Things have now gotten so desperate for David Barton and WallBuilders that they are reduced to calling in support from none other than Scott Lively to defend Barton's work by attacking Warren Throckmorton, Barton's primary critic.
Lively, as you know, is widely seen as the inspiration behind Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" legislation and the author of the book "The Pink Swastika," which claims that "the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party."
Throckmorton has likewise been a vocal critic of Lively's "scholarship" and so the the geniuses at WallBuilders thought it would be a good idea of have Lively come on the program and explain that what is happening to Barton is the same thing that happened to him:
I had the same kind of run-in with Mr. Throckmorton myself. I'm the author of a history book along with Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams called "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." Very controversial but heavily documented and Mr. Throckmorton has attempted to attack my work in the very same way.
Why WallBuilders thinks this comparison helps Barton's cause is utterly beyond our comprehension.
Green and Lively also suggested that Throckmorton is responsible for some sort of widespread conspiracy against anti-gay Religious Right leaders because he is favorably quoted on "really nasty anti-Christian blogs" such as Box Turtle Bulletin, Joe.My.God, and Truth Wins Out and engages in interaction with us here at Right Wing Watch:
Green: I noticed in your article you said just Google his name along with these really nasty anti-Christian blogs like Box Turtle Bulletin, Truth Wins Out, Joe.My.God, I mean they got some really nasty stuff on there ...
Lively: Very nasty.
Green: And apparently he's kind of a champion of these guys. They really kind of see him as a hero. They quote him all the time.
Lively: There's a lot of interaction there between him and some of the other people and the group Right Wing Watch ...
Green: Oh yeah, those guys love us. They just love us. They love us so much that they watch us all the time and listen to us all the time. They're always taking stuff out of context and out of quotes ... so to all of our friends at Right Wing Watch and these other liberal blogs and whatnot listening today, we just want to say "hi, love ya, Lord bless you."
Lively: Amen. Hey, I want these people to be saved. I want them to be turned from the foolishness of their positions but I'm not simply going to sit back when they're attacking people who are standing for biblical truth.
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is joining her Religious Right allies at the Family Research Council and the American Family Association in defending Todd Akin over his “legitimate rape” claims:
Republican party leaders may be working to push Rep. Todd Akin out of the Missouri Senate race, but leading social conservatives continue to rally to his side. Fellow Missourian Phyllis Schlafly said late Monday that Akin should remain in the race and compared his treatment by party leaders to former Va. Sen. George Allen, who lost support in his 2006 race for reelection after calling a young aide to his opponent “macaca.” “He’s not for rape. That’s ridiculous,” said Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum. “They’re making a big thing about an unfortunate remark.” “You saw what they did to George Allen in Virginia, which I thought was a shame,” she said of party leaders urging Akin to leave his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. “I don’t think people like that should make the decision. The people of Missouri should make that decision.”
Schlafly backed Akin early on in the race and her endorsement is prominently displayed on Akin’s website, but he may consider finding other defenders since Schlafly herself refuses to recognize the existence of marital rape: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape,” Schlafly said back in 2007. In fact, she doubled down on those remarks in an interview the year later:
Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?
I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.
Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?
Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.
So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-
Yes, I certainly do.
Like Schlafly, Akin once voiced his disapproval of marital rape laws by warning that they could be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” in a divorce proceeding.
Back in May we reported on an amazing conspiracy theory that seemed to bring all of the far right's fears about Obama, Islam, environmentalism and immigration together: essentially, President Obama is going to collapse the world economy, causing Muslim immigrants to flood the U.S. and give Obama the opportunity to settle them on land seized under Agenda 21 and establish Sharia law. But that was just scratching the surface.
Author Avi Lapkin has been making the rounds in churches warning audiences of the nefarious plot, and is frequentlycited as a “scholar” by the American Family Association’s news division, OneNewsNow. Yesterday he appeared on Today’s Issues with the AFA’s Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders, who said that Lipkin “shines the light of truth on what’s going on in the Middle East” and “has a clear picture” of “what’s going on in the Middle East.”
