Fighting the Right

The GOP's Deeply Bigoted Week

What a surprise that one Republican presidential candidate’s refusal last week to correct a town hall questioner who claimed that President Obama is a Muslim led to another candidate insisting that no Muslim should ever become president of the United States.

All in all, the last few days haven’t been very good for the GOP’s efforts to “rebrand” as a welcoming and inclusive party. Here are five lowlights from the GOP’s deeply bigoted week:

1) Religious Freedom For Some…

Donald Trump took heat on Friday for refusing to correct a man who, in a question to the Republican presidential frontrunner at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, blasted American Muslims and claimed that the president is a Muslim. With a typical lack of repentance, Trump later insisted that he was under no obligation to denounce the man’s statement.

But while Trump merely failed to correct the New Hampshire man’s anti-Muslim theories, Trump’s rival, Ben Carson, one-upped him by actively embracing an extreme anti-Muslim message. In an interview on Meet the Press on Sunday, Carson said that he doesn’t believe a Muslim should ever become president because Islam is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America.”

Not to be outdone, Trump told Meet the Press after Carson’s interview that while he wasn’t sure about his position on the U.S. having a Muslim president, “some people have said it already happened.”

Carson later told The Hill that he believes presidents should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran,” adding that Muslims believe that their faith “encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.” He also warned of the prospect of a Muslim president imposing Sharia law because “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

“He has great respect for the Muslim community, but there is a huge gulf between the faith and practice of the Muslim faith, and our Constitution and American values,” Carson’s campaign said in a statement.

Such rhetoric is par for the course for Carson, possibly the most conspiracy-theory-minded candidate in the race, who is campaigning on his belief that America is turning into Nazi Germany as a result of a Marxist-Leninist-Alinskyite plot to literally enslave Americans.

Despite his suggestion that millions of Americans are disloyal and sinister members of society who should never hold high office because they do not share his faith, Carson nonetheless considers himself to be a staunch defender of religious freedom … but only for the followers of certain religions.

2) Huckabee Homophobia

Two years ago, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus urged party members to “listen to Mike Huckabee” when it comes to discussing issues like gay marriage, calling him “a model for a lot of people in our party.” It was an odd statement, seeing that Huckabee has one of the most virulently anti-gay records out there, which the former Arkansas governor added to on Saturday with a statement alleging that President Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Army was only nominated because he is gay and the president only cares about “appeasing America’s homosexuals.”

Below is Gov. Huckabee's statement in response to President Obama's decision to nominate Eric Fanning as Secretary of...

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Surely his decades of experience with the armed forces, including his past as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and acting Secretary of the Air Force, had nothing do with his nomination!

3) ‘Unnatural’ Gay Marriage Still Unlawful

Rick Santorum is a bit late to the game in trying to use the Kim Davis saga as proof that Christians are under attack in America. Santorum, who during Wednesday’s CNN debate likened Davis to a young student who was misreported to have been shot by a Columbine shooter for being a Christian, doubled down on his defense of the anti-gay Kentucky clerk on Thursday, insisting that gay marriage can never be recognized as legal since “the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law.”

“That’s not the way nature functions,” Santorum said of homosexuality. “So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it.”

4) Cruz Mainstreams Radical Gun Group

No one seems to have batted an eye during the CNN debate when Ted Cruz touted the endorsement of a far-right gun activist group whose leader has ties to the white supremacist movement, openly threatens members of Congress and pushes so many conspiracy theories that it would make Ben Carson blush.

In saying that he was “honored” to have received the support of Gun Owners of America, Cruz put himself to the right of Pat Buchanan, who got so much flak for his ties to GOA head Larry Pratt during his 1996 presidential campaign that he dropped him from his campaign leadership team.

That’s right, even Pat Buchanan was embarrassed to have Pratt’s support.

5) Sarah Palin Brave Enough To Call A 14-Year-Old A Terrorist

Anti-Muslim activists are incensed that school and police officials in Irving, Texas, have faced sharp criticism for arresting a Muslim student for bringing the parts of a homemade clock to school, insisting that the teenager had actually built a “half a bomb” or at least something so close in resemblance to a bomb that he should have been taken into custody.

Sarah Palin of course felt the need to weigh in as well. The self-proclaimed explosives expert attacked Obama for inviting the “potential bomb-imitator” to the White House and confirmed that the boy was indeed “suspicious”: “That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England.”

The former GOP vice presidential nominee’s daughter Bristol Palin also claimed that Obama’s invitation to the clock-building student foments anger towards the police and “encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood.” She said that Obama’s behavior was “childish,” something that no one would ever expect from the Palin clan.

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

Next weekend, GOP presidential contenders and top lawmakers will mingle with some of the most extreme Religious Right activists in the country at the Values Voter Summit, an annual event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, and others.

Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson have all confirmed that they will be speaking at the event. Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance, according to the event’s website. Jeb Bush, who was snubbed by FRC at last year’s event, declined to attend but will send a video address. Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate to have publicly turned down the invitation, provoking the ire of FRC’s president, Tony Perkins.

