Fighting the Right

Anything But Race: Right-Wing Pundits In Denial Mode Following Charleston Shooting

The confessed shooter who massacred members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, made it clear that he sought his victims out because of their race and wanted to start a race war. However, Republican politicians and Fox News pundits have either feigned ignorance about the shooter’s admitted motivations or have come up with alternative explanations for the massacre.

Drugs

While conservative pundits have blasted people for stating that the attack on a black church was a hate crime — based on statements by a witness to the massacre and the shooter himself — many seem to have no problem speculating wildly about other possible explanations. In fact, the only thing they are more angry about is the suggestion that the shooting had anything do with guns.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, furious that President Obama linked the shooting to America’s problem with gun violence dismissed any discussion of the country’s gun laws, saying that the shooter in Charleston was probably drugged-up.

While Perry called the attack “a crime of hate,” he also described it as “an accident.”

Right-wing radio personalities Alex Jones and Michael Savage also wondered if the shooter was on drugs and even part of a government plot to stir up racial violence.

Religious Liberty

Former Sen. Rick Santorum posited that the attack was part of a larger “assault on religious liberty,” a recurring theme that Santorum and other Republicans use on the campaign trail to blast gay rights laws and the separation of church and state. Lindsey Graham, another presidential candidate, made a similar claim: “There are people out there, looking for Christians to kill them.”

The pundits at Fox News, where many of the GOP leaders get their talking points, were in agreement. Steve Doocy said it’s “extraordinary” that the police called the attack a hate crime since it was “was a white guy apparently and a black church,” positing that the attack was the result of the shooter’s “hostility towards Christians.” Brian Kilmeade said the shooter “hates Christian churches” and Elisabeth Hasselbeck called it an “attack on faith,” all the while ignoring the shooter’s explicit mentions of race.

E.W. Jackson, a Fox News contributor, agreed: “Most people jump to the conclusions about race, I long for the day we stop doing that in our country,” before he himself assumed that the shooter was motivated by hatred of Christians. In a radio show interview, Jackson said that gay people, liberals and President Obama all were culpable since the shooting was likely the result of “growing hostility and antipathy to Christianity” and “the biblical worldview about sexuality.”

RedState founder Erick Erickson had a similar take, even throwing Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition into the mix: “A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and ‘a new normal’ cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness -- overwhelming narcissism and delusion -- and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.”

Abortion Rights

Fox News contributor Alveda King revealed the real reason for the shooting: the legalization of abortion.

“It’s a lack of value for human life…You kill babies in the womb, kill people in their beds, shoot people on the streets, so now you go into the church when people are praying,” she said.

Alex Jones was upset that “the police and Obama keep talking about how coldblooded it was to go sit down with people in a church, and it was, super coldblooded, but isn’t it more coldblooded to kill babies and then go have lunch?”

Blame The Victims

National Rifle Association board member Charles Cotton had some strong words for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine people killed in the shooting, who was the pastor of the church and a state senator: “[H]e voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”

Not to be outdone, the leaders of Gun Owners of America, father-son duo Larry and Erich Pratt, also blamed Pinckney. The younger Pratt, the organization’s communications director, called Pinckney an “anti-gun activist,” while Larry Pratt blasted Pinckney for supposedly leaving his congregation “defenseless.”

Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio similarly accused the pastor of turning the church “into a shooting gallery.”

Who knows?

Jeb Bush opened his remarks today at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority summit by saying that no one can ever really know the true motivation behind the attack. Later, he told reporters that he still doesn’t know why the shooter carried out the attack:

 

Bush eventually clarified that he thinks the attack was racially motivated, but he isn’t alone in pleading ignorance.

Even South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said on her Facebook page that “we’ll never understand what motivates anyone” to commit such an atrocity.

Meet The Republican Candidates Who Have Defended The Confederate Flag

Following the murder of nine people in an apparent hate crime in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, many Americans, including prominent political figures, are calling for South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from the North side of the state’s capital building. Gov. Nikki Haley, who defended the flag during her campaign for reelection last year and supported its placement because business leaders had not complained to her about its posting, said today that “the state will start talking about” the flag issue again following the shooting.

The following Republican presidential hopefuls have voiced their support for the Confederate flag to remain on government buildings and public property.

Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina came to the defense of the South Carolina Confederate flag display yesterday, describing it as an integral “part of who we are”

While Graham did admit to CNN that the flag has been “used in a racist way” in the past, he argued that “the problems we have in south Carolina and the world are not because of a movie or a symbol, it’s about what’s in people’s heart.”

He added that South Carolina’s “compromise” of having both a Confederate War memorial and an African American memorial at the state capitol “works.”

Mike Huckabee

Hoping to mobilize white evangelical voters against Republican “establishment” candidates in 2008, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee demanded his fellow candidates stop asking for the removal of the Confederate flag from government offices.

Huckabee had this to say: “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag…if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole. That’s what we’d do.”

