Reproductive Health

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.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/10/12

12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics

Religious liberty is at the heart of the American Way. In America, one’s standing as a citizen, member of the community, or candidate does not depend on a profession of faith.

Liberty Counsel links Reproductive Rights to Colorado Massacre

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber yesterday on Faith & Freedom said that legal abortion had a role in the Colorado movie theatre massacre. Staver maintained that America has been consumed by a “culture of death” that has led to recent shootings while Barber claimed that the “sacred cow of the left--abortion--they worship at the altar of euphemistic, so-called choice,” is partly to blame. Because of legal abortion, Barber said, “we have to expect these kinds of consequences.”

Watch:

Bradlee Dean: 1.7% of Americans 'Are Responsible for All the Bad Things Going On in This Country'

Fresh after losing his lawsuit against Rachel Maddow and facing an order to pay her legal fees, rocker and right-wing activist Bradlee Dean spoke to talk show host Steve Deace this week, where Dean alleged that God is judging America for the crimes of an immoral minority and that “less than 1.7 percent of the people are the ones that are responsible for all the bad things going on in this country.” Dean did not say who constitutes the 1.7 percent, but he may be referring to a survey finding that 1.7 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian.

Dean: If God will establish this country through 56 signers that laid down their all for me and you, read the end of the Declaration of Independence, and less than 3% of this country to establish against the mightiest power in the world, at that time the British Empire, he can do it for us too. But what we see today is that less than 3 percent of America is being used to judge 300 million people, less than 1.7 percent of the people are the ones that are responsible for all the bad things going on in this country.

Dean and Deace also agreed that the Democratic Party, in Deace’s words, “now exists only for child-killers and those that are pedaling moral depravity” as “the entire leftist apparatus in this country have been taken over by the pro-sodomy groups and the abortion groups.” Dean went on to claim that during his performances at schools, which are supposed to send messages against drug abuse, he talks to students about why they should oppose homosexuality and abortion:

Deace: The non-negotiables for these people that they always want to talk about, and they always say we’re the ones with social issues; all these people want to talk about is child killing and sodomy, that’s all they ever want to talk about. I’ve watched the Daily Kos and their polling firm, the Public Policy Polling firm, I’ve dubbed them Polling People’s Privates because all they do every day throughout the country is poll people on sodomy, ‘please tell me you love sodomy.’ It’s like the entire leftist apparatus in this country have been taken over by the pro-sodomy groups and the abortion groups. They don’t care about blacks and minorities and the union guys that they used to talk about, they’ll shutdown Keystone Pipeline and not provide any of the union jobs they would’ve bent over backwards to provide 20 or 30 years ago, it’s like the entire Democratic Party now exists only for child-killers and those that are pedaling moral depravity, they are obsessed with it, it is the entirety of their worldview.

Dean: Amen, what do I say to that? You’re exactly right. I mean, when we go into the high school settings the kids are not for homosexuality, number one, and number two when you talk about the issue of infanticide once you show them a picture of what they do, the kids don’t even realize what it is and when they see it often times you turn and look at these little girls and these little boys, and I’m talking about high schools not colleges, that have tears in their eyes. They say, ‘what’s that,’ and once you explain it to them, all of the sudden they get a conversion in their heart and say, ‘oh I’m not for that.’ But yet you have the teacher over in the corner that’s agitated or totally offended by the fact that you just showed the kids what they advocate, what a bunch of hypocrisy, and you see this over and over throughout the country.

Anti-Choice Group Blasts Romney for 'Unacceptable' Investment in Company that Disposed of Aborted Fetuses

Back in January, the Huffington Post reported on a $75 million investment made by Bain Capital, Romney’s private equity firm, in a medical waste disposal service company, Stericycle, whose clients included abortion clinics. While the extent of Romney’s involvement in the deal was initially unclear, David Corn of Mother Jones recently obtained SEC documents that “list Romney as an active participant in the investment.” This new information is raising eyebrows at the anti-choice group Bound4Life, where Susan Tyrrell is calling Romney’s involvement “unacceptable” and “a serious issue for pro-lifers who have embraced him as a pro-life candidate”:

This information clearly contradicts what the Romney camp reported publicly in January. That is unacceptable and raises a serious issue for pro-lifers who have embraced him as a pro-life candidate.

There are too many unanswered questions to let this issue be a non-issue in this race. The man running on a pro-life platform actually was the “sole shareholder” in a company that made a $75 million investment in a company that has for an indeterminate amount of time profited directly from from [sic] the shedding of innocent blood. Their work helps polluted the land with bloodshed, putting fetuses in incinerators and waste areas. Stericycle is evasive in its responses to those who question its abortion business, claiming that abortion is only a “small portion” of its business, which is only true on a technicality. There are only a few hundred abortion centers in the nation and many more medical facilities that need waste services; however, Stericycle is the largest provider of disposing of fetal remains.



First, we do not have any evidence that the aborted fetal remains pick-ups began after Romney left the firm. Records like this are not easily available unless one knows what he is seeking exactly. StopStericycle.com has records from 2003, which is after Romney left, but until Stericycle or Romney can provide evidence that Stericycle’s suddenly started its business with fetuses after Romney sold his investment, we can’t conclusively be satisfied that was the case.