Candidates who attend the Values Voter Summit choose to align themselves with some of the most radical activists and organizations working to dehumanize LGBT people, erode reproductive rights, demolish the separation between church and state, and eliminate First Amendment rights for religious minorities.

The Family Research Council routinely smears LGBT people with false and degrading pronouncements and campaigns for a United States ruled by the dicta of a small faction of fundamentalists Christians. Another principal sponsor of the summit, the American Family Association, has an equally extreme record.

In addition to the abhorrent record of the sponsors of this event, the presidential candidates will also be joined by a host of radical Religious Right speakers.

Below is an introduction to some of the people who will be sharing the stage with the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

FRC continually expresses hostility to the rights of Americans who don’t share his conservative brand of Christianity. Last year, Perkins suggested that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims, not surprising for the leader of an organization that once issued a statement that read, “[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference." He similarly suggested that Christians who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious freedoms as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those whom he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Perkins has also overseen one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization. FRC officials have expressed support for the criminalization of homosexuality not only in the United States, but also in Malawi and Uganda. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg once said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the founder and head of Liberty Counsel, which is the organization currently representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her campaign to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in her county. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government as part of an effort to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Staver has:

Jonathan Cahn

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn is best known for his novel “The Harbinger,” which asserts that the 9/11 attacks were a result of America losing God’s protection due to its sins.  Cahn also:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

David and Jason Benham

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become martyrs in the eyes of the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan
  • Compared themselves to ISIS victims
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch”

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, became a Religious-Right folk hero this summer when she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Davis, saying that she was acting under “God’s authority” and wanted to use her county office to spread “God’s word,” spent five nights in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to begin issuing licenses. The viciously anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and its founder Mat Staver has been active supporters of Davis and have been representing her in court

At the summit, Davis will receive FRC’s “Cost of Discipleship” award, which previously went to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was actually persecuted for her Christian faith. Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, has previously compared Davis’ experience to that of Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity and was later granted asylum in the U.S.

Casey Davis

Casey Davis (no relation to Kim Davis) is another Kentucky clerk who has refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality a “war on Christianity,” and vowed to go to jail — and even die — in order to protect his “freedom” to deny gay couples marriage licenses.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

Pat Fagan

Pat Fagan is the director of summit sponsor the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He has compared a UN report criticizing the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse cases to Kristallnacht, the spate of violence in which Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their property while German police turned a blind eye, and  has advocated for coming up with new names for gay marriage, such as “garriage,” “larriage” or “harriage,” so that when he says “marriage” it will be clear he means heterosexual marriage. He has said that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the distribution of contraception to unmarried people, may be “the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court,” explaining that “functioning” societies “punish” and “shame” people who have sex outside of marriage.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a Fox contributor and the editor of conservative blog RedState. Constantly pushing for the conservative movement to move further to the right, Erickson has:

Craig James

Former sportscaster Craig James joined the Family Research Council in 2014. In addition to claiming that Obama may secretly be a Muslim, James has:

Aaron & Melissa Klein

Aaron and Melissa Klein are the owners of an Oregon bakery who were sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They have since become Religious Right martyrs and were featured by Sen. Ted Cruz in a campaign video. Aaron Klein has said that denying a cake to a gay couple was part of his fight against “Satan.”

Ed Vitagliano

As research director of the American Family Association, Ed Vitagliano is a vocal anti-gay activist. Not only does he believe “pray away the gay” works, but he also claims that gay rights will lead to the destruction of America.

Brent Bozell

Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center, which works to expose what it claims is rampant “liberal media bias.”

Bozell has:

Theodore Shoebat Unhappy With Nomination Of A 'Flaming Fag' To Serve As Army Secretary

Theodore Shoebat is not particularly fond of gay people. In fact, he has made it quite clear time and again that he thinks that gays need to be forced to submit to Christianity or else be put to death ... but that has not stopped him from regularly being interviewed on Christian news programs or being featured in an anti-gay documentary along with several Republican members of Congress and GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul.

Naturally, Shoebat was less than pleased with the news that President Obama has nominated Eric Fanning, a gay man, to serve as Secretary of the Army, so he posted a video voicing his displeasure with President Obama's satanic effort to fill the military with "fags."

"In 2012, Obama got rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Shoebat declared, "which basically means that fags can be out in the open in their flaming fag ways, regardless of the fact that they are decreasing the morale of fellow soldiers. It doesn't matter, they can be flaming homos right there in the U.S. military, they can be sodomizing each other right there in the military barracks."

The nomination of "Eric Flaming Fag," as Shoebat put it, by the "pro-fag, pro-sodomy, anti-family, anti-Christ president" is just further "evidence as to the bullcrap that we have been seeing throughout the years from this satanic administration."

Bryan Fischer: US Army Now 'The Army Of Sodom And Gomorrah. May God Help Us.'

