Fischer: It seems like we’ve got another clear differential when it comes to a sane, objective and biblical or evangelical understanding of man’s relationship with the environment. Paul Ryan seems to get ii and the other team doesn’t. So that would be potentially very good news for those of us that care about seeing a biblical view of the environment in public policy.
Beisner: Yes it would. Ryan’s understanding I think fits well with the biblical understanding that God made man in His image to be creative and productive as He is, to fill and to rule the earth. Not to abuse the earth, not to rape the land so to speak as many environmentalists talk, but rather to increase its fruitfulness, its beauty and its safety to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors. I think that really underlies the comments that Ryan has made on these issues through the years and it comes I think from his solidly Christian worldview background.
Beisner: Most Americans do not see any real purpose in tight restrictions on CO2 admissions. Many Americans actually remembered what they learned way back in seventh and eighth grade biology class, mainly that carbon dioxide is plant food. So the more of that there is in the air the more the crops grow and the cheaper the food is around the world, this actually helps especially the poor.
Case in point: today we came across these recent remarks delivered by Jerry Boykin where he claimed that "there is no question that there was divine inspiration" behind the writing of the Constitution, which is why "the Bible is referenced four times more than any other document in our Constitution":
Of course, the Bible is not referenced at all in the Constitution ... but you will not be surprised to learn that Boykin's claim finds its inspiration in Barton's "America's Godly Heritage" (skip ahead to the 4:00 mark) though Barton simply claims that the Bible was cited by the Founding Fathers four times more than they cited figures like Montesquieu and Blackstone.
Yet even Barton's original claim was itself problematic and Boykin has only made it worse by falsely claiming that the Constitution directly references the Bible multiple times, when it obviously does nothing of the sort.
The world’s largest Christian publisher Thomas Nelson has pulled David Barton’s book “The Jefferson Lies” because of Barton’s “unsupportable” claims regarding the third president’s views on religion. Barton’s deputy Rick Green accused academic “elitists” of acting like Adolf Hitler to smear Barton, while Barton ironically defended his book by insisting that a group of anonymous academics endorsed his work. Now that Thomas Nelson has recalled Barton’s book and removed all mention of it from its website, we wanted to see what books the publisher apparently found to be more credible than Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies”:
3. Hank Hanegraaff’s “The Creation Answer Book.” This book claims that humans and dinosaurs walked on the earth together and that the earth was created in six consecutive 24 hour days, apparently less of a stretch than Barton’s argument that Jefferson and the rest of the Founders were fundamentalist Christians.
4. John Hagee’s “The Beginning of the End.” The televangelist describes how the Antichrist will soon come to power, using microchips implanted in humans and hate crimes laws to secure his authority.
This, in a nutshell, is your modern Religious Right:
The website for the upcoming Values Voter Summit in DC, hosted by the Family Research Council, features Mitt Romney’s running mate side-by-side with “former terrorist” Kamal Saleem, seen here:
I can’t imagine Ryan would appreciate being given equal billing with a “former terrorist,” but Saleem is a big deal to the Religious Right.
Saleem, whose real name is Khodor Shami, claims that he was Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy this country,” saying that he crossed the Canadian border and “brought weapon caches right through cities.” Somewhere along the way he converted, got a job at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and became the favorite ex-Muslim of the Religious Right. As a result, he says his life is constantly in danger, and he is being pursued by foreign agents.
If you’re asking yourself why Saleem isn’t in jail as opposed to speaking at a conference with the likes of Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Jerry Boykin, and Tony Perkins, it’s because Saleem is widely considered to be a fraud. But this begs a question.
Does FRC believe Saleem? Do they think he came to America as a Muslim Brotherhood member bent on destroying our nation? They have scheduled him to speak alongside Jerry Boykin in a breakout session on “the strategic nature of Israel, and its role in the Middle East, America, and in the future of Western Civilization.” That suggests they do.
FRC is either knowingly presenting a fraud or someone who plotted to destroy the nation. If it’s the latter, they must also believe that Saleem is being pursued by foreign agents who are threatening his life. Now I’m not an event planner, but I would lean against booking anyone like that at a high-profile conference with governors and members of Congress.
But no matter FRC’s real intentions, Saleem is clearly useful to their anti-Muslim efforts. He is willing to say pretty much anything to confirm the darkest, most paranoid suspicions of his audiences, e.g.:
I, for one, welcome an investigation by the proper authorities to ensure Paul Ryan’s safety and prevent Michele Bachmann from accidentally palling around with a terrorist. If Saleem is to be believed, that is.
