As the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out in wake of the Lafayette, Louisiana, shooting, “in the last five years, an attack from the radical right was carried out or thwarted on average every 34 days and that the overwhelming majority of those attacks, 74 percent, were carried out by a single person, or a group of no more than two people.”
However, the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to monitor anti-government fanatics, who have carried out far more lethal attacks on Americans in recent years than Islamic extremists, was severely crippled after a 2009 dispute over a Department of Homeland Security report [PDF] on domestic right-wing terrorists.
The Right saw an opportunity to stir up a fake controversy in order to raise money, reinforce the narrative of conservative activists as victims and provoke animosity toward President Obama. In the process they helped make it harder for DHS to investigate a very real threat to American security.
The report [PDF] specifically assessed “lone wolves” who hold “violent rightwing extremist ideology” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States” bent on “commit[ing] violent acts,” noting that “white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy.”
But apparently the disbandment of Homeland Security’s team combating such violent extremists was worth it so right-wing groups could raise money and whip up completely unfounded fears of anti-conservative persecution.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
Have Michigan and Seattle, Washington, embraced Sharia law? Did the Supreme Court legalize pedophilia and bestiality? Is Hillary Clinton a Muslim Brotherhood spy? All of these questions are ridiculous, but not so off-base that conservative pundits aren’t taking them seriously.
5) Seattle Embraces Sharia
The mayor of Seattle recently charged a committee with finding ways to improve the city’s rate of homeownership. Among the proposals the city came up was a recommendation to make it easier for Muslim residents who, for religious reasons, cannot pay interest on loans, to purchase homes through a structured payment plan.
Religious Right leaders have long been warning that parts of Michigan arefallingtoSharialaw, warnings that may have played a role in one Michigan’s town decision to reject the establishment of a summer camp because the project’s organizer is a Muslim.
As the Huffington Post reported, several residents complained to the local planning commission that the summer camp, which would not have any religious affiliation, could be used as a “training camp” for terrorists.
“I have heard on the news that in every state in the United States we have an ISIS group,” one resident said, while another wondered if there was “anything written on paper that says this isn’t going to be turned into a terrorist training facility.” One official told the Huffington Post that “the whole state of Michigan should be worried” since there are “15 organizations” with possible terrorist ties that are trying to open training camps.
The commission ultimately voted to deny a permit to build the summer camp.
3) Gay Marriage Devastation
The ripple effects of the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality continue, at least in the reality-free world of the right-wing media.
Televangelist Pat Robertson said that the court’s ruling paves the way for the legalization of pedophilia, polygamy and “love affairs between men and animals,” while Janet Porter said that very soon Christians will be “carted off to jail” as a result of the Obergefell decision.
But pseudo-historian David Barton’s sharp legal analysis truly demonstrated how out of touch the conservative movement really is on the issue, as he claimed that the court effectively legalized pedophilia with the help of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which he said became law in 2006.
The government’s supposed Islamist ties, Savage predicted, may soon pave the way for a “civil war,” which he said would be “overdue” and “the only thing that could save us.”
Savage also told the “criminal in the White House” that he would personally lead an armed rebellion if anyone ever calls for slavery reparations: “I would lead a reparations rebellion in this country. No matter what my age would be, if I had the strength from God, I would lead a reparations rebellion against the government and it would be an armed rebellion. I would lead an armed rebellion against the government if they try to push that one down my throat after ripping off my life with affirmative action and welfare, I’m sick of it!”
Last year, a Nevada rancher who boasts that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing” become a hero of Fox News pundits and other conservative commentators for refusing to pay grazing fees he owes the government.
Despite predictions that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s incendiary comments on immigrants and POWs, among others, would sink his presidential campaign, Trump has maintained his lead in polls and is receiving plenty of backup from his allies at Fox News and in conservative talk radio.
Fox’s resident “culture war” reporter and super-patriot Todd Starnes has also been defendingTrump, even after the presidential candidate said of POWs like John McCain: “I like people who weren't captured.”
