Fighting the Right

Family Research Institute Applauds Uganda Anti-Gay Bill, Calls Homosexuality Worse Than Murder

Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute is upset that Marvin Olasky of the Religious Right-aligned WORLD magazine dared to criticize Uganda’s draconian anti-gay bill, which recently passed parliament but has been blocked by the president, at least for now.

In a response on its website, Cameron’s group took issue with Olasky’s claim that the bill is “harsh and unlikely to be effective,” saying that harsh measures are needed to curb homosexuality…just like murder:

Laws against murder are harsh and unlikely to be effective (in completely stopping murder). But such laws educate as to what is ‘correct’ and serve as a disincentive to commit murder. Just because we cannot specify how many lives were saved by a particular law hardly means the law was ineffective. Surely the fact that people still commit murder, rape, or theft would not cause Dr. Olasky to label them as “ineffective” and not worth having.

The FRI said that gay people must be treated as lawbreakers as there is no difference between them and pedophiles.

“Dislike of homosexuality, general avoidance of those who practice it, and trying to keep our kids safe from gay predators are hardly ‘problems’ for Christians,” the group added. “How do we show ‘godly love and kindness toward active child molesters?’”

Cameron’s organization capped off its defense of the Uganda bill with this anti-gay rant:

Homosexual practitioners may get pleasure from indulging their sexual desires, but that is far outweighed by diseases leading to a shortened lifespan combined with interpersonal violence, instability, and a life of destructive meaninglessness. Additionally, they are a burden to us all in that they 1) consume more than they contribute, 2) disproportionately disturb social order, and 3) produce few children themselves while molesting the kids of others.

Homosexuality violates God’s first commandment to ‘be fruitful,’ and is at the very heart of Biblical denunciation of rebellion against God (see Deut 32 and Romans 1). Homosexual lust led to the painful incineration of 26 brave Ugandan Christian boys and young men. It cannot be ignored without substantial intellectual and moral peril. Arguably Christianity’s greatest preacher, John Chrysostom, called it the worst sin, worse even than murder. While every sin in Scripture is not to be carried into public law, if this sin is not, what would Olasky nominate and how would he justify it?

6 Things To Know About Potential Iowa Senate Candidate Bob Vander Plaats

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the right-wing group The Family Leader, told The Hill yesterday that he is still weighing a run for U.S. Senate in his home state of Iowa to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

We’re not entirely convinced that the Religious Right activist isn’t just putting his name out there to get attention – one Iowa GOP strategist said in 2010 that he had “never witnessed an ego the size and proportion of Bob Vander Plaats” – but he certainly has the connections to raise money and early polls show that he would at least be a contender for the Republican nomination.

Vander Plaats, who lost three consecutive gubernatorial elections in the last decade, is a small-time kingmaker for socially conservative national Republicans. Vander Plaats helped to spearhead Mike Huckabee’s and Rick Santorum’s presidential caucus victories in 2008 and 2012 and hosted a 2012 Republican candidates’ forum that attracted every major presidential candidate except for Mitt Romney.

His biggest political victory to date was in 2010 ,when he ran a successful recall campaign against three state supreme court justices who had ruled in favor of marriage equality the previous year. An attempt to oust another justice two years later was a bust.

Vander Plaats insists that he isn’t too extreme to win a general election in the swing state. “I don’t think I’m an extreme in America in regards to valuing human life, the foundation of family with one-man, one-woman marriage, and religious liberty,” he told The Hill.

We’ll believe that when we see it. Here are just six of the most extreme right-wing items on Vander Plaats’ resume:

1. Suggested African American Families Were Better Off Under Slavery

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Vander Plaats took advantage of Iowa’s outsized influence to convince Republican candidates to participate in a debate hosted by his group and to sign the group’s “Marriage Vow.”

The pledge — signed by Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry — suggested that African-American families were better off under slavery than in present day: “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

The language was eventually removed, but now Vander Plaats has moved on to comparing marriage equality to slavery and the Dred Scott ruling.

2. Favors Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

After launching a campaign to encourage stronger conservative leadership, Vander Plaats hailed Russian president Vladimir Putin as a great leader for his criminalization of “homosexual propaganda.”

While Vander Plaats commends Putin’s anti-gay crackdown, the conservative crusader hasn’t mentioned if he thinks Putin’s bold leadership includes his suppression of dissent, human rights activism and religious freedom .

3. Uses Toxic Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Vander Plaats has likened homosexuality to second hand smoke, a point emphasized by a Family Leader seminar demonstrating that homosexuality, like smoking, represents a “public health crisis.” He defended the comparison, saying, “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Vander Plaats has even linked homosexuality to the national debt and said that an anti-bullying youth conference dishonors God because it tackles the issue of the bullying of LGBT youth.