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer isn’t taking the news well that President Obama will nominate an openly gay man to serve as Secretary of the Army:

Of course, it was only a few months ago, in the aftermath of the Obergefell decision, that Fischer declared that, “June, 26, 2015, is a date which will live in infamy” because “on this day, the United States become Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Fischer: Ahmed Mohamed's Clock 'Looks Like A Bomb'

It came as absolutely no surprise that anti-Islam radio show host Bryan Fischer defended the arrest of 14 year-old  Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school, asserting on his program today that it was entirely reasonable for school officials to be suspicious because Mohamed's father was a devout Muslim.

Citing reports that Mohamed ElHassan Mohamed had run for the presidency in his native Sudan and had also defended the Quran against radical anti-Muslim zealot Terry Jones, Fischer was incredulous that anyone would fault the school for being on alert when Ahmed "shows up as school with something that looks like a bomb."

"His father," Fischer declared, "twice ran for the presidency of Sudan, which is a stridently, vigorously Muslim country. It's one of the state sponsors of terrorism around the world and Ahmed Mohamed, his father wanted to be the president of Sudan! Twice!"

Fischer also noted that the elder Mohamed dared to "show up to defend the Quran" against Terry Jones, saying that "if you know that about this family, then there's reasons certainly to be cautious if the son shows up in school with something that looks like a bomb."

Santorum: Gay Marriage Still Illegal Because It's 'Not The Way Nature Functions'

At this week’s GOP presidential debate on CNN, Rick Santorum hailed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for defying the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, likening her to a girl who he said was killed for believing in God during the Columbine massacre. (This claim, as it turns out, is not true and the story of the girl’s death has been badly misreported.)

In an interview with Florida conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday, Santorum discussed his exchange on the topic with George Pataki and likened Kim Davis to slavery abolitionists and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I don’t think there is any question that the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the natural law,” Santorum said. “That’s not the way nature functions. So as a result of that, I think Kim Davis and everybody else has the obligation to oppose it. Now that doesn’t mean, like Martin Luther King, you aren’t going to suffer consequences to a society who has gotten it wrong. But the only way you are going to say things is for people to start saying: ‘We are not going to comply with unjust laws.’”

Glenn Beck's Newest Conspiracy Theory: Donald Trump's Campaign Is A Plot By Big Business To Discredit The Tea Party

Glenn Beck has made no secret of the fact that he is not a fan of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, nor has he hidden his confusion about how anyone who considers themselves to be a member of the Tea Party could ever support Trump's effort.

On his radio program today, Beck began to flesh out a theory that he thinks can explain what is really going on with Trump's campaign, promising that once he can prove it, he will lay it all out on his chalkboard. As it stands now, Beck's theory is that Trump's campaign is really an effort by "big business" to discredit and destroy the Tea Party once and for all.

As Beck sees it, his listening audience contains more Tea Party members than that of any other right-wing radio host and yet Trump consistently fares poorly when Beck's network takes its monthly presidential poll. If his audience doesn't support Trump and his audience contains lots of Tea Party members, then Trump's support cannot be coming from the Tea Party, Beck reasons. Of course, actual scientific polls show Trump leading among Tea Party supporters.

"The Tea Party is eating its own," Beck said. "If I'm a guy who is a Republican establishment guy or I'm a liberal, I want to destroy the Tea Party. But if I'm a businessman, I want to destroy it as well.  The reason why the GOP isn't suffering with their goals on campaign funds is because big business just wants business to go on. They know how to play the game. Look, Donald Trump as said, 'I give to everybody." He knows how to play the game. He doesn't know how to play the game with a libertarian, small government guy who says, 'There's no game for you to play here, Donald, and we stand by the Constitution.' So you can't buy that person or bully that person out of their house any more."

"It makes sense that he doesn't want the Tea Party," Beck continued. "So what's as good as getting the presidency of the United States? Discrediting and destroying a movement that stands for true principles. Small government and maximum freedom, stand for those who want to disrupt the system that makes everybody rich."

"I think is is really important that you stand up," he warned, "and you separate yourself as a tea partier and say, 'That is not us, that is not us.'"

Planned Parenthood Vote Shows The GOP Can't Sidestep It's 'Definitional Problem With Rape'

The House today approved a bill that would block federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood for one year, unless the organization certifies that it will no longer perform abortions, something that it does not currently use federal funds for.

The vote, driven by a smear campaign from anti-choice extremists, was divided mostly along party lines, with the notable exception of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who voted “present.” In a video statement, King explained that he didn’t think the House bill went far enough in attacking the “diabolical” Planned Parenthood, taking particular issue with the fact that the bill would allow Planned Parenthood to continue offering abortions for women who have survived rape or incest:

Leading anti-choice groups have been trying desperately to stop anti-abortion lawmakers from talking about abortion rights for rape survivors after disastrous comments by Missouri’s Todd Akin and Indiana’s Richard Mourdock helped to sink their respective 2012 Senate bids.

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the most influential leaders in the anti-choice movement, held trainings to teach Republican politicians how to change the subject when rape comes up. Dannenfelser has been very clear that she opposes rape exceptions in abortion bans, which she has called “abominable,” “regrettable” and “ intellectually dishonest,” but will urge lawmakers to support a bill that has to contain such exceptions for political reasons.