Yesterday on the Family Research Council's “Washington Watch” program, Starnes told FRC President Tony Perkins that Trump is a voice for the voiceless: “The American people see all of this and they see the illegals coming into our country, they see the massive surge from Islamic countries, immigrants coming here and towns and communities being overwhelmed, and they don’t feel like anyone is hearing their voice, except for one person, Donald Trump.”
Michael Savage, the right-wing talk show host who credited his own book with shaping Trump’s views on immigration, praised Trump this week as “the leader of the entire conservative movement in America and maybe the world.”
“He’s the leader of the Western world,” Savage said. “Donald Trump has moved up to being the leader of the whole Western world right now with his love for America, love for borders, language, culture, family, military, he’s the only one articulating those views.”
After the caller said that the Supreme Court's recent marriage equality decision is weakening "the hedge of protection coming across us,” Perkins readily agreed that God will lift His protective hand from the U.S. as a result of gay people getting married.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Perkins replied, adding that with the Obergefell ruling, we “put ourselves in a very vulnerable position” just like in “1973 when the court basically said it’s open season on the unborn, there were consequences to that and I believe it’s a part of removing God’s hand of protection upon a nation.”
Sam Rohrer of the American Pastors Network once again appeared on The Dove TV yesterday to warn that the United States has forfeited its role as the leading moral voice in the world because of the Obama administration's record of speaking out against draconian anti-gay laws in other nations, declaring that Russia under Vladimir Putin is now the "moral leader of the world."
"The moral position leadership of our country has been forfeited," the former Pennsylvania Republican legislator said. "Our administration is trying to tie together foreign aid into countries in Africa that have actually passed laws against homosexuality and in favor of traditional marriage. They're trying to use and force these countries to actually embrace same-sex marriage. Our country, this nation is probably doing more to advance the face of same-sex marriage than anything else."
"I look over to Russia, Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church has now lifted themselves up as the moral leader of the world," Rohrer continued. "Believe it or not, Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church [are] the protectors of moral truth. The West and the United States have become the leaders of moral depravity."
"To now see that we have become, not a shining city on a hill, but a purveyor of evil" is an incredible thing, Rohrer said.
Rohrer appears to be so elated by Russia's crackdown on gays that he doesn’t seem to mind the regime's crackdown on evangelicals.
As we noted earlier this month, the fact that Theodore Shoebat consistently calls for gays to be put to death has not prevented him from regularly being interviewed on Religious Right news programs or appearing in an anti-gayfilm alongside several Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates.
Today, he posted a new column warning that the proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to lift the ban on gay scout masters is all part of an effort to "transform the Scouts into a Nazi-like gay youth club" that will be used to attack Christianity .... and that is why "there is only one solution to the homosexual agenda, and that is death":
The Boy Scouts are expected to be accepting openly adult homosexual leaders, and this most dangerous move will only further enable these sodomites to rape and sexually molest young boys and male youths ... You will have sodomite Scout leaders with young men, 15 or 16 years old, what do you think is going to be occurring in those sodomites’ minds? Evil, filthy, unnatural lusts, lusts that will eventually be carried out, with the Scout leader sodomizing his innocent victims ... Mark my words, when the decision to accept openly homosexual Scout leaders is made, expect the homosexuals to sodomize and rape young boys and male youths. Expect them to groom young boys and recruit them into the homosexual cause, as they have been doing for so many years now.
The sodomites molest children and teenagers, and groom them, and from such you have an army of advocates wanting the whole world to be molested.
But will you do anything about it? I doubt it.
Haven’t you people learned from the Holy Scriptures? Do not the sublime words of the prophets and the Apostles warn us and tell us? Does not the Scriptures tell us about how the people of Sodom wanted to rape the angels; does not the Scriptures tell us of the evil Benjaminites who wanted to rape the men in the house (Judges 19); does not the Apostle Paul tell us in Romans that the homosexuals are full of murder and are “inventors of evil things” (Romans 1:30)
We have ignored these words. For if we didn’t, we would know that the sodomites are constantly contriving all sorts of evils. If they want to enter the Boy Scouts, its for evil; if they want to enter the military, its for evil; if they want to enter the schools, its for evil; sports, its for evil; the Church, its for evil.
