Fighting the Right

Iowa Religious Right Kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats Comes Out In Favor Of Some Medical Marijuana

We didn’t see this one coming. Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa Religious Right powerhouse The Family Leader, came out in favor of legalizing some medical marijuana products yesterday, testifying in favor of a bill that would legalize production and sale of medical cannabis oil in the state.

Vander Plaats, emphasizing that he was speaking in his personal capacities and not on behalf of The Family Leader, told the Des Moines Register that he and his wife were "applauding and cheering silently from the sidelines" when the state decriminalized possession of medical cannabis oil and wanted the state to “finish the job” by legalizing its production and sale. The two said they were inspired to support the law by raising a developmentally disabled son.

Even limited support for medical marijuana comes as a surprise from Vander Plaats who, as the leading Religious Right figure in Iowa, works to press Republican presidential candidates to the right on "family" issues like LGBT equality, abortion rights and legal pornography. Last year, the group even produced a video showing people smoking pot as part of a montage of events including gay rights and terrorism that they alleged are leading to the End Times.

Watch the KTIV report on Vander Plaats’ testimony:

KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Fischer: 'Conservatives Believe In Live And Let Live'

Bryan Fischer believes, among other things, that Native Americans and all immigrants should be required to convert to Christianity, that homosexuality should be illegal, that discrimination against gays should be official public policy, that gays should be banned from serving in public office, and that Muslims should be prohibited from immigrating to America, serving in the military, or building mosques.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to us to hear Fischer declare on his radio show today that conservatives such as himself "believe in live and let live."

"That's the difference between liberals and conservatives," he said. "Conservatives believe in live and let live. I may disapprove of your lifestyle, but I'm not going to use force to try and stop you from making those choices. You're going to have to answer to God, you'll have to deal with the consequences of your behavior. Liberals are not like that. They want to control every decision that people make. They lust for power and politics is where they find it":

As we have said time and time again, Bryan Fischer is a lot of things, but self-aware is not one of them.

Benghazi 'Citizens Committee' Member: Ban New Mosques In US Because 80 Percent 'Preach Sedition'

Retired Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, an author of the Center For Security Policy’s “Team B II” report on Islam in America and a member of the Citizens Committee on Benghazi, claimed in a radio interview this week that 80 percent of American mosques “preach sedition” and urged an end to Muslim immigration and a ban on the building of mosques.

Lyons told Joe Miller, the former Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Alaska who now hosts a far-right radio program, that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration to the point where “I would consider them a de facto cabinet member."

Lyons said that he would undo the supposed infiltration by electing an “administration that puts America first,” but added that the Muslim Brotherhood “penetration” has been going on for decades and the real solution is to crack down on American Muslims.

“Just a change in administration is not enough,” he told Miller. “There has to be a significant education program, and we haven’t touched on it. Our borders must be secured. This is unconscionable what’s going on. And the immigration of the Muslims under the Obama administration that are pouring into this country must cease.”

“Actually, 80 percent of the mosques in this country preach sedition,” he claimed. “Their imams and those mosques should be closed down, they should be expelled to the countries where they came from and we should stop building mosques, just like Switzerland has stopped building them there and now some of the countries in Europe are starting to wake up to the threat that they’ve been so benign to.”

The “80 percent” figure has appeared in right-wing talking points for several years, despite having been thoroughly debunked.

AFA Concludes That Non-Religious Soldier Must Be Angry, Lonely, Confused And In Need Of Prayer

Earlier this week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation received a complaint from a soldier at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia about the fact that military personnel manning the entrance gate were regularly wishing those who entered a "blessed day." After a call from MRFF to the commander in charge of security at the base, the gate personnel were instructed to change the welcome greeting to "have a nice day," which is not sitting well with the American Family Association.

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer discussed this situation with Randy Sharp, the AFA's director of special projects, and after they spent a segment complaining about it, the two concluded that the person who filed the complaint must obviously be lonely, confused, and very angry and therefore in need of prayer.

