A group of anti-gay pastors is heading to Houston to hold a press conference outside of the NAACP’s convention today, protesting the organization’s decision to endorse marriage equality. The Coalition of African American Pastors is led by William Owens, a Memphis preacher who has been a consistent advocate on behalf of state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and is a founding member of the anti-gay Arlington Group. Owens launched a new coalition, 100,000 Signatures for Marriage, to stop the “hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people” and to “speak out against President Obama’s support for this destructive agenda,” and is now alleging that Obama is snubbing African Americans for not speaking at the NAACP convention even though he held a gay pride event:
"He can have the gay pride celebration in the White House, he can have Lady Gaga in the White House, and he's in the White House today because of the civil rights movement and the price that was paid for civil rights," said the Rev. William Owens, the president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, a group that opposes Obama's gay marriage stance. "He has met with the Latinos; he meets with everything except for the people who put him where he is."
He told the Christian Post today that he is going to the NAACP convention not only to protest Obama but also attack the group’s position on marriage equality, saying that the NAACP is abandoning “its roots” and must do what “Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., called on us to do,” which according to Owens is to oppose gay rights:
"We are calling on the NAACP, a beloved organization in our eyes, to reclaim its mission. The black church founded the NAACP, and it is not the organization for the advancement of gays and lesbians – whatever the merits of that movement. Return to your roots and stand with the black church on marriage. The black church in our eyes remains the conscience of America.
"To the board of NAACP we say, 'Do not worry about the money, God will provide.' Stand with the Church and the Bible and the natural law, as our brother with whom we marched, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., called on us to do."
The coalition demanded on July 3 that President Obama meet with the group to address his stance on same-sex marriage. So far, the White House has refused to acknowledge the group's request but leaders say they plan to "turn up the heat" by asking black Christians to sit on the sidelines for the time being.
"We have requested a meeting with President Obama and until he meets with us, we are going to ask black Christians to withhold their support until he personally hears our concerns," Owens, told The Christian Post in a recent interview.
"More than anything, this is an issue of biblical principles and President Obama is carrying our nation down a dangerous road. Many African Americans were once proud of our president but now many are ashamed of his actions."
Owens added, "You have to stand on the Word of God regardless of your race or political affiliation. If the president is serious about his faith then why would he not meet with men of faith of his own race?"
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer was discussing the Right's latest conspiracy theory about how the United Nations is plotting to take away our guns and destroy our Second Amendment rights though the Arms Trade Treaty.
During the discussion, Fischer ventured into David Barton territory when he claimed that Jesus preached the right to self-defense and therefore his teaching is "virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment":
We not only care about the First Amendment on Focal Point, we also care about the Second Amendment. And remember, the Second Amendment, this is basically the right to self defense, this is the right to protect yourself, it's the right to bear arms in your own defense, it's our surest guarantee against a tyrannical takeover by some occupying power or even by our own government. A government is stopped, they are stalled, they have to be mindful of the fact that the American citizens have arms, so there's a limit to what they can get away with under the use of force.
So the Second Amendment is very important to us. Jesus, his teaching [is] virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment because, remember, one time he told his disciples "look, the time is going to come when you're going to need a sword - if you don't have a sword, sell everything you've got and buy one, you're going to need one for your own protection." So Jesus [was] legitimizing the use of the right of self-defense, endorsing the right of self-defense, and that's what is enshrined in the Second Amendment.
The pasage Fischer is citing comes from Luke 22:
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That is enough,” he replied.
Republican Congressman Tom Reed is running to represent the newly created 23rd district in upstate New York, which covers much of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier. He has a strong ally in WYSL, a right-wing talk radio station near Rochester that broadcasts throughout much of the district. On the one hand, it’s great to have friends who run a big radio station:
But Reed’s radio buddies caused trouble for him on Friday when they repeatedly ridiculed the Asian ancestry of Reed’s opponent Nate Shinagawa, a Democratic county legislator and hospital administrator from Ithaca. Shinagawa is a third-generation Japanese America whose grandfather was interned in California during World War II, only to enlist in the Marines upon release.