In the 2004 presidential election, President Bush used “dog whistle” politics during a debate with John Kerry by subtly linking the Dred Scott case to Roe v. Wade. This year, Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan is more explicit about his views. He supported a bill to outlaw all abortions and some contraceptives, and in 2010 he said that the “the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake” in Roe v. Wade that it made in the 1857 Dred Scott case:
Yet, identifying who “qualifies” as a human being has historically proved to be more difficult than the above examples suggest. Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court—charged with being the guardian of rights—has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it “disqualified” a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results.
The first time was in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The Court held, absurdly, that Africans and their American descendants, whether slave or free, could not be citizens with a right to go to court to enforce contracts or rights or for any other reason. Why? Because “among the whole human race,” the Court declared, “the enslaved African race were not intended to be included…[T]hey had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” In other words, persons of African origin did not “qualify” as human beings for purposes of protecting their natural rights. It was held that, since the white man did not recognize them as having such rights, they didn’t have them. The implication was that Africans were property—things that white persons could choose to buy and sell. In contrast, whites did “qualify,” so government protected their natural rights.
Every person in this country was wounded the day this dreadful opinion was handed down by this nation’s highest tribunal. It made a mockery of the American idea that human equality and rights were given by God and recognized by government, not constructed by governments or ethnic groups by consensus vote. The abhorrent decision directly led to terrible bloodshed and opened up a racial gap that has never been completely overcome. The second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973, when the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake. At what point in time does a human being exist, the state of Texas asked. The Court refused to answer: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” In other words, the Court would not “qualify” unborn children as living persons whose human rights must be guaranteed.
At the core, today’s “pro-choice” liberals are deeply pessimistic. They denigrate life and offer fear of the present and the future—fear of too many choices and too many children. Rather than seeing children and human beings as a benefit, the “pro-choice” position implies that they are a burden. Despite the “pro-choice” label, liberals’ stance on this subject actually diminishes choices, lowers goals, and leads us to live with less. That includes reducing the number of human beings who can make choices.
In contrast, pro-life conservatives are natural optimists. On balance, we see human beings as assets, not liabilities. All conservatives should find it easy to agree that government must uphold every person’s right to make choices regarding their lives and that every person’s right to live must be secured before he or she can exercise that right of choice. In the state of nature—the “law of the jungle”—the determination of who “qualifies” as a human being is left to private individuals or chosen groups. In a justly organized community, however, government exists to secure the right to life and the other human rights that follow from that primary right.
Today on "Faith and Freedom," Matt Barber railed against health care reform legislation, in particular the contraception mandate, declaring that it was like something out of George Orwell's 1984." Barber blasted the "secular socialist Obama administration" for having "trampled" over the Constitution and the Bible and essentially declaring "we're going to burn them both":
Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance said that besides his one-time vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, she is excited “to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’”
Paul Ryan is a great choice. He has one little blip in that he voted for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) a long time ago but voted right on the marriage amendment and supports the unborn. Plus, I get to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’ Bonus.
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition commended Ryan’s “100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record.”
Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee is an inspired, outstanding selection. Paul Ryan is a rare and exceptional public servant who combines the courage of his convictions with a sharp intellect and a winsome personality. I have known him since he worked for Jack Kemp at Empower America in the early 1990s, worked with him in passing sound budgets in the House, and am proud to count him as a friend. He is a person of devout Christian faith who has a 100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record in his 14 years in Congress. He will excite and energize social conservatives, who will play a critical role in the outcome of the elections.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is proud that Ryan “believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible.”
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan shows that he is serious about getting America's fiscal house in order. Paul Ryan's voting record also suggests that he believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible. Paul Ryan's philosophy clearly includes the understanding that America's financial greatness is tied directly to its moral and cultural wholeness.
As a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, he has been a defender of religious expression in the public square. Paul Ryan has spoken out strongly against President Obama's abortion drug and contraception mandates as an affront to religious liberty. He has articulately described how the President's government takeover of health care has pushed aside our First Amendment right of religious freedom.
We look forward to hearing Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit so that the conservative grassroots will have an opportunity to hear more about their agenda on the critical issues facing our country including religious liberty, marriage, the sanctity of human life as well as fiscal responsibility and national security.