According to Vander Plaats, same-sex marriage is akin to polygamy and incest and any marriage equality law is unconstitutional because it “goes against the law of nature.”

4. Loves A Good ‘Faggot’ Joke

Exhibiting great leadership, Vander Plaats burst into laughter in response to a joke about “fags” marrying. When asked why a homophobic joke made him crack up, Vander Plaats explained he was merely trying to “love people” and “speak the truth in love.”

5. Wants to Outlaw Pornography

Vander Plaats wants to outlaw pornography, a principle which he attempted to have presidential candidates endorse in his 2012 “Marriage Vow.” In his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Vander Plaats cited the work of prominent pornography-ban advocate Judith Reisman.

6. Promotes Birther Conspiracies

A big fan of Donald Trump’s “bold” birther crusade, Vander Plaats remains unconvinced that President Obama has a birth certificate proving his U.S. birth.

Dave Agema Is Warmly Welcomed And Strongly Defended By Fellow Bigot Bryan Fischer

If you are a member of the Republican National Committee who is currently under intense pressure to resign due to your long history of making bigoted anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments, perhaps it is not the best course of action to go on a radio program hosted an equally bigoted Religious Right host with an even longer record of making outrageous statements in an effort to defend yourself.

But that is exactly what Dave Agema did today when he showed up on Bryan Fischer's show in order to play the victim and comparing himself to Phil Robertson and Evander Holyfield and others who have supposedly been persecuted for simply telling the truth. For his part, Agema vowed to stand on principle and never to resign from the RNC rather than become a victim of "political correctness."

"Political correctness is taking the place of freedom of speech," Agema told Fischer. "And if you look at what's happened just here in the news media and particularly in Hollywood in the Grammys, they are just shoving this stuff down our throats and very few people are speaking up. And if you do speak up, you can expect to be slammed, and that's exactly what they call it, slamming and jamming, what they're doing to me right now":

Agema, like so many anti-gay right-wing martyrs before him, seems to be operating under the delusion that "freedom of speech" mean that they are entitled to say anything they want without receiving any criticism or suffering any consequence whatsoever.

Randall Terry Defends Anti-Gay Laws: 'The Russians Have It Right'

Just yesterday we added Gordon Klingenschmitt to the ever-growing list of right-wing activists who have come out in support of Russia's crackdown on "homosexual propaganda" and now we can add Randall Terry as well.

On his "Voice of the Resistance" broadcast yesterday, Terry claimed that gay activists "want access to children because they want to recruit them" by exposing them to "sexually stimulating things" and thereby instilling in them sexual confusion that will make them think they are gay.

Which is why, Terry said, "the Russians have it right; we don't evangelize our children into the homosexual lifestyle":

Rios: Obama Has 'Otherworldly,' 'Supernatural Power'

On her radio show yesterday, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios reacted to President Obama’s State of the Union speech by warning that the president has a sinister “supernatural power” that is captivating the American people.

Responding to a caller who warned that “there’s a black cloud over our national capital” that is bringing down America, Rios said that there is a “spiritual” element to the political battle: “I do think what we’re facing here is otherworldly, there is a supernatural power to this president that I can’t—that I think most of us have picked up, those of us who believe in God and believe that there are other forces at work here, but we don’t know what God’s mind is on this.”

Previously, Rios claimed that Obama is no different than Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong.

Santorum On Obama's State Of The Union Address: 'This Is What Tyrants Are Made Of'

Rick Santorum called into Steve Malzberg's radio program yesterday to discuss his reaction to President Obama State of the Union address and, like Glenn Beck, he saw in it the hallmarks of Obama becoming a tyrannical dictator.

Malzberg was particularly disturbed by Obama's declarations that "climate change is a fact" and that Obamacare is the law of the land, seeing in those statements a complete dismissal of the Republican point of view. And that takeaway was shared by Santorum, who heard echoes of the recent statement made by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in Obama's speech.

"This attitude is," Santorum said, "we've heard enough from you folks, it's time to get out, get out of the way. If you don't get out of the way, I'm going to do it myself. And this is what tyrants are made of":

Birther Leader Joseph Farah: I Am Not A Birther!

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, one of the most outspoken champions of the birther conspiracy theory, is desperately trying to cover up his birther history as he encourages the Canadian-born Ted Cruz to run for president. In a WND column today, Farah insists that he never even came close to suggesting that President Obama was born outside of the U.S.:

Now I have seen dozens of blog postings and “news stories” about my commentary, and they all pretty much say the same thing – suggesting or outright stating that I peddled a theory that Obama was born abroad. This is patently untrue.

