Fighting the Right

Rick Santorum Prayed with Anti-Gay Pastor Implicated in Cover-up of Child Abuse

Before the Tennessee primary, Rick Santorum visited the Bellevue Baptist Church outside of Memphis where he prayed alongside Pastor Steve Gaines. Gaines said that “God doesn’t come to take sides, God comes to take over and I pray that He will takeover in America.” He asked God to forgive America for “the sins of racism, the sins of abortion and the sins of immorality”:

Gaines has a sordid history, and the website Ethics Daily, a project of the Baptist Center for Ethics, reported back in 2006 that Gaines failed to report to the police a minister in his church, Paul Williams, who molested his own:

An assistant prosecutor said Bellevue Baptist Church Pastor Steve Gaines may have committed a crime if he knew the "moral failure" a church staff member confessed to him six months ago involved child molestation.

All 50 states have laws requiring mandatory reporting of suspected child sexual abuse. Tennessee requires any person, including ministers, with reasonable suspicion that abuse of a child has occurred to report it immediately.

Gaines has admitted that Paul Williams, a minister on staff at the Memphis, Tenn., mega-church for 34 years, told him in confidence about inappropriate behavior that occurred 17 years ago.

While Gaines did not disclose details of the confession, a Web site critical of his leadership alleged Williams molested his own son. Church leaders have suspended Williams and launched their own investigation, due to last a month.

"Everyone has a duty to report," Kevin Rardin, chief prosecutor of child sexual abuse cases in the district attorney's office in Shelby County, Tenn., told Memphis station WMC-TV. "There are not exceptions for clergy or anyone else."

In fact, Gaines kept Williams’s admission a secret for six months:

"It is that every person is required to make a report to an agency like Department of Children's Services if they have reason to believe that someone may, a child may have been molested or abused," said Nancy Williams, with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

According to Bellevue Pastor Steve Gaines' own words, he didn't just have reason to believe it, he had a confession from one of his ministers, who admitted to molesting a child.

A report by church leaders found that Gaines allowed the minister to remain on staff even after his admission:

The report states that Williams "engaged in egregious, perverse, sexual activity with his adolescent son over a period of 12 to 18 months."



In May 2006, Williams informed Jamie Fish, the church's minister of biblical guidance, of his past actions. The report said Fish erred by not coming forward with the information, particularly since Williams' job duties included interviewing adult lay ministry volunteers who had indicated they had been sexually abused.

The following month Williams and his wife met to discuss the issue with Dr. Steve Gaines, Bellevue's senior pastor. Williams indicated that he confessed and repented to his family and there had been no further sexual abuse. The meeting was kept confidential and Williams remained on staff.

But in early December, Williams' son met with Gaines "for an explanation, in light of scriptural qualifications for ministers, as to why Paul should be allowed to continue as minister on the church staff."

While Gaines failed to report a case of child molestation and allowed an admitted child predator to remain on the church’s staff, he did ban a softball team from the church’s athletic league because the coach was openly gay. In fact, Gaines consistently rails against gays and lesbians, warning that gay rights and gays in the media jeopardize America’s security and economy:

"As important as these issues are, ... I believe they pale compared to two other issues that I believe will determine the future of America," Gaines warned. "I personally believe with all of my heart that the two issues that will determine what God will do not only with America but to America are abortion and homosexuality. ... America's economy and America's safety are more tied up with what's going on in those courts in Massachusetts than what's going on in Wall Street or over in Iraq." …

"We love [homosexuals] because we know -- as Jesus said from the cross -- 'they know not what they do.' They're in bondage, but aren't you glad today Jesus Christ can set people free from all sorts of bondage, even homosexuality?"



Southern Baptists should oppose "pro-homosexual television programming," such as "Will and Grace," "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and MTV's homosexual channel, Logo, Gaines urged.

"We must help curb the epidemic spread of lesbianism by telling our daughters and our young girls that the passionate kisses shared by Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at MTV's Video Music Awards last August were an abomination to a holy God," Gaines said.

In another sermon, he warned that since “homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce biologically so they prey on the children of normal people, seeking to entice them to be trapped in their perverted lifestyle”:

On the home-front, radical homosexuals and lesbians seek to take over our nation. You cannot watch television without being subjected to Gay propaganda. They seek to brain wash our citizens so they can make same-sex marriage the law of the land. Homosexuals and lesbians cannot reproduce biologically so they prey on the children of normal people, seeking to entice them to be trapped in their perverted lifestyle. They want to silence Baptist preachers and others from denouncing their sinful lifestyles by making it an illegal “hate crime” to point out what the Bible says about their wicked practices. Regardless of what anyone says about the goodness of being “Gay,” the Bible still calls it a “degrading, unnatural, indecent, and depraved” (Romans 1:26-28). Homosexual practice always has been, is, and always will be “an abomination” in the sight of Holy God (Leviticus 18:22). By God’s grace, homosexuals can be saved and set free from their sinful lifestyles because the blood of Jesus can cleanse anyone from any sin. But they must first repent of the sin of homosexuality and denounce their ungodly homosexual behavior.



