Reproductive Health

Barber: Personhood Amendments are Just Like Efforts to Free the Slaves

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck down efforts to place a personhood amendment on the ballot that would declare embryos to be "persons" from the moment of conception, ruling that it was "clearly unconstitutional." That decision prompted Liberty Counsel to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to hear the case because it "presents an historic opportunity for the Court to address the issue of a state’s right to amend its own constitution to acknowledge what science has long recognized."

Today, in discussing the legal efforts that Liberty Counsel is undertaking on behalf of this effort, Matt Barber explained that efforts to pass "personhood" amendments is just like effort to end slavery because "this merely does what we did in freeing the slaves; this frees these little people from the overhanging threat of abortion homicide": 

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/10/12

Gary Bauer Attacks Sandra Fluke over Shooting of Pakistani Education Activist

Fourteen year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban militant yesterday, targeting her because she is an outspoken advocate for the rights of women in education. Religious Right activist Gary Bauer, who has built his career attacking the rights of Muslim-Americans and women, is using the tragic incident to attack Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who was lambasted and denigrated by right-wing talk show hosts for supporting the inclusion of contraception coverage in insurance plans.

Bauer suggested in an email for the Campaign for Working Families that Fluke won’t condemn the attempted murder of the women’s rights activist (which she actually has done) and hoped that the shooting will make Fluke reconsider her women’s rights advocacy in the U.S. Bauer said he wonders “what Fluke thinks about Malala Yousafzai” and “predict[s] Sandra Fluke will not take time out from her crusade for free birth control to condemn radical Islam.” “Women all over the Islamic world face brutal persecution, but the American left hates us and hurls its bile at conservatives,” Bauer maintained.

For over a year, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, radical feminists and their media allies have promoted the idea that there is a conservative "war on women." We have seen poor "victims" like Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke whine about how expensive her birth control pills are and how mean Republicans don't want to pay for them.

I wonder what Fluke thinks about Malala Yousafzai. She is a 14 year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by an Islamic "warrior" who walked onto her school bus yesterday in the city of Mingora. The Taliban quickly claimed "credit" for the shooting.

Malala did not make a movie critical of Mohammed or try to convert to Christianity. She simply said publicly that girls should be able to go to school. For that she clings to life today in a Pakistani hospital.

I predict there will be no Islamic mobs in the streets protesting the distortions of their faith. I predict Sandra Fluke will not take time out from her crusade for free birth control to condemn radical Islam. I predict Planned Parenthood will continue its multi-million-dollar ad campaign accusing conservatives of wanting to take away its right to destroy innocent unborn children.

Women all over the Islamic world face brutal persecution, but the American left hates us and hurls its bile at conservatives.

Barber & Staver Hail Effort to Shut Down Medieval/Nazi/Torture/Gas Chambers

Last month, the Virginia Board of Health, under pressure from Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, passed a series of onerous and medically unnecessary regulations aimed at shutting down many of the abortion clinics operating within the state. And it comes as no surprise that the anti-choice zealots over at Liberty Counsel are positively thrilled with the move, as Matt Barber admits that ultimately he wants to see every clinic in the nation shut down because they "more resemble a medieval torture chamber than they do a medical clinic" while Mat Staver declared that such clinics "are no different than Nazi Germany with regards to the gas chamber and the experiments that were done and the torture that happened to people":

E.W. Jackson: Democrats Have an 'Agenda Worthy of the Antichrist'

Bishop E.W. Jackson has embarked on a campaign following his failed Senate bid to convince black voters to reject the Democrats’ “anti-God” views and partake in a “mass exodus of Christians from the Democrat party.” Today in an opinion piece in the Washington Times, “Blacks are abandoning the Democratic Party,” Jackson asserted that African Americans will abandon the Democratic party over the issues of abortion rights and gay equality, incredulously asking how Democrats have “managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist?” “Mr. Obama’s commitment to the radical left’s anti-Christian, anti-God politics may cost him the election,” Jackson writes, “because a constituency he has taken for granted has awakened to the truth that being the first black president is not enough.” Of course, recent polling shows that Obama has a commanding 94-0 lead among black voters.