"Pray for this young man," Sharp asked Fischer's radio audience, "that God would open the door for the Gospel to be presented to him and that he would come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing could be better."

Fischer then led the listening audience in prayer, asking that God would see "the loneliness, the confusion, the anger" in this soldier's heart as well as the "deceptions that that he has believed about you and about life and about Christ," and praying for an opportunity to arise for someone on the base to be able to minister to this soldier and "speak the truth, the life saving Gospel of Jesus Christ into his life":

Rick Perry: God's Candidate For President, This Time…

As the GOP embraces the reactionary politics and anti-government zealotry of the Tea Party, it is steadily purging “moderates” and empowering extremists. Nothing shows this trend more clearly than the lineup of potential Republican presidential candidates. In this new series, we’ll be looking at the records and promises of the Republican Party’s leading presidential prospects. Next up is Rick Perry:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry quickly won support from conservative activists, especially from the Religious Right, when he made a late entry into the 2012 presidential election, unofficially launching his campaign with a prayer rally packed with Religious Right extremists. Perry came into the race midway through his third term as governor, armed with a record of right-wing economic policies; close ties to the oil industry and opposition to regulations on polluters; antagonism to the federal government; and hostility to LGBT equality and abortion rights. Portraying himself as a candidate to the right of Mitt Romney but more electable than the rest of the GOP field, Perry gained traction until his campaign self-destructed thanks to a series of horrific debate performances and unforced errors.

Perry, who has floated the idea of secession from the United States and signed constitutionally dubious legislation defending the right of states to nullify federal laws, wants to repeal the amendments to the U.S. Constitution allowing for a progressive income tax and requiring that U.S. senators are elected directly by voters.

He believes states should be able to opt out of programs like Social Security — which he called a “Ponzi scheme” — and Medicaid. His decision to refuse Medicaid expansion in Texas has cost the state tens of billions of dollars and left millions without insurance. A staunch critic of federal economic policies who once threatened the “almost treasonous” chairman of the Federal Reserve, his opposition to the 2009 federal economic stimulus package didn’t stop him from using stimulus dollars to balance Texas’ budget and stave off a massive shortfall. But it’s unclear how much power Perry thinks economic policy actually has: he once suggested that the 2008 economic crisis was an anti-government message from God.

Perry has played with the conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama’s birth, citing Donald Trump as his source of information on the legitimacy of the president’s citizenship and saying that the conspiracy theory surrounding the president’s birth certificate is “a good issue to keep alive.”

The Texas governor has also dabbled in other anti-Obama conspiracy theories, including alleging that the Obama administration orchestrated a humanitarian crisis on the southern border for political purposes. He made waves with his decision to send the National Guard to patrol the border against Central American children, a plan he unveiled while campaigning in Iowa.

While he will likely ground his candidacy in issues relating to immigration and the economy, Perry is also a social issues warrior. As governor, Perry championed Texas’ law criminalizing consensual sex between adults of the same gender, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case. He made anti-gay animus a central part of his presidential campaign, running a desperate TV ad attacking gay military service members. After his presidential campaign, Perry became an outspoken opponent of a policy change allowing gay youth to join the Boy Scouts, likening that fight to the fight to end slavery. Earlier this year, he defended his state party’s decision to endorse pseudo-scientific ex-gay therapy by comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

As governor of Texas, Perry enacted some of the most sweeping anti-abortion rights laws in the country, even going so far as to call an emergency session of the state legislature to pass a bill to force the closure of most of the state’s abortion clinics, though a federal judge has temporarily blocked portions of the new restrictions. Perry mocked one of the bill’s principal opponents, state Sen. Wendy Davis, saying “it is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example” of being a teen mother.

Perry was recently indicted on charges that he abused his power as governor to defund an investigative unit that was looking into a project that he had championed. Despite his best effort to portray himself as the victim of a political witch hunt, a judge declined Perry’s attempt to have the indictments thrown out.

Seriously? Republicans Target Birthright Citizenship Again?

This op-ed by Randy Borntager, Political Director of People For the American Way, was originally published at The Huffington Post.