The Old Testament prophet, Joel, preached to God’s people in Judah just before the Babylonian armies came and destroyed Jerusalem and took God’s people into exile. He cried out for them to repent so that God could spare the land from the coming invasion. His words of warning are very pertinent for us today. I personally believe that if America does not repent, she is headed for national disaster.

The negative publicity around Gaines, however, did not prevent Rick Santorum from actively seeking his support. In fact, Santorum has made frequent appearances with extremists in the Religious Right in his bid to defeat Mitt Romney.

PFAW's Jamie Raskin Takes on Right-Wing Rhetoric on the Courts

As the 2012 presidential campaign gears up, PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin has collected an extensive glossary of the Right Wing’s favorite rhetoric about the Supreme Court and the Constitution. Sen. Raskin's Daily Kos piece explains the coded phrases and euphemisms, such as “federalism,” “legislating from the bench” and “original intent,” that the Right Wing uses to project their political agenda onto the Founding Fathers’ vision for America.

Here’s an excerpt :

“Follow the Law, Not Make the Law” – Right -Wing Usage: What Republican judges and justices do and what Republican judicial nominees will do, e.g., “It’s only a matter of time before our five justices who follow the law and don’t make the law strike down the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and step up the campaign to invalidate jury verdicts and punitive damages in the states.” Preferred Usage: Essentially meaningless campaign rhetoric used to describe judges who toe the right-wing corporate line, e.g., “I hope they follow the law, instead of making it, and cut our jury verdict down to a price that won’t cost us so much freedom of speech.”

You can read the whole glossary here.

PFAW

DOJ and Houston senator take a stand for voting rights, against ID law

The US Department of Justice has officially objected to the Texas voter ID law. State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston had urged such action.
PFAW Foundation

Kirk Cameron Warns 'Our Freedoms Are Being Taken Away'

According to Kirk Cameron, criticizing him is an attack on freedom itself, so it was no surprise to hear him tell Janet Mefferd on Friday that he made his new documentary, Monumental, on the history of the US because he fears that “our freedoms are being taken away.” Mefferd said that the opposition to Cameron’s assertion that homosexuality is “destructive” is representative of the “sinful condition of our country,” which “was what drove you really to make Monumental.” Cameron agreed and maintained that the moral and spiritual fruits of America are “rotting”:

Mefferd: It’s sort of interesting, Kirk, it’s really fascinating to see how your experience this week really points out the sinful condition of our country, and that was what drove you really to make Monumental, your concern for the direction our country is headed.

Cameron: That’s right, and even deeper than my concern for my country and the way it’s headed, I’m concerned for the future of my children. I love my kids, I have friends who have children, and all of us are concerned with what we see—morally, spiritually—we think, wow, the fruit in America seems to be rotting…. All signs tell me that we are headed in the wrong direction; our freedoms are being taken away.

Arizona Group Opposes Anti-Bullying Measure because it has Support from Gay Rights Groups

The Center for Arizona Policy, one of the state’s leading conservative organizations, coming out strongly against legislation in the Arizona State Senate, Senate Bill 1462, in the Arizona State Senate that tackles the problem of school bullying, which is nothing new from right-wing groups. But while Religious Right groups typically claim they oppose anti-bullying policies because they identify “sexual orientation” as a reason that students are bullied, SB 1462 does not mention “sexual orientation” or other enumerated categories. Instead, Center for Arizona Policy says that they oppose the bullying-prevention effort just because groups such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and the Anti-Defamation League support the legislation. There is no doubt about it; the ‘bullying’ theme is agenda-driven propaganda,” the group writes. “The irony is that groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have chosen this issue to bully you and me into allowing them access into our schools and to our children.” The group also lashed out at a Teaching Tolerance film, Bullied, which “chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today.”

The questions arise when one considers which organizations would provide the training and which organizations are behind the legislation. As a leading homosexual magazine in Arizona wrote, Equality Arizona, one n ten, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) were all in attendance at the bill's committee hearing to support and see the legislation pass.

You see, groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have used the bullying issue in order to gain access to our public schools. These are the groups that supporters of the bill will bring into schools to teach the anti-bullying training to our students.