I believe that the reason why the homosexuals want to enter the Boy Scouts is because they want to recruit young boys, and transform the Scouts into a Nazi-like gay youth club; young brainwashed children who can be used as soldiers against Christianity.
This is why I say that there is only one solution to the homosexual agenda, and that is death. What does the Scriptures say? “ If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)
Yet this most erudite law is ignored, hated, or treated with contempt by modern Christians.
Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has repeatedly called recent Supreme Court decisions on marriage and health care reform “tyranny.” On Wednesday, he used his platform as chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts to hold a hearing on “Supreme Court activism” in which he said that the marriage equality ruling was “the very definition of tyranny” and that “Justice Kennedy’s pop psychology has no basis in the text and history of the Constitution.”
The call and response chant, “Tell me what democracy looks like,” “This is what democracy looks like!” rang true as activists rallied against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) during its annual meeting in San Diego this week.
ALEC is a far-right organization that connects corporate executives to policy makers in order to craft and enact state-by-state legislation that raises corporate profits while stomping on the rights and economic prospects of working families. For instance, ALEC is behind Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070 law and the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida that helped George Zimmerman to walk free.
At the protest, more than a thousand participants from faith communities, labor unions, environmental groups, immigration groups, and more proclaimed that ALEC corrupts democracy by allowing corporations to – literally – buy a seat at the table with state legislators. Common Cause President Miles Rapoport described the ALEC meeting as “a festival of closed-door deal-making by politicians, corporate executives and lobbyists. They gather to do the public’s business in private, fashioning legislation that undercuts the public interest.”
Civil rights leader and People For the American Way board member Dolores Huerta revved up the crowd, telling activists, “The only way we can stop [ALEC] is to go back to our communities, we’ve got to organize. People do not know how perilous this organization is. Let’s say ‘abajo (that means down) con ALEC!’”
After Huerta’s speech, activists – including a Young Elected Official (YEO) with the YEO Network, a project of People For the American Way Foundation – sought out Huerta to introduce themselves and share the work they're doing in their communities.
Activists then walked to the hotel where the ALEC meetings are being held to continue the protest. Huerta and others highlighted the message that Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker – who spoke this morning at the conference – and ALEC are unified in their support for corporations at the expense of working families.
In addition to participating in the rally, PFAW released Spanish- and English-language digital ads criticizing Walker for his alliance with ALEC. The Huffington Post also published an opinion piece yesterday by Huerta that details the anti-immigrant, anti-worker efforts of ALEC and how Walker has a long history of partnering with ALEC.
As we’ve noted, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins oftenspeakswithsomeveryinterestingcallers on his “Washington Watch” radio program, and yesterday’s edition was no different, as one caller told Perkins that Jewish tradition predicts a massive civil war and martial law coming to the U.S.
“Our leader, the super-left-socialist-Marxist-Muslim that we have in our Oval Office, is bringing this country down to its knees and our faith is being battered,” the caller said. “We are going to be persecuted, the day is here, the fight is on, we have to stand. And here’s the striking thing about it: Next year marks, in September and October, marks the Jewish moth of the Shemitah.”
“You’re right,” Perkins responded.
But the caller wasn’t done yet: “We will see martial law come into this country, next year. President Obama likes to be a president, likes the power, he’s not done and he is going to usher in a time when an election will not take place in this country and there will be civil disobedience in this country and the Civil War was peanuts compared to what we’re going to see.”
Perkins then said that while it would “take me a whole week to unpack all of that,” he plans to bring messianic rabbi and Religious Right activist Jonathan Cahn onto his radio show to discuss “from a historical perspective as well as a biblical perspective” the “interesting stuff” involved in the Shemittah. According to Cahn, the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2008 Financial Crash were all part of the Shemittah cycle.
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage reacted to the shooting of military service members in Chattanooga last week by railing against the media and the government for supposedly trying to cover up any mention of the shooter’s religion.