After the vast majority of Republicans voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to oppose President Obama's immigration actions, and with Republicans blocking any hope of real immigration reform this Congress, it seems the anti-immigrant movement has instead decided to refocus its efforts on revoking the constitutional right to birthright citizenship.

Earlier this week, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana decided to introduce a birthright citizenship amendment to the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The amendment so far has just one cosponsor -- Sen. David Perdue of Georgia -- and it's unlikely that it will be included in the final bill, but this decision to tack an unconstitutional, anti-immigrant measure onto an important bill shows the priorities of Sen. Vitter and the Republican Party.

Sen. Vitter claims that his birthright citizenship amendment would help curb the issue of "birth tourism," recently in the news surrounding Chinese mothers coming to California -- often committing crimes in the process -- so their children can be born in the U.S. It would seem more sensible to tackle this issue through targeting the middlemen who NBC reports "pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free," and the visa, tax, and marriage fraud that are often a key part of "birth tourism." Instead, Sen. Vitter and the many Republicans who support ending birthright citizenship are trying to use the issue as cover for their attacks on immigrants and attempts to revoke a core constitutional right.

The flaws of the conservative attacks on birthright citizenship have been well documented. First, it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's clear that the drafters of the 14th Amendment intended it to guarantee citizenship to everyone born in the U.S. The only exception -- in the words of one of the amendment drafter's, Sen. Jacob Howard -- is for people "who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States," as they are not, as the 14th Amendment requires, "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. Conservatives from Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush adviser, to the anti-immigrant Lou Dobbs have viewed attempts to undermine birthright citizenship as unconstitutional.

It's also a terrible idea. Gerson wrote, "Anti-immigration activists often claim that their real concern is to prevent law breaking, not to exclude Hispanics. But revoking birthright citizenship would turn hundreds of thousands of infants into 'criminals'--arriving, not across a border, but crying in a hospital." The Migration Policy Institute also found that rather than decreasing the number of undocumented immigrants in America, as birthright citizenship activists claim, revoking the right would "likely increase dramatically" the number of people in the country without authorization, leading to the "establishment of a permanent class of unauthorized persons."

Sen. Vitter is not the only Republican promoting anti-immigrant bills instead of trying for real, bipartisan solutions on immigration. In January of this year, Rep. Steve King of Iowa re-introduced a bill aiming to repeal birthright citizenship. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Rep. Joe Heck have all backed plans to revoke birthright citizenship in the past.

We need immigration reform. From improving the economy while reducing the deficit to ensuring that DREAMers and their families can live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation, the benefits are endless. Not only have Republicans blocked comprehensive immigration reform when it had a real chance of passing, they're now trying yet again to bring up unconstitutional bills to drive their point home. That's not what responsible governing looks like, and for a party that says they're trying to attract more Latino support, they're certainly not shy about attacking immigrants for short-term political gain.


Sandy Rios Says White House Is Behind Petition To Try GOP Senators For Treason

On Monday, shortly after 47 Republican senators sent a letter directly to Iran’s leaders in an effort to undermine the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations, someone posted a petition on the White House’s open petition forum calling on the government to charge the senators with treason, which has since collected over 200,000 signatures.

American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said on her radio show today that she knows exactly who is behind the petition: President Obama.

“And now there are 148,000 people who have signed a petition charging these senators with treason. And guess who’s behind it. I know you’ll never guess. The Obama administration has set up a system that lets people submit petitions, so that’s what they’re using.”

If, as Rios implies, the White House is behind every petition on its “We the People” platform, it is also behind petitions demanding that President Obama resign and be tried for treason himself.

Franklin Graham Says That Obama's Mother 'Must Have Been A Muslim'

Franklin Graham was a guest on the Family Research Council's "Washington Watch" radio program yesterday where he asserted that President Obama is refusing to fight ISIS because he wants to protect Islam since even his mother was a Muslim.