What concerns me is that this is already happening. I received an email from a parent whose 11-year-old daughter was forced to watch a documentary called Bullied during class time without any parental notification or consent. Taken directly off the tolerance.org website, "Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student's ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools." As this dad wrote:

Upon questioning my daughter I was able to determine the video presented was the documentary Bullied. My wife and I spent the next several minutes apologizing to her that she was forced by her school to view the material ... I should note the school was diligent in requiring written parental approval for my daughter to view a specific rendition of Star Wars, but the Administration need not trouble the parents over [these] materials. The material was not all that timely for our child either since we had to define for her the terms "homo" and "fag" at our dinner table.

There is no doubt about it; the "bullying" theme is agenda-driven propaganda. [emphasis theirs]. The irony is that groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have chosen this issue to bully you and me into allowing them access into our schools and to our children. To express concerns about anti-bullying bills is portrayed in the most unfavorable light.

These bullying bills are not sound public policy. Not only are they a thinly veiled attempt to allow political groups into our schools, they also divert the focus of our school system off the fundamentals. Class time should be for reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Barton: Employers Have no Obligation to be 'Fair' to Workers (and Jesus Agrees)

In the past, we have chronicled how David Barton uses the Bible, in particular Matthew 20:1-16, to promote an ultra-right-wing economic view by claiming that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and any sort of employment discrimination laws.

Barton's interpretation of this passage is particularly absurd since, as we have noted before, Matthew 20 is the famous "Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard" in which Jesus explains "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner" who pays all of his works the same amount, regardless of how much they worked. The point of the parable is that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the Heavenly reward is the same; those who embraced Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who were Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love.

On his "Wallbuilders Live" radio program today, Barton once again trotted out this parable, this time to declare that employers have no obligation to be "fair" to their workers and to suggest that Jesus also opposed unions:

The Bible says [the worker] started grumbling about what happened, grumbling about his wages and Jesus answered and said to him "am I being unfair to you friend? Didn't you agree to work for a day's wages? You take your pay and go. I want to give to the one who was hired the same as I gave to you. That's my choice." Here it is, Matthew 20:15. "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?"

Now, two things come out here, is if an employee agrees to work for an employer, that's a contract between the two of them ... and Jesus points out that you can go to a different vineyard if you don't like what I'm paying. You've got the free market, you can go choose a different employer. You agreed to work for me for this wage and that's what you're going to get. So first you get the inviolability of contracts between employers and employees ... and whatever is fair has nothing to do with it. That's not their responsibility to be fair, it's "I gave my word, that's what I agreed to work for." So Jesus says, as an employer, isn't my money mine to do with as I please?

Second point is, where were unions in all this? The contract is between an employer and an employee, not between a group. He went out and hired individually the guys he wanted to work.

Notice how Barton takes a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven and transforms it into a Biblical justification for laissez-faire capitalism, anti-unionism, and employment discrimination and does so by attributing to Jesus words that Jesus himself put in the mouth of an unnamed landowner in order to demonstrate God's generosity.

When Barton cites Matthew 20, it is not some parable about God's love, but rather a lesson in right-wing econonics in which Jesus himself hires workers for his vineyard and tells those who complain about wage discrimination that they can take a hike if they don't like it because employers have no obligation to be fair to their workers.  

Linda Harvey Claims Harry Potter Leads Children to the Occult

Mission America president Linda Harvey last week joined Truth in Action Ministries’ Carmen Pate and John Rabe on Truth that Transforms where she argued that public schools are pushing “occult practices and ideas and beliefs” on children through practices like meditation and yoga. Harvey particularly blamed Harry Potter for influencing the entertainment industry to make similar “occult” movies and “taking kids away from authentic Christianity and into all kinds of practices and ideas that will lead them down a dark road.” Pate worried about the “occult underlying themes” in children’s cartoons and even suggested that public school-sponsored Earth Day events have a “focus on Gaia worship” and the “worshiping of Mother Nature.”

Harvey: If you look throughout what our kids are told and taught in the social media, throughout the media and in their schools, you see a constant, casual occult practices and ideas and beliefs. It starts with, of course, the worship of the self and your own impulses and whatever sensational element is out there and people don’t often think of this as leading to the occult but it does. When you’ve decided that you are the center of the universe and you want a designer God or some kind of spirituality that just tickles your ears, that’s what our kids are being taught from meditation to yoga to all kinds of fascinations with things like wizards and magic of all kinds and vampires. I mean it is everywhere.

Pate: I realize that when my grandchildren are visiting I have to be very selective about what cartoons I allow them to watch because of the wizardry and occult underlying themes in cartoons.

Harvey: Absolutely. What most of our kids are taught today, it’s the entertainment and it’s the Hollywood media that is taking this up. They’ve taken off from the success of the Harry Potter series and they have decided that children all need therapy and the therapy that they need is to find special powers within themselves to battle the demons, real or imagined, out there, so they never look to Jesus Christ. It’s all taking kids away from authentic Christianity and into all kinds of practices and ideas that will lead them down a dark road.