So what did Lipkin tell them? After once again warning of the Obama-immigration-Agenda21-sharia plot, Lipkin said that the Muslim population in the U.S. isn’t 0.6 percent, as official estimates assert [pdf], but actually 10 percent because the government is flying millions of Muslims into the country on charter jets. Once they come in, they marry American women turn them into “baby factories for Islam.”
What you have today is close to ten percent of the population is Muslim. You have 307 million Americans, you have 9 million Shiite Iranians who fled from Iran after 1979 when the Shah fell—these were allies of the U.S. if they had not fled they would have been killed by Khomeini—7 million Arabs, about 16 million between the Shiites and the Sunnis, four million Farrakhan Nation of Islam, that’s 20 million. I can tell you with all authenticity because I’ve been collecting this information all around the country that there are charter jets bringing Muslims into this country every day for free, at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer of course, people in Washington are bribed, the floodgates are open and they’re bringing in Muslims from Somalis, Palestinians, Bosnians, Algerians, Egyptians. Nobody even has a clue to exactly how many, I predict there are between 20 to 30 million Muslims in America and this fact is not lost on the election campaign in November.
What happens after they come here is that they marry Christian women, Jewish and Christian American women and then these women become baby factories for Islam because it’s the religion of the father. So if a Muslim father marries a Christian or Jewish mother the children are going to be Muslim. Then they get passports because they married an American woman and once they get passports they bring in their families from the Middle East. So what we’ve seen happening is not one university but we’ve seen hundreds of universities doing this and that’s one of the reasons why I’m saying this is very stealth like, it’s very insidious. Nobody sees it happening but you have a process paid with oil money to bring in millions of Muslims into this country very quietly with student visas and other things but eventually its family reunification. I’ve been following this for the last thirty years and most Americans can’t believe anything I’m saying but I’m on the cutting edge of this.
He later said that an attack on Iran’s nuclear program is imminent but that nuclear disarmament and the promotion of democracy are not the real reasons for the hostility to the Iranian regime. According to Lipkin, the real reason behind the looming attack is that Obama is a Sunni Muslim who is controlled by the leaders of Saudi Arabia who want Iran’s oil wealth and are intent on stopping Iran from preventing the rise of…the one world government.
Lipkin explains that the Illuminati and the Free Masons control the world and pick America’s presidents and want to use Iran’s oil as part of their nefarious and secretive agenda to control the world.
I’m predicting that the globalist one world government insists on getting that oil and to do that you have to overthrow the regime. The problem is not the nuclear threat, the problem is the regime. Fourthly, I think Obama’s a Muslim, he’s a Sunni Muslim on orders from Saudi and the Saudis are afraid to get their heads chopped off by the Shiite Iranians, therefore the Saudis are commanding Obama to terminate the Shiite regime. All of this is in my teachings. So the four reasons for war with Iran, the nuclear threat and democracy are the least of the reasons.
I think what we’ve been seeing over the last few decades is that America has been having its leaders chosen, Democrat or Republican, chosen by the one world government, the Masons, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, whatever you want to call these people, these are people who control the world. Unfortunately, Jesus Christ is not important to them, what’s important to them is oil and money. Christianity and Judaism can be sacrificed relatively speaking as long as they have oil and the cash and the Muslims have that, but it’s the Sunnis who have it and the Shiites who are trying to bring it all down. So the Shiites and the Sunnis are working at cross-purposes and what we see here is an alliance between the Sunni Muslims, the Christians and Israel against Shiite Iran.
Yesterday Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council released a new website and joint report entitled "The Survey on Religious Hostility in America" which is billed as "collection of more than 600 cases, detailing religious bigotry throughout America."
And you can tell from the introduction just how trustworthy this report truly is:
The Obama administration no longer even speaks of freedom of religion; now it is only “freedom of worship.” This radical departure is one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional, and limited. As some have said, it is a freedom “only within four walls.” That is, you are free to worship within the four walls of your home, church, or synagogue, but when you enter the public square the message is, “leave your religion at home.” President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly echoed this same message in international forums, acknowledging only a right to the “freedom of worship.” This is no accident, and it has huge ramifications.
This claim that Obama is systematically undermining "freedom of religion" seems to be one of the Religious Right's favorite claims ... which, of course, means that it is not true at all.