The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjore Dannenfelser hailed Ryan’s rejection of a “culture war truce.”
“By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.
“Pro-life voters are a key demographic and help secure victory in critical elections,” continued Dannenfelser. “The addition of a second strong pro-life leader to the ticket energizes the pro-life base – we are thrilled with this pick.”
The Catholic Association called Ryan an “excellent choice” since “he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.”
We believe Governor Romney has made an excellent choice. As a smart, serious Catholic, Congressman Ryan has been steadfast on issues of fundamental principle – defending religious liberty, life, and traditional marriage.
In addition, he has been thoughtful and articulate in applying Catholic principles to the other challenges facing America.
The American Center for Law and Justice’s David French noted Ryan’s opposition to reproductive rights.
In the next days and weeks, there will be a lot of attention on Paul Ryan’s economic expertise and experience with fiscal reform. He became famous in political circles for the “Ryan budget” and for his fearlessness and effectiveness in challenging President Obama in the midst of the Obamacare debate. But what many may not know is that Paul Ryan is a man completely committed to the cause of life.
Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is glad this “youthful, forward-looking ticket [is] reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us.”
Just moments ago, Governor Mitt Romney formally announced his selection of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate. He made the announcement at a naval museum in Norfolk, Virginia, with the USS Wisconsin as his backdrop. This is a bold choice, and I am very excited about this pick!
The selection of Paul Ryan shows Governor Romney is serious about confronting the fiscal challenges facing our country. It shows the kind of talented and experienced team Governor Romney will put together that will work for American exceptionalism.
Ryan is a strong conservative. He is pro-life and believes in traditional marriage. Of course, what he is most known for is entitlement reform and stopping the growth of government. He's 42 with a young family.
So this will be a youthful, forward-looking ticket, reminding us that with the right choices America's best days are still ahead of us. It will be a stark contrast to Obama's failed tax and spend policies that are taking us down the dead-end road of European-style socialism. It's clear which presidential ticket is serious about making real change!
On the hook for a $748,000 hotel bill, Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips is still trying to make the case that he is a true fiscal conservative. So conservative that he has rejected all the presidential debate moderators outright and instead wants the debates moderated by someone from birther outlets like WND and Breitbart or commentators Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh!
There are four debates. Can we have at least one conservative moderator?
Why is it the Republicans always walk into these debates and agree to give the other side a leg up by having moderators that openly cheer for the Democrat?
Is it asking the Republicans too much to grow a pair and start fighting?
Who is the brain donor at the GOP that agreed to this non-sense?
When is the Republican Party going to learn the drive by media is the enemy? I don’t care if you go to the same trendy parties in DC they are the enemy. They are not the unbiased purveyors of information they would like to claim to be.
The Republicans do have allies. It is the conservative media. From WND to Breitbart, to the Blaze to Drudge and many others, there are a lot of conservatives who can moderate debates. There is Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, just to mention three.
The conservative media is carrying the water for the Republicans so why aren’t they demanding the conservative media have a seat at the table?
Why aren’t the Republicans demanding that at least half of the moderators be conservatives? Instead they are yielding the field to the Democrats.
Last week, we noted how odd it was that seemingly nobody was coming to David Barton's defense after his shoddy scholarship was exposed by NPR and then Barton's publisher announced that it had "lost confidence" in his work and was ceasing publication and distribution of his book.
Late on Friday night, WallBuilders finally issued a statement defending Barton's work and announcing that his "book has already been picked up by a much larger national publisher and distributor" and would soon be in publication again. Given Barton's, shall we say, lack of credibility at the moment, we remain a bit skeptical and so the veracity of this announcement remains to be seen.
Around the same time, Barton's "WallBuilders Live" co-host and side-kick Rick Green took to his blog to pen a furious screed against Barton's detractors that was replete with references to Hitler and attacks on the "elitists" who criticize Barton's pseuo-history:
Hitler and Alinsky were both masters of this tool. Hitler said: “All propaganda has to … accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
These elitist professors and reporters attacking David Barton know that most people will not actually go read the supporting material behind David’s books…certainly not the bloggers and reporters who have so quickly jumped on the attack wagon. They are exactly the “least intelligent” Hitler was able to fool, Alinksy taught radicals to fool, and now even Christian “leaders” are joining.
These elitists do not enjoy seeing themselves replaced.
They believe they are the high priests of history and the law.