But hard as Dannenfelser and her allies might try to get anti-choice lawmakers to shut up about rape, they face an uphill battle. Although most anti-choice activists oppose rape exceptions, a vocal portion of the movement believes that lawmakers should automatically reject any bill that includes such exceptions.

A 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House earlier this year and will be coming up for a vote in the Senate next week has been mired for years in anti-choice infighting about rape exceptions. Before a version of the bill came up for a House vote in 2013, Republican leaders scrambled at the last minute to add a rape exception to neutralize controversial comments made by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks.

In January of this year, the House was planning to vote on the bill to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but scrapped the plan after a coalition led by female Republican lawmakers objected to a provision that would have required rape survivors to report the crime to law enforcement. An exasperated Sen. Lindsey Graham told anti-choice activists the next morning, “I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”

After extensive negotiations, the House finally settled on a bill that includes an exception for rape survivors if they first undergo a 48-hour waiting period.

But, as Steve King’s “present” vote shows, as long as they’re spending time attacking abortion rights, the GOP is going to be stuck with what Graham called “this definitional problem with rape.”

Michael Savage: Pope's Speech Means 'The Communist Revolution Is Complete'

Yesterday on “The Savage Nation,” conservative talk show host Michael Savage once again lit into Pope Francis for his stance on climate change, criticizing Republican leaders for inviting the pope to speak to Congress in the first place.

Savage, who believes that Francis is a full-blown Marxist following in the footsteps of Pol Pot, said he was embarrassed for the country.

“It’s sickening what happened to this country that they would invite a pope to speak to Congress,” he said. “It’s an embarrassment. It’s never ever been done before but the communist revolution is so complete that they dare do it.”

Larry Klayman: Retired Military Leads Weighing Anti-Obama Coup

Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman, who once tried to lead a revolution to oust President Obama from office, appeared on Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” yesterday for a segment titled “Why Obama Has Declared War On Christianity.”

Klayman told Jones that President Obama is a secret Muslim who, in his quest for power, has turned military leaders into subservient “yes-men,” adding: “Maybe Obama is pushing them to the point that maybe someday will wage a coup in this country. I’m not advocating that but I know that some of these retired generals and admirals have talked about it. I know that, it’s been in the public domain, because Obama, and I’ll say it straight up because no one else is, you will, Obama is a Muslim through-and-through. Obama sympathizes with a Muslim caliphate, Obama sympathizes with the mullahs in Tehran, he sympathizes with the radicals in the Far East.”

(Last year, Klayman similarly insisted that he doesn’t support a coup, but did wish that U.S. military leaders would “go to the president and say, ‘Your time’s up,’ just like they did to Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, ‘Take a hike guy, you’re destroying the country.’” He claimed it wouldn’t be a coup because Obama is “not a legitimate president.”)

After once again claiming that Obama is a violently anti-Christian Muslim radical who wears an Islamic ring (he doesn’t), Klayman wondered why the NSA is letting the president “do his black Muslim thing.”

The only answer, he said, is that the NSA has probably blackmailed Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts and even Republican leaders … except for Donald Trump, of course!

Jones, not to be outshined on his own show, accused the president of “backing head-chopping loons,” leading him to wonder if Obama wants to “become the Mahdi,” an End Times figure in Islam. Klayman responded that Obama is a Muslim because he admired his Muslim father, even though his father was actually an atheist, and that he isn’t even “a natural born citizen to be president of the United States.”

“He would like to see the world run by Muslims,” Klayman said of Obama’s end-game, adding that “anybody who practices the tenants of the Holy Koran, as Obama always calls it, never the Koran, the ‘Holy Koran,’ anybody who practices that is a danger.”

Paranoia-Rama: Kim Davis Martyrdom, Glenn Beck's Oktoberfest Fears & Jade Helm 15 Ends With A Whimper

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This has been a very sad week for Right Wing Watch as it marks the end of the Jade Helm 15 military exercises that caused an uproar within right-wing media, although something tells us that there will be more bizarre conspiracy theories to look out for…

5) Glenn Beck Was Right! See, This Thing He Read On The Internet…

Since the so-called Islamic State began gaining ground in parts of Syria and Iraq, Glenn Beck has been ticked off that so few people recognize that he prophesied the whole thing back in 2011. Except, of course, Beck didn’t do that, as he actually predicted that an Islamic caliphate would “ control the Mideast and parts of Europe ,” claiming it would spread northward from Tunisia and Egypt across the Mediterranean until it reached Greece, Italy and Spain.

Obviously, ISIS doesn’t exactly have territory throughout Europe, as Beck predicted, but now he has finally found proof that he was right all along: an online petition calling on Munich to end its Oktoberfest celebrations out of respect for Muslim refugees.

"A caliphate will be established. It will cause chaos. It will spread and begin to destabilize Europe and the western...

Posted by Glenn Beck on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

As the myth-busting website Snopes points out, the petition on Change.org to ban Oktoberfest was not started by a person living in Germany and “even if the petition were written in earnest, it would represent one person’s opinion and not that of all Muslim refugees.”

