Truth in Action Ministries has embraced the work of anti-gay activist Michael Brown in recent weeks, producing a condensed version of his book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, called A Stealth Agenda, and inviting him to appear in short films describing the “radical homosexual agenda” as a deadly iceberg and another defending countries that criminalize homosexuality. Today, Brown appeared on the group’s flagship radio program Truth that Transforms where he was introduced by hosts Carmen Pate and John Rabe, who likened homosexuality to “bondage” and even “slavery”:
Pate: Homosexuality, those who are struggling with that lifestyle and are desiring to leave it, are hungry for truth, John. And so it’s so important when we consider that our government ignores the truth and instead supports an agenda that really keeps them in bondage. It’s important that we speak truth so they might find that healing and restoration.
Rabe: It’s absolutely true, Carmen, there is liberation for people who are enmeshed in slavery, and this is a form of it. It really is an agenda; this didn’t just sort of happen by chance, there is an agenda here.
Brown told Pate and Rabe that government officials, businesses, Hollywood and TV shows like Glee are boosting “homosexual activism,” which he called the “principal threat to religious freedom, freedom of conscience [and] freedom of speech”:
Brown: So their creativity, energy, gets them in high places in Hollywood, so kids are watching shows like Glee on TV and that pervasive message is coming. We have many politicians fighting these things, our own government says, ‘this is now a civil rights issue and we’re going to stand for this, we’re going to fight for this,’ major businesses are championing it. Across the board, court cases, decisions being made, homosexual activism has become the principal threat to religious freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, in America and in other countries around the world. If we don’t see it now, we’re going to have to apologize to our kids and our grandkids.
On Thursday, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in an effort to drum up support for his Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. Huelskamp’s bill purportedly prevents “discrimination” against members of the military based on their beliefs on “human sexuality,” while also banning the use of military property for any same-sex “marriage or marriage-like ceremony.” Discussing the bill, the congressman accused President Obama of launching a “shocking violation of religious liberty” as part of his “administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda”:
Huelskamp: We have forty-seven cosponsors in the House including some leading members of the Armed Services Committee and we’re having a lot of great support also as well. We continue to hear, and this is the scariest thing, we hear from chaplains all across the country and even military bases elsewhere around the world that the administration’s push for the radical homosexual agenda goes all the way down to having to get approval for their sermon notes, having to have man’s approval for things they’re going to preach, I mean the idea that we’re going to not allow chaplains to disagree with the President of the United States and his administration is a shocking violation of religious liberty.
Later in the interview, Rep. Huelskamp claimed that “radical secularism” is working with the “radical homosexual movement” to suppress religious freedom:
Huelskamp: It’s an issue of whether or not chaplains can actually preach the Gospel and that men and women can actually live the Gospel. I think you have this radical secularism and you put it together with the radical homosexual movement and say ‘hey, if you have those beliefs that’s fine but you can talk about it for an hour on Sunday, maybe, and after that just keep quiet for the other hundred and some hours a week.’ The idea that chaplains would not be able to preach certain parts of the Gospel and say, ‘you know what this is the way we interpret it and this is what it means,’ and those are being shut down.
After American Family Association Bryan Fischer went into all-out war with Mitt Romney’s campaign for hiring an openly gay foreign policy spokesman, his “straights only” position won support from other Religious Right leaders like Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins. Now, Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is jumping to Fischer’s defense as well, telling talk show host Janet Mefferd on Friday that Romney is “putting his finger in the eye of the pro-family movement” with the hire, even though Romney has emphasized his anti-gay bona fides throughout the campaign.
Later, LaBarbera denounced the “hidden homosexuality” in Washington D.C., in particular the Republicans who “have a homosexual problem” and are not public about it. He also told Mefferd that “Americans would rally to our position” on homosexuality if only the GOP recruits a candidate like Rick Santorum who can inspire the anti-gay “silent majority” and combat the “media, Hollywood and academy [that] are 1,000 percent for perversion.” If not, LaBarbera warned that the Right may “see a bigger push for a third party,” a view also supported by Family Research Council Vice President Tom McCluskly.
LaBarbera: I think the significance of what Mitt Romney has done is he’s putting his finger in the eye of the pro-family movement, as you alluded to, here’s the entire conservative movement, especially social conservatives like us, saying ‘it’s going to be hard to get enthused about Mitt Romney.’ I’m speaking as a private citizen, our group is non-partisan, but what does he do? He appoints a homosexual activist for one of his spokespeople.
Mefferd: Mostly in the past they’ve been quasi-closeted if not fully closeted, Ken Mehlman is a perfect example, he didn’t come out until after he was out as the campaign chief of Bush.
LaBarbera: But he did say that he used his influence that he could behind the scenes, which is what I always suspected of these homosexual Republicans. I’ve always called on them to be open, if they have a homosexual problem, as I put it, I don’t believe it’s a positive identity; the people have a right to know if they’re in elected office. There’s a lot of hidden homosexuality, especially in Washington.
Mefferd: The reason this bothers me so much is because increasingly you’re seeing the GOP indicating that, ‘because this is a losing issue and we see these polls showing more and more people support so-called homosexual marriage, we want to win, we need to be able to draw some of these voters to our side.’ My feeling on that is: if you’re drawing voters to your side on an issue that actually matters, then what does it matter if you win if you’ve compromised everything that matters?