Pate: I think about how Earth Day comes around each spring and there’s a focus on Gaia worship. I mean, really going back again to this worshiping of Mother Nature and all that she is about and kids come out of this because it’s done at school, schools should be telling them truth they’re thinking, so they believe what they’re told, so parents and churches really have their work cut out for them, Linda.

Liberty Counsel blames Alfred Kinsey for Child Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church

Today on Faith & Freedom Mat Staver was joined by Judith Reisman, a visiting professor at Staver’s Liberty University School of Law, to discuss how sexologist Alfred Kinsey is to blame for the child abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church. Reisman, who holds degrees in communications, has tried to fashion herself as an expert on human sexuality and is a stringent critic of the gay community. She has argued that gays are part of the “pedophile movement” as she says it is “the aim of homosexual males and now increasingly females is not to have sex with other old guys and get married but to obtain sex with as many boys as possible” and that the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network is a “modern version of the Hitler Youth.” Actual experts in the field of sexuality have dubbed Reisman’s work “pseudoscientific” and even the US Senate’s Juvenile Justice Subcommittee criticized Reisman’s work.

Reisman told Staver, who attacked Kinsey during his speech at the Values Voter Summit for “destroying the family, destroying the idea of God” and bringing “sexual anarchy” to America, said it was no coincidence that the abuse “problem in the Church” began just when Kinsey published his work. She also repeated the myth that gay people are more likely to molest children than straight people. “If you have a revolution it has huge fallout,” Reisman said, and one of the key fallouts was that post-Kinsey the Catholic Church actually found itself being trained by sexologists who were from the Kinseyan movement.” Reisman alleged that the sexologists showed pornography to Catholic bishops “who were so inclined” and “were throwing out the priests, I would say the good priests, because they were people who were not designed to molest children.”

Watch:

Reisman: There’s been a tremendous amount of research in the Catholic Church on the pedophile priest issue and the John Jay report came out which attempted to identify how come so many priests were involved in the sexual abuse of children, mostly boys by the way so these were homosexual acts because they were men molesting boys. As a result they began to look back to try to figure out when this began and although there’s always been a problem as there always is everywhere that problem in the Church began post 1950s, essentially in the 1960s, when everything began to spin off the charts in terms of abuse.

Staver: And they looked at it historically and found that it was in the ’50s to early ’60s when all this began. Amazingly, Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote his first book, Sexuality and the Human Male in 1948 and Sexuality and the Human Female in 1953, and that is now commonly known as the K-bomb that he actually dropped the K-bomb on the greatest generation coming back from the war here in America and that rippled around the world. In context, you’re trying to give them some answers as to the ultimate origin of why they began to see these results happening within the Roman Catholic Church.



Reisman: It wasn’t going on forever; it did spin out of a major cultural change and that cultural change has been well identified as the sexual revolution. The sexual revolution had a father, that they always dubbed the father of the sexual revolution, that was Kinsey. If you have a revolution it has huge fallout and one of the key fallouts was that post-Kinsey the Catholic Church actually found itself being trained by sexologists who were from the Kinseyan movement, from the Kinsey model.

They were shown pornography in the seminaries in certain groups of seminaries where the bishops were so inclined. The orthodox priests, the people who wanted to be priest’s, rather, who were going into the seminaries who were orthodox and did not believe in promiscuity whether heterosexual or homosexual, were simply removed, they were not permitted to become priests because they were too “orthodox.” There were psychologists there who had been trained in the Kinsey model and who were throwing out the priests, I would say the good priests, because they were people who were not designed to molest children. So the impact of Kinsey was enormous.

Perkins Labels LGBT-Rights Initiative a 'Radical' Push for 'Special Rights for Homosexuals and Homosexuality'

Many conservatives went completely ballistic after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a powerful speech to the United Nations with the message that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights” and launching an initiative to promote LGBT rights abroad. On Friday’s edition of Washington Watch Weekly, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins claimed that Clinton’s denunciation of violence and discrimination against the LGBT community represented a “radical social agenda” promoting “special rights for homosexuals and homosexuality.” He went on to falsely claim that the State Department is “completely silent” on the “persecution of Christians,” while trying to use the United Nations to impose gay rights on America.

Perkins: This administration, in particular Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is taking, pushing, using our tax dollars to push a radical social agenda, primarily focused on special rights for homosexuals and homosexuality into other countries and then bringing it back to the UN to adopt certain policies which would then be imposed upon America.