They do not want you to read the actual writings of the Founders because that negates the need for their position of being the keeper of the keys to history ... The elitist professors like Kidd, Throckmorton, Coulter, & Jenkinson write boring books that very few people read and they give boring lectures that are only attended by students forced to do so in order to get a grade.
When these guys see Barton telling history in a way that is BOTH accurate and fun and they see millions of people are captivated and want to learn more, then perhaps it could be just a little jealousy could be causing them to lash out at Barton with innuendoes backed by no actual merit. But the bigger issue is that they do not want to lose the power of being the keepers of the keys to history. They want their “interpretation” of historical figures to control how generations view history, rather than letting historical events and historical figures speak for themselves.
Near the end of his rant, Green issued a challenge for anyone to show "a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton" and promised to post them on his blog for everyone to see:
In the meantime, I’m still waiting for someone to show me a specific inaccuracy or false claim by Barton ... They are claiming that Barton is purposefully presenting a false picture of history and using inaccuracies and distortions to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is these critics who are using inaccuracies, innuendo, and distortions to attack Barton in the first place.
If you can show me specifics that back up the image created by the critics innuendo, I’ll post it right here for the world to see.
Well, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter wrote an entire book documenting Barton's false claims, so he could start there. Or he could turn to Chris Rodda who tried to take up Green's challenge only to discover that Green refused to post her comments on his blog and instead wrote a follow-up post asserting that he was not about to allow his blog to be used by "critics who have proven themselves to be illogical and slanderous" to promote their "ridiculous, unrelated, illogical ramblings."
We unsuccessfully attempted to take up Green's challenge as well, but he is blocking our comments and refusing to allow them to appear on his blog ... so we will just do so here.
Last week, we posted a collection of ten absurd claims that Barton has made along with ten demonstrably false claims that Barton has made and we hereby issue our own challenge to Green to defend them. He doesn't even have to defend all of them; he merely has to show us just one place where the Constitution directlyquotes the Bible "verbatim":
Governor Mitt Romney today announced his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“Of all the things we’ve learned about Mitt Romney in this campaign, the most striking is his willingness to cave to the extreme Right at every opportunity. His selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate just underscores that.
“From his support of ‘personhood’ legislation that would criminalize some forms of birth control, to his crusade to gut Medicare, cut Pell Grants and protect subsidies for Big Oil, Paul Ryan is the ideal Vice President for the far Right. The fact that Ryan’s budget raises taxes on working families and slashes programs helping the middle class in order to give huge breaks to the rich is just par for the course.
“If there was any question that Mitt Romney’s campaign is catering to billionaires, there shouldn’t be anymore. This is the Koch brothers' dream ticket. But for ordinary Americans, the Romney-Ryan agenda would be a nightmare.”
In an interview with Tony Perkins on Washington Watch Weekly, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell slammed the Obama campaign’s effort to expand early voting procedures in Ohio, saying that the President is running “probably the most bareknuckle campaign I’ve seen”.
Blackwell also accused democrats of exploiting the “Voter ID controversy to gin up their base” and energize minority voters in their favor. The controversy surrounding early voting in Ohio centers on a new special exemption that the state extends to military voters. The Obama campaign filed suit, seeking to restore early voting procedures for all citizens, including servicemen and women.
Despite decrying the so-called “bareknuckle” tactics of the Obama campaign, Blackwell is no stranger to political combat. His 2006 gubernatorial campaign smeared his opponent as gay, and Blackwell worked tirelessly to suppress minority voting in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.
Perkins: To me it suggests that they’re pretty desperate, that they see every vote as being, as counting, in the state of Ohio, that they cannot spare a single vote in that state.
Blackwell: Well you’re absolutely right, and just think about, there is an alarming pattern. They are actively opposed, and in the case of what I’m getting ready to say, the administration is actively opposed to Voter ID. And they are using the Voter ID controversy to gin up their base because they are running a base turnout campaign and its imperative that they get a high voter turnout from blacks and Latinos and that they get a substantial disproportionate share of their vote, so they are basically creating the conservative republican boogeyman by saying, you know, voter ID requirements suppress votes. They then, on the other hands, they’re suppressing the votes on the military because they know the numbers are against them. So you begin to see, or the Obama campaign and their friends going after chick-fil-a. You know, it is, this is, probably the most bareknuckle campaign that I’ve seen from a sitting President, it is Chicago-style politics, and there are no rules. It’s a no-man’s land.