I was raised to be an FDR Democrat because my father was a young man during the Depression and credited President Roosevelt with saving him from starvation. “The Republicans only care about rich people,” I was told. This was more than 40 years ago. In spite of my childhood indoctrination, as a young man newly committed to my Christian faith, I had a crisis of conscience in the late 1970s. Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank was pushing the homosexual agenda. How could I, as a Christian, be committed to a party led by Mr. Frank? In the end, I could not. My desire to be in a right relationship with God and my faith was greater than my desire to be approved by my father, my family or the black community. My wife and I, then Massachusetts residents, left the Democratic Party in 1980 and never looked back.

Democrats now have fully embraced an abortion policy that amounts to infanticide. They have also made the lesbian-homosexual-bisexual-transgender agenda their vision for America. How have they managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist? They have shown a ruthless willingness to frighten black voters with outright lies about the plans of conservatives and Republicans. Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s “they gonna put y’all back in chains” was not a gaffe. It is part of the Democrats’ strategy of using fear to keep blacks as a captive audience. I always have believed that such lies could not distract black voters forever or keep them from noticing the increasingly anti-Christian radicalism of the Democratic Party.



Now black churchgoers are being told to suppress Christian conscience and remain beholden to a party that demands their loyalty while insulting their faith and blaspheming their God. For the first time in 50 years, there is a discussion going on in the black community as to whether their loyalty to the Democratic Party is deserved. Many black pastors are telling their members to stay home, rather than vote for a black president who has done more to advance the cause of homosexuality and abortion than that of black Americans.

We are hearing the rumblings of a fissure between black Christians and the Democratic Party. My organization, Staying True to America’s National Destiny (Stand), is calling for a mass exodus of Christians from the Democratic Party. We held a news conference at the National Press Club on Sept. 10 and produced several videos. This not only has prompted discussion, but perhaps has launched a movement. Mr. Obama’s commitment to the radical left’s anti-Christian, anti-God politics may cost him the election, because a constituency he has taken for granted has awakened to the truth that being the first black president is not enough.

Todd Akin Recounts Arrest at Anti-Choice Demonstration

At a 2011 “pastor’s briefing” with disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton, Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) recounted an experience of going to jail after protesting against abortion rights. Akin told the audience that he had earlier spoken with “a group of people who had been in jail with me” who were all “involved in the pro-life movement.”

“Don’t tell anybody I’m a jail bird,” Akin said, briefly telling a story about when “a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while and you know how it goes.”

At the event with Barton, who has strongly backed his candidacy and has been campaigning with the embattled candidate, Akin was discussing biblical views on when to submit to governmental authority. Akin’s extreme views on abortion rights and rape are already well-known, but he only gave few details about his time as a “jail bird” during what may have been an illegal blockade of a clinic.

Watch:

Akin: Yesterday I spoke to a group of people who had been in jail with me, you know don’t tell anybody I’m a jail bird, you know, but there were a bunch of us that were years ago involved in the pro-life movement and the question becomes: the Bible says, ‘rescue the innocent that is being led to slaughter,’ so a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while and you know how it goes, and the question is, is that biblical or not?

UPDATE: Akin confirmed his arrest at a news conference, as reported by the Associated Press. 

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin said Friday that he had been arrested during an anti-abortion protest about two decades ago but didn't provide details of where or when the event occurred.

...

In a video circulating widely on the Internet Friday, Akin is seen discussing his involvement in an anti-abortion demonstration and says "you know, don't tell anybody I'm a jail bird." He also says in the video that "a bunch of us sat in front of these doors and the police gave us a ride to the free hotel for a while, and you know how it goes."

Asked at a press conference Friday in Kansas City to confirm the arrest, Akin said: "Yeah, well, certainly. Probably about 25 years ago or so I was involved in some peaceful protests. As I've made very clear I don't apologize for being pro-life. I stand up for the things I believe in."

His campaign promised to provide details of the arrest later Friday.

Randall Terry and Friends Hope to Bring Graphic Anti-Abortion Ads to Swing States

Operation Rescue founder and presidential candidate Randall Terry has announced another campaign, Operation Throw Obama Out, to run candidates for office so they can run graphic ads against abortion rights. According to the statement, Terry hopes to run ads that will be seen in swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio.