The report itself consists of 100+ pages of short descriptions of seemingly every court case along with the various urban legends that the Religious Right trots out whenever they are trying to play the victim. In fact, this one from the Executive Summary caught my eye:
A public school official physically lifted an elementary school student from his seat and reprimanded him in front of his classmates for praying over his lunch.
That sounded a lot like the story of Raymond Raines and, sure enough, on page 74 we find this:
Elementary School Student Punished for Praying Before Meals
Joan Little, “City Schools Issue Rules About Students, Religion,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 11, 1996, at 2B
Elementary school student Raymond Raines was “caught” praying over his meal at his elementary school. He was lifted from his seat and reprimanded in front of all the other students, then taken to the principal who ordered him to cease praying in school.
As we noted just a few months ago, this myth has been around since 1994 when Newt Gingrich and various Religious Right leaders first started making Raymond's sorry tale the centerpiece of their campaign to pass a constitutional amendment protecting the right to expressions of faith ... despite the fact that it wasn't true:
The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.
"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.
On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."
But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.
"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"
This incident took place nearly twenty years ago and the Religious Right is still citing it today as proof that Christianity is under attack in America despite the fact that it never happened.
Bryan Fischer is the type of person who doesn't believe that HIV causes AIDS, but rather that the disease is caused by gay men taking "poppers" in order "to make it possible to have numerous encounters on the same night."
So when Rep. Todd Akin set off a firestorm of controversy by saying that women have a biological defense against pregnancy in the case of "legitimate rape," it was no surprise that Fischer was one of Akin's earliest and most vocal defenders, declaring that Akin is "absolutely right."
In fact, Fischer dedicated much of his program yesterday to defending Akin, even bringing on Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute to explain the various reasons why instances of women becoming pregnant via rape are extremely rare, such as women are only capable of conception for a few days every month, lots of women take contraception, lots of women and even rapists are sterile, and in many cases there is no penetration or deposition of sperm.
On top of that, Mattes explained, there is "a great deal of anxiety and hormones being released that would prevent [a victim] from becoming pregnant," which is why fertility specialists recommend to women who are trying to get pregnant to reduce the stress in their life.
"So it really all stands to reason," Mattes claimed, before he and Fischer went on to praise Todd Akin for having always been a staunch anti-choice zealot whose ascension to the Senate would be a huge boost to the movement and lamented that Republicans are "throwing him under the bus" instead of holding him up and "helping him weather this storm and controversy":
Anti-Muslim activist and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is joining other conservatives in blasting the Southern Poverty Law Center, and last week on Secure Freedom Radio told CSP’s Fred Grandy that the group is “in the service of people who are really the perpetrators of the worst of the anti-Semitism and hatemongering” by opposing anti-gay and anti-Muslim hate groups. Grandy even said that the group is a “decidedly an anti-Semitic organization” because it calls out the extremist views of Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz.
Grandy: The Southern Poverty Law Center, which at least generations ago had a very pristine reputation when we were still fighting the civil rights battle, but now they’ve sunk to a new low and of course one of their partners in this effort right now is the Muslim Public Affairs Council with whom they have conspired to create what is not just I think a coalition of hate crimes centered on organizations like the Family Research Center [sic] because of their support of traditional marriage but this has now become decidedly an anti-Semitic organization as well, tearing into Daniel Pipes at the Middle Eastern Forum or David Horowitz at his Freedom Center and of course we’re part of that mix as well. Interestingly enough Frank, when they were having this conversation on the phone, this conference call about hate crimes the night after the shooting at the Family Research Center [sic] no mention of that hate crime was even brought up.
Gaffney: This is a really extraordinary thing, as you say the Southern Poverty Law Center has fallen dramatically from its past and is now in the service of people who are really the perpetrators of the worst of the anti-Semitism and hatemongering and so on.
Today in the Washington Times, Gaffney said that “the SPLC is hanging out with today’s counterpart to the KKK and the pre-eminent threat to civil rights” and aiding the advancement of Sharia law. “If you lawfully object to, say, the erosion of traditional marriage or open borders, you stand to be condemned by the SPLC as a hater,” Gaffney said. “It seems that if you are militantly in favor of the radical homosexual agenda or racist groups such as La Raza, however, you get a pass from that organization.”