Rick Perry

During his last presidential campaign, Rick Perry came under scrutiny for his efforts to oppose the removal of the Confederate flag from display at the statehouse when he was lieutenant governor of Texas. In a March, 2000 letter to the Sons of Confederate Veterans obtained by the Associated Press, Perry wrote, “Although this is an emotional issue, I want you to know that I oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments, plaques and memorials from public property.”

However, Perry seems to have begun to rethink his stance on Confederate symbols. In 2011, he opposed an effort to create Confederate flag license plates, and in an interview on Newsmax’s The Steve Malzberg Show this week Perry voiced his agreement with critics of the flag that “we need to be looking at these issues as ways to bring the country together. And if these are issues that are pushing us apart, then maybe there’s a good conversation that needs to be had about [it].”

Right Wing Steamed Over Pope's Climate Change Encyclical

In the past few decades, politically conservative American Catholics and their allies in the Republican Party got used to having the public voice of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops serving as a politically useful one that prioritized opposition to legal abortion and LGBT equality. So, needless to say, some are having a hard time adjusting to Pope Francis, whose critiques of the dehumanizing excesses of modern corporate capitalism have dismayed some right-wing Catholics. Now, the Pope’s new encyclical on climate change and care for the planet, which apparently did not pay much heed to an April appeal from “Biblical worldview”-promoting climate change denialists or warnings from the Koch Brothers, is pushing some right-wing pundits over the edge.

Alan Keyes, a far-right Catholic and perennial political candidate, argued that the facts about human contribution to climate change have not been established and warned that “the whole push for totalitarian government remediation of the allegedly terrible damage we are inflicting on God’s creation is a slander against the human race, a sin against humanity being committed as a pretext for the rape of human life, human conscience and God-endowed human liberty.”

The never-subtle Keyes said that when he looks “in the mirror of reason at the reflections Pope Francis offers in his encyclical, what I see looks unlike Jesus Christ (who as of now still comes to save and not harshly to penalize humanity).” He added, “Pope Francis’ reflections look more like Marx, Stalin or Mao Zedong – materialistic ideologues who punished not for the sake of God or truth, but on account of resentful, self-idolizing human will and ideology.”

Over at the free-market-adoring Acton Institute, Kishore Jayabalan was more respectful, saying he welcomed the pope’s encyclical, but wrote that he was disappointed that the pope “seems to blame markets, over-consumption and especially finance, rather than human sin, for all our environmental problems.”

Others have had much harsher words for Pope Francis. The reliably bloviating Rush Limbaugh said the encyclical seems to confirm that Francis is a Marxist, a sentiment echoed by Fox News pundit Greg Gutfield. James Delingpole, an editor at Breitbart, said the encyclical includes “hackneyed language and extremely dubious science you might expect from a 16-year-old trotting out the formulaic bilge and accepted faux-wisdom required these days…” At Fox Business, Stuart Varney warned of a sinister alliance between the Pope and President Barack Obama to “reshape the world by taxing the rich, taxing fossil fuels, and redistributing the wealth.” Right-wing radio host Michael Savage, furious at the encyclical, called the Pope “an eco-wolf in pope’s clothing” and “a stealth Marxist in religious garb,” claiming that Francis will put Catholics “in chains” and is reminiscent of “the false prophet in Revelation, an ecumenical spiritual figure directing mankind to worship the Antichrist.”

It’s not just a bunch of pundits.

The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg notes that Sen. James Inhofe, a notorious climate change denier, “bluntly told reporters that Francis was out of line.” Inhofe told attendees at a conference of the right-wing Heartland Institute, “The pope ought to stay with his job.” ThinkProgress notes that back in May, the Koch-funded Heartland Institute warned that “the Left” was working with the Pope on climate change, something akin to the “unholy alliance of international communism with the jihadi Islamists.”

Republican presidential candidates have also been slamming the encyclical. Jeb Bush, who has talked about his conversion to Catholicism on the campaign trail, has also suggested the Pope should butt out of the public conversation on climate change. “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm,” he said.

Rick Santorum said the church is not credible when “we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories,” not a concern he seems to have when the topic is, oh, same-sex couples getting married or being parents. He told an interviewer, “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”

As many have noted, the pope has studied more science than Rick Santorum. Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of America Magazine and now a senior analyst for National Catholic Reporter, flipped Santorum’s comments, saying, “It's nice — for once the Catholic Church is on the side of science.” Climate scientists agree.

Alex Jones: Charleston Shooting A Government Plot To Start A Race War, Persecute Conservatives

Alex Jones hosted anti-choice activist Clenard Childress on his “Infowars” program yesterday to discuss the Charleston church shooting, which the two agreed was a government “set-up” intended to foment racial violence, which would then justify the implementation of martial law.

Childress suspected that the shooter was “on a drug” and “given instructions” to massacre the church members in order to “cause a race war” in South Carolina.

“He wasn’t just trying to kill black people, he wanted to stir folks up, or whoever advised him,” Jones said, adding that the “this guy with a chili bowl hair cut guy” looks “mentally disabled” and probably not capable of planning such an event alone.