In the hundreds of thousands of words I have written and spoken on this subject, I have never theorized Obama was born abroad.

Actually, Farah in several WND editorials suggested that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya, based on a discredited claim that the president’s grandmother said he was born in Kenya. WND has also published many “news” articles and columns indicating that Obama was born outside of the US.

The WND editor adds that the Canadian-born Cruz is eligible to be president simply because he loves America and is much more patriotic than President Obama or even Hillary Clinton. He goes on to accuse everyone but himself of hypocrisy on the issue of presidential eligibility:

I’m actually being called a “hypocrite” today for saying I don’t have any concerns about Ted Cruz’s eligibility. Here’s why I don’t: The man has been forthcoming and released his birth certificate – even before his candidacy. It’s a Canadian birth certificate, as we all expected. It lists his parents – one a Cuban citizen who later became a U.S. citizen and the other an American citizen who conferred U.S. citizenship on her son. Cruz is in the process of renouncing his Canadian citizenship. He loves and reveres the U.S. Constitution as much as his Cuban-born father does. This is different than, say, Sen. Marco Rubio. Neither of his parents were U.S. citizens when he was born – neither of them able to confer on their son what the founders deemed “natural born citizen” status. The fact that he was born in the U.S. is of lesser, if any, significance.

Cruz has released all his papers without being asked – even before seeking the presidency. If someone else wants to make the case that he is not eligible, I’ll listen skeptically and respectfully.

Some of the attacks on my column have even suggested I “endorsed” Cruz for president. Listen, I like the guy, but he’s not even running yet. I like many potential candidates. It will be some time before I endorse anyone. To my mind, I’m satisfied. I do not see any potential for divided loyalties for Ted Cruz, which was the founders’ principle reason for including the “natural born citizen” clause in the Constitution. If he ran against Hillary Clinton, I’d enthusiastically support him. He’s much more of an American than Hillary could ever be.

But I’m not here to defend Ted Cruz’s eligibility. I’m here to say that America needs one standard of eligibility – not one for Republicans and another for Democrats, not one for conservatives and another for liberals, not one for people we like and another for people we don’t like.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Launches ‘It’s Time’ Campaign

At a standing-room-only event at the National Press Club today, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice launched a new campaign designed to shift the public conversation about religion and sexuality.

An underlying premise for the It’s Time campaign is that the Religious Right has dominated that conversation and as a result, “an unprecedented number of bills are being proposed – and far too many are passing – that attempt to write one narrow-minded, dangerous religious view of abortion and sexuality into law.”

The campaign seeks to enlist people of faith – the majority of whom support access to contraception, sexuality education, and reproductive healthcare including abortion – and give them tools for engaging in respectful conversation with friends, families, religious congregations, and communities.  Speakers at today’s launch included religious leaders, healthcare advisors, and advocates.

“We all need to be reminded that many, many people of deep faith across this country are pro-faith, pro-family and pro-choice,” said Rev. Alethea Smith-Withers, RCRC board chair. LaTasha Mayes, executive director of New Voices Pittsburgh, said polling indicates that 76 percent of African Americans who attend religious services weekly agree that abortion should be legal and safe.

Dr. Willie J. Parker, a Chicago physician who provides abortion care, said that he is “witness to the torment” of patients who are told when they make the decision to have an abortion “that doing so is mutually exclusive with the faith identity that they hold.” Said Parker, “I believe a compassionate, explicit and assertive voice within the faith community….sets at liberty those who are held captive by religious dogma.”

Another speaker, Aimee Thorne-Thompson of Advocates for Youth, described herself as a secular person who understands that religion has been used as a tool of oppression but can also be a tool for justice. “I want young people to know that they can bring their whole selves to these conversations and their activism, and that includes their sexuality and their faith, if they have it.”

RCRC President Harry Knox, said, “For us, the call to reproductive justice is a moral one, grounded in centuries of spiritual teachings and sacred texts.” Knox recently wrote:

“Religious leaders, in particular, must articulate the simple fact that while people of faith vary widely in their beliefs about when and whether ending a pregnancy is morally acceptable, a vast majority of the American people believe that decisions about pregnancy should be made by a woman, in consultation with her partner and physician, and perhaps her clergyperson – not by the government.”

According to Knox, the It’s Time campaign will be at the Supreme Court in March as the Hobby Lobby case is heard; in Texas in April to nurture a new clergy network committed to reproductive justice; in Tennessee in May to teach people how to “lead faithfully at the epicenter of a ballot initiative fight”; and around the country to help people shape public discourse and be heard at the voting booth.