LaBarbera: Absolutely. It’s shame on them. Guess what, there was a time when anti-Communism was unpopular, and Reagan is known for that as his greatest accomplishment, stopping Soviet Communism. Rick Santorum went very far and it’s interesting, the homosexual magazine The Advocate seems very concerned that Rick Santorum got so far, so I think there’s a lot of silent support for our position. The media, Hollywood and academy are 1,000 percent for perversion, for homosexuality, but the silent majority I believe still opposes them. I think the support for so-called gay rights is a mile wide and an inch deep. I think if you had a candidate like Santorum that explains the issue, explains how religious freedom is going to be trampled over by this tiny minority of homosexual activists who want to push their agenda at any cost, I think Americans would rally to our position.
Mefferd: It may make things a little bit dicey in future elections, won’t it, if the GOP keeps going in this direction?
LaBarbera: I think if they keep going in this direction I think you will see a bigger push for a third party because this is one of the core issues. Unless, you know, Christians just give up on their faith and you know say we’re not going to believe that part of the Bible, absolutely.
On today's edition of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers were discussing the opposition from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the Obama Administration's contraception mandate and the Religious Right's related outrage rooted in the myth that the mandate and health care reform legislation require every taxpayer to pay for abortion.
Barber was absolutely incensed, saying that the mandate was just like Muslim terrorists forcing people to kill members of their own family and another example of President Obama's tyranny:
This is much more than just a violation of conscience. What's analogous to this is we know that one of the tactics of Muslim terrorists is that they will go into a village - we have seen it in the Sudan and elsewhere - they will take individuals, they will hold a gun or a machete to them and say "see that family member of yours, that uncle, that individual, you must kill them or I am going to kill the rest of your family."
This mandate does that. It says to the Catholic bishop, it says to the individual Christian "you have no choice, you must embrace our post-modern secularist worldview that says that life is meaningless and the unborn child has no value and you must become complicit in abortion homicide, you must fund, underwrite that slaughter of innocent human beings or you will be penalized under the full weight of government."
That is no different than the Muslim terrorist going into the village, holding the gun to your head and saying "kill your family member or you will suffer the full weight of our tyranny." This is all tyranny; this president is engaging in tyranny.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is upset that Republican congressional candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, believes President Obama is a Christian (which he explained in a rather peculiar and patronizing letter to David Brody), because according to Farah, Obama “has been at war with God before he took office and ever since”:
But what is the evidence of Obama’s Christian faith? His attendance for 20 years in Jeremiah Wright’s schizoid, America-hating, Liberation Theology cult? What does this have to do the Jesus? Nothing.
Is this naiveté on Joe the Plumber’s part, or is this politics?
Where is the evidence that Jesus is the Lord of Barack Obama’s life? Calling oneself a Christian does not mean one is a Christian.
Yet, Joe the Plumber insists he doesn’t question Obama’s faith.
“I don’t question his faith, and when I read or hear people claiming he’s not a Christian because of this or that, I don’t like it,” he wrote in his letter to CBN. “[But] Barack Obama once famously told me he just wanted to spread the wealth around and I take him at his word about that as well. After three years of watching the policies he’s put forth, the agenda he’s pushed and the detrimental effect it’s had on our country, I don’t question it one bit.”
How about this?
• his support of same-sex marriage
• his support of open homosexual activity in the military
• his support of killing innocent babies in the womb
• his support for withholding life support for survivors of abortion
• his support for forcing those of Christian conscience to provide sterilization and abortion services to their employees through mandatory health-care programs
Barack Obama has been at war with God before he took office and ever since.
Mitt Romney is eager these days to change the subject from what the public sees as his party's "war on women." He seeks to close the huge gender gap that has opened up as women flee the party of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh in search of something a little less patriarchal and misogynistic.
But Romney's problems with America's women may be just beginning. He can distance himself from the theocratic musings of other Republicans and the macho bullying of Fox News talking heads, but he cannot run away from his own selection of former Judge Robert Bork, in August of last year, to become his principal advisor on the Supreme Court and the Constitution.
Bork hopes to wipe out not only the constitutional right to privacy, especially the right to contraception and to abortion, but decades of Equal Protection decisions handed down by what he calls a feminized Supreme Court deploying "sterile feminist logic" to guarantee equal treatment and inclusion of women. Bork is no casual chauvinist but rather a sworn enemy of feminism, a political force that he considers "totalitarian" and in which, he has concluded, "the extremists are the movement."
Romney may never have to elaborate his bizarrely muted reaction to Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" ("it's not the language I would have used"), but he will definitely have to answer whether he agrees with his hand-picked constitutional advisor that feminism is "totalitarian"; that the Supreme Court, with two women Justices, had become "feminized" at the time of U.S. v. Virginia (1996) and produced a "feminization of the military"; and that gender-based discrimination by government should no longer trigger heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause.
Romney has already said that, "The key thing the president is going to do... it's going to be appointing Supreme Court and Justices throughout the judicial system." He has also said that he wishes Robert Bork "were already on the Court."
So look what Robert Bork thinks Romney's Supreme Court Justices should do about the rights of women.