We are seeing unprecedented discrimination around the world, not discrimination but persecution of Christians and the Church and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been almost silent on that issue. Now we see where there focus is, it’s on pushing this radical, social agenda through the UN and in the meantime they are completely silent on even what Newsweek identified as a global war on Christianity. Folks again, this is the result of this administration pushing their radical policy, it’s going to the UN and now they’re going to appeal to what the UN sets as a standard. You got to watch this administration.

Is Marriage Equality 'Heterophobic'?

Alabama pastor Aaron Fruh last week appeared on Crane Durham’s show on the American Family Association’s radio network, where Fruh explained that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is actually “heterophobic” because it discriminates against heterosexuals and “against the unborn children who will never see the light of day if you revise the historical, moral and legal view of traditional marriage.” Fruh appears to believe that by allowing gays and lesbians to marry, heterosexuals will somehow lose their right to marry, have children and oppose same-sex marriag. He called marriage equality the “height of bigotry” and said gays and lesbians are “hateful and malicious” towards married heterosexuals.

I don’t consider myself homophobic and I’d like to reframe this argument on my terms, and I’m insulted for even being called homophobic and insulted that I’m called a bigot because I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My question is, to the gay community, how did you come into the world in the first place? There’s only one way, through the physical union of a man and a woman and in most cases a married man and a woman, your father and mother. So I want to say to the gay community, why are you so heterophobic? Why are you discriminating against the unborn children who will never see the light of day if you revise the historical, moral and legal view of traditional marriage. Why are you so condemning of me because I’m a married man to a woman of the opposite sex and to me that’s the height of bigotry. So I say to the gay community, you’re being quite malicious towards me, a married heterosexual man who believes in traditional marriage values, and you’re prejudiced and hateful towards my right to be committed to the principle of family and marriage.

Blinded by his Hatred of the SPLC, Barber Defends Patriot Militias

Ever since the Southern Poverty Law Center placed Peter LaBarbera's Americans For Truth About Homosexuality and several other Religious Right groups on its list of anti-gay hate groups, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel has become a relentless critic of the SPLC.

Even though Barber's own Liberty Counsel has not been designed an anti-gay hate group itself, Barber is on the board of LaBarbera's organization and so he has been eager to attack the SPLC at every opportunity, even accusing the organization of doing to Christians just what the Nazis did to the Jews.

Last week, the SPLC released a new report noting a recent dramatic rise within the "antigovernment 'Patriot' movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy." 

And it seems that Barber's hatred of the SPLC has now become so all-encompassing that he just automatically rejects any sort of designation that organization makes ... so much so that he is now defending antigovernment militia movements: 

The Montgomery, Alabama-based organization recently released a report saying that antagonism toward President Barack Obama is feeding the number of so-called "hate groups," and "anti-government" organizations continue to grow. The report also describes a "stunning rise" in the number of patriot and "militia" movements.

Matt Barber is director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel. He says the SPLC is a radical group that considers patriotism something to be loathed.

"Only in the eyes of a liberal, extremist group can those who embrace patriotism be considered dangerous, radical hate groups," he decides.

Farah: God Sent Earthquake to Punish America for Moral 'Lawlessness'

In a speech at a Strategic Perspectives Conference hosted by Chuck Missler’s Koinonia House, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah repeated his claim that the 2011 Virginia earthquake was a punishment from God for “lawlessness in our world today.” Farah described how he was “chatting on instant messenger” with Sean Hannity when they both felt the earthquake, messaging each other in jest, “It’s the end of the world.” He continued to say that the earthquake was not the end of the world but a sign from God that He will no longer tolerate “disobedience and indifference to Him and His law,” and warned that “you can safely expect many more signs of that kind and even more ominous ones.”

Watch:

When that earthquake finally hit, I was chatting on instant messenger with Sean Hannity.



Within seconds, we both messaged each other, simultaneously, both in jest, ‘It’s the end of the world.’ This is the thought that went through the minds of many in an instant, our world was shaken and when our world shakes there is really only one power in the universe who can do that, and it’s the Creator.

Why does God do that? I believe that He shakes us up in small ways and big ways as a sign to us of the consequences of disobedience and indifference to Him and His law. It’s really that simple, He wants us to return to covenant, which means living under His rules. Given the extent of lawlessness in our world today, I think you can safely expect many more signs of that kind and even more ominous ones.

Fischer: It's 'Ridiculous' to Think Mockery & Condemnation Cause Gay Kids to Commit Suicide

Filling in as host for the "AFR Mornings" program today, Bryan Fischer brought on anti-gay activist Michael Brown to discuss his recent column defending Kirk Cameron from a tweet by Roseanne Barr in which she said Cameron was “an accomplice to murder with his hate speech” by claiming that Michelle Obama must then also be "complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity."