PFAW

Erik Rush: Norman Lear Opened Door To Satanism At The Grammys

Right-wing pundits continue to express shock and disgust — and hurl accusations of Satanism — at the 2014 Grammy Awards. On his radio show yesterday, right-wing talker Erik Rush cited InfoWars, the Alex Jones-led conspiracy theory outlet, to claim that the Grammy ceremony was filled with Satanic and occult themes.

He blamed this on television producer and writer Norman Lear, the founder of People For the American Way, whom he claims is “one of the biggest social propagandists ever” and responsible for putting “freaks” into the spotlight. (If Rush means that Lear put some of the first gay characters on TV, he’s correct!)

In an earlier broadcast, Rush said the awards show made him want to vomit — even though he admitted he didn’t watch it:

Beck: 'This Was The State Of The Union Where Our President Declared He Would Become America's First Dictator'

As everyone knows, Glenn Beck is a reasonable and rational man who is not at all prone to hyperbole or wholesale emotional breakdowns, which is why it was so surprising to learn that he did not very much like President Obama's State of the Union Address last night, calling it "horrific from start to finish" and declaring that it is the speech that future historians will look back upon as the moment Obama seized control and declared himself to be a dictator.

"Over and over again," Beck said, "looking us in the eye, he said he would use his executive power to get his way. He bragged about it!" As such, Beck urged his audience to note this day in their diaries so that future generations will know the true history, which is that "this was the State of the Union where our president declared he would become America's first dictator":

Some Voter Fraud Myths Never Die

When Allen West lost his seat in Congress in 2012, his supporters immediately cried voter fraud based on a claim that one county in his Florida district had reported 141 percent of its registered voters turning out to the polls. The claim was bogus, because the 141 percent figure was misleading.

The actual turnout in the county was 69.56 percent, while the 141 percent figure represented the number of “cards cast.”

Since the ballot was two pages long, every voter cast two cards, hence the initial report that the number of “cards cast” amounted to 141 percent of registered voters.

Even the voter-fraud obsessed group True the Vote notes that in “St. Lucie County, ballots were at least two pages or ‘cards.’ Policy dictates that each card be counted separately, leading to a total of 247,383 ‘votes’, aka cards, cast. Divide the number by half, then exhale.”

So even though this claim of voter fraud has been debunked, a right-wing group is still citing the bogus charge in its opposition to restoring the Voting Rights Act. Speaking with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today, Bob Parks of Project 21 used the imaginary 141 percent figure to allege that massive voter fraud is undeniable:

An organization of black conservatives says a new bill provides election fraudsters with opportunity to potentially steal elections by nullifying the votes of law-abiding citizens.



Now the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 – sponsored by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers – would create a new formula; and with it new criteria that could force even more jurisdictions to have to report to federal overseers on all matters related to the electoral process.

Bob Parks, who operates the website Black & Right, is a member of the national advisory council for Project 21.

"Having [a] federal government – especially [one] like this one that has an attorney general who picks and chooses which crimes and which offenses that he wishes to investigate, [and] which laws that they will simply ignore – it's ripe for corruption," he argues.

According to Parks, upwards of 19 states have counties with more than 100-percent voter registration. "You have situations ... I believe it was in the Allen West race in Florida where the voting was 141-percent," he recalls. "You can't tell me there's not a voter fraud problem."

Gohmert: Obama Is Santa Claus

Rep. Louie Gohmert, who recently unveiled his bold plan to tax the poorest Americans by taxing some of their government benefits, criticized President Obama yesterday for acting like “Santa Claus.”

Chatting with Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, whom Gohmert had invited as his guest to the State of the Union address, the Texas Republican said he wore a Santa Claus tie to the speech because “we’re going to be listening to Santa Claus tonight promising whatever anybody wants they can have.”

Barber: 'We Know [Obama's] Sympathies Lie With These Muslim Nations And Against Christianity'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver discussed a recent report from Open Doors USA that found that most anti-Christian persecution happening around the world is occurring in Muslim nations.

Barber, of course, used this as an excuse to trot out the standard Religious Right claim that liberals and Muslims are both persecuting Christians at home and abroad because both groups hate God's truth. But the point of the broadcast today was to discuss why American Christians have remained silent while their Christian brothers and sisters around the world have suffered brutal persecution and Barber didn't really know ... but he did know why President Obama hasn't spoken out: because he hates Christians:

Staver: it's one thing to criticize the administration but it's another thing about the church itself. Where are the voices of Christians here in the United States rising to the level of saying that this Christian persecution needs to be addressed?

Barber: Let's parse this out because I think that there are different motives here. When it comes to President Obama, as we discussed in a recent recording of Faith and Freedom, it's pretty clear; for him to criticize these Muslim nations for killing, for murdering and torturing Christians, it doesn't fit the narrative. We know that his sympathies lie with these Muslim nations and against Christianity and against Christians and so it's not surprising that he would choose to be silent. I'm disgusted by it but I'm not surprised by it.