Seven federal campaigns are poised to run withering ads against Obama in 21 states and the District of Columbia, including 7 vital swing states: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado.

The TV ads show babies murdered by abortion, and Christians and Jews who have been murdered by Muslims -- Muslims who have received direct or indirect funding from Obama. The ads put the blame of this slaughter squarely on Obama.

Obama won in 2008 with 55% of the Catholic vote, and 35% of the evangelical vote.

Since that time, he has crossed swords with Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders by promoting the killing of unborn babies, forcing the Church to pay for drugs that kill the unborn, supporting "homosexual marriage," and funding Islamic terrorists that persecute Christians in the Middle East.

One of those House candidates is Andrew Beacham, an anti-Muslim tea party activist who heckled Obama during his address at Notre Dame, who is running a campaign ad (warning: graphic) in Kentucky and Indiana comparing Obama to Adolf Hitler and other notorious killers. “Obama gives your money to Planned Parenthood to murder babies and to the Muslim Brotherhood who murders Christians and Jews,” Beachem says while holding a cigar, “if you vote for Obama, the real question is, what are you smoking?”

Janet Porter Pushes Ohio State Senate to Vote on 'Heartbeat Bill' before Election

Faith2Action’s Janet Porter believes that her prized Heartbeat Bill, which would criminalize nearly all abortions, may soon receive a vote in the GOP-controlled Ohio State Senate. The bill already passed the House but has been held up in the State Senate, leading Porter to embark on a campaign to drive out Republicans who didn’t want to put the bill up for a vote and bring together Religious Right activists to pray for the bill’s passage.

According to a letter sent to supporters earlier this month [PDF], Porter said that her bill may receive a vote in the Senate before the general election in November. Of course, Porter has predicted the passage of her bill in Ohio and other states many times before, and she is organizing another prayer rally in the Statehouse Atrium on October, 28.

Dear Friend of Faith2Action,

Since you last heard from me, we've entered a critical new phase in the Heartbeat Bill – one that has involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations with former opponents of the bill and much prayer and fasting! I am absolutely amazed: it appears that God is doing the miraculous again by turning former Heartbeat Bill opponents into allies! I believe we are finally reaching the point of breakthrough.

As I write this, the final changes to an agreed-upon "compromise bill" are being drafted—without losing the vital legal protection for babies. In some ways, this new version is even stronger than the original thanks to countless hours of painstaking work by some of the nation's leading pro-life attorneys.

This revised, mutually acceptable bill will be presented to leaders in the Senate this week and we are asking for a vote on the Heartbeat Bill on the floor of the Ohio State Senate, before the election!

The good news: This agreed-upon bill is a huge step toward a floor vote and the most important breakthrough since it passed the House more than a year ago. We are now just inches away from effectively ending abortion in Ohio!

The bad news: We've gone to the mat many times in the past for causes we believed in, but never before in our decade-long history have our resources been this depleted. Getting the Heartbeat Bill to this point has literally taken everything we have personally and as a ministry. We've spent our personal savings, gone without salaries and poured everything we had into getting our message out to the pro-life voters, prayer warriors and senators of Ohio.

Our campaign to publicly hold our senators accountable for their inaction included tens of thousands of postcards, weekly press releases, robo-calls, newspaper ads, rallies, emails, and flyers. And it worked! We give God all the glory for this. And I personally want to thank our loyal supporters like you who make our work possible.

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.

Who's Who at the Values Voter Summit 2012

This weekend Republican and conservative leaders, including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are set to address the Religious Right's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Barton: 'If You Want Abortion, You Want Bigger Government'

A few months ago, an effort to legalize abortion in Ireland failed and David Barton hailed the development on today's "Good News Friday" program of "WallBuilders Live."

But Barton was not really concerned about the illegality of abortion in Ireland, as he was mostly just interested in the title of an article about it posted on LifeNews.com that read "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion" because, to him, it proves that people who support a woman's right to choose are really just socialists:

I love the title on this. It says "Ireland Dáil Defeats Socialist’s Bill to Legalize Abortion." Now the two words that stick out to me there are "socialists" and "abortion." It's interesting how those two things go together. Pro-abortion people tend to be pro-socialism people; that is, they want bigger government. If you want abortion, you want bigger government.