Nojay: Now you should be impressed that I know how to pronounce Shinagawa. Shinagawa ready to face Reed. He’s the guy who won the Democrat primary. He hails from the People’s Republic.Producer: He’s gonna lose, just because of his name.Nojay: Now that’s not a particularly nice thing to say.Savage (in a stereotypical, derogatory Asian voice): Xenophobic. Xenophobic.
Nojay: If I made a contribution to Reed’s campaign, I wonder if I can get a refund. He doesn’t need the money anymore … Whoop, I shouldn’t have said that. He’s gonna get mad at me.Producer: You’re gonna be getting a phone call.Nojay: Alright. Send money now to Tom Reed’s campaign, he’ll make good use of it. Reed’s a great candidate. He does need our help.
Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been targeting the Obama administration since his earliest days as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and recently he’s been waging a political witch hunt against Attorney General Eric Holder surrounding the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation. In the course of the investigation, Rep. Issa requested documents which the AG was prohibited by law from releasing, and for that, Rep. Issa successfully campaigned to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an ethics complaint with both the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Department of Justice, alleging that in his zeal to embarrass the Obama Administration, Rep. Issa may in fact have violated House ethics rules as well as federal wiretap laws.
According to CREW:
Rather than releasing the warrant application to the media directly, which would clearly have been prosecutable, Rep. Issa inserted the information into the Congressional Record. This way, he shielded his otherwise illegal conduct behind the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. Evidence also suggests Rep. Issa or his staff may have directed reporters to the Congressional Record to ensure the information contained in the leaked warrant application was discovered and further publicized. Such actions, which could constitute “republication” of the material, might not be subject to the same constitutional protections.
CREW also argues that there is precedent for holding Rep. Issa accountable for his potential violation of the wiretap statute, and that a refusal to do so would bring even more discredit to the House leadership than Rep. Issa’s botched and politically-motivated Fast and Furious investigation already has.
One of the most telling features of Glenn Beck’s 2010 Restoring Honor rally were the overtly religious themes of the rally, along with the launching of a Black Robe Regiment filled with right-wing leaders. The day before Beck’s latest really, Restoring Love, Beck and David Barton are hosting a who’s who of Religious Right activists for a “Christian Leadership Conference” called Under God: Indivisible, including some of the most prominent anti-gay preachers, activists and televangelists in the country:
A New York Times editorial published yesterday takes aim at Mitt Romney’s continued obfuscation regarding his tax returns. Shirking a precedent embraced by previous presidential candidates, including his father, George Romney, the GOP nominee has yet to fully disclose the extent of his foreign investments and tax havens.
“Mr. Romney has resisted all demands for more disclosure, leading to growing criticism from Democrats that he is trying to hide his fortune and his tax schemes from the public. Given the troubling suspicions about his finances, he needs to release many more returns and quickly open his books to full scrutiny.
The 2010 tax return showed that the blind trust held by his wife, Ann, included a $3 million Swiss bank account that had not been properly reported on previous financial disclosure statements. (The account was closed by the trust manager in 2010 who feared it might become embarrassing for the campaign. He was right.) It also showed that Mr. Romney had used a complex offshore tax shelter, known as a blocker corporation, to shield the investments in his I.R.A. from paying an obscure business tax.
The use of that technique by wealthy taxpayers and institutions, long been blasted by Congressional tax experts as abusive, costs the treasury $1 billion a decade.”
Romney’s pattern of dishonesty extends beyond his personal finances. He has yet to fully explain the terms upon which he parted with the Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped create. Although he claims he left the firm in 1999, just last month “his trust reported receiving a $2 million payment from Bain as part of unpaid earnings from his work there”. (New York Times) Recent reporting by AP and Vanity Fair raise even more questions about the millions that Romney has stashed away in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
President Obama has recently returned from a bus tour under the banner of “Betting on America” – placing trust and reinvesting in American industry. The contrast with Mitt Romney couldn’t be clearer.
Romney’s campaign slogan is “Believe in America”, but an apt subtitle may as well be…”but invest somewhere else.”