Savage said on his program Friday that Americans will be driven to civil war if the media try to portray terrorist attacks as anything other than Islamic terrorism, a war he thinks is needed to save the country.
“I don’t know what it’s going to take for this country to change — I do know what it’s going to take, it’s going to take the big one. It’s going to take the big one and mark my words if, God forbid, the big one comes, like the dirty bomb or something horrible like that, you’re going to wait and see what the media says, ‘We provoked it, we shouldn’t have been in Afghanistan, we’re not sensitive to Muslims, what did we do to offend them, we have to reach out,’ that’s the end of the road, there’ll be a civil war,” Savage said. “And by the way, it’ll be overdue. That’s the only thing that could save us.”
He added that while he hopes there isn’t a war, America’s enemies have already “infiltrated” the government, which is now pushing the people to the breaking point since it is “at war with us by enabling the enemies of our very survival.”
David Barton, a Religious Right activist often hailed as the movement's premier historian, has a habit of promoting wildly revisionist history (including about his own life) to an enthusiastic conservative audience. So we were somewhat surprised today when Barton delivered a forceful condemnation of revisionist history about the cause of the Civil War.
On his "WallBuilders Live" radio program today, Barton took a question from a listener on the controversy over the Confederate flag and the idea that the Civil War was really fought over the principle of states' rights and not the issue of slavery.
Barton outright rejected this sort of "revision of history" and spent more than ten minutes explaining that the Civil War was explicitly fought over the issue of slavery, as he declared that it appalls him to see schools named after Confederate generals like Nathan Bedford Forrest and compared the actions of Confederate soldiers to ISIS.
"It was not about states' rights," Barton said. "It was about slavery."
As Barton explained, the documents written and speeches given by those who supported secession regularly cited the preservation of slavery as the primary factor. The idea that the Civil War was fought to protect states' rights, Barton said, is absurd considering that the Confederate constitution explicitly prohibited states from abolishing slavery.
"It was not about states' rights, it was about slavery," Barton said. "What we've seen as a result of this is a lot of revision of history. And today, it literally appalls me to see that throughout the south, they still have elementary schools named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was one of the great Confederate generals in the Civil War. But you know, Nathan Bedford Forrest was also the founder of the Ku Klux Klan ... We've got elementary schools named after a great murderer?"
Barton went on to praise the removal of the Confederate flag from outside the South Carolina capitol and elsewhere, saying that those who fly it and defend it "know nothing" about its history or the "values" it represented.
To make his case, Barton cited the massacre at Fort Pillow, in which Bedford's Confederate troops ruthlessly murdered hundreds of surrendering black Union soldiers.
"When the blacks surrendered, when Union forces surrendered, having surrendered, they slaughtered them on the spot," Barton said. "I mean, ISIS-like atrocities: they skinned 'em, they burned them alive, the buried 'em, they drowned 'em, the drug 'em, they hung 'em. These were guys who surrendered, they were prisoners of war. The Confederacy had a standing order that any black that you capture is to be killed on the spot. That's not similar values to the north, we're not talking the same value base here."
Barton went on to liken Confederate prisoner of war camps for Union soldiers to Nazi death camps as he revealed that of all the official prayer proclamations that he collects for this library, he will not accept any Confederate proclamations from the likes of Jefferson Davis "because what they were praying for to God is like ISIS praying."
"Look at the pictures, read the accounts," Barton said. "Read what happened to blacks, read the hearings in Congress on the various things that were done to blacks. It's not human. It's what Germans did to Jews, saying 'Well, they aren't human, we can do this to them.'"
Barton said that he realizes that lots of Confederate leaders and soldiers were strong Christians "but that doesn't mean what they fought for was right ... The bottom line is you judge a tree by its fruits and the states' right they fought to preserve was that of keeping blacks as non-people, as non-humans and they treated blacks and they treated Union soldiers in that manner and that's just unacceptable."
We look forward to folks like Todd Starnes now relentless attacking Barton for engaging in "cultural cleansing."