I'm baffled by the silence of the church, as you mentioned, here in the United States and I don't know what the motive of that silence is other than perhaps fear or apathy and it's time for the church to get behind and support these Christians who are being martyred across the world.

So President Obama hasn't spoken out about this persecution because he hates Christians, but Christians haven't spoken out about it either ... for who knows what reason?

We also like to simply note that neither Barber nor Staver have said much, if anything, about this issue in all the years we have been listening to their programs. If Barber is "baffled" by the silence of the church in talking about this issue, he just so happens have a daily radio broadcast and a weekly column that he could be using to combat that, but over the last few years, he apparently hasn't felt that it was much of a priority.

Garrow: Obama Should Be 'Put Down' Like A 'Rabid Dog'

Jim Garrow reacted to President Obama’s State of the Union by once again calling for the president’s death, this time comparing him to a rabid dog who should be “put down.”

In a Facebook post today, Garrow suggested that Satan was behind Obama’s rise to power and called the president a “quisling agent” who should face a revolution.

The Speech:

"The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is at it again. Perhaps a real wolf will eat him so we don't have to listen to the lies. Rabid dogs are put down for the protection of the innocent and to prevent the spread of disease.

Our "loyal opposition" can't even yell "You lie" without offering an apology later and backing down from speaking the truth. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul made their usual attempt at truth telling but like the Scripture tells us "A prophet is without honor in his own land", and they will be ignored unless it is to hold them up to ridicule on the morning talk shows.

In the meantime the meteor of doom continues on its course with the mad man Obama laughing derisively at the "colonialist empire" he is wreaking havoc on and bringing down. The great Satan allowed its guard to slip and a quisling agent to penetrate. His work of devastation is not done and he has spread his manure of deceit across the land again.

The lonely voices of those not addled into submission to the lies find themselves Alinskied at every turn, browbeaten into conformity, or forced to disappear into obscurity for their audacity in declaring the Emperor to be unclothed, and bare faced in his lies.

Obama is revolting in his prevarication, and our response should be to revolt - period.

- Dr. Jim Garrow -

FRC Distorts Harvard Study To Claim Gay Marriage Harms Children

Surprising no one, the Family Research Council is attempting to spin a new Harvard study which found that “children raised in communities with high percentages of single mothers are significantly less likely to experience absolute and relative mobility” as a reason to oppose marriage equality. FRC president Tony Perkins and senior fellow Peter Sprigg addressed the Harvard findings on Monday’s edition of Washington Watch during a discussion of a proposed anti-gay amendment in Indiana.

After Sprigg noted that “if a child grows up in a community with married households, that child will do better than a child raised in a community where there are many single parent households,” he said that the study affirmed his opposition to marriage equality: “This is exactly what I’ve been saying about the marriage issue, if you redefine marriage it’s not going to affect just those couples, it’s going to affect the whole community by setting an example.”

“That study then answers that question: how does my same-sex marriage affect yours?” Perkins added. “Well, it may not affect my marriage but it affects my children because it has an impact upon marriage across the board.”

Essentially, Perkins and Sprigg are arguing that by banning gay couples from getting married, they will somehow reduce the number of single parent households.

Don’t worry if that argument makes no sense to you, because it shouldn’t: it relies on an oft-repeated but discredited claim that the legalization of same-sex marriage makes it less likely for opposite-sex couples to get married.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby found [PDF] that Utah couldn’t provide any evidence to support its claim that banning same-sex marriage was necessary to curb a negative impact on opposite-sex marriage:

The State has presented no evidence that the number of opposite-sex couples choosing to marry each other is likely to be affected in any way by the ability of same-sex couples to marry. Indeed, it defies reason to conclude that allowing same-sex couples to marry will diminish the example that married opposite-sex couples set for their unmarried counterparts. Both opposite-sex and same-sex couples model the formation of committed, exclusive relationships, and both establish families based on mutual love and support. If there is any connection between same-sex marriage and responsible procreation, the relationship is likely to be the opposite of what the State suggests. Because Amendment 3 does not currently permit same-sex couples to engage in sexual activity within a marriage, the State reinforces a norm that sexual activity may take place outside the marriage relationship.

Klingenschmitt: 'It Should Be Illegal To Recruit Minors Into Homosexual Sin'

We can now add "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt to the ever-growing list of anti-gay Religious Right activists defending Russia's anti-gay law, declaring on his "Pray In Jesus Name" show today that "it should be illegal to recruit minors into homosexual sin."