“We’re being set up,” Childress said.

“This is all a set-up.” Jones agreed: “Oh it is. Look at the priming, look at the preparations…. You can see all of the preparation building towards this, this is the big move, it’s a race war to bring in total chaos and then total federalization with this evil Justice Department, they even got rid of the other attorney general who had baggage, they put the new one in for the political persecutions of conservatives and Christians. They’re dropping the hammer.”

Childress added that the race war is all designed to give the government an excuse to “bring in martial law very quickly.”

Gun Lobbyist Larry Pratt Blames 'Anti-Second-Amendment' Pastor For South Carolina Church Shooting

Yesterday, Gun Owners of America’s communications director, Erich Pratt, reacted to the shooting in a church in South Carolina by blaming the church’s pastor, one of the victims of the shooting, for voting against a concealed carry bill in his role as a state senator.

In an interview today with Houston-based talk radio host Sam Malone, GOA’s executive director Larry Pratt (Erich’s father) doubled down on the accusation, claiming that the pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, had left his congregation “defenseless” by opposing a bill that would have required churches to allow the concealed carry of firearms.

“The president and those that look at the world the way he does seem to be unshakably wedded to the idea that no defense is a good defense,” Pratt said, referring to President Obama’s remarks on the shooting. “And there you had a church where this horrible act was committed, where the pastor was a state senator who was a leading anti-Second-Amendment, pro-civilian-disarmament sort of guy. So when the dirtbag struck, he was pretty confident there wasn’t going to be anybody shooting back because they all believed that no defense is a good defense, that’s what they’d been preached about. It’s just, it was so needless. There was nobody who was able to resist.”

“It was a gun-free zone, thanks in part to the pastor, the state senator,” he said, blasting the pastor who supported keeping a policy that allows churches to choose whether or not to allowed concealed carry, or, as Pratt called it, “that stupid provision that if the church wants to be defenseless, that’s fine.”

H/T reader Erik

Lapin: 'The State Religion Of Secular Fundamentalism' Seeks To Obliterate Christianity

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was among the speakers today at Ralph Reed's "Road To Majority Conference," where he declared that "secular fundamentalism" has become an "official state religion" and that, just like Islam, it is seeking to "obliterate" Christianity from American society.

"The only form of sex that the official state religion of secular fundamentalism despises is the sex described as ideal in God's book, the Bible," Lapin said. "All other forms of sex [are] highly desirable and indeed brave and courageous to practice, but what you and your spouse do, that's retrogressive and negative."

"It's exactly what the Muslim hoards did when they invaded Spain in the eighth century," he continued. "They obliterated every sign of Christianity and that's what the state religion of secular fundamentalism does as it conquers our society, works at obliterating the only hope this country has, which is a fervent, revived Christianity."

Gun Owners Of America Blames Slain Charleston Pastor For Voting Against Concealed Carry

Gun Owners of America, unsurprisingly, is reacting the shooting at an African American church in Charleston this week by urging people to carry guns to church. Not only that, but GOA’s communications director Erich Pratt implies in a post on the group’s website that the church’s slain pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was partly to blame for the massacre because he had voted against a bill in the state senate that would have allowed the concealed carry of guns in churches.

A National Rifle Association board member made a similar comment yesterday.

Pratt starts off his GOA post with this image:

He goes on to attack Pinckney for being an “anti-gun activist” who opposed concealed carry in churches.

“One of the biggest problems at South Carolina church is that the potential victims were disarmed by law,” he writes. “In the Palmetto State, a concealed carry permit holder can carry in places of worship with permission from a church official. Unfortunately, the pastor was an anti-gun activist. As a state senator, the Pastor had voted against concealed carry.”

GOA is also circulating a Facebook share image urging people to carry guns to church in order to protect against attack:

UPDATE: GOA's executive director, Larry Pratt (Erich's father), doubled down on this argument in an interview with Sam Malone:

 

Mike Huckabee: Charleston Shooting Could've Been Prevented If Church Members Were Armed

Mike Huckabee spoke today to Todd Starnes of Fox News, who was agitated that the “despicable” President Obama “wants to go after the guns” following the shooting at an African American church in Charleston. Huckabee agreed, claiming he was “disappointed” that the president considered the shooting “a great opportunity for me to grandstand and jump up on the stump and talk about gun control.”

The GOP presidential candidate said that the only thing that could have stopped the shooting would have been an armed member of the church. Channeling the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, Huckabee said: “It sounds crass, but frankly the best way to stop a bad person with a gun is to have a good person with a weapon that is equal or superior to the one that he’s using.”

Starnes ended the brief interview by castigating Obama for “playing politics” and “scoring cheap political points on the graves of the innocent” when he should’ve remained silent.

Rick Perry: Charleston Shooting An 'Accident' Due To Drug Use, Manipulated By Obama To Ban Guns

In an interview today with Steve Malzberg of Newsmax, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry described the mass shooting at an African American church in Charleston earlier this week as an “accident” that was possibly caused by the over-prescription of medication.