And I don't think I had really thought of socialism and abortion as going side-by-side until I saw the headline to this article that they defeated a socialist's bill to legalize abortion. And, you know, that kind of helps me identify things here in America; I can kind of start looking at people who are pro-abortion and say, you know, they really are pro-socialism, they're pro bigger government, less individual rights and responsibilities.

But I think it's good news for us to identify pro-abortion people with socialism, quite frankly.

Charlotte Prayer Rally Repents for 'Homosexuality and its Agenda that is Attacking the Nation'

David Benham organized a prayer rally in Charlotte to coincide with the opening of the Democratic National Convention called Charlotte 714, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, along with groups like the North Carolina Values Coalition and Operation Save America, which is led by his father Flip Benham.

While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the prayer rally, Benham said that Charlotte was chosen not only because it is the site of the DNC but also because the city was one of the few areas to vote against Amendment One, the same-sex marriage ban voters passed in May. Benham called Charlotte’s vote against anti-gay discrimination a sign of the “very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country,” requiring “a citywide church service of repentance.”

Later, Benham told Mefferd that America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating abortion rights, no-fault divorce, legal pornography, “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation” and the “demonic ideologies” that he says have taken over the education system.

In North Carolina you know we just fought for Amendment One which was a constitutional amendment that simply said, this is exactly what the amendment said is the only legal marriage in North Carolina was between a man and a woman. We received—it was such a battle in North Carolina it blew me away. I already knew in my heart as most all of us Christians in America know that we are in a very desperate spiritual situation and moral situation in our country but it really hit home during Amendment One, so much so that when Amendment One passed I realized the only three counties in North Carolina that actually voted against the amendment were Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville, our three cities. So we had all the rural areas and all the suburban areas but we lost all the cities. So I felt like, OK it’s time that we have a citywide church service of repentance and that’s the reason that we decided to do it right in the heart of Charlotte the night before the DNC.



We will always finger point but we don’t realize that OK if 87% of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery; we have all of the things; we even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches. We are so complacent, we are so apathetic and we are very hypocritical in the church, that’s why the Bible says judgment begins in the house of God. So when we prayed at 714 we asked God and our city to forgive us for allowing these things in the house of God.

Another Romney Abortion Flip-Flop: No Exceptions for Health of the Mother

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, Mitt Romney said he disagreed with his own party’s support for criminalizing abortion without exceptions: “My position has been clear throughout this campaign; I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”

Of course, Romney’s position on the legality of abortion has been anything but clear. Now his campaign denies that he supports allowing abortion when a woman’s health is in jeopardy, as he told reporter Scott Pelley. Instead, they say he only supports allowing abortion when a woman would die without one.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-choice group, in an interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association insisted that the Romney campaign told her that Romney does not in fact believe in exceptions for the health of the mother, contradicting what he said in the Monday interview. If he did, Dannenfelser said, he would not have received the endorsement of her anti-choice organization.

Watch:

 

Jeffrey Kuhner: Democrats Seek to 'Break the Back of Christian America'

Every month or so Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner appears on The Janet Mefferd Show to deliver an incoherent, unhinged rant about the news of the day, and yesterday was no different as he told Mefferd that the “radical secular liberals” who purportedly control the Democratic Party are out to “entrench radical feminism” and “break the back of Christian America” through same-sex marriage and legal abortion.

I think that the Democrats, somebody like Obama, you just have a ‘D’ after their name, they will get 43, 44, 45 percent of the vote automatically. Why? Since the 1960s, this country has been engulfed in a major culture war and what you’re seeing now is the growing rift between liberal America and conservative America, red state America and blue state America, secular America and Christian America. What is now clear is there is an ideological and cultural war for the heart and soul of this country and the Democratic Party, especially since 1972, has been essentially hijacked, it has become hostage, to the radical secular liberals of the 1960s and they are bent on a social revolution. That is why you will not see any pro-life Democrats speak at the DNC; it is why they’ve been purging the party systematically of people who are opposed to abortion or people who support traditional family values; that is why the Democrats have now embraced gay marriage; it’s why Obamacare has federal funding for abortion; it’s why now they are making free birth control, government-subsidized contraception, now almost a civil right, a human right for women. This is an attempt to entrench radical feminism, this is an attempt to break the back of Christian America.