In defending Russia's law, Klingenschmitt explained that recruiting children into homosexuality is "totally illegal in the economy and law of God" and, citing Luke 17, declared that "if you're recruiting children into sin, Jesus says you should have the death penalty."

"It's always going to be against God's law," he said, "not only to be gay but especially to recruit children and cause them to stumble":

Ted Cruz vs. The Religious Right: Is Putin Tyrant Or Savior?

Is it possible to talk about human rights abuses in Russia in the context of the Olympics and not once mention Russia’s anti-gay laws, the rising tide of anti-gay violence, or the controversy over the impact that Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law might have on athletes and visitors? Sure, if you’re Sen. Ted Cruz speaking at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation. 

Cruz, darling of the Religious Right and Tea Party, slammed Russia’s “increasingly autocratic” president at the January 28 Heritage event.  He portrayed Vladimir Putin as a tyrant systematically working to crush Ukrainian independence and reassemble the old Soviet Union. And of course he took the opportunity to slam the Obama administration, which he said was not standing up forcefully for human rights.

Following Cruz to the microphone was Katrina Lantos Swett, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Swett, a “proud Democrat,” detailed a litany of anti-democratic laws adopted in Putin’s Russia, including “religious freedom” and “extremism” laws that give the government wide latitude to discriminate against minority religions, including Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Pentecostal Christians.  She said the Russian government is undermining civil society with severe restrictions on protests and the return of Soviet-era tactics like sentencing dissidents to psychiatric treatment. Swett did mention the anti-gay “propaganda” law in her list of Putin’s anti-democratic actions.

There are a couple remarkable things about this panel, other than finding myself in agreement with Cruz about something (Putin is an anti-democratic strongman).

First, in his 26-minute speech and during the Q&A, at an event about human rights and the Olympics, Cruz did not breathe a word about the raging controversy over Russia’s attacks on the rights and lives of LGBT people. The closest Cruz came was mentioning, as an example of Putin’s efforts to crush dissent, his moves against “a punk rock band.” Cruz joked about his unwillingness to say the band’s name (Pussy Riot).

Second, Cruz is clearly at odds with anti-gay and anti-abortion leaders in the U.S. who have been busily praising Putin as the defender of traditional values and savior of Christianity. Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, for example, has said Putin is being allowed to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has called Putin “the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values.”

In fact there is a whole gaggle of Religious Right leaders who have, as Miranda has reported, fallen all over themselves to praise Putin and his anti-free-speech, anti-gay crackdown. And some of them have done more than just praise Putin. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage traveled to Russia to build support for anti-gay legislation. The Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society is excited about heading to Moscow for its 2014 “World Congress of Families” summit.

Cruz was eager to criticize the Obama administration for not advocating more strongly for human rights in Russia, but what does he have to say about his Religious Right pals who are actively praising and enabling Putin’s anti-democratic moves? And who have attacked the Obama administration’s efforts to promote the human rights of LGBT people abroad? We’re listening.

Prove You're Not Homophobic By Complimenting Your Lesbian Store Clerk's Haircut

Tea Party activist Selena Owens, whose Conservative Campaign Committee is trying to air a Super Bowl ad thanking Ted Cruz for shutting down the government over Obamacare, writes in WorldNetDaily today that she was offended by the “blasphemous” Grammy Awards.

She calls the awards show “a forthright assault on conservatives” that aided the “homosexual advancement” in American culture.

Owens claims that conservatives shouldn’t “be so defensive” about their anti-gay views or “surrender” to gay rights advocates. Instead, she advises conservatives to just show how totally-not-homophobic they are: “Sometimes I deliberately go through the checkout line of the lesbian clerk to drop a few words of Jesus’ love in her ear and then compliment her haircut.”

The Grammy Awards is proof positive that the culture war has unabashedly come front and center against conservatives – let alone Christians.

I don’t watch the Grammys, but in light of all the frenzy via social media over the gay-marriage ceremony that aired live during the show, I decided to watch this segment on YouTube to understand exactly what went down.

What I witnessed was a forthright assault on conservatives.



Are we shocked or appalled that straight couples happily exchanged marriage vows alongside homosexuals and lesbians on national television? Haven’t we seen the signs all along? For decades, homosexual advancement has encroached upon Christians and conservatives. Everything from rainbows to school curriculum to parades have been hijacked by progressives, tossed to politicians and handed down to liberal activists working alongside comrades in the entertainment industry. Macklemore was not ONE voice with a few stage props who sang for ONE night. He adequately represents a culmination of years of erosion of Christian and conservative values through liberal ideology and implementation.

So what should Christians and conservatives do? Complain to CBS? Sign petitions? Blog about how awful this behavior is for society? Those are sound starting places.