“Additionally, the viewpoint expressed by the petition appears to be a minority opinion, as the petition has only managed to muster a few hundred signatures, and the majority of those appear to have come from people who signed in order to add hateful comments,” Snopes continues. “Those comments lead us to believe that this petition may was created by an Internet troll in order to foment outrage. The fact that this petition was posted on 11 September, a day on which items critical of Islam tend to reach fever pitch, supports this hypothesis.”

Other petitions on the website, which can be submitted by anyone for any reason, include demands that President Obama “allow a high school student to have a party after homecoming and for WaWa to bring back roast beef sandwiches.”

Of course, Beck is desperate to find anything to support his claim that the caliphate is gaining a foothold in Europe, even if the “proof” comes from something just as credible as a chain letter. Next, Beck will demand that if you don’t send this email to seven other people, you will be cursed for life and your first crush will never love you.

4) ‘They’re Going To Eat Their Children’

Like Beck, televangelist Jim Bakker comes up with apocalyptic predictions, warns of impending financial crashes, nuclear EMP attacks and divine judgment, sells costly prepper food, urges viewers to buy gold, pushes bogus narratives about anti-Christian persecution in America and promotes a generally dystopian view of the world and its future.

Bakker, however, is a bit more honest about his role as a doomsday prophet.

While selling his survivalist food buckets earlier this month, Bakker said that in order to survive America’s impending collapse, people need to store their food in secret, because otherwise others will come for it. Even their “sweet neighbors” will do whatever it takes to get food, Bakker warned: “They’re going to eat their babies…they’re going to eat their children.”

3) First They Came For Kim Davis…

Next week, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis will receive an award at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit for her decision to go to jail rather than allow deputy clerks in her county to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

The Religious Right has latched on to Davis’ defiance of the courts, despite the fact that her cause is deeply unpopular in the rest of the country.

The head of Liberty Counsel, the anti-gay group representing Davis and a cosponsor of FRC’s summit, has repeatedly compared Davis to a Jewish victim of Nazi Germany.

Another Religious Right hero who has similarly defied the federal courts on marriage equality, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is so enchanted with Davis that he rewrote the famous anti-Nazi poem, “First They Came For The Socialists,” to make it about Davis’ plight:

While Moore hoped that Davis’ commitment to using a public office to impose her religion on others would inspire more conservatives to get involved in U.S. politics, one far-right activist said that Davis’ experience is proof that  Americans should “flee” the country to safer shores.

“God tells us how to solve the problem, he says flee,” John Price said. “There’s a time to fight and there’s a time to flee.”

2) Islamic Training Camps In The US: Just Asking The Question

The day following the CNN Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump held a rally in New Hampshire where he fielded a question from a man who had something to say: “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one, you know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”

Trump responded vaguely about how he is “going to be looking at a lot of different things,” and his campaign manager later insisted that Trump just wants to stay focused on the “bigger issue” of Obama “waging a war against the Christians in this country.”

Anyone who follows the far-right media could have expected that GOP presidential candidates would eventually be confronted with claims about radical Islamic training camps in the U.S. 

“Fears of ‘Muslim training camps’ have simmered on the far right for years, especially since the rise of the Islamic State,” writes Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post. “World Net Daily and Judicial Watch — the latter an advocacy group that has successfully sued for records from Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department — have published stories that allege FBI knowledge of dozens of camps, many across the deep South.”

As Max Fischer points out at Vox, Fox hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs both pushed claims about secret Islamic training camps throughout the U.S., and “just this spring, FBI arrested a Tennessee man named Robert Doggart who was plotting to lead a far-right militia on a killing spree against a heavily Muslim community in New York state. Doggart believed the community was a ‘Muslim Jihadist Training Camp,’ according to a post he made on his web site.”

1) Farewell, Jade Helm 15!

While everyone was excited for the imposition of martial law and FEMA camps, the military training exercise Jade Helm 15 ended on Tuesday without any of the wild predictions championed by the far-right coming true.

It was quite a letdown: No “round-up of patriotic men,” no exploitation of a system of secret tunnels and closed Walmart stores, no nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack on Texas.

But maybe President Obama really was plotting to engineer such dastardly deeds, but was exposed by true heroes like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Louie Gohmert who gave legitimacy Jade Helm 15 paranoia.

Now that Jade Helm 15 is over, the same politicians and pundits who used the military drill to promote baseless fears about the Obama administration will quickly find a new conspiracy theory to latch onto as the cycle endlessly repeats itself.

Staver: Gay Marriage Is Leading America 'Into The Very Pit Of Hell'

Back in July, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver spoke at the Reclaiming America for Christ conference in Oklahoma where he spent a half-hour absolutely fuming about the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, calling it a "grave sin" that would lead America "into the very pit of Hell."

Staver, who has recently been leading Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' unsuccessful legal battle, was beside himself with outrage, declaring that neither the Supreme Court nor any state could ever legalize gay marriage because doing so contradicts the will of God and therefore Christians have no choice but to resist with all their might.

"We need to stop playing charades," Staver thundered, "thinking that five individuals can re-write God's natural, created order of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, and 320 million Americans are simply just going to follow them like the Pied Piper off the cliff into the very pit of Hell. If that's what they think, they have something else coming because as for me and my household, I will not obey those five! I will obey God rather than man and they have shaken their fist in the face of the Creator and we must resist that."