Kuhner also questioned whether Vice President Joe Biden is “literally mentally insane” for making his poorly-phrased “chains” comment, which was referring to Republican plans that would punish consumers in order to help Wall Street, and claimed that the real “extremists” are those who support reproductive rights and marriage equality. He even slammed Obama for using an “assassination list” to kill people “they deem to be terrorists.”

Now, you have to ask yourself this question, either Joe Biden is literally mentally insane, he’s living in the century, he literally is so crazy, so detached from reality that he honestly believes that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are going to re-impose slavery, or he is a complete liar, a complete smear merchant who is willing to lie, say and do anything, even inflame racial tensions, even fan the flames of racial hatred and division to get re-elected. Either way the man is a complete extremist, he’s a complete race-baiter, a complete fear-monger, and then you add the list of all the other crazy comments that he said going back 20 years and you have to ask yourself: how is it a man who supports abortion on demand, who believes in the fundamental transformation of the most basic institution of society—marriage, an institution that has been defined as between a man and a woman going back thousands of years in every culture, in every age, in every major civilization—and I have to ask this question: the Republicans are extremists? Conservatives are extremists? Christians are extremists? This is the same man Joe Biden, who along with Barack Obama, have an assassination list where they look over people that they deem to be terrorists and say ‘let’s kill ‘em.’

6 Right-Wing Zealots and the Crazy Ideas Behind the Most Outrageous Republican Platform Ever

Note: this story is cross-posted at AlterNet.

The official 2012 Republican Party platform is a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.  If moderates have any influence in today’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t know it by reading the platform.  Efforts by a few delegates to insert language favoring civil unions, comprehensive sex education, and voting rights for the District of Columbia, for example, were all shot down.  Making the rounds of right-wing pre-convention events on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gushed about the platform’s right-wing tilt, telling fired-up Tea Partiers that “the Tea Party has been all over that platform.”

Given the Republican Party’s hard lurch to the right, which intensified after the election of Barack Obama, the “most conservative ever” platform is not terribly surprising. But it still didn’t just happen on its own.  Here are some of the people we can thank on the domestic policy front.
 
1. Bob McDonnell.   As platform committee chair, McDonnell made it clear he was not in the mood for any amendments to the draft language calling for a “Human Life Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution and legal recognition that the “unborn” are covered by the Fourteenth Amendment – “personhood” by another name.  McDonnell is in many ways the ideal right-wing governor: he ran as a fiscal conservative and governs like the Religious Right activist he has been since he laid out his own political platform in the guise of a master’s thesis at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. 
 
His thesis argued that feminists and working women were detrimental to the family, and that public policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals, or fornicators.”  When running for governor, McDonnell disavowed his thesis, but as a state legislator he pushed hard to turn those positions into policy.  As the Washington Post noted, “During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.”  As governor, McDonnell signed the kind of mandatory ultrasound law that is praised in this year’s platform.  When his name was floated as a potential V.P. pick, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood decried his “deeply troubling record on women’s health.”
 
2 Tony Perkins.  Perkins heads the Family Research Council, whose Values Voter Summit is the Religious Right’s most important annual conference, at which movement activists rub shoulders with Republican officials and candidates.  Perkins bragged in an email to his supporters how much influence he and his friend David Barton (see below) had on the platform.  Perkins was an active member of the platform committee, proposing language to oppose school-based health clinics that provide referrals for contraception or abortion, and arguing for the strongest possible anti-marriage equality language.  Perkins also introduced an amendment to the platform calling on the District of Columbia government to loosen its gun laws, which Perkins says still do not comply with recent Supreme Court rulings.
 