I propose this: Be yourself and don’t be so defensive. I’m myself no matter the situation or people. Sometimes I deliberately go through the checkout line of the lesbian clerk to drop a few words of Jesus’ love in her ear and then compliment her haircut. Or I encourage the star-struck 17-year-old to become informed on political issues that will affect her life, then discuss those big hoop earrings she’s sporting. No defense, no arguments, no worries. I remain offensive. I’m me.

Remind yourself that conservative values are still a major element in society, and Christianity is the only answer for cultural depravity. The Grammy folks want us to believe otherwise. They took a blatant shot at us through deplorable lyrics and godless imagery and tried to frame the narrative to say that homosexuality is widely accepted as the norm. They’re wrong. Society at large does not accept that narrative. They hope we’ll throw our hands up and surrender. Don’t do it. Order my book for a “how to” approach to dealing with godless liberalism within society.

WND: Save Democracy By Prohibiting Anyone Who Receives Public Benefits From Voting

WorldNetDaily columnist Christopher Monckton thinks that democracy is in danger, and the only way to save it is by banning anyone who receives any government benefits — “everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare” — from voting.

This proposal would strip voting rights from most elderly and low-income Americans; in fact, nearly half of Americans live in a household where someone receives some form of government benefit. But Monckton says that this massive voting prohibition would prevent the “death of democracy.”

The Union is now in a state of disunion. On one side of the Great Divide, those who work for a living and pay their taxes. Most taxpayers vote Republican. On the other side, those who do not work for a living and pay little or no tax. Nearly all non-contributors vote “Democrat.”



Nearly everyone who is unemployed votes “Democrat.” Nearly every immigrant, at least in the first generation, votes “Democrat.” Nearly every non-white American votes “Democrat.” The GOP know that so intellectually and financially bankrupt an administration should never have been re-elected – indeed, given the scale of electoral fraud practiced by the “Democrats,” he may not actually have been re-elected (always supposing that he had the constitutional right to hold the office of president in the first place).

Houston, we have a problem. America as we knew her and admired her is going down, sinking financially and politically under the tide of takers. For takers are also voters, and that is the problem. The taxpayees can vote themselves more and more and more of the taxpayers’ money.

Yet so little attention has been given to the death of democracy via the growing cost and reach of federal welfare programs that the word “taxpayees” has not existed until this moment. Google it and the search engine will assume you have made a spelling mistake. It will give you thousands of references to “taxpayers.”



First, the federal authorities need to know who is getting welfare benefits – everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare. In the future, if you want a handout from Uncle Sam, you will need to prove to him who you are. If you are an illegal immigrant, sorry, but no more handouts. If you are a lawful immigrant, sorry, but no handouts in your first five years in the United States. Period. If you don’t like that, don’t come.

Very important: If you are claiming any handout, you are not entitled to vote. Taxpayers will have the right to vote, but taxpayees will not. That way, no one can vote himself a handout.

Another Religious Right Tale Of Anti-Christian Victimization Gets Thoroughly Debunked

We have seen it happen time and again: some right-wing group issues a one-sided press release about a student supposedly being unfairly discriminated against in school simply for exercising their Christian faith and the entire Religious Right movement immediately flies into an outrage, spreading the story far and wide as undisputed truth. Then days or weeks later, the real story emerges once school officials are given an opportunity to investigate and explain what really happened and it inevitably reveals that the Religious Right version was completely false, by which point it is already too late because the fake version has already been accepted as gospel and just continues to spread forever.

The most recent example is the story of six-year old Brynn Williams, who was supposedly told that she was not allowed to deliver a presentation on her family's Christmas tradition because she brought the star that her family places atop its Christmas tree, which represents the Star of Bethlehem.

Serial fabricator Todd Starnes was among the first to blindly promote the story:

Brynn Williams decided to bring the Star of Bethlehem that adorned the top of her family’s Christmas tree. She also worked on a one minute presentation to explain that her family’s tradition is to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time.

“Our Christmas tradition is to put a star on top of our tree,” the little girl said. “The star is named the Star of Bethlehem. The three kings followed the star to find baby Jesus, the Savior of the world.”

Before the child could utter another word, the teacher intervened, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom – the law firm representing the Williams family.

“Brynn’s teacher said, ‘Stop right there! Go take your seat,’” Tyler said. “Bryn was not allowed to finish her presentation by reciting the Bible verse, John 3:16.”

Tyler said the little girl was the only student in the class not allowed to finish her presentation.

“After Brynn took her seat, the teacher explained to Brynn in front of all the other students that she was not allowed to talk about the Bible or share its verses,” Tyler said.