Last week’s near-massacre at the Family Research Council (FRC) put into sharp relief a curious fact: The people most aggressively denouncing others for their “hatemongering” sure are engaging in a lot of it themselves, with dangerous and potentially lethal repercussions.
Take, for example, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Back in the heyday of the civil rights movement, the SPLC helped counter the Ku Klux Klan and other racists and anti-Semites. At the moment, though, the SPLC is hanging out with today’s counterpart to the KKK and the pre-eminent threat to civil rights — especially those of women — in America: Islamists bent on insinuating here their anti-constitutional, misogynistic and supremacist doctrine known as Shariah.
A case in point occurred Wednesday night, just hours after a gunman named Floyd Lee Corkins entered the headquarters of the FRC. Mr. Corkins apparently was bent on killing as many of the center’s employees as possible, perhaps because of the social conservative group’s listing (along with this columnist and a number of others) earlier this year by the SPLC as among the worst hate groups and bigots in America.
It turns out that, as with the Family Research Council, what seems to qualify one for smearing by the Southern Poverty Law Center is disagreement with its political agenda. If you lawfully object to, say, the erosion of traditional marriage or open borders, you stand to be condemned by the SPLC as a hater. It seems that if you are militantly in favor of the radical homosexual agenda or racist groups such as La Raza, however, you get a pass from that organization.
Yesterday, the head of the Log Cabin Republicans said that the Republican Party platform might actually contain language saying that all Americans have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Imagine! Although the language included no reference to LGBT people, Log Cabin argued that it would be a “positive nod” toward them.
A nearly imperceptible, practically meaningless nod, perhaps. Anti-gay groups typically use similar rhetoric to soften their image. Even the most stridently anti-gay Religious Right leaders insist they don’t hate gays, they love them so much they want to save them from their evil, wicked, Satanic, hell-bound lives.
Last night, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins provided a bit of a reality check. He sent a memo bragging that “our team has had several hands” working on the platform:
With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues. Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better.
Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger.
Perkins boasts that as a delegate on the subcommittee handling health care, education, and the family, “I was able to reinforce the language on marriage and successfully helped with amendments on conscience rights, abortion in health care, and stem cell research."
Joining Perkins on the Platform Committee is David Barton, the promoter of bogus “Christian nation” history whose recent book on Thomas Jefferson was slammed as grossly inaccurate by so many scholars that his Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson, pulled the book from the shelves. But Barton’s abuses of the truth have never been enough to discredit him with his friends in the GOP. Barton is serving on the platform committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, where Tony Perkins assures us Barton led efforts that “fended off liberal attacks that would have watered down the wording” on marriage and “life.”
This morning, the Tampa Bay Times reports that the draft moving forward includes a call for a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex couples from getting married anywhere in the U.S., and for a constitutional amendment applying the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to “unborn children." There is no exception for allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest.
The full Platform Committee will take up the work of the subcommittees today.
Earlier this evening, the Christian Defense Coalition became the first anti-abortion group to call on Todd Akin to withdraw from the Senate race in Missouri. In a statement distributed by the right-wing Christian Newswire, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, described Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” as “offensive, repugnant and troubling.”
Mahoney said that while he respects “the record of Congressman Akin, especially in the pro-life community,” his comments were “so offensive and indefensible” that he must “assume the full consequences and responsibility for making them.” He can do so, Mahoney said, by “removing himself from the Missouri Senate race.” Mahoney also expressed his concern that if Akin doesn’t withdraw, “these comments will follow the Congressman throughout the entire campaign.”
Mahoney is not what you would call a liberal. He was a longtime associate of Randall Terry, the extremist anti-abortion activist and former leader of Operation Rescue. In February, Mahoney was arrested in front of the White House while protesting President Obama’s health care bill. In March he participated in an effort to “encircle” the Supreme Court and pray for Obamacare to be struck down. And next month in Charlotte, he plans to lead protests against Obama and offer “live ultrasounds” throughout the city.
Earlier today, Mitt Romney described Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape” as “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.” In a separate interview, Romney said, “I can't defend what he said, I can't defend him.”
Romney may not be able to defend Akin, but his running mate Paul Ryan knows some people who can. He’s set to headline next month’s Values Voter Summit alongside a who’s who of Akin defenders and endorsers.