Fischer loved that line of reasoning, adding that it was "just ridiculous on its face" to think that being mocked, ridiculed, and condemned would lead gay kids to commit suicide.  After all, Fischer said, the AFA is "relentlessly hammered, condemned, criticized, [and] judged" every single day and nobody there is tempted to end their life just because they are being ridiculed:

Kirk Cameron Taps David Barton for new Documentary

We already know former child star Kirk Cameron is far from the best student of American history, so of course he’s decided to make a documentary, Monumental, about American history. Naturally, Cameron is turning to right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton for help:

Chris Rodda debunked Barton’s story about “Congress’s Bible,” noting that Congress simply passed a resolution on the accuracy of the edition of the Bible of printer Robert Aiken and did not purchases or print copies of the Bible, pay for the printing or print the Bible for use in schools. “The words ‘a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools’ are taken from a letter written by Aitken, not the resolution of Congress,” Rodda writes, “The only help Aitken ever got from Congress was the resolution endorsing the accuracy of his work.”

She also notes that the Aitken Bible was first called “The Bible of the Revolution” not during the American Revolution but in 1930 by people who were trying to sell copies of it, and Aitken himself “ended up losing over £3,000 on the 10,000 Bibles he printed.”

This is one of Barton’s many false tales about American history and it should come as no one’s surprise that he will be prominently featured in Cameron’s documentary about American history, even though Christian academics have emerged as some of Barton’s leading critics.

Some far-right Christian commentators are also upset with Cameron, with one claiming that he is misrepresenting America’s “pagan” history as Christian.

ALEC Reports

ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures

When state legislatures around the country passed virtually identical bills to deregulate specific industries, dismantle unions or award massive tax cuts to corporations, one might wonder if such pro-special interest, pro-corporate legislation originates organically from the people's elected representatives. People For the American Way Foundation's Right Wing Watch: In Focus report on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) exposes the quietly influential organization behind pro-corporate laws in states throughout the country. By connecting powerful industry lobbyists with elected officials, ALEC works behind the scenes to mold state laws in the interest of big corporations -- usually completely under the radar of voters.

Read the Report >>

 

MORE...

 

ALEC IN ARIZONA: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona's Legislature

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a key voice for corporate special interests in state legislatures across the county, is welcomed with an especially warm embrace in Arizona, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation and Common Cause. With one of the highest concentrations of ALEC legislators of any state in the United States, Arizona lawmakers are working hand-in-hand with corporate leaders who make up ALEC's membership to deregulate specific industries, privatize education and dismantle unions, the report found.

Read the Report >>

 

ALEC in Ohio: The Corporate Special Interests That Help Write Ohio's Laws

A report by People For the American Way Foundation, Common Cause, the Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Ohio reveals the deep ties between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Ohio's legislature. Through a side-by-side comparison of ALEC legislative models and actual Ohio bills, the report shows how Ohio's legislators are working in tandem with corporate leaders to deregulate key industries, privatize education and dismantle unions.

Read the Report >>

 

 

 

RightWingWatch.org on ALEC >>

 

 

Perkins Claims Christians Who Support Gay Rights 'Want to Silence Christians'

Earlier this week MSNBC refused to air Faithful America’s advertisement urging MSNBC to stop hosting Family Research Council president Tony Perkins over his erroneous and hateful remarks about the LGBT community. You can watch the ad here:

Yesterday on Today’s Issues with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, Perkins called Faithful America a “loudmouth, Soros-funded group” and attacked Bishop Eugene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire who along with other Christian leaders delivered 20,000 signatures to MSNBC urging the network to drop Perkins, whom Perkins said “split the Episcopal Church because he’s openly gay and wanted to marry his lover or whatever you call it.” Perkins argued that Faithful America is “afraid of the truth” and wants to “silence Christians,” saying that while on MSNBC it usually has “nothing to do with homosexuality.”

Wildmon: There’s something about, I didn’t read the whole story, something about you appearing on some news show the other night and now the homosexual activist groups want you banned for life or something, I don’t know.

Perkins: Well what’s new about that? They are afraid of the truth and they are probably listening because I know they like to monitor this program and that’s what it is, they are afraid of the truth. They do not want to have open debates, they know the facts simply do not line up, and so instead of publicly showing up and debating or putting their ideas out there on the table they simply want to silence Christians, that’s what it’s about.



Perkins: You might remember the Episcopal Bishop Eugene Robinson who split the Episcopal Church because he’s openly gay and wanted to marry his lover or whatever you call it, and he gathered 20,000 signatures and presented them to MSNBC demanding that they keep me off of MSNBC because you know I’m on there you know talking about politics or whatever and usually it’s nothing to do with homosexuality, they just don’t want anybody who does have views that are counter to theirs.