The story was quickly picked up by just about every Religious Right news outlet and reported as truth, but now the school involved, which "withheld comment until district officials could finish an investigation into the matter," has released a statement from the teacher and school officials which completely debunks the Religious Right's version of the story.

The teacher, Tammy Williams, explained what really happened:

On Thursday, December 19th my class was getting our classroom ready for our holiday party that was to occur the next morning. We took longer than normal putting things away to ensure that the desks were clean and book boxes were put away so that tables could be used for our centers. This was normally something we did on Fridays. Because of this, we were running behind and I still had six students who needed to do their sharing. I had a very limited amount of time and needed to make sure all students had time to share. Now remember, this is sharing. They were not oral reports. Students were asked to share a family tradition. It could be anything, not just a Christmas tradition. During sharing, I work with students on looking at the audience and using clear voices. We also work on listening skills and asking questions.

This student was not the last student to present as had been reported. I still had a couple of students after her (which was the Student of the Day and the Student of the Week). When she started her share, she pulled out her golden star that I held for her as she pulled out her prepared speech
written by one of her parents. This was unusual because rarely does a student have a prepared statement to read. As I held the star, the student began to read her statement. I helped her with a few words that she was having trouble with. I decided that I would have the student stop after sharing about Mary and Joseph. I felt that it would take too long and I still needed her to take her question and I had a few clarifying questions for her as well. At this point, I simply said the following, “Ok, stop here and you get one question.” She simply put her paper down and picked a student who asked her a question. I also asked her, “Who puts the star on the tree? Do you take turns?” I even suggested that her dad could lift her up to let her put it on the tree. After that, she put her star away and sat with the class while we finished with the other students. I monitor all students this way. She at no time complained or acted sad. She was as happy as always.

I want to be very clear about the following.

At no time did I ever tell the student that she could not read the bottom section because it was a Bible verse nor did she ask if she could finish. I never told her to “Stop right there!” or “Go take your seat!” or reprimand her in front of the class for sharing from the Bible. It just did not happen. This subject matter was never discussed. I decided to stop her at that point so the other students would get their share in before the bell rang. My students have always been free to share their ideas.

What saddens me is that this story was twisted into lies and brought to the media. I have never sat down and discussed this directly with the family or the student. I am instead being used to push an agenda for the Advocates for Faith and Freedom.

The school's principal, Ami Paradise, likewise released a statement declaring that the claims of anti-Christian bigotry made by Advocates of Faith and Freedom were entirely bogus:

Over the past week, I have received countless phone calls and 126 mean-spirited emails from across the country as a result of the claims that the Advocates of Faith and Freedom have made against one of my teachers, the school district, and myself.  These claims are simply not true.

When I met with the parent on December 20, 2013, she shared that she and her husband were upset that their child was unable to finish her presentation and that they thought it was because it contained a Bible verse. There were absolutely no claims of humiliation or bullying by the classroom teacher. No claims that their child was told to take her seat or that she could not talk about the Bible. These claims have been made in the midst of a media spotlight in order to sensationalize a story. The truth is, there were other students left to present before the end of the day, and there was just not enough time. 

Furthermore, when I met with this parent I never told her that her child may not share her beliefs aloud to other students nor did I try to stifle her freedom of speech in any way. I told the parent that I would follow up with the classroom teacher, and I sent her the results of my findings along with the copy of the board policy regarding religion on December 24th, 2013. I have not heard from her since. Not once to tell me that she did not agree with my findings, not once to ask for a classroom change for her child. In fact, with the exception of today, this student has attended school every day since this incident, in the same exact classroom where this alleged incident occurred.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not address the classroom teacher in the center of this controversy-- Mrs. Tammy Williams.  Mrs. Tammy Williams is one of the finest educators I have ever worked with. She is an AMAZING first grade teacher, taught my own son last year, and I would not hesitate to put my younger son in her class. She does not deserve the harassment or bullying that she has received, the questioning of her professional skills or judgment, or the claims that she harmed this child in any way. 

I stand behind Mrs. Tammy Williams 110% and find it extremely unfortunate that the Advocates for Faith and Freedom have irrevocably caused damage to her good name. The days will pass and this story will not be at the top of the news for long, but the damage that it has done to the good names of Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School, Mrs. Tammy Williams, and myself will be difficult to repair.

We literally cannot even count the number of times we have seen this exact scenario play out over the years as Religious Right groups gin up an entirely fake controversy in order to play the victim, which then spreads far and wide before officials have even had an opportunity to comment. And we will undoubtedly continue to see it happen again and again so long as people like Starnes and others in the Religious Right grievance machine feel justified in pushing blatantly false stories because doing so helps them advance their agenda.

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