Ignoring the fact that Obama's father was an atheist and his mother agnostic, Graham told FRC head Tony Perkins that "one of the problems we have [is that Obama's] father was a Muslim, and his step-father was a Muslim. [He] lived in Indonesia and went to Muslim schools. His mother must have been a Muslim — we don't know that, but she married two Muslim men, so there must have been something there. And the framework that the president has growing up, his influences in his life was that of Islam."

"My influences growing up, as many in this country, were under the Christian influence and the biblical influence," he continued. "But our president did not have that, it was Islam and many feel that he's protecting Islam. I don't know that, but it certainly seems that way":

Bachmann: DHS Extension Guarantees 'Obama Phones' And Voter Fraud For Undocumented Immigrants

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann told WorldNetDaily yesterday that the decision of the Republican leadership in Congress to ally with Democrats to pass a clean extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security “ensures a Democrat likely will be elected president in 2016” because immigrants protected from deportation by President Obama’s executive actions will vote illegally for Democrats.

“Practically, that bill ensures a Democrat likely will be elected president in 2016 with the Congress willing to double cross the taxpayers by paying for five million illegal work permits, driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, Medicare, Medicaid and ultimately fraudulently directed efforts to get illegal aliens to the 2016 voting booth,” she said.

She also falsely claimed that undocumented immigrants covered by the orders would be eligible for food stamps and “Obama phones,” the name given by a racist meme to a communications program in place long before Obama became president.

WASHINGTON – The next president likely will be a Democrat and she, or he, can thank GOP leadership for that, according to Michele Bachmann.

The former congresswoman told WND that will be the result of top Republicans allowing the bill funding Obama’s amnesty for five million illegal immigrants to pass, immediately following the speech to Congress last week by Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Practically, that bill ensures a Democrat likely will be elected president in 2016 with the Congress willing to double cross the taxpayers by paying for five million illegal work permits, driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, Medicare, Medicaid and ultimately fraudulently directed efforts to get illegal aliens to the 2016 voting booth.”

She said GOP leaders “betrayed our trust with a real bait-and-switch because no one was running in favor of amnesty in November, and then we get this.”

Bachmann lamented, “We’ve come to expect to be disappointed by Democrats,” but it was especially disappointing to see her own party flip-flop, and she predicted disastrous results.

“This was the most consequential vote for Democrats to ensure their political party’s dominance into the future.”

Bachmann said the GOP leadership “knew the outcome of the vote would be to pay for Obama’s illegal, unconstitutional work permits for non-deported illegal aliens.”

“They also knew this would mean Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Obama phones, Social Security disability benefits would also become accessible.”

And that, Bachmann observed, played right into the Democrats’ hands.

She said Democrats fully realized the vital importance and self-interest in voting for the bill, because, “They saw five million potential new voters for the all important 2016 election.”

But, didn’t Democrats assure Americans that illegal immigrants would not be able to vote?

“With Social Security numbers, a work permit and a driver’s license, they know no one doing voter registration would ever ask for legalization papers, because in light of Ferguson, that request would be construed as racist,” Bachmann retorted.

Brian Camenker: Schools 'Peer Pressure' And 'Brainwash' Kids To Be Gay

In a discussion yesterday about how marriage equality is destroying Massachusetts, anti-LGBT activists Brian Camenker and Sandy Rios suggested that more kids in Massachusetts are gay and bisexual because of the “brainwashing” and “peer pressure” taking place in public schools.

“It’s a huge percentage,” Rios said. “It’s just amazing, they’re experimenting and being exposed to this stuff, things they would have never thought of, so they are trying it.”

Camenker said that he is familiar with kids “who have gone into this lifestyle because of the peer pressure in the schools, and I also know kids that got into it and because of the proper intervention by their parents got out of it and are leading normal lives now.” He added that “often just bringing a kid to a normal environment for a while will help straighten the boy or girl out, just not being subjugated to the brainwash.”