Listening to "ex-terrorist" Kamal Saleem tell his life story is like listening to the Forrest Gump of terrorism as he relates who he was an extremely important figure working in terror networks ranging from Al Qaeda to those established by Moammar Gadhafi to Saddam Hussein.
Recently, Saleem has become the Religious Right's favorite ex-Muslim as he spreads some of today's craziest and wild conspiracies which the Right seemingly accepts uncritically despite the fact that his biography is rather questionable.
For the last week, Saleem has been the featured quest on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program where he has been regaling Mat Staver with tales of being trained to be a terrorist from the age of seven, when he first led a mission to smuggle weapons into Israel from Syria.
As Saleem explained today, that mission was such a success that he became a hero and was then tasked with recruiting other children for future missions, which he succeeded in doing. Saleem claims that he recruited another child named Mohammed but only after promising Mohammed's mother that he would let nothing happen to him and that Mohammed would return alive.
Now eight years-old, Saleem claims to have led a second weapons smuggling mission into Israel, only this time, when they emerge from the tunnel they had used to sneak into the country, they were confronted by the Israeli military "which started hitting us with everything they've got," killing Mohammed after he "took shrapnel through his esophagus and severed his spine," prompting Saleem to pick him up, put him on his shoulders, and run back across the border in Syria, with Mohammed serving as a shield to absorb the bullets being fired at him by the pursing Israeli soldiers:
Sounds plausible to me.
Buster Wilson of the American Family Association delivered a sermon at Hope Church in Tupelo, Mississippi, where the AFA is headquartered, “Calling the Nation Back to God,” where he insisted that America may impose “hate speech” laws against Christians to undermine their involvement in politics “and literally violate our conscience as believers in God’s word.” “If we don’t get involved we’re going to lose our country,” Wilson cried out, “let me just put it to you like this, if we don’t get involved and we leave the government of the people, for the people and by the people to be completely run by the pagans and the unbelievers then we are going to find ourselves in servitude to the pagans and the unbelievers”:
Later, Wilson said he is a membership in the extremist group Oath Keepers and broadcasted the group’s ten conspiratorial “Orders We Will Not Obey,” based on warnings of potential concentration camps, looming dictatorships and foreign militaries in America. “For instance, I will not ever obey a law to help encamp Tupelo as a concentration camp, I will never obey a law as a law enforcement officer to take away your firearms, I will never obey a to do anything to take away your constitutional rights, I’m an oath keeper,” Wilson said:
Despite its benign language of defending and guarding the Constitution, Oath Keepers is actually a fringe group which has had a number of its local leaders arrested for various crimes and whose own founder backed the creation of militia groups and an alternative economy to “resist what the globalists have in store for us.”
Washington Times columnist and Edmund Burke Institute president Jeffrey Kuhner doesn’t seem too happy with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care reform law, telling Janet Mefferd yesterday that the ruling “signals the end of our Constitutional republic as we know it” and “the end of traditional America as we know it.” “We are now living in an age of a creeping, soft, socialist tyranny,” Kuhner warned, even alleging that the government can potentially mandate that people stop “using toilet paper because it’s bad for the environment.” He argued that Chief Justice John Roberts “is a Judas” who “did it for his thirty pieces of silver” in the form of favorable reactions from the media:
Kuhner: Today it’s going to be health insurance, tomorrow it’ll be eating broccoli or buying an electric car or not using toilet paper because it’s bad for the environment. There is now no end; there is no limit on the power of the central government. That’s why it’s an ominous precedent, it’s a revolutionary precedent; I believe it signals the end of our Constitutional republic as we know it, we are now living in an age of a creeping, soft, socialist tyranny. This election I believe is the last chance for the American people to now stop Obamacare, stop the government takeover of healthcare, to stop this out of control imperial presidency, and to save our republic. After the next election, Obamacare will be fully implemented, the precedent of the Supreme Court will now be established and it will be the end of traditional America as we know it.
Mefferd: It’s interesting, when Obama has been issuing these executive orders, a lot of people have accused him rightly I believe of being confused of what his branch of government is supposed to do, do you believe that Roberts superseded his branch of government? He’s the judicial branch. Do you think he was doing something beyond the authority of the court to start saying alaw is this and not this regardless of what was argued?