The event’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, leapt to Akin’s defense. The group’s political action committee complained today that Akin was “getting a very bad break here” and pledged to “support him fully and completely.”
Speaking from the RNC platform committee meeting, FRC president Tony Perkins warned Sen. Scott Brown to back off from his criticism of Akin: “He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow.”
The American Family Association is another major sponsor. The group’s spokesperson, Bryan Fischer said that Akin was “absolutely right.” Continuing, he said that the trauma of a “real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape” would make it impossible or difficult for a woman to conceive. Meanwhile, of the high-profile endorsers listed on Akin’s website, Mike Huckabee and Reps. Michele Bachmann, Steve King and Jim Jordan will be featured speakers at the Values Voter Summit.
While Akin himself has tried in various ways to distance himself from his own comments, his supporters at FRC, AFA, and elsewhere have enthusiastically embraced them. There is no doubt that they will use the Values Voter Summit to buttress their newly minted martyr.
The real question is whether the Romney campaign will have Ryan go ahead and headline the event. Ryan, who has previously sought to redefine rape and ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest, would definitely fit in. But the problem is that he might fit in too well.
After badly losing his race for U.S. Senate in Virginia with just 5 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, Bishop E.W. Jackson is onceagain railing against the Democratic Party and told conservative radio host Steve Deace on Friday that Democrats are like slave masters. “I liken them to slave masters who brag about how good their slaves are and how well-behaved they are but let them try to be free,” Jackson maintained, “let them try to escape and then you find out that they don’t really think very much of them.” Jackson said if African Americans don’t “kowtow” to the Democrats and their supposed “hatred of Christians” then, just like slaves, they “will be punished.”
Jackson: They’re not just operating in disagreement with us, they’re operating in hostility. They are engendering a type of hatred of Christians, ‘Christians are bigots, Christians are narrow-minded, Christians are hateful people’ because we won’t endorse their ideas. I think that that atmosphere is part of what created the attack on the Family Research Council this week. We ought to understand, these folks aren’t just saying ‘well we just don’t agree with you’ they’re saying ‘we’re going to stop you, we’re hostile to you, we’re going to put you down.’ With regards to Joe Biden, look this is an indication again of the kind of paternalistic, condescending, supercilious attitude that these folks have toward black people and other minorities. They don’t love us. I liken them to slave masters who brag about how good their slaves are and how well-behaved they are but let them try to be free, let them try to escape and then you find out that they don’t really think very much of them. Well let somebody try to escape, let somebody try to say ‘you know what I don’t agree with the Democrat Party or with liberalism’ they treat you like a slave who would dare bite the hand that feeds you because they act like they are responsible for whatever progress black people have made in America and so therefore you owe them and you better kowtow to whatever they say or you will be punished.
As reported earlier, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is jumping to Todd Akin’s defense over his claim that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Fischer today said that the trauma of a “real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape,” would “make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child.” Of course, rapedoesnot make pregnancy either impossible or unlikely, and there are other types of rape than “forcible rape,” such as statutory rape or cases where consent isn’t offered or is impossible.
Family Research Council's Connie Mackey is also defending Akin in an email to members:
"This is another case of 'gotcha politics' against a conservative leader. Todd Akin has a long and distinguished record of defending women, children and families. He has fought against forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which is the bedrock of Claire McCaskill's base of support. When speaking about the issue of rape, let's not forget the cover-up of statutory rape by Planned Parenthood, which to my knowledge has not been addressed by Senator McCaskill.
"Throughout his twelve years in Congress, Todd Akin has supported legislation that honors all human life. He has opposed the commodification of women in contrast to his opponent, Claire McCaskill, who has a long record of promoting the abortion industry while ignoring how abortion harms women. We know Todd Akin, and FRC Action PAC enthusiastically endorses his candidacy," Mackey concluded
Mitt Romney is outraged! He's insulted! He's offended!
Why? A Republican Senate candidate dared to state a position on choice that is exactly the same as that of Romney's own running mate.
Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is attracting plenty of attention for his bizarre and idiotic justification for refusing to allow rape victims to have abortions. But the extreme policy position behind those comments - a policy that is the GOP standard -- should be getting just as much attention.