(Update: A Perry campaign aide now says that the former governor misspoke in the interview when he used the word “accident.”)

Perry and Malzberg kicked off the discussion of the shooting by attacking President Obama for mentioning the failure to pass gun reform. Perry, a GOP presidential candidate, said that the president is trying to “take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country.”

“This is the MO of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message,” Perry said.

Instead of talking about guns, Perry said, we should be talking about prescription drugs: “Also, I think there is a real issue to be talked about. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.”

He said that such drugs are responsible for high suicide and joblessness rates, adding that “there are a lot of issues underlying this that I think we as a country need to have a conversion about rather than just the knee-jerk reaction of saying, ‘If we can just take all the guns away, this won’t happen.’”

He added that while the shooting was “a crime of hate,” he didn’t know if it should be called a terrorist attack.

Sandy Rios: Obama 'Enjoyed' Charleston Shooting

Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, attacked President Obama today for his response to the Charleston shooting, which she said is proof that he “enjoys” such incidents because it will give him another chance to “remove guns from the hands of the American people.”

Unlike the family members of the victims who offered messages of forgiveness, Rios said, “there are other people who seem to respond and fester and enjoy these problems and make the most of them, and I would include president of the United States, this of course he took as an opportunity to lay out his passion against allowing American people to carry guns.”

She accused Obama of “rushing” to link the shooting to weak gun laws, adding that “all the tragedies remind him that he wants to stop American people from having guns.”

Mike Huckabee: Gay Marriage Ruling Will 'Criminalize Christianity,' Threaten The Republic

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee sent a letter to Religious Right leaders [PDF] warning that a ruling in favor of marriage equality from the Supreme Court would be just as “backwards” and “broken” as rulings which “rationalized the destruction of human life, defined African Americans as property and justified Japanese-American internment camps.”

“I refuse to sit silently as politically driven interest groups threaten the foundation of religious liberty, criminalize Christianity, and demand that Americans abandon Biblical principles of natural marriage,” Huckabee continued. “I will fight to defend religious liberty at all costs.”

The GOP presidential candidate and former governor added that he will never worship the “false god” of the judiciary: “I also refuse to surrender to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law and enforce it, which upends the separation of powers so very central to our Constitution. Too much power concentrated in the courts is a threat to our Republic. I will fight judicial tyranny and return power to the people.”

Dear conservative leaders and pro-family activists,

I share your concerns regarding the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. As you mentioned, any decision that redefines the institution of marriage, which has existed for thousands and thousands of years, would overturn the will of American citizens in more than 30 states who have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Under the U.S. Constitution, we have three, co-equal branches of government. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Branch, and it is certainly not the Supreme Being. Throughout our nation’s history, the court has delivered backwards, broken rulings. These nine, unelected Supreme Court justices have rationalized the destruction of human life, defined African Americans as property and justified Japanese-American internment camps.

The notion that the Supreme Court is an exclusive entity empowered to interpret the Constitution is a modern myth, which has flourished since the 1960s. I reject this idea as just another flawed, failed feature of big government, inconsistent with what our founders fought a revolution to establish.

As both an American and a candidate for president, I will never forget who I serve: my God, my country, and the U.S. Constitution.

I refuse to sit silently as politically driven interest groups threaten the foundation of religious liberty, criminalize Christianity, and demand that Americans abandon Biblical principles of natural marriage. I will fight to defend religious liberty at all costs.

I also refuse to surrender to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law and enforce it, which upends the separation of powers so very central to our Constitution. Too much power concentrated in the courts is a threat to our Republic. I will fight judicial tyranny and return power to the people.

I call on all GOP candidates to join me in this fight to defend the Constitution. If you lack the backbone to reject judicial tyranny and fight for religious liberty, you have no business serving our nation as President of the United States.

Respectfully,

Governor Mike Huckabee

cc: Cathy Adams - President, Eagle Forum

Kerby Anderson - Host, Point of View radio talk show

Tad Armstrong - President, ELL Constitution Clubs

Ted Baehr - Publisher, www.movieguide.org

Brenda Baller

David Barton - President, WallBuilders

Gary Bauer - President, American Values

Jeffrey K. Beene - Colonel, USAF (retired)

Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell - Visiting Professor, Liberty School of Law

Floyd Brown - President Western Center for Journalism

Brian Burch - President, CatholicVote.org

Phil Burress - President, Citizens for Community Values Action

Joe R. Calvert - President, Rabon Calvert Interests, Inc.

Larry Cirignano - American Catholic Citizens

Clint Cline - President, Design4

Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews - Executive Director Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty

Hon. Ken Cuccinelli - President, Senate Conservatives Fund

Bill Dallas - CEO, United in Purpose

Steve Deace - USA Radio Network & Conservative Review

Tom DeLay - Former Congressman

Penna Dexter - Co-Host, Point of View Radio Show

James C. Dobson, Ph.D. - Founder and President, Family Talk

Tim Von Dohlen - President, St. John Paul II Life Center

Ken and Roberta Eldred - Living Stones Foundation

Bob Ellis - CEO, Dakota Voice LLC

Tricia Erickson - President, Angel Pictures & Publicity Publisher

William A. Estrada - Director of Federal Relations, Home School Legal Defense Association

Carol Everett - Chief Executive Officer, The Heidi Group

Kristin Fecteau - Co-Founder, Campaign to Free America

William J. Federer

Robert K. Fischer - Meeting Coordinator, Conservatives of Faith

Mark Fitzgibbons - President of Corporate Affairs, American Target Advertising, Inc.

