr. Youssef on board,” said Newt Gingrich. “Our Faith Leaders Coalition will benefit tremendously from his leadership as a Pastor, a communicator, and an immigrant to the U.S.”

GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed's...Ring

Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.

“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals.  He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day.  “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders.  Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.” 

The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government.  Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.

Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire.  His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.

The Supreme Court

Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices.  Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers.  Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor.  The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”

Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception

One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married.  Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage.  Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity.  Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”

Threats to “Religious Liberty”

Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists.  Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.”  “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry.  “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!”  Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.

Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics

Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.”  He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God.  The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.

Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)

The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him.  On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case.  Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism.   Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them.  He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families.  Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.”  Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”

Appropriating a Sanitized MLK

Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.”  But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event.  Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”  Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.”  According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.”  He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.

In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes.  According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society.  “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…”   Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender.  And they weren’t the last.

While Santorum wins Religious Right Support, No Signs of 'Strong Consensus'

Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?

Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.

Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”

The real loser of the meeting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who won just three votes in the first ballot. Major Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas last summer where they urged Perry to run for president. Dobson, Perkins, Garlow, Nance and other Religious Right figures all appeared with Perry at his The Response prayer rally and after Perry announced his candidacy, he courted a group of social conservative activists including Perkins, Dobson, Garlow at the Texas ranch of mega-donor James Leininger. John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council who was a Perry campaign chairman, has now even switched his support from Perry to Santorum.

While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.

LaHaye: Obama is Trying to 'Destroy This Country'

Religious Right leader and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye has always reserved strong criticism for President Obama, even going so far as to say that he is pushing the world “closer to the Apocalypse,” continued to lash out at the Obama administration in his letter to South Carolina pastors asking them to support Newt Gingrich. LaHaye and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich yesterday and, like Gingrich’s other supporters from the Religious Right, is warning that America may collapse if Obama wins reelection.

“Liberal secularists had brought our nation to the verge of maylieze [sic] and stagnation because over half the Christians in America didn’t even bother to vote,” LaHaye writes, “Please payerfully [sic] onsider going to the polls and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years”:

The reason I am writing you is because as a South Carolinian, you are in a strategic position to help America at this historic time in our nation’s history. During the last three years our nation has been led by liberal secularists who have tried their best to remove God from our public square and the elimination of the Biblical principles our founding fathers built this nation on. Their financial policies have already brought us to the brink of bankruptcy and their government policies of over regulation has prolonged our recession and will, if continued for four more years, destroy this country as we know it. Some in this government want to tell churches who they can hire or fire to run their church, which is the very thing our forefathers wanted to keep the King and his government from doing. If we do not change our leaders in the next election we will end up being like the godless socialist countries of Europe. That will so destroy our country in four years that many experts believe we will never be able to reclaim it for moral and physical sanity.

That is where you come in! As a voter you can go to the polls and elect the one man in the up coming primary with the intelligence, conservative philosophy and hands on experience in government that is so needed today to return our country to the God honoring principles that made our nation the greatest country in world history. That man is our personal friend, Speaker Newt Gingrich. My wife Beverly, the Founder and Chairman of Concerned Women For America based in Washington D.C., and I believe he is the only man running for the office of President of America who shares our conservative principles who can beat the present leader in open debate and win! As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States. We agree!

In 1980, America was on a decline not unlike our country is today. Liberal secularists had brought our nation to the verge of maylieze [sic] and stagnation because over half the Christians in America didn’t even bother to vote. That’s why we started the Moral Majority that helped elect conservative Ronald Regan and with God’s help he changed the direction of our country. I am one of the two minister board members still living who helped Jerry get that majority started. Today we have no regrets!

Now it is your turn. It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners. Please payerfully [sic] consider going to the polls and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years. Not just for ourselves, but for our children and to maintain the religious [sic] freedom thais [sic] so important today in preserving our nation’s future.

Mat Staver: Gingrich Campaign Chair...GOP Debate Moderator?

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver announced yesterday that he will be hosting a presidential candidate forum at Florida Awake in Orlando on January 28, three days before the Florida primary, at the Aloma Baptist Church in Orlando.

Staver also participated in the 2008 Values Voter Presidential Debate in Florida, which featured candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Alan Keyes and Duncan Hunter, however, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson refused to appear. At that debate, Staver excoriated Thompson in absentia for supporting the right of state legislatures to legalize same-sex marriage, likening it to slavery, and McCain, Romney and Giuliani received similarly harsh treatment from the debate moderators over their stances on gay rights, abortion rights and campaign finance reform.

While Staver hasn’t said which candidates will appear at Florida Awake, all of the candidates save one may have a reason to avoid Staver’s forum: the very same day he announced his presidential candidate forum, he was named National Co-Chair of the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition. Staver said that Gingrich is the “clear choice” to lead “a new conservative resurgence” against Obama, and joined fellow Religious Right leaders like Don Wildmon, Jim Garlow, George Barna and Tim LaHaye in backing the former Speaker.