John Zmirak, the conservative columnist and senior editor of James Robison’s “The Stream” website, told Wisconsin talk radio host Vicki McKenna on Tuesday that President Obama wants to “padlock” the black church in Charleston that was targeted by a racist gunman even as he supports “the most racist organization in the country,” Planned Parenthood.
Zmirak managed to tie together two false right-wing memes, claiming that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision will cause churches to lose their tax-exempt status (it won’t) and that Planned Parenthood is selling “babies’ brains and livers for profit” (it isn’t).
“Let’s keep in mind that the Obama administration is talking about taking away the tax exemption of churches that won’t perform same-sex marriages, but they’re going to keep a tax exemption for an organization that sells babies’ brains and livers for profit,” he said. “Wrap your mind about that one and then think of Barack Obama singing ‘Amazing Grace’ with a straight face in Christian church.”
“By the way, the church where he sang will lose its tax exemption and probably have to close,” he continued. “That black church where there was that horrible shooting in Charleston, they don’t do same-sex marriages. So Obama, even though he sang there, his people are getting ready to padlock the place but they won’t padlock the abortion mills of Planned Parenthood. That’s the kind of bizarre world we live in.”
McKenna concurred, citing a debunked right-wing myth that Planned Parenthood “has had as its goal the elimination of black children because black people, according to its founder, were unfit, unfit, we need to reduce the number of black people having children because black people are lesser humans.” Instead of focusing on the Confederate flag, she said, the U.S. should just “get rid of Planned Parenthood.”
“Absolutely,” Zmirak agreed. “Planned Parenthood is the most racist organization in the country. As far as I know, even the Ku Klux Klan does not advocate killing black people. They have a lot of despicable views, but they don’t actually talk about extermination. Planned Parenthood is actually doing it.”
Earlier this week, David Barton appeared on Missions Radio, where he doubled down on his false claim that the Supreme Court ruling striking down gay marriage bans has now legalized pedophilia, asserting that churches will be forced to hire child molesters to run their day care centers.
After repeating his false warning that gay marriage will lead to the elimination of gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms, Barton claimed that the ruling, along with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which he wrongly asserted was passed into law in 2006, will now also force churches to hire pedophiles.
"The Supreme Court said gender cannot be used as a basis of why you do things," Barton said, "what you use is sexual identity. At this point, there are 82 distinct sexual identities ... so whatever I identify myself as this morning, you now have legal standing for that. So what you've seen is, we used to have bathrooms based on gender, but you can't identify gender so now you have to do no genders. So we've already seen in Utah that a number of guys have signed up and moved into the girl's dorms and you can't stop that because you can't base it on gender any more. Well, guess what that's going to mean for sports teams, guess what that's going to mean for bathrooms all across the country, guess what that's going to mean for all sorts of stuff."
"And then, Congress has passed what’s called ENDA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he continued, "passed this in '06 under [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid and at that point in time, it says you cannot discriminate on the basis of hiring. As a result, the president has now announced that faith based groups have to hire homosexuals; not an option, you have to because federal law says you cannot discriminate on the basis of identity. So if a pedophile comes to the church and says, 'I want to run your nursery,' you can’t say no because that’s discriminating on the basis of identity. If a homosexual comes and says, 'I want to be your youth director' and you say no, you can’t do that, you can’t distinguish on the basis of gender."
Barton is completely wrong about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It never passed both houses of Congress during the same session, and it is not law today. It was not introduced in the 109th Congress (2005-2007). As an aside, the House speaker during that Congress was Dennis Hastert and the Senate president was Dick Cheney. ENDA passed the House in the next Congress but not the Senate. Another version of the legislation passed the Senate in 2013 but not the House.
Barton told Mitchell’s audience that President Obama’s executive order forbidding discrimination by federal contractors came “as a result” of ENDA. Not so. Barton claims faith based groups have to hire homosexuals. However, this order only applies to federal contractors not all faith based groups. Then he uncorked a doozy by claiming that churches have to hire pedophiles who want to run church nurseries. Of course, this is ridiculous fear mongering.