Anti-Gay Pundits: Ignoring 'Disgusting' Homosexuality Is 'Like Trying To Talk About The Holocaust Without Showing Pictures'

Brian Camenker of the anti-LGBT group MassResistance appeared on “Sandy Rios In The Morning” yesterday to discuss how marriage equality is ruining Massachusetts, a problem that Camenker previously described in great detail to “The Daily Show.”  Rios, the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that people need to know the facts about gay marriage’s supposedly disastrous consequences since people “watch HGTV and they see gay couples happily cohabitating and they don’t understand what’s behind all of this.”

“This is kind of like trying to talk about the Holocaust without showing pictures,” Rios said. “They killed Jews. So that’s bad, but if you don't understand what they actually did — you need to know, ladies and gentlemen, what is actually being taught to the kids because really, some of it Brian can’t even say, most of it you can’t even say.”

Rios was especially upset about a pamphlet on sexual health designed for the gay community, known as “The Little Black Book.” While the pamphlet is geared towards adults, Camenker said that it was pushed on children.

“This book is focused on teenagers and it tells them very graphically how to perform the most ridiculous, horrible homosexual sex acts,” Camenker said. “There’s no way I can tell you this because they are so disgusting…. You’ll get sick just reading them.”

Jay Richards: Banning Gay Marriage Is Not Discriminatory Because 'I Don't Have The Right To Marry A Man Either'

On Tuesday's episode of the "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee interviewed Jay Richards, a professor at the Catholic University of America and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, about the Supreme Court's upcoming marriage equality case.

Hagee asked Richards how Christians should discuss the issue of gay marriage so as not to be dismissed as close-minded and judgmental bigots who seek to deny civil rights to gay people, to which Richards replied that the issue is not about discrimination at all because there simply is no such thing as gay marriage.

"The accusation is that people on the other side just defend so-called marriage equality whereas we believe in discrimination," Richards said. "That's not it at all. The question is what is marriage? If marriage is an institution that uniquely and exclusively involves a man and a woman then we're not depriving anyone of their rights. Anyone is free to marry so long as they can find someone that is willing to marry them, but marriage, by definition, is going to involve someone of the opposite sex. So it's not like if someone identifies as gay, they have a different set of rights than I do. I don't have the right to quote 'marry' a man either, simply because that's not what marriage is":

Bryan Fischer: Homosexuality Causes Blindness

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer responded to reports of ocular syphilis cases among gay men in California by declaring that homosexuality is now turning people blind. This led Fischer to promote the myth that immigrants are bringing measles and polio-like illnesses into the U.S and to claim that immigrants and gay people are bringing back diseases once thought to be eradicated.

Fischer eventually connected the health story back to a popular slogan used to protest racial discrimination: “All we’ve heard over the last number of months is ‘black lives matter,’ ‘black lives matter,’ ‘black lives matter.’ I agree, black lives matter. If you’ve got a behavior, you’ve got a conduct, you’ve got a lifestyle that is resulting in potentially blinding health risks for black males and their​ risk is five times higher than white males, I would say if black lives matter, it is time we started doing something about that.”

Fischer, who supports criminalizing homosexuality, said that by “warning homosexuals of the consequences of homosexual behavior,” he is showing them far more love “than those who are urging them to engage in conduct, celebrating conduct, promoting conduct, providing special privileges on the basis of conduct that can leave its practitioners both blind and dead.”

Tony Perkins Links HHS Contraception Mandate To Religious Persecution In Middle East

In testimony to a Senate subcommittee today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins linked the Hobby Lobby contraception coverage case to violent religious persecution in the Middle East and around the world, repeating his claim that there is a “correlation” between perceived discrimination against conservative Christians in the U.S. and oppression and violence against religious minority groups by groups like ISIS.

As we noted yesterday, Perkins was a troubling choice to testify in an international religious freedom hearing because he routinely exploits the very real persecution of Christians and other religious minorities throughout the world to attack President Obama and the LGBT rights movement, who he claims are persecuting Christians in the United States by preventing them from discriminating against gay people.