The media tends to treat Perkins, a telegenic former state legislator, as a reasonable voice of the Religious Right, but his record and his group’s positions prove otherwise.  Perkins has been aggressively exploiting the recent shooting at FRC headquarters to divert attention from the group’s extremism by claiming that the Southern Poverty Law Center was irresponsible in calling FRC a hate group.  Unfortunately for Perkins, the group’s record of promoting hatred toward LGBT people is well documented.  Perkins has even complained that the press and President Obama were being too hard on Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill, which he described as an attempt to “uphold moral conduct.” It’s worth remembering that Perkins ran a 1996 campaign for Louisiana Senate candidate Woody Jenkins that paid $82,600 to David Duke for the Klan leader’s mailing list; the campaign was fined by the FEC for trying to cover it up.
 
3. David Barton.  Texas Republican activist and disgraced Christian-nation “historian” Barton has had a tough year, but Tampa has been good to him.  He was perhaps the most vocal member of the platform committee, and was a featured speaker at Sunday’s pre-convention “prayer rally.” During the platform committee’s final deliberations, Barton couldn’t seem to hear his own voice often enough.  He was the know-it-all nitpicker, piping up with various language changes, such as deleting a reference to the family as the “school of democracy” because families are not democracies.  He thought it was too passive to call Obamacare an “erosion of” the Constitution and thought it should be changed to an “attack on” the founding document.  He called for stronger anti-public education language and asserted that large school districts employ one administrator for every teacher.  He backed anti-abortion language, tossing out the claim that 127 medical studies over five decades say that abortion hurts women.  Progressives have been documenting Barton’s lies for years, but more recently conservative evangelical scholars have also been hammering  his claims about American history.  The critical chorus got so loud that Christian publishing powerhouse Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s most recent book – which, ironically, purports to correct “lies” about Thomas Jefferson – from the shelves.  Of course, Barton has had plenty of practice at this sort of thing, from producing bogusdocumentaries designed to turn African Americans against the Democratic Party to pushing his religious and political ideology into Texas textbooks. Barton’s right-wing friends like Glenn Beck have rallied around him. And nothing seems to tarnish Barton with the GOP allies for whom he has proven politically useful over the years. 
 
4. Kris Kobach.  Kris Kobach wants to be your president one day; until now, he has gotten as far as Kansas Secretary of State.  He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law.  Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.  He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.  Kobach hopes that will give activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.  In the platform committee, he backed Perkins’ efforts to maintain the strongest language against marriage equality.  Even an amendment to the marriage section saying that everyone should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else, was shot down by Kobach.  Kobach also claims he won support for a provision to oppose any effort to limit how many bullets can go into a gun’s magazine.
 
5. James Bopp.  James Bopp is a Republican lawyer and delegate from Indiana whose client list is a Who’s Who of right-wing organizations, including National Right to Life and the National Organization for Marriage, which he has represented in its efforts to keep political donors secret.  As legal advisor to Citizens United, Bopp has led legal attacks on campaign finance laws and played a huge role in bringing us the world of unlimited right-wing cash flooding our elections.  Bopp chaired this year’s platform subcommittee on “restoring constitutional government,” which helps explain its strong anti-campaign finance reform language. 
 
Bopp is also an annoyingly petty partisan, having introduced a resolution in the Republican National Committee in 2009 urging the Democratic Party to change its name to the “Democrat Socialist Party.”  In this year’s platform committee, Bopp successfully pushed for the removal of language suggesting that residents of the District of Columbia might deserve some representation in Congress short of statehood.  His sneering comments, and his gloating fist-pump when the committee approved his resolution, have not won him any friends among DC residents – not that he cares.  He also spoke out against a young delegate’s proposal that the party recognize civil unions, which Bopp denounced as “counterfeit marriage.”  In spite of all these efforts, Bopp has been at the forefront of Romney campaign platform spin, arguing in the media that the platform language on abortion is not really a “no-exceptions” ban, in spite of its call for a Human Life Amendment and laws giving Fourteenth Amendment protections to the “unborn.” 
 
6. Dick Armey.  Former Republican insider Dick Armey now runs FreedomWorks, the Koch-backed, corporate-funded, Murdoch-promoted Tea Party astroturfing group – or, in their words, a “grassroots service center.” Armey has been a major force behind this year’s victories of Tea Party Senate challengers like Ted Cruz in Texas and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of whom knocked off “establishment” candidates – FreedomWorks also backed Rand Paul in Kentucky and Mike Lee in Utah in 2010.  As Alternet’s Adele Stan has reported, FreedomWorks’s goal is to build a cadre of far-right senators to create a “power center around Jim DeMint,” the Senate’s reigning Tea Party-Religious Right hero. 
 