Wiping Out Contraceptive, Abortion and Privacy Rights
Romney certainly hoped to leave behind the surprising controversy in the Republican primaries over access to contraception, but Robert Bork's extremist views on the subject guarantee that it stays hot. Bork rejects the line of decisions, beginning with Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), affirming the right of Americans to privacy in their procreative and reproductive choices. He denounces the Supreme Court's protection of both married couples' and individuals' right to contraception in Griswold and Eisenstaedt v. Baird (1972), declaring that such a right to privacy in matters of procreation was created "out of thin air." He calls the Ninth Amendment -- which states that the "enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" -- an "inkblot" without meaning. For him, the right of people to decide about birth control has nothing to do with Due Process liberty or other rights "retained by the people" -- it is the illegitimate expression of "radical individualism" on the Supreme Court.
Bork detests Roe v. Wade (1973), a decision he says has "no constitutional foundation" and is based on "no constitutional reasoning." He would overturn it and empower states to prosecute women and doctors who violate criminal abortion laws. Bork promises:
Attempts to overturn Roe will continue as long as the Court adheres to it. And, just so long as the decision remains, the Court will be perceived, correctly, as political and will continue to be the target of demonstrations, marches, television advertisements, mass mailings, and the like. Roe, as the greatest example and symbol of the judicial usurpation of democratic prerogatives in this century, should be overturned. The Court's integrity requires that.
In other words, the Court's "integrity" would require a President Romney to impose an anti-Roe v. Wade litmus test on all nominations to the Court.
Ending Heightened Scrutiny of Government Sex Discrimination under Equal Protection
Bork is the leading voice in America assailing the Supreme Court for using "heightened" Equal Protection scrutiny to examine government sex discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. While women and men all over America cheered the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in United States v. Virginia (1996), the decision that forced the Virginia Military Institute to stop discriminating and to admit its first women cadets, Bork attacked it for producing the "feminization of the military," which for him is a standard and cutting insult --"feminization" is always akin to degradation and dilution of standards. He writes: "Radical feminism, an increasingly powerful force across the full range of American institutions, overrode the Constitution in United States v. Virginia." Of course, in his view, this decision was no aberration: "VMI is only one example of a feminized Court transforming the Constitution," he wrote. Naturally, a "feminized Court" creates a "feminized military."
Bork argues that, outside of standard "rational basis" review, "the equal protection clause should be restricted to race and ethnicity because to go further would plunge the courts into making law without guidance from anything the ratifiers understood themselves to be doing." This rejection of gender as a protected form of classification ignores the fact that that the Fourteenth Amendment gives "equal protection" to all "persons." But, if Bork and his acolytes have their way, decades of Supreme Court decisions striking down gender-discriminatory laws under the Equal Protection Clause will be thrown into doubt as the Court comes to examine sex discrimination under the "rational basis" test, the most relaxed kind of scrutiny. Instead of asking whether government sex discrimination "substantially" advances an "important" government interest, the Court will ask simply whether it is "conceivably related" to some "rational purpose." Remarkably, Mitt Romney's key constitutional advisor wants to turn back the clock on Equal Protection jurisprudence by watering down the standards for reviewing sex-discriminatory laws.
Judge Bork Means Business: the Case of the Sterilized Women Employees
If you don't think Bork means all this, go back and look at his bleak record as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Take just one Bork opinion that became a crucial point of discussion in the hearings over his failed 1987 Supreme Court nomination. In a 1984 case called Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union v. American Cyanamid Co., Bork found that the Occupational Safety and Health Act did not protect women at work in a manufacturing plant from a company policy that forced them to be sterilized -- or else lose their jobs -- because of high levels of lead in the air. The Secretary of Labor had decided that the Act's requirement that employers must provide workers "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards" meant that American Cynamid had to "fix the workplace" through industrial clean-up rather than "fix the employees" by sterilizing or removing all women workers of child-bearing age. But Bork strongly disagreed. He wrote an opinion for his colleagues apparently endorsing the view that other clean-up measures were not necessary or possible and that the sterilization policy was, in any event, a "realistic and clearly lawful" way to prevent harm to the women's fetuses. Because the company's "fetus protection policy" took place by virtue of sterilization in a hospital -- outside of the physical workplace -- the plain terms of the Act simply did not apply, according to Bork. Thus, as Public Citizen put it, "an employer may require its female workers to be sterilized in order to reduce employer liability for harm to the potential children."
Decisions like this are part of Bork's dark Social Darwinist view of America in which big corporations are always right and the law should rarely ever be interpreted to protect the rights of employees, especially women, in the workplace.
No matter how vigorously Mitt Romney shakes his Etch-a-Sketch, Americans already have an indelible picture of what a Romney-run presidency and Bork-run judiciary would look like and what it would mean for women. With Robert Bork calling the shots on the courts, a vote for Mitt Romney is plainly a vote against women's rights, women's equality and women's freedom.
Jamin Raskin is the author of the new PFAW Report, "Borking America: What Robert Bork Will Mean for the Supreme Court and American Justice."