The ruling, he warned, "is a grave sin. There will be judgment on those five unless they repent."

Rainbow Doritos A Gay Gateway Drug

The announcement yesterday that Doritos will soon release rainbow-colored chips to support the It Gets Better Project, which works towards preventing anti-LGBT bullying, naturally drew the ire of conservative pundits like John Nolte of Breitbart, who said that Doritos is flying the “colors of anti-Christian hate and oppression.”

But Nolte’s protests pale in comparison to a column in the right-wing American Thinker by Ed Straker, which could be confused for parody.

Straker writes that the new chips are “the perfect gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality,” lamenting that nowadays “it’s perceived to be cool to push a specific sexual orientation on children.”

Calling for a boycott of Doritos and all products from its parent company, Pepsi, Straker urges conservatives to “push other companies to launch pro-heterosexual campaigns” by, for example, persuading “a hot dog maker and a hot dog bun company to do a joint effort promoting man-woman relationships.”

PepsiCo, who make Doritos (through subsidiary Frito-Lay), are producing a homosexual version of Doritos called "Rainbow Doritos." Doritos are a product marketed to children, so they make the perfect gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality.



What business does PepsiCo have pushing homosexuality on our kids? This is how far our culture has shifted; it's perceived to be cool to push a specific sexual orientation on children, even by companies that produce products that have nothing to do with sex. What's next – gay toilet paper and tampons?



I think we need to boycott Pepsi and all related Frito-Lay products to deliver a message to Pepsi that if they are going to push gay propaganda on our kids, we are not going to give their products lip service any longer.

Furthermore, I think we should push other companies to launch pro-heterosexual campaigns. Perhaps we could persuade a hot dog maker and a hot dog bun company to do a joint effort promoting man-woman relationships.

Bryan Fischer Falsely Claims 'The Constitution Rested On The Foundation Of The Bible'

Immediately following a segment on his radio program yesterday in which Bryan Fischer declared that it is his goal to "create the most biblically and constitutionally literate listening audience" in America, he told his audience that the Bible was the single greatest influence on the framing of the Constitution.

Unsurprisingly, this claim originated with David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who first spread the false claim that a 1984 study by Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman called "The Relative Influence of European Writers on Late Eighteenth-Century American Political Thought" had found that the Constitution was largely based upon the Bible, according to a review of documents published during the founding era.

Fischer mindlessly repeated this claim on his program, asserting that "the book of Deuteronomy was the primary source of the standards that were incorporated in Western law and Western jurisprudence" and insisting that "the Constitution rested on the foundation of the Bible and biblical truth."

As we have pointed out before, these claims rest on a complete misrepresentation of what the study actually found and they have been repeatedly debunked, so much so that Joel McDurmon of the ultra-right-wing organization American Vision was forced to write a piece entitled "To my Christian America friends: Please, stop citing the Lutz study!"

[T]hat study does not prove this point. In fact, when you read all of the study, it proves just the opposite: the framers of the American Constitution abandoned biblical quotations in favor of the secular authors. I don’t know who originally read it to say otherwise, but for the sake of credibility, scholarship, and faithful witness, it needs to stop.

The percentage of Bible quotations reported in that study 1) comes from an earlier period than the Constitutional period, 2) represents a strongly overweighted minority sample in the data, 3) appears mostly in only 10 percent of the actual sources included in the study, 4) appears in sources not written by the men who actually did the framing, 5) appears in sources probably not even read by the framers. The study itself excludes the vast majority of relevant material that such a study should have included.

...

Too all my friends and fellow-laborers in Restoring America, Christian America, Monumental America, Christianity and the Constitution, followers of Verna Hall, Rosalie Slater, Vision Forum, Wall Builders, and anyone else, anywhere even remotely associated with such a project: Please, quit citing Lutz and Hyneman as proof the Framers of the Constitution quoted the Bible more than any other source. They did not, and misreading studies like this, and thereby perpetuating myths like this, is one reason liberal scholars so often laugh at you. It’s not always merely because they hate God. Sometimes, it’s because we give them reason.

Santorum: 'Tragedy' American Jews Don't Care About Israel's Survival

In an interview today on “The Steve Malzberg Show,” Rick Santorum claimed that American evangelicals care more about the future of Israel than do American Jews, a situation that he called a “tragedy.”

Santorum made his comments in response to a question about a typically tasteful tweet from Ann Coulter during last night’s GOP debate, in which she criticized the numerous mentions of Israel, asking, “How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Coulter later insisted that she was only criticizing Republican presidential candidates for pandering to evangelical voters on the issue.

Santorum said that Coulter was out of line and harming the conservative cause, adding that “Bible-believing Christians” in the U.S. “understand the significance of the heritage of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.”

He went on to say that conservative Christians are far more interested in saving Israel from President Obama and the Iranian government than are American Jews: “Interestingly enough, as you know very well, Steve, it is probably less important to the Jewish community these days than it is in the evangelical Christian community, which is another tragedy in itself.”