Richard Ford - President, Heritage Alliance

Kevin Freeman

Dr. Jim Garlow - Pastor, Skyline Church

Gina Gleason - Executive Director, Faith and Public Policy

Thomas A. Glessner - President, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates

Kristan Hawkins - President, Students for Life of America

Kirk Hays

Donna Hearne - Constitutional Coalition

Dr. Carl Herbster - AdvanceUSA

Chuck Hurley, J.D. - Vice-president and Chief Counsel, The Family Leader

Harry R. Jackson Jr. - Hope Christian Church and The High Impact Leadership Coalition

Jerry A. Johnson, Ph.D. - President and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters

Finn Laursen - Executive Director, Christian Educators Association International

Dr. Richard Lee - There's Hope America

Dr. Richard Land - Southern Evangelical Seminary

Tim LeFever - Chairman, Capitol Resource Institute

Loren Leman - Former Legislator and Lieutenant Governor, Alaska

Matt Mackowiak - Fight For Tomorrow

Joseph Mattera

Bradley Mattes - President, Life Issues Institute

Kevin McGary - Chairman and President, Frederick Douglass Foundation of Ca.

Joe Miller - President, Restoring Liberty

Tom Minnery - President & CEO, Citizenlink

Len Munsil, J.D. - President, Arizona Christian University

William J. Murray - Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition

Penny Nance - President and CEO, Concerned Women for America

Rev. Dean Nelson - Chairman, Frederick Douglass Foundation

Troy Newman - President, Operation Rescue and ProLife Nation

C. Preston Noell, III - President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Paige Patterson, PhD - President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Bob Pearle - Birchman Baptist Church

Tony Perkins - President, Family Research Council President, Council for National Policy

Judson Phillips - Tea Party Nation

Everett Piper - President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Bob Vander Plaats - President/CEO, The FAMiLY LEADER

Janet (Folger) Porter - Producer and Documentarian

Dr. Robert (Bob) Reccord - Former Executive Director, Council for National Policy

Elizabeth B. Rex, Ph.D., MBA - President, The Children First Foundation

Richard Rios - Christian Coalition, California Chairman

Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt - Congregation Ohr Ha Torah, Dallas, TX

Austin Ruse - President, Center for Family & Human Rights

Nancy Schulze - Founder, Republican Congressional Wives Speakers

Mat Staver - Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel

Steve Strang - CEO/Founder, Charisma Media

Frank & Sarah Teed - Arkansas Eye Surgery

Eric Teetsel - Executive Director, Manhattan Declaration

Mark Tooley - President, Institute on Religion and Democracy

Patrick A. Trueman - Attorney at Law, Washington, DC

Richard A Viguerie - Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com

Eric M. Wallace, PhD - President & Co-founder, Freedom's Journal Institute

Jennifer L. Wallace - Co-founder, Freedom's Journal Institute

C. Richard Wells - President, John Witherspoon College Rapid City, South Dakota

C. Frederick Wehba - Founder, Bentley Forbes

Dr. Donald E. Wildmon - Founder and Chairman Emeritus, American Family Association

Tim Wildmon - President, American Family Association

Walt Wilson - Founder & Chairman, Global Media Outreach

FRC Official: Gay Rights & Pro-Choice Activists 'Caught In The Snare Of Satan'

At this week’s “Future Conference” at Jim Garlow’s church in San Diego, the Family Research Council’s Kenyn Cureton hosted a session on how to set up church “cultural impact teams” aimed at getting churches involved in political battles. But Cureton reminded his audience that as much as they get involved in politics, fights over issues like reproductive rights and LGBT equality are ultimately “a spiritual battle” against Satan, and their adversaries are not “the people who are pushing these ungodly agendas” but the “malevolent master” who controls them:

The battle is a spiritual battle and it’s won or lost on our knees, folks, I’m telling you. When you think about what we’re up against, I mean, who’s behind it? The Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, right? Who’s behind the effort to snuff out human life through embryo-destructive research and abortion? Who’s behind the effort to indoctrinate our children with these alternative lifestyles, redefine marriage, and even ruin our military? Who’s behind the effort to drive God out government, Christ out of culture and faith out of public life? Who’s behind that? I mean, it’s pretty easy for us to understand as believers, it’s the Devil.

So, always remember that those people who are pushing these ungodly agendas, they’re not the real enemy. We need to have compassion on them and love them and try to win them to Jesus and bring them to the foot of the cross so they can be set free by the grace of God, amen, because they are simply pawns in the hand of a malevolent master, they’re caught in the snare of Satan and they need to be set free, right? So we need to be on our knees about this thing, because if we just fight this in the flesh, we ain’t gonna win.