Stop a minute to think about that claim. Anyone who has any knowledge of church work or volunteer work with children knows Barton’s claim is ridiculous. In many schools, you can’t volunteer to accompany your child’s classroom on a field trip without criminal and child abuse clearances. In recent years, churches have been required by liability insurers to screen all volunteers before working with children. Barton’s claims are absurd and irresponsible.
You see, evangelical voters love how “Trump operates in a world of absolutes,” which Brody says is similar to how evangelicals operate, and will even excuse his claim that he never seeks forgiveness from God since his “honesty resonates with them.”
Of course, Trump’s “bold,”“absolutist” image is nothing but a myth.
As Christopher Massie and Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed helpfully note in “A Guide To The Radical Left Wing Ideology And Flip-Flops Of Fake Conservative Donald J. Trump,” Trump has previously endorsed universal healthcare, the 2009 economic stimulus, abortion rights and stricter gun laws. While similar “sins” made Mitt Romney an unacceptable candidate to many on the far-right, at least until he won the GOP nomination, it seems that Trump gets a pass because of his new image as an outspoken shouter of the unvarnished truth.
The only thing that Brody gets right about Trump is that he has a “hefty ego,” but that is also the only aspect of his character that Brody wishes Trump will change.
Donald Trump operates in a world of absolutes. A world of right and wrong; a world of winners (him) and losers (McCain, Perry, etc); a world of put up or shut up (literally). Trump’s world is colored in black and white. Their ain’t much grey. And what does Trump get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? Public ridicule.
Now, think of conservative evangelicals. In their quest to champion biblical values, their mindset is much the same. It is a world of absolutes. They believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. Non-negotiable. They believe there is only one way to heaven and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Non-negotiable. They see the world through the lens of spiritual warfare (good vs. evil). And what do evangelicals get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? That’s right: public ridicule.
You see folks; Donald Trump and evangelicals are breaking bread together because there is this common bond that I just laid out above. They like his boldness. They relate to him because when they’ve been bold about their faith they get blasted too. It’s a kinship in a strange sort of way. Don’t ask me to go deeper than that folks. If you want that portion, go call Dr. Phil.
Here’s the point with evangelicals: they’d rather someone be honest about their views about God. The honesty resonates with them and you know what evangelicals will probably end up doing? Instead of hating Trump, they’ll put him on a church “prayer chain” and get on their knees themselves and pray that Donald Trump draws closer to God through this process. Liberals don’t snicker. It’s true.
One final point: when I talk to evangelicals about Donald Trump, as much as they like a lot of things he says, they don’t appreciate his name-calling and hefty ego. What they tell me is that if he can control those two aspects of his delivery and persona without losing who he is as a person, then that would help them get to an even more comfortable place.
In Croatia, a county court has upheld a ruling of the Zagreb Municipal Court that Zagreb Pride, an LGBT rights group, had violated the personal honor and dignity of a journalist by placing her on its annual list of candidates for “homophobe of the year” in 2013. The Court ruled that Zagreb Pride must pay more than 41,000 krona (a bit over $6,000) in fines and court fees. Zagreb Pride officials contend this case is an outgrowth of an organized campaign by conservative Catholic groups and their allies that led to a 2013 referendum banning marriage by same-sex couples.
The journalist, Karolina Vidović-Krišto, had been placed on the list after producing a television segment in December 2012 which used the research of American anti-gay activist Judith Reisman, who is affiliated with Liberty University, to criticize sex-education curricula. When Vidović-Krišto was suspended by state television after the show, Reisman rallied to her defense, and the journalist was reportedly among those who helped organize Reisman’s 2013 trip to Croatia. Reisman also visited in 2014.
said that sex education classes are designed to brainwash children into thinking they might be gay, transgender or “all kinds of other things” and “these kids become fodder for adult predators, that’s exactly what they become”;
appeared in an anti-gay “documentary” called “Light Wins,” in which she argues that parents should sue teachers and school administrators who allow students to read gay novels, which she says violates a federal law that makes it illegal to “groom children for sex”;
said Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and anti-bullying campaigns are modeled on Hitler Youth efforts to “sever schoolchildren from their parents’ religious and sexual training”;
wrote that condoms are not meant for anal sex and called for a “class action lawsuit by AIDS victims and their loved ones” against the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Planned Parenthood and teachers and school systems that promoted condom use;
and warned that the Boy Scouts’ vote to end the ban on participation by gay youth would lead to increased pedophilia, and agreed with right-wing radio host Rick Wiles that the Boy Scouts change was about “getting sexual predators into the Boy Scouts.”