Akin explained this weekend how rape victims shouldn't be allowed reproductive choice because they already have access to some mysterious anti-pregnancy control system: "First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Romney responded today in an interview with the National Review:
"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," Romney said. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."
"I have an entirely different view," Romney said. "What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it."
What is Romney's "entirely different view"? That Rep. Akin doesn't have a basic understanding of the female anatomy that he's so interested in legislating? That Akin feels the need to draw a distinction between "legitimate rape" and "illegitimate rape"? That Akin thinks rape victims shouldn't be able to choose whether to carry their rapists' children?
Romney should start by directing his outrage at his own running mate. Rep. Paul Ryan not only opposes abortion rights for rape victims, he was a cosponsor of a so-called "personhood" amendment that would have classified abortion as first degree murder and outlawed common types of birth control. Ryan has also bought into the "legitimate rape" nonsense, cosponsoring legislation with Akin that would have limited federal services to victims of "forcible rape" - a deliberate attempt to write out some victims of date rape and statutory rape.
Romney himself has flirted with the "personhood" idea, telling Mike Huckabee during the primary that he'd "absolutely" support such a measure. When he was later confronted about the comment at a town hall meeting, it became clear that Romney had no idea how the process he wanted to legislate actually worked.
And Romney hasn't always been keen to stand up for the victims of rape. In a Republican debate in February, he actually got in an argument with Newt Gingrich over who was least in favor of requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims they were treating.
Now the Romney campaign is trying to distance itself from Akin by saying that "a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape." But Romney has also vowed to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, returning to states the power to outlaw or allow abortion as they choose. If Romney and anti-choice activists get their wish from the Supreme Court, a Romney-Ryan administration would have no power to stop states from imposing whichever abortion bans they decide to impose. The promise to carve out an exception for rape victims is not a promise they would be able to keep.
The real scandal of Rep. Akin's comments isn't the faulty sex-ed he's teaching. Instead, his comments expose the anti-choice movement's skewed and condescending view of women. Akin can't accept that a woman who fits his definition of virtue - the victim of a "legitimate rape" - would also need to seek an abortion, and he has made up false science to support that assumption. But with or without the weird right-wing science, that same false distinction underlies all anti-choice policies - including those embraced by Romney and Ryan.
Romney can feign all the outrage he wants at Rep. Akin's misogynistic pseudo-science. But until he can draw a clear distinction between Akin's policies and his own, his protests will ring hollow.
As the controversy over David Barton's shoddy scholarship has roiled for the last several weeks, Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty University Law School, has been one of Barton's most ardent defenders, declaring that he "would put [his] money on David Barton any day" and even proclaiming that he'd be willing to put Barton up "against any historian and would have no question who would win in a debate."
So it was no surprise that Staver was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today where he spent most of the time attacking one of Barton's main critic Warren Throckmorton, for not being a historian. Of course, Barton is not a historian either and neither is Staver, for that matter.
But Staver did make an interesting revelation on the program when he explained that Barton's book "Original Intent" is required reading for every law student at Liberty Law School:
We actually use his book "Original Intent" in one of our law school classes. We have a lot of different resources and certainly one of those resources regarding original intent and the Founder's vision and views for this country, we use David Barton's book.
In "Foundations of Law" at Liberty University School of Law that every first year law school student goes through the first semester, we have David Barton's book as one of the books, and we have excerpts from that and chapters from it that we use. And our law school students read that and we talk about it and we look at the historical issues involving the Founders.
I began using that when I was teaching the course and now our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Rena Lindevaldsen, uses that. One of our professors, Cynthia Dunbar, she uses that book in that "Foundations of Law" course as well and I know that there's other faculty at Liberty University that also are very much advocates of David Barton's work.
On Thursday, the day after his organization was violently attacked, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins falselyaccused the Southern Poverty Law Center of giving the suspected gunman “license” for the assault. He cautioned that the “Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”
On Friday, FRC’s second in command – Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin – appeared on the Glenn Beck Program and called the SPLC an “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization.” Continuing, he said that the SPLC is an “evil group of people” who “are dangerous.”