Today on Washington Watch Weekly Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted California pastor Jack Hibbs, who is promoting a petition drive to overturn SB 48 through a referendum. SB 48 ensures that prominent LGBT historical figures are included in textbooks, and has been a major target of fierce opposition from Religious Right groups, including the FRC. “Our children are being under attack,” Hibbs told Perkins, “we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children.” Hibbs concluded, “We’re fighting for our children’s lives, right here in California.”
What we need Tony of representatives across the nation is to stand for what’s right, we need to be very careful, we’re not standing for some political kingdom or some political direction, this has come to a point now Tony where our children are being under attack, on our watch. Jesus said, woe to the man who allows the littlest of these to be offended for it would have been better for him to have never been born. That’s a serious issue, as pastors, as Christians, as churches, for that matter, as concerned citizens no matter what your belief is, we need to stand up and take our schools back so we can rescue our children from quite frankly an ongoing group of people who I don’t think any longer has what’s best in my child in mine any longer. There is an agenda and we need to push back from that agenda.
Get people in California that you know to sign the petition. You need to be a registered voter, at our church for example, you can register to vote and then move right on over the piece of paper and sign the petition. Signing the petition, dear friends, if we cannot sign a petition when it’s as easy as this then what are we going to do when things really get tough? So, you asked Tony how is it going, it’s going well but it can be going better. We need people involved, we need people to step up. We’re fighting for our children’s lives right here in California.
As we have noted before, Friday episodes of "WallBuilders Live" are generally dedicated to spreading what David Barton and Rick Green consider to be "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."
We have also pointed out before that Barton believes that everything in our society ought to be governed by what is in the Bible, even our medical practices ... and today Barton returned to this topic, claiming that science cannot create a cure or vaccine for AIDS and that abortion causes breast cancer and mental health problems, proclaiming that to be "good news" because it proves that the Bible is correct:
There's a passage that I love in Romans 1 - I don't love what the topic is - but it talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. And the Bible again, it's right every time, and studies keep proving that and that's why AIDS has been something they haven't discovered a cure for or a vaccine for, because it's the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again. And that goes to what God says, hey you're going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.
The same thing goes with abortion and now we're getting studies, and these are somewhat negative studies, but they're positive studies in that they prove that the Bible is right. So I want to read you the results of a couple of new studies that are out. Here's a new study that out, now this is the second study that shows that women who have abortions double the risk of mental health problems ... Now that's not good news; the good news in this is God says "don't kill unborn babies."
Now, along the same thing, here's another study, a new study now shows those who have abortions nearly triple the risk of breast cancer. It's bad news, but it's good news in the sense that it does show that the Bible is right. When God says don't kill those unborn babies, there's a reason. And He tells us in Deuteronomy 6:24 and Joshua 1:8, everything I tell you to do is for your good, for your benefit, so that you can prosper and you can have success. So when he tells us not to do this stuff, whether it's homosexual behavior or whether its abortion, hey it's for our benefit he tells us not to do it and now studies prove that to be true.
Before the upcoming election, the GOP is looking to restore its traditional polling advantage on national security with virulent criticisms of President Obama’s handling of foreign affairs. But as MSNBC’s Chuck Todd pointed out last September, “No president since George H.W. Bush has had more foreign-policy successes happen under his watch than President Obama,” and Americans have given Obama high marks for his counter-terrorism strategy.
So when some Republican officials and conservative activists need to lash out at President Obama’s foreign policy credentials, they turn to right-wing talk show host and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney for help. Gaffney uses his Secure Freedom Radio program and Washington Times column to level outlandish charges against the president, including calling Obama “America’s first Muslim president” and alleging that he is likely a secret Muslim and raising doubts about his birth certificate.
On Wednesday, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) joined Gaffney in distorting a quote from an anonymous State Department official regarding the successful dismantling of Al-Qaeda and the administration’s aversion to using the phrase “war on terror.” West told Gaffney that the official’s words meant Obama had “signed a surrender agreement.” Later, he pointedly used the president’s middle name in calling for the defeat of “Barack Hussein Obama” and said that the president has been “absolutely horrible as far as the national security of the United States of America and the foreign policy relations in the Middle East.” Rep. West also suggested that “radical Islamist groups” have seized control of Libya after the rebellion and NATO effort which toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, even though Libya’s National Transitional Council explicitly banned religious parties.
Gaffney: Congressman West, just in the past twenty-four hours as you know there is an unnamed State Department official who kind of has personified this witlessness or worse this submission to the Brotherhood with the comment, ‘the war on terror is over.’
West: I know, I’m going to pop a bottle of champagne tonight, I guess we just raised the flag. I don’t know who signed the surrender agreement but I guess it’s all done.
Gaffney: Well if anybody has I’m afraid it’s us, but the question I’m working to get at is, can we realistically expect from an administration that seems to be indulging in this idea, the sort of leadership that you’re talking about on so many of these fronts?
West: No. That’s the short answer to your question. The Obama administration has been absolutely horrible as far as the national security of the United States of America and the foreign policy relations in the Middle East, especially with these actors like you say, with the Muslim Brotherhood, totally misread what was happening in Libya, now we have more radical Islamist groups that are controlling these countries throughout the Maghreb, which is North Africa. So this is why we have to have a sure shift in the leadership of this country and it starts on high with President Barack Hussein Obama and we have to have him replaced.
Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on Gaffney’s show to discuss a recent executive order regarding INTERPOL. In the interview, Paul attempted to link INTERPOL to Egypt’s prosecution of American NGO employees, who have since left the country. Paul blatantly distorted the executive order by insisting that Obama gave INTERPOL “diplomatic immunity.” ABC’s Kristina Wong points out the executive order does not give INTERPOL agents diplomatic immunity and only extends to them privileges regarding different federal taxes and custom duties.
Paul also suggested that INTERPOL is involved in investigations of “religious crimes,” even though the group is prohibited from “political, military, religious or racial” interventions and on Monday “refused a request by Egypt to issue worldwide arrest warrants” for the fifteen US employees. The senator later claimed that Obama “has very little regard for the rule of law or for the Constitution”: very little regard for the rule of law or for the Constitution”:
Paul: As you’ve pointed out in some of your articles that INTERPOL’s been given diplomatic immunity here, INTERPOL has also extradited religious people who are accused of religious crimes from other countries.
Gaffney: This business about the executive order that the President issued concerning INTERPOL is again a place where we have I think we have very, very much the same concerns. Do you believe Senator Rand Paul that we are looking at a President who is disposed, at least in principle, to having this extra-constitutional role played by INTERPOL, perhaps in this case, perhaps in some others, might result in American citizens not being allowed to have the protections that the Constitution affords them from unreasonable search and seizure, among other things.
Paul: Yeah, I think this President has very little regard for the rule of law or for the Constitution.
In another case of right-wing paranoia, sports-reporter-turned-“terrorism analyst” for the Christian Broadcasting Network Erick Stakelbeck told Gaffney in an interview yesterday that Obama is intentionally bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the U.S. and abroad so he and “the rest of his compadres on the radical Marxist left” can work with “hardcore Islamists” to push “the downfall of Judeo-Christian Western civilization.” Gaffney agreed and went even further, saying that Obama has “not only a deep background in the radical left but also of course considerable experience with Islamists, certainly with Islam himself” and is the “personification” of the “Red-Green” axis between the left and radical Islamists:
Stakelbeck: They are welcomed in to the inner sanctum and they are whispering in our leaders’ ears, telling them, ‘Hey the Muslim Brotherhood has reformed, they have renounced violence, we can deal with these guys, you need to embrace them and use them as a counterweight against the really bad guys and Al-Qaeda.’ That’s exactly what’s happening, our leaders are letting them in through ignorance in many cases, but in other cases and I believe in the case of President Obama, he knows exactly what the Brotherhood is all about, and for him and the rest of his compadres on the radical Marxist left, empowering Islamists is just a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Hardcore left, hardcore Islamists, both seek the downfall of Judeo-Christian Western civilization, so they must be embraced by the left.
Gaffney: Wow. This is of course a very powerful indictment, Erick Stakelbeck of ‘Stakelbeck on Terror,’ and I must tell you the only quibble that I guess I would have with what you’ve said is the President brings to the party of course not only a deep background in the radical left but also of course considerable experience with Islamists, certainly with Islam himself, and in a way he kind of is the personification of what’s been called the Red-Green axis, it comes together with him.
ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and ALEC members are on the run in Arizona. As more Arizonans learn about the tactics and operating procedures of the obscure network, the organization and its corporate funders are scrambling to come up with ways to justify their unjustifiable agenda.
ALEC had operated in relative obscurity for decades since its inception in 1973. However in the past year, with the launching of the ALEC-Exposed project, and some diligent investigative reporting from journalists and good government organizations alike, the veil has been removed, and ALEC has been on the run since – in recent months, thirteen companies have withdrawn financial support from the organization and 28 state legislators have renounced their membership.
In response to these developments, the Arizona ALEC network has revealed just how entrenched it is with its corporate funders. A leaked email provided to PFAW Foundation shows that ALEC legislators held an event yesterday morning to discuss ALEC PR strategy – and that the event was being actively promoted by none other than Russel Smolden, head lobbyist of the Salt River Project, a public utility corporation that sits on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board:
Debbie Lesko and other ALEC legislative members both present and past would like to invite you to a meeting thisThurs. (April 26th), 11:00am at AGC to get the latest update on the fight that ALEC is waging in the media against its detractors. We would really appreciate your attendance
Russell D. Smoldon
Senior Director Government Relations
The ALEC agenda is out of the shadows, and its affiliates have been scrambling to come up with talking points to sugarcoat their policies. Unfortunately, no amount of obfuscation can conceal the truth. The ALEC agenda is harmful to everyday citizens because it rewards the corporations who fund the network – nearly 98 percent of it. When ALEC legislators and ALEC corporate lobbyists like Russell Smoldon agree to meet behind closed-doors like they did yesterday morning, their attempts to assuage their image crisis only tarnish their reputations further, for what could they could they possibly be discussing that requires confidentiality?
The following photos are of lobbyists arriving at and leaving from the closed-door ALEC-PR strategy meeting:
[Russel Smoldon (on the right) – author of leaked email, head lobbyist for the Salt River Project.]
[Joe Abate – lobbyist representing PHRMA, among other clients.]
[Spencer Kamps – lobbyist for Home Builders Associations of Central AZ.]