This, he said, means that in addition to working to change public policy, churches should maintain teams of “intercessors” to pray for God’s involvement in their political battles.

FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, has similarly called LGBT rights advocates “pawns” of the Devil, despite claiming that his group would never demonize gay people .

EW Jackson: Charleston Shooting Result Of Anti-Christian Climate Created By Gays, Obama

Anti-gay pastor and Fox News contributor E.W. Jackson said yesterday that people shouldn’t “jump to conclusions” that the Charleston shooting was “some sort of racial hate crime.”

Instead, Jackson told radio host John Fredericks that the shooting may have been a result of the “growing hostility and antipathy to Christianity and what this stands for, the biblical worldview about sexual morality and other things.”

Just in case it wasn’t clear what Jackson was talking about, he went on to claim that gay people, President Obama and liberals in academia are the ones destroying these traditional values.

In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” yesterday, Jackson similarly downplayed the racial aspect of the massacre, despite the fact that witnesses and people close to the suspect have all said that the shooter was motivated by racial hate.

Jackson, a Virginia GOP politician, also went on a Twitter tirade claiming that “intolerant” liberals are “filled with hatred like [Dylann] Roof”:

Former Religious Freedom Ambassador Debunks Right-Wing Myth That Obama Ignores Christian Persecution

A large portion of Jim Garlow’s “Future Conference” in San Diego this week was devoted to the plight of Christians in parts of the Middle East, including those imprisoned and even executed by ISIS and oppressive governments.

The speakers largely refrained from making strained false equivalencies between Christians persecuted by ISIS and American Christians “persecuted” by having to provide public services to gay people. (The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who has made a cottage industry out of this kind of rhetoric, was scheduled to speak but had to drop out because of illness.) To Garlow’s credit, he also invited Suzan Johnson Cook, the former Obama-appointed U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, to discuss the work that she did in that office.

But Cook was forced to confront some of the entrenched right-wing talking points about the Obama administration and religious freedom when, in a Q&A after her speech, conservative pundit Gina Loudon asked her why “we hear so little” from the administration about efforts to help victims of religious persecution. Loudon’s question echoed the claims of many Religious Right activist who claim that the president has done little to free imprisoned Christians, even when presented with evidence to the contrary.

Cook told Loudon that how much the administration says publicly about these cases does not always reflect the amount of work that they are doing “delicately and discreetly” behind the scenes. While such cases are “a priority,” she said, “many times you can’t tell the story of who’s being persecuted outwardly, because many times their very lives were at stake”:

I think that, you know, government operates in its own way. We’re one agency within a myriad of agencies. I think we have to keep the pressure on. The State Department was very much on it. And, as I said, we have interagency efforts where we certainly worked with the White House. I mean, I can’t defend why it wasn’t talked about more, but what I can say, it was a priority.

… Many times you can’t tell the story of who’s being persecuted outwardly, because many times their very lives were at stake. So there was a family, for example, in Iraq that we were helping get out. Had we made it public, that family would have been killed before they got out. So you have to use discretion and you have to move discreetly, and many times, even though it seems to the public like we’re being quiet, you must know that my days were 16-20 hour days and there was a lot of work to be done … [Y]ou really have to move delicately and discreetly, otherwise some people can not only be persecuted, but they really can be killed. And ultimately what you really want is for the person to be free.

Peterson: White People's Anger Over Being Falsely Labeled Racist Will Lead To More Racist Attacks Like SC Shooting

Steve Malzberg interviewed Jesse Lee Peterson on Newsmax TV yesterday about the shooting at a South Carolina church where a white gunman killed nine black churchgoers in an attempt to start a race war, during which Peterson bizarrely claimed that racism is not an issue in America today.

"[President Obama] implied that racism is still an issue in America today for black people from white folks, when it's absolutely not true," Peterson said. "You have the Department of Justice and others calling it a hate crime even before they knew, before the dust settled, they called it a hate crime, which is encouraging or verifying for a lot of angry black people that racism is a problem."

Even more bizarrely, Peterson then went on to say that white people are being unfairly labeled as racist and so "white people need to start speaking up instead of holding that anger in" because otherwise more violent incidents like this will happen.

"They need to speak out to the country, to black Americans and tell them, 'I am not a racist, I am not your problem, you need to take care of your own life, you need to get married, raise your own children, get away from the government taking care of you, drop your anger so you can see that I am not your problem,'" Peterson advised. "White Americans have been made to feel for the last 50 years or so that they are to blame for the situation in the black family and in the black community when it has nothing to do with white racism but everything to do with the lack of moral character."

White people, Peterson said, are being made to feel guilty and fearful about being called racist which is building up anger inside of them that will lead to more white people carrying out violent race-based attacks like the one in South Carolina:

Troy Newman: Legal Abortion To Blame For California Drought

In a speech to Jim Garlow’s “Future Convention” in San Diego on Tuesday, Troy Newman, head of the anti-choice group Operation Rescue, blamed legal abortion for the years-long drought in California, saying, “There are no coincidences with God.”