Perkins picked up on the theme in his testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s foreign operations subcommittee, responding to a question from Sen. Steve Daines of Montana by claiming that U.S. policies like the HHS mandate on insurance coverage for contraceptives that was struck down by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case send a “message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom.”

“The lack of priority on religious freedom that we have placed here domestically in our policies does send a message internationally,” he said. “I think there is a correlation between…the growing intolerance toward religious freedom here at home, i.e. in the marketplace, is giving rise to persecution abroad. And the reason I say that is when we no longer make it a priority domestically, that sends a message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom, so we don’t have to worry about them acting against us or moving against us based on that.”

“I mean, you look at the case of the HHS mandate, the Hobby Lobby case, which had to go all the way to the Supreme Court in order to exercise their religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Act,” he added.

That was too much even for Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel to the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, who responded that while he agreed with Perkins that the contraception coverage mandate represented “religious discrimination,” it was “not on the same level as religious persecution where people are having their throats slit, being crucified or being beheaded.”

This isn’t the first time Perkins has made such an absurd claim: He once suggested that President Obama’s support for overturning the Citizens United decision is somehow connected to the violent persecution of Christians in countries like Sudan.

Earlier in his testimony, Perkins also claimed that the Obama administration had left open the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom for “36 months,” sending “a message that we did not put a priority as an administration, as a country on religious freedom.” The position was indeed left open for a little over two years at the start of President Obama’s first term…because then-Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican who now runs the Heritage Foundation, placed a hold on Obama’s first nominee for the job.

Scott Walker: The Koch Brothers' Favorite Extremist

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became a right-wing hero in 2011 when he pushed a package of union-busting labor reform laws through the state legislature as protesters occupied capitol building, and then survived a subsequent recall election.

Glenn Beck Threatens To Cancel His NRA Membership If Grover Norquist Is Re-Elected To Group's Board

For years, Glenn Beck has been a vocal critic of right-wing anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist because he buys into the conspiracy theory that Norquist is a front-man for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has been the leading proponent of the theory that Norquist is a secret Islamist sympathizer and Beck brought him on his radio program today to make his case against allowing Norquist to be re-elected to the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.

Beck is so alarmed by the danger posed by Norquist that he declared that if this "very bad man" is re-elected to the NRA board, he is going to cancel his membership. 

"I will tell you that I am so concerned about this," Beck said, "and I hope that the leadership of the NRA hears this and every member of the NRA hears this, that if this man is elected, or re-elected, and confirmed on the board of the NRA, I may drop my membership in the NRA. I am that concerned that he is a very bad influence and a very bad man that if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don't think I can be associated with them":

Family Research Council Inexplicably Links Dan Savage To Racist Frat Chant

The anti-gay Family Research Council is continuing its war with Dan Savage, the columnist and creator of the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project, this time by linking Savage to the video of University of Oklahoma fraternity members singing a racist chant.

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” FRC senior fellow Ken Blackwell connected the chant, which included references to lynching “ni****s,” to Dan Savage’s “coarse” language.

Blackwell told guest host Peter Sprigg, another FRC senior fellow, that it wasn’t a coincidence that the chant came “at a time when you have one of our nemeses, Dan Savage, who is now having his life story being portrayed on a new sitcom on ABC, you know, here’s a guy that’s responsible for the coarsening of civil discussion and conversation being celebrated, at a time when there are knuckleheads who are still spewing from their lips the sort of nonsense that we’ve heard from these fraternity members.”

Catholic Group Calls For Leaders Of Pro-Marriage Equality Businesses To Be Blacklisted

Earlier today, we noted that anti-gay activists are very upset that hundreds of corporations and business groups, including a few professional sports teams, have submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality, with some activists calling for a boycott of those who have signed on to the brief.

Now the right-wing Cardinal Newman Society has added its voice to the chorus of outrage by demanding that no person in leadership at any of the businesses that signed on the marriage equality brief be allowed to speak at, receive any sort of accolade from, or be allowed to serve on any board or committee at any Catholic institution in the nation: 

The Cardinal Newman Society therefore urges Catholic schools, colleges and universities to refrain from all honors—including public recognition, honorary speaking platforms, and honored positions on boards and committees—for board members and senior leaders of these 379 corporations and business groups.