[Marty Schulz – former registered lobbyist for Pinnacle West, now works at the Denver, CO-based firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.]
Click here to view PFAW Foundation’s press release on this development.
Endnote: In November of 2011 and April of 2012, PFAW Foundation released two reports, in conjunction with Common Cause, Progress Now and the Center for Media and Democracy, documenting the enormous influence that ALEC has in Arizona. The reports evidence how ALEC legislators have introduced and passed ALEC model legislation that has damaged communities and harmed the state – from attacks on public education to privatizing prisons to reducing consumer protections, the corporate-backed ALEC agenda has transformed Arizona into an ALEC model state, one that Arizonans, as evidenced by the recall of ALEC member and former Senate President Russell Pearce, are rejecting in force.
Following the release of the second report, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona’s largest utility in the state, announced it was severing ties with ALEC.
And for more information on State Representative Debbie Lesko - who was one of the hosts of the ALEC PR strategy meeting - and her ties with ALEC-sponsor SRP, please check out CMD's post on the connection.
Last month, we wrote a post featuring a video clip from a presentation that David Barton delivered just before Memorial Day back in 2007 in which he made the case that God was pro-war and even claimed that the United States was one more bombing run away from winning the war in Vietnam when our troops were withdrawn.
Today, we stumbled upon a similar presentation Barton delivered at Calvary Chapel in California in 2009 on the anniversary of 9/11. In it, Barton was making his standard claim that War on Terror actually goes back to the 1800s when the US was engaged in conflict with Barbary pirates, whom Barton claims were really “Muslim terrorists.”
During the presentation, Barton mentioned the election of Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and took issue [PDF] with the claim that Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, claiming that John Randolph of Virginia, who served in Congress from 1799-1834, was really the first Muslim to be elected. And Barton insisted that though it is worrisome to have a Muslim in Congress when we are engaged in the War on Terror, the solution is simply to convert Ellison to Christianity, just as Randolph was reportedly converted by Francis Scott Key:
You may remember back in January of 2005 [sic], Keith Ellison from the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota was sworn in to Congress on the Quran - he refused to take the oath on the Bible, said I'm going to take it on the Quran. He was reported to be the first Muslim member on Congress ... Now it distressed a lot of people that we had a Muslim sworn into Congress at a time of a global war on terror. And it's interesting while the media said he's the first Muslim sworn into Congress, I'm not sure that's the case because if you go back to Founding Father John Randolph of Roanoke ... he said "I hated Christianity and I loved Islam." He made it real clear ...
So here we have a professing Islamic person, Muslim, serving in the House of Representatives? What do we do with that? Real simple. Francis Scott Key knew exactly what to do: he converted him and led him to Christ. Real simple way to take care of the thing.
Francis Scott Key did the Star Spangled Banner, but he was an outspoken Christian, he was a strong evangelist and he led John Randolph of Roanoke to Jesus Christ and he became a firm and committed Christian and that's the simplest way to handle the concerns that people may have about who is serving in Congress. So, get another Francis Scott Key.
Before sharing her thoughts on how paganism is making its way through public schools by means of diversity lessons and dreamcatchers, Linda Harvey of Mission America used her radio bulletin yesterday to criticize Ohio’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teachers who are organizing a caucus in their union. Harvey, who once urged parents to reject care for their children from gay doctors and nurses, called LGBT teachers a “danger to our kids” for trying to “proudly” represent “God-dishonoring behavior” to “make sure students can go down this road also.”
Harvey: The [Ohio Education Association] has endorsed and officially recognized a caucus of the union called the GLBT Caucus, which stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Let me translate, this means that among the teachers who are representatives to this teacher professional group, there’s a subgroup of openly homosexual, bisexual and either transvestite or gender-changed teachers who are proud enough of all this that they’ve formed their own group. Are all your red flags on high alert at this point as mine are? Do you sense danger to our kids? Not to mention one sad lie upon another?
Well, take this piece of information and add the following, the same GLBT Caucus in this latest proposal are to have a representative sit on all the committees on the Ohio Education Association and one of the reasons they will serve on these committees is to ‘advance GLBT students’ constitutional rights.’
Sometimes it’s hard to cut through the layers of deception but here’s my take on all this: certain teachers who are open and proud homosexuals, bisexuals, or are confused about their God-given gender, are simply because of their involvement in sinful, God-dishonoring behavior, being given the opportunity to proudly represent this behavior and make sure students can go down this road also. And apparently in our Ohio teachers union there simply is no other viewpoint. Now this hasn’t passed yet so we can pray that it doesn’t. Where I wonder is the Christian Caucus? The Tea Party Teachers Caucus? The Abstinence-until-marriage Caucus? We won’t find them, friends, in our Ohio teachers union.
Yesterday on the American Family Association’s radio show Today’s Issues, Mission America president Linda Harvey told listeners that public schools promote “pagan ideas” and “occult spirituality” to children. Harvey, who last month in an interview with Truth in Action Ministries said that the Harry Potter series was leading children into the occult, now blames schools’ “multiculturalism and diversity” curriculum, particularly lessons that include making dreamcatchers, for pushing children into “occult spirituality.”