Wildmon: I’ll tell you what, you’re in good company, the other day Kirk Cameron went on Piers Morgan on CNN, and man, Piers Morgan asked him a question about homosexuality, he said it was ‘unnatural,’ he just got torched.

Perkins: I talked to Kirk, I talked to him yesterday actually I was actually interestingly enough I was coming out of MSNBC where I was on yesterday with Martin Bashir, and I would actually encourage folks to go watch that interview that I did with him—they have it on their homepage; at least they did this morning on MSNBC—and thank them for allowing a balanced discussion. Obviously Martin did not agree with me but we had a very civil discussion on the issues and I tell you what I have to respect MSNBC for allowing debate and not buckling under the pressure of a loudmouth, Soros-funded group that is simply trying to silence the public debate over important public policy issues, so I will have to come to the defense of MSNBC for not buckling under that pressure.

Pat Robertson Implores Woman Not to Attend Sister's Same-Sex Marriage

Today on the 700 Club a woman asked Pat Robertson whether it was appropriate for her to serve as a bridesmaid or even attend her lesbian sister’s wedding to another woman. Robertson, a fierce opponent of gay rights, demanded the woman take no party in the ceremony. He cited Romans 1, without giving its cultural and historical context, to argue that God gave gays and lesbians up to do “evil things with their own bodies.” “If she doesn’t like it, if that breaks the union between you,” Robertson said, “that’s tough luck.”

Watch:

Meeuwsen: This is from Kathryn who says: ‘I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding. There is only one problem. My sister is gay and she’s marrying her partner. I don’t know what to do. If I don’t agree, our relationship will be ruined. I don’t even know if I should attend the wedding, much less be a part of it.’

Robertson: That is a very hard decision but you can’t add you’re—if you go what you’re doing is saying ‘I bless this union and I agree that what you’re doing is right.’ You know the Bible is so clear about homosexuality and when you read in what Paul said, he said, ‘Wherefore God gave them up,’ and having given them up they did evil things with their own bodies, men for men and women with women, defaming their bodies. Read Romans, read the Book of Romans, this isn’t something I came up with, read it in Romans. You say, ‘should I go to my sister’s wedding, should I participate,’ the answer is to tell your sister, ‘I love you but I cannot participate a ceremony that is contrary to God’s word, period.’ If she doesn’t like it, if that breaks the union between you, that’s tough luck.

Elected Officials Officially Calling Out ALEC

Over the past few weeks, more progressive elected officials are not just voting against ALEC inspired legislation that would privatize public services and make a few people very rich, they are calling it out by name and raising awareness of how ALEC serves as a vehicle to enact a corporate wish list into law in states across the country.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton recently vetoed a set of ALEC-modeled tort-reform bills that originated from an “ALEC Boot Camp” for state legislators. Here’s his statement:

“Exactly who did the Republicans in the legislature listen to? Well, three of the four bills come right from this manual, Tort Reform Boot Camp, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. This is the same group who reportedly provided legislators last week with all-expense paid trips to a posh Florida hotel for what they call an “education policy conference.” It is an extremely conservative group, funded largely by large corporations, big business associations, insurance companies and very wealthy individuals. I’ve found that Minnesotans do not want their laws written by the lobbyists of big corporations.

“Since these Republican bills so closely follow ALEC’s instructions on tort reform, and since ALEC’s opinion on these subjects are evidently more important to Republican legislators than mine, their fellow legislator’s or the Supreme Court’s, perhaps they would share with us all of the other ALEC boot camp manuals, so we can know in advance what to expect from them for the rest of this session. If Republicans want to continue to prove to Minnesotans that they are too extreme to lead, they should continue to throw ALEC’s ideology at us. If they want to begin to govern responsibly, and work collaboratively, pass real jobs legislation – and my three measures have not even been taken up – real jobs legislations that will put Minnesotans back to work, then I’m ready to work with them. And I’m waiting.”

Just last week, Wisconsin State Representative Mark Pocan (D) decided to take action as well. He joined ALEC to gain access to the bill templates, and then took to the floor to expose the origins of AB110, a bill that would damage the public education system by giving special taxpayer subsidies to private schools for special needs children.

“This is part of dismantling public education in Wisconsin, and Florida, and Ohio, and every single state it’s introduced in,” Pocan explained. “This bill doesn’t come from this body, this bill is an identical bill that’s been introduced brought by special interests by ALEC and introduced state by state by state.”

 

ALEC’s secret jig is up. The American people don’t want their laws to be written by corporations, and they’ve made their voices heard. Now, our elected representatives – that is, the ones who are actually representing us, not wealthy special interests – are taking a stand too. ALEC’s pro- corporate agenda can only advance if kept secret. Kudos to those elected officials with the courage to shine the spotlight on this undemocratic organization.