As we noted earlier, it has not been a very good week for David Barton, so this seemed like a good opportunity to pull together a list of some of the most absurd things that he has said over the last year or so just to give people who might not be particularly familiar with Barton or his work a better sense of just what sort of claims he likes to puts forth.
Yesterday we posted a list a ten demonstrably false claims Barton has made in recent months but this list, though also filled with falsehoods, focuses more on the sorts of patently ridiculous claims that Barton is prone to making:
The US Embassy in the Czech Republic, as part of the State Department’s new LGBT rights initiative, is supporting a pride festival in Prague “to address discriminatory behavior based on sexual orientation and to promote a tolerant civil society and equal opportunities in the Czech Republic.” AlreadyirateoverSecretaryHillaryClinton’sspeechonLGBTrights, American Religious Right activists joined their European, African and Latin American allies to denounce the Obama administration for “aggressively promoting the ‘gay’ agenda internationally” and leading a campaign of “cultural imperialism” [PDF]:
At the directive of the president of the United States, Washington is aggressively promoting the “gay’’ agenda internationally, including same-sex “marriage” and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.
The Obama’s administration’s embrace of “same-sex marriage” has been overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. There have been 32 state referenda on marriage. In every one of them, voters endorsed the natural definition of marriage (a man and a woman). The North Carolina vote, on May 8, was 61% in favor of natural marriage.
It stands to reason, then, that anything which undermines the family – including changing the definition of marriage – is a breach of the State’s responsibility to protect this indispensable institution which precedes government and makes a stable and free society possible.
The Madrid Declaration of World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012) --which was unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 countries --provides, in part: “We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations.”
Regarding “gay rights,” those caught up in this lifestyle have the same rights as other citizens. This does not include the “right” to force others to validate a lifestyle they find objectionable, for religious or other reasons. It also does not include the right of men to marry men and women to marry women.
The foregoing pseudo-rights do not advance human freedom and dignity but debase them.
We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the “gay” agenda on societies with traditional values.
Joining us at a launch party for the report and a discussion of the issues it raises were Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress; Sister Simone Campbell, director of the Catholic social justice group NETWORK; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Here are some photos of the event from People For Foundation’s Dylan Hewitt:
Sister Simone Campbell talks with People For’s COO, Nick Ucci
People For President Michael Keegan, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery
Michael Keegan and Rep. Keith Ellison
Sister Simone Campbell and Rabbi David Saperstein
Rabbi David Saperstein
Rep. Keith Ellison and Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Conference.
On yesterday's installment of "AFA Today," Buster Wilson returned to the topic of Chick-fil-A to declare that the company has been successful because "they live according to God's word" and have kept God's command to meditate on His law day and night.
And that prompted Wilson to issue a not-so-subtle warning to "Big Gay" activists who oppose Chick-fil-A's anti-gay views they they are destined for Hell and therefore must "read the Bible and they need to try to believe it because it's going to have a bearing on their soul one day":
Yesterday on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that activists who don’t want Chick-fil-A on their college campus due to the company’s anti-gay advocacy should keep quiet: “I defy these homosexuals to bring forth a baby from that part of the anatomy which they concentrate on, when that happens I will change everything I’m saying; until that happens, I wish those demonstrators would shut their mouth.” Robertson warned that legal abortion and homosexuality are violations of God’s law and are “the reasons why land will vomit out its inhabitants.”
Robertson: It’s a chicken sandwich, it’s a piece of white meat chicken between two pieces of white bread, it’s also a milkshake, now we’re going to go have demonstrations over that? But you know something, I was reading today in Leviticus, which is the law of the Old Testament, but it lays out the reasons why land will vomit out its inhabitants and it goes through a category of stuff we are calling Constitutional rights: killing babies, offering them to Moloch, and it says it is an abomination for a man to lie with a man as with a woman. It’s what it says. That is the moral law that God set forth and now we’ve got people at a university petitioning because somebody said I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I defy these homosexuals to bring forth a baby from that part of the anatomy which they concentrate on, when that happens I will change everything I’m saying; until that happens, I wish those demonstrators would shut their mouth.
Much like birtherism, which started out on the fringe but has since became a mainstream idea within the GOP, maybe it is only a matter of time before more and more conservative activists demand Obama “prove” he isn’t gay.