Rick Santorum Suggests Liberal And Gay Catholics Can't Be Real Catholics

Some conservative bloggers are up in arms that the White House has invited a number of prominent Catholics of whom they disapprove to a large reception at the White House greeting Pope Francis next week, including Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” social justice group; Mateo Williamson, a transgender man with the Catholic LGBT group Dignity USA; retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the denomination; and Aaron Jay Ledesma, a gay Catholic activist.

Today, Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked Rick Santorum about the “scandal,” which the former senator said “shows the contempt that the president has for people of faith.” Apparently Santorum thinks that liberals or members of the LGBT community cannot be true people of faith.

Santorum insisted that Obama would never invite gay Muslims or Muslims who support gay rights to the White House. “As you know, under Sharia law, they throw gays off buildings and kill them,” he said, alluding to ISIS’ barbaric executions of gays. “But you won’t see the president standing up to the Muslim community, the radical Muslim community, and having gay Muslim activists out there. But when it comes to the Christian faith, then all bets are off. You’re allowed to impose and try to influence as best you can the spin on these meetings and that is what the president is doing.”

While Santorum is denigrating Obama for his supposed “contempt” for people of faith, Santorum said back in 2008 that mainline Protestants are under the influence of Satan.

Jeb Bush Touts Voucher Program That Funds Christian Schools, Religious Right Ideology

At Wednesday night’s presidential debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush went out of his way to tout “a voucher program that was created under my watch, the largest voucher program in the country, where kids can go to a Christian school” — a phrase he sandwiched into a conversation about Donald Trump criticizing him for speaking Spanish in public.

Julie Ingersoll, a religious studies professor at the University of North Florida, tweeted a reminder that her book on Christian Reconstructionism, which was recently released by Oxford University Press, mentions Bush’s voucher program. “Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism” includes chapters on the enormous influence of Christian Reconstructionism in the homeschooling and Christian school movements, which have succeeded in getting states like Florida to funnel taxpayer money to their religious education efforts

Christian Reconstructionism, grounded in the teachings of 20th-century writer R.J. Rushdoony, has greatly influenced both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements with its doctrine of “sphere sovereignty,” which states that God has given government, church, and family specific responsibilities over different “spheres.” Reconstructionists argue that there is no biblical authority for the government to take on a duty that is given to church or family – for example, they argue that the government has no role in caring for the poor because charity is the job of the church.

Reconstructionism teaches that education is the duty of parents, and that the state therefore has no role in or legitimate authority over the education of children. Reconstructionists led legal and political battles to win the right of parents to homeschool their children, and continue to resist efforts at regulating homeschoolers. As Ingersoll notes, “Reconstructionists are unabashedly committed to the dismantling of public education, and their strategies and solutions have gained a hearing far beyond the boundaries of the small groups explicitly affiliated with them.” In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott named a right-wing homeschooler to chair the state’s Board of Education.

The organized and intensely active network of evangelical homeschooling families in Iowa is credited, in part, with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus, and the Associated Press reported this year that presidential candidates have been jockeying for its leaders’ support.

Ingersoll also explores how central creationism is to the Christian Reconstructionist worldview; as others have noted, creationism also forms the basis of “science” education in books and curricula used by some Christian schools and homeschoolers.

Ingersoll writes about the independent, Reconstructionism-inspired Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville, Florida, which was founded in the 1970s. In addition to the hundreds of students in its K-12 program, the school offers a program allowing homeschoolers to participate in courses and activities. Writes Ingersoll, “RCBS also has a program designed to take advantage of Florida’s school voucher plan. The plan, put into place by former Governor Jeb Bush, permits students at ‘failing public schools’ to obtain vouchers that can be used at any school.”

According to Ingersoll, the Bush voucher program “has become such a significant revenue stream” for Rocky Bayou Christian School that “it would have a major impact on the school if the state were to decide to discontinue the controversial program….”  But, she notes, “the conservative legislature took up the effort to expand the state’s privatization of public education with vouchers and the expansion of charter schools.”

Indeed, legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year expanded voucher and tax-credit programs; it also, according to the Orlando Sentinel, created state-funded “personal learning scholarship accounts” that “parents of students with certain disabilities can use to pay for private school, buy home-school curriculum or pay for needed therapies, among other services, if their child is not in public school.”

Florida is not the only state where proponents of privatization have won victories. Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal used the Katrina disaster to push through a radical privatization scheme and has battled the Obama administration over its efforts to monitor the state’s voucher program’s effect on racial segregation. Proponents of “school choice” had a major victory in Nevada this year, where a law pushed by an education foundation created by Jeb Bush would allow parents of any income level to “pull a child from the state's public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling.” While some Christian homeschoolers want no part of voucher programs, because they believe taking voucher money would bring more intrusive government regulation, laws like Nevada’s could prove a windfall for Religious Right and Christian Reconstructionist groups that provide curricula to homeschoolers.