[CNN] actually tried to justify the 'hate group' label that was placed on the Family Research Council by this anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, Marxist organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is just an evil group of people. They actually tried to justify this “hate group” label that they gave FRC.
These people are dangerous, they are evil, and my question is, Glenn, who are they to have any authority to declare anybody a ‘hate group.’
And remember, they also called Hitler right-wing, as well. I don’t mean SPLC, but people today on the left refer to Hitler as right-wing and compare conservatives to Hitler. Hitler was anything but right-wing. Remember he was National Socialist Party.
As Kyle pointed out last Thursday, the SPLC labeled FRC a “hate group” as a result of its “false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians.” Now Boykin is getting in the act with “false and demonizing propaganda” about the SPLC itself.
Boykin has previously argued that Hitler wasn’t a right-wing extremist, but in fact was a leftist. This time he trotted out that argument to show why organizations like the SPLC supposedly aren’t credible authorities on what constitutes a “hate group.” In the past, he has said that American Jews don’t understand Hitler and mistakenly back Democrats as a result.
Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatchesnotes that Akin, who has a masters in divinity, received his degree at a denomination which teaches that rape seldom leads to pregnancy and should not be relevant to laws on abortion rights, and as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jonespointed out, anti-choice luminary John Willke asserts that hormones make pregnancies resulting from rape “extremely rare” and Physicians for Life believes “the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare” because the stress from the rape “alter[s] bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included.”
Those opinions are commonplace among anti-choice activists.
Human Life International says “it is very useful to be able to show just how rare rape- and incest-caused pregnancies really are” in order to expose women who falsely state they were raped in order to have abortions: “Women who are willing to kill their own preborn children for mere convenience obviously see lying as a relatively small crime.”
40 Days for Life, the group which holds hundreds of protests outside of abortion clinics throughout the country, in “ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments” also says that pregnancies resulting from rape are “extremely rare” and “can be prevented”:
“What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?”
a. Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented.
b. Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished.
c. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rate.
d. Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim.
It remains to be seen which conservative leaders will condemn—or defend—Akin as pressure mounts on the candidate to quit the race.
Update: Fischer is now even claiming that “Todd Akin is right,” citing an article by Willke.
On Friday's episode of "The Janet Mefferd Show," Matt Barber was interviewed to give his thoughts on "the GOP and their buckling stance on homosexuality." Barber was, not surprisingly, highly critical of any effort by the Republican Party to try to appear less openly-hostile to gays and blasted the party for even letting groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans or pro-gay donors have a seat at the table.
Such groups were, Barber asserted, really just gay activists in disguise who are intent destroying the Republican Party from within. As such, they and like-minded donors have "poisoned" the GOP and need to be "rooted out" because the "most important election in history" is approaching and the party cannot risk alienating its Chick-fil-A-loving, anti-gay base at a time like this:
You know, that's all we need is the Republican Party looking more and more like the Democratic Party. What the Log Cabin Republicans are doing here - and let's be very clear here; groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans who call themselves Republican or conservative, they're just a bunch of radical homosexual activists in conservative or Republican clothing. These guys know exactly what they're doing, they're trying to undermine the Republican Party from within I believe intentionally, I believe it's covert and they know what they're doing.
So this does not bode well, the fact that the Republican Party is even entertaining these radical activists here and they're looking at essentially spending a dollar to save a dime - I mean, imagine alienating the entire base of the Republican Party in order to appease a few radical homosexual activists; it's counter-intuitive, it's thick-headed, and this is the most important election, I think, in history that we have coming up right now, and now is not the time for the GOP to be alienating the base of the party.
They are not conservatives. They are liberal Republicans more suited to the Democratic Party but fiscally conservative, oftentimes, and so they have essentially poisoned, in large degree, the Republican Party and, I think, need to be rooted out.
You know, we saw what the base of the Republican Party believes with the overwhelming outpouring for Chick-fil-A, for natural marriage, for traditional values and for the Republican Party to even entertain the idea because a few of these donors have deep pockets of running afoul of these traditional values that the Republican Party platform has been based on for years, it's just a stupid idea.