Harvey: Our children learn whatever we put in front of them, they are, to some extent, sponges. They’re learning from us as well but if you turn them over to the public school, they’re going to get a healthy dose of this, it’s whirlwind throughout the materials that are presented to them, it’s in some of the literature, it’s in the concepts about multiculturalism and diversity, will bring in pagan ideas. The units they’ll do on Native American spirituality, for instance, you’ll get a healthy dose of what is basically an occult spirituality and it’s given a lot of respect. It’s one thing to read about it, it’s another thing to make a dreamcatcher or go on a vision quest and things that are occult-techniques that are part of Native American spirituality. That’s frequently in the Fall when it they’re coming up to Thanksgiving, that’s what you’ll get in the public schools. You have to think ahead, do you want your children to be immersed in all this? Because they will be immersed in it.
Peter LaBarbara’s and the Religious Right’s long war against Glee has not gained traction outside of the frantic rants of conservative activists, so he has decided to take matters into his own hands and censor a picture of Glee characters Blaine and Kurt kissing:
LaBarbera, the head of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, also republished an article by Pass the Salt Ministries’ Coach Dave Daubenmire on the upcoming vote to restore same-sex marriage in Maine where he refers to gays and lesbians as “pigs” and “thugs.” Daubenmire also praises anti-gay activist and Ron Paul’s former Iowa campaign director Mike Heath and his fellow marriage equality opponent Paul Madore for working “to take on the sodomites in Maine” and “homo-queen Elton John.” Later, Daubenmire asked readers to imagine Barney Frank having sex with the singer-songwriter, asking, “Would you let them put YOUR grandchild into a sodomy-based family?”
The boys are back in town.
Not that they ever went anywhere. But Mike Heath and Paul Madore are teaming up once again to take on the sodomites in Maine.
That is bad news for the gay-rights thugs, and they know it. Heath and Madore are like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Batman and Robin, or the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
They are the homosexual movement’s worst nightmare.
But at least they have scars. Rare is the man willing to take the arrows that come for standing publicly for what he believes. With all due respect to homo-queen Elton John, Madore and Heath can sing “I’m still standing” as they enter the ring in what they believe is the final round against the sodomy crowd.
Permit me to clarify the definition. Sodomy is one MAN inserting his genitals into the mouth or anus of ANOTHER MAN.
Say it again. Say it out loud so your ears hear it. Picture it in your mind. Picture Barney Frank and Elton John in action…Barney Frank putting his genitals into Elton John’s…
That is what they want to tell us is normal…no wait…tell our children is normal. Into that “union” they are asking permission to place children. Would you let them put YOUR grandchild into a sodomy-based family? Why would you let them do it to someone else’s child? Have normal people lost their minds?”
Rev. Mike Heath and “Mr. Maine” Paul Madore are taking the gloves off. They are putting the pictures on mobile trucks and are taking the truth of sodomy to every city, every school, and every home in Maine. Here is the picture they will put on the trucks that they will drive throughout Maine.
Oh, how the pigs will squeal. The sodomites will cry “hate” as if the truth of a picture can be hateful. The Christians in pretty suits will cry “mean” as if being nice ever won a war.
Hey! Listen to me! Send them some money!! They are on the front lines. They know the people of Maine. They are battle tested and uncompromising. David taking on Goliath. Put some gas into their tanks. Redirect all of your giving from the “national ministries” to the two manly men in Maine. Their gloves are off. This is Clay against Liston III, Lewiston, Maine 2012.
If you trust me, trust them. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Help deliver a knockout to the homosexual agenda
Phoenix, AZ – Today, at the request of House Majority Whip Debbie Lesko and the top lobbyist for SRP, a major Arizona utility company, state legislators and their staff held a closed-door meeting to provide an “update on the fight that ALEC is waging in the media against its detractors.” SRP and Lesko are both members of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has come under intense media scrutiny and public criticism for its role in advancing extreme legislation in Arizona and around the country.
On Tuesday, Russell Smoldon, SRP’s Senior Director of Government Relations and a member of the ALEC Private Enterprise Board, sent out the following invitation:
Debbie Lesko and other ALEC legislative members both present and past would like to invite you to a meeting this Thurs. (April 26th), 11:00am at AGC to get the latest update on the fight that ALEC is waging in the media against its detractors. We would really appreciate your attendance.
Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way Foundation, issued the following statement:
“Now that ALEC’s agenda is out of the shadows, they are scrambling to justify their extreme policies to the public. It’s telling that SRP and Representative Lesko promoted this meeting to defend ALEC, which advances policies that benefit corporations’ bottom line at the expense of individual workers and consumers. This meeting demonstrates how the people’s representatives, with ALEC as facilitator, are at the beck and call of corporations and special interests. It’s time to expose those who do ALEC’s bidding and restore the public interest as our elected officials’ top priority.”
People For the American Way Foundation has released two reports in conjunction with Common Cause, Progress Now and the Center for Media and Democracy detailing ALEC’s influence in the Arizona legislature through side-by-side analysis of ALEC model bills and actual Arizona legislation. Following the release of the second report, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona’s largest utility in the state, announced it was severing ties with ALEC.