Ingersoll writes about a 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit hosted by the Christian Home Educators of Colorado at an Indianapolis facility of Bill Gothard’s Institute for Biblical Life Principles, a troubling organization in the news recently for its connection to the Duggar family. The purpose of the summit, writes Ingersoll, was the development of a “Christian Education Manifesto,” which is no longer public, but whose goals included the elimination of public education and dismantling of government agencies that regulate the rights of parents, such as child welfare and child protective service groups.

There have been some setbacks for the privatization movement. In June, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that its state’s Choice Scholarship Pilot Program violates the state Constitution by channeling public money to private religious schools, contrary to an explicit constitutional prohibition on doing so.

But, as Ingersoll notes, the massively funded privatization movement is advancing the dream of the Christian Reconstructionists:

Florida’s efforts mirror attempts across the nation to shift the delivery of public education to the private sector; a shift of tax money from a public endeavor intended to educate and foster a shared sense of what it means to be American to sectarian efforts, including efforts at schools like Rocky Bayou which seek to transform society according to biblical law. The long-standing goal of the Christian Reconstructionists to defund, and ultimately eliminate, public education has come as close as it has ever come to being a reality.

Jesse Lee Peterson: Gay Marriage Different Because 'It's Not About Love'

Right-wing activist Jesse Lee Peterson joined “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax yesterday to discuss his recent column comparing Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who is refusing marriage licenses to gay couples, to Rosa Parks.

When guest host Amy Holmes asked Peterson if a clerk should be able to cite his or her religious beliefs to deny marriage a license to a person like Davis who has been married multiple times, Peterson explained that it’s an entirely different issue because unlike such marriages, “homosexuality is not about values” and “it’s not about love,” but instead is “based on sex.”

While homosexuality is all about sex, he explained, anti-gay discrimination has nothing to do with sex.

“A marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two men and two women,” he said. “That has been the rule forever, ever since mankind has been on earth, so what homosexuals are trying to do is to get you to change the rules based on sex. And Kim Davis is not concerned about who they have sex with, but when it comes to comparing it to a man and woman being married, then it’s a different story.”

Anti-Muslim Activist: Ahmed Mohamed's Clock Was Very Suspicious!

Last week, GOP leaders including Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin attended a rally hosted by Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy and an unabashed anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.

Gaffney reacted today to the controversy over the arrest of Texas 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, who brought a homemade clock to school to show off to his teachers, by claiming that police and school officials were right to be suspicious of the Muslim student:

Gaffney claims that Ahmed should have answered the police’s absurd questions about what he could possibly be doing with a clock. Here’s how Dallas-Fort Worth’s WFAA s ummarized the case against the ninth grader:

Officers said Ahmed was being "passive aggressive" in his answers to their questions, and didn't have a "reasonable answer" as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with.

"We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn't offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school," said James McLellan, Irving Police.

Police confiscated the case along with Ahmed's tablet computer.



In addition to calling police, Ahmed said the principal suspended him for three days.

The police apparently refused to believe that maybe Ahmed’s clock was just that, a clock, and were convinced that there must be some nefarious reason why a student who has taken an interest in engineering would build a clock to show his engineering teacher.

Irving, Texas, where Ahmed was arrested, is led by a mayor who became a hero to anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney when she courageously stood up to a non-existent plot to establish a Sharia court in the city.

Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy gave the mayor an award for her brave fight for freedom.

UPDATE: Lee Fang notes that Gaffney and Jim Hanson of the Center for Security Policy have continued to make absurd claims about the case:

The Center for Security Policy, a think tank that routinely partners with prominent Republican politicians, including many of the current presidential contenders, is defending the arrest of 14-year-old Muslim high school student Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school.

Americans across the country expressed outrage at the news that Mohamed was handcuffed by police officers in Irving, Texas, on Monday, suspended from his high school, and accused of making a bomb after the electronic components he had connected to make his own digital clock beeped during English class.

But Center for Security Policy vice president Jim Hanson argued on his organization’s podcast that the clock “looks exactly like a number of IED triggers that were produced by the Iranians and used to kill U.S. troops in the war in Iraq.” He said the clock “was half a bomb.”

Frank Gaffney, the center’s founder and president, agreed with Hanson, while suggesting that there is reason to be suspicious of “what we’re told was a clock” because “the story is not being fully explored and explained.”

Gaffney also said that the entire controversy over Mohamed’s clock appeared to be an “influence operation” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group that Gaffney claimed is using “professional victim-promoting” to wage a “civilization jihad” in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Krikorian: If Picture Of Drowned Syrian Boy Made You Sad, You Should Oppose Refugee Resettlement

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies visited Newsmax TV yesterday to discuss the Obama administration’s decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States in the wake of a massive refugee crisis caused by the country’s civil war, agreeing to take in 10,000 of the more than 4 million people who have fled the country.

Citing the Tsarnaev brothers, who were the children of refugees from Chechnya, Krikoran declared that the refugee resettlement program is “guaranteed” to “admit significant numbers of ISIS and Al Qaeda into the United States.”

“We all saw the picture of that poor kid who had drowned on the beach in Turkey,” he said. “Well, what are we going to say to an American mom and dad of a kid who’s killed by an ISIS terrorist who’s let in as a refugee?”

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