Kuhner: Yes. In fact, I’m going to be very candid with you and I’m not going to mince words, I believe Chief Justice Roberts is a Judas. And I believe like Judas he did it for his thirty pieces of silver. And what were his thirty pieces of silver? It was one puff profile piece after another.
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer declared that there is "plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality," but it is all coming from gay activists and their supporters who are driven by a "heterophobic," "Christophobic," "dark, venomous, demonic hatred":
I am convinced that there is plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality, there's a lot of hatred, there's a lot of vitriol, there's a lot of venom - it is coming from homosexuals themselves. The real haters are homosexuals. The real venom is coming from those that support the homosexual agenda, either homosexual activists, homosexuals, or those that support the homosexual agenda. They are the real haters. There is a heterophobic hatred, there is a Christophobic hatred that is just seething, there's a dark, venomous, demonic hatred that is in the homosexual community.
Top-dollar donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign gathered last weekend to hobnob with the candidate at three fundraisers in East Hampton, N.Y., including an event at the massive home of billionaire David Koch. With the price of admission around $75,000, the scene near the gates isn’t surprising, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman's estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman's property -- the Creeks -- checked off names under tight security.
What is surprising, however, is how out of touch the upper echelon of the 1% is with the economic conditions faced by most Americans and their resistance to policies that will help level the playing field. The attitude of indifference to the plight of working families in favor of perpetuating failed trickle-down economics and maintaining the established order were summed up by a Romney contributor:
"I don't think the common person is getting it," she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits.
"Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.
"We've got the message," she added. "But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."
There are lots of college kids, baby sitters and nail ladies in America who are probably paying higher tax rates than the woman quoted above. Fortunately, as she said, they have the right to vote.
X-Men #51, issued by Marvel Comics last month, gained immediate attention as it centered on a wedding between Northstar and his boyfriend. Northstar came out as gay in 1992, but for the anti-gay Florida Family Association, his marriage to his long-term boyfriend “has crossed the line by attempting to legitimize same-sex marriage and asking kids to fantasize about their own homosexual wedding.” The group is urging members “who do not want their children targeted with immoral propaganda through comics” to email Marvel Comics to pull the X-Men #51. Earlier, the American Family Association’s subgroup OneMilionMoms blasted Marvel for trying to “desensitize and brainwash” children with the comic and the Religious Right magazine Charisma wondered if “the rise of gay superheroes” is “just another example of the spirit of immorality waging war on young souls.”
Marvel’s X-Men #51 comic issue has crossed the line by attempting to legitimize same-sex marriage and asking kids to fantasize about their own homosexual wedding.
It is shameful that two companies like Marvel and Disney would deliberately create a superhero homosexual wedding for our children to embrace and mimic.
PLEASE have more respect for the overwhelming majority of families who do not want their children targeted with immoral propaganda through comics.
My family and I urge your company to pull X-Men #51 from distribution.
People For the American Way Foundation applauded the news today that Hewlett-Packard Co., CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., MillerCoors LLC and BestBuy have become the latest major corporations to announce their exit from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), bringing the number of corporations leaving the organization to 25.
“Supporting ALEC’s extreme agenda is never justifiable,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “ALEC hurts Americans on a daily basis by promoting policies that suppress the vote, hurt working families, attack public education and destroy the environment.
“The decision by these five companies to leave ALEC is an important step to do right by their customers. Their competitors who have yet to quit should know that the American people won’t forget who continues to underwrite ALEC’s agenda at our expense. Fortunately, more and more corporations, nonprofits and organizations are withdrawing their memberships. As a result, ALEC’s ability to push its dangerous agenda through our statehouses diminishes every day.”
A petition drive and phone campaign led by People For the American Way Foundation, Color of Change, the Center for Media and Democracy, CREDO Action, Progress Now, SumOfUs and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has resulted in over 500,000 signatures and calls to ALEC’s corporate members, demanding that those companies end their membership with ALEC.