To put Armey’s stamp on the platform, FreedomWorks created a “Freedom Platform” project, which enlisted Tea Party leaders to come up with proposed platform planks and encouraged activists to vote for them online. Then FreedomWorks pushed the party to include these planks in the official platform:
      Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
      Stop the Tax Hikes
      Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
      Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
      Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
      Reject Cap and Trade
      Rein in the EPA
      Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
      Eliminate the Department of Education
      Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
      Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
      Audit the Fed
 
An Ohio Tea Party Group, The Ohio Liberty Coalition, celebrated that 10 of 12 made it to the draft – everything but the flat tax and eliminating the Department of Education.  But FreedomWorks gave itself a more generous score, arguing for an 11.5 out of 12.  FreedomWorks vice president Dean Clancy said that the platform’s call for a “flatter” tax “opens the door to a Flat Tax” and said that they considered the education section of the platform a “partial victory” because it includes “a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers.”
 
Honorable mention: Mitt Romney.  This is his year, his party, and his platform.  The entire Republican primary was essentially an exercise in Romney moving to the right to try to overcome resistance to his nomination from activists who distrusted his ideological authenticity.   The last thing the Romney campaign wanted was a fight with the base, like the one that happened in San Diego in 1996, when Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition delighted in publicly humiliating nominee Robert Dole over   his suggestion that the GOP might temper its anti-abortion stance.  Romney signaled his intention to avoid a similar conflict when he named Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to chair the platform committee. 
 
Keeping Everybody Happy
 
The new GOP platform reflects Romney’s desire to placate every aspect of the party’s base.  It also demonstrates both the continuingpower of the Religious Right within the GOP, as well as ongoing efforts to erase any distinctions between social conservatives and anti-government zealots, as demonstrated by Ralph Reed welcoming Grover Norquist to his Faith and Freedom coalition leadership luncheon on Sunday.

Fischer: Democratic National Convention is a 'Three Day Death Camp'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer on Focal Point today scolded the Democratic Party for promoting pro-choice speakers for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, saying that the convention has turned into a “three day death camp.” After quoting HotAir blogger Ed Morrissey who called the DNC “abortion-palooza,” Fischer said the DNC will be a “three day Auschwitz.”

Watch:

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/22/12

Anti-Abortion Group Calls on Todd Akin to Withdraw from Senate Race

Earlier this evening, the Christian Defense Coalition became the first anti-abortion group to call on Todd Akin to withdraw from the Senate race in Missouri. In a statement distributed by the right-wing Christian Newswire, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, described Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” as “offensive, repugnant and troubling.” 

Mahoney said that while he respects “the record of Congressman Akin, especially in the pro-life community,” his comments were “so offensive and indefensible” that he must “assume the full consequences and responsibility for making them.” He can do so, Mahoney said, by “removing himself from the Missouri Senate race.” Mahoney also expressed his concern that if Akin doesn’t withdraw, “these comments will follow the Congressman throughout the entire campaign.”
 
Mahoney is not what you would call a liberal. He was a longtime associate of Randall Terry, the extremist anti-abortion activist and former leader of Operation Rescue. In February, Mahoney was arrested in front of the White House while protesting President Obama’s health care bill. In March he participated in an effort to “encircle” the Supreme Court and pray for Obamacare to be struck down. And next month in Charlotte, he plans to lead protests against Obama and offer “live ultrasounds” throughout the city.

 

Todd Akin Wasn't 'Misspeaking' but Speaking for a Movement

Missouri Republican senate candidate and congressman Todd Akin is trying to run away from his claims that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy, insisting that he “misspoke” while making “off-the-cuff remarks,” even though they were in an interview with a local reporter. Akin made a similar half-apology following his claim that “at the heart of liberalism really is the hatred for God,” with his spokesman arguing that his claim during a radio interview were “off-the-cuff.”