Earlier this month we posted a segment of Bishop Daniel Jenky’s Homily comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, arguing that the President is “following a similar path” as the two dictators:
Jenky has faced criticisms from groups including the Anti-Defamation League and Faithful America, which organized a petition asking Jenky to apologize. Over eighty faculty members of the University of Notre Dame, where Jenky serves as a member of its Board of Fellows, in a letter said that they found it “profoundly offensive” to “compare the president’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people,” asserting that “it would be in the best interest of Notre Dame if Jenky resigned from the University’s Board of Fellows if he is unwilling to renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy.”
Unsurprisingly, Operation Rescue founder and “presidential candidate” Randall Terry is rushing to Jenky’s defense with a planned press conference at Notre Dame and a letter demanding the faculty members protesting Jenky to resign or repent before they face God’s judgment:
Dear esteemed faculty of Notre Dame,
Have you actually read Bishop Jenky's homily that you so forcefully condemn?
There was not one word in his homily - not one syllable - that was not true. With pathos and charity, he upheld the teachings of the Catholic Church, defended human life and liberty, and rightly rebuked the President for his actions.
You stated that Bishop Jenky showed an "ignorance of history, [and an] insensitivity to victims of genocide." It is you who show a profound ignorance of the history; it is you who show a calloused insensitivity to the victims of the abortion holocaust...the millions of babies who are being murdered under Obama's policies, whose mangled bodies are thrown in sewers and landfills.
Obama is clearly at war with the Catholic Church's teachings on human life and liberty; he is clearly promoting the genocide of millions of babies; and he is clearly seeking to coerce the Church to participate in his crimes against humanity.
Have you no shame? You clearly have little honor, and even less regard for innocent human life. There was not one word - not one syllable - in your letter that condemned or confronted the atrocities being committed by Obama. By your words and your omissions, you show your own treachery against innocent human life, and the teachings of the Church. You have betrayed Jesus Christ, Mother Church, and the babies who are being slaughtered.
The souls of the innocent - who have been dispatched into eternity under Obama's evils - will testify against you.
We call on you to repent, or to at least have the decency to resign from a University that bears the Holy Name of the Mother of God.
May God have mercy on your souls. You are going to need it.
All week, we have been chronicling Bryan Fischer's one-man war against Mitt Romney because his campaign hired Richard Grenell as its foreign policy and national security spokesman and Grenell happens to be openly gay.
But apparently we totally misunderstood what Fischer was doing because today on his radio program he explained that he is really Romney's "best buddy" and just trying to help him win in November, saying that if he wants, he'd "better start listening to me." And Romney can start by announcing, among other things, that he supports the marriage amendment in North Carolina and that he will defend DOMA, reinstate DADT, and veto ENDA:
Earlier this month, Harry Jackson delivered a rather odd sermon at Gateway Church in Texas entitled "Samson Dies Again - The State of Our Current Celebrity Culture" in which he drew various parallels between the biblical story of Sampson and recently deceased pop star Whitney Houston.
Jackson began by reading the climatic passage from the Book of Judges in which Sampson was brought before the Philistines in the temple and pulled down the pillars, collapsing the temple and killing everyone inside, including himself ... suggesting that, in her death, Houston was going to accomplish something similar:
And so I believe that Whitney Houston was someone like Sampson, who was called by God and anointed by God ultimately to be a deliverer of her people to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, like Sampson, she veered away in the sin of her life from her original moorings. And because of her veering away, just like Sampson, some tragic things happened to her, as did him, but at the end, God's mercy is saying I'm going to let you do more damage to the kingdoms of darkness than you did during the rest of your life.
In his Washington Update radio address today, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins slams the American Library Association for a curriculum that educates students about their library privacy rights. Perkins quotes the concerns of Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, a group that encourages parents to challenge “sensitive, controversial and inappropriate material” in school libraries, including such books as Beloved, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
“School libraries,” Perkins says, “are one place where liberalism has a long shelf life”:
In the library, what kids are really checking out is a new ideology. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. School libraries are one place where liberalism has a long shelf life. For years, the American Library Association's been funneling inappropriate material to kids. And stopping them just got a whole lot harder. The Left wing's favorite billionaire, George Soros, is giving the ALA a half-million dollars a year to develop a "privacy curriculum" that teaches kids how to "bust through censor walls," "encrypt their communication," and "override filters." Even worse, librarians are told "to inform students that their book circulation data will never be shared with anyone, including their parents." Groups like Parents Against Bad Books in Schools are fighting back, but they need your help. "If enough parents become aware of how many objectionable books there are in [circulation] and work together in constantly challenging them, things can improve considerably," said a spokesman. Otherwise, what libraries will be lending isn't books--but a helping hand to the Left.
For what it’s worth, here are the American Library Association’s guidelines on privacy in school libraries:
Students as Library Users: Students who use school libraries need to learn about the concepts of privacy and confidentiality. They may not know the dangers of sharing personally identifiable information with others. School library media specialists may face the situation of an adult asking for information pertaining to students' library use. These situations must be handled in accordance with all school and library policies. In an ideal situation, that information would not be released. Teachers should not be able to "check" on students to see if they have borrowed assigned readings or used specific resources. School library media specialists are best served when they assist teachers in developing classroom procedures and policies that preserve user privacy and meet educational goals.