PFAW Foundation

Matt Barber Bemoans the 'Fornication Fandango' in his Pathetic Attack on Sandra Fluke

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber has long been one of the most factually-challenged members of the Religious Right to the point of utter absurdity. Take for example Barber’s latest column where the “pro-family” activist defends Rush Limbaugh for calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” in his article, “Limbaugh and the, um, Lady,” and to attack Fluke and her “sexual anarchist worldview” with the same falsehoods and innuendos used by Limbaugh:

Still, liberal attempts to sidetrack aside, the cultural issues embedded within this Fluke flap are worthy of discussion. Only a dying culture lionizes a woman who publicly impugns – with pride – her own honor and virtue. Yet, to the left, she’s a hero.

It’s genuinely sad that, as a society, we are no longer appalled that a young, single woman – though very nice, I’m sure – would go on national television nonetheless, to proudly and publicly boast that, to her, while sex is cheap and casual, dealing with the potential consequences is so expensive that those of who disagree must subsidize her bad behavior.

Can someone please explain to me how and why a woman’s “right” to be promiscuous is my financial responsibility? If you refuse to buy your own “preventative medicine,” why not hit up the fellas? Last I heard it takes two to do the fornication Fandango.

This is by design. Secular-“progressives” have been working to deconstruct traditional sexual morality for generations. The goal is to impose – under penalty of law – their own moral relativist, sexual anarchist worldview. (Hence, the unconstitutional ObamaCare mandate requiring that Christian groups cast aside millennia-old church doctrine, and get with the postmodern program.)

But, beyond this assault on religious freedom and the moral implications surrounding the debate, Ms. Fluke has additionally set the true women’s movement back decades. Her public groveling for free contraception and abortifacients reinforces the sexist stereotype that single women can’t survive without welfare. Women’s empowerment? More like patriarchal government dependency.

Still, like so much in its propagandist bag of tricks, the left’s entire “denied access to contraception” premise is built upon a lie. Liberals would have you believe that, for decades, women seeking birth control – already cheap and often free – have been systemically tackled in front of Walgreens by a bevy of white, Republican Catholic Priests.

Name one woman who has been “denied access” to birth control – ever. Show me one Republican politico who wants to “ban contraception.”

There are none.

Actually, if Barber ever read Fluke’s testimony, he would have found examples of women denied access to birth control:

In sixty-five percent of cases, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed these prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms. For my friend, and 20% of women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription, despite verification of her illness from her doctor. Her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy. She’s gay, so clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy. After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it. I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of her final exam period she’d been in the emergency room all night in excruciating pain. She wrote, “It was so painful, I woke up thinking I’d been shot.” Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary. On the morning I was originally scheduled to give this testimony, she sat in a doctor’s office. Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats, weight gain, and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32 years old. As she put it: “If my body indeed does enter early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children. I will have no chance at giving my mother her desperately desired grandbabies, simply because the insurance policy that I paid for totally unsubsidized by my school wouldn’t cover my prescription for birth control when I needed it.” Now, in addition to potentially facing the health complications that come with having menopause at an early age-- increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, she may never be able to conceive a child.

Perhaps you think my friend’s tragic story is rare. It’s not. One woman told us doctors believe she has endometriosis, but it can’t be proven without surgery, so the insurance hasn’t been willing to cover her medication. Recently, another friend of mine told me that she also has polycystic ovarian syndrome. She’s struggling to pay for her medication and is terrified to not have access to it. Due to the barriers erected by Georgetown’s policy, she hasn’t been reimbursed for her medication since last August. I sincerely pray that we don’t have to wait until she loses an ovary or is diagnosed with cancer before her needs and the needs of all of these women are taken seriously.

As for finding a “Republican politico” who wants to ban birth control, we can list every Republican in states like Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama and elsewhere who support so-called personhood legislation, which bans common forms of birth control.

In fact, Liberty Counsel is a strong supporter of personhood legislation, so Barber can look no further than the mirror to find someone who wants to ban birth control.

Wildmon Falsely Claims Obama has Never Visited the Border

One of the advantages of being president of the American Family Association and American Family Radio is that you get to host a daily radio program where you can vent your outrage about whatever pops into your head regardless of the fact that you may have no idea what you are talking about, as Tim Wildmon displayed yesterday while interviewing Rep. Trent Franks as he insisted that President Obama has never made a trip to America's southern border because he doesn't care about the issues of immigration and border security. 

In fact, Obama delivered a speech on both of those issues on May 10, 2011 at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas which is, as you can see, pretty much right on the border:

So we decided to grab a bit of footage from the remarks that President Obama delivered on that day and make a little video to with the aim of helping to satisfy Wildmon's concerns:

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