While GOP candidates besides Gingrich have actively worked to capture the vote of social conservatives, it is odd that Staver would expect candidates to attend his debate when he is the co-chair of one of their opponent’s campaign coalitions.

Mat Staver: Gingrich Campaign Chair...GOP Debate Moderator?

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver announced yesterday that he will be hosting a presidential candidate forum at Florida Awake in Orlando on January 28, three days before the Florida primary, at the Aloma Baptist Church in Orlando.

Staver also participated in the 2008 Values Voter Presidential Debate in Florida, which featured candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Alan Keyes and Duncan Hunter, however, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson refused to appear. At that debate, Staver excoriated Thompson in absentia for supporting the right of state legislatures to legalize same-sex marriage, likening it to slavery, and McCain, Romney and Giuliani received similarly harsh treatment from the debate moderators over their stances on gay rights, abortion rights and campaign finance reform.

While Staver hasn’t said which candidates will appear at Florida Awake, all of the candidates save one may have a reason to avoid Staver’s forum: the very same day he announced his presidential candidate forum, he was named National Co-Chair of the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition. Staver said that Gingrich is the “clear choice” to lead “a new conservative resurgence” against Obama, and joined fellow Religious Right leaders like Don Wildmon, Jim Garlow, George Barna and Tim LaHaye in backing the former Speaker.

While GOP candidates besides Gingrich have actively worked to capture the vote of social conservatives, it is odd that Staver would expect candidates to attend his debate when he is the co-chair of one of their opponent’s campaign coalitions.

UPDATE: The Orlando Sentinel reports that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have both committed to participating in Staver’s forum.

Rick Perry Drops By WallBuilders to Rail Against 'Socialist' Obama

Rick Perry today appeared on WallBuilders Live with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and his cohost Rick Green, where he spent most of the time railing against President Obama’s spending policies while also criticizing his proposed cuts to the Defense Department budget. According to Perry, “America is paying a huge price” for electing someone who “is a socialist or was trained by socialists”:

Perry: Here’s what I tell people, I said, listen, if you’re looking for the best debater, we got a great debater in the White House right now, America is paying a huge price because they were enamored with hope and change and this president, who I truly believe is a socialist or was trained by socialists, put America in peril. Put America in peril from an economic standpoint, put America in peril from a military-preparedness standpoint, put America in peril from the standpoint of foreign policy.

Barton and Green went on to say that not only have they worked with Governor Perry but also with Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who recently appeared on WallBuilders Live, surely to inform them that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and the capital gains tax while pastors are under the threat of arrest because of hate crimes laws:

Green: Look, I know we’re talking about all the positives on Perry, I know a lot of our listeners, we got folks who support Newt and support Bachmann, and we support those guys too, they’re good folks.

Barton: I’ve already helped a whole bunch of these guys in the campaign, I have worked directly with several of them at their request and I’m happy to do that.

Green: Yeah sure, and they stand for all the right things. But we just got to be honest about Governor Perry’s record and what he did. When we went up there to Iowa and we both went and spoke at some caucuses there, it forced me to really sit down and think, why, if I got to pick somebody to vote for, how do I measure these guys? I started thinking for me it’s got to be that they both believe what I do, they got my values, but they can also be effective. So I think some people do discount him a little be when they shouldn’t and they’re going to be surprised, if he gets the momentum back—there’s some good candidates in the race, we’ll see what South Carolinians think.

Barton: We’ve always taken the position we’ll help people who have the right values, so even when I went to Iowa and spoke for Governor Perry at one of the caucuses, I was right beside Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus and we had a great time because I had just done some media interviews on behalf of Michele.

Green: That’s right, and I went out to Iowa in August for Michele for the straw poll, and we’ve both helped Newt and Santorum, so yeah there are good people running.

Barton: There are good people running and this is fine and we’re not taking positions, but we are pointing out positive things.

While Religious Right leaders themselves might be fractured on who to support in the race, Republican candidates for president all seem to agree on who to pander to: David Barton.

Bauer Projects His Religious Bigotry onto Obama

Gary Bauer yesterday told members of the Campaign for Working Families that President Obama is going to try to “portray our candidate as an extremist” and “exploit religious bigotry” by attacking the religion of his Republican opponent:

I have been saying for months now that this election is going to be brutal. Obama can't run on "hope and change" again. It's going to be fear and smear in 2012. This week we got another indication of where the Obama campaign is headed.

In California this week, Obama's chief political strategist David Axelrod defended Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. According to the report, Axelrod dismissed the 2008 Wright controversy by saying it was nothing more than "ninety seconds of vitriol plucked from thirty years of sermons by some enterprising opposition researcher."

Really? Why then did Barack Obama feel it was necessary to throw Wright under the bus and repudiate his outrageous statements and blatant racism? David Axelrod is not a dumb man, so why on earth is he opening up this can of worms now?

I truly hope I am wrong, but I fear this is a signal by the Obama campaign to their media allies that they are prepared to make a candidate's faith an issue in this year's campaign. They know going down this road will invite questions about Wright. That is why Axelrod may have pre-emptively signaled it was really "much ado about nothing" and that the Obama campaign is prepared to refight that battle.