Second, Romney claims a pro-life conversion, though he does allows for exceptions in certain cases. He must address his relationship with the abortion profiteer. Even if some evidence exists showing perhaps it was after he sold his investment, Stericycle began this practice, Romney needs to address this to pro-lifers because he is running on a pro-life platform but is tied in some ways to a business linked to abortion since clearly the dates of his involvement were not as he reported.

Lila Rose and her Historically Important Campaign for Human Rights

Guerilla anti-abortion videographer Lila Rose was interviewed on the "BreakPoint This Week" radio program where host John Stonestreet asked her how her anti-choice activism compared to the civil rights movement, prompting Rose to declare that her efforts are just as important as the efforts to end slavery and the Holocaust, and perhaps even more so since she is dedicated to fighting the "greatest human rights crisis ... our country has ever seen": 

Stonestreet: I've heard you kind of talk about the civil rights movement as, as some level as where you get some of the inspiration. Where do you see the connections between the human rights struggle that they were involved in and the human rights struggle that you're involved in?

Rose: Of course, we'll there's a fundamental connection. I mean, the civil rights movements that have been fought in this country against slavery, against segregation and discrimination, against even women's suffrage have all been done because we want to protect basic human rights and we want a country that is a place that we're proud to live in, that our neighbor, the person next to us, their human rights are protected too. And so the fight for the most fundamental human rights, which is life - and it's in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - this is the defining civil rights movement of our country because if we don't get the right to life right, if we don't protect that basic foundation, then we can't survive as a nation, all the other rights are meaningless.

And especially it's a concern because, in terms of victims, we're talking fifty million children that have been killed since Roe v Wade, since abortion became legal. We're missing fifty million children, boys and girls who have been attacked and killed in the womb, torn apart and aborted, and that's a human rights crisis of a proportion we've never even seen before, it's hard to even imagine.

So I think that history will look back on this time as we look back on the anti-slavery movement and even the movement to try to, you know, be truthful about what was happening with the Holocaust and try to do something to stand up to fight for the rights of those that were being persecuted like the Jews in Germany, history will look back and say "what did we do?" We're living in the middle of the greatest human rights crisis I believe our country has ever seen; what are we going to do about it?

Ohio ‘Personhood’ Effort Short on Signatures

The Associated Press is reporting that Personhood Ohio, a state affiliate of Denver-based Personhood USA, will likely fall short in its effort to put a so-called “personhood” amendment on the ballot this fall:

With less than two weeks before a crucial July deadline, the group's director says it has close to 20,000, or 5 percent, of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for the proposed personhood constitutional amendment to appear on November ballots.
The amendment defines life as beginning at conception and would ban all forms of abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. As originally written, it would also ban in vitro fertilization and certain birth control methods. Personhood Ohio has modified the proposed language so that it would exempt IVF and “genuine contraception,” whatever that means.
 
The amendment is clearly unconstitutional, and as the AP explains, that’s the point:
Backers of the state constitutional amendments hope to spark a legal challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that gave women a legal right to abortion.
Personhood Ohio has positioned itself at the far extreme of anti-abortion advocacy, and as Brian reported in September, the group even criticized Janet Porter’s proposed “heartbeat bill” – which would criminalize all forms of abortion once a fetus has a detectable heart beat – for not going far enough:
The advocates of the Heartbeat Bill have proven their willingness to push one person out of the boat to try to save another. How? By way of the bill's exceptions, its inappropriate penalties, and its counterfeit moral standard.
More established anti-abortion forces, including Ohio Right to Life and the Catholic Conference of Ohio, have refused to support Personhood Ohio’s signature-gathering effort. As a result, the group is relying on volunteers and is unlikely to reach the roughly 385,000 signatures required, says conservative Ohio activist Phil Burress:
Burress, who headed the campaign that successfully promoted passage of the state's 2004 amendment to ban gay marriage, said the personhood group is going to need close to 500,000 signatures ensure they have enough.

"Unless a miracle occurs, they are probably going to be looking at 2013," Burress said.
Personhood Ohio has tried to make up for its lack of allies and money with some of the most overheated rhetoric you’ll find this side of Randall Terry. As Brian reported last October, the group warned that Ohio would face “God’s wrath” if the amendment effort failed:
Ultimately, Ohioans have no business pointing our fingers at the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, or the abortion advocates entrenched in political parties for the shedding of innocent blood that Ohio allows. […] Criminal justice is a local matter. God's wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state, and God obligates Ohio to do justice to protect the innocent from assault and murder, and thereby purge our land from the guilt of innocent blood.
Until there is justice for the preborn, there will be no lasting mercy for us.
We’ll know for sure next week whether the effort has indeed failed. If it does, be on the lookout for God’s wrath.

 

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/21/12

  • Peter LaBarbera is not happy that the Pentagon is celebrating LGBT Pride month, saying "George Washington must be rolling over in his grave."
  • Will President Obama's contraception mandate lead to a China-like one-child policy?
  • Gary Bauer tells skeptical anti-abortion activists that "It’s Time to Embrace Mitt Romney."
  • President Obama is "the most arrogant man in the world."
  • Finally, FRC has released its latest list of prayer targets: "May every family-hostile measure fail! May pastors and churches who helped pass Proposition 8 in California and those challenging the same-sex 'marriage' law in Washington persevere. May they embrace the Call2Fall and press on in prayer and duty to see marriage prevail. May wholesale revival cleanse every state in our nation! May God heal families and restore sanity to our state and national public policy."
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