Newman referred the audiences to the dozens of doom-and-gloom speeches they were hearing about problems in America and around the world, from gay rights to a supposed impending financial collapse. “I believe that the root cause of all of our problems in this world is our lack of recognizing the sanctity of human life, the baby in the womb,” he said. “When we start taking away the rights of innocent children in the womb, we have no other rights.”

“You see, without life, we have no liberty, we have no marriage, we have no gun rights, we have no property rights, you can’t be taxed if you haven’t been born,” he explained. “So in 1973, when seven of the nine Supreme Court justices declared no right to life to the innocent children in the womb, all other problems sprang from that.”

After Roe v. Wade, he said, the “land was polluted…with innocent blood.”

“Is it no wonder that California is experiencing the worst drought in history when it is the largest child-killer in all of the United States?” he asked. “There are no coincidences with God.”

In a breakout session later in the day, Newman called Roe v. Wade “the fatal flaw of the American experiment.”

“It’s fatal. Is there any wonder that we’ve been on a steep, spiral slope since, going down, down, down?”

UPDATE 1/28/2016: This post has been updated with video of Newman's remarks. The original audio we posted is here:

Michael Savage: Maybe Charleston Shooter Was 'Set Loose By The Government'

WorldNetDaily spoke to right-wing radio host Michael Savage yesterday about the shooting in Charleston. Savage told the far-right outlet that he was just asking the question: Is the government behind the shooting?

Savage had this to say to WND immediately after his program ended: “How can we know? Was he a crazed racist? A programmed killer set loose by the government? Was it the suboxone, a known violence-inducing drug he was likely on courtesy of the AMA (American Medical Association)? Is his father a nut? All we know is that nine decent Christians were slaughtered like chickens in their own church – not in Iraq, but in the USA. And right away we saw Attorney General Janet Lynch on the pulpit, Obama decrying guns, while the band plays on, while his wife, daughters and mother-in-law enjoy shopping in Rome with Air Force One as their royal carriage.”

WND also quoted Rush Limbaugh’s claim that the media is trying to use the shooting to “advance their political agenda.”

“I know that the left and the drive-bys (media) are out now trying to hunt a tea party connection,” added Limbaugh. “You know that’s happening. You know they’re turning over every rock, they’re doing everything they can to try to find a way to link this in a way that would advance their political agenda. And all I’m saying is we’re not gonna do that here in any way, shape, manner, or form. We’re just gonna wait ’til whatever there is to be learned about this. His picture – he looks like a kid. So I’m just gonna wait. We all here at the EIB Network are going to wait.”

Alan Keyes: Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical Will Usher In Genocide

Alan Keyes is quite displeased with Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change. In fact, Keyes is so upset with it that he claims that the Pope’s call to combat climate change “amounts to perpetual imprisonment in a global penal colony under the totalitarian control of a government with unprecedented global powers” and a “crime against humanity.”

The pope, Keyes writes, “demands the imposition of a harsh sentence of perpetual deprivation and servitude upon the whole human race, with a view perhaps near unto genocide,” with the only survivors being “the elitist few and the people needed to cater to their whims.”

“Pope Francis’ reflections look more like Marx, Stalin or Mao Zedong,” Keyes said.

We are called to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to our care. About this there is no doubt. That it is we, rather than God, who are responsible for pervasive and massive changes in the condition of our little corner of the universe is, to say the least, an assertion freighted with controversy. That’s especially true given the fact that the issue of man-made climate change is being exploited as an excuse to advance a totalitarian agenda for the use or abuse of government power throughout the world. The massively life-destroying human catastrophes of the 20th century prove beyond doubt that it is an agenda fraught with evil consequence for the moral, spiritual and material life of the human race.

The “Richter Scale” that indicates the size of the 20th century’s government-centered catastrophes must be calibrated to measure scores of millions of murders perpetrated by governments or in wars that were the consequence of the totalitarian ambitions of the people in control of them. If the facts of humanity’s responsibility for global climate change were incontrovertibly established by dint of the most scrupulously conducted and verified scientific observation and analysis imaginable, the last century’s appalling record of government power abuse would caution against any policies that might spawn more such government-centered hurricanes of fear, oppression and mass murder.

But the facts have not been thus established. In fact much that has come to light supports the view that scientific data were purposely skewed to support a conclusion contrary to fact. But this would be that the human race stands falsely, or at least very dubiously, accused of a great crime, for which the pope is now standing with others to demand the harsh punishment of what amounts to perpetual imprisonment in a global penal colony under the totalitarian control of a government with unprecedented global powers.

More than that, John Schnellnhuber, one of the academics reportedly chosen by the Vatican to explain the pope’s recently released encyclical, has “previously said the planet is overpopulated by at least 6 billion people. Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller and Bill Gates have envisaged similarly drastic goals for planned depopulation, along with the abuse of “vaccines” targeting vulnerable populations to achieve it. So the agenda Pope Francis seems willing to promote, at the risk of slandering humanity, encompasses punitive action near unto genocide against the human race. Those left will amount to the elitist few and the people needed to cater to their whims.