Why? Because no matter the faith of the GOP nominee, radical secularists will portray our candidate as an extremist, and left-wing activists are prepared to exploit religious bigotry in an attempt to get Obama reelected. In fact, the polling data already indicates that for all the hype about religious intolerance on the right, there is more bigotry on the left!

Pre-emptively lashing out at the Obama campaign for fomenting “religious bigotry” about “the faith of the GOP nominee,” with zero evidence to substantiate his claim, may sound more credible if Bauer himself in 2010 hadn’t stoked fears about President Obama’s beliefs in a column Understanding Obama’s Islamophilia by claiming that he is part of a secularist-Islamist movement motivated by “their common disdain for Christianity” that seeks to herald in the “destruction of the Judeo-Christian philosophy that is the foundation of Western civilization”:

Obama’s left-wing progressivism varies with Islamism on many issues. But their adherents find common cause in a common enemy: the Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western democracy.



Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side. Their common disdain for Christianity explains why left-wing judges in America find any inkling of Christianity in the public square unconstitutional, while Islamist judges in the Middle East deem it executable.

Their common view that life is expendable explains the left’s embrace abortion-on-demand and why the Islamists don’t hesitate to deploy their own children for homicide bombings.

Their common totalitarian impulse explains why each group has as its governing objective to render its subjects entirely dependent on the state for everything in their lives, from education to healthcare.



This alliance explains why the Obama State Department is spending taxpayer money to send Rauf to the Middle East on a goodwill tour. And it is why it will spend nearly $6 million of your tax money to restore, among other things, mosques and minaret around the world.

There’s a reason Obama won the Muslim American vote by more than nine to one, and why it is suspected that he received millions of dollars in contributions to his presidential campaign from Muslims abroad. It’s not because Muslims thought Obama would fight for gays in the military. It’s because they knew he’d treat Israel as more of an annoyance than an ally, and because he’d be sure to diminish America’s stature in the world. And they were right.

More fundamentally, left-wing progressivism and Islamism both hold that religious belief and reason are at odds. Of course, Islamists embrace faith and reject reason, while progressives value reason to the exclusion of faith. Eventually these groups may have to address their basic differences.

But there will be time for that later. For now, there’s a greater goal to achieve: the annihilation of moral accountability and individual liberty and the destruction of the Judeo-Christian philosophy that is the foundation of Western civilization.

Tim and Beverly LaHaye and Mat Staver Endorse Newt Gingrich

Is the Religious Right beginning to coalesce behind Newt Gingrich? Yesterday, the former Speaker hosted a conference call with the members of his Faith Leaders Coalition: American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, Religious Right pollster George Barna and pastor Jim Garlow. Now, Gingrich is racking up additional endorsements from Religious Right figures just days before conservative activists are set to meet in Texas to see if they can get behind one of the presidential candidates.

Tim LaHaye, the author of the Left Behind series on the End Times and founder of the Council for National Policy, and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich, warning that America may “end up being like the godless socialist countries of Europe,” as did Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, one of the country’s most stridently anti-gay groups, and the dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “America will be unrecognizable if Obama is elected for four more years,” Staver said. “We need a strong leader with domestic, international and political experience who can inspire a new conservative resurgence in the line of Ronald Reagan. Speaker Gingrich is the clear choice.”

Tim LaHaye has claimed that President Obama is a socialist and not a Christian who is bringing America “closer to the Apocalypse,” and Staver has referred to Obama as a tyrant who is making the U.S. “one of the world’s immoral leaders” by opposing countries that criminalize homosexuality. 

Gingrich even appeared in TV advertisements for Liberty University School of Law, and LU ran ads featuring Gingrich in Iowa right before the caucus. While appearing on David Barton’s radio program WallBuilders Live, Gingrich said he would look to graduates of Liberty University when making appointments to the judiciary.

The LaHaye’s, Staver and Wildmon all endorsed Huckabee in the 2008 election. While Rick Santorum has picked up the support of social conservative figures such as Gary Bauer, Maggie Gallagher and Bob Vander Plaats, it appears that Gingrich is winning over Religious Right leaders who are desperate to defeat Mitt Romney.

UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign released this statement from Tim LaHaye:

“During the last three years our nation has been led by liberal secularists who have tried their best to remove God from our public square and the elimination of the Biblical principles our founding fathers built this nation on” said LaHaye.

“Please prayerfully consider going to the polls on January 21 and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years” he said.

Pastor LaHaye also pointed to Speaker Gingrich’s qualifications as the best candidate to defeat President Obama as one of the reasons for his endorsement.

“It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners,” LaHaye said. “As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, ‘Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States”… We agree!’”

"I am honored to have Tim's endorsement. His work as both a minister and author is truly unmatched," said Gingrich. "Tim will be a terrific partner for the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as we work to combat the influence of radical secularism and activist judges."
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