Akin is a beloved figure of the Religious Right, and his campaign advertises endorsements from Concerned Women for America activists and activists like Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Schlafly, Michele Bachmann and David Barton. Barton, who recorded campaign ads calling Akin a “true Christian leader,” has compared Akin to John Witherspoon and other founding fathers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who hosted Akin on his radio show the day after the congressman’s primary victory, said people need to “lighten up” about his rape comments:

Previously, Akin said he wants to ban the morning after pill, worried marital rape laws will be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” and sought to narrow the definition of “rape” in legislation. Akin also prominently advertises his endorsement from Schlafly, who has said women cannot be raped by their husbands.

Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatches notes that Akin, who has a masters in divinity, received his degree at a denomination which teaches that rape seldom leads to pregnancy and should not be relevant to laws on abortion rights, and as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones pointed out, anti-choice luminary John Willke asserts that hormones make pregnancies resulting from rape “extremely rare” and Physicians for Life believes “the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare” because the stress from the rape “alter[s] bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included.”

Those opinions are commonplace among anti-choice activists.

Human Life International says “it is very useful to be able to show just how rare rape- and incest-caused pregnancies really are” in order to expose women who falsely state they were raped in order to have abortions: “Women who are willing to kill their own preborn children for mere convenience obviously see lying as a relatively small crime.”

40 Days for Life, the group which holds hundreds of protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, in “ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments” also says that pregnancies resulting from rape are “extremely rare” and “can be prevented”:

“What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?”

a. Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented.

b. Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished.

c. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rate.

d. Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim.

It remains to be seen which conservative leaders will condemn—or defend—Akin as pressure mounts on the candidate to quit the race.

Update: Fischer is now even claiming that “Todd Akin is right,” citing an article by Willke.

Paul Ryan: Roe v. Wade is 'Virtually Identical' to Dred Scott

In the 2004 presidential election, President Bush used “dog whistle” politics during a debate with John Kerry by subtly linking the Dred Scott case to Roe v. Wade. This year, Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan is more explicit about his views. He supported a bill to outlaw all abortions and some contraceptives, and in 2010 he said that the “the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake” in Roe v. Wade that it made in the 1857 Dred Scott case:

Yet, identifying who “qualifies” as a human being has historically proved to be more difficult than the above examples suggest. Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court—charged with being the guardian of rights—has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it “disqualified” a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results.

The first time was in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The Court held, absurdly, that Africans and their American descendants, whether slave or free, could not be citizens with a right to go to court to enforce contracts or rights or for any other reason. Why? Because “among the whole human race,” the Court declared, “the enslaved African race were not intended to be included…[T]hey had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” In other words, persons of African origin did not “qualify” as human beings for purposes of protecting their natural rights. It was held that, since the white man did not recognize them as having such rights, they didn’t have them. The implication was that Africans were property—things that white persons could choose to buy and sell. In contrast, whites did “qualify,” so government protected their natural rights.

Every person in this country was wounded the day this dreadful opinion was handed down by this nation’s highest tribunal. It made a mockery of the American idea that human equality and rights were given by God and recognized by government, not constructed by governments or ethnic groups by consensus vote. The abhorrent decision directly led to terrible bloodshed and opened up a racial gap that has never been completely overcome. The second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973, when the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake. At what point in time does a human being exist, the state of Texas asked. The Court refused to answer: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” In other words, the Court would not “qualify” unborn children as living persons whose human rights must be guaranteed.



At the core, today’s “pro-choice” liberals are deeply pessimistic. They denigrate life and offer fear of the present and the future—fear of too many choices and too many children. Rather than seeing children and human beings as a benefit, the “pro-choice” position implies that they are a burden. Despite the “pro-choice” label, liberals’ stance on this subject actually diminishes choices, lowers goals, and leads us to live with less. That includes reducing the number of human beings who can make choices.

In contrast, pro-life conservatives are natural optimists. On balance, we see human beings as assets, not liabilities. All conservatives should find it easy to agree that government must uphold every person’s right to make choices regarding their lives and that every person’s right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice. In the state of nature—the “law of the jungle”—the determination of who “qualifies” as a human being is left to private individuals or chosen groups. In a justly organized community, however, government exists to secure the right to life and the other human rights that follow from that primary right.
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