Last I heard, the intent to commit genocide is in one of the things prohibited by “Thou shalt not murder.” Another of the Ten Commandment proclaims “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” But if the climate change allegations against humanity are unproven, the whole push for totalitarian government remediation of the allegedly terrible damage we are inflicting on God’s creation is a slander against the human race, a sin against humanity being committed as a pretext for the rape of human life, human conscience and God-endowed human liberty. This looks awfully like a crime against humanity, perpetrated by way of unproven allegations and outright lies in order to subject the earth to a regime of government that demands that people live by lies.



When it comes to a matter of obvious moral substance (sexual sin) Pope Francis humbly wonders “Who am I to judge?” When it comes to a matter of scientific fact and methodology, he not only judges, he demands the imposition of a harsh sentence of perpetual deprivation and servitude upon the whole human race, with a view perhaps near unto genocide. I doubt that I’m alone in seeing something dreadfully wrong with this picture.

Even if the facts “Laudato Si’” relies upon were scientifically verified (and at this point, God only knows), the harsh sentence demanded would be for Christ to impose upon the whole sinful human tribe, when he comes again in judgment. Yet when I look in the mirror of reason at the reflections Pope Francis offers in his encyclical, what I see looks unlike Jesus Christ (who as of now still comes to save and not harshly to penalize humanity). Pope Francis’ reflections look more like Marx, Stalin or Mao Zedong – materialistic ideologues who punished not for the sake of God or truth, but on account of resentful, self-idolizing human will and ideology.

Don't Turn Political Opponents Into Spiritual Enemies

This piece by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery was originally published in the Greenville News.

Gov. Nikki Haley appeared at a Christians-only prayer rally in Charleston on Saturday. It was an unfortunate decision to lend the prestige of her office to that exclusionary event, one organized by political strategists who view the 2016 elections as an opportunity to turn America back to what they believe are its origins as a country founded by and for Christians.

The event was organized by the American Renewal Project, run by political operative David Lane under the umbrella of the American Family Association. The rally was emceed by Doug Stringer, an “apostle” who promotes the belief that the right kind of Christians are meant to be in charge of every sphere of influence in society, and who has blamed the 9/11 attacks on America turning away from God.

Haley’s video promoting the event invited “everyone” and said it had nothing to do with politics or government. Both statements are disingenuous at best. The South Carolina Baptists’ page urging participation in the rally promised “Evangelical Christians only to lead in program.” Members of the Response “prayer force” were told that it is God’s will “to have His hand-picked civil leadership in place at all times.” In daily calls for prayer in the weeks before the rally, people were asked to pray that the nation would repent for, among other things, political correctness, abortion, and “an unbiblical definition of marriage.” One pre-rally dispatch urged, “Repent of times when citizens have voted for someone based on personal preference and not the will and heart of God, whose values and beliefs were in conflict with His Word.”

Lane is out to recruit 1,000 conservative pastors to run for political office, mobilizing an “army” of volunteers who will determine the outcome of the 2016 elections. Hundreds were scheduled to attend a recruiting session the day before Haley’s “non-political” prayer rally.

But the problem is not getting people involved in politics. The problem is the political agenda Lane’s projects are designed to advance. In Lane’s worldview, America will either be a Christian nation or a pagan nation and there will be no peace until we decide which. He wrote in Charisma in January that “there can be no reconciliation of opposites, particularly the spiritual and the secular.” In one of his many online diatribes he asked, “Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?”

Lane denounces court rulings upholding church-state separation; calls for Christianity to be established as America’s official religion with the Bible as a primary textbook in public schools; vehemently opposes equality for LGBT people; and demands the impeachment of judges whose opinions he disagrees with.

This vision of America is both historically inaccurate and deeply out of pace with our times, in which America’s religious landscape is increasingly diverse and a large and growing majority supports legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

A problem with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil. For David Lane, that’s a self-evident truth. But for a political leader like Nikki Haley, it’s a damaging proposition that makes it harder to govern on behalf of all the people she was elected to represent.

Peter Montgomery is senior fellow for People For the American Way and an associate editor at Religion Dispatches.

PFAW

EW Jackson: Caitlyn Jenner Is Insane, Mentally Ill

Virginia pastor and Fox News contributor E.W. Jackson said this week on an anti-gay-marriage conference call for his National Emergency Coalition that President Obama and other officials are “absolutely leading us in a way that is antithetical to our commitment to Jesus Christ.”

Jackson, the Virginia GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, was especially upset that the president commended Caitlyn Jenner by saying “it takes courage to share your story.”

“So you’re congratulating him for his insanity? Because that’s what that is. That is insane,” Jackson said.

He continued: “That’s mental illness, that’s all that is, and this idea of commending people for their courage, I mean, give me a break.”

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