Not surprisingly, Reisman’s visit to Croatia was controversial and was criticized by some scientists as well as activists. Reisman faced a number of outspoken critics, whom she denounced as “thugs.” She spoke to parliamentarians and to college students, by whom she was not well received ; when she responded to critical questions by charging that students had been indoctrinated by communists, the school’s dean asked whether she realized how young these students were. He also challenged her credentials to speak about brain chemistry in regard to her promotion of an “erototoxin” theory that pornography leads to “mating confusion.”
Zagreb Pride officials, who say that challenging anti-gay rhetoric and actions are central to their reason for being, are calling the recent ruling an attack on free expression. The Croatian Journalists Association hosted a Zagreb Pride press conference last week.
"The Constitution guarantees us the freedom of speech, and Zagreb Pride's mission is to publicly reveal homophobia, so our basic duty is to react every time we see someone acting against homosexuals," Zagreb Pride representative Marko Jurcic told a news conference in the offices of the Croatian Journalists Association, calling on citizens to support the association and freedom of expression.
Another report from the press conference quotes Jurcic calling for solidarity from citizens in support of free speech and human rights. Also speaking were Sandra Benčić from the Center for Peace Studies and Natasa Bijelic from CESI, who put the case in the larger context of the growing neo-conservative threats to sexual and reproductive rights in Europe.
Zagreb Pride leaders have vowed to challenge the decision to the Constitutional Court as a matter of freedom of expression, and to develop a strategy for taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Richard Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, said yesterday that a conservative group’s new series of videosfalsely claiming that Planned Parenthood is “selling aborted baby” parts may be the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” of the fight against legal abortion.
“I think that this may be the equivalent of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’” Land said on Newsmax TV. “You know, when Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote that book, she put a human face on slavery. And Lincoln met her after the war had started and said, ‘I’m finally glad to meet the woman who wrote the book that started the war.’ I think that you may, the American people may now be forced to confront the evil and the barbarity and the savagery of the pro-abortion movement.”
Televangelist Pat Robertson tries to insist that he’s not “some sort of right-wing extremist,” which could only be convincing to someone who has never watched an episode of his daily television show, “The 700 Club.”
Take, for example, today’s program, in which a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter profiled the debate in Kenya over President Obama’s support for LGBT rights and Kenyan Bishop Mark Kariuki’s anti-LGBT efforts. In an interview with CBN, Kariuki called on Kenyan leaders to reaffirm the country’s laws making homosexuality a crime punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, and urged Obama to reverse his support for LGBT rights before it leads to America’s destruction.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is up in arms about new Obama administration guidelines for exempting naturalized citizens who are conscientious objectors from the oath of citizenship’s promise to “bear arms” on behalf of the United States. The GOP presidential candidate told an Iowa radio program yesterday that the new exemption guidelines show that President Obama is “giving up on America” by allowing an “invasion” of unassimilated immigrants.
In 1950, Congress added the vow to “bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law” to the oath taken by naturalized citizens after a court ruled that military service wasn’t implicitly required in the existing oath. However, new citizens taking the oath were allowed to refuse to say the line “on the basis of religious training and beliefs,” just as all citizens are allowed to opt out of military service if they are conscientious objectors.
Jindal repeated this criticism in an interview yesterday with Iowa conservative radio host Simon Conway, himself a naturalized U.S. citizen, saying, “Look, immigration without assimilation, that’s not immigration, that is an invasion.”
Jindal went on to say that by supporting this policy change, Obama has violated his own oath of office: “He takes an oath saying he’s going to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, this to me sounds like he’s giving up on America.”