After trying to blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for the deplorable shooting that occurred at the Family Research Council’s office this week, FRC president Tony Perkins today also implicated the Obama administration in the shooting. While speaking with Rick Santorum today on Washington Watch Weekly about the Obama administration’s “attack on religious freedom,” Perkins said that what “we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council” is “clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom.” This shameful attempt to connect the Obama administration to the shooting is just the latest sign of the FRC’s attempt to exploit the tragedy for political purposes.
Perkins: What I would call an attack on religious freedom is trickling down in our country. It’s not just isolated to the administration but it’s as if the President and his administration’s indifference towards religious freedom has really created an open season all across this country. In fact next week down in Tampa as the Republican National Committee begins its work on its platform we’ll be working with Liberty Institute and we’ll be releasing a study that shows this increased hostility towards religious freedom in this country and I believe Rick in large part it’s driven in large part by the policies of this administration.
Santorum: When you look at what happened with the whole Chick-fil-A incident and across the country you see government officials, mayors of large cities, wanting to use the power of the government to force, to drive out Dan Cathy and the folks at Chick-fil-A from their cities. This is really unprecedented and you’re right it creates an atmosphere that when the government now is saying you folks are so evil that we can deny you access to participate in business within our city it leads to a lot of things that are going to not just constrict religious liberty but I think threaten a lot of other areas of our lives.
Perkins: Well I think as we witnessed this past week at the Family Research Council, clearly linked to that same atmosphere of hostility that’s created by the public policies of an administration that’s indifferent or hostile to religious freedom and groups like as I mentioned the Southern Poverty Law Center that recklessly throws around labels giving people like this gunman who came into our building a license to take innocent life.
Dana Milbank writes in a column in today’s Washington Post, “Hateful speech on hate groups,” that the Southern Poverty Law Center “should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen.” He’s talking about the Family Research Council, which he describes as “a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer” which “advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.” Going further, Milbank says it’s “reckless” for groups like SPLC to designate FRC as a “hate group.”
While reading all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder why a “mainstream conservative think tank” would defend a bill in Uganda that would put gays and lesbians in prison for life and put them to death for “serial” offenses, among other things. If Milbank had done his homework before writing his column, he would’ve been wondering this same thing.
The reality is that FRC is not a “mainstream conservative think tank.” That’s why FRC is one of only a handful of the many, many groups that oppose equality for gays and lesbians to be designated a “hate group” by SPLC. There’s a big difference between being conservative and being an extremist, but many in the media are missing the distinction. Kyle and Peter have already written about FRC’s history of extremism and SPLC’s criteria (here and here), but I’d like to focus on one particularly outrageous example here.
Back in June of 2010, FRC president Tony Perkins praised the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, referring to it as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.” The bill that Perkins defended called for life in prison for having sex, even once, with a member of the same sex, or touching someone of the same sex with the intention of having sex.
The bill went further, calling for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” To be clear, Perkins defended a bill that called for people to be put to death for the following (among other things):
having sex with someone of the same sex multiple times (a “serial” offender)
having sex with someone of the same sex who is your employee, student, or otherwise under your authority
having sex with someone of the same sex who is under the age of 18 (regardless of the age difference, e.g. a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old)
having sex with someone of the same sex that you got drunk
having sex with someone of the same sex who’s blind or deaf
having sex with someone of the same sex if you’re HIV+, even if you use protection and the virus is not transmitted
You can read the text of the bill here. I’m not exaggerating one bit.
When President Obama criticized the bill, Perkins devoted his weekly radio alert to attacking him over it, citing Obama’s “preoccupation with defending homosexuality.” He went on to mischaracterize the bill, claiming that it only called for the death penalty in instances like “intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS,” and was notably silent on life imprisonment for a single homosexual “act.”
FRC was eventually caught lobbying Congress on a resolution to denounce the “kill the gays” bill. They took pains to say they did not support the bill or the death penalty and were merely lobbying Congress to make the resolution “more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”
Ok, so FRC didn’t support the “kill the gays” bill. Instead, FRC’s president devoted his weekly commentary to defending and praising the “kill the gays” bill and attacking President Obama for criticizing it. And FRC lobbied Congress to make sure that the “kill the gays” bill wouldn’t be mischaracterized.
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality.
The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.
The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.
(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-
(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
(c) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.
(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
(f) offender is a serial offender, or
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.