The Cardinal Newman Society promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. For more than two decades, the Newman Society has raised concerns about lecturers, commencement speakers and other honorees at Catholic colleges and universities whose public statements and actions oppose Catholic moral teaching and practice. We will publicly warn Catholic families and their bishops and pastors about any school, college or university that chooses to honor any board member or senior leader of the 379 corporations and business groups that joined in the March 5th brief. Any such honor does harm to the Catholic Church and undermines our bishops, who have clearly explained why Catholics must defend marriage without compromise.


The 379 corporations and business groups that filed the amicus brief argue that national recognition of same-sex marriage is necessary to avoid the "economic burden" of a "fractured legal landscape" across states. That is a shortsighted and materialistic position that rejects the primacy of the family in American economy and society as well as the principles of American federalism. Whether or not same-sex unions are legally permitted, they are intrinsically immoral and contrary to human nature. Hoping to relieve their own perceived "economic burden," the amici ignore the plight of businesses and religious organizations that operate according to Catholic beliefs; these should be exempted from recognizing same-sex unions in employment and health care decisions. To ignore religious freedom is to disregard a fundamental principle upon which this nation was founded, thereby endangering Catholic education and other religious services and activities.

The 379 corporations and business groups also contend that "more than seventy percent of Americans live in a state that celebrates and recognizes same-sex marriages," apparently hoping to convince the Supreme Court of America's overwhelming support for legalizing same-sex unions. But citizens in only three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—have voted for laws permitting same-sex marriage. Another 10 states have laws approved by state legislatures. But in 24 states—two-thirds of the states with same-sex marriage—the practice has been imposed by activist courts claiming a right that appears nowhere in the law or in the U.S. Constitution. The fact of court-imposed laws is no basis upon which the Supreme Court or these corporations should deny the nature of marriage and the rights of American citizens to determine state laws.

Pat Robertson Brings Up Debunked Vince Foster Conspiracy Theory To Attack Hillary Clinton

Pat Robertson said today that Americans can’t trust Hillary Clinton’s explanations about her use of a private email address at the State Department since she, he alleged, has a record of scandal and deceit. He cited the case of Vincent Foster, a former Clinton administration official who committed suicide but, according to discredited right-wing conspiracy theories, was actually killed by the Clintons.

“I think she’s history, but the Democrats don’t have anybody else right now,” Robertson said, before listing other Clinton “scandals”: “Just think of going through again Whitewater, the beef scandal, Vince Foster’s potential murder or suicide, the Rose Law Firm. Can you imagine going through all that again?”

“Then Monica Lewinsky and the string of Gennifer Flowers and on and on and on and bimbo eruptions,” he continued. “I mean, who needs that anymore? We’ve got enough problems in America as it is without opening that can of worms.”

Bobby Jindal: Obama Wiping Out Freedom Through 'Secularization'

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke yesterday to conservative talk show host Steve Deace about the recent “Pastors and Pews” summit in Iowa, one of several gatherings of pastors and GOP candidates organized by Christian Nationalist activist David Lane.

Jindal said that while President Obama is destroying the economy with “$18 trillion of debt, Obamacare and EPA regulations,” the greatest threat to America is Obama’s push for “secularization.”

Such “secularization,” Jindal warned, will eliminate religious freedom and “without religious liberty there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of association, it is worse than this president is bankrupting our country financially, morally, as well as our foreign policy standing. All of that is true but it’s worse than that. He’s trying to change the idea of America.”

He lamented that “we have never before had a president this ideologically extreme, who does not believe in American exceptionalism, does not believe in the American dream that you and I were taught, does not believe in religious liberty and has effectively, for six years, done everything he could to change our culture on all three of those areas to become a new country, a new American dream, a new conception of liberty.”

Deace said he hoped Religious Right events like Lane’s would help evangelicals find a “general” to lead them to save America from destruction.

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